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SpaceX Demo-2 Mission: How to watch live, launch time, NASA TV stream – CNET

This artist’s impression shows Crew Dragon docking to the ISS.

SpaceX

In July 2011, NASA’s Space Shuttle Atlantis launched from Florida to the International Space Station with four astronauts onboard. That was the last time humans traveled to space from US soil. The long drought should soon be over as SpaceX prepares to send two NASA astronauts to the ISS inside a purpose-built Crew Dragon capsule on May 27. 

The mission, known as Demo-2, was originally planned to launch in 2019, but has had its fair share of setbacks. But with safety checks on the capsule complete, NASA and SpaceX are finally ready to fly. We’ve rounded up everything you need to know about the historic launch and when and where you can tune in, below.

Demo-2: The Basics

Demo-2 is part of NASA’s Commercial Crew Program, which involves two commercial spaceflight companies, SpaceX and Boeing, building and launching crew capsules designed to ferry astronauts to and from the ISS. 

SpaceX has a history of cargo and payload launches, but this will be the company’s first time sending humans off this rock. 

Now playing: Watch this: SpaceX set to to take its first astronauts into space


4:28

When: The launch is scheduled for Wednesday, May 27 at 1:33 p.m. PT (4:33 p.m ET)

Where: The Falcon 9 rocket and Crew Dragon capsule will blast off from Launch Complex 39A at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida. The historic launch pad has previously hosted Apollo and space shuttle missions.

Why: NASA’s Commercial Crew Program is aimed at ending the US reliance on Russian spacecraft for ferrying astronauts to the ISS. NASA has been buying seats on Soyuz capsules since the end of the shuttle program. 

This is also part of a broader NASA push for commercial partnerships. “By encouraging industry to provide human transportation services to and from low-Earth orbit, NASA can expand its focus on building spacecraft and rockets for deep space missions,” the space agency said

The Crew Dragon capsule arrived at the launch site in February 2020 for final preparations.

NASA

The spacecraft: The SpaceX Crew Dragon is the human transportation version of the Dragon 2 capsule that has been used to carry cargo to the ISS. While only two astronauts will be on board at the end of May, the capsule can be configured to carry up to seven passengers.

The rocket: SpaceX’s proven Falcon 9 rocket will escort Crew Dragon through the launch. NASA’s iconic throwback “worm” logo is emblazoned on the side of the rocket. Falcon 9s have successfully launched dozens of SpaceX missions.

The Falcon 9 booster is reusable and will attempt to land on a SpaceX droneship stationed in the Atlantic Ocean.

The crew: NASA assigned astronauts Bob Behnken and Doug Hurley to Crew Dragon back in 2018. Both have been to space on different shuttle missions, with Hurley flying on the final flight of the space shuttle Atlantis in 2011. They will be wearing spacesuits designed in-house by SpaceX.

The goal: If SpaceX passes muster during Demo-2, then NASA will certify Crew Dragon for regular flights back and forth to the ISS. The space agency is already looking ahead to this outcome and has assigned astronauts to the first Crew Dragon operational mission, which could launch before the end of the year if all goes well.

How to watch the Demo-2 mission live

NASA will provide streaming coverage of prelaunch, launch and ISS docking activities through NASA TV. 

Prelaunch coverage starts at 9:15 a.m. PT on May 27 ahead of the scheduled 1:33 p.m. PT liftoff time. NASA TV will provide continuous coverage from launch through docking. Crew Dragon’s arrival at the ISS is set for 8:29 a.m. PT on Thursday, May 28. 

Making history

NASA is viewing the SpaceX Demo-2 mission as the dawn of “a new era of human spaceflight.”  

NASA awarded the original Commercial Crew Program contracts to SpaceX and Boeing in 2014 with an eye to launching astronauts in 2017. Delays are common during spacecraft development and both SpaceX and Boeing ran into their share of hiccups. Boeing is still working through a series of technical issues that cropped up during a test flight of its Starliner vehicle in late 2019.

SpaceX, however, successfully completed the Demo-1 uncrewed round trip to the ISS in early 2019 and a critical in-flight abort test at the beginning of the year, setting the stage for Demo-2. It’s called Demo-2 because it’s still, technically, a “demonstration” rather than a full-fledged space mission. It marks the final test for SpaceX and its Crew Dragon capsule and will allow Elon Musk’s spaceflight company to achieve human-rated certification of its spacecraft. 

Demo-2 will also be the first time a two-person crew launched from the United States since the space shuttle Columbia departed for space, on the fourth mission of the program in 1982.

Meet the astronauts  

Behnken and Hurley entered preflight quarantine on May 13. Prelaunch quarantines were already standard procedure prior to the coronavirus pandemic, but NASA will add some extra steps to the process. “Hurley and Behnken, as well as those in direct, close contact with the crew will be tested twice for the virus as a precaution,” NASA said in a statement in May.   

NASA astronauts Bob Behnken and Doug Hurley will be SpaceX’s first human passengers when they launch on the Demo- mission.

