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The best AirPods in 2021 for casual listeners, budget buyers, and audiophiles

Tue, 10/19/2021 - 5:43pm
Table of Contents: Masthead Sticky

AirPods have become synonymous with wireless earbuds, and there are now three different earbud-style AirPods to choose from, including the brand-new third-gen model. Apple also now offers the AirPods Max, its first pair of over-ear headphones.

Each pair of AirPods comes with its own benefits and features, and which model is right for you will largely depend on how you intend to use them.

Buyers who favor portability should consider one of Apple's earbud-style models. Those who just want the basics will be satisfied with the entry-level second-gen AirPods. The new third-gen AirPods promise better audio quality and longer battery life, but they're a bit more expensive. Apple's AirPods Pro are even pricier, but they take things further with the addition of noise cancellation.

If you really want the best sound quality and don't mind going with an over-ear design, there's also the AirPods Max. Apple's top-of-the-line wireless headphones feature thick, soft ear cups, active noise cancellation, and high-quality audio. These headphones are best for Apple fans that don't mind paying top dollar for exceptional audio and prefer an over-ear design.

Here are the best AirPods of 2021 The best AirPods overall The AirPods Pro offer the best balance of sound quality, customization, and features, making them the most versatile headphones in Apple's lineup. 
  • Fit and style: Earbuds with customizable tips 
  • Battery life: Up to 4.5 hours (ANC on), more than 24 hours with charging case
  • Water resistant: Yes
  • Features: Spatial audio, active noise cancellation, transparency mode, Hey Siri, automatic switching, quick pairing, auto play and pause
  • Check out our full review of the AirPods Pro

Pros: Good noise cancellation, customizable and durable design, good sound quality

Cons: You can find similarly priced earbuds from competitors with better audio performance, noise cancellation, and battery life

Apple's AirPods Pro are our top pick because they offer the best experience with the least compromise. 

The AirPods Pro address many of our complaints about Apple's original AirPods since they offer adjustable ear tips, active noise cancellation, better sound quality, and sweat and water resistance. That makes them a great choice whether you're looking for a reliable pair of wireless earbuds for working out or drowning out distractions.

The biggest benefit that the AirPods Pro offer over the standard AirPods are active noise cancellation. During my time using them, I've found that the AirPods Pro are able to successfully dull the sound of the treadmill humming during my run, the noisiness of the New York City subway, and chatty coworkers. 

Unlike the second-gen AirPods, the AirPods Pro have a custom Apple driver and high dynamic range amplifier, which results in sound that feels more boisterous and rich. They also support spatial audio, a surround sound effect that adjusts as you move your head. The second-gen AirPods don't have this feature.

While the AirPods Pro's active noise cancellation and wide selection of features make them the best choice for most Apple fans, especially since you can often find them at a discount, that doesn't mean they're perfect. 

Anyone who isn't partial to Apple should strongly consider our other top earbud recommendations, like the Jabra Elite 85T and Sony WF-1000XM4, which offer better noise cancellation, sound, and battery life compared to the AirPods Pro.

The best AirPods on a budget Apple's second-gen AirPods nail the basics when it comes to truly wireless earbuds, such as quick connectivity, decent sound quality, and plenty of other features that pair nicely with the iPhone.
  • Fit and style: Earbuds, non-customizable 
  • Battery life: Up to 5 hours, more than 24 hours with charging case
  • Water resistant: No
  • Features: Hey Siri, automatic switching, quick pairing, auto play and pause
  • Check out our full AirPods review

Pros: Convenient pairing features, lightweight design, hands-free Siri access, quick device switching

Cons: Wireless charging case adds a lot to the price

Apple's second-generation AirPods package all the core features — like quick pairing with iOS devices and automatic playing and pausing — in a more affordable pair of wireless headphones. They're the right choice if you'd rather sacrifice features like noise cancellation, spatial audio, and water resistance to save a few bucks.

Apple updated its standard AirPods in 2019, adding new features like the ability to use Siri hands-free and faster switching between devices. The second-gen AirPods come with a wired charging case, but you can buy a wireless charging case separately for $79.

The second-gen AirPods have the same design as the original model. That's to say they have a simple, white aesthetic with stems protruding from the bottom that essentially makes them look like Apple just snipped the wires off its wired EarPods headphones. 

The second-gen AirPods are slightly lighter than the AirPods Pro (4 grams versus 5.6 grams), and unlike the AirPods Pro they rest on the ear rather than inside it. That means the regular AirPods might be a better choice for those who prefer a less obtrusive fit. 

All told, the second-gen AirPods are the best choice if convenience and affordability take priority over sound quality and noise cancellation. 

The best AirPods for audiophiles At $549, the AirPods Max are the definition of luxury audio, offering superb sound quality, a premium and comfortable build, and top-notch noise cancellation.
  • Fit and style: Over-ear headphones with adjustable ear cups
  • Battery life: Up to 20 hours
  • Water resistant: No
  • Features: Active noise cancellation, adaptive EQ, transparency mode, digital crown for media controls, Hey Siri, automatic switching, quick pairing, auto play and pause
  • Check out our full review of the AirPods Max

Pros: Top-notch audio quality, noise cancellation, premium design, comfortable fit 

Cons: Expensive, no charging case, included case doesn't protect entire headset, no input options or included cables for other audio connections

The AirPods Max deliver first-rate audio performance and noise cancellation, all wrapped in an elegant design that outclasses rivals from Bose and Sony. 

The biggest difference you'll notice between the AirPods Max and Apple's other AirPods is its over-ear design. That alone suggests these headphones are designed for people that care more about audio quality than the average person, and also want a pair of headphones that make a statement when worn in public. 

The AirPods Max come with an Apple-designed driver and 10 audio cores for delivering computational audio and adaptive EQ, which allows the headphones to adjust their sound based on the fit of the ear cups. Like the AirPods Pro, the AirPods Max also support spatial audio and other features like quick-pairing. 

During my testing, I found that the AirPods Max sound significantly crisper, bolder, and louder than the $379 Bose Noise Cancelling 700 headphones. They also outperformed the $350 Sony WH-1000XM4, although Sony's headphones came impressively close. 

The AirPods Max also deliver when it comes to noise cancellation. When I sat underneath an elevated subway that runs above a very busy street near my apartment, the AirPods Max were able to significantly dull the sound of the train screeching to a halt and nearby traffic.  

The downside, however, is that the included case doesn't charge the AirPods Max.  Instead, it puts them in low power mode.

There's no doubt that the AirPods Max are excellent, but their price probably makes them inaccessible to most people. If you're an Apple loyalist that cares about having top notch audio and prefers over-ear designs — and are willing to splurge for it  — the AirPods Max are the AirPods to get. 

But most people should check out the significantly cheaper Sony WH-1000XM4 headphones instead.

AirPods we look forward to testing Apple Airpods 3

Apple announced its new third-generation AirPods on October 18. The updated model costs $179 and will be available in stores on October 26. 

The third-gen AirPods are meant to serve as a mid-range option between the second-gen AirPods ($129) and the AirPods Pro ($249). They feature a revised design with several key upgrades over the cheaper second-gen model.

Most notably, the third-gen AirPods have shorter stems, improved audio drivers, longer battery life, a wireless charger, and IPX4 water/sweat resistance. They also include support for spatial audio and an adaptive equalizer, two features that were previously only available on the AirPods Pro and AirPods Max. 

Unlike the more expensive AirPods Pro, however, the third-gen AirPods lack active noise cancellation and they don't offer silicone ear tips for a customizable fit.

We'll need to test the new third-gen AirPods to get a full sense for how they stack up, but based on the specs released, they'll likely be a good fit for buyers who want better audio quality than the second-gen AirPods, but who aren't willing to pay a premium for noise cancellation. 

When will Apple release new AirPods?

Apple's standard AirPods are now in their third generation, while the AirPods Pro and AirPods Max are in their first generation. The release cycle for AirPods isn't as easy to predict as the iPhone's, but here's what we know based on reliable reports. 

  • AirPods: Apple's third-generation AirPods just launched in October 2021, so we don't expect a new model anytime soon.
  • AirPods Pro: Apple launched the AirPods Pro in October 2019. The company is working on a new redesigned version with a shorter stem that more closely resembles other wireless earbuds from brands like Samsung, according to Bloomberg. But it's unclear when this new model would launch.
  • AirPods Max: Apple just released the AirPods Max in December 2020, and we have not heard any details about when a successor could launch.
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Brazilian congressional panel set to recommend mass homicide charges against Jair Bolsonaro over COVID-19 response: report

Tue, 10/19/2021 - 5:35pm
Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro in Brasilia, Brazil, on February 24, 2021.
  • A Brazilian congressional panel is set to accuse Bolsonaro of homicide over his COVID-19 response.
  • The NYT obtained excerpts of a report on the panel's six month investigation in Brazil's outbreak.
  • The report also accuses Bolsonaro of genocide against indigenous peoples in the Amazon.

A Brazilian congressional panel is poised to recommend mass homicide charges against President Jair Bolsonaro over his handling of the COVID-19 pandemic, alleging that he deliberately allowed people to die in a futile attempt to foster herd immunity, the New York Times reported on Tuesday.

The Times obtained excerpts of a 1,200-page report compiled by the 11-member committee of Brazilian senators who conducted a six month investigation into Brazil's COVID-19 outbreak. The report blames more than half of Brazil's COVID-19 death toll (over 603,000 in total) on Bolsonaro's policies. It also accuses the Brazilian president of "genocide" against the indigenous peoples in the Amazon, who have been hit especially hard by the pandemic, the Times reported.

"Many of these deaths were preventable," Renan Calheiros, a Brazilian senator and the lead author of the report, told the Times on Monday. "I am personally convinced that he is responsible for escalating the slaughter."

The Brazilian president, much like other strongman leaders around the world, has repeatedly scoffed at public health recommendations and pandemic restrictions while sowing doubts about the life-saving vaccine. Bolsonaro says he is not vaccinated for the deadly virus.

Bolsonaro, who has been criticized across the world for his authoritarian tendencies, in March told people to "stop whining" about the devastating impact of the COVID-19 outbreak in his country.

Last July, Bolsonaro contracted COVID-19 after repeatedly downplaying the threat of the virus.

"With my history as an athlete, if I were infected with the virus, I would have no reason to worry. I would feel nothing, or it would be at most just a little flu," Bolsonaro said in March 2020.

After contracting COVID-19, however, Bolsonaro said he felt weak and had "mold" in his lungs.

But getting the virus did not change Bolsonaro's tone on the pandemic, and he continued to refuse to take it seriously.

As the death toll from the virus mounted, Bolsonaro back in April denied being "genocidal."

"They called me homophobic, racist, fascist, a torturer and now... what is it now? Now I am ... someone who kills a lot of people? Genocidal. Now, I'm genocidal," Bolsonaro told supporters outside the Presidential Palace in Brasilia, per CNN. "What am I not blamed for here in Brazil?"

Brazil's death toll from COVID-19 is the second highest in the world, surpassed only by the US.

According to the Times, the report from the Brazilian congressional panel also recommends charges against 69 other people, including three of Bolsonaro's sons.

It's unclear whether the report will result in any criminal charges, the Times said, but it's indicative of the growing schism plaguing Brazilian politics and comes as Bolsonaro vies for re-election next year. Bolsonaro's approval rating has rapidly plummeted amid the pandemic.

If Bolsonaro is formally charged, he would be removed from office for 180 days as the country's Supreme Court decided the case, a Brazilian law professor told the Times.

The Brazilian government did not immediately respond to a request for comment from Insider.

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'The Bachelorette' returns with a new season on October 19 - here's how to watch Michelle Young's search for love

Tue, 10/19/2021 - 5:30pm

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Michelle Young appeared on season 25 of "The Bachelor."
  • A new season of "The Bachelorette" premieres on October 19.
  • Michelle Young, an elementary school teacher, is this season's bachelorette.
  • You can watch new episodes as they air on ABC, or the day after their original broadcast on Hulu.

