BlackBerry BlackBerry debuted a red version of its Key2 flagship phone, notable for its physical keyboard, at MWC in February, but it hasn’t been available in the US prior to now. On Friday the company announced that the Key2 Red Edition is now shipping here for $699. That’s $50 more than its basic black sibling, but it also includes 128GB memory (compared to 64GB for the plain old Key2) and includes red BlackBerry-branded earbuds.It’s available now via Amazon and Best Buy.BlackBerry shipped its phone for the keyboard-nostalgic roughly 10 months ago, but took its first shot at a color with the Key2 LE, a lower-end model, towards the end of 2018. The Key2 Red Edition uses a more sedate, darker shade of red than the bright Key2 LE.When we reviewed the Key2, we felt that only keyboard diehards could love the phone enough to overlook its cramped-feeling keyboard, laggy performance, meh low-light photos and awkwardly located capacitive navigation buttons. CNET may get a commission from retail offers. Boost Mobile Turo Sarah Tew/CNET The Cheapskate Share your voice $994 See at Turo An Echo Dot makes a fine match for any Fire edition TV, because you can use the latter to say things like, “Alexa, turn on the TV.” Right now, the 24-inch Insignia Fire TV Edition starts at just $100, while the 32-inch Toshiba Fire TV Editions is on sale for $130. Just add any Fire TV Edition to your cart, then add a third-gen Echo Dot, and presto: The latter is free. Tags 38 Photos Preview • The BlackBerry Key2 doubles down on literally everything Mentioned Above BlackBerry Key2 (64GB, black) Angela Lang/CNET Read DJI Osmo Action preview Tags Though not technically a Labor Day sale, it’s happening during Labor Day sale season — and it’s too good not to share. Nationwide Distributors, via Google Express, has just about the best AirPods deal we’ve seen (when you apply promo code ZBEDWZ at checkout). This is for the second-gen AirPods with the wireless charging case. Can’t imagine these will last long at this price, so if you’re interested, act fast. Sprint Other Labor Day sales you should check out Best Buy: In addition to some pretty solid MacBook deals that have been running for about a week already, Best Buy is offering up to 40% off major appliances like washers, dryers and stoves. There are also gift cards available with the purchase of select appliances. See it at Best BuyDell: Through Aug. 28, Dell is offering an extra 12% off various laptops, desktops and electronics. And check back starting Aug. 29 for a big batch of Labor Day doorbusters. See it at DellGlassesUSA: Aug. 29 – Sept. 3 only, you can save 65% on all frames with promo code labor65. See it at GlassesUSALenovo: The tech company is offering a large assortment of deals and doorbusters through Labor Day, with the promise of up to 56% off certain items — including, at this writing, the IdeaPad 730S laptop for $700 (save $300).See it at LenovoLensabl: Want to keep the frames you already love and paid for? Lensabl lets you mail them in for new lenses, based on your prescription. From now through Sept. 2 only, you can save 20% on the blue light-blocking lens option with promo code BLOCKBLUE. See it at LensablSears: Between now and Sept. 7, you can save up to 40% on appliances (plus an additional 10% if you shop online), up to 60% on mattresses, up to 50% on Craftsman products and more. The store is also offering some fairly hefty cashback bonuses. See it at SearsNote: This post was published previously and is continuously updated with new information.CNET’s Cheapskate scours the web for great deals on tech products and much more. For the latest deals and updates, follow the Cheapskate on Facebook and Twitter. Questions about the Cheapskate blog? Find the answers on our FAQ page, and find more great buys on the CNET Deals page. $6 at Tidal 4:16 Tidal 3-month family subscription: $5.99 (save $54) Now playing: Watch this: Comment See It Chris Monroe/CNET BlackBerry Key2 BlackBerry Key2 review: 6 things to know Turo: Save $30 on any car rental See it What’s cooler: A snapshot of a firework exploding in front of you, or full 360-degree video of all the fireworks and all the reactions to seeing them? Oooh, ahhh, indeed. At $250, the compact Rylo dual-lens camera is selling for its lowest price yet. And for an extra $50, you can get the bundle that includes the waterproof housing.This deal runs through Sept. 3; it usually costs $500. $999 $261 at Daily Steals via Google Express Amazon CNET may get a commission from retail offers. Comments See it $210 at Best Buy Sarah Tew/CNET Phones Sarah Tew/CNET Rylo 1 BlackBerry,I’m shocked — shocked! — to learn that stores are turning Labor Day into an excuse to sell stuff. Wait — no, I’m not. As much as I respect the original intent of the holiday (which became official back in 1894), to most of us, it’s just a bonus day off — one that’s blissfully tacked onto a weekend. So, yeah, stores; go ahead, run your sales. I’m listening. Perhaps unsurprisingly, Labor