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Nest Hello review: A premium doorbell for the paranoid homeowner

Last September, Nest introduced several new offerings aimed at beefing up your home security. There was the Nest Secure alarm system, an outdoor version of its Nest Cam iQ and the Nest Hello, its first-ever video doorbell. The Hello is obviously Nest’s answer to Ring, a competing video-enabled doorbell brand which has since been snapped up by Amazon.

The Hello, however, is a little different, with features like facial recognition, continuous video recording and HDR video. But getting the most out of it requires a subscription, and at $229, it’s not cheap. Still, if the idea of a video doorbell intrigues you and you’re ready to commit to a Google-and-Nest ecosystem, the Hello certainly fits the bill.

For the past year or so now, I actually jury-rigged an older Nest Cam to my front window in order to catch any potential package thieves. So when I heard about the Nest Hello, I was pretty excited because it meant I could finally take the cumbersome setup down. The slim and slender Hello doorbell with the 3-megapixel camera on top and a glowing button underneath appeared to be a much more elegant solution.

Installing it is a little tricky because it needs to be hardwired into your home. Thankfully, I already have an existing doorbell chime setup, so it was just a matter of replacing that with the Hello. It comes with a bunch of different parts, like a chime connector and a wall plate, which were all a little intimidating to me. The app will walk you through DIY instructions, but my house is pretty old and I’m not a wizard with wires, so I decided to opt for a professional installation instead.

Nest set me up with a local Nest Pro to help me out with that. The cost of this varies from contractor to contractor, but Nest says it’s typically around $200. It took a little while to arrange a time for them to come by and install it — apparently, Nest Pros are popular — but a week or so later, a couple of workers arrived. After about 40 minutes, the installation was done. While the process was smooth, the old doorbell did leave a rather unsightly imprint on the wall. It’s not a big deal — I can just touch it up with paint — but it’s something I hadn’t considered.

As I mentioned, I already had another Nest Cam setup, so incorporating the Hello was as easy as adding it to my existing account. Like the other Nest cams, the Hello’s stream shows the live video at the top of the app, with archived clips underneath. You can also view the video full screen if you want. If you have a Chromecast, you can even watch the videos on your TV, too.

Images and video from the Hello are sharp and colorful, and the HDR support delivers great contrast. Night Vision mode automatically turns on when the lights go out, and that looks clear and crisp as well. If your home WiFi isn’t particularly strong, you can lower the quality of the video in the app’s settings to save some bandwidth.


What I especially appreciate about the Hello’s camera, though, is the 4:3 aspect ratio and the 160-degree field of view. The reason for this is so you can view your visitors from head-to-toe. My front door is at the top of a flight of stairs, and I liked that I could see all the way down to the sidewalk. One time I saw a couple of strangers hanging out by the base of the steps, which roused my suspicions. Thanks to the microphone on the camera, I could eavesdrop on their conversation (which made me feel a tiny bit voyeuristic to be honest) and thankfully, it turns out they were just talking about, well, shopping for groceries.

Like other cameras, the Hello sends notifications to your phone whenever it senses motion. In my experience, the Hello was pretty aggressive at the most sensitive setting, resulting in notifications every few minutes. When I set it to person detection only, even then it’s accidentally triggered by the sidewalk, which gets busy during the day. There’s an option to have the camera turn off when you’re home, or you can set it to come on to a schedule. But for me, a video doorbell should be on 24/7, so I left it on.

But the Hello is more than just a camera; it’s also a doorbell. And as a doorbell, it works incredibly well. When someone presses that glowing button, not only will your indoor chime go off, you’ll get a notification on your phone. I happen to have a Google Home Mini, and I was able to set it up so that if someone pressed the doorbell, Assistant would announce, “Someone is at the front door.”

The Nest Hello becomes more useful if you pair it with a Nest Aware subscription. With a subscription, you will have 24/7 continuous live recording and archival footage for the past five, 10 or 30 days. Cost ranges from $5 a month to $300 a year, depending on the amount of video history you want.

The other big benefit of the Aware subscription is the facial-recognition feature. I tried this out with my husband and I, and I was surprised at just how fast the Hello was able to recognize us. After appearing in front of it a couple of times, it collected photos of our faces in the “Familiar Faces” section in the app. I grouped up photos of me and my husband separately and assigned them a name.

So now, whenever my husband (whose name is Brandon) rings the doorbell, my phone as well as my Google Home Mini announces “Brandon is at the front door.” It seems like a minor feature perhaps, but knowing that the person at the door is someone I knew rather than a stranger made me a great deal more relaxed.


