Posts with «hobbies & personal activities» label

Logitech's new Aurora gaming accessories are 'inclusive' but expensive

Logitech has launched the Aurora Collection, a line of "gender-exclusive" gaming accessories including a mouse, keyboard and headset. The devices are built around "comfort, approachability and playfulness" based on "feedback from women gamers across the community," the company said. They have all-new designs and some interesting features, but also carry high prices suggestive of a "pink tax" on products designed for women.

The G735 wireless headset is a good example of that. It's Logitech's first G gaming headset with Blue VO!CE microphone tech that helps modulate your voice, while letting you save preferred settings directly on the headset. It also promises comfort for gamers with smaller heads, 2.4Ghz wireless connectivity and up to 56 hours of battery life with the side LEDs turned off. However, it's very expensive for a gaming headset at $230, compared to say Logitech's high-end $200 Pro X headset with similar features. 

Logitech

The wireless and wired $200 G715 and $170 G713 tenkeyless keyboards offer per-key and perimeter RGB lighting and a choice of GX mechanical switches (tactile, linear or clicky), along with a cloud-soft palm rest. The G715 can connect via Bluetooth or a 2.4Ghz dongle, and offers around 25 hours of battery life on a charge. 

Finally, the $100 G705 lightweight (85 gram) wireless mouse is specifically designed for players with small hands. It comes with an 8,200 DPI "gaming-grade" sensor, offers battery life up to 40 hours with the LEDs enabled, and can connect to the G715 keyboard to avoid clutter. 

On top of the devices, Logitech is offering accessories we don't see with many of its other gaming products. Those include pink or neon boom mics with earpads for $20, keyboard top plates ($20) and colored keycaps ($40). It's also offering $30 mousepads and a $40 case for the G735 headset and G705 mouse. 

Logitech said that when it looked at its gaming products, "we realized we could be doing more" in terms of delivering solutions for all gamers. In one way, it has certainly achieved that considering the $500 price tag for the entire collection. If it really wants to expand its offerings for more players, though, it may need to expand its Aurora lineup with more budget-oriented products that match the quality and prices of its standard offerings. 

Feline adventure game 'Stray' is getting a limited-edition cat backpack

The history of video games is littered with odd tie-in merchandise, from Resident Evil perfume and Xbox body wash to a Call of Duty-themed Jeep and the Xbox Mini Fridge. Annapurna Interactive is adding to that storied legacy with a branded cat carrier for new adventure game Stray.

The publisher teamed up with pet accessories brand Travel Cat for the limited-edition carrier, which it announced just a few days before the game hits PlayStation and PC on Tuesday. "We've hinted at it. It's true. We're happy to share that limited-edition Stray x Travel Cat merch for your feline companions is up for pre-order!" Annapurna wrote in a tweet spotted by Eurogamer.

we've hinted at it. it's true. we're happy to share that limited edition Stray x Travel Cat merch for your feline companions is up for pre-order! https://t.co/DEu6lnhQTjpic.twitter.com/YmRQVEO0Pe

— Annapurna Interactive (@A_i) July 14, 2022

It's a version of a Travel Cat backpack called The Fat Cat with neon and charcoal colors inspired by the cyberpunk setting of Stray. The pet accessory company says the $185 carrier is sturdy and breathable, while there's space for more than one cat. There's a bubble attachment so your curious furry friends can look at the outside world, as well as a leash clip (a Stray leash and harness are also available)

You don't have to limit the contents to cats either. "You could also use the harness and backpack for small/mediumish dogs if you really wanted to," Annapurna said. "And you can use the backpack for carrying stuff in general too." Travel Cat will ship the carrier in two batches, one on August 31st and another on September 21st.

There's been a sizable buzz around puzzle platformer Stray since it first emerged a couple of years ago. You'll play as a stray cat that has been separated from its family. You'll make your way home through a dystopian cybercity with the help of a companion drone, all the while knocking over as many things as you can. PlayStation Plus subscribers on the Extra and Premium tiers can play the game at no extra cost.

The best board game deals we found for Amazon Prime Day 2022

Prime Day is an excellent opportunity to score deals on all sorts of useful items, from laptops to robot vacuums. But all work and no play makes for a dull time, which is why we’re also glad to see plenty of Prime Day deals on board games too. They’re not just the usual suspects like Monopoly either — there are quite a number of quality titles here that tabletop gamers of all levels will enjoy. Below is a selection of the best deals we’ve found, plus we’ve compiled a much longer list of discounted games (and expansions) here in case you’re in the mood for more.