Day doesn’t bring out bargains to compete with the likes of Black Friday (which will be here before you know it), but there are definitely some sales worth your time.For example:We’ve rounded up the best Labor Day mattress deals.We’ve also gathered the best Labor Day laptop deals at Best Buy.The 2019 Vizio P Series Quantum is back under $999.Be sure to check out Amazon’s roughly three dozen Labor Day deals on TVs and audio. Google Express is having a big sale as well, one that includes deals on game consoles, AirPods, iPhones, laptops and more.Below I’ve rounded up a handful of individual items I consider to be the cream of the crop, followed by a handy reference guide to other Labor Day sales. Keep in mind, of course, that products may sell out at any time, even if the sale itself is still running. Note that CNET may get a share of revenue from the sale of the products featured on this page. Read the Rylo camera preview $90 at Daily Steals via Google Express DJI’s answer to GoPro’s action cameras is rugged little model that’s shockproof, dustproof and waterproof down to 11 meters. It normally runs $350, but this deal drops it to $261 when you apply promo code 19LABOR10 at checkout. JBL Soundgear wearable speaker: $90 (save $160) Read Google Home Hub review $155 at Google Express Read the AirPods review Lenovo Smart Clock: $59.99 (save $20) Rylo 5.8K 360 Video Camera: $250 (save $250) $999 Recently updated to include digital-photo-frame capabilities, the Lenovo Smart Clock brings Google Assistant goodness to your nightstand. It’s a little smaller than the Amazon Echo Show 5, but also a full $30 less (and tied with Prime Day pricing) during this Best Buy Labor Day sale. $59 at eBay Google Nest Hub: $59 (save $70) Preview • iPhone XS is the new $1,000 iPhone X 7 I thought this might be a mistake, but, no, the weirdly named HP Laptop 15t Value is indeed quite the value at this price. Specs include an Intel Core i7 processor, 12GB of RAM, a 256GB solid-state drive and a 15.6-inch display. However, I strongly recommend paying an extra $50 to upgrade that display to FHD (1,920×1,080), because you’re not likely to be happy with the native 1,366×768 resolution. Sarah Tew/CNET Turo is kind of like Uber meets Airbnb: You borrow someone’s car, but you do all the driving. I’ve used it many times and found it a great alternative to traditional car-rental services — in part because you get to choose exactly the vehicle you want (not just, say, “midsize”) and in part because you can often do pickup and dropoff right outside baggage claim.Between now and Sept. 1, the first 300 people to check out can get $30 off any Turo rental with promo code LDW30. $520 at HP Free Echo Dot with an Insignia or Toshiba TV (save $50) The problem with most entry-level laptops: They come with mechanical hard drives. That makes for a mighty slow Windows experience. This Lenovo model features a 128GB solid-state drive, so it should be pretty quick to boot and load software, even with its basic processor. Plus, it has a DVD-burner! That’s not something you see in many modern laptops, especially at this price. Mentioned Above Apple iPhone XS (64GB, space gray) Apple AirPods with Wireless Charging Case: $155 (save $45) Best laptops for college students: We’ve got an affordable laptop for every student. Best live TV streaming services: Ditch your cable company but keep the live channels and DVR. Use promo code 19LABOR10 to get an unusually good deal on JBL’s interesting hybrid product — not quite headphones, and not quite a traditional speaker, but something you wear like neckphones to listen to music on the go. HP Laptop 15t Value: $520 (save $780) $999 Share your voice Read Lenovo Smart Clock review Review • iPhone XS review, updated: A few luxury upgrades over the XR See at Amazon $60 at Best Buy See It Best Buy See It Lenovo 130-15AST 15.6-inch laptop: $210 (save $90) Spotify and most other streaming services rely on compressed audio, which robs the listener of full fidelity. Enter Tidal, the only “major” service that delivers lossless audio — meaning at least on par with CD quality, if not better. Want to see (er, hear) the difference for yourself? Grab this excellent extended trial while you can. It’s just $6 for three months, and it’s good for up to six listeners. BlackBerry Key2 changes everything $999 $299 at Amazon DJI Osmo Action camera: $261 (save $89) Apple iPhone XS Review • BlackBerry Key2 will make you crazy if you’re not a keyboard die-hard TVs Speakers Mobile Accessories Cameras Laptops Automobiles Smart Speakers & Displays Formerly known as the Google Home Hub, Google’s Nest Hub packs a wealth of Google Assistant goodness into a 7-inch screen. At $59, this is within a buck of the best price we’ve seen. It lists for $129 and sells elsewhere in the $89-to-$99 range.This is one item of many available as part of eBay’s Labor Day Sale (which, at this writing, doesn’t specifically mention Labor Day, but that’s how it was pitched to us).
