Almost half a year after its original US release, Google Home is finally about to make its way across the pond to the UK.
As we all know, although the UK and US might speak the same language, there are a number of cultural differences between the two countries.
We put Google Home through its paces to work out if it’s earned its place in the UK, from testing its knowledge of British pop songs such as ‘Fix Up Look Sharp’ by Dizzee Rascal, to quizzing it on the nearest ‘chippy’ (that’s a Fish and Chip shop for all you non-Brits out there).
Cats are perceived as independent animals that do not care about human beings, leading many people to think that felines are not sociable. Cats are also known to love food, but findings of a new study show that these felines actually love human company more, dispelling the belief that cats are antisocial animals.
Researchers of the new study, which was published in the journal Behavioural Processes on March 24, found that most cats would prefer interaction with humans over food after being deprived of food, toys, scents, and human social interaction for a few hours.
The study shows that contrary to popular belief, cats prefer hanging out with humans than getting down with a bowl of food.
“Although there was clear individual variability in cat preference, social interaction with humans was the most-preferred stimulus category for the majority of cats, followed by food. This was true for cats in both the pet and shelter population,” Kristyn Vitale Shreve, from the Oregon State University, and colleagues wrote in their study.
Although cats enjoy human company, it is possible that pet owners cannot just tell that their kittens like them and enjoy hanging out with them. So what are some of the signs that can indicate that your pet cat actually likes you?
The cat’s tail can serve as a good barometer to know how a cat feels about you. Kittens express their warm feelings and happiness by fluffing out the base of their tail while quivering it. Cats also simultaneously hold their tails upright with a slight curve at the top when they feel good.
Bringing You Presents
It may seem gross to find your pet cat bringing you dead animals but it actually sees this gesture as a way of showing love. Cats bring you presents such as toys or dead animals if they like you. Just like humans, these animals bring gifts to those that they like.
“Cats love with gifting. Mighty hunter cats that catch everything from toys to bugs, mice or frogs, often share the bounty with those they love. Kitties who present you with this bounty deserve praise,” certified animal behavior consultant Amy Shojai explained. “They wouldn’t bring these special gifts if they didn’t love you.”
Head butting, or head bunting, is a way for cats to exchange scents so that everyone around their environment smells the same. These animals secrete pheromones from glands on the cheeks and heads, so when they rub their face or head against you, they actually mark you with their scent. Experts said that this behavior is a form of bonding for these animals.
“When cats head bunt they’re creating a communal scent in a free-roaming universe. Cats recognize each other by scent first and foremost,” said cat behavior Pam Johnson-Bennett, who has written books on the behavior of cats.
Experts believe that cats knead when they feel happy or content, possibly because they associate the motion with comforts of nursing from their mother. During nursing, young cats knead around their mother’s teat to promote the flow of milk.
Drugs made of RNA have been in development for more than 20 years. But Cameron’s remarkable trajectory is a sign they could be ready to join familiar pharmacy chemicals and biotech proteins as the next great class of drug types, proponents say.
“Right now, RNA therapeutics—that’s the future of medicine,” says Steven Dowdy of the University of California, San Diego, School of Medicine. Dowdy admits to being a partisan—his lab works on RNA—but says advances in chemistry have finally made this type of drug feasible. “We still have a lot of work to do, but it’s going to be huge,” he says.
Some investors think so, too. One private company, Moderna Therapeutics, has reportedly managed to raise nearly $2 billion to develop what it calls a “platform” for inventing new RNA treatments. Overall, more than 150 clinical trials under way are using RNA to treat cancer, infection, hormone problems, and neurologic diseases, including Huntington’s disease.
Inside our cells, the genes in our DNA code are translated into copies made of RNA. These copies, in turn, float into the cell body, where they serve as the information template from which proteins are manufactured. Most drugstore pills act directly on proteins. Gene therapy, meanwhile, seeks to replace DNA instructions with new ones.
What drugs like Spinraza seek to do instead is use RNA to block, modify, or add to, the existing RNA messages in a cell. The most serious challenge to this approach, says Dowdy, is that cells evolved billions of years ago to keep RNA from the environment out. Overcoming this “delivery” problem has cost company chemists many years of effort.
