Sorry, the midterms aren’t over. These 6 seats are still in play.

The U.S. midterm elections concluded almost two weeks ago, but six races still aren’t decided. While Democrats handily retook the House, they still have a chance to extend their lead pending the outcome of the final six races, and possibly snatch back a seat in the Senate.

In addition to one Senate seat from Mississippi, five seats remain up for grabs in the House. Texas Democrat Gina Ortiz, embroiled in a battle for a House seat, became the latest midterm candidate to concede Monday afternoon. Texas Republican Will Hurd will keep his seat.

“While we came up short this time, we ran a race of which we can be proud,” Ortiz said in a statement, before wishing Hurd luck.

Here are the six remaining contests for U.S. Congress in the 2018 midterm elections:

Mississippi

Sen. Cindy Hyde-Smith vs. Mike Epsy
Sitting Republican Sen. Cindy Hyde-Smith will face off in a late-November runoff against Democratic challenger Mike Epsy. Hyde-Smith got more of the vote — 41.5 percent — than her challenger, but Mississippi rules require a candidate to get more than half the vote to win. But now the incumbent is facing two big scandals ahead of voters’ return to the polls.

The U.S. midterm elections concluded almost two weeks ago, but six races still aren’t decided. While Democrats handily retook the House, they still have a chance to extend their lead pending the outcome of the final six races, and possibly snatch back a seat in the Senate.

In addition to one Senate seat from Mississippi, five seats remain up for grabs in the House. Texas Democrat Gina Ortiz, embroiled in a battle for a House seat, became the latest midterm candidate to concede Monday afternoon. Texas Republican Will Hurd will keep his seat.

“While we came up short this time, we ran a race of which we can be proud,” Ortiz said in a statement, before wishing Hurd luck.

Here are the six remaining contests for U.S. Congress in the 2018 midterm elections:

Mississippi

Sen. Cindy Hyde-Smith vs. Mike EpsySitting Republican Sen. Cindy Hyde-Smith will face off in a late-November runoff against Democratic challenger Mike Epsy. Hyde-Smith got more of the vote — 41.5 percent — than her challenger, but Mississippi rules require a candidate to get more than half the vote to win. But now the incumbent is facing two big scandals ahead of voters’ return to the polls.

Hyde-Smith was shown, in two separate videos, saying she would attend a “public hanging” if her supporters asked her to, and that voter suppression could be a “good thing.” Mississippi had the highest number of lynchings of any state between 1882 and 1968, according to the NAACP.

Read: Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is open to supporting Nancy Pelosi

Georgia

Rep. Rob Woodall vs. Carolyn BourdeauxDemocrat Carolyn Bourdeaux, a Georgia State University government professor, has asked for a recount in her bid against incumbent Republican Rep. Rob Woodall. The district has long been considered a Republican stronghold, but Bourdeaux has come within a 1,000-vote margin of unseating Woodall.

“It is crucial that every eligible vote is counted and every voice is heard,” Bourdeaux spokesman Jake Best said in a statement Friday. “We want to make sure every vote was counted correctly and fairly, and that is why we intend to request a recount of this race.”

Maine

Rep. Bruce Poliquin vs. Jared GoldenDemocrat Jared Golden defeated Republican Rep. Bruce Poliquin, who has refused to concede and is mounting a legal challenge against Golden that could reportedly last weeks. Maine has ranked-choice voting, and Golden won the seat even though Poliquin had more first-choice votes. Poliquin is New England’s final elected Republican.

Read: What it’s like to flip the House as a female candidate in 2018

New York

Rep. Claudia Tenney vs. Anthony BrindisiAnthony Brindisi, a Democrat, has claimed victory over Republican incumbent Rep. Claudia Tenney in New York, though she has yet to concede. Tenney’s chances are ever-narrowing to hang on to her seat.

Rep. Chris Collins vs. Nate McMurrayAnother race in deep-red western New York is extremely close, with Republican incumbent Rep. Chris Collins holding a 1-point lead over Democratic challenger Nate McMurray. Collins suspended his campaign in August as he prepared to fight federal insider trading charges, seemingly giving up. But the district is so red-leaning that Collins restarted his bid in September, and is now leading in what remains a very close race.

