AirPods can measure respiratory rate just by listening to you breathe, study finds

airpods-can-measure-respiratory-rate-just-by-listening-to-you-breathe,-study-finds

Gotta get AirPods — doctor's orders?When most people use their AirPods, they’re using them for their audio input — they listen to a podcast, a phone call, some music. A new study from Apple’s Machine Learning Institute took a different tack and found what was useful in an AirPod wearer’s audio output, or at least one aspect of it.

The study suggests that AirPods are capable of keeping track of a user’s respiratory rate by monitoring the sound of their breaths in the AirPods’ microphones, a prospect that has huge implications in the realm of wearable health products. Typically, tracking diseases and conditions that affect respiratory health require in-person consultations, but AirPods offer an option to track individuals’ breathing remotely.

According to the study, “data was collected from 21 individuals using microphone-enabled, near-field headphones before, during, and after strenuous exercise. Respiratory rate was manually annotated by counting audibly perceived inhalations and exhalations.” They also used a memory network to overlay different audio conditions over their subjects’ breathing to simulate noise to test if the respiratory rates were detectable in a variety of indoor and outdoor situation and concluded that “audio can be a viable signal for passively estimating RR [respiratory rate]” in louder situations.

This isn’t the first time Apple products have been studied for their potential use in keeping an eye on respiratory health. Apple Watches updated to watchOS 7 can also keep track of a user’s breathing as an optional part of the sleep metrics section of the health app. In that case, the number of breaths someone takes is measured by the watch’s built-in accelerometer and has nothing to do with audio input.

Another study published in Nature Biomedical Engineering concluded that smartwatch data on respiratory rate was valuable in catching coronavirus infections, and that “63% of the COVID-19 cases [in the study] could have been detected before symptom onset” given breathing data from a subject’s wearable.

Apple is constantly finding new ways to use its technology to monitor users’ health, and at one point reportedly considered operating its own brand of primary care clinics. Apple disputes that particular rumor, but with this new study it’s possible that AirPods have a future as a clinical tool in legitimate health settings instead of just being a convenient way to listen to some tunes.

Just like EVs, electric bicycles could come with tax credits to lower prices

just-like-evs,-electric-bicycles-could-come-with-tax-credits-to-lower-prices

It's fun to ride an e-bike, but it's not cheap.E-bike can mean more than just “electric bicycle.”

The “Electric Bicycle Incentive Kickstart for the Environment” — or E-BIKE — Act was introduced in the U.S. Senate last month. A companion bill, also called the E-BIKE Act, was brought to the U.S. House of Representatives back in February.

They share the same goal: Get more people on electric bikes and out of cars.

To make that more likely, both pieces of legislation propose offering a tax credit worth up to 30 percent off (with a $1,500 cap) different types of e-bikes that can run as high as $8,000.

Sound familiar?

Electric vehicles, including plug-in battery and hybrid cars, are eligible for federal tax credits worth up to $7,500. Tesla and General Motors have both hit the cap of 200,000 EVs sold and are no longer offering a federal discount. But the pressure is on President Biden to extend the cap, especially as he targets half of new car sales as zero-emission vehicles by 2030.

The E-BIKE incentive has a similar goal: to lure people away from gas-powered vehicles.

For e-bike makers, who are eager to get more battery-boosted rides on the streets, the move could open up access to their expensive two-wheelers. E-bike shopping website Ridepanda connects riders to e-bikes that cost up to $6,000. The company, which says that their average e-bike is about $1,100, offers 27 e-bikes priced at under $2,000. (That’s down from 34 when including higher-end options.)

But there’s a slight catch to the E-BIKE Act. If it passes, qualifying bikes can only use up 750 watts of power, much lower than the power in most of the priciest options. For the lower price range, different brands list power from about 250 to 500 watts.

For Serial 1, the e-bike company from Harley-Davidson, the main reason to support the bill is so more consumers can afford their bikes. Its instant name recognition and lightweight, high-speed and range options means its e-bikes reach up to nearly $5,600. Its cheapest commuter bike is about $3,800. With the discounts, those bikes become more affordable.

Jason Huntsman, president of Serial 1, wrote in an email, “EVs, like [e-bikes], are a crucial tool for giving Americans access to vital, sustainable transportation options. We support tax credits for all EVs including [e-bikes], which will help make electric vehicle options more affordable for all Americans.”

The Serial 1 heads up a San Francisco hill.

The Serial 1 heads up a San Francisco hill.
Credit: Sasha Lekach / Mashable

Seattle-based Rad Power Bikes specializes in commuter- and budget-friendly bikes with a power boost. Its newest bike, the RadRover 6 Plus, starts at just under $2,000. With its fat tires for stability, 75 kWh battery, and custom motor for faster hill climbs, “people who are used to cars will be comfortable making that migration to e-bikes,” Redwood Stephens, Rad Power Bikes chief product officer, told me before a demo ride at a San Francisco park.