While the science of RNA has unfolded since the 1960s to a drumbeat of Nobel Prizes, the advance into real medicine hasn’t been quick. Ionis, then known as Isis Pharmaceuticals, got the first RNA treatment approved in 1998 to counter an eye virus afflicting AIDS patients. But the drug became irrelevant once anti-HIV drug cocktails proved successful.
RNA drugs have also been beset by serious side effects, and several have been pulled from human tests over safety concerns. In October, the biotech company Alnylam had to stop a large study of one drug, Revusiran, after unexplained deaths in volunteers being treated for a hereditary metabolic disease, ATTR amyloidosis.
Alnylam, which works with a technique for blocking RNA messages, has spent about $1.5 billion since being founded in 2002 but is still working toward its first product. In January, in a paper published in the New England Journal of Medicine, it showed that one of its drugs could lower cholesterol levels for six months with one shot.
Rachel Meyers, previously a senior executive at Alnylam, says one problem facing RNA drugs is that companies have too often tried to use them to treat diseases where other options exist. Instead, she believes, RNA therapeutics are more likely to find success in situations, like Cameron’s, that can’t easily be treated in any other way. “The dirty secret of RNA therapies is that most people are working on stuff where there is competition and there are other molecules,” she says. “It’s those ones that don’t have a good alternative where you say, ‘Oh my gosh, we can really change the world, or someone’s life, with this.’”
Ionis’s drug, which is being commercialized by its partner, Biogen, works through a mechanism called “antisense.” The drug is a chemically enhanced strand of RNA that, by matching up with a mirror copy present in Cameron’s cells, allows his body to correctly assemble a protein his nerve cells need.
Last year, two drugs that work along these lines were approved in the U.S. The other, Exondys 51, developed by Sarepta Therapeutics, was approved to treat muscular dystrophy after becoming the focus of impassioned lobbying by parents of affected boys, who prevailed on the U.S Food and Drug Administration to allow it on the market despite limited evidence of its benefits.
There are no such questions about the drug Cameron receives. Its effects are “Lazarus-like,” according to one expert, but it is not simple and is not a permanent cure. It’s delivered through a spinal tap once every four months, and Cameron will need it for the rest of his life. The cost of the injections: $375,000 a year.
“This has given us a glimpse into a future that’s really quite profound, at least in serious disorders of the central nervous system,” says Biogen executive vice president Michael Ehlers.
What happens next for Cameron is not clear. Since Spinraza just started being tested in children five years ago, doctors aren’t sure what will occur as Cameron grows older. C. Frank Bennett, senior vice president of research at Ionis, says the company is now studying the results if the drug is given even earlier, just after birth, and before symptoms start. So far, he says, these kids are meeting their developmental milestones by rolling over and crawling on time.
Cameron’s mother, an employee of a bank’s IT department, says her son is still learning to control his muscles well enough to walk. It’s “a ton of work,” she says. “If there’s anything I’ve learned this last three years, it’s that the medication is not going to work by itself. If you do not work the muscles, you will not see progress.” The toddler has a physical therapist, an occupational therapist, a speech therapist, a swim therapist, and a chiropractor in addition to “a lot of doctor’s appointments.”
Now that he’s talking a mile a minute, Cameron’s speech therapist is working to help make his words more understandable. He still hasn’t learned how to control his facial muscles. But there’s a little twitch at the corner of his mouth when he’s happy. It’s the beginnings of a smile.
Square Enix has pushed Final Fantasy XIV closer to free-to-play territory with the removal of the 14-day limit on the trail version of the MMORPG.
The removal of the time limit of the Final Fantasy XIV trial comes just as Square Enix prepares to release Stormblood, the next expansion for the game.
‘Final Fantasy XIV’ Trial No Longer Has 14-Day Limit
The release of the latest patch for Final Fantasy XIV, which upgrades the game to version 3.56, concludes the main scenario of Heavensward, which is the last expansion for the MMORPG before the upcoming Stormblood.
More important, however, is the fact that the update removes the 14-day time limit on the free trial of Final Fantasy XIV.
Previously, players who were trying out Final Fantasy XIV through its trial version can only play the game for free for 14 days, regardless of how far the players progressed through the MMORPG. Now, with the removal of the time limit, players will be able to play indefinitely beyond 14 days.