Though he initially conceded, McMurray retracted and vowed to “fight like hell” to get a recount. The district runs through central New York, just East of Syracuse, from the Pennsylvania border to the northern shore of Lake Ontario.

Read: The GOP elected one House member who is not a white man

Utah

Rep. Mia Love vs. Ben McAdamsMia Love is the only black woman Republican in Congress, and she’s just holding on to a razor-thin lead to keep her seat in the House. Utah’s Fourth House District includes parts of Salt Lake City and is mainly concentrated in Salt Lake County. Love currently has about 50.1 percent of the vote, or a 0.02 percent lead, against Democratic challenger Ben McAdams.

Love has been accused of campaign finance violations, some of which she has acknowledged as “errors.” McAdams has pointed to the allegations as evidence of corruption and held it up as his primary campaign argument.

Cover: Senator Cindy Hyde-Smith (L) stands on stage with U.S. President Donald Trump at a rally at Landers Center in Southaven, Mississippi, on October 2, 2018. (Photo: MANDEL NGAN/AFP/Getty Images)

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Black Friday 2018 smart home deals: Amazon Echo, Roomba, Google Home

Just to let you know, if you buy something featured here, Mashable might earn an affiliate commission.

The new Amazon Echo Show is on sale for $120 off for Black Friday.
The new Amazon Echo Show is on sale for $120 off for Black Friday.

Image: amazon

Smart home devices were the hot, gift-worthy items during last year’s holiday season and 2018 is shaping up to be no different. A big part of the reason for this is because these smart home devices tend to see great discounts on Black Friday and Cyber Monday, making now the ideal time to shop for loved ones — or snag a gift for yourself. Trust us, we won’t tell anyone. We promise.  

SEE ALSO: All the best Black Friday 2018 sales, right in one place

Although some of the deals are not official yet, a large number of them are active right now, so you can take advantage of these fantastic sales from Amazon, Walmart, Best Buy, and Target before the Black Friday shopping holiday even begins. 

However, keep coming back to this round-up for new deals on smart home devices popping up throughout the week as soon as they are available. We’ll continue to take all the hard work out of shopping for the holidays for you, so you can spend more time with the ones you love.

Here are the best deals on smart home devices for Black Friday:

Early Black Friday deals

Amazon smart home

Philips Hue

iRobot Roomba

Everything else

Smart home deals starting on Black Friday

Google

Facebook

Apple

Philips Hue

Eve

Sonos

Everything else


 

Black Friday 2018 deals by store

Black Friday 2018 deals by category

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NASA’s 2020 rover will land in Jezero Crater, a dried ancient lakebed

NASA’s next car-sized rover will plummet through the thin Martian atmosphere and softly land on the floor of a dried-up lakebed, the space agency announced Monday.

When the robot arrives on Mars about 8 months after its launch in 2020, NASA will endeavor to land the six-wheeled rover in the Jezero Crater, a 30 mile-wide bowl about 1,640 feet deep. It’s believed to have once held an 800-foot deep lake some 3.5 billion years ago. 

The space agency hopes to accomplish a number of things during the at least two-year mission. But the first science directive is to “determine whether life ever arose on Mars.” Indeed, today Mars is extremely unlikely to harbor any life — on the surface, at least. It’s a heavily irradiated, dry, frigid desert, with no liquid water.

“But it wasn’t always that way,” Ken Farley, the Mars 2020 project scientist at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, said in a press call. 

Ancient water canals leading out of the Jezero Crater.

Ancient water canals leading out of the Jezero Crater.

Image: NASA Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter

NASA scientists suspect Mars was once a blue world, like Earth. And as bodies of water on Earth are teeming with life, NASA wants to scour the Jezero lakebed for signs that past microbial life could have survived there, or perhaps clear signs of long-dead life itself. 

“All things point to the idea that we should be looking to ancient Mars for a surface-habitable environment, said Farley. “Lakes on Earth are both habitable and inevitably inhabited.”