NASA

Bob Behnken: NASA selected Behnken, an experienced Air Force pilot, as an astronaut in 2000. He last visited space on a shuttle mission in 2010. He has spent 708 hours in space, with 37 of those taken up by spacewalks. 

Behnken tweeted on May 12 that he had to get approval from his young son before launch.

Doug Hurley: Hurley, a retired Marine, was also selected as an astronaut in 2000. A veteran of two space missions, he was last in orbit in 2011 on NASA’s final shuttle mission. That adds some poetry to Hurley’s assignment to Demo-2. He was one of the last astronauts to launch from US soil and will be one of the first to do it again. 

Hurley shared his own son’s drawing of Crew Dragon in late April.

NASA has not yet decided exactly how long Behnken and Hurley will remain on the ISS. “They will perform tests on Crew Dragon in addition to conducting research and other tasks with the space station crew,” said NASA. The astronauts will return on Crew Dragon and splash down in the Atlantic where they will be greeted by a SpaceX recovery vessel. 

May 27 is set to mark a major milestone in space history. It’s not just about the patriotic overtones of launching American astronauts from American soil using an American rocket. 

SpaceX and NASA are set to pick up a dropped thread in human spaceflight, filling the void left by the retirement of the space shuttles. We are pretty good at sending robotic explorers to far-flung places in the solar system, but the stakes are always higher when human lives are involved. The world will be watching.

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Coronavirus test: How long does it take and when will I know my COVID-19 results? – CNET

It may take over a week to get your coronavirus test results back.

James Martin/CNET

For the most up-to-date news and information about the coronavirus pandemic, visit the WHO website.

Coronavirus test kits continue to be limited in most states throughout the country. But more tests — and more types of testing — are slowly becoming available. The challenge is that testing is uneven. From who can get a COVID-19 test to the difficulty of finding a testing site in your area and even how long the test results take to come in, many of us still have plenty of questions.

The shortage of COVID-19 test kits and personal protective equipment in areas where there’s a surge in demand for testing presents one problem. Another issue discovered last month was the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s labs were found to be contaminated with the coronavirus, which delayed distribution of test kits.

In most cases, your doctor should let you know a time frame for getting your coronavirus results back, but that can vary from hours to even a week. Here’s what we know about how long it takes to get tested and how to find out your results.

coronavirus-testing-hayward-ca-medical-doctors-hospital-5939coronavirus-testing-hayward-ca-medical-doctors-hospital-5939

There are drive-through locations for coronavirus testing.

James Martin/CNET

When can I get a COVID-19 test?

In order to be tested for coronavirus, you’ll likely need to have a doctor’s order and make an appointment with a testing facility.

However, if you’re a high-risk patient or experiencing severe symptoms, like trouble breathing, you should seek medical attention immediately. Call your doctor for a referral to a testing clinic in your area. 

What is the COVID-19 test like?

When you go to get tested for coronavirus, you’ll either be directed to a clinic or a drive-through testing site. If you’re waiting in a medical facility, it’s recommended by the CDC that you wear a face covering to prevent spreading the virus to others.

The most common type of testing for COVID-19 today is a nose swab test that’s similar to testing for other flu viruses (though antibody blood tests are on the horizon). The doctor will swab the inside of your nose for several seconds with a long, single-use tool that looks like a giant Q-Tip and reaches the upper part of the throat. The test is then sealed and sent to a laboratory to determine if you have COVID-19.

Read more: Need a pulse oximeter? These models are in stock starting at $24  

When will I get my results?

In theory, the lab will be able to determine if you’ve acquired the coronavirus within hours. But depending on where you live, it can take anywhere up to a week or more to get your test results back. It also depends on how many tests have been administered in your location. For example, some facilities, like in New York, are overwhelmed by the number of people getting tested — therefore, the waiting period may be longer.

Other states, like California, are experiencing a backlog of test results due to the lack of kits at their facilities. Norton Healthcare says test results are taking longer than anticipated because of increased testing nationwide.

The Cleveland Clinic in Ohio says that patients in the hospital who are very ill or high-risk typically receive their results within 24 hours. However, patients who are tested at a drive-through facility get their results back within five to 10 days.

Once your results are available, your doctor will contact you to let you know if you’ve tested positive or negative for the coronavirus. 

Now playing: Watch this: High-tech tools to detect coronavirus


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What if I test positive for the coronavirus?

If the results come back that you’ve been infected with COVID-19, make sure to let everyone you’ve come in close contact with in the last two weeks know. Ask your doctor for the next steps and continue to isolate yourself at home. We have some guidelines for taking care of yourself if you’re infected with the virus.

The CDC says you can leave the house again once you’ve had no fever for at least 72 hours (without medicine), symptoms like coughing have improved and at least seven days have passed since your symptoms first appeared.

For more information on coronavirus testing, here’s how to find a coronavirus testing site near you and check wait times, who qualifies for COVID-19 testing and why you can’t use a coronavirus home testing kit yet.

