Posts with «author_name|sarah fielding» label

Amazon takes up to $1,800 off LG’s 2023 C3 OLED TVs

With the writers and actors strikes in the rear view mirror, many great shows and movies are on the horizon. If you're looking for a solid TV to watch it all on, you're in luck: LG's 2023 C3 Series OLED TVs are having a big sale on Amazon. Take the 77-inch C3 Series, which is down to $1,949 from $3,499 — a 44 percent discount. The deal brings this model down to its all-time low price since debuting last spring.

The LG 2023 C3 Series is available in six sizes, ranging from 42 to 83 inches. It has the new a9 AI Processor Gen6, which is exclusive to LG OLEDs and offers HDR tone mapping, object-based picture sharpening and AI upscaling. The company also introduced the WOW Orchestra feature, which integrates the speakers from the TV and newer soundbars. Plus, there's the Brightness Booster, which helps keep the screen easily visible even in well-lit rooms (though it's still not as effective as some of its competitors).

On top of being great for good old-fashioned program viewing, we recently included LG's C3 Series in our roundup of the best TVs for gaming. This designation is thanks to features like supporting ALLM, the big HDR standards like Dolby Vision and the major VRR formats. The C3 series also follows HGIG's guidelines and comes with four HDMI 2.1 ports that have an output of 4K 120Hz when connected to a PC, Xbox or PS5. 

Currently, sales are running on all sizes, starting with a 25 percent discount on the 42-inch model, dropping its price to $897 from $1,197. The $1,800 discount comes courtesy of the LG C3 Series 83-inch TV, thanks to a 34 percent discount cutting its cost to $3,499 from $5,300. 

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Scientists develop 'nanosphere' paint that could reduce planes' carbon dioxide emissions

Paint might not seem like the heaviest component to consider when building a large device like an airplane, but its mass can add up. Now, a new and lightweight substance could provide a welcome substitute: Two material scientists from Kobe University, Fujii Minoru and Sugimoto Hiroshi, have discovered nanospheres that are near-invisible silicone crystals. The particles can reflect light thanks to very large and efficient scattering, research published in the journal of ACS Applied Nano Matter details. The result could mean covering a surface in vibrant color while only adding 10 percent of the weight that paint would bring, Fast Company reports.

This reduction could have a tremendous impact on factors such as cost and carbon dioxide produced. Simply put, a plane must use more fuel as its weight goes up, thus directly increasing the amount of money airlines spend (and then charge customers), along with the quantity of fuel burned as carbon dioxide into the atmosphere.

Minoru and Hiroshi's discovery focuses on structural rather than pigment color to exhibit and maintain hues. The former absorbs wavelengths while reflecting the ones the human eye picks up. Structural colors, on the other hand, are "intense and bright colors result from the interaction of light with periodic micro- and nanostructures that cause color by interference, coherent scattering, or diffraction," according to the Encyclopedia of Nanotechnology.

The team's work follows previous research in which they were able to build nanocrystals to a specific size. Then came the creation of colloquial suspension, which keeps the crystalline silicon nanoparticles mixed with supporting liquid rather than separating. At present, the color of the nanosphere-based ink varies as the team changes the nanocrystals' sizes. Larger particles create warm hues like red, while smaller particles display cooler tones like blue. These shades should remain identical no matter the angle at which a person sees them.

This article originally appeared on Engadget at

India’s government is forcing X to censor accounts via executive order amid the farmers’ protest

X, formerly Twitter, is once again restricting content in India. The company's Global Government Affairs account announced that the Indian government had issued an executive order mandating that X withhold specific accounts and posts or face penalties such as "significant fines and imprisonment." X further stated that it doesn't agree with the order and is challenging it. 

The designated posts and accounts will only be blocked within India, however, there's no clear list of those affected. "Due to legal restrictions, we are unable to publish the executive orders, but we believe that making them public is essential for transparency," the Global Government Affairs post stated. "This lack of disclosure can lead to a lack of accountability and arbitrary decision-making." X claims to have notified all affected parties. 

