Gadgets, Game & Mobile News

World Market's Stock Room Sale Offers Savings on Home Essentials, Snacks and More - CNET

CNET News - Fri, 2022-08-05 10:43
There are chairs, bookshelves, tables and other home goods on sale, right in time for fall.

Asics’ 3D-printed sandal offers post-workout comfort

Engadget - Fri, 2022-08-05 10:30

The theory and practice of marginal gains is to find and fix hundreds of small things that, in aggregate, add up to something vast. Asics believes that there are gains to be made in what runners wear when they’re at home as much as what they’re wearing on the track. That’s the pitch for the Actibreeze 3D, a pair of 3D-printed sandals with a lattice structure designed to improve cooling and breathability. The idea is to stop your extremities from getting too sweaty and tense after a run, so you’re that much more prepared for your next one. I’ve been wearing a pair for a couple of days now, and while they do keep your feet cool and dry, they’re not perfect.

Taking them out of the box, you’ll first notice how heavy they are, with each sandal – although they’re more like slippers – weighing 350 grams (12 oz) for my size 11s. They’re a lot bigger than your average pool slide, too, thanks to the overbuilt sole and lattice going over the top of your foot. Obviously, this is to help get air flowing under your feet to cool them down after a long run, and I experienced this after a fairly intensive gym session. It helped that we’re enduring a climate change-enhanced heatwave right now, to really ram home the lack of sweating. It’s a far nicer experience wearing these than what I’d normally use, which is a $15 pair of Havaianas.

Side view of ASICS Actibreeze 3D Daniel Cooper

The 3D lattice is designed to provide the maximum amount of “step-in comfort” available, which means they’re pretty bouncy. Not in a I’m-walking-on-air way, but in that whenever you step, you can feel the sole compressing and bouncing back as you walk. I don’t know if the effect is more pronounced here than on other 3D-printed soles on the market, or if it’s magnified because you’re barefoot rather than wearing socks. Certainly, it takes a little mental calibration to compensate for the level of travel you’ll experience during each step. Maybe those folks who wear those novelty moon boots will find these no big deal, but if you’re coming from something flat, it is a noticeable change.

Here’s the issue – obviously 3D-printed stuff is made of springy plastic, but it’s still plastic, with its mostly hard, not-particularly-yielding structure. Wear these for an hour and the soles of your feet will look like you’ve been standing on a colander, the skin covered in a grid of little squares. Whatever benefits your feet are getting on the macro level, it requires you to tolerate the small annoyance of having your skin fed through a mesh. And, on a similar theme, because it’s a hard, waterproof plastic, it’s not the ideal surface to put your feet in close contact during a heatwave. That’s perhaps the one area that my $15 Havaianas have the edge, since there’s so little material coming into contact with the top of my feet. But if you're only wearing these for the two or three hours after you've had a running session, that shouldn't be too much of a problem. 

Image of ASICS Actibreeze 3D being wornDaniel Cooper

Asics’ Actibreeze 3D are listed on the company’s website for $80, although they are currently not out for delivery. The company tells me that the stock will be available in selected markets once again this Autumn. 

The Best Reality TV Shows on Netflix - CNET

CNET News - Fri, 2022-08-05 10:30
Give one of these wonderfully insane reality shows a try.

Best Buy Anniversary Sale: Save Hundreds on Headphones, Laptops, TVs and More - CNET

CNET News - Fri, 2022-08-05 09:56
Snag big savings on laptops, tablets, smart TVs, wearables and much more right now.

Ferrari Recalls 24,000 Cars for Potential Brake Failure - CNET

CNET News - Fri, 2022-08-05 09:54
Vehicles from as far back as 2005 are included in this recall.

Celebrate Joann's Anniversary With Up to 60% Off Decor, Yarn and More - CNET

CNET News - Fri, 2022-08-05 09:48
Almost everything you need for your next project is discounted right now, so don't miss out.

Sony's LinkBuds S drop to a new low of $148 at Amazon

Engadget - Fri, 2022-08-05 09:44

Sony's LinkBuds S are now particularly tempting if you're looking for true wireless earbuds with a dash of intelligence. Amazon is selling the LinkBuds S at a new low price of $148, well below the usual $200. That's even better than the Prime Day discount, and could make them an easy choice if you want major-brand audio without paying a stiff premium.