The information contained in this article is for educational and informational purposes only and is not intended as health or medical advice. Always consult a physician or other qualified health provider regarding any questions you may have about a medical condition or health objectives.

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Stop waiting in line at the post office to ship a package. Do this smart trick instead – CNET

15-meal-cooking-at-home-roku-tv-movie-night-alone-slippers-wine-remote-control-streaming-services-coronavirus-cnet

Skip the post office lines and drop your packages in a drop box.

Sarah Tew/CNET

No one wants to wait in a long line at the post office when shipping multiple packages, especially if they’re heavy. Not to mention it’s hard to maintain social distancing in a small, cramped room while you wait for the clerk to call you to the counter, and wearing a face mask can start to get uncomfortable. Fortunately, you can skip the line at the post office if you have the right supplies.

If you’re using your own box, you’ll need to know the exact weight of the package you’re sending. Here’s a better way. USPS offers a flat-rate service that lets you order free boxes and ship packages up to 70 pounds. Shipping prices start at $7.50, depending on the package size. To avoid having to tape it at the post office, most people can choose the medium side-load box option.

Once you’ve got the item boxed up, you’ll need to print a prepaid shipping label from USPS. To do so, log in to your USPS account, navigate to Click N Ship and purchase your shipping label. You can then print the label at home and tape it to your box.

Read more: Best printers for 2020

Now playing: Watch this: Best practices for safe shopping, delivery and takeout…


9:45

Once you’re ready to ship the item, you can either request a pickup or drop the package in a USPS collection box. The boxes are generally located at the post office, but can also be found outside at other locations, such as grocery stores, other types of stores and libraries. To find the one closest to you, visit the Find Locations page on the USPS site and filter by Collection Boxes.

While you won’t get a receipt using this shipping method, you can still track your package on the USPS site. The tracking number will be on the bottom of your USPS tracking label and in your confirmation email.

You know how to ship packages without going inside the post office now, but what about packages left at your door? Here’s what to know about coronavirus and your packages and how to safely order food delivery, takeout and groceries during the coronavirus quarantine.

The information contained in this article is for educational and informational purposes only and is not intended as health or medical advice. Always consult a physician or other qualified health provider regarding any questions you may have about a medical condition or health objectives.

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These 8 kitchen tools you’ll use every day cost less than $20 apiece – CNET

 51-meal-cooking-at-home-roku-tv-movie-night-alone-slippers-wine-remote-control-streaming-services-coronavirus-cnet

A cheap kitchen tool can help keep your wine glass intact in the dishwasher.

Sarah Tew/CNET

My kitchen is filled with workhorses that I take for granted: the wooden cutting board, balloon whisk, measuring cups, microplane and razor-sharp knives. But as I’m spending even more time cooking at home during quarantine and lockdown, I’m coming to appreciate all the smaller extras that I don’t strictly need but which make my cooking life easier.

After singing their praises to family and friends, I thought I’d share them with you. These are all products I actually own and use in real life. They’re inexpensive to buy, versatile, easy to clean and simple to incorporate into your cooking routine. Here are the tools I never want to be without, and how they make the act of cooking more enjoyable.

Xujia via Amazon

The wide, saucer-shaped bowl, long handle and pleasant weight make these beautiful spoons perfect for almost everything — eating soup, curries, rice dishes, spooning yogurt out of the tub, spooning anything out of any tub, really. 

My Korean friend called them “jjigae spoons” to refer to the right utensil for eating a category of stew. In my family, they’re known as “life-changing spoons,” which is how I first convinced my family to adopt them. It’s what we still call them today. E.g., “Can you please set the table with the life-changing spoons?” I hardly ever use “regular” spoons anymore, unless all the jjigae spoons are dirty and I don’t feel like washing one. 

You can buy long-handled spoons online or in many Asian markets. My personal preference is to get a set with round handles, not the thin kind with the flat ends. Prices vary, but they’re not expensive either way — say $16 for a pack of 5 good quality spoons, or even $15 for a pack of 8.

Tovolo

Bench scrapers, also known as pastry or dough scrapers or cutters, are typically used to pry dough off a work surface, but I use mine multiple times a day for either scraping or lifting items from my cutting board to a pan or bowl. I used to use the side of whichever knife I had in my hand, but this tool shovels more diced onions at a time and is safer anyway. 

I’ve also used straight-sided bench scrapers, but the offset design is much easier for sliding under a pile of chopped food. It’s equally adept at its intended purpose of working with bread and pastry dough. This Tovolo bench scraper is the one I use and costs around $10.

Jessica Dolcourt/CNET

My friend bought a fancy new dishwasher with built-in wine holders and gave me three purple silicone tubes that help keep your wine glasses safe in the machine. “Here, you like wine,” she said. “You should use these.”

