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NASA spots Mars InSight lander from space - CNET - News - December 13, 2018 - 8:46pm
NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter snapped the newest machine on Mars. You can even see the solar panels.

Microsoft is putting together a Microsoft 365 subscription for home users

Ars Technica - December 13, 2018 - 8:45pm

Enlarge (credit: Patty's Photos / Flickr)

Microsoft has had success in the enterprise space with its Microsoft 365 subscription, which bundles Office 365, Windows 10, and remote management with Enterprise Mobility + Security. Its home-oriented Office 365 subscriptions have also been growing steadily, with 32.5 million subscriptions as of the company's most recent financial reports. And now Microsoft is planning to bring these things together with a Microsoft 365 subscription aimed at non-corporate users, reports Mary Jo Foley.

Microsoft 365 Consumer would be a subscription bundle with a consumer focus. Foley notes that there have been job advertisements alluding to such a product, and the move would seem to be consistent with the company's plan to re-engage with consumers. At its Inspire partner event earlier this year, the company said that it wanted to target "professional consumers" by offering software and services to enhance their "Modern Life and Devices." The meaning of this is not entirely clear, but it seems to mean that the company will continue to make its services work better wherever you use them (greater support for iOS and Android phones). Syncing and replication will ensure that your work and current context moves seamlessly between devices.

Less clear is what a Microsoft 365 Consumer bundle would actually include. Office 365 is an obvious component; it's already being sold to consumers, and it remains the heart of Microsoft's productivity vision. But beyond that? Windows 10 is, for home users, functionally free already. There have long been fears/rumors/speculation that Microsoft will move to a monthly Windows subscription model for consumers, but there are no signs that this is happening. Given the way Windows 10 has been positioned—the "last version" of Windows that will be updated and upgraded indefinitely—it's hard to imagine it ever happening.

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Audi will turn a car into a literal movie theater at CES 2019 - Roadshow - News - December 13, 2018 - 8:34pm
It's not like you'll have anything better to do when cars start driving themselves.

Once Upon A Deadpool's $1M opening proves even rereleases can be fun - CNET - News - December 13, 2018 - 8:33pm
The third Deadpool release this year removes the swear words and adds Fred Savage. And he's the real star.

Vitamin Water will pay you big bucks to give up your phone for a year - CNET - News - December 13, 2018 - 8:23pm
We'll find out if $100,000 and a lie-detector test can keep one person from touching any smartphone for 12 months.

Best Christmas 2018 drone deals: $100 off DJI Mavic 2 Pro or Zoom, $600 Parrot Anafi, $79 Ryze Tello and more - CNET - News - December 13, 2018 - 8:19pm
Pick up a GPS-enabled camera drone for less than $70 or a great selfie drone for $80.

iPhone XS specs vs. XS Max, XR, X: What's the same and different - CNET - News - December 13, 2018 - 8:14pm
See how Apple's new 2018 iPhones compare with last year's iPhone X, spec by spec.

Volvo’s coming all-electric semi will compete with Tesla’s

Ars Technica - December 13, 2018 - 7:52pm


On Wednesday, Volvo Trucks North America announced that in 2019 it will demonstrate an all-electric Volvo semi truck, which it expects to go into production in 2020.

The semi will be an all-electric VNR, similar to Volvo's current diesel VNR model, and it will be used for regional-haul operations as well as drayage (that is, transporting shipping containers from barges to their next mode of transport).

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Spock smiles in the face of danger in new trailer for Star Trek: Discovery S2

Ars Technica - December 13, 2018 - 7:31pm

Enlarge / Spock relishes the prospect of danger. "Are you smiling, Spock?" "Yes, Captain, I believe I am." (credit: CBS All Access)

Everyone's favorite sober-minded Vulcan, Spock, cracks a rare smile in a new, action-packed trailer for Star Trek: Discovery's upcoming second season. This go-round, the crew of the USS Discovery will be facing its greatest threat yet: a being or entity intent on wiping out all sentient beings in the Universe.

