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The bullet train is a Japanese trademark. It is, in other words, a landmark in motion. Today, 50 years to the time it made a trip for the first time, between Tokyo and Osaka, Japan is celebrating a major milestone in the history of its beloved bullet-shaped train. The Shinkansen, as it's known in The Land of the Rising Sun, has had a great run throughout its 50-year tale, like being the fastest high-speed train at one point -- China's CRH380A now holds that title. Even so, Shinkansen is still responsible for carrying more than 300 million passengers every year in Japan, making it one of the most important forms of transportation in the world, not only in its home soil.

[Image credit: AFP/Getty Images]

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If you can't get to sleep at night, then you've probably been told to avoid cheese, say no to caffeine after lunchtime and drink a cup of warm milk before bed. That was good advice, or at least it was, until the advert of the Sleep Shepherd, which is a beanie that promises to gently send you to sleep and wake you up at the right time. Equipped with a variety of sensors, the headgear monitors your brain activity and sends a soothing pulse to your noggin to convince you that it's time to stop thinking about what Dave at the office said to you that morning.

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It's the year 2014, and we've yet to have our flying cars and commuter jet packs. But we do have a glimpse of the future with the advent of the "internet of things." It's essentially the idea of connecting everyday objects -- be it thermostats or kitchen appliances -- to the web, in an effort to make our lives easier. As wonderful as that sounds though, development of new IoT technologies can be slow, due in part to the multiple different protocols in existence today and how tiresome it is to create an ecosystem from scratch.

That could soon come to an end, however, thanks to ARM. The chipmaker has just announced a brand new IoT-specific device platform that includes both a free operating system (tailor-made for ARM's Cortex-M processor based devices, of course) plus a server-side software product that ties it all together. Based on the mbed hardware and software ecosystem, the platform basically gives manufacturers the tools and building blocks necessary for IoT devices and services, thus making it that much faster and cheaper for them to bring their ideas to fruition.

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If you can't wait to put Windows 8 behind you (and you're the adventurous type) you can now download the Windows 10 Technical Preview. As we saw, Microsoft has made the "Modern UI" all but disappear on the desktop and moved it to the resurrected start menu. That gives users a more familiar, almost Windows 7-like, experience. This also marks the first time virtual desktops have been baked into Windows, and you can switch between via a thumbnail in the taskbar. Some features from the mildly loathed previous version, like charms, were retained, but Microsoft said that pretty much everything was subject to change before it launches late next year. If you're ready for a long download and, no doubt, plenty of bugs, have a go here. And if you're still unsure, check out the quick guide to the preview, though be warned, it's a sizable PDF file.

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Beats headphones at an Apple store

Beats isn't happy that ROAM CEO Steven Lamar is taking credit for co-founding its headphone business and demanding extra royalties -- it's firing back with a lawsuit of its own. The Apple-owned company claims that Lamar "deliberately misrepresented" his involvement in its early days. He didn't have an ownership role in the company, Beats says, and Jibe Audio (which Lamar once ran) reportedly wasn't responsible for any aspects of its initial headphone designs. We've reached out to ROAM for Lamar's response, although we can't imagine that he'll take the lawsuit lying down. Much of ROAM's credibility is based on the connection to Beats, and it becomes just another audio company if it loses those bragging rights.

[Image credit: Andrew Burton/Getty Images]

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So, making your Google+ posts available for viewing only to people in your circles isn't enough. Maybe you routinely post risque stuff you don't want minors to see, or things you'd rather share only with your countrymen. It doesn't matter what your reason is for wanting tighter restrictions -- what matters is that you can now do so, thanks to the latest Google+ update. All you need to do is go to Profile Settings and find a new section called Audience. Within that section, you can put an age limit (say, make your posts available to people older than 18 or 21 only) on your content or show it only to folks from select countries. You can even set different age restrictions for each country, if you want to be extra thorough, whether you have a personal profile or run a business page. Couple this with an update from July that lets you use almost any name you want on the social network, and Google+ is looking mighty customizable these days.

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Teen Vogue 2nd Annual Back To School Kick-Off Party

In California, school officials are now required to be more transparent when tracking a student's online activity. Governor Jerry Brown signed a bill earlier this week requiring parents to be notified when a school is peering at their kids' online activity. What's more, schools have to delete collected social media posts within a year of the student leaving or their 18th birthday. The law comes in response to the Glendale Unified school district hiring an outside firm to monitor Twitter, Facebook and Instagram feeds in 2013 -- without informing students or their parents that they were being watched. "I believe that as the world changes and this type of monitoring becomes more commonplace, legislation like this is critical to protecting the privacy of our children," said California State Assemblyman Mike Gatto. Glendale Unified says it doesn't keep posts that it's alerted to via the monitoring service.

[Photo credit: Photo by David Livingston/Getty Images]

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If you need a video refresher of just exactly what the PlayStation TV is capable of ahead of its US and Canadian release, Sony has something to take care of that. The video we've embedded below reinforces that Sony's micro console is a device for families with kids and touts its ability to do more than just Remote Play PlayStation 4 games or stream some of Sony's back catalog via PS Now -- it's a low-cost media-streaming gizmo as well. Perhaps best of all, it gets the point across in under 90 seconds. What the clip doesn't tell you, however, is that while the PlayStation TV can play PS Vita games natively, some of the handheld's best releases (think Tearaway and Wipeout 2048) aren't yet compatible because of that system's use of touch controls. Will that caveat make you reconsider plopping down $100 come October 14th? Let us know in the comments.

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Google has long been rewarding anyone who can dig up Chrome browser bugs with a nice amount of cash, but the longer the reward program runs, the harder it is to find vulnerabilities. Thus, Mountain View's upping the max reward a dedicated bounty hunter can get to $15,000 for each high-quality report -- not as big as the $110,000 reward it offered for Chrome OS security bugs in January, but still 10 grand more than the previous $5,000 max. Also, recipients can now prove to their doubtful friends that they've indeed made Chrome a safer browser for them, as they'll now be listed in the program's new Hall of Fame page.

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In the midst of attempting to gobble up its largest counterpart, battle Netflix on net neutrality and face down customer service scandals, Comcast is still slowly extending its new TV platform. The latest addition to its X1 setup is enhancing the cloud DVR feature that CEO Brian Roberts showed off at the beginning of the year. While the 500GB cloud DVR and in-home streaming are already a part of the system in several areas, in the Bay Area and Houston viewers can stream or download recordings to their mobile devices (iOS or Android, PCs can only stream) starting today. Inside the house, the X1 app fulfills Roberts promise of turning any mobile device into a television, with access to live TV streaming, recordings and video on-demand.

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