© 2016 Phys.org More information: S. O. Kepler et al, A white dwarf with an oxygen atmosphere, Science (2016). DOI: 10.1126/science.aad6705 Abstract Researchers have discovered a white dwarf star with an atmosphere dominated by oxygen, a type of white dwarf that has been theorized to exist but not identified to date. The finding could challenge the textbook wisdom of single stellar evolution, and provide a critical link to some types of supernovae discovered over the past decade. As relatively small stars (those less than ten times the mass of our sun) near the end of their lives, they throw off their outer layers and become white dwarf stars, which are very dense. The high gravity that occurs under such density causes the lighter elements, such as hydrogen or helium, to float to the surface of the star, masking the heavier elements below. While combing through data from the Sloan Digital Sky Survey (SDSS), Souza Oliveira Kepler et al. identified SDSS J124043.01+671034.68, a white dwarf with its outer layer of light elements stripped away, revealing a nearly pure layer of oxygen. Several different theories have predicted that the outer layer of a white dwarf can be stripped, but identification of SDSS J124043.01+671034.68 provides the first evidence of this phenomenon. One possibility is that interactions with a nearby companion in a binary star caused SDSS J124043.01+671034.68 to bare its oxygen envelope. Another possibility is that a massive pulse of burning carbon from the center of the star, emulating outwards, eliminated the lighter elements. A Perspective by Boris Gänsicke provides further context. This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only. Explore further What are the different kinds of supernovae? A trio of researchers, two with the Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul and the other with Universität Kiel has discovered something very unique—a white dwarf with an atmosphere that is made almost completely of oxygen. In their paper published in the journal Science, Kepler de Souza Oliveira, Detlev Koester and Gustavo Ourique describe how they came to discover the oddity and offer some ideas on how it might have come to exist. Boris Gänsicke with the University of Warwick offers an essay on the work by the team in the same journal issue.White dwarfs come about, scientists believe, when a relatively ‘small’ star runs out of fuel, losing its outer layer as the star shrinks down due to gravity—the stronger gravitational force then usually causes the heaviest elements to be drawn towards the core pushing the lighter ones, such as helium and hydrogen to the surface. But this new white dwarf is different, the researchers report, instead of the usual mix of light elements at the surface, there is almost nothing but pure oxygen. Nicknamed Dox, the star is the first ever of any kind to be observed to have a nearly pure oxygen outer layer. Journal information: Science Citation: White dwarf with almost pure oxygen atmosphere discovered (2016, April 1) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2016-04-white-dwarf-pure-oxygen-atmosphere.html Image of Sirius A and Sirius B taken by the Hubble Space Telescope. Sirius B, which is a white dwarf, can be seen as a faint pinprick of light to the lower left of the much brighter Sirius A. Image: NASA, ESA Such a phenomenon has been predicted before, but most in the field never believed that such a star would ever be observed, thus it came as quite a surprise to team member Gustavo Ourique as he poured over thousands of simple graphs made from data generated by the New Mexico observatory. It was not until further tests were run that it was confirmed that the unique graph he had found turned out to represent data from the strange white dwarf. Though it is impossible at this point to say with any certainty what caused the unique star formation, the researchers believe it is likely tied to an earlier event—they believe that Dox may once have been one of a pair of stars forming a binary system, and as the other star ran out of fuel it would have become a red giant, which would perhaps have been able to interact with its partner directly. The outcome, the researchers suggest could have laid the groundwork for a later explosion that caused Dox to lose its other lighter elements, leaving mostly pure oxygen in its outer layer.
