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Tag: 2018 at 05:25PM

GAMES

June’s Best-Selling Video Game Console Was The NES Classic

The best-selling piece of video game hardware earlier this summer was not the surging Nintendo Switch nor the dominant PlayStation 4—it was a miniature version of the Nintendo Entertainment System.

That’s the word from retail analyst NPD Group, which reports that “the NES Classic was June 2018's highest unit-selling hardware platform, while the PlayStation 4 led the market in dollar sales” for the period between June 3 and July 7.

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The NES Classic, which costs $60 and emulates 30 games from Nintendo’s first home console, launched in November 2016 to mass shortages as Nintendo underestimated demand. Although the publisher announced that it was discontinuing the device, it later committed to bringing the NES Classic back to stores in 2018. Starting on June 29, the system returned. And then it beat up all the other consoles.

Nintendo’s SNES Classic also became the best-selling console for the month it launched, in September, 2017. There is still no word on a Game Boy or Nintendo 64 Classic.

Vía https://kotaku.com/junes-best-selling-video-game-console-was-the-nes-class-1828038591 ʕ ᴖᴥᴖʔ Subscribe to me here on Youtube!

GAMES

Steam Game Vanishes After Players Accuse It Of Mining Bitcoins On Their Computers

Image: Abstractism

For the past couple weeks, players of a PC platformer called Abstractism have suspected that something is amiss. The game has been accused of “cryptojacking” people’s machines, or clandestinely using their resources to mine for cryptocurrency. Today, after sustained outcry over the weekend, Abstractism was removed from Steam.

Abstractism appeared on Steam on March 15 and billed itself as a “trivial platformer” that seemed innocent enough at first glance. But then players noticed that this simple game about a box moving through a series of minimalist environments was making their CPUs and GPUs wheeze for mercy by requiring irregular amounts of processing power. Steam reviews, meanwhile, began to claim that the game installed a virus disguised as a Steam.exe process.

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After further analysis of the malware in question, players began posting reviews and discussion threads claiming that the game was using their machines to mine cryptocurrency. YouTuber SidAlpha (via Eurogamer) took a closer look and came to the conclusion that it’s probably a cryptojacking operation due to the structure of its Steam item drop system, which gamifies keeping the game running for long periods of time. This would, of course, handsomely benefit cryptocurrency miners.

Cryptojacking, according to security site CSO, is tough to reliably detect because of the way hackers disguise outgoing communications, but one surefire sign of it is a sudden dip in computer performance. Abstractism’s developer chalked this up to graphics settings.

Abstractism does not mine any of cryptocurrency,” the developer said in response to a negative review posted on July 13. “Probably, you are playing on high graphics settings, because they take a bit of CPU and GPU power, required for post-processing effects rendering.”

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It’s worth reiterating, though, that the game’s graphical style was about as simple as it gets. It seems strange that any of its graphical settings would make PCs sweat. In addition, one commenter on SidAlpha’s video, Matheus Muller, claimed to have analyzed the game while running it on a virtual machine—or an emulation of a computer system—and found that “this resource usage is unrelated to graphical rendering, as it persists even when the game is not being rendered or is being rendered by a separate GPU.” He also said that Abstractism “causes a huge amount of network activity,” which is pretty weird for a single-player platformer.

Abstractism was sketchy in more overt ways, too. One user reported that the game created a scam item claiming to be a Team Fortress 2 weapon that sells for upwards of $100 on the Steam marketplace. It spoofed the real item’s picture and name, but it didn’t actually give players anything in-game. In effect, it was a fake listing.

“I really didn’t think something could be ‘replicated’ like this,” the user wrote on TF2 site Backpack TF. “I want y’all to not be dumb af like me and be careful about this scam.”

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A game called Climber was recently removed from Steam after pulling a similar scam with pricey DOTA 2 items.

As of this afternoon, Abstractism is no longer available for purchase on the Steam store. Kotaku reached out to Valve to find out why the game was removed, but as of publishing, the steward of all things Steam had yet to reply.

Obviously, though, this serves as yet another head-rattling knock against Valve’s decision to open Steam’s floodgates wider than ever. The company has said that it will still turn away games that are “illegal, or straight up trolling,” but if it can’t consistently detect them before damage is done, why should users expect a safe experience on Steam?

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You’re reading Steamed, Kotaku’s page dedicated to all things in and around Valve’s PC gaming service.

Vía https://steamed.kotaku.com/steam-game-vanishes-after-players-accuse-it-of-mining-b-1827981337 ʕ ᴖᴥᴖʔ Subscribe to me here on Youtube!

GAMES

The 10 Best Deals of June 27, 2018

We see a lot of deals around the web over on Kinja Deals, but these were our ten favorites today.

Head over to our main post for more deals, and follow us on Twitter and Facebook to never miss a chance to save. You can also join our Kinja Deals Community Facebook group to connect with your fellow deal hunters.

#1: ebay sale

20% off Purchases Over $25+ | Ebay | Up to $50 discount Use code PARTYINUSA

eBay’s back at it with another big sale. This one will get your 20% off pretty much every home goods category when you spend $25 or more, with a cap at $50 in savings.

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I’d head over to check out the Dysons, tools, luggage, a surprisingly large collection of pool stuff, makeup and accessories, and more. Just be sure to enter promo code PARTYINUSA at checkout.

#2: casper mattress

Today only, Amazon’s running big discounts on the iconic Casper mattresses; much larger than you’d ever see on Casper’s own website. The queen is down to $796, which is almost $200 off, and other sizes have similarly sizable discounts. You’ll also get the same 10 year warranty and 100 night trial period that you’d enjoy if you bought from Casper directly.

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Note: They have discounted bundles with sheets and box springs, but it looks like they aren’t part of the Gold Box.

#3: 4th of july wayfair sale

4th of July Sale | Wayfair

Declare independence from your current furniture and decor and redecorate with Wayfair’s huge 4th of July sale. The sale includes extra savings on living room furniture, wall art, lighting, kitchen & dining room furniture, and more. They’ve rolled back the prices on select area rugs down to $50 and are running special discounts on kitchen appliances. So whatever your home needs, chances are Wayfair has it.

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The sale ends the 5th, so head over there and start shopping. Have any recommendations? Drop them in the comments.