The posts likely center around the ongoing farmers' protest, which, since February 13, has seen multiple farmers' unions on strike in a bid to get floor pricing, or a minimum support price, for crops sold. Violent clashes between protesters and police have already resulted in at least one death, AP News reports. Mohammed Zubair, an Indian journalist and co-founder of Alt News, shared purported screenshots of suspended accounts belonging to individuals critical of the current government, on-the-ground reporters, prominent farm unionists, and more. 

This forced blocking is far from the first incident between X and India. In 2022, X sued the Indian government for "arbitrarily and disproportionately" applying its IT laws passed the year prior. The law required the company to hire a point of contact for the local authorities and a domestic compliance officer. Prior to this concession, in early 2021, the Indian government had threatened to jail X's employees if posts about the then occurring farmers' protest stayed live on the site. Shortly after, the country mandated that X remove content criticizing its COVID-19 response.

India dismissed X's suit in June 2023, claiming the company didn't properly explain why it had ever delayed complying with the country's IT laws. The court also fined X 5 million rupees ($60,300), stating, "You are not a farmer but a billon dollar company." The order followed shortly after Twitter co-founder Jack Dorsey claimed that India had threatened to raid employees' homes and shut down the site if the company hadn't taken down posts during the farmers' protest. 

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The UK moves another step closer to banning phones in schools

Mobile phone ownership has become standard for people of most ages, and, while there's a convenience argument, experts and regulators alike have expressed concerns about children's well-being and distraction while learning. To that end, the UK government has become the latest to announce guidance for banning the use of phones during school. It follows other European countries like France and Italy, which prohibit phones in classrooms. 

Some schools in the UK already have no-phone policies in place, but these guidelines could bring widespread adoption and uniformity. "This is about achieving clarity and consistency in practice, backing headteachers and leaders and giving staff confidence to act," Gillian Keegan, the UK's secretary of state for education, said in a release. "Today's children are growing up in an increasingly complex world, living their lives on and offline. This presents many exciting opportunities – but also challenges. By prohibiting mobile phones, schools can create safe and calm environments free from distraction so all pupils can receive the education they deserve."

While the UK government encourages schools to create their own policies, it outlines a few overarching options. The first — and most extreme — is a complete ban on mobile phones from school premises. However, the guidance acknowledges that this could create complications or risks for children when traveling to and from school. The next option takes care of that problem while still taking phones away. It suggests having students hand in their phones when arriving at school.

Then there's the locker route, where phones are kept strictly in students' lockers or whatever personal storage they get at school. While this allows students to keep possession of their device, it still wouldn't be usable at any point in the day, even when accessing the locker during breaks. The final option aligns with what many schools do — let students keep their phones in their bags, but they should be turned off and never accessed. 

The guidance also recommends teaching students about the mobile phone's potentially harmful impact on young people. Study after study has found that social media, in particular, can negatively impact young people's mental health. The UK government argues that, in addition to combating the social media issue, restricting phone use can increase students' concentration, time being active and spending time with peers face-to-face. 

Parents are encouraged to contact the school directly rather than through a private phone if they need to get in touch with their child. The guidance also encourages parents to discuss the rules at home and, once again, the risks of phones and the internet.

This article originally appeared on Engadget at

Amazon's Echo speaker falls to $55 in Presidents' Day sale

Amazon is ringing in Presidents' Day with big sales on its Echo devices, including its fourth-generation Amazon Echo. The smart speaker is currently down to $55 from $100 — a 45 percent discount. Though released in 2020, Amazon's 4th-gen Echo is still its latest iteration and has held its weight over the years. We even named it 2024's best smart speaker under $100

So, what makes the 4th-gen Amazon Echo so great? It stands above its competitors like the Google Nest Audio and HomePod mini thanks to features like two 0.8-inch tweeters combined with a three-inch woofer. It does a nice job of filling the room and has a solid bass thump while playing music. The 4th-gen Amazon Echo also supports lossless HD audio, allows you to call other people with an Echo device and offers voice control for lights, sensors and locks. 