Season 18 of "The Bachelorette" premieres on October 19 at 8 p.m. ET on ABC. The two-hour season premiere will introduce 30 new suitors who want to build a romantic connection with Michelle Young.

After weeks of one-on-one dates, rose ceremonies, and hometown visits, Young could potentially choose one of the men to be her husband.

Michelle Young is a 28-year-old fifth-grade teacher from Minnesota. She originally appeared on season 25 of "The Bachelor" featuring Matt James, and made it all the way to the finale.

How to watch 'The Bachelorette' season 18

Season 18 of "The Bachelorette" premieres on ABC on October 19 at 8 p.m. ET. New episodes air weekly on Tuesdays.

If you don't have cable, you can watch new episodes of "The Bachelorette" as they air through any live TV streaming service with access to ABC. Multiple platforms, like Hulu + Live TV, YouTube TV, and Fubo TV, include ABC as part of their channel lineup.

All three services start at $65 a month. Fubo TV offers the biggest selection of channels in its base package, but YouTube TV and Hulu + Live TV are both giving new subscribers a $10 discount on their first three months of service. Hulu + Live TV also has the added bonus of including Hulu's entire on-demand library of movies and shows.

+ Live TV (small)TV (small)TV (Starter Plan) (small)

For viewers who are willing to wait a day, new episodes of "The Bachelorette" are expected to arrive on Hulu's on-demand service the day after they air on ABC. This is the cheapest option to stream the latest season, as Hulu's on-demand service starts at just $7 a month for ad-supported streaming.

Streaming Service (small)How to watch past seasons of 'The Bachelorette'

Hannah Brown and Tyler Cameron in season 15 of "The Bachelorette."

No streaming service has the full catalog of previous seasons of "The Bachelorette," but Hulu, HBO Max, and Netflix all have select seasons available for you to watch right now.

In addition to upcoming episodes from the current season, you can watch season 12 with JoJo Fletcher and season 13 with Rachel Lindsay on Hulu. On HBO Max, you can watch season 11 with Kaitlyn Bristowe, season 14 with Becca Kufrin, and season 15 with Hannah Brown. Netflix only gives you access to season six of "The Bachelorette" with Ali Fedotowsky.

Streaming Service (small)Max Monthly Plan (ad-free) (small)Monthly Subscription (small)What other reality TV shows can I watch on Hulu? Colton Underwood came out as gay after season 23 of "The Bachelor."

Between rose ceremonies on "The Bachelorette," fans of the series may enjoy watching various other reality TV shows that are available to stream on Hulu. Select episodes from "Bachelor in Paradise" season one, two, three, and seven are part of the Hulu catalog. You can also watch season 20 of "The Bachelor" with Ben Higgins and season 23 with Colton Underwood.

"Dancing with the Stars," "The Voice," and "The Masked Singer" are other popular reality TV shows you can watch with a subscription to Hulu.

For even more entertainment options, check out Insider's roundups of the best TV shows, movies, and originals that you can watch on Hulu.

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Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan says he's concerned the GOP is becoming too 'balkanized' to win national elections: book

Tue, 10/19/2021 - 5:20pm
Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan.
  • Gov. Larry Hogan is concerned that the GOP is becoming too "balkanized" to win national elections.
  • "I want to return to a more Reaganesque, big-tent party," he told correspondent David M. Drucker.
  • The last Republican to win the popular vote in a presidential election was George W. Bush in 2004.

While most Republicans have anchored the party around former President Donald Trump, Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan says he wants to see the party return to the conservatism of the late US President Ronald Reagan.

In Hogan's eyes, Reagan, who ushered in a generation of conservative leaders during his tenure from 1981 to 1989 and was reelected in a 49-state electoral landslide in the 1984 presidential race, was a unifying force who was able to grow the party.

The governor, who was first elected in 2014 and in 2018 became only the second Republican in state history to be reelected to a second term, is concerned about the future of the GOP, as he explained to Washington Examiner senior political correspondent David M. Drucker in the new book, "In Trump's Shadow: The Battle for 2024 and the Future of the GOP."

As someone who has managed to win as a Republican in one of the most reliably Democratic states in the country, the governor is acutely aware of the party's performance in national elections since Reagan left the White House.

"Hogan is worried the GOP is becoming a balkanized party that cannot win national elections," Drucker wrote. "A Republican presidential nominee has not won in anything resembling a landslide since 1988, when George H.W. Bush captured forty states and 426 electoral votes. Since then, in eight presidential elections, a Republican presidential nominee - Bush's son, George W. Bush - has won the national popular vote just once, in 2004."

Hogan, who could potentially launch a 2024 presidential bid and has been sharply critical of Trump's dominance over the GOP, feels as though the Reagan model is optimal for the party.

"I want to return to a more Reaganesque, big-tent party," the governor told Drucker. "It was his positive vision for the future," he added, that "had a massive appeal to a wider audience" and "won almost every state in the country."

Drucker points out Hogan's request as that of "an unapologetic throwback" in a party that is now largely defined by Trump's brand of conservatism.

Hogan, however, doesn't accept this notion and believes that there is room for a traditional conservative in 2024.

"There are ten or fifteen guys fighting to be the next Trump - men and women," he told Drucker. "There's no one in this lane that speaks to … about 30 percent to 40 percent of the people who actually are now admitting that they feel the way I have."

He then corrected himself. "Not no one; there are some folks," he said, referencing GOP Reps. Liz Cheney of Wyoming and Adam Kinzinger of Illinois, as well as 2012 Republican presidential nominee and Sen. Mitt Romney of Utah, who have all publicly clashed with the former president.

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Southwest Airlines reverses course and says it won't put unvaccinated employees on unpaid leave if they're seeking an exemption

Tue, 10/19/2021 - 5:15pm
A Southwest Airlines Boeing 737 in Denver.
  • Southwest Airlines said it will not put unvaccinated workers with a pending exemption on unpaid leave come December.
  • The company said employees can continue working if they follow COVID-safety policies until their request is reviewed.
  • American Airlines' flight attendant union told its members they will not be terminated if they are not vaccinated.

Southwest Airlines is abandoning its plan to put unvaccinated workers with a pending exemption on unpaid leave this December.

Southwest told employees on Tuesday that those who choose not to get vaccinated due to a medical or religious exemption will not be forced to take unpaid leave come December 8, reported CNBC. The December deadline was imposed by President Joe Biden when he enacted his federal vaccine mandate requiring federal contractors' employees to be vaccinated.

In a letter to employees seen by CNBC, Southwest senior vice president of operations and hospitality Steve Goldberg and vice president and chief people officer Julie Weber said workers whose medical or religious exemption was not reviewed by the December 8 deadline would not be put on unpaid leave. To continue working, these employees must agree to follow mask and social distancing policies until their exemption request is reviewed.

Southwest did not immediately respond to Insider's request for comment.

Southwest is not the only carrier loosening its vaccine requirements. American Airlines' flight attendant union, The Association of Professional Flight Attendants, told its members on Monday that those without the COVID-19 vaccine or an exemption will not be automatically separated from the company after the deadline to be inoculated, which for American employees is November 24.

"For those flight attendants who remain unvaccinated and do not receive an accommodation, you will not be automatically removed from service or terminated from employment on the deadline for compliance," the Association of Professional Flight Attendants said in an October 18 letter to members. "Our contract provides for a process that must be followed before anyone can be terminated."

On October 1, American Airlines said unvaccinated employees would not be able to work at American after the company's November 24 deadline, and the company told Insider on Monday that it was still figuring out the exemption process, though employees are still required to show proof of vaccination by the deadline. However, American did not say whether workers who are hesitant to get the shot by either the company's deadline or Biden's deadline will be terminated or not.

While both Southwest and American have taken steps to reassure worker job security, United Airlines has stood firm in its decision to require all employees without an approved exemption to either be vaccinated or be fired. However, a Texas federal judge recently forced United to temporarily halt its plan of putting unvaccinated workers seeking medical or religious accommodation on unpaid leave. The ruling came after six United employees filed a lawsuit claiming the company's strict vaccine mandate was discriminatory and not a reasonable accommodation.

Read the original article on Business Insider

How nature inspired the design of the McLaren P1 and Mini Cooper

Tue, 10/19/2021 - 5:15pm
  • Nature and scientific concepts inspired the McLaren P1 and 2001 Mini Cooper.
  • The theory of evolution is used to innovate while maintaining a "family look" within a car brand.
  • Natural proportions, unique character, and instant attraction are elements of successful car design.

The following is a transcript.

Narrator: Car designers draw inspiration from the places you would least expect, using nature and scientific concepts when constructing their designs. But if there are design elements that guarantee success, why have iconic designs like the Mustang been able to adapt with the times, while others like Pontiac's GTO have completely fallen off the map?

Frank: Where do they succeed and where do they fail? I wish I knew the answer to that one, because I'd be rich.

Narrator: That's Frank Stephenson, designer of the Ferrari F4 30, McLaren P1, BMW X5, and the 2001 Mini Cooper.

Frank: A lot of people do think that you just pick up a pen or a pencil or whatever you're using and just start, but that's kind of like starting a race without knowing, how far are you going to run? I much prefer doing a little bit of what we call due diligence, or research, before I start a design project. But you're being asked to design something that originally probably started in the marketing department as the response to providing your suggestion for a certain segment.

Narrator: But while car designs often are the response to an identified segment or a targeted market, that doesn't mean automakers want them to stay the same.

Frank: They pay us to innovate, not to replicate. Most designers, when they draw, like I said, are probably drawing cars that are going to be coming out in five years, not next year, because it takes about that long to develop a car.

Narrator: One of the ways car designers keep their designs looking fresh is by using nature as inspiration.

Frank: What that basically shows, what I call biomimicry. Basically take what nature gives you, and you sort of take the best of what it has and interpret it into a design. So I did that with the P1, where it's more influenced by speed. The cheetah is a strikingly efficient animal when it's at full speed. So trying to capture that dynamic proportion of it in certain elements. It's the stance that makes it look like it's pulling at the leash, even when it's standing still. A lot of the stuff that I use is called the golden ratio. Just to achieve the right proportions of the vehicle, so it looks right. That ratio, by the way, is 1.618. You find it everywhere in nature.

Narrator: But using nature in design isn't always about motion. Sometimes it's about giving the car character.

Frank: The Mini had always reminded me of a bulldog. If you looked at the original Mini, it had that low squat, kind of cute, but also not too aggressive, but it wasn't silly. It was kind of like the little dog you'd walk up to and ask, "Is it alright if I pet him?" Like, "I'm not asking you, I'm asking the dog." And I wanted to capture that with the Mini, because the Mini, for me, being iconic, British iconic, and the bulldog being British iconic, and both of them being that type of proportion, I thought it was the perfect inspiration.

Narrator: When it comes to the 2001 Mini, a vehicle that hadn't been redesigned in over 40 years, Frank had a difficult situation on his hands. How do you make the Mini look recognizable, like it belonged to the Mini family, while also adding a natural progression to its look?

Frank: What I did was I basically took the Mini, the original Mini, and I did a theoretical evolutionary cycle to it where, if it had changed every 10 years, what would it have looked like? And that's why people recognized it and had that familiarity feeling when they saw it.

Narrator: That familiar feeling Frank is talking about is what car designers call "the family look."

Frank: So if you walk into dealership, you're not expecting to see just the same car, just in different proportions or shapes or sizes. You want common elements, design elements, like the headlights, like the grill, like the lines on the side of the car, like the stance of the car, to give you sort of this feeling that they're brothers and sisters.

Narrator: The family look is just one of the key elements to the success of a design and radically changing the look of a car too quickly is one of the worst things a brand can do.

Frank: Suddenly, you bring in a completely different-looking relative into the family. It kind of makes you think, "Well, where did you come from?" And so we try to avoid that in the car industry, because it doesn't help us to develop the brand, to develop the design language of the brand.

Narrator: Figuring out what will make a new car design successful is a complicated process, but there is a simple way to understand why new designs might fail.

