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Microsoft promised that Windows 10 builds would be coming more often, and it looks like that's happening. It's not even two weeks since the last build, and another build—number 10049—is out today. Fast track users should find the build available immediately. The big change in this version: it includes Microsoft's new, legacy-free browser, codenamed Project Spartan. This is the first public outing for the new browser, with its reduced, Chrome-like interface and Cortana integration. This first iteration isn't feature complete, as major pieces such as history and downloads are not available yet. However, the big new features that Spartan brings—annotations and notes on Web content, reading mode, and, of course, Cortana—are all available, to a greater or lesser extent. In common with earlier Cortana previews that were geographically limited, Spartan's Cortana will initially only work in the US. Announcing the new build, Microsoft's Joe Belfiore emphasized that this is "NOT a polished, ready-for-everyone release," and that it will be held for the addition of features and improvements before it's made broadly available. Read 4 remaining paragraphs | Comments

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Because Sony has refused to officially lower the price of the PS4 below its $400 starting point (aside from occasional holiday deals), getting a good deal on the system requires looking for bundle offers from retailers eager to move stock. A few offers are going on right now, and they provide additional hardware and software on top of the base PS4 package (which already includes a downloadable code for The Last of Us). Best Buy is currently offering a free PlayStation camera valued at $60 alongside any new PlayStation 4 system purchase. The camera isn't exactly a must-have accessory these days, as it's mainly useful for adding your voice and face to Twitch streaming or playing a handful of games like Just Dance 2014. But the camera will eventually be a key part of Sony's "Project Morpheus" virtual reality solution, scheduled for early next year. At that point, it will be necessary equipment to track the headset and the PlayStation Move hand-tracking controllers. Getting that camera for free now is sure to decrease the necessary entry fee when Sony finally joins the VR race. If a free camera doesn't appeal to you, Amazon has its own deal on the PS4 right now, offering a copy of Bloodborne and a $20 gift card on top of the included Last of Us download code. At Wal-mart, you can get the system with The Last of Us, an extra controller, and your choice of Watch Dogs, Need for Speed: Rivals or Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare, all for the base price of $400. Read 1 remaining paragraphs | Comments

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Today Amazon officially announced Amazon Home Services, a marketplace where customers can request repair work and personal lessons from service providers in their area. The concept is like TaskRabbit—services are provided by individual contractors, not Amazon, but those contractors are rated by customers and vetted by the online shopping behemoth. All services provided are backed by Amazon. Services include banal things like assembling a bed (from $57 to $140), installing a garbage disposal ($149 to $200), setting up a wireless printer ($84 to $210), or “computer software configuration” ($120 to $210). The value proposition for Amazon Home Services is that people don't have to call around to find a contractor and then get a quote from them—the price is listed up front. For a custom job, you'll get a quote delivered to you after you specify the details of the job. Read 11 remaining paragraphs | Comments

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On Friday, a longtime Mortal Kombat producer used his Twitter account to denounce the service over how it enables anonymous abuse, then said he will "quit" the site. Shaun Himmerick, executive producer of the upcoming sequel Mortal Kombat X, responded to a tweet from a supposed fighting-game fan with a less-than-charming request for the series' next iteration. The fan's Twitter account no longer exists; it may have been suspended after the user sexually threatened Himmerick's wife over whether a longtime MK character might return to the new sequel. Himmerick posted a screencap of the offending tweet with the caption, "Why I'll quit Twitter." He then clarified that his beef wasn't with posts about his games but about his family. He decried attacks aimed at both him and his daughter, though he didn't repost or quote any examples of these—it's not clear whether these threats have also been made or whether he was being preemptive. Read 3 remaining paragraphs | Comments

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The gmail navigation drawer, showing the new "All Inboxes" option. 3 more images in gallery With Android 5.0 Lollipop, Gmail the application became the generic mail client for Android, meaning you can funnel your Gmail, Yahoo, Outlook, Exchange, POP3, and IMAP mail all to a single app. In the past, you've had to switch between accounts in the navigation drawer to see all your mail—now things are getting a lot easier thanks to a unified inbox. The Official Gmail Blog just announced that, starting today, an “All Inboxes” option will show up in the Gmail for Android navigation drawer (presumably, this requires an app update). The new option will display all your incoming mail from all your accounts in a single list. Another addition to the app is that all e-mails, even ones from non-Gmail accounts, will get Gmail's trademark conversation view applied to them. This means any e-mail will have all the replies to it below the text, allowing you to easily know the context of a message. Read 2 remaining paragraphs | Comments