She was right. They may look derpy, but they’ve probably saved my wine glasses more than once. You fit one grippy end around your overturned stemware (as pictured) and slide the other end, a hollow tube, over a peg on the bottom rack of your dishwasher. A wire that runs two-thirds the length of the attachment supplies structure. 

If a glass feels extra wobbly in the center of the bottom rack, I’ve been known to clip on two of these silicone holders for extra stability, one on either side. I used to hand-wash my wine glasses and still managed to break one here or there. Not anymore. It costs about $12 for a set of eight. I’ve run them in the dishwasher on a weekly basis for almost two years.

Lifver Home via Amazon

Small bowls are hardly interesting or new, and I have plenty of them, especially fluted and ribbed ramekins. But these wonderful dip bowls, specifically this design, have made cooking and serving food more of a delight. I just love them. They’re useful enough for daily prep and pretty enough to serve on. 

You can mound a surprising amount of food in the hollow, like lemon zest, wasabi or even grated cheese. They cost $18 for a set of eight 3-ounce bowls.

Here’s how I use them:

  • Spoon rest
  • Used tea bag holder
  • Salt piggy
  • Egg holder
  • Prep bowl for ingredients like garlic, shallots, ginger
  • Prep bowl for blending spices (the mix flows into the pan really easily, without getting stuck in creases)
  • Garnish server
  • Server for individual desserts, like squares of chocolate, a brownie or a tiny scoop of ice cream
  • Sugar caddy for after-dinner coffee or tea
  • Ring valet (especially when taking off to work with slimy or sticky food)

Lodge via Amazon

I had never heard of a pan or pot scraper until my colleague Rich Brown sang its praises. I have an elaborate and finely-tuned method for steaming and scraping off stuck-on crud from pots, pans and bakeware. But I started getting a lot of time back once I began using this $5 tool — or $8 for two.

It fits into your palm and easily scrapes away gunk with its flat and curved edges, which can also better reach into corners. Still expect a little sponge work, but mostly to wipe away loosened and leftover stuff. I was amazed with how my Lodge pot scraper obliterates the scum that builds up in a ring around the pan, say the leftovers of reduced marinara. 

It cuts through residue faster and more efficiently than a hard plastic spatula and it won’t gunk up the scrubby side of a sponge with cheese, egg or starchy buildup. I recommend keeping it visible on your sink, near your sponges and dish soap. I initially put it into a drawer and forgot about it, but now it’s top of mind. 

Prep Solutions via Amazon

My dad endearingly referred to these as “rubber fingers.” This set of two — one with a pointy end (pictured) and one that looks more like a paddle, cost me $4 and are awesome for scraping, scooping and pushing down all types of food. Think the last little bit of something gooey from the jar, or getting every little bit of beaten egg out of a small bowl. I still use full-size spatulas for large work bowls, pots and pans, but these nonstick minis work better than spoons or my finger and fit really well into drawer dividers. They’re machine washable, too.

Jessica Dolcourt/CNET

Elegantly draining pasta, reaching for items on the top shelf, juicing lemons and even cleaning window blinds. A pair of 9-inch or 12-inch silicone-tipped tongs costs about $15 and has become a trusty kitchen companion that does far more than just flip browning vegetables and meat. Here are seven clever uses for kitchen tongs.

Endurance via Amazon

I love a small saucepan for so many reasons, including frying perfectly round eggs one at a time and reducing broth and sauces. Melting butter and making modest quantities of caramel or hot milk and cream are also great in an itty-bitty pan, especially if you’re trying to keep a small amount of liquid from evaporating too quickly.

I bought a “cup measuring pan” that’s a lot like this one, with a long handle, and I like it, though it’s not as thick as some of my other kitchen pots. I’d also happily consider a butter melting pot for butter, sauces, warming milk and boiling single eggs, but I currently use a tiny milk frothing jug for that, intended for espresso. Whichever pan you get should cost between $15 and $25, tops. Mine was about $15. 

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8 must-have kitchen tools under $20, and how to use them – CNET

01-cooking-food-at-home-in-isolation-coronavirus
Sarah Tew/CNET

Cooking more during quarantine and lockdown? So am I. Like so many of you, I’m embracing cooking as a fulfilling at-home project — and one with the added bonus of filling my belly and stepping up my technique. 

The parade of meals has also given me a newfound appreciation for the kitchen tools I already have and love, items beyond the more obvious wooden spoon, measuring cups and microplane. These are all products I actually own and use in real life. They’re inexpensive to buy, versatile and easy to incorporate into your cooking routine. 

Here are the tools I never want to be without, and how they make my kitchen better.

Xujia via Amazon

The wide, saucer-shaped bowl, long handle and pleasant weight make these beautiful long-handled spoons perfect for almost everything — eating soup, curries, rice dishes, spooning yogurt out of the tub, spooning anything out of any tub, really. 

My Korean friend called them “jjigae spoons” to refer to the right utensil for eating a category of stew. In my family, they’re known as “life-changing spoons,” which is how I first convinced my family to adopt them. It’s what we still call them today. E.g., “Can you please set the table with the life-changing spoons?” I hardly ever use “regular” spoons anymore, unless all the jjigae spoons are dirty and I don’t feel like washing one. 

