2021 Acura TLX Type S muscles 355 HP from new turbo V6 – Roadshow

Now, we know how much power will be on tap.

Acura

Acura left us with one key question when the 2021 TLX Type S debuted earlier this year: How much horsepower are we talking? The answer is 355 horsepower, friends.

The Japanese luxury brand said Thursday the sport sedan's new turbo 3.0-liter V6 engine makes 355 hp and 354 pound-feet of torque, based on internal estimates. The figures could change for production, but they'll likely be close. For some comparison, that's 65 hp more than the outgoing TLX's V6.

Acura dished out the anticipated news alongside word it plans a return to Pikes Peak to race the 2021 TLX. While the race cars will feature modified versions of the 2.0-liter turbo-four engine, the TLX Type S pace car will boast the big V6. The brand underscored the Type S is still a "prototype," so again, things may change for the final car that'll ship to dealers next spring.

With the power figure out in the wild, we're starting to get a much better sense of the TLX Type S' overall performance package. Power will flow through a 10-speed automatic transmission and then to Acura's Super-Handling AWD system. The 355 hp figure seems like a sweet spot on paper, and combined with all-wheel drive, it's shaping up to be a darling sports sedan, at least on paper.

We won't know how it drives for a while longer, though. While the regular 2021 Acura TLX will hit dealers this fall with the turbo-four engine, the Type S will wait until next spring, as mentioned. Those who pick up a standard TLX won't receive a slouch of an engine, though. The 2.0-liter engine makes 275 hp and 280 lb-ft of torque. Frankly, we're excited to drive both.

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Keep cool with this handheld rechargeable fan for $9.39 – CNET

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Hold this fan in your hand, or fold it for desk or table duty.

EasyAcc

If that headline sounds familiar, it's because I wrote about something similar a few weeks back. It was priced at $10.19 and sold out quickly. Thankfully, there's a nearly identical (and slightly better) version available now for even less, and the vendor tells me they have a big chunk of inventory.

For a limited time, and while supplies last, the EasyAcc Mini Handheld Rechargeable Fan is just $9.39 with promo code JHKEWKKV. That's 50% off the regular price. The previous deal was for a Lecone-branded version with a smaller battery.

At first glance, I was like, "Meh, a rechargeable handheld fan." But then I saw that it has three speed settings and a hinged handle, meaning you can set it on a table, desk or nightstand for hands-free cooling. Sweet!

The built-in 4,000-mAh battery is good for up to 23 hours of operation, according to EasyAcc, and you can recharge it via any powered USB port. The fan comes with a carrying case, and EasyAcc backs the product with an impressive two-year warranty.

I bought the aforementioned Lecone version of this, and it's pretty great. Your mileage may vary here, but I love that it's rechargeable, portable and tabletop-friendly. All for $9 and change.

Your thoughts?

Grow herbs and flowers indoors for $80 (save $110)

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Goodful

Chermoula, where have you been all my life? I only recently discovered this amazing sauce, which is made with cilantro and parsley, among other things. So my new goal is to have these herbs available year-round, not just during the summer months.

Presto: For a limited time, and while supplies last, Macy's has the AeroGarden Harvest Slim Countertop Garden & Gourmet Herbs Seed Kit for $79.99. It normally sells for $189.99. And here's a pro tip: Rakuten is currently offering 12% cash back on Macy's purchases, which would bring your net cost down to just over $70.

The AeroGarden is an indoor growing system that relies on LEDs and pods. (Think: Keurig for plants.) It comes with six of the latter, but there are tons of others available (including "grow anything" pods, which is good because for whatever reason, parsley and cilantro aren't available).

Indeed, you can grow herbs, lettuces, chili peppers, even cherry tomatoes. No doubt there are cheaper ways to do indoor gardening, but if you're looking for something simple and self-contained, this is a deal to consider.

Read more: Build a garden and grow your own food during the coronavirus outbreak


CNET's Cheapskate scours the web for great deals on tech products and much more. For the latest deals and updates, follow the Cheapskate on Facebook and Twitter. Find more great buys on the CNET Deals page and check out our CNET Coupons page for the latest promo codes from Best BuyWalmartAmazon and more. Questions about the Cheapskate blog? Find the answers on our FAQ page.

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You can now buy the Impossible Burger at Walmart – CNET

Impossible burger 12 ounce packs.

Impossible Burgers are ready to buy at Walmart.

Brian Cooley/CNET

The Impossible Burger is rolling out to 2,100 Walmart Supercenters and Neighborhood Market locations across the US starting Thursday, according to a press release from Impossible Foods. The products will be available to buy in 12-ounce packages and will also be available to order through Walmart's pickup and delivery options (though it doesn't look like they've yet been added to Walmart's online database).