While the 4th-gen Amazon Echo is a solid buy, there are a few Echo devices also on sale that have a bit more oomph. Take the Echo Studio, which is back to its all-time low of $155, down from $200. This speaker is a great option for anyone wanting excellent sound quality. It has a subwoofer, stereo speakers and room adaptation. 

Anyone who prefers a screen to just the speaker can enjoy the Echo Show 15's 29 percent discount. Down to $200 from $280, the 15.6-inch smart display is just $15 more than its record-low price. It has Amazon's Fire TV built-in and can be mounted to the wall for an easy viewing experience, whether in the kitchen or a playroom. Plus, it can provide recipes, space for to-do lists and a view of the home when everyone's away.

Then there's the third-generation Echo Show 10, on sale in charcoal for $195 from $250. The 10.1-inch HD device also has a screen but is still more of a speaker than a TV — though it is compatible with platforms like Netflix and Hulu. As for sound quality, the Echo Show 10 has two one-inch tweeters and a three-inch woofer. It offers many of the same things as the Echo Show 15, like a built-in camera (13MP compared to the 15's 5MP) and home monitoring. 

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Alan Wake 2 is Remedy's fastest-selling game ever

If you've enjoyed playing Alan Wake 2 over the last few months, you're far from alone. Remedy Entertainment announced that Alan Wake 2 had sold 1.3 million units since its October 2023 release — making it the developer's fastest-selling game. Alan Wake 2 sold three times as many digital copies over its first two months as fellow Remedy game Control did during its first four months. 

The high sales have been a big coup for Remedy's continued expansion. "The successful launch of Alan Wake 2 has supported our other game projects: Condor, Control 2 and Max Payne 1 and 2 remake have all increased development pace thanks to the personnel released from Alan Wake 2, and we expect these projects to reach their next development stages during the first half of 2024," Remedy CEO Tero Virtala stated. 

For anyone who hasn’t played it yet, Alan Wake 2 follows 2010 original Alan Wake and delves deeper into Remedy’s Connected Universe. Players encounter monsters, ghosts, demonic possession, shifting realities, rock operas and paranormal murder. The story will continue with Remedy adding two paid DLCs to Alan Wake 2 in the near future.

Control 2 will likely extend that further, giving Remedy fans a whole lot of paranormal, inter-connected content to enjoy in the coming months and years.

This article originally appeared on Engadget at

Bose's new QuietComfort headphones are $100 off right now

Beyond the sound's quality, we want two things when it comes to headphones: a lightweight design and noise canceling. Bose's aptly named QuietComfort wireless headphones make a case for both and, right now, do so at a record-low price. The 2023 QuietComfort headphones are currently available for $249, down from $349 — a 29 percent discount. The sale applies to all colors: Cypress Green, Moonstone Blue, Black and White.

The newest iteration of the Bose QuietComfort wireless headphones improves on the QuietComfort 45. While many of the features (which we'll get into) are quite similar, the 2023 model offers adjustable ANC models and an option to save custom modes. The headphones are our choice for the best noise-canceling wireless headphones for 2024.

Bose's QuietComfort headphones also offer a soft earcup and padded band for that comfort component. They provide 24 hours of battery life with a 15-minute charge providing another two and a half hours of juice. As for sound quality, the QuietComfort headphones offer high-fidelity audio and adjustable EQ for even greater customization.

The Ultra QuietComfort model is also on sale, with a 12 percent discount dropping the cost to $379 from $429. They offer Breakthrough Spatialized Audio, Bluetooth 5.3 and "luxurious comfort." If headphones aren't your thing, Bose's QuietComfort Ultra Wireless Noise Cancelling Earbuds are available for $249, down from $299. Plus, you can grab the SoundLink Flex Bluetooth Speaker for $129 instead of $149.  

