Sonos One is the speaker to beat for those who want great sound and...

The connected speaker wars are upon us, and one day they will be detailed in history books for all to remember. But here, now, it can be hard to cut through the various narratives surrounding the options out there and pick a winner. Now that the cards are on the table in terms of offerings from the major players, it’s pretty clear that Sonos has the best option available for most people.

Ultrasound could waken a sleeping smart home

The home of the future, we are assured, will be swarming with tiny sensors: security cameras, carbon monoxide detectors, speakers and everything else. Few need to be running all the time — but how do you wake them up when they’re needed if they’re off in the first place? Ultrasound.

Mozilla and NSF awards $380K to small projects connecting the unconnected

The FCC may be hard at work at “bridging the digital divide,” as Chairman Pai so frequently puts it, and the Connect America Fund II will help. But while the big players are setting up, people all over the U.S. are going without reliable internet. Mozilla and the National Science Foundation are awarding cash to projects that aim to connect those still waiting on the bandwidth we take for granted.

Humans sow seeds of destruction by abusing poor robot just trying to walk through...

You may remember last week that Boston Dynamics’ latest robot, a trim and yellow Spot Mini, has learned to open doors. Seems like at this point you don’t want to anger them. They will find you. Or rather, they’ll find the company’s designated robot abuser and punish him for stopping poor robots from doing what they have been told to do. Soon Spot Mini will not be the one on a leash.

Here’s how to make Alexa control a toilet — because why not?

Alexa-controlled toilets are a thing in 2018, but cost thousands. An enterprising person can make their own by following these instructions. It takes a bit of work, multiple components and about $750 (plus the cost of the toilet), but the end result is a voice-controlled toilet — and everyone needs that in their life.

One of Nest’s cameras can now double as a Google Assistant

After Google announced earlier this month that it was going to wrap Nest back into Google’s hardware operation, everyone figured we’d see a bit...

Nest rolls out a $5 cloud recording plan for its cameras

Just a quick bit of news for those with Nest cams around the house: a new, cheaper Nest Aware (read: the cloud recording service...

Apple could be buying cobalt from mining companies directly

Cobalt is the new oil. Car companies and battery manufacturers are all rushing to secure multiyear contracts with mining companies for their lithium-ion batteries. According to a Bloomberg report, Apple is also participating in this game as the company wants to secure its long-term supplies.

A system to tell good fake bokeh from bad

The pixel-peepers over at DxOMark have shared some of the interesting metrics and techniques they use to judge the quality of a smartphone’s artificial bokeh, or background blur in photos. Not only is it difficult to do in the first place, but they have to systematize it! Their guide should provide even seasoned shooters with some insight into the many ways “computational bokeh,” as they call it, varies in quality.

Intel ships update for newest Spectre-affected chips

Intel has announced that the fix is out for its latest chips affected by Spectre, the memory-leakage flaw affecting practically all computing hardware. The patch is for the Skylake generation (late 2015) and newer, though most users will still have to wait for the code to be implemented by whoever manufactured their computer (specifically, their motherboard).