John McAfee Dies in Spanish Prison After Extradition Order

On the day a Spanish court’s ruling in favor of his extradition was made public, John McAfee died in a prison cell outside Barcelona. The antivirus pioneer turned fugitive was 75 years old.

McAfee had been detained in Spain since last fall, when he was arrested on allegations of tax evasion. The US Department of Justice and the Securities and Exchange Commission added to those charges in March, indicting McAfee and an associate on multiple counts related to two cryptocurrency schemes that had allegedly spanned years. He had faced up to decades in prison if convicted of all charges.

Security guards at the Brians 2 penitentiary found McAfee dead in his cell on Wednesday; in a statement provided to the Associated Press, the Catalan government indicated that McAfee died by suicide. A request for comment to the Catalan government was not returned by press time.

“Confirmation has come from our legal team in Spain that John was found dead in his jail cell. I am saddened to hear of the events, and my prayers go out to his wife, Janice,” said McAfee’s lawyer, Nishay K. Sanan, in a statement. “He tried to love this country, but the US Government made his existence impossible. They tried to erase him but they failed.”

After a youth spent in Roanoke, Virginia, and a series of short-stint jobs, McAfee made his fortune in antivirus software. He founded McAfee Associates in 1987; his eponymous product was among the first of its kind. As detailed in a definitive 2012 WIRED profile, McAfee had been inspired by the spread of Brain, an early computer virus that hit PCs around the world. He left a job at Lockheed to start a business out of his home; within a few years McAfee antivirus had achieved ubiquity. In 1992 he took the company public. Two years later he left it, tens of millions of dollars richer than when he started.

For the balance of the ’90s and into the ’00s, McAfee appeared to follow a similar arc as other early tech success stories. He founded a yoga studio, he started an instant messaging company, he wrote a few books. But as Joshua Davis wrote in 2012, McAfee lost a significant amount of money when the economy collapsed in 2008, and he decamped to Belize that year. His behavior there became increasingly alarming; he fashioned himself as something of a vigilante, hiring guards and buying up guns, and building a mysterious laboratory on his expansive compound. In November of that year, authorities in Belize called McAfee a “person of interest” in connection with the death of his neighbor. McAfee fled.

In the years since, McAfee rebranded himself as a cryptocurrency pioneer and provocateur. He promoted various coins on his active Twitter feed, allegedly being highly compensated to do so behind the scenes. The SEC further accused McAfee of running a parallel “pump-and-dump” scheme, in which he and his associates would allegedly load up on a niche coin, urge people to buy it on social media, and sell on the resulting frenzy. McAfee had intended to fight the charges, according to Sanan.

It says something about just how much happened in McAfee’s life that his two attempted runs for president of the United States—he garnered some support in the 2016 Libertarian primaries—amount to barely a footnote. Or that by 2017 the man whose name is synonymous with antivirus was legally barred from mentioning “McAfee” in the context of cybersecurity, part of a settlement with Intel, which acquired the company in 2010 for nearly $8 billion.

John McAfee’s life was a thicket of complications; his legacy is one of zeniths and nadirs, and at all points he was singular.

If you or a loved one are having thoughts of suicide, please call the National Suicide Prevention Hotline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255).

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Microsoft prepares Windows 11 for a post-pandemic world – CNET


Microsoft's most important software is about to get an overhaul.

Angela Lang/CNET

The coronavirus has irrevocably changed how we live and work. Soon, it'll have changed our devices too. Microsoft on Thursday is set to announce the next big iteration of its Windows software and, with it, new features designed for life in the modern age.

The new software, likely to be called Windows 11, will have the usual upgrades you'd expect after six years. Early leaks suggest it'll have a new look, offering more subtle pastel-like color schemes, rounded corners and airy alert sounds. It'll have little widget programs to tell you the weather or track a shipped package. Its iconic start menu, typically shoved to the left side of the task bar at the bottom of the screen, will migrate to the middle, with app icons arranged in the center next to it, seemingly inspired by a smartphone, tablet or Apple Mac computer.

Watch live: How to watch the Microsoft Windows 11 announcement live as it happens Thursday June 24 at 11 a.m. ET

Now playing: Watch this: Microsoft, please fix these problems with Windows. Please.


But the biggest changes will be under the hood. Microsoft is expected to revamp Windows computers for a new world, where people don't just work in an office anymore and, when they're home, might work on their personal computer.

When Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella teased the new Windows software to app developers last month, he touched on the tone the upgrade will set. "When storefronts closed and you helped us reimagine where humanity can go and what we can do, transcending time and even space -- and it's just the beginning," he said.

It may seem silly to think a piece of software on a computer can change our lives, but thanks to the highly effective vaccines being injected into arms around the world, people are increasingly looking to the future. 

Read more: Features we hope Windows 11 will include

Vaccinated people in some countries are already venturing out to Disneyland, riding airplanes and attending concerts. Meanwhile, employers are also finding their workforce doesn't necessarily want to return back to office life and instead has increasingly pushed to allow for more flexible accommodations instead.

That's where Microsoft's Windows may come in. The company's spent the past few years building technologies, like timeline, which allows people to switch to another computer and more easily open up all documents and windows they were using before. In the new world, Microsoft may find opportunities to target those types of features for people who have computers for work at the office and at home.

And there's increasing data suggesting they are. Despite chip and other supply shortages across the tech industry, analysts estimate laptop and desktop computers may see their highest-ever sales this year.

