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Updated: 26 min 13 sec ago

Dealmaster: Get a Core i7-powered Dell Inspiron 3000 desktop for $559

1 hour 12 min ago

Greetings, Arsians! Courtesy of our partners at TechBargains, we have a number of great deals to share with you today. First and foremost, we have a deal on a powerful Core i7-powered desktop: now you can get the Dell Inspiron 3000 PC with 16GB of RAM and a 2TB HDD for just $559. That's a steal of a price, especially for a desktop with a good amount of memory and storage to carry you through nearly any task. Now's the time to upgrade if you've been thinking about getting a new desktop.

Check out the rest of the deals we have on tablets, notebooks, smart TVs, and more below.

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Trump: Before going to Mars, America needs to fix its economy

2 hours 35 min ago

Donald Trump hasn't spoken much about space on the campaign trail, but his campaign did provide some answers to a technical space organization, AIAA. (credit: DonaldJTrump.com)

US space policy has been anything but a prominent issue in the 2016 presidential election, falling far behind domestic and foreign policy issues, not to mention normal campaign antics like name-calling. Yet NASA consumes about 0.5 percent of the federal budget and about 2 percent of federal discretionary spending. Therefore, while NASA may not come up much during the campaign, the agency may nonetheless see big changes under a new president who reassesses how the government is spending its money.

Unfortunately we don't have much detail about what the likely Democratic and Republican nominees for president will do in terms of space policy. There have been a few passing references on the campaign trail. For example, Hillary Clinton said she "really, really" does support the space program. And Donald Trump, in response to a question about NASA's plan to go to Mars, said, “I love NASA” and “Space is terrific.” However, he then added, “Right now, we have bigger problems. You understand that? We’ve got to fix our potholes.”

The American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics understandably sought deeper insight than this, and so it sent a list of 10 questions to Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton on the Democratic side, and Donald Trump, Ted Cruz, and John Kasich on the Republican side. Only Sanders and Trump replied substantively to the questions, and because Sanders appears unlikely to be the Democratic nominee, we will focus on Trump's comments.

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Self-driving minivan reportedly coming from Fiat Chrysler and Google

3 hours 2 min ago

The 2017 Chrysler Pacifica in all its glory. (credit: Chrysler)

A report from Bloomberg claims that we'll soon see a self-driving car deal between Google and Fiat Chrysler. The two companies are reportedly teaming up for a new round of self-driving car prototypes using a minivan, the Chrysler Pacifica.

The report describes the Pacifica as "the first phase of a joint project" to create self-driving cars. Fiat Chrysler would equip the Pacifica with Google's autonomous tech "starting this year." Bloomberg says the deal would not be exclusive for either company, allowing both to pursue other partners.

If the report turns out to be true, going with minivans would be an interesting choice. Google's newest self-driving prototype is a tiny two-seater the company designed itself. The 2017 Chrysler Pacifica is a comparatively giant vehicle that seats seven people. Google's self-driving fleet also contains several Lexus RX450Hs and Toyota Priuses, making the Pacifica the company's largest autonomous car. We were really hoping for a Fiat 500 mod, as it looks like a close cousin of Google's custom cars.

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Report: India won’t let Apple sell refurbished iPhones in the country

3 hours 13 min ago

Enlarge / The iPhone SE is Apple's best cheap iPhone ever, but in India even it may be too expensive. (credit: Andrew Cunningham)

The Indian government won't allow Apple to sell refurbished iPhones in the country, according to a report from Bloomberg. Apple is currently working to open retail stores in India to expand its market presence, and selling low-cost refurbished iPhones is another part of that strategy. Apple's opponents claim that allowing the company to sell used phones in the country could undermine the successful government-sponsored Make in India program, which encourages companies to manufacture their products in the country.

As Apple's iPhone growth slows, the company will be looking to new markets to fuel future growth—the strategy certainly worked in China, where Apple's sales grew by leaps and bounds in 2014 and 2015 before leveling off and declining in the first two quarters of 2016.

"India will be the most populous country in the world in 2022," Apple CEO Tim Cook told CNBC's Jim Cramer in an interview yesterday. "And this year, the first year, LTE begins to roll out. And so many of your viewers here in the United States, they're used to using LTE and streaming video. And hopefully they're getting a good experience there. In India you can't do that long—there is no LTE. And so that's changing. Huge market potential."