You can buy long-handled spoons online or in many Asian markets. My personal preference is to get a set with round handles, not the thin kind with the flat ends. Prices vary, but they’re not expensive either way — say $16 for a pack of 5 good quality spoons.

Tovolo

Bench scrapers, also known as pastry or dough scrapers or cutters, are typically used to pry dough off a work surface, but I use mine multiple times a day for either scraping or lifting items from my cutting board to a pan or bowl. I used to use the side of whichever knife I had in my hand, but this tool shovels more diced onions at a time and is safer anyway. 

I’ve also used straight-sided bench scrapers, but the offset design is much easier for sliding under a pile of chopped food. It’s equally adept at its intended purpose of working with bread and pastry dough. This Tovolo bench scraper is the one I use and costs around $10.

Jessica Dolcourt/CNET

My friend bought a fancy new dishwasher with built-in wine holders and gave me three purple silicone tubes that help keep your wine glasses safe in the machine. “Here, you like wine,” she said. “You should use these.”

She was right. They may look derpy, but they’ve probably saved my wine glasses more than once. You fit one grippy end around your upturned stemware and slide the other end, a hollow tube, over a peg on the bottom rack of your dishwasher. A wire that runs two-thirds the length of the attachment supplies structure. 

If a glass feels extra wobbly in the center of the bottom rack, I’ve been known to clip on two of these silicone holders for extra stability, one on either side. I used to hand-wash my wine glasses and still managed to break one here or there. Not anymore. It costs about $12 for a set of eight. I’ve run them in the dishwasher on a weekly basis for almost two years.

Lifver Home via Amazon

Small bowls are hardly interesting or new, and I have plenty of them, especially fluted and ribbed ramekins. But these wonderful dip bowls, specifically this design, have made cooking and serving food more of a delight. I just love them. They’re useful enough for daily prep and pretty enough to serve on. 

You can mount a surprising amount of food in the hollow, like lemon zest, wasabi or even finely grated cheese. They cost $18 for a set of eight 3-ounce bowls.

Here’s how I use them:

  • Spoon rest
  • Used tea bag holder
  • Salt piggy
  • Egg holder
  • Prep bowl for small things like garlic, shallots, ginger
  • Prep bowl for small quantities of spice blend (it flows into the pan really easily, without residue)
  • Garnish server
  • Server for individual desserts, like squares of chocolate, a brownie or a tiny scoop of ice cream
  • Sugar for after-dinner coffee or tea
  • Ring valet (especially when taking off to work with slimy or sticky food)

Rich Brown/CNET

I had never heard of a pan or pot scraper until my colleague Rich Brown sang its praises. I have an elaborate and finely-tuned method for steaming and scraping off stuck-on crud from pots, pans and bakeware. But I started getting a lot of time back once I began using this $5 tool — or $8 for two.

It fits into your palm and easily scrapes away gunk with its flat and curved edges, which can also better reach into corners. Still expect a little sponge work, but mostly to wipe away loosened and leftover stuff. I was amazed with how my Lodge pot scraper obliterates the scum that builds up in a ring around the pan, say the leftovers of reduced marinara. 

It cuts through residue faster and more efficiently than a hard plastic spatula and it won’t gunk up the scrubby side of a sponge with cheese, egg or starchy buildup. I recommend keeping it visible on your sink, near your sponges and dish soap. I initially put it into a drawer and forgot about it, but now it’s top of mind. 

Endurance via Amazon

I love a small saucepan for so many reasons, including frying perfectly round eggs one at a time and reducing broth and sauces. Melting butter and making small quantities of caramel or hot milk and cream are also great in an itty-bitty pan, especially if you’re trying to keep a small amount of liquid from evaporating too quickly.

I bought a “cup measuring pan” that’s a lot like this one, with a long handle, and I like it, though it’s not as thick as some of my other kitchen pots. I’d also happily consider a butter melting pot for butter, sauces, warming milk and boiling single eggs, but I currently use a tiny milk frothing jug for that, intended for espresso. Whichever pan you get should cost between $15 and $25, and needs to be all-metal (unless you want melted plastic on your stovetop). 

Jessica Dolcourt/CNET

Elegantly draining pasta, reaching for items on the top shelf, juicing lemons and even cleaning window blinds. A pair of 9-inch or 12-inch silicone-tipped tongs costs about $15 and has become a trusty kitchen companion that does far more than just flip browning vegetables and meat.

Prep Solutions via Amazon

My dad endearingly referred to these as “rubber fingers.” This set of two — one with a pointy end (pictured) and one that looks more like a subtle scoop, cost me $4 and are awesome for scraping, scooping and pushing down all types of food. Think the last little bit of something gooey from the jar, or getting every little bit of beaten egg out of a small bowl. I still use larger spatulas for larger pots and pans, but these nonstick minis are great and fit really well into drawer dividers. They’re machine washable, too.

