Best Xbox Racing Games for 2022

You may think that all racing games are the same — this is a common misconception. The truth is racing games are super diverse. There are hardcore racing sims that let you put your skills to the test against digital and real players while testing out rare and exotic cars that appear close to life. On the other hand, arcade-style racing games focus on speed and fun and are less concerned with mimicking reality. From here, the list goes on. I’m here to recommend some of the best Xbox racing games that I’ve played.

This list is by no means exhaustive, rather it’s a collection of just the best driving and racing games for the Xbox family of consoles that I’ve personally played and enjoyed. I’ve played all of these games on the newest Xbox Series X, but all of them are also playable on the Xbox Series S and are backwards compatible with the previous Xbox One generation consoles. I’ve noted which ones are available for no extra cost with Microsoft’s excellent Game Pass subscription, but games do come and go from that service.

Read more: 3 Great VPNs for Xbox for 2022 

Screenshot by Antuan Goodwin/Roadshow

A worthy follow-up to my previous pick for the best Xbox driving game, Forza Horizon 5 moves its automotive playground to the beautiful and diverse biomes of Mexico. Thanks to Horizon 5’s new dynamic weather system, players can now blast through sandstorms in the desert before traversing into dense wetlands or the top of an active volcano, sometimes all in the same mega race.

Like the previous Forza Horizon titles, Horizon 5 is a massive, open-world love letter not just to racing but to car culture and all things automotive. And players have more freedom than ever to explore only the race types, vehicle classes and elements of the game that they like. For example, I know plenty of Forza fans who aren’t great racers, but lose themselves for hours just in the photo mode or livery creator.

With over 500 cars to customize and modify, hundreds of miles of road and trail courses, and a large online community, if you pick up just one racing game for the Xbox, this should be it. Note that Forza Horizon 5 is available as part of the Xbox’s Game Pass subscription.

Turn 10/Microsoft

Players looking for a more serious racing sim should look to the more mature member of the Forza franchise. Where Horizon focuses on car culture and, at times, cartoonish street driving, Motorsport is all about real circuit racing on real tracks from around the world. Forza Motorsport 7 is an older title, launching in 2017, and a next-generation sequel is in the works for the new Xbox Series S and Series X consoles, but with an unbelievable 700 cars to drive, modify and customize, and 30 tracks, each with multiple configurations, the Xbox One’s premier racing franchise still manages to feel fresh. 

Screenshot by Antuan Goodwin/Roadshow

Want to get a taste of the most realistic GT racing sim the Xbox platform has to offer? Look no further than Assetto Corsa Competizione. This hardcore racing sim is laser-focused on the world of the Blancpain GT World Challenge, putting you in the driver’s seat of real racing cars from the 2018 and 2019 series, complete with authentic liveries. Drop right into the championship, work your way up through the ranks in the career mode or head online to run wheel-to-wheel against players from around the world.

Assetto Corsa is a challenging sim and its steering model and racing physics are extremely realistic — so much that it can be frustrating to play with a controller’s thumbsticks. You’ll definitely want to get set up with a good force-feedback racing wheel (and maybe also a racing sim cockpit) for maximum enjoyment. Players looking for a Forza alternative that plays nicely with a controller should perhaps check out Grid Autosport.

Electronic Arts

The latest title in Codemasters’ F1 franchise builds on last season’s entry with new tracks, updated cars and a new My Team mode that lets you build and grow your own F1 franchise, rather than play one of the established teams. Got a friend who’s also an F1 nut? Play together in the new two-player career mode as teammates or fierce rivals.

The most interesting addition to F1 2021 is the new Braking Point mode. An evolution of the rivals feature that I loved so much in the 2019 title, Braking Point is a narrative story mode that follows your player as you navigate the victories, defeats and rivalries on track — as well as the drama off-track and in the pits — over multiple years of your F1/F2 career. If you’re a fan of the documentary series Drive to Survive or films like Rush, F1 2021’s Braking Point is definitely worth experiencing.

Mattel

This thrilling arcade racer stars the miniature machines from the Hot Wheels series of diecast toys, which you can drift, boost and jump around wild courses made of familiar orange track. Hot Wheels Unleashed is easy to approach for racers of all ages and skill levels. Kids can enjoy unlocking wacky racers like the Tricera-Truck or the Buns of Steel burger car. Meanwhile, there’s still plenty of fun, challenge and nostalgia for adults. Plus, there’s a highly flexible course editor that lets players build and share crazy courses and challenges.