The company began selling its plant-based meat at grocery stores in September 2019. Impossible Burgers have now expanded to Safeway, Kroger, Trader Joe's and other supermarkets, as well as chain restaurants like Applebee's, The Cheesecake Factory and Burger King. And recently, the company launched its own e-commerce site that lets you have Impossible Burgers delivered to your door.

Impossible Foods didn't immediately respond to a request for additional comment.

See also: Impossible Burger vs. Beyond Meat Burger: Taste, ingredients and availability, compared

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Pixar’s new movie Luca looks like the Italian Riviera vacation we all need – CNET

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Pixar's next film follows a boy named Luca during is summer on the Italian Riviera.

Pixar

Pixar's next feature film will be called Luca, the Disney-owned animation studio revealed Thursday. The movie is scheduled to hit US theaters on June 18, 2021. 

"Our all-new film will introduce a boy named Luca as he experiences an unforgettable summer in a seaside town on the Italian Riviera," Pixar said in a tweet. The unforgettable part apparently involves a sea monster.

It will be directed by Enrico Casarosa, who was nominated for an Oscar for short film La Luna, and produced by Andrea Warren

"This is a deeply personal story for me, not only because it's set on the Italian Riviera where I grew up, but because at the core of this film is a celebration of friendship," Casarosa said in a statement. "So in addition to the beauty and charm of the Italian seaside, our film will feature an unforgettable summer adventure that will fundamentally change Luca."

The Luca announcement follows Pixar's decision to push back Soul, the studio's musical journey from New York City to "cosmic realms." Soul was scheduled for release on June 19 but has since been delayed until Nov. 20 due to the coronavirus pandemic.

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NBC’s Peacock streaming service hits 10 million sign-ups – CNET

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Peacock launched nationwide in the US on July 15. 

Angela Lang/CNET

Peacock, the streaming service that Comcast's NBCUniversal launched two weeks ago in the US, has signed up 10 million accounts , Comcast said Thursday. That includes people who registered with Peacock when it rolled out just to Comcast pay-TV customers in April as well as new members that have signed up since its national launch July 15. 

By comparison, Disney Plus reported more than 10 million sign-ups in little more than 24 hours when it launched in November.  HBO Max -- the premium cable network's newer, bigger app that rolled out at the end of May -- signed up 4.1 million accounts in its first month. 

Comcast said Peacock's 10 million milestone was better than it expected. 

"Across the board, we're better than expectations," Jeff Shell, the CEO of NBCUniversal, said Thursday during a conference call to discuss Comcast's second-quarter earnings. "We didn't expect this many sign-ups, we didn't expect people to come back as frequently as they're coming back and we didn't expect people to watch as long as they're watching once they come back."

As a metric, sign-ups means people who have registered with the service, regardless of whether they're still using it. 

Competing with the likes of Netflix, Disney Plus, HBO Max and others, Peacock was the last big new service to roll out in the so-called "streaming wars," when a flood of services spilled out from tech and media giants over a roughly nine-month period. More than just jockeying between megacorporations, these competitive battles not only affect who shapes the future of television but also how many services you'll have to use -- and, often, pay for -- to watch your favorite shows. 

Peacock is unique among the new crop of competitors in offering a free tier, which lets anyone in the US watch about about two-thirds of the catalog with advertising. Peacock also had paid memberships: You can unlock the full library of shows and movies for a price for $4.99 a month plus ads, and a $9.99-a-month upgrade mades the service mostly ad free. 

Disney Plus is $7 a month, and HBO Max is $15. Neither have advertising. 

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Honda orders office workers to build cars as COVID-19 stifles production – Roadshow

It sounds like quite a shift in work responsibilities.

Honda
For the most up-to-date news and information about the coronavirus pandemic, visit the WHO website.

Some of Honda's white collar workforce in Ohio are trading the desk for the assembly line, and that's an order.

According to WOSU public radio on Wednesday, the Japanese automaker's plant in Marysville, Ohio is subject to a production staff shortage amid the coronavirus pandemic. As more employees call in sick or quarantine, fewer workers remain to build the numerous vehicles that call Marysville home. The Honda Accord and Honda CR-V are two high profile models built in the Buckeye state. The Acura ILX, TLX and NSX also hail from Ohio.

The report says Honda first approached office workers asking for volunteers to leave their desk positions for the assembly line, but after few takers, the automaker made the policy mandatory. Employees from the purchasing, R&D and accounting departments are reportedly the three main departments Honda tapped for temporary work.

