There are so many incredible deals available right now on Amazon ahead of Black Friday 2021. As a matter of fact, Amazon kicked off a huge sale packed with "epic deals" on everything you can think of. Looking for some highlights? Apple's insanely popular AirPods Pro are down to $197. You can also save up to $100 on other AirPods models, which is crazy. Amazon's #1 best-selling mattress pillow topper with 40,000 5-star reviews is down to $37.95. There are also shockingly deep discounts on dozens of Amazon devices like Fire TV Sticks and Echo speakers. But there's another deal that anyone and everyone needs to take advantage of right away. Well, anyone and everyone who is eligible, that is.
We're talking about an awesome Amazon gift card promotion that gets you $10 for FREE when you buy a $50 gift card. It works with regular Amazon gift cards and eGift cards alike. What's more, you can just send an eGift card to yourself and you end up getting an extra $10 totally free!
As we mentioned above, there are so many epic deals available right now at Amazon. You can actually see all the best ones right here on Amazon's epic deals page. But you can spend hours digging through those pages without coming across a bargain this good. After all, what's better than free money?!
Here's how it works. All you need to do is head over to the Amazon Gift Card page and choose an amount of $50 or more. Now, here's the important trick. If you want to get a gift card for someone as a present, feel free. But you can also just enter your own email address as the eGift card recipient. That way, you're not spending any money at all! Instead, you're simply loading $50 onto your own Amazon account. With Black Friday right around the corner, you'll definitely be spending that money anyway.
This is the important bit. When you go to pay for your order, enter the coupon code USGIFTCARD21 at checkout. When you do, you'll see a confirmation that the promotion worked. Then, you'll have an extra $10 Amazon credit added to your account within two days.
Amazon's terms and conditions page for this promotion is right here. But we'll save you the suspense and highlight the biggest caveat with this promo. In order to be eligible for this Amazon gift card promotion, it needs to be your first time buying one on Amazon's website. If you've purchased an Amazon gift card in a grocery store or some other physical retailer, you're fine. But if you've ordered a gift card or eGift card from Amazon's site, you're not eligible for this promo.
If you're not eligible for the promotion above, don't worry. There's actually another great Amazon promotion running right now that you might be able to take advantage of.
Have you ever heard of Amazon Reload? If you answered "no," that's actually a good thing. It means you're almost certainly eligible for an awesome Amazon gift card promotion that gets you a $12 credit for free!
First-time reloaders can use Amazon Reload to add $100 or more to their account. When they do, they'll get an extra $12 Amazon credit for free.
Figuring out whether or not you're eligible for this great offer couldn't be easier. Just visit Amazon's terms and conditions page for the Reload promo. If you see a message that says "Sorry, you are not eligible for this promotion," you're out of luck. That means you've used Amazon Reload at some point in the past. But if you see Amazon's terms and conditions instead, you're good to go.
Was that last heading a typo? Can you really get paid $5 just for streaming a movie? Believe it or not, yes, you really can.
Amazon is offering a special limited-time promotion to Prime subscribers. If you're an "eligible customer" (again, there's no clarification as far as what that means), Amazon will give you a $5 credit for streaming something using Prime Video. All you have to do is visit the promo page, click the banner at the top, and stream a video.
Terms and conditions are located at the bottom of the page, but this one is a no-brainer. Just go stream a movie or an episode of your favorite show, and you'll get paid $5!
Are you looking to spend the money you just made with these Amazon Gift Card promotions? Don't worry, you definitely don't need to wait for Black Friday. Amazon's Epic Daily Deals page is already packed full of incredible deals that are definitely as good as anything you'll find around Black Friday.
If you want some examples, we're way ahead of you. To start, insanely popular Blink home security cameras are on sale at deep discounts, with prices starting at just $24.95. The Yeedi k600 robot vacuum is one of the most popular models right now, and it's only $89.99. You can add hands-free Alexa to any car with the Echo Auto while refurbs are on sale for just $19.99. Plus, there's an extremely rare discount right now on the Wyze Cam v3 home security camera with incredible color night vision.
Master & Dynamic has been making waves for some years now. The company is known for building ultra-premium headphones with an emphasis on stunning design and excellent audio quality. Now, however, the company is bringing that experience to the world of gaming, with its first gaming headset -- the Master & Dynamic MG20 gaming headset.
Master & Dynamic has the headphone experience down -- that much is clear. But building great gaming headsets is different. Gaming headsets need to be ultra-comfortable for long gaming sessions. They need to have a decent battery life if they're wireless, like the MG20. And, they need to be able to work with low latency. Does the Master & Dynamic MG20 gaming headset perform, at the high price of $449?
Master & Dynamic has traditionally made great-looking headsets, and the Master & Dynamic MG20 is no exception to that rule. The headset keeps a similar shape to its other pairs of headphones, with the oval ear cup shape and plush ear pads. It does away with the colors schemes though, in favor of an all-black or all-white look. I'm reviewing the black model, and I really like the look of it.
The left ear cup is where you'll get the majority of the controls, with a microphone volume wheel that mutes when pressed, a button to activate or deactivate virtual 7.1 surround sound, and a Bluetooth button, which doubles as a power button. There's also the USB-C port and an input for the microphone, which is removable. On the right ear cup, you'll find the other controls, including the overall volume wheel and a button to control playback. There are a lot of controls to get used to, but it shouldn't take too long to get used to them.
Like other pairs of M&D headphones, the MG20 is clearly built from premium materials. It has a metal frame, with an Alcantara and coated canvas headband. There's plenty of nice padding in the ear pads, with a lambskin covering. It all looks and feels great, plus despite the metal, the headset is pretty lightweight.
In the box, apart from the headset itself, you'll get a range of accessories. There's a USB-C to 3.5mm cable, which allows you to game in wired mode. And, there's a splitter for microphone and audio inputs on your PC. You'll also get the detachable microphone, and a pop filter for that microphone, a dongle for 2.4GHz low-latency connections, a standard USB-A to USB-C cable, and a nice, premium carry bag. Yeah, it's a lot -- and pretty much everything you'll need.
Master & Dynamic MG20 review: Features and battery
The Master & Dynamic MG20 gaming headset can connect to the M&D Connect app, which allows you to tweak its settings, update firmware, and more. Generally, the app is well-designed and easy to use, and it allows you to tweak settings for the headset that you can make use of during your gaming.
Of course, if you plan on using Bluetooth with other devices, using the app can be a little complicated. The headset only supports connecting through Bluetooth to one device, meaning that you'll have to re-pair with your phone each time you want to use the app. For those that use the dongle or wired connection instead, this won't be a huge deal. But it will matter for those that want to use their headset through Bluetooth with other devices. For example, I ended up pairing it with my Apple TV for private listening in the living room when I wasn't gaming on the PS5.
Through the app, you can tweak the EQ, either using one of the presets, or by creating your own. You can also select when the headset should automatically power off. That's really about it though -- there aren't many other settings to tweak.
Master & Dynamic rates the headset as offering 22 hours of battery. That's not bad at all. It's pretty much on par with many of the other premium gaming headsets out there.
Master & Dynamic MG20 review: Comfort
A great gaming headset needs to remain comfortable, and the Master & Dynamic MG20 headset isn't bad. As mentioned, the headset offers plenty of padding in the ear cups, and a solid amount of padding under the headband. That ensures that you'll be able to wear it for hours on end.
Now, while comfortable, the headset doesn't quite reach the heights of the most comfortable headsets. For example, SteelSeries has built an incredible headband system that remains pretty much unrivaled in the gaming headset world. Still, the headset offers a decent clamp and enough padding to remain comfortable for longer gaming sessions.
Master & Dynamic MG20 review: Sound quality
Perhaps the most important thing about the Master & Dynamic MG20 headset is how it sounds, and thankfully, it sounds great. As mentioned, if you don't like the frequency profile out of the box, you can tweak it through the app. But, out of the box, it does sound pretty good.