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Two federal agents whose work helped to shut down the Silk Road online drug marketplace have been accused of stealing from the Darknet market during the investigation. The criminal complaint, unveiled today, reveals a remarkable level of corruption within the investigation into the drug market, which oversaw more than $200 million in transactions. Government prosecutors have charged former DEA agent Carl Force and former Secret Service agent Shaun Bridges with wire fraud and money laundering. Force is also charged with stealing government property and "conflict of interest." The government had multiple investigations into Silk Road. Force and Bridges both worked on an investigation based out of Baltimore. Force was the lead undercover agent in charge of communicating with Dread Pirate Roberts (DPR), the operator of the Silk Road site, while Bridges was a computer forensics expert. Read 14 remaining paragraphs | Comments

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The Energy & Environment Legal Institute (EELI), which brands itself as the home of "free-market environmentalism through strategic litigation," has lost another round of said strategic litigation. An Arizona court has ruled that a large collection of e-mails from faculty at state universities can remain private. The group (formerly the American Tradition Institute) has been attempting to obtain the e-mails of climate scientists who work at state universities through the states' freedom of information laws. In cases where e-mails are not released, EELI has sued. Last year, it lost a case in Virginia that focused on the e-mails of climate scientist Michael Mann, as a court ruled that information about research still in progress could be shielded from freedom of information requests in that state. In the new case, the EELI went after the e-mails of faculty at state universities in Arizona, apparently including two who attempt to reconstruct past climates using proxies for global temperature: Jonathan Overpeck and Malcolm Hughes. The state Board of Regents refused to release over 1,700 e-mails, saying they were private, involved student information, or discussed ongoing research projects. This prompted EELI to sue. Read 3 remaining paragraphs | Comments

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A New Jersey video game shop fell victim to a calculated "swatting" attempt on Saturday night—one that, according to reports, nearly saw the victim play an active role in inflaming the police response. The story began by resembling far too many other recent swatting attempts. As Jersey area news site Cliff View Pilot reported, Passaic County officers received an anonymous, phony tip about a hostage situation with shotguns and wounded victims. The location in question was a video game store in Clifton, New Jersey, called Digital Press. The store was hosting its usual monthly gaming meetup that night—ironically, one devoted to "super cute" video games—and the county sheriff's department sent a SWAT team to the shopping strip in question to investigate. What made this swatting different from other recent high-profile cases, according to tips sent to gaming site Kotaku, was that the victims also received an anonymous call that attempted to pour gasoline on the fire. The game shop's Web administrator, Frankie Viturello, told a story of seeing a police presence begin to descend upon the store's shopping district, at which point the 40-strong crowd of gamers locked the shop's doors and relocated away from the windows and toward the building's basement. Soon afterward, the shop received a call from a supposed fire department representative. Read 3 remaining paragraphs | Comments

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Torrey Grady. North Carolina Department of Justice The Supreme Court ordered North Carolina's legal system to re-examine whether it is constitutional to require a convicted sex offender to wear an electronic GPS anklet for the rest of his life. For the moment, Monday's ruling renders uncertain the legal justification for North Carolina's electronic monitoring program—which has more than 600 offenders wearing ankle bracelets—and the future of some 40 other states that also require GPS surveillance on tens of thousands of others. The justices ordered North Carolina to apply reasoning from a 2012 decision when the high court ruled that affixing GPS devices to vehicles to track their every move without a court warrant was an unconstitutional trespass or search. In doing so, the justices sided with sex offender Torrey Grady, 36, who demanded that the 2012 precedent should apply when the GPS device is hooked to a human. Read 6 remaining paragraphs | Comments