Nancon/KT Racing

With the Dirt series pushing deeper into the arcade end of the racing sim spectrum, I was glad when WRC 10 debuted earlier this year to scratch my itch for rallying realism.

WRC 10 improves over its predecessor with more cars, locations and ways to play, including a new 50th anniversary mode that celebrates and recreates great moments from World Rally Championship history dating back to its inception in 1973. The sim now features 19 locations and environments — breaking out to over 120 rally stages to master — and 22 legendary and historical cars from Mitsubishi, Peugeot, Subaru, Toyota and more.

The physics engine has also been updated, with improvements to aerodynamic and suspension simulation, which makes vehicles feel more accurate to their real-life counterparts. Newcomers to digital rallying can activate a revised selection of assist features to help ease into the franchise. Graphic and sound quality have also been improved to take advantage of the processing horsepower offered by the Xbox Series S and X consoles.

Tim Stevens/Roadshow

The thrill of victory and the agony of defeat at a glacial pace: SnowRunner, the latest in the Spintires series, is sort of the anti-racing game. Players take control of an assortment of unlockable 4×4 SUVs, heavy equipment and big rig trucks to crawl, haul and tow their way through the dirt trails, deep mud and icy snow of the game’s brutally rural maps. Precise wheel placement, a slow and steady pace and, occasionally, liberal usage of a winch matter more than speed. This isn’t a game for everyone; spending up to a real-time hour hauling lumber up a mountain can be absolutely maddening if you fail, but it’s unbelievably satisfying to get the job done. It’s available now on Game Pass.

Screenshot by Antuan Goodwin/Roadshow

Normally, opponents crashing into me during a race is the bane of my existence. In Wreckfest, on the other hand, putting your opponent into a wall or spinning them out of a corner is par for the course. Encouraged even. This demolition derby title pits drivers piloting all sorts of beaters — from muscle cars to panel vans to ride-on lawn mowers (yes, freaking lawn mowers) — against one another on a variety of dirt and tarmac tracks. Players can choose to be a bruiser or, with surprisingly good driving physics, rely on skill and nimbleness to be the last man standing. It’s available now on Game Pass.

Players who prefer their crashes a bit more high-speed and stylized should consider Burnout Paradise Remastered, an older arcade racer game that got a new coat of paint for the Xbox One. Here, winning means “taking down” the competition with gratuitous collisions and crashes. It’s also available on Game Pass.

Comparison of the best Xbox racing games for 2021

Racing game Price
Best Xbox racing game overall Forza Horizon 5 $55
Best Xbox circuit racing game Forza Motorsport 7 $32
Best Xbox racing simulator Assetto Corsa Competizione $25
Best Xbox Formula One racing game F1 2021 $60
Best Xbox arcade racing game Hot Wheels Unleashed $48
Best Xbox rally racing game WRC 10 $30
Best Xbox off-road simulator SnowRunner $39
Best Xbox demolition derby game Wreckfest $20

There’s a driving game for everyone

Whether you’re looking to sharpen your skills or just relax and enjoy the ride, there’s a little something for every kind of racing fan and automotive enthusiast to enjoy. As I mentioned, this is by no means an exhaustive list and, with the next generation of consoles now pretty well established, I expect to rediscover enhanced versions of my favorites as well as a few new additions to this list. Have fun and drive safely… or drive recklessly; they’re just games after all.


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WhatsApp Adds Commercial Services as Meta Seeks More Revenue

More than eight years after agreeing to buy one of the world’s largest messaging apps, the company formerly known as Facebook has decided to start making money from it.

WhatsApp, the popular messaging service owned by Meta, the parent company of Facebook, said on Thursday that it was opening up commercial services to those who want to use the messaging app to power their businesses. It was WhatsApp’s largest step toward making money from the service, which is used by more than a billion people globally.

The new initiative lets business owners access the WhatsApp Cloud Application Programming Interface, a way to build a custom dashboard on top of the WhatsApp software so they can chat with customers and offer customer services more easily.

“This is an important step to help more businesses connect with people and help more people message the businesses that they want to support — big and small,” Mark Zuckerberg, Meta’s chief executive, said at an event announcing the new service.

WhatsApp plans to charge users based on how many conversations they have with customers per day, ranging from a fraction of a cent to more than 10 cents a conversation, depending on the region. It also plans to offer a free tier with limited services for small businesses.