That’s what Zachary Schieffelin, founder of Civilized Cycles, is thinking, too. He is launching the startup’s first auto-adjusting, 30-mile range e-bike, the Model 1, later this year for $5,499. He wants to get riders out of cars and onto bikes, especially for shorter trips. He hopes that an e-bike with storage space on the back, a comfortable seat and room for a passenger, and a powerful suspension system, will make it an easy switch.

“Anything we can do to shift those short trips to clean, quiet, efficient solutions like e-bikes is a good thing,” he wrote in an email. “Obviously, this legislation will be good for our industry, but for the planet it would be great to see corresponding cuts in the huge subsidies that oil and gas companies have been receiving for years.”

An e-bike with all the features

An e-bike with all the features
Credit: Civilized cycles

Another bike maker, Specialized, which recently released the lightweight Turbo Como SL, an electric pedal assist e-bike starting at $3,300, has been championing an e-bike equivalent to the EV tax credit.

Back in February when the House version of the E-BIKE Act was introduced, Specialized CEO Mike Sinyard wrote in a statement, “Whichever e-bike riders choose, we believe that encouraging more bike trips is a critical part of fighting the climate crisis.”

It’s not just economic concerns, these companies claim, but environmental.

In California, adjusted e-bike prices are already approved for next year’s budget. Now, $10 million in funding is slated to go toward establishing more programs to reduce the costs to buy one of the bikes in the state. San Mateo County’s Peninsula Clean Energy rebate already offers up to $800 in discounts. Other counties also offer up to $1,000 for e-bike purchases, among other smaller discounts. Some incentive programs factor in income level to determine if you qualify for discounts or credits.

Testing out several e-rides in a congested, hilly, pothole-filled San Francisco neighborhood in recent months (on the Serial 1, Rad Power Bike’s RadRover 6 Plus, and Civilized Cycles’ auto-adjusting suspension bike), I’ve seen how the bikes can keep up with cars. It doesn’t feel like you’re on an inferior vehicle. I felt stable on the road, in control, and as powerful as any motorist with my finger ready on the throttle for an energy boost.

E-bikes aren’t just traditional bicycles with an electric motor slapped on. They can make it up hills (and down), keep you from breaking too much of a sweat, and tempt you to replace short trips you’d normally make with a car.

But even if riders are convinced, there’s still the upfront price — all of these bikes start at over $2,000. It’s reminiscent of when Tesla’s Model 3 was priced at nearly $40,000 before the end of 2019; electric tax credits brought it down to the more palatable $30,000 price range. It’s a similar situation with e-bikes: A $3,000 bike with E-BIKE Act credits drops down to $2,000. That’s slightly more affordable for those with cash to spare, but it’s certainly not going to make e-bikes available to all.

How to use the iPhone’s most useful, most overlooked feature

how-to-use-the-iphone’s-most-useful,-most-overlooked-feature

Mistakes happen. But on the iPhone, they can be undone very easily. Just shake your phone to undo.

While the Mac has Command-Z, the iPhone has its own unique way of fixing typing mistakes: Shake to Undo. Shaking your device to go back or undo a mistake has been around since 2009 and iOS 3 (called iPhone OS back then). And it’s one of the most overlooked features on iOS. Of course, there are a ton of other shortcuts on the iPhone that you may be missing out on.

Rather than a system-wide button or symbol for undo on iOS, you just shake your phone or iPad. For most iPhone users it’s a forgotten feature, but writer John Gruber recently gave it newfound attention with a thoughtful analysis and the revelation that it was actually originally conceived as a joke.

In any case, it’s a useful reminder that the feature exists: When you want to undo something on your iPhone, just shake the darn thing.

With Shake to Undo turned on, iOS users can quickly fix mistakes, such as shake to undo typing in a text, shake to undo archiving an email, shake to undo typing in the Notes app.

While I do use Shake to Undo quite a bit, there is always the question of whether I should, as it’s just as easy to slam on the backspace key. You might be someone who gets the undo pop-up by accident on a frequent basis, and that can be a nuisance.

I am a frequent user of Shake to Undo on my iPhone, whether it be for texts, accidentally deleting an email, or moving a photo to the wrong spot.

Shake to Undo is turned on by default. But if you don’t like shake to undo it’s pretty easy to turn off.

Follow these steps to turn off shake to undo.

