The NFL season is finally here, and we’re making our way into Week 3. With the excitement of opening two weeks now behind us, it’s time to start focusing on the most important part of the 2021 NFL season: figuring out how to watch all the action.As always, paying for cable is usually the easiest solution. But for cord-cutters who want to save some money, NFL football streaming options get a bit more complicated. Your best bet is to subscribe to a live TV streaming service, but the sheer number of channels that carry live games — local CBS, NBC and Fox channels, as well as the national feeds of NFL Network and ESPN — means you’ll either have to get a relatively expensive service or make a compromise and probably miss some games every week.
The only way to get a full football experience is to have a whole litany of channels from your TV provider. Sunday NFC games are largely on Fox, AFC games are on CBS and Sunday night football is on NBC. Monday night football is only on ESPN. Though Fox has most Thursday night games (with additional streaming on Amazon Prime Video), there are several that are available only on NFL Network. With all that in mind, we offer our recommendations for the best way to watch NFL without cable.Read more: YouTube TV vs. Hulu vs. Sling TV vs. Philo vs. FuboTV vs. AT&T TV: 100 channels compared
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Best for everything: YouTube TV ($65)
Our pick from last year remains our go-to choice for 2021. At $65 per month each, FuboTV’s Starter plan, Hulu Plus Live TV and YouTube TV check all the NFL boxes. Local channels CBS, NBC and Fox are included in many markets, as are ESPN and the NFL Network, so you can watch Sundays, Monday night and Thursday night.Want to follow your fantasy team with RedZone? That’s available on all three services as part of an add-on. If you’re a YouTube TV subscriber, you can add the $11 per month Sports Plus add-on by clicking on your profile and going to Settings, then the Membership tab. FuboTV subscribers can go into My Profile and choose Manage Add-ons to get its $11-per-month Sports Plus with NFL RedZone offering. After Hulu added the NFL Network in July, Hulu users can now add RedZone for $10 per month with its Sports add-on. Both YouTube TV and FuboTV allow three people to watch at once (Hulu allows two live streams) and all three have apps on nearly every mobile device and major streaming platform, including Amazon Fire TV, Google TV, Roku and Apple TV. While all three are largely similar, we like YouTube TV for its superior DVR (unlimited storage compared with 250 hours on FuboTV and 50 hours on Hulu) and that it, unlike Fubo, includes the Turner channels. Both YouTube TV and FuboTV will stream Thursday Night Football games in 4K, but only Fubo includes the higher-quality broadcasts with its base package. To watch in 4K on YouTube TV you’ll need to spend another $20 per month. Worth noting: YouTube TV and Hulu are each running promotions that drop their respective $65 monthly prices down to $55 per month for the first three months for new users. This should take you through much of the NFL regular season before the pricing jumps by $10 per month.DirecTV Stream AT&T TV (formerly AT&T TV) offers most of the main broadcast channels, but starts at $70 per month and lacks NFL Network and RedZone. Sling TV’s Orange and Blue plan for $50 a month gets you ESPN and the NFL Network, and, in select major markets, Fox and/or NBC, but you’ll still lack CBS. You can also add RedZone for $15 per month with the Sports Extra add-on. The cheapest way to stream NFL RedZone
A frequent fan-favorite method of following all the NFL action, RedZone is a way to catch every big play around the league. The cheapest road to RedZone is to get Sling TV Blue for $35 per month and add the $11 per month Sports Extra add-on. This option can also be streamed on a host of devices including iOS, Android, Apple TV, Roku, Chromecast, Amazon Fire TV and web browsers. Sling is currently offering a discount on the first month of Sling Blue, dropping the price to $10 for the main package. Note: If you only subscribe to Sling’s Orange package you won’t be able to get RedZone in Sports Extra. Your base package needs to be either Sling Blue or its larger Sling Blue Plus Orange bundle for you to be able to get RedZone as an add-on. If you choose the latter, the Sports Extra add-on is $15 per month as you will also get additional channels like the SEC Network, ACC Network and PAC 12 Network. Budget alternative for NFC fans in big cities: Sling Blue ($35) or an antenna ($10 or free)