The move is Meta’s strongest signal that it wants to begin making meaningful revenue from WhatsApp, especially as it faces business challenges on several fronts. Facebook acquired WhatsApp in 2014 for $22 billion, the company’s most expensive acquisition. For years, WhatsApp was free to use while costing Meta hundreds of millions of dollars to operate and support.

Now making more money has become paramount. Meta’s advertising business has been hurt by Apple’s changes to the iPhone operating system, and the company lost tens of millions of users in Russia after being banned in the country. The war in Ukraine has also upset some of Meta’s advertising operations.

In addition, Meta is navigating a tricky transition to become a “metaverse” company that provides people with immersive digital experiences. In February, a quarter of the company’s market value was wiped out — more than $230 billion — after a dismal earnings report.

WhatsApp has historically been hesitant to make money from its service. The company’s founders swore off advertisements on the app, and after dabbling with the notion of charging each user $1 annually to use the service, Facebook executives nixed the idea as too anemic and difficult to scale.

By 2018, WhatsApp founders were headed out the door. Mr. Zuckerberg announced a plan to stitch together all the messaging services on the apps he owns — WhatsApp, Messenger and Instagram. The company made changes that allowed Facebook to glean more insights about how people use WhatsApp. WhatsApp maintains none of those changes were used for ad-tracking purposes.

Simultaneously, WhatsApp’s reach continued to spread globally, embraced by millions of users in Brazil and South America, as well as across the Middle East and much of the European Union.

Many of them included small and medium-size businesses that used WhatsApp for free to speak with customers. But the experience, WhatsApp has said, was clunky and sometimes difficult to navigate, and wasn’t designed with business services in mind.

WhatsApp’s new product is supposed to answer to such issues, and can let those businesses more easily communicate with their customers using the app. Cloud hosting services will be provided for free to businesses that use the Cloud API.

Mr. Zuckerberg said that more than one billion users connect with businesses across Meta’s messaging services every week, and that the new product would make things easier for businesses and customers.

“Today, most of us use our feeds to discover interesting content and stay up to date,” Mr. Zuckerberg said at the event. “But for deeper levels of interaction, messaging has become the center of our digital lives.”


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WhatsApp introduces commercial services as Meta, its parent, seeks fresh revenue.

More than eight years after agreeing to buy one of the world’s largest messaging apps, the company formerly known as Facebook has decided to start making money from it.

WhatsApp, the popular messaging service owned by Meta, the parent company of Facebook, said on Thursday that it was opening up commercial services to those who want to use the messaging app to power their businesses. It was WhatsApp’s largest step toward making money from the service, which is used by more than a billion people globally.

The new initiative lets business owners access the WhatsApp Cloud Application Programming Interface, a way to build a custom dashboard on top of the WhatsApp software so they can chat with customers and offer customer services more easily.

“This is an important step to help more businesses connect with people and help more people message the businesses that they want to support — big and small,” Mark Zuckerberg, Meta’s chief executive, said at an event announcing the new service.

WhatsApp plans to charge users based on how many conversations they have with customers per day, ranging from a fraction of a cent to more than 10 cents a conversation, depending on the region. It also plans to offer a free tier with limited services for small businesses.

The move is Meta’s strongest signal that it wants to begin making meaningful revenue from WhatsApp, especially as it faces business challenges on several fronts. Facebook acquired WhatsApp in 2014 for $22 billion, the company’s most expensive acquisition. For years, WhatsApp was free to use while costing Meta hundreds of millions of dollars to operate and support.

Now making more money has become paramount. Meta’s advertising business has been hurt by Apple’s changes to the iPhone operating system, and the company lost tens of millions of users in Russia after being banned in the country. The war in Ukraine has also upset some of Meta’s advertising operations.

In addition, Meta is navigating a tricky transition to become a “metaverse” company that provides people with immersive digital experiences. In February, a quarter of the company’s market value was wiped out — more than $230 billion — after a dismal earnings report.

WhatsApp has historically been hesitant to make money from its service. The company’s founders swore off advertisements on the app, and after dabbling with the notion of charging each user $1 annually to use the service, Facebook executives nixed the idea as too anemic and difficult to scale.

By 2018, WhatsApp founders were headed out the door. Mr. Zuckerberg announced a plan to stitch together all the messaging services on the apps he owns — WhatsApp, Messenger and Instagram. The company made changes that allowed Facebook to glean more insights about how people use WhatsApp. WhatsApp maintains none of those changes were used for ad-tracking purposes.