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Over the weekend, the head of Russia's Roscosmos space agency dropped a bit of a bombshell on the space world, claiming that it is working with NASA on a replacement for the International Space Station. But today, NASA released a statement that effectively said, "We're not sure what you're talking about." "Roscosmos and NASA will fulfil the program of building a future orbital station," Igor Komarov is quoted as saying. "We will elaborate the details. It is going to be an open project, not restricted only to current participants, but open for other countries willing to join it." This is quite a surprise, given that Russia had recently been talking about going its own way after the ISS' life span runs out in 2024. The "open for other countries" is also contrary to US policy, which prevents NASA from cooperating with China in space exploration. But today, NASA released a statement to NBC News that basically ignored the space station issue. "We are pleased Roscosmos... expressed interest in continuing international cooperation for human space exploration," NASA told the site. The agency instead focused on its plan to go to Mars: "The United States is planning to lead a human mission to Mars in the 2030s, and we have advanced that effort farther than at any point in NASA's history." Read 1 remaining paragraphs | Comments

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AT&T today launched its gigabit fiber Internet service in parts of Cupertino, California, but the price isn't as good as it is in cities where AT&T faces competition from Google Fiber. Google Fiber and AT&T's U-verse with GigaPower compete head-to-head in Kansas City and Austin. In those cities, AT&T matches Google's $70-per-month price for gigabit service, as long as you opt into a program that lets AT&T watch your Web browsing and serve up personalized ads. But AT&T charges more when it doesn't have to compete against Google. In Cupertino, AT&T said today it will offer "Internet speeds up to 1Gbps starting as low as $110 a month, or speeds at 300Mbps as low as $80 a month, with a one-year price guarantee." Despite being $40 more than AT&T's price for the same gigabit service in Kansas City and Austin, the Cupertino offer still requires opting in to the Internet usage monitoring. Read 8 remaining paragraphs | Comments

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You probably already know if you're going to shell out $10,000 or more for the Apple Watch Edition—aside from being made of gold, it isn't going to do anything that the $349 Apple Watch Sport or the $549 Apple Watch can't do. However, buying and getting support for the five-figure watches will apparently be substantially different, according to a report from 9to5Mac. It begins with the buying experience itself. The cheaper Apple Watches will reportedly be sold using five- to ten-minute demo sessions at tables set up throughout Apple Stores, but the Apple Watch Edition will be demoed in private one-on-one sessions that can last up to an hour, and you won't have to wait in line with everybody else. Accessories and alternate bands will apparently be offered after customers have been allowed to try on the watches. Once you've bought your five-figure smart watch, you can elect to have it set up in the store, or you can take it home and go through a "Virtual Personal Setup" video chat with an employee. The Personal Setup feature will reportedly be available to stainless steel Apple Watch wearers, too, but only Edition buyers will get "an exclusive, dedicated Apple Watch Edition phone line for two years of 24/7 technical support." An AppleCare+ purchase extends your watch hotline privileges to three years. Read 2 remaining paragraphs | Comments

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When we reviewed the HTC One M8 las year, our primary complaint was how little it was changed from the M7. HTC basically recycled the M7 design with the M8. Apple gets away with updating its designs every other year because it's a market leader. HTC is definitely not a market leader though, so we think it's fair to expect it to be nimbler and faster than its bigger rivals—that's really the only path to success when you aren't winning. Now, HTC is back with a new flagship—the HTC One M9. While the M7 to M8 transition was underwhelming, with the M9, HTC has slowed down to nearly a standstill, as the design is nearly identical to the HTC M8. The Snapdragon 810 SoC—meant to give the M9 a speed boost over the M8—has been throttled so much that the M9 is at best equal to the M8, and in some cases slower. The other small improvements HTC tried to make—relocating the power button and an upgraded camera—didn't work out well, either. The (dated) design Ron Amadeo Our biggest problem with the M9 (and M8 and M7) is the massive bezel. Including the on-screen buttons, the bottom has a full inch of device that isn't being used to display content. 13 more images in gallery .related-stories { display: none !important; } ars.AD.queue.push(["xrailTop", {sz:"300x250", kws:[], collapse: true}]);Have you seen an M8? If so, you're most of the way there. HTC has tweaked things a bit by giving the side of the device a ridge—imagine if the back of the exterior was sized about 2 percent bigger than the front and the edges weren't flush. It serves as a way to tell the M8 and M9 apart, but isn't really functional or good looking. Read 25 remaining paragraphs | Comments