#4: nest security system

Nest Secure Alarm System | $340 | Rakuten | Promo code ALT50N

Nest threw out all of the old assumptions about home security systems, and built something pretty great with the new Nest Secure, and you can save $160 on the usual price of the starter bundle today at Rakuten with promo code ALT50N (must be signed into an account to use).

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$340 gets you the Nest Guard (the big keypad thing that doubles as a motion detector), a couple of Nest Tags that can disarm it instantly, and two Nest Detects which can monitor entire rooms for motion, and also detect when windows or doors open.

Gizmodo’s review has more details about how all of these pieces fit together, and there are more add-ons that you can purchase a la carte to fit your home’s needs.

#5: mosquito-repelling lantern

Shield a 15' x 15' area from mosquitoes with this $20 Thermacell lantern. It’s flame free, odor free, and as long as you keep it stocked with repellent, you should be bug bite free. It typically sells for around $25, so at $20 it’s a no-brainer if you plan on spending any time outside.

#6: motion-activated sink

These Moen faucets pack in pretty much everything you could want: retractable hose, sleek design, spot resistant finish, and these can be turned on and off hands free, plus have another sensor so you can control the water flow. They’re are all discounted up to 30% off today, and down to their cheapest Amazon price ever. So head over to the sale, these may not last long.

#7: inflatable paddle board

Stand-up paddle boards are never cheap, but the price on this one has been knocked down by $15o today on Woot. This comes with the inflatable board, a fin, a paddle, and air pump, and has great reviews on Amazon. The best part, you can deflate it so it will easily store pretty much anywhere when you’re not using it. This sale will only last through the end of the day or until the product sells out, so go paddle over to this sale before it’s gone.

#8: $100 uber gift card

$100 Uber GIft Card | $80 | Walmart

You can get this $100 Uber gift card for just $80 from Walmart, while supplies last. Use the money you save to tip your drivers.

#9: silicone spoons

You can perch your spoons on the edge of your pots or pans with this silicone lazy spoon and ladle set. They can sustain heat up to 500 degrees, and will stop you from dirtying a spoon rest. The set is just $12 today, which isn’t the lowest, but is a couple bucks off the usual price.

#10: outlander collector boxes

Pick up the first two season of the insanely-popular Outlander series from today’s one-day Amazon sale. Complete with an engraved flask, the soundtrack, a ton of bonus features, exclusive photographs, and a keepsake box, the Ultimate Collection is the best deal, at around $30 off today.

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If that’s a little too much for your taste, a Blu-ray of season one, is also on sale for just $14.

Vía https://kinjadeals.theinventory.com/the-10-best-deals-of-june-27-2018-1827186221 ʕ ᴖᴥᴖʔ Subscribe to me here on Youtube!

GAMES

Jump Force Brings Goku, Naruto, And More Together For A Giant Battle

Bandai Namco has announced Jump Force, a new game that mashes up characters from Shonen Jump manga, like Dragon Ball, Naruto, and One Piece. It’s coming in 2019.

While it was tough from the trailer to figure out the exact genre, the game’s tagline “Unite To Fight” makes it seem like it’s more of a players-against-enemies brawler than a versus fighting game.

Vía https://kotaku.com/jump-force-brings-goku-naruto-and-more-together-for-a-1826713596 ʕ ᴖᴥᴖʔ Subscribe to me here on Youtube!

GAMES

Hitman’s Sniper Assassin Mode is a Deadly Puzzlebox

https://kinja.com/ajax/inset/iframe?id=mcp-3527412&sponsored=false&post_id=1826682873&platform=web

Hitman 2 is coming in November, but eager assassins can test their skills on an entirely new level. A mode called Sniper Assassin is available to people who pre-orders the game, offering a little puzzle box of trick shots and stealth. Just like anything in Hitman, it’s often at its best when things go wrong.

In Sniper Assassin, you have 15 minutes to take down some targets and their bodyguards. Agent 47 sticks behind the scope of his sniper rifle and must scan the crowd for his targets while waiting for the perfect time to pull the trigger. There’s only one level at the moment: a spacious mansion hosting a wedding, packed with guards and secrets. You can go guns blazing and shoot targets as fast as possible, but the experience is more rewarding if you try to keep calm. Timing your shots at the right moment, such as when your target is standing near a railing, allows you to hide their bodies and avoid detection. If you’re careful, you can pick off targets one by one without anyone knowing.

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I played today with Chris Person in a loose session where things didn’t go so smoothly. Sometimes, you’ll misjudge how much you need to lead your shots or fire a few seconds too late. When you do, the level erupts into chaos, transforming the experience into a reflex test similar to the arcade classic Silent Scope. But there’s fun to be had with that chaos. Scrambling to swap your ammo to wall-piercing rounds and killing someone with a trick shot feels like one hell of an achievement.

I want to pull off a perfectly executed playthrough, but I’m just as eager to find the sillier things in Sniper Assassin. One playthrough, Chris and I spotted an antsy base jumper on a mountain who was more interested in drinking beer than jumping off the cliff. The next playthrough, when I shot his bottle and instead of wasting time with booze, he took the leap. Between the challenge of assassinations and these hidden stories, Sniper Assassin is a great way to get back into Hitman.

Vía https://kotaku.com/hitmans-sniper-assassin-mode-is-a-deadly-puzzlebox-1826682873 ʕ ᴖᴥᴖʔ Subscribe to me here on Youtube!

GAMES

The 10 Best Deals of May 9, 2018

We see a lot of deals around the web over on Kinja Deals, but these were our ten favorites today.

Head over to our main post for more deals, and follow us on Twitter and Facebook to never miss a chance to save. You can also join our Kinja Deals Community Facebook group to connect with your fellow deal hunters.

#1: Surround sound speakers

Who knew you could get six speaker components for so cheap? This entire 5.1 channel Logitech speaker set is only $53 brand new right now. That’s within a few bucks of the popular set’s all time low price, and a fantastic price for anyone who wants to experience 5.1 surround sound on a budget. Just make sure whatever you’re plugging into has 6-channel output, otherwise you’ll have to use a 3.5mm cable, which will force the speakers to convert stereo sound into 5.1.

#2: probe thermometer

Dot Probe Thermometer | $31 | ThermoWorks

The makers of our readers’ favorite meat thermometer are discounting their tiny probe thermometers for today only.

