Category Archives: Gadget News, Reviews, And Features

Watch the CNET Holiday Buyer’s Guide Live: 10 a.m. PT/1 p.m. ET

The holidays are upon us! And that means you’ve got gifts to buy and questions that need answers — and the clock is ticking!

The CNET Holiday Buyer’s Guide Live is back again to help, streaming live from our New York studios. We have gift-giving advice, tips on finding hot deals and answers to readers’ questions — live, with a cast of CNET experts!

DJI Spark

Highlights include:

There will also be a a giveaway! During the first 40 minutes of the live show, 10 lucky viewers will get a chance to win* a Sphero Mini robot by tweeting using the hashtag #CNETHoliday. 

*Remember that you have to be following @CNET on Twitter. And if you’re stuck for something to say, let us know what your most desired tech gift is this year. Due to the legal boundaries of sweepstakes, the giveaway is for residents of US and Canada only, and you do have to be 18 years or older. Please check the rules for more details.

Watch live right here (above) or on YouTube today, Dec. 14 at 10 a.m. PT/1 p.m. ET.

Holiday Gift GuideCNET’s full gift guide, including dozens of products priced under $25, $50 and $100

Last-Minute Gift IdeasTime running out? Don’t fret, we have gift options that will work straight through December 25

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Here’s how to clean an electric cooktop (hint: It’s pretty easy)

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7-Eleven tests app-based deliveries in Dallas

Convenience stores earned their name by stocking food and everyday items in a shop you could easily reach. But what if your local store isn’t all that close, or it doesn’t carry what you’re looking for? If everything goes according to plan, 7-Eleven might have you covered. It’s testing a mobile app, 7-ElevenNow, that lets you order food, drinks and other products for delivery or in-store pickup. You won’t have to brave the rain just to score a pack of your favorite soft drinks — instead, a courier can bring them to you. The trial is active in 10 Dallas-area stores.

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Can you use Amazon Prime Now to deliver to homeless people?

Technically Incorrect offers a slightly twisted take on the tech that’s taken over our lives.


Using technology to help.

Rob Bliss/YouTube screenshot by Chris Matyszczyk/CNET

Some people will spend Christmas on the streets. It will be cold and it will be miserable.

Video director Rob Bliss wondered whether he could use modern technology to help. So he walked up to homeless people in New York, asked them what their most immediate needs were and then ordered those things on Amazon Prime Now.

This is the service, currently only in a few cities, that aims to deliver products in two hours or less.

The video he created, now trending strongly on YouTube, shows the service performing as planned. 

The homeless people seemed stunned and grateful that someone had bothered about them, especially with things that were genuinely useful to them.

Bliss insisted on YouTube that Amazon was in no way involved in the project and, indeed, that other services such as Postmates could deliver the same results. 

He told me that it took five days to shoot the footage and that all the homeless people consented to be in the video.

Amazon didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment. However, Bliss told me: “I’ve had different Amazon managers and executives reach out with congratulations, nothing from Jeff yet.” 

Bliss is the same director who brought the world “10 Hours of Walking in NYC as a Woman.” This was the video that showed a woman walking around New York and enduring men’s catcalls. 

That video was much admired, but also much parodied. So much so that Bliss worked with TGI Friday’s on a parody that elicited some scorn.

This led to the woman in the original video suing Bliss after her image was replaced by various TGI Friday’s appetizers. A court sided with Bliss

I asked Bliss what he hoped to achieve with his homeless video.

“Ideally, this video leads to people seeing a new way to give, breaking through the bystander effect that happens when so many people are passing by someone in need,” he said.

I wonder if Amazon will ultimately participate in some way.

Technically Incorrect: Bringing you a fresh and irreverent take on tech.

Special Reports: CNET’s in-depth features in one place.

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iPhone 8 and X ranked as 2nd and 3rd most searched terms in 2017


The iPhone 8 took the #2 rank in Google’s Year in Search trends.

Óscar Gutiérrez/CNET

Google has released its annual Year in Search, which measures the top trending terms of 2017. The iPhone not too surprisingly ranked high — specifically the iPhone 8 which ranked at number 2 on the list and the iPhone X which ranked third. The top trending worldwide term was Hurricane Irma.

2017 was a big year for the iPhone. It marked the 10-year anniversary of the first iPhone and Apple celebrated by releasing the iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus as well as the dramatically redesigned iPhone X. Although Apple didn’t take the wraps off the phone until September, rumors about the 10-year anniversary iPhone were circulating throughout the year which could’ve affected the Google searches. It’s worth noting that the rumors often referred to the iPhone X as the iPhone 8 — and the 8 and 8 Plus as the iPhone 7S and 7S Plus. The iPhone X name wasn’t talked about until closer to the reveal. This may be part of the reason that Google ranked iPhone 8 higher than iPhone X.

Google’s global top five searches were:

  1. Hurricane Irma
  2. iPhone 8
  3. iPhone X
  4. Matt Lauer
  5. Meghan Markle

Google also separated terms into categories ranging from Elections, Actors and Memes. Consumer tech got its own category with searches for popular products like the Nintendo Switch ( number 3), Samsung Galaxy S8 (number 4) and Xbox One X ( number 5). The iPhones of course ranked as number 1 and number 2 in this list. To see all of Google’s terms, check them out here.

Besides just listing the popular searches, Google wanted us to know that people spent more time searching using the word “how” than before. Whether it was “How do wildfires start?” or “How to calm a dog during a storm?” Google put a positive spin on these searches in its blog post, saying that these searches showed people’s desire to give back and serve our communities. It even made a video in honor of people asking “how”, which can be seen below.

Neither Google nor Apple immediately responded to a request for comment.

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Apple releases iOS 11.2.1 to restore limited HomeKit functionality

Apple has released iOS 11.2.1 for iPhone and iPad following last week’s discovery that HomeKit had a major security vulnerability. The bug, first reported by 9to5Mac, allowed unauthorized users to access connected smart devices like lights, thermostats, locks and garage door openers. Apple’s server-side fix of the issue corrected the problem but also disabled remote access to shared users. That functionality is now restored with the update.

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