Tag Archives: Gadget News

Jay-Z’s new ‘4:44’ album exclusive to Tidal and Sprint users

Tidal is way behind on subscribers compared to Spotify and Apple Music, but company head Jay-Z has a secret weapon to turn the tide: Jay-Z.

The rapper’s 13th album, “4:44,” will be release on June 30 exclusively on Tidal. Spotify and Apple Music subscribers are out of luck. Sprint users, however, are in luck, as new and existing customers will get access to the album through six months of free Tidal HiFi membership.  

You can chalk that partnership up to Sprint in January buying a 33 percent stake in Tidal.

Jay-Z isn’t new to linking the worlds of music and tech. His previous album, 2013’s “Magna Carter Holy Grail,” was made free to anyone who bought a Samsung Galaxy S3, S4 or Note 2. Meanwhile, his protege Kanye West made his most recent album, “The Life of Pablo,” exclusive to Tidal for around six weeks before it hit Spotify, Apple Music and Google Play Music. 

Tidal last year claimed it had 3 million subscribers, 45 percent of which have signed up to the hi-fidelity, $19.99 option, according to Billboard. That number is likely much bigger now, as Sprint’s 45 million users gained access to the service back in January. Spotify is still king though, with 50 million paid subscribers. Apple Music sits at an impressive 27 million.

Batteries Not Included: The CNET team shares experiences that remind us why tech stuff is cool.

CNET Magazine: Check out a sampling of the stories you’ll find in CNET’s newsstand edition.

Article source: https://www.cnet.com/news/jay-zs-new-444-album-exclusive-to-tidal-and-sprint-users/#ftag=CAD590a51e

‘Killer Instinct’ will be available through Steam

Ever since the revived Killer Instinct launched in 2013, you’ve had to download it through one of Microsoft’s online shops, whether it’s on your Xbox One or your Windows 10 PC. However, you won’t have to go that route in the next few months. Iron Galaxy has confirmed that KI will be available through Steam sometime later in 2017. More details are forthcoming, so it’s not clear if there will be anything new or any incentives for existing owners to make the leap. The very fact that it’s happening at all is important, though, and it hints at an emerging trend.

Article source: https://www.engadget.com/2017/06/19/killer-instinct-coming-to-steam/

Beyoncé’s dad tweets she’s had twins and ticks off Twitter

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

NBA All-Star Game 2017

Some of her fans are upset.

Ronald Martinez / Getty Images

I’d rather thought that Father’s Day on Twitter was all about honoring dads and all that they’ve done for their kids.

Beyoncé’s dad, however, had a different experience Sunday morning. 

Mathew Knowles’s tweet was an announcement: “They’re here! #beyonce #twins #jayz #happybirthday.” Accompanying this was a happy birthday card from grandpa.

To some on Twitter this seemed odd — not because the great singer has apparently given birth but because it was her dad who announced it.

Aren’t stars’ births supposed to be meticulously coordinated by a plethora of PR types in order to gain the maximum positive coverage? Moreover, Knowles is said by some to have a complicated relationship with his daughter.

This being Twitter, therefore, much of the reaction ventured toward the harsh. “Shame on you,” tweeted actor and writer Angie Grace, together with an annoyed GIF. 

Other fans were likewise miffed. “Just had to ruin it for Bey did you,” mused AntiKunta, with an appropriate (for her) moment from the career of actress Taraji P. Henson. 

British politician Mohamed Salih even offered his shillings-worth: “Beyoncé: Dad don’t tell anyone until we’re ready. Beyoncé Dad: I’m going viral for this tweet…hashtag, hashtag…”

This reflected the feelings of a number of fans who were surely hoping for something a little more choreographed. 

At least one Twitterer offered a positive reaction. “It is fathers day so I think beyonce gave him permission. Stop making a drama out of everything,” said IFB.

Neither Beyoncé’s representatives nor Knowles immediately responded to a request for comment. The star’s Twitter account, which enjoys more than 14.8 million followers, has been silent since April of last year. 

Personally, I’m entirely happy as long as mother and babies are healthy. I’m also very happy to wait for her and husband Jay Z to tell the world. 

Batteries Not Included: The CNET team reminds us why tech is cool.

CNET Magazine: Check out a sample of the stories in CNET’s newsstand edition.

