This isn’t Ring’s first Stick Up Cam — the first one I tested back in 2016 had some performance issues and the one after that cost too much for what you got. Ring’s latest Stick Up Cam is priced at $100. ConsideringÂ there are great cameras for just 20 bucks, $100 isn’t particularly exciting. But it is a positive step for Ring, which also recently introduced an affordableÂ Indoor Cam.Â
Ring dropped the price of its Stick Up Cam Battery to just $100
It has a simple app packed full of useful security features
You have to pay for cloud video storage, starting at $3 per month
The Stick Up Cam Battery doesn’t work with Google Assistant or Siri
Ring’s latest indoor/outdoor Stick Up Cam is available in plug-in and battery versions (I tested the battery model), as well as a $149 model bundled with a solar panel accessory. Interestingly, the Stick Up Cam Battery has optional compatibility with Ring’s $39 power adapter and its $49 solar panel accessory through a hidden port in the back of the camera.Â
Ring, which Amazon bought in February 2018, has been in the news for its partnerships with over 600 police departments through RIng’s Neighbors program in the US. The Neighbors program, available through the Ring app or Ring’s standalone Neighbors app, lets users share security footage and receive security alerts in their area. Police can also request access to Ring footage in certain areas within specific time frames.
Â The Neighbors program is optional for Ring users, but advocacy nonprofits have raisedÂ concerns about privacy and racial profiling. If you’re concerned about this partnership, Ring products probably aren’t for you. Read more about what you can do if you’re worried about Ring’s Neighbors program.
Otherwise, the Ring Stick Up Cam Battery is easy to recommend for its versatility, solid performance and reasonable price.Â
Ring sells a solar panel accessory separately for $49 that works with the Stick Up Cam Battery.Â
A better RingÂ
First, let’s talk setup. Download the Ring app and create an account if you don’t already have one; login if you do. Select “set up a device” on the home screen and pick “security cams.” Your Ring Stick Up Cam has a OR code both on the camera and on a set up guide sheet that comes in the box.Â
The Ring app then walks you through each step, including asking if you’re installing the camera inside or outside, what name you’d like to assign it and if you’re powering it via battery or adapter.
Next you’ll be asked to fully charge the battery (a USB charging cable is included). I skipped that step and installed the battery in the camera at 35% charged.Â
Once the battery is installed, the camera will tell you it’s in set up mode and ask you to connect to your local Wi-Fi network. The camera is connected and ready to use at this point, but the app makes a point to continue to walk you through customizing some of your Ring camera’s unique features. Here’s an overview:
Motion verification – This opt-in feature gives the Ring app a chance to double-check the motion activity it detected to determine if it’s a false alert (or not) before sending it. I installed this camera at the CNET Smart Home in a rural area of Louisville, Kentucky, where false alerts of tree branches swaying are a regular occurrence. Fortunately, I didn’t see any false alerts come through during my testing — tree branch or otherwise.
Privacy features – Set privacy zones in areas where you don’t want your camera to monitor activity and turn off audio streaming/recording. I set up a privacy zone to ignore part of the backyard, which successfully sent no alerts and recorded no footage when motion happened in that area.Â
Linked devices – If you have more than one Ring device, you can set up an automation. I created one that said, “If my Stick Up Cam Battery detects motion and starts recording, then turn on the light on my Spotlight Cam.” This automation worked well for me.
I also created a motion detection zone to send me alerts when activity happened in the yard closest to the house, but to ignore the tree branches swaying in the breeze just past them. Again, this feature worked well. I even connected an optional solar accessory to the port in the back of the camera. It’s been gray and gloomy here in Kentucky, but the solar panel is helping the camera hold pretty steady so far.Â
Like other Ring devices, the Stick Up Cam battery works with Alexa (but not with Google Assistant or Siri). I was able to ask an Echo Show 5 to show me the Backyard camera and it pulled up the live video feed.
Overall, the Stick Up Cam Battery worked well throughout testing. I had no major issues, although I’ll always lament that Ring doesn’t offer a free cloud storage option. Instead, you have to pay $3 per month (or $30 per year) for Ring Protect to get 60 days of saved video history.
The Stick Up Cam has a removable, rechargeable battery. But you can also add a solar panel to boost its battery life.Â
Buy? Or skip?
I like the Stick Up Cam Battery. No, Ring still doesn’t offer a free cloud storage option, and it isn’t compatible with Google Assistant or Siri. But, this camera is solid and much more affordable than Ring’s previous Stick Up Cam.Â
This camera’s live feed was crisp and alerts arrived quickly after a motion event. The privacy zones and motion detection zones were easy to set up and effectively controlled the areas where motion was detected. Its optional compatibility with a power adapter or the solar panel accessory adds another layer of flexibility, as well as the “Linked devices” feature that allows for automations between Ring devices.
