Montana's unprecedented state-wide ban of Chinese short-video app, TikTok, was supposed to take effect on January 1, 2024, but as reported by Reuters, US District Judge Donald Molloy issued a preliminary injunction just one month ahead to block said ban. This means that for now, ByteDance and app stores are allowed to continue serving TikTok to users within the Montana state, without being fined $10,000 daily from the start date of the ban.
The judge was quoted saying the ban "oversteps state power and infringes on the constitutional rights of users" echoing the legal challenge filed by five TikTok creators on the day after the bill was signed back in May, as well as another lawsuit filed by the platform's owner, ByteDance, later on in the same month. It was also questionable as to whether Google and Apple could have effectively enforced such a state-wide ban on their app stores.
The relevant bill was originally drafted based on claims that this Chinese app would share US users' personal data with the Chinese government, to which ByteDance had long denied since the presidency of Donald Trump. "TikTok US user data is stored in the US, with strict controls on employee access," the company claimed back in August 2020 and again via a new "transparency" push earlier this year, with reference to "Project Texas" for safeguarding US user data with help from Oracle.
To date, no other US state had passed a bill to bar TikTok. The outcome of Montana's case may hold the key to this Chinese app's fate across the rest of the country.This article originally appeared on Engadget at https://www.engadget.com/tiktok-ban-in-montana-blocked-by-us-judge-over-free-speech-rights-011846138.html?src=rss
Its been four years since Tesla first announced the Cybertruck, a hideously ugly electric pickup truck that didnt seem to actually improve on EVs or pickups in any meaningful way. Instead, the 6,600-pound mass of stainless super steel seems to be more the culmination of one man's bizarre fantasy, and that man just so happened to own an entire company he could leverage to birth that fantasy, with all its sharp angles and unnecessary lighting bars, into reality.
Today, Tesla finally delivered the first, long-delayed production Cybertrucks to 10 buyers in a livestream on CEO Elon Musks decimated X platform, the first of an unknown number of wealthy consumers who have bought into his grim vision of the future. It's a car that promises for only those who can afford them a blank check for vehicular manslaughter and unnecessary survivability from semi-automatic firearms. Its tagline ("more utility than a truck, faster than a sports car") speaks almost poetically to two distinct but orthogonal archetypes of threatened masculinity: the tacti-cool milspec dork, and the showboating rich guy.
A bulletproof body has been a key feature since the Cybertruck's introduction in 2019; today Musk admitted it was there for no good reason. Why did you make it bulletproof? Musk said. Why not? he said with a broad grin, before metaphorically waving his genitals at the cheering crowd, while also promising metaphorically larger genitals to anyone who buys the Cybertruck. How tough is your truck? Musk smirked.
This admission came alongside video footage of a Cybertruck being sprayed with rounds from a .45 caliber tommy gun, a Glock 9mm and a MP5-SD submachine gun, which also uses 9mm rounds. We'd ask Tesla what cartridges they were firing and if they were being shot from within the effective range of any of these weapons, but the company dissolved its PR team in 2019.
It was a stupid but expected bit of showboating from Musk during his rambling presentation. Right before the gunfire demo, Musk touted the trucks overall toughness, noting that its low center of gravity made it extremely difficult to flip in an accident. A video also showed the Cybertruck barely moving after a much smaller vehicle moving at 38 mph collided with it. To that, Musk commented that if youre ever in an argument with another car, you will win, glibly encouraging Cybertruck owners to engage in such "arguments."
In a country where both traffic fatalities and gun violence have surged in recent years, its a little galling to see Musk promoting his vehicle as some sort of tool for rich people to survive the apocalypse, or even just the inconveniences of a world where their lessers occupy space at all. (All-wheel drive Cybertrucks start at about $80,000; a $60,000 RWD model is supposedly arriving in 2025.) Sometimes you get these late civilization vibes, the apocalypse could come along at any moment, and here at Tesla we have the finest apocalypse technology, Musk mused.
Beyond that is the simple fact that SUVs and trucks have gotten dramatically bigger and heavier in the past decade or so. EVs naturally weigh more because of their batteries, but auto manufacturers have been making the fronts of cars larger and taller in recent years, too. Thats a combo that makes these vehicles more dangerous for pedestrians and other drivers alike.
