Apple’s latest AI acquisition leaves some Wyze cameras without people detection

Earlier today, Apple confirmed it purchased Seattle-based AI company Xnor.ai (via MacRumors). Acquisitions at Apple’s scale happen frequently, though rarely do they impact everyday people on the day of their announcement. This one is different.

Cameras from fellow Seattle-based company Wyze, including the Wyze Cam V2 and Wyze Cam Pan, have utilized Xnor.ai’s on-device people detection since last summer. But now that Apple owns the company, it’s no longer available. Some people on Wyze’s forum are noting that the beta firmware removing the people detection has already started to roll out.

Oddly enough, word of this lapse in service isn’t anything new. Wyze issued a statement in November 2019 saying that Xnor.ai had terminated their contract (though its reason for doing so wasn’t as clear then as it is today), and that a firmware update slated for mid-January 2020 would remove the feature from those cameras.

There’s a bright side to this loss, though, even if Apple snapping up Xnor.ai makes Wyze’s affordable cameras less appealing in the interim. Wyze says that it’s working on its own in-house version of people detection for launch at some point this year. And whether it operates on-device via “edge AI” computing like Xnor.ai’s does, or by authenticating through the cloud, it will be free for users when it launches.

That’s good and all, but the year just started, and it’s a little worrying Wyze hasn’t followed up with a specific time frame for its replacement of the feature. Two days ago, Wyze’s social media community manager stated that the company was “making great progress” on its forums, but they didn’t offer up when it would be available.

As for what Apple plans to do with Xnor.ai is anyone’s guess. Ahead of its partnership with Wyze, the AI startup had developed a small, wireless AI camera that ran exclusively on solar power. Regardless of whether Apple is more interested in its edge computing algorithm, as was seen working on Wyze cameras for a short time, or its clever hardware ideas around AI-powered cameras, it’s getting all of it with the purchase.

For the first time, Microsoft’s new Surface Pro X is $100 off

Today is the first time we’re seeing a price drop on the new Surface Pro X tablet, Microsoft’s reimagining of the stayed Surface Pro design that features a custom Qualcomm processor and supports 4G LTE out of the box. At Best Buy, you can get the base model (featuring 8GB of RAM and 128GB of SSD storage) for $899.99, which is $100 off of its usual price.

In order to get this deal, you’ll need to be a My Best Buy member, though it’s free to sign up. Once you’re signed in with your account, click the “Apply Offer” box below the price shown on the Surface Pro X’s product page.

Keep in mind that this purchase doesn’t include a Type Cover. If you want one of those, Amazon currently offers them for $109.99 (for fast shipping, select Amazon.com as the seller beneath where you can add it to your cart), which is far cheaper than the Microsoft Store’s rate at $139.99.

Photo by Vjeran Pavic / The Verge

In our review, Dieter Bohn ran into several app compatibility issues with the ARM processor at launch, and overall, its performance didn’t quite match the price tag. However, considering this slight price drop, and with Microsoft’s new Edge Chromium browser for ARM showing promising boosts to battery life, now might be the right time to check it out.

Photo by Vjeran Pavic / The Verg

If you’re ready for an upgrade for your Verizon plan or are thinking of opening a new line with a phone that takes great pictures, Best Buy is offering a stellar deal on the Google Pixel 4 with 64GB of storage. It has effectively knocked the final price in half, down to $400 (usually $799). To take advantage of this offer, you’ll need to elect to pay $16.67 per month for 24 months with Verizon. (That’s in addition to the cost of your data plan.)

Of course, paying $400 for the phone with no strings attached would be preferable, but still, this is half of what this phone usually costs per month. And those savings result in a much cheaper phone once your two-year payment period is up.

As part of B&H Photo’s deal of the day (via Slickdeals), you can get LG’s 34-inch widescreen Thunderbolt 3 monitor for $399 (usually $799). Its 60Hz refresh rate and 5ms response time mean that it’s not an ideal gaming monitor, but you’ll rarely see prices dip this low on a color-calibrated monitor. The 3,440 x 1,440 resolution nano-IPS screen supports HDR10 and covers 98 percent of the DCI-P3 color gamuts, and 135 percent of sRGB.