1. Navigate to your iPhone’s Settings page

2. Tap “Accessibility”

3. Tap “Touch”

4. Tap the bubble to turn off Shake to Undo

Tap the bubble to turn off Shake to Undo

Tap the bubble to turn off Shake to Undo
Credit: MASHABLE

Now, if you really don’t like the Shake to Undo feature, there is another option for you: Just slide three fingers across the screen from right to left.

That’s right, in iOS 13, Apple added another way undo typing, or undo something you deleted without shaking. It can be a little awkward, but sliding three fingers from right to left will undo or redo your last action.

Now that you’ve mastered Shake to Undo and swipe to undo, check out some of these other iPhone keyboard shortcuts to speed up your typing even more.

This article originally published in August 2018, and was updated in August 2021.

Students will love this Lenovo IdeaPad Chromebook on sale for $169.99

students-will-love-this-lenovo-ideapad-chromebook-on-sale-for-$169.99

Grab a lightweight Chromebook from Lenovo that won't weight down your student's backpack.Save $50: The Lenovo IdeaPad 3 11-inch Chromebook laptop (Intel Celeron N4020 processor, 4GB RAM, 64GB eMMC storage) is at its best price ever of $169.99 at Amazon as of Aug. 12.


Once again it’s time to work through your lengthy back-to-school shopping list. But between headphones and coffee makers and masks, perhaps the most important purchase you’ll make this season is a new laptop. And if your budget is the main concern, your best bet is something along the lines of this Lenovo Chromebook.

Parents and students might both enjoy the Lenovo IdeaPad 3 11.6-inch Chromebook, on sale for $169.99 at Amazon. That’s $50 off the original price, which makes this the lowest we’ve seen yet for this configuration. If you want to go even cheaper, you can also settle for a refurbished Lenovo IdeaPad that’s just $135, but this option only has 32GB of internal storage.

But most shoppers will likely prefer the brand new IdeaPad 3 Chromebook. It features an Intel Celeron N42020 processor that works at a speed of 1.1GHz along with an Intel UHD Graphics 600 GPU. It also includes 4GB of RAM and a 64GB eMMC internal storage capacity. You can’t play the latest PC games on it, but the IdeaPad 3 offers enough power to do all of the essentials for school such as writing and online research (or watching Netflix in the library when you need a break).

Of course, most students will love the fact that the IdeaPad 3 weighs just 2.47 pounds and is ultra slim. It provides up to 10 hours of battery life and boots up in seconds with the speedy Chrome OS. Just log in with a Google account to access all the tools and apps you need from Google Play and in G Suite. You also get a 720p webcam and dual stereo speaker for crisp sound.

Shop the deal at the link below.


Save $50 at Amazon

Credit: Lenovo

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Protect your AirTags with these silicone keychain holders on sale for 50% off

protect-your-airtags-with-these-silicone-keychain-holders-on-sale-for-50%-off

Keep your AirTag safe from dust, scratches, water, and more.TL;DR: Keep your AirTag protected with this Apple AirTag Keychain Holder, on sale for 50% off. As of Aug. 15, grab one for only $14.95.


It’s 2021, which means you no longer have to be held accountable for where your stuff is at all times. Thanks to the invention of the Apple AirTag, you don’t have to wonder where your missing suitcase went, where your car keys are hiding, or where the dog leash disappeared to. 

But while AirTags are super convenient for keeping track of missing luggage at the airport or your car keys, they serve no purpose if you lose or break the actual tag. These little trackers will have a longer life span if you turn them into keychains and make them wearable. With this Apple AirTag Keychain Holder, you can safely hold on to your AirTags wherever you are and also protect them from scratches or dents in the process.

This silicone keychain holder will keep the elements away from your AirTag, including dust and even water. Turning your AirTags into keychains will easily make them useful to attach to car keys, backpacks, and so much more. This keyring easily attaches to bags, wallets, and even belt loops, and will give your AirTag a unique look, since it comes in a variety of colorways. When you want to swap out the AirTag or clean it or the keychain itself, you can easily pop it out to wipe it down. Since the keychain is ultra-lightweight, it will add almost no weight to your AirTag, so you won’t even notice something is around it; you’ll just have the complete convenience of having it on a key chain and peace of mind that it’s safe and secure.

These Apple AirTag Keychains (which come in your choice of black, pink, or blue) regularly retail for $29. You can slash 50% off for a limited time, though, and grab one for just $14.95.

How to get paid on TikTok

how-to-get-paid-on-tiktok

Mr. Franklin, meet TikTokWhether you’re the next TikTok wunderkind, or a very niche hobbyist, there are several ways to get paid on TikTok. If getting paid for the videos you make anyway sounds like an exciting possibility, read on. Just be ready to put in some work. (TL;DR: Start getting some followers).

