Fast and Furious 9: release date delay, trailer, and what we know

Fast and Furious 9 is squealing its tires towards a cinema near, you, eventually. In the world of cinematic franchises, the Fast and Furious movies (officially known as the Fast Saga) are unique. For a start, unlike most other members of the multi-billion-dollar box office club they’re not really sci-fi or fantasy – though 2019 spin-off Hobbs & Shaw did cross the line with its cybernetically-enhanced bad guy.

Dominic Toretto (Vin Diesel) and his crew of multi-talented drivers/tech experts return for Fast and Furious 9, the ninth of the series – or tenth if you include Hobbs & Shaw. Justin Lin, who directed the third, fourth, fifth and sixth instalments in the long-running saga – and is described as an “architect” of the franchise by Diesel – is back behind the camera, having made a detour to the 23rd century for Star Trek Beyond. 

You’ve now got a long wait ahead of you with the movie’s new 2021 release date, but what can we expect when Fast and Furious 9 revs up? We’ve looked under the bonnet of the most souped-up film series on the planet to explain so you know what to expect.

Fast and Furious 9 release date delayed by coronavirus

Fast and Furious 9 (or F9 as it’s known in the United States) has been delayed for over a year until April 2, 2021 in the US over coronavirus concerns. The official statement above highlights the importance of safety and the fact that plenty of fans may not have been able to even access the cinema to watch it.

Since the new date clashes with that of the tenth movie, it’s highly likely the franchise finale will also be pushed back. It’s not known so far whether F10 will be delayed by the same amount of time into 2022, however.

When news of the delay emerged, F9 became the fourth Hollywood production to be delayed by the virus. The latest Bond movie, No Time To Die, plus A Quiet Place II and Peter Rabbit 2, also got pushed back.

The original release date for F9 was in 2019, but it was postponed a year to May 22, 2020, apparently at the request of Fast Saga star and producer Vin Diesel. “Like any vehicle that has run around the globe 8 times, the franchise is in need of maintenance,” Diesel told his Instagram feed in October 2017. “My good friend and the godfather of [distributor] Universal, Ron Meyer has granted me the time to do just that.”

Fast and Furious 9 trailer: first look at the movie

An epic Fast and Furious 9 trailer, running at nearly four minutes long, debuted on January 31, 2020. That’s all we’ve seen of the movie so far.

It starts slow, with Diesel’s Dom Toretto retired to a quiet rural life with wife Letty (Michelle Rodriguez) and Brian, the young son whose existence was revealed in Fast and Furious 8. “I used to live my life a quarter mile at a time,” Toretto says in voiceover. “But things change…”

This is the Fast Saga, however, so things don’t change that much, and it’s not long before we’re plunged back into some familiar high-octane action. There are bus-top battles in Edinburgh, a Pontiac Fiero strapped to a rocket engine (yes, really), and cars flying off beautiful cliffs in Thailand – but don’t worry, there’s a “magnet plane” standing by to make sure at least one of them doesn’t go tumbling into the sea.

It looks like there’ll be just as many fireworks between the humans, too. Most importantly, we meet Dom’s previously unmentioned younger brother Jakob (played by WWE wrestler and Bumblebee star John Cena), and it turns out there’s no love lost between the two siblings. So much so, in fact, that Jakob’s in league with cyberterrorist Cipher (Charlize Theron), the returning Big Bad who was revealed as the all-controlling Blofeld of the Fast Saga in Fast and Furious 8. She’s still very much at large…

“Your whole life you pushed yourself to be faster than Dom,” she tells Jakob. “Smarter than Dom. Stronger than Dom. But could you kill him? Because I’m ready if you are.”

But the trailer saves its biggest revelation for the end, as Han (Sung Kang) – presumed dead after his car was totalled by Deckard Shaw (Jason Statham) in The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift/Fast and Furious 6 – rejoins Toretto and his crew. Hands up who saw that one coming…

Fast & Furious 9 story: what’s revving up?

Aside from the fact it’ll feature familiar faces, very fast cars and the usual quasi-espionage shenanigans, the inner workings of Fast and Furious 9’s plot remain carefully under wraps. The taglines in the trailer offer up a couple of big clues, however.

“Justice is coming” could refer to several simmering revenge angles. Cipher clearly wants to get back at Dom for ‘betraying’ her in Fast and Furious 8, while Dom has plenty of beef with her – everything from masterminding the criminal schemes of the three previous movies to the cold-blooded murder of Elena Neves, the mother of his son. There’s also the not-so-small matter of Han’s ‘murder’ – though it it’ll be interesting to see who Han thinks is responsible, now that Deckard Shaw (driver of the offending car) has effectively been absorbed into Deckard’s crew.

But it’s the “Not all blood is family” line that’s set to have the biggest impact on the plot – not least because the adopted “family” Dom Toretto has built around himself is one of the main themes of the Fast Saga. His crew may not be blood relatives, but they’re every bit as tight-knit – much closer, it seems, than Dom is to the people he shares DNA with.

The Fast Saga suddenly introducing important relatives we’d heard nothing about is nothing new: Fast and Furious 6 antagonist Owen Shaw turned out to have an angry big bro called Deckard, while Dom Toretto learned he had a son in Fast and Furious 8. So it’s not that surprising that Dom should have a younger brother who’s gone unmentioned until now. Their father’s death in a stock car racing accident – and Dom’s subsequent revenge attack on the driver he blamed for the incident – is bound to be a major bone of contention. And then there’s the return of their younger sister, Mia (Jordana Brewster), to think about. Could she be a potential mediating factor between the Toretto boys?

