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17
Sep

Bose Soundtouch 300 setup & unboxing: Get your tunes sounding like they should


Nothing is more frustrating than owning a million-dollar 4K television that produces budget sound. To get the most out of your big, beautiful display, you’ll want to pair it up with a soundbar — and we’ve got an excellent one in mind, from Bose.

Our Bose SoundTouch 300 setup & unboxing guide will walk you through all the steps necessary to get your soundbar up and running, so you’ll never have to stress about your TV’s crappy sound again.

What’s in the box?

Along with the soundbar itself, you’ll find the following:

  • A power cable.
  • A Bose universal remote.
  • An HDMI cable.
  • A digital-optical cable.
  • An ADAPTiQ sound calibration headset.

The soundbar doesn’t have a built-in subwoofer, but you can add Bose’s Acoustimass 300 wireless bass module for extra low-end power. Or, for surround sound, check out Bose’s Virtually Invisible 300 wireless surround speakers.

Hardware setup

You’ll find all the ports and jacks on the back of the soundbar, located in alcoves near the center. Connect the power cable, then you’ll want to connect to your TV via HDMI, if possible. Ideally, connect to the ARC-enabled HDMI port on your television (usually, it’s explicitly labeled) — you’ll need to remove the little plastic caps from the cable first.

If you don’t have an ARC-enabled port, you’ll want to use the optical cable instead. It’s also got little plastic tabs that will need removing before you can connect. If you connect via optical, you’ll also need to head into your TV’s audio settings and switch output from “internal speaker” to “Optical.”

Features and design

The SoundTouch is a handsome device, dressed in all black with a metal grille across the front and sides and a layer of reflective glass on top. Five small emblems below LED lights in the upper left corner indicate which input is selected, and there’s an NFC touch strip on top (you can remove this), which is where you tap a compatible device for NFC interfacing.

Software setup

Once your soundbar is working, you’ll want to properly calibrate it using the included ADAPTiQ headset. Plug the headset into the soundbar (there’s a dedicated port, and the cord is lengthy), and press the corresponding button on the remote — it’s in the center next to the “AUX” button, and it looks like a sort of musical note. The little note icon will light up, and you’ll need to press and hold on the number 8, near the bottom of the remote.

Next, you’ll see two of the LED indicators on the soundbar itself begin to blink green. Follow the audible prompts — it will ask you to move about the room as it plays different test tones — and voilà! Your SoundTouch is calibrated.

Pro tip: Download the Bose SoundTouch app. It will walk you through the Bluetooth pairing process, and it interfaces directly with several popular music streaming apps — like Spotify — to make life simpler.




17
Sep

Our Samsung MU8000 unboxing and setup guide gets you ready for life in Ultra HD


The Samsung MU8000 might not be part of Samsung’s premium QLED line, but it’s packed with similar features, and one of its best features (aside from the brilliant 4K UHD picture with HDR) is how cleanly it can be installed in your home theater.

We’ve put together this Samsung MU8000 unboxing and setup guide, filled with step-by-step instructions and handy tips for easily getting your new 4K TV up and running.

What’s in the box?

In addition to the TV itself, you’ll find the following in the box:

  • Quick setup guide.
  • Samsung One Remote, with batteries included.
  • Four spacers for wall mounting.
  • Two separate stand legs (marked right and left).
  • One Connect breakout box.
  • Power cable.
  • Four wall mounting spacers.
  • Two decorative back plates for cable management.

Several items are not included with the TV. You will need to buy HDMI cables to connect your TV to other devices. The easiest way to ensure you have HDMI cables is to buy the AmazonBasics High-Speed HDMI cables at the same time you buy your TV. If you do not buy the AmazonBasics HDMI cable, make sure that the HDMI cables are rated as “high speed” cables so they can accommodate the large amount of data 4K HDR content requires.

Additionally, the TV does not come with any wall mounting hardware. For information about wall mounting check out our wall mounting guide video.

Hardware setup

Be sure to open the top of the box first. You’ll find a quick setup guide there that will give you helpful guidance during setup.

The MU8000 offers two different stand configurations, one wider than the other. Decide which one works better for your entertainment center. Then, simply slide the legs into the slots under the TV until they click. Unlike other TVs, this step doesn’t require fastening pieces with screws.