This global power adapter makes traveling with USB-C devices less of a pain

Zendure’s Passport 30W global adapter doesn’t revolutionize the tedious process of powering your tech while traveling abroad. But one feature makes it so much better than any other one that I’ve used before: USB-C. Like its predecessor, there’s a smattering of USB-A ports along one of its sides, but this newer version that launched in late 2019 includes a single USB-C port that can charge at up to 30W. That’s quick enough to fast charge almost any phone or tablet, a Nintendo Switch, or power banks. It can even be used to power some low-power laptops, such as the MacBook Air, and for a recent vacation of mine to India, it made all of the difference.

When I travel, there are a few gadgets that I absolutely must bring along: my phone (obviously), Nintendo Switch, a power bank, and my white noise machine. My wife brings her phone along, as well as her Samsung Chromebook Plus. No single global adapter (that I’m aware of, at least) can bring power to all of these things simultaneously, but Zendure’s makes the juggle fairly — dare I say — pleasant to manage. Thankfully, not every device required a recharge each night, so finding a spot for all of my gadgets wasn’t too difficult. My Pixel 3 gets a charge from this adapter’s USB-C port, while my wife’s Pixel 3 plugs into one of the adapter’s outlets with its 18W wall charger — both of which are able to recharge at their fastest supported charging speeds.

I still have three USB-A ports to spare, one of which goes to my white noise machine, and another is used by my power bank (I can take the hit of slowly charging it overnight via its Micro USB). That leaves one left to spare, and if I was someone who used an Apple Watch or another wearable, it’s nice to know that I’d have room for that to charge, too.

Zendure’s global adapter tops out at 30W of power for all of its USB ports (and up to 30W for the USB-C port when used alone), so if you’re crowding it with devices, your overall charge speed will be reduced. But even with all of these devices plugged in, things charged quickly enough, and importantly, I never woke up the next morning to dead batteries. I would have appreciated even more USB-C ports, since most of the personal devices in our home get their power from that connector type. But having just one made charging my stuff easier than I imagined it would.

Photo by Avery White for The Verge

This is definitely not the only global adapter out there to feature a USB-C port, but there are a few other reasons why you might want to consider this one over others. Compared to countless options available on Amazon, and even Moshi’s more elegant global adapter, Zendure’s features an all-important auto-resetting fuse. Thus, you won’t have to replace it in the event of a power surge, which could very well take down your gadgets and the adapter itself. I wasn’t sure if I’d need this feature, but I was sure happy to have it after I experienced a surge during my trip. After a minute of my own panicking that I broke it, it worked normally again.

For the parents out there, or for those who are around kids a lot, you might appreciate that Zendure’s global adapter has plastic shields covering up the sockets that aren’t being used, nipping any worry of accidental electrocution in the bud.

Photo by Avery White for The Verge

Zendure’s Passport 30W costs $59.99 and comes in white or black. It doesn’t solve every annoyance with powering your tech while traveling abroad. It’s clunky to pack in your suitcase, mostly because it has several plug types that allow it to work in 200 countries. And as mentioned before, I’d love if there were two or three USB-C ports instead of just one. But still, its added conveniences turn what’s normally a joyless gadget into something for which I’ll gladly make room. And what’s more, it makes me a little excited to see where Zendure takes it in the future.

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How to trade in your MacBook, macOS desktop, iPhone, or iPad

If you’re looking to trade in your Apple product — be it a MacBook, iMac, Mac desktop, iPhone, or iPad — you stand to get a pretty good return. Apple’s tech has a reputation on the secondhand market for retaining value long after release. This speaks to build quality, but mostly to Apple’s long-lasting software support for its older products. The trend is positive both for buyers who will end up with a product that could continue to work for years, and sellers, who will make a good percentage of their original purchase price back.

There are plenty of ways of trading in your old Apple products for cash. You can easily net an extra $50 to $100 from a sale if you’ve taken care of your tech, as buyers will pay more for products that look closer to new condition. So it pays to make sure that your hardware is in good shape.