After Hobbs & Shaw’s cyborg villain took the franchise into genuine sci-fi territory for the first time, we’re also wondering whether Fast & Furious 9 will follow suit. Beyond the now-traditional bending of the laws of physics, there’s nothing in the trailer to suggest that’s the case – though long-time Fast Saga writer Chris Morgan (replaced by Daniel Casey on Fast & Furious 9) has hinted that a trip to space may be on the cards one day. “Nothing’s out of the question,” Morgan told Polygon in 2019. Maybe that rocket-powered Pontiac in the trailer does more than just drive…

Fast and Furious 9 cast: who’s behind the wheel?

The tragic death of franchise mainstay Paul Walker (who played cop-turned-racer Brian O’Conner) left a major hole in Dominic Toretto’s crew for Fast & Furious 8. Heading into part 9, however, the Fast Saga’s core “family” is pretty much unchanged. That means Vin Diesel’s back as Dom, backed up by Michelle Rodriguez (Letty), Tyrese Gibson (Roman), Chris ‘Ludacris’ Bridges (Tej) and Nathalie Emmanuel (Ramsey).

Among the returnees to the gang, Sung Kang is the biggest news, back as the unexpectedly not-dead Han, but Jordan Brewster also makes a comeback as Dom’s younger sister, Mia – she sat out Fast and Furious 8, as Mia settled down with Brian to raise their family.

There’s also franchise returns returns for Fast and Furious: Tokyo Drift vets Lucas Black (Sean), Bow Wow (Twinkie) and Jason Tobin (Earl), and for Helen Mirren as Magdalene, the Shaw matriarch busted out of prison in Hobbs & Shaw.

There’s been no confirmation, however, on whether we’ll be seeing more from Kurt Russell (Mr Nobody), Scott Eastwood (Little Nobody), Dwayne Johnson (Luke Hobbs) or Jason Statham (Deckard Shaw) – we wouldn’t be surprised if any of them popped up for a cameo,

Charlize Theron, a brilliant addition to the Fast and Furious 8 cast, is back with a new short haircut to front the villains as uber-hacker Cipher. She’ll be joined by John Cena as antagonistic Toretto sibling Jakob.

There are also roles for Guardians of the Galaxy’s Michael Rooker (Buddy) and singer Cardi B.

Will there be more Fast Saga movies after Fast and Furious 9?

You can bet on it. In fact, at least one more is a certainty, because – as Diesel revealed in a Facebook post after the release of Fast & Furious 8 in 2015 – parts eight, nine and ten have been planned as “one last trilogy to end the saga”. Various reports have suggested that Lin will be back to direct part 10.

A 2020 interview with Total Film magazine (via GamesRadar) went further, with Diesel hinting that the tenth movie could be split into a two-part finale, à la Harry Potter and The Hunger Games.

“I started planning for Fast 10 before we started filming Fast 9,” he said. “The universe is so robust and so rich with talent and rich with story that, on one level, it’s totally feasible to have spin-offs, and I think that’s something that is inevitable. Universal deserves it because of how much they’ve invested in this little saga, and it’d be good to give back to Universal. And for the fans, should Fast 10 parts one and two be the conclusion, it would be nice for this world to continue for generations to come.”

Diesel’s comments are slightly ambiguous, but it doesn’t look like there are any plans to park the franchise any time soon. There’s already a Fast & Furious: Spy Racers animation on Netflix, while the success of Hobbs & Shaw means there’s every chance Dwayne Johnson and Jason Statham will rekindle their love-hate relationship in a follow-up. There have also been rumors of a female-fronted spin-off.

The Fast Saga will be 20 years old in 2021, but there’s no reason it can’t manage another couple of decades – though the fact the crew will probably be driving electric cars by then means the franchise could sound very, very different.

Fast and Furious 9 is exactly what we need right now

The Fast saga has come a long way. It’s been a long stretch of road from where the franchise began with 2001’s The Fast and the Furious, a fun but unremarkable movie about street racers with a sideline in audacious auto-heists. Now the films have their own bizarre alchemy, an unlikely blend of very fast cars, elaborate heists and relationship drama that occasionally veers into soap opera territory.

It’s exactly the kind of escapism we could use more of in these worrying times, so the corona-induced delay is unfortunate for everyone, not just petrolheads. Here’s hoping that that year delay comes around fast, and that we won’t have to wait another year for Fast 10 after that.

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Workplace inequality in the wake of the global pandemic

Remote working is not a new concept, becoming increasingly commonplace for many, but recent events have made this less of a choice and more of a must.

Whilst there may in fact be advantages for both the individual (no commute, better concentration, more private time) and society as a whole (less transport, lower pollution), there are also clear challenges. The need for better internet infrastructure, investing in the necessary hardware and software, but also the need to ensure that all employees can continue their daily tasks, as well as their personal growth and career development.

One size doesn’t fit all

It’s easy for companies with a huge number of white-collar workers to adjust to home working – it’s simply business as usual. But this crisis highlights that when we talk about technology and its application for HR, it works in favour of office workers, to the detriment of blue-collar workers.

This isn’t a new revelation. Having attended a lot of HR-related conferences and events, they are centred around how technology can support employee development, performance management, and learning at work. But very often, the examples and use cases are related to different kinds of office employees, from developers to sales and service people, or any type of job where you spend time at a desk and with a computer.

