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For Netflix and Disney Plus, this is the biggest new movie week of the summer

Tue, 09/06/2020 - 17:30

Since the beginning of lockdown, movie studios have made up for the shuttering of theaters and cinemas in a number of ways. Many movies doomed to low grosses at the box office landed quickly on video on demand, or on streaming services. Some films meant for the big screen bypassed that entirely, like the Tom Hardy flick Capone.

As tentative steps are made to reopen theaters around the world, what would normally be the tail end of the summer blockbuster season is instead a waiting period before we're bombarded with one big theatrical movie after another (starting with Christopher Nolan's Tenet on July 17). 

This week, though, might be the biggest of the summer for both Netflix and Disney Plus, even if their new releases couldn't be more different. For Netflix, it will release its highest-profile original movie of the summer, Da 5 Bloods, from director Spike Lee. For Disney Plus, it releases its first movie that was planned for theaters but is now only coming to the streaming service, the kids' book adaptation Artemis Fowl. 

Both are significant releases in this unusual year of movies, and say a lot about what each streaming service's goals are right now. We'll explain what the deal is with both movies below, and when you can watch them. We'll also highlight one new movie coming to Amazon Prime Video this week that you should definitely check out. 

Da 5 Bloods (Netflix)

Netflix has kept up a fairly good schedule of original film releases over the past few months, highlighted by the Chris Hemsworth action movie Extraction. Da 5 Bloods, though, is an even bigger deal. Coming from director Spike Lee, it represents the latest coup by Netflix in releasing a movie from a big-name director (though Lee previously worked with the streaming service on the She's Gotta Have It series). 

Da 5 Bloods is about a group of African American Vietnam War veterans who return to the country to retrieve the remains of their squad captain (played in flashback by Chadwick Boseman), not to mention some treasure they concealed years before. The cast features Delroy Lindo, Isiah Whitlock Jr, Clarke Peters and Norm Lewis. According to a Vanity Fair reveal on Da 5 Bloods, it's part war film, with a few visual references to Apocalypse Now, part horror and part comedy about these old soldiers coming together again at an advanced age. In the intervening years, each has changed in their own way.

Based on a pre-existing script, Lee and BlacKkKlansman co-writer Kevin Willmott decided to make the movie about African American Vietnam vets. The movie apparently addresses the lack of Vietnam movies about black soldiers, and the long-lasting effects of the war on its participants.

The entire lockdown period has reinforced how much of a place there is for Netflix's original movies. While arguably only a few have become true blockbusters (Bright, for example, or 6 Underground with Ryan Reynolds), the streaming service has instead focused more on the types of movies that exist between those films and independent cinema. They're more like mid-sized films, which have been harder to make in the last decade of Marvel movie dominance. 

For Da 5 Bloods specifically, Netflix's backing of another acclaimed director gives the service further credibility, following its past collaborations with Martin Scorsese, Ava DuVernay, Alfonso Cuarón and Noah Baumbach.

Da 5 Bloods is streaming on Netflix from Friday 12 June

Artemis Fowl (Disney Plus)

Artemis Fowl represents a big moment for Disney Plus. Though a result of the current circumstances more than anything else, Artemis Fowl is a $125 million film adaptation of the popular book series that was once intended for theaters. Directed by Kenneth Branagh, nothing about it looks low-budget, especially the ensemble cast, which features Colin Farrell and Judi Dench, among others.

To be honest, our first reaction to the trailer above is that it looks pretty bad. The YouTube comments are rife with fans of the books by Eoin Colfer pointing out the ways in which they feel the film misrepresents the source material. 

Still, just the act of putting this on Disney Plus is huge, and it's the first blockbuster of the year to only be available on a streaming service first, without a run on VOD. 

Disney is the most successful studio at the worldwide box office by miles, and it has no intention of moving the more expensive likes of Black Widow to Disney Plus, preferring instead to wait until they can find the theater audiences they'll likely attract deeper in the year. 

The closest parallel to Artemis Fowl's situation is probably Netflix's The Cloverfield Paradox, which was acquired by the streaming service, taken off the theatrical release schedule, then made available to watch immediately after its Super Bowl reveal in 2018.

Good or bad, it's something a lot of kids will end up watching this weekend.

Artemis Fowl is available to stream on Disney Plus from June 12

Knives Out (Amazon Prime)

If you're in the US, you can stream Knives Out exclusively on Amazon Prime Video this week. Okay, this murder mystery movie had a theatrical run, unlike the two movies above, but if you haven't seen Rian Johnson's Whodunnit, it's an absolute treat.  

Streaming on Amazon Prime Video from June 12

iPadOS 13.5 release date, features and compatibility details

Tue, 09/06/2020 - 17:26

iPadOS 13.5, the latest version of the operating system made specifically for Apple’s iPad tablets, is officially here. This is excellent news for iPad users, who are now getting fantastic new tricks as well as fresh and improved features on their devices, starting with Apple’s new gaming subscription service, Apple Arcade

iPadOS is a relatively recent revamp of the operating system to make it more tablet-friendly and it's a big step for Apple. That’s because the company hasn’t committed to splitting the iPad’s software from iOS before, which means that, until now, the tablet has been using the iOS since it first came out.