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You’ll set your target temperature, insert the probe into your food, and then the Dot will beep when the target temperature is reached. As long as you’re in earshot, you’ll be free to do whatever around your house.

Plus, the probe can withstand temperatures up to 700 degrees, making it perfect for your Big Green Egg or similar high heat cookers. They normally sell for around $40, but are down to $31 today, so grab while the sale is still going!

#3: monitor arms

Huanuo Dual Monitor Arm | $50 | Amazon | Promo code U3DP9XEP

So you’ve got two monitors now, like the omnipotent hacker or a coked-out stockbroker archetypes from the movies. Congrats! But the effect isn’t truly complete until you mount those monitors to arms that let you move and articulate them in any direction, depending on the situation. This gas spring mount holds two screens up to 17.6 pounds each, and it’s an absolute steal at $50 with promo code U3DP9XEP.

#4: riedel wine glasses

I’m not proposing you replace all of your wine glasses with Riedel, but if you want to have a couple pieces of really nice drinkware for special occasions, you can pick some up for $45 each today on Amazon, down from the usual $60.

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Inside, you’ll find glasses shaped for all types of wine, and also martinis. They’re all machine-blown crystal, have oversized bowls to bring out the smell of your wine, and feature those thin-as-hell rims that will instantly remind you of drinking wine at a Very Nice Restaurant. Riedel also claims they’re dishwasher safe, but I’d be very careful about that.

Just note that this is a Gold Box deal, meaning this price is only available today, or until sold out.

#5: air flosser

Philips Sonicare AirFloss | $40 | Amazon | Clip the $5 coupon

The Philips Sonicare AirFloss is a better way to clean between your teeth, and (hopefully) one you’re less likely to forget about. Just fill it with water or mouthwash, position the tip between your teeth, and hit a button, and between 1-3 high pressure bursts will rinse out all of the grime between your teeth, no floss required.

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For a limited time, Amazon’s offering it for $40 when you clip the $5 coupon, which is the best price we’ve seen in months. So go order yours now, and impress your dentist at your next appointment.

#6: joy-con controller

Nintendo Switch Joy-Con | $64 | Amazon

The Nintendo Switch is better with friends, and you can add an extra player (or two, depending on the game) with a spare set of Joy-Con. Amazon’s marked the gray set down to $64 today, which is within about $1 of the best price they’ve ever listed.

#7: rechargeable batteries

AAA batteries are, unfortunately, still a thing, so it’s worth investing in some rechargeables. This four-pack of reader-favorite Eneloops is cheaper than ever today, and includes a charger that can also charge AAs, be they Eneloops, or some other brand.

#8: toiletry bag

Last year, Gravel’s well-designed toiletry bag was a hit with our readers, and a Kickstarter success story. But if the original didn’t have enough space for all of your travel gear, their bigger Expeditioner bag is now available for preorder.

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The Expeditioner has every feature that made the original great, like a waterproof exterior, a hanging strap for bathrooms lacking in counter space, pockets that are perfectly sized for common travel items, and a water-resistant compartment for liquids that will keep broken bottles from soaking the rest of your gear. In short, it’s still a fantastic toiletry bag!

The big difference is that the Expeditioner is, well, bigger. It has enough space in its toothbrush compartment for a full-sized electric brush like the Sonicare Essence, all of its major compartments can hold more items, and it even includes a pocket on the back that can hold an included, TSA friendly clear pouch. The $54 super earlybird and $59 earlybird reward tiers have been sold out since last week, but they just opened both back up for a limited time, so get your preorders in while you can to save on the $69 MSRP.

If you want the smaller, original bag (now called The Explorer), you can add it to your Expeditioner preorder by adding $44 to your pledge. It’s been slightly updated (and slightly enlarged) from the original Gravel bag, but it’s still far smaller than the Expeditioner.

We sort through the noise of Kickstarter to find you preorder discounts worth taking advantage of. Someone on our team has tested a prototype (or final version) of every Kickstarter we cover, unless otherwise noted.

#9: best-selling Wall Charger

Aukey Compact Dual USB Wall Charger | $6 | Amazon | Promo code FORMOM32

This tiny, $6 USB charger isn’t much bigger than the one that ships with every iPhone, except it has two ports, folding prongs, and 2.4A of total power, compared to the 1A Apple gives you. No surprise, it’s one of our top sellers of all time. Just use promo code FORMOM32 to get the deal.

#10: Newbury mills shirts

Newbury Mills Shirts, 3 for $99 with promo code kinja330. All additional shirts $33 each.

Newbury Mills has quickly become one of our favorite shirt makers, with offerings that can be dressed up or down, worn tucked or untucked, and with or without a tie. They also resist wrinkles well and are 100% soft SUPIMA cotton. Our readers can grab three for $99, plus additional shirts for $33 each. Considering one shirt is normally priced over $80, this is a great opportunity to upgrade your entire wardrobe. Just be sure to add at least three to your cart (you can mix and match styles), and use promo code kinja330 at checkout to get the deal.

Vía https://deals.kinja.com/the-10-best-deals-of-may-9-2018-1825901227 ʕ ᴖᴥᴖʔ Subscribe to me here on Youtube!

GAMES

The 10 Best Deals of April 17, 2018

We see a lot of deals around the web over on Kinja Deals, but these were our ten favorites today.

Head over to our main post for more deals, and follow us on Twitter and Facebook to never miss a chance to save. You can also join our Kinja Deals Community Facebook group to connect with your fellow deal hunters.

#1: boating & Fishing gear

Full of boat cleaning equipment, inflatable fishing boats, tackle boxes, and more, this Gold Box is meant for anyone who’s heading to the nearest body of water as soon as the weather allows.

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The stand out deals are on this iBobber Bluetooth Fish Finder, which is discounted nearly $30, and this four-person inflatable boat, which comes with aluminum oars and an air pump. That’s just skimming the surface though, so cast a line over to Amazon to reel in the rest of the deals

#2: portable projector

https://kinja.com/ajax/inset/iframe?id=youtube-video-Tl-zJU6kEhc&start=0Nebula Capsule | $280 | Amazon | Promo code KJNEBULA

Anker, as you probably know by now, makes a lot of products. But I don’t think any of them are as ambitious as the Nebula Capsule, a surprisingly good portable projector shrunk down to the size of a soda can.

