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If a virtual reality gaming center, trees with email addresses and the opportunity to cuddle a koala weren't enough to tempt you into taking a trip down under, perhaps an opportunity to participate in a massive-scale selfie project will do the trick. At least, that's the aim of a new service launched by Tourism Australia called GIGA Selfie.

Remember that time Samsung teased a new smartwatch after unveiling some phones we knew were coming? You should! This was seriously only two weeks ago, guys. Anyway, Samsung is finally talking specifics about the watch -- known as the Gear S2 -- ahead of the murky mobile maelstrom brewing in Berlin right now. First off, it's actually even smaller than we thought it would be. Earlier leaks pointed to a round smartwatch with a 1.65-inch screen running at 360 x 360 -- turns out the resolution was right, but the Gear S2's screen is only 1.2 inches across.

The camera inside the Large Synoptic Survey Telescope

If you think the 50-megapixel sensor in your new DSLR is hot stuff, you haven't seen anything yet. The Department of Energy has given the all-clear to build the Large Synoptic Survey Telecscope's 3.2-gigapixel digital camera, which promises to be the most advanced in the world. It's not just the resolution (which easily eclipses that of sophisticated airborne surveillance cams) that lets scientists make such a bold claim. It will photograph patches of sky 40 times larger than the Moon, and pick up more light than any optical telescope on Earth -- both important factors when you're trying to study the early universe, track poorly-lit asteroids and understand dark energy. While the LSST's camera won't even see its first test runs until 2019, the output could easily justify those years of work.

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Ultra HD 4K video is still in its infancy, but there's no doubt the format will become increasingly popular in the next year or two. Huge players like YouTube and Netflix already support it, but delivering such high bandwidth video content remains a challenge. Google's trying to do its part to solve that problem by developing a more efficient video compression codec called VP10. The new codec has been in the works for nearly a year, but the company gave some details about how effective it can be over the VP9 format it'll eventually replace. In an interview with CNET, Google product manager James Bankoski said that VP9 uses half the bandwidth needed to deliver the same quality video as the popular H.264 format -- and with VP10, the company is trying to cut it in half again.

The Taken King is a massive expansion due to hit Destiny on September 15th, bringing new strike missions, three new subclasses (including skill trees), exclusive gear and more goodies. The expansion's new raid, King's Fall, will not be available at launch, but director Luke Smith tells IGN that Bungie has "a plan for when it's going to be available." Smith promises to give fans a heads up before it goes live.

A group of German researchers have created an algorithm that basically amounts to the most amazing Instagram filter ever conceived: a convolutional neural network that can convert any photograph into a work of fine art. The process takes an hour (sorry, it's not actually coming to a smartphone near you), and the math behind it is horrendously complicated, but the results speak for themselves.

iOS 9 on an iPad Air 2

Apple isn't content to expand its foothold in the workplace solely through major app deals and developer initiatives -- it wants corporate networks to be Apple-friendly as well. The Cupertino crew has teamed up with Cisco to optimize enterprise networks for iOS devices and apps, especially Cisco-made videoconferencing and collaboration tools. It's not hard to see why the two would forge a deal. This theoretically boosts iPhone and iPad sales to companies that want the smoothest possible experience, especially if they have thousands of users crowding their networks. Cisco, meanwhile, stands a better shot at selling network hardware and software to firms that are already set on using Apple gear. It may be hard to notice the change unless you're an IT manager, but you shouldn't be surprised if your next company-issued device has a fruit logo on the back.

Colombia Venezuela

Want to know why it's important to have checks on mass surveillance programs? Colombia should serve as a good example. Privacy International reports that the country not only collects bulk internet and phone data on a grand scale, but violates the law in the process -- it's supposed to require judicial approval for any surveillance, but regularly ignores that oversight. Colombian agencies have also relied on controversial tools like IMSI catchers (which scoop up nearby cellphone data) and Hacking Team's spyware, and they've sought to expand their powers rather than rein things in.