Those looking to save some cash might want to check out Sling Blue for $35 a month. While it lacks ESPN, meaning you’ll miss out on Monday Night Football, in select markets you’ll be able to get Fox and NBC. The catch is that those markets are mainly in big cities, so if you live outside one of those areas, Sling Blue might not be for you. You can also add RedZone through the company’s $11 per month Sports Extra add-on. Fox, of course, broadcasts most NFC and Thursday night games (with the others on NFL Network and/or Amazon Prime Video), while NBC has Sunday Night Football. CBS, which broadcasts the bulk of AFC games, isn’t included on Sling at all. But an antenna can fill those local channel gaps.Local and prime-time games will also be available to watch for free on your iOS or Android phone or tablet through the Yahoo Sports app. You cannot, however, cast this feed to your big screen. Budget alternatives for AFC fans: Paramount Plus (or an antenna)
There are some apps that offer CBS’ slate of Sunday AFC games live, including Paramount Plus’ Premium tier for $10 per month. Depending on where you live, however, your local CBS station (and those NFL games) might not be available. CBS offers livestreaming services in many markets; you can check for yourself if your area has live CBS streaming here. An antenna is another option for getting CBS, as is watching on the Yahoo Sports app. And as we mentioned above, an over-the-air antenna connected to your TV provides another free option, no streaming required, as long as you have good reception.Thursday Night Football: NFL Network, Fox, Amazon Prime The 2021 schedule of NFL Network games.
Thursday Night Football is probably the most complicated part of the NFL streaming schedule. Most games will be available on the NFL Network, Fox, Amazon Prime Video and Twitch.A handful of games, however, are also being shown exclusively on the NFL Network, including the Week 5 London game between the Jets and Falcons, and the Week 15 Saturday doubleheader with matchups that are yet to be announced.As mentioned above, if you want the NFL Network you’re going to need FuboTV, Hulu Plus Live TV, Sling TV Blue or YouTube TV or use the Yahoo Sports app.What about Sunday Ticket? NFL Sunday Ticket is still largely limited to DirecTV satellite subscribers, though those who live in buildings that can’t add a satellite dish can get a streaming version to watch football starting at $294 for its To Go package, or $396 for a Max package that includes the RedZone channel (a student version is also available at a discount). You can check your address on the Sunday Ticket site. The problem here, however, is even if you’re eligible it doesn’t include your local games. You can only watch Sunday games that aren’t being broadcast on CBS, Fox or NBC in your area.
For $65 a month, you’ll get all the major football channels with YouTube TV. Plus, RedZone is available for an extra $11 per month. Plug in your ZIP code on YouTube TV’s welcome page to see which local networks are available in your area.
Read our YouTube TV review.
Sling TV’s $35-a-month Blue plan includes NBC, Fox and the NFL Network. Enter your address here to see which local channels are available where you live. Note: This version of Sling TV does not include ESPN. For that, you’ll need to switch to the similarly priced Orange plan or go for the combined $50 per month Orange and Blue bundle. RedZone is also available for an extra $11 per month.
Read our Sling TV review.
Those looking for CBS games will be able to stream them on Paramount Plus with its $10 per month Premium tier. You can check for yourself if your area has live CBS streaming here.
Most Thursday Night games, starting with Week 5 on October 7, will be available on Amazon Prime Video. For millions of Amazon Prime subscribers, the Prime Video channel is already included at no extra cost. But if you’re not a subscriber, it might be worth it to shell out the $9 a month for the stand-alone TV service fee.
Read our Amazon Prime Video review.
