Comcast Xfinity vs. Spectrum: Internet Providers Compared

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Cable internet is usually your next best option for a speedy connection at home if fiber isn’t available at your address. Among cable providers, the two biggest are Comcast Xfinity and Charter Spectrum, which soared into second place after acquiring Time Warner Cable in 2016. Both providers can claim to offer internet service to about a third of the country, each with a customer base of more than 100 million Americans.

That’s big business as far as home internet is concerned — so which one is the superior option? Let’s crunch the numbers on speed and value and dig through the terms, fees and customer service track records to find out. Here’s the complete rundown:



Where do Xfinity and Spectrum offer home internet service?

In June of 2020, the Federal Communications Commission reported that Xfinity and Spectrum each offered home internet service to more than 100 million people in the US. With both providers, coverage is most concentrated in the Northeast, the Midwest and the South, but you’ll find Xfinity and Spectrum plans available in parts of the West, Southwest and mountainous regions of the US, as well. Spectrum also offers internet service throughout the majority of Hawaii.

Despite the large swaths of coverage, there’s less overlap between the two providers’ footprints than you might think. Though you’ll find both available in several metro regions across the country, including Atlanta, Indianapolis, Knoxville, Minneapolis and Orlando, the two providers each tend to stick to whatever parts of the map they’ve managed to wall off for themselves, with one often claiming a city’s central, downtown area and the other planting its flag in many of the adjacent suburbs.

That means you aren’t likely to find Xfinity and Spectrum available at the same address — but moving across town might mean switching from one provider to the other.

How do Xfinity and Spectrum’s prices compare?

It’s tough to do a quick, side-by-side comparison of Xfinity and Spectrum’s prices. While Spectrum offers three fairly straightforward plans across its entire footprint, Xfinity offers several plans with different terms and prices in each of the three regions that make up its coverage map. In other words, get ready for a bunch of charts.

Let’s get the easy one out of the way first. With Spectrum, you have three plans to choose from, with max download speeds of 200, 400 and 940 megabits per second. Depending on which one you go with, your monthly bill will range from $50 to $110 during your first year of service. After that, your monthly rate will increase by $25, meaning you’ll be paying something in the range of $75 to $135 each month after Year 1. The good news is there are no contracts or data caps associated with any of those plans.

Spectrum home internet plans

Plan Max speeds First-year promo rate Standard rate (after promo period) Equipment fee Data cap Term agreement
Spectrum Internet 200Mbps download, 10Mbps upload $50 $75 $5 router rental (skippable) None None required
Spectrum Internet Ultra 400Mbps download, 20Mbps upload $70 $95 $5 router rental (skippable) None None required
Spectrum Internet Gig 940Mbps, 35Mbps upload $110 $135 $5 router rental (skippable) None None required

Xfinity offers a wider variety of plans and a wider range of prices and speeds, too. In all regions, max download speeds range from 50Mbps up to 2,000Mbps in select parts of the footprint that have access to an Xfinity fiber connection. That said, at the majority of Xfinity addresses, the fastest speed available will be a 1,200Mbps cable plan. All Xfinity plans come with a 1.2TB data cap (more on that in just a bit), and in some regions, some plans come with a one- or two-year contract, as well.

Xfinity’s speed offerings are the same across all three regions, as laid out in the tables below:

Xfinity home internet plans (West division)

Plan Max speeds First-year promo rate Standard rate (after promo period) Equipment fee Data cap Term agreement
Performance Starter Plus 50Mbps download, 3Mbps upload $20 $50 $14 gateway rental (skippable) Yes (1.2TB) 1 year
Performance Select 100Mbps download, 5Mbps upload $35 $55 $14 gateway rental (skippable) Yes (1.2TB) None required
Performance Pro Plus 200Mbps download, 5Mbps upload $50 $70 $14 gateway rental (skippable) Yes (1.2TB) None required
Blast Pro Plus 400Mbps download, 10Mbps upload $65 $80 $14 gateway rental (skippable) Yes (1.2TB) None required
Extreme Pro Plus 800Mbps download, 15Mbps upload $75 $90 $14 gateway rental (skippable) Yes (1.2TB) None required
Gigabit 1,200Mbps download, 35Mbps upload $85 $100 $14 gateway rental (skippable) Yes (1.2TB) None required
Gigabit Pro 2,000Mbps download, 2,000Mbps upload N/A $300 $14 gateway rental (skippable) Yes (1.2TB) 2 years

Xfinity home internet plans (Central division)

Plan Max speeds First-year promo rate Standard rate (after promo period) Equipment fee Data cap Term agreement
Performance Starter 50Mbps download, 3Mbps upload $20 $56 $14 gateway rental (skippable) Yes (1.2TB) 1 year
Performance 100Mbps download, 5Mbps upload $40 $76 $14 gateway rental (skippable) Yes (1.2TB) 1 year
Blast 200Mbps download, 5Mbps upload $50 $86 $14 gateway rental (skippable) Yes (1.2TB) 1 year
Extreme 400Mbps download, 10Mbps upload $50 $96 $14 gateway rental (skippable) Yes (1.2TB) 1 year
Extreme Pro 800Mbps download, 15Mbps upload $60 $106 $14 gateway rental (skippable) Yes (1.2TB) 2 years
Gigabit 1,200Mbps download, 35Mbps upload $70 $116 $14 gateway rental (skippable) Yes (1.2TB) 2 years
Gigabit Pro 2,000Mbps download, 2,000Mbps upload N/A $300 $14 gateway rental (skippable) Yes (1.2TB) 2 years

Xfinity home internet plans (Northeast division)

Plan Max speeds First-year promo rate Standard rate (after promo period) Equipment fee Data cap Term agreement
Performance Starter 50Mbps download, 3Mbps upload N/A $65 $14 gateway rental (skippable) Yes (1.2TB) None required
Performance 100Mbps download, 5Mbps upload $30 $81 $14 gateway rental (skippable) Yes (1.2TB) None required
Performance Pro 200Mbps download, 5Mbps upload $55 $96 $14 gateway rental (skippable) Yes (1.2TB) None required
Blast 400Mbps download, 10Mbps upload $60 $101 $14 gateway rental (skippable) Yes (1.2TB) 1 year
Extreme Pro 800Mbps download, 15Mbps upload $70 $106 $14 gateway rental (skippable) Yes (1.2TB) 1 year
Gigabit 1,200Mbps download, 35Mbps upload $80 $111 $14 gateway rental (skippable) Yes (1.2TB) 2 years
Gigabit Pro 2,000Mbps download, 2,000Mbps upload N/A $300 $14 gateway rental (skippable) Yes (1.2TB) 2 years

Pricing is where Xfinity gets a bit complicated. For starters, let’s pull out that top-tier Gigabit Pro plan, which is only available at addresses with access to Xfinity fiber. It costs a hefty $300 per month and comes with a two-year term agreement in all three regions.

As for the standard cable internet plans, which are available everywhere with download speeds of up to 1,200Mbps, monthly prices range from $20 to $80 during the first year, and from $50 to $116 after that. Just make sure to pay attention to those price jumps after Year 1, because in some regions, they can get awfully steep.