Of course, the trial version still has limits, albeit a much less strict one compared to a 14-day limit. With the update, players can play the Final Fantasy XIV free trial until their character reaches level 35, after which they would have to buy the game or start a new character from scratch.
Players who reach level 35 in the free trial and decide to purchase the game afterwards will be able to transfer their characters from the trial version into the full game. Players who have also previously played the Final Fantasy XIV trial but had to stop after reaching the time limit of 14 days will also be allowed to play the trial version once again, continuing from where they stopped.
With the limitation of the Final Fantasy XIV trial changed from a time limit of 14 days to a level cap of level 35, players who are trying out the game will be able to access a lot more content. Players are also allowed to have as many as eight characters, with one per World, so technically players will have access to 280 characters levels worth of free Final Fantasy XIV. There are not any restriction on what players can do with their characters before reaching level 35, with gamers able to link up with their friends, dive into the Deep Dungeon, and indulge in the activities offered by the Gold Saucer.
‘Final Fantasy XIV: Stormblood’ Incoming
The version 3.56 update for Final Fantasy XIV also removes the weekly restriction on challenges against Alexander: The Creator, launches the fourth season of The Feast, introduced new quests to the main scenario, and adds new titles, achievements, and music tracks.
All of these changes are being made to Final Fantasy XIV in preparation for the arrival of Stormblood, which will be released on June 20. The removal of the time limit for the trial version of the game could also be Square Enix’s way of trying to get more players on board before the expansion is launched.
Stormblood will add the Red Mage and Samurai classes to Final Fantasy XIV, a new raid named Return to Ivalice, and possibly a version of Final Fantasy X‘s Blitzball.
Eventually, Frase partnered with Alan Beggs at Harvard to establish a patient registry and encourage families to participate in medical research. Beggs’s lab was collaborating with a group at the nonprofit Généthon in France when researchers sent her the video in 2007. Mice had been engineered to carry a mutation in MTM1, the gene involved in X-linked myotubular myopathy. Alterations in that gene disrupt the role of a protein called myotubularin, which is involved in muscle-cell development.
After the mouse experiments, Beggs and his colleagues published a study in 2010 that identified a group of Labrador retrievers with an MTM1 mutation, which displayed muscle weakness similar to symptoms in children with X-linked myotubular myopathy. Frase tracked down the owner of one of the dogs, named Nibs, in Canada. Back in the U.S., Nibs became the start of the first dog colony for myotubular myopathy, which the Joshua Frase Foundation helped fund.
The dogs became central to research by Martin Childers, a professor of rehabilitation medicine at the University of Washington. Childers, who has been working with Beggs and the Généthon group to develop and test gene therapy in the dogs bred from Nibs, says the results have been remarkable. “We were able to find a dose that completely reversed the disease in dogs. You could not tell the difference between the dogs with this fatal disease and the normal ones,” he says. The findings were published in February.
A San Francisco company, Audentes Therapeutics, has licensed the technology and says it will begin a clinical trial this year. It will be the first human gene-therapy trial for X-linked myotubular myopathy.
Joshua died in 2010 at age 15, having lived years longer than his doctors expected. Though he will never be able to benefit from the therapy, Alison Frase hopes her years of advocacy will be able to help other children.
Racing toward a cure
Historically, much of the research on rare diseases has been driven by patients and patient organizations that have raised funds for grants and reached out to medical researchers, says Dunkle. “It’s not surprising that parents of children with devastating diseases would be doing whatever they could to try to save the lives of their children,” she adds. “For them, the clock is ticking, and there is a powerful sense of urgency.”
Ilan Ganot knows that feeling well. He’s determined to cure his six-year-old son Eytani of Duchenne muscular dystrophy, a degenerative muscular disease, and he thinks gene therapy could be the way to do it. Most boys born with the disorder only live into their 30s.
A former J.P. Morgan banker, Ganot moved his family from London to the Boston area, raised $17 million, and in 2013 founded Solid Biosciences to develop drugs for Duchenne. The company considered more than 200 different treatment approaches before making gene therapy its top priority.
Its therapy aims to restore dystrophin, a key protein that keeps muscles intact, which is missing in Duchenne patients. The dystrophin gene is too large to fit inside a traditional engineered virus, a problem that hindered previous efforts to develop gene therapy for the disease. So the company is using what it calls “micro-dystrophin,” a DNA sequence that acts like the full-size gene but is small enough to fit inside a virus. Ganot says he hopes to begin clinical trials of the therapy this year.
