While vinyl took a break for a few decades, the musical format is back and better than ever. You’ve probably noticed by now that along with mainstream streaming services, artists of the modern era are releasing their tunes on actual records again. And if you haven’t enjoyed your favorite album on vinyl, you haven’t heard it in its greatest format. Long story short: it’s time to get a record player.
The mbeat Hi-Fi Turntable is the only music player you’ll need for your home. It plays vinyl records, of course, for when you want to enjoy analog, and also connects directly to your phone or Spotify account to play Bluetooth music when you want to jump back into the digital world.
Since it features an adjustable counterweight and anti-skating force, your records will never skip or get distorted as they’re playing. The moving magnet cartridge has been pre-fitted and aligned right out of the box, so you can immediately enjoy the crisp and clean sounds of your music as soon as you start using it. Since it has a built-in amplifier and includes two 12.6-pound 18W speakers, you won’t need to purchase any additional accessories to enjoy your music. With the Bluetooth transmitter, you can listen to almost any music source on this device and even play it through your own personal headphones. When you play vinyl directly on this record player, you can also record it directly to your PC to digitize your vintage collection.
See it in action:
The mbeat Turntable regularly retails for $339, but for a limited time, you can save 11% and take it home for just $299.99. Even better, when you spend $50 or over, you’ll get credited $10 back to your account within 14 days to use on a future purchase.
Curiosity is something we’re born with. But as we get older, we get stuck in our ways and it begins to disappear from our skill set. Yes, skill set. Curiosity is an essential skill — or superpower — in any type of workplace, as it keeps our minds active and expanding. One way to bring back that curiosity you had as a kid is with a library of educational streaming at your fingertips. And the freedom to browse as you please.
With this subscription bundle, you’ll get a lifetime of access to CuriosityStream, a top-rated documentary streaming service, and KeepSolid VPN Unlimited, a well-regarded security solution for your browser. You’ll be able to stream thousands of documentaries to spark your curiosity and wonder and dig deeper on the web without restrictions or security concerns — all for a low price of $179 for a limited time.
CuriosityStream is the award-winning streaming service from Discovery Communications visionary John Hendricks. Think of it like Netflix, but for expanding your mind. It features thousands of documentary films and series from masters like David Attenborough, Michio Kaku, Brian Greene, and tons more. Whether you’re a tree hugger at heart, a science nerd, or history buff, this service has something to get your wheels turning. It’s earned 4.7 out of 5 stars on the App Store and 4.3 on Google Play, with millions of subscribers to show for it.
Along with your lifetime streaming subscription, you’ll also get lifetime access to KeepSolid VPN Unlimited, which we’ve featured many times before. It gives you reliable protection with no speed or bandwidth limits on your home network or public WiFi networks. You can choose to connect to over 400 VPN servers in 80 locations globally and surf on multiple VPN protocols, making sure what you do on the web is anonymous and secure.
Spark your curiosity and browse freely with this lifetime subscription deal to CuriosityStream and KeepSolid VPN Unlimited. For a limited time, it’ll only cost you $179 ($449 value). Plus, you’ll earn a $10 store credit within 14 days of your purchase for spending at least $50.
SAVE $149.01: As of Aug. 23, a $100 discount and a $49.01 coupon have brought Apple’s 512GB Mac Mini (2020) down to just $749.99 on Amazon. That’s 17% off its $899 MSRP.
Those rumors of a new Mac mini are heating up: Now, word on the street is that the upcoming version of the portable desktop will have more ports and a completely different design in addition to Apple’s upcoming M1X processor.
Keep an eye out for its launch sometime in the “next several months,” per the reports. Or don’t, because Amazon just put a configuration of the current M1-powered Mac mini on sale for its lowest price yet.
As of Aug. 23, the 512GB model was marked down to just $749.99 there after a $100 discount and a $49.01 extra savings coupon on its product page. (No need to tick any boxes, by the way — Amazon will automatically apply the coupon at checkout once you add the Mac mini to your shopping cart.)
Credit: screenshot via amazon
According to basic arithmetic, this puts it just $50 away from the list price of the 256GB base model. That’s icon behavior right there.
Billed as “Apple’s most versatile computer” upon its Nov. 2020 release, this Mac mini is a Mashable’s Choice Award-winner that’s extremely fast and powerful (yet surprisingly quiet) thanks to its custom-made silicon. Tim Cook and company say its CPU offers three times faster performance than the previous model, which ran on an Intel processor, while its graphics are apparently six times faster. (In other words, it won’t break a sweat if you use it for something like gaming, livestreaming, or even 3D rendering.)
Connectivity-wise, you’ll find two USB-C ports, two USB-A ports, an HDMI port, and a headphone jack on the back of the device; you’re free to hook it up to two monitors at once (sold separately).
Amazon notes in the fine print that its extra savings coupon is “valid for a limited time only,” so click the link below to hop on this deal while you still can.
