Monthly Archives: October 2017

The best Cyber Monday 2017 deals: where to find all of the early price drops

It’s almost time for Cyber Monday 2017 deals on November 27, and even though the official date is less than a month away, we expect price drops even sooner.

We’re already expecting Cyber Monday in the US to begin on Saturday, with most American retailers ready to make Cyber Week a thing on Saturday and Sunday.

What does that mean for your Cyber Monday 2017 plans? Well, early Cyber Monday ad leaks should come even sooner and we’ll see discounts on items like PS4, Xbox One, large 4K TV sets and GoPros for even longer than normal.

Of course, while this is good news, finding the best Cyber Monday deals is no easy take. There will be thousands of rollback prices at Walmart, Amazon, Best Buy, Target and more. And once a deal goes online, it can sell out instantly.

Truth be told, Cyber Monday this year may be the biggest shopping day in US history, simply because that’s exactly what we saw last year, according to Adobe Digital Insights, beating even Black Friday. The 2017 deals will be even bigger.

Need help fighting the rush to deals for great products? We’ll keep a close eye on all the Cyber Monday 2017 deals at the usual players.

When is Cyber Monday 2017?

Cyber Monday 2017 is November 27 this year. If you couldn’t tell, that date is a Monday. It’s always the Monday after Thanksgiving, which is also always the Monday after Black Friday.

The concept of Cyber Monday itself isn’t as old as Black Friday; the term “Cyber Monday” was first coined in 2004, but since then has become a huge deal on its own in the last decade, expanding outside of its US origins.

The weekend of Black Friday and Cyber Monday isn’t just significant for sales – it also represents the beginning of the holiday shopping season. It usually helps to have some idea of your holiday shopping lists before the weekend so you can take full advantage of all the sales at your disposal.

However, deals come in hot and fast on Black Friday and Cyber Monday, and you’ll no doubt find great savings on tech and other items you didn’t even know you wanted.

What’s the big deal anyway?

Cyber Monday was arguably created as a response to the growing use of the internet when it comes to shopping. But even if the day wasn’t circled on the calendar, the end of November and December is an important time for shoppers.

In fact, even before Black Friday became the huge event it is, this time of year was a big shopping time because of the lead up to Christmas and other late-December holidays.

While it may not be true that we necessarily buy more thanks to Black Friday Cyber Monday, we certainly pay less for the things we do buy. That doesn’t mean there aren’t record-smashing sales though; in 2016, a massive $3.45 billion was spent on Cyber Monday deals, which was up a huge 12.1% over Cyber Monday 2015.

Cyber Monday also highlights changing trends in how people use the internet. Cyber Monday 2016 marked the first time ever that people spent more than $1 billion on products bought from their phone.

Not only that, but it also marks a shift in how retailers treat the holiday season. While they may have sold huge numbers of products during Black Friday, they need to make sure there’s enough stock for Cyber Monday sales, too,or risk losing out to competitors who have enough stock for both.

But enough about why Cyber Monday is such a big deal and what it is – on to the actual deals!

Best Cyber Monday deals a year ago

Every Cyber Monday we lock ourselves in our offices and scour the web for the best Cyber Monday deals around. Last year, there were a ton of them. Here are some of our favorite Cyber Monday deals from last year, which should give you an idea of what to expect from this year’s sales.

iPhone 7

The iPhone 7 was perhaps the star of the show during Cyber Monday last year, and for good reason – it’s an excellent phone. From T-Mobile, the 128GB iPhone 7 was selling for the price of the 32GB iPhone 7, representing a hefty $100 off. Not only that, but Best Buy was giving away the 32GB iPhone 7 for $1, though it did lock you into a two-year contract with Verizon. This year, we may see similar deals from iPhone X.

PS4

The PlayStation 4 was a big hit during Cyber Monday 2016. From Amazon, the 500GB PS4 Slim was available for only $249, which is a pretty significant discount. Not only that, but PS4 accessories were discounted too. PS4 controllers were available for $20 off, meaning they cost only $40.

