Fixing Your Cracked iPhone Screen Will Soon Be Easier Than Ever


Raise your hand if your iPhone screen is cracked. (Oh, you, too?) iPhones have gotten sleeker, faster, and smarter over the years, but their screens have remained fragile as ever. Until now, repair options were limited to in-store appointments with lengthy waits, shipping devices off to an Apple Repair Center, or visiting a third-party repair provider (likely located inside a mall kiosk). But as Reuters reports, Apple plans to make the mending process easier for customers by installing its special iPhone screen-fixing machines in around 400 third-party locations worldwide. They’re expected to roll out by the end of 2017.

To fix phones with shattered screens, Apple uses a special, microwave-sized machine called the Horizon Machine. Unlike other repair mechanisms, Horizon can detect damage to sensors (like the fingerprint sensor) and replace them as needed. But until now, Horizon was a closely guarded trade secret, and it wasn’t used at third-party locations.

Apple reps first defended the company's decision to restrict Horizon’s use to its own retail stores and mail-in repair centers, saying they wanted to protect their proprietary software and ensure quality repairs. However, they’ve evidently changed their minds, citing long wait times at Apple stores and the desire "to expand our reach," according to Reuters.

Outside pressure may have also played a part, as eight states have introduced "right-to-repair" bills that would require manufacturers to sell affordable repair manuals, diagnostic tools, and replacement parts. This way, smaller repair shops could make high-quality repairs for lower costs. (According to Apple, iPhone owners can get their devices fixed at unauthorized stores without voiding their warranties, so long as they aren't damaged in the process.) Apple denies that these bills swayed their decision.

Horizon has been piloted at third-party stores in the Bay Area, London, Shanghai, and Singapore, and at Best Buy locations in Miami and Minneapolis. Over the next few months, 200 authorized Apple service providers will also get their very own Horizon machines, with this number doubling by year’s end.

[h/t Reuters]

Amazon's Under-the-Radar Coupon Page Features Deals on Home Goods, Electronics, and Groceries

Stock Catalog, Flickr // CC BY 2.0
Stock Catalog, Flickr // CC BY 2.0

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Now that Prime Day is over, and with Black Friday and Cyber Monday still a few weeks away, online deals may seem harder to come by. And while it can be a hassle to scour the internet for promo codes, buy-one-get-one deals, and flash sales, Amazon actually has an extensive coupon page you might not know about that features deals to look through every day.

As pointed out by People, the coupon page breaks deals down by categories, like electronics, home & kitchen, and groceries (the coupons even work with SNAP benefits). Since most of the deals revolve around the essentials, it's easy to stock up on items like Cottonelle toilet paper, Tide Pods, Cascade dishwasher detergent, and a 50 pack of surgical masks whenever you're running low.

But the low prices don't just stop at necessities. If you’re looking for the best deal on headphones, all you have to do is go to the electronics coupon page and it will bring up a deal on these COWIN E7 PRO noise-canceling headphones, which are now $80, thanks to a $10 coupon you could have missed.

Alternatively, if you are looking for deals on specific brands, you can search for their coupons from the page. So if you've had your eye on the Homall S-Racer gaming chair, you’ll find there's currently a coupon that saves you 5 percent, thanks to a simple search.

To discover all the deals you have been missing out on, head over to the Amazon Coupons page.

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How Do Astronauts Vote From Space?

Astronaut Kate Rubins casts her ballot from space.
Astronaut Kate Rubins casts her ballot from space.

Earlier this week, NASA announced that astronaut Kate Rubins had officially cast her vote from a makeshift voting booth aboard the International Space Station. As much as we’d like to believe her ballot came back to Earth in a tiny rocket, the actual transmission was much more mundane. Basically, it got sent to her county clerk as a PDF.

As NASA explains, voting from space begins the same way as voting abroad. Astronauts, like military members and other American citizens living overseas, must first submit a Federal Postcard Application (FPCA) to request an absentee ballot. Once approved, they can blast off knowing that their ballot will soon follow.

After the astronaut’s county clerk completes a practice round with folks at the Johnson Space Center in Houston, they can start the real voting process. The astronaut will then receive two electronic documents: a password-protected ballot sent by the Space Center’s mission control center, and an email with the password sent by the county clerk. The astronaut then “downlinks” (sends via satellite signal) their filled-out ballot back to the Space Center attendants, who forward it to the county clerk. Since the clerk needs a password to open the ballot, they’re the only other person who sees the astronaut’s responses. Then, as NPR reports, they copy the votes onto a regular paper ballot and submit it with the rest of them.

Though Americans have been visiting space for more than half a century, the early jaunts weren’t long enough to necessitate setting up a voting system from orbit. That changed in 1996, when John Blaha missed out on voting in the general election because his spaceflight to Russia’s space station Mir began in September—before absentee voters received their ballots—and he didn’t return until January 1997. So, as The Washington Post reports, NASA officials collaborated with Texas government officials to pass a law allowing astronauts to cast their ballots from space. In the fall of 1997, David Wolf became the first astronaut to submit his vote from a space station. The law is specific to Texas because most active astronauts reside there, but NASA has said that the process can be done from other states if need be.