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The director of Europol, the European Union's law enforcement agency, has warned about the growing use of encryption for online communications. Speaking to BBC Radio, Rob Wainwright said: "It's become perhaps the biggest problem for the police and the security service authorities in dealing with the threats from terrorism." Wainwright is just the latest in a string of high-ranking government officials on both sides of the Atlantic that have made similar statements, including FBI Director James Comey, NYPD Commissioner Bill Bratton, the head of London's Metropolitan Police, Sir Bernard Hogan-Howe, and UK Prime Minister David Cameron. Wainwright told the BBC that the use of encrypted services "changed the very nature of counter-terrorist work from one that has been traditionally reliant on having good monitoring capability of communications to one that essentially doesn't provide that anymore." What that overlooks is that the "good monitoring capability" was of very few channels, used sporadically. Today, by contrast, online users engage with many digital services—social media, messaging, e-mail, VoIP—on a constant basis, and often simultaneously. Although the percentage of traffic that can be monitored may be lower, the volume is much higher, which means that, overall, more information is available for counter-terrorism agencies. Wainwright also claimed that terrorists were using the "dark net," "where users can go online anonymously, away from the gaze of police and security services." One of Snowden's leaks revealed that the NSA has managed to unmask anonymous users of Tor, so that ability to avoid the "gaze" of the police and security services is not absolute. Read 2 remaining paragraphs | Comments

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Verizon CEO Lowell McAdam has told Congress that it needs to "retake responsibility for policymaking in the Internet ecosystem" because the Federal Communications Commission's regulatory decisions have reached "absurd new levels." "[T]he existing legal regime and its accompanying regulatory processes are outdated and broken," McAdam wrote in a letter Friday to leaders of the House and Senate Commerce committees and FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler (courtesy of The Hill). "Congress last established a clear policy framework almost 20 years ago, well before most of today's technology was even developed. As a result, regulators are applying early 20th century tools to highly dynamic 21st century markets and technologies. Inefficiencies and collateral damage are inevitable. It is time for Congress to re-take responsibility for policymaking in the Internet ecosystem." Verizon is mad about the FCC's decision to reclassify broadband as a common carrier service and impose network neutrality restrictions that prevent Internet providers from blocking or throttling Internet content or prioritizing content in exchange for payment. McAdam's letter also objected to rules that let Dish use discounts intended for small businesses to save $3.3 billion in an auction for wireless spectrum licenses. McAdam said the FCC has repeatedly helped Dish boost its spectrum holdings even though the satellite provider hasn't "announced any plans to use this spectrum to serve customers." Read 12 remaining paragraphs | Comments

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A group of school principals in Cheshire, England is warning parents that they will be on the lookout for evidence that children in their care have access to adult video games at home and will "contact the Police and Children's Social Care" if they are made aware of it. The Nantwich Education Partnership, which represents 16 schools in Cheshire, sent a note to parents last month expressing concern that "several children have reported playing, or watching adults play games which are inappropriate for their age and have described the levels of violence and sexual content they have witnessed." The letter specifically cites Call of Duty, Grand Theft Auto, and Dogs of War (which we assume is a misnamed mangling of God or War or Gears of War) as inappropriate, and also warns parents that children should not have access to Facebook or WhatsApp accounts before they are old enough. "Access to these games OR to some social media sites such as those above increases early sexualized behaviours (sometimes harmful) in children AND leaves them vulnerable to grooming for sexual exploitation or extreme violence," the letter reads (as reprinted by The Daily Mail). "If your child is allowed to have inappropriate access to any game or associated product that is designated 18+ we will are [sic] advised to contact the Police and Children’s Social Care as it is neglectful." Read 4 remaining paragraphs | Comments

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An Icelandic genetics firm has sequenced the genomes of 2,636 of its countrymen and women, finding genetic markers for a variety of diseases, as well as a new timeline for the paternal ancestor of all humans. Iceland is, in many ways, perfectly suited to being a genetic case study. It has a small population with limited genetic diversity, a result of the population descending from a small number of settlers—between 8 and 20 thousand, who arrived just 1100 years ago. It also has an unusually well-documented genealogical history, with information sometimes stretching all the way back to the initial settlement of the country. Combined with excellent medical records, it's a veritable treasure trove for genetic researchers. The researchers at genetics firm deCODE compared the complete genomes of participants with historical and medical records, publishing their findings in a series of four papers in Nature Genetics last Wednesday. The wealth of data allowed them to track down genetic mutations that are related to a number of diseases, some of them rare. Although few diseases are caused by a single genetic mutation, a combination of mutations can increase the risk for certain diseases. Having access to a large genetic sample with corresponding medical data can help to pinpoint certain risk-increasing mutations. Read 9 remaining paragraphs | Comments

