All posts in “Tech News”

Tesla Model 3 and Model S just aced their report cards again

Consumer Reports likes Tesla — again. 

After snubbing the Tesla Model 3 earlier this year due to reliability issues perceived by owners, the organization announced on Thursday that both the Model 3 and the Model S have regained “recommended” status. 

According to CR, its members reported fewer problems with stuck latches or malfunctioning doors on the Tesla Model 3, and fewer issues with paint and trim quality on the Model S. Generally, members reported fewer issues with body hardware for both Tesla models. 

The organization originally gave extremely high scores to the Tesla Model S, awarding it 103 out of a maximum of 100 points in 2015. But as reports about reliability issues mounted, CR backtracked on its glowing recommendations. Early Model 3 vehicles were widely reported as problematic, partly due to Tesla’s “production hell” as the company ramped up production numbers. 

Tesla’s Model X still isn’t recommended by CR, due to reports of “numerous problems,” such as issues with its falcon wing doors as well as various noises and leaks. 

CR says that in-car electronics remain a weakness for all three Tesla models, but it also points out that the Model 3 and S score “consistently well” on road tests. 

On CR‘s top lists, the Model S is now the second (out of four) most reliable ultra-luxury cars, while the Model 3 is fifth (out of twelve) most reliable luxury compact cars. 

The NSA says it stopped tracking cellphone locations without a warrant

Last year the Supreme Court ruled, in a 5-4 decision, that a search warrant is required for law enforcement to perform cellphone tower searches to track someone’s location. The Daily Beast reported on a letter sent by the Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI) to Senator Ron Wyden affirming that ever since that Carpenter decision, the “Intelligence community” has not sought cell-site location data or GPS records without a warrant.

It had been doing that, claiming authority under the Title V of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) / Section 215 of the Patriot Act. However Section 215 of the Patriot Act is set to expire next month, and in the letter (PDF), the assistant director writing it never confirms that the Supreme Court decision means they couldn’t, or wouldn’t, do it in the future.

Basecamp now has a totally free version to help you manage personal projects

This week, Basecamp launched a new, free tier of its project management software, which it calls Basecamp Personal. Basecamp was originally designed for small businesses, offering handy features like chat, an internal message board, group to-dos, a shared schedule, and more, all in one place. Typically, though, it costs $99 per month, which could be prohibitively expensive if you’re just looking for something to help manage tasks in your personal life or with a smaller group of people.

Basecamp says Basecamp Personal is designed “specifically for freelancers, students, families, and personal projects,” and with it, you can make spaces for up to three projects, work on these projects with up to 20 users, and store up to one gigabyte of data in those projects. The new tier seems to put Basecamp in direct competition with free tiers from other project management tools like Asana and Trello, as well as workplace chat software like Slack and Microsoft Teams.

I tried signing up for Basecamp Personal, and it was very easy. All I had to do was make a login, and then I could start working on projects — Basecamp didn’t even ask for a credit card, which was nice. With the low barrier to entry, Basecamp Personal seems like it could be a good option if you’re looking for a full-featured project management tool for yourself, your family, or a small organization.

Microsoft is adding 10 'Final Fantasy' games to Xbox Game Pass

With the blessing of Square Enix, Microsoft will add 10 Final Fantasy games to the service — technically nine if you consider Final Fantasy X: HD Remastered and Final Fantasy X-2: HD Remastered a single entry. The full list includes Final Fantasy VII, Final Fantasy VIII: Remastered, Final Fantasy IX, Final Fantasy XII: The Zodiac Age, Final Fantasy XIII, Final Fantasy XIII-2, Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII, Final Fantasy XV, as well as the aforementioned Final Fantasy X: HD Remastered and Final Fantasy X-2: HD Remastered. Next year, the publisher will also release Kingdom Hearts HD 1.5 + 2.5 ReMIX, along with Kingdom Hearts 2.8 Final Chapter Prologue on Xbox One.

Each Final Fantasy title will join the service sequentially starting in 2020. While the upcoming Final Fantasy VII remake is still a PlayStation 4 exclusive, this is probably the best news Microsoft could have delivered to its fans given the circumstances.

There’s more good news if you’re a Yakuza fan. Three Yakuza titles — Yakuza 0, Yakuza Kiwami and Yakuza Kiwami 2 — are coming to Xbox for the first time, and they’ll join Game Pass some time in 2020.

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After a brief flirtation with Japanese studios at the start of the Xbox 360’s lifecycle, Microsoft’s consoles haven’t been much of a destination for JRPGs. That’s clearly something Microsoft is trying to change. During the company’s X019 event, Xbox division head Phil Spencer spoke to all the trips he’s recently taken to Tokyo to secure today’s announcements and went on to add how he knows there’s more work to be done on that front.

Secret Amazon promotion gets you a Kindle Paperwhite discount, plus $20 in e-book credits

Just to let you know, if you buy something featured here, Mashable might earn an affiliate commission.
Amazon's tenth-gen Kindle Paperwhite is the thinnest, most lightweight model in its Paperwhite line.
Amazon’s tenth-gen Kindle Paperwhite is the thinnest, most lightweight model in its Paperwhite line.

Image: Amazon

TL;DR: You’ll save 15% on Amazon’s tenth-generation Kindle Paperwhite and receive $20 in e-book credits when you apply the code READKINDLE00 during checkout.


Have you got your calendar marked for Nov. 22? Good — that’s when Amazon’s Black Friday deals officially begin.

BestBlackFriday.com reports that Amazon’s tablets will be the first of its devices to go on sale, most notably its tenth-generation Kindle Paperwhite. The 8GB version of last year’s lightweight and waterproof 6-inch e-reader is expected to drop $45 to a mere $84.99, which would be its lowest price on the site thus far.

That’s all fine and good, but we’ll let you in on a little secret: Even if you miss that specific sale, you still have a way of scoring an amazing deal on the Paperwhite. You see, Amazon just launched a secret holiday promotion that’s live through Dec. 31 where you’ll get 15% off that e-reader and $20 in bonus e-book credits just by entering the code READKINDLE00 at checkout. On top of that, you’ll also get three months of Kindle Unlimited for free with your purchase. (That one doesn’t require any codes; you just have to select it on the product page.)

Secret Amazon promotion gets you a Kindle Paperwhite discount, plus $20 in e-book credits

Image: Screenshot via amazon

This offer isn’t being advertised widely around Amazon’s site — we didn’t know it was happening until we visited the Paperwhite’s product page — but yeah, it’s a thing. And it’s a really, really good deal.

Let’s break down these savings: If you apply that READKINDLE00 code to the 8GB Paperwhite (normally $129.99), you’ll bring its price down to $110.49. If you then factor in the promotion’s $20 e-book credit and the value of three months of Kindle Unlimited ($29.97), you’ll be saving a total of $69.47 when everything is said and done. I’m no math whiz, but that’s an even better deal than its Black Friday pricing, no?

Get your holiday shopping off to a good start by heading over to Amazon to take advantage of this deal today.