Xbox One

The PlayStation wasn’t the only console to get some huge discounts. From GameStop, the Xbox One was also a hugely discounted console, coming in at only $249 for the Xbox One S bundle with Gears of War 4.

iPad

The iPad has long been an electronics go-to during the holiday shopping season, and every single iPad model saw some significant savings during Cyber Monday 2016. From Best Buy, every iPad model received a $100 discount. Not only that, but from Target, the iPad Pro 9.7 came in at only $449, down from its normal price of $599.

LG 4K TV

Cyber Monday is perhaps the best day of the year to go shopping for a TV, and Cyber Monday 2016 was no different. From Amazon, you could have bought an LG 55-inch 4K OLED TV for $1,797. That sounds like a lot, but the fact is it’s less than half price, meaning you paid $2,202.99 less than the original price of the TV.

Google Home

Looking to get some smarten up your home? Last year Google Home was a relatively new gadget and represented the cutting edge of smart home speakers. Best Buy, Target, Walmart, and Verizon were all offering the smart speaker for $99, which is $40 less than the normal price of $139.99.

Asus gaming laptop

Maybe smart homes aren’t your thing. Perhaps you’re more into gaming, in which case there were some great deals on gaming laptops last year. The Asus ROG GL552VW-DH71 was available from Amazon with a hefty $170 discount. Coupled with free shipping, the price you paid for the laptop was $829.99.

What to expect from Cyber Monday 2017

The tech landscape has shifted quite a lot over the last year, and we now have better phones, new TVs, updated smart home devices and more.

In the past few years, Black Friday and Cyber Monday have merged into a solid week of non-stop deals, so it’s possible that we’ll see Cyber Monday deals start earlier in the weekend and last until Tuesday.

That doesn’t mean, however, you should wait until Tuesday to make your purchases as plenty of products will go out of stock during the weekend, and if you see a deal that fits what you want, you should probably pull the trigger.

Still, the deals did seem to get more exciting as time went on last year. At the start of the weekend, you’ll see good deals, but as Cyber Monday wears on, the deals will get even more intense. It’s a balancing act – you don’t want the products to go out of stock, but you still want to find the best deals out there.

The best way to go about your shopping is to keep an eye on this page as we get closer to Cyber Monday. We’ll keep this page updated as time goes on with the best Cyber Monday deals available.

Cyber Monday 2017 sales predictions

Now that you have an idea of what was on offer during Cyber Monday 2016, you can probably imagine the amazing deals that will be on offer this year. From the latest phones to smart home devices to speakers and more, here are the best Cyber Monday 2017 deals we expect to see.

iPhone 8 and iPhone X deals

We can expect Cyber Monday 2017 to do for the iPhone 8 and iPhone X what Cyber Monday 2016 did for the iPhone 7. From mobile carriers offering BOGO deals or credits for installment plans to retailers chopping the price and tossing in freebies, there may not be a better time to buy the iPhone 8 or iPhone X.

Apple Watch 3 deals

The iPhone 8 and iPhone X weren’t the only big announcements Apple had for us in September. It also introduced the Apple Watch 3, the first iteration to feature its own cellular connection. With a price tag of $399, getting to feel like Dick Tracy doesn’t come cheap. But you can rest assured that Cyber Monday 2017 will offer up discounts or deals to make the new smartwatch a more compelling buy.

Samsung Galaxy S8 and Galaxy Note 8 deals

Android users won’t be left in the dark when Cyber Monday 2017 rolls around. Samsung already has shown the kinds of killer deals it’s willing to offer on the Galaxy S8 and Galaxy Note, and those weren’t even during Cyber Monday. Expect big discounts, especially on the Galaxy S8, and free mobile accessories thrown in.

PS4 Pro deals

The latest and greatest version of Sony’s PlayStation is the PS4 Pro, and it’s expected to feature heavily in Cyber Monday 2017 sales. In fact, we’re all but sure it ill be since during Cyber Monday 2016, we saw a ton of deals for its predecessor, the PS4 Slim. Most notably, PS4 Pro Cyber Monday deals will include can’t-miss bundles, complete with controllers, accessories, and games.