It’s worth noting that to indicate parallel releases and that some features are coming to iPhones at the same time, the iPadOS has been numbered identically to iOS versions.

Basically, iPadOS 13 brings in a number of critical improvements to the iPad UI that deliver a better tablet experience, including better use of screen real estate, new gesture controls and mouse support. Let’s take a look at everything the new iPadOS can do, so you can take full advantage of all its features.

  • Looking for the next version? Everything we know on iPadOS 14
iPadOS release date

September 24, 2019, was the download date for the first version of iPadOS. It was called iPadOS 13, and it was revealed alongside the new iPhone 11, iPhone 11 Pro and iPhone 11 Pro Max, as well as the Apple Watch 5 and a new entry-level iPad.

Apple followed up with iPadOS 13.1 swiftly thereafter, released a few other interim versions and, in late October, pushed iPadOS 13.2. Since then we've seen iPadOS 13.3, iPadOS 13.4 and iPadOS 13.5. Most of these updates were bug fixes and optimizations, as Apple's changelog revealed - not just residual issues from the new forked build, but similar problems to those haunting iOS 13

Which iPads work with iPadOS 13.5?

There's a long list of iPads that are able to download the update, but you'll be missing out if you have the original iPad Air, iPad Mini 2, iPad Mini 3 or something older.

The following iPads can get an update to iPadOS now:

The 2020 iPad Pro that was unveiled earlier this year also came with iPadOS 13 as a default, and you're able to update that product to the latest software.

Below we'll run you through the original updates that iPadOS brought to your tablet in late 2019.

New iPadOS home screen

Today View alongside a tighter grid of apps on the new iPadOS home screen. Image credit: Apple

The first big change over you'll notice in iPadOS is on the new home screen. The grid of app icons is tighter, allowing you to fit more on the screen and reducing the amount of dead space on the display.

With a tighter grid of apps, there's now an option to show Today View alongside them, for a more useful overview screen.

It can be added to the Home screen for quick access to widgets with a simple swipe from the left side of the screen, and you can switch out the widgets pinned here to display the ones most relevant to you.

Sidecar is a big new change

If you're wondering what the biggest feature of iPadOS might be, Sidecar is a real contender. It natively bakes in wired (or wireless) support for using your iPad as a Mac second screen, bringing with it a whole host of functionality.

This mode effectively turns any iPad into a portable monitor, one with a powerful internal battery, allowing apps and multiple windows to be dragged onto its screen and interacted with using a mouse, keyboard or Apple Pencil.

In the beta, you couldn't mess around with the resolution but that may have changed now the final software is here. We'll be sure to check that when we have it running on our tablet.

iPadOS has a new way to multitask

Slide Over in iPadOS in action, with a side view of Messages over Safari. Image credit: Apple

Multitasking also gets an upgrade on iPadOS is a few ways.  First up, you'll be able to use Split View to see two app windows at a time for the same app, or two different apps. iPadOS uses a drag-and-drop interface here, making switching between apps and windows easy.

Slide Over lets you quickly pull up an app in a side window, over the top of another app – allowing you to quickly check things such as emails, messages or reminders without having to exit the current app you're using.

Dragging up from the bottom of the screen will allow you to move between apps in the Slide Over panel.

Apple has also brought the Mac's Exposé feature to iPadOS, allowing you to get an overview of all your open apps – making it easy to jump between them, and close down any you no longer need running in the background.

iPadOS gets USB drive and SD card support

USB drive and SD card support arrives in iPadOS. Image credit: Apple

External storage fans rejoice! iPadOS allows you to plug a USB drive or SD card reader into your iPad, and the Files app will be able to read the plugin and allow you to easily manage data between the iPad's internal storage and the external drive.

Files gets a Column View to better take advantage of the iPad's wide screen, and the iCloud Drive allows folder sharing, and will show content from a USB drive or SD card if they're plugged in.

There's good news for photographers too, as support is being built into iPadOS to allow you to plug your camera into your iPad and import images directly into editing apps such as Lightroom.

iPadOS performance boost

Your current iPad could get a performance boost when iPadOS arrives, with Apple claiming that its tablet-specific operating system is quicker than iOS 12.

It says Face ID unlocks are up to 30% faster, while apps launch up to twice as fast as on iOS 12 – and apps themselves should be smaller in download size (by up to 50%), taking up less of that precious storage space. 

Desktop-quality websites and browsing on iPadOS

The Safari web browser is also improved with iPadOS, because it's no longer purely tied to iOS and a mobile ecosystem. 

That's right: you're no longer just viewing mobile sites, as iPadOS views websites in a modified desktop view that's a bit cleaner and optimized for touch.

It doesn't just work with Apple's websites either – the likes of Google Docs and Wordpress web apps will also work better with Safari on iPadOS.

Apple's browser will also get a download manager, 30 new keyboard shortcuts, and improved tab management when iPadOS lands later this year.

New iPadOS gestures

One of the bigger features across the whole of iPadOS are the new gestures. The ones we've seen are pretty simple: three-finger pinch to cut, three-finger splay to paste, three-finger swipe to undo. Easy.