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Still haven’t tried Netflix Party? Here’s how to watch movies with friends for free – CNET

netflix-logo-laptop-0393

Invite your friends to join your Netflix Party remotely.

Angela Lang/CNET

You’re missing those in-person movie nights and watch parties with your friends and family. Quarantine has made that impossible, but fortunately, a free extension for the Google Chrome browser called Netflix Party lets you start, stop and pause a Netflix movie or show so you can watch it at the same time as a group of friends and family — remotely. 

There’s also a side chat bar where you and your friends can discuss what’s going on in the movie, much as you would if you were sitting together on the couch. 

Netflix Party helps ease the sudden and severe lack of socializing we’ve all had to deal with in this new coronavirus reality. Read on for how to download, install and use the Netflix Party extension to sync your movie-watching with family and friends.

And here’s more free entertainment to help you get by, as well as tips to stay healthy, educated and sane during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Make sure everyone in your group has a Netflix account

In order for this to work, everyone you send an invite to will need to have access to Netflix. If they don’t have an account, Netflix is offering a free 30-day trial for new subscribers. If they’re not a new subscriber, they can reactivate their account for $9 a month and cancel at any time. You can also share your Netflix account with two to four other family members, depending on which subscription you have.

Download the Google extension

After everyone has logged in to Netflix on their computers, they’ll need to download the Netflix Party extension. Here’s how.

1. Visit netflixparty.com in your Google Chrome browser.

2. Click Get Netflix Party for free.

3. You’ll be redirected to the Google Chrome web store page to download the extension. Click Add to Chrome.

4. A pop-up box will open. Select Add Extension. You’ll now see a grey NP icon in your browser toolbar. 

Start watching movies with friends

netflix-chatnetflix-chat
Screenshot by Katie Conner/CNET

Now that you’ve got the extension downloaded, you can begin watching shows and movies with your friends and family. Here’s how to get started.

1. Open a new tab in your Google Chrome browser and log in to Netflix.

2. Find a show or movie you’d like to watch and click on it. 

3. You’ll now see that the NP (Netflix Party) icon has changed from gray to red. Click the icon and select Start the party. You’ll become the host, so you can either select the option for you to be the only controller pausing and playing the show, or you can let anyone take control. 

4. Copy the URL from the pop-up box and send it to everyone you want to invite to the group.

5. The chatroom will appear on the right side of the screen. From there, you’ll be able to see when someone joins the party.

6. Now you can laugh, cry and howl with your family and friends, and feel a little less on your own.

Need more things to do during this time of social distancing? Here’s how to watch YouTube videos at the exact same time as your friendsfree entertainment to help you get through coronavirus social distancing, free video chat apps to use if you’re social distancing, the best two-player board games, and ways you can help during the coronavirus pandemic.

Now playing: Watch this: Coronavirus lockdown: Why social distancing saves lives


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Xbox Smart Delivery: Everything you need to know – CNET

Xbox Series X controller

The new, slightly different, Xbox controller.

Microsoft

Microsoft showed off its latest wares at its Xbox Series X event on Thursday, the first in a series of monthly shows called Xbox 20/20. Fans got a peek at gameplay for Assassin’s Creed Valhalla, due for release this holiday season for the highly anticipated new Xbox Series X console, as well as for the Xbox One, PlayStation, PC and Google Stadia. 

Microsoft also revealed third-party launch titles for the Xbox Series X — at least nine exist so far. In July, Microsoft will unveil its own Xbox Game Studios games for the new console. 

In addition to faster loading times, backward compatibility and Quick Resume, Microsoft’s new console comes with Smart Delivery. Here’s everything you need to know about this new feature.

Read more: Assassin’s Creed Valhalla lets you attack Dark Ages England

Now playing: Watch this: Microsoft debuts game footage of Assassin’s Creed Valhalla…


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What is Smart Delivery?

Smart Delivery lets you buy a game for the Xbox One, with a Series X copy automatically included. If you upgrade your console later, Microsoft feeds the console the appropriate version of the game. Smart Delivery essentially means that you’ll always be playing the latest, best-quality version of the game, and you only have to buy it once. The feature might seem old hat to PC gamers who’ve long had the ability to have remastered versions of games automatically patched in via Steam. 

To use Smart Delivery, you’ll need the new Xbox Series X console once it’s released, and the game must be compatible. 

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The Xbox Series X.

Microsoft

Which games will use Smart Delivery?

Microsoft said it will use Smart Delivery on all exclusive Xbox Game Studios titles optimized for the Xbox Series X, including Halo Infinite. Madden 21 will be available for a limited time. The technology has also been made available to developers and publishers for them to use. 