Xbox One X deals

The Xbox One has undergone a transformation; Microsoft’s so-called Project Scorpio has been revealed as the Xbox One X, and it’s quite a console. Not only does it feature full 4K gaming, but it also already has a massive 22 games to play, including titles like Forza 7, Anthem, and more. At launch, the Xbox One X price is $500, but you can expect it to be a lot cheaper and bundled during Cyber Monday 2017.

Nintendo Switch deals

A bigger focus will be placed on Nintendo this year as the company has finally unveiled the Nintendo Switch console. The Switch features a ton of great games, including The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, but by the time Cyber Monday rolls around you can bet there will be a lot more ready to play. Expect some serious Nintendo Switch deals this year.

Everything with Amazon’s Alexa smart assistant

Amazon loves putting its line of inexpensive Fire tablets on sale, and it has frequently dropped the price of its Echo and Echo Dot devices, all of which feature Amazon’s digital assistant, Alexa. And given Amazon’s dominance of the online market place, you can safely bet that it’s going to put its products front and center on Cyber Monday 2017 with hot deals that make them hard to resist.

4K TV deals

Black Friday and Cyber Monday have traditionally been great times to buy TVs, and this year will be no different. From LG to Samsung to Toshiba, expect massive deals on the best TV technology. You’ll get huge discounts on 4K TVs, as well as lower-resolution TVs, so no matter how much you’re willing to spend there should be a screen for you.

Camera deals

Cameras may not be as heavily featured as TVs, but that doesn’t mean they don’t see solid savings later in the year. DSLR cameras from the likes of Nikon and Canon, as well as GoPro cameras, will all get eye-catching discounts, namely through retailers like Amazon, Best Buy, and more.

Laptop deals

If you’re looking for a new daily driver in terms of a computer, then Cyber Monday is a great time to go shopping. As we mentioned, last year there were lots of discounts on gaming laptops, but whether you’re into gaming or not you’ll be able to get a laptop for much cheaper than you otherwise would. That includes discounts on Apple’s range of MacBooks, including the MacBook Pro, standard MacBook, and more.

Headphone deals

From Beats to AKG, there are sure to be plenty of sweet savings on headphones. This year, the so-called “true wireless” form factor is a little more popular, so it’s expected we’ll see discounts on those headphones from the likes of Apple and Samsung. If you’re more into over-ear and on-ear headphones, you’ll still get access to plenty of discounts, so keep an eye on Amazon for those.

Cyber Monday 2017 FAQ

What is Cyber Monday?

Cyber Monday is the biggest day for online deals of the year. It’s the Monday immediately after Thanksgiving, and the day when retailers shift their attention away from sales in-store and towards sales online.

When is Cyber Monday?

This year, Cyber Monday falls on November 27. Black Friday is on November 24, and that’s the day after Thanksgiving, which is on November 23.

Where are the best Cyber Monday deals?

Cyber Monday deals happen all over the web, but the best place to stay on top of them is, of course, right here on TechRadar. We’ll be updating this page with new deals as we find them, and we’ll tell you whether the discounts are really worth it or if you should keep looking.

How do I get the best Cyber Monday deals?

There are plenty of things to keep in mind when you’re shopping for new deals. For starters, it’s best to make a list of things you actually want so you can avoid falling into sales traps during the day and buying products that give you buyer’s remorse. It’s also a good idea to note beforehand how much you’re willing to spend as it’s easy to spend more than you otherwise might.

How do I stay safe while buying things on Cyber Monday?

We recommend always buying from companies that you know are legit. The likes of Amazon, Best Buy, B&H Photo Video, Walmart, Target and other big names like these are your best bet for safety online, but even then it’s a good idea to look into things like return policies.

Be very wary of phishing emails as these can be a big source of income for scammers. In fact, even if an email does appear legitimate we recommend going straight to the website offering the products rather than clicking on links in emails.

Kobe, Bezos, Gladwell to speak at next week’s Super Bowl of wellness in L.A.

Next weekend’s Summit LA 17 in downtown Los Angeles is aimed at inspiring people to live better and more creative lives, whether it’s by racing home to declutter after listening to the queen of organizing, Marie Kondo, learning about cleaner living from Jessica Alba, or sitting in on a panel about an urban design project in Utah where Richard Branson is an investor.

“We want people to choose their adventures every day,” said Ryan Begelman, co-founder of Summit, which runs from Nov. 3-6.