The next step is to setup the Connect One box. Instead of plugging into the TV, you’ll be plugging in your external devices (game consoles, streaming devices, Blu-ray players, etc.) into the Connect One breakout box included with the TV. There are four HDMI ports, including one with ARC for easy soundbar setup, an antenna connection, two USB ports, and an optical audio port. As noted previously, you’ll need your own cables to connect your devices.

Remove the MU8000’s decorative back panel, which hides the input ports for the Connect One and power cable. Plug both in. The cables can be routed through the right stand leg to hide the cables, though be aware that this will shorter the available length of the power cord to around a foot in length.

There is a second recessed bay that houses a USB port for plugging in flash drives and an Ethernet port for hardwired internet connection perfect for streaming.

Features and design

The MU8000 has a sleek, slim profile. The almost nonexistent bezel lets the massive, crisp screen shine — and it really does shine. The screen is bright, delivering vibrant picture in even well-lit environments. The one point of consideration when setting up the TV is the viewing angle. Since the MU8000 is an LED TV, the picture tends to get blown out the further off-center you’re angled when watching. Make sure the TV is positioned within the sweet spot when facing your seating arrangement.

The cable management and Connect One box also make for a clean installation. Your home theater will look dapper. And since the back is so flat, it’ll look great wall mounted, too. For more of our thoughts on the MU8000’s design and performance, be sure to check out our full review.

Software setup

The MU8000 runs on the Tizen smart TV OS. Software setup starts with configuring your Wi-Fi connection if you’re not already connected to the internet via Ethernet. After you’re connected to the internet, the TV will automatically detect any devices connected to it or the Connect One box. The software will identify and label them properly. You’ll then be able to control your connected devices with the included Samsung One Remote.

Next, let’s optimize your picture settings. For presets, we recommend the Movie setting. Should that be too dim, try enabling the HDR+ setting. You’ll find it located in the Expert Settings. This will give you and HDR-like effect for non-HDR content, while simultaneously giving you a brilliant picture.

Finally, we recommend switching off the motion smoothing. Under the Auto Motion Plus settings, we recommend setting the Judder Reduction to zero. If you’ve enabled the HDR+ setting, this Auto Motion Plus will be set to Auto, but you’ll want to switch it off to avoid that distracting soap opera effect.




17
Sep

Amazon tests one-hour delivery for your fashion show picks


Ever seen a style at a fashion show that you wish you could wear out the same night? Amazon might just fulfill your wishes. It’s testing an option that delivers highlights from Nicopanda’s London Fashion Week lineup to local Prime subscribers within an hour — think of it as Prime Now for your wardrobe. Customers still have to pay on top of the subscription requirement, but it means you can get a bomber jacket or scarf in time to impress everyone at your next social outing.

The internet retailer has tried to shake up fashion more than once before, including the advice it dishes out through the Echo Look speaker. And labels besides Nicopanda are trying similar impulse purchase strategies, including Burberry and Tommy Hilfiger. With that said, this could be different. If Amazon decides to make these fashion show purchases a regular feature, the company’s sheer ubiquity and experience with online shopping could spur brands to sign up knowing that they could see a wave of early buyers. Individual labels may have strong recognition, but they don’t necessarily have Amazon’s shipping know-how.

Source: Reuters

17
Sep

iPhone 8 and Apple Watch Series 3 Orders Now ‘Preparing for Shipment’ Ahead of September 22 Delivery


A day after Apple began accepting pre-orders for the iPhone 8, iPhone 8 Plus, and Apple Watch Series 3, the first orders have shifted to “preparing for shipment” ahead of a promised Friday, September 22 delivery date.

Apple began preparing Apple Watch Series 3 orders starting yesterday afternoon, while the order status of the iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus appears to have started changing this afternoon. Apple TV 4K orders have not yet updated to preparing for shipment, but that should happen soon.

Pre-orders for all three devices started at 12:01 a.m. Pacific Time on Friday, September 15. While some SIM-free and T-Mobile iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus models sold out relatively early for home shipping, supplies of other devices have remained strong. It should be no problem to pop into an Apple Store on launch day and pick up an iPhone 8 or 8 Plus.