Frank: They either fail by not trying hard enough or by trying too hard. That's definitely been proven many, many times in the past. When they don't try hard enough, customers get bored and jump ship and go to something that's a little bit more, at least from an emotional point of view, more exciting. When people ask what makes a car design timeless, I prefer to call it long-lasting. The most important elements to achieve what we would call a long-lasting design are natural proportions. As we see oftentimes in nature, there's a ratio, a scientific ratio to that. I think also you have to establish a very unique character so that it's definitely recognizable as being unique. There has to be also an element of dynamism or tension in the design. Nobody likes boring designs. Nobody likes overcooked designs. So I think you have to find a complete balance between what feels natural and perhaps love at first sight. That's definitely one of the main ingredients. You have to have that instant spark of attraction.

Narrator: While no one can guarantee the success of a new car, designers do their best to create innovative vehicles that have a lasting appeal. But the only way to truly know if a car is timeless is to see if it passes the test of time.

Read the original article on Business Insider

36 gifts for him on Amazon that are under $100, from a leather Apple Watch band to a do-it-all multi-tool

Tue, 10/19/2021 - 5:14pm

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  • Finding the right gifts for the men in your life is tough, so we rounded up a helpful list of gifts.
  • Each gift is available on Amazon for less than $100 and with two-day shipping for Prime members.
  • Need more gift ideas? Check out all Insider Reviews gift guides here.

Trying to find the right gift when none seem ideal tends to make procrastinators out of the best of us. That's when most of us turn to the convenient, fast, reliable perks of shopping on Amazon and its mountain of options.

To make your last-minute shopping easier, we found 36 gifts for him that won't cost you more than $100, but that he's still sure to like.

Most of these items are available with free one-day or two-day shipping if you have Amazon Prime, so you don't have to stress over whether it'll arrive on time.

Shop the 36 best Amazon gifts for him: A leather weekender duffel bag

Weekender Duffel Bag, $57.99

If he tends to be disorganized, this leather weekender bag can keep his belongings intact wherever he goes. The separate shoe compartment and two large front pockets are useful details to maintain cleanliness and quickly access important items.

A durable workout shirt

Rhone Swift Short Sleeve Workout Shirt, from $63

Rhone makes some of our favorite workout gear, and its Swift workout shirt is one of our go-tos, no matter if we're running, cycling, or lifting weights. It features the brand's unique odor blocking technology called Goldfusion, wicks away moisture, and is just plain comfortable to wear. 

Mixology Bartender Kit, $29.97

An elegant bartender kit will upgrade his mixology skills at home with this set that has every bar essentials imagined from cocktail shaker to ice tongs. A sleek wooden stand and a fun drink recipe card are also included in this elegant bar tool kit.

A Himalayan salt plate that enriches flavors

Charcoal Companion CC6064 Himalayan Salt Plate & Holder Set, $34.99

Salt plates add naturally rich flavors to foods when cooked, chilled, or simply presented on the plate. If he's partial to steaks, fish, shrimps, scallops, and more, this block is perfect for enhancing his BBQ experience.

The latest video game

Madden NFL 22 — Playstation 4, $39.88

If you're tired of gifting tee shirts and socks, opt for the latest video game instead. And what better game than one that lets the gamer in your life simulate what it might be like to take their favorite team to the Super Bowl. 

Madden NFL 22 is also avaiable for Xbox One, PS5, Xbox Series X, and PC.

A pair of socks they'll actually like

Darn Tough Merino Socks, from $23.95

Gifting socks is boring, let's face it. But what if the socks you gifted weren't just something you grabbed at the last second off the basics rack?

That's exactly what you get with these Darn Tough socks. They're comfortable, warm, and durable, and can be used in a variety of settings be it hiking, layering in a boot, or just to wear around the house. 

A warm fleece vest

The North Face Apex Canyonwall Eco Vest, from $47.35

The North Face's Gordon Lyons Vest is a warm and comfortable layer that any guy can work into an outfit. It's available in a bunch of colors, so you can pick out his favorite.

A fast USB-C charger

Anker Nano 20W USB-C Charger, $16.99

This year's iPhones won't come with a charging adaptor in the box, so if you're gifting a new iPhone, you'll want to include an Anker Nano as a stocking stuffer. It charges three times faster than the typical Apple charger and is physically the same size.

A warm beanie

Carhartt Men's Acrylic Watch Hat, $16.99

Grab a warm, comfortable hat from a trusted outdoor brand for less than $20 and in 25+ colors.

A high-quality leather band for his Apple Watch

Bullstrap Full-Grain Italian Leather Watch Band, $89

Bullstrap's Italian Leather Watch Bands are the perfect way to add some elegance to his Apple Watch. They come in several colors of leather and are compatible with all generations of the Apple Watch.

A reliable and affordable cast-iron skillet

Lodge Cast Iron Skillet with Handle Holder, $27.33

A quality cast iron skillet is a gift that will get plenty of use and last a lifetime. Lodge's Cast Iron Skill is affordable, durable, and comes with a silicone handle cover for heat protection.

A mug he'll get plenty of use from

Yeti Rambler, from $37

This ever-reliable mug is well equipped for outdoor adventures and morning coffees alike. The vacuum insulation, dishwasher safety, and wide-grip handle all make this mug a standout.

A minimalist leather wallet

Bellroy Low Slim Leather Wallet, $75

Replace his tired and tattered wallet with this slim leather billfold from Insider Reviews' favorite wallet brand Bellroy. It's made with ethically sourced leather that will age wonderfully and last many years.

A timesaving pizza cutter

Kitchy Pizza Cutter Wheel, from $9.99

Whether he prefers homemade, takeout, or frozen, this pizza cutter will serve as a real timesaver in the kitchen.

A beard and body trimmer for a comfortable shave

Philips Norelco OneBlade Face + Body Trimmer, $49.95

What separates the Philips Norelco OneBlade from other trimmers and shavers is the unique blade. It uses a fast-moving OneBlade cutter with a dual-protection system on both ends. The base of the blade will contour to his face, allowing for a comfortable shave or trim without irritation — and it works for wet or dry shaving.

An affordable pair of headphones

Panasonic Ergofit in Ear Earbuds, from $9.99

These headphones come with an under $10 price tag and a 4.3 rating on Amazon across nearly 115,000 ratings. They're well-equipped for everyday use, the gym, or whenever Bluetooth isn't applicable.

A versatile iPhone case Scooch Wingman case, $39.99: iPhone 12/12 Pro and 12 Pro Max

A durable case is always an essential accessory. The Scooch Wingman is a military-grade case that has a built-in grip, kickstand, and car dash mount. To learn why it's the only case I'll use on my phone, read my full review on the iPhone 11 version.

A portable waterproof Bluetooth speaker

JBL Flip 4, from $98.95

Perfect for the adventure seeker, the JBL Flip 4 is rugged, portable, and waterproof. He can use it while camping in the backcountry, fishing at the lake, or even while he's swimming. A newer version of the speaker — the Flip 5 — is also available, though it sells for over $100. 

A fun fidget toy

Speks Geode, $26.95

If he likes to fidget and play with things throughout the day, Speks magnets are an extremely satisfying option. We're partial to the classic set, but this geode is intended to create a striking sphere in one of four bright colors. 

A few big bricks of soap

Duke Cannon Big Brick of Soap WWII Era Collection, from $10.90

Duke Cannon is a military-inspired men's grooming brand that helps support veterans and active service members by donating a portion of all proceeds. Even if the man you're shopping for isn't a serviceman, he'll appreciate the smell and massive size of these soap bars.

A charging dock for his iPhone and Apple Watch

Belkin Powerhouse Charge Dock for Apple Watch and iPhone, $80.89

Sure, you could give him a regular charging cord to juice up his phone, but a charging dock is often more convenient and definitely cooler. This one in particular also comes with a convenient place to charge his Apple Watch. 

An 8-inch tablet for surfing the internet and streaming

Fire HD 8 32GB Tablet with Alexa, $69.99

With an 8-inch 1080p full HD screen, the Fire HD Tablet is the perfect size for surfing the web, checking emails, and streaming videos. He'll get lots of use out of it whether he's at home or on the go.

An Alexa-enabled smart display

Echo Show 5, $44.99

Help him stay connected to the world by gifting him the new Echo Show 5. This smart display is good for video chatting with friends and family, checking the news, and controlling smart home devices like robot vacuums, security systems, and more. 

A cold-brew maker

Takeya Deluxe Cold Brew Coffee Maker, $24.99

Save him hundreds of dollars per year with this cold brew maker that lives up to coffee shop quality. It easily fits into most refrigerator doors, is simple to use, and makes a good amount of cold brew at once.

A smart speaker

Echo Dot 4th Gen with Clock, $59.99

The newest Echo Dot is more convenient than ever. The all-new design features a larger speaker for better audio, a digital clock to display the time and timer countdowns, and all of Alexa's other skills.

A set of whiskey rocks

Stainless Steel Whiskey Ice Cubes, $19.99

Gone are the days of thinned-out drinks with these whiskey stones made of stainless steel. Plus, it comes in a box set for easy gifting. 

A popular multitool

Leatherman Wingman Multitool, $59.95

Leatherman is a well-respected company, and they're especially well-known for making multi-tools like this one. It has 14 tools including a knife, pliers, screwdrivers, a ruler, and both bottle and can openers hidden inside it.

A voice-enabled TV streaming stick

Fire TV Stick, $39.99

The all-new Fire TV Stick has a new Wi-Fi antenna design optimized for HD streaming and more storage for apps and games. Essentially, though, it's still your standard media streaming stick, and can convert a dumb TV into a smart one that can stream Netflix, Prime Video, Hulu, and more. It's Alexa-enabled, too, so you can control it by voice.

A specialty beer-making kit

Mr. Beer Premium Craft Making Kit, $49.99

If he's one of those guys that either is or will one day be holed up in the garage making specialty beers, he's going to love this DIY kit. It includes everything he'll need to get started, including bottles.

A handy money clip

Travelambo Carbon Fiber Money Clip, $9.99

This sleek money clip is durable, affordable, and lightweight. Whether he's constantly on the go or simply prone to losing his wallet, this money clip will likely eliminate some pain points.

A turntable for his growing record collection

Victrola Vintage 3-Speed Bluetooth Portable Suitcase Record Player, from $44.99

Help him rediscover his favorite classic records with this affordable, portable turntable. If you're feeling extra generous, pick up a record he doesn't have or sign him up for a subscription to Vnyl.

A beard grooming kit to keep him looking neat

Rapid Beard Grooming & Trimming Kit, $29.95

This bestselling beard grooming kit isn't messing around, and it's reliant upon 100% natural and organic ingredients like argan oil, jojoba oil, and vitamin E. It makes grooming, trimming, shaping, and taming easier.

The most comfortable travel pillow

Trtl Pillow, $39.99

It looks gimmicky, but it's not. This is the best travel pillow on the internet in our opinion, and while it won't convince you that you're sleeping on a feather bed, it will make sleeping in an upright position far more enjoyable. If he travels, this is a thoughtful gift idea.

A hilarious coffee table book

"F in Exams," $7.93

This is a great gift for the person who can laugh at the little things in life, or for anyone who works as a teacher. It's a collection of hilarious wrong test answers that is sure to keep them laughing.

A dry box for waterproof protection outdoors

Pelican Go Case G40, $39.95

This tiny storage box is basically like a rugged phone case, protecting not only their phone but also other small essentials. It's even waterproof up to 30 minutes, making it perfect for outdoor adventures.

The internet's most popular cooker

Instant Pot DUO80, $99

The Instant Pot is one of the most versatile appliances you can add to your kitchen for under $100. Help him make delicious home-cooked meals a cinch, even when he has to work late.