The 3,000-plus who have signed up to attend, and pay the $3,700 admission, will be able to access some 150 talks, 75 wellness classes, 40 music, comedy or dance performances.

Keynote events include “Netflix and Chill: a Fireside Chat with Reed Hastings,” as well as addresses by Amazon chief Jeff Bezos, television maven Shonda Rhimes and writers Lena Dunham and Malcolm Gladwell.

“We wanted to pull out all the stops and host this flagship event,” said Begelman. “Our goal is to create a surreal setting with all these leaders so that people can connect and be inspired and go out and do great things.”

Others on the agenda include Christiana Figueres, architect of the Paris Climate Agreement, and sports stars Kobe Bryant and Pele.

This is the first Summit in Los Angeles; previously, they have taken place on cruises, and in Mexico and Utah.

The sprawl of events will take place around downtown Los Angeles within several hotels, such as the Intercontinental and the Standard, with performances at historic theaters such as the Orpheum. Downtown parking lots are being taken over to create a 75,000-square-foot food, art and wellness pavilion.

“At any given time there will be 12 to 20 different experiences or talks that someone could engage with,” said Begelman, who added that the offerings will start early in the morning and go till late at night.

“We see it as 72 hours to get people out of their headspace, away from their home and work lives and immerse themselves in these different experiences.”

The $3,700 ticket covers the three days of activities plus hotel stay and all food at participating eateries.

Apply to attend online at 2017.summit.co. The Summit is for those 21 and over.

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WhatsApp now lets you 'unsend' embarrassing and accidental messages

We’re usually forced to live with our mistakes in this world, but WhatsApp is now giving us a way to erase our little embarrassments.

Starting now (at least for some users), if you accidentally send a message to someone, you’ll be able to delete it for everyone who can read it as long as you act within seven minutes. WhatsApp describes the process more thoroughly in an updated FAQ entry.

WhatsApp already gave the illusion of allowing this, but the truth was that only you would see the message deleted from your client.

Whoever else you sent the message to would continue seeing it until they deleted it themselves, which could be a problem if you sent the message to the wrong person or it “contains a mistake.” We suspect that’s likely a euphemism. 

The feature is clearly labeled, too, so you’ll now see an option called “delete for everyone” when you select the trash can option after holding down your thumb on the message. Whenever someone on the other end tries to read the message in the future, they’ll just get a notification saying, “This message was deleted.” Again, though, you’ll have to act within seven minutes of sending the message for it to work.

Update and wait

You may have to wait a while to enjoy the full benefits. For one, it’s a gradual rollout, so not every user has it yet. Secondly, both users must have the latest version of WhatsApp running for it to work properly. Otherwise you may hit “delete for everyone” and sadly find that everyone but you can still see it. WhatsApp won’t send you a notification if this turns out to be the case.

And then, of course, there’s always the chance that the recipient will see your message anyway, allowing them to screenshot your “mistakes” for everyone to see.

In other words, we’re glad the feature has made it to WhatsApp, but you might want to play it safe and just be better aware of what you’re sending when you send a message.

Rumors about the feature first dropped last month, and we’re happy to see it made it into the live build.

California’s opioid death rate is among the nation’s lowest. Experts aren’t sure why

Declaring the opioid epidemic a public health emergency this week, President Trump said that no part of society, “young or old, rich or poor, urban or rural” had been untouched by drug addiction.

Ninety-one Americans die every day from an opioid overdose, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The drugs now kill more people each year than car crashes.

But in California, the opioid crisis, though still bleak, has been less severe.

In West Virginia, the state hardest hit by the epidemic, 41 of every 100,000 residents died from drug overdoses in 2015, according to the CDC. In California, that rate was 11 — the seventh-lowest in the nation.

California officials warned this year that although opioid deaths have leveled off here, the epidemic is still killing thousands. More people die each year from drug overdoses in California than in any other state, though that’s largely because of the state’s enormous population.

Public health experts can’t agree on why California’s opioid death rates are lower than the rest of the country’s, but some suggested it could be because of the state’s demographics as well as the type of heroin available.

