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Walmart Plus signups officially begin today starting at $98 per year

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Walmart Plus signups officially begin today starting at $98 per year

In addition to the unlimited free delivery, Walmart Plus also includes gas savings and mobile scan-and-go checkout. Members can save up to five cents per gallon when they fill up at Walmart, Murphy USA and Murphy Express gas stations. Mobile scan-and-go lets you checkout in stores in a mostly contactless fashion just by using the Walmart mobile app on your smartphone.

Walmart has been planning to unveil its subscription service since the beginning of this year, but the COVID-19 pandemic pushed back the original summertime launch date. The company has been ramping up efforts to compete with Amazon for years — in fact, it already provided a Delivery Unlimited service, but Walmart Plus will now essentially take its place.

Walmart’s thousands of brick-and-mortar locations put it in a better position than Amazon to serve customers who live outside big cities or densely populated suburbs. Those retail locations will be key to Walmart’s ability to fulfill new members’ free deliveries, including same-day orders, quickly and efficiently.

But Amazon Prime has a different kind of ubiquity that’s only increased since the COVID-19 pandemic began and caused many people to rely more heavily on online shopping. Prime became available in 2006, and with time and added perks, its rose in price from $79 to $119 annually. Free two-day delivery has been a mainstay for a while now and some areas in the US have free same-day delivery as well.

But Prime also has perks that have nothing to do with shipping: those who subscribe also get access to the Prime Video streaming service, limited access to Amazon Music, free books to read via Prime Reading and more. Walmart Plus may not have perks like that yet, but it’s safe to say the company will likely add more to its new service as time goes on.

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Devon is a fitness enthusiast who loves playing Golf in his free time. He keeps in touch with the Golf events happening all around the world and jots down fine news pieces for the website.

Devon is a fitness enthusiast who loves playing Golf in his free time. He keeps in touch with the Golf events happening all around the world and jots down fine news pieces for the website.

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Torchlight 3 launches in mid-October

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Torchlight 3 launches in mid-October

Torchlight 3 launches Oct. 13 on PlayStation 4, Windows PC via Steam, and Xbox One, Echtra Games announced on Tuesday. A version for Nintendo Switch will follow later in 2020.

The announcement caps a two-year period in which the sequel to 2012’s Torchlight 2 began as Torchlight Frontiers, with ambitions of a free-to-play massively multiplayer online game set in a “shared, persistent [and] dynamically generated world.”

But at the beginning of 2020, Max Schaefer, a co-founder of the Torchlight franchise and the chief executive of Echtra Games, said “we found Torchlight Frontiers was meant to be a true successor to Torchlight I & II.”

Schaefer, one of the development leads for Diablo 2, founded Echtra Games in 2016. Echtra took over development of the Torchlight series following the 2017 closure of original studio Runic Games. Echtra, like Runic, is owned by Perfect World Entertainment.

Torchlight 3 is $39.99. Those who have the Steam Early Access version will automatically get the full version on PC free.

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Devon is a fitness enthusiast who loves playing Golf in his free time. He keeps in touch with the Golf events happening all around the world and jots down fine news pieces for the website.

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Four American astronauts plan to vote from space this year

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Four American astronauts plan to vote from space this year

Up to four American astronauts plan to vote in the general election from orbit this year, continuing a long tradition of people casting their ballots from space.

The first astronaut slated to arrive at the ISS ahead of the election is Kate Rubins, who is launching on a Russian Soyuz rocket on October 14th along with two Russian cosmonauts. Rubins told the Associated Press she plans to cast her ballot while in orbit. “I think it’s really important for everybody to vote,” Rubins told the AP. “If we can do it from space, then I believe folks can do it from the ground, too.”

She’ll then be joined by three more American astronauts — Mike Hopkins, Victor Glover, and Shannon Walker — who will be on the second flight of SpaceX’s Crew Dragon on October 31st, along with Japanese astronaut Soichi Noguchi. They also plan to vote from orbit.

“All of us are planning on voting from space,” Walker said during a press conference. “NASA works very well with the different election organizations, because we’re all voting in different counties. But it was easiest for us just to say we were going to vote from space, so that’s what we’re going to do.” Walker actually has voted from orbit before, during her first trip to the International Space Station in 2010.

NASA astronaut Kate Rubins in her flight suit ahead of launch.
Image: NASA

Casting a ballot from space is a fairly straightforward process. NASA has maintained a continuous human presence on the International Space Station for the last 20 years, so the agency has a lot of experience with helping astronauts vote. Before flying, NASA astronauts fill out a Federal Post Card Application, which is the same form members of the military use for absentee voting while deployed.

Once that’s approved, the county clerks who oversee elections within each of the astronauts’ home counties send test ballots to NASA, which are secure PDFs. The agency then tests out if the ballots can be filled out from space, using a training computer. If that works, then NASA’s Mission Control Center emails the astronauts their ballots on Election Day; the astronauts select the candidates they want and then email it back to NASA, which then sends the ballots to the various county clerks’ offices.

Of course, voting while in space is contingent on the astronauts being in space, and launches are prone to delays. But as of now, all four Americans could be off-world for what has shaped up to be a contentious election during a contentious year. As a nod to how rough this year has been, the astronauts flying with SpaceX’s Crew Dragon even named their vehicle Resilience.

“That means functioning well in times of stress or overcoming adverse events,” Hopkins said about the name. “I think all of us can agree that 2020 has certainly been a challenging year: a global pandemic, economic hardships, civil unrest, isolation.”

And now there is an election to top it all off. But at least four Americans will get to be as far away from it as they can possibly be.

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Devon is a fitness enthusiast who loves playing Golf in his free time. He keeps in touch with the Golf events happening all around the world and jots down fine news pieces for the website.

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Sacha Baron Cohen’s Borat sequel will arrive on Prime Video in late October

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Sacha Baron Cohen’s Borat sequel will arrive on Prime Video in late October

Sacha Baron Cohen’s sequel to Borat, his iconic and controversial 2006 satirical documentary, is coming to Amazon’s Prime Video at the end of next month, according to Deadline.

Cohen filmed the movie in secret shortly after the COVID-19 pandemic began sweeping the US, and Collider reports the British comedian has screened it for select film industry figures. But given the current pandemic-induced shutdowns of movie theaters throughout the country, Amazon has stepped in to acquire the streaming rights.

Little is known about the movie except its official title: Borat: Gift of Pornographic Monkey to Vice Premiere Mikhael Pence to Make Benefit Recently Diminished Nation of Kazakhstan, according to a leak on a Writers Guild of America website yesterday.

It’s likely the film will revolve around Cohen’s standard undercover hijinks as Kazakhstani television personality Borat Sagdiyev, but with a focus this time on the state of US politics in the era of President Donald Trump. Of course, given when it was filmed, it will likely also involve plenty of commentary on American life amid the unprecedented circumstances of the coronavirus and the 2020 election.

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Devon is a fitness enthusiast who loves playing Golf in his free time. He keeps in touch with the Golf events happening all around the world and jots down fine news pieces for the website.

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