Shop board game deals at Amazon

King of Tokyo: New Edition

King of Tokyo
Iello

The latest edition of King of Tokyo is on sale for just $25, which is $20 off its $45 list price. This is easily one of the most beloved board games of all time due to how welcoming it is to all ages. If you know how to play Yahtzee, you know how to play King of Tokyo. Plus, the theme is super fun: you play as giant Kaiju monsters destroying the city of Tokyo while battling other monsters for supremacy. If you already know you like this game and want to go all out, then consider upgrading to the King of Tokyo Monster Box, which is just $42 ($28 off the $70 retail price). This giant box includes the base game as well as all of its expansions. You’ll get extra monsters, extra power cards and more.

Buy King of Tokyo at Amazon - $25Buy King of Tokyo Monster Box at Amazon - $42

Calico

Calico
AEG

Calico, a tile-laying game of quilts and cats, is available for just $22, which is 45 percent off the original price. Players in the game compete to sew the coziest quilt and attract cats. Each quilt has a specific pattern that must be followed but players will also need to create unique color and pattern combinations in order to draw the finest felines. This visually stunning game has a lot of strategy to it, and those who like abstract games will probably enjoy this.

Buy Calico at Amazon - $22

Splendor: Marvel

Splendor: Marvel
Space Cowboys

Splendor: Marvel is discounted to just $28, which is 44 percent off the original rate. It’s essentially a re-theming of the original Splendor board game with the Marvel universe. Instead of just collecting regular jewels, you’ll be gathering Infinity stones, recruiting heroes and villains, and finally claiming the Gauntlet to win the game. Those new to board games will pick this up easily, especially if they’re already big fans of all things Marvel. If you’re not that keen on Marvel, however, the original Splendor game with a Renaissance Europe theme is also on sale for $25.

Buy Spendor: Marvel at Amazon - $28Buy Splendor at Amazon - $25

Dixit (2021)

Dixit
Libellud

The latest 2021 refresh of Dixit is currently on sale for $25, which is 36 percent off its list price. This game is fantastic for parties, as it accommodates three to eight players and is very lightweight. We’ve also found that it works for kids as well as adults. In it, players take turns picking one of 84 dreamlike illustration cards and coming up with a story based on it. The rest then have to pick a card that best matches that story. All of the cards are shuffled, then they’ll have to secretly vote for which card is the one the narrator chose. The game is fun and quick, plus the art is gorgeous too.

Buy Dixit at Amazon - $25

Disney Villainous

Disney Villainous
Ravensburger

Disney’s Villainous board game is discounted to $24, a solid 40 percent off its $40 list price. In this game, players pick one of six Disney bad guys – options include Captain Hook, Maleficent, Ursula, Jafar, Queen of Hearts and Prince John – and compete against one another to achieve their evil goals before everyone else. If you want, you could also get Disney Villainous: Despicable Plots for $24, which adds more villains like Gaston, Lady Tremaine and the Horned King.

Buy Disney Villainous at Amazon - $24Buy Disney Villainous: Despicable Plots at Amazon - $24

Get the latest Amazon Prime Day offers by following @EngadgetDeals on Twitter and subscribing to the Engadget Deals newsletter.

The best anti-Prime Day tech deals you can get

It may be Prime Day, but that doesn't mean you can only save some money if you shop at Amazon. For the past few years, other retailers have used Prime Day as a catalyst for their own sales events. That's good news for all of us because it means that you don't have to be a Prime member, or even shop exclusively at Amazon, to get great deals on Prime Day. When it comes to tech sales, you'll find good deals across Walmart, Target, Microsoft and others this Prime Day and we recommend checking them all out to get exactly what you want at the best price. Some deep discounts you'll find on Amazon may even be matched at other places, so it's worth doing a bit of research before deciding where you want to spend your money. Here are the best anti-Prime Day deals we could find for 2022.

Walmart

Google

Walmart has a number of new rollbacks this week to compete with Amazon Prime Day. There are sales across the entire site, including in tech, home, fashion, food and more. Some of the highlights include the Shark ION robot vacuum for only $129, the Nest Mini smart speaker for $30 and this 58-inch Hisense Roku smart TV for only $298.