Creator Fund

In August 2020, TikTok launched the Creator Fund; a $200 million initiative that it estimates will grow to $1 billion over the next three years. According to TikTok, the fund’s purpose is to “support ambitious creators who are seeking opportunities to foster a livelihood through their innovative content.” In other words, TikTok will give you money for the videos you create.

Top influencers have reported receiving between two and four cents per 1,000 views. So creators with lots of views can make serious money. For example, TikTok’s favorite plastic surgeon Anthony Youn (@tonyounmd) got 1.5 million views for a video denouncing DIY toe surgery (don’t watch if you have a weak stomach). Based on our calculations, he might have made between $45,000 and $60,000.

Access and withdraw the money you made through the Creator Fund Dashboard.

Access and withdraw the money you made through the Creator Fund Dashboard.
Credit: TikTok

To participate in the Creator Fund, you need to already have some traction. You must have at least 10,000 followers and at least 100,000 video views in the last 30 days to be eligible to apply. And you also need to be 18 years or older and be based in the U.S., UK, Germany, Italy, France, and Spain, where the fund is currently available.

TikTok is vague as to how the funds are actually calculated, citing a “number of factors,” including page views and engagement. It’s worth noting that some creators say they’re making a fraction of what they expected to earn according to reports from VICE and Wired.

If you’re undeterred after reading those reports and you meet all of the requirements, you can apply within the app. Open ‘Settings and Privacy’ in the top righthand corner of the app, then tap ‘Creator tools,’ then ‘TikTok Creator Fund.’ If you qualify to apply, the application basically consists of entering your contact information, and agreeing to the terms of the TikTok Creator Fund Agreement.

Once accepted into the program, that’s where you can access your dashboard and withdraw funds via PayPal or Zelle. Funds show up in the dashboard three days after views from your video are counted, and you can withdraw your money 30 days after the end of the month in which your video was posted.

Access the Creator Fund through 'Creator Tools'

Access the Creator Fund through ‘Creator Tools’
Credit: mashable / Tiktok

Tap the 'TikTok Creator Fund' to apply

Tap the ‘TikTok Creator Fund’ to apply
Credit: mashable / tiktok

Creator Marketplace

TikTok’s Creator Marketplace is a platform that introduces brands to creators for paid campaigns or sponsorship opportunities. Brands can search for creators within the marketplace by country, age, topic, etc. and reach out directly for paid collaborations.

The Creator Marketplace allows creators and brands to collaborate directly through the app.

The Creator Marketplace allows creators and brands to collaborate directly through the app.
Credit: tiktok

The Creator Marketplace is still in its trial stages and TikTok hasn’t shared specific information on who is eligible. For now, the website says that eligible creators, “may be invited to join or apply.” If it sounds like the Creator Marketplace is pretty exclusive, that’s because right now, it is. TikTok says that it will be “expanding the invitations over time.”

If you do join the marketplace, the next step is to set up your creator profile. To access your profile, go to ‘Settings and Privacy,’ then ‘Creator tools,’ then ​​’TikTok Creator Marketplace.’

Access the Creator Marketplace by tapping 'Creator Tools'

Access the Creator Marketplace by tapping ‘Creator Tools’
Credit: mashable / tiktok

From here, you can manage your profile and other settings.

From here, you can manage your profile and other settings.
Credit: tiktok

There, you can edit profile information and set rates for sponsored videos.

Edit your profile for brands to contact you.

Edit your profile for brands to contact you.
Credit: Tiktok

Set your rate for brand collaborations.

Set your rate for brand collaborations.
Credit: tiktok

If a brand wants to collaborate with you, you’ll receive a notification in your inbox with the campaign and contract. If you choose to accept the invitation, you can discuss the details of the campaign through the marketplace tool — concept, video-making methods, the look and feel the brand needs, wardrobe, location, etc., basically everything else that has to be hashed out before you can make what is essentially a commercial. TikTok doesn’t currently support transactions of this kind, so payment must be arranged outside of the app.

Once you accept the campaign, you can discuss details of the shoot.

Once you accept the campaign, you can discuss details of the shoot.
Credit: tiktok

LIVE Gifting

While maybe not as lucrative as a brand collaboration, hosting a livestream can bring in money too, but the path toward getting actual money in this way is a long and winding one. When you host a TikTok LIVE stream, users buy virtual coins, which can be used to buy virtual gifts. Gifts are converted into diamonds, which are distributed as funds to creators, minus TikTok’s 50 percent cut.

The precise value of a diamond is not something TikTok has officially made public. Thankfully though, users have figured it out for themselves. There are some very helpful breakdowns here and here, but what you need to know is that one diamond equals about 5 cents. So for every 100 diamonds, creators earn roughly $5, which becomes $2.50 after TikTok takes its cut.