Read the original article on Business Insider

Only 5% of Washington state police personnel don't comply with COVID-19 vaccine mandate

Tue, 10/19/2021 - 5:13pm
A trio of Washington State Patrol talk as they stand watch outside the Washington State Capitol in anticipation of potential armed protests in Olympia, U.S. January 17, 2021.
  • October 18 was the deadline for Washington state employees to be fully vaccinated.
  • Only 127 members of the Washington State Patrol refused.
  • The agency employees roughly 2,200 people.

Nearly 95% of the people employed by the Washington state police force have complied with the mandate to get vaccinated against COVID-19, the agency announced Tuesday.

The Washington State Patrol employs about 2,200 people, all of whom were required to provide proof of vaccination by October 18. Of that force, just 127 people failed to comply, according to a news release from the agency: 53 civil servants, 67 state troopers, six sergeants, and one captain.

"COVID is a killer and the state is taking action intended to improve public safety," Washington State Patrol Chief John R. Batiste told staff Monday evening. He thanked the vast majority of employees who elected to comply with the public health order. "Better days are ahead," he promised.

As The Seattle Times reported, the state police agency made rapid strides in the weeks ahead of the vaccine requirement coming into effect. As of September 20, only 63% of its personnel had submitted proof of their vaccination status. That rose to 93% at the start of October - and another 2% in the weeks since.

Under Gov. Jay Inslee's order, employees who have not provided evidence they are fully vaccinated by October 18 but intend to do so will now be placed on unpaid leave.

Have a news tip? Email this reporter:

Read the original article on Business Insider

A new poll found that 78% of Republicans want Trump to run in 2024, which is a 12-point increase since May

Tue, 10/19/2021 - 5:11pm
People hold a Trump 2024 flag before Republican Rep. Matt Gaetz of Florida arrives to address supporters at a Matt Gaetz Florida Man Freedom Tour event at the Hilton Melbourne Beach on July 31, 2021.
  • A new Quinnipiac poll shows that former President Trump's support among Republicans is growing.
  • 78% of Republicans now think he should run for president in 2024, up from 66% in May.
  • 84% of Republicans say that Trump has had a mainly positive impact on politics.

Former President Donald Trump's support among Republican voters continues to grow; a new poll has found that 78% of Republicans say they want to see Trump run in the 2024 presidential election. That's an increase of 12 percentage points from May, when 66% of Republicans said the same.

Quinnipiac University released the new poll on Tuesday, which was conducted from October 15 through 18, included 1,342 adults nationwide, and had a margin of error of 2.7 percentage points.

Unsurprisingly, large margins of Republicans believe that Trump has been a positive force in American life: 84% said he's had a mainly positive impact on politics, while another 85% said he's had a mainly positive impact on the party. That's a big contrast with Democrats, 94% of which said Trump has had a mainly negative impact on politics and 88% of which said he's had a mainly negative impact on the opposite party.

Independent voters were split on these two questions, with 46% saying that Trump has had a negative impact on the Republican Party while another 46% said his impact on the party has been positive. Meanwhile, 47% say he's had a negative impact on politics as a whole, as 45% of independents say the opposite.

Furthermore, Trump's approval rating remains high with Republicans, sitting at a comfortable 86%.

The growth in the former president's support among Republican voters comes as he's increasingly causing headaches for elected Republicans.

On Tuesday, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell urged his party to look forward rather than "rehash" the 2020 presidential election, something that Trump himself has continued to do. The former president claimed last week that Republicans would not vote in upcoming elections if the 2020 election wasn't "solved."

"It is the single most important thing for Republicans to do," Trump said.

Trump's message appears to be resonating with the Republican base. Quinnipiac found that 85% of Republicans believe Trump has been "protecting democracy" since losing the 2020 presidential election.

Read the original article on Business Insider

How to log out of the Amazon app or website on any device

Tue, 10/19/2021 - 5:07pm
Signing out of Amazon on one device doesn't sign you out everywhere.

You can log into Amazon on all sorts of devices, from phones to computers to tablets. But there are multiple ways to log in, that also means that there's multiple ways to log out. And unlike some sites, Amazon doesn't make the logout process obvious.

Here's how to log out of Amazon's app on your phone, or log out of the website on your computer or phone. Just remember that logging out on one device won't log you out anywhere else.

How to log out of the Amazon app

These steps are the same no matter whether you're using the iPhone, iPad, or Android Amazon app.

1. Open the Amazon app and tap the three stacked lines in the bottom-right corner.

2. Scroll down to the bottom of this new menu and tap Settings.

Head to the bottom of the account options menu.

3. In the list of options that appears, tap the last option, Sign Out.

Tap "Sign Out." How to log out of Amazon's website

If you aren't using the Amazon mobile app, you're probably using the website. You can log into the Amazon website on a computer or phone, so here's how to log out on both platforms.

Logging out on a computer

1. Head to Amazon's website and hover your mouse over the Account & Lists option in the top-left.

2. Click Sign Out at the bottom-right corner of the menu that appears.

"Sign Out" is the last option in this menu. Logging out on a phone

Logging out in a mobile browser like Safari is straightforward too.

1. Head to the Amazon website and tap your name in the top-left corner of the screen.

When you're logged in, you'll see your name at the top of the page.

2. Scroll down to the Settings section, then tap Sign Out.

Like the app and website, "Sign Out" is the last option. How to delete your Amazon account and what happens when you doHow to archive Amazon orders and view or hide items in your archiveHow to archive Amazon orders and view or hide items in your archiveHow to change the shipping address for an Amazon orderRead the original article on Business Insider

ProShares' bitcoin futures ETF sees the 2nd-heaviest debut volume on record with 24 million shares traded

Tue, 10/19/2021 - 5:06pm

The launch of the ProShares Bitcoin Strategy ETF is officially a hit with investors.

The ETF, which gains exposure to bitcoin via futures contracts rather than owning it outright, saw more than 24 million shares trade hands in its trading debut on Tuesday, according to Bloomberg data. That gives it the distinction of the second-most-traded fund launch of all time, generating more than $1 billion of turnover, Bloomberg found.

The launch easily beat the popular Invesco QQQ Trust ETF launch in March of 1999, when $265 million was traded on its first day. The best ETF launch of all time is the BlackRock US Carbon Transition Readiness ETF, which launched in April of this year and saw a one-day turnover of more than $1 billion, according to Bloomberg.

"It [ProShares Bitcoin ETF] has legit shot at $1 billion and top spot," senior ETF analyst Eric Balchunas tweeted on Tuesday.

And first-year inflows into the fund could exceed $50 billion, according to a Monday note from Fundstrat's Tom Lee. Such strong demand for the ETF could help drive bitcoin to $168,000, he said.

The ProShares Bitcoin Strategy ETF trades under the ticker symbol "BITO" and has an annual expense ratio of 0.95%. The ETF traded up as much as 5% in Tuesday trades, while bitcoin was up about 1%.

Read the original article on Business Insider

66% of Republicans don't consider the January 6 Capitol riot to be an attack on the government, according to a new poll

Tue, 10/19/2021 - 4:57pm
Pro-Trump protesters on the steps of the US Capitol Building on Jan. 6, 2021.
  • Quinnipiac University released a new poll that indicates Republicans voters have moved on from Jan 6.
  • 66% of Republicans don't consider the January 6 Capitol riot to be an attack on the government.
  • That same poll also found that 77% of Republicans don't hold Trump responsible for it anyway.

A full two thirds of Republican don't consider the January 6 assault on the US Capitol - which resulted in several deaths and disrupted the counting of electoral votes for several hours - to have been an attack on the US government.

That's according to a new poll from Quinnipiac University released on Tuesday, which was conducted from October 15 through 18, included 1,342 adults nationwide, and had a margin of error of 2.7 percentage points. The poll found that 66% of Republicans do not view the storming of the US Capitol as an attack on the government.

The poll also found that the vast majority of Republican voters don't hold Trump responsible for the events of that day, regardless of whether it was an attack on the government; 21% of Republican poll respondents said the former president bore "not much" responsibility for the storming of the US Capitol, while 56% said he had no responsibility for it whatsoever.

Both Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell and House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy have said that Trump bears responsibility for what happened that day.

Regarding the ongoing congressional investigation into what happened that day, 74% of Republicans said that enough is already known about the events of Jan 6, compared to just 38% of Democrats and 58% of independent voters who said the same.

The poll's results indicate that Republican voters have largely moved on from January 6, and some GOP elected officials have taken that same path. Republican Rep. Madison Cawthorn of North Carolina has described detained rioters as "political prisoners," while Republican Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene of Georgia has claimed that they were being abused.

Meanwhile, Republican Rep. Paul Gosar of Arizona and the former President himself have sought to turn Ashli Babbitt, a pro-Trump rioter who was shot and killed by Capitol police after she tried to enter the speaker's lobby through a broken window, into a political martyr.

More broadly, 51% of Americans told Quinnipiac that they believe Trump has been undermining democracy since the 2020 election ended, though significant partisan divides exist on this question. 94% of Democrats said Trump was undermining democracy, while 85% of Republicans denied that, saying he's in fact protecting democracy.

Read the original article on Business Insider

The new MacBook Pro models restore Apple's leading laptop line to its former glory - here's how they look from every angle

Tue, 10/19/2021 - 4:52pm

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  • Apple's new MacBook Pro models appear to bring its laptops back to their fundamentals.
  • Apple brought back several features dropped in 2016, including the MagSafe port, HDMI port, and SD card slot.
  • Finally, the new design features a mini-LED screen with smaller bezels than ever.
MacBook Pro 14-inch (2021) (small)MacBook Pro 16-inch (2021) (small)

Apple has at last redesigned its MacBook Pro laptop for 2021, delighting many fans with a return to basics while simultaneously causing those same fans to scratch their heads.

This is because, while Apple did bring back several features and design elements that have been clamored for online since Apple's last major redesign in 2016 - the one that introduced the Touch Bar - did away with them, it also introduced a confusing "notch" to house the webcam similar to Apple's iPhones since 2017.

The new MacBook Pro design is unsurprisingly elegant and slick, bringing back the basics while also pushing the laptops forward to stay ahead of the crowd of Windows laptops. Here's a look at Apple's new MacBook Pro laptops from every angle we could find.

First off, both sizes of the new MacBook Pro are identical in design, so we'll be discussing both models together. From a straight on profile view, we can see that Apple has flattened any curvature in its design save for the corners. We can also see the laptops' new "feet" that they stand on.

This shot also shows the new display in great detail, particularly highlighting the notch in the top center of the screen. While many fans are confused by this change, Apple touted how this new display design allows for more screen space and only the top-oriented menu bar of macOS is affected. Fair enough, but we'll be the final judge of its application in practice.

Looking directly at the keyboard from above shows Apple's daring decision to walk away from its Touch Bar technology and go back to traditional function keys and a round power button featuring Apple's Touch ID sensor.

This keyboard is, of course, one of Apple's Magic Keyboards with mechanical keys rather than that scissor switch used up until a year or two ago.

Getting a closer look at the MacBook Pro in a closed position shows the exact nature of its manufacturing process, using 100% recycled aluminum as well as a list of other sustainably-sourced materials.

This design also looks a lot like MacBook Pro models of several years ago, before 2016, with more straightforward lines, curves, and edges used in its profile.

While we're on the laptop's closed position, we can see all of its ports on display. Yes, the MagSafe port, HDMI output, and direct SD card support all return.

Both the 14- and- 16-inch models come featuring three Thunderbolt 4 ports on the USB-C standard. This means all USB-C Mac accessories you already have are supported, and these ports can be used to charge the devices.

However, when connected to power via the returning MagSafe port and connector, the MacBook Pro laptops can charge up to 50% in as quick as 30 minutes.

This is also a newly redesigned version of the MagSafe system, using a threaded cable rather than simple rubberized plastic of years past.

Finally, the new MacBook Pro models look largely indistinguishable from earlier versions when viewed from behind the lid.

The new 14-inch MacBook Pro starts at $1,999.00, meanwhile, the 16-inch model starts at $2,499.00, and both are available for preorder now with general availability starting on October 26. Turns out that, while you're also getting Apple's latest M1 Pro processor in each of these new models, getting those back-to-basics upgrades are going to cost more than you may have expected.