Shop Walmart anti-Prime Day deals

Target

Instant Pot

Target's 2022 Deal Days event runs through July 13th and discounts items across the store including, kitchen appliances, headphones and other tech, toys and more. Some standout deals include a six-quart Instant Pot bundle for $70, the Theragun Mini for $160 and up to 40 percent off LEGO sets.

Shop Target Deal Days 2022

Microsoft

Dana Wollman/Engadget

Microsoft's back-to-school sale started this week and it knocks up to 50 percent off Windows laptops. On top of that, certain Surface Pro 8 machines with i7 processors are up to $300 off and bundles with the Pro 8 and Pro Keyboard start at $900. Other items on sale include the Surface Laptop Go, which is up to $350 less than usual.

Shop Microsoft sale

eBay

Dyson

eBay's summer sale knocks an additional 20 percent off select items when you use the code SUMMER20SAVE at checkout. Most of the deep discounts are on certified refurbished items, so you can get things like a refurbished Dyson Airwrap Complete Styler for $550. Other gadgets on sale include Bose Sport earbuds, Dyson's V8 Animal cordless vacuum, Sony LinkBuds, Surface Pro 7 bundles and more.

Shop eBay summer sale

Adorama

Engadget

If you need to pick up some new photography or video equipment, Adorama's Create and Save Days sale event could have what you're looking for. A bunch of cameras, lenses, monitors and more have been discounted, and you'll find Sony, Nikon, Shure, LG and other brands included in the sale. The site even has the XBox Series S for only $250, too.

Buy Xbox Series S at Adorama - $250Shop Adorama Create and Save Days event

Dell

Engadget

Dell's Black Friday in July sale knocks up to $500 off PCs, while also discounting new laptops and desktops in many of its lineups. Devices like the new Dell Inspiron 3000 and 5000 laptops are included in this sale, along with gaming machines from Alienware and peripherals like monitors, gaming chairs, headsets, keyboards and more.

Shop Dell Black Friday in July sale

Get the latest Amazon Prime Day offers by following @EngadgetDeals on Twitter and subscribing to the Engadget Deals newsletter.

Introducing the Engadget Deals newsletter!

We launched the @EngadgetDeals Twitter account two years ago, and now we’re excited to announce yet another way you can keep up with the best tech deals. The new Engadget Deals newsletter will launch soon, and you can subscribe now to get the latest deals on our favorite consumer electronics delivered to your inbox regularly.

The @EngadgetDeals Twitter account isn’t going away, of course. The newsletter will be just another option you have if you’re interested in the deals we cover. Engadget has been covering tech sales and discounts in earnest for a few years, and now we even have a dedicated spot on our homepage for it. A big part of our consumer electronics coverage is reviews, and we know that many of you seek out our product coverage as you’re deciding what smartphone to buy or which laptop to invest in next. We hope our deals coverage can be useful in a similar way as something you turn to when you want to know if a sale is actually a good one, or if a gadget you’ve had your eye on for a while is worth picking up on discount. And you can trust that we’re only going to cover worthwhile deals on worthwhile products. If we don’t like a gadget, or if a discount isn’t that great, we won’t cover it.

The Engadget Deals newsletter is another way for us to deliver that information and advice to you, in a place where you’re bound to see it regularly. It’ll highlight our favorite tech deals you can get right now, along with our latest product reviews, buying guides and gift guides. And during peak shopping periods like Amazon Prime Day or the holidays, you can turn to the newsletter as a sort of deals curator, a helper that will only surface the tech deals that are actually worth your money.

If you’re someone who’s always looking for a bargain, or someone who wants to grab a specific gadget at the best price possible, consider subscribing to the new Engadget Deals newsletter. It’ll start going out weekly soon. And if you live on Twitter and haven’t already, be sure to follow @EngadgetDeals over there, too.

Follow @EngadgetDeals on Twitter and subscribe to the Engadget Deals newsletter for the latest tech deals and buying advice.

Amazon sale slashes Fire tablets by up to 45 percent

Amazon's Fire HD tablets are on sale at the second-lowest prices we've seen across a range of 8-inch and 10-inch models. If you're looking for the lowest price possible, the Fire HD 8 is available for just $50, and for the biggest discount, the the Fire HD 8 Plus is on sale for $60, or 45 percent ($50) off the regular price — the second-best deal we've seen so far. 