How steep? Well, things aren’t so bad in the West, where the average price increase on those cable plans after Year 1 is around $19. But in the Central division, where contracts are mandatory with all plans, that average increase shoots up to $40. In the Northeast, only the four fastest cable plans come with a price increase after the first year — between them, the average jump is about $42. If you live in the Northeast and you subscribe to Xfinity’s 100Mbps Performance plan, you’ve got the worst of it. After the first year, your bill will nearly triple, skyrocketing from $30 per month to $81 per month. That’s an increase of $51 each month.

Does Xfinity or Spectrum offer better value?

The easiest way to get a quick sense of value with an internet plan is to look at the monthly cost per Mbps. With Spectrum the average cost across all three plans during the first-year promo period is 17 cents for each Mbps of download speed. After Year 1, that average goes up to 25 cents per Mbps. Both are very good figures — the only cable provider that does better is WideOpenWest, or WOW, which charges an average of 15 cents per Mbps during the first year and 21 cents per Mbps after that.

With Xfinity’s smattering of cable plans, you’ll pay an average of 25 cents per Mbps during the first year and 39 cents per Mbps after your promo ends and your bill goes up (the Gigabit Pro fiber plan comes in at 15 cents per Mbps, but again, you’re paying $300 each month for it). That’s still better than a lot of other competitors, including cable internet rival Cox Communications, which charges an average of 53 cents per Mbps during Year 1 and 80 cents per Mbps after that.

With more plans and three separate regions, there’s a lot of variance in the Xfinity value proposition, and some plans offer better value than others. Overall, though, you’ll be paying a bit more than you will with Spectrum — and when you factor in Xfinity’s contracts, data caps and price hikes, it’s pretty clear that Spectrum wins on value.

Terms and fees

Neither provider goes overboard with extra fees, and both give you some flexibility for skipping them whenever possible. Here’s the breakdown:


Xfinity charges $40 for in-home, professional installation of your home internet service. With Spectrum, the fee is $50, but the fee shoots up to a stink-face-inducing $200 if you go for the fastest plan, Internet Gig. With both providers, you can skip the fee by going with a self-install kit and plugging everything in yourself, though Spectrum charges $10 for its self-install kit while Xfinity’s kit comes free of charge. 

It’s also pretty common for internet providers to waive the fee for professional installation to help entice you into signing up, so it’s worth asking for that if you’re trying to negotiate the best deal.


You’ll need to pay $14 per month to rent the Xfinity Xfi Gateway, but you can skip that fee by using your own modem and router.


Equipment rental

Both providers charge a monthly equipment fee for renting a gateway or router, but in both cases, you can skip that fee by using your own gear. It’s a little easier with Spectrum, which provides a modem at no cost and then charges $5 per month if you rent a router — just get a router of your own and kiss that $5 fee goodbye.

With Xfinity, you’ll be charged $14 per month for renting a combination modem/router gateway device, so you’ll need both a modem and a router of your own (or a combo device of your own) in order to skip the fee.

Data caps

Here’s where Spectrum and Xfinity really start to part ways. None of Spectrum’s internet plans come with a data cap, so you can browse, stream, Zoom and download as much as you want without fear of incurring extra charges. Xfinity, on the other hand, enforces a data cap of 1.2TB (1,200 GB) with all of its plans. If you burn through more data than that in a given month, you’ll start seeing extra charges on your bill.

Specifically, Xfinity will charge a $10 fee for every 50GB of data used in excess of the cap, up to a maximum charge of $100 each month. The good news is that 1.2TB is more than enough for most households. In fact, during 2020, when home internet usage soared because of the pandemic, the average monthly data usage in America peaked at about 400GB. That’s one-third the size of Xfinity’s data cap.

Still, if you’re a heavy user of home internet — someone with lots of family members or roommates online, or someone who regularly games online, downloads or uploads lots of large files, or spends most of the day tied up in video calls — then a data cap might rightly give you pause. In that case, you might want to consider signing up for Xfinity’s unlimited data offer, which will add $30 to your monthly bill — but keep in mind that it’s only really worth it if you’re going to incur at least three overage charges per month.

In 2021, Xfinity received a top-three rating among ISPs from the American Customer Satisfaction Index, which was a few points higher than Spectrum.

American Customer Satisfaction Index

Customer service

The American Customer Satisfaction Index released its 2021 scores for the ISP category, and the overall rating among all providers held flat from last year at 65 out of 100. Xfinity and Spectrum split that average perfectly, with Spectrum finishing two points below average at 63 (no change from last year), and Xfinity finishing two points above average at 67 (a one-point bump over the previous year). Along with finishing above the average for the second year in a row, Xfinity’s score was best among cable providers and third best among all ISPs, trailing only AT&T and Verizon, which tied for the top spot with matching scores of 71.

Meanwhile, J.D. Power ranks internet providers for customer satisfaction, too. Its 2021 report is divided across four regions — Xfinity outscored Spectrum in all of them, and beat the category average in all four as well. Out of a 1,000-point scale, Xfinity received scores of 725 in the East region, 716 in the North Central region, 740 in the South region and 723 in the West region. Overall, that comes out to an average score of 726, which is 10 points above the overall ISP average of 716.

Spectrum’s overall average with J.D. Power rings in at 704, which is 12 points below the overall ISP average. The company’s strongest finish was a 725 in the South; its weakest was a 676 in the East.

The verdict

It’s a close one. Both providers are huge, but Xfinity has a slightly larger footprint, and if you can find it, the company’s 2,000Mbps fiber plan is one of the fastest in the industry, and is unmatched by Spectrum. Xfinity also boasts a better variety of plans than Spectrum, and a slightly better customer service track record than Spectrum, too.

Still, I say Spectrum wins out for offering much better value than Xfinity. You’ll pay less per Mbps with Spectrum, and you won’t have to put up with data caps, contracts or severe price hikes like Comcast’s customers will. What’s more, Spectrum’s plans and prices are more straightforward and easy to understand than what you get with Xfinity.

As cable providers, neither will offer upload speeds that are anything close to what you’ll get with fiber, but if fiber isn’t an option, they’re your next best bet for a fast, reliable connection at home. Between the two of them, I give the edge to Spectrum.

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Black Widow on Disney Plus: Release date, time, cost and how to watch

Scarlet Johansson stars as the title character in Black Widow.

Marvel Amusement/Screenshot by Joal Ryan for CNET

Black Widow brought the Marvel Cinematic Universe back again to the massive display screen back in July but was only on Disney Plus for a thirty day period at an further $30 Leading Entry fee. Fantastic information: The superspy flick is coming back again to Disney As well as tomorrow, and there is no additional price tag. 

The action-packed solo outing for Scarlett Johnansson’s Black Widow has been be available to hire or buy digitally considering that Aug. 10 and on DVD and Blu-ray considering the fact that Sept. 14. The film at first landed in movie theaters and on Disney Furthermore via Leading Entry on July 9

Natasha Romanoff’s (aka Black Widow’s) solo tale was the first Marvel installment to strike theaters considering the fact that Spider-Guy: Far From House in July 2019. The pandemic pushed again the film’s initial release, slated for May possibly 2020. The streaming launch was a sore issue for Johansson, who sued Disney around dropped earnings.