Article source: https://www.cnet.com/news/beyonce-twins-born-dad-tweets-anger/#ftag=CAD590a51e

The best electric kettle

How we picked and tested

For 2017, we tested a new round of electric kettles for speed, accuracy, and ease of use. Photo: Michael Hession

Because different types of coffee and tea are meant to be brewed at different temperatures, a great electric kettle should have a wide variety of temperature settings that it can reach with reasonable accuracy. However, we realize that not everyone is a coffee or tea aficionado, so we also looked at kettles that do not have variable temperature settings and simply boil water.

Speed is critical—you don’t want to wait forever for your water to come to temperature. An electric kettle should also be easy to use, have a handle that doesn’t get too hot, and feature automatic shutoff so you don’t have to worry about forgetting to turn it off. A large mouth for easy cleaning is another plus.

All of the kettles we tested for our 2017 update were metal or glass. Some people, including our experts, complain about plastic kettles imparting a funny taste or smell to the water. We excluded any kettles made entirely of plastic, but all of the models we did test contained some minor plastic elements, such as parts of the lid, a filter, or the water-level window.

We tested each variable-temperature kettle by measuring how long it took to bring a liter of water to a boil and by measuring how accurate the internal thermometer was for non-boiling temperatures compared with measurements taken from a Thermapen thermometer. For the simple electric kettles we tested, we just measured the time to boil.

Some models in the test group had a warming feature that could hold set temperatures, so we checked their accuracy after letting them rest for an extended period of time. We also tested automatic-shutoff features and took note of any excessive or annoying beeps. Additionally, we tasted the water from each model after boiling to see if it had any off flavors caused by plastic components.

Our pick: Cuisinart CPK-17

The Cuisinart CPK-17 remains our top pick for the fourth year in a row. Photo: Michael Hession

Our top pick for the fourth year in a row is the Cuisinart CPK-17 PerfecTemp Cordless Electric Kettle, thanks to its ease of use, speed, and accuracy. It has an intuitive interface with a keep-warm option that conveniently holds water at a set temperature. The wide handle is comfortable to hold, and the spout doesn’t cause water to dribble when pouring. Unlike many of the kettles we tested, it has a simple streamlined design, so it won’t be an eyesore if you store it on your kitchen counter.

Compared with all the other variable-temperature models we tested, the Cuisinart CPK-17 was the simplest to operate. It offers six preset temperature settings as buttons on the handle, along with a Start button and a Keep Warm button.

Although the Cuisinart CPK-17 had better accuracy than most of the other kettles we tested, we found it wasn’t as accurate at hitting lower temperatures, measuring 8 degrees over when we set it to 160 °F. On temperatures of 175 °F and up, it measured only 3 to 4 degrees off, which is pretty accurate. Because this model has a slew of other noteworthy features and has been consistently reliable over three years of testing, we’re willing to forgive its minor temperature variances at the lowest setting.

Runner-up: Bonavita BV382510V

The 1-liter Bonavita BV382510V is great for preparing pour-over coffee or heating water to precise temperatures for making tea. Photo: Michael Hession

We think the stainless steel Bonavita BV382510V 1.0L Digital Variable Temperature Gooseneck Kettle represents an excellent compromise between a traditional tea kettle and one better suited for making pour-over coffee (see our guide to the best pour-over coffee gear for more). Although this model wasn’t the fastest kettle to bring water to a boil, the Bonavita had the most accurate temperature controls among all the models we tested. The long, gooseneck spout provides superior pouring technique, and the interface is easy to use. We also like the looks of this kettle; it’s handsome enough for you to keep on your kitchen counter.

Of all the models we tested, the Bonavita BV382510V had the most precise temperature control, impressively measuring just 1 degree off regardless of the temperature setting. It gives you the freedom to set it in 1-degree increments from 140 °F to 212 °F on an easy-to-read digital display. This model also tracks the water’s temperature accurately as it rises or lowers, so you always know how hot it is.

It has some minor drawbacks, however. This model took about two and a half minutes longer to boil than our top pick, and it doesn’t provide a water-level window for you to see when it’s getting low. Unlike our top pick, it lacks a boil setting, so you have to manually enter 212 °F using the plus button. Also, the lid doesn’t have a push button and needs to be removed, as on a traditional stovetop kettle. But despite those minor flaws, after over two years of using the Bonavita BV382510V daily, we haven’t experienced any issues, and we think it’s the best for anyone who will use it for both tea and pour-over coffee.

