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Self-driving Uber saw pedestrian 6 seconds before fatal crash, new NTSB report says

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More details have emerged about the self-driving Uber car crash that killed a woman in Arizona earlier this year. 

The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) released its preliminary findings Thursday about the March 18 fatal crash.

SEE ALSO: People are losing faith in self-driving cars following recent fatal crashes

Elaine Herzberg, 49, was struck and killed while walking a bicycle across a four-lane road in Tempe, Arizona. A 44-year-old Uber test driver was at the wheel of the modified 2017 Volvo XC90. The car was in autonomous mode and had been for the 19 minutes before the crash.

According to the report, the system first observed Herzberg through its radar and LIDAR sensors, which uses light to measure distances and objects, about six seconds before hitting her. At first the computer classified her as an "unknown object," then as a vehicle, and then as a bicyclePrevious reports had come out that the software misclassified Herzberg.  Read more...

More about Uber, Self Driving Cars, Ntsb, Tech, and Transportation

Posted on 25 May 2018 | 7:31 am

This giant, 65-inch smart TV from VIZIO is only $600 right now

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If your summer vacation plans include not actually going on vacation and vicariously living through everyone on Instagram instead, we have a better plan for you:

1. This gorgeous 65-inch 4K XLED smart TV from VIZIO is on sale for just $600.

2A ton of new stuff is hitting Netflix in June including new content by the Obamas, Star Wars: The Last Jedi, and new seasons of Arrested Development, Sense8, Queer Eye, and Portlandia. And binge-watching all of those on a massive 65-inch HD screen instead of a laptop sounds freaking heavenly.

Our bodies are ready.

SEE ALSO: Pool floats for your dog are a thing now and we will not enter summer without them Read more...

More about Netflix, Vizio, Smart Tvs, Mashable Shopping, and Shopping Skimlinks

Posted on 25 May 2018 | 7:20 am

Facebook and Instagram crack down on shady political ads

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Facebook is taking new steps to make good on its promises to fight against election interference.

Today, the social network announced a series of changes to its ad policies that are meant to increase transparency around political ads.

SEE ALSO: Find out which of your Facebook friends are sharing fake news

Beginning today, Facebook and Instaram are requiring all U.S ads with any type of political content to be labeled with information on who paid for the ad. This includes not just campaign ads, but any type of ad that pertains to a political issue, such as tax policy or immigration.

Besides the disclosure on who paid for it, people who come across the ads will also be able to click into a dedicated archive with additional information about the advertiser, such as their age, location, and gender, as well as their budget for that campaign. Read more...

More about Tech, Facebook, Advertising, Social Media Companies, and Tech

Posted on 25 May 2018 | 6:47 am

Lawsuit alleges Apple might have known about Touch Disease before launching the iPhone 6

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Ugh, the iPhone 6's problems keep coming back to haunt Apple.

Years after the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus made headlines for "Bendgate" and "Touch Disease," new information made public (via Motherboard) from an ongoing class-action lawsuit on the latter has revealed the two issues might be related.

The new details were discovered in a document made available by U.S. District Court Judge Lucy Koh, the same judge who presided over the Apple v. Samsung trial. The lawsuit alleges "Touch Disease," which can cause the touchscreen on the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus to flicker and become unresponsive, is directly related to its structurally weak aluminum casing. Read more...

More about Apple, Iphone 6s, Iphone 6, Touch Disease, and Tech

Posted on 25 May 2018 | 6:17 am

These weed-killing robots could give big agrochemical companies a run for their money

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Smart weed-killing robots are here and they have the potential to disrupt the entire pesticide industryEcoRobotix claims their robot could reduce the use of herbicide by 20 percent. Other examples include Blue River, a startup that develops smart agriculture equipment, and University of Sydney, which has built its own entire series of agri-bots. Read more...

