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I won the PS5 restock fight — here's how I beat the bots – Tom's Guide

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I’d given up on the PS5 restocks, I even blogged about it. I thought I didn’t need a PS5. I was okay with the consoles and games I already had. But then, I came back to the hunt for PS5s and I found it to be just as difficult as ever. 

This past Thursday I finally succeeded in buying a PS5. And since I won with a collection of tricks I’d learned to help game the system, I’m confident that I can help others pull off the same feat. It may not work the first time, but I’m now certain that by implementing the following strategy, it will greatly increase the chances for those still looking.

But before I break down how I got a PS5, I’ll take a moment to go over why I gave in to the hunt. I enjoyed playing Control on my Xbox One X, but the performance on Microsoft’s last-gen system proved to be inconsistent and stuttery. I accepted this until I heard I’d get Control Ultimate Edition on PS5 for free via PS+. Seeing how much ray tracing and other optimizations made it look, I gained a greater desire to own a PS5, and to make it happen soon. 

Then there’s the matter of Resident Evil Village, set to launch in May. At the moment, it’s the game I’m most hyped for, and my fervor makes me want to play it at optimal settings and performance. We know that RE8 will probably look good on PS4 (RE7 is proof enough of that), but when the next Resident Evil game became the biggest game of 2021 for me, my priorities adjusted.

You will probably fail at first (avoid bad bundles)

Annoyingly, my hunt began with so many fails I thought I had signed to the Knicks. Hours were lost trying to buy a PS5 from the likes of Walmart, Target and Gamestop. 

I even had a chance to buy a PS5 bundle from Gamestop, but it was too expensive at $718, a more than $200 addition. Sure, I wanted to try Spider-Man: Miles Morales at some point, but do I need a second controller? No. Do I need a $20 GameStop gift card? No. 

So, I steeled myself to wait it out, and kept trying. Luckily, trying to get my mom a Covid-19 vaccine helped hone my skills in securing hot-ticket items online.

1. Make sure your store accounts are up to date

You have an account at all the retailers — including Walmart,  Best Buy and Target, right? Well, it’s time to login and ensure your billing and shipping is up-to-date. Because if and when you get to the checkout cart, you don’t want to waste time entering billing information. 

Your PS5 or Xbox could just as simply get snapped away as some stores don’t “reserve” it after it’s added to cart. It could even disappear before or during checkout — as happened to me dozens of times with Best Buy.

2. Get notifications to know when PS5 restocks happen

Getting a jump-start on the competition, like a sprinter getting the best foot forward in a race, is key. Primarily, you’ll want to have a twitter account to follow the likes of the official Sony Twitter account, as well as third-party tweeters including @PS5StockAlerts@GYXdeals and @Wario64

Turn on notifications, and watch for the alerts to come in. These accounts tend to post the details early enough, but a lot of people are looking at those accounts. Just note that Wario64 posts about a lot more than PS5 restocks, so you may not want notifications for that account, which could get spammy. 

The other half is to partner up with friends who are also on the hunt. No, you don’t need insiders helping you out. But if you have friends to text you or message you — one of my colleagues saw the Sony Direct PS5 queue was starting and let us all know — you’ve got a good shot too. 

I got to the Sony Direct site 20 minutes before the site’s countdown to availability ended, which is the key trick to its sales. If you’re reading the site and there’s no countdown of minutes and seconds until they open up, you’re probably too late.

3. It’s time to play the game of beating the system

You can give yourself more than one chance, though, depending on the online retailer. This is likely the biggest reason why I got my win. I opened Sony Direct in as many concurrent ways as possible: Chrome and Safari on both my work and personal laptops, and Safari on my iPhone. 

Each extra browser gave me an extra lotto ticket. The only price was that I had to split my attention five ways. This may feel like cheating, but let’s be honest, you manually doing this with a fistful of browsers to get one PS5 for yourself is a lot more ethical that the folks using bots to snatch them up to flip for profit.

(Image credit: Henry T. Casey/Tom’s Guide)

It’s all fair in love and PS5 restocks, or at least that’s what I told myself. My colleague Matt Swider at Tech Radar has become something of a PS5 restock legend on Twitter, and confirms you should use multiple devices and not many tabs in the same browser for Sony Direct.