Clean your gear

How you clean your Apple product will vary depending on what it is you’re selling. You’ll want to apply some screen cleaner to your iPhone, MacBook, iMac, or iPad before listing it for sale. While doing so, take note of any scratches or other defects in the display or the body, and be sure to accurately report them during the selling process, or you’ll probably be met with an unhappy buyer and no sale.

Remove any stickers from your tech, and if you have a can of compressed air, clean out any ports and grilles. There’s no reminder more immediate that your device is preowned than forgetting to clean out port gunk.

If you’re selling a macOS desktop, like a Mac Pro or Mac mini, open it up and gently remove any dust that has accumulated within, and if you want to add some RAM to sweeten the deal for buyers, this is your chance. It’s an easy task if you have the Mac Pro from 2013, or a Mac mini made before late 2012. Unfortunately for my colleague Nick Statt, making improvements to his late 2014 Mac mini proved to be a lot more complicated.

Perform a factory reset

Ensuring that your tablet or computer is properly wiped is mutually beneficial for both buyer and seller. What good is hardware that you can’t access due to an unknown passcode? Depending on what product you’re dealing with, the process for initiating a factory reset will be different, but it’s usually easy.

How to erase your MacBook or macOS desktop

On your MacBook or macOS desktop, first make sure you’ve backed up all of your personal files to your cloud storage service of choice or to an external hard drive via Time Machine. Once you’ve ensured that everything is duplicated and safe in a location other than your hard drive, you can wipe the computer.

  • Click the Apple logo up top, and hit “Restart”
  • Once you hear the startup chime, hold down the Command + R keys until the Apple logo appears on your screen. This will load you into the recovery partition of your hard drive, letting you obliterate your personal information once and for all.
  • Of the applications listed, open Disk Utility, then click into the first option listed under your hard drive’s name. If you haven’t changed its name, it will probably be called “Macintosh HD.”
  • Navigate to “Erase” and confirm the selection. If you choose to securely wipe your computer, it will take a few hours for the operation to write over your drive several times.
  • With this step finished, you’re ready to reinstall the operating system. Click the red “x” and you’ll be popped back to the recovery menu. Make sure your machine is connected to the internet, then hit “Reinstall macOS” to return it to factory settings.

Photo by Vjeran Pavic / The Verge

How to erase an iPhone or iPad

Before you wipe your phone or tablet, switch on iCloud to sync all of the information that you want to keep. Then:

  • Open up the Settings app and navigate to “General”
  • Once you’re there, scroll down to “Reset,” then hit “Erase all content and settings”
  • If asked, enter your passcode or Apple ID password, then the operation will execute

It’s far easier and faster to bring your iPhone or iPad back to factory settings than it is for one of Apple’s computers.

Trade or sell your Apple hardware

Apple’s GiveBack trade service will give you Apple Store credit in exchange for your computer, iPhone, or iPad. At Apple’s site, you can find out how much you can get for your machine before sending it in. You’ll just need your serial number and access to its specifications to find the value. Apple won’t pay you as much for your device as it might go for on the public market, but it’s a good option if you just want to flip your tech without a fuss.

If Apple isn’t offering enough for your tech, you can alternatively sell it to get some money that you can use toward buying a new MacBook Air, Mac mini, new iPad Pro, or something else entirely. You’ll find passionate people from all over who will likely take interest in your gear if it’s priced well and in good condition (and even if it’s not, so long as it’s priced accordingly). As for where you can sell your tech, Swappa.com and Craigslist remain the best options, but for different reasons.

If you are selling a tablet, phone, or laptop, you’ll want to go with Swappa (it currently doesn’t list desktops). Like Craigslist, Swappa doesn’t charge a fee to post to its market of buyers. One area where Swappa is ahead is that it supports PayPal, which protects both buyers and sellers during the transaction process.

Comparatively, Craigslist doesn’t limit what you want to sell, or charge you for listing your items. In fact, for better or worse, it doesn’t hold your hand at all. It will be up to you to arrange the meeting point, negotiate a price, and finally, decide on how money will be exchanged. This can be stressful, but it can also be super easy and fast. I’ve had plenty of good experiences selling on Craigslist, though you’ll always want to make sure that you meet in public places and don’t fall for an offer that seems too good to be true.

