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Want hands-free lighting? These are the best smart bulbs to use with Google Home.

Mashable

If you're looking to bolster your smart home with smart bulbs, utilizing Google Home compatibility is a tempting proposition for those of us with Android phones or other Google compatible devices, i.e. pretty much everyone. Equipping your home with a smart lighting system that offers voice controls and the ability to manipulate your lights far more efficiently than through conventional means is great, but where do you begin? It feels like there are countless different smart light bulbs out there, all offering different features from Amazon Alexa support to Apple HomeKit compatibility or simply the ability to change the color temperature at a moment's notice. To help narrow things down, we've taken a look at the very best smart bulbs for Google Home and the Google Home app, offering you voice command support so you can "speak" to your lighting system. While it might seem like something expensive and substantial such as the Philips Hue bulb system is the solution for everyone, it's possible to implement smart lighting on a tight budget providing you know where to look.


Microsoft's Ultimate Game Sale will save you some serious cash on Xbox games and accessories

Mashable

TL;DR: You can save up to 90% on select Xbox games, up to 80% on select PC titles, and up to 30% on Xbox accessories during the Microsoft Store's Ultimate Game Sale, which runs through Aug. 5. It's like Microsoft snuck a peek at the Playstation Store's Summer Sale and said, "Hold my beer." The former just kicked off an Ultimate Game Sale that covers hundreds of Xbox titles in addition to select PC games and a handful of Xbox accessories, with savings of up to 90% up for grabs in the Microsoft Store and Xbox.com now through Aug. 5. (Not to pit two queens against each other, but the Playstation Store's rival sale only features PS4 and PS5 games -- there are no accessory deals to be found -- and its discounts top off at 75%.) Whatever you do, don't sleep on Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War or Hitman 3 (one of our favorite video games of 2021 so far) -- the Xbox One and Xbox Series X/S versions of both games are half off as part of the sale; the Game of the Year Edition of 2015's The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt is also pretty hard to resist at only $10. And for anyone brave enough to venture back into the patched-up world of Night City, Cyberpunk 2077 will currently run you $48 (a 20% savings). If you need some new gear for your console, you can shave $10 off the price of a new Xbox Wireless Controller or upgrade to a pro-grade Razer model for $40 cheaper than usual. Xbox-licensed headsets, meanwhile, start at just $25 (normally $40) for some comfy HyperX earphones featuring 40mm drivers with bass that's optimized for console gaming.


Ryan Reynolds grapples with video game lingo in hilarious 'Free Guy' clip

Mashable

Guy doesn't know he's in a video game -- at least, not yet. In an exclusive new clip from Free Guy, the non-player character or "NPC" played by Ryan Reynolds has a run-in with game moderators. A police officer and a bunny, played by Joe Keery and Utkarsh Ambudkar, confront Guy as he's walking down the street in their open-world video game "Free City." But the programmers aren't interrogating Guy because he's unexpectedly gone off his coded path. No, they're more curious about where he got his "skin."


Amazon Echo Show 5 vs. Echo Show 8 (2nd gen): Which is right for you?

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It can be exciting when a brand like Amazon drops new versions of its devices, but it can also be overwhelming to figure out which one is best for you (and if it's worth paying more than its original version). Amazon released their newest versions of the Echo Show 5 and the Echo Show 8. After testing both of them, I'll walk you through what's the same, what's different, what they bring to the table compared to the 1st gen versions -- and which one you should buy. The new Echo Show 5 sells for $84.99, and the updated Echo Show 8 for $129.99. The Echo Show 5 Kids is available for $94.99, and if you're ready to upgrade you can get 25% off any of these devices with a trade-in.


Go totally hands-free with a pair of Echo Buds on sale

Mashable

SAVE $30: As of July 28, both configurations of the 2nd Gen Echo Buds are $30 off. Score the Echo Buds with wired charging case for $89.99 or the Echo Buds with wireless charging case for $109.99. If you're already an Alexa-using household, you can take Alexa's handy voice control with you wherever you go with a pair of Echo Buds. Just think -- controlling all your on-the-go entertainment can be totally hands-free. Just ask Alexa to read your Audible audiobooks, play the latest episode of your favorite podcast, or stream the new Olivia Rodrigo album, again.


These cars go 180 miles per hour -- and will race without drivers

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When the Indy Autonomous Challenge takes off later this year, all the race cars will look the same -- and no one will be behind the wheel. The IAC is a university-led self-driving car race taking place Oct. 23 at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway with $1.3 million in prizes on offer. The first three teams to cross the finish line in 25 minutes or less after 20 laps (that's about 50 miles) will win what's believed to be the first head-to-head autonomous race. To make sure the race is about building out the software for autonomous driving at high speeds (the average speed will be about 120mph), each team has the exact same modified Dallara AV-21, a typical race car usually with a human driver. Clemson University students helped develop the base car for the race.


The shine of Nintendo's new Zelda remake for Switch is dulled by awkward controls

Mashable

It's very weird to review a remake. Most of what could be said about a remade game has already been said years ago, and the time that has passed since the original game's release can have a massive impact on how the game is received in its second wind. For example: The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword HD is a high definition remaster of a 2011 Wii game about which much has been said, debated, and lamented, but in the 10 years since its release the Zelda franchise produced one of the most successful console video games of all time. Though it is unfair to compare The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild with its upgraded predecessor, there is enough connective tissue between both games to make the comparison automatic in a way that only enhances the weirdness of reviewing it at all. Should Skyward Sword HD's faulty stamina wheel, annoyingly breakable shields, and limited potion system be judged on their own merits?


Is it even OK to play Call of Duty anymore?

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For those who might have missed it, Activision Blizzard is the video game industry's latest out-of-control dumpster fire. The Call of Duty and World of Warcraft publisher is the focus of a new lawsuit spearheaded by California's Department of Fair Employment and Housing (DFEH). It caps off a two-year investigation which found, according to the filing, that female employees -- who make up roughly one-fifth of the company's workforce -- operate in a toxic, hostile working environment. Ubisoft and League of Legends publisher Riot Games have both been outed as havens for harmful workplace behavior -- including sexual misconduct -- in the past. Rockstar Games basically bullied Red Dead Redemption 2 into existence.


Non-writers can create killer copy with the help of Writesonic's AI-based software

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TL;DR: Writesonic will become your new favorite copywriting tool, and as of July 26, get a lifetime subscription for only $69.99 -- a 98% discount. Not everyone was born to be a writer. And if you're one of the many who can't arrange words into eloquent segments, you've likely already made your peace with it. In fact, if you run a business of any shape or size, you're going to need a wordsmith to give your brand a fighting chance. Along with visual content and SEO, written content is essential to most business marketing strategies.


The future of sports? There's a robot sinking basketballs at the Tokyo Olympics.

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The Tokyo Olympics are in full swing, as anyone who has the ability to set the TV channel to NBC is no doubt aware. And while the biennial showdown between world-class athletes and the nations they represent is entirely a celebration of human excellence, in 2021 at least one robot is being allowed to have a little fun, as a treat. Fresh from the Tokyo Olympics Twitter account we have this clip of a tiny-headed robot -- WHY IS ITS HEAD SO SMALL, Mashable's EiC asked in Slack -- shooting, and sinking, free throws Look at this mad nonsense. Nothing but net! (The robot moved further back right after this and immediately sunk a three-point shot with ease as well.) Why is this robot wearing a jersey with the number 95 on it?