On Monday, the company started rolling out the ability to buy, sell, and hold cryptocurrencies to customers in the UK.
Four cryptocurrencies will initially be supported: Bitcoin, Ethereum, Litecoin, and Bitcoin Cash. Other features include real-time price monitoring as well as educational content on the topic of cryptocurrencies.
PayPal first rolled out cryptocurrency trading in the U.S. in October 2020. The company also expanded its offering in May this year, allowing customers to transfer and withdraw their crypto to third-party wallets. Today marks the first time the company has launched these features outside of the U.S.
“We are committed to continue working closely with regulators in the UK, and around the world, to offer our support—and meaningfully contribute to shaping the role digital currencies will play in the future of global finance and commerce,” Jose Fernandez da Ponte, VP and general manager, blockchain, crypto and digital currencies at PayPal, said in a statement.
Other companies that offer crypto purchases in the UK include Revolut, Coinbase, and Binance.
The new features will start rolling out to customers in the UK this week, and should be available for all eligible customers “within the next few weeks,” both on the PayPal website and in the PayPal mobile app.
The race to make AirPods obsolete is heating up, thanks to a new contender from OnePlus.
Less than a month removed from the release of the fabulous Samsung Galaxy Buds 2, the OnePlus Buds Pro are here to offer another alternative to Apple’s dominance in the wireless earbuds game. With a $150 price point, OnePlus is stepping out of “bargain” territory, but staying firmly in the “a nice set of features for the price” arena. Active noise cancellation (ANC), strong sound quality, and plenty of options — regardless of which phone you have — are all here.
A few small technical hiccups stop the OnePlus Buds Pro from pulling away from its competition, but they’re still a strong follow-up to the Buds and Buds Z. And yes, you should get them instead of the entry-level AirPods.
So much better looking
Handsome. Credit: oneplus
The main reason to get the OnePlus Buds or Buds Z was that they were both cheap as hell. Both came in at less than $100 and delivered better-than-expected sound, but man, they also looked cheap. If someone had to make fake, non-copyright-infringing AirPods as a prop for a Law & Order episode, they’d come out looking like those earbuds.
I’m pleased to report that OnePlus seriously stepped up its game with the Buds Pro. Like, holy smokes, these look nice. They’re not especially original, mind you, as they just kind of look like a glossy white or matte black speaker with a rubber ear tip and a shiny AirPods-like stem that you pinch to activate touch controls. Nothing too fancy there: One squeeze for play/pause, two to skip ahead, three to rewind, and hold for one second to switch ANC on or off.
I didn’t have any long-term comfort issues with the OnePlus Buds Pro, despite wearing them for several hours at a time during testing. The box comes with a handful of different ear tip sizes, as has become standard for these types of earbuds, just in case you experience things differently with the first one you try. A small rectangular charging case that can be charged via USB-C or wirelessly rounds out the package.
The OnePlus Buds Pro are about as physically conventional as wireless earbuds get, but the software side of things is different.
The hearing test is really neat. Credit: screenshot: oneplus
One unique feature is that you can pinch the stem for three seconds to turn on “Zen Mode Air,” a built-in white noise machine for meditation, sleeping, or any other time you might need it. This is by no means necessary (music streaming services have plenty of ambient tracks) but it’s a pretty thoughtful inclusion. There are a handful of white noise choices, including birds chirping in a forest and an Iceland-themed one, which you can choose in the device settings in a OnePlus phone or the HeyMelody mobile app on iOS or Android, if you don’t have a OnePlus device.
I went the HeyMelody route since I didn’t have a OnePlus phone on hand, and I don’t have any complaints. The app’s home screen gives you a battery percentage readout for each earbud, as well as the ability to switch between ANC modes, customize touch controls, take a rudimentary fit test, and set up a “OnePlus Audio ID.” That last point is a cool one, as you’ll take a three-minute or so hearing test so the Buds Pro can determine a custom listening profile that works for you. I think the hearing in my right ear is slightly worse than the left, and after the test, the audio was jacked up slightly on the right side for better balance.
As always, I’m greatly appreciative whenever a pair of wireless earbuds work equally well across a suite of different devices. Earbuds from device manufacturers like Apple, Samsung, and Google always work better on their native phones, but OnePlus put in the effort to make a totally fine app you can download on any phone. Basic usability and comfort are not problems here, and for the most part, I can say the same for the listening experience.
Smart ANC isn’t that smart
The case is pretty inconspicuous. Credit: oneplus
I was always impressed with the sound quality in the cheaper OnePlus Buds. They packed a way harder punch than sub-$100 earbuds usually do, and as expected, the more expensive model doesn’t let up in that regard.
I’ve still heard better sound quality out of wireless earbuds (thanks, Bose), but the Buds Pro are fully capable of kicking your teeth in if you’ll let them. Everything is crisp, the bass hits satisfactorily, stereo effects travel from one side to the other beautifully, and dense compositions don’t lose anything. Take Sturgill Simpson’s “Call to Arms,” a dizzying anti-war rollercoaster with what feels like 27 different instruments going buck wild at once. OnePlus Buds Pro give that song exactly as much impact as it should, without losing anything.
