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2023 Lexus NX delivers new plug-in hybrid and an overdue dash tech treat
The second-generation 2023 Lexus NX is debuting with an updated face, a fresh interior, and a new plug-in hybrid model. The latest Lexus NX now gains athletic styling cues from its larger RX brethren and is better suited to outclass other competitors like the Mercedes-Benz GLB, Infiniti QX50, and Acura RDX.
The NX is Lexus’ second best-selling model after the RX, so the Japanese carmaker isn’t fooling around with its small premium crossover. It still has the brand’s infamous spindle grille flanked by slimmer headlights and redesigned LED running lights. At the rear, the newest NX has a bold LEXUS script across the tailgate. The taillights now feature a light bar that spans the width of the tailgate.
The 2023 Lexus NX is available in four powertrain choices. The base NX250 has a naturally-aspirated 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine from the Toyota RAV4, pumping out 203 horsepower and 184 pound-feet of torque. Front-wheel drive is standard, but all-wheel-drive remains optional. Both drivetrains receive an eight-speed automatic transmission.
Meanwhile, the NX350 has a turbocharged 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine pumping out 275 horsepower and 317 pound-feet of torque, making it more potent than the outgoing NX300. Equipped with an eight-speed automatic gearbox, Lexus claims zero to 60 mph in 6.8-seconds.
Meanwhile, the NX450h has a 2.5-liter four-cylinder gasoline engine and two electric motors producing a combined output of 239 horsepower, around 20 more horses than a comparable Toyota RAV4 Hybrid. It goes from zero to 60 mph in 7.2-seconds and achieves 36 mpg.
However, the crème of the crop is the NX450h+ PHEV. Equipped with the hybrid powertrain from the Toyota RAV4 Prime, the NX450h+ has 302 horsepower and an all-electric range of 36 miles, around six miles less than in a RAV4 Prime. Nevertheless, we’re expecting the NX450h+ to be pleasantly quick, with Lexus claiming zero to 60 mph in only six seconds.
In terms of charging, the NX450h+ has a standard 3.3 kW onboard charger to replenish the batteries in 4.5-hours. The optional 6.6 kW charger reduces the charging time to around 2.5-hours.
Of course, Lexus is offering an F Sport Package for the NX350 and NX450h+. It consists of darker exterior trim, including gloss black 20-inch wheels, new front and rear bumpers, adaptive suspension, and body-color fender trims. Other options include heated rear seats, a panoramic sunroof, and upgraded driving aids.
Safety-wise, the 2023 Lexus NX comes standard with Lexus Safety System+ 3.0, a comprehensive array of driving assist features built upon the outgoing model’s Safety System+ 2.0. It still has blind-spot monitoring, rear-cross traffic alert, adaptive cruise control, and forward collision warning. But now, it also gets risk avoidance emergency steer assist, an upgraded radar cruise control system with curve speed management, and left-turn vehicle detection with a new pedestrian detection system that works on both sides of the vehicle.
Pricing remains unannounced, but expect to pay a bit more for the 2023 Lexus NX when it arrives at dealerships this fall. The outgoing Lexus NX has base prices at around $38,700 for the base FWD model, and about $41,200 for the NX300.
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Tristan Rayner / Android Authority
👋 Good morning! Nothing quite like a cozy sleep while there’s a bit of a storm outside, eh?
Delivering on a promise
A couple of days ago I linked to a paywalled piece about delivery drones: the short story being with the FAA on board through evolving (and less dense) regulation, deliveries by drone are picking up.
Drone deliveries were a sort of talking point in the mid-2010s. I think a lot of people either watched or heard about Amazon doing this via 60 Minutes in 2013, as promised packages would hit your door at rapid speed.
The Amazon Prime Air video, where the first full customer delivery happened in December 2023, which Jeff Bezos tweeted, was a big moment as well which felt like progress.
Then came the inevitable desert of drone deliveries: the hype was too big, things were slow. A 2023 pitch by Amazon executive Jeff Wilke said drone deliveries would happen “within months.”
A grim picture was painted by Wiredin 2023 about Amazon’s Prime Air struggles in the UK.
But things are happening:
The latest is that Wing, a real, active drone-delivery service that’s part of Alphabet and has been active in Australia and Finland, is launching a new run in the Dallas-Fort Worth area via Walgreens:
“Walgreens … will stage deliveries from a store parking lot in the town of Little Elm, Texas. Using Wing’s drone-delivery app, customers will be able to select from 100 items, including over-the-counter medicines and household essentials, a Walgreens spokesperson said.”