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NVIDIA becomes the third most valuable US company at Alphabet's expense

NVIDIA is doing very well for itself. The chip maker has overtaken Alphabet, Google's parent company, to become the third most valuable company in the United States, Reuters reports. The news comes almost immediately after NVIDIA pushed past Amazon in the rankings, with the company now valued at $1.83 trillion. Worldwide, it sits in fourth, behind American companies Microsoft ($3.04 trillion) and Apple ($2.84 trillion) and the Saudi Arabian state-owned oil company Saudi Aramco ($2.07 trillion).

AI's boom over the last year is largely to thank for NVIDIA's jump in valuation, with about 80 percent of the high-end chip market in its hands. It created the H100 chip, which powers LLMs at OpenAI, Amazon, Meta and more. In January, Mark Zuckerberg said Meta will buy 350,000 of NVIDIA's H100 chips by the end of the year. 

Unlike most companies that are engaged in a competition over which will advance in AI the quickest, NVIDIA has its figurative hands in all baskets. The chip maker is also expanding its business to create custom chips for cloud computing firms. This additional offering can keep NVIDIA in the mix, even as AI manufacturers seek more bespoke options. 

NVIDIA's quarterly report will drop on Wednesday, February 21, and while it's expected to be positive, anything less than excellent could lower the company's valuation and, thus, ranking. Predictions set NVIDIA's quarterly earnings tripling to $20.37 billion and net profits jumping 400 percent to $11.38 billion. 

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Apple's MacBook Pro with M3 Pro chip falls back to a low of $1,799

While Apple's MacBook Pro is a clear choice for most creatives over its MacBook Air counterpart, the higher cost is prohibitive. If that's been stopping you from picking one up, then you're in luck: Apple's 2023 MacBook Pro with a M3 Pro chip is currently on sale for $1,799, down from $1,999. The 10 percent discount still leaves the 14-inch laptop with a few hundred dollars between it and even the most expensive 2023 MacBook Air, but it's worth it if you want the M3 Pro's extra power.

Apple released the new 2023 MacBook Pro last November with three different M3 chips: the standard, M3 Pro, and M3 Max. The mid-range model is what's currently on sale and offers a 14.2-inch screen, a Liquid Retina XDR display and a magic keyboard with touch ID. It has up to 18GB of RAM 11-core CPU, 14-core GPU and 512GB of SSD storage. Plus, it has 18 hours of battery life when starting out.

This MacBook Pro also has a 1080p HD camera and a Spatial Audio-equipped sound system with six speakers. It's also very connection-friendly, with an HDMI port, a headphone jack, MagSafe charging port, three Thunderbolt 4 points and an SDXC card slot. 

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DuckDuckGo's privacy-focused browser gets cross-device syncing and backups

It's no secret that using the internet usually means handing over most of your personal information – consciously or not. DuckDuckGo bills itself as an alternative to this, protecting its users' privacy, and now it’s providing users an easier way to access their information from multiple places. The browser has announced a new sync and backup feature that shares bookmarks, email protection settings and passwords across devices.

Basically, DuckDuckGo users who choose it for its lack of data sharing can still get the advantages of using the same browser on multiple devices without wondering who gets access to their searches. The entire process is end-to-end encrypted, with DuckDuckGo never receiving any information as the key for decryption is stored on the individual's devices.

The update means that individuals can share information, for example, from their DuckDuckGo browser on their PC or Mac to their Android or iPhone and vice versa. Mobile phones and tablets can link with a QR code, while computers require users to enter a code. There's no need to sign in, but users will want to download a Recovery PDF. It allows people to access synced data if a device breaks, including Email Protection, which removes hidden trackers and creates unique and private email addresses. 

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