I trusted the Buds Pro to deliver high-quality sound, and they do. Active noise cancellation, however, is an entirely new feature and can be incredibly iffy on lower-priced wireless earbuds. For the most part, OnePlus got it right, with three modes to choose from in the app: Regular ANC, “Smart” ANC, and maximum ANC.
The difference between regular and maximum simply comes down to how much noise is drowned out, with the former blocking up to 25dB and the latter up to 40dB. Both do a fine enough job of blocking out ambient noise, though exceptionally loud environments like subway platforms will always penetrate ANC on all but the most powerful headphones. The “Smart” option attempts to adjust the amount of sound that gets let in on the fly, and this is where I had problems.
I just never felt like this stab at adaptive ANC made enough of a difference to be worth using. Ordering a breakfast sandwich at the deli was still easier by switching over to transparency mode, to give one example where ANC that turns itself down would have helped. There was also one outlier scenario where I was walking around a busy section of Brooklyn beneath an above-ground train with my music paused, and the ANC became actively unpleasant. It felt like it was transferred entirely to the right ear, as if someone was blowing wind into the ear canal or something.
It’s hard to explain, but man, it was uncomfortable. The good news is, I never experienced anything close to that outside of that five-minute burst of discomfort. I’d recommend sticking to one of the more rigid ANC options depending on your preferences.
The last bit of performance analysis I have is regarding the battery. OnePlus rates its earbuds for 38 hours of listening time in a fully charged case without ANC and 28 hours with it. As for a single charge of the earbuds, I was able to get a little less than four hours with ANC turned on before they shut off in my ears. That’s far from disastrous, but it’s not really impressive, either.
A small price cut would change everything
For $150, you mostly get the goods with the OnePlus Buds Pro. That said, the sub-$200 wireless earbud market has only gotten more intense over the past year, and I can’t just wholeheartedly recommend these without some reservations. Let’s compare and contrast:
OnePlus Buds Pro ($150): Great sound, good comfort, decent ANC, middling battery
Samsung Galaxy Buds 2 ($150): Stylish, tremendous comfort, fantastic ANC, battery and sound are just OK
Apple AirPods 2 ($160): No real reason to get these anymore unless you love Siri
If OnePlus could cut the price down by $10 to $20, it would be a lot easier for me to say you should run and get the Buds Pro at the earliest opportunity. As it stands, though, I could make a real case for either Samsung’s or Amazon’s offerings instead, with the former especially shining for Samsung device owners.
But if you own an iPhone and aren’t comfortable giving Amazon money (a smart call), the OnePlus Buds Pro are another great alternative to the obsolete AirPods. This conversation could change if and when Apple finally updates its entry-level earbuds, but until then, OnePlus has got your back.
Researchers from the University of California, Santa Barbara and the Georgia Institute of Technology showcased a soft robot that can swim under sand. The bot will surely remind some of the flesh-eating graboids from Tremors or the giant sand worm in Dune.
And, in fact, the long-term plan is to send this type of robot into space and use it to help traverse extraterrestrial environments, like the Moon.
Besides launching new iPhones, MacBooks, iPads, and AirPods in the next couple of months — at least that’s what the reports say — Apple also plans to launch a redesigned Mac mini.
This is according to Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman, who shared some of the expected specs for the device in his Power On newsletter on Sunday.
According to Gurman, the next Mac mini will have Apple’s upcoming M1X processor — the same one that upcoming MacBooks are getting. It will also have more ports than the current model, as well as a different design.
The Mac mini was among the first Apple computers to come with Apple’s in-house M1 chip. Like other M1 machines, it was praised for being fast and quiet, but it was a little low on ports (it only had two USB-C ports, two USB-A ports, an HDMI port, and a headphone jack), and it couldn’t support more than 16GB of RAM. It also only let you connect two monitors, and even then you had to connect one via Thunderbolt and the other via HDMI. Hopefully these issues are resolved in the updated version this fall.
According to Gurman, the new Mac mini with the M1X processor also means that the model with an Intel processor, which Apple still has in its lineup, is going away.
Over the years, my Facebook feed has turned into a hodgepodge of MLM peddlers, COVID misinformation, rage over said COVID misinformation, and Minions memes. Yet, embarrassingly, I still check up on it every now and again — and I know I’m not alone in that.
On desktop, press the Messenger icon on the top right of the homepage.
Next, select the ellipsis (…) at the top of the dropdown.
Chat Settings will open up. Go to Turn Off Active Status.
You can choose whether to turn off the green bubble for everyone, or blacklist/whitelist certain names. Click “Okay” when you’re done.
On mobile, this is a little different. When you tap Messenger on the Facebook app, it’ll open up the dedicated Messenger app. From there, click your profile picture at the top left. Select Active Status, and then toggle whether you want to show that you’re active: