• Lego is developing eco-friendly plastic bricks

    Lego's iconic plastic bricks aren't very kind to the planet since they're made from oil-based ABS plastic, but the toy maker is planning to mend its ways. It's paying $150 million to build a sustainable materials center that will develop oil-free plastic, whether it's made from recycled plastics or an organic material. It's still early going, but the plan is to completely ditch ABS by 2030. This won't have as much of an environmental impact as getting gas-powered cars off the roads. However, Lego makes a whopping 60 billino bricks a year, and estimates that it'd cut three quarters of its carbon dioxide emissions with the switch – this would still represent a noticeable improvement.

  • Army exoskeleton prototype helps soldiers learn to shoot

    Foot soldiers thrive on their shooting skills, but learning expert marksmanship can take a long, long time. US Army researchers could soon have a robotic shortcut to improving those skills, however. They're working on MAXFAS, an arm exoskeleton that uses cable-activated arm braces to correct involuntary arm shakes while you're shooting – think of it like a stabilized camera. The carbon fiber body is light enough that it doesn't add weigh you down, and it's smart enough to detect the differences between purposeful movements (such as aiming) and tremors.

  • BMW has a hydrogen-powered 5 Series

    Battery-powered EVs are in the spotlight right now, but that doesn't mean car manufacturers aren't looking at alternative fuel sources. At its "Innovation Day" in France, BMW unveiled a prototype 5 Series GT that uses a hydrogen fuel cell to power its electric motor. We've seen the company experiment in this space before – the Hydrogen 7 used the element to power a combustion engine – but this is its first complete FCV package. Unlike the Hydrogen 7, which managed roughly 124 miles on hydrogen, the modified 5 Series can easily top 300. With 245 horsepower under the hood it's no slouch either, although we doubt it would keep pace with BMW's electric i8 in a drag race.

  • Holiday music exclusive battle: Apple/Eminem vs. Tidal/Lil Wayne

    While many in the US are relaxing for the July 4th holiday, the folks at Apple Music and Tidal are hard at work trying to push their respective subscription music services. Apple has already announced plans for a Dr. Dre radio show on Beats 1 that will debut Saturday night, after airing shows hosted by artists Q-Tip and Run the Jewels on Friday. Just to add on, Apple Music revealed it nabbed the exclusive for Eminem's "music film" Phenomenal. Not to be outdone, Tidal came through with a surprise exclusive drop of Lil Wayne's new album, FWA, aka the Free Weezy Album. Whether or not those match your personal taste, it's evident both are gunning hard for the current subscription streaming leader, Spotify, to power the playlist at your barbecue this weekend. As far as Spotify and the rest, well, at least they have AC/DC too.

  • OnePlus is giving away Google Cardboard for $0 plus shipping

    Well, this is one way for an up-and-coming company to get people's attention. OnePlus, the Chinese manufacturer best-known for making a cheap handset with surprisingly good specs, is about to launch its second-generation phone, and to get folks pumped up, it's selling a modified version of Google's Cardboard virtual reality headset. Make that: "giving away." The headset is free, plus a $5 shipping charge, making it a great deal, even for what's already marketed as a cheap way to experience VR. All told, it's very similar to the second-gen version of Cardboard unveiled at Google I/O a month ago, except this particular iteration is made of a thicker material, is 20 percent smaller and is coated in a dirt- and oil-resistant film, according to TechCrunch.

  • Politician against violent games pleads guilty in gun-running case

    Oh, the irony. Disgraced former senator Leland Yee has pleaded guilty to charges of taking bribes in exchange for votes, racketeering and promising to smuggle guns into the US from the Philippines. Of course, like so many beautiful twists of fate, Yee was a prominent moral crusader who led a campaign against violent video games. The senator authored AB-1179, legislation that would have outlawed the sale of said titles to California's teens, which was defeated by the Supreme Court. Way to keep our kids safe, Leels.

  • Uber will give you a free ride to jury duty in one US county

    Jury duty may be an annoying (if vital) civic responsibility, but one US county is experimenting with a ridesharing offer that could make it a little more bearable. The County Clerk in Macomb, Michigan is partnering with Uber on a 60-day trial that gives jurors a total of $40 in credit for their rides to and from the courthouse. Ideally, this will save you from having to fight bad weather or pay through the nose for parking when you're trying to serve.

  • The UK admits to spying on Amnesty International

    In June, the Investigatory Powers Tribunal (IPT) ruled that the UK government had illegally spied on two international civil rights groups: the Egyptian Initiative for Personal Rights (EIPR) and the Legal Resources Centre in South Africa. But there was a mix up – the IPT has now admitted it was Amnesty International, not EIPR, that was subjected to unlawful surveillance. The human rights group was notified via email and has branded the interceptions as outrageous. "How can we be expected to carry out our crucial work around the world if human rights defenders and victims of abuses can now credibly believe their confidential correspondence with us is likely to end up in the hands of the governments?" Salil Shetty, secretary general for Amnesty International said.

  • Nike uses VR to put you in the shoes of soccer star Neymar

  • MIT's 'Enigma' system uses bitcoin tricks to share encrypted data