More about Tech, Technology, Robots, Mashable Video, and Agriculture

Posted on 25 May 2018 | 5:48 am

Working in IT is the new gold rush so get certified and head west (or just download these training courses)

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As of last year, there were some 627,000 unfilled jobs in the technology market, and that number has only grown since then. Why? Almost every industry — from Wall Street to Hollywood to social media companies to car factories — needs IT professionals. Just look at the cybersecurity sector: thanks to the ever-increasing threats of data theft and cyber-terrorism, that industry is going to need 3.5 million warm bodies to help secure the web by 2021. 

As you might guess, these highly valued professions are commensurately rewarding. In fact, the average IT gig pays $87K a year and is likely to last, as IT unemployment is currently below 2.5%. There’s also plenty of headroom in such a job, with the average computer and information systems manager making over $120K. But if you want to stake your claim in this booming market, and open up those six-figure opportunities, you’ll need to know a lot more than, “Try turning it off and on again.” You’ll need to get certified.  Read more...

More about It, Mashable Shopping, Shopping Stackcommerce, Shopping Solo, and Shopping Onlinelearning

Posted on 25 May 2018 | 5:20 am

Amazon's real-time package tracker is rolling out across the U.S.

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If you've ever wanted to know exactly where your Amazon package is on delivery day, now you can find that out.

Amazon Map Tracking is now available for all U.S. customers and does what the name suggests. You'll be able to track your package on a map in real time, get an estimated delivery time, and see how many stops it is awayAndroidPolice first spotted the larger rollout, and Amazon has confirmed the launch to Mashable.

"The Amazon Map Tracking feature is another delivery innovation we are working on to improve convenience for our customers and provide them greater visibility into their deliveries," an Amazon spokesperson said in an emailed statement. Read more...

More about Amazon, Prime, Delivery, Tracking, and Tech

Posted on 25 May 2018 | 3:49 am

How to use GDPR to clean out your inbox once and for all

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You might have noticed a slew of odd-looking emails landing in your inbox lately. Desperate subject lines like "please don't go" and "is it really over" abound. 

These thirsty emails aren't the handiwork of a scorned ex—they're from brands complying with Europe's new General Data Protection Regulation by asking us if we'd like to remain subscribed to their marketing emails. 

SEE ALSO: GDPR email subject lines sound even more desperate than your ex lovers

So, let us all take this opportunity to clean out our poor, detritus-ridden inboxes. Thank you, GDPR, for this enormous favour. 

But, before we count all our chickens, let's just take a second to make sure we know precisely how to unburden ourselves of the scourge of marketing emails. Mashable spoke to GDPR experts to find out precisely what we need to do to be free once and for all.  Read more...

More about Watercooler, Uk, Privacy, Data, and Gdpr

Posted on 25 May 2018 | 3:45 am

Keep hackers from listening through your computer with this $17 plug

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Don’t read this post aloudThey’re listening. Oh, did you think you were safe from hackers hijacking your peripherals when you bought that webcam cover? That’s only one finger in the dam! 

Hackers can also snoop on you via your devices' internal microphones. And once a cyber-invader infiltrates your device, it’s possible they could be listening to everything you say. It’s time to go on lock-down. 

Nope Portable Sound Microphone Blockers (yes that's what they're called) block unauthorized surveillance by cutting off the sound at the source. Safeguard two of your devices today for 22% off the standard price while these mic plugs are on sale. Read more...

More about Cybersecurity, Microphone, Mashable Shopping, Shopping List, and Shopping Stackcommerce

Posted on 25 May 2018 | 3:29 am

These $60 Treblab headphones are on sale for less than $25

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The only thing you should get wrapped up in at the gym is your next set, or maybe your rockin' playlist — not your headphone wires. Save big on a set of TREBLAB XR100 wireless headphones that are on sale now for less than $25.

SEE ALSO: Best cheap Bluetooth speakers, according to online customer reviews

According to the product page, these headphones offer high-def sound and a secure fit to prevent them from slipping out. They boast up to nine hours of playtime and are also water and sweat proof so your more intense workouts won't affect them. There's a built-in microphone as well as music controls right at your fingertips. Read more...