In some apps, you'll also be able to two-finger-pinch the keyboard to shrink it to iOS mobile size and move it around. Plunk it next to the side of the screen and boom: you can type on it with one thumb. 

Add to that the new gestures for the home screen and multi-tasking, and there may be a learning curve required to get used to all the new interactions which come with iPadOS. 

Markup and much more on iPadOS

Markup also gets an update, and you'll be able to mark up entire web pages, documents and emails. 

A simple swipe up from the corner with your Apple Pencil launches markup and brings up the newly-redesigned tool palette, which can be dragged around and repositioned anywhere on the screen.

And speaking of the Pencil, Apple has reduced the latency of its input from 20ms to 9ms, which means you'll get a more natural, pen-like experience when using it.

Plenty of new features that are coming to iOS 13 are also headed to iPadOS, like Dark Mode, custom fonts, the new Photos organized by machine learning, and the SwiftKey-like slide-and-type QuickPath keyboard feature.

Mouse support for iPadOS

iPadOS does support connecting a mouse to your iPad, though it's not something you'll find front-and-center on the official iPadOS features list.

Developer Steve Troughton-Smith initially tweeted out instructions he'd discovered to connect a mouse through new Accessibility settings, and Tom's Guide successfully activated a mouse on an iPad. 

While it doesn't seem to be the smoothest thing, we're excited for a serious leap in the iPad family's productivity potential and accessibility. 

Apple iMac with AMD Navi GPU could debut at WWDC

Tue, 09/06/2020 - 17:23

Apple reportedly plans to unveil a new iMac at WWDC later this month.

That's according to tipster Sonny Dickson, who claims that a new iMac will be shown off at Apple's typically software-focused event on 22 June. 

The desktop machine, which hasn’t seen an update since March 2019, will reportedly arrive with iPad Pro design language and Pro Display-like bezels, according to the leak, which suggests that the iMac could be made available in a new Space Grey color option and that the machine's unsightly black bezels could finally become a thing of the past. 

Talk of smaller bezels adds weight to previous rumours that Apple's next iMac lineup will introduce an all-new 23-inch model that will retain the same physical size as the existing 21.5-inch model

Dickson also reveals that, under the hood, the new iMac will sport Apple’s T2 security chip for the first time, along with an AMD Navi GPU.

The arrival of the 2020 iMac will also signal the death of the Fusion drive, according to the leak, with Apple set to abandon spinning hard drives in favor of an all-SSD lineup. 

Up in ARMs

Though Apple reportedly plans to announce its first ARM-based Mac processors at WWDC, the new iMac will almost certainly be powered by an Intel chip. 

Earlier rumours suggested that the 2020 iMac will adopt Intel's 10th-generation Comet Lake processors, including the 10-core Intel Core i9-10900K. This is the successor to the octa-core Intel Core i9-9900K chip that Apple uses in the current top of the range ‌iMac.

It remains unclear which Navi GPU this processor will come paired with, though previous rumours had suggested that the 2020 iMac could adopt AMD's incoming Navi 21 graphics, which will be based on Team Red's RDNA 2 architecture. 

Apple’s WWDC keynote will take place on 22 June, so it won’t be long until we find out more. 

It looks like the Nintendo Account breach was much worse than we were all told

Tue, 09/06/2020 - 17:01

Nintendo has revealed that an additional 140,000 user accounts were accessed by unauthorized means back in April. Previously, the company had said that only 160,000 accounts were affected and was slow to acknowledge the problem at the time. 

The news will come as a worry to those who are concerned about the security of their Nintendo Account and Nintendo Switch, although Nintendo stressed that less than one percent of all Nintendo Network ID (NNID) users were affected by the breach. 

The security breach saw unauthorized users hijack vulnerable accounts using illegally obtained NNID information (which was required to make purchases on the Wii U and Nintendo 3DS). To make matters worse, some hackers took advantage of users' saved PayPal details to purchase various in-game currencies, such as Fortnite’s VBucks.


Nintendo has since reset all NNID and Nintendo Account passwords that were hacked, and disabled Nintendo Account sign-in via NNID. It’s still not possible to log-in via your NNID at the time of writing.

Step it up

If you haven’t already done so, Nintendo recommends that all users should enable 2-Step Verification as an additional layer of security. You can follow the steps from the company’s support page, which will guide you through the entire process, or follow our simple guide.

If you’re worried about whether your account has been breached, you can check if you’ve had any unwanted access on your account by viewing the ‘Sign-in History’ on the ‘Sign-in and Security Settings’ page.

Via Eurogamer

Apple sale at Best Buy: the Apple Watch Series 3 hits lowest price ever

Tue, 09/06/2020 - 17:01

If you're looking for a cheap smartwatch deal, then you're in luck. Best Buy's Apple sale includes the Apple Watch Series 3 down to a record low price of $179. That's a $100 discount and an incredible price for a feature-rich smartwatch. You can also get the all-new Apple Watch 5 on sale for $299.

The Apple Watch 3 is packed with health and fitness-focused features while also keeping you connected. The smartwatch tracks activity, workouts, and calories burned and offers 24/7 heart rate monitoring. The swim-proof smartwatch will even notify you when an unusually high or low heart rate is detected and features a breathing app to help with everyday stress. The Series 3 watch provides an 18-hour battery life and includes basic smartwatch features such as the ability to make calls, send messages, and receive notifications.