All the rumors: Everything we know about Windows 11 so far

With that in mind, Microsoft's choice to market its newest software as a large upgrade may help the industry answer those trends with new computer designs highlighting the new look and work-from-anywhere features of Windows 11.

"Making work and home computers work together better was an 'oh, that's a nice idea' years ago. Now it's something that's actually going to be helpful," said Bob O'Donnell, an analyst at Technalysis Research. "If there is nothing else that's clear coming out of the pandemic, it's that the PC has an incredibly important role to play in people's work and personal lives."


Microsoft's left some not-so-subtle clues about its next version of Windows, including this logo that casts a light in the shape of the number 11.


Needed changes

Microsoft isn't going to just revamp Windows, hold a party and declare mission accomplished. The company's also expected to answer long-standing concerns about how its computers behave. 

We at CNET, for example, hope Microsoft will fix its Settings app, which competes with another program called Control Panel, to change functions on a Windows computer. That's right, there are two of them. It's maddening.

Other longtime Windows users have expressed hope Microsoft will change the way their computers perform software updates, which have long been a slow and painful process

"It's 2021, updates and security patches shouldn't take 20 minutes," said Carolina Milanesi, an analyst at Creative Strategies. "You don't feel the same pain on the Mac or iPad or even the iPhone."

Whether Microsoft will take the opportunity to address some of the admittedly nerdy longtime complaints is yet to be seen. Either way, the company believes the software will live up to the hype.

Shortly after a version of its Windows 11 update leaked online, Microsoft tweeted, "This is just the Start."

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Why I decided to ditch my iPhone case and let my phone go naked – CNET


There are a lot of really pretty iPhone cases out there. But the iPhone is really pretty on its own, too.

Sarah Tew/CNET

Ever since I experienced the anguish of back-to-back iPhone screen-shattering accidents, I have been firmly pro case.

"It's just safer and more pragmatic," I told myself after my iPhone 7, and later my iPhone 8, had their screens irreparably cracked following accidental drops. "Why risk spending another thousand bucks on an iPhone?"

But all it took was a single, seemingly mundane moment to alter my perspective: when I slipped off the case to extract the SIM card from my iPhone 12 Pro Max after months of leaving it swaddled in rubber.

I was instantly reminded of why these phones are premium: The flat display looked all the more stunning without the case protruding from the sides. The phone felt lighter and more comfortable in my hands and the soothing Pacific blue shone through, unadulterated. It was as if the very integrity of the iPhone's hardware had been revealed. 

"Maybe you should go caseless, it'll be awesome... " a voice in my head whispered. 

"Nah, you're crazy!" interrupted another, louder voice. "Pop the case back on ASAP and forget about it! Not worth the risk."

Ignoring the rational voice in my head, I decided to find out if I was the only person bonkers enough to secretly want to carry a $1,200 iPhone without a case. I wasn't. 

After a quick Google I discovered droves of caseless iPhone crusaders: Fans claiming that using a naked iPhone is the only way to experience the best-known consumer tech product on the planet.

"This phone [iPhone 12] is too gorgeous to hide away,'' said one Reddit user in response to a question about going case or caseless.

"I'm rocking it naked. Bought AppleCare for peace of mind," wrote another person on Reddit. "Ceramic coming in clutch," the post said, referring to Apple's Ceramic Shield, which the company said offers four times better drop protection than the iPhone 12's predecessor had. 

Read more: See the results of our iPhone 12 drop test, iPhone 12 Mini drop test and iPhone 12 water resistance test.

Former CNET contributor Chris Matyszczyk put it this way: "You don't buy a BMW and cover it in black rubber, do you? ... You don't buy a Prada purse and then wrap it in pink cling film just to make sure none of the corners get scratched."

Sarah Tew/CNET

Encased iPhones

Tucking your iPhone "safely" into a case is a norm woven into the fabric of global smartphone culture. Take a look at the protective phone case industry, which is already worth billions and is projected to expand alongside phone ownership. Add nonstop marketing into the mix, and it starts to feel like cocooning your iPhone in a case is an absolute necessity. The choices are endless: There are shock-resistant cases, eco-friendly cases, cases with sparkly purple dinosaurs, cases fancied by Miley Cyrus, 3D-printed cases you can make complete with a photo of your own dog -- if you're so inclined -- and so on. 

But this way of life didn't come out of nowhere. Encasing your iPhone has melded into our mainstream culture for legitimate reasons, of course: Nobody wants to risk their iPhone's destruction (most are just too expensive), and everyone wants to preemptively save time, money and resources. Despite all that, I still believe iPhones are best experienced without a case. (And yes, I absolutely recognize this lifestyle choice will not appeal to the pragmatic -- an uncased iPhone probably sounds outrageous -- but it might make sense to the purists of this world.)

Read more: Not convinced? These are the best cases for iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 Pro

In recent years, Apple has invested tens of billions on research and design, of which a portion has gone toward carefully crafting the luxurious look and feel of each year's iPhone. It's also easy to forget that Apple employs teams to test its iPhones to make sure they're designed to perfection, even if they don't quite get there. The reality is iPhones are sturdier than ever, too. Apple's ceramic-glass shielding, which debuted with the iPhone 12, went above and beyond expectations, protecting the hardware from drops as high as 9 feet. (Take a look at the results of CNET's iPhone 12 drop test if you need more evidence.)

Also, cases don't necessarily guarantee full protection. In fact, according to some insiders, many broken-phone claims reportedly are made about iPhones that were in cases. Just take a look at Amazon reviews for certain highly protective cases and you'll see a smattering of reviews from people who broke their phone in the first week of using a case. 