For starters, the bass response is very good. You'll get deep and powerful bass that sounds natural yet extends nice and low. Kick drums offer a solid thud, while bass guitars and synths were heavy without being muddy.
The mids are well-tuned, and also relatively flat. I appreciate the natural-sounding mids. Thankfully, there was easily enough response to make voices pretty easy to hear.
Easily my favorite thing about the sound quality here was the high-end response. There's a ton of detail and clarity to these headphones, and that makes for an exciting sound profile overall. Cymbals are nice and crisp, while guitars have a nice cut to them. In gaming, it makes for a more immersive experience, as things just sound a little more natural.
The headset supports virtualized 7.1 surround sound, and it sounds fine. It's about on par with other virtual surround tech. I don't often use virtual surround sound tech, but those that like the idea will appreciate the way it sounds here.
The built-in microphone is also fine. It doesn't quite offer as much detail as some might like, and it's probably not the microphone to rely on for things like recording podcasts or videos. But your teammates will easily be able to hear what's going on, which is the most important thing.
The Master & Dynamic MG20 is a solid first gaming headset from one of the best headphone companies of the past few years. It's really a headset that only Master & Dynamic could build. It hits all the most important points of a gaming headset. It has a relatively comfortable fit, and a sound quality that beats out most of the competition. Not all gamers will love the non-RGB-ified look, but the trade-off is that the headset doubles as an excellent daily driver for those who want a headset for more than just their gaming.
Of course, you'll pay a hefty price for those advantages. At $449, the MG20 is ultimately still a luxury headset. Those willing to pay will appreciate the excellent audio quality. But, if you're looking for value-for-money, you should probably keep looking.
There are a few other options in the premium gaming headset world. It's worth also considering the SteelSeries Arctis Pro headset, though if you want something that works great for day-to-day use, the Arctis Pro probably isn't the way to go.
Ultimately, if you want a headset for gaming and day-to-day use all in one, and are willing to pay this much cash, the Master & Dynamic MG20 is a great option.
Should I buy the Master & Dynamic MG20 gaming headset?
Maybe. The Master & Dynamic MG20 isn't a value-for-money option -- but if you want a versatile, luxury headset, it's worth considering.
A report a few days ago said the next-gen iPhone SE design will deliver a significant upgrade. The 2022 iPhone SE 3 will supposedly feature iPhone 13-grade specs, including the A15 Bionic chip and 5G support. The handset will also look just like the iPhone XR, although Apple will reportedly replace Face ID with a Touch ID sensor embedded in the power button. We told you that the rumor contradicted the most recent iPhone SE 3 reports. Those said Apple would not redesign its next affordable iPhone. An insider known for his accurate predictions about smartphone displays now says the next iPhone SE will be called iPhone SE Plus. But the handset will still look like the current model.
The Food Safety and Inspection Service, which is part of the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), recently issued a pork recall for more than 10,000 pounds of pork pellet products from Evans Food Group. The products in question were brought into the US in mid-September. Much of the pork was processed into snacks like pork rind and also chicharrones.
As for the reason behind the recall, well, that's where things get interesting. While most meat-based recalls involve a contamination issue, this one is a bit different. The recall, in this case, stems from the fact that the 10,000 pounds of pork pellets were mistakenly not subject to a thorough inspection upon arriving in the US. So far, no adverse reactions have been reported. But the recall is being issued out of an abundance of caution.
Looking for the best cheap deals online today for October 2021? A smart home device? Brand new 4K TV? Robot vacuum? How about a luxurious mattress topper? You've definitely come to the right place. That's exactly why we've put together this guide on the best deals online.
The epic daily deals page on Amazon is definitely the biggest of the bunch. Make sure you check back regularly for the latest and greatest early Black Friday sales. Plus, if you hurry there are two promos right now that get you FREE MONEY!
From wireless noise cancelling headphones and laptops to video games, TVs, kitchen appliances, and more, we've got you covered. You should never pay top dollar for popular products if you don't have to. Anyone who follows BGR Deals has the inside track on all the latest sales across every popular product category. We're here to help you find all the top offers and best bargains that savvy shoppers love.
This week's best cheap deals online include shockingly good deals on Apple devices like the AirPods Pro. They're $249 in an Apple store, but Amazon is offering a MASSIVE discount. Looking for a robot vacuum instead? The Roomba 675 is only $199.99 if you hurry, or get the popular Yeedi k600 robot vacuum for only $89.99 instead of $130. Amazon has the $500 Acer Chromebook Spin 311 for just $223 today, which is remarkable.
Are you impressed? That's just the tip of the iceberg. Below, you'll find links to all the most popular product categories for the best deals online. There are cheap prices on everything you can think of, from Instant Pots and robot vacuums to smart home devices, 4K TVs, air fryers, home goods, and so much more.
This list of cheap deals online is updated daily, so check back as much as you want for the latest sales and discounts
First and foremost, Amazon is the nation's #1 online retailer. The company has built a truly astonishing hub where you can find anything and everything. What's more, Amazon and its partners often manage to offer the lowest prices anywhere. Millions upon millions of products can be shipped to your door in two days or less. And despite the lightning-fast Prime shipping, you'll often pay less than you would anywhere else. Of course, despite all the awesome products on the site, some of the best Amazon finds in 2021 are Amazon's own devices.
From Echo smart speakers and Fire TV streaming gadgets to Ring home security products and the Halo health tracker, Amazon does it all. Countless millions of people around the world couldn't imagine going through their days without Alexa. And millions more rely on Fire TV devices for all their entertainment streaming needs.
Long story short, everyone knows about the Fire TV Stick 4K (now just $29.99 if you pick up a refurb!) and the Echo Dot (save $15 when you bundle with an Amazon Smart Plug!). But when it comes to Amazon devices, that's just the tip of the iceberg.
There are so many great Amazon gadgets out there now, you're probably not even aware that some of them exist. That's why we made this roundup. Here, we're going to run through five fantastic lesser-known Amazon devices. They're all must-have gadgets, but they might not even be on your radar yet.
Echo Glow is our favorite new Amazon find
The Echo Glow is another nifty gadget that falls into the Echo category. It's not a smart speaker or a display, however. Instead, it works alongside your other Alexa devices to help you set the mood. You can change the color using Alexa voice commands or the Alexa app on your smartphone. You can also create timers or make schedules. Plus, there's a dance party mode that changes the colors in sync with the music you play on your Echo speakers.
It's so cool and there are so many possibilities. Oh, and it only costs $29.99. This is definitely our favorite new Amazon find of 2021!
When you think of truly wireless earbuds with active noise cancellation, you think of AirPods Pro. Apple's ANC earphones are definitely the most popular ones out there. What's more, they're fantastic. In terms of both sound quality and ANC quality, they're near the head of the pack. And incredibly, they're down to $197 right now at Amazon, which is Amazon's lowest price of the month.
Before you pick up a pair, however, there's another option you should consider that's a top Amazon find in 2021.
You might not even know this, but Amazon makes true wireless noise cancelling earbuds of its own. They're called Echo Buds and they're terrific. As a matter of fact, many reviewers out there say they're just as impressive as AirPods Pro. They tout impressive sound quality and great battery life. They also have cutting-edge noise cancellation tech that works so well.
Apple's AirPods Pro are definitely a great deal at $179.99. But even with that huge $60 discount, Echo Buds cost so much less money. And that's especially true right now while they're on sale! You can score Echo Buds for just $119.99 anytime you want. That's $60 less than AirPods Pro even while they're on sale! And if you want Echo Buds with a Wireless Charging Case, you'll only pay $139.99.
Amazon's Fire TV Stick 4K lets you stream anything and everything to your TV. Then there's the Echo Dot, which lets you control so many smart home gadgets with your voice. Wouldn't it be great if you could control your TV with your voice?