The promise of gene therapy
Patient advocate Laura King Edwards is excited about gene therapy for its potential to correct disease at its root, even though it might not come in time to save her 18-year-old sister, Taylor, who has an extremely rare and fatal neurological disorder called Batten disease. “The beauty of gene therapy is that to a certain extent you can put any gene into a viral vector and get it to the gene you need to fix,” says Edwards.
Taylor was a thriving seven-year-old when her condition was diagnosed in 2006. For years, she continued to excel in school, ran 5Ks, and competed in talent shows, Edwards says. Now, she is blind and has lost the ability to walk or communicate.
The same year as Taylor’s diagnosis, Edwards and her mother, Sharon King, founded a patient advocacy organization called Taylor’s Tale to focus on the disease. In 2011, King connected with a young researcher named Steven Gray at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, whose lab was working on gene therapy for other rare diseases. Two years later, Taylor’s Tale and other organizations raised enough money to fund a grant for Gray to expand his work on gene therapy for Batten disease.
Dallas-based Abeona Therapeutics licensed the technology from Gray’s lab last September and is now moving toward clinical trials.
Gray says rare-disease patients and their families are becoming interested in gene therapy because of recent successes in clinical trials of other rare diseases.
“I’m seeing a transformation where there’s a sense of patients and patient advocates being enabled to fight for the development of new treatments,” he says. And as the falling costs of genetic testing make it possible to diagnose these conditions at ever younger ages, Gray says, there’s an opportunity to intervene early.
The middle of the week calls for some middle of the day galavanting, so grab some sweet tech deals and use your lunch break to head out take some happy snaps, or maybe even just go for a stroll with nothing but your favourite tunes.
Here are Wednesday’s deals:
Deals added Wednesday, 29 March
Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX1R II digital camera: This premium full-frame camera is at the high end of the spectrum, but its image quality is excellent, with a great retractable viewfinder. So if you’ve got some extra change lying around somewhere, this compact camera will most definitely capture the memories you want in superb quality. At TechRadar, . It retails for $5,499, but you can .
GoPro Hero5 Black: GoPro has become synonymous with action cameras and, as a company, has listened to its fans, coming out with some of the best rugged, go-anywhere cams in the market today. The GoPro Hero5 Black is a sturdy little camera that shoots 4K videos at 30fps and 12MP still images. If you’d like to record your next surfing adventure or your mountain biking trip, you can and keep some of the fun and frolic saved for posterity’s sake.
Canon EOS 700D DSLR camera: For anyone just starting out with DSLRs, or hobbyists looking for a great camera, the 700D is versatile, capable and produces great images. It features an 18MP sensor and records 1080p Full HD footage. Budding photographers have the chance to save $120 on the Canon EOS 700D kit that comes with two lenses – 18-55mm and 55-250mm. This package usually retails for $899, but .
Apple iPhone 7 (32GB): Earlier this week we told you how you could get and save some cash in the bargain. But if 128GB of storage is a tad too much (or too rich) for you, then you can , available in Rose Gold, Black, Silver and Gold.
Yamaha TSX-B15 Bluetooth speaker: This little red delight from Yamaha will not only play your favourite beats, but give you the time, too. It will even wake you up when you need it with its in-built alarm function and will also charge your phone or tablet via its USB port. It retails for about $125, but . It’s perfect for your bedside table and comes in red, or .
Plantronics BackBeat FIT behind-the-head wireless headphones: Don’t get entangled in cables when you work out. Go wireless and . It usually retails for $179, so you save $80 and get yourself a great workout buddy.
Fitbit Charge HR: And if you’re truly serious about getting fit, then a Fitbit can easily become your best friend, providing you with motivation by tracking your progress and pushing you to go the extra mile. The Charge HR has disappeared from Fitbit’s online store, but you can still get it and . It’s currently retailing for around $175, so you’re getting it for nearly half the price! But note that this is the large size in plum.