Read more: Stop buying breakable phones, and you won't even need a case anymore

Case for the caseless iPhone

After doing research, I made the informed decision to go caseless. Here's what I'm enjoying: the lightness, thinness, portability and in-hand feel. I'm also appreciating that I can now take advantage of Back Tap, the touch-sensitive Apple symbol that I've been covering with a case, and I've programmed it to perform tasks like launching TikTok and taking screenshots. And guess what? Because of this lifestyle choice, I've evolved into a more careful human being. Will that transcend into other elements of my life? Maybe. 

Still, the caseless iPhone lifestyle -- although far superior to the encased experience -- hasn't been perfect. As it turned out, I had sacrificed peace of mind. I hadn't fully accepted the risk associated with carrying a caseless iPhone around Hong Kong. Anxiety over my iPhone 12 Pro Max slipping then crashing down onto rock-hard floors hit me in waves some days (even if I do have AppleCare). My Pro Max, which features a matte finish, is still pretty slippery. 

Now playing: Watch this: iPhone 12 cases for every type of user


Then, as I made my way to a charming Hong Kong beach, I worried about grains of sand infiltrating my iPhone's stainless-steel chassis -- regardless of its IP 68 rating, indicating it's both dust- and waterproof. 

"Don't underestimate the kind of damage even a single grain of sand can do to your iPhone," my rational inner voice cautioned, yet again.

Maybe the caseless life wasn't for me, after all. So I decided to mash it up and swing for the best of both worlds.

Now I save the case for higher-risk activities like hitting the beach and hiking trails, and for when I eventually hop aboard an airplane. For lower-risk shenanigans like hanging out at home, heading to my neighborhood haunts or catching up with my girlfriends over dinner, I can enjoy the iPhone the way Apple intended. Complete with double taps on the back

Perhaps the "right" way for me isn't about living a pro- or anti-case life, or about being divided between case-haves and have-nots -- but instead it's taking a hybrid approach, where case and caseless days can peacefully coexist.

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Peacock, Amazon reach deal to add streaming app to Fire TV devices – CNET



Angela Lang/CNET

Peacock -- the partly free, partly paid streaming service from Comcast's NBCUniversal -- is finally coming to Amazon's Fire TV devices Thursday, more than a year after the app launched and one month before Peacock kicks off streaming the Olympics in the US. 

Amazon teased the news on Twitter earlier on Twitter with a reference to The Office, one of the marquee titles that Peacock streams exclusively. 

In addition to adding Peacock to Fire TV and Fire tablets, the companies' deal adds support for NBCUniversal's network apps on Amazon's platform, they said in announcing the deal Wednesday. NBCUniversal's 15 network apps include NBC, Bravo, NBC News, NBC Sports and Telemundo, among others.

Streaming surged in popularity during the pandemic, and Amazon's Fire TV products are among the most popular devices to stream on televisions in the US. Rivaling Roku in scope, those two companies make up 70% of all the streaming devices installed in the US, and they reach more than 100 million active users between them. 

But rather than serving as neutral platforms for apps, Amazon and others like it have become more assertive in their talks with new streaming services in the last year. And media companies have grown more invested in reaping the most reward possible from their streaming bets, leading to impasses. HBO Max, for example, was missing from both Roku and Fire TV for months after its May launch.

Peacock is already available on a bevy of streaming TV devices, like Roku, Apple TV, Google's Android TV and Chromecast, Microsoft's Xbox One, Sony's PlayStation 4, among others. The Peacock app is also available  Vizio's SmartCast TVs and LG Smart TVs, and the service on mobile devices, too. 

Competing with the likes of NetflixDisney PlusHBO Max and others, Peacock is the yet another new service to roll out in the so-called "streaming wars," when a flood of services spilled out from tech and media giants over roughly a year and a half. In the case of Peacock, it means even a traditional TV and cable company like Comcast is betting that the tide of cord-cutting won't turn. 

Unlike its streaming service rivals, Peacock offers an always-free tier that lets you sample about half its library with advertising. Peacock Premium, which unlocks the full catalog, is $5 a month or $50 a year with advertising, or you can upgrade to an ad-free version for $10 a month or $100 a year. 

The library has about 20,000 hours of shows, movies, news, sports, skit-style clips and exclusive big-budget original programming. 

Now playing: Watch this: Which streaming service meets your needs?


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Harvey Guillén says filming Werewolves Within felt like comedy camp – CNET

Harvey Guillén Werewolves Within

Harvey Guillén (right) and Cheyenne Jackson in the horror-comedy Werewolves Within.

Sabrina Lantos
This story is part of I'm So Obsessed (subscribe here), our podcast featuring interviews with actors, artists, celebrities and creative types about their work, career and current obsessions.

If you're a fan of actor Harvey Guillén, who plays the human familiar Guillermo de la Cruz on the hilarious FX show What We Do in the Shadows, June is going to reward you well. Earlier this month, FX announced that What We Do in the Shadows will return for a third season. And starting June 25, you can catch Guillén in the new film Werewolves Within. It's a comedy-horror movie based on the Ubisoft video game of the same name. Guillén, who plays the role of yoga instructor Joaquim, is part of an all-around very funny cast, which includes Sam Richardson (Veep), Milana Vayntrub (This Is Us) and Glenn Fleshler (Barry).

On CNET's I'm So Obsessed podcast, Guillén explained the challenges he faced playing Joaquim, who's part of a gay couple living in a small town.

