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Microsoft's HoloLens goggles have hit a sweet spot between Google Glass and virtual reality headgear, immersing users in a mesmerizing world of augmented reality holograms. The glasses, which the US technology titan sprang on an unsuspecting press this week, elicited descriptions such as "magical" and "unbelievable," the first time in a while such praise was heaped on a Microsoft creation. The augmented reality goggles are a step in a different direction from virtual reality headgear such as Oculus Rift and Sony's Project Morpheus system, as well as Google Glass. At private demos of HoloLens in a carefully guarded lower level of Microsoft's campus in Redmond, Washington, cameras, recording devices and even smartphones were not permitted.
Prime Minister Shinzo Abe branded the murder of a Japanese hostage by Islamic State militants "outrageous and impermissible" on Sunday and demanded the release of a second hostage, amid a growing global chorus of revulsion. Abe spoke as the grieving father of self-employed security contractor Haruna Yukawa said he had gone "totally blank" since learning of his son's execution, announced in a video posted online by the militants late Saturday. Abe, speaking to public broadcaster NHK, said he was "speechless" at the "unbearable pain and sorrow" that Yukawa's family were feeling. "I condemn it strongly and resolutely," he said as he demanded the immediate release of Yukawa's fellow captive, freelance journalist Kenji Goto.