Google kills the Nest Secure, its $500 home security system

Patrick

It’s really not clear what the future of Google’s home security plan is. We don’t know of any upcoming replacement hardware, and Google just had its big hardware event for the year. The company signed a $450 million deal with the home monitoring firm ADT in August; the partnership “will combine Nest’s award-winning hardware and services, powered by Google’s machine-learning technology, with ADT’s installation, service and professional monitoring.” Hardware like Nest Secure seemed like a big part of that deal, since the combo of a keypad and sensors is the foundation of a home monitoring system like ADT’s. Nest Secure

Beats Flex review: wireless earbud basics done right

Patrick

The new $50 Beats Flex are a very smart play from Apple’s Beats division. One reason why is obvious: with the iPhone 12 lineup no longer shipping with included earbuds, this neckband-style option could prove to be a popular substitute. The Beats Flex earbuds are significantly less expensive than the Beats X they’re replacing — not to mention AirPods. They offer a lengthy 12 hours of battery life, have a comfortable fit, and eliminate the anxiety of losing a truly wireless earbud.

But the other reason why the Flex buds are an important product is, well, Android. Instead of using

Google shuts down Trusted Contacts, its emergency location sharing app

Patrick

Calling Google Maps location sharing a replacement for Trusted Contacts isn’t quite right. Trusted Contacts was more privacy-focused than today’s Google Maps sharing. While both let you share your location, Trusted Contacts did not have an “always-on” location sharing mode. It would let you give people permission to request your location via the emergency request, but they wouldn’t be able to see where you are all the time. In Google Maps, there is no request system, so if you want other people to be able to see your location in an emergency, you need to proactively share your location for

Samsung’s Galaxy Buds Live wireless earbuds are $35 off at Woot today

Patrick

Woot is selling Samsung’s fantastic bean-shaped wireless earbuds, the Galaxy Buds Live, for just $135, knocking $35 off the normal retail price. This deal is exclusive to people with an active Amazon Prime membership. Woot says the sale will last until October 31st unless it sells out before then.

Woot has four color options available for the Galaxy Buds Live: mystic black, mystic bronze, mystic blue, and the newly announced mystic red. Aside from an unconventional design, my colleagues, Chris Welch and Becca Farsace, pointed out in their reviews that the Galaxy Buds Live also produce a powerful sound

Heading in the right direction

Patrick
Sony Xperia 5 II in the hand

Sony’s 2020 flagship — the ultra-premium Xperia 1 II — has many strengths, but is ultimately a hard sell with its colossal $1,199/£1,099 price tag. The Xperia 5 range forms Sony’s more sensibly priced flagship tier, with the new Xperia 5 II coming in at a much more reasonable $949/£799. It’s been well received by critics too. In our review, we called it, “perhaps Sony’s best phone ever.”

I wasn’t enamored with the expensive Xperia 1 II, but I agree that Sony is definitely onto something with the 5 II. The handset provides exceptional hardware and a bewildering selection of

How to use AWS – a simple guide for beginners

Patrick

How to use AWS

Amazon Web Services (AWS) is Amazon’s powerful, market-leading solution for cloud computing. The platform offers a suite of products for businesses: security, cloud backup, machine learning, IoT solutions, and more. In this post, we will explore how to use AWS.

What you need to know

Many entrepreneurs and small businesses may assume that AWS is not for them. Perhaps the pricing will be too prohibitive, or it will require too much technical know-how.

While both of these issues certainly do crop up from time-to-time, the truth is that Amazon’s offerings are extremely wide-reaching and include options at many different price

Samsung will reportedly debut its next Galaxy S phones in January 2021

Patrick

Samsung’s next flagship phone could arrive in January 2021, Android Central reported. And new leaked renders show the camera bump of the Galaxy S20 will also feature in the forthcoming Galaxy S30 (or S21; the name isn’t official yet).

According to reliable leaker Steve Hemmerstoffer (aka @OnLeaks), the Galaxy S30 standard model will have a 6.2-inch flat screen with a hole-punch front-facing camera. The S30 Ultra shows a larger, curved screen measuring between 6.7 and 6.9 inches. The leaks don’t provide detail about the phones’ internal specs, however.

Render of the supposed Galaxy S21 / Galaxy S30.
Steve Hemmerstoffer

If recycling plastics isn’t making sense, remake the plastics

Patrick
Enlarge / Workers sort plastic waste as a forklift transports plastic waste at Yongin Recycling Center in Yongin, South Korea.

A few years back, it looked like plastic recycling was set to become a key part of a sustainable future. Then, the price of fossil fuels plunged, making it cheaper to manufacture new plastics. Then China essentially stopped importing recycled plastics for use in manufacturing. With that, the bottom dropped out of plastic recycling, and the best thing you could say for most plastics is that they sequestered the carbon they were made of.

The absence of a market for

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