Trends with Benefits: VR roller coasters, Amazon’s new Echo, Nickelodeon nostalgia

Apple isn’t budging on iPhone encryption, and neither is the FBI, so this battle isn’t going anywhere — but the stakes are as high as ever. We discuss the ongoing court battle, what’s next, and what it means for consumer privacy.

Apple also launched @AppleSupport on Twitter this week. This is a new approach for customer service, but how effective will it be? We’ve all had some successful and unsuccessful attempts at seeking help from corporations via Twitter.

Amazon’s new Amazon Tap and Echo Dot are speakers that can connect to any Bluetooth device you have in your house. With the increasing number of smart devices entering our homes, Alexa is attempting to be your gateway assistant. Caleb made a live Facebook video, demonstrating how to order the new speakers via Alexa.

Amazon is also in talks to bring live-streaming TV to its ever-increasing roster of programming. AMC and ESPN are rumored to be the initial live channels that the service would bring on. So far Sling TV has had the most successful platform for live programs, with little to no competition. Amazon certainly has the muscle to make a big splash, if the deals work out.

The viability of virtual reality received another boost this week, with pre-sales for both the Microsoft Hololens and the HTC Vive. The Vive alone sold 15,000 devices in 10 minutes, at $800 per unit! Ryan was able to try one out at MWC in Barcelona, and his reaction is surprising.

VR is also going from a single-user experience to a group setting. Six Flags theme parks and Samsung have teamed up to accentuate rides at several of their parks with the Gear VR. The rides themselves sound fantastic, but would you really want to share a sweaty headset with a stranger?

Finally, it seems as if many television content producers are running out of ideas. Fuller House is just latest example, and now Nickelodeon is jumping into the fray. Fans of Legends of the Hidden Temple may get to see their dreams come true, with the possibility of a TV movie based on the show! If you have no idea what Legends of the Hidden Temple is, you are definitely not alone. Ryan fills us in on his dream and we all discuss what we’d like to see remade.

Trends With Benefits is a weekly tech podcast and live video broadcast. It brings together experts from Digital Trends to discuss the tech topics of the day and beyond. Today’s episode features Marie Pardo-Garber, Ryan Waniata, Caleb Denison and Greg Nibler. Please subscribe and share Trends with Benefits and send in your questions to We also broadcast the show live on Periscope and YouTube every Thursday at 2:30 p.m. PST.

Home Theater

Amazon’s updated base model Fire TV stick now comes with an Alexa remote

If you're looking to take your older TV into the streaming era, Amazon's most basic Fire TV Stick model just got more compelling than ever: Buyers can now get a free Alexa voice remote with their Fire TV Stick purchase.
Home Theater

From the Roku Ultra to the Fire TV Cube, these are the best streaming devices

There are more options for media streamers than ever, so it’s more difficult to pick the best option. But that’s why we're here. Our curated list of the best streaming devices will get you online in no time.

Switch up your Reddit routine with these interesting, inspiring, and zany subs

So you've just joined the wonderful world of Reddit and want to explore it. With so many subreddits, however, navigating the "front page of the internet" can be daunting. Here are some of the best subreddits to get you started.
Movies & TV

Epic sci-fi novels you should read before they become blockbuster films

You can get ahead of the next crop of science-fiction movies coming out of Hollywood by picking up the books that inspired them. We compiled a list of books you can add to your reading list now to get a glimpse of the future.

TWB Podcast: iPhone price cut rumor; smart home hack; delivery robot

Apple lawsuits and iPhone price drops; Smart Home Devices hacked remotely; Autonomous Delivery Robots may be closer to reality.

TWB Podcast: CES preview; LG 8K television; Home assistant takeover

CES Preview and Digital Trends coverage; LG 88" 8K television; Home assistants will be taking over everything; the strange tech of CES.
Movies & TV

Between the Streams: A brutal ‘Sicario 2’ trailer, 10 more years of Star Wars

It's lightsabers, polka kings, and sequels galore this week on Between the Streams, as we look at a wide variety of new content hitting screens, including everything from a Bright sequel to Star Wars Episode IX news.

Trends With Benefits podcast: Our favorite tech from CES 2018

It's our annual episode from CES! We've seen a lot of great tech this year, and have been surprised by a few announcements as well, so we discuss our favorite products and announcements this year.

TWB Podcast: Best TVs of CES; emerging tech; Amazon/Apple 2nd HQ; Falcon X

We'll cover the Best TVs of CES, some of more fringe emerging tech, Amazon and Apple's 2nd Headquarter statuses and the Falcon X Heavy rocket may finally be launching.
Movies & TV

Between the Streams: Apple and Kristen Wiig, ‘Solo’ synopsis, Black Widow movie?

This week on Between the Streams: A comedy series with Kristin Wiig and Reese Witherspoon from Apple, a Catch 22 miniseries from George Clooney, rumors of a Spider-Man and Venom meet-up, a Black Widow stand-alone film, and much more.

TWB Podcast: iPhone X discontinued?, Galaxy S9 first look, 50 Cent’s bitcoins

Apple iPhone X discontinued: After a week of rumors, it seems that Apple may indeed be discontinuing the current version of the iPhone X. KGI Securities predicts that this will occur later this year, when potential replacements for the X…

TWB Podcast: Amazon Echo vs. Google Home vs. Apple HomePod, Galaxy X

With the three big names in Home Assistants all taking aim at each other, we break down the Amazon Echo, Google Home, and Apple HomePod. Samsung may be debuting a foldable phone this year and we'll recap some highlights from Outdoor…
Movies & TV

Between the Streams: CBS’ desperate ‘Murphy Brown’ revival, Super Bowl trailers

This week on Between the Streams, we'll be discussing all the weird new sitcom reboots (and how desperate they are), Netflix's new series Altered Carbon, all the new trailers we expect to see during the Super Bowl, and so much more.

TWB Podcast: SpaceX triumph, Spotify vs. Apple Music, Apple Watch health

After the success of the Falcon launch, what's next for SpaceX and Tesla? Spotify is the kind of streaming music, but Apple Music is hot on the trail. The Apple Watch may soon provide your doctor with valuable information.