Category Archives: arstechnica

Water flows on present-day Mars

Enlarge / 3D perspective showing some of the seasonal features that appear in the Hale Crater on Mars. (credit: NASA/JPL/University of Arizona)

About five years ago, scientists noticed something unusual on Mars. Images taken at different times of the Martian year by the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter’s HiRISE camera showed dark areas developing on steep slopes in the summer and then vanishing during the Martian winter. The pattern of these dark areas looked like what you’d expect from a liquid flowing downhill.

read more

Apple says iPhone 6S and 6S Plus break sales records

Enlarge / The iPhone 6S and 6S Plus. (credit: Andrew Cunningham)

Apple announced today that the iPhone 6S and 6S Plus have sold a total of 13 million units in their first weekend, continuing the company’s tradition of outdoing the previous year’s sales every time it introduces a new iPhone model.

There are a few factors that contribute to the increased sales. First, Apple had another week to rack up online preorders ahead of the iPhone’s first weekend in stores—the phones usually launch about a week after preorders begin, but this year there were two weeks between the start of preorders and in-store availability. The devices were also available in China, Apple’s fastest-growing market, on launch day, something that wasn’t true last year.

read more

Fossil teases features and fashion of new “Q” wearables range

(credit: Fossil)

Smartwatches like the Apple Watch and the Moto 360 will soon have competition from fashion brand Fossil, and we now have a glimpse into what Fossil has planned. On Fossil Australia’s blog, the company showed off a few photos of its new line of wearables, dubbed Fossil Q.

Fossil previously teased its upcoming Android Wear smartwatch at the Intel Developer Forum in August, but we are now learning that the wearables range won’t be bound to one operating system. The post details that Fossil Q will consist of devices that will have their own companion apps for Android, iOS, and Windows Phones. This will undoubtedly be enticing for users who are thinking about investing in a stylish smartwatch but don’t want to be limited by their choice of smartphone.

read more

Samsung Pay launches in the US today—can it challenge Apple and Android?

(credit: Samsung)

It’s been a little over a month since Samsung Pay’s launch in South Korea, and today the mobile payment service is available to owners of select Samsung phones in the US. But a year after Apple Pay launched, and without the broad reach of Android Pay, which launched earlier this month, does Samsung have a product that anyone will use?

First, let’s start with the restrictions: at launch, Samsung Pay will only be available on Galaxy S6 edge+ and Galaxy Note 5 devices, as well as Galaxy S6 and S6 edge devices. In addition, Samsung still hasn’t brokered a deal with Verizon to allow compatibility on that network, so it will only work if your select Samsung device operates on AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile, or US Cellular. When it comes to card networks, Samsung Pay is at least playing with a full deck here: Both MasterCard and Visa, the two biggest card networks in the US, are on board. But Samsung Pay needs the approval from card issuers as well, and so far only people with cards at US Bank, Citi, Bank of America, and American Express will be able to use Samsung Pay.

read more

Ditch Linux for Windows 10 on your Raspberry Pi with Microsoft’s IoT kit

While those interested in running Microsoft’s Windows 10 IoT Core—its free OS for hobbyist boards like the Raspberry Pi 2 and MinnowBoard Max—will likely have the chops to put together their own custom hardware configuration, the company wants to give newbies a helping hand. Microsoft has partnered with Adafruit to release the Windows IoT Core Starter Kit, which gives users everything they need to get started with IoT development.

The $75 (~£50) kit comes comes complete with an SD card preloaded with Windows 10 IoT Core, a Raspberry Pi 2 case, full size 40-pin breadboard, miniature WiFi module, BMP280 environmental sensor, RGB colour sensor, eight channel 10-Bit ADC with SPI interface, and a whole host of different resistors and LEDs. Those who needed Raspberry Pi 2 can pick up a $114.95 (~£70) with one included. A full list of the included components is below.

read more