Vox Media has affiliate partnerships. These do not influence editorial content, though Vox Media may earn commissions for products purchased via affiliate links. For more information, see our ethics policy.

TCL’s 2019 65-inch QLED 4K Roku TV is cheaper than ever at Best Buy

TCL’s 65-inch Series 6 TV is seeing a hefty price drop at Best Buy (via Slickdeals). Normally $699.99, it’s now $594.99 if you use the offer code TCLDOLBY15 at checkout (underneath where you put in your credit card number for the payment). This is the 2019 version of TCL’s 6 Series; its 2018 version was considered by my colleague Chris Welch to be the best 4K TV that you could buy for under $1,000. We haven’t had a chance to extensively test this newer model, but it looks like it checks all of the same boxes, like the inclusion of Roku software out of the box, and there are some new features as well.

For starters, it has a slimmer bezel than before, making it look even more like a premium model. More importantly, the display panel should look even better with its new quantum dot LED technology that results in a brighter, more vibrant picture. Like Samsung and Vizio’s QLED 4K TVs, this is as close as you’ll get to the performance and fidelity of an expensive OLED TV but at a fraction of the price.

One thing to note: this TV costs considerably more on Amazon, and that’s because it includes a remote that doesn’t require line of sight with the TV. This Best Buy-exclusive model relies on an IR blaster to operate, so make sure not to obstruct the IR with your soundbar.

Photo by Amelia Holowaty Krales / The Verge

The Fitbit Versa 2 smartwatch is $149.95 at Target and Amazon. Both retailers include a small and large band, and each presently offers it in multiple color variants. We saw this model dip down to $129 during the Black Friday shopping period, but a $20 price difference isn’t too big of a hit to take if you want a fitness tracking smartwatch.

If you’re looking for a new microSD card to add some storage to a phone, laptop, action camera, or a Nintendo Switch, you can save a few extra dollars at Amazon today. PNY’s 256GB card is $32.99, around $5 off of its previous lowest price. Samsung’s 256GB microSD card is also $32.99. We’ve seen cheaper prices during the holiday, but these aren’t bad deals by any means.

The model mentioned below looks identical to this one, but it has an additional port.
Image: RavPower

RavPower’s 61W wall adapter is down to $25.59 when you apply a coupon on its product page at Amazon. This model features two ports: a USB-C port and a USB-A port. If you’re using both ports to charge your tech, the USB-C port will have a max output at 45W, and the USB-A port will top out at 12W. Otherwise, the USB-C port used by itself can yield 61W of power, which is enough to charge a 13-inch MacBook Pro at its native charging speeds.

RavPower notes that this adapter is not compatible with Programmable Power Supply (PPS), the charging spec that Samsung employs with the Galaxy Note 10 Plus to allow it charge at 45W speeds.

Amazon’s excellent Kindle Paperwhite is back down to its lowest price

Amazon’s most recent version of the Kindle Paperwhite is a great value at its regular $124.99 price, but buying one right now won’t set you back nearly as much. The 8GB base model (with Amazon ads baked in) is down to $84.99, which is the same price that hit during Black Friday.

Compared to the standard Kindle, which is on sale for $59.99, the Paperwhite has a higher-resolution display — and a properly backlit one at that (compared to the Kindle’s side-lit display). It’s also waterproof, something that will come in handy in case you like to read in the tub or the pool. These features alone make it worth paying the premium, even more so at this discounted price. Check out our review from The Verge’s Chaim Gartenberg if you want to learn more about what makes this Kindle great.

The OnePlus 7 Pro is still $499, making it $170 off of its usual $669 price. We first mentioned this price cut a few days ago, but OnePlus still has the variant with 6GB of RAM and 128GB of storage available at a discount. It’s not OnePlus’ latest phone, but it’s still stacked in the specs department, with a nearly bezel-free 90Hz refresh rate OLED screen, the Snapdragon 855 CPU, and fast UFS 3.0 storage to keep this phone feeling snappy.