Though there are occasional reports in California of overdoses from drugs such as fentanyl, a highly potent opioid, they aren’t as pervasive, experts say.

“We’re spared in California,” said Dr. Daniel Ciccarone, a UC San Francisco professor who studies heroin usage. “We have the episodic things — the East Coast is the killing fields.”


Twenty years ago, California had one of the highest rates of drug-related deaths in the nation. Between 1999 and 2015, the rate continued to climb, increasing by 30%, according to data from the CDC.

The jump was bad, but elsewhere in the country, it was worse. West Virginia’s rate, for example, grew during that time by 975%. Rates skyrocketed so high in other states that California now has one of the lowest drug-death rates in the nation.

“In California, we are seeing increases in problems with opioid use disorder, just like the rest of the country, but the per capita problems are certainly higher in parts of Appalachia and elsewhere,” said Dr. Carla Marienfeld, an addiction psychiatrist at UC San Diego. “It’s not that we aren’t seeing increases.”

Opioid death rates in many parts of the state, including Los Angeles, Sacramento and San Bernardino counties, remain relatively low. But last year, 10 mostly rural counties in the state’s extreme north had more opioid prescriptions than residents, a red flag for public health researchers.

In some of those regions, death rates are just as high as in the most impacted states.

“If California were divided up into several states … then parts of our state, principally the north, would be a disaster area as bad as West Virginia,” said Dr. Kelly Pfeifer, an opioid expert at Oakland-based California Health Care Foundation.

How drug death rates have stayed comparatively low

Pfeifer experienced a wake-up call about opioids when she worked at a rural health center in the northern Bay Area about a decade ago. She said that doctors had been taught that opioids weren’t addictive.

“I got a call from a coroner,” she said. A woman had died gripping a pain pill bottle with Pfeifer’s name on it.

“I had to totally revamp. … All of us who practiced during that time were prescribing doses that were previously only being seen in hospice,” she said.

Since most Californians live in urban centers, they may have been sheltered from the higher prescribing habits of rural areas, she said. Studies also have found that doctors are less likely to address complaints of pain from nonwhite patients, which would mean fewer opioid prescriptions per capita in diverse places such as Los Angeles.

Oxycodone pain pills. John Moore / Getty Images

Family members of people killed by the epidemic often describe a loved one who started taking prescription opioids, such as Vicodin or OxyContin, after receiving them from a doctor or trying them at a party. Typically, an addiction to heroin followed, and then a fatal overdose.

Experts say that the drugs available in California may affect how people transition from pills to harder substances.

Heroin sold east of the Mississippi River is usually white powder, but the kind sold in the West tends to be black tar heroin, experts say. Black tar heroin is more difficult to use and is harder to spike with other substances, creating a sort of protective effect, experts say.

Many opioid overdoses are linked to fentanyl, an incredibly strong opioid that can kill even in small doses.

“Black tar heroin simply can’t be cut as easily with fentanyl,” Ciccarone said.

It’s also possible that dealers of methamphetamine, which has historically been more common in California than in other states, could have kept out heroin. And studies have suggested that easier access to marijuana makes people less likely to seek out opioids.

Ciccarone and other experts said cartels also might not be sending as much heroin and fentanyl to California.

“There’s no social demographic rhyme or reason as to why the zone that’s bad off with heroin and fentanyl is,” said Ciccarone, referring to the Midwest and New England. “It seems to me that it’s a supply issue that’s driving fentanyl and heroin overdoses.”

Future risk of fentanyl

In 2015, state and local health leaders created opioid safety coalitions in California, which have expanded access to naloxone and medication-assisted treatment. It’s an unusual state-backed program involving law enforcement, government and health officials in each community, Pfeifer said.

“You have to work locally, because L.A. and Modoc County couldn’t be more different,” she said.

Now, 95% of Californians live in a part of the state where leaders have joined a coalition. Between 2015 and 2016, there was a roughly 12% drop in the amount of opioids prescribed across the state as well as in the rate of people taking high-dose opioids.

Pfeifer said that the state’s Medi-Cal program also has invested heavily in expanding and improving addiction-recovery services for its members.

Still, Ciccarone said that if the heroin in California becomes more dangerous or cartels start sending more fentanyl to California, deaths could spike here, too.

