Good morning! It’s Amazon Prime Day and today’s deep dive into all things tech is brought to you by Roborock!
Roborock makes smarter-than-your-average smart vacuums, and today you can scoop up savings thanks to their Prime Day offerings! Click the link for the full details.
It’s Amazon Prime Day, it’s Walmart’s rival Deals for Days sale, and it’s also Target Deal Days. Despite those slightly awkward names, there’s a bunch of good tech up for grabs!
- Here’s Android Authority’s constantly updated page of best Amazon Prime Day deals, including a top 10 of deals happening now.
- That list includes, as I write, three smartphones: Samsung Galaxy S21 for $599.99 ($200 off), the Galaxy S20 FE for $479 ($220.99 off) and the OnePlus 8 for $349 ($350 off).
- Other good deals: Sony WH-1000XM4 for $248 ($92 off), a Fitbit Charge 4 for $99.95 ($50 off), and a Fire TV Stick 4K for $24.99 ($25 off).
- There’s plenty on offer if you’re an AirPods person too, or know someone who is, including $60 off the AirPods Pro.
- The Kindle Paperwhite drops to a new low of $80 for Prime Day too, a full $50 off, while the Oasis is $75 — compare which is right for you here.
- I feel most of those, and the Sony XM4s in particular, and Roborock’s deals, will be ridiculously popular.
Oppo’s awesome rollable
My colleague Dhruv Bhutani has had Oppo’s rollable phone, the Oppo X 2021, for what he says was an all-too-brief amount of time.
Why? Well, Dhruv thinks this form factor, rather than foldables, really is the best of expandable display tech:
- “I’m sure I must have unrolled the display at least a hundred times over the two days I had with the phone. The sheer act of seeing a display rolling out and expanding the canvas is magical. I just couldn’t get enough of watching the transformation as content seamlessly flowed and readjusted itself to the new dimensions. Oppo’s fantastic transition animations further help the cause and even a few minutes with the Oppo X 2021 is enough to convince you that rolling displays are more than a neat party trick.”
- High praise!
- Read his just published full article and decide for yourself: Oppo’s rollable phone is pure magic, and I can’t wait to buy one.
The rise and fall of Oxygen OS(Android Authority).
A weird SSID (“%p%s%s%s%s%n”) can disable an iPhone’s Wi-Fi functionality which is fun and odd! It can’t be fixed with a reboot, either, but a complete network settings reset does the job, though that’s a pain (Android Authority). Here’s the technical explanation (blog.chichou.me).
From late last week: a Sony Xperia phone passed through FCC, suggesting the imminent release of either the Xperia 1 III or Xperia 5 III in US (Android Authority).
Mozilla wants you to avoid buying three ‘creepy’ gadgets on Prime Day 2021: Amazon’s Echo Dot smart speakers, Ring doorbells and cameras, and the Samsung Galaxy Watch 3 (Android Authority)
Speaking of: Texas power companies remotely raised temperatures on residents’ smart thermostats up to 80°F/25°C, to reduce the strain on the power grid which is suffering again after the winter outages, and unsettling everyone in the process (Gizmodo).
How Roku used the Netflix playbook to beat bigger players and rule streaming video (CNBC).
On that note: the US has new TV ratings. Nielsen’s new approach, it calls “The Gauge,” has the approval of Netflix CEO Reed Hastings, and it tells us that while Netflix and YouTube are far ahead of their digital rivals, people still spend more time watching cable and network TV (NY Times).
Apple Watch accessory maker Wristcam raises $25M: it makes a wristband that can take 4K images and record 1080p video for $300. I’m not sure I get it, but it’s an interesting space (TechCrunch).
Porsche will build a high-performance battery factory in Germany for 2024, but what’s unusual is that it’s about high-performance, not volume production (Ars Technica).
People keep finding late loved ones on Google Maps: Some find it comforting, some find it creepy (Vox).
Interesting, long interview with Jim Keller, famously a key chip designer at Apple, AMD, Tesla, and recently Intel, and now Tenstorrent (AnandTech).
The Lazarus heist: How North Korea almost pulled off a billion-dollar hack — a long read that comes out of a 10-episode BBC World Service podcast that you might be interested in, too (BBC).
‘Atomically thin’ transistors could help make electronic skins a reality (Engadget).
A big surprise is coming for the night sky: an “extremely eccentric” minor planet (dwarf?) will visit the inner solar system this decade, getting as close as 11AU or equivalent to Saturn’s orbit! (New Atlas). Check the infectious post to the Minor Planet mailing list (groups.io).
“What are your thoughts on parallel universes?” (r/askreddit).
This is fun too: “Home Depot paint mixers of Reddit, what is the weirdest thing you’ve had to color match?” (r/askreddit) (Eyes, cats, chocolate milkshakes…)
Here’s an XKCD for the start of your week:
- Hover text: “I always figured you should never bring a gun to a gun fight because then you’ll be part of a gun fight.”
Tristan Rayner, Senior Editor