Simultaneously, WhatsApp’s reach continued to spread globally, embraced by millions of users in Brazil and South America, as well as across the Middle East and much of the European Union.

Many of them included small and medium-size businesses that used WhatsApp for free to speak with customers. But the experience, WhatsApp has said, was clunky and sometimes difficult to navigate, and wasn’t designed with business services in mind.

WhatsApp’s new product is supposed to answer to such issues, and can let those businesses more easily communicate with their customers using the app. Cloud hosting storage will also be provided to businesses that pay for the Cloud API.

Mr. Zuckerberg said that WhatsApp’s more than one billion users connect with businesses across the messaging service every week, and that the new product would make things easier for businesses and customers.

“Today, most of us use our feeds to discover interesting content and stay up to date,” Mr. Zuckerberg said at the event. “But for deeper levels of interaction, messaging has become the center of our digital lives.”


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PS5’s First Official Bundle Includes Horizon Forbidden West

Some retailers have been bundling the elusive PS5 with games and accessories to get you to spend more on the console, but Sony is packaging the next-gen PlayStation console with major exclusive Horizon Forbidden West for its first official bundle. The US listings for both the PS5 and PS5 Digital edition are available through the PS Direct store.

They aren’t live yet, but you can register for a chance to purchase a PS5 from PS Direct, as previously highlighted by Twitter user Wario64.

We don’t know how much the bundle will cost in the US yet, but UK retailer listings suggest it’ll be a saving of £20 (around $25) compared to buying the console and game separately. The standard price for the PS5 with disc drive is $500, while the PS5 Digital edition is $400. The game’s recommended retail price is $70, so you can expect the standard PS5 bundle to be $550 and PS5 Digital one to be $450.

“This game was well worth the five-year wait,” CNET’s Nicole Archer said of Horizon Forbidden West, in case you’re hesitant about the bundle. “It’s gorgeous and fascinating, and I can’t wait for you to play it.”


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Lego ‘Starry Night’: 2,316 Bricks to Build Your Own Van Gogh

Lego’s newest set doesn’t pull from pop culture but instead from one of the most influential painters ever. Vincent van Gogh’s The Starry Night is the upcoming 2,316 piece for art and building block lovers. 

The Starry Night set from Lego is a three-dimensional version of van Gogh’s famous painting and was done in conjunction with The Museum of Modern Art in New York. Its design comes from Truman Cheng, a 25-year-old doctoral student based in Hong Kong who submitted it through the Lego Ideas platform. 

Along with the set of the painting, featuring the Monastery of Saint-Paul de Mausole asylum in Saint-Rémy, France, there’s also one minifigure, of van Gogh himself. 


Lego

The Lego set is scheduled to come out May 25 for Lego VIP members and MoMA members for $170. It’s set to receive a wide release on Lego’s website on June 1. Lego also has a competition for fans to make their own Starry Night, which could be used to inspire an installation at the MoMA. 


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How to handle out-of-stock products for ecommerce SEO • Yoast

As an online store, you want to sell as many units of your products as possible. But, every online store will eventually reach a point where products run out of stock. Then comes the big question: how should you handle these out-of-stock products properly for ecommerce SEO in your WooCommerce or Shopify store? As in so many things when it comes to SEO: it depends.

How does Google handle out-of-stock products?

Google can handle out-of-stock products on online stores just fine. Whether Google will continue to show your products in the search results when it’s out of stock is a different matter. Sometimes, Google prefers stores that have the product in stock as that offers potential customers the best experience — they are not looking for stores without stock, right?

Of course, here’s another it depends. If you have a high-quality product page with relevant content for searchers, your product pages might/will still rank depending on the query and competition.

Google might treat product pages with out-of-stock products as soft 404s, which might lead them to drop them from the search results. Here’s how John Mueller from Google put it:

And when it comes to the regular search results, it can happen that when we see that something is out of stock, we will assume it’s more like a soft 404 error, where we will drop that URL from the search results as well.

Of course, having out-of-stock products treated as soft 404s doesn’t harm the ranking power of your entire store, merely the products themselves.

Out-of-stock products: it depends

What to do with out-of-stock products on your WooCommerce or Shopify store depends on many things. For instance, it depends on whether you need to do something about the product pages for stuff out of stock on your online store. Is the product coming back in stock quickly? Or is it sold out forever? Is it unknown when or if it will return?