While I failed to get a PS5 at Target or Best Buy, know that buying the console works differently on each of these sites. You’ll want to keep the same Best Buy tab open in each browser, and refreshing the page does you no good. It’s best to refresh at Target, though. Those in big cities may find these retailers the hardest to buy from, as you’ve got larger groups competing at the same location. Unfortunately, it seems both Target and Best Buy are limiting orders to local pickup. 

4. Keep your eyes on the screens

Next, I made sure to fill my screens with the Sony Direct store tabs, putting life on the back-burner for the moment. I then adjusted settings to ensure my screens stayed on, even if I wasn’t actively using them. 

This may be overkill, but it’s one of the steps I did, and it makes it easier to view multiple devices at once. By default, your screens will dim, and you might not notice a possible win in front of you.

On Windows 10: 

  1. Search “power options” in the Start menu or Cortana. 
  2. Click “Choose when to turn off the display.” 
  3. Select “Change advanced power settings.” 
  4. Select Display.
  5. Select Enable Adaptive Brightness. 
  6. Set On Battery and Plugged In to Off.

On macOS:

  1. Hit Command+Space to open Spotlight search.
  2. Type in “System Preferences.”
  3. Open System Preferences.
  4. Select Energy Saver (most macOS versions) or Battery (on Big Sur).
  5. Under Battery and Power Adapter, drag the Display Sleep (or “Turn display off after”) needle to Never.
  6. If you’re on Big Sur and selected Battery: uncheck the box for “Slightly dim the display while on battery power” under Battery.

On iOS:

  1. Open Settings.
  2. Tap Display & Brightness.
  3. Tap Auto-Lock.
  4. Select Never.

Rules for Android differ by manufacturer, but look in your Settings app and disable screen timeout, power saving mode and adaptive brightness.

5. Look for the right signs and move fast

I knew something was different this time. That’s because the Sony Direct store on my iPhone showed an estimated wait time of 23 minutes while all of the other instances of Sony Direct had no ETA or “more than an hour.” This is when I performed step 4 on my iPhone, making sure its screen stayed aglow. 

Waiting for the progress bar to fill, I was primed and ready. I had my password manager unlocked because I’d have to re-sign into Sony Direct, which also meant I had easy access to my billing information in case I’d need to reconfirm anything.

PS5 restock hunting at Sony Direct — this is what you want to see

This is what you want to see. (Image credit: Henry T. Casey/Tom’s Guide)

And then the yellow bar filled entirely, and I had my moment. I speedily logged into the site — you have to click the top left menu bar and tap Sign In — and then added the PS5 to my cart. 

Here, I admittedly made one mistake. I thought about buying more than the console. Sony looks to make extra sales by offering free shipping if you buy $60 in accessories. After that brief moment had passed in my head, I realized I would actually get free expedited 1-2 business day shipping, thanks to my PS+ account. 

And then I checked out and got my confirmation email. That’s how I got my PS5, and with these tips, and some good fortune, I think you’ve got a puncher’s chance of joining me and the rest of the lucky souls who got one too.

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Canada’s Telesat takes on Musk and Bezos in space race to provide fast broadband

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By Steve Scherer

OTTAWA (Reuters) – Canada’s Telesat is racing to launch a low-earth-orbit (LEO) satellite constellation to provide high-speed global broadband from space, pitting the satellite communications firm founded in 1969 against two trailblazing billionaires, Elon Musk and Jeff Bezos.

Musk, the Tesla Inc CEO who was only a year old when Telesat launched its first satellite, is putting the so-called Starlink LEO into orbit with his company SpaceX, and Amazon.com Inc, which Bezos founded, is planning a LEO called Project Kuiper. Bezos also owns Blue Origin, which builds rockets.

Despite the competition, Dan Goldberg, Telesat’s chief executive officer, voices confidence when he calls Telesat’s LEO constellation “the Holy Grail” for his shareholders – “a sustainable competitive advantage in global broadband delivery.”

Telesat’s LEO has a much lighter price tag than SpaceX and Amazon’s, and the company has been in satellite services decades longer. In addition, instead of focusing on the consumer market like SpaceX and Amazon, Telesat seeks deep-pocketed business clients.

Goldberg said he was literally losing sleep six years ago when he realized the company’s business model was in peril as Netflix and video streaming took off and fiber optics guaranteed lightning-fast internet connectivity.

Telesat’s 15 geostationary (GEO) satellites provide services mainly to TV broadcasters, internet service providers and government networks, all of whom were growing increasingly worried about the latency, or time delay, of bouncing signals off orbiters more than 35,000 km (22,200 miles) above earth.

