Today only: Buying a MyQ smart garage control for $20 can get you a $40 Amazon credit – CNET

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If you're comfortable with in-garage deliveries (and you own a MyQ device), Amazon will give you $40.

Amazon

Got a garage? Here's a legit way it can earn you $20. Today only, and while supplies last, Amazon is offering the Chamberlain MyQ Smart Garage Hub G0401 for $20. That's $10 off the regular price and the best deal on record for that version of the product. Read on to learn about putting that expense back in your pocket along with $20 more (after you buy and install the MyQ).

Here's the scoop: First-time Key by Amazon In-Garage Delivery users can get a $40 credit by applying promo code KEY40 when making a purchase. (Not this purchase, mind you -- see below for exact instructions.) This works even if you already own a MyQ; it's basically $40 in free money just for trying out the service. The catch: You must be an Amazon Prime subscriber.

Key allows Amazon delivery drivers to open your door (in this case your garage door) and leave packages there -- in theory a much safer place than your front porch, where thefts are relatively common.

Yes, you're letting a stranger into your garage. That requires a certain comfort level, as does allowing the MyQ app to connect with your Amazon account. (As you might imagine, it's all quite secure, but I wouldn't blame anyone for feeling weird about it. What if you're not home, for example, and for some reason the garage door won't close after the delivery?) Read the Key FAQ page to learn more.

Read more: Stop package theft: 5 smart home devices that protect deliveries

Here's how to get the credit:

1. Once you've installed and configured your opener, open the MyQ app and tap the Works with icon. Choose Key by Amazon and follow the prompts from there.

2. Shop on Amazon like you normally would. At checkout, make sure to choose Key as your delivery option.

3. Apply promo code KEY40. That should immediately add a $40 credit to your account and apply to whatever is in your cart.

So while you can't use this to offset the purchase of the MyQ itself (because it won't be linked to Amazon Key yet), you can use it after on the purchase of something else -- effectively making the G0401 free and putting another $20 in your digital pocket.

In my case, I already owned a previous-gen MyQ, but I'd never gotten around to linking it to Amazon. I did so back in February, applied the promo and presto: $40 off the stuff in my cart. Since then I've used Key deliveries a handful of times, all successfully.

Your thoughts?

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CNET's Cheapskate scours the web for great deals on tech products and much more. For the latest deals and updates, follow him on Facebook and Twitter. You can also sign up for deal texts delivered right to your phone. Find more great buys on the CNET Deals page and check out our CNET Coupons page for the latest Walmart discount codeseBay couponsSamsung promo codes and even more from hundreds of other online stores. Questions about the Cheapskate blog? Answers live on our FAQ page.

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Domino’s pizzas now delivered with autonomous cars in Houston – Roadshow

Nuro/Domino's pizza delivery

The future is now.

Domino's

Other companies may soak up more of the limelight, but Nuro's been a quiet, busy bee. In fact, Nuro's R2 self-driving car is the only vehicle to receive an exemption from the US Department of Transportation to operate despite having no human controls. Now, this robo pod is getting in on the pizza delivery business.

Domino's and Nuro announced Monday that the latter's autonomous car will report for pizza delivery duty this week. It's only for customers in the vicinity of a single pizza shop in the Houston area, but still -- this is wild. On certain days and in blocked-out periods of time, customers can request their pizza for delivery via a Nuro R2 if they place a prepaid order online. Domino's will select a customer at random to carry out the delivery order, and the customer will receive text message notifications saying where the little robocar is. They'll also get a PIN that'll let them access their order when it arrives. No pizza thievery allowed, guys.

Nuro/Domino's pizza delivery

Enter the PIN and grab your grub.

Domino's

Once the R2 pulls up to the destination, the customer enters the PIN on the touchscreen and the doors retract to reveal the food inside.

Nuro actually announced this program all the way back in 2019 and said it planned to work with Domino's to use its latest R2 self-driving car. Back then, it was still working with what it called the R1. With the R2 roadworthy in the US these days, the program's ready to roll. Nuro also partnered with Kroger to deliver groceries from select stores in Arizona in the past, so it's got experience.

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Current mortgage interest rates on April 12, 2021: Rates slip – CNET

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Joe Raedle/Getty

A couple of principal mortgage rates slumped today. 15-year fixed and 30-year fixed mortgage rates both declined. For variable rates, the 5/1 adjustable-rate mortgage also ticked downward. Mortgage interest rates are never set in stone, but interest rates are the lowest they've been in years. If you plan to buy a house, now might be an optimal time to lock in a fixed rate. But as always, make sure to first think about your personal goals and circumstances before purchasing a home, and shop around for a lender who can best meet your needs.

Find current mortgage rates for today

30-year fixed-rate mortgages

The 30-year fixed-mortgage rate average is 3.18%, which is a decrease of 9 basis points compared to one week ago. (A basis point is equivalent to 0.01%.) The most frequently used loan term is a 30-year fixed mortgage. A 30-year fixed mortgage will often have a higher interest rate than a 15-year fixed rate mortgage -- but also a lower monthly payment. Although you'll pay more interest over time -- you're paying off your loan over a longer timeframe -- if you're looking for a lower monthly payment, a 30-year fixed mortgage may be a good option.