Deliveries are via a rope and hook system: The Wing drones speed along at 65mph, carrying up to 3.3 pounds of goods. A person attaches the delivery box to the drone hook, the drone reels it in, and then lowers packages to the ground for pickup in the same way.
It’s great that getting prescriptions, for example, can happen rapidly and easily, and pet prescriptions are possible via non-Walgreens options via Wing.
There’s a mention of getting ice cream too, which is true 2023 living.
The thing about drones is that they’re not really in cities, but more regional and rural areas, a reverse of usual tech trends.
The likes of Zipline have been buzzing in medicine to places like Kenya and North Carolina, vaccines to Ghana, and Walmart goods to Arkansas.
Manna does 2,000-3,000 daily flights in Ireland.
There’s plenty more, but the general sense is that there are a bunch of places where these drones are entirely normal.
But the FAA requires pilot oversight, and built-up cities aren’t part of operations yet, meaning the vast majority of people are wondering where their drones are at.Roundup
Rita El Khoury / Android Authority
This is clever: The New York Times has a new WordleBot, which will give you some welcome feedback on your strategy/passive-aggressively insult your strategy.
The idea: “I’ll examine your puzzle and tell you what, if anything, I would have done differently.”
So in short, you complete the Wordle as you would normally, then open up the Wordle bot page for some feedback.
The people at Mashable are upset by this which I enjoy:
“My coworker, Mashable Australia editor Caitlin Welsh was equally offended by such a rigid approach to strategy, not because she made a bad guess, but because she did in fact have a strategy, and WordleBot was just too ignorant to see it. ‘Sorry WordleBot,’ she said, ‘my third guess today did exactly what I intended it to, which was confirm letter placement? It was not ‘wasted!’”
Tristan Rayner, Senior Editor.
For corporate IT teams and work-from-home desk jockeys alike, there’s no question that anyone who needs a monitor to do their job — and doesn’t have time or budget to waste — needs a monitor with USB-C connections. With ports built directly into the monitor, this technology supports staff by cleaning up workstations, reducing support requests and lowering the overall capital cost of business computing equipment.
With full USB-C support, employees can sit down with their laptop and connect a single cable to find everything they need to be productive. External USB hubs and docking stations are no longer necessary. For peripherals like an external USB-C keyboard, mouse, printer, hard drive, power adapter “brick” and a video signal cable, instead of the usual tangle of USB cables, one USB-C cable to monitor connection handles everything — including powering the laptop, which is especially useful in home office setups.Growing usage and adoption
USB-C is gradually replacing older USB types, including USB-A, USB-B and USB Mini-B ports that have been around for more than a decade and don’t offer the same capabilities or data transfer speeds.The complete guide to USB Type-C
Learn how to clear desk space, streamline workflow and save time and money with USB-C connectors. Download Now
USB-C is the connector type; USB 3.1 is a broad technology standard. The Thunderbolt 3.0 standard developed by Intel also uses USB-C ports but supports much higher data transfer speeds than USB 3.1.Increasing benefits
Simplified connections, with a standard reversible connector that can never plug into a jack the wrong way
Handles multiple duties from one monitor port, connecting peripherals like the USB-C keyboard, mouse, backup drives and printers, all plugged into the monitor instead of the laptop
Quick charging that doesn’t require a bulky external power supply and cord
Universal compatibility, meaning a USB-C monitor can power and charge any laptop equipped with USB-C
Higher data transfer rates for tasks like external hard drive backups (conventional USB has a transfer rate of up to 10Gbps, while USB-C enables transfers as fast 40Gbps using Thunderbolt)
For users, that means quick and easy connections, and no more worry or hassle to keep their laptop charged. IT teams also welcome technologies that simplify usage and remove potential points of docking failure. USB-C offers unprecedented versatility, packing more desktop capabilities into a single no-nonsense connector.Building a modern workspace
For most desktop support teams in a corporate environment, at least part of their day-to-day job involves running around helping staffers set up their workstations and meeting spaces. When someone loses a cable, needs a different docking station or doesn’t have the right monitor connector, the IT team is the first to be contacted.
To minimize support time, some IT teams are investing in expensive docking stations that make it easier for people to connect a laptop to a monitor. But at many organizations, these docks need to support multiple laptops and hardware types. In meeting rooms, these docking stations need to be equipped with multiple types of signal cables and adapter dongles, to minimize IT support requests for monitor connection issues. Now consider this type of IT snafu with an employee working from home who, at best, has direct communication channels set up through a messaging app to contact their support team. There the employee sits, several cables spread out on their desk, with a laptop and monitor that won’t connect to each other.