When was Black Widow initially introduced?

  • Disney In addition: It grew to become obtainable July 9, but only for a thirty day period.
  • Theaters: It was introduced in some locations as early as July 8. 

How a lot does it value?

If you subscribe to Disney As well as

Black Widow will be offered for all Disney Furthermore subscribers, and will keep on being readily available for the foreseeable foreseeable future at no excess value.

Black Widow was the fourth Disney Furthermore movie accessible by means of for a thirty day period if you compensated Disney’s Leading Entry $30 charge The many others were Mulan, Raya and the Last DragonCruella and Jungle Cruise. As theaters re-open up, Disney has moved absent from the exact same-working day streaming release, premiering Shang-Chi and the Legend of the 10 Rings only in theaters. 

A Disney Plus membership currently sits at $8 a month, or $80 a 12 months. In March, the membership assistance lifted its cost an additional dollar a month, from $7 to $8. Its yearly membership was raised from $70 to $80.

By digital and Blu-ray release

The movie is accessible to hire or obtain digitally starting off Aug. 10, about a thirty day period just after its original launch in theaters and on Disney Furthermore with Premier Obtain. DVD and Blu-ray arrived out Sept. 14. They incorporate Hd and 4K UHD alternatives and a Blu-ray/DVD/digital combo pack. 

The property release of the movie involves bloopers, featurettes and nine deleted scenes. You can read additional about these extras below.

In theaters

The film designed its debut in theaters July 9, and in some places as early as July 8. 


Florence Pugh joins Johansson for the spy superhero flick.

Jay Maidment/Marvel Studios

Plot and forged

Black Widow stars Scarlett Johansson as Black Widow/Natasha Romanoff, and Florence Pugh as Yelena Belova, a sister-determine to Natasha. Rachel Weisz’s character Melina and David Harbour’s character The Red Guardian/Alexei are parental figures to Natasha and Yelena.

The movie is component of the Marvel Cinematic Universe’s Section 4 release slate, which also consists of titles these types of as Shang-Chi and the Legend of the 10 Rings and Eternals 5. In need of additional Marvel? Loki, a Disney Plus sequence that’s also element of the MCU’s summer season slate, landed on the streaming system in June, and Hawkeye is coming in December.

Balck Widow trailer

This is a promo from Marvel teasing the movie.

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Best phone to buy in 2021

We’re inching closer to the fall, when it’s likely Apple, Google and other phone companies will be updating their top models for 2021. But if you can’t wait until the holiday for a new phone, flagship models like the iPhone 12 and Galaxy S21 boast amazing rear camera setups, powerful processors for lag-free gaming, wireless charging and 5G. But they’re not the only phones to consider, with other rivals such as OnePlus, Motorola, Sony Xperia and Google’s Pixel line all offering great specs at a range of prices. 

The sheer amount of solid competition gives you, the customer, great options to choose from at whatever price suits your budget, regardless of whether your biggest concern is high-speed data, an AMOLED display or a cracking camera. Opting for a more affordable handset doesn’t mean compromising on usability, with even budget handsets offering big, vibrant displays and multiple main camera & rear cameras. We’re even starting to see 5G connectivity on much lower-end handsets.

To help you figure out the best of the best, we gathered our best phone to buy in 2021. Every phone on this list has been thoroughly reviewed and tested, from their camera performance to their battery life. Each link is to an unlocked phone, and they should run on most of the big four US wireless carriers, unless specified otherwise. We update this list regularly to ensure the best phone is always represented.

And for more info, read our guide to help find the best phone for your needs and take a look at our tips on how to buy a new cell phone

Andrew Hoyle/CNET

The iPhone 12 Pro Max is the best phone Apple produces and it received a stellar score in our full review. The smartphone features the powerful and fast A14 Bionic processor, a professional-standard multiple rear camera setup, 5G and a magnetic “MagSafe” feature that allows it to connect to other mobile accessories. Add to that its glorious screen and sleek design and the 12 Pro Max comfortably ticks every box of a flagship phone in 2021. Read our iphone 12 mini review.

Read our Apple iPhone 12 Pro Max review.


Sarah Tew/CNET

There’s a lot to like about the Galaxy S21, but the best thing about this cell phone has got to be the price. Samsung’s next-gen flagship smartphone lineup starts at $800, but you can pay as little as $250 with a qualifying trade in. Samsung made some trade-offs to get to that price point. Specifically, the phone has 4GB of RAM less than its predecessor, the Samsung Galaxy S20; the wall charger and headphones don’t come in the box; and it doesn’t have a microSD card slot for expanded storage. But even with those sacrifices, you’re getting a lot for your money with this Android device, including a striking design, the new Qualcomm Snapdragon 888 chip and 5G connectivity. This is a 120Hz refresh rate display phone same as the Galaxy Z Fold with Samsung leading the pack followed by OnePlus 9 Pro.

Read our Samsung Galaxy S21 review.


Best phone for affordable 5G

Google Pixel 5A 5G

Best phone to buy in 2021

Sarah Tew/CNET

If you want a 5G phone that doesn’t cost too much, the Pixel 5A 5G is one of our top picks with an OLED display. The handset has a solid battery life, this smartphone camera has got fantastic dual rear cameras and robust software support from Google. It doesn’t have the bells and whistles — or in-house Google processor — that the upcoming flagship Pixel 6 has, but it’s a solid option budget phone if you want 5G.

Read our Google Pixel 5A with 5G review.


Andrew Hoyle/CNET

With its supercharged processor, great battery life and solid rear camera setup, the OnePlus 9 is a superb all-round Android phone. Its $729 (£629) starting price makes this cell phone a much more affordable option than its Apple or Samsung rivals. We like its big, bold display too and its fast charging. It’s our best pick if you want flagship performance with a more approachable price tag. Oneplus Nord (Qualcomm Snapdragon 765G) has got the same specs as the OnePlus 9( Qualcomm Snapdragon 888), they both differ in the battery capacity and 120hz refresh rate for one plus 9.


The Motorola Edge Plus has pretty much everything you’d hope for in a premium 5G mobile phone: A Qualcomm Snapdragon 865 chipset, a giant battery, an OLED display with a high refresh rate and multiple rear cameras with heavy-duty specs. Motorola took features found on other top-of-the-line Android phones, put its own Moto spin on them and built them all into one of our favorite Android phones of the year. Keep in mind this smartphone has an option for only one sim card insertion.

Read our Motorola Edge Plus review.


Angela Lang/CNET

Starting at only $399, the 2020 version of the iPhone SE is the best budget phone you can find right now. With an A13 processor (the same as the iPhone 11) and an amazing camera, the iPhone SE is way more powerful than it has any right to be. Old-school iPhone fans will also appreciate the return of TouchID and the home button.

Read our Apple iPhone SE (2020) review.