15-year fixed-rate mortgages

The average rate for a 15-year, fixed mortgage is 2.43%, which is a decrease of 8 basis points from seven days ago. You’ll definitely have a higher monthly payment with a 15-year fixed mortgage compared to a 30-year fixed mortgage, even if the interest rate and loan amount are the same. But a 15-year loan will usually be the better deal, as long as you're able to afford the monthly payments. You’ll most likely get a lower interest rate, and you’ll pay less interest in total because you’re paying off your mortgage much quicker.

5/1 adjustable-rate mortgages

A 5/1 adjustable-rate mortgage has an average rate of 3.18%, a slide of 11 basis points compared to last week. You'll typically get a lower interest rate (compared to a 30-year fixed mortgage) with a 5/1 adjustable-rate mortgage in the first five years of the mortgage. However, you might end up paying more after that time, depending on the terms of your loan and how the rate changes with the market rate. Because of this, an ARM might be a good option if you plan to sell or refinance your house before the rate changes. If not, changes in the market may significantly increase your interest rate.

Mortgage rate trends

We use information collected by Bankrate, which is owned by the same parent company as CNET, to track daily mortgage rate trends. This table summarizes the average rates offered by lenders across the US:
Current average mortgage interest rates
Loan type Interest rate A week ago Change
30-year fixed rate 3.18% 3.27% -0.09
15-year fixed rate 2.43% 2.51% -0.08
30-year jumbo mortgage rate 3.10% 3.07% +0.03
30-year mortgage refinance rate 3.25% 3.36% -0.11

Updated on April 12, 2021.

How to find the best mortgage rates

To find a personalized mortgage rate, talk to your local mortgage broker or use an online mortgage service. In order to find the best home mortgage, you'll need to consider your goals and overall financial situation. A range of factors -- including your down payment, credit score, loan-to-value ratio and debt-to-income ratio -- will all affect the interest rate on your mortgage. Having a higher credit score, a higher down payment, a low DTI, a low LTV, or any combination of those factors can help you get a lower interest rate. The interest rate isn't the only factor that affects the cost of your home — be sure to also consider additional factors such as fees, closing costs, taxes and discount points. You should speak with several different lenders -- including local and national banks, credit unions and online lenders -- and comparison shop to find the best mortgage for you.

How does the loan term impact my mortgage?

One important thing you should consider when choosing a mortgage is the loan term, or payment schedule. The mortgage terms most commonly offered are 15 years and 30 years, although you can also find 10-, 20- and 40-year mortgages. Mortgages are further divided into fixed-rate and adjustable-rate mortgages. For fixed-rate mortgages, interest rates are fixed for the life of the loan. Unlike a fixed-rate mortgage, the interest rates for an adjustable-rate mortgage are only stable for a certain amount of time (usually five, seven or 10 years). After that, the rate fluctuates annually based on the market rate. When choosing between a fixed-rate and adjustable-rate mortgage, you should consider the length of time you plan to stay in your house. Fixed-rate mortgages might be a better fit for those who plan on living in a home for quite some time. Fixed-rate mortgages offer more stability over time compared to adjustable-rate mortgages, but adjustable-rate mortgages can sometimes offer lower interest rates upfront. However you might get a better deal with an adjustable-rate mortgage if you only have plans to to keep your house for a few years. The “best” loan term all is entirely dependent on your personal situation and goals, so make sure to take into consideration what’s important to you when choosing a mortgage.

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Mortgage rates for April 12, 2021: Rates ease – CNET

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Joe Raedle/Getty

A number of principal mortgage rates dwindled today. 15-year fixed and 30-year fixed mortgage rates both slumped. The average rate of the most common type of variable-rate mortgage, the 5/1 adjustable-rate mortgage, also declined. Although mortgage rates are always changing, they are lower than they've been in years. Because of this, right now is an excellent time for prospective homebuyers to lock in a fixed rate. Before you buy a house, remember to think about your personal needs and financial situation, and compare offers from different lenders to find the best one for you.

Here are mortgage rates for different types of loan

30-year fixed-rate mortgages

The average 30-year fixed mortgage interest rate is 3.18%, which is a decline of 9 basis points from one week ago. (A basis point is equivalent to 0.01%.) The most common loan term is a 30-year fixed mortgage. A 30-year fixed mortgage will often have a greater interest rate than a 15-year fixed rate mortgage -- but also a lower monthly payment. Although you'll pay more interest over time -- you're paying off your loan over a longer timeframe -- if you're looking for a lower monthly payment, a 30-year fixed mortgage may be a good option.

15-year fixed-rate mortgages

The average rate for a 15-year, fixed mortgage is 2.43%, which is a decrease of 8 basis points from the same time last week. Compared to a 30-year fixed mortgage, a 15-year fixed mortgage with the same loan value and interest rate will have a bigger monthly payment. But a 15-year loan will usually be the better deal, if you can afford the monthly payments. These include usually being able to get a lower interest rate, paying off your mortgage sooner, and paying less total interest in the long run.

5/1 adjustable-rate mortgages

A 5/1 adjustable-rate mortgage has an average rate of 3.18%, a downtick of 11 basis points from seven days ago. With an adjustable-rate mortgage mortgage, you'll usually get a lower interest rate than a 30-year fixed mortgage for the first five years. But shifts in the market may cause your interest rate to increase after that time, as detailed in the terms of your loan. Because of this, an ARM might be a good option if you plan to sell or refinance your house before the rate changes. If not, shifts in the market could significantly increase your interest rate.

