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After the new-but-not-very-fresh iPad mini 3, the most disappointing part of Apple's recent show-and-tell was the $499 Mac mini -- the RAM is now soldered in, making it impossible to upgrade. iFixit has just revealed that the model has other user-unfriendly features as well. While access to the RAM used to be a matter of popping off a cover, it's now held in by Torx TR6 Security screws that require an exotic tool. It's more difficult to add a second hard drive too, since unlike past models, there's just a single SATA port now (though you may be able to install a PCIe SSD). Finally, as mentioned, both the RAM and Intel Core-i5 CPU are soldered in permanently. That's not very cricket on Apple's part, considering that past Mac minis were a breeze to access and update. Still, thanks to a lack of glue and easy disassembly with the right tools, the iMac eked a passing repairability grade of 6 out of 10.

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Remember when we told you about HalloweenCostumes.com's officially-licensed light-up high tops from Back To The Future Part II? We joked that the kicks would have gone great with ZBoard's limited-edition Hoverboard that it produced for the Michael J. Fox foundation last year. Unfortunately, only 50 decks and 25 full boards were created for the auction, so it looks as if that (time-traveling) train has sailed. Well, until now, that is, since the company has now produced a general-sale run of its bright pink electric skateboard, and will even sell you the high tops in a single bundle. The board on its own will set you back $600, while a set with the futuristic kicks is priced at $700, plus one lucky competition winner will win a complete replica of Marty McFly's future outfit from the movie. Be warned, however, as you've only got 14 days to scrounge together the cash, or else you'll be outtatime (geddit?).

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Amazon Kindle Voyage

Amazon just found a way to put further pressure on Hachette in its ongoing pricing war: strike a deal with another publisher. The online retailer has forged a new agreement with Simon & Schuster that will keep the book giant's digital and physical titles on Amazon for multiple years. The full terms of the deal aren't available, but the Wall Street Journal claims that it reaches a middle ground; Simon & Schuster will normally set prices, while Amazon will have the right to discount books in some situations. However it works, both sides are claiming it as a victory. Amazon argues that it gives the publisher a "financial incentive" to drop prices, while a letter from Simon & Schuster describes the pact as "economically advantageous" for both itself and authors.

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If you don't count buying a few drinks or other niceties, finding love on Tinder is essentially free, but it looks like that'll change come next month. The app's CEO and cofounder Sean Rad recently teased at Forbes' Under 30 event that new features will be added that users have apparently been clamoring for. What's more, he thinks they'll offer enough value that a specific subset of its user-base will be willing to pay for them. The core experience of swiping left or right on potential matches to like or dislike, respectively, won't see any fees tacked on, but an ability to expand your Tinder reach beyond your current location and into other cities is coming in November. Perfect for striking up conversations before you start traveling, it'd seem. As you'll see in the video below, Rad isn't keen to say just how much this will cost as of now, only that monetizing these "hacks" will allow the outfit to reinvest in itself. With how the application has handled location data in the past, however, let's hope this turns out for the best.

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United aircraft at SFO's departure gates

It was only a matter of time before San Francisco International Airport allowed direct visits from app-based ridesharing services besides Sidecar, and those floodgates have officially opened. Both Lyft and Uber (specifically, UberX and UberXL) now have the all-clear to stop at SFO's terminals. If you need a ride to your hotel, you no longer have to pay for an expensive taxi or else brave the mass transit system. It's difficult to know how this increased competition will work in practice, but a successful rollout could get other airports following suit.

[Image credit: Angelo DeSantis, Flickr]

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It's impossible to talk about hoverboards without invoking a particular movie title, so we're not even going to try: Remember that awesome scene from Back to the Future Part II? It's one step closer to reality: A California startup just built a real, working hoverboard. Arx Pax is attempting to crowdfund the Hendo Hoverboard as a proof of concept for its hover engine technology -- it's not quite the floating skateboard Marty McFly rode through Hill Valley (and the Wild West), but it's an obvious precursor to the imagined ridable: a self-powered, levitating platform with enough power to lift a fully grown adult.

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Audi's execs must have toasted to their autonomous car's success this weekend, because the self-driving RS 7 has successfully conquered the Hockenheimring racing circuit in Germany. While the company's announcement doesn't get into specifics, it says the modified sedan finished each lap in just over two minutes, close to the original two minutes and 10 seconds estimate. It doesn't confirm a top speed either, but the commentator in the video after the break says the car reached 137mph, driving the optimal trajectory you'd expect a top racer to take. As we've mentioned before, the automated RS 7 is completely driverless and uses GPS and photos taken by a 3D imaging camera to track its position down to 1 to 2 centimeters -- something it's obviously executed well during the Hockenheimring stunt.

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Microsoft only just unleashed its October update for the Xbox One, and now it's talking about what to expect next month. The update will hit consoles for those in the preview test group soon, and adds many features Major Nelson and crew say the community has been asking for, including custom backgrounds (with the PS4 getting themes soon, it's Blu-ray 3D all over again), and extra details for profiles. The custom backgrounds will launch with a selection of pictures and the ability to post based on achievements, and after a media player update later in the month, gamers will be able to import any image they want. A returning feature from the Xbox 360 will put details like your location and custom bio back on the profile page, plus a self-curated selection of game clips and achievements. Oh, and those game clips? You'll be able to share them with the masses easily, because the update adds the ability to share any of your favorites directly to Twitter. Check after the break for a video demo and more details on what's coming.

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The driving force behind some of Ubisoft's most successful franchises and best moments is no longer with the game maker as of today. Jade Raymond, executive producer on Assassin's Creed II, Watch Dogs and Splinter Cell: Blacklist, has left the company after ten years of service, the company announced. To do what, exactly? That's anyone's guess. She's been in the AAA space for a good portion of her career, working on The Sims Online prior to joining Ubisoft and being a key voice in the creation of the first two Assassin's Creeds. Given her experience running Ubisoft's Toronto studio, though, it might not be much of a stretch to imagine her going indie and assembling a quick and nimble team entirely of her own -- it wouldn't be the first time we've seen it happen.

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JAPAN-THEATRE-KAFKA FRANCE-ROBOTICS

We've seen robots star in plays before, but the one in a new production of Franz Kafka's The Metamorphosis doesn't take on a bit role or even a supporting one: it's the show's lead actor. While we feel bad for struggling theater performers who can never seem to get a big break, it seems rather fitting for a robot to take center stage for this particular story. See, The Metamorphosis is about a man who inexplicably turns into a giant insect -- the play's director, Oriza Hirata, just substituted a robot for the bug in this Japanese-French production. Sure, it's a lot easier to just get someone who can act like an automaton, but where's the fun in that?

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