Prior to the Nest Hello, I considered the Ring as an alternative. The Ring Doorbell Pro is priced at $249 retail (it’s currently selling on Amazon for $222) and has similar video-monitoring features, and though they’re not as advanced, the cheaper $100 and $200 Ring options don’t need to be hardwired at all.

The Hello, however, seems to offer a lot more than what Ring does. Not only does it have many of the same features, it includes upgraded perks like continuous live 24/7 video recording and facial recognition. Yes, it’s a little annoying that you have to pay a subscription fee to get those upgrades, but I think it’s worth it. And, since I already have a Google Home Mini as well as another Nest Cam, it was pretty easy to integrate it into my existing smart home setup.

The Hello is everything that I want from a video doorbell. It acts as both a security camera and a way to see who’s at my door when I’m not home in a smarter, intuitive way. By itself, the Hello is a good video doorbell. Combine it with Nest Aware perks and the rest of the Google ecosystem, and good becomes great.


Facebook Messenger ‘sleep mode’ locks your kids out at bedtime

Facebook’s Messenger for Kids has courted its share of controversy in the short time it’s been on the scene. In an effort to clean up the app’s reputation, Facebook is adding a feature that parents have been asking for: making it inaccessible during certain timeframes. Specifically, during dinner, when they should be doing homework or at bedtime. Thus, “sleep mode” for the app.

When the feature is activated from a parent’s account, the app will be inaccessible by the kids, blocking off access to sending or receiving messages or video calls and the rest of the app’s functionality. Facebook says the “off times” can be changed whenever you see fit.

This likely won’t quell the voices saying that kids shouldn’t have access to such technology in the first place. Or, do anything to assuage the worry that so much digital communication at an early age could have a dire impact on childhood development, of course. But, if you’re keen to stick a smart device in your kid’s hand, now you’ll have a little more control over when they can use one aspect of it.

Source: Facebook


NASA canceled our first step toward returning humans to the moon

It’s been awhile since anyone who covers space has excitedly talked about landing humans on Mars. After all, despite the fact that NASA often cites this as one of its goals, it just does not have the budgets to accomplish this lofty goal before 2050. That’s why NASA’s rhetoric has shifted to the moon. Back in December, President Trump signed a directive which orders NASA to return astronauts to the moon and “eventually” send them to Mars. Clearly, the moon is on the administration’s brain.

That’s why NASA’s latest move is so baffling. As The Verge reports, NASA cancelled the Resource Prospector. It’s the only robotic mission that is currently in the works to land on the lunar surface. The Resource Prospector “aims to be the first mining expedition on another world,” according to NASA’s website. The rover was going to land at the lunar poles to examine in-depth the ice that other spacecraft have found there and mine it.

It’s incredibly expensive to launch resources from Earth into space, so if we do set up a moon base, it’s important that we use whatever resources are available on the lunar surface to the best of our ability. That’s why we need to learn more about the characteristics of this moon ice. Many in the space and science communities viewed the Resource Prospector as the first step towards sending humans back to the moon. And now it’s been cancelled.

The cancellation is likely for budgetary reasons, rather than practical ones. As The Verge recounts, thanks to expert Dr. Phil Metzger, the Resource Prospector was originally funded by the program that supports human exploration. It was moved into the science program, but its goals don’t really fit that directorate.

It’s not clear what happens now. Many are calling for the Resource Prospector to be reinstated within the human exploration program. And the new administrator of NASA, Jim Bridenstine, has made clear he intends to land humans on the moon, and he knows that starts with “an aggressive robotic program.” Canceling the only robotic lunar mission NASA currently has on the books just doesn’t make sense.

Source: The Verge


The best food processor

By Christine Cyr Clisset and Michael Sullivan

This post was done in partnership with Wirecutter. When readers choose to buy Wirecutter’s independently chosen editorial picks, it may earn affiliate commissions that support its work. Read the full article here.

After spending 50 hours researching food processors, interviewing experts, and conducting nearly four years of long-term testing, we still think the Cuisinart Custom 14-Cup Food Processor is the best choice for most home cooks. Its simple, pared-down design makes it easier to use and clean than models with more settings or multiple bowls, and we found it to be built more solidly than other processors in this price range. In our tests, the Cuisinart Custom 14-Cup Food Processor tackled a multitude of chopping and shredding tasks exceptionally well.

Who should get this

A food processor is the best tool for quickly performing a variety of chopping, slicing, and shredding tasks—such as chopping nuts, slicing vegetables, and shredding cheese—that would be more tedious and time-consuming by hand. Food processors are also handy for blending wet ingredients (like tomatoes for pasta sauce) or for preparing homemade mayonnaise and vinaigrettes. However, if you want to puree velvety soups or crush ice for smoothies, you’ll need a blender.