Sarah Tew/CNET

The Galaxy S21 is a superb all-round flagship Android phone, but if you want the absolute best of the best, consider stepping up to the Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra. This Samsung phone has a bigger screen size display, bigger battery, more RAM and a more capable rear camera setup that includes an incredible 10x optical zoom lens that we absolutely love. If beautiful photography is top of your wishlist in a new phone, you can’t go far wrong with the Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra.

Read our Galaxy S21 Ultra 5G review.


Angela Lang/CNET

Pixel phones have a loyal following and with good reason. Without considering its cheap phone price, Google’s Pixel 4A has a top-notch camera that takes brilliant photos. The 5.81-inch handset also features a headphone jack, 128GB of storage out of the box and a better battery life than 2019’s Pixel 4.

Read our Google Pixel 4A review.


Andrew Hoyle/CNET

Samsung’s Galaxy S20 series had some great specs, but their high prices meant they were out of reach for many. Not so with the S20 FE, which is stuffed with great hardware but comes with a much more reasonable price — and earned itself a coveted CNET Editors’ Choice award in the process. We loved the Galaxy S20’s vibrant screen, its powerful processor, decent camera quality and 5G connectivity but especially liked its $650 price. 

Read our Samsung Galaxy S20 Fan Edition review.


More phone buying guides

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NFTs are everywhere. Here’s how to buy one from TikTok, NFL, more

NFT art could be a new way to spend and make money.

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The world of NFTs is changing by the minute but what are they? NFTs, or nonfungible tokens, can be tied to a video highlight, a meme or a tweet. Think of them as tokens tied to an expensive digital asset. It may (or may not) be able to make you a lot of money in the future (more below). NFTs are like cryptocurrency but there are some big differences. We know, it’s complicated.  

Here’s what we know. You can bid on an NFT for a pretty penny (most are expensive). But that doesn’t mean that you own the asset. These expensive tokens are so popular that Variety and the NFL are all kickstarting NFTs. And if you remember Neopets, the virtual pet space is creating NFT collectibles, too.  

In short, NFTs offer a blockchain-created certificate of authenticity for a digital asset or piece of art. If this doesn’t make much sense to you, it’s OK. We’ll break down what NFTs really are, how much they cost and how you can bid on a digital asset to have an NFT of your own. 

NFTs are everywhere. Here's how to buy one from TikTok, NFL, more

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All you need to know about NFT


What’s an NFT? 

This is the part that takes a bit of open-mindedness. An NFT is a unique digital token, with most using the Ethereum blockchain to digitally record transactions. It’s not a cryptocurrency like Bitcoin or Ethereum, because those are fungible — exchangeable for another Bitcoin or cash. NFTs are recorded in a digital ledger in the same way as cryptocurrency, so there’s a listing of who owns each one.

What makes an NFT unique is the digital asset tied to the token. This can be an image, video, tweet or piece of music that’s uploaded to a marketplace, which creates the NFT to be sold.

What kind of NFTs can I buy? 

NFTs can be tied to any digital asset. Anything you see online can be an NFT — music, social media posts, clip art and more. Here are some of the latest nifty NFTs we found. 

TikTok Moments

The latest big news in NFTs is TikTok’s new video collection called TikTok Moments. The videos will celebrate the impact that artists have on TikTok. Proceeds from the collection will go to NFT artists and creators. The first collection will start with Lil Nas X and be available starting Oct. 6 on the Etherum. 


And Fortune gave its readers a chance to get in on the NFT craze. The company sold 256 copies of the limited edition cover from the graphic artist Pplpleasr for Fortune’s August/September magazine on OpenSea. The copies sold out within five minutes starting at 1 Etherum (estimated $3,000). But the NFTs were available for resale at three times the cost. 

Sorare digital trading cards 

But NFTs go beyond artists and music. Recently, Sorare released its “Super Rare” Lionel Messi digital trading card that’s currently bidding at €29,992.75, equivalating to over $35,000. Sorare also announced that it raised $680 million for its next-level sports fantasy game. The funding is currently led by SoftBank. 

Tiger Woods’ Autograph collectibles 

And in sports, Tiger Woods is currently selling thousands of digital collectibles on Autograph on the DraftKings marketplace. The collection starts at $250. Naomi Osaka, Derek Jeter and Tonk Hawk are also releasing digital collectibles on Autograph, which is co-founded by Tom Brady. 

As the hype for NFTs grows, expect more digital assets to come up for sale and bring in some big money. 

Where can I buy and sell NFTs? 

While you may not want to jump right in bidding six figures, there are multiple NFT marketplaces out there to check out, with Opensea being the biggest. Buyers can search for art, domain names and random collectibles to bid on without having to break the bank. And Woods’ digital collection is one of the many NFT collections available on DraftKings marketplace, including Tony Hawk, Simone Biles and other athletes. 

And Christie’s recently auctioned off NFTs of featured Art Blocks art from its Post-War to Present collection, some of today’s most popular NFTs. Christie’s auctioned off Curio Cards on the Ethereum blockchain for over $1.2 million. 

On the other hand, if you want to sell an NFT of your art, you can use NFTify, the Shopify NFT store, to sell NFTs without creating your own store. You’ll also need a MetaMask account to get going. And Burberry recently announced a partnership with Mythical Games to gamify buying, selling and collecting toys as NFTs through the Blankos Block Party game. CNET’s own Chris Parker also made a step-by-step guide on how to make and sell your own NFT, in the video below. 

If I have an NFT, do I own the asset?


That’s the real kicker to understanding the whole concept. The person who buys the NFT doesn’t own the actual asset. 

“NFTs challenge the idea of ownership: digital files can be reproduced infinitely and you do not (usually) buy the copyright or a license when purchasing an NFT,” said Jeffrey Thompson, associate professor at the Stevens Institute of Technology in Hoboken, New Jersey. 

Kings of Leon

The band Kings of Leon sold its latest album via NFTs and made more than $2 million from the sales.

Getty Images

For example, the creator of the Nyan Cat meme sold an NFT of it for $590,000. The person who bought the token owns the token, but doesn’t actually own the meme. That still belongs to the creator, who held onto intellectual and creative rights. 

What the owner of the token has is a record and a hash code showing ownership of the unique token associated with the particular digital asset. People might download Nyan Cat and use it on social media if they want, but they won’t own the token. This also means they can’t sell the token as the owner can. 

Why are NFTs so expensive? 

As with physical collectibles such as Beanie Babies, baseball cards and toys, there’s a market for NFTs. The buyers tend to be tech-savvy individuals who understand the idea of wanting to purchase digital goods and likely made a killing this past year with cryptocurrencies. Ethereum, for example, went from just over $100 last March to a current price of about $3,400. In some cases, buyers are just flexing their digital wallets to show off how much crypto they have, but for others, there’s a deeper interest. 

“Specifically for art-related NFTs, there is a huge surge in demand due to their novelty and creativity of early artists,” Jason Lau, chief operating officer of crypto exchange OKCoin, said in an email. “Whether it’s a physical work with an attached NFT (think of it as a digital autograph and proof of veracity), or an entirely digital work (where the NFT is the art), this new medium is opening new ways for collectors and artists to explore their relationship with the artwork itself.”