Inventing the iPod: How ‘really big risks’ paid off for Apple – CNET
While joining Apple, the world’s most valuable company, seems like a no-brainer today, things were different back in 2001. That’s when CEO Steve Jobs demanded — not asked — that Tony Fadell join the company to create a groundbreaking device. But the man who would go on to invent the iPod initially balked at the…
While joining Apple, the world’s most valuable company, seems like a no-brainer today, things were different back in 2001. That’s when CEO Steve Jobs demanded — not asked — that Tony Fadell join the company to create a groundbreaking device. But the man who would go on to invent the iPod initially balked at the idea. “I was like, ‘whoa whoa,”http://www.cnet.com/” Fadell tells me during a Zoom interview to commemorate the 20th anniversary of the iPod on Oct. 23. “Back then to go to Apple you had to be pretty nuts.”In early 2001 while he was developing his own MP3 player, Fadell was tapped as a consultant by Apple, who asked him to come up with different prototypes for a digital music player that would work with the company’s just announced iTunes software. He clearly made an impression on Jobs. “We’re building this, and you’re now going to join us to build it,” Fadell recalled Jobs saying. Of course, Fadell eventually agreed and led the team that built one of the most significant products in Apple’s history — one that is still available on Apple’s site (albeit in a vastly different form). The iPod turned a company struggling with sales and a tiny sliver of the personal computer market into a consumer electronics powerhouse. It also revolutionized the digital music business, effectively destroying CDs and turning Apple’s iconic white MP3 players, and their ubiquitous white headphones, into a status symbol.Most importantly, much of the early work on the iPod paved the road for the iPhone, Apple’s next groundbreaking product. The iPhone changed virtually everything about how we live and interact with our mobile devices and made Apple, now worth $2.42 trillion, the most valuable company in the world. Fadell, who followed up his iPod success by founding smart home product maker Nest Labs (later acquired by Google), talked me through the “crazy” early days of development on the iPod, why he thinks it succeeded and how it somehow endured the test of time. This is his story. Apple declined to add anything to the story. Just a consulting gigFadell, 52, wore a loose-fitting olive polo shirt and a pair of AirPods Max and spoke animatedly in our video chat. The veteran of Silicon Valley, who had stints at Philips Electronics and Apple spinoff General Magic before taking on the Apple gig, recalled those early days. When Apple executive Jon Rubinstein, who had been tasked with creating a music player, came knocking in early 2001, Fadell was already working on his own startup, Fuse Systems, with the goal of creating a mainstream MP3 player. It was a nascent market, with more than a dozen players from different companies including Creative Labs and RCA. The problem: Sales of the devices, which cost a few hundred dollars apiece, only totaled 500,000 units in 2000, according to the Consumer Electronics Association. Fuse itself faced plenty of rejection. Still, Fadell saw the Apple consulting gig as a chance to keep his own project alive. “I’m going to go in and consult,” he said. “I’ll make some money and keep my company going.”He spent roughly seven weeks researching different options for a digital music player, pulling research from his own company. Ultimately, he built three mockups made of Styrofoam, and used his grandfather’s fishing weights to give them the right amount of heft. At the end of March 2001, he presented them to Steve Jobs. Apple veteran Stan Ng had worked with Fadell to prepare a stack of papers for the presentation — this was before the days of slideshows — and prepared him for both Jobs and his reputation for an explosive temper. “Those stories were ingrained in my brain, burned into my brain, so I’m going in nervous,” Fadell said. Jobs immediately took the stack of papers, riffled through the pages and quickly tossed them aside. “Here’s what I want to do,” Fadell recalled Jobs saying, hijacking the conversation and forcing them to dive right in. Tony Fadell, inventor of the iPod. Composite by Sarah Tew/CNETWhen presenting the models, Fadell did as Ng coached, showing off the worst model first, then the second and, finally, his favorite as the last option. Jobs seized on it immediately.”Steve picked it up and he’s like, ‘we’re building this and you’re now going to join us to build it,’ and I was like ‘whoa whoa,”http://www.cnet.com/” Fadell said. It’s easy to forget that Apple jumping into this market wasn’t a sure-fire bet. The company’s sales, which came from its Mac computers, were on the decline, and Apple had posted a loss of $195 million in the prior quarter. Fadell, who spent the past decade working on devices with “limited success,” wasn’t sure he could go through disappointment