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Plugged In

High-tech summer fun

Plugged In

It's summertime, and the living is easy. Maybe a little too easy. Lounging about in the sun is all well and good, but sooner or later, you're going to get bored with all that relaxation. So if you're looking to spice things up without having to run indoors, check out these high-tech toys perfectly suited for outdoor hijinks.

AR Drone Parrot

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AR Drone

Remember those remote-controlled miniature helicopters that were all the rage a few years back? Here's what they grew up into. The AR Drone wirelessly connects to your iPhone, sending back a real-time video feed of the view from its cockpit. Cunning software makes it stable even in light winds, and with a top speed of 11 mph and a battery that'll keep you in the air for 12 minutes, it's a versatile toy. Better yet, you can even download iPhone games that'll create virtual obstacle courses for it to navigate. Buy at Amazon

GoPro HD Helmet

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GoPro HD

If you like to spend your summer days participating in outdoor sports, you probably like to spend your summer evenings bragging about your hair-raising exploits to your family and friends. Go one step better this year with the GoPro HD, a wearable high-definition video camera with a bewildering variety of mounting options. Stick it on your helmet, your bike, your chest, your dashboard, even your surfboard, and capture your achievements (or your wipeouts) for posterity. Buy at Amazon

Nerf N-Strike Longshot 6

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Nerf N-Strike Longshot 6

Fed up with being caught in the crossfire of your kids' Nerf games? Grab one of these bad boys and retaliate. The daunting Longshot is over three feet long, can lob projectiles over 35 feet, boasts a sniper-style targeting scope, and is magazine-fed for rapid reloads. Arnold Schwarzenegger impressions are optional (but highly recommended). Buy at Amazon

Sea Doo Sea Scooter

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Sea Doo Scooter

Swimming is hard work. And if you wanted to do work, you'd be at work, right? Take the effort out of cruising around the pool with Sea Scooter, a handy electrically-powered turbine. If you're more the salt-water type, don;t sweat it -- it works in the ocean too (just like what James Bond used in 'Thunderball'). Buy at Amazon

Indoor Target Shooting

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Indoor Target Shooting

Fun though skeet shooting is, it's not necessarily a family activity -- and certainly not the sort of thing you can do at the park. So here's a safe alternative that won't break the bank OR get you arrested: the gun fires a harmless infra-red beam instead of lead shot, and the re-usable targets still "break" if you hit them. It even packs realistic sound-effects and variable intervals between launches. Buy at Amazon

SpyNet Night Vision Binoculars

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SpyNet Night Vision Binoculars

Whether you're off on a nighttime snipe hunt or could just use some help roaming around the campsite in the dark, these infrared night vision binoculars will do the trick. With a 50-foot range, eye-width and focus adjustment dials and multiple displays, it's a great accessory for any overnight summer camping trips. Buy at Amazon

Waterwear for iPad

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Waterwear for iPad

The iPad is the perfect waterside companion. Stacked with plenty of reading material, the odd movie, a few games, and a selection of choice summer hits, it's got everything you need to keep you entertained...until you drop it in the deep end. Snag one of these waterproof/sand-proof cases before you leave, though, and all you'll have to worry about is reapplying your sunblock. Buy at Amazon

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