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At this size, the Capsule is obviously not as bright as a projector you’d permanently mount to your ceiling, and its standard definition resolution won’t dazzle, but it can run for hours on a charge, and has great audio built in, making it ideal for an impromptu outdoor movie night, or even as a replacement for your bedroom TV. I’ve played around with it, and you can see all of my thoughts here.

For a limited time, the Capsule is marked down to $280 on Amazon with promo code KJNEBULA, which is about $70 less than usual, and within $2 of the best price we’ve seen since it was up for preorder on Indiegogo.

#3: DEWALT drill & Bit Set

If you do any serious DIY work around your house, a good drill and impact driver are table stakes. Today on Amazon, you can get a highly rated combo kit with both from DEWALT for the best price ever, plus a free bit set.

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You’ll pay $165 for both products in today’s Gold Box, which is $14 less than the previous all-time low price on the combo kit by itself, without the bit set. Just remember that like all Gold Box deals, this one’s only available today, so don’t get screwed.

#4: japan vacation package

Japan Vacation Package | $2099+ | Gate 1 Travel | Promo code TZWCLJP

Japan can feel like half a world away…because it is. But a trip across the Pacific is surprisingly obtainable with the latest vacation package deal from Gate 1 Travel.

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Starting at about $2100 per person (after promo code TZWCLJP, which saves you $460), you’ll get roundtrip flights, three hotel nights in Tokyo, and two nights each in Kyoto and Osaka, plus all of your transfers, including a bullet train between Tokyo and Osaka, which is a sight all on its own. And in each city, you’ll have the benefit of an English-speaking tour guide, plus your entrance fees are covered to all of the various sights your tour visits.

Dates are available from July through the end of the year, and trips are priced from LAX by default, but you can customize your departure city for an added fee. Just don’t forget to use code TZWCLJP at checkout to save.

Note: If the link isn’t working, try pausing your ad blocker.

#5: battery pack

The vast majority of USB-C Power Delivery-capable battery packs top out at 30W of output, which is great for a 12" MacBook or a Nintendo Switch, but is a little underpowered for, say, a MacBook Pro.

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But this 19,200mAh pack from Jackery though boosts the USB-C port to 45W, which should keep your high-draw devices humming even if you’re working on processor-intensive tasks. That USB-C port works both ways, too, so it can recharge at a speedy 45W if you have a powerful-enough wall charger. At $60, it’s very well priced for this space, and even includes an LCD screen that shows you the actual percentage of battery remaining, rather than, like, a series of dots or whatever other batteries use.

Today’s price is $20 less than usual, and an all-time low, no promo code required.

#6: tile tracker

Tile Combo Pack | $46 | Amazon

Tile is the ultimate device for anyone who can’t stop losing their things, and you can get four Tiles (in two different designs) for $46 today, an all-time low.

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You’ll get two Tile Slims, which are designed to slide into a wallet or stick to objects, and two Tile Mates, which you can attach to keychains or keep in bags. Once you have your Tiles in place, the Tile app on your phone can ping them over Bluetooth and cause them to beep until you find what you’re looking for. And if your lost item is outside of your phone’s Bluetooth range, it’ll show up on a map automatically any time another Tile user comes into range.

Buying these Tiles a la carte would set you back about $110, so if you can think of four things you want to track, this is a fantastic bargain.

#7: solar-powered keyboard

Logitech K750 Keyboard | $38 | Amazon

Remember the little calculator you had in school that powered itself via a tiny solar panel? Logitech makes an entire wireless keyboard based on the same concept, and it’s on sale for $38 today, within a few bucks of an all-time low. Assuming you don’t live in a cave, you’ll never have to charge it.

#8: joy-con

The Nintendo Switch is better with friends, so pick up an extra set of Joy-Con for $66 on Amazon. That’s only a few bucks off the regular price, but when it comes to first party Nintendo accessories, that counts as a notable deal.

#9: pegboard pack

If you’re lucky enough to have a garage or some work space, this 32" x 16" pegboard will really expand your storage space. You can hang it up for $28, a good $6 less than usual.

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If you have some smaller gadgets to organize, throw in these discounted wire baskets too.

#10: glass containers

Glass Food Storage Containers Set | $29 | Amazon | Use code JUB45HT2

This glass leftover container set didn’t win our recent poll of your favorite food storage containers, but these might be even better. These are glass, oven, freezer, microwave-safe, and leakproof containers and are cheaper than ever today when you enter promo code JUB45HT2 and clip the 8% off coupon.

Vía https://deals.kinja.com/the-10-best-deals-of-april-17-2018-1825335757 ʕ ᴖᴥᴖʔ Subscribe to me here on Youtube!

GAMES

The 10 Best Deals of April 17, 2018

We see a lot of deals around the web over on Kinja Deals, but these were our ten favorites today.

Head over to our main post for more deals, and follow us on Twitter and Facebook to never miss a chance to save. You can also join our Kinja Deals Community Facebook group to connect with your fellow deal hunters.

#1: boating & Fishing gear

Full of boat cleaning equipment, inflatable fishing boats, tackle boxes, and more, this Gold Box is meant for anyone who’s heading to the nearest body of water as soon as the weather allows.

Advertisement

The stand out deals are on this iBobber Bluetooth Fish Finder, which is discounted nearly $30, and this four-person inflatable boat, which comes with aluminum oars and an air pump. That’s just skimming the surface though, so cast a line over to Amazon to reel in the rest of the deals

#2: portable projector

https://kinja.com/ajax/inset/iframe?id=youtube-video-Tl-zJU6kEhc&start=0Nebula Capsule | $280 | Amazon | Promo code KJNEBULA

Anker, as you probably know by now, makes a lot of products. But I don’t think any of them are as ambitious as the Nebula Capsule, a surprisingly good portable projector shrunk down to the size of a soda can.

Advertisement

At this size, the Capsule is obviously not as bright as a projector you’d permanently mount to your ceiling, and its standard definition resolution won’t dazzle, but it can run for hours on a charge, and has great audio built in, making it ideal for an impromptu outdoor movie night, or even as a replacement for your bedroom TV. I’ve played around with it, and you can see all of my thoughts here.