It’s also great for the artists, says Lau. By selling digital art directly to those interested, an artist can begin monetizing work without having to try to sell it in a gallery. 

What are the pitfalls of NFTs?

A drawback is the hundreds of dollars in fees required to create an NFT. If you’re making your own token on the Ethereum blockchain, you need to use some Ethereum, which as mentioned earlier is kind of pricey. Then after you make an NFT, there’s a “gas” fee that pays for the work that goes into handling the transaction and that’s also based on the price of Ethereum. Marketplaces simplify the process by handling everything for a fee when an NFT is sold. 

There’s also an environmental cost. Like Bitcoin, Ethereum requires computers to handle the computations, known as “mining,” and those computer tasks require a lot of energy. An analysis from Cambridge University found that mining for Bitcoin consumed more energy than the entire country of Argentina. Ethereum is second to Bitcoin in popularity, and its power consumption is on the rise and comparable to the amount of energy used by Libya.

NFTs are everywhere. Here's how to buy one from TikTok, NFL, more

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2022 Rivian R1T, BMW iX EV, new Jeep Grand Cherokee and more: Roadshow’s week in review

Goodbye September, and howdy Oct. With any luck , the slide temperatures are dealing with you perfectly, Roadshow audience. We closed out September in a large way with a ton of good vehicles and masses of news. That incorporates a to start with generate of the new Rivian R1T electric pickup. Read through all about it down below, and check out a special dialogue from the Roadshow News Recap ideal up earlier mentioned even though you have some time this weekend.

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Testimonials Editor Antuan Goodwin acquired a 1st crack at the 2022 Rivian R1T. Was it truly worth the hold out? Examine on.

Study our 2022 Rivian R1T Launch Version very first drive assessment.

Sure, it can be a unusual-hunting thing, but Managing Editor Steve Ewing observed the 2022 BMW iX a wonderful electric powered SUV — in particular on the within.

Go through our 2022 BMW iX initially drive overview.

We examine in with our long-phrase 2021 Volvo XC60 T8 to see how it is holding up this significantly into our 12 months with it.

Go through our 2021 Volvo XC60 T8 prolonged-expression evaluation update.

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Will need more Rivian to fulfill your cravings? Verify the truck out as it hits the trails.

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How horror movies can help mental health, according to science

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Years ago, when I was a mega-fan of The Walking Dead, I only had one rule: never watch right before bed. I’ve had trouble sleeping since I was a kid, and my nightmares are bad enough to outdo even the most gruesome TWD scenes. (In fact, I’ve been told that I should write them down and turn them into movies.) I assumed watching before bed would only exacerbate the problem.

But this July, I discovered a new zombie show that I couldn’t help but binge all night: Netflix’s Black Summer. Breaking my own old rule, I watched it right before going to sleep, and unintentionally discovered something strange: I slept better. The show made my heart race and filled my mind with scary, violent images — and yet, such images were conspicuously absent from my dreams. 

Hopeful, I continued watching zombie shows and movies every night, marking my biggest foray into the genre yet. I watched Kingdom (so, so good), Army of the Dead (meh), I Am Legend, Alive and many more. And I didn’t have a single nightmare.

As a lifelong anxiety sufferer, I hold many calming tools close to my heart: CBD, weighted blankets and Zoloft alike. I just never expected to add zombies to the list. As it turns out, there is a scientific basis for this phenomenon, and I’m not the only one to experience it. Horror movies, from zombies to beyond, can help alleviate anxiety for many people. With anxiety rates through the roof because of COVID-19, a surprising number of people have turned to horror to cope — and it’s working. 

Horror and anxiety: An unlikely duo

“You might expect that everyone with anxiety would avoid horror — after all, why would someone who feels anxious want to watch something that is created specifically to induce fear or anxiety?” says Coltan Scrivner, a Ph.D. candidate at the University of Chicago who studies horror and morbid curiosity. “However, my research finds that, on average, people with anxiety are more likely to be horror fans.”

To be sure, horror movies don’t feel very relaxing. The brain doesn’t always clearly distinguish between fantasy and reality, so when I watch a zombie movie, parts of my brain react as though it’s me being chased down by the shambling undead, as an August 2020 study in NeuroImage showed. That means that horror movies can trigger your nervous system’s fear response, also known as the “fight or flight” response, in some of the same ways that a real-life scary event can. 

The fear response is the system that our ancestors’ bodies evolved to survive threats, like a bear attack. Your body is flooded with stress hormones, such as cortisol and adrenaline, and your heart rate, blood pressure and breathing all start to increase, allowing you to act quickly. When the threat is gone, the fear response is followed by the “rest and digest” response, which prompts your body to calm down and return to its baseline state.

But in people with anxiety or trauma, the fight-or-flight response has a bit of a glitch. Our brains react to normal, everyday occurrences as if they were a major threat to our lives. And because there is no real threat, just a general, vague sense of doom, we rarely get any sense of resolution or relief.

For some viewers who have anxiety or trauma, horror movies only make matters worse. But for others, horror can help provide relief from pent-up tension. They’re a way to practice feeling scared in a safe environment, refocus your brain away from real-life anxieties and enjoy the release that comes after the movie’s over.



Making friends with fear

When my nightmares are especially bad, I start to get nervous around bedtime because I never know what will happen to me in my sleep. Zombie movies, on the other hand, are a nightmare that I have the power to press pause on. That may be part of what makes them so enticing.

“Horror movies have a long history of providing a kind of reassurance,” says Margaret J. King, director of the Center for Cultural Studies and Analysis. “Viewers can immerse themselves in a harrowing narrative yet at the same time be perfectly safe, able to control the stimulus by turning it off or shifting attention to the surrounding space.”

Horror movies also teach you that, despite what it feels like sometimes, fear can’t kill you, as Lana Holmes, a clinical psychologist in Decatur, explains on the podcast Therapy for Black Girls. “When you expose yourself to something you’re afraid of, even a horror movie, over time, you realize — oh, I can survive this,” Holmes says.

Not only that, but there’s a joyful “comedown” effect after you’ve finished watching something scary, according to Scrivner. That feels great to someone like me, whose brain often seems to forget about that “rest and digest” bit after panicking. 

An escape from real life

In real life, the triggers for anxiety often feel inescapable, and it’s easy to get caught up in an endless cycle of worry. Often for people with anxiety disorders, there may not always be a single clear trigger, making it impossible to “fix.”

But in horror, there’s a clearly defined threat with a definite end. The fairly predictable plots provide a reassuring roadmap, yet they’re absorbing enough to keep your attention glued to the screen (and away from your own thoughts).

“If someone is feeling anxious, they may find that horror helps them stop ruminating about other things in their life,” Scrivner says. “Horror forces the viewer to focus — the monster on the screen pulls us in and focuses our attention.”

