posted 6 days ago on ars technica
Enlarge / Chrome apps running on an older version of Chrome OS. (credit: Andrew Cunningham) Chrome OS has become a low-key success story for Google in the last few years. Because they're relatively cheap and easy to track and manage, Chromebooks has made inroads in businesses and educational institutions. But Chrome OS still has a big shortcoming compared to Windows and macOS: an app gap. To help close that gap and augment web apps, Google introduced the Chrome apps platform to let developers make web apps that looked and functioned more like traditional standalone apps. Part of Google's sales pitch was that Chrome apps were universal—without any additional effort from developers, these apps would run not just on Chrome OS, but also any Windows, Mac, or Linux PC with Chrome installed. The Chrome apps platform was an interesting experiment, but it has apparently failed. In a blog post today, Google said that "approximately 1 percent" of all Chrome users on Windows, Mac, and Linux were using Chrome apps. Arguing that web standards have continued to evolve and become more capable and that the company is simplifying Chrome, Google says that support for Chrome apps on non-Chrome OS platforms will be phased out over the next two years. Read 2 remaining paragraphs | Comments

Read More...
posted 6 days ago on ars technica
Enlarge / Along Honey Cut Bayou, in eastern Baton Rouge, just north of Interstate 12. (credit: Louisiana Civil Air Patrol) The first damage analysis of the slow-moving tropical system that deluged southern Louisiana last weekend is sobering. But for all the destruction it has caused, the low pressure system was not classified as a tropical storm or depression. Had it been a tropical cyclone, the storm would almost certainly rank among the 10 costliest hurricanes to strike the United States. Louisiana newspaper The Advocate recently shared an analysis by the Baton Rouge Area Chamber. The analysis uses geographic information system data to study homes and businesses that had flooded in nine parishes in southeastern Louisiana. Some of the report's key findings include: About 31% of homes (a total of 110,000 residences) within the nine parishes flooded. The estimated value of homes located in flooded areas is $20.7 billion. About 280,000 Baton Rouge metropolitan statistical area residents live in flooded areas. As a region, a maximum of just 15% of all homes—not solely in the flood-impact areas—were insured against flooding. Overall, 7,364 businesses employing 73,907 individuals are located in areas affected by floods. These represent 21% of businesses in the region. Proportionally, businesses in Livingston experienced the most severe impact with 3,305 businesses that employ 27,653 employees in the areas of flood-impact, representing 91% of businesses and 94% of employees. The $20.7 billion dollar figure for residential damages represents the estimated total value of residences in areas that flooded, not the actual damage. While that total will be significantly lower, this damage report does not include losses sustained to businesses, automobiles, or other personal items lost in the floodwaters. It will take some time before a total damage amount is released, which will include damage from insurers. Read 3 remaining paragraphs | Comments

Read More...
posted 6 days ago on ars technica
The Google Transparency Project is a Washington, DC group that's laser-focused on letting Americans know about Google's lobbying efforts. To get its message out, GTP has worked with journalists at Re/Code and The Intercept, which have run stories about Google's many visits to the White House, the prevalence of ex-Googlers in the US Digital Service, and other links. What wasn't known, until today, is who was paying the bills for research by the "nonprofit watchdog" group. "The folks running the Google Transparency Project won’t say who is paying for it, which is odd for a group devoted to transparency," noted Fortune's Jeff John Roberts, one of many journalists who the group reached out to in April. Today, Roberts has published a followup, confirming that based on a tip, he found at least one funder—Oracle. That's the same company that lost a major copyright trial to Google and continues to spar with the search giant in court. Read 5 remaining paragraphs | Comments

Read More...
posted 6 days ago on ars technica
Enlarge The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) has accused T-Mobile USA of violating net neutrality principles with a new "unlimited" data plan that throttles video. The group is weighing whether to file a complaint with the Federal Communications Commission, and the EFF is evaluating a similar offering from Sprint. T-Mobile's $70-per-month unlimited data plan limits video to about 480p resolution and requires customers to pay an extra $25 per month for high-definition video. Going forward, this will be the only plan offered to new T-Mobile customers, though existing subscribers can keep their current prices and data allotments. "From what we've read thus far it seems like T-Mobile's new plan to charge its customers extra to not throttle video runs directly afoul of the principle of net neutrality," EFF Senior Staff Technologist Jeremy Gillula told the Daily Dot. Read 12 remaining paragraphs | Comments