For a limited time, the Capsule is marked down to $280 on Amazon with promo code KJNEBULA, which is about $70 less than usual, and within $2 of the best price we’ve seen since it was up for preorder on Indiegogo.

#3: DEWALT drill & Bit Set

If you do any serious DIY work around your house, a good drill and impact driver are table stakes. Today on Amazon, you can get a highly rated combo kit with both from DEWALT for the best price ever, plus a free bit set.

Advertisement

You’ll pay $165 for both products in today’s Gold Box, which is $14 less than the previous all-time low price on the combo kit by itself, without the bit set. Just remember that like all Gold Box deals, this one’s only available today, so don’t get screwed.

#4: japan vacation package

Japan Vacation Package | $2099+ | Gate 1 Travel | Promo code TZWCLJP

Japan can feel like half a world away…because it is. But a trip across the Pacific is surprisingly obtainable with the latest vacation package deal from Gate 1 Travel.

Advertisement

Starting at about $2100 per person (after promo code TZWCLJP, which saves you $460), you’ll get roundtrip flights, three hotel nights in Tokyo, and two nights each in Kyoto and Osaka, plus all of your transfers, including a bullet train between Tokyo and Osaka, which is a sight all on its own. And in each city, you’ll have the benefit of an English-speaking tour guide, plus your entrance fees are covered to all of the various sights your tour visits.

Dates are available from July through the end of the year, and trips are priced from LAX by default, but you can customize your departure city for an added fee. Just don’t forget to use code TZWCLJP at checkout to save.

Note: If the link isn’t working, try pausing your ad blocker.

#5: battery pack

The vast majority of USB-C Power Delivery-capable battery packs top out at 30W of output, which is great for a 12" MacBook or a Nintendo Switch, but is a little underpowered for, say, a MacBook Pro.

Advertisement

But this 19,200mAh pack from Jackery though boosts the USB-C port to 45W, which should keep your high-draw devices humming even if you’re working on processor-intensive tasks. That USB-C port works both ways, too, so it can recharge at a speedy 45W if you have a powerful-enough wall charger. At $60, it’s very well priced for this space, and even includes an LCD screen that shows you the actual percentage of battery remaining, rather than, like, a series of dots or whatever other batteries use.

Today’s price is $20 less than usual, and an all-time low, no promo code required.

#6: tile tracker

Tile Combo Pack | $46 | Amazon

Tile is the ultimate device for anyone who can’t stop losing their things, and you can get four Tiles (in two different designs) for $46 today, an all-time low.

Advertisement

You’ll get two Tile Slims, which are designed to slide into a wallet or stick to objects, and two Tile Mates, which you can attach to keychains or keep in bags. Once you have your Tiles in place, the Tile app on your phone can ping them over Bluetooth and cause them to beep until you find what you’re looking for. And if your lost item is outside of your phone’s Bluetooth range, it’ll show up on a map automatically any time another Tile user comes into range.

Buying these Tiles a la carte would set you back about $110, so if you can think of four things you want to track, this is a fantastic bargain.

#7: solar-powered keyboard

Logitech K750 Keyboard | $38 | Amazon

Remember the little calculator you had in school that powered itself via a tiny solar panel? Logitech makes an entire wireless keyboard based on the same concept, and it’s on sale for $38 today, within a few bucks of an all-time low. Assuming you don’t live in a cave, you’ll never have to charge it.

#8: joy-con

The Nintendo Switch is better with friends, so pick up an extra set of Joy-Con for $66 on Amazon. That’s only a few bucks off the regular price, but when it comes to first party Nintendo accessories, that counts as a notable deal.

#9: pegboard pack

If you’re lucky enough to have a garage or some work space, this 32" x 16" pegboard will really expand your storage space. You can hang it up for $28, a good $6 less than usual.

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If you have some smaller gadgets to organize, throw in these discounted wire baskets too.

#10: glass containers

Glass Food Storage Containers Set | $29 | Amazon | Use code JUB45HT2

This glass leftover container set didn’t win our recent poll of your favorite food storage containers, but these might be even better. These are glass, oven, freezer, microwave-safe, and leakproof containers and are cheaper than ever today when you enter promo code JUB45HT2 and clip the 8% off coupon.

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GAMES

Fans Discover Game-Changing Typo In Civilization VI’s Code

Religion has been a powerful motivating force throughout human history, but some Civilization VI AIs are a little too into religion, at the expense of, well, pretty much everything else. It’s a real bug, and it’s all because of a typo.

Earlier this week, a Something Awful thread pointed to a bizarre irregularity in Civilization VI’s code: In some instances concerning AI civilization leaders’ default priorities, the word “yield” is spelled “yeild.”

The players speculated that, normally, code like “YIELD PRODUCTION 25" would make a civ prioritize production and perform really well, but “YEILD PRODUCTION 25" means nothing to the game. And so, AI leaders afflicted with the dreaded spelling bee bug obsess over things like religion, sometimes to their own detriment, because they have no default values for other important qualities.

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Today, in a statement to PC Gamer, developer Firaxis acknowledged that the glitch is real and, uh, oops.

“We’re aware of a community-reported bug that has a minor impact on AI behavior,” said Firaxis. “We’ve also made sure that everyone knows that I goes before E except after C… or other weird exceptions.”

A fix will be included as part of Civ VI’s next update.

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GAMES

The Aftermath Of Ninja’s Record-Shattering Fortnite Stream With Drake

For a single night, the ultimate buddy cop duo, Twitch king Ninja and rapper Drake (digitally dressed as John Wick), took over Twitch, Twitter, and the collective consciousness. Now Ninja’s got 10,000 shiny new subscribers, and it seems like this whole “Fortnite + celebrities” trend is here to say.

Prior to Drake’s surprise cameo on The Ninja Is Better Than You At Fortnite Show, Ninja had a little over 170,000 subscribers. By the end of a night that shattered Twitch records and also included appearances from rapper Travis Scott, NFL player JuJu Smith-Schuster, and, uh, Kim DotCom, he had over 180,000. Ninja’s sub numbers have been skyrocketing for the past few weeks—pretty much ever since he broke the all-time sub record with 50,000 at the end of February—but 10,000 in a single stream is still unprecedented. That’s around a fourth of the total subscribers Ninja has gained in the past seven days.