Whatever their nose shape, pickups, SUVs and vans with a hood height greater than 40 inches are about 45 percent more likely to cause fatalities in pedestrian crashes than cars and other vehicles with a hood height of 30 inches or less and a sloping profile, research from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety states. It also noted that pedestrian crash deaths have risen 80 percent since a low in 2009. Anyone who walks or bikes around a city has probably felt that danger before, and its even more startling when the wall of a truck stops short when youre crossing the street. Finally, its well known that the speed of a car dramatically impacts the survivability of a pedestrian, which isnt great when an extremely heavy car also can do 0-60 in less than three seconds.
Now that the Cybertruck is nearly ready for public consumption, it looks like Musk has basically built a vehicle that, for a steep price, enables the worst impulses of US drivers and gives them the freedom to do whatever they want. It doesnt matter if the Cybertrucks lightbar headlights blind the drivers of smaller vehicles; they should get the hell out of the left lane. And if someone else on the road pisses off a Cybertruck driver, who cares? Other drivers should just accept that theyre about to lose a very expensive and potentially life-threatening argument with the Cybertrucks front fender.
This all should have been obvious right from the start. From day one, the Cybertruck has alluded to a cyberpunk future, a genre with cool haircuts and hacking and slightly problematic orientalism, yes but also one where wealth inequality is even worse than it currently is, and the rules dont apply to those with money. The implicit promise of the Cybertruck has always been a vehicle that waives societal standards for people who can afford it, and todays spectacle made that explicit. To that end, maybe this marketing is as much genius as it is nonsense.
If Al Capone showed up with a Tommy gun and emptied the entire magazine into the car door, youd still be alive, Musk crowed at one point, either promising to revive the dead or oblivious to the terrifying number of human beings who use guns to commit acts of violence. I dont know about you, but I dont want to live in a world where being swiss cheesed by lethal armaments is something I need to consider when Im buying a car. Maybe the rich survivalists playing out Blade Runner meets Mad Max in their Cybertrucks haven't considered that when everything burns down, the power grid will go down too.This article originally appeared on Engadget at https://www.engadget.com/teslas-cybertruck-is-a-dystopian-masturbatory-fantasy-225648188.html?src=rss
Apple pushed updates to iOS, iPadOS and macOS software today to patch two zero-day security vulnerabilities. The company suggested the bugs had been actively deployed in the wild. Apple is aware of a report that this issue may have been exploited against versions of iOS before iOS 16.7.1, the company wrote about both flaws in its security reports. Software updates plugging the holes are now available for the iPhone, iPad and Mac.
Researcher Clément Lecigne of Googles Threat Analysis Group (TAG) is credited with discovering and reporting both exploits. As Bleeping Computer notes, the team at Google TAG often finds and exposes zero-day bugs against high-risk individuals, like politicians, journalists and dissidents. Apple didnt reveal specifics about the nature of any attacks using the flaws.
The two security flaws affected WebKit, Apples open-source browser framework powering Safari. In Apples description of the first bug, it said, Processing web content may disclose sensitive information. In the second, it wrote, Processing web content may lead to arbitrary code execution.
The security patches cover the iPhone XS and later, iPad Pro 12.9-inch 2nd generation and later, iPad Pro 10.5-inch, iPad Pro 11-inch 1st generation and later, iPad Air 3rd generation and later, iPad 6th generation and later, and iPad mini 5th generation and later.
The odds your devices were affected by either of these are extremely minimal, so theres no need to panic but, to be safe, it would be wise to update your Apple gear now. You can update your iPhone or iPad immediately by heading to Settings > General > Software Update and tapping the prompt to initiate it. On Mac, go to System Settings > General > Software Update and do the same. Apples fixes arrived today in iOS 17.1.2, iPadOS 17.1.2 and macOS Sonoma 14.1.2. This article originally appeared on Engadget at https://www.engadget.com/apple-patches-two-security-vulnerabilities-on-iphone-ipad-and-mac-215854473.html?src=rss
After years of production delays, Tesla CEO Elon Musk took to a dimly-lit stage on Thursday to hand-deliver the first batch of Cybertruck EVs to their new owners. The company has also, finally announced pricing for the luxury electric truck. Prospective buyers can expect to pay anywhere from $60,990 to $100,000 MSRP (and potentially $11,000 less after rebates and tax credits). The company has launched an online configurator tool for those interested in placing an order of their own.