Deals added Monday, 27 March and still available
Samsung Galaxy S7: The new Samsung flagship launch is only a couple of days away, but in the meantime the Galaxy S7 is still one of the best phones in the market. The 32GB handset has 4GB RAM, a darn good 12MP camera and is dustproof and water resistant. And it’s also available for a really great price of $649 on Kogan, saving you $350 on the current retail price of $999. You can if you like, for some added pizzazz for the same prize.
Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge: Like the Galaxy S7, the S7 Edge will soon be ousted by the South Korean manufacturer’s new Galaxy S8, but until then, this too, is one of the best premium smartphones in the market by far. It’s retailing for $1,049 at Samsung, but you can .
Samsung Galaxy S6: Before the Galaxy S7 and S7 Edge came along, . But despite the current flagship beating it in terms of specs and performance, it’s still a pretty good handset that’s all but disappeared from stores. But you can save $129 on its current RRP of $698 by .
Apple iPhone 7: It’s bigger than the previous generation of Apple handsets and not everyone considers this to be the upgrade Apple usually promises with each new flagship, but the iPhone 7 is nonetheless a great phone. And . That’s down from $1,229, saving you $130 on the RRP. This offer ends on 6 April.
Microsoft Surface Pro 4: Today is the last day you can , but JB Hi-Fi can save you more. on this amazing tablet “that can replace your laptop” with prices starting at $1,199 for the 128GB model powered by an Intel Core i5 CPU. This offer is available only today, so hurry before you lose out.
Lenovo ThinkPad Yoga 460: Need a new laptop? for another week. That’s a saving of 40% on the retail price of $2,049 for the model powered by an Intel Core i5 CPU with 8GB of memory and 128GB of storage. So if you like the sound of it, this is great opportunity to save $750 on this convertible.
Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Yoga: This 14-inch 2-in-1 definitely packs a punch despite being one of the thinnest and lightest convertibles around. Lenovo says this laptop/tablet’s amazing 2K touchscreen display shows off richer colours and sharper contrasts, making it more than suitable for work or play. It even comes with a rechargeable stylus pen. This X1 Yoga features an Intel i7 processor, 8GB RAM and 256GB SSD. You can , down from $3,149.
Lenovo ThinkPad E470: If you need a more affordable option, , saving you $140 on the RRP of $849. An Intel Core i5 processor is housed under the hood, along with 8GB of RAM and a whopping 1TB hard drive.
Camera sale: If you’re looking for something to capture your memories, then from Olympus, Canon and Nikon. But if you’re getting serious about your photography, there’s some DSLRs to choose from as well. So head on over to the store or its website and figure out what kind of camera suits your needs best and save some cash in the bargain.
Sony Blu-ray players: It’s also time to dig out those DVDs and Blu-rays you’ve been ignoring while being glued to streaming services like Netflix and Stan, because JB Hi-Fi can currently , with prices ranging from a low $94 to just $158.
Deals added Friday, 24 March and still available
Microsoft Surface Pro 4 (Intel Core i5): A 6th-generation Intel Core processor gives this tablet some serious grunt under the hood. With a Surface Pen included to help you with your artwork or writing on a 12.3-inch display that makes everything pop, work could well be a lot of fun. And until 27 March, there’s 15% off on the Microsoft Surface Pro 4s powered by the Core i5 CPUs, and the deal includes a free Samsung 250GB SSD worth $199. So head on over to the Microsoft Store and figure out which model of the Surface Pro 4 suits you best.
Harman Kardon HK3770 Stereo Receiver: Harman Kardon are a well established premium audio brand, known for their excellent audio fidelity and unique, stylish designs, and if you’re quick enough, you might be able to catch some amazing savings on some of their range. The HK3770 Stereo Receiver is perfect for forming the 240 watt core of your home entertainment system, with integrated Bluetooth, Wi-Fi and a host of other connections including … Today you’ll be able to knock half the price off, .
Harman Kardon Soho Mini Headphones: Boasting exceptional acoustic definition thanks to their 30mm drivers, a portable folding design, not to mention a unique and stylish aesthetic, the Soho Mini Headphones are a must have for the fashionable music-lover. Catch of the Day currently has an , while an .
Harman Kardon Omni 20 Wireless HD Stereo Loudspeaker: For less than half the retail price, you can pick up this premium Omni 20 Wireless speaker, which is sure to be a crowd pleaser at parties, barbecues and sessions in the park. Able to connect over Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, or via an AUX cable, you’ll be sure to have true stereo HD audio wherever you go, and for , it’s a bit of a no-brainer.