An employee speaking anonymously to WOSU said he's never seen "anything like it" during his five-year tenure with the automaker and told the outlet there's zero training until an office worker shows up on the factory line to start building cars.

Honda confirmed the practice but did not offer more specifics. In a statement, the automaker said, "Due to strong customer demand for our products and the need to carefully manage production during the COVID-19 pandemic, we are facing some temporary staffing issues that require support from associates who do not typically work in production. We have implemented such temporary measures in the past, and are working diligently to attract and hire associates to support our production needs."

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NASA’s Perseverance rover launches on mission to Mars – CNET

The Perseverance rover and Ingenuity helicopter are en route to Mars, beginning their quest to find ancient signs of life, fly the red planet's skies and blaze a travel for humans to one day follow suit.

"It's a really significant mission with the best chance in my lifetime of discovering evidence for life elsewhere in the solar system," David Flannery, a member of the Perseverance science team and long-term planner for the mission, told CNET.   

NASA's next-generation robotic explorers departed Earth in the early morning sun of the Florida coast aboard a United Launch Alliance Atlas V. Just 20 minutes before Thursday's launch a 4.5 magnitude earthquake rocked NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory across the continent in Pasadena, California, but it did not dim the launch excitement. Even a global pandemic could not stop it.

At 7:50 a.m. local time/4:50 a.m. PT, the main engine and four rocket boosters fired on the Atlas rocket, a vehicle that stands taller than the Leaning Tower of Pisa. The rocket lifted off the Cape Canaveral launch pad with a dazzling flux of fire, steam and smoke.

Separation of the Mars 2020 spacecraft from the rocket booster occurred just short of an hour after launch. NASA's two interplanetary automatons are now on their journey and will travel almost 350 million miles on a nearly seven-month journey to the red planet.

The journey to launch was much longer. 

Eight years ago, NASA announced it would build a Mars rover modeled closely on Curiosity, which departed for the red planet in 2011. Battling governmental budget cuts, NASA essentially cobbled together the rover, sometimes using leftover parts of its predecessor, and Perseverance was born. For scientists like Flannery, Perseverance wasn't just a name. Prior to launch, he said he was nervous and optimistic because liftoff was a long time coming for NASA's science team.

"Most of us have been working on it for the better part of a decade," he said. 

Perseverance is an all-in-one, rolling science laboratory. Like its predecessor, it's about the size of a car but contains a large turret on the end of a robotic arm and thicker, sturdier wheels. The nuclear-powered vehicle contains seven science instruments, two microphones and 23 cameras -- nine for engineering, seven for conducting experiments and seven to watch the rover descend to the surface. It will be capable of producing stunning images like the ones beamed back by Curiosity, but it's also an incredibly capable alien-seeking device, building on NASA's previous and current exploration on the red planet.

"Previous missions to Mars have examined the geology and revealed a history in which the red planet had oceans and rivers billions of years ago," said Alan Duffy, an astronomer at Swinburne University and lead scientist of the Royal Institution of Australia. 

"Perseverance will seek the chemical signs of life within that geology, allowing us to better say just how habitable a world it was."

It will take a long time before data from the surface will begin filtering back to Earth, however, and there are a host of items to tick off Perseverance's objective list. 

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A trail of smoke trails Atlas V as it departs the Earth.

NASA/Joel Kowsky

The next milestone is, of course, landing on Mars and overcoming the so-called "seven minutes of terror" -- 420 seconds between hitting Mars atmosphere and touching down on its surface. 

"Landing is the really hard part," said Flannery. "We have some heritage with this particular mission -- the landing system worked with Curiosity. I am optimistic."

The maneuver is scheduled to occur in February 2021. If all goes as planned, Perseverance will finally roll its feet in Mars' dusty soil and begin its science mission. The science payload aboard Perseverance include an X-ray fluorescence instrument, spectroscopy instruments and a number of radars. Together, they'll enable Perseverance to observe the chemistry of its landing site, Jezero Crater.

"Jezero Crater was once an ancient lake filled with water some 3.5 billion years ago and the conditions are ideal to search for possible traces of ancient life," said Brendan Burns, an astrobiologist at the University of New South Wales, Australia. The mission plans to snatch up soil and sediment from Jezero and plans to cache those samples and leave them on the surface of Mars for future missions.

"The rover is collecting rocks on Mars that will eventually be brought back to Earth for analysis," said Bonnie Teece, an astrobiology Ph.D. student at the University of New South Wales. "Those precious few grams of Martian rock might totally change our understanding of our closest neighbor."

For students like Teece, Perseverance offers a lot of opportunities. Duffy notes that the rover could continue producing data for years to come.