With the current stock issues worldwide, it’s getting harder and harder to get products in and keep them in stock. Hopefully, the situation will improve soon, but it might become even worse. Do you need to have all those products listed when you are not sure when getting a new shipment?

Besides, online stores come in all shapes and sizes with intricacies and complexities. There’s no one-size-fits-all solution to help all stores improve their ecommerce SEO or Shopify SEO.

Ecommerce SEO and international SEO expert Aleyda Solis made an invaluable cheat sheet flowchart that helps make the proper decision easier.

Manage the user experience on your product pages

When people want to buy your product, your product pages are the primary way to communicate about said product. Whether your product is in stock, on backorder, or unavailable, you should always manage the user’s expectations. If you can get them to buy by making the process as quick and painless as possible, great. But if your products are — temporarily — unavailable, you still need to try and keep the visitor. Turn them into returning customers.

You can manage expectations by showing when an out-of-stock product will return in stock. Offer ways to keep a potential customer in the loop with an email me when the product is back in stock feature. Or make a wishlist feature in your online store where customers can save their favorite product and keep updated on the availability — or sales offers. Plus, you can add a list of products that other people find interesting to see if they might buy a different item.

Dwindling stock for a product can also trigger people to buy it now rather than later. Urgency is real! But keep it accurate and don’t make up stock shortages — people will see through that.

Dutch online grocer Albert Heijn informs customers about the shortage of sunflower oil

Influence internal search and category listings

You can also influence your internal search engine and filter options to keep these from giving out-of-stock products as an option to buy for customers. It’s better to have these products at the bottom of the results pages than at the top. You could also visually style or display out-of-stock products differently on category or listing pages. For instance, you could grey out the image or place a banner over it. This way, it’s immediately clear that you usually offer the product in your store but just right now.

Also worth noting that those categories, tags and the like might need some love and attention if most or all of the products are permanently out of stock. At some point, it might be worth merging, redirecting, and deleting at a category level.

What happens next to the product?

Most decisions you make around handling product statuses can be answered by thinking about what happens next to the product. Is it out of stock forever? Will it return? Is it unsure when? Does your product content have relevance even if the product itself doesn’t appear to come back anytime soon? Answering these will help you take the right action for ecommerce SEO and Shopify SEO.

The product is sold out, but it will be back in a new version

When the product is sold out, with no chance of returning, you have to check if there is a relevant substitution. It might be that the manufacturer launched a slightly updated version of the product with a new barcode. This, of course, will live on a unique URL, which means you need to fix all the old links to the previous version of the product and delete them from the XML sitemap. With a 301 redirect, you can send visitors from the old product page to the new one. Also, don’t forget to delete the products from the product feed not to confuse Google Shopping and the like.

The product is temporarily unavailable and will return

A temporarily unavailable product should live on like it was, except you should manage the user experience. You want to keep them in your store, buying your product.

Of course, it’s hard to compete with stores that do have the products in stock, but still. If there are broad stock shortages like we are experiencing now, you want to tell your customer when they can expect it. Offer a way to keep them up to date! Or show other products that other people have bought after searching for this specific product.

Clicking on a greyed-out size for this particular shoe opens up this modal that asks customers to keep up to date

The product is unavailable but will return (seasonal and sale products)

There’s a variation on the previous theme, especially for seasonal products and products you offer as part of a special sale. Here, again, it’s all about managing the user experience. If you offer the same products later in the year, keep the page up and provide customers with a good ‘coming soon’ experience. Don’t promote the page on your site just yet and remove internal links to it, but keep it up and hope customers will return to buy your seasonal stuff in the future.

The product is sold out and will never return

If an out-of-stock product is sold out and never to return, you have to see how much value the product page itself has. Sometimes, product pages also rank for specific terms around a product, and you want to keep those rankings. Also, it could be that the product page has a ton of valuable links pointing to it. You can check all of this with your SEO tool of choice.

If your page has a lot of value, redirect it with a 301 to the most relevant product category page. Here, you should also notify the customer that the specific product they are looking for no longer exists. If the page doesn’t have any SEO value, you can delete it and have it serve a 410. Don’t forget to clean up the internal links pointing to this product, update the sitemap and fix the product feed.