Mortgage rate trends

We use rates collected by Bankrate, which is owned by the same parent company as CNET, to track daily mortgage rate trends. This table summarizes the average rates offered by lenders nationwide:
Today's mortgage interest rates
Loan term Today's Rate Last week Change
30-year mortgage rate 3.18% 3.27% -0.09
15-year fixed rate 2.43% 2.51% -0.08
30-year jumbo mortgage rate 3.10% 3.07% +0.03
30-year mortgage refinance rate 3.25% 3.36% -0.11

Rates accurate as of April 12, 2021.

How to shop for the best mortgage rate

You can get a personalized mortgage rate by connecting with your local mortgage broker or using an online calculator. In order to find the best home mortgage, you'll need to consider your goals and current finances. A range of factors -- including your down payment, credit score, loan-to-value ratio and debt-to-income ratio -- will all affect the interest rate on your mortgage. Having a higher credit score, a larger down payment, a low DTI, a low LTV, or any combination of those factors can help you get a lower interest rate. Beyond the mortgage rate, additional costs including closing costs, fees, discount points and taxes might also factor into the cost of your home. Be sure to speak with multiple lenders -- for example, local and national banks, credit unions and online lenders -- and comparison shop to find the best mortgage loan for you.

What is a good loan term?

One important thing you should consider when choosing a mortgage is the loan term, or payment schedule. The loan terms most commonly offered are 15 years and 30 years, although you can also find 10-, 20- and 40-year mortgages. Mortgages are further divided into fixed-rate and adjustable-rate mortgages. For fixed-rate mortgages, interest rates are the same for the life of the loan. Unlike a fixed-rate mortgage, the interest rates for an adjustable-rate mortgage are only the same for a certain amount of time (commonly five, seven or 10 years). After that, the rate changes annually based on the market rate. One important factor to take into consideration when deciding between a fixed-rate and adjustable-rate mortgage is the length of time you plan on staying in your house. Fixed-rate mortgages might be a better fit for those who plan on staying in a home for quite some time. Fixed-rate mortgages offer greater stability over time in comparison to adjustable-rate mortgages, but adjustable-rate mortgages may offer lower interest rates upfront. However you could get a better deal with an adjustable-rate mortgage if you only intend to keep your home for a few years. The “best” loan term all is entirely dependent on your specific situation and goals, so make sure to think about what’s important to you when choosing a mortgage.

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WWE WrestleMania 37 Night 2 results, Reigns win and full recap – CNET

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WWE

WrestleMania 37 ended with a familiar sight: Roman Reigns standing tall. The Head of the Table decisively beat both Daniel Bryan and Edge to retain his Universal Championship. It capped off a great event, which surpassed the bar set by WrestleMania 37 Night 1.

The show featured a string of strong bouts, including Sami Zayn versus Kevin Owens and a surprisingly great Riddle versus Sheamus. Rhea Ripley won the Raw Women's Championship, defeating Asuka, meaning both women's titles changed hands while neither of the mens' world titles did. Randy Orton's match against The Fiend was bad and silly but, thankfully, it didn't last long. 

Below is a full recap of WrestleMania 37 Night 2. Here you'll find a recap of WrestleMania 37 Night 1

Roman Reigns retains Universal Championship

Roman Reigns is the man. After a fantastic main event, Roman Reigns pinned both Edge and Daniel Bryan -- at the same time -- to retain his Universal Championship. Edge had hit Bryan with a Conchairto and was setting up Reigns to do the same. Jey Uso ran in and blasted Edge, but Edge dispatched of him. Reigns took advantage of the distraction, spearing Edge and then smashing Edge with a Conchairto of his own. Reigns then dragged Edge ontop of Bryan and pinned both.

Jey Uso got involved pretty much straight away. Reigns tossed Bryan outside, and Uso decked Bryan with a superkick. Uso then attacked Edge. After a suicide dive from Bryan took Reigns out momentarily, Edge dispatched of Uso with a big DDT on the ring steps. Uso was walked backstage by medical personell, but of course we knew he'd be back later.

From there it was an intense triple threat that followed the standard "two in one out" formula. Edge and Bryan grappled while Reigns was out, but eventually Bryan went out and Reigns came in. Edge looked great throughout the match, despite being 48 he never felt a pace behind. His section with Reigns culminated with a wicked spot that saw both go for a Spear at the same time.

When all three ended up outside, there was a great sequence that saw Reigns powerbomb Bryan through the announcer's table, absolutely killing him, before getting speared by Edge. Edge threw Reigns in the ring and brought in a chair, but Reigns snatched it off him. They wrestled, but Edge got the upper hand by locking in a crossface submission. Just as it looked like Reigns would tap, Bryan slid in the ring and held Reigns' hand, stopping him from tapping. Bryan then applied the Yes Lock while Edge still had Reigns in a crossface, a cool spot. Bryan and Edge yelled at each other, with each telling the other to let go of the hold. They then got into a good ol' fashion headbutt contest.

Everyone got a chance to shine in the match. Bryan's came first when he locked Reigns in the Yes Lock and then, when that was broken up, caught Edge in it too. He later dispatched of Edge with his flying knee. Edge got him back though, putting Bryan out with the Conchairto. And while Reigns only hit one spear in the match, he got the biggest shine possible: pinning both guys at the same time.