A USB-C monitor removes all the headaches for workers who just need to plug in and get to work. The monitor becomes the hub, and employees can connect their USB-C-ready laptop no matter where they are — and, with access to a keyboard and mouse, be ready to work.
Investing in monitors with built-in USB-C support, such as Samsung’s new S40UA, provides an easy upgrade path as business laptops go through their refresh cycle. These monitors still offer more conventional connections, and when the shift to USB-C happens, IT support can immediately realize the benefits.
You can calculate the total cost of ownership of upgrading your business’s monitors with five easy questions in this free assessment. And explore Samsung’s full range of USB-C monitors, designed for streamlined productivity and an organized desktop.
We may earn revenue from the products available on this page and participate in affiliate programs. Learn more ›
If you’re a music connoisseur that cares about sound quality, you probably haven’t given Bluetooth much consideration. Bluetooth speakers were big and bulky when they first came out, and while they’ve shrunken in size immensely over the years, that achieved portability has left something to be desired in sound quality. But before you give up on them entirely, you may want to consider the Fi70 Bluetooth speakers made by Fluance.
The Canadian company, known for producing high fidelity home audio and theater equipment, would appear not to have gotten the memo about small-sized Bluetooth speakers. The Fi70 is an extremely heavy single Bluetooth speaker, weighing in at 81 pounds. It’s so massive that it comes with a floor stand, meant to keep it in one place for good. But who needs to move a Bluetooth speaker from room to room when it can fill several rooms from one location? And that’s where the selling point comes in: This all-in-one system—for a surprising $500 a piece—delivers incredible power.
Dual 9-inch woofers deliver big sound compared to both those shrimpy portables and mini-boombox Bluetooth numbers. While smaller portables try to fill a room with about 30 watts, Fluance is delivering 280, which is more than many sound bars on the current market.
The result of that extra power isn’t just loudness. The speaker filled a multi-room apartment with sound that didn’t become tinny and hollow around corners or at 10 yards out—and the sound was rich and vivid. The low tones had depth and weren’t overdriven, and the mid and tweeter outputs were well balanced. With the Fi70, you hear individual instruments again, and not just a few guitar solos here and there over drums and bass.
The speakers have an opening in the middle, which provide no use for the speaker, but could be helpful for storing things like your phone or a book or two. Fluance
You’re probably wondering about the weird hole in the middle. I was too. It turns out that it’s actually a simplified design: The left and right sides are responsible for holding the two speaker stacks, the bottom handles the drivers and all the hardware, and the interface and controls are located at the top. Nothing needed to go in the middle, so nothing did. Simple. Weird looking, but simple.
And that weird feature actually ended up being surprisingly useful. I used it as a phone shelf as the Fi70 also has a standard headphone jack input. It also has inputs if you want to use it as a sound bar, or with any number of standard, wired, audio inputs, as well as a USB charging input and an AM/FM radio signal receiver.
That means it’s more than the sum of a radio, sound bar, Bluetooth speaker, and a charging station.
It’s not quite a home theater system though, and it’s important to be clear that the sound is not built for surround, movie watching, or enhancing your TV. But it could do all of those things fine—perhaps with better quality than your TV can deliver on its own. The biggest limitation is unfortunately the shape and size: Because of the tall, blocky shape, you’d have to use it as a TV stand in order to center the sound without obscuring it. That works, sort of, for smaller TVs, but the unit is not deep or wide enough for most standard TV stands these days, and after you crank the sound up, do you really want to watch your TV shiver with every heavy bass action scene?
That’s why figuring out a name and a place for this thing was so difficult. Bluetooth speaker doesn’t feel appropriate or complimentary. Stereo calls to mind a dozen individual components, and boombox is a term that half the people who would buy this unit probably never heard (like Walkman, or Hi-Fi).
It could be called a sound bar with Bluetooth, but it’s so much more. And yet so much less. At $500 this is an affordable alternative to so many elaborate and inferior sound options.
So at least in this case, we’ll stop talking about what it is, and instead just suggest you find a place for it, and listen.
People with chronic conditions, like asthma or heart disease, often need to take medications on a daily basis. But that simple act of remembering each day is a huge problem for many. In fact, for certain conditions, less than 50 percent of people take their medications on time. But researchers at MIT and Brigham and Women’s hospital in Boston have come up with a solution: A single pill that sits inside the stomach and delivers medication over an extended period of time.
The new device, which has been tested in pigs, could be a potential solution not only for patients with chronic diseases, but also as a way to treat conditions in third world countries that require long-term therapies, such as malaria. The researchers published the results of their proof-of-concept study in the journal Science Translational Medicine on Wednesday.