Budget pick: Hamilton Beach 40880

The Hamilton Beach 40880 offers fast and consistent boiling times at a bargain price. Photo: Michael Hession

We recommend the Hamilton Beach 40880 Stainless Steel 1.7 Liter Electric Kettle for anyone who wants an affordably priced basic model that quickly brings water to a boil. This kettle doesn’t have preset temperature controls or a keep-warm setting, but it does have all the other features we look for in a decent kettle.

Our testers were impressed with the speed of this kettle, which was on a par with our main pick in boiling time (about four minutes). This Hamilton Beach model is very simple to operate: You flick the tab up on the base of the handle, and the kettle begins heating the water. Once the water reaches a rolling boil, the kettle automatically shuts off, so you don’t have to worry about turning it off manually.

The plastic hinges on the Hamilton Beach 40880’s lid are its only significant drawback. Other models, such as our top pick, have metal hinges that seem more durable.

This guide may have been updated by The Sweethome. To see the current recommendation, please go here.

Note from The Sweethome: When readers choose to buy our independently chosen editorial picks, we may earn affiliate commissions that support our work.

Article source: https://www.engadget.com/2017/06/18/the-best-electric-kettle/

AT&T offers unlimited romps on the beach (and on runways)

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


There’s nothing like an unlimited number of couples romping unlimitedly.

ATT/YouTube screenshot by Chris Matyszczyk/CNET

Have you noticed that carriers are all telling similar stories these days?

Once, the idea of unlimited data seemed to have limited potential

Now they’ve suddenly realized, “Gosh, people just want to do everything on their phones and iPads all the time.” So they’re claiming that their unlimited plan is so much better than everyone else’s unlimited plan.

ATT’s latest attempt to do this goes to ridiculous extremes.

Its new campaign involves, in one ad, a couple enjoying a romp on the beach. That’s what couples do. They’re often wearing white when they do it, which seems a touch impractical. 

Children watch and wonder what these silly people are doing. Sandcastles get squashed, as the lovers roll on them. 

In this case, however, the romp ‘n’ roll proceeds to a pedestrian crossing on a busy street, underneath a taxiing plane, into a forest and onto the top of a mountain.

The rompers plunge into the sea. Then they end up on the beach, where they encounter other white-clad, romp ‘n’ rollers who are so loved up that they have to keep rolling on.

The idea, should you have failed to grasp it, is that ATT offers you unlimited romance. Because who doesn’t want that?

You’ll be relieved that the company has created other imaginative scenarios that will surely alter your view of its worth. There’s unlimited hoops (yes, even the ref gets to dunk). There’s also unlimited — and unedifying — recipes.

There’s one thing every American surely wants: unlimited reality TV. This ad shows “Real Housewives”-style women throwing things at each other. One even gets impaled in the forehead with a stiletto (heel).

We have limitless capacity for entertainment in America. The question is whether these ATT ads are entertaining enough for Americans to suddenly want to embrace its service for no other reason than it, too, embraces unlimited data. I fear not.

Especially when the smaller print at the end of the ads says: “After 22 GB of data usage, ATT may slow speeds.” Not so unlimited, then.

Article source: https://www.cnet.com/news/at-t-offers-unlimited-romps-on-the-beach-and-on-runways/#ftag=CAD590a51e

Jupiter is the oldest planet in the Solar System

The team came to the conclusion after testing for the presence and abundances of molybdenum and tungsten isotopes in some iron meteorites that fell to Earth. They found that the meteorites contained components from two distinct reservoir of materials, thanks to the data from the molybdenum isotopes. One reservoir has material from a different star than ours that didn’t make it to the other reservoir. The data from the tungsten isotopes, on the other hand, showed that the two pools of materials were separated for 2 to 3 million years. In addition, they’ve been separated as early as a million years into the formation of the solar system.

The team explained that “the most plausible mechanism to efficiently separate two disk reservoirs for an extended period is the accretion of a giant planet in between them.” Yes, that gas giant is Jupiter, and while its formation slowed as the years went by, it kept growing and growing enough to create a permanent barrier between the two pools. The researchers now believe that it could also be the reason why there are no super-Earths near the sun, which are commonly found in other star systems. That means we could owe our existence to Jupiter, because who knows if and how life would flourish on Earth if it’s too near other, more massive planets.

Article source: https://www.engadget.com/2017/06/17/jupiter-oldest-planet-in-solar-system/