What coronavirus illustrates is that anyone with geographical constraint is at risk of being left aside by technology. If you’re a factory or logistics worker, cashier in a supermarket or any local store, it’s difficult to do your job remotely, and all this talk about working from home to avoid being sick may seem like some kind of cruel joke.

Customising the fit

No organisation can afford to overlook the importance of its workers, especially not right now, and with many companies already struggling to recruit and retain blue collar workers, they need to be paying particular attention to these employees. Obviously, in a crisis situation like the one we’re currently facing, the first concern is to protect their health – this should be a given.

But beyond these hopefully unique and unprecedented circumstances, how can technology support all employees, wherever they work, and whatever the tasks they perform?

The objective should be the same as with white collar workers. Technology essentially aims to support employees to work better – be more efficient and productive and to enable them to maximise their strengths and skills. And the same should hold true whether they are in an office, on the factory or shop floor or even on the move. Investing in all staff to help improve and acquire new skills is not only about opening up new career opportunities but also the means for safeguarding and boosting the development and growth of your business. The fact that these employees aren’t in an office, however, will definitely impact the way you need to do this.

Investing in the design for the future

Clearly, for these workers, any investment you make in technology has to be mobile first. Luckily, this isn’t as complex as it used to be. The number of active phone users in the European Union is now above 50%, and android-based smartphones and tablets have become more affordable. This means that even if your organisation is unable to provide work phones or tablets, you could opt for a ‘bring your own device’ strategy, allowing for workers to use their own. Cloud-based applications also often use individual logins so tablets, for example, can be shared in a breakout room or communal space if needed. You will just have to make sure that the factory, shop or warehouse has adequate WiFi.

Beyond the tools to aid learning you also need to provide these workers with the means and resources. That means making training easily available on those mobile devices. Make sure that you have relevant training on one easy-to-access platform, offering a range of training courses and learning content to suit different needs. When your employees are taking that break in the coffee room from the shop or factory floor, for example, there should be quick, digestible learning they can tap into – whether it be how to handle that difficult customer they just served or in the current climate, better practices for staying safe.

As well as the employees themselves, managers also need to be able to keep an eye on employees’ progress and to see what training is being used the most, proving the most useful and where there may be potential weak spots and training gaps to be plugged. This is also the means to ensure that your employees aren’t just learning the skills for now but that they will also need in the future.

Most importantly, let your employees learn. Grant them the time and opportunity to utilise these tools for their development.  In the same way that re-stocking the shelves may be a standard go-to daily task, make undertaking some learning an integrated part of their work too.

Blue collar workers represent a huge talent pool, who are often overlooked, despite having key roles. They likely already possess a huge amount of knowledge about your company, and work in direct contact either with your products (in factories, for example) or with your customers (such as in stores). By making technology work for them as well and giving them access to development tools and opportunities, you will enable these employees to share their skills, improve overall knowledge across your organisation and best of all, bolster your business success.

Geoffroy De Lestrange is Communication Director EMEA at Cornerstone OnDemand

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30 things to do at home this week while stuck in self-isolation

We’ve completely reorganized our in-depth things to do just list in case you’re stuck in self-isolation and quickly growing bored. We have 30 fresh ideas for you.

Everything mentioned here can be done at home.  Think of it this way: we’re your digital tour guide to help you ride out the coronavirus outbreak, and the world’s seemingly indefinite confinement. Let us be your distraction from today’s surreal situation, as we point you in the direction of entertaining and productive activities.

You can do anything you want – so long as it’s indoors and you’re still self-distancing. Our things-to-do ideas include new movies, live sports alternatives, and fresh games that will eat up your time. There are also podcasts and cleaning tips to boot. 

Yes, finding things to do at home when bored has become the premier challenge we didn’t foresee when making 2020 predictions. We’ll keep doing our bit to help make self-isolation bearable, and keep you safe, as we all ride out these challenging times.

1. Watch Pixar’s Onward for free with Disney Plus

Onward

Pixar, known for its big-budget CG films, is settling for a small screen premier with its latest movie: Onward. Disney launched it came out for digital purchase on March 20, while Disney Plus subscribers, as of April 3 in the US and Canada, can watch it for free (at no extra cost besides the Disney Plus subscription, of course).

We’ve opined that this weekend is best time to subscribe to Disney Plus (see the free trial offer above), at least in North America. Everyone else, like those in the UK, can still soak in episodes of the Mandalorian, The Imagineering Story and The Simpsons.

2. Watch at-home movies that released early

Sonic the hedgehog

There are a number of big movies that are supposed to either still be in theaters or weren’t due to be available on demand until much later. Theaters are closed down, so major studios have turned to streaming them to you at home early.

New movies to buy: Sonic the Hedgehog sped up its release to meet the demand at everyone bored at home and looking for things to do, and so did Bad Boys for Life, The Invisible Man, Call of the Wild, Bloodshot, Birds of Prey, The Hunt, Dolittle, Emma, I Still Believe and The Wayback. All are priced to own.

New rentals to rent: 1917,  Jumanji: The Next Level, Richard Jewell, and Bombshell, while Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker has now hit pay-to-own status.

We’ve put together a series of short videos to help keep you entertained and informed at home – see below for our roundups of the best headphones, webcams and tablets, advice on cleaning your phone and more…

3. Watch ‘Tiger King’ rule Netflix with absurdity

Update: Tiger King is apparently getting an eighth episode on Thursday, so now is the time to catch up on the first seven episodes of this Netflix series.