The Fire Stick lineup doesn't include that functionality just yet. What you might not realize, however, is that there's another gadget that does. The Fire TV Blaster is the missing link between Alexa and your TV and soundbar setup. You can say things like "Alexa, turn on the TV" and Alexa will oblige. You can even control the volume, switch inputs, and so much more.
It's one of the best Amazon finds of 2021, it's only $34.99!
Dash Smart Shelf is one of the best Amazon finds of 2021
Remember Amazon's old Dash Buttons. They were so cool. You could place a button next to something you use all the time, like laundry detergent. Then, anytime you were running low, you could tap the button and reorder your laundry detergent of choice.
It was such a cool concept, but Amazon discontinued its Dash Buttons. Now, however, Dash Buttons have been replaced with something even better — and you've probably never even heard of it.
Amazon's Dash Smart Shelf uses the same concept as Dash Buttons, but it's fully automated. That's right, you don't even need to press a button anymore. Place compatible items on top of the shelf and it'll constantly monitor the weight to see how much you have left. When your supplies get low, the Dash Smart Shelf will automatically reorder for you!
This is such an awesome product and it's so useful. What's more, it comes in three different sizes and each one costs just $19.99. As far as compatible products, you can check out the huge list right here on Amazon's site. Of all the Amazon finds in 2021, this is one of the best.
Last but not least, we have a new Amazon device that you've almost certainly never heard of. In fact, it's so new that it hasn't even been released yet! It's called the Amazon Smart Soap Dispenser and it's quite timely, considering how important hand hygiene is right now.
Amazon's new Smart Soap Dispenser is a battery-powered dispenser that runs for 3 months before needing to be recharged. It dispenses soap when you hold your hand under the spout, just like other hands-free dispensers. But this one also lights up for 20 seconds to ensure that you lather for the CDC-recommended minimum amount of time. Also, if you have an Echo speaker nearby, it can play a little song or even tell jokes while you wash. That's a great feature for anyone out there with young children.
There are a few other neat features that also make the Smart Soap Dispenser special. Our favorite is the one that controls how much soap is dispensed depending on how far under the nozzle you hold your hand. How cool is that?! This is an awesome little Amazon gadget, and it retails for $54.99. This is one of the best Amazon finds in 2021.
Apple's new MacBook Pro laptops with the M1 Max and M1 Pro are shipping to buyers who preordered them online. The initial stock already sold out.
If you’ve waited for the reviews to come out to decide whether you need a 2021 MacBook Pro — and what M1 SoC to choose — you’re looking at shipping estimates reaching December for some of the models. That’s because the reviews will show you that the M1 Max and M1 Pro offer tremendous power gains, if performance is your main concern with the new MacBook Pro. The laptops will easily outperform their rivals in most areas, including Intel and AMD machines. And performance outclasses even desktop-grade PCs, even approaching server-grade configurations in some tests.
2021 has proven to be the year of the stimulus check, and then some. By the time it's over, there will have been more than a half-dozen stimulus checks distributed by the federal government. That includes a third stimulus check for $1,400, as well as six monthly child tax credit payments. So many stimulus payments, in other words, that answering the question "Where's my stimulus check?" must first be preceded by, well, which one are you talking about?
The checks flowing from the federal government transferred some $15 billion to taxpayers in just one month. And that only refers to the fourth child tax credit payment, which went out on October 15. Meantime, there are still a few more of those coming. Plus, there will be a smattering of stimulus checks at the state level to different constituent groups. Below, we'll take a closer look at it all.
Supply chain chaos has sellers and shoppers on edge, with no relief in sight anytime soon. To better understand how marketers should navigate this unusual holiday shopping season, we spoke with a variety of experts to get tips on what makes for successful holiday e-commerce marketing -- and why planning, implementation, and customer engagement are paramount in these continually changing times.
Amazon heralded its shifting strategies to help sellers expand with new tools during its two-day Accelerate Seller Conference this week. The e-commerce giant announced its growing success with American small and medium-sized businesses empowerment this year, its glowing Sellers Report, and the results of its unique CRM tools for SMBs.
A new fraud ring called Proxy Phantom is using sophisticated credential stuffing attack methods to take over customer accounts for U.S.-based e-commerce merchants. The latest research from digital trust and safety firm Sift demonstrates fraudsters' relentless innovation and reinforces retailers' need to double down on fraud protection as the holiday shopping season rapidly approaches.
For years, affiliate marketers, social media companies, online marketplace platforms, and search engines alike have enjoyed the seemingly ubiquitous tax-free landscape from their digital activities afforded to them by the United States' Internet Tax Freedom Act of 1998. However, that could all be changing soon.
Master & Dynamic has staked its name on its mix of refined design, premium materials and crisp, clear audio quality. The company has a number of models under its belt, including wired, wireless and noise-cancelling headphones, in addition to true wireless earbuds and a concrete speaker. Now M&D is venturing into uncharted sonic territory: gaming headsets. With the MG20, the company has built a set of "wireless gaming headphones" with its trademark design and a range of handy features for a whopping $449 (€449/£429).
The MG20 has a familiar look to the company's over-ear headphones, with some simplified design choices. This gaming headset doesn't have quite as many varying textures as some of M&D's other products, for example. This time around, the company opted for a combo of aluminum, magnesium, lambskin leather and Alcantara. There's a detachable boom mic for gaming sessions and the MG20 also has microphones for calls when you're using them as a set of headphones. The headphones also have a semi-open back design for a wider sound stage and more natural audio quality.
Inside, 50mm drivers power 7.1 surround sound with support for aptX HD for music and aptX Low-Latency for mobile gaming. With the debut of the MG20, M&D has added EQ presets to it's headphone app for the first time, allowing users to select a sound profile to fit their needs. What's more, independent volume controls for game audio offer another degree of customization. A low-latency USB adapter is compatible with both PlayStation and PC and offers easy switching between devices. Master & Dynamic says the MG20 will last for up to 22 hours on a charge, and thanks to wear detection, the headphones can save battery life when you're not wearing them.
The MG20 will be available in black and white color options starting November 16th.
Three years after releasing a teensy phone designed to act as a companion for your primary device, the latest incarnation of Palm is back with a new product: a set of true wireless earbuds. Former designers from Beats by Dre and Samsung created the Palm Buds Pro.
Palm says it researched which features consumers want most from wireless earbuds, and it seems to have checked off a lot of the right boxes here. Buds Pro has active noise cancellation, bass-heavy audio with 10mm dynamic drivers and an array of six microphones that can tamp down background noise on calls. When the passthrough Ambient Mode is enabled, you'll be able to hear both audio playback and sounds from the world around you.
The battery will run for up to 5.5 hours or, if ANC is enabled, 4.5 hours, Palm says. The earbuds should be good for three hours of talk time. The charging case has a 400 mAh battery, which should provide the earbuds with over 24 hours of playback time before you have to recharge the case, according to Palm.
There's also fast pairing and syncing with devices, IPX4 sweat and water resistance and support for Siri and Google Assistant. In addition, the earbuds come with three sets of tips to help you find the best fit.
Perhaps the most impressive aspect of the Palm Buds Pro at the outset is how much they cost. The earbuds will be $129 at retail, which is a solid price for a set of ANC earbuds. If you pre-order by November 9th (when general availability starts), you can get a $30 discount.
Pre-orders are now open in the US, Canada and Mexico on Palm's website. Palm will ship the earbuds internationally to select markets. There's also a silicone case accessory in Shadow Black, Rose Pink and Navy Blue. The case is $15 during the pre-order period. It'll typically cost $25.
It remains to be seen how good Palm Buds Pro are in practice. Even though we weren't huge fans of the Palm Phone, there's a strong design pedigree behind the earbuds, so they might very well be worth checking out.