"It was very important to me that he wouldn't be a caricature. For so long, we see queer characters, gay characters being portrayed in such a flamboyant way, but it's over the top. And it's not realistic," said Guillén. "It's OK to be flamboyant. It's OK to be over the top, but I want him to be grounded. My priority was to make this character have those elements that can be fun to play, but to have it be grounded. He had to be a real person that you could live next door to."

Werewolves Within is part murder mystery and part monster movie, all while being very funny. Guillén said shooting the flick was like comedy camp. Often at the end of a day of filming, he and the cast would have what felt like broken ribs from laughing so hard.

"Imagine being in a school where everyone is the class clown and everyone's super funny and entertaining," said Guillén.

Beyond Werewolves Within, Guillén has been on TV shows like The Thundermans, Crazy Ex-Girlfriend, Zoey's Extraordinary Playlist, Room 104 and The Magicians. He's best known for his role on What We Do in the Shadows, which premiered in 2019 and is based on the indie film of the same name that starred Jemaine Clement and Taika Waititi, among others. Guillén plays the human familiar to Nandor, who's the oldest vampire of the group and the leader. The chemistry between Guillén and Kayvan Novak (Nandor) is wonderful, and it allows their relationship to survive some of the more cruel funny moments.

Guillén describes Novak as "the kindest human being and one of the most talented people I've ever met."

You can listen to my entire conversation with Guillén in the podcast player above or on Apple Podcasts. He discusses being cast as Guillermo, his love of Christopher Guest films, and how kettle chips with black truffle oil are near perfection.

You can watch Werewolves Within in theaters June 25 and on demand July 2. You can subscribe to I'm So Obsessed on your favorite podcast app. In each episode, Connie Guglielmo or I catch up with an artist, actor or creator to learn about work, career and current obsessions.

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French Spyware Executives Are Indicted for Aiding Torture

Earlier this week, French authorities indicted four former executives of the surveillance firm Nexa Technologies, formerly called Amesys, for complicity in torture and war crimes. Between 2007 and 2014, the firm allegedly supplied surveillance tools to authoritarian regimes in Libya and Egypt.

A coalition including the Interational Federation for Human Rights, the Cairo Institute for Human Rights Studies, and other human rights groups claim the repressive governments of former Libyan dictator Moammar Gadhafi and Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi used the tools to identify dissidents and activists, read their private emails and messages, and, in some cases, kidnap, torture, or kill them.

Nexa’s executives are accused of selling internet surveillance equipment that intercepted the emails, texts, and Facebook messages of journalists and dissidents. Executives allegedly sold the tech to Gadhafi’s Libyan government in 2007 and Egypt in 2014. The indicted individuals include the former head of Amesys, Philippe Vannier, former president Stéphane Salies, and two current Nexa executives: president Olivier Bohbot and managing director Renaud Roques. Efforts to reach the men through Nexa were unsuccessful.

The investigating judges of the crimes against humanity and war crimes unit of the Paris Judicial Court will review the evidence to determine whether the four executives will be tried in criminal court.

Such indictments are exceedingly rare. National security experts say international markets for exporting surveillance tools are largely unregulated. The makers of such equipment often push back against restrictions, even those intended to safeguard against misuse. A 2017 effort from European journalists estimated there were over 230 surveillance companies headquartered within the EU.

“By and large, there’s little that the authorities are required to do to curb this toxic market,” says Marietje Schaake, the international policy director at Stanford University’s Cyber Policy Center and a former member of the European Parliament. While in parliament, Schaake supported new restrictions on exports of cybersurveillance tech from Europe to countries with a history of human rights violations.

Introduced by EU lawmakers in 2016 and passed last year, these new rules require firms to obtain licenses to export certain “dual use” technologies, such as software capable of surveillance, hacking, or extracting data. Governments reviewing license applications must assess the likelihood the tools will be used to infringe on human rights.

The indictment of the French executives stems from sales that predate the new EU regulations, but Schaake hopes they send a message that it’s possible to enforce controls on cyber surveillance equipment. She says it’s much easier to regulate sales before the products are in other countries. Often, it’s Western countries that are most resistant to this idea.

“Companies frame these tools as being used for countering terrorism,” Schaake says. “The ones who are truly responsible for torturing or kidnapping are the states doing that, but the companies are providing crucial tools to enable it.”

Concerns about the sales to Libya and Egypt date to 2011’s “Arab spring,” when journalists and privacy groups raised alarms that US and European companies furnished surveillance gear to oppressive regimes.

In both the US and EU, export controls have evolved in a piecemeal fashion, with security firms saying overbroad restrictions can penalize research, counterterrorism, or other legitimate uses of the software and human rights groups emphasizing their potential in abetting authoritarianism.

Last October the US updated its own rules controlling export of potentially dangerous software. The Department of Commerce says it will now take human rights considerations into account when approving or denying licenses for companies to make international sales. As in the EU, the change comes after several failed bids for an overhaul. But what that means, practically, is still up in the air.

“You have to think about it in terms of the growing attention that human rights are receiving in both European and US circles and the greater attention that’s being put on human rights abuses in China and other places,” says Garrett Hinck, a national security researcher at Columbia University.

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Prime Day 2021 Is Over: Here Are the 48 Best Remaining Deals

After 48 full hours, Amazon Prime Day 2021 is officially over. Whew. We hope you were able to find useful discounts among the speakers, laptops, LifeStraws, and other great deals we found sifting through Amazon. If you missed out, fear not, a few deals remain. The event may be done, but many of deals we found still exist—at least for now. Below are the best remaining deals from all of our Prime Day 2021 coverage

In addition to the remaining Amazon deals, we’ve pulled in a few sale items still discounted from the Target, REI, and Backcountry sales, as well. Also be sure to check out our guide to Walmart’s “Days of Deals” rival sale, which runs until the weekend.