It may be more difficult to get one of the new Apple Watch Series 3 models with LTE connectivity, as several configurations did sell out and list shipment dates of a few weeks. In-store pickup is also unavailable for these models. Non-LTE models are, however, readily available.

Orders that have been updated to “preparing for shipment” status should begin officially shipping out over the course of the next day or two. The first orders will arrive on Friday, September 22, with customers in New Zealand and Australia being among the first to get their hands on the new devices.

Related Roundups: Apple Watch, watchOS 3, watchOS 4, iPhone 8
Buyer’s Guide: Apple Watch (Buy Now)
Discuss this article in our forums

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17
Sep

Electric car prototype is built for Africa’s rural roads


With a few exceptions, most electric cars are delicate, expensive creatures designed for paved streets and well-heeled early adopters. And that makes them ill-suited to rural Africa — many roads away from the cities aren’t paved at all, and just about any EV would be out of reach. That’s where the Technical University of Munich comes into play. It recently revealed a prototype electric vehicle, the aCar, that’s designed for both the conditions and uses of rural Africa.

It has a rugged, four-wheel drive design that can handle dirt roads and off-roading. It only has about 50 miles of range, but the very nature of an electric motor makes it both well-suited to clearing obstacles (since it always has full torque) and more reliable. Also, it’s modular — it can switch between carrying passengers and cargo, and you can even use the battery to power a winch or other equipment beyond the car.

The aCar completed real-world tests in Ghana this July, and it’s already expected to go into production (eventually in Africa) with a target price below €10,000 (about $11,944). That’s not a trivial expense, but it’s far more affordable than the Nissan Leaf and other vehicles that wouldn’t be as well-suited to the African landscape.

Source: Technical University of Munich

17
Sep

Here’s your chance to get in on the ‘Call of Duty: WWII’ open multiplayer beta


Why it matters to you

The open multiplayer beta provides a chance for PC gamers to add their suggestions and comments prior to the game’s release.

After a successful console multiplayer beta, Sledgehammer Games has announced that PC users can jump into the trenches and experience the action with an open multiplayer beta. The Call of Duty: WWII Multiplayer Beta will be available on Steam for PC gamers, running September 29th through October 2nd.

The developers from Raven Games and Sledgehammer will be following user comments on reddit and through their Beta Web Survey throughout the beta. The studio recently detailed some of the changes they plan to implement as a result of the closed console beta, and now PC players will have their chance to provide feedback and suggestions prior to the game’s launch in November. The beta is free and open to all — you don’t need to pre-order to get in on the action.

These are the minimum specs you’ll need to play the beta, although the developers cautioned that these may change for the final version in November:

  • OS: Windows 7 64-Bit or later
  • CPU: Intel Core i3 3225 or equivalent
  • RAM: 8 GB
  • HDD: 25 GB HD space
  • Video: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 660 @ 2 GB / AMD Radeon HD 7850 @ 2GB or better
  • DirectX: Version 11.0 compatible video card or equivalent

In case you’ve been living in a foxhole for the last few months, COD: WWII is the latest iteration in Activision’s long-running franchise, with a single-player campaign and frantic multiplayer battles. After several forays into futuristic scenarios, with advanced weapons and even battles in space, the series began to lose some of its appeal with hardcore gamers. Sales began to decline, and now the creators are going back to where the series began with an authentic and gritty WWII experience.

The campaign focuses on the European conflict against the Nazis, following the Army’s 1st Infantry division through many of the bloody battlefields from 1944 and 1945 that led to the fall of Berlin. We’ve had our eye on this one for quite some time, and here’s a roundup of everything you need to know before you lace up your combat boots and hit the beach at Normandy in November.

This being a Call of Duty game, there are also zombies involved, with a co-op mode featuring undead Nazis that are ripe for the slaughter. Zombies are always fun, but it’s a rather silly addition into an otherwise serious game that realistically depicts the horrors of warfare. Not all gamers are happy with their inclusion.