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Based on Twitch’s base subscriber rate of $4.99—of which streamers reportedly receive half by default—Ninja made at least $25,000 last night from new subscribers alone, likely more given that Twitch tends to pay longtime partners a higher percentage of subs. At one point, Ninja reminded people that they could use their Twitch/Amazon Prime subscriptions on him, and things got Real Wacky:

Within literal seconds, Ninja suddenly had nearly 100 new subs, and things carried on like this for multiple minutes.

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Ninja also received donations throughout the night, but due to the sheer volume of them, he didn’t call any of them out while playing. Put another way, though, sub money is probably just a small fraction of what he made during last night’s stream.

It’s worth noting that none of this would have happened if not for crossplay, a feature platform makers seem hesitant to allow, but that allowed Drake, a PS4 player, to team up with Ninja on PC. An update today enabled crossplay on Xbox One as well, but only across PC, Mac, and mobile—not PS4.

Fortnite players, however, now have their eyes set on a new feature of a different sort. They’re demanding a “Hotline Bling” emote, and frankly, can you blame them?

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Fortnite developer Epic today took the opportunity to announce that it’ll be hosting a “Celebrity Pro-Am” event at E3 featuring 50 celebrities and 50 pro gamers. They’ll be split into teams that’ll vie for “ultimate bragging rights.” And probably money.

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GAMES

Slay The Spire’s Daily Challenges Keep Getting Better

Slay the Spire is an Early Access game that’s tearing it up on Steam, and for good reason. It’s one of the most imaginative roguelikes in recent memory. The game also now has a daily challenge mode, which the developers recently tweaked to make it worth playing all on its own.

Games ranging from The Binding of Isaac to Duelyst have daily challenges, so it’s not surprising that the team at Mega Crit Games decided to add one to Slay the Spire, especially while people are waiting on the main campaign’s third playable character. But where daily challenges in other games tend to be whacky remixes of the regular game or especially brutal tasks to be completed for special rewards or bragging rights, Slay the Spire’s feel like a core feature, thanks in large part to a recent update that recalibrated the mix of bonuses and disadvantages you start them with.

Daily challenges, referred to as the “Daily Climb,” consist of embarking on a fixed map where the traditional rules of the game are thrown out the window. You might be given special cards at the beginning of a run or be burdened with negative modifiers that force you to cope using interesting strategies, such as everything at the merchant’s shop being 25% more expensive. Previously there were four modifiers applied in total, and usually the combination made it next to impossible to even have a shot at completing the challenge unless you got a particularly good string of rewards from early fights.

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Now there are only three modifiers per Daily Climb, and each of them has been reworked to do a better job of creating interesting encounters and trade-offs rather than just being outright weird or punishing. For instance, the mode now has a modifier called Terminal which decreases your max HP by one every time you enter a new room, but it also lets you start every battle with five bonus plated armor, helping to split the difference rather than just make your life completely miserable. The latest rework to the mode also makes it so that the same modifiers don’t populate two days in a row, giving people more reason to try again every day.

On my most recent attempt, things got off to a good start. Today’s modifiers were Diverse, which starts you with two cards from another class; Cursed Run, which curses you after every boss you beat (negative cards will take up space in your deck) but also starts you with three relics that each act like mini-modifiers of their own; and Vintage, which has enemies drop additional relics instead of cards. One of my starting relics, thankfully, was Darkstone Periapt, which increased my base HP every time I got a new curse (which ended up being quite often). I also had Poisoned Dagger, which helped me deal extra damage in the early rounds.

As a result, the first level ended up being a breeze, although the relics I kept picking up made battles hard to predict with all of their additional ailments, buffs, and arcane rules. The chaos was fun though, and not completely overwhelming like some of the earlier challenges have been. Toward the end of the second level I had a decent shot of making it farther, and can’t really blame the magicians who fried me more than my own poor card management. And because the modifiers change daily, tomorrow’s Climb will lead me down a completely different path, in many ways even more so than the procedural generation of the main game.

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There are only just over a dozen modifiers that currently exist, but as long as Mega Crit Games continues adding more down the road, the Daily Climb could end up outshining the rest of the game entirely.

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GAMES

The 10 Best Deals of March 9, 2018

We see a lot of deals around the web over on Kinja Deals, but these were our ten favorites today.

Head over to our main post for more deals, and follow us on Twitter and Facebook to never miss a chance to save. You can also join our Kinja Deals Community Facebook group to connect with your fellow deal hunters.

#1: 20% off Sitewide at eBay

20% off Sitewide | eBay | Promo code PSPRING20. Maximum $100 discount, $25 minimum order

Ebay’s flash coupons lately have been mostly limited to a handful of select sellers, today only, they’re bringing back a truly sitewide deal.

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Promo code PSPRING20 will take 20% off nearly any $25+ eBay order (gift cards, real estate, and actual money are excluded, sadly), with a $100 savings cap. That includes everything from vacuums on Dyson’s official storefront (which are usually subject to a $50 savings cap), to video games from Best Buy’s eBay outlet, to that rare vintage comic book that you’ve been eyeing.

It’ll even work on today’s eBay deal of the day – a PlayStation VR Doom bundle with a bonus DualShock 4 and a copy of Resident Evil Biohazard.

A few other ideas:

#2: Weighted Blankets

https://kinja.com/ajax/inset/iframe?id=mcp-3464119&sponsored=false&post_id=1823658650&platform=web15 Pound Weighted Blanket | $130 | Amazon
20 Pound Weighted Blanket | $160 | Amazon

Weighted blankets can work wonders for your anxiety, or at the very least keep you warm and cozy all winter long, and you can score all-time low prices on both a 15 and 20 pound model today on Amazon. Not to stress you out, but we wouldn’t expect this deal to last for long.

#3: HEated Cushion

Mynt Heated Cushion | $17 | Amazon | Promo code MYNT2450

A heated cushion…what’s the big deal, you say? Well, this one is powered by USB, meaning you can take it anywhere.

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If your office is constantly kept too cold <cough>, plug this into your computer or any other USB port, and you have a heated seat. If you’re going to an outdoor sporting event, just bring along a USB battery pack, and you’ll have a warmer, softer seat. Sheets too cold? Plug this in at your nightstand and throw it under your covers before bed. It’s a dead simple device, but the fact that it doesn’t need a wall outlet makes it so much more versatile than the competition. Just use code MYNT2450 to save a few bucks at checkout.