Beating Pandora to the punch, iHeartRadio has just launched a Windows 10 app that takes full advantage of Microsoft's Cortana virtual assistant. So, in addition to streaming music and radio stations from the app the usual way, you can also shout commands at Cortana to spin up some tunes. (Yes, it also works with Cortana text search.) It also packs in Live Tiles support, allowing you to make your favorite songs or artists accessible right from the revamped Start menu. The new app could be a smart way for iHeartRadio to add to its user base, which already clocks in at over 60 million people. It's surprising that Pandora still hasn't delivered a dedicated Windows 10 app yet, so iHeartRadio might be able to satisfy some of the demand for streaming radio on Microsoft's new OS.

When spending big on audiophile headphones, folks may look at over-ear models like Masters & Dynamic's MH40 or open cans from the likes of Ultrasone. But earbuds? I doubt those are topping many people's sonic bucket lists. With that in mind, it's rare to see products like Swedish company Jays' new q-Jays unveiled for $320 -- on sale, no less. Yet, quality earphones can sound just as good as high-end headphones, as companies like Shure have proved. And I believe Jays has put enough style, engineering and sound quality into its next-gen 'buds to justify that lofty price.

Green Bay Packers v Pittsburgh Steelers

Our own Aaron Souppouris put Cortana to work betting on English Premier League matches last season, and now Bing wants to offer more help with NFL action. Microsoft's search software has been making sports-related predictions for some time now, and this season it wants to help you dominate that fantasy football league. To lend a hand in selecting your lineup each week, Bing will offer updated player projections and suggestions for free agent pickups. Sure, ESPN, Yahoo and others already serve up a similar collection of weekly rankings, but Microsoft's search engine has a decent track record when it comes to sports (and Oscar) predictions. Bing will continue to predict games every week, much like Cortana has done since the start of last season. It'll also give you updated team power rankings every Tuesday alongside updated projections on your team's postseason chances. And as you might expect, it wants to be your home for states and other game-related info while you watch at home. You can put Bing to the test when the NFL season kicks off Thursday, September 10th.

[Image credit: Joe Robbins/Getty Images]

It's that dreaded time of year when lazy summer days with their open invitation to sandals, surf and shirtlessness begin to give way to the crispness of fall, hoodies and the back-to-school doldrums. Ah, but there's hope on the horizon: You can always buy things to forget the scheduled machinery of life. And, oh, have we got some selections for you -- no matter your budget.

Okay. It's time to get really real with our final round of baller back-to-school selections. This week's picks are not for the weak of wallet, but they're well worth the expense.

Uncharted 4: A Thief's End, the final game in Naughty Dog's Indiana Jones-style adventure series, will hit PlayStation 4 on March 18th, 2016. We got a taste of the game right after E3 2015 with an extended, action-packed trailer that features protagonist Nathan Drake shooting up bad guys, driving through a mountainside city and surviving all manner of seemingly lethal evasion tactics. There are a few versions of the game up for pre-order this week, including the Special Edition, which costs $80 and includes a steelbook case, an art book, in-game currency, a sticker sheet and the game on Blu-ray.

Google Rises After Creating Holding Company Called Alphabet

A few weeks ago, Google's Life Sciences division (which falls under Alphabet) announced plans to work with Dexcom on a miniature glucose tracker. The division that handles Mountain View's health-minded efforts is also teaming up with Sanofi, a pharmaceutical company that makes diabetes medication. The collaboration aims to find new ways to monitor and treat the medical condition that affects nearly 30 million people in the US alone. The partnership includes the development of a small device that continuously gathers stats and software that uses the collected info to find new courses of treatment. Life Sciences head Andrew Conrad says Sanofi's experience with insulin could help Google build a connected device that could provide dosage recommendation or automatically adjust medication levels based on a patient's blood sugar readings. "With Sanofi we can complete the picture of how diabetes unfolds and try to interrupt that development through a proactive and preventive approach," Conrad explained. This is the latest in the Life Sciences division's ongoing medical projects, and now that there's a renewed focus, we're likely to see more partnerships in the near future.