Sony’s smartphones have never quite set the world on fire. It’s one of the last storied tech companies still willing to try to sell phones, despite the dominance of Apple and Samsung.
The company seemed to turn a corner with its Xperia 1 series — phones that leaned into Sony’s camera knowledge, both when it came to sensors it’s made for years and software smarts.
We’ve got a review incoming for the Xperia 1 III, but that’s now been elbowed aside by the Xperia Pro-1, announced last night.
The big feature of the Xperia Pro-I is a 1-inch sensor last seen from the company's wonderful point-and-shoot camera. It’s a much larger sensor than you'll find on most phones (although Sony says the lens only actually covers a portion of the sensor). For comparison, the primary sensor on the just-released Google Pixel 6 Pro features a pixel pitch of 1.2µm. The Pro-I has 2.4µm-xxxxd pixels. The device can capture RAW stills, 4K 120 fps video, and (like the last few Xperia 1 models) shoot images at 20 fps as well.
Also notably, there’s a 24mm lens made from glass that can switch between f/2.0 and f/4.0 apertures — another rare feature,
The phone will also arrive with all kinds of dongles and add-ons, including support for Sony’s “dead-cat” muffler to cut wind noise, a shooting grip and its very own add-on display, for self-recording and vlogging with the primary camera sensor.
As tradition dictates, Sony is demanding a premium, yet again. In the US, the Xperia Pro-I will cost $1,800.The company reasons that you’re getting a flagship phone and RX100 VII point-and-shoot all in one device, for less.
While we balk at that Sony phone price, Google’s Pixel phones have landed. A true blend of premium hardware and tempting prices. Yep, for hundreds less than the competition, the Pixel 6 Pro offers everything you’d expect from a flagship and more. It has a lovely 120Hz screen, excellent cameras and a beautiful UI. Plus, Google’s clever AI touches add some intriguing photography tricks and makes voice typing easier.
Torn between the Pixel 6 and 6 Pro? Given the similarity of specs (and xxxx) that decision this year boils down to one key factor: price. Choose the Pixel 6 instead of the Pro and you’ll save $300. You'll only be missing out on the 120Hz screen and a telephoto camera. And the Pixel 6 has cooler color options anyhow...
Design, fit and features combine for a better set of earbuds.
Apple’s overhauled AirPods bring major changes to design and audio quality. The company expanded availability of key features from the AirPods Pro like spatial audio and Adaptive EQ to a more affordable set of earbuds, all while keeping all of the convenience of AirPods intact.
100,000 Teslas would be the largest EV purchase ever.
Hertz has ordered 100,000 Tesla EVs for its fleet, with plans to rent them out in major US markets and parts of Europe starting in November, according to Bloomberg. That would mark the largest electric vehicle order of all time and represent a major move by Hertz into electric car rentals.
It would be a pretty sharp turnaround for Hertz, considering that it filed for bankruptcy in 2020.
Apple has announced that Group Workouts are available starting today, so you can get up to 32 friends together to follow along with the company's exercise or meditation videos.
To use the new features, you'll need to update to iOS 15.1 or iPadOS 15.1, as well as watchOS 8.1, all of which are available today. Those who plan on watching the videos on their Apple TV will also need tvOS 15.1. SharePlay earlier this year, and during it was buggy and unstable.
With Halo Infinite’s release date fast approaching, Microsoft has shared a new six-minute trailer that offers an in-depth look at the game’s single-player component. It’s another attempt after the divisive .
Home Depot and Best Buy have pulled the products of Chinese tech surveillance makers linked to human rights abuses from their shelves, according to TechCrunch. Both US retail giants have stopped selling products from Lorex and Ezviz, while Lowe's no longer carries products by the former. Lorex is a subsidiary of Dahua Technology, whereas Ezviz is a surveillance tech brand owned by Hikvision. As TechCrunch explains, the US government added Dahua and Hikvision to its economic blacklist in 2019 for their role in the mass surveillance of Uighur Muslims in the province of Xinjiang.
Earlier this year, Los Angeles Times published a report detailing how the facial recognition software developed by Lorex owner Dahua was being shopped to law enforcement as a way to identify Uighurs. A user guide for the service apparently touts its capability to identify people passing in front of its cameras by race. Meanwhile, Hikvision's cameras have been installed at mosques and detention camps in Xinjiang, according to a 2019 New York Timesreport. Maya Wang, a China researcher for Human Rights Watch, told the publication back then: "These systems are designed for a very explicit purpose — to target Muslims."
In a report on the human rights practices in China, the US Department of State said that the Chinese government "conducted mass arbitrary detention of Uyghurs, ethnic Kazakhs, Kyrgyz, and members of other Muslim and ethnic minority groups in Xinjiang. China Human Rights Defenders alleged these detentions amounted to enforced disappearance, since families were often not provided information about the length or location of the detention." Human rights groups believe over a million Uighurs are being detained in internment camps, but China continues to deny the allegations.
It's unclear why the retail giants have decided to pull Lorex and Ezviz products now, but consumers have freely been able to buy their security cameras over the past couple of years after their parent companies were placed in the US economic blacklist. Home Depot told TechCrunch that it's "committed to upholding the highest standards of ethical sourcing and [it] immediately stopped selling products from Lorex when this was brought to [the company's] attention." Best Buy simply told the publication that it was “discontinuing its relationship" with both Lorex and Ezviz.
Streaming to Twitch on the PS5 is relatively easy, but not so much on the Xbox Series X or S — you currently need to download the Twitch app and run through a series of steps. However, Microsoft is introducing "Console Live Streaming" on its latest update Xbox Insider preview, making Twitch access easier and more direct. It also added an Xbox Cloud Gaming beta to Xbox One, giving users of older consoles access to the latest games.
To use the new Twitch streaming feature, you'll just need to navigate the "Capture and Share" tab and choose "Live streaming." Link your Twitch account using a mobile device or console settings, then hit the "Go live now" button to start streaming gameplay. "This feature only streams game play so viewers will see a pause screen if the user navigates to home or another app," Microsoft notes.
If you're still on an Xbox One and want to play Xbox Series X/S titles or more hardware intensive games, the Xbox Cloud Gaming beta is also available to Insiders. Want to play an Xbox Series X/S exclusive like Microsoft Flight Simulator or The Medium on an Xbox One? It's now feasible if you're on the Alpha Skip-Ahead ring, launching today at 5PM EST. Both of these features will eventually come to everyone, as well.
At the start of 2021, Sony introduced the $2,500 Xperia Pro. It was a phone the company made for video professionals. Now, Sony is back with a second professional-grade smartphone designed to appeal to photography enthusiasts. The headline feature of the Xperia Pro-I is a 1-inch sensor borrowed from the company's RX100 VII point-and-shoot camera. That's a much larger sensor than you'll find on most phones.
To put things in perspective, the primary sensor on the Pixel 6 Pro features a pixel pitch of 1.2µm. By contrast, the main sensor on the Pro-I has 2.4µm-xxxxd pixels, making it much better in low light. It can also shoot 12-bit RAW files and native 4K video at 120 frames per second with eye-detection auto-focus. Speaking of auto-focus, it comes with 315 points that cover 90 percent of the frame.
The Pro-I also includes one of Sony's BIONZ X imaging processors, giving it the ability to shoot up to 20 frames per second with both auto-focus and auto-exposure enabled. The fast readout speed of the sensor allows it to avoid a rolling shutter effect, a feature Sony says helps the Pro-I stand out from other phones with 1-inch sensors like the Mi 11 Ultra. Those handsets also don't have phase-detection autofocus like the Pro-I does.
Complimenting the 1-inch sensor is a 24mm lens made from glass that can switch between f/2.0 and f/4.0 apertures. Sony went with an aspherical design to make the optics as small as possible. Flanking the primary camera is a 16mm ultrawide camera and a 50mm telephoto camera. Sony says it chose that lens arrangement after consulting with photographers who told the company they wanted a setup that matched their collection of prime lenses.