MacBook Pro 14-inch (2021) (small)MacBook Pro 16-inch (2021) (small) Read the original article on Business Insider

Netflix's top 10 original TV show hits of all time, including 'Squid Game' and 'Bridgerton'

Tue, 10/19/2021 - 4:52pm
"Squid Game."
  • Netflix said that "Squid Game" was its biggest original series ever with 142 million households watching in the first four weeks.
  • It topped "Bridgerton," which was watched by 82 million households.
  • Insider ranked Netflix's biggest originals based on how many member households watched each in the first 28 days.
  • Netflix counts a view if an account watches at least two minutes of a show or movie.
  • Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.
10. "Tiger King: Murder, Mayhem and Madness" season one - 64 million "Tiger King: Murder, Mayhem, and Madness" was released on Netflix on March 20, 2020.

Description: "A zoo owner spirals out of control amid a cast of eccentric characters in this true murder-for-hire story from the underworld of big cat breeding."

Rotten Tomatoes critic score: 86%

What critics said: "A compelling series in fits and starts that doesn't amount to much more than a trip through an extremely strange world filled with extremely strange people." — Newsday

9. "La Casa de Papel (Money Heist)" season four - 65 million

Description: "Eight thieves take hostages and lock themselves in the Royal Mint of Spain as a criminal mastermind manipulates the police to carry out his plan."

Rotten Tomatoes critic score: 80%

What critics said: "All the joy in the heist format is wondering how the robbers will escape. With Money Heist, I'm starting to dread the new ways the producers will find to keep me locked in." — Independent

8. (tie) "Maid" - 67 million

Description: "After fleeing an abusive relationship, a young mother finds a job cleaning houses as she fights to provide for her child and build them a better future."

Rotten Tomatoes critic score: 97%

What critics said: "The Netflix miniseries illustrates the endless Catch-22 poor people in America face." — The Ringer

8. (tie) "Stranger Things" season three - 67 million "Stranger Things."

Description: "When a young boy vanishes, a small town uncovers a mystery involving secret experiments, terrifying supernatural forces and one strange little girl."

Rotten Tomatoes critic score: 89%

What critics said: "It's a real and joyful return to form for the show that has been taken fiercely to the hearts of people who weren't there the first time round and, perhaps even more fiercely, by those who were." — Guardian

8. (tie) "Sex/Life" season one - 67 million

Description: "A woman's daring sexual past collides with her married-with-kids present when the bad-boy ex she can't stop fantasizing about crashes back into her life."

Rotten Tomatoes critic score: 23%

What critics said: "Sex/Life drowns itself in the shallow end, so to speak, by failing to even generate much heat. There are plenty of R-rated scenes-so many, actually, that they get repetitive." — Time Magazine

5. "La Casa de Papel (Money Heist)" season five- 69 million "Money Heist."

Description: "Eight thieves take hostages and lock themselves in the Royal Mint of Spain as a criminal mastermind manipulates the police to carry out his plan."

Rotten Tomatoes critic score: 80%

What critics said: "I dig smart heist stories. But I don't care much for ones about fictional wars and I'm worried about what Money Heist might become in future episodes. It looks like the show might have changed genres in its final season." — Ask 

4. (tie) "The Witcher" season one - 76 million

Description: "Geralt of Rivia, a mutated monster-hunter for hire, journeys toward his destiny in a turbulent world where people often prove more wicked than beasts."

Rotten Tomatoes critic score: 67%

What critics said: "And although The Witcher is more fantasy balderdash, it's also somewhat addictive fantasy balderdash. Bring on the blood-spilling, the orgies, the haunted forests and wizards: It seems we can't get enough." — Detroit News

4. (tie) "Lupin" season one - 76 million Omar Sy stars in "Lupin."

Description: "Inspired by the adventures of Arsène Lupin, gentleman thief Assane Diop sets out to avenge his father for an injustice inflicted by a wealthy family."

Rotten Tomatoes critic score: 98%

What critics said: "The series also doesn't waste a single minute, packing each and every moment full of suspense. Put all of that together, and it's an early front-runner to steal a spot as one of the best shows of the year." — Slate

2. "Bridgerton" season one - 82 million

Description: "The eight close-knit siblings of the Bridgerton family look for love and happiness in London high society. Inspired by Julia Quinn's bestselling novels."

Rotten Tomatoes critic score: 89%

What critics said: "There are eight episodes of Bridgerton, and they all have endings that are like chapters in a good book: They leave you in a spot where you just want to read one more chapter before you turn off the light for the night." — NPR

1. "Squid Game" season one - 142 million

Description: "Hundreds of cash-strapped players accept a strange invitation to compete in children's games. Inside, a tempting prize awaits — with deadly high stakes."

Rotten Tomatoes critic score: 92%

What critics said: "A twisty, fast-paced, action-packed show whose episodes end in killer cliffhangers — in other words, the ultimate binge bait." — Time Magazine

Read the original article on Business Insider

Top Republican senator demands US military suspend COVID-19 vaccine mandate, arguing it hurts morale and readiness

Tue, 10/19/2021 - 4:51pm
Sen. Jim Inhofe.
  • Sen. Jim Inhofe wrote to the defense secretary calling for the suspension of the COVID-19 vaccine mandate.
  • The top Republican on the Senate Armed Services Committee said it is hurting readiness and morale.
  • The Pentagon has said that troops who refuse the vaccine may face disciplinary action.

A top Republican lawmaker wrote to the secretary of defense this week demanding that the military's "haphazardly implemented and politically motivated" vaccination mandate be immediately suspended to avoid hurting morale and readiness and causing "irrevocable damage to our national security."

"At a time when our adversaries continue to increase their quantitative and qualitative advantage against our forces, we should seek to ensure that no policy, even unintentionally, hinders military readiness," Oklahoma Sen. Jim Inhofe, the top Republican on the Senate Armed Services Committee, wrote to Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin.

"Most troublesome is the lack of clarity and consistency among the services as they look to implement the administration's hasty vaccination mandate," he added.

COVID-19 vaccines are highly effective at reducing the risk of severe illness and death from COVID-19. As of August, unvaccinated people had a six-fold higher chance of testing positive and an 11-fold greater chance of dying from the disease than vaccinated people.

In late August, Austin issued guidance mandating US service members get vaccinated against COVID-19 prior to deadlines set by the services. The Air Force and Space Force require personnel be vaccinated by November 2. The deadline for the Navy and Marine Corps is November 28. The Army's deadline is December 15.

Earlier this month, The Washington Post reported that hundreds of thousands of service members were still either unvaccinated or only partially vaccinated against the virus.

On October 12, two days after The Post's report, Pentagon press secretary John Kirby said that 96.7% of the active-duty force has had at least one dose of the vaccine while 83.7% is fully vaccinated. Numbers for the total force are lower with partially vaccinated at 80% and fully vaccinated at 65%.

Personnel outside of the active-duty force have later deadlines, likely accounting for the lower figures for the total force.

Kirby said that the COVID-19 vaccine mandate is a lawful order and that failure to comply could lead to disciplinary action, including separation from military service. The spokesman explained, however, that "there's lots of tools available to leaders, short of using the uniform code of military justice, to get these troops to do the right thing for themselves and for their units."

Inhofe, who has been vaccinated against COVID-19, expressed concerns about possible disciplinary action and how it could affect US military strength.

"Plainly stated, no service member, Department of Defense civilian or contractor supporting the department should be dismissed due to failure to comply with the mandate until the ramifications of mass dismissal are known," Inhofe wrote in his letter to Austin.

He said that "with an ever shrinking candidate pool, hastily executed policies such as this work to further diminish the ability of the Department to tap into the finite resource of people critical to national security."

Inhofe suggested that the Biden administration's vaccine mandates could "do more damage to the nation's security than any external threat."

COVID-19 has claimed the lives of at least 67 service members since the start of the pandemic, derailed important training efforts, and even sidelined critical national security assets, including a US Navy aircraft carrier.

In a memo in early August, Austin strongly encouraged service members to get vaccinated, writing that "to defend this nation, we need a healthy and ready force."

Some Republican lawmakers have pushed back. In his letter to Austin, Inhofe demanded a cost breakdown for discharging and replacing personnel, information on the impact to mission readiness should troops be removed for vaccine refusal, and guidance on the processes for vaccine exemptions.

In a statement Tuesday, Kirby said the Pentagon was aware of Inhofe's concerns and "will reply to them appropriately."

Kirby said nearly 85% of active-duty troops and more than 66% of active, guard, and reserve troops are fully vaccinated and that Austin "remains convinced" the effort "is, in fact, one of the surest ways to bolster our readiness for the challenges we face around the world."

Austin "remains comfortable with the service-appropriate ways in which each military department is pursuing their mandatory vaccination program," Kirby added. "A vaccinated force is a protected force, better able to deploy and to defend our interests around the world."

Read the original article on Business Insider

How to watch the NBA - the 2021-22 season starts October 19 with the defending champion Bucks taking on the Nets

Tue, 10/19/2021 - 4:45pm

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Giannis Antetokounmpo goes to the basket as Chris Paul looks on in game 2 of the NBA Finals.
  • The 2021-22 NBA season begins October 19 with a doubleheader on TNT.
  • NBA regular season games are broadcast by ESPN, TNT, ABC, NBA TV, and local affiliate stations.
  • NBA League Pass also offers streaming access to hundreds of games for an annual or monthly fee.
Table of Contents: Masthead StickyTV (small)League Pass (small)

The 2021-22 NBA regular season tips off on October 19 with a doubleheader on TNT. The first game features the defending champion Milwaukee Bucks against the Brooklyn Nets, while the second match features the Golden State Warriors against the Los Angeles Lakers. The games start at 7:30 p.m. ET and 10 p.m. ET, respectively.

You can stream the opening games with the TNT app if you're a cable subscriber, otherwise you'll need a live TV streaming service like Sling TV, YouTube TV, or Hulu + Live TV to watch.

Throughout the regular season, nationally televised NBA games are spread across TNT, ESPN, ABC, and NBA TV. Meanwhile, some teams have local affiliates that broadcast their regular season games.

To help you get access to every game you want to watch, we broke down everything you need to know about streaming the NBA season without a cable subscription.

Key dates for the 2021-22 NBA season

The 2021-22 NBA regular season begins on October 19 and runs through April 10, 2022. Here's a rundown of key dates for the season and post-season.

  • October 19 - NBA regular season begins
  • February 18 to 20 - NBA All-Star Weekend in Cleveland, Ohio
  • April 12 to 15 - Play-in tournament for playoff seeding
  • April 16 - NBA playoffs officially began
  • June 2 - NBA Finals began
  • July 19 - NBA Finals Game Seven, if necessary
  • June 23 - NBA Draft
How to watch the 2021-22 NBA season

NBA regular season games are broadcast nationally on ESPN, ABC, TNT, and NBA TV. TNT usually broadcasts games on Tuesday and Thursday nights, while ESPN games are typically scheduled for Wednesday and Friday. ABC will show NBA games on select Saturdays and Sundays starting in December.

NBA TV carries games from local NBA affiliates on a nightly basis and is available as a cable network or a standalone streaming subscription. You can subscribe to NBA TV for the season for $60, or pay $7 a month.

If you already have a pay-TV provider with access to ESPN, ABC, or TNT, you can stream each station's NBA content via their respective apps. That said, ESPN games are not included with an ESPN+ subscription.

If you don't have a cable or satellite subscription, you can sign up for a live TV streaming service with access to TNT, ABC, ESPN, and NBA TV. Services with plans that support NBA games from all four channels include Sling TV and YouTube TV.

Sling TV

Sling TV includes ESPN and TNT as part of its Orange plan for $35 a month. Sling doesn't offer ABC, but NBA games airing on that network are occasionally simulcast on ESPN3, which is included with Sling. You can also add NBA TV to your plan through the Sports Extra package for an additional $11 a month.