If you want to get in on the beta you’ll be able to pre-load it early on Steam, and Sledgehammer will share more information about the features, modes, and maps available in the days ahead. Stay tuned, we’ll have lots more coverage of this big game leading up to the explosive launch for Xbox One, PlayStation 4, and PC on November 3.




17
Sep

Odd delivery drone design carries cargo while keeping it safe


Why it matters to you

As delivery drones become more commonplace, this new design may help keep packages safe and secure on transit.

Researchers at EPFL have designed an origami-inspired delivery drone that could someday carry cargo, while keeping it safe a cage along the way.

When unfurled, the drone can fly above buildings and traffic, while carrying a package up to 500 grams (a bit over one pound). When folded up, the drone is small enough to fit into a backpack.

Developed in EPFL’s Laboratory of Intelligent Systems, the delivery drone was designed to combine two functions. On one hand, the drone transports cargo; on the other hand, it serves as a protective packaging, acting like a resilient cage to keep cargo safe during its transit.

It’s also meant to be packable, so the drone’s designers turned to the ancient art of origami. Relying on principles of origami folding, the cage can be packed and unpacked in one motion. When not in use, it can be flattened in a few seconds, decreasing its volume by 92 percent.

The outer cage is made of flexible, yet durable carbon fiber to protect cargo from collisions. Within the carbon-fiber cage is a four-propeller multicopter, which allows the drone to perform vertical take offs and landings. With about a pound of cargo, the drone can travel about two kilometers (one and one quarter miles).

The drone’s propellers are positioned inside the cage so that they don’t pose a risk to their surroundings, including customers, who can grab the package midair without risk of injury. The researchers also included a safety feature that turns the propellers off once the cage is opened. They’re planning on adding a parachute to slow its descent if it breaks down mid-flight.

“Drone deliveries require to ensure safety for people,” Przemyslaw Kornatowski, the EPFL researcher who developed the drone, told Digital Trends. “That is why we integrated a quadcopter inside a cage. The cage physically separates fast rotating propellers from environment, thus provides safety for people and for the drone while flying close to obstacles.”

Cool as the concept may be, don’t expect to receive a package from this drone anytime soon. Kornatowski said the drone is ready for person to person deliveries but will need to integrate path-planning algorithms and obstacle avoidance features to accommodate deliveries on a larger scale.

Meanwhile, companies like Amazon are gunning to overcome hurdles to make drone delivery commonplace and only in December made its “first real” delivery. Elsewhere they’ve been used to transport samples between hospitals and and during deliveries.

The EPFL team have only recently underwent tests with people with more tests to come.




17
Sep

Windows Mixed Reality news: here’s everything you need to know


Microsoft’s Windows Mixed Reality platform is finally starting to take shape. The platform’s software foundation was introduced in Windows 10 Creators Update in April 2017, and the upcoming Fall Creators Update will add some polish. The hardware will start to catch up on October 17, when Microsoft’s OEM partners begin to roll out their low-cost mixed reality headsets alongside the update’s release.

Questions remain as to exactly what Windows Mixed Reality represents, so we took a look at all of the Windows Mixed Reality news to make some sense of Microsoft’s platform.

For now, “Windows Mixed Reality” mostly means affordable VR

Microsoft prefers the term “mixed reality,” or MR, and the company’s short definition of it is this. “Mixed reality is the result of blending the physical world with the digital world.” Rather than just adding artificial elements to a real scene as with augmented reality (AR), or creating a completely artificial environment as with virtual reality (VR), MR takes reality, digitizes it, and then places all or parts of it into a holographic environment that mimics the real world in real time. MR can be wholly immersive, or it can physically blend with a real-world view.

The following Microsoft video helps demonstrate the concept:

When we took a look at one of the upcoming Windows Mixed Reality headsets, however, we found it to provide a more affordable VR experience, but to be lacking in actual MR functionality. We asked Microsoft about this, and a representative responded:

“While the upcoming Windows Mixed Reality headsets are closer to the full digital end of the spectrum, they do begin to incorporate elements of the physical world, such as environmental awareness and full 6DoF hand input via motion controllers. Furthermore, Windows Mixed Reality is a unified platform that spans the entire spectrum, enabling the upcoming headsets to elegantly interface with devices closer to the physical reality end of the spectrum, such as Microsoft HoloLens. Our vision has been clear from the start, and this is why we call all of it Windows Mixed Reality.”