As we've mentioned above, this is the lowest price we've found for the Series 3 and a fantastic deal for an Apple smartwatch. Plus, with Amazon Prime Day still up in the air, there's no guarantee you'll find a cheaper price any time soon.

Apple Watch deals at Best Buy:

Shop more deals with our roundup of the best 4th of July sales happening now and see our Father's Day gift ideas the 10 best gifts for tech-savvy dads.

Discover more Apple watch sales with the best cheap Apple Watch prices and deals or just out our roundup of refurbished Apple Watch deals.

Wear headphones for PS5 games reveal event, says Sony

Tue, 09/06/2020 - 16:53

If you're planning on tuning into the PS5 games reveal event on June 11, you'd better wear headphones, says Sony's Senior Director of Content Communications, Sid Shuman. 

In a blog post, Shuman said that it's "best if you watch while wearing headphones, if you can — there’s some cool audio work in the show, and it might be harder to appreciate if it’s pumped through your phone or laptop speakers." 

Sony’s highly anticipated PS5 event is set to kick off on Thursday, June 11 at 9 pm BST / 4pm EST / 1pm PST, and you'll be able to tune in at at PlayStation.com/PS5.

We're expecting the event to show us how games will run on the PS5, with a number of new demonstrations from Sony's first-party and a few third-party developers – and by the sounds of it, we could get a first look at the PS5's highly publicized 3D audio technology.

An evolution of sound

In an April 2019 interview with Wired, the upcoming console’s lead architect Mark Cerny confirmed that the PS5 will support what he calls "3D audio" – something he says will "make you feel more immersed in the game as sounds come at you from above, from behind, and from the side".

Since then, we've heard more about Sony's Tempest Audio Engine, which we think could be the secret weapon in the PlayStation 5 arsenal, possibly giving it a much-need edge over the soon-to-be-launched Xbox Series X .

In any case, it seems Sony has invested a lot into the PS5's audio, declaring it an "evolution of sound" in a slideshow for a corporate strategy meeting

At a corporate strategy meeting for Sony, a slideshow for a corporate strategy meeting called the PlayStation 5 an "evolution of sound".

"By installing a customized 3D audio processing unit in PS5, we have made it possible to deliver diverse and sophisticated 3D audio experiences," the slide read. 

"Players can experience sound that moves in from front to behind, above to below, and all around them."

There's no word on whether Sony's Tempest Audio Engine will allow for Dolby Atmos upmixing, but we're excited to find out.

Earlier this year, PS5 lead system architect Mark Cerny described how it would be possible to produce thousands of individual sound sources with the PS5, letting a player hear not only a rainstorm, but the fall and splash of individual droplets. 

According to Cerny, all this is deliverable via a pair of headphones, too, without the need for costly surround sound audio systems – although we daresay the effect would be heightened if you're gaming with a state of the art soundbar, rear speakers, and a subwoofer connected to your TV.

Surround sound has grown in popularity in recent years, particularly with the availability of cinematic codecs like Dolby Atmos in the home – and there are huge benefits of 3D sound in gaming, just as there are with watching TV. 

There's no word yet on whether Dolby Atmos upmixing will be part of the new 3D audio experience, but we hope it is – after all, the Xbox One uses it to great effect already. 

Aside from making the gaming experience feel more immersive, this could provide you with more accurate cues and clues as you play – especially if you're listening out for enemies in a battle royale game.

Fingers crossed we'll see Tempest Audio Engine in action during the PS5 event on June 11 – in the meantime, make sure you have a decent pair of headphones at the ready. Below you'll find some of our top picks and the best prices we've found today:

Amazon Kindle Unlimited price: how much does it cost?

Tue, 09/06/2020 - 16:51

The Amazon Kindle Unlimited price includes unrestricted access to a whole library of ebooks and more, which means you're covered for all your reading needs whatever you feel like getting stuck into. It's worth remembering that you can only store up to ten titles on your device at once, however, though it's easy to swap these titles out so you'll never get stuck paying for something you don't ultimately enjoy. One of the latest subscription services to hit the Amazon suite, Kindle Unlimited not only offers free books for your cash, but you can also grab free magazines and even free Audible audiobooks with select titles. 

The Amazon Kindle Unlimited price is $9.99 / £7.99 / AU$ 13.99 a month, with unlimited access to over one million books, two thousand audiobooks, and a wide selection of magazine subscriptions. That's a fantastic price considering an Audible subscription will set you back far more per month, and can offer fewer audiobooks for your money. It's worth noting that this subscription operates on a 'borrowing' service, so you'll only be able to hold 10 titles in your library at a time, and these will not be available once the membership ends. 

The Kindle Unlimited price remains the same whether you're a Prime member or not, and is not automatically included in your Prime subscription. Plus, you can always find a free trial if you want to test out the service before you put any cash on the table. 

  • Try Amazon Kindle Unlimited with a free trial | US | UK | AU
Amazon Kindle Unlimited price and costs Is the Amazon Kindle Unlimited price worth it?