Product structured data is essential

We’ve mentioned it countless times, but Schema structured data is essential in this day and age. For ecommerce sites, that might be even more important than that. With product Schema, you can directly communicate with search engines to describe your products in detail — including various statuses on the availability.

Structured data helps you manage your product listings in the search results

When managing stock availability, it’s essential to keep the structured data up to date. Please use the various product Schema options to keep Google and other search engines in the loop about the status of a product. There are several options to describe the availability of your product by adding ItemAvailability. You can use the following values to describe the status of your products:

  • BackOrder: Tells search engines you have the product on backorder with the manufacturer.
  • Discontinued: Tells search engines the product has been discontinued.
  • InStock: This tells search engines you have the product in stock.
  • InStoreOnly: Tells search engines you only offer the product for sale in-store.
  • LimitedAvailability: Tells search engines that you have a limited number available of the product.
  • OnlineOnly: It tells search engines that the product is only available online, not in store.
  • OutOfStock: Tells search engines the product is out of stock at the moment.
  • PreOrder: Tells search engines this product is now available for pre-order.
  • PreSale: This tells search engines this product is available in a special pre-sale happening before the product goes on sale for the general audience.
  • SoldOut: Tells search engines that the product is sold out.

Our ecommerce SEO solutions for WooCommerce and Shopify handle the most important ones for you. Whenever you set a product to out of stock, it adds the OutOfStock value to your product Schema. If a product is on backorder, we’ll let search engines know that the product still is available for PreOrder. Our Schema solution is extendable, so if you need to scale your wishes, you can easily use our Schema API to extend it to your needs.

What to do with out-of-stock products for SEO

In this post, we’ve explained a bit more about how to work with out-of-stock products to make sure that it won’t hurt your SEO. However, many of the options you can use depend on your specific situation, what your goals are and how your product pages are currently ranking. Of course, it also depends on the products themselves. It’s annoying, but in this case, no one solution answers all questions!




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Seeking Pills, Young People Head to Social Media, With Deadly Results

Now, when Snapchat users search for “fenta,” “xanax” or other drug language, the results are blocked. They are redirected to an in-app video channel with content from nonprofit groups and the C.D.C. that addresses “fentapills” — the dangers of purported OxyContin, Percocet, Xanax and Adderall.

According to Facebook’s latest community standards report, it took action on four million drug-related exchanges worldwide in the fourth quarter of 2021. Instagram took action on 1.2 million, figures which represent alerts from both users and pre-emptive detection technology.

On Instagram, one recent search for Percocet did set off an automatic warning and an offer of help. But it also yielded numerous results, including an account that posted photos of the pills and contact information, with phone numbers on the encrypted messaging apps Wickr and WhatsApp.

And when companies remove dealers from their platforms, many sellers simply leapfrog to another.

“We detect about 10,000 new drug-related accounts a month,” said Dr. Mackey, whose software company detects illicit online drug trafficking for private and public organizations.

Most drug seekers will not baldly search for a drug by name, he said. They may use a hashtag with a celebrity associated with it. Enterprising dealers troll comments for customers, inserting themselves in online exchanges among seekers of pain relief.

During the pandemic, drug use has surged as mental health among young adults and teenagers has deteriorated, studies show. Young people tend to eschew heroin, not only because of its addictive properties but also because of a skittishness about syringes, say experts in adolescent behavior. Pills, with the false imprimatur of medical authority, appear safer. Moreover, to their generation, prescription medications — for anxiety, depression and focus — have become normalized.


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Metallica Gets Its Own Metal-Themed Pro-Ject Turntable, and I Will Fight You for One

For the fans who stuck with Metallica’s journey from ’80s metal heroes through their period as the internet’s punching bag, to their eventual redemption, here is a turntable seemingly worthy of a devil’s horn salute. The Metallica Limited Edition Turntable is a collaboration between the band and Polish manufacturer Pro-Ject.

The turntable features an MDF plinth, which mimics the band’s logo and boasts a mirror finish for extra metal cred. But it’s not just flash designed for heavy rock fans, as this table appears to have audiophile-level appointments, too. 

The player features a glass platter and the new aluminum subplatter, while the tonearm is S-shaped with a detachable headshell. The Pro-Ject Pick it S2 C cartridge comes pre-installed while tracking force, antiskating and VTA are all user-adjustable. To finish the package off, the metal feet are height-adjustable while speed adjustments can be made by flipping a switch (rather than by removing the platter and adjusting the drive belt).


