You Should Know Amy Landecker, the Secret Weapon of Transparent

We’re not picking favourites, but Amy Landecker’s Sarah is the best Pfefferman. The actress chats Season 3, detecting success in her forties, and the show’s effect on her own life.”>

Ballet. Adopting a husky, almost sultry voice, actress Amy Landecker is reenacting the performance that earned her a SAG card and $10,000.

One word. $10,000, Landecker laughs, returning to her more musical, Chi-cah-go cadence. It was a Tampax commercial, and Landecker provided the echo of a voice: Ballet. Until her mid-thirties, Landecker stimulated her living working in theatre in the Windy City and doing voiceover for commercials, likely thousands, she calculates.( Among other things, she happens to be Julia Roberts’s voice double. Really .)

Shes aware of the pinch-me clich that takes over when an actor experiences a moment of kinds. But pinch her, dammit, because Landecker doesnt mind revel in her recent on-screen successnow that she is, in her sentiment, fortunate enough to be in her mid-forties while experiencing it.

Currently, Landecker can be seen in the third season of the award-winning slapstick Transparent . Afterward this fall, she makes her debut in the Marvel universe with a supporting role alongside Benedict Cumberbatch and Tilda Swinton in Doctor Strange .

I think being older and knowing who I am allows me to not lose my mind over it, Landecker, who has had memorable guest spots on Curb Your Enthusiasm , Louie , and Mad Men , says. I think if I was like 20 I would turn into Tara Reid or something.

Though, in a way, that would be perfectly Pfefferman.

We dont mean to cause a rift in that fictional Transparent household, but for our fund the most captivating performance on the phenomenally acted series belongs to Landecker, who plays oldest Pfefferman sister Sarah: a mom of two whose parents coming out as transgender detonates explosives that had, for years, been popping up all over Sarahs own life.

A divorce, a lesbian affair, another divorce, and an try at a spiritual reawakening afterward, Sarah darts through narcissism, a possible nervous breakdown, misguided compassion, and a BDSM fetish like her life is a precarious game of minesweeperthough she doesnt always was also able to dodge the landmines.

I hate when people say they dont like her, Landecker acknowledges, discussing Transparent fans opinions that the Pfefferman siblings are unlikable, selfish, privileged, and, to quote person or persons on Twitter, garbage humans.

I do get it, she says. I suppose human beings are funny, tricky things. And I suppose shes a really complicated, interesting one of those. Shes just trying to take the circumstances she was given in life and figure out a way to be happy.

In trying to find herself, Sarah demolishes nearly every relationship she has. But colored with Landeckers unusual mixture of earnestness and wryness, she ticks through each self-sabotage with a viscerally identifiable goodness, albeit one thats doomed by her absence of self-awareness. No matter how despicable the behaviour, theres a tracing in relatability in therea recognition of ourselves and our own impulses.

Its terrifying. And its what induces the character, and Landeckers unselfconsciously naked( sometimes literally) performance, one of the most interesting right now on television.

Families merely have so many secrets and dysfunctions, she says. It amazes me that everyone can suppose the Pfeffermans are bad people when, honestly, I challenge anyone to show me a family that doesnt have that kind of dynamic.

The Pfeffermans might be a heightened, comedic version of it, she continues. But theyre certainly not, I dont believe, outliers. Were kind of representative of what most people are like in a way.

She had that universality represented to her in a powerful way while shooting a pivotal scene in Transparent s current season in which Sarah, crushed by a piling stack of life frustrations, furies at her children. Full-throated, horrifying, ugly, screaming rage.

Get The Beast In Your Inbox !

By clicking “Subscribe, ” you agree to have read the TermsofUse and PrivacyPolicy

Thank You !
You are now subscribed to the Daily Digest and Cheat Sheet. We will not share your email with anyone for any reason

It still gives me a cavity in my stomach, Landecker, who had just finished binging the season herself when we talked, says. Its not an easy emotion.

She was surprised, then, that when the scene was done filming the crew dedicated her a round of applause, the warmest shes ever received since to intervene in the demonstrate and shooting its countless uncomfortable, disclosing scenes.( Including one in which, mid-breakdown, Sarah robotically fees a microwaved Lean Cuisine while standing naked in a dingy kitchen in a rented apartment .)

I was like, wait a second. Arent I being hateful? she recollects. But individual crew members kept approaching her, saying that theyve been there, that one of their darkest moments as a parent was just acted out in front of them and that it devoted them catharsis.

Of course, thats the resounding topic, perhaps even purpose, of Transparent .

When Maura transitions and comes out to her family, its with the fear of asking will you still love me if? If I was different. If I let myself be happy. If I took this journey. Its a question that echoed in each of the Pfefferman children.