Read More...
posted 6 days ago on ars technica
Enlarge / A recurve bow, showing the recurved limbs and the central riser. (credit: John Timmer) A lot of us have only seen archery on episodes of Game of Thrones, or maybe we have hazy memories of a simple fiberglass bow at summer camp. If that's your picture of archery technology, than a modern bow probably looks like it was dropped off by aliens. To find out how this equipment actually functions, we took a subway ride to Gotham Archery, where Anjalie Field walked us through all the moving (and, hopefully, stationary) parts of a bow that's fit for competitive archery. Field got hooked on the sport while young, and she loved it so much that when she ended up at a college without an archery team, she founded one. Field explained that there are two classes of bows, compound bows and recurves. The string on a compound bow is threaded through a series of pulleys. These pulleys rotate off-center as the string is drawn back, changing the forces involved. Typically, this means that the initial draw requires considerable force, but once it's fully drawn, less effort is involved in holding it there. Read 10 remaining paragraphs | Comments

Read More...
posted 6 days ago on ars technica
Those water effects... Back at E3, a mere ten minutes with an early version of Titanfall 2 were enough. We were convinced that the grappling hook was a welcome addition that already felt like an integral part of Titanfall's rocket-pack-parkour-meets-mechs shooting action. Now, we've had a chance to put a few more hours into a "pre-alpha" version of the game during early access to this weekend's "technical test" on the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One (which is available to the public starting today, running again August 26 through 28). With the benefit of more time, we can confirm that the grappling hook changes the Titanfall formula for the better. Double jumps and zippy wall running are still nice, but they're not always a feasible way to gain the height you need to clamber on to an enemy mech or gain an advantageous shooting position. The grappling hook is often just a simpler way to scale a multi-story vertical wall or gain a little speed boost while trying desperately to dash to a far off objective (or even to rocket forward toward an unsuspecting enemy to score a quick jump-kick kill). The hook is so useful that we found ourselves cursing its limitations—after a couple of uses in short succession, you have to wait a few seconds for the hook to recharge. This is a necessary limitation to stop players from simply grappling around the map with nonstop abandon, but... actually, that nonstop abandon sounds like a lot of fun! Read 7 remaining paragraphs | Comments

Read More...
posted 6 days ago on ars technica
Enlarge (credit: Comcast) When Comcast launched its gigabit cable service in Atlanta and Nashville earlier this year, the company offered a $70 monthly price for customers who sign three-year contracts, half off the no-contract "every-day" price. But when Comcast announced gigabit Internet for parts of Chicago this week, the no-contract price of $139.95 was the only one mentioned. The difference, as DSLRreports wrote today, is that there's no Google Fiber providing competition in Chicago yet. While Google Fiber has tentative plans to expand to Chicago, its $70 gigabit Internet service is already available in parts of Atlanta and Nashville. Comcast's Chicago announcement said the company "will test promotional pricing during the trial period," but didn't name any specific offers that are better than the $140 no-contract price. When contacted by Ars, a Comcast spokesperson said there is "nothing to announce at this time." The Chicago service may also come with a 1TB monthly data cap, as Comcast has previously only provided unlimited data to gigabit customers who sign the three-year contract. Otherwise, unlimited data costs $50 a month extra. Read 3 remaining paragraphs | Comments

Read More...
posted 6 days ago on ars technica
Gears of War 4 got a lengthy showing at Gamescom 2016. COLOGNE, Germany—Changing the formula of a respected, successful franchise is a risky business, and first impressions of Gears of War 4's DeeBees highlight the problem. This new robotic race of enemies, seemingly named by the director of a children's television show, flank and shoot like the Locust we're used to, but the aesthetic difference is difficult to warm to. Shooting and killing sentient boxes of circuit boards and wires doesn't provide that same sense of guttural, crass satisfaction that comes with blasting a hole through the head of a Locust (which appear in other parts of the game), or ripping a chainsaw through its torso. Call me an animal, but that's what I want from Gears of War, the quintessential third-person cover-based shooter. Dismembering an android incarnation of The Rock doesn't provide that same splat and release. Having seen just 20 or so minutes of them in action, maybe that's an unfair judgement. After all, DeeBees come in various forms, so there's the potential for them to change tactics and develop their own unique personality amongst their fleshier brethren. Bipedal DeeBees, for instance, forego the use of cover, instead relying on their armour to deflect your rounds, while the power of their weapons deters you from poking your head out of cover to get a shot off. They can jump low when navigating over cover, and if they get close they turn suicide bomber and explode. The smaller of the two walkers I saw tended to attack only in packs, their role seemingly focused on herding you into tight spots from which their larger siblings could deal the real damage and force you into a compromising position. It's these larger examples, which pack more potent weapons, that blow up in your face. If you're too close to them when they jump over cover you become stunned for a moment, which is enough time for them to blow up and take you out. Additionally, flying drones and fast, ground-based mechanised balls that roll up to you and, again, explode in your face, act as support robots and distractions. Read 7 remaining paragraphs | Comments