Pro-Ject

For me, I had friends who liked them in the ’80s but they always seemed a little too… uncool. I came to appreciate the band after reading Jason Newstead’s interviews in Bass Player magazine at the peak of their “pop” period. Do I want one of these turntables? Yes — yes, I do. I mean, just look at all… that *waves indistinctly* Do I need one? Not at all. But if you have even a passing interest in heavy metal on vinyl, this turntable looks to have the sound chops as well as the look.

The Metallica Limited Edition Turntable will be available this summer for $1,599.


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Google Doodle Honors Disability Rights Activist Stacey Park Milbern

Stacey Park Milbern, who died two years ago on her 33rd birthday, is remembered as a dynamic leader with a knack for organizing people. Over her life, this pioneer in the disability justice movement also advocated for fair treatment of people of color, those who are transgender and gender-nonconforming, and people without housing.

As part of its Asian Pacific American Heritage Month celebration, Google is honoring the Korean American activist with a Doodle on Thursday — Milbern’s 35th birthday and the second anniversary of her death. Thursday is also Global Accessibility Awareness Day, which promotes digital accessibility and inclusion for people with all disabilities.


Google

Milbern was born in 1987 with congenital muscular dystrophy at a US Army hospital in Seoul to a white father and Korean mother. Growing up, she embraced and celebrated elements of her identity that stood out in an evangelical Christian family in North Carolina, especially her sexuality.

She penned poetry and wrote about disability issues on a personal blog in which she described herself as “just your everyday queer disabled corean girl living in the south.” She could walk as a young girl but eventually began using a wheelchair, which led to her increased disability awareness and activism.

Milbern began serving on disability rights commissions while in her teens and was instrumental in helping pass a North Carolina law in 2007 requiring that disability history curriculum be taught in schools. She criticized Jerry Lewis’ annual muscular dystrophy telethon as categorizing “disabled people as nothing more than the objects of pity.”

At 24, she moved to the San Francisco Bay Area, a region central to the disability rights movement. She continued to be active in the movement, with a special focus on securing health care for people with disabilities. In 2017, she protested proposed cuts to Medicaid, the federally funded program that provided in-home attendants and allowed her to live on her own.

When Pacific Gas & Electric shut down power to thousands of homes in response to the 2019 California wildfires, Milbern helped launch a grassroots campaign to provide critical aid to people with disabilities affected by the blackouts such as sharing crowdsourced survival information and making connections to rides and housing. In early 2020, as the coronavirus pandemic ramped up, she was working out of her Oakland home with the Disability Justice Culture Club, an organization she helped create, to distribute homemade disease-prevention kits to the homeless.

While working on the kits, Milbern learned that surgery to remove her fast-growing kidney cancer had been postponed due to shelter-in-place orders. She died three months later, on her 33rd birthday, as a result of surgical complications.


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Memorial Day Deals: Early Sales on Mattresses, Appliances, Home Decor and More

Memorial Day is only a few weeks away, and we expect to see a ton of deals from retailers on a wide range of products. Expect savings on a wide variety of products ranging from mattresses to appliances, electronics to items for the home and much more. It can be hard to sort the savings and find the best deals during big events. That’s why it’s a good idea to start early. 

We’ve gone through and rounded up the best Memorial Day deals available now, and more great discounts will be heading your way soon as we get close to Memorial Day. Keep checking back, because we’ll keep this page updated frequently with the newest price drops and great finds for everyone. For now, check out our list of Memorial Day savings opportunities that are already here. 

Overstock

The Super Spring Sale is going on right now at Overstock, and you can save 70% off the company’s already low prices on thousands of items. Whether you need furniture, housewares or whatever else it takes to make your house (and yard) feel like home, Overstock is all stocked up on the good stuff.

Here are a few great deals from Overstock:

Walmart

Walmart’s Memorial Day sale has thousands of items on sale, including patio furniture, outdoor playsets, electronics, furniture, vacuums, kitchen appliances and much more. 

Here are a few highlights from Walmart’s Memorial Day sales:

Macy’s

Macy’s Memorial Day sale has thousands of items on sale including casual clothes, dress attire, handbags, shoes, fine jewelry and watches, beauty products, fragrances for men and women, housewares, appliances, dining and cookware sets, bedding luggage and more. 

Bed Bath & Beyond

Bed, Bath and Beyond has discounts of up to 40% on kitchen, bedding, bath, home decor, outdoor and more. 