Special offer: Get a 1-Year Subscription to WIRED for $5 ($25 off). This includes unlimited access to and our print magazine (if you’d like). Subscriptions help fund the work we do every day.

If you buy something using links in our stories, we may earn a commission. This helps support our journalism. Learn more.

Home and Kitchen Deals

It’s a great time to buy stuff to cook, clean, or organize your home. There are great deals on air purifiers, dog DNA tests, and even a Dutch oven. 

This image may contain Electronics Phone Mobile Phone Cell Phone Speaker and Audio Speaker

Coway Airmega 200M

Photograph: Coway

This is our favorite air purifier for small rooms. It’s rated to clean out the air of a 361-square-foot room, and a built-in air-quality monitor will help it automatically roar to life when it detects pollution. It’s a great price for a simple and reliable air purifier.

Smart bulbs can add up in price, so even if this deal is small, it may be worthwhile if you need to swap out multiple bulbs. This is our favorite smart bulb. You get multiple hues to switch to, the ability to schedule the lights to turn on or off, and you can control it via Google Assistant or Alexa.

This is one of those deals that pops up frequently, but the Streaming Stick Plus is still our favorite streaming device for most people. If you’re not happy with your current streaming setup, you’ll probably like this.

Image may contain Clothing Cap Baseball Cap Hat Apparel Clock and Alarm Clock

Ecobee Smart Thermostat

Photograph: Ecobee

Ecobee’s smart thermostat remains our favorite smart thermostat for good reason. It’s super easy to install, and extra sensors pick up the temperature in different parts of your house and adjust your HVAC system accordingly. I (Parker Hall) also like that you can set it to sync up with your power utility so it saves money during peak hours. With good temperature scheduling, it also means that you can make it cooler at night if you’re a warm sleeper.

Brewing an excellent cup of coffee comes down to precision. You need to hit the right water temperature, volume, bean quality, grind size, and weight of the grounds. This Oxo grinder takes care of the latter two points as it has a built-in scale. Set the grind size, choose the weight, and that’s it. It’ll turn off when it’s done. There’s a reason why it’s in our Best Coffee Grinders roundup.

Already have a grinder? A standard kitchen scale like this one will work. It’s water-resistant, and the four high-precision load sensors are accurate to 0.1-ounce increments. It can weigh anything between 0.1 ounces to 22 pounds. 

Embark Health and DNA test

Embark Breed & Health Dog DNA Test

Photograph: Embark

WIRED tested a handful of dog DNA tests and found Embark to offer a ton of helpful information—it even found some staffer pup’s relatives! This is the lowest price we’ve ever seen.

Everyone should get a bird feeder. Getting to see your neighborhood critters up close is an absolute treat. We haven’t tried this particular feeder, but WIRED reviewer Medea Giordano has used several with this type of design and they hold up pretty well. Just clean it often and check that the suction cups are secure.

Laptop and Home Office Deals

If you’re going to be working from home long-term, now is a good time to snag some discounts on displays, desks, and other necessities for your home office. See our guide on setting up your own WFH space.

apple macbook pro with M1

Apple MacBook Pro M1

Photograph: Apple

Apple’s new MacBook Pro, which features the speedy new M1 chip is a powerhouse machine. Only modestly heavier than the MacBook Air, the Pro gets better battery life and has a brighter 13-inch screen.

Use coupon THINKBIGSAVINGS to see the discount at checkout. When you land on this page, you’ll be overwhelmed by the number of options available for the ThinkPad X1 Nano. We recommend grabbing the 11th-gen Intel Core i7 model with 16 gigabytes of RAM and a 1-terabyte SSD. That will deliver more than enough power and storage for most people. This machine is lightweight, attractive, has a great keyboard, buttons on top of the trackpad, and a nice 13-inch screen. 

The Swift 5 is a thin, light powerhouse of a laptop with long battery life. With 16 gigabytes of RAM, a 1-terabyte drive, and an Intel Core i7 processor, this machine won’t stumble editing video, and you still get plenty of ports for all your accessories, old and new. It was $50 cheaper for Prime Day, but this is still a great deal on one of our favorite laptops.

microsoft surface pro 7

Surface Pro 7

Photograph: Microsoft

The Surface Pro 7 is a great 2-in-1 laptop replacement. It has enough power for most laptop-type tasks but can double as a tablet. The model here has the faster Intel Core i5 chip. This deal also includes the keyboard. Target has quite a few other Surface deals worth browsing.

WIRED senior associate reviews editor Adrienne So had mixed feelings when she reviewed it, but she was much more enthusiastic about using the Facebook Portal smart display for Zoom during the pandemic. It looked as if she had a personal cinematographer filming her as the Portal would automatically zoom in on her face and pan as she moved around within the frame. If you have trouble capturing rambunctious kiddos in one shot, it works a treat on Facebook Messenger, too.

This 32-inch monitor is large enough for two full internet tabs to sit side by side, and you also get high resolution (2,560 x 1,440 pixels) and support for AMD’s FreeSync if you plan on gaming. The array of ports on the back include HDMI, DisplayPort, USB-C, USB-A, plus a headphone jack, and it can be VESA mounted if you want to ditch the stand. This ties the cheapest we’ve ever seen it.

laptop stand

ObVus Solutions Laptop Tower Stand

Photograph ObVus Solutions 

This is our favorite laptop stand for most people. It can get higher than most, and you can adjust it to pretty much any angle you want. It’s also sturdy enough that you don’t have to worry about heavier laptops or tablets.

