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Beats Music on Android, Windows Phone and iPhone

Odds are that you weren't riveted by Beats Music when it first arrived, but the streaming service has just delivered a pair of big updates that may give you a good excuse to tune in. For the iOS app, the biggest improvement is visible when you're signing up -- you can now subscribe from within the software rather than heading to the web. The move makes it that much easier to keep the music flowing after your trial is over, and may just help Beats grow its fledgling customer base.

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Just days after Nike announced the launch of its Fuel Lab location in San Francisco to enhance partnerships with other digital services for athletes, there's a report that it's fired much of the team behind its FuelBand wristwear. CNET reports that, according to a person familiar with the matter, as many as 55 people from its 70-member hardware team are being laid off, and plans for another version of the FuelBand to follow the SE have been shelved. All of this comes just as the wearables market is heating up, with products already arriving from Samsung, LG, Motorola, Pebble and more, while activity tracking integrated with phones is also becoming more popular. At the same time, not all of Nike's tech initiatives have worked out, and Nike+ has largely disappeared from its shoes in the last year.

A Nike spokesman confirmed to CNET a "small number of layoffs" as its "Digital Sports priorities evolve." Given Nike's close relationship with Apple (Tim Cook is a member of Nike's board), one could wonder if the prospect of an upcoming wearable from Cupertino had a hand in swinging the apparel company's focus towards "simpler data-powered experiences" -- or they just spent all the money on tonight's sweet 3D projector intro to the Jordan Brand High School All-Star Game.

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cannabis background

Criminals are dicks. That much we all know is true. But now these dicks are using heat-sensing drones to pull off "sophisticated" heists of weed farms (yes, that weed) in the United Kingdom, as local paper Halesowen News discovered. Consider this quote from one enterprising crop hijacker:

It is not like I'm using my drone to see if people have nice televisions. I am just after drugs to steal and sell. If you break the law, then you enter me and my drone's world.

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Les Paul Special guitar

Pandora can't catch a break, it seems. Just weeks after the streaming radio service escaped paying higher royalties to songwriters, record companies and musicians have sued it in a New York court for allegedly violating state copyright laws by refusing to pay for older song recordings. The labels argue that Pandora is subject to state rules on compensation whenever it streams tunes recorded before February 15th, 1972, when federal law took over; right now, it's only paying for those newer works. The suing parties claim that Pandora is both depriving artists of income and wielding an "unfair advantage" over on-demand competitors like Rdio and Spotify, which have no choice but to negotiate royalties for classic tracks.

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Autonomous aircraft serve their purpose, but there's no question that pilotless passenger flights are a long way off, if they ever become a reality. Still, there's obviously room for improvement when it comes to on-board systems that assist pilots in their duties. The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) is in the process of creating an advanced autopilot system called ALIAS (yes, another acronym). The Aircrew Labor In-Cockpit Automation System (there you go) would control military aircraft in all stages of flight, from takeoff to landing -- even during a system failure. Pilots would interact with the system using a touchscreen and voice control, supervising a flight instead of commanding it. Of course, we'll see this technology make its way to military planes long before it's adopted by airlines, but ALIAS could play a key role in keeping us all safe at 30,000 feet.


Let's be honest: Wireless speakers are a dime a dozen. The options are seemingly endless, and new ones arrive on an almost daily basis. Companies have begun to push the boundaries of design as of late, making options that are an aesthetic step above the larger outfits. Tubecore's Duo certainly does that, but it's also so much more.

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AT&T is adding more data to its GoPhone prepaid smartphone plans without raising monthly fees in the process. If you're currently paying $60 a month for 2GB, your allotment will jump to 2.5 gigs, while those on the $40, 250MB plan will now get 500MB per month. More data is only part of the value proposition for GoPhone customers, though; the new 2.5GB plan will now offer the ability to use your phone as a WiFi hotspot.

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Once it stored enormous quantities of blast furnace and coal gas, but these days the Gasometer Oberhausen is a 385 foot tall cylindrical art gallery. Since the early 90s, the gargantuan storage tank has been host to more than a dozen art exhibitions, and its latest display puts its own absurd size front and center. 320° Licht plays on the gallery's tar-black walls, projecting optical illusions that make the surface appear to warp and bend. "This experience is based on the vastness of the Gasometer," explains project sound designer Jonas Wiese. "We tried to work with that expression to make the space bigger and smaller, to deform it and change its surface over and over while not exaggerating and overwriting the original effect of the room." According to the installation's creators, that effect is dwarfing. Viewers are left feeling small, even lost.

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We have less libations, but more tech-related news than last week's peaty podcast and that's just fine for your sleep-deprived hosts. First up is some informed speculation on Amazon's new smartphone, based on a few inconclusive photos that recently surfaced. Another work in progress is Google's Project Ara, a modular concept that looks to make swappable smartphone parts a reality. The one thing that's all too real and in your face, however, is the recent Heartbleed exploit, which has had widespread impact across the web. While you're racing to update all those passwords -- yes, it's OK to do that now -- it couldn't hurt to get a refresher on exactly what happened and which sites were affected. So head on down to the streaming links and get your brain fix with this week's episode of the Engadget Podcast.

Hosts: Terrence O'Brien, Ben Gilbert

Producer: Jon Turi

Hear the podcast:

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