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Amazon Prime Now arrives online with one-hour delivery service

4 hours 2 min ago

Amazon launched Prime Now, its super-fast local delivery service, via its mobile app nearly a year and a half ago, and now the company is bringing the service to the Web. Amazon's PrimeNow.com is the new website that lets customers place orders to be delivered within within one or two hours, expanding the service beyond the mobile app for the first time.

One-hour delivery will cost $7.99, and it's only available for current Amazon Prime subscribers. The two-hour delivery window is free, so you'll save a few bucks if you can wait the extra hour. Currently, the service isn't available if you want to purchase through Amazon's main site—you need to go to PrimeNow.com to order anything. That seems to be due to the fact that the service isn't available everywhere yet. You'll have to input your zip code to see if Prime Now is serving your area upon visiting the site. According to some reports, Prime Now delivers to two dozen metro areas in the country so far.

Prime Now specializes in delivering food, groceries, health, beauty, and home products. You can also order pet supplies, some electronics, and not surprisingly, a slew of Amazon-made products, including Kindles and Fire TVs. Depending on where you live, you'll also be able to order from a number of food stores and restaurants. For example, shopping within the 10011 New York City zip code lets one place orders at Eataly, West Side Market, Union Square Wine and Spirits, Gourmet Garage, and D'Agostino. While Prime Now remains limited by its inventory and select cities where it operates, Amazon is clearly making the service a priority by opening it up to the Web rather than just keeping it a mobile feature.

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Warhammer 40,000: Dawn of War 3 is real and in development at Relic

4 hours 7 min ago

Seven years after the release of the classic real-time strategy game Warhammer 40,000: Dawn of War II, fans are finally getting a sequel. Warhammer 40,000: Dawn of War III is being developed by series veterans Relic Entertainment and published by Sega, the latter of which picked up the developer and the Warhammer 40K licence for $26.6 million (£18 million) at auction following the collapse of former publisher THQ in 2013.

Details on Dawn of War III are thin on the ground—there's no release date yet, not even a year—but Sega and Relic have dropped a CGI trailer, which shows Space Marines, Eldar, and Orks in the heat of battle. Sega promises that Dawn of War III will combine the large scale battles of Dawn of War with the in-depth customisation of Dawn of War II, although, without any gameplay footage, fans will have to take the publisher's promises with a large pinch of salt.

"Our biggest units ever? Check. Giant orbital lasers? Check. Base-building, epic heroes, huge battles, it's all in there," claimed Relic's Stephen MacDonald in a statement.

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Dell rebrands Dell to Dell Technologies, Dell EMC, and Dell

4 hours 58 min ago

(credit: Peter Bright)

Dell has followed in the footsteps of its rival HP by hitting the reboot button on its various brands.

Chief Michael Dell confirmed in a letter to employees that Dell—which turned 32 years of age on Tuesday—had a new name: "our family of businesses will officially be known as Dell Technologies," he said. The announcement will be made formally at the EMC World trade show, which kicks off today in Las Vegas.

Dell's family of affected brands includes Dell itself, EMC, VMware, Pivotal, SecureWorks, RSA, and Virtustream—all of which now fall under the "Dell Technologies" banner.

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Marines test autonomous robot-drone teams for future on battlefield

5 hours 12 min ago

The Unmanned Tactical Autonomous Control and Collaboration (UTACC), a ground robot and small drone team, patrols a simulated town indoors in Ellis Hall at Marine Corps Base Quantico. (credit: Sgt. Terry Brady, US Marine Corps)

NEW ORLEANS—The problem with robots on the battlefield today, according to Marine Corps Colonel Jim "Jinx" Jenkins, is that they still have to be driven by humans. That's why the Marine Corps and the Department of Defense are researching ways for robots to act more like teammates on the battlefield than just another piece of hardware.

Jenkins, who serves as director of science and technology at the Marine Corps' Warfighting Lab at Quantico, Virginia, said in a presentation at the Association for Unmanned Systems International's XPONENTIAL conference that while robots such as those used for explosive ordnance disposal and other roles on the battlefield take soldiers and Marines out of some dangerous situations, they take their operators out of the fight.

"A marine is driving, so we haven't improved our manpower situation, and sometimes it costs more manpower," he noted, since operators have to pay such close attention to what they're doing with the robot that they need someone watching their back. "We need to move toward autonomy" for robots and other uncrewed systems, he said. Eventually, the Marine Corps wants swarms of collaborating drones and robots to act at the command of a single operator as a force multiplier at every level of operations.