Tesla also officially revealed the vehicle's performance specs and model options at the event. The Cybertruck's entry-level version is the $60,990 single-motor rear-wheel drive ($49,890 after "incentives" and an "est. 3-year gas savings," per the configurator). It will offer an estimated 250 miles of range and a pokey 6.5 second zero-to-60. Who knew steel sheeting would be so heavy?. It won't be released until the 2025 model year.
The mid-level model is the $79,990 all-wheel drive version and sports e-motors on each axle. It weighs just over 6,600 pounds 1,900 less than the Rivian R1S and nearly 2,500 less than the Hummer EV. It will offer 340 miles of range, a more respectable 4.1-second zero-to-60 and 600 HP with 7435 lb-ft of torque. Its 11,000-pound towing capacity is a touch more than the Ford Lighting XLT's 10,000-pound maximum.
For $99,990, you can buy the top of the line Cyberbeast yes, you will have to refer to it as that in public. The Cyberbeast comes equipped with a trio of e-motors that will provide AWD handling, a 320 mile range, 2.6-second sero-to-60, a 130 MPH top speed, 845 horses and 10,296 lb-ft of torque. Despite those impressive specs, the Cyberbeast is stuck with the same 11,000 pound tow limit as the base model.
Both the Cyberbeast and the AWD iteration will be able to carry 121 cubic feet of cargo and accommodate five adult passengers. The Cybertruck line is compatible with Tesla's supercharger network and can accept up to 250W maximum, enough to add 128 miles of range for every 15 minutes of charge time. The AWD and Cyberbeast are both currently available to order on Tesla's website, though prospective buyers will need to put down a fully-refundable $250 deposit upon ordering.
DevelopingThis article originally appeared on Engadget at https://www.engadget.com/teslas-long-awaited-cybertruck-will-start-at-60990-before-rebates-211751127.html?src=rss
TikTok has introduced the Artist Account, which offers up-and-coming musicians new ways to curate their profiles in ways that boost discoverability. The new suite of tools are not just meant for rising stars: established pop icons can also add an artist tag to their profiles, giving their music its own tab next to their videos, likes and reposted content.
To be eligible for an artist tag, TikTok says you will need at least four sounds or songs uploaded to the app. Artists can also pin one of their tunes so it appears first in the music tab. If a musician drops new content, the app will tag songs as new for up to 14 days before and up to 30 days after it goes live. Any new tracks will automatically be added to a profiles music tab.
TikTok says over 70,000 artists are already using the new tools. The app has proven to be a breeding ground for content to go viral for new artists and established music makers alike thanks to the lightning speed of dance and lifestyle video trends. TikToks impact on the music industry has been so massive that even streamers like Spotify have looked into experimenting with video-first music discovery feeds.This article originally appeared on Engadget at https://www.engadget.com/tiktoks-new-profile-tools-are-just-for-musicians-201723244.html?src=rss
One of the key selling points of Meta Quest VR headsets is that they can play PC VR titles, but you have to be physically connected via a link cable to the PC. There are some third-party workarounds that allow for wireless game streaming, like Virtual Desktop, but now Steam has unveiled an official solution.
Steam Link is a tool available for Meta Quest 2, 3 and Pro that wirelessly streams PC VR games from your Steam library directly to the headset, so you can continue to avoid cables like the plague. The free app already exists, but has been used to stream Steam games onto phones, tablets and TVs. This is the first time its available for VR titles.
Theres one major caveat. Just like Virtual Desktop, you still need a capable PC that can run high-end VR games. You just wont need the link cable. Its possible this service can work via cloud computing platforms, but the results are likely to be janky at best. Steam outlines recommended PC specs, suggesting the NVIDIA GTX970 GPU or better, 16GB of RAM and Windows 10 or newer.
Beyond the PC, you also need a 5GHz WiFi router with both the headset and the computer connected to the same network. You can download the Steam Link app directly from the Quest store to get started. This may not be the biggest deal in the world to folks who already use Virtual Desktop, but anything that gets more people into Half Life: Alyx is a good thing.This article originally appeared on Engadget at https://www.engadget.com/steams-streaming-software-now-lets-you-wirelessly-play-pc-vr-games-on-quest-headsets-200502768.html?src=rss
One of the major concessions Microsoft made to regulators to get its blockbuster acquisition of Activision Blizzard over the line was agreeing to let users of third-party cloud services stream Xbox-owned games. Starting today, you can play three Call of Duty games via NVIDIA GeForce Now: Modern Warfare 3, Modern Warfare 2 and Warzone.