Rating: 4.5 stars.

Rhea Ripley pins Asuka

Rhea Ripley was ready for Asuka. Ripley pinned Asuka with the Riptide.

This match was just OK, which is a bummer. They both worked hard, but the crowd was quiet for most of the match which made it very hard to get into. Rhea is so promising and Asuka is great, but this didn't click for a number of reasons. The big issue is that Asuka hasn't had a pay-per-view title defense since last October, so she doesn't feel as important as she should, and this is Ripley's first WWE pay-per-view in front of a live crowd. 

There was some great submission wrestling, with Asuka countering out of Ripley's power moves into armbars and kneebars. But this didn't really excite the crowd, nor did the big spot where Asuka DDT'd Ripley off the apron. That said, the crowd did pop big for Ripley when she got the win.

Rating: 3 stars. The crowd was so flat for this, even though they woke up for the finish, which made this hard to get into.

Apollo Crews wins Intercontinental Championship

Another championship change. Apollo Crews beat Big E in a Nigerian Drum Fight (really just a No Holds Barred match) after Dabba-Kato, a former NFL player and current development talent, debuted and chokeslammed Big E.

It was a hardhitting match. These two were in a tough spot, coming after two very strong bouts, and made the most of it with a high-intensity sprint. They started by barraging each other with Kendo Stick shots. Apollo got one of the big gold drums from ringside but Big E kicked it out of his hands. 

Big E hit his patented spear from the apron to the floor, which makes me wince every time. Later, after Crews set up steps below the apron, Big E planted Crews with a urange from the arpon onto the steel steps. Another wince from me. The finish came when Crews set up a table and went for a splash but Big E moved and Crews crashed through. Big E had Crews in the Big Ending, but Dabba-Kato came out of nowhere to interrupt, chokeslam Big E and pull Crews over the top for the cover.

Rating: 2.5 stars. These two worked hard, but they were just in a hard spot coming off two awesome matches. The silly "Nigerian Drum Fight" stipulation made it harder to take seriously, too.

Sheamus wins United States Championship

Another great match -- Night 2 is rolling on well. Sheamus and Riddle beat the hell out of each other, and Sheamus was victorious after he caught Riddle with Brogue Kick as Riddle was mid-moonsault.

It started out with some wrestling and fairly standard action. The Owens versus Zayn match ended on a high, so Sheamus and Riddle started off by reseting the crowd. But things picked up when Sheamus hit a gnarly bicycle knee strike to Riddle for a nice near fall. Sheamus then hit an Alabama Slam for another two count. Moments later, Riddle got his turn. He smashed Sheamus on the outside with a German Suplex on the side of the ring, a Penalty Kick and a Floating Bro for a two count. 

Back in the ring, Sheamus went for a White Noise off the top rope, but he lost his balance. Thankfully, he landed on his feet with Riddle still strewn over his shoulders, so hit the White Noise in the center of the ring, followed by a flying knee from the top rope for a two. Riddle began to fight back, but was caught by that Brogue Kick mid-moonsault.

After the match, a bloodied-up Riddle had a stare down with Sheamus. Hopefully we see these two go at it again.

Rating: 4 stars.

Kevin Owens pins Sami Zayn

A very good match. Sami Zayn was pinned by Kevin Owens in a bout that, thankfully, saw no interference from Logan Paul, who sat by ringside ostensibly in the corner of Sami Zayn.

The two started off strong, with Owens immediately hitting a Pop-up Powerbomb. Zayn rolled out of the ring and it was pretty much all action from there. There's really actually not much to say. There was little story throughout the match, as it pretty much consisted of Owens and Zayn trading moves. That sounds like a criticism, but everything was so tight, and both are so talented, so it was just a bunch of fun to watch.

Story did play into it at the conclusion though. Sami Zayn hit a Helluva Kick on Owens and then, as Owens began to fall, Zayn held him up. This was a throwback to their match at the 2016 Battleground pay-per-view match -- something that JBL, guest commentating, actually pointed out. Zayn went for another, like how he did at Battleground all those years ago, but Owens caught him with a superkick, then another superkick. Owens then held up a fallen Zayn, hit him with a Stunner and got the 1-2-3.

After the match, Paul came into the ring. Zayn got in his grill, so Paul shoved Zayn. Zayn then retreated. There was a fun moment were Paul lifted Owens' arm and the whole crowd was chanting for Owens to stun him. Which he totally did, and the crowd loved it. Credit to Logan Paul here: He knew his role -- i.e. the guy that the crowd wants to see laid out -- and he took the stunner better than most of the roster.

Rating: 4 stars. Super good.

Nia Jax and Shayna Baszler retain tag titles

Nia Jax and Shayna Baszler defending their titles against Natalya and Tamina is up next.

The match started off surprisingly snug. Nia Jax and Tamina got into a headbutt battle, Baszler hit Natalya with an awesome knee strike that looked like it hurt, and Jax planted Tamina on the outside with a body slam. But then the pace slowed down. With Tamina on the outside, Jax and Baszler worked over Natalya in the ring. The pace crawled and the crowd went quiet.