Rather than spending money on individual ebooks, magazine subscriptions, and audiobooks, it is far more cost effective to wrap all those products up under the Amazon Kindle Unlimited price. With a massive range of titles on offer, you'll never be stuck for choice, but perhaps the feature that lends the most value to this subscription is those Audible audiobooks. 

If you want flexibility in how you consume your books, you can easily jump between reading the content on your screen and listening to an Audible narration. Considering an Audible subscription itself will set you back $14.95 / £7.99 / AU$16.45 for fewer audiobooks per month, Kindle Unlimited really is a no-brainer. The only hiccup comes from the fact that you are limited to the 2,000 Kindle Unlimited titles with this feature available. However, if you're after the option of an audiobook narration rather than simply seeking out audiobooks themselves, this is a fantastic offer. 

If you want to check if the price will be worth it for your own reading habits, you can always grab a Kindle Unlimited free trial to scope out the experience before you buy. 

Is the Amazon Kindle Unlimited price included with a Prime subscription?

Amazon Kindle Unlimited isn't included with a Prime subscription as standard, and unfortunately there are no price reductions available for Prime members. Prime Reading is the Prime-member equivalent automatically included with your subscription, but offers a reduced range.

Which ebooks are included in Kindle Unlimited?

Kindle Unlimited does not provide full free access to the entire Kindle library. Instead, a selection of more than a million titles are included in the Kindle Unlimited offering. You can easily browse the books and magazine subscriptions that are covered from the Kindle app to get a sense of what's on offer here, however there's a fantastic range of genres to choose from, plenty with their own Audible narrations as well. 

Do I need a Kindle ereader to use Kindle Unlimited?

You don't need a Kindle ereader to take advantage of the free books on offer with Kindle Unlimited. In fact, you can use Kindle Unlimited on a massive range of iOS, Android, Mac and PC devices thanks to the Kindle App. Plus, you can sync your progress across all your devices to make sure you never lose your place. 

Amazon Kindle Unlimited free trials: all the offers available now

Tue, 09/06/2020 - 16:49

Kindle Unlimited free trials are an excellent way to get to grips with the ebook subscription service before spending any money. Not only can you scope out the library of titles on offer to make sure your interests are served, but the free time gives you the chance to see if you will actually use the membership enough to be worth the monthly cost. 

The length of Amazon's offers varies, ranging from the standard 30 day free trial all the way up to three months in some cases. We're rounding up the Kindle Unlimited free trials currently available in the US, UK, and Australia so you always know the trial length on offer right now. 

Amazon Kindle Unlimited is an ebook subscription service that offers free Kindle titles and Audible narrations on a 'borrowing' basis. Because of this structure, you'll be able to store a maximum of ten books at a time on your account, but you can easily 'return' a book in order to download a new one. There are over one million books and plenty of magazine subscriptions to choose from, as well as thousands of Audible audiobook versions as well. This roster is regularly updated with new titles as well, so you'll never run out of titles. 

Below, you'll find all the Kindle Unlimited free trials currently available so you can get started with Amazon's subscription service for nothing. 

Kindle Unlimited free trials available now More Kindle Unlimited offers How much does Kindle Unlimited cost?

The Kindle Unlimited price is set at $9.99 / £7.99 / AU$ 13.99 a month, which covers you for as much reading as you can manage. Though you're limited to ten downloads on your device, it's easy to swap out books for new ones so you're never paying for titles you don't want. That price also includes access to a number of magazine subscriptions and even Audible audiobooks on thousands of titles. 

Is Kindle Unlimited free for Prime members?

Amazon Kindle Unlimited is not included with your Prime membership, and Prime members do not receive a discount on a Kindle Unlimited subscription at the moment. Prime Reading, however, is a similar service that is covered by a Prime membership and provides a more limited access to the Kindle library in much the same way as Kindle Unlimited.

What's included in Kindle Unlimited?

The Kindle Unlimited library is a selection of over a million books picked out from the main Kindle store. That means you don't have full access to any book for free, but there are so many genres and authors on offer here there's sure to be something for every mood on offer. Plus, Kindle Unlimited also includes Audible narrations on certain titles, and free digital magazine subscriptions as well. 

More Amazon services

What is Amazon Prime? Your guide to cost, free trials, membership benefits, and more.

Premier League re-start: everything you need to know to watch all 92 matches

Tue, 09/06/2020 - 16:26

On pause since the last match on 9 March, 2020, the English Premier League will resume on 17 June, 2020 with a couple of tasty-looking fixtures: Man City vs. Arsenal (which City realistically must win to keep the title race alive) and Aston Villa vs. Sheffield United. 

In normal times only one of those fixtures is high-profile, but the fact is that all 92 remaining fixtures in the Premier League calendar are going to get a lot more attention than usual. Why? 

Why are all remaining Premier League matches being shown live?

It’s because all matches will be played behind closed doors, with no fans. And in an effort to keep fans away from football grounds, and from gathering together, the authorities have decided to screen every single remaining match live on TV. The outcome is that more matches will be screened on more channels than had been expected.  