Buy Fire HD tablets at Amazon

There's already a lot to like about the Fire HD 8, like Alexa support, a USB-C port that allows for faster charging, good build quality, 32GB of storage that's upgradeable via a microSD slot, a sharp 1,200 x 800 display, 2GB of RAM, a big 4,850 mAh battery and a quad-core processor. The main drawback is the lack of Google apps, unless you're willing to side load them. As mentioned, the Fire HD 8 is on sale for $50, or 44 percent off the regular $90 price, and is available in four colors including black and white. 

The Fire HD 8 Plus gives you all of those features, but boosts the RAM from 2GB to 3GB, while including wireless charging and a fast 9W charger in the box. The Fire HD 8 Plus is on sale for just $60 or $50 (45 percent) off the regular price. 

If you need something bigger than 8 inches, a pair of 10-inch tablets are on sale as well. The Fire HD 10 gives you a lot of tablet for the money, including a 1080p display, 32GB of storage, 3GB of RAM, an octa-core battery and fast USB-C charging. It's on sale for $100, or 33 percent off the regular price. And finally, the Fire HD 10 Plus boosts those specs to 4GB of RAM, along with wireless charging and a fast 9W charger. It's on sale for $130, or $50 off the regular price. 

Follow @EngadgetDeals on Twitter for the latest tech deals and buying advice.

'WebCrow 2.0' AI can solve crosswords in two languages

Crossword puzzles aren't always easy to solve even for the most avid human fans, and they also remain one of the most challenging areas in artificial intelligence. Now, the University of Siena in Italy and expert.ai have a launched an AI software called WebCrow 2.0 that can solve crossword puzzles not just in English, but also in Italian. WebCrow 2.0 uses natural language processing technology to understand a puzzle's clues like a human player would. 

That's trickier than it sounds, seeing as the same word could mean totally different things based on context, and crossword puzzle clues could contain a play on words. The answer for the clue "liquid that does not stick," for instance, is "scotch," which alludes to Scotch tape. Expert.ai's knowledge graph also gives it the reasoning power to find the correct meaning of words. Plus, the AI derives information from previously solved puzzles and its self-updating web knowledge to find the correct answer.

Last year, an AI called Dr. Fill outscored most of the best human competitors at the American Crossword Puzzle Tournament. While it's performance wasn't flawless — it did make three mistakes and was thwarted by a phonetically themed puzzle in one instance — Dr. Fill could solve puzzles faster than any human competitor. From July 18th through the 23rd, the creators of WebCrow 2.0 are also pitting their AI against human players. It will be a multilingual competition featuring previously unpublished crosswords in English and Italian and will demonstrate how good the AI actually is.

Marco Gori, a professor for University of Siena's Department of Information Engineering and Mathematical Sciences said: 

"Can machines solve these as well as humans? How do they compare definitions and answer clues with niche or abstract references? Can they pick up on plays on words, linguistic nuances and even humor? We're ready to demonstrate how leveraging context can enable humans and software to work together and take AI-based cognitive abilities to new levels"

'Stray' preview: Because you're a cat

Every gameplay mechanic and design decision in Stray is driven by a single idea: Because you’re a cat. The world of Stray is filled with anthropomorphic robots, futuristic Hong Kong-inspired streets and makeshift skyscrapers built on heaping piles of trash, and it all serves as a playground for the protagonist, an orange tabby on a mission to escape the city and reunite with its family. And knock over as many delicate objects as possible, of course.

In a hands-off preview event for Stray, producer Swann Martin-Raget of BlueTwelve Studio consistently repeated the phrase, “because you’re a cat,” justifying his decisions to topple various items, jump to precarious ledges and curl up to sleep on top of buildings.

“It is required to scratch every wall and sofa because you’re a cat and that's very, very important,” he said, the orange tabby digging its claws into a random robot’s couch cushion.

Set pieces that would be afterthoughts in games like Deus Ex: Mankind Divided or Cyberpunk 2077 are integral to Stray’s gameplay. A paint can left on a rooftop, the textured arm of a sofa, a bucket abandoned in the corner – from the perspective of a cat, these items are irresistible, and in Stray players are rewarded for succumbing to every feline instinct. Gameplay relies on curiosity and freewheeling exploration, with platforming challenges, physics riddles and spatial puzzles built into the environments at cat-level.