Eventually Natalya fought back and was able to tag in Tamina. She had a square off with Jax, which culminated with Tamina doing a body slam on Jax (even if she didn't quite hoist her all the way up). She then went for a Superfly Splash but Jax moved. They both tag their partners. Natalya blasts Baszler outside of the ring and locks Jax into a Sharpshooter, apparently not realizing Baszler is the legal woman. 

Baszler breaks up the Sharpshooter by locking in a Kirafuda Clutch, and Natalya passes out.

Rating: 2.75 stars. This was much better than Night 1's Tag Team Turmoil match. It was a mixed bag, as most of the time Tamina was in the ring it wasn't particularly good. But it was well laid out, with some real bright spots (like Baszler's awesome knee) and a cool finish -- even if the "babyface passes out" finish is overdone.

Randy Orton defeats The Fiend

WrestleMania 37 kicked off with one of the most heavily promoted matches of the show: Randy Orton versus The Fiend. After a thankfully short match, Randy Orton pinned The Fiend with an RKO.

Randy Orton came out in white tights -- some WreslteMania pizzaz for you. Then we got The Fiend's entrance. 

We see him walking through a walkway where he transforms from the burnt Fiend to the "normal" one, albiet with a slightly new mask. Then Alexa Bliss comes out in her Firefly Funhouse form, and walks to a jack in the box that's set up near the ring. She turns the handle, to the tune of Pop Goes the Weasel, and out comes The Fiend.

The match itself was like an average Raw bout. They had a straightforward wrestling match until Alexa Bliss appeared on top of the Jack in the Box from which The Fiend appeared. She was... I don't know, covered in ink or blood or something. The Fiend was confused, and Orton hit an RKO for the pin.

After the match, Bliss and The Fiend stared at each other and then the lights went out and both vanished. The crowd booed. 

Rating: 1 star. This is just preposterous. Randy Orton burned The Fiend to a crisp, and that culminated with... a wrestling match. Where they actually just hit normal wrestling moves. If The Fiend can literally defy the laws of life and death, why do we care if he got hit with a DDT? How could an RKO possibly keep him down? It's just stupid. 

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Microsoft reportedly in talks to buy AI company Nuance Communications – CNET

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Microsoft may be close to closing its second largest acquisition ever.

James Martin/CNET

Microsoft is in talks to acquire AI and speech company Nuance Communications in a deal that would value the company at about $16 billion, Bloomberg reported Sunday. The Burlington, Massachusetts-based company's technology helped launch Apple's digital assistant Siri.

The two companies are discussing a price of about $56 per share, Bloomberg reported, a 23% premium over the stock's close on Friday. The deal would be Microsoft's second largest acquisition ever, after its $26.2 billion deal to buy LinkedIn in 2016.

Like many tech companies, Microsoft has invested heavily in artificial intelligence in recent years. Last year, the company unveiled an enormous supercomputer for AI work that contained 285,000 processor core. in 2018, the company acquired XOXCO, a startup that develops conversational artificial intelligence, aka chatbots.

Neither Microsoft no Nuance immediately responded to requests for comment.

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Don’t buy a new TV at the wrong time. Here’s when prices will fall – CNET

magnolia-tv-wall

Whether in-store or online, big or small, OLED or LCD -- TV pricing follows an annual cycle.

Geoffrey Morrison/CNET

There's an annual pricing cycle of pricing for all televisions, be they 4K, 8K, OLED, QLED, Mini-LED or just plain LCD. Knowing that cycle might save you some money or at least some pricing anxiety. What's the cycle, you ask? I'm not even going to make you scroll. Here it is in a nutshell: CES, Super Bowl, spring shipments, minor summer price drops, fall/Black Friday/holiday major price drops.

New TVs are announced at CES in January. They're not available then, however. There are often sales in the weeks leading up to the Super Bowl in February, but they're on the previous year's models. Current model year TVs start shipping in the spring, and that's when they're at their most expensive. There's sometimes a slight price drop in the summer, but not always. During the fall and leading up to the holidays there are usually bigger price cuts. Black Friday and Cyber Monday often have the best deals, on both cheap doorbuster models as well as the best TVs, and those prices can often be had throughout December and the holidays. That brings us back to CES in January and the cycle begins anew.

So when is the best time to buy a new TV? It's not as easy to say "when it's cheapest" because that's often when new models are right around the corner. Plus, the cheapest TV might not be the best value. Let's dig a bit deeper.

Are you happy with what you have now?

Forget all the new tech. If your TV works and you're happy with it, keep it. Don't feel any pressure to upgrade. 

Modern TVs are, on average, brighter and have better picture quality than the TVs from a few years ago. Unless you're the type of videophile who wants to tweak every setting and fixates on nits and color accuracy, however, you probably don't need a new TV.

The pressure to upgrade is pervasive in our tech culture, but TVs tend to last longer, and be perfectly functional longer, than most devices. They don't, for example, have batteries that lose capacity like mobile phones, or have wires that wear out like headphones. A TV from 5 or even 10 years ago likely works fine, though it might not look as good as the current 4K HDR TVs. So again, if that's not a huge deal for you, you can likely keep what you have for a few more years. 

This is even true when considering new consoles, the PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X. If you've got a PS4, Xbox One or any console connected via HDMI, the new consoles should work fine. They might look better on a new TV, but they'll still look great on yours.