How we picked and tested

After testing food processors over the past four years, we still think the Cuisinart Custom 14-Cup (pictured fourth from the left) is the best for most people. Photo: Michael Hession

At its most basic, a food processor consists of a work bowl that sits on a motorized driveshaft. The bowl’s lid has a feed tube for inserting food to be chopped, diced, sliced, ground, grated, or even kneaded (in the case of dough). Most food processors come with S-shaped blades and various disks for grating and slicing, but a host of other attachments—such as julienne disks and citrus juicers—are also available. The experts we interviewed all agreed that an 11- to 14-cup processor is most useful for most cooks, though you may also be interested in mini choppers for smaller jobs. These mini food processors have bowls ranging in size from around 1½ cups to 6 cups, but the highest-rated ones hover around 3 cups.

For our 2017 update, we chopped carrots, onions, tomatoes, parsley, and whole almonds in each food processor to gauge evenness of texture. For the processors that came with a disk for grating, we used them to shred soft mozzarella cheese. We tested each full-size processor to see if its motor could withstand the rigors of kneading pizza dough. We also made a 1-cup batch of mayonnaise to see how quickly and evenly the machines could produce a stable emulsification. Finally, we cleaned the bowls, lids, disks, and food pressers of each model by hand eight times.

Our pick: Cuisinart Custom 14-Cup Food Processor

Photo: Michael Hession

For the fourth year in a row, we think the reasonably priced Cuisinart Custom 14-Cup Food Processor is best for most people. It excelled at every task we attempted, and does so without any unnecessary extras—it comes with only a stainless steel chopping blade and disks for shredding and slicing that can conveniently stow inside the mixing bowl. Unlike some other models we tested, the Cuisinart Custom’s base remained in place on the counter while running, even when processing double batches of dough.

The Cuisinart Custom chopped vegetables and herbs just as skillfully as more expensive models. In our tests, it evenly chopped tomatoes and shredded soft mozzarella cheese. It made a firmer, more stable mayonnaise than other full-size models we tested. It also effortlessly kneaded pizza dough, our most motor-intensive test. The only task the Cuisinart Custom didn’t excel at was chopping nuts, as it left a handful of large pieces.

Great for small batches: KitchenAid 3.5 Cup Mini Food Processor

We were impressed by the KitchenAid 3.5 Mini Food Processor, which proved to be a workhorse in our tests. Photo: Michael Hession

The affordably priced KitchenAid 3.5 Cup Mini Food Processor offers the best value and performance we’ve found in a mini chopper. It evenly chops a range of ingredients, including tough jumbo carrots. In our tests, it even performed better than the mini-bowl attachments that come with some of the full-size processors. Because it’s so compact and doesn’t come with any unnecessary accessories, the KitchenAid 3.5 Cup Mini Processor is easy to clean and store. It weighs 2 pounds, just enough to keep it from stuttering around the counter while in use. The Mini Food Processor can’t make bread dough or shred cheese, but it’s great for completing basic tasks quickly.

The KitchenAid produced more even textures than the other mini processors we tested and did so quickly. We found it had no trouble chopping onions, a quartered tomato, parsley, and even carrots. It also excelled at emulsifications, and we thought it was the easiest food processor of any size to use for making mayo. However, the KitchenAid did have some trouble chopping whole almonds.

A larger, more powerful option: Breville Sous Chef

The Breville Sous Chef performed best overall in our tests, but it’s far larger and has more attachments than most people need. Photo: Michael Hession

The pricey Breville Sous Chef was hands down the best performer in our testing. It offers extra power, a bigger blending bowl, more attachments than most people need, and nicer features. It chopped vegetables, kneaded dough, and shredded mozzarella as well as the Cuisinart Custom did, and it excelled at slicing. The Sous Chef powered through an entire russet potato in less than a second—noticeably faster than any of the other models.

It evenly chopped nuts, tomatoes, and onions, and shredded soft mozzarella cheese too. We liked the Sous Chef’s 2½-cup mini bowl better than its competitors’, especially for mincing parsley. However, it made a slightly looser mayonnaise than the other models we tested, and the mini-bowl insert did not chop almonds as evenly as we would have liked.

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

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


Nintendo’s E3 plans are all about ‘Super Smash Bros.’ for Switch

Nintendo released its plans for the upcoming E3 video game trade show and they’re all about the recently announced Super Smash Bros. game for Switch. Attendees will be able to view a Super Smash Bros. invitational tournament, have a chance to take part in an exhibition play and get a crack at the game itself at Nintendo’s booth.