The Jezero landing site also allows NASA scientists to rove over a dried-up river delta where water once flowed out of the lake. 

This environment likely held nutrient-rich clay minerals that could have been an ideal place for Martian microbes to flourish, as they do in moist clays on Earth. 

The 2020 rover comes equipped with of slew of scientific instruments, making it a bonafide mobile laboratory. 

It carries a ground-penetrating radar, an experimental machine that produces oxygen from atmospheric carbon dioxide, and tools to store five tubes filled with Martian rocks and soil — to be carried back to Earth by another future mission one day.

“Getting samples from this lake-delta system will revolutionize how we think about Mars and its ability to harbor life,” Thomas Zurbuchen, associate administrator for NASA’s Science Mission Directorate, said during the call. 

An artist's conception of the 2020 rover.

An artist’s conception of the 2020 rover.

One of the most significant tools for sleuthing out past evidence of Martian life — if not the most critical — is the SuperCam, a high-tech camera perched atop the 2020 rover. 

Once the rover lands, NASA scientists know there will be countless places of interest to visit, so the SuperCam will fire lasers to detect the make-up of rocks and chemicals from 25 feet away. Then, the rover will slowly rumble over to most promising places — places that could have once sustained hardy, microscopic life. 

Such ancient evidence will be difficult to find — should it exist at all. 

“It [Mars] may not yield its secrets easily,” Roger Wiens, a planetary scientist who heads the team that built the SuperCam, said this summer. 

While exploring the Martian surface with the new rover — should it successfully land — NASA also hopes to collect information that will support human visitation to Mars — a longer-term goal for the 2030s. 

While NASA wants to return astronauts to the moon in the coming decade, the next logical step is Mars.

“Mars is really the obvious place after the moon,” said Zurbuchen.

And the 2020 rover is expected to pave the way there.

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Black Friday 2018: Where to get the PlayStation 4 ‘Spider-Man’ bundle

Just to let you know, if you buy something featured here, Mashable might earn an affiliate commission.

Here’s where to get the PlayStation 4 1 TB “Spider-Man” bundle on sale for Black Friday.

Image: Marvel 2018

Black Friday is an ideal time to pick up a new gaming console thanks to the sheer variety of bundles that are on sale. One of our favorites this year is the Spider-Man bundle for PlayStation 4, which is discounted to $199 at a bunch of different stores. Just where will this gaming bundle be on sale, you ask? Keep reading.

SEE ALSO: Gaming deals: Xbox One X, PlayStation 4, Nintendo, Alienware

We’ve seen the deal cycle in and out of stock all day, but it’s obvious that stores are holding inventory and will keep releasing more in the lead up to Black Friday. So whether you’re a wannabe web-head or just want a good system, the PlayStation 4 1TB Spider-Man bundle for $199.99 is a deal you’ll want to get your hands on.

Here’s where you can get it:

PlayStation dominates the field when it comes to exclusive gaming releases, and Spider-Man is one of the biggest of 2018. (Seriously, Xbox can’t even compare.)

 

Black Friday 2018 deals by store

Black Friday 2018 deals by category

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This kid took some angry school pictures after his Pop-Tart was eaten

Some kids really know how to hold a grudge.

Allow us to introduce you to one such child. His father has the nerve to eat his Pop-Tart, so this hardcore kid carried his beef all the way to school picture day — and the results are stunning.

“Y’all pray for my son, nothing wrong with him but I ate his pop tart before his class picture and he said he never smiling again,” EL Prive said on Facebook, sharing photos of his son.

In each photo, this little guy sports a scowl previously only seen on middle-aged men irritated by abnormally high gas prices or thermostats that have been tampered with. Naturally, these works of art have caught a lot of people’s attention.

People just can’t get over this little kid’s intensity and his love of Pop-Tarts. 

“I feel him though I would be mad if someone ate my last one too,” wrote one commenter. 

“Why does he look like a disapproving father though?” asked another.

Hopefully, one day this little guy will overcome this great deception and be able to smile again. At the very least, someone should give him some more Pop-Tarts. 