Read more: Best TVs for PS5 and Xbox Series X, Series S

If your TV is having issues, or you just want something larger, that's a different story. New TVs are much cheaper per inch than TVs of the past. You'll be able to replace your current TV with something the same size, looks better and is cheaper than your old TV. Or you can pay the same amount as your old TV and get something that's far bigger.

Sales

The biggest single days for TV sales are, of course, Black Friday and Cyber Monday. There are always some incredibly cheap 4K TVs on offer. But that's not the whole story.

First of all, the TVs that get the biggest discounts are usually either no-name brands, or low-end models from name brands. They're fine if you just want a cheap TV, but they're not going to offer the picture quality of an even slightly higher-end model. The best TVs go on sale as well, but deep discounts on those are less common. 

Entrance of a Best Buy store during a day with blue clear

TC sales happen all year, but Black Friday season sees the biggest discounts.

Roberto Machado Noa/Getty Images

Second, massive discounts on TVs are rare in general. It might be counterintuitive, but TVs typically don't have much mark-up. There isn't a lot of profit in a $500 TV. So unless the store is trying to clear out stock, you shouldn't expect a gigantic drop in price even during sales. Plenty of good discounts are available, they're just not going to be "50% off" or similar, unless there's a specific reason that model is getting such an extreme discount. Or it's a doorbuster in limited quantities.

Third, most big companies don't allow stores to offer their own pricing. This is called UPP, or Unilateral Pricing Policy. It means that a TV from that company is going to cost the same, whether it's on Amazon, in Best Buy, or anywhere else. Well, anywhere else that wants to continue selling TVs from that company.

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Most TV pricing is set by the manufacturer so it stays the same from store to store.

Sarah Tew/CNET

If this sounds sketchy, it is, but that's a topic for a different article. The result is there's usually no point in worrying if one store is going to have a sale. In most cases, either every store has a sale on that TV, or none do. Of course, that TV might go on sale (everywhere) next week. Some stores offer price protection in case this happens. Some credit cards do as well. Amazon, it's worth noting, does not offer price protection.

What about next year's TV tech?

To put it succinctly, there's always something new around the corner. If this is your worry, it should give you peace of mind that even if something new hits the market next year, it's going to be very expensive. 

For example, MicroLED looks very promising, but you could buy a Porsche or two for the price of one MicroLED TV. It will be years before that's mainstream tech.

Mini-LED, on the other hand, is available now. It's a technology that promises close-to-OLED picture quality for less money. It's likely we'll see more brands with Mini-LED in the future. 

osaka-with-miniled

On the left, the image as you'd see it on a mini-LED TV. On the right, an illustration of the mini-LED array on the back of the TV. With that many LEDs, the backlight has a greater "resolution," so there can be finer distinctions between light and dark. The ideal, like OLED and microLED, would be per-pixel illumination, but mini-LED is a step closer to that without the cost of the other two technologies. 

Geoffrey Morrison/CNET

Also rolling out across the country is NextGen TV, aka ATSC 3.0. This is free over-the-air 4K TV, and while it's moving forward quite quickly and might already be available in your city. There are even some models with tuners built in that are available now. Don't feel you need to rush to upgrade, or get those specific models, since worst case you'll be able to buy a cheap external tuner and connect that to your TV.

There's also HDMI 2.1. While 2.1 has several new technologies that are great, it's not going to make any current TVs obsolete (unless it's a current 8K TV, but that's yet another story). As long as your current TV works with your current sources, you should be fine. 

Really old TVs, older than 10 years, might have issues connecting to modern streaming and disc sources, but there's no real workaround for that. If your TV doesn't work with a new Roku or Blu-ray player, then you might need to upgrade if you want to use one of those.

So should you get a new TV?

Here's the short version:

Get a new TV now if:

  • Your current TV is having issues, or is too old to connect to a streaming service like Netflix.
  • You're willing to buy from a place that has a price-match policy, in case there's a sale.
  • You want something bigger than what you have now.

Don't get a TV now if:

  • Your current TV works fine.
  • There's literally anything else you need or want to spend money on.

If you've got the itch for something new, but you're still on the fence, consider giving your TV a bit of a makeover. If you've never adjusted the settings, it's easy to do and will probably make your TV look better than it ever has. That might tide you over for a bit.

And if you finally decide that, yes, you're ready to buy a new TV now, we at CNET do have some guidelines and suggested 2021 models.


As well as covering TV and other display tech, Geoff Morrison does photo tours of cool museums and locations around the world, including nuclear submarinesmassive aircraft carriersmedieval castlesairplane graveyards and more. 

You can follow his exploits on InstagramYouTube and on his travel blog, BaldNomad. He also wrote a bestselling sci-fi novel about city-sized submarines, along with a sequel

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New Vaccine Conspiracy Theories Are Going Viral in Arabic

Bill Gates is dressed as the Joker. His hair is fluorescent green, his face painted white and his elongated smile is cut into his face. In his hand is a large needle, filled with bright green liquid. The Facebook post has been shared more than 700 times and viewed by thousands of people. Below it, a caption teases Gates’ “horror plan.” It’s a baseless conspiracy theory that has torn through Facebook throughout the pandemic. But this post is different. It’s in Arabic—and it’s just one example of a much larger problem.

