The Dawn spacecraft has recently captured the sharpest pictures of Ceres to date, showing the dwarf planet's bright, sunlit north pole. NASA's space probe has been steadily making its way to the celestial body since 2012 after a 14-month stint orbiting the asteroid Vesta. It fired up its ion thrusters in March to slowly approach the Texas-sized proto-planet and settle into orbit, until it reaches an altitude of 233 miles from the surface. Its ultimate goal? To take 3D images and create a high-res map of Ceres, which might harbor some form of water.

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Pull to refresh in Chrome for iOS

Don't like that Chrome makes you use two hands to comfortably surf the web on your iPhone 6? Your life just got a bit easier. Google has updated Chrome for iOS so that you can pull down to not only refresh web pages, but open and close tabs. At this rate, you might only have to reach up when you want to type in a site address. There's also a Today View launcher widget that includes voice search, suggested answers for common searches and support for password managers like 1Password and LastPass. All told, you should spend more time browsing and less time stretching your fingers -- that's a worthwhile upgrade in our books.

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Whistle on a blackboard

When it comes to whistleblowing, privacy is paramount -- just ask Edward Snowden. It's also why news from an American Civil Liberties Association report (PDF) about anonymous government tiplines not using HTTPS encryption is all the more alarming. In a letter to Tony Scott -- not the late filmmaker, the United States chief information officer -- the ACLU's Michael W. Macleod-Ball and Christopher Soghoian implore the government to fast-track efforts to swap the some 29 websites that are required by law to protect the anonymity of tipsters over to HTTPS. If that can't happen immediately (Scott has a two-year plan to encrypt all government websites) then the ACLU suggests allowing people to use the Tor browser for alerting the authorities about fraud or waste in the interim. Currently, the anonymity-minded browser is blocked by certain federal agency websites.

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If you have no choice but to use an XP computer (workplace or school just can't let go, huh?), at least load it with a third-party browser, like Chrome. Why? Google has decided to continue supporting Chrome for XP until the end of 2015, so you can keep the machine safe from browser-based attacks a bit longer. And yes, that means you're getting all upcoming features and security patches. Mountain View was originally going to abandon the browser this month but changed its mind -- the company didn't explain why, though it's most likely because the antiquated OS refuses to die despite Microsoft cutting off its updates a year ago. Now, in case you find yourself still using an XP computer by 2016, you can either switch to Firefox (which doesn't have plans to end XP support) or convince the boss/dean that it's high time for an upgrade.

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Verizon-Downtown Manhattan Restoration

Every time we talk about a new TV service, from Sling TV to PlayStation Vue to whatever Apple might be working on, there's inevitably disappointment when it's lacking a la carte channel selection. That's still the case for the new FiOS Custom TV packages Verizon tells us it will start offering on Sunday, but they do give customers a little more choice on what channels to pay for, or leave out. The way it works, is there's a 35-channel base package (CNN, AMC, HGTV, locals networks, etc.) combined with internet service. For $65, customers get that, plus any two add-on channel packages. The add-on packs are bundled by genre in a manner similar to Sling TV, with Sports (where ESPN lives), News & Info, Pop Culture, Entertainment, Kids, Lifestyle, and Sports Plus (regional sports networks, NFL Network and so on).

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The Navy's X-47B combat UAV demonstrator successfully paired with an an Omega Air KC-707 airtanker earlier this week. This marks the first time in aviation history for a UAV to demonstrate aerial refueling capabilities. Unfortunately, these tests also likely mark the end of the X-47B program. Despite only completing 20 percent of its potential flight hours, both of the Navy's X-47Bs are destined for museums. Still, the technologies that they've demonstrated -- including those historic autonomous carrier landings in 2013 -- will make their way into future unmanned combat aerial vehicles as part of the Navy's Unmanned Carrier-Launched Airborne Surveillance and Strike (UCLASS) program.

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Google wants all apps developed for its Cardboard VR headset to work properly with, well, any version of its device. That's tougher than it sounds, since the headset's open-source, and a lot of companies and individual users are tweaking it to their heart's content. To make it happen, Mountain View has launched the "Works with Google Cardboard" project, which gives headset makers the power to ensure their design plays nicely with apps made for the device. It doesn't matter if they use metal or plastic, cut the materials out using any dimension or adjust the optic, so long as they input all those details into the Cardboard website to get a QR code to attach to their creation.

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Another day, another video angle looking at the almost-landing of SpaceX's Falcon 9 rocket. This time, the video is from the barge itself, although there's no word on exactly how it got from there to a post on Reddit. Whatever its provenance (SpaceX has not commented yet) it certainly appears to be legit and gives us the closest view yet of exactly what happened. According to Kanye West biographer CEO Elon Musk, despite the rocket's explosive ending the "droneship" is fine, with no hull breach and in need of only minor repairs. Enjoy this video, since as we mentioned yesterday, SpaceX may make its next rocket landing attempt on land.

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After nearly a decade of design and development, the first full-size nEUROn unmanned combat air vehicle (UCAV) demonstrator is ready for operational tests. Six European nations have coordinated on the UCAV's development. Defense contractor Dassault is responsible for its construction. The 41-foot wide, 10,000 pound drone has already passed a pair of initial trials since 2012 and is scheduled to undergo flight tests over Sardinia's Perdasdefogu range in the coming weeks. Should it succeed there, the nEUROn will head to Visdel, Sweden for weapons trials.

[Image credit: Getty Images]

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