Aukey makes a 36W wall adapter with two USB-C ports, and it’s only $21.59 right now at Amazon. This adapter doesn’t use GaN technology, like we’ve seen in a growing amount of models. That likely would have resulted in Aukey making this smaller, more efficient, and perhaps more powerful than it is. But as is, it’s still an affordable way to quickly charge a few USB-C devices, like your phone, tablet, or Nintendo Switch. Each port tops out at 30W, or 18W when both are being used at the same time.

To get this price, click the checkbox underneath the price listed for this product. You’ll see this discount reflected at checkout.

Fallen Order

Image: Respawn Entertainment

Target is marking down select video games by 25 percent when you elect to pick up your order in store. Some noteworthy inclusions are Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order ($45 before tax), The Division 2 (only $9 before tax), and The Outer Worlds (about $36 before tax). The full list is right here.

Photo by Amelia Holowaty Krales / The Verge

Lastly, you can save quite a bit on Apple’s second-generation AirPods at Amazon. Right now, the base model that includes a wired charging case is $129 ($30 off matches the best price we’ve seen), while the wireless charging case option costs $169 (usually $199).

Here are the best last-minute holiday gifts that won’t break the bank

It’s officially crunch time for buying gifts before the holidays arrive. If you haven’t yet begun your shopping, it’s time to start now, because if you wait much longer, it’s possible that your gifts won’t arrive on time — or you’ll pay much more for them to be delivered. On the other hand, you’ll probably appreciate that most retailers are offering the year’s best deals on the most popular tech products right now.

Before we get to the deals, here are some important cutoff dates to keep in mind if you plan to buy gifts online:

  • Amazon: December 23rd is the absolute final day to have items shipped via Prime with One-Day Delivery.
  • Walmart: Walmart’s NextDay shipping cutoff is December 23rd at 12PM ET.
  • Best Buy: If you live in select areas, you can order later and still have items arrive on time. Otherwise, your best bet is to pick up items at your local store.
  • Target: You’re out of shipping options from Target, so the best advice we can give is to buy what’s available at your local store.

Here are a few more important dates if you’re buying gifts in a store and shipping them yourself:

  • Shipping via FedEx: December 23rd for overnight services
  • Shipping via UPS: December 23rd for Next Day Air services
  • Shipping via USPS: December 23rd for Priority Mail Express

Now, for the deals. We’ll be keeping this list up to date as new deals come in and old ones expire.

GameStop is selling the Xbox One X for $249.99 ($250 off) today only. Its bundle includes NBA 2K19 and a free white wireless controller. These bundles have usually sold for $299 during the holiday sale period, so this is an especially good deal.

The seventh-generation iPad with 32GB of storage is still $249.99 (usually $329.99) at Target and Best Buy. They’re the only retailers to have this model in stock, and the only ones still running the excellent Black Friday and Cyber Monday deal. Same goes for the 128GB model. It’s $329.99 at Target and Best Buy, which is $100 off.

The Sonos Beam soundbar is down to $319 at Amazon, a price that we saw pop up during Black Friday, and it includes a free $20 gift card with purchase.

Sony’s WH-XB900N noise-canceling wireless headphones are $148 at Amazon right now. This model is usually $248, so $100 off right before the holidays is a great deal.

Fitbit’s Versa 2 is $129.95 at Best Buy. This is $70 off of the usual price. You can have it shipped before the holidays, or swing by a local store to pick it up yourself.

Photo by Dan Seifert / The Verge

SimpliSafe’s eight-piece home security kit is $133.49 (usually $266) at Amazon. This is the model that we recommend for most people who are looking for a system that’s easy to set up and use.

If Google’s Nest Hub is on your shopping list, or you just think it’d make for a nice gift, it’s currently $79 at Target, and you can get two Google Nest Mini smart speakers for free with purchase. Just add them to your cart, and they should show as free inclusions.

Samsung’s Galaxy S10 is down to $649.99 at Amazon. It was $50 less a few days ago, but if you need it as a last-minute gift, this is a good price for the unlocked version.