Everyone is watching the new Netflix series Tiger King, and even if your video quality has been downgraded, it’s worth streaming all seven episodes. It’s our new favorite true crime documentary, surpassing The Staircase (also a winner if you haven’t seen it).

Right away, Tiger King and its colorful characters border on being so ridiculous, you’d swear they’re not true. PSA: we’ve known some big cat lovers who couldn’t stand watching it for more the five minutes, so, for them, we suggest February’s rave documentary miniseries instead, HBO’s McMillions.

4. Tune into late-night shows – they’re back

Late night shows

The world need comedy right now, and late-night comedians are providing just that this week after a brief hiatus due to coronavirus self-isolation. No, they’re not in their usual studios, but Conan O’Brien, Jimmy Kimmel, Jimmy Fallon,  Stephen Colbert, and James Corden are yucking it up at their respective home. The production quality, well, that varies. But the laughs are authentic enough that is has some charm.

There are a couple of options to tune in: Sling TV, YouTube TV, Hulu Live and, for the two Late Shows, CBS All Access.

5. Watch something new on Netflix or Prime Video

Netflix and Amazon Prime Video have been our saviors boredom, consistently giving us the easiest new recommendations in our weekend things to do list updates.

We’ve outlined five new shows and movies on the two streaming services (which you likely have already – if not, there’s an free Prime Video trial above). Included a new movie called Coffee and Kareem starring Ed Helms (The Office, The Hangover). If sinking into a fresh comedy is what you need right now, you’ll find it on Netflix. Amazon Prime Video, meanwhile, has the 1950s Rio de Janeiro-set Invisible Life and new sci-fi drama Tales from the Loop.

6. Watch an epic movie series in order

Nothing eats up more time than a good, long TV series, but because movies typically have bigger budgets and higher production value (outside a select few TV shows), we’re switching it up (and also we ran out of TV shows to watch this weekend). Now is the perfect time to go through an entire movie franchise – in order.

There are a couple different ways to watch the Marvel movies in order, and we have the links to where you can watch most of the 23 Marvel movies (Disney Plus being the easiest way to watch a majority of them). If you’re looking for things to do during the coronavirus self-isolation, this will take you a total of 60 hours.

We also have lists for how to watch Star Wars movies in order, Batman movies in order, James Bond movies in order (sadly ‘No Time to Die’ is on hold), Star Trek in order (including the new-ish Picard series), Harry Potter movies in order, and, if you’re in the mood for some mindless Vin Diesel-helmed entertainment, Fast and Furious movies in order.

7. Watch Epix for free with Apple TV Channels

Epix

You probably didn’t pay much attention to Apple TV Channels, which launched along with Apple TV Plus late last year, but now it’s important – now that we’re running out of TV shows and movies to stream for free.

Epix, the small US premium network, is free until May 2, giving you almost a month with the channel that has a catalogue of movies you may have missed.The Elton John biopic Rocketman, the comedy The Hustle and the first Avengers movie are all free to watch. Missed The Lincoln Lawyer? It’s worth it (and free, too), and so our older James Bond flicks.

Original shows on Epix include a new War of the Worlds series, Godfather of Harlem, Berlin Station, and Deep State. The best part is that while Apple TV Channels offers a few premium channel free trials (ShowTime Anytime, History Channel Vault and Smithsonian Channel Plus, the Epix trial doesn’t require you signing up or inputting a credit card number at all.

8. Rewatch the iHeart Living Room Concert

iHeartRadio

Coronavirus and self-isolation knows no bounds – royalty, movie stars and musicians have been affected by this novel virus. With many performers forced to cancel tours, iHeart Radio and Fox came up with an idea: stream a concert from celebrity homes. 

It raised $8 million during and after the streaming concert, with the money going to the First Responders Children’s Foundation and Feeding America. The actual video is free, but you may need a cable login or VPN to watch it, depending on your location.

The hour-long video is hosted Sir Elton John, with performances by Alicia Keys, the Backstreet Boys, Billie Eilish, Green Day’s Billie Joe Armstrong, Mariah Carey and Tim McGraw. Don’t miss: Dave Grohl does a wonderful acoustic version of the Foo Fighters’ “My Hero” and it’s dedicated to selfless caretakers fighting Covid-19.

9. Play through Resident Evil 3 remake

Our new game of the week is Capcom’s Resident Evil 3 remake, and it dates back 21 years, when the original Resident Evil 3: Nemesis first launched in 1999. Today, it’s a very different experience: we played it in 8K at over 60fps (though there are some big sacrifices), and tested its performance with today’s biggest graphics cards. 

Warning, the game’s plot line of a city infected with a biological weapon may hit too close to home right now, but it’s even better than Resident Evil 2 remake, in our opinion.

10. Play either Doom Eternal or Animal Crossing

Doom Eternal

Last weekend, two new video games came out that couldn’t be more different, and we’re thankful for the variety provided by Bethesda Softworks and Nintendo. 

This ride through Hell is one of the best experiences you’ll have in 2020.

Doom Eternal is a beautiful, but brutal reinvention of the first-person shooter series that actually makes life at the moment look… not so bad. This ride through Hell is one of the best experiences you’ll have in 2020. Our full Doom Eternal review agrees, with a five-star rating and an Editor’s Choice award. It’s fast-paced at 60fps and has surpassed our expectations even when it played it in 8K with a $2,500 graphics card.