Speaking of the competition, Amazon’s running a Gold Box deal on several PureRelief heating pads today as well. They’re all AC-powered, of course, but they do provide some extra options, and might be worth a look.

#4: $48 Action Cam

Yi Discovery Action Cam | $48 | Amazon | Promo code FBYFC3CQ

The original reader-favorite Yi action cam has spawned an entire product line, and the new entry level model just got its biggest discount yet.

The Yi Discovery lacks the electronic image stabilization of the more expensive Yi Lite, and can only take 8 MP stills compared to 16 MP, but they both shoot 4K/20 and 1080/60 footage, and at just $48 with promo code FBYFC3CQ, the Discovery is worth checking out if you just need a rugged camera that can handle the basics.

#5: Pier 1 Sitewide Sale

Sitewide Sale | Pier1 Imports | Use code GETMORE

Pier1 Imports is running a sitewide sale this weekend with the classic buy more, save more model. You’ll save $15 off any $100 purchase, $40 off any $200 purchase, and $100 off any $400 purchase.

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So, fill your basket with Easter decor, furniture, rugs, and bedding, because everything on their site is part of the sale, including already-discounted items. Just use code GETMORE at checkout to see the savings.

#6: Magnetic Phone Stand

UGREEN Magnetic Smartphone Stand | $9 | Amazon | Promo code PAQCE2CP

If you already use a magnetic smartphone car mount, you can put that plate behind your phone to use at your desk with UGREEN’s gorgeous stand. Normally $11-$12, you can get it for just $9 with promo code PAQCE2CP today. I have a similar product sitting on my desk right now, and absolutely love it.

#7: Nail Guns

If you do a lot of DIY work around the house, investing in both brad and finishing nail guns will save you a ton of time compared to swinging a hammer, and you can get a set with both for $400 in today’s Amazon Gold Box.

Just to hammer home how good a deal that is, these would set you back $600 if you purchased them separately at Amazon’s current prices. But this deal is only available today, and could very well sell out early.

#8: 25% Off REI Clearance

It’s that awkward time of year where the weather ping pongs between pleasant and Hoth, but you’ll be prepared to go outside no matter the conditions with this rare REI clearance sale. From now until March 19, you’ll get an extra 25% off anything in the site’s sale section, no code needed.

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There’s a lot to sort through here, but options include reader-favorite Smartwool socks, Mountain Hardwear’s Ghost Whisperer coats, and a lot more. Drop your suggestions in the comments below!

#9: Pet Seat Cover

Mpow Pet Seat Cover | $18 | Amazon | Use code RE82YHT7

Clip in one of these removable pet seat covers, and make your backset a little more comfortable for your pup. It will keep all of the shedding from getting on your actual seats, and discourage your dog from jumping in lap mid-trip. You’ll pay just $18 with promo code RE82YHT7.

#10: Bob’s Burgers Monopoly

You won’t have to avoid Mr. Fischoeder’s rent money requests after you buy this Bob’s Burger Monopoly game, because today’s price of $29 is the lowest ever.


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GAMES

Crash Bandicoot Trilogy No Longer Exclusive, Coming To Switch

Released last year as a PlayStation 4 exclusive, remastered versions of Crash Bandicoot, Crash Bandicoot 2: Cortex Strikes Back and Crash Bandicoot: Warped are coming to Switch on July 10.

The Crash Bandicoot series was a PlayStation exclusive when it debuted back in 1996, but these days a bandicoot’s gotta stretch his legs. The Switch seems like a perfect place to play the remasters, which take the original level data from the original trilogy and layer on shiny new graphics.

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Announced during today’s Nintendo Direct presentation, the Crash Bandicoot N. Sane Trilogy is due out on the Switch July 10.

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GAMES

Steam User Develops His Own Way To Find New Games

These days, Steam is one-part library, one-part labyrinth. The sheer volume of games on the service is overwhelming. Valve’s solution to the problem has been to double down on algorithms, but many still don’t feel like Steam is helping them find diamonds in the rough. Enter Steam 250.

Steam 250 is a site whose goal is simple: find the best games on Steam. It has a variety of lists, from the 250 best games to hidden gems, and everything in between. Its creator, Bilge, decided to create the site when he ran out of games to play. He realized that Steam tends to focus on games that are selling well or getting lots of attention and, in order to find hidden gems on Steam, he’d have to do a lot of digging.

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“Steam tends to focus on sales data to promote games,” he said in an email. “Comparing our annual sales versus ratings rankings shows there is a wide disparity between games people are willing to buy and those they’re willing to recommend. Focusing on sales provides an incomplete picture of the gaming landscape and frequently misses games more gamers are enjoying.”

Bilge decided to make a solution: his own Steam algorithm. Steam 250 bases its selections on user reviews, specifically the number of reviews any given game has on Steam and the percentage of those that are positive. On Steam 250's website, Bilge explains that determining the exact way the algorithm weighs games with different numbers of players and reviews took quite a while.

“During early development of Steam 250, we trialled seven different algorithms, each with their own behavioural characteristics,” he wrote. “Each algorithm is further tuned by a weighting variable that biases the score in favour of either the number of votes or approval rating. Each algorithm’s weighting exists on an unbounded, sliding scale thus creating limitless possibilities. We narrowed down the possibilities to 22 distinct combinations of algorithms and weightings and scrutinized them until a winner could be declared.”

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The end result is a ranking system that won’t, say, propel a game to the top just because it’s new and 100 percent of its two or three reviews are positive. It also allows for lists that point to games with relatively high numbers of positive reviews despite low player counts (with player count data provided by third-party Steam analytic service SteamSpy). Basically, if you’re looking to quickly cut through Steam’s clutter and find cool games you’ve never heard of, Steam 250 can help with that.

That said, there are still potential holes in Steam 250's methodology. For instance, while scanning the site’s various lists, I came across a handful of games that looked pretty shoddy, but were drowning in positive reviews because they handed out achievements like Halloween candy. Bilge acknowledged that things like that can happen, but his process is backed by data and data alone, for better and worse.