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Supreme Court to hear copyright fight over cheerleader uniforms

5 hours 21 min ago

Iowa State Cyclones cheerleaders during the 2016 NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament. (credit: Jamie Squire/Getty Images)

The US Supreme Court said yesterday it will hear a case between two cheerleader uniform suppliers that could affect the state of copyright nationwide.In 2010, Star Athletica published its first catalog of cheerleading uniforms and was promptly sued. Varsity Brands, the world's biggest manufacturer of cheerleading and dance-team uniforms, alleged that Star Athletica's uniforms violated Varsity's copyrighted designs.

The clothiers' conflict could have wide effects in the fashion world and beyond. A trio of 3D printing companies have already filed an amicus brief asking the high court to take the case, seeking clarity on how to separate creative, copyrightable designs from utilitarian objects that aren't subject to copyright.

The case below

Star argues that Varsity's copyrights were on utilitarian elements of the uniforms, and thus shouldn't be allowed. The US has never allowed copyrights on "useful articles," and that's long been held to include clothing. Star won its case in district court, but a split panel at the US Court of Appeals for the 6th Circuit overturned the win, siding with Varsity.

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Death by GPS

7 hours 10 min ago

The Jarbidge Mountains of Nevada, where the Chretiens got stranded. (credit: Chris M Morris)

One early morning in March 2011, Albert Chretien and his wife, Rita, loaded their Chevrolet Astro van and drove away from their home in Penticton, British Columbia. Their destination was Las Vegas, where Albert planned to attend a trade show. They crossed the border and, somewhere in northern Oregon, they picked up Interstate 84.

The straightest route would be to take I-84 to Twin Falls, Idaho, near the Nevada border, and then follow US Route 93 all the way to Vegas. Although US 93 would take them through Jackpot, Nevada, the town near the Idaho state line where they planned to spend the first night, they looked at a roadmap and decided to exit I-84 before that junction. They would choose a scenic road less traveled, Idaho State Highway 51, which heads due south away from the I-84 corridor, crossing the border several miles to the west. The Chretiens figured there had to be a turnoff from Idaho 51 that would lead them east to US 93.

Albert and Rita had known each other since high school. During their thirty-eight years of marriage, they had rarely been apart. They even worked together, managing their own small excavation business. A few days before the trip, Albert had purchased a Magellan GPS unit for the van. They had not yet asked it for directions, but their plan wasn’t panning out. As the day went on and the shadows grew longer, they were not finding an eastward passage. They decided it was time to consult the Magellan. Checking their roadmap, they determined the nearest town was Mountain City, Nevada, so they entered it as the destination into their GPS unit. The directions led them onto a small dirt road near an Idaho ghost town and eventually to a confusing three-way crossroads. They chose the one that seemed to point in the direction they wanted to go. And here their troubles began.

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Chevrolet’s 2016 Cruze sells what young people value most: Lots of mpg, free GBs

8 hours 11 min ago

(credit: Megan Geuss)

NASHVILLE, TN—For the last several years, GM’s Chevrolet has remade itself deftly, rising from the ashes of bankruptcy to deliver cars that perform well, stretch for fuel economy, and judiciously incorporate new tech. The first Chevy Cruze was one of those cars. It hit car lots in 2009 and saw respectable sales—as of 2014, the Cruze line sold more than 900,000 vehicles in the US alone.

Specs at a glance: 2016 Chevy Cruze Body Type 4-door compact Layout Front-wheel drive Steering Rack-mounted electric power steering Horsepower 153 hp @ 5600 rpm Torque 177 lb-ft @ 2000-4000 rpm Fuel Economy Manual: 29/41 mpg
Auto (LS/LT): 30/42 mpg
Auto (Premier): 30/40 mpg Weight 2,932lbs (LT Automatic) Dimensions Headroom: 38.9" in front, 37.3" in rear
Legroom: 42" in front, 36.1" in rear Base price $17,495 Price as tested (Premium RS) $29,035

Now Chevy is introducing the 2016 Cruze, but the Detroit automaker stresses that this new model is a significant departure from the old line. This metamorphosis has taken place to accommodate a continued shift in priorities among car buyers these days who value fuel economy and connectivity above all else.