The Status Audio BT One over-ear headphones are 40 percent off at Amazon when you apply the code THEVERGE40 at checkout. That brings the price down from $98 to $57.82 (before tax). We found that they’re comfortable, have strong Bluetooth connectivity, charge via USB-C, and boast great, clear sound quality.

Death Stranding (PS4) is $35 at Amazon, as well as online and for pickup in store at Walmart and Best Buy, $39.99 at GameStop.

Amazon’s third-generation Echo Dot smart speaker is $34.99 and includes two Philips Hue Bluetooth-ready white smart bulbs with purchase.

At Target, the Google Pixel 4 comes with a $300 Target gift card when you activate it with a carrier. You’ll also get a free Google Nest Hub display with your purchase.

Photo by Amelia Holowaty Krales / The Verge

Bowers & Wilkins PX noise-canceling wireless headphones are $229.99 (usually around $299.99) at Amazon.

Sony’s WF-1000XM3 truly wireless headphones are $198 at Amazon. These have seen a similar $30 price drop before, but it’s back again in time for the holidays.

How to avoid Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker spoilers

The internet is full of spoilers, making it a dangerous place to hang around if you’re trying to steer clear of what happens in Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker, Watchmen, or any other TV shows, movies, or video games that you’re still catching up on. Even when you think you’ve got things under control, Google’s autocomplete feature has spoiled things before. URLs can contain spoilers, too.

In addition, trolls can embed spoilers in unrelated content. When Star Wars: The Force Awakens was released, the film’s biggest plot twist was hidden within a misleading video titled something like “LMAO funny Madden 16 glitches.” (Needless to say, there were no funny Madden glitches to be found.)

Of course, the most logical suggestion for avoiding them is to simply log off indefinitely, but that’s probably not going to happen.

There are several ways to remain spoiler-free without curtailing your computer or phone use. If you spend a ton of time on Twitter, muting keywords is a granular, yet simple solution. Facebook doesn’t allow for the filtering of specific keywords, although you can snooze groups that you follow for 30 days if there’s one whose participants usually share spoilers.

If you want broader protection across the web, that comes in the form of browser extensions. With support for major browsers like Google Chrome and Mozilla Firefox, these let you draw the line on what you want to see online, and what you don’t.

You deserve to not be spoiled, and these extensions can help you out.

Spoiler Protection 2.0 blocks almost everything, which may be what you want

Spoiler Protection 2.0

This extension can be installed on Chrome and Firefox (including Firefox on mobile phones), and it lets you add keywords that you want blocked wherever you go online.

Once it’s installed, clicking into the extension opens up a window that lets you customize it. The page lets you add specific keywords to block, along with the action that you’d like performed when you stumble upon that keyword. You can also turn off images and videos associated with that keyword.

Spoiler Protection 2.0 is really aggressive at blocking things, so that’s a good sign that it works. But with videos and photos switched off, it impacts more than just the content related to your spoiler keywords. YouTube still works, but most other photos and videos just stop loading at all.

Unspoiler in action. It takes a softer approach to blocking content, though a spoiler or two may sneak through.

Unspoiler

As my colleague Thomas Ricker put it while trying to avoid Star Wars spoilers in 2015, Unspoiler is the “scalpel” method of blocking spoilers online. Put up against Spoiler Protection 2.0, which is more of a blunt tool for eliminating any trace of a spoiler, this is a lighter, more precise solution.

Once Unspoiler is activated in your Google Chrome browser, enter any keywords that you’d like to remain happily oblivious to. This extension does a good job of censoring headlines and blocking certain images related to your keywords. Chances are pretty good that you’ll remain spoiler-free, though it doesn’t block quite everything. A Google search, for instance, revealed several pictures, and website synopses aren’t covered up.

How to block spoilers on your phone

There are actually countless ways to block spoilers on your browser, but if you’re looking for a mobile solution, your options are more limited. Besides the aforementioned Spoiler Protection 2.0 add-on, the only other satisfactory one I found was an Android app called Spoilers Blocker, which acts like Spoiler Protection 2.0 by applying a hard block of color over every page element that makes a mention of your spoiler keyword. It’s a bit drastic, though it’s cool that it can draw over every app you have installed on your phone.