In other words, the term “Windows Mixed Reality” includes everything from HoloLens, to apps like Windows Reality Viewer (previously called View 3D), to the upcoming low-cost Windows Mixed Reality headsets, all built on the Windows Mixed Reality software foundation. For the immediate future, though, Windows Mixed Reality will mostly refer to those headsets and the apps that are written to utilize them.

Windows Mixed Reality hardware

None of this is meaningful without the hardware to access Windows Mixed Reality, and on that front, the wait is almost over. A number of Microsoft OEM partners have announced headsets that will be available starting on October 17, alongside Windows 10 Fall Creators Update. The following are the headsets that have been officially announced, and the general minimum specifications are the same:

Displays:
Two 2.89-inch high-resolution LCDs
Resolution:
1,440 x 1,440 each
Field of view:
95 degrees horizontal
Refresh rate:
Up to 90Hz (native)
Ports:
1x HDMI 2.0
1x USB 3.0 Gen1 Type-A
1x headphone / microphone jack
Other features:
Front hinged display
Detachable HDMI/USB combo cable
Insider-out tracking

Each of the headsets will be available either as standalone devices or with Motion Controllers, which will add around $100 to the price, and they’re close enough in features and functionality that choosing between them will likely come down to their looks and perhaps some additional software provided by each manufacturer.

Acer Windows Mixed Reality headset

Acer

Acer’s headset has been one of the first available to try out via its Developer Edition, and it’s the one we used in giving Windows Mixed Reality a try. It should come as no surprise then that Acer’s version should arrive on October 17.

Asus Windows Mixed Reality headset

Asus

Asus’s Windows Mixed Reality headset isn’t scheduled to arrive until Spring 2018, and it will be differentiated from the other headsets by its unique design incorporating hundreds of 3D polygons and a glossy tone-on-tone effect. The headset will weigh less than 400 grams, and it will utilize a balanced crown design for greater comfort by reducing pressure on the user’s face and nose.

Dell Visor

Dell named its Windows Mixed Reality headset the Visor, and it boasts an adjustable headband and extra cushioning for greater comfort. The Dell Visor is expected to be one of the headsets to arrive on October 17.

Lenovo Explorer

Lenovo

The Lenovo Explorer is due to arrive on October 17, and it will be slightly differentiated by specifically mentioning support for a keyboard and mouse. In addition, Lenovo will be providing its own apps, along with access to more than 100 upscaled VR games, both of which will be accessible through its Lenovo Entertainment Hub. The Lenovo Explorer will weigh 380 grams, and is one of the more conservatively styled of the early Windows Mixed Reality headsets.

HP Windows Mixed Reality headset

HP

HP’s Windows Mixed Reality headset has also been available in a Developer Edition, and it follows the same basic format as the rest of the Windows Mixed Reality stable. HP added in a knob to make adjusting headset size easier, and the design is relatively conservative, but otherwise, you won’t find much that’s different here. We haven’t heard official word on when HP’s headset will be released.

In order to connect a Windows Mixed Reality headset to your PC, you’ll be able to choose from two branded levels of PC that will provide for different levels of performance.

  • Windows Mixed Reality PCs: Desktop and laptops equipped with integrated graphics will be able to drive immersive content at 60 frames per second. Prices will start at $500.
  • Windows Mixed Reality Ultra PCs: Desktops and laptops equipped with discrete graphics will be able to run content at 90 frames per second.

Here are the specifications for each PC level:

Windows Mixed Reality PC

Performance: 
90Hz
CPU:
Intel Core i5 (NB), Intel Core i3 (DT)
GPU:
Discrete Nvidia GTX 965M, AMD RX 460M
Connectivity:
HDMI 2.0 or DisplayPort 1.2
RAM:
8GB
Storage:
More than 10GB additional free space
USB:
USB 3.0 Type-A or USB 3.1 Type-C Port with DisplayPort
Bluetooth:
Bluetooth 4.0 for accessories

Windows Mixed Reality Ultra PC:

Performance:
60Hz
CPU:
Intel Core i5 (NB), Intel Core i3 (DT)
GPU:
Integrated Intel HD 620
Connectivity:
HDMI 1.4 or DisplayPort 1.2
RAM:
8GB
Storage:
More than 10GB additional free space
USB:
USB 3.0 Type-A or USB 3.1 Type-C Port with DisplayPort
Bluetooth:
Bluetooth 4.0 for accessories

What content is coming for Windows Mixed Reality?