And, importantly, what happens with the zombies on the screen has absolutely no consequences on your life. In most cases, Scrivner says, people are drawn to horror content that has nothing to do with their current real-life fears. “Horror that hits too close to home might be too repulsive or triggering,” he explains.

Headfirst into your worst fears

Sometimes, rather than a way to escape real-life worries, horror can be a way to dive headfirst into them — almost like a form of exposure therapy. 

“Horror fans score very high in a trait called morbid curiosity, which can be defined as an interest in learning about threatening situations,” Scrivner says. “Interestingly, anxiety and morbid curiosity seem to stem from similar psychological roots — a central aspect to both anxiety and morbid curiosity is an increased interest in gathering information about threats, even if it may be unpleasant to gather that information,” he explains. “This may be part of the reason why many people with anxiety are horror fans.”

The same can be true on a larger scale. “Horror as a genre often speaks to the real world horrors of the time in which it is created,” says Scrivner. For example, he says, torture films like Saw and Hostel “became popular around the time the torture of Guantanamo Bay prisoners became public,” though it’s not clear if there’s a direct link. 

This may also have something to do with the popularity of horror content with race themes among Black viewers, like Get Out and Lovecraft Country. 

And it almost certainly has something to do with the sudden explosion in pandemic horror movies during the COVID-19 pandemic. 


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‘Quar-horror’ and the COVID-19 horror boom 

During the COVID-19 pandemic, horror’s ability to soothe anxiety and stress was put to the ultimate test. In a December 2020 survey from the US Census Bureau, more than 42% of respondents reported symptoms of anxiety or depression, as compared to 11% the previous year. At the same time, 2020 was a “boom year” for horror even as other genres failed to perform as expected.

It seems that many people have been drawn to horror films as a way to cope — at the onset of the coronavirus pandemic in the US, the pandemic thriller Contagion became one of the most-watched movies on iTunes. Data from the digital movie app Movies Anywhere showed significant spikes of interest in “escapist movies such as horror and thrillers,” general manager Karin Gilford told Insider. In May 2020, horror sales on the app were up 194% from the previous May. 

Did all that horror really help people cope? Yes, apparently. Scrivner was the lead author of a January 2021 study that found that horror fans were more psychologically resilient during the pandemic, with movies like Contagion serving as a sort of practice simulation for the real thing. 

The pandemic has even left its own mark on the horror genre, giving birth to a new subgenre called “quar-horror.” As one quar-horror director, Nathan Crooker, told NPR, “horror can be a way to process our worst fears.” 

In order for horror to be truly helpful for anxiety or stress, the content has to hit that sweet spot: scary enough to keep your attention and stimulate your fear response, but not so scary that you feel overwhelmed or retraumatized. That will vary based on your own individual threshold and background, and there are so many different monsters to choose from. Some of my own favorite horror movies and TV shows for anxiety are:

  • Black Summer: A Netflix zombie series that consists of brief vignettes, so you get that “comedown” effect several times throughout each episode.
  • Train to Busan: A South Korean zombie movie that remains one of the most compelling zombie movies I’ve seen yet. 
  • The Haunting of Bly Manor: I’m usually too spooked by ghost themes, but this one had just the right atmosphere and narrative to hook me in.
  • A Quiet Place: This movie is, well, quiet, which makes the constant high tension and suspense much more bearable for me (I often mute the gruesome stuff in horror anyway).

How horror movies can help mental health, according to science

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Even if you don’t have anxiety, the COVID-19 pandemic is the sort of situation that can cause you to feel constantly on edge in a similar way. The threat of the coronavirus is very real, but largely out of your hands and with no clear end in sight, making it hard to ever feel truly at ease. Other stressors, like climate change or racism, can have the same effect. 

Horror is one way to regain control of your emotions when so much of life feels out of your control. And at a time when the apocalypse is on many of our minds, it makes sense to find horror a bit soothing. Right now, real life is complicated and hard. In zombie movies, the threat is simple, and the solution is straightforward: aim for the head, and don’t get bit.

The information contained in this article is for educational and informational purposes only and is not intended as health or medical advice. Always consult a physician or other qualified health provider regarding any questions you may have about a medical condition or health objectives.

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No Time To Die ending explained: How Daniel Craig’s final James Bond adventure wraps up

Daniel Craig’s final James Bond adventure has one heck of an ending.  


No Time To Die hit UK theaters Thursday, with the US release happening Oct. 8 and the Australian one coming Nov. 11, bringing Daniel Craig’s tenure as James Bond to an end. It’s the 25th official 007 movie, and Craig’s fifth cinematic outing as the iconic British superspy since 2006.

“In Daniel Craig’s final outing as the suave superspy, James Bond finally gets a life,” CNET’s Richard Trenholm said in his review. “The result is an epic, explosive and emotional swan song that throws everything it has against the wall for a genuinely unique entry in the series.”

Let’s dive into the movie’s final moment, but be warned: the following SPOILERS should be for your eyes only if you’ve seen the movie.

spoiler alert


Bioterrorist Lyutsifer Safin (Rami Malek) takes Bond’s former lover Madeleine Swann (Lea Seydoux) and her daughter Mathilde to his classic villain lair on an old World War II island base between Japan and Russia. Earlier, Madeleine insisted Mathilde isn’t Bond’s kid, but those striking blue eyes suggest otherwise.

Madeleine’s father, the late Mr. White, killed Safin’s family on behalf of terrorist group Spectre when Safin was just a wee lad, so he killed Madeleine’s mother to hurt Mr. White. Madeleine got trapped under ice as she tried to escape this attack, but he saved her and became obsessed like a big weirdo.


Lyutsifer Safin brings some creepy villainy to the adventure.


Safin previously forced her to take part in his scheme to wipe out Spectre with Heracles, a DNA-based bioweapon containing nanobots that target specific people. It kills captive Spectre boss Ernst Stavro Blofeld (Christoph Waltz), completing Safin’s revenge (cue maniacal laughter). From his base, Safin intends to launch Heracles globally, infecting millions (laughter intensifies).

Newly reinstated as 007, Bond and fellow 00 agent Nomi (Lashana Lynch) infiltrate the island and seemingly succeed in opening the silo doors to make sure a missile strike ordered by M (Ralph Fiennes) will completely wipe out Safin’s base. Nomi escapes with Madeleine and Mathilde, while Bond sticks around to make sure the base is destroyed.

Bond’s fate

The silo doors start to close, so Bond rushes back to reopen them. Could it be a trap? It definitely is. 

Safin gets the drop on 007, shooting Bond several times and infecting him with nanobots coded to Madeline’s DNA — meaning he can never touch her or Matilde again without killing them. What a jerk.

Bond guns down Safin and opens the silo doors, but it’s clear he doesn’t have time to escape. He calls Madeline and tells her he loves her.


Bond and Madeleine Swann bring us on an emotional rollercoaster.


“You have all the time in the world,” he says.

“She does have your eyes,” she responds, confirming that Mathilde is his daughter.

“I know,” he says, as the missiles come down on the base. “I know.”

With that, Bond is enveloped in the explosions.

Wait, James Bond dies?