Buy LinkBuds S at Amazon - $148

The LinkBuds S' signature feature is their smart playback. They can automatically start or resume music based on your activity — you can specify a playlist when you go for a walk, for instance. They're also billed as the smallest and lightest wireless earbuds to support both active noise cancellation (ANC) and high-resolution audio. That's worth considering if comfort is paramount, especially if you intend to listen for the claimed six hours per charge (another 14 hours is available through the case).

As the middle ground between the top-tier WF-1000XM4 and budget WF-C500, the LinkBuds S involve some compromises. The auto playback feature works for both Android and iOS users, but it's limited to Spotify and the soundscape app Endel. ANC isn't quite as powerful as it is in the WF-1000XM4, and the case doesn't support wireless charging. The sale price makes these omissions easier to forgive, though, and Sony has touted after-launch upgrades like a low-latency mode for gamers.

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Samsung’s Z Fold 3 durability one year in: Tougher than you might think, but with one big caveat

Engadget - Fri, 2022-08-05 09:00

Foldable phones are still kind of awkward, unproven devices. But over the last three generations (with a fourth presumably on the way), Samsung has made major strides with its designs, paving the way for innovative (though sometimes quite pricey) alternatives to the typical glass brick. And when you combine that with sales of nearing 10 million devices last year, it feels like Samsung's foldables are finally beginning to break into the mainstream.

But despite a number of improvements over the years, there's one aspect of Samsung's foldable that still needs a lot of work: durability. Last year, after purchasing my own Z Fold 2, I documented some of the issues I faced after owning it for 10 months. And after upgrading to the Z Fold 3 last fall, I'm here to report back on how Samsung's latest flagship foldable is holding up just shy of one year later.

Even after a year, the Z Fold 3's exterior screen is still nearly pristineAside from one scratch at the bottom (which I take sole blame for), my Galaxy Z Fold 3's exterior Cover Screen is still almost pristine. Sam Rutherford/Engadget

Now at this point, some people might be wondering why I upgraded at all. The bubbles my Z Fold 2's screen suffered from were certainly annoying, but they weren't so bad I considered switching back to a standard candy bar handset. Instead, my main goal for buying the model (aside from professional curiosity) was to get a foldable that might better survive a newborn.

Compared to typical smartphones, the Z Fold 2's lack of water resistance was all but guaranteed to become a problem after my son was born. It felt like I would have to keep the phone in a separate room, lest I chance some small amount of spit up or drool ruining the device. And that simply wasn't something I wanted to do, which is what drew me to the Z Fold 3 and its IPX8 rating. I figured if a phone can withstand sitting in water for up to 30 minutes at a depth of up to five feet, it could handle anything a baby could throw (or spit) at it too.

The back of the phone has also held up very well, aside from one ding on the edge of the frame. The back of the phone has also held up very well, aside from one ding on the edge of the frame. Sam Rutherford/Engadget

Thankfully, I think my strategy worked, because even though it cost around $800 to upgrade after trading in my Z Fold 2, that money has already paid for itself. My Z Fold 3 has been peed on, it's been vomited on and it's had milk splashed all over it, and it's been totally fine. The phone has also been gnawed on more than a handful of times to no effect. So while the addition of water resistance to Samsung's foldables might not be all that exciting, considering regular phones that have had it for years, it's a huge enhancement to everyday usability.

The rest of the phone's body has held up pretty well too. There's a relatively large scratch on its frame and a couple of scuffs on its hinge, but those are all cosmetic dings. I should also mention I'm not someone who puts phones in skins or cases, this thing has lived naked since the day I got it. So while I haven't been traveling much, the sheer number of times this phone has endured being knocked out of my hand or fallen on the floor while rushing to grab my kid after a nap is kind of impressive. Even dust and crumbs have been handled by the extra bristles Samsung put inside its hinge.

There are also some small scuffs on the hinge, but that's sort of to be expected considering I never put the phone in a case. There are also some small scuffs on the hinge, but that's sort of to be expected considering I never put the phone in a case. Sam Rutherford/Engadget

The big exception to the Z Fold 3's improved durability is once again its built-in screen protector. For this model, Samsung says it switched away from the TPU material it used on the Z Fold 2 to a new PET film while also using a stickier adhesive, which was designed to prevent bubbles from forming between the protector and the display itself. But in my experience, none of that helped.

For the first six months I had it, my Z Fold 3's screen was pristine. There were no blemishes, bubbles or anything. But then one winter day while I was walking down the street, I opened the phone and heard a crack. At first, I feared the worst, thinking its exterior cover screen had shattered or something important inside had broken. But upon closer inspection, I noticed there was a fine line running down the middle of the phone near the crease, as if the protector had been pulled or stretched.