BlueTwelve Studio

Take that abandoned bucket for example. As a cat, players can pick it up with the handle in their mouth and chuck it into a fan on the side of a building, jamming the blades and opening up a new walkway. Scratching walls and sofa cushions makes the PlayStation 5 DualSense controller rumble, and pawing at doors can open up new areas to explore. After knocking over that rooftop paint can – because you’re a cat – and spilling yellow goo all over the floor of an empty warehouse, players can walk through the spill, leaving small paw prints in their wake.

This last example isn’t exactly crucial to game progression, but it’s one of the many adorable details that bring Stray to life.

BlueTwelve Studio

Plenty of actions in Stray exist simply because they make sense for a cat protagonist (and probably because they’re cute as hell). There’s a discrete button to meow, even during some cutscenes, and the robots react with shock and frustration when the cat cuts across their board game, throwing pieces to the floor. It’s possible to curl up and sleep basically any time, anywhere – even directly on top of a robot stranger. When the cat gets pets and cuddles from the robots, it purrs and the DualSense’s haptics fire up in response.

“You really feel that you are holding a cat in your hands,” Martin-Raget said. “So that's quite nice.”

But even seemingly innocuous actions can drive the narrative in Stray. There’s an abandoned couch and television set in a back alley of the city, and the cat can turn on the TV and learn more about the world through news programs and ads. The cat’s momentum will make some platforms pivot when it jumps to them, creating new passageways as they swing. The robots are living full lives in every corner of the city, and it’s possible to walk by and gather information from some of them, learning more about the citizens in each environment. The local barman is particularly good in this regard, as barmen in adventure games tend to be.

As cute as all of this sounds, Stray tempers the sweetness with dystopian background details. For instance, End Village is a community built on a sea of trash in an abandoned reservoir, with robots living in a makeshift tower sprouting out of the debris. The robots here are struggling but complacent, and the environment is in stark contrast to the neon lights and vending machines of the main city. In End Village, the cat can roam around, using dangling buckets as elevators and disrupting board games, and there’s a mission to collect flowers for a robot called Zbaltazar, who has knowledge to share about escaping the city.

“End Village is a very interesting example because it shows how we can really use the fact that we are playing as a cat to have fun in level design, in terms of verticality, for example, or types of paths that you can find,” Martin-Raget said. “You can still be, you know, annoying to everyone if you want to.” Because you’re a cat, it goes without saying.

There’s no fall damage in Stray, meaning every jump is a successful one, and dying isn’t a core mechanic (no, not even nine times). It is possible to be killed by the game’s main enemies, these pale beige blobs with glowing yellow eyes that chase the cat as a mob, but otherwise, it’s all about agility and the freedom to explore. Action sequences with the enemies are fast-paced, and the scene Martin-Raget showed off had the cat running and leaping down a long alleyway, the blobs close on its tail.

BlueTwelve Studio

While Stray encourages exploration, the path forward is usually clear, with crates and ledges marked by splotches of yellow and graffiti-style arrows that try to blend into the scenery. Players are able to carry a flashlight and other tools in a small inventory managed by B-12, a cute drone that lives in a backpack the cat picks up along its journey. B-12 has its own backstory, according to Martin-Raget, and it’s the main way the cat interacts with technology and talks to robots. The drone also displays the current objective.

“I don't want to reveal too much about this, but there are a few points in the story where B-12 is a bit more powerful than what I show you now,” Martin-Raget said.

And now some rapid-fire facts about Stray:

  • There are no customization options for the cat.

  • The cat doesn’t have to eat, drink or sleep to stay alive, but it can do these things because they're cute.

  • The cat doesn’t have a name.

  • There are no laser-pointer mini games.

Stray exists somewhere between a futuristic survival game and a housecat simulator, with some machine-powered dystopia sprinkled across the entire thing. It’s about discovery and exploration, but mostly, it’s a game about being a cat.

“As you can see, even though all the jumps are successful, I'm still really free to move around anywhere I want to,” Martin-Raget said, the cat strolling by a can on a ledge. He swiped a paw at it and it clattered to the ground. “I have to make that fall because I'm still a cat.”

Stray is due to hit PlayStation 5, PS4 and PC via Steam on July 19th.

