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Swimming with Withings' Activite watch

Most activity trackers and smartwatches won't monitor your swimming, and those that do usually require that you kick in a swimming mode before you dive in. Withings doesn't think you should have to switch things up just because you've left dry land, though. The health tech firm has added automatic swim detection to its Activité and Activité Pop watches, so you only need to start that breast stroke for it to register as a workout. You probably won't want to take your tracker on a deep scuba dive (both wearables are resistant down to 164 feet), but this could be very helpful if you'd rather hit the beach this summer than roast during a run.

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The changeover to smart homes seems inevitable, but you do have to make a reasonable investment in networked gear or you'll be stuck building a smart(ish) home one lonely, Bluetooth item at a time. This week, though, one lucky Engadget reader is going to get a boost into the future with a selection of Wink and other compatible smart home items. There's a Wink Relay so you don't always have to dig out your phone to control settings and a Wink Hub to unify the system -- compatible with WiFi, Z-wave, ZigBee and Bluetooth frequencies. That will cover the lamp dimmer, LED lightbulbs, connected lock and sensor pack in this prize bundle as well. If you get hooked, it's easy to expand your smart home's abilities by adding more items to the network as you go. All you need to do is head to the Rafflecopter widget below for up to three chances at winning this IoT starter pack courtesy of Wink.

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Not long after our last intimate chat with Shuhei Yoshida, the President of Sony Computer Entertainment's Worldwide Studios at E3, a Redditor managed to dig up a prototype of the never-released "Nintendo PlayStation" that eventually led to the birth of Sony's very own gaming console. Naturally, when we caught up with Shuhei-san again at a Project Morpheus event in Hong Kong, we showed him our article on the priceless gem and asked for his thoughts. After some reminiscent giggles, the exec gave a brief account on the time he spent with a device with matching description, as you can see in our interview video after the break.

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Microsoft 343 Industries Halo 5

In the early 2000s, four-player, split-screen Halo was a revelation for my then-girlfriend Jenn (who would later become my wife), her two sisters and me. It was amazing, frantic, swear-filled fun. Controllers were thrown; tempers flared. But that's all sadly in the past. Last week, Halo's current custodian, 343 Industries, revealed that it's abandoning local split-screen multiplayer and native LAN support for this fall's Halo 5: Guardians. We knew from earlier reports that local campaign co-op was out of the question, at least at launch, but the Ars Technica report confirms we won't see any split-screen multiplayer modes or native LAN support. Allow me to repeat: No local multiplayer. None. In a Halo game. For me, and likely many other longtime Halo fans, the news is a bitter pill to swallow.

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A visual tour of the Pokémon Research Lab

There's no better way to inspire children into a career in animal taxonomy and species classification than Pokémon. Possibly. A temporary Pokémon Lab in Japan is opening its doors to wannabe researchers (and their parents), offering them a Poké ball and 12 different stations to test and identify the critter inside. Once you've derived the specific pocket monster (fortunately, at this junior research center, it's limited to a pool of around 30), there's also a healthy spoonful of real science and biology at the end -- oh yes, it's edu-tainment. This part of the exhibit tries to convey how important discoveries have occurred through observation and categorization of animals and creatures (the game's creator was famously fascinated by categorizing insects as a child). There was also a giant Pikachu in a lab coat to assist where needed -- although he didn't really help all that much.

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US-FBI-PRACTICE

FBI director James Comey is making a final push for backdoor cellphone access for law enforcement ahead of key Senate committee meetings. In national security site Lawfare, he first admitted that "universal strong (cellphone) encryption will protect all of us -- our innovation, our private thoughts, and so many other things of value -- from thieves all kind." However, he quickly added that "there are many costs to this," citing terrorist organizations like ISIS. He said that the group recruits members "through mobile messaging apps that are end-to-end encrypted... (and) may not be intercepted, despite judicial orders under the Fourth Amendment."

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BBC's Micro:bit

In the early eighties, the BBC started a computing revolution with the launch of the Micro. The heavy, light-brown box, created with help from Acorn and ARM, was designed to complement the broadcaster's ongoing computer literacy project. It was intended to give children a grounding not only in programming, but also graphics, sound and gaming. In the thirty-plus years that have passed, the BBC has remained committed to educating Britain's youngsters in the same fields, but didn't return to hardware until a few years ago.

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Floating video on FacebookPop-Up Video: it's not just the greatest VH1 show ever, it's also Facebook's latest feature. The social network is rolling out floating videos for desktop users that can sit anywhere in your window while you continue browsing your News Feed, just like on Tumblr. You can activate the feature by clicking on a new button at the bottom-right of video embeds, which looks like this:

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Low-cost probes, an extraterrestrial submarine and spacecraft propelled by electric sails: these are but three of the seven projects moving on to Phase II of NASA's Innovative Advanced Concepts (NIAC) program. All the entries have only just begun development, since the program's specifically meant for early-stage research projects. NASA believes investing in those is crucial "for advancing new systems concepts and developing requirements for technologies to enable future space exploration missions."

Here are the seven projects that stood out:

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The Raspberry Pi has been a huge success story for Britain, giving millions of people an affordable way to tinker and learn with pocket-sized hardware. Now, the BBC is hoping to make a similar impact with the "Micro:bit." Like the Raspberry Pi, this tiny computer has been created to help youngsters learn the fundamentals of programming and computer construction. Today in London, the broadcaster unveiled the Micro:bit's final design -- a rectangular, credit card-style board measuring 4cm by 5cm -- and some of the all-important hardware features. These include 25 red LEDs, which can show messages and facilitate games, two programmable buttons, an on-board accelerometer and magnetometer. The device also offers Bluetooth LE connectivity, a microUSB slot and five input and output (I/O) rings that can be hooked up with crocodile clips and 4mm banana plugs. It's been a while since the original BBC Micro was considered cutting edge, but even so -- this new device is roughly 18 times faster and 67 times lighter than its spiritual predecessor.

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Amazon packages [Image Credit: shutterstock]

Have you ever searched for a product on Amazon, only to find a similar item from another company? Sure you have. But while this search behavior is arguably great for customers, it's the reasoning behind a trademark lawsuit against the online retailer. "Military" watchmaker MTM has been pursuing Amazon since 2011 and, despite losing in a California federal court, it's just won a 2-1 vote in the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals to have the case go to trial.

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