Once you get past its camera, the Xperia Pro-I is essentially a souped-up Xperia 1 III. Internally, the phone features a Snapdragon 888 supported by 12GB of RAM and 512GB of internal storage. You can add up to 1TB of additional storage with the help of a microSD card. Powering everything is a 4,500mAh battery Sony claims will allow you to use the Pro-I for a full day on a single charge. Inside the box is a 30W power adapter that can charge the phone to 50 percent in 30 minutes.
The Pro-I also features the same 6.5-inch OLED that came on the Xperia 1 III. It's a 4K display with a 120Hz refresh rate and 21:9 aspect ratio. On the audio front, the Pro-I not only comes with a 3.5mm headphone jack, but it also includes Sony's LDAC and DSEE technologies.
All of those capabilities come with a hefty price tag. In the US, Sony plans to sell the Xperia Pro-I for the eye-watering price of $1,800. The way the company sees it, you're effectively getting a flagship phone and RX100 VII for less than the price of buying those devices separately. However, the Xperia Pro-I isn't a one-to-one replacement for the RX100 VII. Sony's point-and-camera outputs images at 20.1-megapixel, using the full readout from its sensor. The Pro-I uses a crop because taking advantage of the entire sensor would necessitate a much larger lens than would be feasible to include on a smartphone.
Pre-orders for the Xperia Pro-I open on October 28th, with general availability to follow in December.
Amid reports that Facebook has misled shareholders about significant declines in teens and younger users, Mark Zuckerberg said the company was “retooling” in order to make “serving young adults” its top priority. To do that, the company plans to make “significant changes” to its Facebook and Instagram apps, and spend billions of dollars building out its vision for a “metaverse.”
Citing increased competition from TikTok and iMessage, Zuckerberg said the company would do more to win over “young adult” users between the ages of 18 to 29, even if it came at the expense of older users. Speaking during the company's third-quarter earnings call, he said the company’s TikTok rival Reels would be “as important for our products as Stories.” “We also expect to make significant changes to Instagram and Facebook in the next year to further lean into video and make Reels a more central part of the experience,” Zuckerberg said.
On top of that, he said the company was “retooling” internally in order to make young people its “North Star.” He added the shift “will take years, not months.” The issue of younger users has been particularly fraught for the company. A whistleblower’s disclosures about Facebook’s internal research on teen mental health prompted a series of Congressional hearings about child safety, and a wave of headlines about how the photo sharing app may be harmful to some of its most vulnerable users. At the same time, other internal documents have indicated Facebook and Instagram have faced significant declines in engagement among teens and young adults for years.
Zuckerberg said another major priority for the company would be building its vision for a “metaverse.” He didn’t comment on reports that the company would change its name to reflect its new focus on augmented reality and virtual reality, but made clear the company has significant ambitions in the space. “Our goal is to help the metaverse reach a billion people,” he said. He added that a metaverse could enable “hundreds of billions of dollars of digital commerce.”
The company also said Monday that going forward it will report two sets of financials: one for its “family” of apps, which includes Facebook, Instagram, Messenger and WhatsApp; and one for its Reality Labs division that oversees its augmented and virtual reality work. In a statement, Facebook said its 2021 profit will be reduced by $10 billion due to its investment in Reality Labs, and that the company would only increase its AR and VR spending in the next “several years.”
Zuckerberg also addressed the ongoing revelations stemming from the "Facebook Papers," a series of articles based on documents provided by former employee turned whistleblower Frances Haugen. The CEO referred to the work from a consortium of news organizations as "a coordinated effort to selectively use leaked documents to paint a false picture of our company." The documents, which have been the basis of more than a dozen stories detailing Facebook's botched efforts to fight hate speech and other harms, have also been provided to members of Congress and the Securities and Exchange Commission.
"Any honest account should be clear that these issues aren't primarily about social media," Zuckerberg said. "That means that no matter what Facebook does, we're never going to solve them on our own."
Blue Origin has more ambitious plans than simply space tourism. Today, the spaceflight company owned by Jeff Bezos announced that it is working on creating its very own space station as well. Called Orbital Reef, it promises to be something of an industrial and commercial hub, and is meant to start operating in the second half of this decade.
It will be developed, owned and operated in partnership with Sierra Space, a subsidiary of the Sierra Nevada corporation. Sierra Space is perhaps better known for Dream Chaser, a spacecraft that’s set to begin operating in 2022 and carry cargo to the International Space Station. Orbital Reef is also backed by Boeing, Redwire Space, Genesis Engineering Solutions and Arizona State University. The company hopes to use Boeing’s Starliner and Sierra Space’s aforementioned Dream Chaser to ferry both cargo and passengers to Orbital Reef.
Think of Orbital Reef as essentially a “business park,” but in space. In a press release, Blue Origin said that the destination “will offer research, industrial, international, and commercial customers the cost competitive end-to-end services they need including space transportation and logistics, space habitation, equipment accommodation, and operations including onboard crew.” Anyone who wants to “establish their own address in orbit” can do so.
Blue Origin said that Orbital Reef would be habitable for up to 10 people, which is almost as much as that of the International Space Station. It will feature “human-centered space architecture” with “world-class services and amenities.” There will be multiple ports for visiting spacecraft and modules. Orbital Reef will apparently feature an open system that will enable any customer or nation to use it. As the market for such facilities grows, Blue Origin promises that Orbital Reef will scale the amenities and utilities to match.
“Seasoned space agencies, high-tech consortia, sovereign nations without space programs, media and travel companies, funded entrepreneurs and sponsored inventors, and future-minded investors all have a place on Orbital Reef,” said the company in a press release.
“For over sixty years, NASA and other space agencies have developed orbital space flight and space habitation, setting us up for commercial business to take off in this decade,” said Brent Sherwood, Senior Vice President of Advanced Development Programs for Blue Origin. “We will expand access, lower the cost, and provide all the services and amenities needed to normalize space flight. A vibrant business ecosystem will grow in low Earth orbit, generating new discoveries, new products, new entertainments, and global awareness.”
Blue Origin’s only successful project is a suborbital tourist program that sends passengers to the edge of space (and back) on the New Shepard. It has already flown eight people, which includes Bezos as well as Star Trek’s William Shatner. Other projects, such as the New Glenn rocket (which the company hopes to use to launch some of Orbital Reef’s modules) and the Blue Moon lunar lander are still in development.
China To Cut Fossil Fuel Use To Below 20% By 2060 China is targeting a clean energy goal of reducing fossil fuel use to below 20% by 2060, according to an official plan published by state media. The Guardian reports: The cabinet document, released on Sunday, follows a pledge by P
Apple is set to announce new hardware today. The company is holding a (virtual) keynote at 10 AM PT (1 PM in New York, 6 PM in London, 7 PM in Paris). And you’ll be able to watch the event right here as the company is streaming it live.
Rumor has it that the company is set to announce some new Macs. Over the past year, Apple has updated its entry-level computers with new custom-designed M1 chips. And now, the company could bring its own chips to higher-end computers, such as a 14-inch and 16-inch MacBook Pro, a new Mac Mini and a 27-inch iMac.
Apple could use this opportunity to redesign its laptops from the ground up with new display technologies, a new array of ports and a new form factor in general. But that’s not all. Apple has also been working on an updated version of its entry-level AirPods.
You can watch the livestream directly on this page, as Apple is streaming its conference on YouTube.
If you have an Apple TV, you can open the TV app and look for the ‘Apple Special Event’ section. It lets you stream today’s event and rewatch old ones.
And if you don’t have an Apple TV and don’t want to use YouTube, the company also lets you livestream the event from the Apple Events section on its website. This video feed now works in all major browsers — Safari, Mozilla Firefox, Microsoft Edge and Google Chrome.