Send gifts using virtual coins that are purchased within the app.

Send gifts using virtual coins that are purchased within the app.
Credit: tiktok

Like the Creator Fund and Creator Marketplace, there are some restrictions on who can participate in LIVE Gifting. To host a live stream you must have more than 1,000 followers and be 16 or older. To then receive gifts in conjunction with your livestream, you must be at least 18 years old.

When you go live, users can send you gifts in real time. And at the end of your stream, a summary will show you the coin value of the gifts you received. To see how many diamonds you’ve earned and withdraw funds, tap ‘Balance’ under ‘Settings and Privacy’ and then tap ‘LIVE Gifts.’

Tap 'Balance' to access gifts and diamonds you've earned.

Tap ‘Balance’ to access gifts and diamonds you’ve earned.
Credit: mashable / tiktok

Tap 'LIVE Gifts' to exchange diamonds into dollars.

Tap ‘LIVE Gifts’ to exchange diamonds into dollars.
Credit: TikTok

Other ways to get paid on TikTok

By this point, you’ve figured out that to you need a significant number of followers just to start making money on TikTok. But, there are other ways to get paid that don’t involve working directly with TikTok’s monetization tools. You’ll still need to show brands that you have some kind of clout, but this way, you don’t need a minimum number of followers to start hustling.

Influencer marketing: Gaining a loyal following, no matter how small, means that people trust and listen to you. And brands want to work with creators who have that kind of influence. If you don’t belong to TikTok’s Creator Marketplace, you can connect with brands directly for sponsored posts, product reviews, account takeovers, product mentions, or playing a song over your video, which has become a popular way for record companies and artists to promote new music. Just make sure you’re being transparent about your relationships with brands and disclosing when there’s financial incentive.

Selling your own merch: You’ll need a lot of followers to make real money doing this, but since TikTok’s announced that creators can soon sell products within the app via Teespring, ecommerce is expected to play a big role on the app. While the Teespring integration isn’t yet available to all users, it’s already pretty easy to sell merchandise by adding a link in your profile to whatever third party selling app you use, such as Shopify or Magento.

Now that you’ve got the nitty gritty (emphasis on gritty) you’re ready to show the TikTok universe what you’ve got. So go ahead, and show us your best white girl dance.

Planets, ranked

planets,-ranked

The planets of our solar system, stretching from Mercury out to Neptune, are all incredible.

In a dense cloud of gas and dust billions of years ago, these eight planets emerged along with the sun. They are eight unique expressions of our chaotic universe born upon an arm of the spiraling Milky Way galaxy.

The planets’ sizes and orbits distinguish them from asteroids, comets, and meteoroids, as well as icy objects beyond Neptune in the Kuiper Belt, like the dwarf planet Pluto. Each one is iconic in its own way, but as is the way of the universe, only one can be the best.

Judged by their superlative characteristics, their moons, and their general vibe, here is a definitive ranking of the planets. If you’re at all upset about Pluto not being on this list, I suggest you grow up and move on.

8. Uranus

NASA's Voyager spacecraft traveled past Uranus in 1986, capturing its blue-green profile from 7.8 million miles away.

NASA’s Voyager spacecraft traveled past Uranus in 1986, capturing its blue-green profile from 7.8 million miles away.
Credit: nasa/jpl

Uranus is kind of like the Luigi to Neptune’s Mario. While they’re both ice giants, Uranus is the second farthest from the sun and a bit smaller by diameter. With winds whipping around at more than 500 miles per hour and temperatures dipping below minus 350 degrees Fahrenheit, Uranus is a pretty hostile planet, but not quite as intense as Neptune.

That said, Uranus has one unique feature: Its rotation. Uranus’s equator is tilted 97.8 degrees, meaning compared to all the other planets, it rotates completely on its side. Summers and winters at each pole last 21 years a piece, which sounds downright awful.

7. Mercury

Craters in the planet's southern hemisphere are highlighted in images captured by NASA's Messenger spacecraft, which orbited Mercury,

Craters in the planet’s southern hemisphere are highlighted in images captured by NASA’s Messenger spacecraft, which orbited Mercury,
Credit: NASA/Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory/Carnegie Institution of Washington

With no moons and barely any atmosphere, Mercury is unencumbered and it shows. Mercury is a tiny whip of a planet that circles the sun every 88 Earth days, traveling at a speed of 29 miles per second. It’s the fastest orbiting planet in our solar system and also the smallest. Its rocky, pock-marked surface makes it look more like a moon than its fellow planets, and it’s the only planet that is actually smaller than two moons: Jupiter’s Ganymede and Saturn’s Titan. A little embarrassing, honestly.