again by building an MP3 player no one would buy. No surprise, but Jobs got his way. ‘Holy shit, is this going to work?’After a few weeks of negotiations with Jobs, Fadell joined Apple in April 2001 and assembled a team made up of Fuse and General Magic employees to put together what would become the iPod. The project immediately faced an uphill challenge. The team needed to work with a lot of new components, including a brand new hard drive from Toshiba that Rubinstein, who oversaw the whole project, identified as the key ingredient for the iPod. Other breakthroughs included new software for the user interface and a then-new kind of lithium ion pack, giving the device 10 hours of battery life that far exceeded anything else in the market. They also had to figure out how to put that Toshiba drive — a (now) old-fashioned spinning-disk type, prone to damage if mishandled — into a portable device that would be shoved into pockets, dropped on the ground and thrown onto tables. On top of that, his team had to integrate Apple’s FireWire file transfer technology so people could quickly transfer their songs. “There were a lot of ‘Holy shit, is this going to work?’ kind of moments,” he said. “We really didn’t know.”All Fadell knew was that he had to get this thing out before Christmas 2001. That’s a tall order, considering it takes about 18 months to develop a new smartphone today. Fadell said he really got started in May — with a launch just five months later. “It was nonstop, seven days a week,” he said. Fadell’s team worked with the industrial design group, led by famed Apple designer Jony Ive, to finalize the look of the iPod. Because the next wave of Macs would embrace white and clear plastic, Apple took the same design language and applied it to the iPod. Along the way, Fadell saw two other projects at Apple scrapped, which fueled him to move even faster to finish (he wouldn’t comment on what those projects were). Then came the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks, freezing the nation even as he had to rally the team in that final stretch. “It was absolutely nuts.” That original iPod gave birth to more than a dozen successors. Apple images composited by Sarah Tew/CNETWhen Jobs unveiled the iPod at an Oct. 23 Apple event at its Town Hall amphitheater in Cupertino, California, the device wasn’t technically done, according to Fadell. The software wasn’t finished, and the company hadn’t signed off on the manufacturing plan. But Jobs gave that pre-1.0 version out to the media in attendance, along with the 20 CDs containing the music that was preloaded on the device. After the launch, he and his team went right back to work. (Reporters who got the prerelease iPod were asked to return them a few weeks later when version 1.0 was released to the market.)None of that stopped the iPod from garnering massive critical praise for its fresh design and innovative scroll wheel. (“Early observers thought it was a speaker,” Fadell mused.) But after the Mac faithful gobbled it up, the iPod, well, hit a sour note. “After that, it was dead,” Fadell said. The secret to the iPod’s successThat may have been Fadell being a bit melodramatic — Apple reportedly sold 125,000 units in that initial holiday stretch — but those sales weren’t going to turn the company around. The willingness to keep going was the critical part of a heart-to-heart conversation Fadell had with Jobs that convinced him to join the company.Fadell asked Apple’s visionary leader if he was willing to go the distance with the iPod, not just investing in this first unit, but to commit to a family of products. Fadell had been through enough scenarios in which a company cancels the first product nine months in because it didn’t want to invest in the next one. In Fadell’s mind, it took three generations to get the ball rolling. “A lot of people stop midway through the journey, and I wanted to make sure we weren’t going to do that,” he said. Jobs told Fadell he was going to throw marketing dollars at the iPod, pulling resources from its core Mac business. And even though sales of the original iPod and the follow-up version didn’t light any fires, Jobs followed through. “He held up his side of the business, and the rest is history,” he said. It wasn’t until the iPod hit its third generation in 2003, complete with a sleek redesign, that it began to take off as a mass market phenomenon. Fadell said he and Jobs continually pushed each other to take each version further, and he noted that Apple had become the largest consumer of NAND flash memory when the iPod Nano came out. Steve Jobs introducing the third-generation iPod. Getty Images”We had this cycle, this heartbeat, every 12 months,” he said. “We took some really big risks to hit it again and again. We weren’t playing it safe. We never rested on our laurels.”The iPod also got another boost in April 2003, when Apple launched the iTunes Music Store, giving people a way to buy music from a catalog of 200,000 digital songs rather than having to rip their own