Across dozens of Arabic pages and groups, dangerous conspiracy theories about the pandemic are racking up millions of views and likes. New research from the Institute of Strategic Dialogue (ISD), which has been shared with WIRED, shows vaccine falsehoods are rampantly spreading in Arabic on Facebook. Sophisticated disinformation operations have racked up millions of views on videos promoting vaccine disinformation and built up hundreds of thousands of followers. And while Facebook has repeatedly been criticized for failing to tackle this problem in English, little attention has been paid to the scale of the problem in Arabic, a language spoken by more than 400 million people.

Between January 1 and February 28, ISD researchers found 18 Facebook pages and ten groups sharing pandemic-related misinformation and conspiracy theories in Arabic. They had a combined following of more than 2.4 million people. “It was way too easy to find this content,” says Moustafa Ayad, ISD’s executive director for Africa, the Middle East and Asia. Facebook’s popularity in the Arab world has soared in recent years, with more than 164 million monthly active users being reported in 2019.

To get an idea of the scale of Facebook’s Arabic disinformation problem, Ayad and ISD analyst Ciaran O’Connor created a list of key pandemic-related words and searched for pages and groups that used them. Using CrowdTangle, a Facebook-owned analytics tool, they then produced a snapshot of the most prominent communities, including groups with up to 100,000 members and pages with up to 650,000 followers.

Some of it is brazen: group names, when translated from Arabic, included phrases such as “Corona lie”, “Covid-19 conspiracy”, and “No vaccine Corona has not ended.” Posts on these pages contain false claims about vaccine ingredients, production and rollouts. They also spread baseless conspiracy theories claiming that the world is about to end and that the pandemic has been fabricated as a way to control people.

Amongst this sludge of lies and mistruths, Gates emerges as a common theme. The Microsoft founder is a central figure in Western conspiracy theories around the pandemic and these same lies have been translated into Arabic, with text or voice-overs added to videos and images. One page, which has more than 134,000 likes, has pushed a video about Gates’ “horror plan”, baselessly accusing him of wanting to depopulate the planet and make money from vaccines. (There is no evidence this is true.)

Other conspiracy theories related to Gates that have gone viral in Arabic on Facebook include suggestions that people should “get ready for the Hunger Games.” Another video shows him with his lips sewn together. Many of the videos have been shared hundreds of times. “I’m talking about videos with millions of views about Bill Gates blocking the sun, or Bill Gates plans to put the mark of the beast in individuals through an injection,” Ayad says.

The videos are so absurd and blatantly false that it should be easy for Facebook to identify and remove them proactively, the ISD researchers say. Their report says Facebook’s moderation of Arabic misinformation isn’t as effective as it is in English. “You can’t just address it in one part of Facebook,” Ayad says. “You have to address the communities across the board.”

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The 8 Best Smart Speakers With Alexa or Google Assistant

Connects to Amazon Alexa

If you aren’t in it for the music, the Amazon Echo Dot With Clock (4th Gen) and Google’s Nest Mini (7/10, WIRED Recommends) will give you most of the perks of owning a smart speaker, and you can use them to smarten up existing speakers on the cheap.

The sound is very similar between models, and they have nearly identical footprints, so you can easily make an argument that one is better than the other based on the ecosystem alone. We used to prefer the Nest Mini for this reason, but now that Amazon has added a simple clock to the front of the Echo Dot, we like the Alexa-powered option a little better.

The tiny display on the Echo Dot With Clock comes in handy. It can tell you when your timers are going to expire in the kitchen or when your alarm is set for the morning. Of course, it tells the time too. That makes it a better bedroom and kitchen companion. You can also ask it the weather, have it answer your random questions, and play white noise at bedtime to help you sleep. It also presents an easy way to get a smart assistant into the places in your home where you don’t normally listen to music.

Another alternative: The Nest Mini ($49) is also a great mini speaker if you prefer Google Assistant.

Best Party Speaker

Sonos Move

Sonos Move speaker
Photograph: Sonos

Connects to Google Assistant or Alexa

If you’re looking for a great speaker for a socially distanced party, WIRED reviews editor Jeffrey Van Camp has enjoyed the time he’s spent with the Sonos Move (8/10, WIRED Recommends). It’s got an IP56 water-resistance rating to withstand splashes of beer, a handle to carry it, and a nifty charging cradle for when you bring it back inside. It gets about 10 hours per charge and is the first Sonos speaker to offer Bluetooth, for when you want to bring it outside the confines of your home Wi-Fi.

Big, bold bass and an intelligent EQ that’s always listening to the sound around it make it punch well above its weight in terms of audio volume and quality for its size. It might not be enough to fuel a large outdoor dance party, but it certainly has the oomph for you and some friends to bust a few moves.

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Amazon wins in union rejection, but scrutiny of its labor practices isn’t going away – CNET

Bernie Sanders speaks at an outdoor rally supporting the Amazon union effort in Bessemer, Alabama.

Bernie Sanders is among the politicians supporting Amazon workers who want to unionize. The union's objection to the Bessemer election could keep the issue in the public eye and energize efforts at other facilities.

Patrick T. Fallon/Getty Images

Amazon prevailed Friday in its fight against labor organizing at its Bessemer, Alabama, warehouse, with workers rejecting the Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union by a ratio of 2-to-1. The union's definitive loss could be the end of the road for its effort in Bessemer, but the labor fight at Amazon may just be getting started.