“It’s not our place to judge whether games have acquired reviews ‘fairly’ or not,” he said in an email. “In general we find the review system pretty reliable for pointing to good games. One could extrapolate that if a game gets a lot of positive reviews just because it’s an achievement farmer, it’s still a positive experience for everyone who wants to discover achievement farming games, although I admit that’s a little far-fetched and we wouldn’t want an endemic of such games trumping genuinely good titles.”

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There are other possible issues, too, like review bombing, which even Valve has acknowledged—in its own, graph-heavy way—is a big problem. As it stands, a single, targeted review bomb could send a game plummeting from its deserving perch on Steam 250.

In the future, Bilge hopes to make Steam 250 more elaborate, with options to browse games’ history (which could help with the review bomb thing), search based on exact tags, and even modify the algorithm’s weighting yourself. Beyond that, though, he’s open to suggestions.

“The site began as just one ranking and has grown into more than 100 based on user feedback,” he said. “I expect it to continue to grow this way, responding to gamers’ needs.”

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You’re reading Steamed, Kotaku’s page dedicated to all things in and around Valve’s wildly popular PC gaming service. Games, culture, community creations, criticism, guides, videos—everything. If you’ve found anything cool/awful on Steam, send us a message to let us know.

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GAMES

The 10 Best Deals of February 20, 2018

We see a lot of deals around the web over on Kinja Deals, but these were our ten favorites today.

Head over to our main post for more deals, and follow us on Twitter and Facebook to never miss a chance to save. You can also join our Kinja Deals Community Facebook group to connect with your fellow deal hunters.

#1: portable projector

https://kinja.com/ajax/inset/iframe?id=youtube-video-Tl-zJU6kEhc&start=0Nebula Capsule | $296 | Amazon

Anker, as you probably know by now, makes a lot of products. But I don’t think any of them are as ambitious as the Nebula Capsule, a surprisingly good portable projector shrunk down to the size of a soda can.

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At this size, the Capsule is obviously not as bright as a projector you’d permanently mount to your ceiling, and its standard definition resolution won’t dazzle, but it can run for hours on a charge, and has great audio built in, making it ideal for an impromptu outdoor movie night, or even as a replacement for your bedroom TV. I’ve played around with it, and you can see all of my thoughts here.

For a limited time, the Capsule is marked down to $296 on Amazon, which is about $50 less than usual, and the best price we’ve seen since it was up for preorder on Indiegogo.

#2: vpn Service

It’s not hard to find good deals on VPN subscriptions, but our readers’ favorite service, Private Internet Access, is notable for hardly ever running sales. Just for our readers though, they’re opening back up their holiday offer of two years for $60, down from the usual $70. That’s just $2.50 per month to protect your browsing data, get around video geoblocks, circumvent proxy filters, and more.

#3: gaming lAPTOP

Refurb HP Omen Gaming Laptops | $760-$880 | Amazon

If you can stomach buying refurbished, Amazon’s got some seriously great gaming laptop deals in today’s Gold Box.

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You can choose between four different HP Omen machines ranging from $760 to $880, but I think the best value of the bunch is this $800 model, which features a quad core i7, a 1TB hard drive paired with a 128GB SSD, and a 4GB GTX 1050TI graphics card.

#4: Reader-favorite pillow

My Pillow makes our readers’ favorite pillows, and Woot is offering a rare deal today that should help your wallet rest easy.

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For between $50 and $55, you’ll get two My Pillows in the sizes of your choice, with either medium or firm fill. These aren’t exactly the same as the pillows that won our Co-op—they’re gusseted, meaning there’s a piece of fabric stretching around the edge of the pillow, rather than the top and bottom being sewn into each other—but the patented fill is the same.

And in case you missed the (long overdue) news, Prime members now get free shipping on Woot orders, so that mandatory $5 fee is a thing of the past for most of you.

#5: APC SURGE PROECTOR

APC 6-Outlet Surge Protector | $13 | Amazon | Clip the $5 coupon

This plug-in surge protector from APC does exactly what you’d want it to do: Get out of the way. Its six outlets are mounted on the sides, so you can stick it behind furniture without providing extra clearance. There are also two USB ports (on the front, sadly) for your mobile devices.

Clip the $5 coupon on the page to get it for $13, an all-time low.

#6: smart scale

Anker’s BodySense Smart Scale has been a hit since its release last year, and if it’s been on your wish list (and you’re not afraid to use it after Thanksgiving), you can pick it up for $33, one of the best prices we’ve seen.

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In addition to functioning as a normal digital bathroom scale, the BodySense can measure metrics such as body fat percentage and body water, and sync all of that data over Bluetooth to your iOS or Android smartphone. You can see my impressions here, but it’s the most seamless and reliable smart scale I’ve ever personally used, and a great deal at $33.

#7: carpet brush

OXO Good Grips Furlifter | $33 | Amazon

OXO made a fur-lifting brush for your rugs and carpets, which doesn’t seem all that interesting until you realize that it’s self cleaning. Every time you slide the housing back over the brush, it pushes all of the collected hair into a receptacle for easy removal. Shedding season starts soon, so today’s deal is perfectly timed.

#8: leaf blower/mulcher/vacuum

With the flick of switch, this Worx machine transforms from a leaf blower to a mulcher to a vacuum. It’s not exactly the right season, but today’s price is an all-time low and about $30 less than usual, so it’s worth it to get it now and hold on to it for a couple of months.

This model is not cordless, so you might want to grab an extension cord too.

#9: PUMA

Private Sale | PUMA

The slump of February is upon us, and if you’ve been putting off going to the gym because the weather’s bad, time to give up. It’s getting nicer and nicer each day, and PUMA is having a massive Private Sale with major discounts on over 2,000 items. Let’s just say your wardrobe will look like it’s ready to hit the gym, even if you aren’t.

#10: deodorant

6-Pack Degree Deodorant | $9 | Amazon | Clip the $2.50 coupon

There are few things more horrifying than running out of deodorant and realizing you don’t have a spare in your bathroom cabinet, but that won’t be an issue for quite awhile if you buy this 6-pack of Degree for just over $9. Be sure to clip the $2.50 coupon, and you’ll see the discount at checkout.


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GAMES

Geralt vs Chuck Norris

This fun little video—which stars the world’s best Witcher cosplayer, along with help from Geralt’s voice actor Doug Cockle—sees our hero face one of his most dangerous opponents yet.

I don’t know how the TV series is ever going to match this sort of content.

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