It isn’t a perfect device, but it’s a good choice if you’re on the hunt for a reliable outdoor camera at a reasonable price. And if you’re concerned about Ring’s partnerships with law enforcement, give this a read.Â
Miss out on PS5 preorders? There was one for sale on eBay for $25,000 – CNET
Preorders for the PlayStation 5 appeared to sell out shortly after they began on Wednesday. Sony When Sony announced the $400 entry price for its PlayStation 5 video game console Wednesday, it said preorders would start the next day. Many large retailers decided to start sales early, surprising fans who quickly surfed to websites only…
Preorders for the PlayStation 5 appeared to sell out shortly after they began on Wednesday.
When Sony announced the $400 entry price for its PlayStation 5 video game console Wednesday, it said preorders would start the next day. Many large retailers decided to start sales early, surprising fans who quickly surfed to websites only to learn the device had already sold out. But not at eBay. The popular auction site was filled with listings for PlayStation 5 consoles ready to sell on Thursday promising the seller had secured a preorder and would ship the device immediately after it arrived.
PlayStation 5 launch details
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“This is ** CONFIRMED PREORDER**,” one eBay seller wrote. “Updates will be provided all the way!” wrote another. The ordeal was an unusual hiccup for Sony, whose PlayStation 5 launch has been built on carefully planned slow reveals of various features like 3D audio, faster game loading times and the design of the device.Sony took to Twitter on Saturday to apologize to fans over the ordeal, though it appeared to be caused by retailers jumping the gun on preorders a day early, and promised more supplies would be made available.
Let’s be honest: PS5 preorders could have been a lot smoother. We truly apologize for that. Over the next few days, we will release more PS5 consoles for preorder – retailers will share more details. And more PS5s will be available through the end of the year. pic.twitter.com/h1TaGsGBun— PlayStation (@PlayStation) September 19, 2020
Still, sellers on Sunday were attempting to offload preorders on eBay for between $750 and $1,000, about double the $400 starting price of the console without a Blu-ray drive, or double the $500 starting price for the PS5 that has it. This eBay listing may set a record for the most expensive PS5. But that’s only if the buyer pays.
One seller’s auction though had risen to $25,100, after 11 bids and a starting price of $800 on Thursday afternoon.The eBay listings aren’t likely to last though. The auction site’s listing policies on pre-sale items require that the item must be delivered within 30 days of purchase on eBay. “Our Trust teams are aware of this issue and we are taking the appropriate action,” an eBay spokeswoman said.The buying and selling frenzy is one of the first public signs of how in-demand Sony’s PlayStation 5 and Microsoft’s $500 Xbox Series X and $300 Xbox Series S will be when they land on store shelves this November.
2020 Porsche Macan GTS review: Emphasis on performance – Roadshow
The GTS looks great in Carmine Red. Steven Ewing/Roadshow At this point, GTS in Porsche parlance should just stand for Get This Spec. The company’s GTS-badged cars strike the best balance between outright performance and daily drivability, and that’s as true in this 2020 Macan as it is in any 718, 911, Cayenne or Panamera.…
The GTS looks great in Carmine Red.
At this point, GTS in Porsche parlance should just stand for Get This Spec. The company’s GTS-badged cars strike the best balance between outright performance and daily drivability, and that’s as true in this 2020 Macan as it is in any 718, 911, Cayenne or Panamera. I’ve driven the S and I’ve driven the Turbo, but the GTS is the Macan I’d park in my garage.
LikeOutstanding chassis balanceSports car-like steeringSonorous sport exhaustRobust infotainment tech
Don’t LikeTwin-turbo V6 lacks characterGets expensive in a hurry
The GTS uses a detuned version of the 2.9-liter twin-turbo V6 from the Macan Turbo. Here, the engine produces 375 horsepower and 383 pound-feet of torque — noticeable reductions compared to the Turbo’s 434 hp and 405 lb-ft. But on the road, you’d have a hard time noticing the difference. This engine lacks visceral drama, though I think that’s less egregious when the associated output numbers are lower. The GTS at least makes up for this somewhat with a standard sport exhaust, which adds some sonority to the powertrain’s buttoned-up demeanor.Porsche says the GTS can accelerate to 60 mph in as little as 4.5 seconds with the optional Sport Chrono package, which is 0.4 seconds slower than the Macan Turbo. I genuinely don’t believe that less-than-half-a-second discrepancy is something anyone can feel during daily driving on public roads. And since the engine’s torque is fully available from just 1,750 rpm, there’s never a lack of urgency to the GTS’ acceleration, whether pulling away from a stoplight or just trying to shoot the gap between slower cars on the highway.
