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Gizmag traveled to last week's Overland Expo West in Northern Arizona to explore the latest in 4x4s and adventure campers. In contrast to last year's warm, beautiful weather, this year was cold and rainy with a touch of snow, creating tire-swallowing, ego-crushing mud that left many a vehicle grinding its gears fruitlessly. It wasn't ideal weather for a camping trip, but it proved the perfect backdrop for showcasing rugged four-wheelers with specialized chassis and powertrain components.

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All living organisms – human, animal, or otherwise – continuously move molecules around their cells. It's a crucial mechanism of life, vital for feeding cells the proteins they need to function. And now scientists at Northwestern University have created a machine that mimics this pumping mechanism. Their molecular pump is the world's first such machine developed entirely through chemical engineering in the laboratory, and it could one day power artificial muscles and other molecular machines.

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Kyocera is continuing with its mission to make tough (often affordable) phones. The company's latest rugged device is the Torque G02, which Kyocera claims is the first sea water-resistant smartphone.

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As digital technology becomes more ubiquitous and the Internet of Things takes shape, the question of how to power it all becomes more pressing. Japanese technology firm Ricoh is looking at its new "energy-generating rubber" as one solution. According the company, the new piezoelectric polymer converts pressure and vibration into electric energy with high efficiency, yet is extremely flexible and durable.

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There are already human-powered devices that allow you to walk on water, plus there are electric motor-powered stand-up paddleboards. The WaterBlade, however, appears to bridge the gap between the two. It's a floating platform that you stand on to "walk" across the water, but it also has a motor to help make things easier.

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Texting is so much a part of modern life that some people can't even pause for a meal of fried chicken without sending a message. As part of an advertising campaign and in an effort to avoid an epidemic of greasy smartphone screens, KFC restaurants in Germany have been giving away paper tray liners with built-in Bluetooth keyboards, so patrons can text away while munching on their extra crispy.

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Magnets are at the heart of much of our technology, and their properties are exploited in a myriad ways across a vast range of devices, from simple relays to enormously complex particle accelerators. A new class of magnets discovered by scientists at the University of Maryland (UMD) and Temple University may lead to other types of magnets that expand in different ways, with multiple, cellular magnetic fields, and possibly give rise to a host of new devices. The team also believes that these new magnets could replace expensive, rare-earth magnets with ones made of abundant metal alloys.

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We might see some new Android Wear gear next week at Google I/O. But until then, the LG Watch Urbane and Moto 360 are two of your best Wear smartwatches. We have both in house, so let's take a quick look.

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Soft drink giant PepsiCo recently announced its plans to stop sweetening Diet Pepsi with aspartame in response to growing consumer concern, yet the company, regulators and many medical authorities say the potential detrimental effect of the artificial sweetener on human health is overblown. So, what's really going on here and who should you believe? Read More

A team of MIT and University of Michigan researchers has a new method for manufacturing graphene that it believes could take the material out of the laboratory and into commercial products. The method involves forming the strong, conductive material in a chamber consisting of two concentric tubes.

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