They're the first Activision games to land on GeForce Now since Microsoft closed the $68.7 billion Activision deal in October. Activision Blizzard games were previously available on GeForce Now but only briefly, as the publisher pulled them days after the streaming service went live for all users in early 2020.
Microsoft first made its first-party games available on GeForce Now this year, beginning with Gears 5 in May. More recently, Microsoft started allowing GeForce Now users to stream PC Game Pass titles and Microsoft Store purchases.
Call of Duty titles are major additions, though, especially since that means Warzone fans can play the battle royale on their phone or tablet wherever they are without having to pay anything extra (free GeForce Now users are limited to one hour of gameplay per session). If you've bought MW2 or MW3 on Steam, you can play those through GeForce Now as well. NVIDIA notes that older CoD titles will be available through GeForce Now later.
Another key concession Microsoft made to appease UK regulators was to sell the cloud gaming rights for Activision Blizzard titles to Ubisoft. However, as evidenced here, Microsoft will still honor the agreements it made directly with various cloud gaming services.This article originally appeared on Engadget at https://www.engadget.com/call-of-duty-games-start-landing-on-nvidia-geforce-now-195040692.html?src=rss
There's still time to get acquainted with Formula E before the new season begins in January. To help with that, the all-electric racing series has opened up its vault and made every race from its first nine seasons available to stream for free. Starting with the first event in Beijing in 2014 through this past season's finale in London, there's a lot to relive or watch for the first time. If you're trying to stream them all, that's 90 hours of action over 116 races you have to look forward to.
Formula E's new Race Replay archive is available for free via it's website and mobile app. All you need to do in order to gain access to the back catalog is to register for an account. What's more, the series says every race from 2024's Season 10 will be available seven days after airing live. Even if you don't have access to the required channels or platforms needed to watch live next year, you'll still be able to follow along a few days after each event.
When the lights go out in Mexico City, Formula E will offer fans expanded viewing options in 2024. Roku will stream 11 races live through its Roku Channel for free. That platform will also offer previews, replays and other commentary in addition to the live events. Paramount+ will stream five races live as simulcasts with CBS, the broadcaster that has been home to Formula E in the US for a while now.
Season 10 begins January 13 in Mexico City before a double-header in Diriyah, Saudi Arabia later in the month. 17 total races are scheduled for 2024, including a US stop in Portland that has been expanded to its own double-header weekend after debuting last season. Formula E completed its preseason testing in Valencia in late October and you can read our key takeaways from that event here. This article originally appeared on Engadget at https://www.engadget.com/formula-e-now-lets-you-stream-every-race-from-its-first-nine-seasons-for-free-193820963.html?src=rss
US Senators John Kennedy (R-LA) and Jeff Merkley (D-OR) introduced a bipartisan bill Wednesday to end involuntary facial recognition screening at airports. The Traveler Privacy Protection Act would block the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) from continuing or expanding its facial recognition tech program. It would also require the government agency to explicitly receive congressional permission to renew it, and it would have to dispose of all biometric data within three months.
Senator Merkley described the TSAs biometric collection practices as the first steps toward an Orwellian nightmare. The TSA program is a precursor to a full-blown national surveillance state, Merkley wrote in a news release. Nothing could be more damaging to our national values of privacy and freedom. No government should be trusted with this power. Other Senators supporting the bill include Edward J. Markey (D-MA), Roger Marshall (R-KS), Bernie Sanders (I-VT) and Elizabeth Warren (D-MA).
The TSA began testing facial recognition at Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) in 2018. The agencys pitch to travelers framed it as an exciting new high-tech feature, promising a biometrically-enabled curb-to-gate passenger experience. The TSA said this summer it planned to expand the program to over 430 US airports within the next few years.
I was back at Washington National Airport this month, and @TSA was up to their old tricksmaking it unclear that you ARE able to opt out of using facial recognition technology. Ill keep holding them accountable. pic.twitter.com/absGn5v1Q3 Senator Jeff Merkley (@SenJeffMerkley) September 25, 2023
The program at least technically allows travelers to opt-out, but that process isnt always transparent in practice. Merkley posted the video above to X in September, demonstrating how agents guided travelers to the facial scanner without mentioning that its optional. No signs near the booths said it was optional or explicitly mentioned the gathering of facial data, either. The booths were arranged so that flyers would have difficulty entering their drivers license or ID (required) without stepping in front of the facial scanner.