On June 11th, Nintendo will gear up for E3 with the opening rounds of the Splatoon 2 World Championship tournament where teams from the US/Canada, Japan, Europe and Australia/New Zealand will compete. Finals will take place the next day as will the Super Smash Bros. Invitational 2018 tournament. Fans who come dressed as a Nintendo character can score a chance to play the game on stage as well during an exhibition play.

Early on June 12th, Nintendo will debut a video featuring the upcoming Super Smash Bros. game as well as others that will be released in 2018. Games scheduled for release after 2018 won’t be featured during E3, Nintendo said in its announcement. Following the presentation of the video, Nintendo will kick off Nintendo Treehouse: Live, which will feature three days of live gameplay, developer appearances and insider looks at upcoming games, including Super Smash Bros. for Switch. The tournaments, video presentation and Nintendo Treehouse: Live will stream on YouTube and Twitch. You can also watch on Nintendo’s E3 2018 site, here.

From June 12th through 14th, E3 attendees can visit Nintendo’s Los Angeles Convention Center booth to play a selection of games including the new Super Smash Bros. Nintendo says some soon-to-be-released third-party games for Switch will also be featured throughout E3.

Nintendo will be releasing more details about E3 and its events in the coming weeks.

Source: Nintendo


NASA and ESA want to bring Mars soil samples back to Earth

This week, NASA and the European Space Agency (ESA) signed an a letter of intent to collect soil samples from Mars and return them to the Earth. It’s important to note that this robotic mission is very preliminary: This isn’t an agreement to make this sort of mission happen. Instead, it’s just a first step; the next is to study the feasibility of such an endeavor and decide on whether it’s worth pursuing, which will happen in 2019.

If such a mission were to take place, it would happen in no less than three parts. First, Martian soil samples would have to be prepared for collection. Luckily (or more accurately, because of NASA’s foresight and good planning), that part of the mission will be relatively simple because the groundwork is already in place. The agency’s 2020 Mars rover is already equipped to collect samples of Martian soil for later collection. Additionally ESA’s ExoMars rover (set to land on the red planet in 2021) will drill into the Martian surface and collect samples.

The second part of the mission hasn’t been designed yet. It would consist of some sort of rover and lander that could set down near one or both of these rovers. The rover would head out along the Martian surface and collect the samples left behind, bringing them back to the lander. According to the ESA, the lander would have some sort of small ascent vehicle attached which would launch into orbit once all the samples were aboard. This would be the first rocket launch from Mars.

Finally, a spacecraft launched from the Earth would rendezvous with the ascent vehicle in orbit of Mars and collect the samples. The craft would then head back to the Earth; once it landed, it would be placed into quarantine before being analyzed by scientists.

It’s an ambitious plan, to be sure, with a lot of “ifs.” But, considering we probably aren’t getting humans to Mars anytime soon (at least, not through NASA), it’s a great way to explore Mars without having to send humans to the red planet. It will be interesting to see what the ESA and NASA say about the feasibility of the plan over the next year.


Source: ESA


Facebook’s original video strategy: Cats + weddings = profit

If you think that the internet is really just a repository for cat videos, well. You’re not really wrong. Facebook announced today that Nala the Cat, who has 3.5 million followers at @nala_cat on Instagram, will be the star of “The Nala Show” on Facebook’s Watch tab. According to Variety, the show’s first episode will be posted today, April 27th, at 1 PM ET. New episodes will be released every Friday.

Variety also reports that Facebook will air a reality TV wedding show from Tamera Mowry-Housley called “Help Us Get Married!” The 12-episode show will focus on three different engaged couples and difficult decisions they have to make along the way. Viewers can vote on what the couples should do and the poll results will be revealed the next day. The show will premiere on Thursday, May 3rd.

Facebook has been pouring money into its Watch tab over the last few months. While the metrics for how many people are watching aren’t publicly available, it’s clear that Facebook will continue to prioritize securing original entertainment of all kinds for its website.

Source: Variety


Satechi Launches New USB-C Pro Hub With Ethernet Port

Satechi today added to its USB-C hub lineup with the launch of the Aluminum Type-C Pro Hub with Ethernet.

Designed for 2016 and 2017 13 and 15-inch MacBook Pro models, the new Pro Hub with Ethernet comes equipped with a Gigabit Ethernet port, an HDMI port, a USB-C Power Delivery port that supports 87W of power, two type-A USB 3.0 ports, and a micro SD card slot.