Where to watch the Premier League re-start

BBC Sport and Amazon Prime will broadcast four live matches each. That’s a shock. Live top-level football hasn’t been broadcast on the BBC since 1992, and its return means that terrestrial TV viewers will get a slice of the action. There will also be extra Match of the Day highlights programmes on the BBC. Those with Amazon Prime accounts (which broadcast 10 live Premier League matches on 26/27 December 2019) also gets an unexpected look-in, while even Sky Sports will be making 25 of its matches free to watch live. 

Here’s how it divvies-up: 

  • Sky Sports (64 live matches – 25 of them free to air)
  • BT Sport (20 live matches)
  • BBC Sport (four live matches)
  • Amazon Prime (four live matches)

When to watch the Premier League re-start

The big day is on Wednesday, 17 June, 2020, with those first two live matches. Matches will then take place almost every day through 26 July, 2020 – the week before the FA Cup Final. Matches will be played every day with staggered kick-off times; a feast of football is coming!

  • Friday: kick off at 8pm
  • Saturday: 12.30pm, 3pm, 5.30pm and 8pm
  • Sunday: 12pm, 2pm, 4.30pm and 7pm
  • Monday: 8pm
  • Tuesdays: 6pm or 8pm
  • Wednesdays: 6pm or 8pm
  • Thursdays: 6pm or 8pm
Which Premier League re-start matches will be shown by Sky? 

Although precise broadcast schedules are currently in flux, we do have some details of Sky’s plans. Sky Sports will show 64 live Premier League games, which is more than the 39 matches the satellite broadcaster already planned to broadcast exclusively prior to the lockdown. Happily, the 25 extra live matches Sky Sports now has will also be broadcast on Sky’s free-to-air Pick channel – starting with Everton vs. Liverpool on 20/21 June. That first weekend – Matchday 30 – also includes the following fixtures: 

  • Watford vs Leicester
  • Bournemouth vs Palace
  • Brighton vs Arsenal
  • Man City vs Burnley
  • Newcastle vs Sheffield United
  • Norwich vs Southampton
  • Aston Villa vs Chelsea
  • West Ham vs Wolves
  • Tottenham vs Man Utd

Sky has also promised some innovative new immersive experiences. These will include optional, virtual fan noises thanks to a partnership with EA Sports. According to Sky, these will be team-specific and family friendly.

For certain matches, which haven't yet been announced, you'll also be to video chat with friends via a new feature in the Sky Sports app and on its website. This will include in-match polls and game stats, making it a Premier League-flavored version of Zoom. You'll also apparently be able to influence the virtual crowd noise you hear on-screen.

Where will the matches be held?

There was initially a lot of talk about staging Premier League matches at neutral grounds, but the vast majority of matches will now take place at the scheduled 'home' grounds in each fixture.

The only two matches (until July 2, at least) that could yet be played at neutral venues are Everton vs Liverpool on 21 June and Manchester City vs Liverpool on 2 July. 

These fixtures both have their venues listed as 'TBC' on the Premier League website. As two of Liverpool’s potentially key matches, they're due to be held away from the city – the whole point, after all, is to stop fans gathering outside football grounds during matches. 

The Premier League has also stated that all fixtures from 3 July are subject to change. That's because they're "subject to all safety requirements being in place" and also the fact that planned kick-off times will differ from the usual 3pm start.

In a recent post the Premier League said "we will announce the dates and kick-off times of the remaining fixtures as and when appropriate", so we'll update this page when that happens.

When will the FA Cup Final be held?

Just announced are dates for FA Cup’s return: 

  • FA Cup quarter-finals: 27-28 June, 2020 (Leicester City v Chelsea, Newcastle United v Manchester City, Sheffield United v Arsenal, Norwich City v Manchester United)
  • FA Cup semi-finals: 18-19 July, 2020
  • FA Cup Final: Saturday, 1 August, 2020

Black Girl Gamers makes history again with its first ever online gaming summit

Tue, 09/06/2020 - 16:06

Black Girl Gamers (BGG) will launch its first ever online gaming summit, formed entirely of black female professionals within the gaming industry, on Saturday June 13 at 7PM GMT/2PM EST/4AM June 14 AEST. 

There will be giveaways, panels, and a number of keynote speakers ready to delve into the worlds of voice acting, streaming, and building and maintaining a brand within gaming.

BGG is a global age (and LGBTQIA+) inclusive multi-platform gaming community founded by UK influencer and author Jay-Ann Lopez as a response to her experience in the often hostile gaming community as a black woman.

It began as a small Facebook group in 2015 and now boasts a growing community of over six thousand members. It was created to be a safe space for black female gamers from all walks of life, and a platform for black women looking to break into the gaming and streaming industry. 

BGGs run various events, including fundraisers, US and UK community meetups and also hosts a weekly roster of black female streamers who broadcast as part of the BGG stream team on Twitch.

Breaking new ground

Last year at the Facebook headquarters in London, BGG ran Gamer Girls Night In, a celebration of all things gaming and beauty for women, and it was the first all-female gaming event in the UK. It featured keynote speakers and panel discussions from the likes of TV presenter and journalist Elle Osili-Wood, esports commentator Julia Hardy and popular cosplayer Mimi The Nerd.

The event was hosted and co-produced by Jay-Ann Lopez (founder of Black Girl Gamers) and leading gaming, comics and anime content creator Nnesaga.