New Sling subscribers can get their first month of service for a discounted rate of just $10, which helps make Sling one of the cheapest options for streaming the NBA.

TV (small)YouTube TV

YouTubeTV offers ABC, ESPN, TNT, and NBA TV for $65 a month, providing full access to all of the major broadcast and cable networks that show NBA games. For a limited time, new subscribers can get their first three months for a discounted rate of $55 a month.

TV (small)Hulu + Live TV

Hulu + Live TV features access to channels like ESPN, TNT, and ABC for $65 a month. However, NBA TV is not offered which could be an issue for viewers who want to watch as many games as possible during the regular season.

On the plus side, Hulu + Live TV does include access to Hulu's entire on-demand library of shows and movies. If you sign up before October 29, you can get your first three months for a discounted rate of $55 a month.

+ Live TV (small)Fubo TV

Fubo TV includes ABC and ESPN under its Starter plan for $65 a month, but you need the Sports Plus add-on for an extra $11 a month to get NBA TV. On the downside, TNT is not currently available through any of Fubo TV's plans, which presents a major issue for fans who want to watch nationally televised games on Tuesdays and Thursdays.

TV (small)NBA League Pass lets you stream out of market games

TNT, ESPN, ABC, and NBA TV are the national broadcast partners of the NBA, but they only show select games throughout the season. If you're interested in following a team that's not in your area, you can subscribe to NBA League Pass to stream out of market regular season games for a single team or the entire league.

League Pass offers subscriptions for one team starting at $18 a month or $120 for a full season. If you want access to every team on League Pass, you'll have to pay $250 for the season or $40 a month. The price of League Pass will decrease as the year goes on, but of course you'll be missing out on games early in the season.

Blackout restrictions apply, and League Pass does not include live access to nationally televised games or your local teams.

League Pass (small)Read the original article on Business Insider

Google's new Pixel 6 phones are total overhauls on last year's models with a new 50-megapixel camera, and you can preorder them now

Tue, 10/19/2021 - 4:35pm

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  • Google launched its new Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro phones on October 19 that are total refreshes over previous Pixels.
  • The Pixel 6 starts at $599, and the Pixel 6 Pro at $899. Both are available to preorder starting on October 19.
  • The new Pixel 6 phones will be available to buy from Google and retail partners on October 28.
Pixel 6 (small)Pixel 6 Pro (small)

Google announced its new Pixel 6 phones on October 19, which include two models: the Pixel 6 and the Pixel 6 Pro.

The Pixel 6 phones represent a big moment for Google's efforts to compete in the phone space. They're a complete refresh over previous Pixel phones, and no stone has been left unturned.

For one, the company is placing more emphasis on premium design and specifications - areas where Google previously struggled.

Google is also using its own processors, called "Tensor," in the new Pixel phones. Most Android phones in the US run on Qualcomm's lineup of Snapdragon mobile processors, so this is a noteworthy departure. It'll be interesting to see how performance on Google's Tensor processors differs from Qualcomm's, and what they can bring to the table.

Google's Pixel phones always excelled in camera quality, thanks to the company's software, but the company introduced major changes to the camera hardware in the Pixel 6 series. The new 50-megapixel main camera sensor is bigger to capture 150% more light than previous Pixels, which should make for amazing photos considering the camera performance in previous Pixel phones with much smaller camera sensors.

In true Google fashion, the company also worked on its camera software for special features, like Face Unblur for photos with blurred faces, Real Tone for better skin tones in portrait mode, and Magic Eraser that lets you remove unwanted objects or subjects in photos. Combined with Google's powerful chops in AI, machine learning, and computational photography, it'll be interesting to see how the new Tensor processor and new camera hardware perform.

Google Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro specsSpecificationsGoogle Pixel 6Google Pixel 6 ProDisplay6.4-inch 1080p (2,400 x 1,080 pixels) 90Hz OLED6.7-inch 1440p (3,820 x 1,440 pixels) 60-120Hz OLEDProcessorGoogle TensorGoogle TensorMemory and storage8GB RAM & 128GB/256GB storage12GB RAM & 128GB/256GB/512GB storageRear camera50-megapixel standard wide, 12-megapixel ultra-wide 114-degree FoV, OIS, laser-focus50-megapixel standard wide, 12-megapixel ultra-wide 114-degree FoV, 48-megapixel 4x telephoto, OIS, laser-focusSelfie camera8-megapixel11.1-megapixelBattery4,614mAh5,003mAhWater resistanceIP68IP685GSub-6 and mmWaveSub-6 and mmWaveGoogle Pixel 6 phones release date and prices

The Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro are available for preorder starting on October 19. The Pixel 6 starts at $599, and the Pixel 6 Pro at $899. They'll be widely available to buy from Google and retailers on October 28. Google and Verizon have trade-in offers for your old phone.

Pixel 6 (small)Pixel 6 Pro (small)Read the original article on Business Insider

What is Signal? How the popular encrypted messaging app keeps your texts private

Tue, 10/19/2021 - 4:20pm
The app Signal used to be niche, but has seen a boom in popularity.
  • Signal is a messaging app that uses end-to-end encryption to keep your messages private.
  • When you send a message, the only people who can see it are the recipients - not even the company that runs Signal can see what you send.
  • You can use the Signal app to send texts, photos, videos, and voice messages, as well as manage group chats.
  • Visit Insider's Tech Reference library for more stories.

Over the last few years, Signal has become one of the most popular messaging apps around. Favored by tech giants, cybersecurity experts, journalists, government officials, and many more, Signal has gone from a darling secret of the security community to a group chatting phenomenon.

Signal is known for its incredible security and wealth of features. On an internet where it seems that more and more businesses are trying to track you, Signal can keep all of your conversations private.

Here's a guide to the Signal app, including why it's become so popular.

The Signal app, explained

Signal is safer and more secure than most messengers because of a process called "end-to-end encryption." This works by encoding a sender's message in such a way that only the intended receiver's device can unlock it.

Neither Signal, nor your phone company, nor the government can read your messages. That's why it's remained popular with journalists, government officials, and anyone else who deals with classified materials.

Signal lets you chat securely.

However, Signal's messages are only secure if both the sender and receiver are on the app. Otherwise, you're just sending standard text messages back and forth.

If you prefer to communicate through Signal, the app has a simple feature to invite someone to download it. Blocking someone from contacting you through the app is just as easy.

Encryption itself isn't a unique feature. Apps like iMessage, Telegram, and WeChat all do it to an extent. But unlike other apps, Signal's source code is publicly available, so experts have been able to poke and prod at its defenses for years, strengthening it in the process.

Signal's key features

Signal is similar to other messaging apps, but with a lot more security features. It's available for free on iPhone, Android, Mac, and PC.

Android users can even set their default messaging app to Signal if they want to.

There's a Signal app on nearly every major system.

On a basic level, you can have one-on-one conversations with someone or start a group chat. In these chats, you can send pictures, videos, internet links, voice messages, and more. You can even send and react to messages with emojis, much like on Slack and Discord.

Signal's beta version is testing new kinds of chats with forum-like features. Those include group admins, updates, timers for disappearing messages. For now, groups are capped at 150 people, but adding and removing new people from a group is simple.

If you're concerned about someone accessing the Signal app from your phone, you can lock the app with the same passcode or fingerprint scan normally used to lock your phone.

Signal requires a phone number to join the app. To keep yours private, you can sign up with a Google voice number. Apple users will want to visit their privacy settings within the app and turn off "Show Calls in Recents" to prevent your history from syncing with the cloud.

You can also set your messages to disappear over time, or photos to disappear after a single viewing.

In short, Signal is an app that's focused on privacy first, and gives you a wide range of tools to manage that privacy.

Barbara Smith contributed to a previous version of this article.

A guide to end-to-end encryption, the system that keeps your transmitted data and communication secureHere's what happens when you block someone on WhatsAppHow to make and receive WhatsApp video callsHow to use the 'secret conversation' feature in Facebook Messenger to keep your chat secureRead the original article on Business Insider

7 of the best electric razors, plus expert advice on how to properly clean and care for one

Tue, 10/19/2021 - 4:17pm

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  • Electric razors cost more than disposable razors, but they provide smooth shaves and last longer.
  • Braun's Series 7 7085cc is our top pick because it's versatile and effective at shaving or trimming.
  • We also recommend picks for affordable, high-end, professional electric razors, and more.
Table of Contents: Masthead Sticky

Shaving isn't as simple or as easy as brushing your teeth. All beards aren't the same, and when you factor in the many styles of facial hair people prefer, there is no single tool or technique that works for everyone. While traditional manual razors are usually great for full, clean shaves on people with straight hair, they're not of much use beyond that. That's where electric razors come in.

For some people, using an electric razor instead of a manual razor means fewer nicks, cuts, and no razor bumps to follow. For others, the choice to use an electric razor simply comes down to speed and convenience since they can be used wet or dry, with or without shaving cream. Wherever you fall in the spectrum of shaving expectations, there's definitely an electric razor out there that can meet or exceed all of your grooming needs.

We thoroughly tested and reviewed all of the best electric razors for most people's needs, below. We've also broken down the differences between foil and rotary shavers to help you determine which is best for your intended use and hair/skin type. You can find the explanation below, just under our top choices for electric razors.

Here are the best electric razors you can buy in 2021: Braun Series 7 (7085cc)

The Braun Series 7 is able to "read" the density of your beard, automatically adjusting its power to give you the closest shave ever.

Series 7 (7085cc) (small)

The Braun Series 7 (7085cc) replaces the older Braun Series 7 (7895cc) as our best overall pick because of its dependability and a few key improvements. Like the previous generation, the Series 7 (7085cc) features Braun's AutoSense technology, which reads the density of your beard and automatically adjusts its power to provide a clean shave in one pass.

The biggest improvement in the design is the new 360° Flex Head shaver that contours to the curves of your face and neck. Using the new Series 7 (7085cc) feels effortless, even in hard-to-shave areas like your Adam's apple or jawline.

The new model (7085cc) also has a detachable trimmer that goes in place of the shaver, unlike the previous model (7895cc) which featured a slide-out trimmer on the front of the device. With the new design, the trimmer tool is placed at the top of the device, so you can see exactly what you're doing. If you're having a hard time visualizing the difference between the two designs, see the side-by-side comparison here.

With 50 minutes of continuous shave time, the Braun Series 7 (7085cc) typically lasts three weeks on one charge — and when it does die, you can get enough battery power for a single shave with a 5-minute quick charge.

Just like previous models, the Series 7 (7085cc) is also entirely waterproof, so you can bring it in the shower, use it with water and shaving cream, or rinse it off in the sink when you're done. — Amir Ismael

Read our full review of the Braun Series 7 7071cc here.

The 7071cc is the same as the 7085cc, except it doesn't include extra length guard attachments.

Remington F5-5800 F5-5800 (small)

Electric shavers can be expensive, especially foil-style shavers, but Remington consistently offers models with good performance, at the affordable end of the market. The Remington F5-5800 is one of the better razors available for such a low price. It certainly has some drawbacks, but it will give you a decent level of performance, considering what you're paying.

The F5-5800 has a nicely contoured handle that makes it comfortable to use. Meanwhile, the head on this electric razor is just the right size to reach hard-to-shave areas, such as just below the nose. Keep in mind, though, that the Remington F5-5800 does not allow for wet shaves, and it won't work with shaving foam or gel.

The rechargeable battery on the Remington F5-5800 is reliable, and the handle of the razor contains a series of LEDs that conveniently indicate the current charge level.

Many people like to use the F5-5800 as a travel razor or as a second razor at the office, because of its small size and low price. 

One problem many Amazon reviewers mentioned is the failing of the foil screens on the razor after several months. This can expose sharp edges on the F5-5800 that could cause nicks and cuts while shaving. — Kyle Schurman

Braun Series 9 (9370cc) Series 9 (9370cc) (small)

The Braun Series 9 (9370cc) electric foil shaver is an upgrade to both Series 7 and older Series 9 Braun shavers with the latest design features. Although you'll pay extra for these features, the 9370cc is well worth the money.