Read More...
posted 6 days ago on ars technica
Enlarge / Bill Hill, manager of exploration systems development for NASA, speaks during a social media event Thursday at Michoud Assembly Facility in Louisiana. (credit: Eric Berger) One of the biggest criticisms of NASA’s Space Launch System rocket and Orion spacecraft is that they will be too expensive to fly. Namely—while the large rocket and sizable capsule appear to be more-than-capable vehicles that could form the core of a deep-space exploration program—will there be any money left after producing them for NASA to actually go and explore? Until now, this has been a question the space agency has offered only vague assurances about. But on Thursday, when Ars sat down to interview NASA’s Bill Hill inside the Michoud Assembly Facility, where the SLS core stage and Orion are assembled, the NASA manager was notably forthcoming. “We’re just way too expensive today,” Hill acknowledged. “It’s going to take some different thinking and maybe a little bit more risk taking than what we’re wanting to do today.” Hill should know. As deputy associate administrator for exploration systems development, he is the NASA headquarters official responsible for the development of SLS, Orion, and the ground systems at Kennedy Space Center. Hill said he has given managers of each of those three programs some targets for production and operating costs once the vehicles move out of the development phase and into production. Read 9 remaining paragraphs | Comments

Read More...
posted 6 days ago on ars technica
Captured on PC, Ars UK's Mark Walton takes Adam Jensen on his first mission into the heart of the aug ghetto Golem City. (video link) Deus Ex: Mankind Divided is not an exciting-sounding sequel. It's one of those video games that feels like an expected follow-up, and it's probably fallen behind in the industry's "buzz" and "hype" quotients as a result. Just like the last entry, 2011's DX: Human Revolution, this game puts you in the shoes of the same cybernetically enhanced anti-hero, offers the same "play how you want" system, and even replicates a lot of the last game's powers, controls, and aesthetic. You'd be forgiven for glancing at a snippet of gameplay and wondering which game is which. Read 26 remaining paragraphs | Comments

Read More...
posted 6 days ago on ars technica
Enlarge It's been quite some time since we last reviewed a Formula 1 game here at Ars. Since then, the sport itself has undergone a whole raft of changes. Naturally aspirated V8s screaming away to 18,000 RPM have given way to muted turbocharged V6s muzzled by fuel flow regulations. There are artificial aids to overtaking like the drag reduction system, or DRS. And the now cars race on tires that were purposely designed to degrade quickly, preventing drivers from racing flat-out to the checkered flag. Combined with two years of total dominance from Mercedes-Benz and the results has been pretty lackluster, certainly to this long-time fan of the sport. Happily I can report that the latest installment of Codemasters' official franchise manages to faithfully replicate real Formula 1, with one giant exception: it's actually exciting. Much of that success can be attributed to F1 2016's new career mode. You're free to choose any of the 11 teams as your starting point—different long-term objectives separate the more successful teams from the back markers—and work your way through the 21-race F1 season. But it's not just a question of turning up on race day and mashing the throttle when the red lights go out. Each race weekend involves three practice sessions and a qualifying attempt, just like the real thing. And to keep players invested in the proceedings, you'll be given a number of different objectives during each session. These can be fiendishly tricky! For example, the tire management program, where the goal is to complete several laps without over-stressing your rubber. That means very gentle inputs on the throttle, steering, and especially brakes, but beware: you can't dawdle as your engineer has also set you a minimum lap time. Complete the objectives and you gain points to use developing upgrades for your car. All that practice running will stand in you in good stead come race day, which conveys well just how demanding the job of racing an F1 car can be. Read 9 remaining paragraphs | Comments