“There’s no reason to think there’d be demand for fentanyl in Detroit, but not demand in San Francisco,” he said. “That still means the boogeyman is out there.”

Many people are concerned about fentanyl. In one week in Sacramento last spring, 36 people overdosed from street drugs, and fentanyl was the prime suspect.

Though several opioid-related problems are flatlining or dropping in California, fentanyl deaths increased 47% last year, according to state data.

“I think it’s too early to know if we’ll be able to stay ahead of it,” Pfeifer said.

soumya.karlamangla@latimes.com

Twitter: @skarlamangla

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Australian iPhone X pre-orders open tonight

UPDATE: The time to pre-order the brand new iPhone X is almost upon us and, if you’re keen on getting your hands on these all-screen wonder any time soon, we recommend getting in quickly as there are reports of very limited stock in the first round of pr-orders.

Pre-orders will go live at 6:01pm this evening (AEDT) and you’ll be able to grab them from Apple’s online store, although you’ll be competing globally for the handset this way, as well as its physical stores. You can also try and pre-order it through a carrier as they will have their own stock, but we suggest being just as fast in order to snag one this way.

Original article continues below.

Months of rumours and hype have ended and we now know exactly how hard the iPhone X (pronounced iPhone 10) will hit our wallets. This tenth anniversary handset is Apple’s priciest, by far, but you can check out our iPhone X hands-on review for more details on its specs to see exactly what your money will be going towards.

Here, we’ll let you know how much the iPhone X will cost outright, and predict the cheapest contract you’ll likely see based on previous launches. Hold on to your hats though, it’s a doozy.

At the moment, you can pre-register your interest at most of the major carriers, but we don’t have any official indication of what the plans will look like, price-wise, but we have made an educated estimate further down the page.

Alongside the September 12 announcement of the iPhone X, we’ve also heard all about the latest entries into Apple’s flagship range. The iterative updates of the iPhone 7 and 7 Plus have landed, in the form of the iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus.

See also: iPhone 8 deals | iPhone 8 Plus deals | iPhone 7 deals | iPhone 7 Plus deals | Samsung Galaxy S8 deals | Galaxy S8 Plus deals

iPhone X price: how much does it cost?

This beast isn’t cheap. There are two versions of the massive iPhone X and the smallest of the pair, the 64GB model, will still set you back $1,579. Huge.

The other model has considerably more storage at 256GB, but this will come at hell of a premium. The iPhone X 256GB will cost you $1,829. Even huger.

When can I buy the iPhone X?

You won’t be able to grab the new iPhone X as soon as you can the iPhone 8 and 8 Plus. You’ll have to wait until Friday, November 3rd to get your hands on this bezel-free marvel.

Pre-orders open on Friday, October 27 at 6:01pm so if you’re keen on this premium handset then now’s a good time to set a reminder.

Although the iPhone X will be here in time for our Black Friday deals , there’s a rather small window of time between the launch and the sales, so we may not see too many savings.

TechRadar predicts the best iPhone X deal

Given the $1,579 starting price of the handset, most people are going to want to pick it up as part of a plan. Like the outright prices, we’re expecting the plans to be steeper than the iPhone 7 Plus plans were to start with.

iPhone X | 2GB data | Unlimited calls and texts | $99pm
There’s bound to be certain deals with specific carriers and networks on launch, but considering the cheapest current plan for an iPhone 8 Plus 256GB is around the $90pm district, we can’t imagine that even the cheapest iPhone X plan will be much under $100. We’re hoping this is a conservative estimate, but deep down we’re concerned it’ll be even more than this. Total cost over 24 months is $2,376

Group boxing and health therapy for vets are on L.A.’s health agenda

A new West Hollywood boutique boxing studio, mindfulness in Studio City and a fundraiser at the Grove. Here’s a look at wellness news around Los Angeles.

Open since early October, Crubox focuses on 50-minute high-intensity group boxing classes. Participants work on and off with a heavy bag for an all-body workout that is aimed to burn between 600 and 800 calories. Once sealed off in the striking, brick-walled space — no cellphones, specific water breaks — expect to follow sets based on traditional boxing moves that are also designed to work the core. The classes are for all levels. Classes can hold up to 24 people. Boxing gloves are provided.