The cutting head consists of five separate parts — two OptiFoil shavers, a lift and cut trimmer, a direct and cut trimmer, and a protective skin guard. Together, the system provides a smooth and close shave, whether your hairs lay flat, stand up, or grow in an odd direction.

If you weren't a fan of electric razors with pivoting heads in the past because they didn't fit the contours of your face well, you don't have to worry about that issue with the 9370cc. Braun includes a 10-direction pivoting head that provides all the flexibility you'll need. You'll also have to ability to lock it in place if you find a specific angle that works for you.

With 20% more battery power than the previous model, you'll get a full hour of shaving time on just one charge. Considering you'll only need to shave for a few minutes each time, you can get nearly a month of daily use on a single charge — or much longer if you don't shave often.

As one final advantage over its predecessors, the 9370cc has one of the largest heads found on an electric shaver, allowing you to finish shaving a bit more quickly than with other electric razors. This Braun razor will work in wet or dry conditions, and you can use it with shaving foam or gel.

As a self-cleaning model, the Braun Series 9 comes bundled with a Clean and Charge station and one Clean and Renew cartridge, which contains a solution designed to clean and lubricate the shaver head before each use. — Amir Ismael

Read our full review of the Braun Series 9 9370cc here.

Bevel Trimmer Trimmer (small)

If you have coarse or curly hair, you've probably struggled to find products that make grooming comfortable. While most razors focus on getting the absolute closest cut possible, that's also usually the first step to unattractive, painful, or itchy razor bumps. Luckily, the Bevel Trimmer solves that. 

Founded in 2013, Walker and Company (Bevel's parent company) was created by Tristan Walker to cater to the grooming needs of people with coarse or curly hair. While that most directly applies to people of color, the brand's products are generally great for anyone who has sensitive skin.

Rather than using multiple blades that either cut hair below the surface of the skin or snag and pull on hair, the Bevel Trimmer uses an adjustable blade to cut hair to the same level of the skin.  

The Bevel Trimmer is extremely precise and sharp, and a small mechanism inside gives you the ability to adjust the blade. This is a nice feature because most trimmers (even the professional ones used by barbers, including the Andis T-Outliner included in this list) require a screwdriver to make adjustments. — Amir Ismael

Read our full review on the Bevel Trimmer

The best professional razor T-Outliner (small)

If you shave your full head multiple times a week and you're sick of paying the barbershop to get it done, you may want to pick up the professional-grade Andis T-Outliner. This electric razor is used in many barbershops, and people who shave their full head swear by it. You can also use it for trimming your neck, beard, mustache, and hairline.

The Andis T-Outliner trimmer uses a close-cutting T-shaped blade that's perfect for full head shaving, fades, and designs. Andis sells a cordless version, but the one we reviewed has a heavy-duty 8-foot cord, so even though it's corded, you'll still have plenty of room to move.

The trimmer's carbon-steel blades are specially hardened so that they last longer than your average blade. The blades are fairly easy and inexpensive to replace, though, so when the time comes, it's an easy swap.

You do have to oil it often to keep it running smoothly, and every now and then it'll need a full tune-up. That does require unscrewing some small screws to oil the insides, but you won't have to do this regularly.  — Malarie Gokey

Manscaped Lawn Mower 3.0 Lawn Mower 3.0 (small)

At $70, the Manscaped Lawn Mower 3.0 might seem expensive, but it's well worth it if you're using it specifically for trimming body hair. The trimmer features SkinSafe technology that prevents you from uncomfortable snags or cuts, while still providing a close shave all over your body, especially below the belt.

Anyone who has trimmed their groin area knows how catastrophic having an unsteady hand or using too much pressure can be. With the Lawn Mower 3.0, it's virtually impossible to make a mistake. After using it a few times very cautiously, I became more comfortable and trusted the SkinSafe technology more. You'd have to really dig this into your skin to come close to cutting yourself.

The trimmer head is small for accurately trimming in tight areas and comes with four guards, so you can decide how much of your hair you trim. It's also fully waterproof, so you can use it in the shower or rinse it off in the sink without the risk of damage.

Andis Slimline Pro Trimmer Slimline Pro Trimmer (small)

For some people, their grooming regimen calls for slightly trimming length off their facial hair and creating sharp lines along the mustache, beard, and neckline.

While some electric razors come with a trimming attachment, the Andis Slimline Pro's design is fully dedicated to trimming. As a professional-grade tool, it can outperform any trimmer attachment and it's simple enough to use at home. 

The trimmer has a slim profile and weighs only 4 ounces, making it easy to control and hold in-hand. Despite its small size, it has a single-speed motor that delivers an impressive 6,000 cutting strokes per minute. It comes with four comb guard attachments, a charging stand, blade oil, and a cleaning brush.

I have some facial hair and like to maintain clean lines in between trips to the barber. Although I own other electric razors, the Andis Slimline Pro is my tool of choice because of its accuracy. Most trimmer attachments on electric razors feel like an afterthought, and can be hard to control.

What else we've considered

Panasonic Arc5 (LV67-S), ($145.44)

The Panasonic Arc5 was previously our choice for the best razor for coarse hair, but I recently removed it. While the brand has put research and development into cutting thick and curly hair, the overall design is very similar to other foil shavers/razors. You'll find contouring and pivoting blade heads, a powerful motor, and different power settings on most any similar razor worth having.

The Bevel Trimmer, which is arguably more similar to the Andis T-Outliner, is a better choice for anyone who has coarse hair and specifically wants to avoid razor bumps — a common issue while shaving or trimming. You won't be able to use the Bevel Trimmer in the shower or run it underwater, though.

However, if you must have a wet and dry razor, the Panasonic Arc5 would be a better choice. I've used it on my neck and face and it's pretty good. I got a few razor bumps here and there, but it was far less egregious than other trimmers. 

GilletteLabs Heated Razor, ($114.94)

When you think of electric razors, grooming tools with a motor and an oscillating blade usually come to mind first. The GilletteLabs Heated Razor doesn't have either of those attributes, but it is a razor and it technically is electric. 

Coming in the form of a more traditional multi-blade razor, it features five blades for a close shave, FlexDisc technology to contour to your face and neck, and most notably, an Intelligent Heat Control System. Located directly underneath the five-blade system is a warming bar that delivers the sensation of a hot towel in every stroke of the blade. 

Wet shaving with traditional razors is not my preferred way to groom my facial hair, but I thoroughly enjoyed using the GilletteLabs Heated Razor. The heat feels amazing. I didn't include it on this list because if you already use traditional multi-blade razors, chances are you're content with your more affordable blades and you're not specifically looking for an electric version. The GilletteLabs Heated Razor isn't cheap, but it's a wonderful gift or item to splurge on for anyone that likes wet shaving with traditional razors. You can read my full review here.  

Andis Profoil Lithium Plus, ($63.79)

While the Andis Profoil Lithium Plus can be used at home, it's something you'd probably find in a barbershop along with a professional barber's other grooming tools. If you're looking for a multi-functional grooming tool, this isn't the right choice for you. But if you need a strong and dependable razor with one setting for a close shave, you'll find this to be an extremely useful and cost-effective option. I always pay close attention to the tools the barber uses and I've gotten extremely close fades and shaves with the Andis Profoil Plus. And, I've gotten equally good results at home during my own testing. The only reason this doesn't make the list is that it doesn't have multiple functions, which most people grooming at home really want. 

Cleaning, maintenance, and care FAQs

We talked with professional barber Sydney Shlakman of Hairrari Hair Salon in Brooklyn, New York about some care and maintenance tips for your grooming tools.

We've also answered other frequently asked questions pertaining to grooming tools.

What is the difference between foil and rotary razors?
  • Foil: The foil electric shaver contains oscillating blades that move back and forth at high speeds. These blades are covered with guards that lift hair for cutting and that protect the skin. A foil razor will often have a few separate cutting blades that flex independently to match the contours of your face. However, because a foil head has a rectangular shape, it might not match your face as well as a rotary razor.
  • Rotary: The rotary razor has round blades that spin. You'll receive protection from the spinning rotary blades with a slotted guard that sits atop the blades and helps to lift the hairs so they're easier to cut. The heads flex in multiple directions, giving you a close shave by hugging the contours of your face. However, rotary heads are more difficult to clean after shaving versus the foil shaver.
How often should I clean my razor or trimmer?

"You should clean your tools after every use," Shlakman told Insider. "It's important to maintain clean grooming tools to make sure your tools are working properly and do not build up bacteria or rust."

What is the best way to clean grooming tools?

"The best way to clean your grooming tools is by using a barber bristle brush to brush the hair off of your tools and also using a blade cleaning spray," said Shlakman. "I like using Andis Cool Care Plus to clean and lubricate my blades. You want to brush the hair off first and then spray the cleaning spray."

Some shavers like the Braun Series 7 and Series 9 come with a clean and charge base that will clean it automatically. If your device doesn't have a cleaning system, you should remove the blade, brush or rinse out excess hair, sanitize it, and re-oil your blade before the next use.

Why do I need to oil my blade?

Without oil, razors — whether foil, rotary, or a combination of both — can generate a lot of friction and heat. When a blade gets hot without proper lubrication, it will underperform and will eventually rust and warp. You won't get as close of a shave, you'll be more prone to nicks and cuts, and you'll have to replace your blades more often.

What kind of oil can I use on my blades?

Most electric razors and trimmers come with oil, but should you run out, you can use a variety of oils to keep your blades lubricated. A few drops of olive oil, coconut oil, baby oil, or even your favorite beard oil can get the job done. You'll want to avoid products that definitely don't belong on your face like motor oil or WD-4o.

Can I use the same electric razor for my face and my body?

While some electric trimmers can adequately be used anywhere, it's recommended that you use separate blades for your face and body. The bacteria on your face thrives in dry areas with oxygen and bacteria on your groin area thrive in moist environments. Potentially mixing the two by using the same blade everywhere can cause irritations and breakouts.

If you already have a grooming tool you like for your face, it's a good idea to buy a separate tool dedicated to body grooming.

The best deals on electric razors from this guide

If you’re trying to save money, you might be thinking that a disposable razor is your best bet. However, not only do electric razors provide a smoother shave, but they also last longer and eliminate the recurring cost of replacement razor heads. We also see pretty good deals on them every now and then. The best time to buy an electric razor is during sales like Black Friday and Cyber Monday, with models like the Braun Series 7 7085cc and Bevel Trimmer both dropping down to $140.

T-Outliner (medium, Preferred: Amazon)Slimline Pro Trimmer (medium, Preferred: Amazon)

Read more about how the Insider Reviews team evaluates deals and why you should trust us.

Check out our other shaving gear guides Read the original article on Business Insider

41 sentimental gifts that'll make anyone feel loved

Tue, 10/19/2021 - 4:16pm

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  • For those feeling extra softhearted this year, we put together a list of sentimental gift ideas.
  • From customized gifts to meaningful flowers, you're sure to find inspiration for anyone.
  • Still looking for a gift? Check out our list of the All-Time Best products we've ever tested.

If you always give generic gifts, select something off a wishlist, or just send a gift card, you're not alone. It can be difficult to think beyond the practical to select items that will delight and surprise your giftee. If you're looking to truly impress your loved ones, you'll want to choose gifts that are custom, unique, and thoughtful. You can convey just how much you care by referencing fun memories, inside jokes, and hidden interests.

We've compiled 41 sentimental gifts, which include a flower subscription, a customized puzzle, a personalized photo book, and more. Each of these gifts are sure to make your giftee feel special and remind them of loving memories and events. If you're looking for more gift ideas, be sure to check out all of our gift guides here.

Below are 41 sentimental gift ideas: A set of socks with their pet's face printed on them

Custom Socks with Your Pet's Face, available at Tribe Socks, $24

For dog- or cat-lovers, a pair of custom socks with their pet printed on them is a lighthearted but thoughtful gift. For more inspiration for pet-themed gifts, take a look at our guide to the best gifts for dog owners.