More about Wireless Headphones, Bluetooth Headphones, Mashable Shopping, Shopping Skimlinks, and Shopping Solo

Posted on 25 May 2018 | 3:02 am

Vibrantly colorful custom PC comes with a built-in Nintendo Switch dock

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Putting a Nintendo Switch inside a PC might be the best gaming combination ever conceived.

This custom PC made by Maingear, known as the F131, is a wonderfully vibrant creation covered in bright colors and LEDs, but is also an extremely beefy machine with two Nvidia GTX 1080 Ti graphics cards and an Intel i9 processor. What makes it extra special though is the built-in dock for the Nintendo Switch, which appears to allow you to plug in and play the Switch through the PC and capture card, which is very convenient.

Unfortunately there has been some trouble with third party Nintendo Switch docks — some of them have been completely breaking (a.k.a. bricking) Switch consoles. But hey at least this thing looks pretty cool. Read more...

More about Tech, Nintendo, Nintendo Switch, Custom Pc, and Entertainment

Posted on 25 May 2018 | 2:51 am

Disney built a back-flipping, headless robot and it's putting acrobats to shame

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Disney Research Hub developed a back-flipping robotic stick that emulates the stunts of human acrobats. Read more...

More about Disney, Mashable Video, Robot, Backflips, and Backflip

Posted on 25 May 2018 | 2:29 am

Justice Department launches probe into Bitcoin price manipulation, report claims

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Internet forums are full of theories on who's pushing the price of Bitcoin this or that way, and they range from somewhat plausible to completely ludicrous. But could some of them be right?

The U.S. Justice Department has launched a criminal probe into whether the price of Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies are being manipulated by traders, Bloomberg reported Thursday. 

SEE ALSO: This bitcoin explainer created by AI is hilariously insane

This manipulation can include practices such as spoofing (placing large numbers of buy or sell orders with no intent to fill them) and wash trading (simultaneously buying and selling the same asset to create fake volume on the market). You will rarely see these illegal methods used in established stock markets, but some may be using them to profit in the largely unregulated world of cryptocurrencies, teeming with millions of inexperienced traders.  Read more...

More about Bitcoin, Justice Department, Probe, Ethereum, and Price Manipulation

Posted on 25 May 2018 | 2:19 am

These skeleton-like sculptures look remarkably alive

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Jennifer Townley is a Dutch artist that fuses art and mathematics to create mechanisms and sculptures that are in constant motion Read more...

More about Art, Pattern, Sculpture, Optical Illusion, and Math

Posted on 25 May 2018 | 2:18 am

Facebook rolls out GDPR privacy checkups worldwide

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It's the final countdown. The deadline for compliance with Europe's new privacy laws, the GDPR, is Friday, May 25. That means that companies across the internet are asking, in plain and recognizable language, all of their customers to review usually-skipped over privacy settings — including Facebook. Hallelujah.

SEE ALSO: Europe’s new internet regulations should make most Americans jealous

On Thursday, CNBC reported that Facebook will start rolling out GDPR-compliant privacy check-ups to users across the world. They specifically ask users to review what kind of data they consent to for ad targeting, the personal information (such as religious affiliation) that they share, and whether they'll allow facial recognition. Read more...

More about Facebook, Mark Zuckerberg, European Union, Online Privacy, and Gdpr

Posted on 25 May 2018 | 2:11 am

Amazon deals for Thursday, May 24: iPhone X cases, Amazon Tap, Bose headphones, and more

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As anyone who's dropped their phone knows, a case is an absolute must — and perhaps even more so with the iPhone X or the Samsung Galaxy S9. Save 30% on Caseology cases on Amazon today, some of which are marked down to just $10.49.