Discovery is a prequel to the original Star Trek, set roughly 10 years before Captain Kirk and his crew took over the USS Enterprise and boldly went where no man had gone before. The first trailer debuted at New York Comic Con back in October. That's when we learned that last season's Captain Gabriel Lorca has been replaced by iconic character Christopher Pike (Anson Mount). The Klingons have hair again (fans did not care for the bald look), and Michelle Yeoh returns as the former ruler of the Terran Empire, Philippa Georgiou.

We also saw the debut of Rebecca Romijn as Number One and got our first glimpse of a young, bearded Spock (now played by Ethan Peck). His appearance is linked to the mysterious vision of a "red angel" experienced by his adoptive sister, Science Specialist Michael Burnham (Sonequa Martin-Green). Spock also had recurring visions of such a creature, but the first trailer was coy about what it might mean.

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Honda's CES 2019 booth will be loaded with robots once again - Roadshow - News - December 13, 2018 - 7:29pm
Their goal is to contribute to a "cleaner, safer and more convenient world."

Branson's Virgin Galactic reaches edge of space

BBC Technology News - December 13, 2018 - 7:26pm
The latest test flight by Sir Richard Branson's Virgin Galactic makes it to the edge of space and back.

Virgin Galactic plane skims space in historic human test flight - CNET - News - December 13, 2018 - 7:10pm
NASA congratulates Richard Branson and Virgin Galactic for a major milestone in the commercial space tourism race.

Best iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus cases - CNET - News - December 13, 2018 - 7:00pm
The iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus are still viable (and cheaper) phone options than Apple's 2018 phones. And they need protection. Here's our picks for the top iPhone 8/Plus cases in 2018.

Luminar lidar can tell what you're thinking - Roadshow - News - December 13, 2018 - 7:00pm
Volvo is using a new lidar and AI to guess your next move by scanning your arms and legs.

Netflix may let you instantly rewatch must-see scenes - CNET - News - December 13, 2018 - 6:33pm
The streaming service is testing the feature for some shows.

Blu announces its $80 Android 9 Pie Go phone for the US - CNET - News - December 13, 2018 - 6:28pm
Android Go phones are among the first to get the latest version of the Android OS.

Hands-on: Switch’s NES controllers offer unmatched old-school authenticity

Ars Technica - December 13, 2018 - 6:28pm

Enlarge / Now you're playing with power.

Playing old-school games on the Switch thus far has been a choice between various control compromises. You can use two Joy-Cons held in two hands, but the tiny buttons and lack of a true d-pad make this setup less than ideal. Holding a single Joy-Con sideways eliminates the d-pad completely and forces you to curve your grip around a hand-crampingly small control surface. A Switch Pro Controller or various third-party solutions can solve these problems, but they come with relatively high prices and some added features you don't need for classic games.

Enter Nintendo, which is offering subscribers to its new Online service the ability to buy two wireless, Switch-compatible replica NES controllers for $60 (on top of the $20 a year subscription). After spending a few hours testing the little guys (just before pre-orders start shipping out) we found them to be competent, authentic throwbacks with some important limitations.

Truly authentic

Anyone with fond memories of gripping an NES controller in their youth will be happy to hear that Nintendo got the authenticity darn-near perfect with these replicas. Everything from the sizing to the tactile feel to the springiness of the buttons and the d-pad is practically indistinguishable from a brand-new NES controller you might have bought three decades ago. This isn't that surprising, since the wired NES Classic Edition controllers had the same level of fidelity, but it's still nice to see.

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Apple to splash $10bn raisin' American bit barns

The Register - December 13, 2018 - 6:23pm
Cupertino pats own back for forking over dollars in home country

Apple has said it will spend $10bn on data centres in the US over the next five years, and will set up a new $1bn campus in Texas.…

Galaxy S10 rumored Feb. 20 launch, March 8 release date, specs and price - CNET - News - December 13, 2018 - 6:21pm
A February launch event would mean the foldable phone comes later.

Spock joins Star Trek: Discovery crew to fight new threat in season 2 trailer - CNET - News - December 13, 2018 - 6:21pm
A new captain, a mysterious space angel and Spock's beard. Check out the trailer for Discovery's new adventure.

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