Bose SoundSport in-ear headphones: Bose has been in the audio business a long time and knows exactly how to manufacture some of the best headphones on the market today. And if you’re looking for a workout buddy, the Bose SoundSport in-ear headphones might be for you. They retail for $139 a pop, but Myer has dropped the price and it’s now .
Samsung Galaxy Tab A 10.1 (Wi-Fi, 16GB): Need an Android-toting tablet that won’t burn a hole in your pocket? With 10 inches worth of screen real estate, the Samsung Galaxy Tab A is a great option to watch your favourite shows and movies while on the go on its 1920 x 1200 resolution display. And if 16GB isn’t enough storage for you, go ahead and pop in a microSD card and get up to 256GB of space. Plus you can save $70 by heading over to JB Hi-Fi. It’s .
Hisense top mount 436L refrigerator: On Wednesday we told you how you could get a mammoth 629L Haier fridge and save money. But if that’s too big for your kitchen, Hisense’s top mount 436L is now on sale at JB Hi-Fi for $747. You save $151 on its regular retail price of $898.
Swann Home Security System: For the ultimate in private security, Swann’s complete Home Security System is sure to give you peace of mind in one neat package. With four individual cameras, each able to detect motion and automatically record in Full HD 1080p with audio, and an included receiver capable of recording all four channels, this system is a steal .
eBay’s Big Homeware Sale: The Hisense refrigerator isn’t the only home appliance you can lay your hands on and save some dosh. from various stores. So upgrade your kitchen appliances before 29 March and use the code C20HOME at checkout. You could well save up to $1,000 per transaction.
Deals added Wednesday, 22 March and still available
Microsoft Surface Book: Until 27 March, , with prices starting at $2,804.15 for the 256GB model that’s powered by Intel Core i7 CPU and houses an 8GB RAM. That’s down from the original RRP of $3,299. The sale also extends to both the 512GB and 1TB models with 16GB of memory, available for $3,569.15 (reduced from $4,199) and $4,06.65 (down from $4,949) respectively. The Surface Pen is inclusive and bundled into the sale is a free Samsung 250GB SSD valued at $199.
ASUS ROG G752VS-GC107T 17-inch gaming Notebook: Grab yourself a neat gaming bundle, with a future-ready ASUS ROG 17-inch Gaming Notebook at its core. This beast of a notebook is packing the latest Nvidia GeForce GTX 1070 GPU with 8GB of dedicated memory, an Intel Core i7 2.6GHz processor, 32GB of DDR4 RAM, and two storage solutions with a 256GB PCIE SSD and a 1TB HDD. With an ASUS ROG headset, gaming mouse, and backpack thrown in the mix, it’s worth grabbing from .
ASUS VivoBook Max X541UJ-DM018T 15-inch Notebook: Focusing on delivering a premium multimedia experience, the ASUS VivoBook Max 15-inch Notebook offers a lightweight, portable and stylish solution to watching movies and series on the go. At 1.9kg, this 15-inch does well to pack in ASUS SonicMaster speakers and an AudioWizard to optimise your listening experience. This Notebook usually retails for $1,099, but you can .
Apple iPhone 6S (64GB): Despite the next generation of iPhones dominating the smartphone market these days, the 6S still remains a darn good handset, and when it comes to the basics it’s pretty much on par with Apple’s latest flagship. The 64GB models have disappeared from the Apple Store, but you can still . With the retail prices on the iPhone 6S starting at $929 for the 32GB model, you save a couple hundred bucks right there.
Haier 629L side-by-side fridge: If your kitchen needs an upgrade, and you have the space for a double-door 629L refrigerator, then the Haier side-by-side fridge could meet your needs. Large enough to feed the entire family and then some, it features an LED display with all the controls you need, adjustable spill-proof shelves and humidity control. It usually retails for $1,146, but .
Lexar memory cards: Photographers, here’s your chance to stock up on some extra storage. Grab the (down from $48.95) or the (was $76) from Kogan. For anyone who needs that extra storage in their Android phones, the , saving you $35 on the RRP of $60.