This is what the bubbling looked like in June, when I first attempted to get it repaired. This is what the bubbling looked like in June, when I first attempted to get it repaired. Sam Rutherford/Engadget

And while I'm still not sure what the exact cause was, my theory is that after pulling the phone out of my pocket, the cold winter air made the screen protector unusually brittle, causing it to snap instead of bend when I opened the phone. This is an issue a number of other Z Fold owners have run into, and once you suffer that initial crack, it's only a matter of time until bubbles begin to form. Over the past few months, those bubbles have grown into an air gap that runs down the entire middle of the screen, and no amount of pressing or trying smoothing things out has much of an effect. Recently, some dust has gotten wedged between the protector and the screen itself, which is frankly kind of gross. And because I'm trying to abide by Samsung's insistence that the screen protector should only be replaced by certified technicians, I haven’t tried to fix it on my own.

Naturally, the next step was to take the phone to one of Samsung's retail locations to have it serviced, at which point I discovered I'm far from the only person dealing with this. When I arrived, there were three other people already on the waitlist — and all of them were waiting to get the screen protector on their Z Fold replaced. Admittedly, this is merely an anecdotal observation, and I'm sure my choice to go to Samsung's flagship 837 location in NYC had something to do with the unusually high concentration of $1,800 foldable phones.

This more close-up shot shows how gross the display can get after dust and dirt finds its way beneath the Z Fold 3's built-in screen protector. This close-up shot shows how gross the display can get, because once bubbles start forming, there isn't much you can do to stop dust and first from getting beneath the screen protector. Sam Rutherford/Engadget

But, this wasn't a coincidence either. After talking to two of the other customers, I learned that they were also running into issues with bubbles around the six to eight month mark. On top of that, one of the Samsung Care+ reps I talked to essentially confirmed that this was a somewhat widespread issue, saying that screen protector replacements are the most commonly requested repair for Samsung's foldables. Unfortunately, because it takes about an hour to have the screen protector replaced and I was fourth in line, I couldn't wait around to get my Z Fold fixed. So here's a pro tip, if your phone needs to be serviced, make sure to schedule your appointment online, so you can avoid the line.

In the end, while I plan on returning to have my screen protector replaced, my big take away after owning both a Z Fold 2 and a Z Fold 3 is that there's a good chance you're going to run into bubbles after half a year or so. And without some sort of radical upgrade to the screen construction, the company's next generation of Z devices will probably suffer the same fate. That's kind of a bummer, because having to sit around for hours to fix something that's probably going to happen again sucks. And that goes double or triple for anyone who has to mail in their device because they don't live near a certified repair location.

This is how my Z Fold 3's screen looks after one year. The bubble now covers the entire height of the display. And while its appearance is more tolerable indoors, it's still far from ideal. This is how my Z Fold 3's screen looks after one year. The bubble now covers the entire height of the display. And while its appearance is more tolerable indoors, it's still far from ideal. Sam Rutherford/Engadget

As it stands, the bubbling is certainly annoying and not very pretty. Thankfully, the side effects are much less noticeable indoors or at night, so while it’s far from ideal, it’s tolerable. I will also admit that had I not been planning on writing this story, I would have gotten the screen protector replaced months ago. And if you’re running into a similar issue with your Z Flip or Z Fold, I’d highly suggest you address any bubbling as soon as possible, before any other related issues pop up.

But if Samsung ever wants its foldables to be as popular as the S or A-series phones, the screen protectors bubbling is an issue that needs to be solved sooner rather than later. As for me, while I haven't decided if I want to upgrade again or not, I'm just hoping that anyone on the fence will now have a slightly more realistic idea of what living with a foldable phone is actually like.

Prey: Ending, Post-Credits Tease and Predator Easter Egg Explained - CNET

CNET News - Fri, 2022-08-05 09:00
Stick around for a hint about what happens after this Predator prequel wraps up.

Best Collagen Powder for 2022 - CNET

CNET News - Fri, 2022-08-05 09:00
Collagen production starts to decline in our bodies as we age. That's where collagen powder comes in.

Mortgage Rates on Aug. 5, 2022: Rates Are Mixed Since Last Week - CNET

CNET News - Fri, 2022-08-05 09:00
The Fed's interest rate hikes could increase costs for prospective homebuyers.