Then in 2015 on a flight home from a Paris industry conference where latency was a constant theme, Goldberg wrote down his initial ideas for a LEO constellation on an Air Canada napkin.

Those ideas eventually led to Telesat’s LEO constellation, dubbed Lightspeed, which will orbit about 35 times closer to earth than GEO satellites, and will provide internet connectivity at a speed akin to fiber optics.

Telesat’s first launch is planned in early 2023, while there are already some 1,200 of Musk’s Starlink satellites in orbit.

“Starlink is going to be in service much sooner … and that gives SpaceX the opportunity to win customers,” said Caleb Henry, a senior analyst at Quilty Analytics.

Starlink’s “first mover” advantage is at most 24 months and “no one’s going to lock this whole market up in that amount of time,” Goldberg said.

Telesat in 2019 signed a launch deal with Bezos’ aerospace company Blue Origin. Discussions are ongoing with three others, said David Wendling, Telesat’s chief technical officer.

They are Japan’s Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Ltd, Europe’s ArianeGroup , and Musk’s SpaceX, which launches the Starlink satellites. Wendling said a decision would be taken in a matter of months.

Telesat aims to launch its first batch of 298 satellites being built by Thales Alenia Space in early 2023, with partial service in higher latitudes later that same year, and full global service in 2024.

‘SWEET SPOT’

The Lightspeed constellation is estimated to cost half as much as the $10 billion SpaceX and Amazon projects.

“We think we’re in the sweet spot,” Goldberg said. “When we look at some of these other constellations, we don’t get it.”

Analyst Henry said Telesat’s focus on business clients is the right one.

“You have two heavyweight players, SpaceX and Amazon, that are already pledging to spend $10 billion on satellite constellations optimized for the consumer market,” he said. “If Telesat can spend half that amount creating a high-performance system for businesses, then yeah, they stand to be very competitive.”

Telesat’s industry experience may also provide an edge.

“We’ve worked with many of these customers for decades … That’s going to give us a real advantage,” Goldberg said.

Telesat “is a satellite operator, has been a satellite operator, and has both the advantage of expertise and experience in that business,” said Carissa Christensen, chief executive officer of the research firm BryceTech, adding, however, that she sees only two to three LEO constellations surviving.

Telesat is nailing down financing – one-third equity and two-thirds debt – and will become publicly traded on the Nasdaq sometime this summer, and it could also list on the Toronto exchange after that. Currently, Canada’s Public Sector Pension Investment Board and Loral Space & Communications Inc are the company’s main shareholders.

France and Canada’s export credit agencies, BPI and EDC respectively, are expected to be the main lenders, Goldberg said. Quebec’s provincial government is lending C$400 million ($317 million), and Canada’s federal government has promised C$600 million to be a preferred customer. The company also posted C$246 million in net income in 2020.

Executing the LEO plan is what keeps Goldberg up at night now, he said.

“When we decided to go down this path, the two richest people in the universe weren’t focused on their own LEO constellations.”

($1 = 1.2622 Canadian dollars)

(Reporting by Steve Scherer in Ottawa; Editing by Matthew Lewis)

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$600K donation to boost online mental health programming in Nova Scotia

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Nova Scotia Health’s mental health and addictions program hopes to offer more online support to people across the province after receiving a significant donation this week.

The QEII Foundation announced that RBC is contributing $600,000 toward the province’s e-mental health programming.

“It’s particularly important for the current time under all the strains of COVID,” said Dr. Andrew Harris, a psychiatrist and the senior medical director for the program.

The plan for online programming has been in the works for years, he said, but the pandemic expedited the push. Last June, the department launched a number of applications that can be used to help those with anxiety, depression and addictions.

Since then, as many as 3,000 Nova Scotians have used the site to access mental health services.

“There’s a persistent difficulty in accessing services,” Harris said of traditional models in Nova Scotia. He said those who don’t need intensive therapy may find the support they need through the online programs.

He uses the example of someone who can’t take time off work to speak to a clinician.

“It’s better for them to be able to access a service after hours or on the weekend. So our e-mental health services are tailored a little bit to meet that need.”

Calls to crisis line increase

Harris said the province’s mental health crisis line continues to see a 30 per cent increase in calls for help, so he’s trying to raise awareness that services can be accessed immediately online.