Click the on-page coupon to see the discount at checkout. WIRED reviewers have used a similar version of this desk for more than a year, and it has served me exceptionally well. This one doesn’t have folding legs, but it’s spacious at 63 inches, and it takes just minutes to set up. The desktop is particleboard and nothing special, but it feels solid.

eero wifi router

Eero Mesh Wi-Fi System

Photograph: Amazon

Working remotely means you need good Wi-Fi. WIRED reviews director Jeffrey Van Camp uses and loves the standard Eero Mesh Wi-Fi router in his home. Amazon, which owns the Eero brand, says the Pro is more than twice as powerful as the standard model. There are two Ethernet ports (one for the router and the other for hardwiring it to another device like a PC). This 3-pack lets you place the routers around your home to create a mesh system for robust coverage everywhere.

If you want a more aesthetically pleasing router, we like Google’s Nest Wifi—even though it spells Wi-Fi wrong. This deal is on the two-pack, which includes two full Nest Wi-Fi routers (not the mesh extender), and it’s the lowest price we’ve ever seen. It’s dead simple to set up, has great guest network features, and is rated to cover up to 4,400 square feet.

Phones, Tablets, and Headphone Deals

ipad air in multiple colors

Apple iPad Air

Photograph: Apple

This is the best iPad for most people, especially if you plan on using it for work (see our iPad guide for more details on why we think so). It’s powerful, has a modern design, yet retains features like Touch ID, which is integrated into the side power button. It works with the second-gen Apple Pencil too. It was $20 less on Prime Day, but if you missed it you can still save a Jackson.

This is one of the lowest prices we’ve seen on an already cheap phone. It’s one of our favorites under $250. You get nearly three-day battery life, solid performance, and passable cameras. You can read more about it in our review.

Phone too big? If it’s constantly fumbling out of your hands, try using a PopSocket grip. It attaches to the rear, and then you pop the grip out of the socket. It makes it easier to hold and use your large-screen phone with one hand. It’s one of the best gadgets under $20.

phone stand

Google Pixel Wireless Charger

Photograph: Google 

This wireless charger will recharge any phone that supports wireless charging, but it’s best paired with select Pixel phones that have the feature. It’s our favorite wireless charger for nightstands (seriously). Plop your phone on it and you’ll be treated to an interface that resembles a smart display. You can have it cycle through your favorite albums from Google Photos, get easy access to Google Assistant, and have your phone screen brighten up in a warm tone right before your alarm goes off to slowly pull you out of sleep.

This mic plugs right into your iPhone’s charging port and should really improve audio recording outdoors and in the classroom if you record for notes. It’s also great as a tool for recording yourself as you learn how to play an instrument.

powerbeats pro wireless ear buds

Beats Powerbeats Pro 

Photograph: Beats

The Powerbeats Pro by Apple are some of our favorite wireless workout earbuds. They get amazing battery life and sound excellent. The only downside to them might be that if you aren’t working out, they can be a little cumbersome to put on and take off, and their charging cradle is large. This deal was better earlier, but it’s still a good buy at $170.

The Beats Flex have fluctuated between this price and $50, but if you want the functionality of more expensive Apple headphones but without spending over $100, these are your best bet. They made our list of the Best Cheap Headphones.

Home Theater Deals

Prime Day did not have much in the way of Home Theater deals this year. Thankfully Walmart picked up the slack with some nice bargains, including one of our favorite soundbars.

Vizio soundbar

Vizio Soundbar

Photograph: Vizio

Vizio’s entry-level bar is one of our absolute favorites for people who are still listening to their TV’s built-in speakers. Grab this thing on the cheap, and you’ll be shocked how much more immersive things get.

This is a great deal on a soundbar with two rear speakers if you’re trying to dip your toes into the world of surround sound.

This clever little bar bounces sound all over your space, with the ability to even recreate Dolby Atmos object-based surround sound.

Gaming Deals

Some games and gaming peripherals that we really love, like headsets and gaming mice, are still on sale.

Razer Huntsman Mini Keyboard

Razer Huntsman Mini Keyboard

Photograph: Razer

This cute little keyboard is our pick for the best mini keyboard. It fits on desks of all shapes and sizes, yet it absolutely crushes most off-the-shelf boards. It has backlit keys and double-braided cables, and it leaves plenty of real estate for an oversize mousepad.

Snappy Cherry MX switches and USB pass-through to charge your devices make the Corsair K95 a solid pick for gamers. It’s the exact opposite of a TKL, or 60 percent, keyboard like the one below. If you want all the media buttons and all the bells and whistles that you can get on a modern keyboard, this is it. 

Despite Amazon’s misleading sticker price of $80, this headset hasn’t risen past $50 for months. Still, $40 is one of the best deals we’ve seen from a reliable brand. Rectangular ear cups and Logitech blue vibes make the G432 stand out from any crowd. The microphone is the real star here, producing super clear sound without picking up too much background noise. Great for anyone with roommates. 

JBL Quantum 800 headset

JBL Quantum 800

Photograph: JBL

JBL’s Quantum 800s have some of the best spatial surround sound you’ll find, which makes them great for those who spend a lot of time playing first-person shooters or other massive online games, where hearing someone behind you can mean the difference between life and death. The Quantum 800 features active noise cancelling, but the Quantum 600 is also pretty affordable, and the Quantum 300 is a solid alternative if you’re looking for a wired headset.