[Image credit: Chris Goodney/Bloomberg via Getty Images]

The rumors are true: Google has officially announced that Android Wear is coming to the iPhone. But there are a few caveats. For one thing, only the latest iPhones -- those that are running iOS 8.2 and up -- are supported (that includes the iPhone 5 onwards). More importantly, this app only works with the very latest in Android Wear watches. Right now, the only watch that works with this is the new LG Watch Urbane, which is the most recent Android Wear watch to launch. We're told that the app will also work with all future Wear devices, including upcoming watches from ASUS, Motorola and Huawei.

LG's SmartThinQ appliance sensor

Sure, it's easy to find connected home appliances, but what if you want to add a dash of intelligence to many of your existing appliances (not just one or two)? LG might come to your rescue before long. It's launching a SmartThinQ Sensor which uses feedback like temperature and vibration to tell you what your devices are doing. It can tell when your washer has finished by waiting for the shaking to stop, for instance, or tell you if someone left the fridge door open while you were out. In some cases, you can even remotely control those older machines. There's no word on when the sensor arrives, but it'll be joined by the smartphone-controlled Smart Lightwave Oven and Smart Air Conditioner at the upcoming IFA trade show.

We've already seen the upcoming Moto 360 sequel(s) quite a bit, but now another model has surfaced. Thanks to @upleaks, there's the news that the next line of Motorola smartwatches will also include a sport option. Based on what appears to be a leaked press image/render, the Moto 360 Sport will arrive in three colors while still carrying the same circular face and dreaded "flat tire" look. The bands on the active model also don't carry the same pins as the leaked 2015 unit, so we'll be curious to see if you can swap out the straps with ease. If you'll recall, Apple did something similar with its Watch by offering options for both active and fashion-minded folks. @upleaks also says that while the new Moto 360 will arrive in September, this newly outed Sport model won't be available until November.

Hackers Release Confidential Member Information From The Ashley Madison Infidelity Website

That Gizmodo investigation of leaked data suggesting that most of the women on Ashley Madison's affair-seeking service were fake? Completely bogus... if you ask Ashley Madison. It claims that there are plenty of real live women on the site -- the ratio of paying men to active women (who get to use it for free) is reportedly 1.2 to 1, and women sent 2.8 million messages just in the past week. Gizmodo made "incorrect assumptions" about what some of the data fields meant, Ashley Madison says. Whether or not that's true, you'll want to keep the data in context. The service isn't outlining the ratio of real to fake women, so it's not clear whether real women are bountiful or needles in the proverbial haystack.

Microsoft is launching a premium "Elite" controller for the Xbox One next month, so of course it's also readying a new console bundle that includes the pad and a 1TB "Solid State Hybrid Drive" system. From November you'll be able to get the set for $499 -- pre-orders start today in the US and it'll be exclusive to GameStop and Microsoft Stores for the first month. For comparison, the regular 1TB Xbox One bundle costs $399 -- so with the $150 Elite controller thrown in, you're getting at least $50 in savings. If you need a reminder, Microsoft's new gamepad has an extra four bumpers on the back, "hair trigger locks" and the ability to customize the thumbsticks and D-pad with extra swappable parts.

The trouble with security software is that it's always racing to catch up with new viruses and malware. They typically check against a database of known issues to protect you, which isn't very useful for brand spanking new attacks. Qualcomm is trying to fix that with its Smart Protect technology, which uses machine learning to keep an eye out for potential security issues in real time. Instead of relying on a static list of threats to protect you, it'll actually watch out for suspicious app behavior. Smart Protect will debut on Qualcomm's upcoming Snapdragon 820 mobile processor, details of which it's slowly leaking out. We already know the Snapdragon 820 will have faster graphics capabilities, for example, making it ideal for VR solutions. Naturally, Qualcomm is also offering an API for the new Smart Protect feature, allowing security software companies to take advantage of the new chip's heightened awareness.