Here Are Today's Refinance Rates, Aug. 5, 2022: Rates Vary - CNET

CNET News - Fri, 2022-08-05 09:00
Though refinance rates change daily, some experts expect rates to climb this year.

The Beats Studio Buds are back on sale for $100

Engadget - Fri, 2022-08-05 08:45

We called the Beats Studio Buds the best device from the company for most people when they came out last year, and it remains one of our top picks if you're looking for a pair of relatively affordable wireless earbuds. They're an even better buy when you can grab them on sale — Amazon currently has the Beats Studio Buds for $100, which is a record low and a return to their Prime Day price. The discount applies to all color options, too, including the newer moon gray and ocean blue schemes.

Buy Beats Studio Buds at Amazon - $100

Normally priced at $150, the Beats Studio Buds impressed us with their small, comfortable design, solid sound quality and good active noise cancellation. In addition to being compact and lightweight, these buds have an IPX4 water-resistant rating, making them good for sweaty workouts, and they have onboard controls that let you play/pause, skip tracks and adjust ANC on the fly. Our biggest gripe with the overall design is that the Studio Buds' case doesn't support wireless charging.

As far as sound quality goes, Beats has come a long way. In addition to supporting Apple's spatial audio, the Studio Buds produce well-tuned sound with punchy bass that doesn't overwhelm. Noise cancellation does a good job of blocking out environmental noises, and Transparency mode lets you easily jump in and out of conversations happening around you.

The Beats Studio Buds also include Apple's H1 chipset inside, which will allow them to quickly pair with iPhones and other Apple devices. Similarly to AirPods, they should provide seamless switching between those devices as well. But Android users have not been left out in the dust — the Studio Buds also support Fast Pair and Find My Device on Android gadgets, so all of those features make them a good pick, regardless of which OS you prefer. 

If you're willing to pay a bit more, the new Beats Fit Pro earbuds are also on sale right now for $180. While not the record low we saw during Prime Day last moth ($160), this $20 discount is a decent one for Beats' latest offering. These buds have a similar design to the Beats Studio Buds, but they include wingtips that help keep the buds in your ears comfortably. We like them for their solid sound quality, strong ANC and spatial audio support with dynamic head tracking.

Buy Beats Fit Pro at Amazon - $180

Follow @EngadgetDeals on Twitter and subscribe to the Engadget Deals newsletter for the latest tech deals and buying advice.

Amazon Acquires iRobot, Makers of Roomba, in $1.7B Deal - CNET

CNET News - Fri, 2022-08-05 08:34
Roomba will join the Amazon's family of devices, including Kindle, Echo and Fire TV.

Engadget Podcast: Why is the OnePlus 10T so odd?

Engadget - Fri, 2022-08-05 08:30

This week on the show, Cherlynn is joined by guest co-host Sam Rutherford to talk about the newly launched OnePlus 10T. Why did the company choose to sacrifice an alert slider, wireless charging and some other features in exchange for extreme speed? How does the OnePlus 10T stack up against other midrange phones like the Pixel 6a? Then, our hosts discuss the cloud-gaming handheld that Logitech and Tencent are working on, as well as the curiousheadlines that permeated the consumer tech news cycle this week. 

Listen below, or subscribe on your podcast app of choice. If you've got suggestions or topics you'd like covered on the show, be sure to email us or drop a note in the comments! And be sure to check out our other podcasts, the Morning After and Engadget News!

Engadget · Ep 136 Mixed
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Topics
  • Our OnePlus 10T review – 1:37

  • Logitech and Tencent are working on a handheld cloud gaming console – 24:15

  • It’s not just you: Uber receipts are actually crashing Outlook – 30:34

  • Spotify finally adds a play button that doesn’t shuffle, but only for premium users – 32:22

  • PlayStation Accolades feature is being discontinued because online gamers aren't nice – 36:09

  • Microsoft negs Activision Blizzard’s game library amid acquisition process – 37:33

  • No, Google Stadia isn’t shutting down – 39:28

  • Discovery+ merger leaves HBO Max’s future in doubt, and Batgirl cancellation – 43:04

  • Working on – 51:58

  • Picks – 53:12

Video Stream

Credits
Hosts: Cherlynn Low and Sam Rutherford
Producer: Ben Ellman
Livestream producers: Julio Barrientos, Luke Brooks
Graphics artists: Luke Brooks, Brian Oh
Music: Dale North and Terrence O'Brien

Amazon is buying iRobot, the creator of the Roomba robot vacuum

Engadget - Fri, 2022-08-05 08:22

Amazon just took a big step toward cornering the market for household robots. The company has reached a deal to acquire iRobot, the creator of Roomba robot vacuums. The purchase is worth $1.7 billion in cash and will maintain Colin Angle as iRobot's CEO. The two firms didn't say when they expected the deal to close, but that will depend on the approval of both iRobot shareholders and regulators.