Burrow

The more you spend at Burrow, the more you save. Just use code MDS22 at checkout.

  • 10% off up to $1,499 with code
  • $225 off $1,500 or more with code
  • $300 off $2,000 or more with code 
  • $375 off $2,500 or more with code
  • $500 off $3,000 or more with code
  • $700 off $4,000 or more with code
  • $1,000 off $5,000 or more with code

Lisa Eadicicco/CNET

Samsung has tons of great early Memorial Deals you can shop right now, with even more on the way later this month. There are big discounts on Samsung’s latest phones, including the brand-new S22 series and its sleek foldables. The powerful S22 Ultra is currently $250 off, and you can save up to $640 more with an eligible trade-in. You can also save up to $1,100 on the Z Fold 3 and up to $800 on the Z Flip 3 with qualifying trade-ins, and both come with free Samsung and Google Play credits as well.

There are plenty of other great offers too, including $50 off the Galaxy Watch 4, Galaxy Buds Pro and Galaxy Buds Live. And when you buy any Galaxy S8 tablet, you’ll get a free pair of Galaxy Buds 2, a $150 value, as well as $100 in Google Play credit.

Canon

Canon has deals on select cameras, lenses, accessory kits and more on its website. 

Shure

Microphone and headphone bundles are discounted by up to $100, microphones are up to 20% off and wired earbuds marked down by up to $180, among other savings. 

HelloFresh

HelloFresh brands is offering Memorial Day deals on food boxes. 

  • HelloFresh: 16 free meals plus free shipping with code HFMDW2022 
  • EveryPlate: $1.79/meal plus 20% off another 2 boxes with code MDW2022 
  • Green Chef: $130 off plus free shipping with code GCMDW2022
  • Factor: $120 off your first 5 boxes with code FactorMDW22

Josh Goldman/CNET

If you’re looking for a new computer, consider a Lenovo. The brand has discounted laptops by as much as 60% right now ahead of Memorial Day. Some offers include bonus perks like a three-month Xbox GamePass with your purchase. 

Spark Grills

Now through May 31, Spark Grills is adding flavor to your feasts for less. The grills have an extremely wide temperature range with low-and-slow capabilities as low as 250 and as high as 900 degrees. There is no code necessary to receive the discount. Just go to the Spark site and add your desired grill and the $200 savings will be reflected in your cart. 

Plants.com

Now through May 31, Plants.com is offering 20% off select plants for the office when you use code OFFICE20 at checkout. Succulents, palms, bonsai and more low-maintenance finds would look great in any space. There’s a large selection, with price ranges of just over $20 to about $150, with the vast majority landing somewhere around $50 before the discount is applied.

Layla

Layla is offering special discounts on mattresses, bedding, bed frames and more. Get up to $150 off Layla’s memory foam mattress and up to $200 off Layla’s hybrid mattress. Each qualifying mattress purchase will come with two free pillows. Also, you can get up to $600 off select adjustable bases, $50 off memory foam toppers, up to $55 off mattress protectors and much more. Read our Layla mattress review.

Bear Mattress

Right now you can snag 30% off sitewide at Bear, and when you purchase a new mattress, you’ll get two pillows absolutely free. Some exclusions apply, but if you’re in the market for a new mattress, saving 30% is a decent chunk of change. Read our Bear Mattress review.

Nolah/Screenshot by CNET

Nolah is offering up to $700 off select mattresses, plus you’ll receive two free pillows with your mattress purchase now through June 6. There are also further discounts on adjustable bases, mattress protectors and toppers, bedding and more. 

Check out even more of the Best Memorial Day savings and deals on mattresses and accessories.

Home Depot

Home Depot is currently offering significant discounts on refrigerators, ranges, washers and dryers and more from popular brands like LG, Samsung and Whirlpool, among others. Select appliances are up to 33% off, granting you a discount of as much as $900. 

Maytag

While not specifically a Memorial Day sale, Maytag is celebrating Maytag Month now through June 1. If you’re purchasing home appliances, Maytag.com is offering a rebate of up to $200 when you purchase select appliances online. (The rebate is instant and will be automatically applied at checkout). 

And if you’re a brick-and-mortar kind of shopper, you can still save up to $200 with an instant or mail-in rebate at participating Maytag brand retailers on select Maytag appliances.

See even more Memorial Day appliance deals.


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