Black Girl Gamers summit

This year's Black Girl Gamers summit is in partnership with Twitch and will air on Twitch’s front page on June 13.

The panellists include black voice actors such as Cara Ricketts, the voice of Becky Bond in Titans and Xenia in Assassin’s Creed Odyssey - who will talk about the world of voice acting from the perspective of voice directors and actors in the industry.

Xmiramira, a streamer and Sims-modder who boasts 240,000 followers across various social media networks, will join a panel of other successful black female streamers to discuss their experiences and give their advice on navigating the streaming community.

There’ll also be esports commentators discussing the scene and what is needed to begin your journey into commentating. 

The head of Diversity and Inclusion and the Chief Diversity officer at Riot Games will also be in conversation, as well as a panel dedicated to making your mark in the industry, which will include Ubisoft’s International product manager, Andrien Gbinigie

Most importantly of all, the first inaugural BGG Online Summit will be an opportunity for black girl gamers to gain valuable information on how to approach industries within gaming that they struggle to gain access to.

Although Black Girl Gamers is a female-only group, the summit will be hosted on Twitch’s front page for anyone to tune into, and will be a great way for others to learn something about the difficulties black women face in the gaming community, and to foster greater understanding between different gaming subgroups.

“The BGG Online Summit has been an idea of mine since 2019 but the timing was not right,” says Jay- Ann Lopez. “Its goal is to heighten the visibility of black streamers, voice actors and professionals in the industry with the focus being predominantly on black women. Panels and gaming events happen all the time but rarely allow these people to speak their truths or even be part of the conversation. In this Summit, the speakers are the conversation - they are getting the recognition they are owed if at least only from BGG."

Thermal technology for frontline screening against COVID-19

Tue, 09/06/2020 - 15:28

As the coronavirus pandemic continues to develop with critical businesses remaining open and governments considering plans for reopening economies, businesses are seeking out technologies to help slow the spread of the virus and keep employees and customers safe. 

The use of thermal cameras to track individuals’ temperatures at transport hubs and crowded hotspots has been in frequent use since the SARS pandemic in 2003, primarily in East Asia. Now, with COVID-19 a global crisis affecting life as we knew it, there’s been an exponential uptake in the need for these cameras to support government operations and all industries with a focus on critical businesses.

Since the crises has started, thermal imaging cameras have become more widely used for screening than ever before. Its ability to read skin temperatures within +/-0.5 degree Celsius, under typical screening conditions, has quickly made it a preferred tool for frontline screening. The WHO is one organisation that is using this technology to spot-check staff. 

For essential workers in food preparation, warehouses, border checkpoints, transit hubs and most importantly the healthcare sector - screening has become a crucial first step in identifying persons with Elevated Skin Temperature (EST).

Early stage detection

The importance of being able to detect early signs of sickness cannot be underestimated in current times. Thermal cameras are excellent tools for detecting temperature variations on surfaces, including skin, at a distance recommended by public health officials, colloquially known as “social distancing.” The screening procedures implemented at airports and in other public places can be a first step when it comes to detecting a person with an elevated temperature. Emirates Airlines has been using it to check passengers travelling to the US in recent weeks.

For those whose skin temperature is higher than expected based on other individuals being screened, a secondary screening should be administered using medical-approved screening equipment such as oral thermometers. While thermal screenings can help detect higher than normal skin temperatures, carriers of the virus could be asymptomatic and not have an increased body temperature; therefore, it is recommended as one component of a comprehensive safety program. Additional medical screening is critical as FLIR’s thermal cameras are not capable of detecting or diagnosing viruses, fevers or other medical conditions.

Accuracy of screening

For measuring skin temperatures, it is important to use higher resolution and higher stability cameras, such as specific FLIR A-Series, T-Series, or E-Series cameras. These models include an on-camera screening mode, which is an algorithm, that allows operators to screen for elevated skin temperatures in each individual relative to the persons previously screened within an existing environment. This allows the algorithm to have a dynamic baseline and account for the normal skin temperature changes throughout the day. Such frontline tools are critical for businesses to operate where staff are frequently working together.

At room temperature, these stabilized cameras have +/- 0.5 degree C accuracy and can read individual skin temperatures nearly instantaneously. Accuracy of skin temperature measurement readings will depend on several factors, such as: the camera being used; sensitivity of the focal plane; camera settings; and distance to targets, meaning the camera must be close enough to the subject for detecting multiple temperature pixels near the tear duct—the place that most accurately reflects a person’s core body temperature and is least impacted by environmental effects.

For many industries and customers who rely on this tool as an early indicator, individual screening of staff or the public is the crucial first stage where temperature results can be shared almost instantaneously. Over time, as we see the need for screenings on a larger scale, increasing through-put while maintaining accuracy will be the most crucial element R&D teams will focus on in developing future thermal imaging-based solutions.

Privacy and health tech

As we move into a world where more technology devices will be put in place to monitor our health, one of the biggest question’s consumers will have will be on privacy. Whilst the notion of temperature screening when managed by an employer is more commonly accepted, when it starts to frequent the public sphere – privacy questions will be raised.