Animal Crossing: New Horizons is on the other end of the spectrum – it’s a ready to lull you into a sense that nothing is wrong whatsoever like a good ASMR. This is fine. Everything is fine, says main character Tim Nook. Nintendo’s cute social life sim is ideal for today’s self-isolation situation. Read our Animal Crossing: New Horizons review and think happy thoughts.

One thing to note: while the new Animal Crossing is a must-have Nintendo Switch-exclusive, Doom Eternal is available on a wider set of platforms: PCs, PS4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch and even Google Stadia.

11. Apple Arcade’s latest is built for the whole family

Our best Apple Arcade games list now includes Crossy Road Castle, a platform title that thrives on its four-player local multiplayer gameplay (fear not, single-player is a choice, just in case confined at home alone). The frantic action reminds us of all the New Super Mario Bros. games and the old Castle Crashers game that never made its way to iOS somehow. Developer Hipster Whale provides the next best thing.

What’s great about a game like Crossy Road Castle is that it’s easy to get the entire family in on the multiplayer action thanks to Apple’s family share feature. You’re able to share this game with anyone in your iCloud family, and we just re-upped out Apple Arcade subscription (it’s $4.99 / £4.99 / AU$7.99 a month) to do just that.

12. Play board games online with friends

Self-isolation gaming isn’t all about video games and trivia. Traditional board games have also begun to migrate to the online sphere for distant friends and families. The age-old cure for boredom? Board ’em. 

You can utilize a webcam to play certain bored games (ones that don’t require you to keep secrets, while some games, like those on Tabletopia (paid and free), bring the experience online. Don’t forget, your smartphone or tablet has multiplayer-friendly board games, too. 

13. Find your live sports fix in these games

MLB game

Normally, our things to do at home when bored list includes live streaming sports games, especially baseball at this time of year. That’s all caput thanks to this self-isolation period, and the brief thought of teams playing without crowd was quickly scrapped when NBA players started testing positive for coronavirus.

Here’s the next best thing – and one that keeps everyone safe: you are the one going through the season playing at your favorite sports teams in various video games. No Wimbledon? No problem.

14. Play ‘Cards Against Humanity’ online with friends

You might not be able to get together to play games with your friends and family in person like usual, but you can still play Cards Against Humanity online with a variety of services that feature virtual cards. There are three options in our guide, and they offer a safe way to play while remaining in self-isolation.

We’re also highlighting the physical version of the game, just in case you’re confined with family or roommates and want the real deal.

15. Take a trip… to a virtual museum or national park

The Lourve virtual tour

You can’t go outside to do small things like go to a movie theater, never mind make much bigger plans like embarking on an expedition to another country. Trust us, it’s a much better idea to stay at home during this coronavirus outbreak. 

Good news: our 10 virtual tours: see museums and the world without leaving home list allows you to visit world’s most popular museums and US national parks virtually. You can use a VR headset, but these tours also work with a smartphone or tablet.

Highlights include Machu Picchu in Peru (without the walking), The Louvre Museum in Paris (Mona Lisa told us to says “Hi”), and the Georgia Aquarium in the US (without all of the school students somehow completely blocking the giant Beluga whales).

16. Discover a new podcast

Noise Cancelling podcast

Podcasts are by-and-large free and often strike the right balancing between being entertaining and informative. Notable podcasts including This American Life, Serial, and Stuff You Should Know – they’re consistently in the top 50 on podcast platforms.

If we can be a bit biased for a second, you should really check out Noise Cancelling, the best new tech podcast around. This is our new weekly podcast that talks about what’s happening in tech, expanding on the daily written coverage of TechRadar.

17. Trivia is back in session, right on your phone

HQ Trivia

There are multiple ways to partake in trivia, even though your local bar is closed. First up is HQ Trivia (iOS and Android), the once-popular live game show app that shut down in February. It’s back at 9PM ET, at the exact time we need it. No, you won’t find Scott Rogowsky hosting this ‘trivia train’ but Matt Richards was at the helm of Sunday’s first game and regular quizzes followed.

Shut-down bar trivia companies have transitioned to Twitch streaming due to self-distancing rules. Prominent brands include King Trivia (Sundays and Wednesdays at 10pm ET / 7pm PT) and Geeks Who Drink. It was one of the social of the things to do weekly in-person that has survived in a whole new isolation-friendly format.

18. Make a movie with free Final Cut Pro X

Final Cut Pro X

Final Cut Pro X and Logic Pro X are free for 90 days, meaning you have three months to make a movie or produce a song about your life in confinement courtesy of Apple. That’s enough time to learn advanced techniques like color-grading without having to pay $299 / £299 / AU$499.99 for FCPX or $199 / £199 / AU$319.99 for Logic Pro X. While Adobe Premier Pro CC has become popular on Windows machines, Final Cut Pro is still king of Mac computers when it comes to making videos.

19. Read one of 100 top ebooks

Amazon Kindle Paperwhite

Do this… but indoors or away from people, please.

It’s easy to put off reading books when life gets busy and you have a commute. But you’re probably free from your commute if you’re working from home. So basically you have no excuse to flip through a few pages of an ebook.

Where do you start? That’s sometimes the hardest part, but we’ve been impressed with Amazon’s 100 books to read in a lifetime list. Not all will be your cup of tea, but there’s something here for everyone and most ebooks are conveniently discounted. 