A personalized children's book

Goodnight Little Me Personalized Book, available at Amazon, $39.99

The Goodnight Little Me book is a sweet gift for new parents or your favorite kids. This custom bedtime book can be personalized with any child's name and includes gorgeous illustrations from the designer of the Harry Potter series' US covers. 

Check out our guide to the best gifts for new parents for more gift-giving ideas. 

A mug with handwritten words

Loved Ones Handwriting Coffee Mug, available at Etsy, $22.40

A mug with a meaningful message is a tender gift for people who may have lost a loved one or who live far away. You can customize this mug with any words you want, printed in your handwriting or someone else's.

A floral paint-by-numbers kit

Birth Month Flower Paint-by-Number Kit, available at Uncommon Goods, $30

Inspired by the birth month of your gift recipient, this paint-by-numbers kit is a gift and a fun activity rolled into the one. The kit lets them create a painting of the flowers for their respective birth month, along with an explanation of the characteristics of each month and flower. For example, October is a marigold that represents optimism and positive energy.

A monogrammed notebook

Scallop Spine Notebook, available at Papier, $26.99

Whether they love making lists or jotting down new ideas, every writer needs a durable, trusted notebook to store their notes and stories. These unique notebooks can be customized with a monogram and lined, dotted, or plain pages. The notebooks come in solid colors and several fun designs, including the brands The Pahari, Constellation, and Colourblock styles.

A set of low-maintenance plants

Plant Parent Set, available at The Sill, from $48

Add some greenery into their space with this set of easy-to-care-for plants from The Sill. Choose from sets of three to seven plants that change seasonally.

A fresh flower subscription

The Send Bouquet, available at Fresh Sends, from $55

Instead of gifting flowers solely during holidays and special occasions, send them beautiful arrangements on a more consistent basis with a subscription from Fresh Sends. Choose from three delivery frequencies and two size options for a unique bouquet every time.

A calendar full of cherished personal photos

Personalized Walnut Desktop Photo Calendar, available at Artifact Uprising, from $35

Photos of loved ones are an instant source of joy. Structuring your daily life around them with a calendar is a great way to fill each day with more gratitude and happiness. Artifact Uprising's desktop calendar is sustainably made from reclaimed wood and fully customizable. You can also choose the calendar's starting month, so you don't have to wait for a new year to create one.

A book for your favorite astrology lover

The Birthdate Book, available at Birthdate Co., $95

If they know their sun, moon, and rising sign, this made-to-order astrology book will make the perfect gift. Provide their birthday and time of birth, and the company will create a 70-page book with information and insights customized from their birth chart.

One Insider Reviews writer said the book felt extremely personalized, and no two books are the same.

A cube of conversation-starting prompt cards

Table Topics cards, available at Uncommon Goods, $25

Never experience another boring dinner again with these cards from Table Topics. Each cube comes with 135 thought-provoking topic cards to help keep your meals and relationships interesting.

With six themed options ranging from card sets for families, couples, and friends, you'll give them the chance to get to know everyone in their life a little better.

A customized puzzle

Customizable photo puzzle, available at Etsy, $34.99

Help them stay entertained by gifting them a customized puzzle of their favorite picture. This puzzle also comes with a customized box, making this gift even more special. Choose from any image to commemorate a special event, remember a great vacation, or show love to their favorite pet.

A video montage of and from their loved ones

A video montage of their loved ones, available at Montage, from $29

Ask their friends and family to record and upload videos to be automatically compiled, scored, and delivered for a thoughtful present that's sure to bring on happy tears.

An astrology necklace

A necklace with their zodiac symbol, available at Mejuri, from $90

If they're into astrology, get them their zodiac sign in gold. Mejuri offers all signs in its Zodiac Collection in gold vermeil, sterling silver, and 14k yellow gold.

A custom night sky star map to commemorate a birth, anniversary, or any other day

Custom star map print, available at Starry Maps, from $49

Commemorate any special night of their (or your) life by getting it printed on museum-quality 200gsm Matte paper or on canvas.

An e-gift card to Goldbelly

An e-gift card, available at Goldbelly, from $25

Whether you spend most of your time together trying out different recipes — or they're often treating you to a delicious meal — you may want to turn your gift into a thoughtful, shared experience. 

Wherever they are in this big old world, they can call in any comforting favorite they please from Goldbelly.

A bottle of bourbon as unique as they are

Jefferson's Ocean: Aged At Sea Bourbon, available at Reservebar, $79 (custom engraving included)

If they're bourbon drinkers, nautical lovers, or both, they might just cherish this forever.

An Airbnb gift card You could take a coffee masterclass with a national judge in Mexico via Airbnb Online Experiences.

An Airbnb Gift Card toward the experience of their dreams, available at Airbnb, from $25 

Travel might not be an option right now, but Airbnb is currently offering Online Experiences held by instructors from around the world. Treat them to a coffee master class, history lesson, or even a dance class. And in the meantime, they can daydream about their next far-flung adventure or cozy staycation. 

A custom map poster

Custom map poster, available at Grafomap, $49

Grafomap is a website that lets you design posters with maps of any place in the world — including their hometown, college town, or favorite travel destination. 

A personalized photo book

Personalized Snapfish photo book, available at Snapfish, from $13

Convert their pile of photos and favorite mementos into one glossy book they can showcase around the home for a cohesive, beautiful keepsake. 

Expertly framed memories

Framed photo, available at Framebridge, from $25

Framebridge gift card, available at Framebridge, from $25

Framebridge makes custom framing for not-custom-framing prices. You can print or paint something on your own and have it framed, or have them print and frame it. You can take advantage of a team of designers to help decide what frame to get.

An engraved timepiece

Personalized watch, available at Timex, from $75

If you're looking for subtle and impactful, engraving a watch is a classic for a reason. They can keep it forever, wear it every day, and know how much personal significance it has without always answering questions from onlookers. It's functional, thoughtful, and timeless.

A custom-made comic book telling your shared story

Custom comic book, available at Etsy, from $443.12

If you have the means, few comic book nerds would turn down owning a detailed, beautifully designed comic book featuring them as the lead character or superhero or a comic book version of the story of how they met their partner.

Purchase the comic, email the makers telling them the story, and send photos of the characters and event setting to make sure everything looks right. You'll see a rough draft, send back any edits you have, and they'll complete the final copy. Opt for a digital print (emailed) or get it sent to you as a canvas print.

A personalized letter necklace

Mini Letter Charm Pendant with White Diamonds, available at AUrate, $560

AUrate offers engravings and personalized jewelry, like this necklace with a mini letter charm. Pick a letter and select from 14-karat or 18-karat white, yellow, or rose gold. Learn more about online startups making sustainable, relatively affordable fine jewelry here.

A framed quote

Personalized custom quotes, available at Minted, from $38

Frame one of their favorite quotes, lyrics, or sayings and customize everything from font color to matting to make it theirs.

A family portrait that includes pets

Custom family portrait, available at Etsy, from $15

A perfect gift for a couple or a family, you can get a digital download of a custom family portrait that includes their furry roommates.

A custom pet portrait

Custom pet portrait, available at CanvasPop, from $79

If they love their pet more than pretty much anything in the world, a Pet Portrait immortalizing them is a uniquely thoughtful gesture — and decor they're unlikely to have already. You can also get them a custom painting (from $250) if that's more their style or a framed print (from $35.55) of them with their pet.

A cute set of mugs

Personalized family mugs, available at Uncommon Goods, from $30

Turn your family or friends or a newly engaged couple into characters that actually look like them. One side features the artists' depiction of them (personalized through your choices of skin tone, hair, and clothing color) and the mug owner's first name, while the other displays your family name and year established — for friends, this could be the year you met. 

Turn meaningful audio into art

Soundwave art print, available at Etsy, from $70

Send in a song and artist or email an audio file of you or a loved one speaking, and this Etsy shop will turn it into personalized sound-wave art. This gift is particularly thoughtful for long-distance relationships or for commemorating a loved one.

Long-distance touch lamps

Set of two Filimin Long-Distance Touch Lamps, available at Uncommon Goods, $85-$170

Everyone is busy these days, and it's not as easy to keep up with loved ones as we all wish. A set of paired lamps, one of which lights up when the other is touched, lets them know you're still thinking of them even when you don't have time to talk. One Insider Reviews editor uses them to keep in touch with her parents.

90 tiny messages in a bottle

Infmetry 90 Pcs Capsule "Message in a Bottle" Letters, available at Amazon, $12.99

Write 90 tiny personal messages to a loved one and stuff them inside these cute capsules for easy, daily reminders of love — none of which you have to remember to send every morning.

Brightly embroidered pillows of their favorite state

Hand Embroidered State Pillows, available at Uncommon Goods, $225

Bring their favorite state to them with detailed and brightly embroidered pillows that pay homage to each state's cities and cultural touchpoints. 

A photo print of an important life moment

Intersection of Love Frame, available at Uncommon Goods, from $75

Commemorate the moment their paths first crossed in a sophisticated, unique design.

Personalized wine labels

Custom wine labels, available at Etsy, from $4.56

Celebrate a loved one's birthday, achievements, or new life stages such as a marriage with a bottle of wine and a thoughtful, personalized label they'll want to keep. 

The blueprint of a beloved ski resort

Ski resort blueprints, available at Uncommon Goods, from $75

Whether they grew up on the slopes or drag friends and family along as adults, skiers can take their favorite slopes home with them with this blueprint-inspired art. Featuring iconic ski resorts such as Park City, Vail, and Breckenridge, each officially licensed print is created with a vintage, distressed finish and contains detailed historical and statistical facts about the area.

A bound book of love letters, curated from A-Z

How Do I Love Thee From A-Z, available at Uncommon Goods, $20

Follow 26 prompts laid out in old-school typewriter font to leave your loved one with a bound book of love letters they can keep forever. It's the perfect spot for recording your favorite romantic moments, memories, inside jokes, and all the tiny and enormous reasons why you love them. 

A poster of you and a loved one styled as your favorite drinks

Personalized drinks print, available at Etsy, $23.43

Whether you're turning a best friend or a lifelong partner into a cocktail avatar, the quirky Personalized Drinks Print is a sweet and fun approach to sentimental gifting. 

A portable printer

Polaroid Hi-Print Printer, available at Target, $99.99

Polaroid's Wireless Mini Printer prints mini photos from your phone or tablet using a WiFi connection. It's small enough to stow in a purse for travel, and there are customizable features like stickers, filters, and borders to edit photos within the Polaroid app. 

A reel viewer filled with snapshots of old memories

Create your own reel viewer, available at Uncommon Goods, from $14.95

As a kid, flipping through a reel viewer was one of life's greatest joys. Just because they're all grown up doesn't mean they won't like playing with the gadget. Fill the reel with snapshots of their most cherished memories (use the redemption code included with your viewer) for a gift that'll flood them with all sorts of nostalgia.

A custom watercolor of their wedding venue

Custom watercolor wedding venue illustration, available at Etsy, from $35.99

For a deeply thoughtful gift for newlyweds, commission a custom watercolor of their wedding venue or location. All you'll have to do is send the artist a photo of the location, the couple's first and last names, and the wedding date. 

A candle that smells like home

Homesick Candles, available at Uncommon Goods, from $34

It's hard to put a finger on just what makes home smell like home, but a whiff of a Homesick candle will transport them there with its nostalgia-inducing scents. Uniquely specific scents are made to capture the ethos of states and cities or memories like road trips, backyard BBQs, and cooking in Grandma's kitchen.

If they're far from home, this affordable candle is a small but meaningful gesture that can bring them just a little closer. 

A cutting board that memorializes a meaningful recipe

Family Recipe Cutting Board, available at Uncommon Goods, $100

There's something about family recipes that make them taste even better. This cutting board offers a unique way to preserve those special favorites. Ingredients and directions are engraved on solid cherry wood and can even be etched in the recipe writer's handwriting. 

Read the original article on Business Insider

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