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Back when Disney released the first trailer to Star Wars: The Force Awakens, one of the characters that caught most people's eye was BB-8. And for good reason: it's an adorable rolling droid. Now, Disney is bringing it to everyone through Sphero, the company known for its connected robotic toys. Meet BB-8 by Sphero, a toy version of the ball-shaped personality you'll see in the next Star Wars episode, which opens in theaters December 18th. Although this droid comes on a smaller scale than the prop introduced at the Star Wars Celebration a few months ago, it is as close to the real thing as you're going to get. Best of all, it is arguably one of the best (and cutest) Star Wars toys to date -- and that's saying a lot.

Germany Electronics Fair

We're back in Berlin for IFA, one of the largest consumer electronics trade shows in Europe. As usual, we're here to witness what companies like Microsoft, Sony, Samsung and others have planned ahead of the holiday season. Samsung already hosted its major event, Unpacked, a couple of weeks ago, but it and other manufacturers are still expected to unveil plenty of new products in Germany. From smartphones to tablets, to laptops to smartwatches, prepare to be introduced to a myriad of never-before-seen gadgets over the next week. One inescapable presence, of course, will be Windows 10. So don't be surprised when you see a lot of devices running Microsoft's shiny new operating system. But before things get started, let's talk about the biggest players at IFA 2015.

Check out all the news from Berlin at our IFA 2015 hub.

When spending big on audiophile headphones, folks may look at over-ear models like Masters & Dynamic's MH40 or open cans from the likes of Ultrasone. But earbuds? I doubt those are topping many people's sonic bucket lists. With that in mind, it's rare to see products like Swedish company Jays' new q-Jays unveiled for $320 -- on sale, no less. Yet, quality earphones can sound just as good as high-end headphones, as companies like Shure have proved. And I believe Jays has put enough style, engineering and sound quality into its next-gen 'buds to justify that lofty price.

It's that dreaded time of year when lazy summer days with their open invitation to sandals, surf and shirtlessness begin to give way to the crispness of fall, hoodies and the back-to-school doldrums. Ah, but there's hope on the horizon: You can always buy things to forget the scheduled machinery of life. And, oh, have we got some selections for you -- no matter your budget.

Okay. It's time to get really real with our final round of baller back-to-school selections. This week's picks are not for the weak of wallet, but they're well worth the expense.

cyber sitcom, terrible idea

It's been a wild week, and not just for our stock portfolios. The internet's self-described "Spam King" admitted to posting more than 27 million ads on Facebook. Microsoft celebrated the 20th anniversary of Windows 95 by dredging up a promo video featuring Jennifer Aniston and Matthew Perry. Because Friends is never not topical. And a British man endured an 11-hour surgery to have the world's first bionic penis installed. Good times!

Mr. Robot - Pilot

Most infosec pros agree that few Hollywood films or TV shows have gotten hacking as "right" as USA's Mr. Robot. The show's creator, Sam Esmail, told Engadget, "The hacker side of it actually was a combination of my frustration with the way hacker culture and tech culture was represented in Hollywood. I thought it was a very inaccurate, forced and cartoonish way of representing that kind of a culture."

Getting hacks and hacking right on Mr. Robot means the tools and techniques pull from work done by security researchers in real life. In fact, it's not uncommon to see hackers tweet that they spotted a colleagues' research on episodes of the show. This is all in large part because it's a TV show about hacking that chooses accuracy over drama. Mr. Robot's technical consult, Michael Bazzell, told Forbes, "We don't need to fake it. ... We want that code to be accurate so that even the most sophisticated hacker or technical person out there will not roll their eyes at a scene."

So while we all wait patiently for Mr. Robot's season one finale, let's take a look back at Mr. Robot's notable hacks and the researchers who made them possible.

Some of the toys we played with as children have grown up along with us and now they pack adult-sized fun. Memorable designs have bubbled up into lifestyle products with smarts, but most offer what we always loved them for: an action-packed thrill. Sure, we can drive real cars now, but that doesn't diminish the urge to drift on a motorized Big Wheel. Skateboards and pogo sticks have powered up over the years, too, and hoverboards can now actually hover. This week we pay tribute to the big kid inside each of us with a lineup of reinvented, rebuilt and improved versions of playtime classics.

[Image: Local Motors]

Secrets have always been a big part of Tony Hawk's Pro Skater. However, when players get stuck trying to find Easter eggs in any game now, they don't turn to glossy strategy guides like they did in the 1990s and early 2000s -- they open Twitch or YouTube on their smartphone. Developer Robomodo had this in mind when creating Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 5. Lead designer Patrick Dwyer says that his team's tucked away the hidden skateboarding DVD -- a series staple -- pretty well this time around and that's a direct result of how the community responded when the studio released Tony Hawk's Pro Skater HD back in 2012. "The day it came out there were videos of how to beat all of our missions," he says. "How's that possible? It's weird hiding stuff knowing that."

"It's like making a new Star Wars movie," says Patrick Dwyer, lead designer on developer Robomodo's upcoming Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 5. "The originals are great and then the rest weren't as good." He's referring, of course, to the high bar set by the first four games in the storied extreme sports franchise as compared to the middling releases that followed. The idea, as Dwyer explains it, is to treat anything that released past 2002's Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 4 as if it never existed. And that's including the horrible pair of plastic skateboard peripheral-based games he worked on: Tony Hawk Ride and its follow up, Shred.

ASUS ROG G751

For years, the wisdom has been that if you wanted a dedicated gaming machine, you bought a desktop. Gaming components were too unwieldy to fit in a notebook form factor, and if you tried to put together a machine with desktop-caliber components, it always ended up too big and heavy to be truly portable. However, recent gaming laptops have defied that history, packing lots of power into thinner and lighter chassis. They're still not as slim as Ultrabooks, and meanwhile there's still a gap in performance versus desktop machines. Even so, your days of lugging around a large desktop tower to LAN parties are over. We've taken a look at some of the more recent entries in the race to build a smaller gaming machine to find ones that can fit your needs -- and budget.

It's that dreaded time of year when lazy summer days with their open invitation to sandals, surf and shirtlessness begin to give way to the crispness of fall, hoodies and the back-to-school doldrums. Ah, but there's hope on the horizon: You can always buy things to forget the scheduled machinery of life. And, oh, have we got some selections for you -- no matter your budget.

We're not quite at the baller-level of gadget indulgence yet, but this week's back-to-school selections are certainly well-suited for the money's-no-object crowd.

"Are we, like, in a movie right now?" It's an apt question one of the handsome teens starring in PlayStation 4's latest exclusive, Until Dawn, asked about an hour after I picked up the controller. Yes. No. Maybe. It's kind of hard to explain, and it appears Sony would rather not. At its core, Until Dawn is an interactive teen-horror movie (think '90s genre staples Scream or I Know What You Did Last Summer) set at a remote ski lodge where a murderous psychopath is on the loose. But after critics almost universally chastised Sony's other AAA tentpole, The Order: 1886, earlier this year for its gorgeous but bland cinematic leanings, "interactive movie" is a label the gaming juggernaut would rather not bandy about here.

In fact, Sony would prefer you not pay attention to this game at all. It's getting no love from the company's marketing department and was weirdly absent from this June's E3 media briefing. And that's a damned shame because Until Dawn is one of the best horror experiences -- interactive or not -- I've ever had.