To access the data of unsuspecting users, the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) could take advantage of a universal authentication process that is believed to be secure but may not actually be, cybersecurity experts warned, although encryption is still the preferred method of protecting digital data and Protection of computers - in some cases, the same digital certificates used for internet authentication allow the Chinese regime to infiltrate and wreak havoc on various computer networks, they said.
Digital certificates that verify the identity of a digital entity on the Internet. A digital certificate can be compared to a passport or driver's license, according to Andrew Jenkinson, CEO of cybersecurity company Cybersec Innovation Partners (CIP) and author of the book Stuxnet to Sunburst: 20 Years of Digital Exploitation and Cyber ??Warfare.
"Without it, the person or device you are using may not meet industry standards, and the encryption of critical data could be bypassed so that what should be encrypted remains in plain text," Jenkinson told The Epoch Times Used to Encrypt internal and external communications that prevent a hacker, for example, from intercepting and stealing data. But "fake certificates" or invalid certificates can tamper with any data.
Sense of security, "said Jenkinson. Cybersecurity firm Global Cyber ??Risk LLC said digital certificates are generally issued by trusted CAs and then the same level of trust is passed on to intermediaries However, there are opportunities for a communist entity, malicious actor, or other untrustworthy entity to issue certificates to other "hideous people" who appear trustworthy but are not, he said.
"If you issue a certificate from a trusted authority, you will trust it," said Duren. "But what the issuer could actually do is pass that trust on to someone who shouldn't be trusted. Duren said he would never trust." a Chinese certification authority for this reason, stating that it is aware of a number of companies that have banned Chinese certificates because they were issued to untrustworthy agencies.
Jenkinson said that Chinese certification bodies make up a small portion of the overall industry and the certificates they issue are generally limited to Chinese companies and products.
Prince, a member of the hacking group Red Hacker Alliance who declined to give his real name, uses his computer at their office in Dongguan, Guangdong Province, China, on Aug. 4, 2020. (Nicolas Asfouri/AFP via Getty Images).
In 2015, certificates from China Internet Network Information Center (CNNIC), the state agency overseeing domain name registration in China, were challenged. Mozilla revoked CNNIC certificates because it knew of unauthorized digital certificates associated with multiple domains. Both Internet companies opposed CNNIC delegating its authority to issue certificates to an Egyptian company that issued the unauthorized certificates. According to Jenkinson, CNNIC certificates were banned because they had "back doors".
A back door means that [the Chinese certification body] could literally take administrative access and send data back to the mothership, ”he said. Since 2016, Mozilla, Google, Apple and Microsoft have also blocked the Chinese certification authorities WoSign and their subsidiary StartCom due to unacceptable security practices.Vulnerability Despite these bans on Chinese digital certificates in recent years, the CCP has not been deterred and has long-term gambling, Jenkinson said, referring to an alarming discovery by his cybersecurity firm two years ago that it was a multinational consulting firm.
Digital certificates are typically valid for a few years depending on the certification authority, and a renewal is required to keep them valid and keep the data they are supposed to protect secure, he said. "But in 2019, CIP Chinese discovered certificates that had been valid for 999 years," Jenkinson said. His company made this discovery by researching the laptops of a leading global consulting firm.
Jenkinson made the company aware of the vulnerability and offered, "They are either incredibly accommodating or complicit," he said, noting that the company's customers include government agencies.This multi-billion dollar company's failure to fix this problem means hundreds of thousands of people could be exposed to Chinese infiltration through the company's lax safeguards, Jenkinson said. The company engages its customers every time someone uses one of its laptops, he said.
Companies or customers who use the company's services could be held for ransom, they have their intellectual advantages
Sony’s upcoming Sinister Six movie should take some inspiration from Spider-Man: No Way Home and introduce a new version of Miles Morales. Sony has had plans for a Sinister Six film since The Amazing Spider-Man film franchise was in progress. The second film, The Amazing Spider-Man 2, ended with a clear setup for the villain team, with the Green Goblin (Harry Osborn) and The Gentleman (Gustav Fiers) equipping allies (and possibly members) of Oscorp with advanced weapons and devices. The plans, unfortunately, never came to fruition, but Sony’s new villain-focused Spider-Man universe, which began with 2018’s Venom, has led to new plans for the iconic team.
Miles Morales - whose comic debut was in 2011’s alternate universe Ultimate Comics: Spider-Man - is his reality’s second web-slinger, taking Peter Parker’s place after his apparent death in a final confrontation with the Green Goblin. Miles and his stories were well-received, quickly growing in popularity among readers, and he made his cinematic debut in 2018’s animated film, Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse. As the star of numerous comics, an animated film, and a recent video game, it won’t be long before Miles has his long-awaited live-action debut.
With Sinister Six reportedly being the endgame of Sony’s Spider-Man films, it’s reasonable to assume that the movie will be a crowd-pleasing epic with more than one payoff. Sony will reportedly work alongside Marvel Studios to tie their film in with the MCU, meaning that Tom Holland’s classic Peter Parker Spider-Man may face off against the six villains. Although Spider-Man was often on his own against the six in the comics, the film can easily justify introducing a second Spider-Man to even the odds and give viewers a live-action Miles Morales simultaneously.
Not only is Sony and Marvel Studious working together on the Sinister Six film, but the multiverse will be unleashed in the upcoming No Way Home. While the Miles Morales who appears in the Sony film could be their iteration, he might alternatively be from the MCU, creating a new kind of character dynamic for Tom Holland’s Spider-Man, who’s typically mentored by characters like Iron Man or Doctor Strange.
The Sinister Six’s villain roster can be comprised of characters from multiple realities as well. In addition to introducing the first live-action iteration of Miles Morales, the film can bring back actors like Alfred Molina, Jamie Foxx, and Willem Dafoe for yet another performance. With No Way Home bringing the iconic villains back, Sony could take advantage of their fan-favorite status, adding to the already crowd-pleasing introduction of Miles.
Spider-Man: No Way Home will be the first live-action Spider-Man movie to use the multiverse for crossovers. In addition to bringing back characters from bygone film eras, they’ve also allowed for interaction with Sony’s Spider-Man universe. If Sony intends to make the Sinister Six film their franchise’s endgame, they’d make it an even more effective grand finale by bringing in Miles Morales.
Warning: The following contains SPOILERS for Supergirl season 6, episode 15, "Hope For Tomorrow."
The Supergirl season 6 episode "Hope For Tomorrow" enhanced the story of the Superman movie Superman 4: The Quest For Peace in every respect. The final movie to star Christopher Reeve as Kal-El of Krypton, Superman 4 is widely considered to be the worst of the classic Superman films. Given that, it would be all but impossible for Supergirl to revamp The Quest For Peace and not improve it, but the episode "Hope For Tomorrow" successfully addressed nearly every common complaint about the movie.
The central storyline of the second half of Supergirl season 6 found Kara Zor-El (Melissa Benoist) competing with the exiled 5th Dimensional Princess Nyxly (Peta Sergeant) for control of seven magical totems, tied to the seven cosmic forces of Hope, Love, Courage, Humanity, Dreams, Destiny and Truth. Each totem required its wielder to pass a test proving their mastery of each force. The Test of Hope in the Supergirl season 6 episode "Hope For Tomorrow" proved particularly difficult, as it required the victor to "inspire a hope that burns longer and brighter than the sun." While this might ordinarily have been an easy task for Supergirl, this test came at a time when nuclear war seemed imminent between the nations of Kaznia and Corto Maltese and hope was in short supply.