A cyber-attack into one of United States’ biggest media groups, the Tribune Publishing, caused major printing and delivery disruptions for several major US newspapers over the weekend. This cyber attack affected the printing centers operated by the publishing firm and also its former property, the Los Angeles Times. The attack that took place on Saturday seemed to have originated from outside the United States, according to the Los Angeles Times report. This led to the distribution delays in the Saturday edition of the Times, the Tribune, the Sun and other newspapers that share a production platform in Los Angeles. According to The New York Times, “a news article in The Los Angeles Times, and one outside computer expert said the attack shared characteristics with a form of ransomware called Ryuk, which was used to target a North Carolina water utility in October and other critical infrastructure.” According to The Los Angeles Times report, “The Times and the San Diego paper became aware of the problem near midnight on Thursday. Programmers worked to isolate the bug, which Tribune Publishing identified as a malware attack, but at every turn, the programmers ran into additional issues trying to access a myriad of files, including advertisements that needed to be added to the pages or paid obituaries.” “After identifying the server outage as a virus, technology teams made progress on Friday quarantining it and bringing back servers, but some of their security patches didn’t hold and the virus began to reinfect the network, impacting a series of servers used for news production and manufacturing processes”, the report added. By late Friday, the attack was hindering the transmission of pages from offices across Southern California to printing presses as publication deadlines approached. Tribune Publishing said in a statement on Saturday, “the personal data of our subscribers, online users, and advertising clients have not been compromised. We apologize for any inconvenience and thank our readers and advertising partners for their patience as we investigate the situation.” It was unclear whether company officials have been in contact with law enforcement regarding the suspected attack. Katie Waldman, a spokeswoman for the Department of Homeland Security, said “we are aware of reports of a potential cyber incident affecting several news outlets, and are working with our government and industry partners to better understand the situation”, the Los Angeles Times reported. Pam Dixon, executive director of the World Privacy Forum, a nonprofit public interest research group, said, “usually when someone tries to disrupt a significant digital resource like a newspaper, you’re looking at an experienced and sophisticated hacker”. She added that the holidays are “a well known time for mischief” by digital troublemakers because organizations are more thinly staffed. Read more about this news on The Los Angeles Times’ complete report. Read Next Hackers are our society’s immune system – Keren Elazari on the future of Cybersecurity Anatomy of a Crypto Ransomware Sennheiser opens up about its major blunder that let hackers easily carry out man-in-the-middle attacks
Remember when 1-800 numbers were cause for concern? Tripcentral.ca has seen it all Tuesday, May 29, 2018 About Latest Posts Kathryn FolliottEditor at TravelweekKathryn is Editor at Travelweek and has worked for the company since 1995. She has travelled to more than 50 countries and counts Hong Kong, Jerusalem, the Swiss Alps and the Galapagos Islands among her favourite destinations. Latest posts by Kathryn Folliott (see all) “They need to go where the bucks are”: Agents on ACTA partnership – April 18, 2019 As the cost of doing business climbs, host agencies, retail groups say they have options – April 4, 2019 As of 2021 Europe-bound clients will need to apply online for a visa waiver and pay a fee – April 3, 2019 << Previous PostNext Post >> Posted by Share Tags: Travelweek, Tripcentral.ca Kathryn Folliott This story originally ran in the May 10th, 2018 issue of Travelweek magazine. To get Travelweek delivered to your agency for free, subscribe here.TORONTO — Tripcentral.ca is looking to grow with new locations in Western Canada and in Quebec but timing is everything and the travel agency chain, now with 26 storefronts in Ontario, Nova Scotia and New Brunswick, says getting its expansion ‘right’ is more important than getting it ‘right away’.Growth into Quebec would be either a strategic acquisition or partnership, says Tripcentral.ca President Richard Vanderlubbe, adding, “out West would be fun too. We do better when we have a presence on the ground, but the distance is bigger and we’d need to do it carefully. We’re not in particular hurry – if the timing is right, you never know. Each location and opportunity is evaluated uniquely, since our locations are not only a place for our agents to work, but also a live billboard for the website and a trust factor for a geographic market.”That website, Tripcentral.ca, is the travel agency’s calling card in the consumer market, and one of the original online travel sites, going back to the very early days of OTAs. The site was launched in 1996, the same year Expedia and Travelocity got their start. When Tripcentral.ca launched, seven years after the travel agency was founded in 1989, very few travel agencies had their own domain name, much less a functioning site. “It started with Microsoft Access 1.0 and my ex-wife literally keying last minute package specials faxed to us into a database,” said Vanderlubbe. “We eventually made that database public on the web in 1996. From there we were able to