Another budget-friendly option, this is the best cheap gaming mouse. It’s only $20, but it packs premium features like customizable RGB and extra thumb buttons, and the sensitivity should be fine for most people. This is the best price we’ve seen all year.

This controller has the undeniably cute aesthetic of Animal Crossing: New Horizons. The joysticks, bumpers, and buttons will all work seamlessly with your Nintendo Switch, and at only $21, this is much more affordable than some drabber options on the market. We generally like PowerA gear.

This image may contain Electronics Mouse Hardware and Computer

Nintendo Switch Pro Controller

Photograph: Nintendo

Give yourself a hand in more action-oriented games by pairing Nintendo’s official wireless controller with your Nintendo Switch. Controllers can also reduce hand fatigue in slower-paced games too. Each controller will give you 40 hours of playtime before needing a recharge.

Who would’ve thought one of the most hotly anticipated games of 2020 would already be on sale for a mere $20? The developer’s older title, The Witcher 3, is actually more expensive. Cyberpunk was plagued with bugs and, well, a bad story, but if you’re interested in seeing what the world is like, it may be worth picking up at this price.

This turn-based strategy game is so, so fun. The learning curve is basically a straight upwards line, but if the idea of playing a world leader, outmaneuvering your opponents, constructing world wonders, and managing resources over the course of many hours sounds like a good time, it’ll be right up your alley. This price is a steal.

Speaking of difficult games designed to be punishing, Demon’s Souls is another killer game that really gives you the next-gen experience. It’s a complete remake of the PS3 classic, but with the benefit of modern gameplay improvements, and lavishly detailed graphics. The story can be a bit labyrinthine, but if you’ve ever played a Dark Souls game you’ll be right at home with the cryptic, creepy worldbuilding and delightfully strange characters you’ll encounter.

If you play video games on an Xbox console or PC, this subscription is well worth it. It includes Xbox Live Gold, which lets you play online multiplayer on Xbox consoles, and Game Pass. The latter nets you unlimited access to more than 100 PC console and PC games, and new games are routinely added to the list. Titles from Xbox Game Studios are added on the same day they’re released. It’s typically $15 per month, but this deal offers three months for the price of two. If you want to try it for one month, you can for just $1.

Outdoor and Fitness Deals

Whether you’re building an emergency kit or just stocking up for this year’s camping season, there’s a ton of good outdoor gear for sale right now. Stay on track of how today’s fitness trackers stack up by taking a look through our Best Fitness Tracker Guide and our Best Smartwatches Guide.

Garmin Fenix Pro
Photograph: GARMIN

This fitness tracker is so full of features, WIRED senior associate editor Adrienne So says it has “all the data collection and analysis you could ever want for every sport you can think of” and gave it an 8/10, WIRED Recommends. It has built-in GPS, support for viewing topographic maps, heart rate tracking, and fall detection if you fall down while wearing it. It was a bit cheaper yesterday, but this is still very close to as cheap as we’ve ever seen it.

The Garmin Forerunner series are the best fitness trackers if you’re a runner. This is their entry-level model, which is about $10 less than their normal sale price.

different sized bags for packing

Eagle Creek Packing Cube Set

Photograph: Amazon

Eagle Creek made some of the absolute best packing cubes, perfect for chronic over-packers. Unfortunately, the company is closing down. If you travel frequently and don’t own these yet (or you just want a backup set), get ’em while you still can. 

Compression sacks are perfect for bulky things that have a lot of air that can be squeezed out of them, such as sleeping bags and clothing. You fill the sack and then tighten the straps, compacting it down so that it doesn’t take up nearly as much room in your pack or your car. There are sizes in five-liter increments from 10 to 30 liters.

Trekking poles help take some of the strain off your legs and knees by transferring some of the work to your upper body, especially on hilly terrain. You’ll also end up burning more calories since it takes more energy to use your arms than your legs while hiking. Just remember to not drag them on the trail and to buy some trekking pole rubber tips to minimize the impact on the environment. Pole scars can do serious damage to trails.

Garmin computer

Garmin Edge

Photograph: Garmin

The Edge 130 keeps you on track by giving you turn-by-turn directions during your rides, and it does so accurately by combining data from GPS, GLONASS, and Galileo satellites. You can also track and analyze your cycling workouts through your Garmin Connect account. This is $10 cheaper than the lowest price that we’ve ever seen it.

This sturdy, basic table packs up reasonably small, and the aluminum slatted top makes it well suited for cooking. Put your stove on this, and leave the picnic table free for eating.

No camping excursion, tubing adventure, or sporting event is complete without the help of a cooler. This one is both cheap and tiny. It has enough room for six cans, plus ice, making it a better option for a trip to the park or a parade than for a multiperson, multiday outing. Other, bigger Coleman coolers are also on sale today.

Mountain Hardwear is one of the best-value brands in outdoor gear. It’s well-built and affordable, and WIRED reviewer Matt Jancer has used many of its packs over the past couple of decades rafting, hiking, and climbing. The UL backpack weighs a featherweight 10.7 ounces and comes with a single water bottle pocket on the outside of the pack. Not many ultralight daypacks have the all-important water bottle holder.