Not a fan of reading? Hate the sound of your own voice in your head? Audible is the best remedy for that. The Amazon-owned audiobook company still offers a free 30-day membership. The best parts? Both ebooks and audiobooks are delivered instantly and Amazon won’t run out of inventory on either.

20. Buy a webcam to chat with friends (and maybe work)

We’ve seen a dramatic uptick in usage of video conferencing services and apps, and that has caused everyone to rummage through their drawers to search for that long-lost webcam. Like us, you probably can’t recall the last time you saw it. Or maybe it’s sitting in your locked-up office.

Either way, we have a solution to get you up to speed: we’ve created a list of the best webcams for 2020 so you can chat with friends and work from home. Supplies of webcams is strained, so we’re also highlighting where webcams are still in stock, too.

 

21. Organize your digital life

Among the best things to do this week are those ‘adulting’ digital clean-up tasks that you never got around to doing before the Covid-19 outbreak. Now is the best  time to tackle them. No excuses. In fact, here’s a running list to help you get started:

  • App overload on your laptop and phone: Your laptop and smartphone’s home screen is full of files and apps you never use, and they’re taking up more space than you probably realize – so prune them.
  • Social media purge: You likely have too many social media ‘friends’ you don’t intend to share everything with (it’s a privacy risk), and you probably follow too many accounts that aren’t actually of interest to you anymore. It’s time to do a purge. Also, take care of embarrassing posts from yesteryear. That’s not you anymore.
  • Sort your photos into albums: Your photos aren’t organized in albums, making it harder to show off vacations pics when it really matters. Never say “Hold on, let me just find it…” in a social setting. You know, whenever we do that again.
  • Delete bad photos: If a quarter of of your camera roll consists of throw-away shots that you’d never post and doubles you never got around to deleting, you should tash those needless photos and videos.
  • Go zero inbox: The biggest task of all: your email is overstuffed. It’s time to fulfill that zero inbox goal and make your life easier every morning you wake up to fresh junk email. We use a service called Mailstorm to help bulk delete email.

22. Clean your gadgets of germs

We launched a series of how to clean articles, which is timely given you’ve probably put this off for a long time in the lead up to the coronavirus outbreak. It’s among the top things to do if you haven’t wiped-down your filthy, germ-collecting gadgets.

The biggest offender is your smartphone, so we launched a how to clean your phone guide, which mirrors our advice on how to clean your iPad or tablet and how to clean your laptop screen. It’s very easy to forget about cleaning your AirPods, but they too could use a good rubdown, whether or not you see visible wax. Don’t forget about your Nintendo Switch and cleaning all of your gaming peripherals. You’ll hug those tightly during gaming marathons and they become germ magnets.

23. Stock up on cleaning supplies

A quick amendment to that last suggestion on our things to do list: we own a lot of gadgets to clean and that makes it hard to conserve cleaning supplies. That’s why we’re keeping an eye out for things like Clorox wipes, hand sanitizer, and cleaning clothes. Other things to consider are compressed air and DW40, all of which we’ve used on gadgets and mechanical devices we own, smart and dumb.

24. Buy a robot vacuum

iRobot Roomba 980

One of the best investments we made during last year’s Black Friday was to buy a discounted robot vacuum. With us cleaning our home more than ever, it’s extremely convenient to have a device to shoulder the burden. 

We’re also standing away from the dust and dirt that can get kicked up in the air, not behind the barrel of a traditional vacuum. You’ll want to check out our best robot vacuum buying guide and our highlighting of robot vacuum sales to get the best vacuum at a decent price.

25. Exercise while safely self-distancing

Apple Watch 5 review

Getting exercise is crucial given our suddenly-even-more-so sedentary lifestyles. You, like us, may have a hard time staying motivated, and it’s understandable. That’s why we’ve turned to fitness trackers to keep reminding us that we haven’t moved nearly enough while in self-isolation. They work at home or, if your government allows it, when going outside.

We just highlighted that the new Apple Watch deals, though nearly as many people are clamoring for the best version on our Apple Watch 5 deals page. Android users should turn their attention to Fitbit deals and Samsung Galaxy Watch Active deals (both work with iOS devices, too) and our overall picks for best smartwatch deals.

26. Reserve a grocery delivery time slot now

Amazon Fresh

The best thing to do at home mirrors what we liked doing when going out: eating. It’s a harder now, sadly, with grocery store delivery time slots backed up globally and services like Instacart and Amazon Fresh facing employee strikes. 

To the best of our ability, we’re highlighting the best grocery delivery services in the US and grocery delivery services in the UK and, when we can, highlighting rare open time slots. It’s best to do this now before all of the other fun things to do.

27. Become a master chef with a meal kits service

Now is your chance to become a master chef with the best meal prep kits delivering step-by-step recipes to you along with the necessary ingredients. Blue Apron is our favorite in the US, while HelloFresh is available in both the US and UK.

If you’re not ready to flex your culinary skills, there are food delivery services in the US and similar takeaway apps in the UK that will get you ready-made foods from the restaurants you’d normally visit. You order get breakfast, lunch and dinner, and you’ll be supporting many of the distressed restaurants in your area.

28. Support your local restaurant with take-out orders

We have a list of the best food delivery services in the US and food delivery apps the UK, and these guides have become all the more important in 2020 as local restaurants are hurting during the Covid-19 lockdown. While stocking up on food from grocery stores is important, so its supporting your favorite restaurants with food delivery and take-out orders that want to stay in business and keep workers employed. Buying gift cards is also a way to help show your support.

