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It's clearly video-streaming box season. Apple finally dropped an updated Apple TV, the Chromecast got all colorful and the Fire TV upped its resolution to 4K. Now it's Roku's turn with the new Roku 4. The flatter and wider set-top box sports 4K, has a remote locator (YES!), an updated OS and a redesigned app that makes it easier to travel with your favorite shows. The new device joins the rest of the Roku line instead of replacing anything. Priced at $129, it sits between the Apple TV and Fire but without all the recent drama.

SpaceX envisions a Dragon capsule on Mars

NASA may believe that it'll be the first to land on Mars, but don't tell that to Las Vegas betting houses. Popular Mechanics has asked Docsports' Raphael Esparza to set odds for the first organization to reach Mars, and he believes that SpaceX stands a much better chance of reaching the Red Planet (5 to 1) than anyone else, including NASA (80 to 1). To put it bluntly, SpaceX has the money and the motivation that others don't -- NASA would be the favorite, but its budget cuts are holding it back.

Watch the teaser video after the break. Skip along then come back to me. Sharp's RoboHon is so damn adorable, I can't look away from this kawaii singularity. This robot smartphone is also jammed full of skills and features. A projector, articulated animated arms and legs, talkative but in a cutesy Japanese robot sort of way. You're old, Pepper the robot. There I said it.

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Apple's acquired a startup with a keen focus on developing artificial intelligence systems that run locally on your device rather than at an offsite server farm. In Perceptio's case (why does every start-up sound like Aviato now?), it's using deep learning for photo classification rather than other mundane tasks, according to both Bloomberg and ReCode. The latter notes that Facebook and the like do this with cloud processing but Apple is incredibly big on not storing user-data offsite. So it makes sense that the company would be interested in bringing this sort of imaging tech to its handsets and computers -- especially considering that new camera the iPhone 6s series is sporting.

Vodafone's American Dream Ends in Once-in-a-Decade Verizon Deal

New York isn't the only city getting up in Verizon's grill over the provider's reluctance to roll out FiOS across its service areas. The mayors of 13 large US cities (plus a mayoral candidate in Philadelphia) have sent a letter to Verizon CEO Lowell McAdam criticizing his company's network practices, especially its lackadaisical attitude toward fiber internet access. The telecom reportedly hasn't met its obligations to offer FiOS in some cities (such as Newark and Pittsburgh), and in other cases (like Albany and Syracuse) is refusing to offer it at all. Verizon isn't just frustrating customers who want high-speed data, the mayors say -- it's reducing competition.

Daily Fantasy Football

Massive ad campaigns have made the rise of daily fantasy hard to ignore, but maybe there's one thing that could put the brakes on the likes of FanDuel and DraftKings: scandal. The issue seems to have started with a forum thread on Rotogrinder calling out "Millionaire Maker" information posted early by a DraftKings employee. Usually, that info is not available until after games start because its impact on each football player's value could help someone set up their roster, and it's come under more scrutiny since that same employee won $350,000 in the same week on competing site FanDuel. Now players wonder who has access to what information, when, and if they're using it to gain an edge by playing on rival daily fantasy sites. DraftKings and FanDuel have responded to the controversy with a joint statement, which is included after the break.

Destiny is getting microtransactions. Unlike item cool-downs or the obnoxious stuff that's intrinsic to all those Facebook distractions that clog up your news feed, however, these purchases aren't game-impacting. No, come October 13th they'll take the form of emotes and other cosmetic items. Developer Bungie stresses repeatedly that these will not impact your performance in any way should you not buy them. "You won't lose a Crucible (adversarial multiplayer) encounter or fail to clear a raid because you didn't have the right" emote equipped, the blog post says.

Android party

Google loves placing Easter eggs in its products. On Android devices, this has been a tradition since the Gingerbread days, wherein a zombie showed up on the screen after repeatedly tapping a menu's setting. That's still the case now, although the results have changed throughout the years to resemble the name of the platform -- Android 4.1, for instance, made room for a bunch of cute, floating jelly beans that you could flick out of your sight. But what's the story behind these Easter eggs? Now you can learn more about it thanks to Nat and Lo, a side-project started by two Google employees (Natalie and Lorraine) to give people an inside look at the company. In the video below, they sit down with Android Framework Engineer Dan Sandler, who shares some insight into Google's long history of Android Easter eggs.

iPhone 6s

With certain exceptions, most iOS-focused malware targets jailbroken devices whose compromised security makes them easy prey. However, there's been concerns that a recent strain of malware, YiSpecter, can attack even 'pure' devices running stock iOS. Do you have to worry about catching a bug online and losing control over your device? Probably not, if you ask Apple. In a statement to The Loop, the company notes that it not only fixed the vulnerability with iOS 8.4, but blocked the apps handing out the offending code. The victims downloaded apps from "untrusted sources" (that is, outside of the App Store) Cupertino adds. In short, Apple believes this is a non-issue as long as you install updates and stay cautious -- and given that more than half of its users are already running iOS 9, it might be right.

TechCrunch Disrupt NY 2015 - Day 3

After several months of waiting, the Winklevoss twins (they who claim to have invented Facebook) have the all-clear to run their Gemini bitcoin exchange. New York state's Department of Financial Services has granted a license to Gemini that lets it run as a chartered trust when it launches on October 8th. This doesn't make it a full-on bank, but it'll have the authority to accept deposits, make loans and serve as an agent for the government across 26 states and Washington, DC. All told, this takes bitcoin one step closer to legitimacy -- important when the virtual currency world still tends to be defined by scandals.