Info: First-timers pay $30 for the first two classes; subsequent single classes are $30. Packages available. 8453 Melrose Ave., West Hollywood; (323) 917-5026

Since it opened in the spring of 2016, the Den Meditation Studio on La Brea Avenue and 4th Street has drawn a steady stream of yoga and mindfulness buffs to its all-day classes. Owner Tal Rabinowitz has just brought that brand of happy to the Valley with the recent opening of a studio in Studio City. The new spot mimics the cozy, laid-back appeal of the original. The 2,000-square-foot space features an interior made from reclaimed wood and brick; guests can help themselves to the generous tea and coffee bar, and lounge in a reading corner stacked with motivational and inspiring books. Classes are in a similar vein to the first studio, and include a “Lunchtime Detox” or an end-of-day “Happiness” session.

Info: $23 per class. Packages available. New customers can pay $50 for 21 days of unlimited classes, plus three special workshops. 12323 Ventura Blvd.; (818) 856-8303.

If anyone could benefit from alternative healing methods such as chiropractic and massage, it would be military veterans suffering from PTSD. In early November, Los Angeles organization Heaven & Earth Oasis is hosting its annual event to raise money for free treatments such as water therapy and acupuncture for veterans struggling with anxiety and pain. Founder and president Valerie Heath said the goal of Heaven & Earth Oasis is to offer “a safe and peaceful healing space … providing free holistic and alternative recovery therapies to those traumatized by war.”

Info: 5th Annual Veterans Thrive event, Nov. 4, 11:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Maggiano’s Little Italy in the Grove. Tickets are $175; $200 at the door; or $1,500 for a table of 10.

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Amazon Echo Plus review

In our Amazon Echo Plus review, we learn Amazon eliminates the middleman with a built-in smart-home hub and all of Alexa’s skills rolled into one speaker. Connect your smart home devices seamlessly and set up Routines quickly and easily to make life easier.

The post-Amazon Echo Plus review appeared first on Digital Trends.

Telstra unlocks next-gen SMS messaging on newer Android handsets

There’s competition brewing in the messaging world, with Australia’s largest telco announcing the launch of Telstra Messaging, a service that uses the Rich Communication Services (RCS) messaging standard.

RCS is Google’s answer to Apple’s feature-rich iMessage, which adds various dynamic features like group chat, high-resolution photo sharing, read receipts and typing indicators to the native Android message app.

This service will now allow Telstra’s Android customers to send and receive these richer formats along with basic text messages from within the same inbox, much like how the current SMS and MMS services work.

Not every phone is lucky

However, not every Android phone on Telstra’s network will be able to use the new messaging service. Telstra Messaging is currently available for only a handful of premium devices, namely the Samsung Galaxy S8 and S8 Plus, and the previous generation of Samsung Galaxy 7 and 7 Edge.

There is no word yet on other handset compatibility, but we will keep you updated when we know more.

How it works

If you’re a Telstra customer who owns one of the aforementioned handsets, Telstra Messaging will automatically get activated on your device, becoming the native texting app.

If you’re not a Telstra customer, however, and want to jump on the Telstra Messaging bandwagon, you’ll need to switch providers and get yourself either a postpaid or prepaid Telstra SIM card on one of the compatible Samsung devices. 

Once set up, there are no additional fees to use the service, but data usage charges will apply, unless the phone is hooked up to a Wi-Fi connection.

And just like how Apple’s Messages app has an indication of whether a contact can receive an iMessage or not, the message composing window in Telstra’s new service will label messages either as a ‘chat’ or an ‘SMS’ – with chats colour-coded green and SMSes coloured yellow – to let users know if the recipient is using Telstra Messaging or not.

In case the contact doesn’t have Telstra Messaging on their handset or belongs to another network, the message will reach them the usual way – as an SMS or MMS.

Telstra isn’t forcing customers to use the new RCS-based service – Telstra Messaging can be blocked by deactivating Rich Communications found within the device’s Settings.

For more information on Telstra Messaging, head over to the telco’s CrowdSupport page for a detailed FAQ.