The pill had to overcome some major hurdles. The stomach contains extremely strong muscles that ensure every last drop of food makes its way out into the small intestine, so it’s hard for pills to have staying power. To combat this, the researchers designed the drug so that when swallowed, the capsule opens up into a sort of star. This shape prevents the pill from leaving the stomach and entering the small intestine.
The pill unfurls once it’s reached the stomach Belinger et al, Science Translational Medicine 2023
While the pill’s unique shape keeps it stuck in the stomach at day’s end, a special polymer coating ensures that pre-determined doses are released into the body one by one. Once the pill releases the last dose, it breaks apart and can finally pass out of the stomach and into the small intestine.
The researchers note that this type of therapy could be useful in treatments for conditions like high blood pressure or diabetes, which don’t cause distress to patients every day and can therefore often go unnoticed.
“Some of these diseases do not have symptoms that are perceived daily and in fact are silent to some degree,” says Giovanni Traverso, lead author of the study and a gastroenterologist and biomedical engineer at Brigham and Women’s Hospital.
There are extended-release and even delayed-release tablets on the market today, but even those are forced out of the stomach by day’s end. For truly extended release, physicians and patients must currently turn to patches, implants, and intravenous drug delivery.
Aside from daily drug delivery in first world countries, the researchers note that the technology could have a major impact on treating diseases that plague the third world. The project was partially funded by the Gates Foundation in an effort to find better methods to combat malaria. The researchers focused their initial studies on using an anti-parasitic drug called ivermectin, which significantly reduces a person’s chances of getting malaria when taken over extended periods of time. When tested in pigs, the device releases ivermectin in small, sustained doses for up to 10 days.
The technology is far from ready to hit the markets, though. The researchers plan to test the device more in pigs, with different medications and different doses, before they move on to humans.
Adaptable, inexpensive and easy to use, smart plugs and outlets are becoming a regular feature of the modern home. They can be used to remotely manage your appliances, connect with smartphone apps and monitor your household electricity consumption.
The best part is you don’t need to dismantle your walls, as smart plugs can easily connect to existing power plugs. Here we will discuss the considerations you must have in choosing the right smart plugs for your needs.What Smart Plugs Do
Smart plugs are the ultimate plug-in outlets which connect to a home’s Wi-Fi conections. They display on the apps of Apple HomeKit, Alexa, Google Assistant, Samsung SmartThings and others. This helps in providing wireless control of lamps, electronic appliances, heaters, fans and thermostats.
Most smart plugs have a small form factor and can be held in the palm of your hand. But despite that, they pack a powerful circuitry inside the assembly. There are generally three interfaces encased within any smart plug which include:
Microcontroller (MCU) board: the bulk of the circuitry is placed in the MCU board. Within it, there is a low-power Wi-Fi-certified module connecting to a microcontroller, sensors, relay controls and timers. The touch board and MCU boards are connected through multiple headers.
Power board: contains a plug and socket and power-measurement circuits to calculate electricity consumed.How to Choose the Right Smart Plug Online?
While you can find them at a local electrical store, most smart plugs are readily available online. The first thing you must watch for is which plug and socket specifications are right for your home. These plugs are built for US, EU and Chinese standards. Many countries have EU household voltage at 220V while the US utilizes 110-120V. Whether your household plugs require two flat prongs or very thick pins, there is usually a smart plug built for it.
Do you want to connect multiple gadgets in one smart plug? Then you must go for a multi-outlet device such as this one by KMC which has one always-on outlet. You can identify and name each one of the four individual jacks on Alexa or Google Home.
Most smart outlets are flame-resistant and automatically shut down when overheated, but it is better to go for one which follows FCC recommendations on heat resistance. Some of the outlets are waterproof, so you should choose them if you are placing them in a kitchen area.
Smart plugs are available really cheap with some single jack models going for as less as $7.99. You really don’t have to overspend on them.In Conclusion
With a few tweaks, you can even harness smart plugs to convert your dumb appliances to smart ones. They are incredibly useful in transforming your homes. If you’re not using them already, you should consider that connected homes will represent the future. Plus, they are also designed to help you monitor and save on energy bills.
Sayak Boral is a technology writer with over eleven years of experience working in different industries including semiconductors, IoT, enterprise IT, telecommunications OSS/BSS, and network security. He has been writing for MakeTechEasier on a wide range of technical topics including Windows, Android, Internet, Hardware Guides, Browsers, Software Tools, and Product Reviews.
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