Chevy swung for the fences to meet those two priorities. The new Cruze comes with 24GB or 24 months (whichever one runs out first) of data from AT&T, broadcast from an internal antenna to a 50 ft radius around the car. Chevy also says that its LT and LS models of the car will get a whopping 42mpg. That’s without a hybrid engine.

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Google’s Android keyboard hits version 5.0, now has fine cursor control

5/2/2016 7:25pm

The new warm welcome screens.

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The Google Keyboard for Android got a major update today. Version 5.0 brings a ton of user-requested features and customization options.

My favorite new addition is the fine cursor control. Just drag your finger along the spacebar to move the cursor between letters. There's a similar "delete word" gesture that works by dragging a finger from the backspace key to the left. Each letter crossed over will highlight the previous word, and releasing your finger will delete the selection.

There's also a new "one-handed mode" that shrinks the keyboard to the left or right side of the screen—a welcome feature for users with large screened devices. A few buttons have been redesigned, and now there's an easy way to bring up a number keypad layout. Words can be deleted from the dictionary via a slick drag and drop interface—just long press on a suggestion and drag it to the new trashcan icon to toss the word (or erroneously-saved typo) down the memory hole.

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Former Biggest Loser contestants fight slow metabolisms, weight gain

5/2/2016 7:11pm

(credit: Pete Thomas)

After successfully dropping pounds, dieters often see their weight bounce back. But they may not see the same rebound in their sluggish metabolisms.

Researchers followed 14 contestants from the TV weight-loss competition The Biggest Loser, and they found that the dramatic weight loss significantly slowed the rate at which the contestants’ burned calories while resting. Those metabolic slow-downs, which make it more difficult to keep off pounds, lingered six years after the competition—even after nearly all of the contestants regained much of the weight they lost.

The findings, published Monday in the journal Obesity, suggests that the body may purposefully slow down its metabolism to regain lost pounds and maintain a weight “set point.” If the finding holds true in larger studies of dieters, it may explain why it’s so difficult to keep off weight once its lost.

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Martian water blasts away sand, may craft features as it boils

5/2/2016 6:48pm

The complex pattern left behind by liquid water flowing through sand under Martian atmospheric pressures. (credit: M. Massé)

We now know that there is liquid water on the surface of Mars. Streaks of dark material flow down crater walls, appearing and disappearing with the seasons. Imaging from orbit has confirmed that these features contain hydrated salts, leading researchers to conclude that the water took the form of a salty brine, which would prevent it from immediately evaporating into Mars' cold, thin atmosphere.

But a new paper released today argues that we might want to rethink the role of brine. The international team behind it tested what would happen if pure water were flowing through sand under Mars-like conditions. Some of the water boiled off quickly, but it managed to spread a bit further than expected and produced features similar to some that have been imaged from orbit.

There are a number of challenges with figuring out what's happening on Mars. The first is that we've got no hardware anywhere near where the watery features form; all our direct exploration has to take place from orbit. Another challenge is that we don't know the nature of the water. At Martian pressures, pure water could boil at temperatures reached in the daytime and freeze at night, while salts could keep it liquid at the prevalent temperatures.

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Woman ordered to provide her fingerprint to unlock seized iPhone

5/2/2016 5:49pm

(credit: Kārlis Dambrāns)

A Southern California woman was recently ordered to provide her fingerprint to unlock a seized iPhone, according to a report by the Los Angeles Times.

The case highlights the ongoing balancing act between security and convenience and how the law treats something you know (a passcode) as being quite different than something you are (a biometric). Under the Constitution, criminal defendants have the right not to testify against themselves—and providing a passcode could be considered testimonial. However, being compelled to give up something physiological or biometric (such as blood, DNA sample, fingerprint or otherwise), is not.

As the Times reports, Paytsar Bkhchadzhyan was ordered by a federal judge to provide her fingerprint on February 25, and the warrant was executed and unsealed on March 15.

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That time a bot invaded Thingiverse and created weird new 3D objects

5/2/2016 5:15pm

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Shiv Integer is a bot whose entire purpose in life is to create bizarre objects for 3D printers. It has been living for several months on 3D printer project site Thingiverse, posting objects cobbled together out of dozens of other objects listed on the site. The results are art or spam, depending on your perspective. Last month, artists Matthew Plummer-Fernandez and Julien Deswaef finally came out as the humans behind Shiv Integer, showcasing the results of the bot's work at an event called (appropriately) The Art of Bots in London's Somerset House.