Advocacy groups supporting the bill include the ACLU, Electronic Privacy Information Center and Public Citizen. The privacy risks and discriminatory impact of facial recognition are real, and the governments use of our faces as IDs poses a serious threat to our democracy, wrote Jeramie Scott, Senior Counsel and Director of EPICs Project on Surveillance Oversight, in Markleys press release. The TSA should not be allowed to unilaterally subject millions of travelers to this dangerous technology.
Every day, TSA scans thousands of Americans faces without their permission and without making it clear that travelers can opt out of the invasive screening, Sen. Kennedy wrote in a separate news release. The Traveler Privacy Protection Act would protect every American from Big Brothers intrusion by ending the facial recognition program.This article originally appeared on Engadget at https://www.engadget.com/bipartisan-senate-bill-would-kill-the-tsas-big-brother-airport-facial-recognition-191010937.html?src=rss
Several companies have taken shots at Sonos over the years when it comes to multi-room audio and self-tuning speakers with built-in voice assistants. These devices are a lot more common in 2023 than they used to be, so theres a whole host of options if youre looking for alternatives to the Move or Era. JBL is the latest to give it a go with new additions to its Authentics line of speakers. While audio may be its primary use, these devices are the first to run two voice assistants simultaneously without having to switch from one to the other. And on the Authentics 300 ($450), you get a portable unit that doesnt have to stay parked on a shelf.
Most wireless JBL speakers fit into three categories. Theyre either rugged and compact, modern-looking boomboxes or internally-lit party units. For this new Authentics series, the company opted for a more refined design: all black with a gold frame around the front speaker grille. Its certainly an aesthetic that fits in nicely on a shelf, without the raucous palette of some of the companys smaller options. All three of the Authentics speakers look almost exactly the same with the main difference being size, although the 300 does have a boombox-like rotating handle the other two dont. Thats because its the only portable option in the range with a built-in battery.
JBL describes the Authentics look as retro, but Im not sure I agree. Sure, theres a classic vibe thanks to the 70s-inspired Quadrex grille the company has employed in the past, but the finer details and onboard controls are decidedly modern. Speaking of controls, up top youll find volume, treble and bass knobs that illuminate the level as you turn them. Pressing in the center of the volume dial gives you the playback controls. There are also Bluetooth, power and Moment buttons along with a thin light bar that indicates charging status when the speaker is plugged in. Around back is a microphone mute switch, along with Ethernet, 3.5mm aux, USB-C and power ports.
Software and features
Photo by Billy Steele/Engadget
The features and settings for the Authentics speakers are managed inside the JBL One app. Here, youre greeted with a list of the companys products you own as well as their connected status, battery level and whatever media is playing on the device. After selecting the Authentics 300, JBL dumps you into the specifics, with battery level once again visible up top. A media player is just below, complete with the ability to sync Amazon Music, Tidal, Napster, Qobuz, TuneIn, iHeartRadio and Calm Radio so you can play them directly inside this app.
JBL offers some limited EQ customization. Theres a manual slider with options for bass, mid and treble, but thats it. You wont find any carefully-tuned presets or the ability to make more detailed adjustments along the curve. To get to your tunes quickly, JBL offers a feature called Moment. Accessible via the heart button on the speaker, this allows you to save a favorite album or playlist from the apps list of supported streaming services. You can also specify volume and auto-off timing during setup.
Lastly, a word on streaming music over Wi-Fi. The Authentics line supports a range of options here, including AirPlay, Chromecast, Alexa, Spotify Connect and Tidal Connect, all of which are more convenient than swiping over to the Bluetooth menu and pairing the speaker every time you use it. With Wi-Fi, playing music on the Authentics devices are just a couple of taps away inside of the app where youre browsing and selecting music or podcasts from. The speakers also support multi-room audio via AirPlay, Alexa and the Google Home app
Double assistants, double the fun
Photo by Billy Steele/Engadget
JBL says the Authentics series is the first set of speakers to run two voice assistants simultaneously. Each of the three units can employ both Alexa and Google Assistant without you having to pick one or the other beforehand. This opens up availability across compatible smart home devices and it means your speaker choice isnt as limited by your go-to assistant.
