This week’s Masters always had the makings for being something extra special and it lived up to expectations on Thursday as reigning champion Jordan Spieth seized a two-shot lead after the opening round.The American’s love affair with the challenging Augusta National layout continued in flawless style as he fired a six-under-par 66 to storm to the top of a high-quality leaderboard in the first of the year’s four major championships.Bidding to become only the fourth player to claim back-to-back Masters victories, world number two Spieth took advantage of relatively calm morning conditions before coping superbly with tricky gusting winds as he kept his card bogey-free.”I would have signed for two-under today and not even played the round, knowing the conditions that were coming up,” said the 22-year-old Spieth, who is aiming to emulate Jack Nicklaus, Nick Faldo and Tiger Woods with consecutive Green Jackets.”Got a lot out of the round with what I felt like was kind of average-ish ball striking. Just scored the ball extremely well, which is something I’ve been struggling with this season.”I put it up there with one of the best rounds I’ve played, one of the best rounds I’ve scored.”Spieth ended the day two shots ahead of New Zealander Danny Lee and Irishman Shane Lowry, with Englishmen Justin Rose, Paul Casey and Ian Poulter, Dane Soren Kjeldsen and Spaniard Sergio Garcia a further stroke back after opening with 69s.Rory McIlroy bogeyed the final hole for a 70 while world number one Jason Day, the hottest player in the game after winning six times in his last 13 starts, got to five-under before dropping five shots in his last four holes for a 72.advertisementShaking off a run of inconsistent form in recent weeks on the PGA Tour, Spieth sank a six-footer at the third, a 13-footer at the sixth and a four-footer at the eighth to reach the turn in three-under 33.He picked up further shots at the 10th and 13th, sank a clutch 15-footer to save par at the 16th and finished in style by rolling in a six-foot putt at the last before pumping his fist in celebration.Casey, who played in Spieth’s company, was hugely impressed by the reigning champion’s 66.”That was a flawless round of golf,” said Casey, who shot a 69 on an increasingly blustery day. “One of the toughest days I’ve ever seen around Augusta National … it was great to have a front row seat to watch that.”Spieth won the PGA Tour’s Hyundai Tournament of Champions in January, but struggled to string together four good rounds in his next five strokeplay starts before returning this week to the welcome surroundings of Augusta National.He tied for second on his Masters debut in 2014, then last year stunned the golf world as he completed a wire-to-wire victory by four shots, matching Woods’ tournament record low of 18-under 270 for 72 holes.”I enjoy this tournament more than anywhere else,” said Spieth. “We don’t have any, or many, distractions in our preparation.”While Spieth flourished in Thursday’s opening round, former world number one Ernie Els made a nightmare start as he six-putted from just two feet at the par-four first to run up a mind-boggling nine.It was the highest ever Masters score on that hole and left South African Els, who has struggled badly with his short putting for more than a year, shaking his head in disbelief. He went on to shoot 80, tying his worst round at Augusta.”It’s unexplainable,” said Els, a four-times major winner. “I couldn’t get the putter back. I’ve made thousands of three-footers and I just couldn’t take it back.”Australian Day, seeking a second consecutive major victory after winning his first at the PGA Championship in August, was just one stroke off the pace until he bogeyed the 15th.He then triple-bogeyed the par-three 16th after hitting his tee shot into water, reloading and three-putting before he dropped another shot at the 17th.