29. Cancel wasteful expenditures (trips, gym, etc) 

Most airlines and hotels are offering free cancellations or at least vouchers in light of the coronavirus outbreak, although phone lines are jammed. This happened to us twice on a recent visit, leaving us with penalties both times. The good news is that most companies will right their wrongs – eventually.

We know that you are concerned about your travel plans. We are experiencing unprecedented call volumes and ask that if you’re not traveling within the next 72 hours, please wait to call. If you are traveling between now and April 30th, we have new options to change or cancel your trip online.

Expedia Group

There are some important tips. Airlines and travel sites like Expedia.com are asking customers to call them about changes no more than 72 hours before departure.

The thinking is that people with immediate travel plans still in jeopardy will have a chance to get through. Online cancellations weren’t possible (probably made it harder to cancel) before when we tried in March, so companies are adapting.

You’ll also want to cancel or pause your gym membership and make sure Groupon extends the expiration dates of your coupon vouchers. It’s the little things that end up being costly when you forget about them.

30. Track wasteful recurring expenses

Truebill

You’re probably paying for more subscriptions than you realize, and getting charged a hefty fee every month. That’s where the Truebill budgeting planner app becomes a handy tool. It dives into you bank and credit card accounts in order to figure out which recurring expenses you get hit with every month.

Here’s what floated to the top of our accounts: Netflix, Hulu, Disney Plus, Amazon Prime. Are we really getting use out of all of them? How all of about those Apple subscriptions? iCloud storage (do we really need that much cloud space?) and Apple Arcade are taking small amounts from our bank accounts monthly. 

We’ve found Truebill to help highlight these expenses. and it’s free to monitor your accounts. It starts costing money if you want the service to do the legwork and cancel or negotiate your payments for you.

We’ll keep this list of things to do updated as the weeks of confinement continue and so long as we feel we’re offering helpful advice. We’re not in a global call to arms, but a worldwide call to couch – and we understand that can be difficult if you run out of fun ideas. We often give people buying advice, but we’re just as happy to deliver enjoying advice.

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Sony’s WH-1000XM3 are 43% off, so you can chill to your fave tunes for less

Are you over seeing fitness influencers bounce their way through isolation? Do you just want to chill out until this seeming nightmare is over? Well, Sony is here to help you relax and stay zen in isolation with the best noise cancelling headphones you can grab whilst also saving you an incredible 43%.

Ranked number 1 in our best headphones for 2020 roundup, the Sony WH-1000XM3 is the child of innovation and good sound that’s gifted with exceptional noise-cancellation. These magnificent cans easily outshine any competitor as they’re the only headphones around that can adjust the sound barrier in correlation with the noise levels of your surroundings. 

Thanks to the WH-1000MX3’s exceptional 30-hour battery life, you will enjoy being deeply immersed in your favourite sound and be transported to your very own personal universe for extended listening sessions without interruption. It also has a quick charge mode that allows you to get around 5 hours of playback from only 10 minutes of charging.

Go to your happy place with the Sony WH-1000XM3 – currently discounted by an impressive AU$236.82 through eBay.

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Chill to your fave tunes with Sony’s flagship noise-cancelling cans and save AU$236

Are you over seeing fitness influencers bounce their way through isolation? Do you just want to chill out until this seeming nightmare is over? Well, Sony is here to help you relax and stay zen in isolation with the best noise cancelling headphones you can grab whilst also saving you an incredible 43%.

Ranked number 1 in our best headphones for 2020 roundup, the Sony WH-1000XM3 is the child of innovation and good sound that’s gifted with exceptional noise-cancellation. These magnificent cans easily outshine any competitor as they’re the only headphones around that can adjust the sound barrier in correlation with the noise levels of your surroundings. 

Thanks to the WH-1000MX3’s exceptional 30-hour battery life, you will enjoy being deeply immersed in your favourite sound and be transported to your very own personal universe for extended listening sessions without interruption. It also has a quick charge mode that allows you to get around 5 hours of playback from only 10 minutes of charging.

Go to your happy place with the Sony WH-1000XM3 – currently discounted by an impressive AU$236.82 through eBay.

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Castlevania season 4: release date prediction, story recap, and what we know

Castlevania is probably the best screen adaptation of a game ever, and one of the best Netflix shows to date. With gorgeously-animated action scenes, as well as sharp dialogue and characterization from writer and show creator Warren Ellis, we now know season 4 is official. 

The show remains popular – on season 3’s launch day, it was top 5, as star Richard Armitage shared on Twitter – so it’s not a surprise that Netflix confirmed the show was picked up again on March 27, 2020.

Season 3 leaves plenty to be picked up next year – even if the show ended on a pretty unhappy note for everyone, particularly Trevor Belmont and Hector. Below, here’s everything we know about Castlevania season 4 so far, including its return on Netflix, what producers have said about the future of the show, and where we think the story will take us next. 

Castlevania season 4 release date: 2021?

Why must we wait for so long between seasons of animated shows? Netflix’s fast renewals may be down to them requiring a long lead time for production purposes, but each successive season of Castlevania has also been longer than the last.

There was a 15-month gap between seasons 1 and 2, and 16 after that. Following that pattern, we should hopefully get season 4 in late 2021. That said, executive producer Adi Shankar is working on a TV adaptation of Devil May Cry (via IGN), but other projects may distract the team, too.