CDs. There had been other digital music players before, but the iPod changed everything. It not only legitimized the category, it absolutely dominated it with more than 80% of the market. Along the way, Apple showed off its marketing prowess and created iconic ads (remember the iPod silhouette commercials?) to pitch the music and its player. Jobs also paired up with rock band U2 in 2004 on a special-edition, black and red version of the iPod with Bono and The Edge on hand for the introduction. The original iPod. Connie Guglielmo/CNETBy 2007, a little more than five years after that original launch, Apple sold its 100 millionth iPod. The business peaked in 2008 with sales of 54.8 million units, according to Statista. Fadell was involved with 18 iterations of the iPod. By 2005, Fadell said Apple was already looking at the competitive threat of cellphones, which started packing in music players and cameras. His team played with prototypes that included a full-screen iPod with a virtual click wheel and that essentially combined an iPod Classic and its wheel with a phone. The Mac team had separately built a massive capacitive touchscreen the size of a pingpong table. Fadell said a mashup of all three eventually led to the iPhone, which was introduced in 2007.And Apple changed the world of technology again. Time machineApple still sells an iPod — a $199 iPod Touch that looks more like an iPhone than that original music player — which stands as a testament to its longevity. Fadell, who had a hand in both the iPod Touch and the first three generations of the iPhone, left Apple in 2008, and in 2010 started Nest, which four years later he sold to Google for $3.2 billion. Today, he serves as principal at Future Shape, an advisory and investment firm that works with engineers on different facets of technology. Fadell, then CEO of Nest Labs, speaking at LeWeb 2013. Stephen Shankland/CNETFadell occasionally goes back to his old iPod. It’s loaded with ’90s and early 2000s alternative music, songs from the Seattle grunge scene, and The White Stripes, who hail from his hometown of Detroit and broke out around that time. Fittingly, it’s a sort of monument to that crazy stretch when he and his team scrambled to build a product that was largely intended to serve the iTunes software, but ended up revolutionizing a market and supercharging Apple’s place in the tech world. “It’s a window of time of my music library, and so you leave it that way,” he said. “You kind of jack in and you’re like, ‘I’m just right back to early 2000s music.’ It’s kind of like a really great mixtape.”
Scrutiny of Facebook ramps up with flurry of new reports based on leaked documents – CNET
James Martin/CNET The critical spotlight on Facebook intensified this weekend, as several major media outlets published new reports based on the cache of internal company documents leaked by former Facebook employee Frances Haugen.On Saturday, both The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal published stories about misinformation and hate speech on Facebook services in India, the…
The critical spotlight on Facebook intensified this weekend, as several major media outlets published new reports based on the cache of internal company documents leaked by former Facebook employee Frances Haugen.On Saturday, both The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal published stories about misinformation and hate speech on Facebook services in India, the company’s largest market. And The Washington Post reported on concern among Facebook employees about the role the site played in the spread of misinformation that helped fuel the deadly Jan. 6 storming of the US Capitol.
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The Post’s report followed stories on Friday by Bloomberg and NBC News that also focused on the spread of misinformation on Facebook in the US, and those reports came on top of similar Friday stories in the Journal and the Times.In its story about the social network and India, the Times reports that in February 2019, a Facebook researcher opened a new user account in Kerala, India, to get an idea of what site users there would see. The researcher followed the recommendations generated by the social network’s algorithms to watch videos, check out new pages and join groups on Facebook. “The test user’s News Feed has become a near constant barrage of polarizing nationalist content, misinformation, violence and gore,” an internal Facebook report said later that month, according to the Times.That echoes the findings of a similar 2019 project conducted by a Facebook researcher in the US, who set up a test account for “Carol Smith,” a fictitious “conservative mom” in North Carolina. In two days, NBC News reported, the social network was recommending that she join groups dedicated to the bogus QAnon conspiracy theory. According to NBC, the experiment was outlined in an internal Facebook report called “Carol’s Journey to QAnon,” a document also referenced by the Times, the Journal and the Post.