[Image credit: Noam Galai/Getty Images for TechCrunch]

When the Surface Pro 3 was announced last spring, Adobe revealed that it was working on touch-friendly versions of its design apps for Windows. At today's Max event, the company announced that its collection "core" apps are ready to accept your swipes and taps on compatible devices, like Microsoft's slate, with new Touch Workspaces. Photoshop and Illustrator already had some touch-based features, but now there's an expanded software lineup that'll let you get hands-on with your work across audio, video, motion graphics and graphic design projects. This means that Photoshop, Lightroom, Illustrator, InDesign, Premiere Pro, After Effects and Audition all accept input with your fingers, in addition the regular ol' keyboard, trackpad or stylus. And Photoshop's finger-friendly tools have been revamped to improve performance. Adobe's timing couldn't be better either, as Microsoft is poised to announce some new devices in a matter of hours.

Hong Kong ounterfeit Products

These days, people are resorting to the internet for most of their shopping. Who can blame them; the experience is far more convenient, and often cheaper, than going to traditional brick-and-mortar retail stores. One of the problems with this, however, is how easy it is to find and buy counterfeit goods online, and the US Department of Justice wants to put an end to that. Attorney General Loretta E. Lynch has announced a plan to fight intellectual property crimes in the country, which includes a grant funding of 3.2 million dollars expected to be made available to local and state law enforcement agencies. The idea behind the strategy, led by the FBI, is to work with third-party marketplaces (such as eBay or Amazon) to make sure they have "the right analytical tools and techniques to combat intellectual property concerns on their websites."

Google Now on a Nexus 5

Russia is convinced that Google's policies on pre-installed Android apps are anti-competitive, and it's now drawing a line in the sand. The country's regulators have ordered Google to remove restrictions on bundled third-party apps by November 18th if it wants to avoid stiff fines, which could include up to 15 percent of its Russian revenue from last year. That means allowing device makers to load directly competitive apps and search widgets, even if it means bumping Google's own software to lesser positions on your home screen.

Sony makes a mean smartphone, but it could never quite crack the macadamia nut that is the US mobile market. For while there it seemed like it had another fighting chance in the Verizon-only Z4v, too. Not anymore. After much hemming and hawing about its release date, a Sony spokesperson confirmed in an email that Sony and Verizon aren't bringing the Z4v to America after all. Way to keep us hanging, guys.

There's no good time to run out of beer. And if it's going to happen, it's usually when you have friends over or your team is in a close game. To ease the frustration of drinking up all of your suds, Bud Light has the Bud-E Fridge. The mini fridge for folks who are #UPFORWHATEVER monitors the number of bottles inside (it holds 78, by the way) and lets you now when they hit the "optimal temperature" for drinking. There's also a display on the outside, so a quick glance at the door lets who know how many beers you have. Those stats are beamed via WiFi to a mobile app on both iOS and Android which will also alert you if the game day supply is too low when your favorite NFL team is getting ready to take the field. It also has a countdown timer so you'll know the exact moment those beers hit the proper temp.

In case you haven't been paying attention for the last seven months or so, it's very, very easy to spend a lot of money on an Apple Watch. But if Apple's own lineup of bands and crazy expensive solid-gold cases aren't exactly working with your own personal aesthetic, fear not: today, the newly-announced set of Hermès leather bands are now available in selected Apple Stores and Hermès locations around the world.

Toronto Blue Jays at Baltimore Orioles

You might think that Japan, South Korea or the US would be the most enthusiastic about 4K live sports, but nope: right now, that distinction goes to Canada. The country's largest cable firm, Rogers, has unveiled a 4K strategy that reportedly includes the "world's largest" support for 4K live sports with high dynamic range (HDR) color. Every 2016 home game for the Toronto Blue Jays (which Rogers owns) will air in 4K with HDR, while more than 20 "marquee" NHL games will also display in 4K. If you're not fond of baseball or hockey, you'll be glad to know that 4K shows from Netflix and Shomi will be part of the mix. While this content won't start arriving until next year (starting with a Canadiens/Maple Leafs hockey match in January), it's at least on the cards.

Over the past few months, NASA's been showing us a ton of stunning images of Pluto. And if you thought that was captivating, wait until you see what else has made it onto the web. On Friday, Project Apollo Archive took to Flickr to publish more than 8,400 high-resolution images from NASA's missions to the Moon. The image repository compiles photographs taken by Apollo astronauts during their trips, such as the emblematic Apollo 11 and the final Moon mission, Apollo 17. "Around 2004, Johnson Space Center began re-scanning the original Apollo Hasseelblad camera film magazines, and Eric Jones and I began obtaining TIFF (uncompressed, high-resolution) versions of these new scans on DVD," Kipp Teague, who heads up the project, said to The Planetary Society. "These images were processed for inclusion on our websites, including adjusting color and brightness levels, and reducing the images in size to about 1,000 dpi (dots per inch) for the high-resolution versions."

Have you been thinking about trying your hand at gardening, but lack the green thumb to keep those plants alive? There's a new Kickstarter project that may be able to lend a hand. Plug & Plant is a wall-mounted system of pods that not only neatly organizes the indoor plants, but each one is equipped with Bluetooth room, humidity and light sensors. That tech gathers data from the environment and offers tips for optimum plant growth. A Smart Water Tank also uses the collected info to vary the watering regimen as needed for up to 30 days. Details are beamed to a companion app that displays the stats for each senor independently as well as analyzes the data and providing suggestions for care.