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Stop Putting Pressure on Developers to Rush Games to Market

If you’ve been anywhere near the internet in the past few days, you’ve likely heard there’s a sequel coming for The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild. Nintendo dropped a 1.5-minute trailer for the game during last week’s E3, and as soon as it hit, everyone on Twitter seemed to be talking about exactly the same thing. Gamers immediately started picking apart each scene for clues and debating what they might mean. It was fun, and then it was done. That’s the problem with buzz. Once it’s over there’s nothing to do but cool your heels until the game’s release. 

Here’s the thing, though: Patience is a virtue. Gamers need to learn to wait.

The worst-kept secret in the industry is that AAA titles often ship unfinished. There’s a reason day-one patches are a thing—these games are so massive that there literally aren’t enough hours in the day to repair everything that needs fixing. It’s also why crunch has become the rule, rather than the exception, in game development. (It’s so common that the 40-hour workweek of the Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart development team became news.)

Gamers need to dial down the pressure on studios to deliver perfect titles on demand. It’s OK to have massive expectations for AAA games, but developers shouldn’t have to fear the wrath of Twitter just because they need to push back a release date.

I realized I was part of the problem a few days ago as I was lamenting the gap between Horizon Zero Dawn and Horizon Forbidden West. It’s been more than four years since the former came out, and even though the sequel is slated for this year, the release date isn’t set. But even if there’s a five-year interval between them, that’s fine. A great, mostly bug-free 50-hour experience should take that long to create. I’d rather wait a single presidential term for a solid sequel than get one in two years that’s buggy and glitchy. A game can arrive quickly or it can arrive intact—you can’t have it both ways.

Disagree with me? Let’s look at a counterpoint: the Assassin’s Creed series. Each installment is a massive open-world game with countless side quests that can take hundreds of hours to complete. They arrive roughly every two years, and often when they do they’re an absolute mess. Assassin’s Creed: Valhalla had a game-breaking bug that took five months to fix. Not only that, the gameplay felt aimless. A game with a tightly written story and clear, defined goals is much better than a game that’s long just because people expect it to be long. Another example? Cyberpunk 2077. Developers at CDPR received death threats when that game got delayed, and in the end, they released a game that clearly wasn’t ready. Yes, it is a disappointment when studios delay games or there’s a massive interval between releases, but in any of these instances a delay would have been better than what ultimately happened.

I’m not saying this culture is entirely gamers’ fault—top-tier studios have plenty of money and the power to set expectations. But it’s not a groundbreaking revelation to say fan entitlement is a big problem in this industry, and maybe learning patience would help gaming culture as a whole. If everyone is tired of buggy game releases—and I for one am very tired of buggy game releases—then it’s on all of us to learn to sit tight for better ones. It’s not like there’s not a giant backlog of titles to play while you wait.

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Scooby Doo and Courage the Cowardly Dog team up in Straight Outta Nowhere – CNET


Not sure who is the most scared here.

Warner Bros.

What happens when you take two of TV's most iconic, terrified cartoon dogs and place them in one bizarre, crossover movie?

The answer is Straight Outta Nowhere, the Warner Bros movie starring both Scooby Doo and Courage the Cowardly Dog. 

It's a movie that dares to stretch the limits of style and aesthetics by trying to squeeze to unique animation styles into one movie. Scooby Doo has the most cultural cache of the two, having been around since 1969, but Courage the Cowardly Dog has been tremendously successful since its release in 1999 on the Cartoon Network. 

"Merging the two worlds in a cohesive manner was one of the most challenging aspects of production," said Cecilia Aranovich, who is directing the movie. "But I feel we found the right balance by bringing in the design elements and the color palette from the Courage world, as well as infusing Scooby and the gang with the more over-the-top takes and reactions that are so characteristic of Courage.

The movie is heading to digital platforms and DVD on September 14 this year.

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Philips recalls sleep apnea machines, ventilators – CNET

Somsak Bumroongwong/EyeEm/Getty

Philips issued a recall earlier this month for several breathing machines and ventilators, citing health risks associated with the foam in certain devices. The affected devices include the Bi-Level PAP, CPAP and mechanical ventilator devices, which are used for sleep apnea and other breathing conditions. Most are DreamStation products, the company said. 

The "sound abatement" polyurethane foam used to absorb noise in these devices has been found to pose a risk to users because of the way the foam can "degrade" into particles, which can then be ingested or inhaled, the company said in a press release. Another risk, Philips said, is that the foam may give off gas from certain chemicals. 

The exposure to foam particles could cause headache, irritation, inflammation, respiratory issues, and possible toxic and carcinogenic effects, Philips said. Chemical exposure due to off-gassing can cause many of the same symptoms, the company said, along with hypersensitivity, nausea and vomiting. 

Philips hasn't reported any deaths associated with its recalled devices, but the company said those with a Bi-Level PAP or CPAP device should discontinue use and consult with a health care provider to determine the most appropriate options for continued treatment. Those who are using a life-sustaining affected device shouldn't stop prescribed therapy, Philips said, until consulting a physician.

The Philips' recall of sleep apnea machines and respiratory care devices is considered a voluntary recall, as are most recalls of medical devices, according to the Food and Drug Administration. Per the agency, a recall is "a method of removing or correcting products that are in violation of laws administered by the Food and Drug Administration." 

Philips said it will replace the current foam with a new material and obtain the relevant regulatory clearances.

The company has posted a list of devices covered by the recall. Customers can make a claim by registering their affected device with the company.  

The information contained in this article is for educational and informational purposes only and is not intended as health or medical advice. Always consult a physician or other qualified health provider regarding any questions you may have about a medical condition or health objectives.

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