The union, which has already filed an objection, argues that Amazon improperly swayed the vote, and it may yet win the chance to redo the election. Whether or not it does, the effort garnered the backing of Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders and words of support from President Joe Biden, becoming a national story that could catalyze future attempts elsewhere -- especially as reports about the working conditions continue to spill out. 

Meanwhile, Amazon is trying to position itself as a leader on labor issues and directing the conversation away from unions. In a statement Friday, the company emphasized its advocacy for a $15 federal minimum wage for the "40 million Americans who make less than the starting wage at Amazon, and many more who don't get health care through their employers." 

Even if no warehouse workers try to organize in the near future, the scrutiny on working conditions at Amazon is likely to get even more intense. The National Labor Relations Board is reportedly considering investigating the company for a possible pattern of unfair labor practices, after receiving 37 complaints of retaliation from Amazon workers who say they were fired or disciplined for organizing walkouts or complaining about working conditions. And Amazon's thousands of workers, called essential during the coronavirus pandemic as they processed orders while risking infection, will likely continue calling attention to conditions they say leave them exhausted, at risk of injury and in fear of losing their jobs.

"People are not going to give up," said Kirthi Kanyalam, director of the Retail Management Institute at Santa Clara University. "They are too big an employer."

A union determined to keep going

It's uncommon for a union to object to a lost election when workers have voted it down by such a wide margin, said Andrew MacDonald, a labor attorney who represents employers but who wasn't involved in the Bessemer election. There's a high cost to running an organizing drive, and a big loss can send a signal that the union has lost worker support. 

But the RWDSU announced its intention to object before the NLRB publicly released its final tally.

"That says to me that they feel strongly," MacDonald said. "It's not over yet."

If the fight keeps going, it could help maintain the union's momentum in organizing efforts elsewhere in the country. RWDSU President Stuart Appelbaum said Friday that the union is already talking about unionizing with workers at other Amazon warehouses. Additionally, the giant union federation AFL-CIO is working with the RWDSU on its unionizing efforts, adding heft and resources to the tiny union's endeavors. Separately, Teamsters organizers are reportedly talking with workers at two Iowa Amazon warehouses about a potential union drive. 

In its fight to redo the Bessemer election, the RWDSU takes issue with Amazon's anti-union tactics, including mandatory employee training sessions that argued against unions and that the RWDSU says were filled with falsehoods. It also criticizes Amazon for pressing the US Postal Service to install a mailbox at the Bessemer warehouse after the NLRB ordered Amazon not to host a drop box for ballots. 

Read more: Amazon union defeated, pushes for election redo: What you need to know

The union argues that the mailbox could've given employees the impression that Amazon was involved in collecting and counting votes -- which it wasn't. Amazon says only the post office had access to the mailbox.

Still, some of the conditions that may've led workers to reject the union will still be at play in future union elections, in Bessemer and in most other places in the country. In particular, fear of getting laid off or of seeing a whole facility shut down can often drive employees to reject the union, said Rebecca Kolins Givan, a professor of management and labor relations at Rutgers. 

That's especially the case in places like Alabama, where Amazon warehouse workers earn almost twice as much as the state's minimum wage of $7.25 an hour. The Bessemer facility brought thousands of jobs with pay higher than $15 an hour to the region. Workers' fear of losing that could make it hard for the union to make its case a second time, and it could also derail other union drives.

The future of labor relations at Amazon

Even if union drives fizzle out, Amazon will still have to face the NLRB and public opinion on its treatment of workers.

Based on 37 complaints from Amazon employees that the company fired or disciplined them in retaliation for organizing walkouts or complaining about working conditions, the NLRB is reportedly considering launching an investigation into Amazon's general practices. Amazon has settled some of the individual cases while saying the company disagrees with the claims. If the NLRB finds Amazon has a pattern of violating labor laws, it could hit the company with fines, however small they may be in proportion to Amazon's 2020 profits of $21.3 billion.

Additionally, the union drive and media attention have put pressure on Amazon to improve working conditions, said Michael Pachter, a financial analyst who follows Amazon for investment firm Wedbush. He added that Amazon would do well to address the complaints workers have made about breaks and job security -- and not simply rely on its wages and benefits as proof that it's doing the right thing.

"It's in everybody's best interest that the company treats the employees right," Pachter said. "If they can do so without a union, that's better for shareholders."

The challenge for Amazon is balancing competing needs: to treat workers well and to maintain control over its warehouse operations, which power the company's promise of two-day delivery. While no company wants to be unionized, Amazon's leadership especially prizes the company's ability to innovate, retail management expert Kalyanam said. 

That shows in the company's history of developing technology to improve its own operations, and then use tech to build a whole new business. The most striking example is Amazon Web Services, the cloud business that currently brings in the majority of Amazon's revenue. Innovations in robotics and automation at Amazon warehouses could potentially create the next big revenue generator.

The company wants to avoid labor negotiations slowing down that process, Kalyanam said, adding that "They would consider that an existential threat."

Amazon seems less concerned about having to pay its workers a bit more. As Amazon pushes for a higher federal minimum wage, it could drive up its own labor costs. If its competitors pay $15 an hour, the company could find itself paying even more to attract workers to its facilities. This likely doesn't worry Amazon, though, said Rutgers labor expert Rivans.

"That just demonstrates that this is not about the money," she said, "This is about control."

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