“I think everyone is aware that for a lot of people it’s much easier to talk about a physical illness than a mental illness. So there’s an allowance there for privacy, for some anonymity but still making available things that can help the person who is struggling in the community.”

The online portal has a list of programs that people can use, covering things like reducing stress, solving problems and becoming mindful. It mirrors a site in Newfoundland and Labrador that Harris said is used to help people in remote areas.

Harris said the donation from RBC will be used to continue to evaluate more services, and pay for the licensing of the products that are mostly developed by other organizations.

He encourages anyone who is struggling to test out the site, and use it as an entry point into the mental health system.

“It’s important for people to acknowledge when they’re struggling. It happens to all of us through our lives in different times.”

Anyone in Nova Scotia looking to access the tools can visit: https://mha.nshealth.ca.

Source:- CBC.ca

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Samsung’s cheapest 5G Galaxy phones yet are launching this month

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Samsung

If you buy through our links, we may earn money from affiliate partners. Learn more.

  • Samsung is launching five new phones in its Galaxy A series this month.
  • Three of them will support 5G connectivity, and the most expensive phone is just $500.
  • The cheapest phone of the five still has three cameras but lacks 5G and other features.
  • See more buying advice on the Insider Reviews homepage.

Samsung may be best known for its high-end Galaxy S phones that rival the iPhone. But the tech giant is proving that it can appeal to cost-conscious customers with the launch of five new smartphones in the United States, the priciest of which only costs $500.

Samsung’s new lineup of budget phones, which debuted in other markets before coming to the US, are all launching this month. Some of them will be released as soon as this week, while the least expensive model will debut on April 29. The launch comes as competitors like Apple and Google have also been focusing on cheaper smartphones to boost sales.

Three of these new Samsung devices also support 5G, another sign that shoppers no longer have to pay a premium to get access to next-generation wireless networks. All five of the new phones also have the traditional headphone jack for wired listening and run on an octa-core processor.

Here’s a look at the new Samsung Galaxy A series phones that will be launching soon.

Samsung Galaxy A52 5G

Galaxy A52 5G_Awesome Black_Front_Back



Samsung

  • Release date: April 9
  • Price: $499.99

The Galaxy A52 5G is the most expensive smartphone of the bunch. It comes with a 6.5-inch FHD+ screen and a quad-camera system that includes some of the same features as Samsung’s more expensive Galaxy S phones. These include Single Take, which creates several different photos or video clips with different effects with a single press of the shutter button.

Its screen can also boost its refresh rate up to 120Hz for smoother scrolling and performance, a feature that has become common on pricier flagship phones but is rare on cheaper models. It’s also the only phone in this A-series lineup to include Samsung’s notch-free screen design.

Samsung Galaxy A42 5G

Galaxy A42 5G_Prism Dot Black_Front_Back



Samsung

  • Release date: April 8
  • Price: $399.99

The less expensive Galaxy A42 5G has a slightly larger screen than the A52 5G, but scales back on certain features when it comes to the camera and screen refresh rate.

Still, it has a triple-lens camera with high-resolution sensors, and like its pricier sibling it also supports Single Take.

Samsung Galaxy A32 5G

GalaxyA32 5G_Awesome Black_Front



Samsung

Release date: April 9

Price: $279.99

The Galaxy A32 5G is Samsung’s cheapest 5G smartphone to date. It has a large 6.5-inch screen, but it’s made from an LCD panel instead of Super AMOLED. That means it will likely lack some of the contrast and boldness of Samsung’s other devices. But Samsung hasn’t skimped on the camera considering this model has a quad-lens main camera, which is rare if not unheard of at that price.

Samsung Galaxy A12

Galaxy A12_Black_Back



Samsung

Release date: April 9

Price: $179.99

Samsung’s Galaxy A12 doesn’t come with 5G support, but it still gives you a lot for the price. For less than $200, you’re getting a quad-lens camera and a large 6.5-inch LCD screen. But remember this phone only has 32GB of storage, so it’s best suited for those who don’t store a lot of photos and videos on their device.

Samsung Galaxy A02s

Galaxy A02s_Black_Front



Samsung

  • Release date: April 29
  • Price: $109.99

The Galaxy A02s is Samsung’s cheapest phone, offering a 6.5-inch LCD screen and three main cameras. It doesn’t have 5G support or as much computing power or camera prowess as Samsung’s other A-series phones, but that’s to be expected for a device at this price. This phone is truly for those who just need the basics and little else.

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Source:- Business Insider

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