The story of Superman 4: The Quest For Peace, was likewise based around the fear of nuclear war and Superman acting to end the threat after receiving a letter from a concerned boy. Sadly, the movie did so poorly it sunk any chance of a Superman 5. While the story of Superman 4 made a noble effort to tackle a serious issue, the film suffered from budget cuts and editing issues that eliminated most of the film's more thoughtful moments in favor of recycled flight scenes and nonsensical padding. The Supergirl season 6 episode "Hope For Tomorrow" takes most of the story elements from Superman IV and builds upon the base concepts to create something far better.
Roughly halfway through the Supergirl season 6 episode "Hope For Tomorrow," Lena Luthor (Katie McGrath) asked the same question as the worried boy in Superman 4: The Quest For Peace; why can't Supergirl just take away all the nuclear weapons and throw them into the sun? Kara gave the same basic answer as Superman in the movie, saying that she was "forbidden from interfering in human history." However, Kara further explained to her friend Lena Luthor that human nations needed to be free to determine their own destinies without some all-powerful alien imposing their beliefs on them. Kara also pointed out that even if she could get rid of all the nuclear weapons in the world, it wouldn't solve the conflicts that lead to war. (Ironically, Kara did wind up having to throw several nuclear missiles into the sun before the episode's end.)
This point was driven home by another scene, in which the United States diplomat overseeing the peace talks between Kaznia and Corto Maltese asked J'onn J'onzz (David Harewood) to use his telepathic powers to make the leaders of the two delegations sign a peace treaty. The Martian Manhunter refused, saying that while he was glad to use his powers to pacify the two leaders after Nxyly used the Totem of Courage to make them afraid of looking weak during the negotiations, he refused to directly control their actions. Both of the Supergirl scenes did a far better job of showing why heroes have a responsibility not to use their powers than every speech Superman made regarding that point in Superman 4: The Quest For Peace.
The Supergirl season 6 episode "Hope For Tomorrow" featured a subplot that centered around Esme, a foster child adopted by Alex Danvers/Sentinel (Chyler Leigh) and Kelly Olsen/Guardian (Azie Tesfai), and the Super Friends' efforts to help the young girl get acclimated to her new home. A victim of an abusive situation in her previous foster home, Esme was shy and fearful of being sent back to the group home she had been in. Restoring Esme's hope in the future went beyond being a test of Supergirl's ability to inspire hope and became a test for the whole team, as well as a central part of the theme of "Hope For Tomorrow." By contrast, despite being the inspiration of Superman's effort to bring an end to nuclear war in Superman 4: The Quest For Peace, the boy who wrote to Superman disappeared from the movie after Superman took him to the United Nations to hear him speak.
Originally set up as a romantic interest for Kara Danvers in Supergirl season 5, reporter William Dey (Staz Nair) has been one of the more divisive characters created for the Arrowverse, with many fans finding the character annoying and wondering what purpose he served after he and Kara agreed to be just friends in Supergirl season 6. Comparisons could be drawn between William Dey and Lacy Warfield (Mariel Hemingway) whose only purpose in Superman 4: The Quest For Peace was acting as a hostage and pushing an unconvincing love triangle between herself, Lois Lane and Clark Kent. However, the Supergirl season 6 episode "Hope For Tomorrow" redeemed William, who was far from a passive figure after being taken captive by Nyxly. Indeed, it was William's quick thinking that enabled the Super Friends to take the Totem of Courage away from Nyxly.
While Superman 4: The Quest For Peace saw legendary actor Gene Hackman return as Lex Luthor, his role in the film was far from extensive. Apart from creating the monstrous Nuclear Man, Luthor had surprisingly little to do with the action of the film and most of his scenes were comedic non-sequiturs. By contrast, the Arrowerse Lex Luthor does not appear on camera in the Supergirl season 6 episode "Hope For Tomorrow," but nevertheless had a major impact on the episode's final scene.
As "Hope For Tomorrow" came to a close, Supergirl elected to throw the Totem of Hope into the sun, knowing that Nxyly needed all seven totems as part of her scheme to defeat Supergirl and the Super Friends. Shortly after Nxyly learned what Supergirl had done, a box fell through a portal in front of her. The box contained a watch and a note from a secret admirer telling her not to "lose hope." When Nyxly put on the watch, it formed one of Lex Luthor's trademark armored Lexo-Skeletons around her, revealing the identity of her mysterious new ally in a clever fashion. It was certainly more subtle than most of Gene Hackman's scenes trolling Superman in Superman 4: The Quest For Peace. This, coupled with the other connections throughout the episode, highlight how Supergirl was able to successfully revitalize the failed film's story arc.
The latest The Flash trailer suggests that Michael Keaton's Batman has a bigger role in the film than many initially assumed. Ezra Miller makes his DCEU return as the Scarlet Speedster after starring in Zack Snyder's Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice and Justice League. Directed by Andy Muschietti, The Flash's first trailer was released at DC FanDome 2021, offering a sneak peek at what to expect from the standalone flick.
It's no secret that The Flash was in production limbo for quite some time with a few director changes. But, the movie finally kicked into production in 2021 and is currently filming. Specific plot details are still scant at the moment, although a few pertinent details have been confirmed. That includes the return of Kiersey Clemons as Iris West and the introduction of Sasha Calle as Supergirl/Kara Zor-El. Barry Allen is also joined by two Batman variations: the first one being Ben Affleck's and the other one being Michael Keaton's. Obviously there's a lot of excitement surrounding their involvement, but there's heightened anticipation about Keaton's Batman iteration simply because this is the first time he will reprise the superhero role in two decades.
Considering the fact that it's the Flash's solo outing, it was initially unclear how involved Keaton would be in the film. Set photos revealed him back as the Bruce Wayne persona, and the actor's personal interviews confirmed that he's indeed wearing the cape and the cowl again. Still, with very little known about the movie's plot, there were questions about the extent of his appearance. Some argued that it wouldn't be anything more than an extended cameo, with the primary focus on Barry Allen instead. This makes sense since he is the movie's headlining character. However, The Flash's trailer suggests that Batman's role in the film is going to be more prominent than initially perceived; much of the trailer focuses on him, including both versions of the Flash visiting Tim Burton's Wayne Manor and then, his Batcave. It even ends with the tease of the 1989 Batmobile reveal.
Interestingly, despite all the references to Keaton's Caped Crusader, the hero doesn't properly appear in The Flash trailer. Instead, there's only a shot of his iconic cowl looking outside the Batcave. But, the fact that he provides the narration for the majority of the trailer further indicates the extent of his appearance. At one point, it seems like the two Barry Allens and Supergirl recruit him for a mission, and it's safe to say that he at least considers joining his fellow DC heroes in the movie. It's worth noting that The Flash appears to be an adaptation of the Flashpoint storyline from the comics. Barry's time-traveling likely fractured space-time which has had ripple effects in other universes, including that of Supergirl and Keaton's Batman. The voice-over dialog is Bruce Wayne making sense of everything that's happening.
The question now is, how does Affleck's Batman fit into all of this? Based on what's known about The Flash production, the actor didn't start to film his scenes until the middle of principal photography. Some theories suggest that Affleck's Batman dies in the movie, and that it could serve as motivation for Barry's time travel. Furthermore, many are also curious if Affleck's version of the hero will cross paths with Keaton's Caped Crusader. Fans will likely have to wait for the movie's debut to find out.
Robert Pattinson’s Batman takes multiple bullets to the chest in the latest trailer for The Batman, indicating how bulletproof his version of the Batsuit is. Although he lacks superpowers, Batman fights crime in Gotham City with superlative fighting skills, a genius-level intellect, and state-of-the-art gadgetry. A common piece of equipment for live-action Batman adaptations is a Batsuit made of bulletproof material. Not all the Dark Knight's costumes have the same level of protection, so how does Pattinson’s suit compare to the others and the comic source material?