One particularly intriguing aspect of this little speeder is its eccentric orbit, which sees the planet’s distance from the sun range from 29 million miles to 43 million miles.

6. Mars

This detailed image of Mars is stitched together from 102 snapshots taken by NASA's Viking Orbiter.

This detailed image of Mars is stitched together from 102 snapshots taken by NASA’s Viking Orbiter.
Credit: nasa/jpl-caltech

When it comes to the search for life, the dusty red planet Mars is one of the solar system’s most intriguing. With atmospheric conditions most similar to Earth’s and images of the surface reminiscent of our most arid environments, it’s relatively easy to imagine what it’s like to stand on the surface. But as far as we know, Mars doesn’t harbor life. Maybe it did at some point in the past, but that’s never been verified.

Mars does have two exciting features: The largest volcano in the solar system, Olympus Mons, with a peak three time taller than Mt. Everest, and a doomed moon. In 50 million years or so, Mars’ moon Phobos will crash into the surface and wreak some havoc, possibly even producing rings of debris around the planet. Cool.

5. Neptune

This vivid image of Neptune was beamed back to Earth in 1998 by NASA's Voyager 2 spacecraft, showcasing the planet's Great Dark Spot, which has since dissipated.

This vivid image of Neptune was beamed back to Earth in 1998 by NASA’s Voyager 2 spacecraft, showcasing the planet’s Great Dark Spot, which has since dissipated.
Credit: nasa/jpl

Neptune is the most distant planet from the sun with a mind-bogglingly slow orbit, taking roughly 165 years to make it all the way around. It’s so far out, its actually sometimes farther away from the sun than the notoriously far-out Pluto. It’s also the windiest planet, with gales hitting 1,200 miles per hour.

While we understand why most planets look the way they do, Neptune’s intoxicating blue hue is actually a bit of a mystery. Who doesn’t love a little mystery? The moon Triton certainly seems to love it — it’s the only known large moon in the solar system that orbits in the opposite direction that the planet spins, suggesting that it was once a foreign object that got trapped in Neptune’s gravitational influence.

4. Venus

This image of Venus was captured in the '70s but was re-processed with modern technology in 2020. Beneath those fluffy clouds is a super hot planet with a noxious atmosphere.

This image of Venus was captured in the ’70s but was re-processed with modern technology in 2020. Beneath those fluffy clouds is a super hot planet with a noxious atmosphere.
Credit: nasa/jpl-caltech

Venus is downright hellish. With peak temperatures reaching up to a sweltering 900 degrees Fahrenheit, it’s the hottest planet. For reference, the melting point of lead is 622 degrees Fahrenheit. Its thick, yellowish atmosphere of carbon dioxide and sulfuric acid traps in heat from the sun, and the clouds literally rain down acid.

With thousands of volcanoes across its surface, Venus is a veritable inferno. It’s not yet confirmed, but it’s possible that some volcanoes are currently active. Yes, it may not be anything close to habitable, but the vibe on Venus is undeniably awesome.

3. Jupiter

Jupiter and one of its large moons, Io, were captured just a day apart from each other by NASA's New Horizons spacecraft and composed together. The planet's storms cover its gassy, liquidy surface.

Jupiter and one of its large moons, Io, were captured just a day apart from each other by NASA’s New Horizons spacecraft and composed together. The planet’s storms cover its gassy, liquidy surface.
Credit: NASA/JHUAPL

Jupiter takes its role as a gas giant very seriously. This behemoth is the biggest planet in the solar system — you could shove 11 Earths end on end through the middle of Jupiter and still have room leftover. Constantly beset by gigantic storms throughout its short, 10-hour days, Jupiter exudes a kind of chaotic beauty. It screams gas giant.

The icing on the Jupiter cake is its moons. It has 53 confirmed moons, and could have dozens more. Ganymede is the biggest moon in the solar system, Europa likely has a body of liquid water beneath its icy surface, and Io’s volcanoes are the most active in the solar system, even beating out Venus. Between its size, appearance, and diverse moons, it’s a real knockout. If only it had some rings…

2. Saturn

The rings of Saturn were captured brilliantly by the Hubble Space Telescope in 2019, roughly 845 million miles away.

The rings of Saturn were captured brilliantly by the Hubble Space Telescope in 2019, roughly 845 million miles away.
Credit: NASA, ESA, A. Simon (GSFC), M.H. Wong (University of California, Berkeley) and the OPAL Team

Definitely in the running for most iconic planet in our solar system, Saturn’s vivid, icy rings really stand out. Sure, other planets, like Uranus, have rings, but theirs aren’t as visible, complex, or cool as Saturn’s. Its seven distinct rings are likely made up of comets, asteroids, or moons that were torn up by Saturn’s gravity and are now whizzing around the planet in pieces. It’s so cool-looking that it alone has basically become a symbol for space as a whole.