The seven-speed dual-clutch gearbox is always up for an impromptu downshift via the steering wheel-mounted paddles, and the Sport and Sport Plus modes — the latter is part of the $1,360 Sport Chrono package — alter the throttle and transmission programming just enough to liven up the Macan’s character. You could drive the GTS in Sport mode all day, every day without it ever feeling high-strung, while Sport Plus is best left for tighter sections of winding roads where you’ll want to take advantage of its tendency to hold gears up near the engine’s redline.The GTS’ powertrain is fine, but the chassis, steering and brakes really make this Macan feel special. Porsche’s adaptive air suspension comes standard and can lower the Macan by 10 millimeters in Sport and Sport Plus modes. Porsche’s Active Suspension Management (PASM) dampers are a perfect match to the air-ride system, delivering a smooth ride on broken pavement while keeping the GTS taut and composed on smooth stretches of canyon roads. Even with my tester’s upsized 21-inch wheels and staggered 265/40 front and 295/35 rear tires, the Macan never feels too stiff or too floaty for any given scenario. Honestly, the ride quality might be the GTS’ single best attribute.
These 21-inch wheels and low-profile ties don’t ruin the GTS’ ride.
Porsche always gets its cars’ steering right, and the Macan GTS is no exception. The weight and communication on offer are more akin to that of a 718 Cayman than any other compact SUV, with a right-sized steering wheel adorned with only a few redundant controls. My tester has Porsche’s Surface Coated Brakes (PSCB), which were kind of bad when they first launched on the Cayenne, but have since been reworked with new pads, better pedal feel and a more progressive stopping experience. Now, these brakes are quite good and reduce dust buildup on the wheels. Whether they’re worth the $3,490 upgrade over the perfectly fine standard steel brakes, though, is hard to say.
One option worth adding is Porsche’s brake-based torque-vectoring tech, for $1,500. This ability to modulate power from side to side at the rear axle improves the Macan’s cornering reflexes, making this already-sharp little crossover even more entertaining. You’ll never feel it working, but you’ll find it easier to keep up with smaller, more powerful sports cars on mountain roads.Going for the GTS gets you the Sport Design exterior treatment, with black-painted exterior accents, LED headlights and a darker tint to the rear taillight bar. Inside, you get sport seats wrapped in leather, though you can have the whole cabin done up in Alcantara suede with Carmine Red stitching as part of the $4,790 GTS Interior Package. Like all Macans, the GTS is plenty comfortable for driver and passenger up front, but the rear seats are awfully small, even by compact SUV measurements.The PCM infotainment tech is new but the rest of the interior is showing its age.
The Macan got a welcome tech upgrade as part of a refresh in 2018 and now runs Porsche’s Communication Management infotainment software on a 10.9-inch touchscreen. PCM continues to impress with its quick responses to inputs, online search tools, bright graphics and reconfigurable home screen. A Wi-Fi hotspot and Apple CarPlay are standard, but Android Auto is still a no-go. Too bad.Look below the touchscreen, though, and you’ll find a sea of controls on the console — a reminder that the Macan is a bit older than Porsche’s other models. Sure, the rows of buttons are clearly labeled and easy to use, they just look outdated, especially compared to the flush, backlit designs of Porsche’s newer products.I’d love to tell you about all of the Macan’s standard driver-assistance features, but as is the case with every Porsche, all the good stuff costs extra and is available a la carte. A surround-view camera is $1,200. You can buy lane-change assist and lane-keeping assist for $700 apiece, or just spend $1,380 and get them as part of a bundle. Adaptive cruise control comes in for an additional $1,170, and if you want freaking keyless entry, that’s an extra $800, too. Sheesh.The Macan is hands-down the best-driving compact luxury SUV.
There are myriad options available for the Macan GTS, so its $73,450 starting price (including $1,350 for destination) is just that: the start. My Carmine Red tester is a German-spec model that Porsche flew over for testing, so I don’t have an exact price for the SUV you see here. Playing around to the best of my ability on Porsche’s configurator, I’m going to guesstimate an as-tested price of $94,000 out the door, give or take a few Benjamins.If you compare price tags, the Macan GTS is sort of a hard sell against competitors like the BMW X3 M40i or Mercedes-AMG GLC43, both of which can be nicely equipped for less than the Porsche’s starting MSRP. But the Macan — especially the GTS — is the best-driving, best-balanced SUV of the bunch and handily punches above its weight. If performance is a priority, you definitely get what you pay for.