Yes, for the first time in the character’s 59-year cinematic history (and 68-year literary one), 007 is killed. The movie’s title lied to us. It’s pretty definitive too; he’d been badly wounded by Safin, seemed at peace with his fate and the missile strike wiped out the island. 

This comes after Bond became a father for the first time (that we know of) and seemed ready to settle down with Madeline and Matilde, making it all the more devastating. Pardon me, I have something in my eye.


Daniel Craig’s James Bond: 2006-2021


What happens after his death?

Nomi returns to MI6 headquarters in London and M gathers her, Moneypenny, Tanner and Q (Naomie Harris, Rory Kinnear and Ben Whishaw) in an emotional toast to their late colleague.

“Right, back to work,” M says. Probably has another supervillain to stop.

The final moments take us to the spectacular Italian mountainside city of Matera, where we met Madeline and Bond at the start of the movie. This time, she’s driving with their daughter.

“Matilde, I’m going to tell you a story about a man,” Madeline says. “His name was Bond, James Bond.”

The credits roll, to the tune of Louis Armstrong’s We Have All the Time in the World.

How is that song significant?

Longtime Bond fans will recognize that We Have All the Time in the World from 1969’s On Her Majesty’s Secret Service, the sixth movie in the franchise and George Lazenby’s one and only outing in the role.

The title is darkly ironic — it’s taken from Bond’s final line after his new wife, Tracy, is fatally shot by Blofeld’s goon.

No Time To Die echoes On Her Majesty’s Secret Service in that it sees Bond growing as a person and apparently willing to leave spycraft behind to settle down. In both instances, fate intervenes — and something appears to have gotten in my eye again.

Is there a post-credits scene?

No Time To Die doesn’t have a post-credits scene, but if you stick around to the end you’ll see the classic words “James Bond will return.” 

The phrase has never been more reassuring, but we don’t know yet who’ll be taking over from Craig. 

The future 007

The search for the next Bond actor will begin in 2022, producer Barbara Broccoli told BBC Radio 4’s Today program, according to Deadline.

“We want Daniel to have his time of celebration,” she said. “Next year we’ll start thinking about the future.”

The Bond franchise has always been a bit fuzzy in terms of continuity — newer actors’ movies sometimes referred to events from a previous era, so it seemed like Sean Connery, Lazenby, Roger Moore, Timothy Dalton and Pierce Brosnan were all playing the same person.

However, Craig’s first movie, Casino Royale, rebooted the franchise in 2006. So his movies are a self-contained series, and the death of his version of the character closes the loop on that narrative. Goodbye, Mr. Bond.

No Time To Die ending explained: How Daniel Craig's final James Bond adventure wraps up

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Amazon’s Astro is the latest in a growing line of real-world robots

Who’s a excellent robot?

Screenshot by CNET

Hi there, Astro.

Amazon introduced an entry in the contest for the cutest home robotic, having the wraps off a rolling droid that vaguely resembles a mechanical pup at its fall function on Tuesday. Astro, its creators reported in a slick video clip, incorporates Amazon’s AI technologies and is driven by the Alexa voice assistant. It also athletics a removable cupholder, mainly because who wishes the trouble of essentially carrying a Large Gulp? 

The giant e-tailer saved Astro until finally the finish of its hour-extensive occasion, which integrated updates to Echo, Ring and other wise dwelling products. But the robot, which can map your house and serve as a not-terribly-fearsome watchdog, was plainly the showstopper.

Astro is not available for basic obtain at the moment, but Amazon has opened a waiting around listing for these nervous to get the minor fella. The robot will be readily available later this year and expenses $1,000. (United kingdom and Australian selling prices weren’t declared, but which is about £740 or AU$1,380.) If you you should not get one particular this time all around, keep the religion. Amazon states an Astro 2 is now in the works.

Robots are an alluring idea and have captured human imagination for more than a century. If you never want to get in line for Astro, in this article are some robots you can think about:

Tesla Bot

As opposed to Astro, Elon Musk’s Tesla Bot seems like tiny much more than an awareness get. The humanoid robotic, unveiled at the electrical car or truck company’s AI Day last month, is meant to be a humanoid robotic that makes use of synthetic intelligence to just take more than mundane responsibilities for individuals. The form-of-single Musk states the bot will activity autopilot cameras and will be ready to elevate 150 kilos.

Musk proposed the robot, which just isn’t at prototype stage nonetheless, could handle “hazardous, repetitive, boring” work like likely to the retailer to obtain groceries. That’s a mundane process and a single that could be regarded harmful, assuming you’re vulnerable to shopping for half gallon tubs of ice cream.

“Effectively, in the long term, bodily perform will be a selection,” Musk reported in the course of the presentation at Tesla’s AI Working day. “If you want to do it, you can, but you is not going to will need to do it.”

Musk claimed he hoped for a Tesla Bot prototype following calendar year, but it really is anyone’s guess when you will operate into one at your area Safeway. The Tesla Bot we saw at AI Day was just a skinny dude in a unusual onesie. (Try to remember: Musk has also advised us we are going to Mars, but no one’s introduced again a memento snow world still.) 

Robotic vacuums

Talking of repetitive and unexciting tasks, the best set up robotic product line most likely is for models that’ll cleanse your flooring. iRobot started the development with its Roomba line, but now there are a great deal of other robotic vacuum cleaners and ground moppers.

Makers of robotic vacuum cleaners include iRobot, Eufy, Samsung and many others.

Shipping and delivery bots

Bots are coming… to your doorway. All around the globe, firms are experimenting with robots that provide instantly to buyers.

In Berkeley, California, a fleet of cute Kiwibots stirred up awareness as they cruised the streets with meals for the city’s students. They also rankled residents. One gentleman upset by their presence botnapped one of the devices, which police tracked with GPS.


Photo me rollin’. ##robots##viral##robotsbelike##robotschallenge##robotapocalypse##okboomer##boomer##robotstyle##patriots##newengland##tombrady

♬ Picture Me Rollin – Chamillionaire

No surprise, Amazon is in the delivery bot house. The company began its Scout shipping and delivery bot program two and a 50 % yrs ago not considerably from its Seattle headquarters. Very last month, Amazon reported it was establishing a Scout R&D centre in Helsinki. Google, Postmates and other firms are also working on robotic shipping and delivery solutions.

Starship Technologies delivery bot

A Starship Technologies delivery bot on a sidewalk in London.

Starship Technologies

Shopping mall cops

Robots can assistance with safety and policing, at the very least in the eyes of companies promoting the products and solutions, and you may see a actual-environment RoboCop in some sections of the planet. Dubai is applying a Pal Robotics development as a law enforcement bot in malls and vacationer places. Individuals can use it to get data, pay fines and report crimes.

Stability is one of the initial marketplaces for Boston Dynamics, a business with some of the most eye-catching robots about. Its backflip-able humanoid Atlas robots are in all probability the closest matter to a Tesla Bot so significantly, but the item that the business is promoting today is the doglike Place Mini.

Location Mini didn’t fare effectively in New York City, while. The New York Police Department scrapped a agreement for robot law enforcement pet dogs after criticism from Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and other general public problems.