Hitting the Books: How winning the lottery is a lot like being re-struck by lightning

A wise man once said, "never tell me the odds" but whether you're calculating the chances of successfully navigating an asteroid field (3,720:1), shouting "Shazam" and having it work twice in a row (9 million:1), or winning the state lottery (42 million:1 in California), probabilities influence outcomes in our daily lives for events large and small alike. But for the widespread role they play in our lives, your average person is usually just pretty ok with accurately calculating them. As we see in the excerpt below from James C. Zimring's latest title, Partial Truths: How Fractions Distort Our Thinking, our expectations regarding the likelihood of an event occurring can shift, depending on how the question is posed and which fraction is focused upon.

Columbia University Press

Excerpted from Partial Truths: How Fractions Distort Our Thinking by James C. Zimring, published by Columbia Business School Publishing. Copyright (c) 2022 James C. Zimring. Used by arrangement with the Publisher. All rights reserved.


Mistaking the Likely for the Seemingly Impossible: Misjudging the Numerator

The more unlikely an event seems, the more it draws our attention when it does occur and the more compelled we feel to explain why it happened. This just makes good sense. If the world is not behaving according to the rules we understand, perhaps we misunderstand the rules. Our attention should be drawn to unlikely occurrences because new knowledge comes from our attempts to understand contradictions.

Sometimes what seems to be impossible is actually highly probable. A famous example of this is found with playing the lottery (i.e., the lottery fallacy). It is well understood that it is incredibly unlikely that any particular person will win the lottery. For example, the chance of any one ticket winning the Powerball lottery (the particular lottery analyzed in this chapter) is 1/292,000,000. This explains why so much attention is paid to the winners. Where did they buy their ticket? Did they see a fortune teller before buying their ticket, or do they have a history of showing psychic abilities? Do they have any special rituals they carry out before buying a ticket? It is a natural tendency to try to explain how such an unlikely event could have occurred. If we can identify a reason, then perhaps understanding it will help us win the lottery, too.

The lottery fallacy is not restricted to good things happening. Explanations also are sought to explain bad things. Some people are struck by lightning more than once, which seems just too unlikely to accept as random chance. There must be some explanation. Inevitably, it is speculated that the person may have some weird mutant trait that makes them attract electricity, or they carry certain metals on their person or have titanium prosthetics in their body. Perhaps they have been cursed by a mystical force or God has forsaken them.

The lottery fallacy can be understood as a form of mistaking one probability for another, or to continue with our theme from part 1, to mistake one fraction for another. One can express the odds of winning the lottery as the fraction (1/292,000,000), in which the numerator is the single number combination that wins and the denominator is all possible number combinations. The fallacy arises because we tend to notice only the one person with the one ticket who won the lottery. This is not the only person playing the lottery, however, and it is not the only ticket. How many tickets are purchased for any given drawing? The exact number changes, because more tickets are sold when the jackpot is higher; however, a typical drawing includes about 300 million tickets sold. Of course, some of the tickets sold must be duplicates, given that only 292 million combinations are possible. Moreover, if every possible combination were being purchased, then someone would win every drawing. In reality, about 50 percent of the drawings have a winner; thus, we can infer that, on average, 146 million different number combinations are purchased.

Of course, the news does not give us a list of all the people who did not win. Can you imagine the same headline every week, “299,999,999 People Failed to Win the Lottery, Again!” (names listed online at www.thisweekslosers.com). No, the news only tells us that there was a winner, and sometimes who the winner was. When we ask ourselves, “What are the odds of that person winning?” we are asking the wrong question and referring to the wrong fraction. The odds of that particular person winning are 1/292,000,000. By chance alone, that person should win the lottery once every 2,807,692 years that they consistently play (assuming two drawings per week). What we should be asking is “What are the odds of any person winning?”

In probability, the chances of either one thing or another thing happening are the sum of the individual probabilities. So, assuming no duplicate tickets, if only a single person were playing the lottery, then the odds of having a winner are 1/292,000,000. If two people are playing, the odds of having a winner are 2/292,000,000. If 1,000 people are playing, then the odds are 1,000/292,000,000. Once we consider that 146 million different number combinations are purchased, the top of the fraction (numerator) becomes incredibly large, and the odds that someone will win are quite high. When we marvel at the fact that someone has won the lottery, we mistake the real fraction (146,000,000/292,000,000) for the fraction (1/292,000,000) — that is, we are misjudging the numerator. What seems like an incredibly improbable event is actually quite likely. The human tendency to make this mistake is related to the availability heuristic, as described in chapter 2. Only the winner is “available” to our minds, and not all the many people who did not win.