“The body of research consistently found Facebook pushed some users into ‘rabbit holes,’ increasingly narrow echo chambers where violent conspiracy theories thrived,” the NBC News report reads. “People radicalized through these rabbit holes make up a small slice of total users, but at Facebook’s scale, that can mean millions of individuals.”The flurry of new reports based on documents leaked by Haugen follows an earlier investigation in the Journal that relied on that same cache of information. The new stories also come after Haugen’s testimony this month before the US Congress as lawmakers in the US and elsewhere wrestle with whether to regulate Facebook and other Big Tech companies, and if so, how. Haugen is scheduled to testify before the UK Parliament on Monday.In a broad sense, the issue has to do with whether Facebook can be relied on to responsibly balance business motives with social concerns and do away with the flood of dangerous content that has spread on its various social-networking platforms. The company’s algorithms drive user engagement, but they can also create problems when it comes to misinformation, hate speech and the like. The issue is complicated by the need to respect free speech while cracking down on problematic posts.Critics say Facebook has already dropped the ball too many times when it comes to policing its platforms and that the company puts profits ahead of people. In her testimony before the US Congress, Haugen alleged that Facebook’s products “harm children, stoke division and weaken our democracy.”Facebook, on the other hand, has said that internal documents are being misrepresented and that a “false picture” is being painted of the social-networking giant. “I’m sure many of you have found the recent coverage hard to read because it just doesn’t reflect the company we know,” CEO Mark Zuckerberg wrote in an email to employees earlier this month. “We care deeply about issues like safety, well-being and mental health.”Facebook didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment Saturday on the new batch of reports based on documents leaked by Haugen. In a Friday blog post, the head of Facebook’s integrity efforts defended the company’s actions to protect the 2020 US presidential elections and outlined the steps taken by the social network.In regard to the Times’ report about India, a Facebook spokesman told the news outlet that the social network had put significant resources into technology designed to root out hate speech in various languages, including Hindi and Bengali, and that this year, Facebook had halved the amount of hate speech that users see worldwide.In regard to its “Carol’s Journey to QAnon” report, a Facebook spokesperson told NBC News that the document points to the company’s efforts to solve problems around dangerous content. “While this was a study of one hypothetical user, it is a perfect example of research the company does to improve our systems and helped inform our decision to remove QAnon from the platform,” the spokesperson told the news outlet.
Surface Duo 2 camera testing: See how Microsoft’s new foldable phone takes photos – CNET
1 of 12 Lisa Eadicicco/CNET The Surface Duo 2 comes with a triple-lens camera, unlike the first model which only had a single-lens camera. As a result, the Surface Duo 2 takes crisp and clear photos. But in my testing I’ve found that they’re usually not as well-lit and colorful as photos taken on phones…
1 of 12 Lisa Eadicicco/CNET The Surface Duo 2 comes with a triple-lens camera, unlike the first model which only had a single-lens camera. As a result, the Surface Duo 2 takes crisp and clear photos. But in my testing I’ve found that they’re usually not as well-lit and colorful as photos taken on phones like the iPhone 13 Pro Max and Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 3. 2 of 12 Lisa Eadicicco/CNET The triple-lens camera consists of a 12-megapixel wide lens, 12-megapixel telephoto lens, and a 16-megapixel ultra-wide lens. This photo was taken with the wide lens. 3 of 12 Lisa Eadicicco/CNET Here’s an image taken with the ultrawide-angle lens. It’s clear and detailed, but the sky in the background is a bit dark. 4 of 12 Lisa Eadicicco/CNET Here’s a photo taken with the telephoto lens. You can clearly see the text on the bar sign, but the green color in the banner is a little washed-out compared to the same photo taken on the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 3 and iPhone 13 Pro. 5 of 12 Lisa Eadicicco/CNET The Surface Duo 2’s 12-megapixel selfie camera gets the job done, but I noticed the color of my hair wasn’t as vibrant in this photo as it was in the image I took on the iPhone 13 Pro Max and Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 3. 6 of 12 Lisa Eadicicco/CNET Here’s another example of the standard 12-megapixel wide camera in action. 7 of 12 Lisa Eadicicco/CNET The Surface Duo 2 managed to snap a colorful photo of this red bicycle in my neighborhood. 8 of 12 Lisa Eadicicco/CNET Like many of today’s phones, the Surface Duo 2 also has portrait mode. This photography setting blurs the background to make the subject appear sharp. 9 of 12 Lisa Eadicicco/CNET Here’s another photo taken with the Surface Duo 2’s zoom lens. Keep scrolling to see a few more examples of photos taken on the standard wide lens. 10 of 12 Lisa Eadicicco/CNET 11 of 12 Lisa Eadicicco/CNET 12 of 12 Lisa Eadicicco/CNET