Here are the Smart Delivery-enabled games that we know about so far: 

  • Assassin’s Creed Valhalla
  • Call of the Sea
  • Chorus
  • Cyberpunk 2077
  • Halo Infinite
  • Hellblade 2
  • Dirt 5
  • Scarlet Nexus
  • Second Extinction
  • The Ascent
  • Vampire: The Masquerade — Bloodlines 2
  • Yakuza: Like a Dragon

For more, check out everything we know about the Xbox Series X so far.

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The Eta Aquarid meteor shower is still peaking. Here’s how to see the show – CNET

The Eta Aquarid meteor shower as seen from Chile. 

Yuri Beletsky/Spaceweather.com

If you missed April’s Lyrid meteor shower, you have another chance to catch some “shooting stars” this week as the remnants of a famous comet burn up in the night sky. 

The Eta Aquarids are forecast to peak Tuesday and Wednesday, May 5 and 6. 

Every year around this time, the Earth drifts through a stream of debris left behind by Halley’s Comet. Bits of dust, rock and other debris heat up as they collide with our atmosphere, creating the fleeting trails and the occasional fireballs that can be seen with the naked eye. 

According to NASA, the meteors appear to originate from the constellation Aquarius and more precisely from the region of the constellation near one of its brightest stars, Eta Aquarii, which is how the shower gets its name. 

Unfortunately, this year the shower has a bit of competition. It falls just before the final supermoon of 2020.

“Intense glare from one of the biggest full Moons of the year will reduce the number of visible meteors from the usual 40 per hour to no more than 10 or 15 per hour,” writes astronomer Tony Phillips

But if you’re looking for a reason to get outside, that’s still not a bad showing for any meteor shower. 

Phillips says the best time to spot the Eta Aquarids is to get up early, an hour or so before sunrise when Aquarius is high in the eastern sky. 

“Tuesday morning and Wednesday morning are both good. Halley’s debris stream is wide enough to spread the shower over two days.”

Generally speaking, the further south you’re located, the better your view will be of this shower. Good news, Australia!

To see the show, plan to head out as close to about four or five in the morning as possible. Find a location away from light pollution with a clear view of the sky. Lay back, let your eyes adjust to the dark and just relax. If you can orient yourself to look towards Aquarius, that’s great, but if you have a wide enough view of the sky you should be able to catch meteors without locating the constellation.

Enjoy the fire in the sky, preferably at least six feet away from any fellow skywatchers. 

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How to get a full body workout with only a jump rope – CNET

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Jumping rope is a fun and effective workout.

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When I was a kid, I remember spending what seems like hours jumping rope outside. Now jumping rope for even 5 minutes feels like an eternity. Once I even did a workout class that involved jumping rope for several minutes in between exercises, and was shocked to find that was the most challenging part of the entire circuit. But as challenging as jumping rope is, it’s still fun as an adult and a great way to mix up your workouts. 

Just ask Wesley Brown, a fitness instructor at Session in New York City. “Jumping rope recruits all the muscles that strengthen your calves, quads and glutes along with engaging your shoulders, arms and core. And of course, who doesn’t have fun when they have the rope swinging around?” Brown says. 

Given that you probably have not used a jump rope since you were a kid, you might be a bit rusty on the proper form (and yes — there is a right way to do it). Below, Brown gives all of the tips you need to master jumping rope and how to get the most out of your jump rope when it comes to using it to get a full body workout.

Before you add jumping rope to your exercise routine, there are a few key things to keep in mind — like what jump rope you want to use and if you want a simple jump rope or one with more features.

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Jump ropes come in a variety of styles, colors and price ranges depending on your preference.

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Which jump rope to buy

According to Brown, making sure the rope is long enough that you can comfortably jump is important to set yourself up for success. If you are 5 feet, 3 inches or under, you will need an 8-foot jump rope and if you are between 5 feet, 3 inches and 5 feet, 9 inches, a 9-foot jump rope will work for you. If you are taller than 5 feet, 9 inches, a 10-foot jump rope will give you the length you need to jump comfortably.

“The best advice I can give is to find a resilient high-quality rope that has the right length and weight for you. This will allow you to confidently make your jumps successful and save your shins from hits that might occur with short or light ropes,” Brown says.

Smart jump ropes

Smart jump ropes have sensors that help you track your workouts, including your speed and repetitions. They use Bluetooth pairing to connect with your phone to give you data. The specific data depends on which product you choose, and the price also varies based on how fancy you want the features.

This smart jump rope is on the less expensive side, and at $40 you get a Bluetooth-enabled jump rope that tracks your workout stats, such as how long you jumped and how many times.

Weighted jump ropes 

Weighted jump ropes are another option to level up your jump rope workout with more of an upper body challenge. The extra weight in these jump ropes requires you to engage your upper body muscles more than a standard rope. Another benefit of using a weighted jump rope is that you can’t swing the rope or jump as fast, which gives you more time to do a proper jump. 

This slower pace is also good for beginners who want to slow down and focus on form. This one is $15 on Amazon and has adjustable weights up to one and a half pounds. 