Similarly, the odds of twice being struck by lightning over the course of one’s life are one in nine million. Because 7.9 billion people live on Earth, it is probable that 833 people will be hit by lightning twice in their lives (at least). As with the lottery example, our attention is drawn only to those who are struck by lightning. We fail to consider how many people never get struck. Just as it is unlikely that any one particular person will win the Powerball lottery, it is highly unlikely that no one will win the lottery after a few drawings, just given the number of people playing. Likewise, it is very unlikely that any one person will be twice hit by lightning, but it is even more unlikely that no one will, given the number of people in the world.

So, when we puzzle over such amazing things as someone winning the lottery or being twice struck by lightning, we actually are trying to explain why a highly probable thing happened, which really requires no explanation at all. The rules of the world are working exactly as we understand them, but we are mistaking the highly likely for the virtually impossible.

The best May the 4th deals we could find

May the 4th is here once again and that means a bunch of retailers have deals on Star Wars gadgets, toys and collectibles. If you're a Star Wars fan, or know someone who is, now's the time to stock up on everything from video games to themed Instant Pots while they are deeply discounted. Here are the best May the 4th Star Wars Day deals we could find this year.

Star Wars Instant Pots

Instant Pot

Amazon has a limited-time sale on Star Wars-themed Instant Pots and you can pick up the adorable BB-8 Duo Mini machine for only $60. A number of other schemes, including Darth Vader and Little Bounty, have been discounted as well, and those are full Duo models, so they come with a few more cooking modes and a larger, six-quart capacity.

Buy BB-8 Instant Pot at Amazon - $60Buy Stormtrooper Instant Pot at Amazon - $80Buy R2-D2 Instant Pot at Amazon - $80Buy Little Bounty Instant Pot at Amazon - $80Buy Darth Vader Instant Pot at Amazon - $80

Yubico May the 4th sale

Yubico

Yubico has knocked 54 percent off two-packs of its YubiKey 5 NFC series, That brings the pack of two USB-A security keys down to just over $41, the duo of USB-C keys down to just over $50 and the pack with one of each down to $46. This is a solid sale on some of the latest models from Yubico, and these keys give you a physical way to use two-factor authentication to unlock your devices and accounts.

Shop Yubico May the 4th sale

Amazon May the 4th sale

Tamagotchi

Unsurprisingly, you can find a bunch of discounted Star Wars merch, accessories and more at Amazon today only. You can get knickknacks for your desk, T-shirts with your favorite characters on them, LEGO sets and toy lightsabers for less than usual. Some of our favorite deals include the R2-D2 Tamagotchi for just over $11, the LEGO Star Wars AT-ST Raider set for under $29 and this 2,000-piece The Chosen One puzzle for $15.

Shop May the 4th sale at Amazon

Microsoft May the 4th sale

Microsoft

Microsoft has knocked up to 75 percent off certain Star Wars games, including Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order ($15) and Star Wars Battlefront Ultimate Edition ($5). If you're interested in Xbox 360 games, a bunch of LEGO Star Wars games are down to only $5 each.

Shop May the 4th sale at Microsoft

Best Buy May the 4th sale

Best Buy

Best Buy's sale today knocks up to 30 percent off Star Wars LEGO sets, up to 20 percent off Star Wars 3D puzzles and up to 40 percent off plush figures. You can also save up to 25 percent on certain Star Wars video games, and $57 off this adorable "galactic snackin'" Grogu doll.

Shop Best Buy May the 4th sale

Walmart May the 4th sale

LEGO

Walmart's Star Wars Day sale is much like Best Buy's in that it includes discounts on a hodgepodge of toys, games, collectibles and more. Quite a few Funko Pops are on sale, including this The Child with Canister figurine, plus numerous LEGO sets are cheaper than usual.

Shop Walmart May the 4th sale

Otterbox Symmetry cases

Otterbox

While not on sale, Otterbox just launched a new collection of Star Wars-inspired Symmetry cases for iPhone and Galaxy devices. They're branded with fun illustrations of characters including Darth Vader, Boba Fett and even an Ewok. Since these are Symmetry cases, they have the features that you'd expect from this lineup, including a slim profile, drop protection a raised bumper.

Shop Star Wars cases at Otterbox

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