As we noted in our initial hands-on look at Acer’s Windows Mixed Reality headset, the platform will mainly provide a more affordable entry into the VR experience, and it will require less computing horsepower to get there. The overall experience will also be similar to that provided by other VR solutions like the HTC Vive and the Oculus Rift. In fact, Microsoft and Valve announced that SteamVR titles will eventually make their way to the Windows Mixed Reality platform, although that won’t be happening on October 17 or potentially anytime soon.

In the meantime, Microsoft announced at IFA 2017 a host of developers who will be writing apps for the Windows Mixed Reality platform:

With a suitable PC and a Windows Mixed Reality headset, you’ll be able to enjoy VR environments that have good environmental awareness without needing add-on accessories. The headsets can map the environment using cameras and therefore don’t require external sensors, and their Motion Controller accessories provide for six degrees of freedom (6DoF) hand control. And, all of the software needed to create the VR environments is provided by the core Windows Mixed Reality software that’s already built into Windows 10.

The result will likely be the same general emphasis on gaming that’s the focus of existing VR solutions. In addition, Microsoft showed off a virtual house environment that provided a 3D user interface into getting things done in Windows 10, and we expect that developers will create virtual spaces as well for using their apps. Imagine a 3D version of Adobe Photoshop, a 3D screen to watch Hulu or Netflix, or a technical support environment for getting help with your HP notebook. One primary benefit of Windows Mixed Reality is likely to be how easy it is to create VR apps given that Microsoft has already done much of the heavy lifting in the platform’s core software.

Availability and Pricing

As mentioned earlier, Windows Fall Creators Update will arrive on October 17, and a few manufacturers will be shipping their Windows Mixed Reality headsets alongside the update. Here’s an overview of when we can expect new headsets to arrive and how they’ll be priced.

  • Acer Windows Mixed Reality headset: $300 headset only, $400 with Motion Controllers, arriving on October 17
  • Asus Windows Mixed Reality headset: pricing TBD, arriving in Spring 2018
  • Dell Visor: $350 headset only, $450 with Motion Controllers, arriving October 17
  • Lenovo Explorer: $350 headset only, $450 with Motion Controllers, arriving October 17
  • HP Windows Mixed Reality headset: $330 headset only, pricing with Motion Controllers TBD, arriving TBD




17
Sep

Cover up with the best iPhone 8 Plus screen protectors


A fusion of the best technology Apple has to offer, and some of the best looks in the industry — the iPhone 8 Plus is a great choice if you’re looking to upgrade your daily driver. But that 5.5-inch screen comes with a downside — you’ll spend a lot of time worrying about your display getting smashed. Maybe that’s a little dramatic, but who wants to worry about something they can avoid?

A screen protector will undoubtedly help, but which do you choose? Tempered glass or film? Wet application or dry? Which of the many brands do I choose from? Thankfully for you, we’ve gathered some of the best iPhone 8 Plus screen protectors that you can buy right now. If you haven’t yet ordered your device, check out our guide to buying the iPhone 8 Plus.

Spigen Steinheil Tempered Glass Screen Protector – Twin Pack ($8)

Spigen’s tempered glass screen protectors have always been at the front of the pack where quality is concerned. Fully case compatible, with edges that fall short of the edges of the device, the Steinheil is tough enough to resist scratches from keys, coins, and likely anything you have knocking around in your pocket. It’s also easy to install. As usual, Spigen has gone for a dry installation method, and the included materials and wings on the sides of the protector make it easy to apply without issues. But if you do mess up — there’s two in the pack, and they’re backed up by Spigen’s free replacement policy.

