Weekly Rewind: Cyber Week deals, water to wine, worms on Mars

top tech stories 12 01 2017 mars 11 30
NASA/JPL/MSL

A lot can happen in a week when it comes to tech. The constant onslaught of news makes it nigh impossible for mere mortals with real lives to keep track of everything. That’s why we’ve compiled a quick and dirty list of this week’s top tech stories, from the best Cyber Week deals — it’s all here.

Black Friday wasn’t the end, check out the best Cyber Week tech deals

Best Cyber Monday Deals

The deals didn’t end with the passing of the weekend nor Cyber Monday, and your excitement for them doesn’t have to either. Cyber Week is filled with great savings and sales, sans the lines and negative social implications that come with Black Friday. If you’re looking to do your shopping online rather than in store this year, make sure to check here for the latest offers all week. We will be scouring the depths of the web to bring you the best Cyber Week tech deals as they go live all the way through Green Monday.

If you tend to do most of your shopping online and with Amazon Prime, you may want to check out our Amazon Cyber Week deals for great discounts on just about everything.

Read: Black Friday wasn’t the end, check out the best Cyber Week tech deals

BioLite is bringing solar power and light to remote regions of Kenya

BioLite SolarHome 620

BioLite has always been on a mission to provide affordable and efficient sources of power for use anywhere. Case in point: The company’s very first product was a camping stove that could generate energy from the heat created from burning sticks and leaves while cooking a meal. That energy was stored in an onboard battery pack and could then be used to recharge a cell phone, headlamp, or other small electronic devices.

Subsequent products, including portable solar panels and USB battery packs, continued this trend, allowing outdoor enthusiasts and travelers to live off the grid for extended periods of time. Recently, the company even introduced its new SolarHome 620 kit, which brings an affordable solar power solution to remote cabins and those living the #vanlife too.

Read: BioLite is bringing solar power and light to remote regions of Kenya

 Google will finally unlock the Pixel 2’s full HDR+ capabilities in December

google pixel 2 hdr visual core v iphone 8 body

Google said HDR+ will soon be available to third-party photography app developers via a preview of Android Oreo 8.1. Now that the operating system is in the final developer preview, those capabilities will be launching to consumers in December. The update means that non-native apps can utilize the enhanced image quality from the Google Pixel 2 HDR+ mode.

Google’s HDR+ mode has been part of Google Camera for a few years, but the Google Pixel 2 refines that program by expanding processing power. HDR is a photo technique that blends multiple images together to keep the detail in both the bright and dark areas of the image. Since HDR involves multiple images, faster hardware is necessary in order to keep HDR from slowing down the performance of the smartphone.

Read: Google will finally unlock the Pixel 2’s full HDR+ capabilities in December

 With 755 hp, Chevy’s 2019 ZR1 is the most powerful Corvette ever built

2019 Corvette ZR1 reveal
Alexander Kalogianni/Digital Trends

Today, Chevrolet officially pulled the sheet off of the 2019 Corvette ZR1, the most powerful ‘Vette ever produced.

Confirming what was revealed in the latest issue of Car and Driver this week, the monster machine advances Corvette’s supercharging legacy with a 6.2-liter V8 that produces 755 horsepower and 715 pound-feet of torque. This is thanks to a more efficient intercooled supercharger system, which also has 52 percent more displacement than the one found in the Z06. Until today, the now-dethroned Z06 was the most race-ready ‘Vette on offer. This power plant is also the first one from GM to feature a dual fuel injection system.

All of this is hiding beneath the prominent carbon fiber cover, which the car’s hood cannot contain. Corvette also ups the heat exchanger count to 13 by adding four new radiators.

Read: With 755 hp, Chevy’s 2019 ZR1 is the most powerful Corvette ever built

Amazon delivery drone could self-disintegrate for safety if it falls from sky

amazon drone patent save battery power prime air delivery 2 1200x0

Hopefully it won’t happen very often, but when Amazon and others finally get fully fledged drone delivery services off the ground, there’ll be occasions when the flying machines suddenly drop out of the sky.

Whether it’s inclement weather, a software malfunction, or some ne’er-do-well with a catapult and a rock, we have to accept that those multi-copter contraptions will sometimes get into difficulties and fall all the way back to the ground.

It’s one of several challenges that gives the Federal Aviation Administration folks sleepless nights as they consider the safest way to let companies and organizations use the popular technology as part of their operations. But Amazon may have the answer.

Read: Amazon delivery drone could self-disintegrate for safety if it falls from sky

Anyone can log into your Mac without your password — here’s how to fix it

how to download MacOS High Sierra

Anyone using MacOS High Sierra should be on high alert. A Twitter user revealed a massive security vulnerability which allows anyone to log into your system as an administrator without valid login credentials. All a malicious user has to do is attempt to log in as “root” from the login screen, leave the password field blank, and press enter over and over until the system allows access.

Assuming you’re running MacOS High Sierra, we’ll teach you below how to fix the problem.

Read: Anyone can log into your Mac without your password — here’s how to fix it

Turn water into wine, literally, with SodaStream’s new Sparkling Gold

Sparkling Gold

Who says you have to own a vineyard to make your own wine? Certainly not the makers of SodaStream. The machine known for turning water into soda is now taking things a step further, and turning water into wine. This, my friends, is a true holiday miracle. With the launch of the company’s new limited-edition line, “Sparking Gold,” you can add a “fine alcoholic concentrate” to sparkling water. The result is said to resemble a “fruity Riesling wine,” and contain 10 percent alcohol by volume if you prepare the beverage according to the recommended mixing ratio (one part Sparkling Gold concentrate to five parts sparkling water). But before you get too excited, we should let you know that for now, the Sparkling Gold is available exclusively on SodaStream’s German website, and that the price is still to be confirmed.

Read: Turn water into wine, literally, with SodaStream’s new Sparkling Gold

 Comcast removes part of its open internet pledge regarding net neutrality repeal

comcast xfinity mobile news fcc slaps with 2 3 million fine

Earlier this month, Federal Communications Commission Chairman Ajit Pai confirmed plans to pursue a repeal of net neutrality legislation. It’s now being reported that when the commission made its intentions public earlier this year, Comcast removed a pledge to uphold net neutrality from its website.

Since 2014, the company’s website had featured the statement, “Comcast doesn’t prioritize Internet traffic or create paid fast lanes” on a page dedicated to net neutrality, according to a report from Ars Technica. It remained there until April 26, but it hasn’t been present since.

Read: Comcast removes part of its open internet pledge regarding net neutrality repeal

Should we call them marsworms? Study suggests earthworms thrive in Martian soil

earthworms on mars in soil

If you watched Ridley Scott’s 2015 movie The Martian, or read the novel by Andy Weir it was based on, you’ll be familiar with the concept that gardening on Mars isn’t exactly easy. There’s possibly a bit of good news for future Martian farmers, however, with scientists from the Netherlands concluding that the red planet’s soil may be close enough to the stuff found back on Earth that earthworms can live in it (would that make marsworms?).

The researchers from Wageningen University & Research Centre used simulated Martian soil developed by NASA for their experiment. They then added rocket or arugula plants, manure fertilizer, and, of course, everyone’s favorite plant-friendly invertebrates. To their surprise, the worms got on well enough that they went on to produce offspring. That turns out to be pretty darn important.

Read: Should we call them marsworms? Study suggests earthworms thrive in Martian soil