"Generations of scientists depend on this mission successfully launching from our planet and landing on another," he said.

The interplanetary freeway between Earth and Mars is as busy as it's ever been. In the last two weeks, the United Arab Emirates and China have both sent missions to the red planet. The UAE launched an atmospheric probe known as Hope, which aims to examine Mars from orbit and provide a holistic view of the planet's atmospheric cycles, potentially answering long-standing questions about its unusual composition of gases. China, by contrast, is attempting a mission to land on Mars' surface. Its Tianwen-1 mission is composed of three spacecraft: an orbiter, a lander and a currently-unnamed rover. 

Perseverance and Ingenuity are trailing them but aren't far behind.

"This is a monumental occasion," Burns said. "The candle has been lit."

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Verizon launches new LTE Home Internet service – CNET

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Verizon's new service will provide unlimited data and internet download speeds of 25 to 50 Mbps.

Angela Lang/CNET

Verizon launched a new LTE Home Internet service on Thursday. The plan aims to expand Verizon services to customers in rural areas of the US with limited or no broadband outside the wireless company's 5G Home and Fios plans.  

"Our 4G LTE network keeps our customers connected when and where it matters most," said Frank Boulben, senior vice president of consumer marketing and products at Verizon, in a release. "Especially now, when so many are counting on reliable connectivity for remote work and educational needs."

The LTE Home Internet service will provide unlimited data and internet download speeds of 25 to 50 Mbps, said Verizon. The new internet service will be available in Georgia, Missouri, Tennessee, Virginia and Kentucky. You can find out if LTE Home Internet is available near you at Verizon's website

Verizon said its LTE Home Internet will cost $40 a month for Verizon wireless customers and $60 a month for non-Verizon customers. The LTE home router is also $10 each month with Verizon's device payment plan. 

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Microsoft says Flight Simulator will open for pre-order today – CNET

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Microsoft

Microsoft's Flight Simulator game has been gaining interest since it was announced in June of last year, and it's nearly here. Now preorders are kicking off, ahead of the Aug. 18 launch, Microsoft said Thursday. 

Along with opening preorders, Microsoft also announced that the game will come not only to Windows 10 and Xbox Game Pass for PC, but also to online platform Steam. VR will also land later in 2020, along with a slew of post-release plane and world updates and DLC.

And yes, if you have a slow online service provider, you can always track down the DVD version of Flight Simulator that will be released in some territories.

Microsoft didn't immediately respond to request for comment.

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How to Make Your Own Hand Sanitizer

Properly scrubbing your hands is one of the best ways to stop the spread of germs and viruses and to ensure you don’t get sick. But if you don’t have access to soap and clean water, or if you’re nowhere near a sink, you should carry hand sanitizer to protect your health.

As you’re no doubt aware, bottles of hand sanitizer (Purell, Wet Ones, and the like) keep selling out due to the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic. You can check these Amazon and Walmart listings to see if any are in stock, but make sure you’re not buying mass-manufactured sanitizer that uses methanol, or wood alcohol, which can be toxic when absorbed through the skin or ingested (check here to see hand sanitizer brands to avoid). Also, don’t drink the sanitizer, or any cleaning products, including bleach.

It may be hard to find that Purell, but making your own sanitizer is remarkably easy. You just have to be careful you don’t mess it up and that the tools you use for mixing are properly sanitized; otherwise you could contaminate the whole thing. Also, the World Health Organization recommends letting your concoction sit for a minimum of 72 hours after you’re done. That way the sanitizer has time to kill any bacteria that might have been introduced during the mixing process.

We actually have two recipes for you, along with links to find the ingredients. The first is one you can make with stuff you likely already have, so it’s effective in emergency situations. The second recipe is more complex but easy to make if you do some shopping and planning ahead of time. Another note: A lot of these items are quickly going out of stock because of high demand. There’s a higher chance of finding them at your local drug store, but your first priority is to stay safe.

Updated July 28: We added the FDA’s warning about methanol and refreshed the links and information in this guide.

If you buy something using links in our stories, we may earn a commission. This helps support our journalism. Learn more. Please also consider subscribing to WIRED.

Potency Matters

You’re going to need some alcohol. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, your sanitizer mix must be at least 60 percent alcohol to be effective. But it’s better to get above that—aim for a minimum of 75 percent. A bottle of 99 percent isopropyl alcohol is the best thing to use. Your regular vodka and whiskey are too wimpy and won’t cut it.

The Quick (Gel) Recipe

Mix 3 parts isopropyl alcohol to 1 part aloe vera gel. Add a few drops of tea tree oil to give it a pleasant scent and to align your chakras.

The Better (Spray) Recipe

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