Read More...
posted 6 days ago on ars technica
(credit: Uber) In April, it looked like a high-profile lawsuit against Uber was going to be resolved after the high-flying startup agreed to pay up to $100 million to settle allegations that its treatment of drivers violated labor laws. Today, US District Judge Edward Chen said the deal "is not fair, adequate, and reasonable," and he won't countenance it. In a 35-page order (PDF) he slammed the deal, which would have required Uber to pay $84 million and up to an additional $16 million contingent on whether Uber's IPO hit certain price points. After some complicated back-and-forth about Uber's arbitration agreements, Chen was overseeing a case with a class of more than 240,000 California drivers and just over 60,000 Massachusetts drivers. In addition to payments ranging from $12 to $1,950, drivers would have certain additional rights like explanations before being deactivated, more information about their star ratings, and an internal process for drivers to complain about payment of certain fares. It would also allow drivers in California and Massachusetts to ask for tips—although Uber made clear it would not add an in-app tipping function, and in fact the company dissuades riders from tipping. Read 9 remaining paragraphs | Comments

Read More...
posted 6 days ago on ars technica
(credit: Thomas Hawk) Volkswagen isn’t the only company that's been caught in the US Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) crackdown on emissions. On Thursday, motorcycle company Harley-Davidson reached an agreement with the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in which Harley will pay $12 million in fines for selling some 340,000 “super tuners” that allowed US bike owners to modify emissions control systems. The company will also no longer sell the offending aftermarket tuners in the US, and units sold outside the US will be marked to say that customers should not install them on motorcycles to be driven in the US. Harley will have to buy back and destroy existing aftermarket tuners that don’t meet Clean Air Act requirements, and it will have to spend a separate $3 million on a mitigation project “to replace conventional woodstoves with cleaner-burning stoves in local communities,” according to an EPA press release. Read 6 remaining paragraphs | Comments

Read More...
posted 6 days ago on ars technica
Enlarge (credit: USAF/Wikimedia) If there’s a possibility worse than a full-scale exchange of nuclear weapons, maybe it’s a full-scale exchange of nuclear weapons launched because of a simple misunderstanding. In 1967, we may come close to that scenario, but you can thank some meteorologists for the fact that it didn't come to pass. In late May of 1967, an active spot on the Sun threw a remarkable storm our way, and it continued over several days. The spot released charged particles and serious bursts of radiation in the radio portion of the electromagnetic spectrum (among other things), disturbing the Earth’s ionosphere and magnetic field. All this resulted in disruptions to radio communications and radar systems for a few days—as well as Northern Lights seen as far south as New Mexico. Critically, the early disruptions included NORAD’s newly built Ballistic Missile Early Warning System. The three high-latitude radar stations (in Alaska, Greenland, and the UK) pretty much went dark in the afternoon of May 23. As the Sun sank lower in the sky, these radar systems were pointed right at the source of the radio emissions just as they arrived. To US military leaders, it seemed an awful lot like jamming—Russia blinding the eyes watching for incoming nuclear weapons. Did that mean there were missiles or aircraft en route? Read 6 remaining paragraphs | Comments

Read More...
posted 7 days ago on ars technica
Enlarge (credit: Getty Images) The attorneys who moved the song Happy Birthday into the public domain will receive $4.62 million in fees, according to a judge's fee order (PDF) published Tuesday. The amount, which equals one-third of a $14 million settlement fund, was granted over objections by the defendant, Warner/Chappell. After various billing deductions, US District Judge George King found that a "lodestar" payment of about $3.85 million was appropriate. King then added a multiplier. "Given the unusually positive results achieved by the settlement, the highly complex nature of the action, the risk class counsel faced by taking this case on a contingency-fee basis, and the impressive skill and effort of counsel, we conclude that a 1.2 multiplier is warranted," wrote King. Read 7 remaining paragraphs | Comments

Read More...
posted 7 days ago on ars technica
Gawker.com, facing a $140 million jury verdict for publishing a sex tape of Terry Bollea (better known as pro wrestling icon Hulk Hogan), is shuttering operations next week, according to a post on the site. "Nick Denton, the company’s outgoing CEO, informed current staffers of the site’s fate on Thursday afternoon, just hours before a bankruptcy court in Manhattan will decide whether to approve Univision’s bid for Gawker Media’s other assets," the website said. "Staffers will soon be assigned to other editorial roles, either at one of the other six sites or elsewhere within Univision. Near-term plans for Gawker.com’s coverage, as well as the site’s archives, have not yet been finalized." Univision acquired Gawker Media for $135 million on Tuesday. Gawker Media's other holdings include Gizmodo, Deadspin, Jezebel, Lifehacker, Kotaku, and Jalopnik. The company filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy two months ago and went up for sale following the jury's verdict. Read 1 remaining paragraphs | Comments