SEE ALSO: Save $100 on a tiny computer that's the size of your smartphone

There are also great deals on coffee makers from brands like Nespresso to get that sweet morning pick-me-up, plus save on Bose wireless headphones of all shapes and sizes, and get discounts on popular Amazon devices like the Amazon Tap.

Shop Thursday's best Amazon deals below:

Amazon's got you covered.

Image: amazon

Image: AMAZON Read more...

More about Amazon, Coffee, Bose, Phone Case, and Mashable Shopping

Posted on 25 May 2018 | 2:08 am

GDPR email subject lines sound even more desperate than your ex lovers

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Cast your eye through the reams of unread emails currently rattling around your personal inbox and you'll see a string of subject lines resembling break-up texts. 

If your inbox is anything like mine in the run-up to GDPR coming into effect on 25 May, then your inbox will be bursting with subject lines like: "is it really over," "no more secrets between us," "please don't go," "don't let this be goodbye," and "let's be friends." 

SEE ALSO: GDPR is currently searched for more than Beyoncé on Google

Nope it's not our thirsty exes that have come a-calling: It's GDPR knocking at our door. Or, rather, brands complying with Europe's new General Data Protection Regulation by asking us if we'd like to remain subscribed to their emails.  Read more...

More about Tech, Privacy, Privacy Policy, Gdpr, and Culture

Posted on 24 May 2018 | 10:32 pm

Coinbase is getting ready to expand its cryptocurrency offering after a new acquisition

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Cryptocurrency exchange Coinbase is looking to circumvent regulatory hurdles and add new coins to its portfolio with the acquisition of Paradex, a service which allows users to trade cryptocurrencies without relying on a trusted third party. 

Paradex, which launched in beta in January 2018, is a so-called relayer built on top of the 0x platform. This means it provides users with a way to trade ERC20 tokens — a large ecosystem of cryptocurrencies built on top of Ethereum — directly from their digital wallets. 

SEE ALSO: For cryptocurrency to go mainstream, it needs tools like these

This is an important move for Coinbase, which is the top U.S. cryptocurrency exchange with more than 20 million customer accounts and $20 billion in crypto-assets. The exchange currently lists only four cryptocurrencies: Bitcoin, Ethereum, Litecoin and Bitcoin Cash. Despite customer demand for more (there are thousands of cryptocurrencies out there, 23 of them with a market cap of over $1 billion), Coinbase has been wary of adding new coins due to regulatory pressure from the SEC, which (possibly) sees many of these as unregulated and unregistered securities.  Read more...

More about Bitcoin, Coinbase, Ethereum, Cryptocurrency, and Paradex

Posted on 24 May 2018 | 9:33 pm

Tinder tests 'Places,' which finds you a date based on your regular hang out spots

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If running into people on Tinder at the spots you visit regularly sounds like a good idea, then you'll like the dating app's new feature, Places.

Using geolocation to keep track of the places you frequent, the feature allows you to find potential matches that visit the same places as you.

SEE ALSO: 'I am a' memes show what people are really seeking on dating apps

Places won't include locations that Tinder considers private, like the bank or the doctor's office. The feature will build up a bank of social spots, like bars, restaurants and other public venues.

In a brief test over lunch, Mashable found that Places adds locations even though you may not visit them regularly, or for very long. Read more...

More about Tech, Apps, Dating, Tinder, and Sex And Relationships

Posted on 24 May 2018 | 7:46 pm

Instapaper to temporarily block European users, citing GDPR

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Popular bookmarking service Instapaper is temporarily closing off access to European users, as it buys time to adjust to Europe's tough new data law.

The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), which comes into force on Friday, has tight requirements on how companies deal with personal data. 

SEE ALSO: Sit back, relax, and let GDPR legislation lull you into a peaceful slumber

Businesses and companies who deal with European users are required to comply with rules on how they collect, secure, and handle their data — or face severe penalties. 

With companies racing to comply with GDPR, Instapaper users were sent an email notifying them that the service would be blocked off in Europe on Thursday — giving them less than 24 hours notice. Read more...