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Despite near-unanimous support in both houses of the Virginia state legislature, Gov. Terry McAuliffe (D) recently amended a significant license plate reader data retention bill, sending it back to state lawmakers. Had the bill passed, it would have imposed a limit of just seven days on keeping such data absent an ongoing criminal investigation. As put forward by the governor last Friday, the new amendments crucially change that retention period from seven days to 60 days, and modify language that was designed to be a hedge against future surveillance technologies to be restricted to license plate readers specifically. The Washington Post quoted Brian Moran, the Secretary of Public Safety and Homeland Security, as saying on Friday that he had “been informed by numerous law enforcement agencies that license plate readers result in salient and compelling information. The governor’s amendment…represents a significant compromise by law enforcement. The governor believes 60 days is a more appropriate period of time and reaches a compromise with the legislature that’s reasonable.” Read 4 remaining paragraphs | Comments

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A mistake with Microsoft Outlook's autofill feature sent personal details of the world's top leaders attending the G20 summit in Brisbane, Australia, to organizers of the Asian Cup soccer tournament. Those affected include the presidents of the US, China, Russia, Brazil, the European Commission, France, and Mexico; the prime ministers of Japan, India, the UK, Italy, and Canada; and the German Chancellor. Among the information disclosed was the passport numbers, visa details, and other personal identifiers. The blunder occurred on November 7 last year, just before the G20 summit took place. Details are contained in an e-mail sent to the Australian privacy commissioner by the director of the visa services division of Australia's Department of Immigration and Border Protection, obtained by The Guardian using a freedom of information request. The e-mail explains: "The cause of the breach was human error. [Name redacted] failed to check that the autofill function in Microsoft Outlook had entered the correct person's details into the email 'To' field. This led to the email being sent to the wrong person." Rather surprisingly, in view of the individuals involved, they were not informed of this breach when it was discovered. The director of the visa services division explained why in the e-mail obtained by The Guardian: "Given that the risks of the breach are considered very low and the actions that have been taken to limit the further distribution of the e-mail, I do not consider it necessary to notify the clients of the breach." Read 2 remaining paragraphs | Comments

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A study published in Science demonstrates that vaccination with a mutated form of the Ebola virus provides some measure of protection to non-human primates. This finding places the vaccine one step closer to clinical trials in humans. The researchers publishing this study have developed what’s called a “whole virus” vaccine for Ebola. Viruses have proteins on their exterior and genetic material on their interior. Whole virus vaccines present the host’s immune system with multiple viral proteins and the viral genetic material. These vaccines trigger broader immune system responses than vaccines that only present a single protein from the virus. Whole virus vaccines have had widespread success in offering protection against potentially deadly diseases such as smallpox, measles, and influenza. But, in order for these vaccines to be safe and effective, the virus has to be weakened. The new vaccine relies on a strain of Ebola called EBOVDVP30, which has a key gene deleted. It provides some protection against Ebola in studies that used mice and guinea pigs. Read 7 remaining paragraphs | Comments

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GitHub, the largest public code repository in the world, is currently battling against the largest and most gnarly distributed denial of service (DDoS) attack in the site's history. The attack started on Thursday morning (March 26), and has continued unabated since then, evolving several times to circumvent GitHub's defenses. The ongoing attack appears to originate from China, with the DDoS specifically targeting two GitHub projects that are designed to combat censorship in China: GreatFire, and cn-nytimes, a Chinese language version of the New York Times. According to a security researcher at Insight Labs, the DDoS is being caused by some nefarious JavaScript that is being injected by "a certain device at the border of China's inner network and the Internet" when people visit the Baidu search engine. The JavaScript tells the user's browser to request two GitHub URLs: https://github.com/greatfire/" and "https://github.com/cn-nytimes/. Multiply that by millions of Baidu users, and voilà: a DDoS on GitHub. 87 hours in, our mitigation is deflecting most attack traffic. We're aware of intermittent issues and continue to adapt our response. — GitHub Status (@githubstatus) March 29, 2015 The GitHub Status page gives us some insight into the ongoing attack. GitHub has managed to get successful mitigations into place several times, but it's still all-hands-on-deck as the attack continues to evolve. If you look at the longer-term status graphs, you can see spikes of reduced availability/higher latency on March 26, 27, and 28, but for the most part it looks like the DDoS has been mostly quashed for now. Read 2 remaining paragraphs | Comments