Like other Satechi USB-C hubs, the Pro Hub with Ethernet comes in a brushed aluminum that’s available in either silver or Space Gray to match Apple’s notebooks.

The Pro Hub with Ethernet’s integrated Gigabit Ethernet port is invaluable in a situation where Wi-Fi is either unavailable or unreliable. It supports 10/100/1000Mb/s.

In addition to an Ethernet connection, the Pro Hub supports a 4K monitor through the HDMI port and the USB-C port allows for power delivery. The microSD card slot can be used for importing images and files, while the two USB 3.0 ports allow for data transfer from USB-A accessories.

Satechi’s new Aluminum Type-C Pro Hub with Ethernet can be purchased today from the Satechi website or from Amazon for $99.99.

Tag: Satechi
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Deals: Best Buy Discounts HomePod to $330, HiRise Duet Code Expiring, and More

As part of its ongoing spring sale event, Best Buy today has discounted Apple’s HomePod by $20, bringing the cost of the smart speaker to $329.99, down from $349.99. The speaker is available in both White and Space Gray. While not a massive discount, this is one of the first straight price drops on HomePod since its launch earlier this year, outside of sitewide promo codes on eBay.

Note: MacRumors is an affiliate partner with these vendors. When you click a link and make a purchase, we may receive a small payment, which helps us keep the site running.

Best Buy is also discounting a collection of refurbished Apple Watch devices today only. The 20 percent off Deal of the Day savings include limited stock of the 42mm Space Gray Aluminum Apple Watch Series 3 (GPS) for $287.20 and the 38mm version for $263.20, as well as some GPS + Cellular options. The Geek Squad certified refurbished Apple Watch models are restored to a like-new state, verified to work properly, and include all parts and accessories. Best Buy also upholds its regular return and exchange policies for refurbished devices.

As a reminder, our exclusive discount code for Twelve South’s HiRise Duet stand expires tomorrow, April 28. If you’re interested and haven’t used the code yet, head over to Amazon, add the HiRise Duet to your cart, then enter the code 30DUET at checkout to get $30 off the accessory, marking it down to $89.99 from $119.99. Twelve South’s HiRise Duet provides a dual-charging solution for iPhone and Apple Watch, with a Lightning connector and Apple Watch charging puck embedded in the device.

Additionally, DirecTV Now is still offering a 32GB Apple TV 4K at no cost when pre-paying for three months of the streaming TV service. With the deal, you can get a brand new Apple TV for $105, and cancel DirecTV Now before the three months ends if you don’t wish to keep paying for the service. For those looking at new internet plans, AT&T also has an online only deal that nets you a $50 Visa reward card when you purchase AT&T Internet at $40/month for 12 months of service, or up to a $250 reward card when bundling DirecTV and AT&T Internet.

To check out more of the latest sales and offers happening this week, be sure to visit our full Deals Roundup.

Related Roundup: Apple Deals
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Nintendo Reveals New Action RPG ‘Dragalia Lost’ Coming to Smartphones Later This Year

Nintendo this week revealed a new smartphone game coming to iOS and Android devices this summer, called “Dragalia Lost.” The game was created through a partnership with Japanese mobile developer Cygames and is described as an all-new “original action RPG” for smartphones. Nintendo co-developed Dragalia Lost and will “jointly operate” the app with Cygames once it launches (via TouchArcade).

For now, not much is known about the game’s story or gameplay mechanics. The Japanese website includes a trailer, which shows off a few of the game’s characters and glimpses of the RPG gameplay. The game is also up for pre-registration for users in Japan, Taiwan, Hong Kong, and Macau.

The payment structure of the game is also unknown, but previous apps by Cygames have been reliant upon Japan’s popular “gacha” system, which encourages players to spend real money on in-game currency that they can use to unlock random items. In terms of payment, most of Nintendo’s other smartphone games so far have been reliant upon a free-to-play system, which helped turn Fire Emblem Heroes into Nintendo’s “most successful mobile game to date.”

Nintendo’s new partnership with Cygames confirms a previous rumor that the company is seeking additional game developers to add to its slate after its partnership with DeNA fell behind schedule. DeNA helped Nintendo launch Miitomo, Super Mario Run, Fire Emblem Heroes, and Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp. The next smartphone game inspired by a Nintendo property will be Mario Kart Tour, expected to launch by March 2019.

Draglia Lost will launch first in Japan, Taiwan, Hong Kong, and Macau this summer, and then afterwards debut in North America and Europe. Nintendo also noted that it has obtained an approximate 5 percent stake in Cygames “for the purpose of facilitating the partnership.”

Tag: Nintendo
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