It won’t necessarily slow down production of season 4, but in an interview with Collider, writer Warren Ellis explained he’s currently working with Castlevania’s executive producer Kevin Kolde on a Netflix animated series called Heaven’s Forest. Ellis calls it a “cultural remix of the Ramayana“. 

While Castlevania will return, then, it seems likely this other project will come first. Netflix ordered eight episodes of Heaven’s Forest back in October 2019. 

Castlevania season 4 story: what will happen next? 

Castlevania season 4 story

Castlevania season 3 ends fairly miserably for most of the central cast, with a few threads left to be picked up for season 4 (spoilers obviously ahead). 

In the final moments of episode 10, Alucard retreats into his castle, much like “dear old dad” Dracula, leaving the dead bodies of friends-turned-betrayers Taka and Sumi outside to ward off visitors – with an uneasy sense that this ally may be pushed down a darker path than we hoped.

Trevor and Sypha manage to close the Infinite Corridor, and prevent Dracula (Adrian Tepes) from returning to Earth, and even help character Count St Germain enter the portal to search for his long-lost… person of interest. But with a burned-down village and some monstrous secrets behind them, Trevor and Sypha are far from their happy selves we saw at the start of the season.

Hector, meanwhile, is enslaved by Lenore – he’s now her “pet”, as she puts it. The finale makes it clear that any night creatures made by Hector will obey him, and therefore Carmilla’s court, giving them a lot of power going forwards. It’s a very dark ending for the character, without much sense of an easy escape from the situation.

castlevania season 4 cast

Fellow forgemaster Isaac’s arc ends on a more positive note, with hope for his future and a small hint that his aims may have changed from destruction of the human race to something more redemptive, or constructive – even if he’s going to be using an undead army and spilling a lot of blood along the way.

On the ending of season 3, Warren Ellis told Collider “Yeah, it doesn’t necessarily end happily, but it feels kind of truthful to the situation that was instigated at the top of season one. These things have happened in the world, they don’t go away. There is no reset. It’s not like everyone is going to forget about vampires, night creatures, and magic. And these things are now off the leash and reveling to some extent, in the chaos.”

All of this should play into Castlevania season 4, now that the show has been renewed.

There are more stories to be told with Castlevania’s characters

If we know one thing about Castlevania season 4 it’s that we should always expect the unexpected. 

In an interview with Collider, Ellis and executive producer Kevin Kolde were asked about the future of the show. “I’m not sure where we can go,” Kolde says. “At the end of Season 3, [the story is] at a very different place than you think it’s going to be. Season 3 sort of starts with new hope, new beginning, and you think everything’s going to be great and happy, and then Warren pulls the rug out from under you, and it goes to shit. So look, there’s definitely unfinished business and unfinished stories that I think we could easily [continue.]”

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Asda: home delivery slots, click-and-collect, and opening hours today

Booking an Asda home delivery slot has become a real challenge, but the supermarket chain says it’s doing its very best to meet the unprecedented demand for online food orders. 

Asda says it is prioritising vulnerable customers and will only show slots for the next seven days. If you need to order food from Asda online, the best advice is to check back regularly for new food delivery slots to open up – or, if you can, visit a physical store.

Asda opening hours

Asda has temporarily reduced the opening hours of its stores to 08:00 to 20:00, Monday to Saturday. What about Asda opening hours for NHS and care workers? The company is prioritising these customers in its larger stores every Monday, Wednesday and Friday from 08:00 to 09:00. 

During Asda’s opening hours, the number of customers allowed in stores will be limited at any one time so that social distancing can be adhered to. Asda has also increased the payment limit amount on credit and debit card contactless payment to £45.

If you can’t visit a physical store and need to book an Asda home delivery online, there are a few things you can do to improve your chances. Here, we’ll run through the best ways to try and get an Asda home delivery, and we’ll explain how Asda’s click and collect service works too.

How to get an Asda home delivery slot 

Both Asda’s home delivery and click & collect services now offer contactless delivery and collection to help reduce the spread of Covid-19. Like the majority of supermarkets, Asda is prioritising the elderly and vulnerable when it comes to allocating delivery slots. 

The company is continuing to increase its capacity following a recruitment drive, which has added an extra 300,000 home delivery slots to its website. A total of 700,000 slots will now be released each week, according to the Mirror. The best advice, though, is to simply keep checking Asda’s website to see whether any slots are available.

For those who are self-isolating, Asda has introduced a Volunteer Shopping Card. You can buy the card online, send it to your volunteer of choice and they can do your shop for you. No cash changes hands, and the card can be used contactlessly in-store using a barcode. It can also be topped up with extra funds online and no bank or credit card details are exchanged.  

If you do manage to find an Asda home delivery slot, bear in mind that Asda has reduced the window in which you can amend an order to two days before its due date. You’ll also have less time to make any amends, with the cut off time now 10pm the day before your order is due. Customers are advised to make one amendment to their order, and only if it’s urgent.

How does Asda click-and-collect work?

If you’d like to use Asda’s click-and-collect service, simply select your groceries with Asda online and select click and collect before you check out. Again, slots are extremely limited during this time so keep checking back regularly for new updates.

More food delivery services: quick links

Grocery delivery

Recipe box and meal delivery

Pizza delivery

Takeaway delivery

Alcohol delivery

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