Taken on its own terms, Shiv Integer's work is fanciful and amusing. Each piece looks like a mutant gadget, possibly unprintable, often with one recognizable item merging into another one. The best part is that even the names of the objects are a random salad of words taken from other objects on Thingiverse, creating inadvertent absurdist poetry like "quick cat near a jaw," "disc on top of an e-juice golf," "automatic event adapter," and "customizable damage mask." The bot is known to post several times per day, and in the "about" section of the entry it always credits users whose objects it has repurposed (the bot only works with objects that have been CC licensed for remixing).

Artists Plummer-Fernandez and Julien Deswaef explain the idea behind their project:

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Seattle’s sanitation workers can no longer pry through trash without a warrant

5/2/2016 4:20pm

(credit: Zena C)

A Washington county judge has ruled that the city of Seattle’s warrantless searches of garbage violated the state’s constitution.

In her 14-page order, King County Judge Beth Andrus found in favor of eight Seattle residents whose trash was searched by sanitation workers. The workers were operating under a city ordinance that allowed them to inspect trash for possible violations of a city composting law. Violators could be fined $1 if they mistakenly put food waste into their regular garbage rather than organic waste bins.

The ruling turned on whether these inspections amounted to a privacy violation. The order, which was handed down last week, illustrates that states are able to grant more rights than those interpreted by the Supreme Court.

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Samsung Smart Home flaws let hackers make keys to front door

5/2/2016 2:31pm

Enlarge

Computer scientists have discovered vulnerabilities in Samsung's Smart Home automation system that allowed them to carry out a host of remote attacks, including digitally picking connected door locks from anywhere in the world.

The attack, one of several proof-of-concept exploits devised by researchers from the University of Michigan, worked against Samsung's SmartThings, one of the leading Internet of Things (IoT) platforms for connecting electronic locks, thermostats, ovens, and security systems in homes. The researchers said the attacks were made possible by two intrinsic design flaws in the SmartThings framework that aren't easily fixed. They went on to say that consumers should think twice before using the system to connect door locks and other security-critical components.

"All of the above attacks expose a household to significant harm—break-ins, theft, misinformation, and vandalism," the researchers wrote in a paper scheduled to be presented later this month at the 2016 IEEE Symposium on Security and Privacy. "The attack vectors are not specific to a particular device and are broadly applicable."

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Oculus Rift will be in stores long before many pre-orders are fulfilled

5/2/2016 2:20pm

If you want to get your hands on a Rift ASAP, better plan to camp out at Best Buy

The Oculus Rift virtual reality headset will be available for demonstration and purchase at select Best Buy stores starting May 7 (and for purchase through Amazon and Microsoft Stores online starting at 9am Pacific on May 6). That means walk-in customers at brick-and-mortar stores will be able to get their headset well before many who pre-ordered the system directly from Oculus months ago.

While Oculus started taking Rift pre-orders in January and officially started shipping the units in March, many early pre-orders have seen their shipping date estimates slip amid production delays. In April, Oculus admitted that an "unexpected component shortage" meant early adopters could have to wait an extra month or two from initial estimates to receive their units. Orders placed on the Oculus site right now are slated for August delivery.

Oculus says that retail availability will be "extremely limited while we catch up on Rift pre-orders." Still, the company realizes that many early pre-order purchasers may try to pick up a unit from the local Best Buy rather than continuing to wait for their online order. Those users will be able to cancel their pre-orders from the Oculus Store while still keeping access to pre-order bonuses like Eve: Valkyrie and priority access to future Oculus Touch controller orders.

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Craig Wright loudly claims “I am Satoshi Nakamoto,” but few believe his “proof”

5/2/2016 1:57pm

(credit: Christopher Thompson)

An Australian man named Craig Wright told the world today he is "Satoshi Nakamoto," the man who created Bitcoin. Yet despite Wright's stunning declaration and the fact that it's backed by some of the most famous names in Bitcoin, others continue to cry foul.

Wright gave interviews and demonstrations to the BBC, GQ magazine, and The Economist, and he published his own blog post claiming the name of Satoshi Nakamoto. He has convinced Gavin Andresen, former lead Bitcoin developer, as well as former Bitcoin Foundation Director Jon Matonis.

Wright was first identified as the possible creator of bitcoin in December, but he hid from public view at that time.

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