Read More...
posted 7 days ago on ars technica
Enlarge (credit: Esther Vargas) Twitter said Thursday it has shut down 235,000 accounts linked to violent extremism in the last six months alone. That brings the total number of terminated Twitter accounts associated with terrorism to 360,000 since mid-2015. San Francisco-based Twitter, which had come under fire for allegedly not doing enough to crack down on extremist speech on its site, said it condemns acts of terrorism and that it is "committed to eliminating the promotion of violence or terrorism on our platform." The announcement on Twitter's blog comes as lawmakers mull legislation demanding that Internet companies report suspected terrorist activities to the government. It also comes days after Twitter fended off a lawsuit (PDF) accusing the company of providing material support to terrorists and of being a "tool for spreading extremist propaganda." Twitter's successful defense was, among other things, that the Communications Decency Act shields the company from being legally liable for content posted on its site. Read 2 remaining paragraphs | Comments

Read More...
posted 7 days ago on ars technica
Enlarge (credit: Andrew Cunningham) There may come a day when your Apple Watch doesn't need to be tethered to your iPhone to work, but that day won't be soon. According to a new report from Bloomberg, Apple's plans to put cellular modems in the next version of the Apple Watch have been put on hold because of concerns about battery life. While Apple is still reportedly "studying lower-power cellular data chips" for inclusion in future generations, the next watch will still rely on your iPhone for its data connection. That said, the report indicates that Apple does plan to ship GPS functionality in the new Apple Watch. This will be of particular interest to people who use the watch for outdoor exercise like running and biking. Today's Apple Watch relies on your iPhone for GPS, and, when untethered from your phone, it can only provide you with rough estimates about distance and pace. The next Apple Watch is expected at some point in the fall, possibly at the traditional September iPhone event that is rumored to be happening on September 7. WatchOS 3, a major revamp of the wearable operating system, will also be released this fall as an update for existing Apple Watch owners. Read on Ars Technica | Comments

Read More...
posted 7 days ago on ars technica
Enlarge T-Mobile USA has announced a $70 unlimited data plan, but in reality the plan has a lot of limits. And T-Mobile said it will stop offering cheaper plans to new customers. The $70 unlimited "T-Mobile One" plan caps hotspot usage to 2G speeds, which T-Mobile defines as up to 128kbps. Normal-speed mobile hotspot usage will cost $15 for each 5GB allotment. The new unlimited plan also throttles video to 480p, similar to the carrier's Binge On promotion that throttles video and exempts it from data caps. On the new unlimited plan, customers who want HD video must pay an extra $25 a month per line. The unlimited plan also throttles customers who use more than 26GB a month if they are connected to a congested cell tower. Read 13 remaining paragraphs | Comments

Read More...
posted 7 days ago on ars technica
Greetings, Arsians! Courtesy of our partners at TechBargains, we have a bunch of great deals to share today. You can now get a Dell Inspiron 3650 desktop, complete with a Core i7 Skylake processor, AMD R9 360 GPU, 16GB of RAM, and a 2TB hard drive for just $579. That's a steal on a desktop computer that typically costs over $900. To go along with that deal, Amazon's daily deal will save you 30 percent off PC accessories, components, and more. Check out the full list of deals below. Featured Read 7 remaining paragraphs | Comments

Read More...
posted 7 days ago on ars technica
Enlarge (credit: US DOD) Technology has changed sports by offering things like instant replay and the ability to determine precisely where a ball is relative to lines on the field and court. But these offerings don’t always sit well with players and fans, who may worry about the loss of some human influence on the run of play. It has been said that no technology is value-neutral, that it will-—in undetermined ways—influence anything it is applied to. Technology has now been applied to many sports, which have changed as a result, as evidenced by one of the oldest sports around. Fencing is an old sport. The earliest evidence of it comes from Egypt during the reign of Ramses III. A relief carving from roughly 1190 BCE in the temple of Madinat Habu depicts combatants wearing masks and wielding weapons as part of a bout or tournament. The modern sport has its earliest roots in 15th century Spain, where Diego de Valera wrote Treatise on Arms, a manuscript discussing swordsmanship for duels and self-defense. Fencing can be traced through the European Renaissance. Eventually, dueling weapons and blade weapons fell out of favor, replaced by black powder and guns. For swords, this was reflected in a change in nature from a cutting to a thrusting action coupled with more skilled swordsmanship. These changes favored using agility and speed as opposed to brute force. Read 16 remaining paragraphs | Comments