More about Tech, Europe, Law, Instapaper, and Gdpr

Posted on 24 May 2018 | 4:46 pm

Facebook’s desperate for people to take its fake news fight seriously

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Facebook really, really wants you to know that it’s serious about fighting fake news. 

The social network today announced a series of efforts meant to change public perception of fake news on the platform, including a new "Inside Feed" website, a documentary-style short film, and a new ad campaign to help educate the public on how to identify fake news.

SEE ALSO: Here are the 5 books you need to read this summer, according to Bill Gates

The company also plans to partner with researchers to study just how much "misinformation" is on Facebook and how it affects the platform. 

Much of this is similar to previous work Facebook's done around fighting fake news and other types of misinformation. But if you're wondering what the goal of all of this is, it's the newly released short film that's most illuminating. Read more...

More about Tech, Facebook, Social Media Companies, Tech, and Social Media Companies

Posted on 24 May 2018 | 12:46 pm

Sit back, relax, and let GDPR legislation lull you into a peaceful slumber

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Drifting off to the land of nod is hard in this day and age, especially when we're not entirely sure what companies are doing with our personal data. 

But, GDPR—a.k.a. Europe's new General Data Protection Regulation—might offer up a little peace of mind for those of us residing in the European Union. Not only that, GDPR legislation literally doubles up as a bedtime story, thanks to a meditation and sleep app. 

I mean, we all knew that legislation was a little dull, right? But who knew it could be literally soporific, eh?

SEE ALSO: GDPR is currently searched for more than Beyoncé on Google

Sleep and meditation app Calm is releasing an audio recording of extracts of GDPR legislation being read by the former voice of the BBC shipping forecast Peter Jefferson. Jefferson will read "the most soothing passages" from the 209-page regulation.  Read more...

More about Tech, Sleep, Meditation, Gdpr, and Culture

Posted on 24 May 2018 | 11:02 am

Haha, Trump legally can't block people on Twitter anymore

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Pop those bottles, First Amendment-lovers. Plaintiffs in a freedom of speech lawsuit just scored a major victory against President Trump in court.

A New York District Court judge has ruled that President Donald Trump may not block people on Twitter for criticizing or disagreeing with him. 

SEE ALSO: 12 important things you probably missed while Trump was tweeting

The ruling is the result of a lawsuit, filed by the Knight First Amendment Institute at Columbia University, on behalf of seven plaintiffs that Trump blocked on Twitter.

SEE ALSO: 12 important things you probably missed while Trump was tweeting Read more...

More about Twitter, Law, Trump, First Amendment, and Tech

Posted on 24 May 2018 | 9:35 am

Best cheap Bluetooth speakers, according to online customer reviews

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With Bluetooth speakers, it's simply a matter of pairing your device of choice with your speaker, and you're ready to blast that awesome playlist from anywhere. No more being tethered by an aux cable or worrying that your CD will skip. As long as you're within range (and the connection range is pretty generous), your music will always be at your fingertips.

But there are a ton of different Bluetooth speakers out there. Some can connect to multiple devices at once, and others can even connect to multiple speakers to expand the sound. Most let you take hands-free calls when your smartphone is connected, so you don't have to lift a finger. There are nice big ones with great sound, and smaller portable (even waterproof) speakers that you can take with you to the beach.  Read more...

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Posted on 24 May 2018 | 9:22 am

In unhinged Twitter rant, Elon Musk says he's creating a site for rating 'truth'

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Rockets, cars, tunnels, brain-linking computers, candy, and... the definitive arbiter of truth? 

In an unhinged Twitter rant Wednesday afternoon, Grimes’s boyfriend Elon Musk proudly announced to his fanboys the world that he intends to create a website dedicated to rating individual journalists and news organization based on their supposed truthfulness. 

And here’s the thing: We think he’s serious. 

