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The passing of actor Robin Williams affected fans from all walks of life, but gamers made a special claim to his legacy. Williams was a game enthusiast and a known fan of games like Portal, The Legend of Zelda and World of Warcraft. Now, the creators of the latter title seem to be working on an in-game memorial for the actor: a NPC named "Robin <The Entertainer>." Wowhead, a site that scours the game code for new additions, found three instances of the tribute in a recent update for the Warlords of Draenor beta build -- a male human, a female human and, of course, a blue genie.

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Have you done any business with UPS recently? You'd better check out the company's website: some of its stores may have leaked your personal data. After receiving a security advisory from the US Government, the company discovered that 51 UPS Stores were infected with malware, potentially compromising customer data for more than 105,000 transactions. UPS has already removed the offending software, of course, but the damage may have already been done. Now the company is trying to make good.

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Twitter on a Nexus 5

Have you noticed that you're getting a lot less spam on Twitter these days? You may have to thank a bot for that. Twitter has just shed light on BotMaker, a recently developed system that (as the name suggests) lets the social network create anti-spam bot code with very little effort. Within a few seconds, engineers can set up rules that automatically take down and track spammers, in some cases before they've even managed to post anything. Besides barring known spam links, the bots can flag suspicious behavior -- if a lot of people block an account after it sends a tweet, it's going to be watched very closely. BotMaker will also look at long-term behavior, so spammers that slip through the cracks aren't necessarily safe.

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Ask anyone who's tried maintaining a long-distance relationship: it's hard, and video chats, text messages and phone calls don't always satisfy our emotional needs. A lot of human relations are indirect, subtle actions of body language or behavior that aren't easily captured in video or text. Capturing the feeling of these unspoken cues seems is the point of "Saying things that can't be said," two students' final project at the Holon Institute of Technology. The series uses a mix of technology and familiar objects to create an abstract sense of presence between two distant partners.

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Headless people at a party

Part of the allure of Secret's app is supposed to be the anonymity; you can confess your innermost thoughts without facing any accusing fingers. However, people are now using Secret as a launching pad for parties where the very point is to confide in others you can see across the table. As Recode notes from first-hand experience, it's like seeing the app unfold in real life. Rather than make small talk, guests share their sincerest feelings about family and relationships -- you may find more about a stranger in a few hours than you would by following them on Facebook for a year. Even meeting up is dependent on revealing interesting tidbits, so you end up breaking the ice before you know anyone's names.

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Sure, we know Oculus VR chief technology officer John Carmack's likes watching movies on the Rift headset from bed when he's sick, but what if you'd rather catch up on Orange is the New Black instead? A recent hackathon at Netflix produced something that could make that possible. The custom UI, dubbed "Oculix," shows off what it'd be like to navigate the interface in a virtual space replete with gesture control. It looks pretty neat if you ask us. What, with its floating tiles and text descriptions and all that. Sadly, unlike the home-brew Oculus apps we're used to, whether or not the greater community will get to give this a shot is up in the air. As is typical with Netflix's Hack Day projects, the outfit is making no promises of Oculix ever seeing the light of day.

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Movie theater texters here in the US are (rightfully!) viewed as the lowest of the low, but certain spots in China look far more kindly on those cinematic simpletons. Why? Because some of their hastily composed missives actually become part of the show itself. According to the New York Times, some Chinese theaters are experimenting with what they call "bullet screens," which meld movies with text messages sent in from the audience. For the low, low price of 0.1 renminbi (or a dime), a film connoisseur can watch as their most poignant wisecracks scroll across the screen with countless others... for better or worse.

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While EVs like the Tesla Model S and Renovo Coupe gain steam here on the ground, engineers at NASA's Langley Research Center are taking electric propulsion technology to new heights. What you see above is the GL-10 -- AKA Greased Lightning. This serious looking unmanned aerial system has a 10-foot wingspan and is powered by 10 individual electric motors with enough torque to propel it straight up in the air like a Harrier Jet. The GL-10 is nowhere near the size or weight of a Boeing V-22 Osprey, but that sort of maneuver is nonetheless impressive for a battery-powered machine.

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will never stop us

While sites like The Pirate Bay are busy improving the experience for the torrent-loving crowd, Google's facing the task of processing an extreme amount of removal request for pirate links. According to a recent transparency report on the matter, Google is now seeing more than 1 million DMCA takedown notices per day. In the previous week alone, for instance, the tech giant was asked to remove about 8 million results from its search engine. As TorrentFreak points out, the amount of copyright removal notices sent to Google has seen a tremendous spike in recent times -- it wasn't long ago that the number of takedown requests was in the low-hundreds for the entire year. With the growth of the internet as a whole, however, it's easy to see how that's come to be. You can peruse the report in full here, if you're into that sort of thing.

[Image credit: will never stop us/Flickr ]

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