DVD sale: Want to catch up on some of your favourite TV shows that aren’t streaming anywhere? . So get to your local store or jump online and line your shelves with some of the best shows TV had to offer. But if movies are your thing, then you can . So stock up for the weekend and give yourself something to look forward to.
Deals added Friday, 17 March and still available
Deals added Wednesday, 15 March and still available
Sony TVs: A few weeks ago we told you about Sony 4K TVs going on sale at the company’s end-of-summer event. But if you missed that, don’t fret. Sony has its March Madness sale on at the moment and there’s plenty of savings to be had. The , saving you a massive $1,100. If you’d like something bigger, . That’s down from $2,499, saving you a round figure of $1,000. But if either of them are too large to fit in your home, then there’s the option of , saving you $970 on the RRP of $1,799. These prices are available until 31 March.
Sony A6000 E-Mount digital camera: Featuring a 24.3MP Exmor APS-C sensor, fast hybrid autofocus and an OLED viewfinder, the Alpha A6000 is a great mirrorless camera. And it’s , saving you $100 on the regular price of $899. This is part of Sony’s March Madness and ends 31 March.
Sony SRS-ZR7 Wireless Speaker: Enjoy your favourite tunes from anywhere in the house or outdoors with Sony’s Bluetooth and Wi-Fi-enabled wireless speaker, which is also on sale as part of the March Madness event on Sony’s website. You can and save yourself $100.
Sony Smart B-Trainer: This all-in-one fitness tracker is sure to keep you shipshape and enjoying your workouts with its built-in GPS, heart rate monitor and 16GB music storage. It has six sensors, provides customised training options and, best of all, is now . That’s down from $349, saving you a cool $151 on a fitness tracker.
The Nintendo Switch is now getting update 2.1.0, the second one since the day one patch that rolled out earlier this March.
However, it’s leaning a little more on the minor side this time around. This starkly contrasts with the first update that brought significant features, including but not limited to friend codes, online gaming, social media support, and the ability to link Nintendo Accounts to the console.
That said, there’s no Virtual Console or anything of the sort just yet.
Nintendo Switch Update 2.1.0: What’s New?
Update 2.1.0 is simple but welcome, and it can be summed up in one sentence:
“General system stability improvements to enhance the user’s experience,” Nintendo’s patch notes read.
While it doesn’t really bring anything new to the table, it does iron out various wrinkles here and there, but Nintendo didn’t really mention anything specific here.
That means it’s unclear whether it fixes the frame rate problem or the Joy-Con connectivity issue, which fortunately already has a dead-simple solution.
Of course, there’s still the possibility that there are some “hidden” features – ones that are way too minor to notice from the get-go.
How To Download The Nintendo Switch Update 2.1.0
Far from rocket science, there’s nothing to it in downloading update 2.1.0 on the Switch. The console should automatically start downloading the patch in the background, and when an app is opened, it’ll bring up a prompt screen asking to install it — that is, if it’s already prepared for installation.
To be clear, it won’t force the user to install the update, though.
Nintendo Switch Virtual Console: What To Expect So Far
Way before the Switch even came out, reports of GameCube Virtual Console support have been making rounds online.
This development is from sources that confirmed the news to Eurogamer, saying that not one but three games have already been successfully tested and ported to the Switch, which are Super Mario Sunshine, Luigi’s Mansion, and Super Smash Bros. Melee. More than that, GameCube’s Animal Crossing is also said to be in tow.
To date, that’s what fans can expect so far, but if that piece of news isn’t enough to satisfy anyone’s anticipation of the upcoming games, the Switch’s library has already been expanded with some old-school titles.
Namely, there’s the ACA NeoGeo lineup that’s composed of Metal Slug 3, Shock Troopers, Nam-1975, Waku Waku 7, The King of Fighters ’98, and World Heroes Perfect.
The list goes on, though, including Blaster Master Zero and VOEZ, which is interestingly a bit notorious because of how it’s playable only in handheld mode.
The Bottom Line
The Switch may not be getting much out of update 2.1.0, but if nothing else, the patch should allow the console to provide a better experience to users.
With all said and done, have you downloaded the second update already? If so, feel free to hit us up in the comments section below and let us know, especially if you’ve spotted something more than just stability improvements.
The Switch became available on March 3 with a $299.99 MSRP.