Buy one now from:

Amazon

Zagg InvisibleShield HDX Film Screen Protector ($25)

Our first film screen protector, and it’s a doozy. Zagg boasts that this protector is virtually indestructible, and makes your iPhone’s screen up to 3 times stronger than before, offering military grade protection and self-healing qualities. While we can’t say whether those claims are valid, we can certainly back up the quality of Zagg’s design — and even if one lets you down, these are backed up by Zagg’s replacement policy.

Buy one now from:

Zagg

Whitestone Dome Tempered Glass Screen Protector ($44)

On the more expensive end, the Whitestone Dome enters the arena with everything to prove. But there is a reason for the high price — the Whitestone Dome uses a new wet application method that puts a layer of adhesive between the screen protector and the phone, reducing any loss of screen sensitivity and achieving a great fit. When in place, the UV lamp goes over your phone, curing the adhesive, ensuring a strong connection between the two layers and making sure you’re getting the best protection available. Be warned — it can be a touch fiddly to install, even for a screen protector — but if you’re willing to pay the price and take your chances, you’ll get screen protection like no other.

Buy one now from:

Mobile Fun

Otterbox Alpha Glass Screen Protector ($19)

Otterbox is known for their exceptionally protective cases, and that exceptionalism also applies to their screen protectors (we even chose the Alpha Glass as the best screen protector for the iPhone 7 Plus). The Alpha Glass is a blend of polyester and glass that resists scratches and shattering on a whole new level. Otterbox has worked hard to make sure you’ll be able to apply and forget, so this protector is ultra-thin and ultra-clear, with no loss of sensitivity.

Buy one now from:

Amazon Otterbox

Supershieldz Film Screen Protector – Six Pack ($6)

Why have one or two when you can have six? SuperShieldz may not have the superstar branding that Spigen, Otterbox, and Zagg can boast — but it’s hard to deny that their products offer great value for money, and great screen protection to boot. A five layer design works hard to provide a bubble-free application that provides flawless touchscreen accuracy. A special coating also reduces glare on the screen while outside, and protects well against all the usual phone-scratching suspects. And if they don’t hold the test of time — who cares? Slap another on and call it a day. With a six-pack, you’ve got screen protection for all your iPhone 8 Plus-owning friends as well.

Buy one now from:

Amazon SuperShieldz

BodyGuardz Pure® 2 Premium Glass Screen Protector ($14)

Another rising star in cell phone accessories, BodyGuardz has made a name for themselves in screen protection in particular. Thanks to their use of a new type of glass called “Aluminosilicate”, BodyGuardz promises that the Pure® 2 is able to more protective than rivals, yet somehow thinner. All we know is this screen protector does the business, and doesn’t disappoint in terms of screen sensitivity and clarity. If you’re the sort of person who struggles with the application process, then BodyGuardz has your back with their patented Express Align tray to help you ease your protector onto your phone.

Buy one now from:

Amazon BodyGuardz

Moshi AirFoil Glass ($40)

We’ve left one of the best for last. Moshi’s AirFoil screen protector offers fantastic shock and scratch-resistance, as well as a thinness of only 0.33m. Thanks to the “atomically-strengthened glass” used, Moshi’s AirFoil is capable of taking stresses and bends like no other screen protector. While we’re sure we won’t see a return to bendy iPhones, it’s nice to know the strength of your protector. Thanks to Moshi’s special AirFoil adhesive, applying it is easy, with it only taking a single tap to spread the adhesive and leave no bubbles.

Buy one now from:

Moshi

Still not sure about which of Apple’s latest to pick up? We’ve got your back with our breakdown of how the iPhone X, 8, and 8 Plus, and you can find our hands-on review of the iPhone 8 and Plus too. If the prices of the newest devices have made you balk — and you’re not alone — don’t worry, Apple has slashed the prices on their older, but still great iPhones.




17
Sep

They can’t all be zingers: 8 absurd sci-fi predictions that never panned out


Why it matters to you

Not every sci-fi movie or TV show gets its future predictions right. Here are eight times things didn’t pan out as Hollywood guessed.

We previously covered science fiction movies and TV shows that eerily manage to predict the future with surprising accuracy. But not every forecast can be quite so perfect.