A gas giant like Jupiter, it’s the second biggest planet in the system and, also like Jupiter, it has a lot of moons. There are more than 53 confirmed moons and nearly 30 more that are awaiting confirmation. Two of its larger ones, Titan and Enceladus, are of particular scientific interest. Titan, larger than Mercury, is the only moon we know of with a substantial atmosphere, and it also appears to have liquid rivers and lakes on its solid surface. Enceladus contains an ocean beneath its frozen crust that gets sprayed out into space through geysers.

1. Earth

The Earth, captured from space in 2019, in all its life-filled glory.

The Earth, captured from space in 2019, in all its life-filled glory.
Credit: NOAA/NASA EPIC Team

I’m sure Earth beating out the competition will make some people groan, but it’s a no-brainer. Earth is the best planet.

Earth developed around the same time and the place as all the other planets, but it’s the only one we know of that managed to produce such a robust expression of life. Plants, animals, fungi, and microorganisms all coexist on this water-logged planet, creating an incredibly complex and sensational global ecosystem. Sure, Earth has been home to some bad things like war criminals and the prison-industrial complex, but it also produced beings with taste buds and apples for them to enjoy.

As far as vibes go in the solar system, it doesn’t get any better than Earth. An abundance of resources has led to the invention of couches, trains, coffee, and the internet. At a macro level, it’s astonishing. At a micro level, it’s mind-blowing.

It may not be the biggest planet or have the most moons, but it’s the best place to live by a long shot and has the most diverse and interesting surface in these galactic parts.

15 USB hubs on sale to expand your MacBook’s abilities and declutter your desk

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Charge up to seven devices at once.The devices start coming and they truly don’t stop. Sure, the result is a more streamlined, entertaining life, but it also comes with a few downfalls like cluttered spaces and USB cords that quickly take over. 

Luckily these 15 USB hubs are all on sale to keep your charging station organized and clutter-free. Check out these deals that are only available for a limited time.

CASA Hub + PeAk USB Adapter Bundle

This adapter bundle features the CASA Hub, a USB-C adapter for new MacBooks with two standard USB ports, microSD, and SD card slot, as well as the PeAK AFB13, which makes data transfer seamless between devices. The bundle normally retails for $51, but you can slash over 20% off and get it for just $39.99.

CASA Hub 5E USB-C 5-in-1 Card Reader Hub With PD 3.0 Fast Charge

This hub from Adam Elements includes two USB ports, SD and microSD card readers, and a USB-C slot, so you can seamlessly read and transfer files from any external devices and charge your laptop with 60W power delivery. Grab it for 14% off of the retail price and pay just $45.99 (normally $54).

CASA Hub Pro 11-in-1 Full Function Charging Transmission Hub

With this transmission hub you can turn a single USB-C port into 11 ports without ever having to purchase a converter or driver software. Grab it for just $140.99 after taking 21% off of the retail price ($179).

CASA Hub O7 USB-C Multi-Function Hub with Wireless Charger

Use HDMI and VGA ports simultaneously, plus fast-charge your laptop, and more with this multifunctional hub. It even works as a wireless charger for on-the-go use. Take it home for just $78.95 (normally $99) for a limited time.

ChargeHub X3: 3-Port USB SuperCharger

Charge all your devices in just one unique outlet without having to disperse them across your home. With SmartSpeed technology you’ll get a full charge three times faster. Enter code LIMITLESS25 at checkout to take 25% off, making this USB SuperCharger just $22.49 (regularly $29.99).

ChargeHub X5: 5-Port USB Charger

This charger hub won the Best of Consumer Electronics Show Award by iPhone Life Magazine for a reason. You can charge five devices at once and keep your devices safe in the process. Take 25% off at checkout when you enter code LIMITLESS25 and pay just $29.99 (regularly $39.99).

ChargeHub X7 Signature: 7-Port USB Charging Station

This charging port is the winner of multiple awards and is perfect for those with an overwhelming number of gadgets. You can charge seven USB devices at the same time from a single power supply. Enter code LIMITLESS25 at checkout and save 25%, making this charging port just $44.99 (normally $59.99).

Crave 52W PowerHub 5-in-1 Desktop Charger

Trim down excess clutter around your desktop with this five-in-one charger that takes up minimal space. Take 22% off of the original price and pay just $38.99 (normally $49).

Crave PowerHUB Pro 75W 4-in-1 Device Charger

This standing charging port supports your phone, tablet, camera, and laptop. Plus, it’s protected against short circuits, overcharging, and overheating. Grab it on sale for 40% off and pay just $47.99 (regularly $79).