In his first comic book appearances, Batman wore no armor, using a simple, lightweight, and flexible costume with an intimidating appearance instead. One of the earliest uses of an armored Batsuit comes from the first standalone Batman book in 1940, in which the Caped Crusader survives a gunshot wound from The Joker thanks to a layer of armor underneath the main suit. Modern comic iterations of Batman wear fully armored Batsuits, offering significant protection against gunshots; partially inspired by the various film adaptations and their many shout-outs.
In the latest trailer for The Batman, Robert Pattinson’s Batsuit is put to the test multiple times. While fighting a gang of criminals in clown makeup, Batman is shot point-blank with a handgun, but he shrugs this off rather quickly and continues fighting. Later in the trailer, Batman walks towards a group of assault rifle-toting assailants, who pepper him with gunfire. Batman walks through the hail of bullets mostly unimpeded before counterattacking. This indicates that Pattinson’s Batman uses an extremely durable material that can withstand more gunfire than most versions of the Dark Knight.
While Adam West’s Batman wore no armor, Michael Keaton’s iteration in the Tim Burton films had a highly durable suit that could take direct gunshots. However, as shown multiple times in Batman and Batman Returns, while the suit kept gunfire from proving immediately lethal, the force often knocked Batman off his feet and left him winded on some occasions. Pattinson’s gear provides more protection, allowing him to remain in fighting condition even when shot numerous times.
Christian Bale’s first Batsuit in Batman Begins also offered protection from gunshots, though Lucious Fox explicitly advised against taking direct hits. While protective, the suit proved to be too restrictive, so Bale’s Bruce wore a modified` suit in The Dark Knight and The Dark Knight Rises. Bale’s second Batman suit offered far more flexibility, though it was even more vulnerable to gunfire, which Bruce learned firsthand when facing off against Two-Face.
The only live-action Batman iteration whose suit provided similar levels of protection to Pattinson’s is the DCEU Batman. As shown in Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, Ben Affleck's Batman wears a light and flexible suit that allows him to take gunshots to the head at point-blank range with little impediment. The suit has some vulnerable points, as evidenced by an assailant’s knife puncturing the suit near the shoulder, but this may have been a lightly-armored area for the sake of articulation. Ben Affleck’s Batman armor, like Pattinson’s Batsuit in The Batman, is fully bulletproof, protecting Batman from gun-toting enemies.
Katey Sagal played one of the most important characters in Sons of Anarchy, but what has she done since the show came to an end? In 2008, Kurt Sutter took the audience to a small town in California to meet a motorcycle club and all the drama in their daily lives in the TV series Sons of Anarchy. The series premiered on FX in 2008 and lived on for a total of seven seasons, coming to an end in 2014. Sons of Anarchy got positive reviews throughout its whole run, with most praise going towards the themes it addressed (such as corruption and racism) and the performances of the main cast.
Sons of Anarchy tells the story of Jackson “Jax” Teller (Charlie Hunnam), VP of the motorcycle club Sons of Anarchy in the fictional town of Charming, California. The series kicks off when Jax finds a manifesto written by his late father, John “JT” Teller, one of the founding members of the MC. In it, JT shared his plans and vision for the club, which were very different from those of the current President and Jax’s stepfather, Clay Morrow (Ron Perlman). Reading his father’s ideas and seeing how different the club was, among other events, send Jax on a personal journey that leads him to question his path, role in the club, relationships, family, and more. Sons of Anarchy also introduced the audience to Gemma Teller-Morrow (Katey Sagal), Jax’s mother and the matriarch of the club, who even though wasn’t a member of it, had a lot of influence in it and the town in general, but she was also a very dangerous woman.
Katey Sagal’s role as Gemma in Sons of Anarchy was one of the most praised elements of the series, and she was one of the few characters from the first season who made it to the final one, though not to the series finale, as she was killed by Jax in the second last episode. Gemma Teller has become one of Sagal’s most memorable roles, but it definitely isn’t her most famous one, as she has played a variety of characters before and after Sons of Anarchy. Prior to living in Charming, Sagal did a lot of voice work in film, such as in Recess: School’s Out (playing Mrs. Flo Spinelli) and the Futurama movies, voicing Turanga Leela. In TV, she became known for playing Peggy Bundy in the sitcom Married… with Children from 1987 to 1997, and other notable roles include Edna Hyde in That 70’s Show and Cate S. Hennessy in 8 Simple Rules for Dating My Teenage Daughter.
While working on Sons of Anarchy, Sagal continued doing voice work, most notably in Futurama, and once the show came to an end, she explored other genres in TV. Sagal played Annora of the Alders in The Bastard Executioner, Penny’s mother in one episode of The Big Bang Theory, and Lanie Schultz in This Is Us. Sagal reprised her role as Gemma in one episode of Mayans M.C, the spinoff series of Sons of Anarchy, and after that, she went on to play Dr. Ingrid Jones in Shameless, Louise Goldufski in The Conners, Teresa Williams in Grand Hotel, and Eleanor Hale in Dead to Me. Her most recent work is in the legal comedy-drama Rebel, inspired by the life of Erin Brockovich, and in which she plays the lead role of Annie “Rebel” Bello. On the big screen, she played Lee Ann in There’s Always Woodstock, Katherine Junk in Pitch Perfect 2, and Louise Pazienza in Bleed for This.
In addition to an incredible acting career that has covered almost every genre, Katey Sagal has a musical career and released her first solo album in 1994, and she also contributed with at least one song per season in Sons of Anarchy. Katey Sagal is a woman of many talents, and while many will always remember her as Gemma Teller-Morrow, it’s definitely worth checking out her other works in both film and TV.
Using a combination of moves and items, players can maximize Pikachu's build in Pokémon Unite. Players will need to fight both wild Pokémon and those on the opposing team to score points and win. As an Attacker Pokémon, a well-built Pikachu can work great for an offensive, ranged strategy.
With 5-on-5 matches between trainers, and wild Pokémon in each stage, a well-rounded, carefully built team will be vital for success. Players just getting started in Pokémon Unite may need to test different skills in order to find the best build. Having a strong offensive Pokémon will help players knock out their opponents and collect their Aeos energy to score points. As Pikachu gains experience, more moves will become available, and it can become a powerful fighter.
Each Pokémon in the game, such as Pikachu or Gengar, has an ideal build. Pikachu is a Ranged Attacker class in Pokémon Unite, so it can deal high damage but has low endurance. Focusing on moves and items that maximize damage and utilize Pikachu's stun abilities will create the best build for this character. Players can also equip items that compliment or increase Pikachu's strengths and damage output.
There are two ways for players to obtain Pikachu in Pokémon Unite: they can either choose it as their first Pokémon upon completing the tutorial or purchase it from the Unite Battle Committee. Pikachu costs 6000 Aeos coins or 345 Aeos gems. Once obtained and leveled up, players can focus on using the right moves and items to capitalize on Pikachu's offensive potential. Pokémon can have two moves active and three items equipped at a time. The best options for Pikachu appear below.
Pikachu's Best Moveset
Thunderbolt: Charge and shoot a bolt of lightning that stuns and damages opponents in the area. Upgrade Thunderbolt to increase the damage dealt.
Electro Ball: Throw an electric orb that damages and stuns enemies in the area of effect. Missing HP will increase damage to opponents. Electro Ball can be upgraded to increase damage.
Buddy Barrier: When using the Unite move, Pikachu and the nearby ally with the lowest HP will gain a shield
Alternative - Float Stone: Increase movement speed when Pikachu isn't in combat
Best Battle Items for Pikachu
X-Attack: Boost the damage of attacks and special attacks
Alternative - Potion: Restore a Pokémon's health.
Using a strong combination of moves and items will help players gather Aeos energy and score points. While using Pikachu, players should focus on dealing as much damage as possible while being aware of their health loss. Since Pikachu is also a Ranged Pokémon, it's recommended that players keep their distance when possible to avoid being knocked out. Pikachu can stay near a Defender Pokémon for extra protection and stun enemies that come within range.
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