When it comes to guesses about either technological advances, political changes in society, or — heck — sci-fi writers’ sustained belief that the U.S. government is one financial meltdown away from organizing Hunger Games-style events, not all predictions can be winners. Here are eight sci-fi movies and TV shows that nailed their premises to a particular year, and (often thankfully) got it wrong.

Soylent Green (1973)

Soylent Green is a great 1970s movie starring Charlton Heston. It’s a brilliant blend of pessimistic sci-fi, police procedural, and post-Watergate conspiracy theory. (Spoiler: Soylent Green, the green wafer made of “high-energy plankton,” turns out to be recycled people.)

As great a movie as it is, though, its 1999 setting ended up not having too much in common with the real year. In the actual 1999, the closest thing we had to a living sci-fi dystopia were fears about the Y2K bug and the nu metal musical genre as a whole. Come to think of it, Limp Bizkit wouldn’t be a bad name for a reconstituted human-based wafer!

2001: A Space Odyssey (1968)

We covered Stanley Kubrick’s masterpiece as an example of sci-fi that predicted tech correctly, so what’s it doing on this list? Well, for one thing, its HAL 9000 technology, while certainly prescient, was well beyond the closest thing we had to an AI assistant in 2001: Microsoft’s “Clippy” paperclip assistant.

Our biggest gripe, though, is the lack of a moonbase — something that was also promised for approximately the same time by Gerry Anderson’s Space: 1999 series. Here in 2017, a base on the moon is still talked about, but any plans to build one seem to have gone on the back burner.

Lost In Space (1965-1968)

Not content to just predict a moonbase for the turn of the century, popular sci-fi TV series Lost in Space promised us a mission to Alpha Centauri, with hopes of colonizing it. The far-flung year this was set for? It was 1997, of course. Needless to say, it didn’t happen.

To be fair, it didn’t happen in Lost in Space, either — hence the show’s title.

Demolition Man (1993)

Cult 1990s action movie Demolition Man thought that, by the end of 2010, the United States would be a very different place. The good news? On September 25, the last MDK (that’s “Murder Death Kill”) until 2032 takes place in one of America’s biggest cities. The bad news? That a massively destructive earthquake hit the U.S., necessitating the combining of Los Angeles and San Diego into one megacity.

Neither of these things came to pass.

Terminator franchise (1984-?)

According to Terminator 2: Judgment Day, on August 4, 1997, the Skynet AI becomes self-aware at 2:14 a.m. Eastern Time and immediately starts firing off nuclear missiles like they’re going out of style. Fortunately, that didn’t happen.

The disappointing 2003 follow-up, Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines, reveals that Judgment Day was postponed until 2004. Luckily, we dodged that one as well. Unfortunately, humanity was rewarded with two more terrible movies in this once-great franchise.

Escape from New York (1981)

Geez, what do people have against 1997? After Lost in Space, but before Terminator, director John Carpenter singled it out as the year for his dystopian take on a future America. It’s set in a crime-ridden United States in which New York’s Manhattan Island has been turned into a maximum security prison.

In real life? Contrary to the grim and gritty cityscapes of 1980s sci-fi movies, by the late 1990s and beyond, places like New York had been revitalized. Far from urban hellholes, today’s cities are cleaner, safer, and more appealing than ever.

Death Race 2000 (1975)

Filmmakers of the 1970s sure didn’t think the millennium was going to be a fun time for too many folks. Death Race 2000 predicted that a massive financial crash in 1979 would bring economic ruin to the entire planet.

The U.S. government decided that the best course of action would be a two-pronged effort: Declaring martial law across the country, and organizing a massively violent Transcontinental Road Race, where drivers kill as many innocent bystanders as possible en route to the finish line. The car race thing didn’t happen. The financial crash was pretty prescient, though.

The Running Man (1987)

A lot like Death Race 2000, only with a considerably higher budget, The Running Man takes place in a futuristic dystopia that follows a worldwide economic collapse. The big difference is that instead of a giant car race, the population enjoys watching a game show in which convicted criminals fight for their lives.

The year it’s predicted for? 2017. That means we’ve still got four months to make it through in order to prove this one wrong. We’re doing well so far, even if lines like, “The truth hasn’t been very popular lately” give us plenty of pause for thought!




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