The answer is simple; thermal imaging cameras do not have facial recognition abilities. These cameras cannot record a recognizable photographic image of the person whose skin temperature is measured—it can’t determine the eye, hair, or clothing color or skin tone of the individual.

As the phrase the “new normal” takes hold with many people working from home but many other businesses seeking to re-open, we are seeing the shift of skin temperature screening being used by essential businesses to continue operations, to other organisations considering it in order to help them reopen. There’s no doubt that change is upon us and we will need to seek news ways to adapt, both short and long term. 

For example, in the very near term, it may be a required standard practice for airline passengers to be temperature screened at an airport. For now, whilst general testing for COVID-19 remains the crux of the conversation globally, thermal technology will be an effective screening tool when combined with medical testing to help monitor and detect signs that relates to the illness, crucial to preventing future outbreaks.

Bollywood flick 'Gunjan Saxena: The Kargil Girl' to premiere on Netflix

Tue, 09/06/2020 - 15:22

Amazon Prime Video led the way and now Netflix has followed suit. Barely weeks after news broke about seven feature films would premiere on Amazon Prime Video, Netflix has today announced that it would be streaming 'Gunjan Saxena: The Kargil Girl' on the platform. 

Though no dates were mentioned in the statement from Netflix, the streaming service shared a video of Gunjan Saxena, one of the first two Indian women to fly in a combat zone during the 1999 Kargil conflict with Pakistan. 

In May, Amazon Prime Video had announced that the Amitabh Bachchan-Ayushmaan Khurrana movie 'Gulabo Sitabo' would be among seven movies across four languages to be premiered on the streaming platform. Of these, Tamil movie 'Ponmagal Vandhal' premiered on May 29 while 'Gulabo Sitabo' is slated for release on June 12 (Friday). 

The movie has Janhvi Kapoor playing the title role of Gunjan Saxena while Pankaj Tripathi plays her father and Angad Bedi her brother. Others in the cast include Viineet Kumar, Manav Vij and Ayesha Raza. The movie, directed by debutant director Sharan Sharma is produced by Karan Johar's Dharma Productions along with Zee Studios.

Netflix and Dharma Productions have partnered to release movies directly on the platform. Their previous collaborations include Drive featuring Sushant Singh Rajput and Jacqueline Fernandez and the more recent Kiara Advani film Guilty which featured a story around the the #MeToo movement. 

Who is Flight Lieutenant Gunjan Saxena?

Flight Lieutenant Gunjan Saxena joined the Indian Air Force and made history during the Kargil battle in 1999 when, as a flying officer, she flew rescue missions to airlift wounded soldiers in her Cheetah aircraft. The IAF pilot had a close shave when an enemy missile missed her chopper and exploded right behind. She was honoured with the Shaurya Chakra for her bravery. Saxena was one among two women who flew missions in 1999. It is not clear whether Srividya Rajan's character is also part of this movie. 

In the video, we have Janhvi Kapoor narrating the story of Gunjan Saxena who wanted to grow up and become a pilot in a world where people believed that women can't even drive cars. This is when her father, also part of the defence forces, convinces her that whether a man or a woman flies a plane, they are called pilots. 

Flight Lieutenant Gunjan Saxena and actor Janhvi Kapoor

In a statement, the movie's producer Karan Johar described Gunjan Saxena: The Kargil Girl as a defining movie based on a true story of a woman who has inspired others. "We are excited to partner with Netflix and share this fearless story about following your heart and dreams with millions around the world."

This is one of the many films that were originally scheduled for theatrical release but have opted for digital release. However, with India entering into the Unlock phase since Monday, it would be interesting to see whether other production houses follow suit or prefer to wait it out till cinema theatres are given the go-ahead to open. 

At this point, while malls and temples have opened in some states with stricter social distancing norms, cinema houses have been kept shut given that the risk of closer contact may result in the spread of the virus. 

Sony's WF-1000XM3 noise canceling earbuds get a $52 price cut at Amazon

Tue, 09/06/2020 - 15:11

If you're looking to snag (and save) on a pair of wireless earbuds with top-of-the-line noise cancelation technology, then you've come to the right place. The top-rated Sony WF-1000XM3 are on sale for $178 at Amazon right now. That's a $52 discount and the lowest price we've seen for the true wireless earphones.

The Sony earbuds are part of the 1000X family of noise-cancelling headphones, which are known for superior noise suppression. The Sony WF-1000XM3 earbuds will adapt to the sounds around you so you can hear every word, note, and tune with incredible clarity, no matter your environment. The truly wireless earbuds also deliver powerful audio and work with Amazon Alexa for hands-free control. Last but not least, the Sony earbuds provide an impressive 24 hours of battery life, and a quick 10-minute charge can give you up to 90 minutes of playback time.

As we mentioned above, this is the lowest price we've seen for the Sony 1000XM3  and a fantastic deal for a pair of top-rated noise canceling earbuds. Plus, with Amazon Prime Day still up in the air, there's no guarantee you'll find a cheaper price any time soon. 

See more of the best noise-canceling headphones and shop more of the cheapest noise canceling headphone deals that are currently available.

You can also see our roundup of the best 4th of July sales that are happening now.