SEE ALSO: These are Elon Musk's favorite Grimes songs

“Going to create a site where the public can rate the core truth of any article & track the credibility score over time of each journalist, editor & publication,” tweeted Musk. “Thinking of calling it Pravda ...” Read more...

More about Twitter, Tesla, Grimes, Boring Company, and Grimes Boyfriend

Posted on 24 May 2018 | 9:12 am

This drone raised more than $3M on Indiegogo, but you can pick it up at its lowest price yet

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When a creative crowdfunding campaign reaches its goal, that usually means that people find the prototype promising enough to part with their hard earned money and donate to the project. But when a startup raises 3000 times more than its goal? That means that the promised product must be quite monumental.

SEE ALSO: Remember the Air Selfie drone? It's back and more basic — in the best way possible

Such is the case with the Micro Drone 3.0 — the drone that can be flown by anyone, anywhere.

We already covered this bad boy before, but it's currently at its lowest price yet, so now's the time to take advantage. Read more...

More about Drones, Mashable Shopping, Shopping Stackcommerce, Shopping Solo, and Tech

Posted on 24 May 2018 | 6:08 am

It's the end of the road for Uber's self-driving cars in Arizona

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Uber is shutting down its self-driving car program in Arizona. The move comes in the wake of a fatality that occurred in March, when an Uber vehicle in autonomous mode struck and killed a woman crossing a street.

AZ Central first reported that about 200 employees at the Uber self-driving car program in Tempe, Arizona, were fired Wednesday morning. The full shutdown is expected to take a few weeks. 

When the woman who was killed, 49-year-old Elaine Herzberg, there was a human test driver in the front seat, and in response Uber put its entire autonomous driving program on hold. Test drivers were apparently still being paid during the program freeze, at least until Wednesday's firings. Uber says it will provide career coaching and job help for its Arizona employees. Read more...

More about Uber, Self Driving Cars, Tech, and Transportation

Posted on 24 May 2018 | 5:56 am

Facebook finally stops screwing around with two-factor authentication

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Take a deep breath. Facebook just did something good.

The company announced in a May 23 blog post that it would no longer require a phone number to set up two-factor authentication, and would instead allow for the use of an authenticator app. Such apps, like Google Authenticator, are widely acknowledged to be an improvement over SMS-based 2FA.

SEE ALSO: Facebook is desperate for engagement and spamming users via their 2FA numbers

For those unfamiliar, two-factor authentication provides a second layer of security to online accounts. In addition to the standard password, you need a second factor — usually a number texted to your cellphone or generated by an authenticator app —to login. For those who worry about phishing attempts or any kind of hacking (which should be everyone on the internet), setting up 2FA is a must.  Read more...

More about Facebook, Two Factor Authentication, 2fa, Tech, and Social Media Companies

Posted on 24 May 2018 | 5:27 am

Watch Zuckerberg’s face freeze after a far-right politician credited Facebook for Trump's win and Brexit

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On May 22nd, Mark Zuckerberg appeared before Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) to discuss data protection. Pro-Brexit British MEP Nigel Farage had nothing to say about Cambridge Analytica, but took the time to credit Facebook for Trump's win and Brexit. Read more...

More about Facebook, Mashable Video, Europe, Mark Zuckerberg, and Donald Trump

Posted on 24 May 2018 | 5:10 am

Apple is giving a $50 credit if you paid for a new iPhone battery in 2017

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Back in December Apple announced the iPhone battery replacement program amid the "slow down" controversy. It brought the price for repair down from $79 to $29, but the company didn't provide much help to customers who had already paid for a replacement.

That changes today. Apple is now offering a credit for some replacements made in 2017.

Customers with an iPhone 6 or newer model who paid for an out-of-warranty battery replacement between January 1 through December 28, 2017, can now expect a $50 credit. Apple will be reaching out to eligible customers until July 27, 2018 with instructions how to receive the credit.  Read more...

More about Apple, Iphone, Battery, Battery Replacement, and Tech

Posted on 24 May 2018 | 5:00 am