BentoStack PowerHub 5000

The storage compartment really takes this power hub to the next level. It features three custom storage spaces for small accessories like charging bricks and more to keep your space truly clutter-free. Score 37% off of the original retail price and take it home for just $99.99 (normally $159).


BentoStack PowerHub 5000 — $99.99

Credit: Funtion101

USB 8-Port Type-C Valet Hub

With eight USB ports, you can charge devices such as MacBooks, iPads, and more. Plus, there’s even a magnetic holder for your Apple 2 pencil to keep everything neat and organized. Take it home for just $69.99 (normally $79) for a limited time.


USB 8-Port Type-C Valet Hub — $69.99

Credit: Function101

CASA HUB 10E: 10-in-2 USB-C 3.1 Modular Hub with Expansion Modules

Help your laptop do more with this convertor that allows for blazing-fast data exchange and video output — all with 100W fast charging. For a limited time, you can save 19% and snag it for just $79.99 (normally $99).

CASA HUB X: 10-in-1 USB-C 3.1 Port Hub

With 10 slots for USB 3.1 Type-C, HDMI, VGA, RJ45, and more, your laptop will seriously be taken to new levels. All you have to do is plug and play with no driver needed. Take 17% off for a limited time and get it for just $89.99 (normally $109).

EVRI FLEX USB-C 4-in-1 Hub with 4K HDMI

Quick charge and get quick file transfers at USB 3.0 speeds of up to 5Gb/s. Take 50% off of the total retail price and get it for just $39.95 (normally $79).

65W Power Delivery Charging Hub

This 65W power strip is ultra-compact and lightweight and truly expands the reach of a single electrical outlet. Slash 22% off and take it home for just $34.99 (normally $44) for a limited time.

Get a lifetime subscription to the Babbel language-learning app for over 50% off

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Practice with short 10-15 minute lessons from your phone or computer.TL;DR: Become multi-lingual with the Babbel language learning app, on sale for $300 off. As of Aug. 15, get a lifetime subscription for only $199.


Most of us who speak only one language have always wanted to learn a second one, but have never taken the necessary initiative to make it happen. Formal, structured classes are just too time-consuming and don’t make learning enjoyable. That’s why language learning apps have skyrocketed in popularity.

If you’re serious about adding another language to your skill set, one of the best ways you can do that is with a lifetime subscription to Babbel. As the world’s top-grossing language learning app, Babbel gives you the opportunity to brush up on your skills or learn a completely new language from scratch any time you want — forever. There’s a reason why thousands of iOS and Android users alike have given the app 4.5 out of 5 stars and over 10 million users worldwide have joined. Babbel actually makes learning fun. It’s a lot more than just repeating vocabulary words over and over.

Since everyone learns differently, Babbel offers multiple different paths to learning a new language: lessons, podcasts, games, videos, culture bites, virtual group classes, and more. The folks at Babbel build on grammatical concepts shared with your native language and skip over mutual words you already know to streamline the learning experience. They also use real voices of native speakers with various accents, so you can hear how languages actually sound and refine your pronunciation via speech-recognition tools.

With a lifetime subscription to Babbel, you’ll get 10,000 hours of high-quality language education you can access whenever you want and can choose from 14 different languages to learn. It usually costs $499, but for a limited time, new users can take advantage of a massive price drop and sign up for only $199. Find out for yourself why PC Mag said the app completely “exceeds expectations.”

Get ready: PS5 and Xbox Series X consoles are about to be restocked at Walmart

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TL;DR: Walmart has announced that PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X consoles are going to be restocked online Thursday, August 12. Starting at 6 pm P.T./9 pm E.T., the consoles will get a small restock every ten minutes through the hour, ending at 7 pm P.T./10 pm E.T.

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The PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X have been out in the wild for almost a year now, and they’re still basically impossible to get, thanks to a microchip shortage and bots. Lots of bots. The result has been a hectic, everyone-for-themselves race to snag one whenever they go back in stock (which doesn’t happen all that often). Even then, only a lucky few end up taking one home when it’s all said and done.

Though we can’t promise that this is the time you’ll actually get one, we can promise that you’ll at least have a fighting chance — Walmart has announced that PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X consoles are going to be restocked online August 12. Starting at 6 pm P.T./9 pm E.T., the consoles will get a small, staggered restock every ten minutes through the hour, with 7 pm P.T./10 pm E.T. being the end of the restock window. That’s six separate chances you’ll have to get one of the coveted consoles.

So, get those alarms ready and stretch out those clicking fingers, because you’re going to need to be fast when they drop. Links for each console being restocked are below. Good luck.

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