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Earlier this week, a judge ruled (PDF) that Zynga would have to face a revised lawsuit over allegations that it defrauded investors by offering overly-zealous news about the company’s future at the time of its Initial Public Offering (IPO). The investors allege that Zynga knew that an upcoming platform change at Facebook would decrease the company's ability to rake in revenue, but executives concealed that information. After the successful IPO, the complaint says, the executives sold off their Zynga shares before the stock price collapsed. The investors applied for a class-action lawsuit in July 2012, just after Zynga shares tumbled to $3 per share from a price peak of $15.91 per share. US District Judge Jeffrey White dismissed an earlier version of the lawsuit a year ago, but ruled that the game company would have to face a revised complaint from the same investors. Although Zynga denies the investors’ claims, the plaintiffs say they have at least six confidential witnesses who had access to daily reports on Zynga’s bookings before the IPO. Those witnesses say the company was in decline before the IPO. "Although the company may have reported large bookings after the fact,” the judge’s order writes, "Plaintiff contends that the bookings declined significantly during the class period and yet Defendants continued to represent to the public that the bookings were strong.” Read 2 remaining paragraphs | Comments

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ars.AD.queue.push(["xrailTop", {sz:"300x250", kws:[], collapse: true}]);Earlier this week, Intel sent us its latest variation of its growing line of NUC mini PCs. This is Intel's first NUC to ship with one of its top-end Core i7 chips inside—it's not the fastest desktop like this you can buy (that's probably still Gigabyte's quad-core Haswell Brix Pro), but it's the fastest one you can get with Intel's solid driver support and three-year warranty. If you read our review of the Core i5 Broadwell NUC, you already know a lot of what there is to know about this box. The primary difference is the faster CPU and GPU and an extra $100 or so—Intel says the street price should be around $500, compared to the $400-ish that the i5 version costs. We took the newest NUC and ran it through our standard tests to get an idea of how it stacks up. If you spend the extra money, here's what you get. Read 17 remaining paragraphs | Comments

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The Miami ePrix—the first US round of the inaugural Formula E championship—managed the curious feat of having one race that was extremely thrilling to watch despite being rather glacial in pace. No, not the main ePrix. We are talking, of course, about the Formula E Schools competition. You can read more about the proper Formula E series elsewhere on the site; the Schools series was created to promote careers in engineering and sustainability for young people. Here, teams of high schoolers compete in their own electric vehicle race before the main event. The students, aged 11-16, use identical cars they must build themselves in order to battle it out on the same circuit used by the full-size cars—only, it's a 20-minute race. Read 5 remaining paragraphs | Comments

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MIAMI—The pit lane we're standing in is unusual, and not only because it's a temporary setup placed in the shadow of American Airlines Arena (home of the NBA's Miami Heat). Garages are set up on both sides rather than being limited to one. A few things also appear to be missing. To start, a familiar smell from the usual mix of burning hydrocarbons is absent. And it’s remarkably quiet. The occasional impact wrench bursts out in a mechanical staccato, generators drone here and there, but there are no V8s burbling, no V6s screaming. Video: Ars visits the track. (video link) But the biggest omission? Well, it's what powers the entire event—or, perhaps more notably, what doesn't. Welcome to Formula E, the world’s first fully electric racing series. Miami is playing host to the first of two US rounds—the next being held in Long Beach, CA, on April 4—and it's the fifth race in this ePrix's inaugural season. Given we’ve got a bit of a thing about racing at Cars Technica, as well as an obvious interest in electric vehicles, we had to be on the ground in Miami to experience this for ourselves. Read 22 remaining paragraphs | Comments

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