Spoilers don’t bother everyone, but if you’re like me, you prefer to stay in the dark until you can enjoy a new movie, TV show, or game with fresh eyes. These extensions aren’t a perfect solution, but they’re definitely useful for keeping spoilers out of sight until you get caught up.

Vox Media has affiliate partnerships. These do not influence editorial content, though Vox Media may earn commissions for products purchased via affiliate links. For more information, see our ethics policy.

You can still buy gifts with fast, free shipping at most retailers

We’ve reached the final few days before the holidays, and before you know it, going to a local retailer — and dealing with mobs of people — will be your last resort for buying gifts on time. To avoid having that happen, we’d suggest buying items online as soon as you can.

Thankfully, several retailers are making those shopping duties cheap and easy by offering free and fast shipping. It wouldn’t be the holidays without a little stress, but you can avoid at least some of it by finishing up your shopping before the window for on-time delivery comes to a close.

Here’s where you can get free shipping online:

Walmart

Store pickup is always the best way to ensure that you get your gifts in time, but it’s not your only option.

  • Until December 17th, you can select the “3-5 Day” shipping option.
  • The free TwoDay shipping option that applies to orders over $35 ends December 22nd at 2PM ET.
  • Walmart’s cutoff for free NextDay shipping on orders over $35 is December 23rd at 12PM ET.
  • For same-day pickup, the cutoff is 4PM local time on December 23rd.

Amazon

As is always the case, you’ll get your gifts nice and fast if you have an Amazon Prime subscription, but even then, there are restrictions as we get closer to the holidays.

  • The window for free shipping (for orders over $25) ends on December 16th.
  • Your last day to pay for standard shipping and receive items before Christmas is December 18th.
  • If you have Amazon Prime, December 22nd is the cutoff day to place orders.
  • You’ll be pushing it, but December 23rd is the absolute final day to have items shipped via Prime with One-Day Delivery.

Target

Order by 1PM ET on December 20th to have your gifts arrive by December 24th.

Best Buy

  • December 20th at 11:30AM ET is the last opportunity to place an order and have it arrive by December 24th.
  • If you live in LA, Chicago, or NYC, you can order as late as 8PM local time on December 23rd to have your items arrive by Christmas.
  • In select areas, 12PM local time on December 24th is the cutoff for same-day delivery.
  • Lastly, 5PM local time on December 24th is the cutoff for store pickup.

Shipping gifts yourself?

If you’re picking up gifts and shipping them yourself, there are a few important dates to keep in mind:

  • Shipping via FedEx: December 16th is the cutoff date for Ground and Home Delivery parcels, December 19th for Express Saver, December 20th for 2Day services, and December 23rd for overnight services
  • Shipping via UPS: December 19th is the cutoff date for 3 Day Select shipping, December 20th for 2nd Day Air services, and December 23rd for Next Day Air services
  • Shipping via USPS: December 20th is the cutoff date for First-Class deliveries, December 21st for Priority Mail, and December 23rd for Priority Mail Express

Control, one of the best games of 2019, is back down to $25 at GameStop today

Control is a stylish, cerebral, and just plain fun third-person shooter in which you gain telekinetic powers. If you like good games, it’s easy enough to recommend it at its full cost, but I don’t have to do that today since it’s just $25 at GameStop. This deal is for today only, and it applies to both the PS4 and Xbox One versions of the game; the PC version is an Epic Game Store exclusive.

This price matches a deal we saw during Black Friday and Cyber Monday, so now is your chance to get the game if you missed out before. GameStop’s deal is available in its stores around the country as well as online.

My colleague Andrew Webster reviewed Control earlier this year, calling it “an excellent supernatural thriller with hints of Metroid”. Here’s another bit that sums it up nicely:

It’s what would happen if you mixed the X-Files with a Jeff VanderMeer novel and then structured the whole thing as an open-world video game like Breath of the Wild.