Basic jump ropes

The most affordable option when it comes to jump rope is to find a basic one, without special features. These are your standard jump ropes like the ones you used as a kid, and they come in various styles, lengths and colors. This basic jump rope on Amazon is $11 and is a great choice to get started without spending much. 

How to jump rope correctly

Jumping rope seems intuitive, but there are quite a few form tips to keep in mind before you start.

  • Take gentle hops, not big jumps. Jumping rope requires you to leave the ground for half a second. Beginners tend to make explosive leaps that interrupt the flow of the rope turning. However, gentle hops will provide an inch of clearance under your feet to give you enough time to pass over the rope repeatedly with a consistent speed.
  • Let your wrists do the work of turning the rope. Your elbows and shoulders should look almost like they are staying in place close to your body.
  • Focus on the cadence of the rope and your skill will improve. Your first time with a rope might feel like you need to watch your feet, but find a spot on the wall to keep your eyes on. Once you get a feel for how the rope feels overhead and under your feet, that spot you picked will help the flow feel more natural.

Basic jump rope warm-up and workout

If you are just starting out with jump roping, ease into it with this warm up and beginner workout. “Perform a few calf raises and establish your breathing pattern before you begin jumping. Keep your body upright and keep your jumps quick and gentle. Maintain your concentration on a spot on the wall to keep jumps consistent and confident,” Brown says. 

“A low strain workout could involve gentle jumping for 5 to 10 minutes of single unders (one swing per jump) while an intense session could use one minute fast-paced intervals for a few rounds,” Brown says. 

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Jump rope workouts are a great form of cardio and challenge multiple muscle groups.

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Try this full-body jump rope circuit workout

Once you get comfortable with jumping rope, it’s time to add in some other exercises to make it a full body workout. Try the workout below which incorporates jumping rope with other equipment-free moves you can do at home. 

Do 5 rounds of the workout below with a 30 second rest in between rounds:

  • 100 jump rope single unders
  • 50 jumping jacks
  • 50 jump rope double unders
  • 10 star jumps

How to master the moves:

  • Single unders: A single under is when you pass the rope under your feet only one time per jump.
  • Double unders: A double under is when you pass the rope under your feet twice per jump. This requires you rotate the rope quickly and jump higher than you do for a single under. You can do this by using your wrists to turn the rope as fast as you can, not your entire upper body. 

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The information contained in this article is for educational and informational purposes only and is not intended as health or medical advice. Always consult a physician or other qualified health provider regarding any questions you may have about a medical condition or health objectives.

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When will I get my stimulus check in the mail? Check your payment arrival with the postal service – CNET

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With Informed Delivery, you can see when your stimulus check has been mailed.

Angela Lang/CNET

For the most up-to-date news and information about the coronavirus pandemic, visit the WHO website.

Is your coronavirus stimulus check coming in the mail? It might be. If you’re eligible to receive a payment of up to $1,200 from the US government, but haven’t set up direct deposit with the IRS (there may still be time to do that), then your check could arrive by post. Or maybe you went to the IRS website to track the payment (here’s how), and saw a message that it’s been sent via US mail. Or maybe you ran into problems with the tool and decided to give up on it.

In any case, you now know your stimulus money is coming, but not when. To find out, you can use the US Postal Service’s mail-tracking app and service known as Informed Delivery to see when your check is scheduled to arrive.

See if you can use Informed Delivery

When the Postal Service runs mail through its automated mail sorting equipment, it creates a digital image of the front of all letter-size mail. The Informed Delivery program uses this digitally captured information to notify you when each piece of mail is on the way. 

The service is available to many residential and personal PO box addresses but not businesses. It also won’t work for some multiunit buildings where the postal service hasn’t yet identified each unit.

 Here’s how to check whether it’s available in your area.

1. Head to the Postal Service’s Informed Delivery page and tap the Sign Up for Free button.

2. Enter your mailing address, and tap Continue. 

If the service is available, you can continue to set up an account.

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Set up the Informed Delivery service

If you’re eligible, here’s how to set up your account.

1. On the Postal Service’s Informed Delivery page, if you haven’t yet, tap Sign Up for Free.

2. After you enter your mailing address and confirm it’s in the service, accept the terms and conditions and tap Continue

3. On the next page, choose your username, password and security questions; enter your contact information; and then tap Continue.

4. On the next page, you’ll need to verify your identity. Tap Verify identity online if you want to receive a verification code on your phone or tap Request invitation code by mail if you want the postal service to mail a code to you. If neither method works for you, may also be given the option to visit a post office to verify your identity in person.

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How to see your what’s coming in the mail 

The IRS said it can take three business days to activate your account after you set it up. Once it’s live, you will receive an email each morning Monday through Saturday, notifying you of mail scheduled to be delivered along with a grayscale image of the front of the letter. 

You can also use the free Android and iPhone Informed Delivery app to be notified.

For more on ordering and receiving packages during the coronavirus pandemic, here’s how to find household goods when Amazon and other online stores are out of stock, how to order beer and wine online and how long the virus can survive on packages.