Read More...
posted 7 days ago on ars technica
Here are some of Ötzi's clothes on display at the Museum of Archaeology, Bolzano. From top left: a shoe with grass interior (left) and leather exterior (right), the leather coat (reassembled by the museum), leather loincloth, grass coat, fur hat, and leather leggings. Institute for Mummies and the Iceman For the past two decades, scientists have analyzed every minute detail of Ötzi, a 5,300-year-old natural mummy found in the ice of the Italian Ötztal Alps. But one remaining mystery was the provenance of his clothing, made from leather and fur. Now, thanks to refined techniques in DNA sequencing, a team of scientists has identified how the clothing was made—and discovered something surprising about Ötzi's domestic habits. Ötzi lived during the Copper Age, when humans had been domesticating animals for a few thousand years, and our cutting-edge technologies included stone tools and fired pottery. From previous studies, we know that Ötzi was likely murdered by an arrow and a blow to the head. We also know he suffered from arthritis, and he ate a meal of deer and berries before he died. The team's new findings, published in Nature Scientific Reports, are as much a demonstration of DNA sequencing wizardry as they are about ancient fashion. It's incredibly difficult to get genetic material out of tanned hides, because they've generally been scraped, heated, and exposed to fatty acids. Plus, the hides and furs themselves had disintegrated. But the researchers used several methods for extracting DNA from the hides that made up Ötzi's shoelace, hat, loincloth, coats, leggings, and quiver. First they compared the strands of DNA they did find with other mapped genomes to identify species. Then the researchers targeted very small, specific regions in the DNA for reconstruction to learn more about the animals' relationships with today's domestic breeds. Read 6 remaining paragraphs | Comments

Read More...
posted 7 days ago on ars technica
Microsoft today released its PowerShell scripting language and command-line shell as open source. The project joins .NET and the Chakra JavaScript engine as an MIT-licensed open source project hosted on GitHub. Alpha version prebuilt packages of the open source version are available for CentOS, Ubuntu, and OS X, in addition, of course, to Windows. Additional platforms are promised in the future. Announcing the release, Microsoft's Jeffrey Snover described the impetus for the move: customers liked the use of PowerShell for management, remote control, and configuration but didn't like that it was Windows-only. To address this concern, Microsoft first had to bring .NET, and then PowerShell itself, to Linux and other platforms. Snover says that PowerShell will be extended so that remote scripting can natively use ssh as its transport instead of Windows remoting. Read 1 remaining paragraphs | Comments

Read More...
posted 7 days ago on ars technica
(credit: Mike Mozart) AT&T's entry-level smartphone data plan that offers 300MB for $20 a month will no longer be available to new customers beginning August 21. Additionally, the current 2GB plan that costs $30 will be replaced by a $30 plan offering only 1GB. A new $40 plan will offer 3GB, while $60 will provide 6GB, replacing today's $50 5GB plan. On the plus side for customers who buy the lowest-cost data plans, AT&T is changing its phone access charge to $20 a month per device. You need to add the data and device access charges together to get the monthly cost before miscellaneous fees. Currently, AT&T imposes a $25-per-month access charge on plans with 5GB or less and $15 on bigger plans. Going forward, the $20 charge will apply regardless of size, with some exceptions—two-year contracts will still have access charges of $40 a month. These changes are part of a revamp of AT&T's Mobile Share Value plans. In some cases, the new data prices offer better value. For example, it will cost $90 to get 16GB, while today it costs $100 for 15GB. The dollar-per-gigabyte value gets better from there. While today you'd pay $175 for 25GB and $225 for 30GB, next week it will cost $110 for 25GB and $135 for 30GB. The plans come with mobile hotspot capability, rollover data, and unlimited talk and text. Read 2 remaining paragraphs | Comments

Read More...
posted 7 days ago on ars technica
Enlarge (credit: Best Buy) Best Buy's 50th anniversary is just around the corner on August 22, 2016, and the company is giving its customers a bunch of exclusive deals to celebrate. The electronics retailer will have 50 deals available in store and online that will last for just 50 hours: the Black Friday-like shopping event starts today, August 18, at 10pm Central Time and ends at 11:59pm on Saturday, August 20. Discounts include $180 off Beats wireless headphones, $400 off a 65-inch Samsung 4K UHD TV, and $150 off select MacBook Pro notebooks, with additional savings for students. Customers who shop online will also get free two-day shipping on almost everything included in the sale. Here are some of the other deals included in the anniversary celebration: Read 1 remaining paragraphs | Comments

Read More...