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Instagram cracks down on apps that give fake follows and likes

Instagram will crack down on shady third-party apps.
Instagram will crack down on shady third-party apps.

Image: LightRocket via Getty Images

Instagram is finally doing something to crack down on fake likes and followers. 

The app will begin to remove follows, likes, and comments that are the result of shady third-party apps. Instagram will also prompt password resets in an effort to prevent continued use of the apps. And, if Instagrammers keep using these services, the app will punish users by limiting their use of certain features.

The apps in question are third-party services that use your Instagram credentials to help boost your account by rewarding you with likes, comments, and followers. If you’re active on Instagram, you’ve probably encountered activity from some of these services, even if you don’t directly use them yourself. (Telltale signs include when random accounts like several of your old photos all at once, often with generic comments like “nice.”)

The problem with these apps, according to Instagram, is not just that they game the system to create fake engagement, but that they’re often shady and exploit the log-in information provided by users. 

“Every day people come to Instagram to have real experiences, including genuine interactions,” Instagram writes in a blog post. “This type of behavior is bad for the community, and third-party apps that generate inauthentic likes, follows, and comments violate our Community Guidelines and Terms of Use.”

Instagram will prompt password resets for people who have used apps to get followers and likes.

Instagram will prompt password resets for people who have used apps to get followers and likes.

In order to root these apps out of Instagram, the company will begin to prompt password resets for people who have used these services in the past. And it will start to remove followers, likes, and comments that were generated as the result of these services. (Importantly, Instagram says the change will kick in beginning Monday, so previous likes and follows will not be impacted, even if they were the result of one of the apps in question.) 

What’s more, if people continue to use these services, they may see more serious account repercussions. According to a spokesperson, Instagram “may limit access to certain features,” if they identify repeat offenders. The spokesperson didn’t elaborate on what specific features could be  impacted.

But given how serious a problem Instagram hackings have been in the past, the ramp-up in enforcement should be welcome news to those concerned about account security.

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Michelle Wolf blasts WHCA for not booking comedian at annual dinner

Michelle Wolf, the comedian whose terrific and incendiary routine at the 2018 White House Correspondents Dinner set off a firestorm, has blasted the WHCA for ditching comedians for a presidential historian at the 2019 event.

In a tweet, Wolf called the WHCA “cowards” and shared some equally harsh words for the media who fed the outrage after Wolf’s routine. 

Wolf’s tweet comes after the WHCA announced that historian and author Ron Chernow will be the featured speaker at their 2019 event. For what it’s worth, Chernow is a celebrated, award-winning author’s who’s written some excellent biographies including books on George Washington, U.S. Grant, and the Alexander Hamilton bio that inspired the blockbuster musical Hamilton.

The choice of Chernow follows the outrage surrounding Wolf’s routine, in which she shared plenty of harsh words for the Trump administration, particularly White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders. 

Among Wolf’s jokes was one slamming Sanders’ habit of, well, lying all the damn time: “I actually really like Sarah. I think she’s very resourceful. But she burns facts and then she uses that ash to create a perfect smokey eye. Like maybe she’s born with it, maybe it’s lies. It’s probably lies.”

Sure, Wolf’s jokes were hot fire, but roasting the media, the president, and the absurdity of Washington, DC has become something of a tradition for the WHCA speaker. Just check out Stephen Colbert’s scathing speech at the 2006 dinner during which he destroyed then-president George W. Bush.

But in the wake of Wolf’s speech, many, including respected reporters, chastised Wolf for her doing her job by delivering jokes. Somehow some interpreted the eye shadow joke as an attack on Sanders’ physical appearance.

Wolf was quick to point out that wasn’t the case at all but that didn’t stop the conversation from spinning out of control and for the debate to reach its inevitable conclusion of abandoning comedy at the event altogether for 2019. 

Elsewhere, reaction has been, like the response to Wolf’s routine, “mixed.” 

While these dark times surely call for more comedy to distract us and, as Wolf did, speak truth to the absurdity of present day, maybe the fact that the Trump administration is such a comedy of errors is enough? 

After all, if we didn’t laugh, we’d cry. 

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