Google Home: Two settings to achieve max smart home privacy – CNET
Keep your personal information private by setting up Voice Match on Google Home. Josh Miller/CNET Some things Google Home knows about you are obvious — what music you like, how bad you are at math — because those are the things you rely on it for the most. But Google Home ($130 at QVC) knows a…
Keep your personal information private by setting up Voice Match on Google Home.
Some things Google Home knows about you are obvious — what music you like, how bad you are at math — because those are the things you rely on it for the most. But Google Home ($130 at QVC) knows a lot more about you than you might realize. That’s because your smart home speaker is tied to your Google account, so it’s also connected to a deep well of personal information, like your email address and debit or credit card number. That means privacy and security settings are just as important with Google Home as with your Gmail account.A lot of the same steps you should take to protect your Gmail account, like using a strong password and checking your recovery contact information, will help secure Google Home as well. But you may not know how to get to those settings using the Google Home app, which may be the only Google app you have on your phone or tablet.
Our newsletter sends you the best tips for your Google Home smart speaker.
Here’s how to find and set the two most important privacy and security settings using the Google Home app.Facial recognition technology has come under fire from privacy advocates, but it can also be used to help secure your data.
Secure your privacy with voice or face recognitionWhen you set up a Voice Match profile on Google Home, your smart speakers will listen for your voice and use it like a fingerprint to identify you. That way, only you can check your calendar, add to your shopping list or watch your YouTube playlist on Nest Hub smart displays. Other people can still use Google Home and can even set up voice profiles with their own Google accounts, but only you will have access to your information.That said, turning on Voice Match means possibly giving Google data about what you sound like. Google says that information is stored on your devices themselves and not in the cloud, although it may be “temporarily sent to Google to better identify” you. If you’re not OK with that, this feature is not for you.Here’s how to set up Voice Match with Google Home (the process is the same for Face Match, only it uses your device’s camera and your face rather than its microphone and your voice):1. Open the Google Home app, then tap your personal icon in the upper-right corner, then tap Assistant settings.2. On the horizontal menu bar, tap Assistant and then scroll down and tap Voice Match.3. Tap Add a device. The Google Home app will scan your current Wi-Fi network for compatible devices. Once it does, tap Continue. 4. Under Activate Voice Match on this device tap the box labeled I agree, then scroll to the bottom of the next screen and tap the next box with I agree.5. Follow prompts to teach Google to recognize your voice.Two-factor authentication isn’t foolproof, but it does add a layer of security that makes breaking into your online accounts more difficult.
How to set up two-factor authentication on Google HomeTwo-factor authentication, aka two-step verification, isn’t a completely foolproof means of securing an online account, but it’s miles better than nothing at all. Having two-factor set up on Google Home means if anyone were to try to, say, set up a Google Home smart speaker using your stolen login info, they’d likely be thwarted unless they had also lifted your smartphone. The point is that it won’t hinder nor degrade your experience using Google Home, so there’s really no reason not to set it up.The first thing you need to do is different depending on your phone:Android: make sure you’re signed into the account you use for Google Home by opening Settings, then tap Accounts and then Add Account. Choose Google and sign into your account.iPhone: Download the Gmail app from the App Store, if you don’t already have it, and sign in with the account you use for Google Home, then Allow notifications when promptedTwo-factor authentication won’t impact how you use your Google Home smart speaker once you’ve set it up.
The rest is the same for every phone:1. Open the Google Home app, then tap your personal icon in the upper-right corner, then tap Assistant settings.2. Beneath the You menu, tap Your data in the Assistant then scroll to the very bottom.3. Under More option to manage your privacy, tap the box labeled Google Account.4. Scroll the horizontal menu bar at the top (the one that has Home, Personal info, Data & personalization) over and tap Security.5. Under Signing in to Google, tap Use your phone to sign in. On the next screen tap Set It Up then enter your password and tap Sign in.6. The screen should now say What you need with Your phone (with your phone listed) and Touch ID checked. Tap Next.7. Beneath Try it you should see the email address for your Google Account. Tap the button labeled Next beneath it.8. You should immediately get a notification on your phone asking Trying to sign in? (if you’re on an iPhone this notification will come from the Gmail app). Tap the notification and select Yes.9. If your phone asks if you want to use either facial recognition or fingerprint identification (whichever your phone has) select Yes.10. Go back to the Google Home app, which should now say It worked! Turn it on? and tap the box that says Turn On.Check out our full guide to shoring up your Google Home privacy and security settings here, or our even broader guide to securing your overall Google account here. For email-specific privacy settings, here are four Gmail settings to change right away.