CES 2019: See all of CNET’s coverage of the year’s biggest tech show.CES schedule: It’s six days of jam-packed events. Here’s what to expect. Walmart TP-Link TP-Link is expanding its wireless networking offerings with a fleet of WiFi 6/802.11ax hardware in both standard and mesh wireless varieties. The Deco X10 mesh wireless system is similar to Netgear Orbi, Eero and Google WiFi. It launches in Q3 2019, and will retail for $350 for a kit that includes two mesh Wi-Fi nodes you can link together to blanket a large area with wireless coverage. That’s a typical price for a multi-unit mesh set up you’d purchase today, but when it launches this fall, the Deco X10 will support the new Wi-Fi 6 standard, among other competitive specs. I would expect plenty of additional Wi-Fi 6 mesh systems available when the Deco X10 launches in Q3 2019, so don’t preorder until we get a better sense of the field.The RE300 is TP-Link’s other mesh product. Rather than working as a standalone mesh networking device, the RE300 is an extender that will add mesh capabilities to existing TP-Link Archer C7 and Archer A7 wireless routers (pending a firmware update).Read more: Wi-Fi 6: Better, faster internet is coming this year — here’s everything you need to know TP-Link says the RE300 is the first product in its new OneMesh line of Mesh accessories, so expect additional hardware down the line. The RE300 launches in April 2019, for a reasonable $50. TP-Link On the standard wireless networking front, TP-Link has four new Wi-Fi 6 routers at different but aggressive price points that indicate a hefty premium for the new wireless standard. The Archer AX11000 is a tri-band gaming router that goes on sale this month for a staggering $450. The Archer AX6000 is a dual-band router that will sell for $350 in April, and the Archer AX1800 launches in Q3 2019 for a more down-to-earth $130. An Archer AX1500 model will follow, for an unspecified price. Google Wifi CES Products Wi-Fi Google Netgear CES 2019 Preview • Google Wifi router promises wall-to-wall wireless for less $239 All the cool new gadgets at CES 2019 See It See it $95 Tags Smart Home Networking Comment CNET may get a commission from retail offers. Mentioned Above Google Wifi Review • Google Wifi is the best whole-home Wi-Fi system on the market 1 85 Photos Share your voice
Europa’s salty surface goes well with fries. NASA/JPL/University of Arizona Europa, the fourth-biggest moon orbiting gas giant Jupiter, hides a salty, liquid ocean underneath its icy shell and thus, may harbor the ingredients necessary for life. A new study has found that Europa’s surface is full of sodium chloride — table salt — and concludes the hidden ocean underneath Europa’s ice may be more similar to Earth’s oceans than previously imagined. The study, published Wednesday in Science Advances by researchers at Caltech and NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, show for the first time how yellow patches on Europa’s surface, first noticed by NASA proves Voyager and Galileo decades ago, actually indicate the presence of sodium chloride. More astonishing is the fact the table salt has been hidden in plain view for years. Scientists just hadn’t been looking for it. “Sodium chloride is a bit like invisible ink on Europa’s surface,” NASA’s Kevin Hand said in a press release. “Before irradiation, you can’t tell it’s there, but after irradiation, the color jumps right out at you.” To make the discovery, the team irradiated plain white table salt in a laboratory that simulated the conditions present on Europa. They found that the white salt turned a shade of yellow — the same shade of yellow spotted by NASA’s Galileo spacecraft on its imaging missions between 1995 and 2003. To confirm, they turned the Hubble Space Telescope to Europa and had it confirm the yellows on the surface were giving off a chemical signal that represented the irradiated table salt. It did.It’s a particularly important finding because of what it can tell us about the subsurface ocean chemistry. If the sodium chloride does originate from within Europa, then the moon’s ocean may resemble Earth’s much more closely. In a far-flung future, it could provide somewhere to mine as a resource or even settle. However, the authors note that they can’t yet say whether the surface table salt definitely represents the compositon of the subsurface ocean.Still, it opens the door for further investigation of Europa and suggests it may even be more geologically active than scientists once thought. If you want to sneak a look at Jupiter and its moons, there’s no better time. Jupiter is so close to the Earth right now that you only need a pair of binoculars. Europa is particularly bright so you shouldn’t have trouble spotting it. Take some popcorn and make a night of it. 3 Share your voice Comments Tags Space geeks tweak NASA images of Jupiter’s red spot 20 Photos Sci-Tech