Telepresence robots

Even just before COVID-19 wiped out organization vacation, some companies had been arguing that you can conserve a bundle on airplane tickets if you make a virtual overall look at a distant web-site applying a telepresence robot from a corporation like Double Robotics, which puts an iPad on a stalk that you can wheel all around an business. Your encounter seems on the iPad display screen so individuals know who they are dealing with, and the iPad’s digicam beams its view to your display. Prices get started at $4,000.

Double Robotics telepresence robot

Double Robotics telepresence robotic.

Stephen Shankland/CNET

Educational toys

Tons of organizations are trying to capitalize on parental hopes that their kid could be the future Elon Musk if only they obtain the ideal academic robotic. They may possibly not in fact be a quick track to a Carnegie Mellon engineering degree, but they can be enjoyable and instructive.

The 4M Tin Can Robotic is a cheap way to get began with mechanical leisure. The $150 Ponder Workshop Sprint robotic is currently assembled but allows children management it via essential programming. And the $350 Lego Mindstorms 51515 Robot Inventor kit brings together open up-ended construction selections with programming. If you want additional-sophisticated crafted-in technologies, the $489 Anki Vector has AI voice management and a camera. 

Clean espresso

What do you get when you cross a manufacturing unit floor robotic with a barista? Cafe X’s Gordon, a robotic that tends to make espresso. They are not however displacing school students working at Starbucks, but you can see 1 in motion at San Francisco Global Airport’s Terminal 3.

Warehouse workers

Operate in a warehouse or a manufacturing facility and there is certainly a good prospect you will interact with a robotic at some level. The devices are cropping up just about everywhere, including breweries, bakeries and brickworks. 

A single company that surrendered to robot overlords long back: Amazon. In 2014, the huge e-tailer started rolling out Kiva robots at its success centers, in which they whiz all over gathering orders and bringing them to a human worker.

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Skullcandy banks on hands-free voice control to differentiate its new earbuds and headphones

The new Skullcandy Grind Fuel.

David Carnoy/CNET

With so numerous new wireless earbuds and headphones getting produced on what would seem most likely a weekly foundation, it can be not simple for companies to differentiate their items in the marketplace. Skullcandy hopes its new voice-driven platform, Cranium-iQ Smart Function Know-how, will do just that. Equivalent to the Apple AirPods’ “Hey Siri” feature, Skullcandy’s variation lets you to say “Hey, Skullcandy” to situation fingers-free voice instructions with out touching a button. Cranium-iQ debuts on the Grind Gasoline ($100) and Drive Energetic ($80) genuine-wireless earbuds, which will be firmware updatable by using the Skullcandy App. The new earbuds are readily available now.

I tried using out the new buds and the voice commands get the job done efficiently with extremely very little hold off. The amount of instructions you can concern is confined and focused on songs playback, accepting and rejecting calls and toggling on the earbuds’ Continue to be-Informed transparency manner. Just one of the essential discrepancies about the AirPods hands-totally free Siri is the means to accessibility Spotify by just indicating “Hey Skullcandy, Spotify.” The AirPods do not have voice-activated Spotify Faucet obtain.

A lot more earbuds will obtain palms-free voice solutions in the in close proximity to upcoming, but for now Skullcandy is the 1st to give the aspect at this extra modest price tag place. The Utah-primarily based enterprise has often appealed to younger “energetic” people and Skullcandy hopes the voice features will be a strike with individuals who do sports activities like snowboarding, mountain biking and skateboarding and will appreciate the palms-free regulate. 

Equally the Grind Fuel and Force Active Real earbuds are equipped with Bluetooth 5.2, are IP55 splashproof and have constructed-in Tile Getting Technological know-how. The Grind Gasoline is rated for up to 9 hrs of battery life at moderate quantity levels and its circumstance rates wirelessly. The Push Energetic Real is rated for up to 10 hrs of battery life on a single demand at average volume degrees. 


The Press Energetic are $80.

David Carnoy/CNET

In all, I was a tiny a lot more amazed with the new attributes than I assumed I’d be (Skullcandy states additional attributes and new voice-command alternatives will be extra by way of firmware updates). I am much less of an ear-hook man and like the style of the Grind Gasoline, which provides respectable audio for the income and looks like a really very good worth at $100. At $80, the Push Active Correct is a more inexpensive alternate to the Beats Powerbeats Pro.

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Facebook hits pause on Instagram Kids as concern mounts over impact on teens

Not everyone is thrilled by the concept of an Instagram Children application.

Thiago Prudencio/SOPA Visuals/LightRocket by way of Getty Images

Instagram is pausing the progress of Instagram Children, a committed company it can be setting up for children, in purchase to commit time focusing on establishing parental supervision applications. It also intends to use the hiatus to persuade the wider world that the an Instagram app for young children is, in truth, a very good and necessary issue.

The news that Instagram was working on a dedicated application for kids was initially described by Buzzfeed back again in March. Instagram confirmed the provider was in progress, and was achieved with outrage from rights businesses, as effectively as bullying and mental wellbeing groups, which had been all involved about the impression of offering young small children accessibility to social media. More than the past thirty day period, reporting by The Wall Road Journal raised issues that Facebook’s interior investigation confirmed Instagram to be bad for teenagers, which extra to the stress on the firm.

But even however Instagram is suspending do the job on its children app for now, it really is probably this kind of an app will nevertheless make an visual appeal in the future.

In a site article posted Monday, head of Instagram Adam Mosseri mentioned he still thinks building Instagram Kids is “the ideal factor to do.” As kids are already on line and misrepresenting their age to obtain Instagram (which is only accessible to above-13s), he explained that Instagram thought it finest for children in the 10-12 age team to have an age-acceptable services dedicated to them. Instagram Youngsters will not be made to replicate the grownup model of the application, but to be ad-free and overseen immediately by mom and dad, he extra.

“Our intention is not for this variation to be the similar as Instagram currently,” said Mosseri. “Mothers and fathers can supervise the time their small children invest on the app and oversee who can information them, who can adhere to them and who they can observe.”

In a followup tweet, Mosseri expanded on why Instagram made the decision to delay the venture. Instagram Kids was leaked prior to the enterprise was completely ready for it to be community, he reported, indicating that Instagram wasn’t prepared to reply inquiries about it and allay people’s fears. Pursuing the escalation in issue sparked by The Wall Street Journal’s reporting, it was obvious the enterprise needed to get much more time more than it, he extra.

(Before on Monday, Fb rebutted the Journal’s stories statements in a individual weblog post, indicating that its conclusions were being misunderstood and misrepresente.)

Mosseri stated that critics of Instagram Little ones would be improper to perspective the simple fact that the venture was being place on hiatus as “an acknowledgement that the job is a poor notion.” In its place, the company wishes to do the job with dad and mom, specialists and policymakers to demonstrate the “benefit and need to have” for Instagram Children, though also continuing to construct decide-in supervision tools for teens (aged 13 and around). “I hear the problems with this job, and we are saying these techniques currently so we can get it right,” he explained.

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