The speaker never had trouble hearing my commands and it didnt mistake a query for one assistant with a question for the other. When you ask Google Assistant for help, a white light shows at the top center of the speaker grille. Summon Alexa and that LED burns blue until your convo is over. When you mute the microphones with the switch on the back of the 300, that light glows red and remains until you turn them back on. As is the case with any smart speaker, the voice command limitations are the general hindrances of the assistants themselves rather than any shortfalls of the speaker.
The Authentics 300 really shines with more mellow, chill music like jazz, bluegrass and acoustic-driven country. Theres a warm inviting sound with great clarity across those styles. When you jump to the full band chaos of metal and hardcore, or even the guitar-heavy but mellifluous tones of Chris Stapleton, the speakers tuning overemphasizes vocals and the lack of bassy thump creates a muddy overall sound.
Sure, you can dial up the bass with the physical controls or the EQ in the app, butthat doesnt add the kind of deep low-end that would open up the soundstage. It does improve the overall tuning of albums like Stapletons Higher, but theres still an overemphasis on vocals. You can really hear the impact on The Killers Rebel Diamonds as Brandon Flowers almost entirely drowns out the backing synth on Jenny Was A Friend Of Mine from Hot Fuss.
At times though, the Authentics 300 is a joy to listen to. Put on some Miles Davis and the speaker is at its best. Ditto for the bluegrass of Nickel Creek, the mellow country tunes of Charles Wesley Godwin and classic Christmas mixes. However, the inconsistency across styles is frustrating. Interestingly, JBL says the Authentics speakers offer automatic self-tuning every time you power them on, but I didnt notice much difference as I moved the 300 around.
Photo by Billy Steele/Engadget
JBL says the Authentics 300 will last up to eight hours on a charge. Within two minutes of unplugging, the JBL One app already had the battery level down two percent while playing music via AirPlay 2, at about 30 percent volume. That may seem like a low level, but its good for working music on this speaker. After 30 minutes, the app was showing 88 percent, but things slowed down and I managed to still have 24 percent remaining when the eight-hours were up. During a test over Bluetooth, the percentages fell in a similar fashion, but I had no problem making it to eight hours at 50 percent volume (Bluetooth was quieter than AirPlay at 30 percent).
JBL does offer a Battery Saving Mode to help you maximize playtime when youre away from home. This setting optimizes both volume and bass to extend battery life, according to the company. Theres also an optional automatic power off feature that kicks in at either 15 minutes, 30 minutes or an hour when youre not connected to power and audio is no longer playing.
JBL offers two alternatives to the Authentics 300 within the same speaker range. The smaller Authentics 200 ($350) is more compact, but not portable, while the larger 500 ($700) is a high-fidelity unit with support for Dolby Atmos. Both still run two voice assistants at the same time and have both Bluetooth and Wi-Fi, along with everything else the Authentics line offers. In order to support that immersive audio, the Authentics 500 has more drivers than the other two, with three 25mm tweeters, three 2.75-inch mid-range and a 6.5-inch subwoofer. I look forward to seeing if the extra components and added 170 watts of output power improve sound quality, but it only has slightly lower frequency response than the 300 (40Hz vs. 45Hz).
If youre looking for something portable that can also pull double duty at home, the Sonos Move 2 is a solid option. Its too big to haul around with ease, but it does support both Bluetooth and Wi-Fi along with improved sound and better battery life compared to version 1.0. Theres also startling loudness and a durable design. Whats more, its the same price as the Authentics 300 at $449. For something more stationary and immersive, you could get the Sonos Era 300 without paying more. My colleague Nathan Ingraham noted the excellent sound quality on this unit during his review, but he did encounter inconsistent performance when it came to spatial audio. Theres also no Google Assistant support on this model.
When I try to come up with a final verdict on the Authentics 300, I find myself running in circles. For every thing I like about the speaker, theres immediately something that I dont. The company certainly deserves some kudos for being the first to run two assistants at the same time and for figuring out how to do that with no confusion or headaches. However, the inconsistent sound quality is a major problem, especially on a $450 speaker. And while the device offers better-than-advertised battery life, its larger size makes portability an issue. So unless you absolutely need to seamlessly switch between Alexa and Google Assistant, there are better-sounding options.This article originally appeared on Engadget at https://www.engadget.com/jbl-authentics-300-review-alexa-and-google-assistant-coexisting-190036434.html?src=rss