eventually have all Toronto departures, not just last-minutes, and then national. The site was branded tripcentral.ca in 2001, and we branded our locations tripcentral.ca in 2003.” These days Vanderlubbe and industry veteran Paul Foster own and operate all 26 of the company’s storefront locations in Ontario, Nova Scotia and New Brunswick.While the Tripcentral.ca site has become a powerhouse, the majority of the company’s sales still come through the bricks-and-mortar agencies. “People will be surprised that most of our volume is through our traditional channels but our website is not in competition with our agents. We use the multi-channelled approach because that is what customers want. They want the convenience of web shopping and booking at any time, and they like the trust and knowledge of our agents.”Tripcentral.ca’s agents are credited back web bookings when they have been in recent two-way contact. There’s overlap, and that works to the company’s advantage, says Vanderlubbe, with each point of contact building brand recognition for the other points of contact. “It becomes very hard to determine exactly what is online, local phone, or web-influenced … and there is strong action to call an agent and interact on the phone or over chat.”The ratio of pure, unassisted online bookings to non-online bookings hasn’t changed much for the company, he adds. “Today we are not heavy into the flight-only marketing. If we decide to, our flight-only transactions would likely have a much higher online percentage. When people are going to spend a week or more of their precious holiday time, they usually have a lot of questions.”While Tripcentral.ca certainly isn’t the only retail travel agency to have a website, Vanderlubbe says Tripcentral.ca’s vertical integration with online and bricks-and-mortar, going back more than 20 years, has given the company a multi-channel experience that is an entirely different model from lead-generating sites where agents make bids for would-be bookings. “Those businesses would not necessarily have the consistency of customer experience as Tripcentral.ca.”Back in the mid-1990s, bricks-and-mortar and online seemed like two increasingly at-war camps. Then came the realization that travel agencies needed to be everywhere their clients were, and that included the web. “I’ve always said, the Internet is not a channel of distribution. It is a channel of communication, just like walk in, phone, etc. You never saw a travel agency that only dealt in person and not by phone,” says Vanderlubbe. “In the 1980s and 1990s there were not ‘fax only agencies’.” He adds: “Back in my early days, it was 1-800 numbers everyone was freaked about. Customers are customers who want value for their money and a trusted place to book. That has not changed.”
Tags: Christmas, Insight Vacations, New Tours TORONTO — Insight Vacations has no fewer than eight Christmas Markets journeys in its ‘2018-19 Seasons – Autumn, Winter and Spring’ lineup. “Travel during the festive season adds such a significant touch to the overall experience and we received positive feedback from our loyal Canadian agents about the increasing popularity of our Christmas Markets program,” says Brad Ford, President, Insight Vacations Canada. “The holiday season is a time to build incredible memories and our carefully curated Insight Experiences are so rich in festive cheer, sampling local specialties and unique highlights that will create memories to last a lifetime and allow guests to experience Christmas like never before.” Here’s a look at three of the trips:Alpine Christmas MarketsThis 10-day itinerary takes clients through traditional German towns and the snow-frosted Alps. Munich embraces the holiday season with a flourish, and “there is no better place for guests to begin their trip”. Highlights include Christkindlmarkt and Salzburg, where a Local Expert takes travellers to Mozart’s family home, and where travellers can take in the 500-year-old Christmas Market in front of the cathedral. In Strasbourg guests will explore France’s largest and Europe’s oldest Christmas Market. Meanwhile Zurich is home to Europe’s biggest indoor Christmas extravaganza, held inside the main railway station with a three-storey Christmas tree, draped with twinkling Swarovski crystals.Christmas Markets of Poland, Prague & GermanyClients on this nine-day regional journey through Poland, Czech Republic and Germany start with time in Krawków, where the Christmas Market takes place on the Main Market Square with roasted chestnuts and traditional ‘oscypek’ cheese with cranberries. With a Local Expert, guests journey on for picturesque views from Prague Castle, which give way to the decorated Old Town Square with its giant Christmas tree draped in twinkling lights and surrounded by decorative wooden stalls. Then it’s on to Germany, known by many as the ultimate European destination for Christmas Markets, with stops in Dresden and Berlin.Christmas Markets of Austria & BavariaThis nine-day itinerary begins in Vienna with a private walk through the opulent Schönbrunn Palace. Once at the Viennese Christmas Market, a local stallholder is on hand with Viennese winter desserts paired with Glühwein. The trip then heads to Salzburg and on to Oberammergau and its colourful painted chalets, and King Ludwig II’s fairy-tale castle in Neuschwanstein. A final day is spent in Munich at the Christmas Market of Marienplatz, complete with carol sing-alongs, tasty treats and a tree lit up with 3,000 candles. Plenty of choice – and cheer – with Insight’s Christmas Markets << Previous PostNext Post >> Share Travelweek Group Thursday, September 6, 2018 Posted by