In announcing the deal, Amazon didn't outline its exact plans. Amazon Devices Senior VP Dave Limp focused on iRobot's ability to "reinvent how people clean," and said he looked forward to inventing products. Angle said Amazon shared iRobot's "passion" for innovative home products and felt the internet giant was a good fit.

A successful merger will end 32 years of independence for iRobot. The company was founded in 1990 by MIT researchers, and initially focused on military robots like PackBot. It marked a major turning point in 2002, when it unveiled the first Roomba — the robovac quickly became popular and had sold a million units by 2004. The company expanded its lineup to include products like robotic mops (Braava), and became so successful that it sold its military business in 2016.

Developing...

YouTube testing 'pinch to zoom' feature for Premium users

Engadget - Fri, 2022-08-05 08:04

YouTube has quietly introduced an experimental feature called pinch to zoom exclusively for Premium users, Android Police has reported. It lets you zoom into the video player and then pan around to look at different parts of the screen, both in portrait or full-screen landscape view, as shown below. 

If you're a Premium user, you can try it out by tapping your profile photo and hitting "Your Premium benefits," opening the "Try new features" section and enabling the zoom function. It might take a while for the feature to kick in, but once it's active you can zoom in at up to 8x. 

YouTube testing 'pinch to zoom' feature for Premium UsersYouTube

In the past, YouTube tested interesting features like picture-in-picture with random users and beta app testers. In 2020, though, it launched experimental features for Premium users, letting them try out new options before anyone else. Several experimental features have made their way to the Premium app, including easier playlist management and browser-based voice search. The new feature will be available until September 1st and is only supported on Android devices for now. 

Porsche 911 Turbo S Attacks Pikes Peak - CNET

CNET News - Fri, 2022-08-05 08:00
This road-legal car took a second-place finish.

Marvel's VFX Artists Are Suffering -- and Starting to Speak Out - CNET

CNET News - Fri, 2022-08-05 08:00
A real secret war is taking place behind the scenes with overworked, underpaid and underappreciated visual effects artists.

NASA reportedly had contingency plans for Russia's ISS exit last year

Engadget - Fri, 2022-08-05 07:22

Yuri Borisov, the newly appointed chief of Roscosmos, recently announced that Russia is pulling out of the International Space Station after 2024. NASA and Russia's space agency work in tandem to keep the station running, and the latter's exit would change ISS operations tremendously. According to Reuters, though, NASA has actually been preparing for such a possibility way before Borisov made his announcement — and even before the invasion of Ukraine began — in light of the increasing tensions between Russia and the US.

Reuters' sources said NASA and the White House drew up contingency plans for the ISS late last year. Those plans include ways to pull astronauts out of the station if Russia leaves abruptly and ways to keep the ISS running without Russian hardware. While the US module keeps the station balanced and provides the electricity it needs to run using its solar arrays, Roscosmos' module has the thrusters needed to keep the flying lab in orbit. And that is why NASA's contingency plans also reportedly include examining ways to dispose of the station years earlier than planned. 

Apparently, NASA was working on creating a formal request for contractors to conjure up ways to deorbit the space station over the past few weeks. That said, the agency roped in private space companies into its contingency planning in hopes of keeping the ISS in orbit even without Russia. The sources said Boeing already formed a team of engineers to figure out how to control the ISS without Russia's thrusters. SpaceX chief Elon Musk also previously expressed interest in helping out when former Roscosmos director Dmitry Rogozin slammed Western sanctions against his country, asking who would "save the ISS from uncontrolled deorbiting" if the West blocks cooperation with Russia.

Back in June, Northrop Grumman was successfully able to adjust the station's orbit for future operations using its Cygnus capsule, which was then docked to the ISS. Reuters' sources said SpaceX is also looking into the possibility of using its spacecraft to boost the station's orbit. 

Borisov said Russia hasn't set a date for its exit yet, but that it would honor its obligations and will give partners a one-year notice before it leaves. Roscosmos and NASA will most likely continue working closely until Russia pulls out of the program — they even recently agreed to swap seats on Crew Dragon and Soyuz flights to the ISS.

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