Season 3 evolved that question into a statement: Here I am. It was no longer about fretting if people like you. It was no longer about trying to please. It led to profound changes for characters on the prove, including for Sarah. As someone who lived in the character and contemplated these issues and statements, this change had just as profound an effect on Landecker as she resolves into her personal identity and professional success.

Season 1 I was like, Oh I need to get this publicist and this stylist and wear these heels, she says. She was in so much pain in the shoes she agreed to wear to the Golden Globes that she couldnt even enjoy herself. I was always in attires that I felt like werent me, she tells. I just felt like I wasnt myself.

She turned to co-stars Gaby Hoffmann and Judith Light, two women who have undeniably received and project who they are and how they want to be in the world, as mentors. Theyre different, Landecker tells. Light likes having her squad and her poised, polished, curated looking. Hoffmann is the opposite, and just as happy for it.

I had people tell me to not feed before events, she says. No carbs leading up. And I was like what am I trying to do? And Im on a show that does not care if I want to go grey, or if I want to gain 15 pounds. It would be bad on my reveal to get Botox. It would be bad on my display to wear a ton of makeup to look good, unless thats what I want to do.

She chuckles again.( She does that a lot ). Im somewhere in the middle of all that, she says. Im not Kim Kardashian and Im not Gaby Hoffman. This depict has helped me figure out who I want to be in that spectrum. But also in my own personal life, whats appropriate for me.

Landecker happened to be going through a divorce from journalist Jackson Lynch when she began production on Transparent , a life-imitating-art experience that forced her into intense self-evaluation. Shes since begun dating co-star Bradley Whitford, gushing about their relationship to People magazine at last years Golden Globes.

I learned about not just being with someone because I dont want to be alone, she tells. Being willing to be alone, and then find something that feelings right and only reaching for companionship for companionships sake. Not letting drama lead my life.

Thats very much Sarahs journey, too, she says, quick to point out the parallels she knows are obvious. And she continues, like Sarah, Im still a mess most of the time. I dont have the golden keys, you know?

Its then that we return to ballet, and the honors and opportunities shes managed to manifest for herself. She doesnt consider herself a Hollywood veteran, saying that because she stayed in Chicago to do theatre for so long she considers herself still very new to regular on-screen success.

To those who know her, the hot streak shouldnt be surprising, dedicated her hustle.

Theres a pseudo-famous story in which, after attending the AFI Awards for her breakthrough role in the Coen Friend A Serious Man , she passed up cocktails with Jon Hamm and Mad Men creator Matthew Weiner, who had cast her on an early episode of the series, in order to go to an audition. She booked the joba pilot that didnt airbut also squeezed in a chemistry read with Paul Reiser for the female lead in his NBC sitcom The Paul Reiser Show , which she also landed.

The big break, in true Hollywood fashion, was actually heartbreaking. Due to dismal ratings, her splashy network regular debut came to a crashing halting after only two episodes had aired .

That kind of high-stakes world, the one shes find the payoff for now, took some get used to. Before this, she was a Chicago theatre actress who counted herself luck if a couple thousand people ensure her in a play. Thats not to mention her voiceover run, for which she never heard any public or commercial feedback aboutwhich might be why she ventures that shes always been most comfortable behind the microphone.

The hardest adjustment is simply being a physical presence, like my body, my appears, just figuring out how to be vulnerable in that way, she tells of her on-screen success. Theres no hiding, you know? Youre truly out there. I entail my butt out there this year. My wrinkles. My dark circles. Im uncovered. Thats been really cool and liberating to do in my forties.

The fact that it came to me late allowed me to be freer, because I never got held up to a standard of a 20 -year-old version of myself, she continues. Im not someone who had to worry about aging on camera. I was already aged when I got there. After all, its been a long journey from the ballet.

Read more: www.thedailybeast.com

Go to Homepage

Google’s vision for VR: YouTube, smartphones and a ‘virtual hand’

Google will offer the popular videos for VR and will sell a plastic headset in which consumers will be able insert a phone along with a controller that serves as a hand

If Google gets its way, you will explore the world with your phone strapped over your eyes.

At its annual developer meeting in Silicon Valley, the internet company showed how it plans to get more people use virtual reality in the coming year by cooking the technology into newer smartphones. The vision is for the worlds billions of people to ditch the physical world and explore far off places, take in the news, gratify a friend or, as Google repeatedly demonstrated Thursday, water a virtual garden.

Its very natural to water things in VR when you have a watering can, told Clay Bavor, Googles vice-president of virtual reality.

While rival technology companies such as Facebook are constructing state-of-the-art virtual reality tools that rely on powerful desktop computers, Google is taking a different track. On Thursday, it said it will soon start selling a plastic headset in which consumers will insert their smartphones and a controller that serves as a virtual hand. Google currently offers a cardboard smartphone holder that acts as a low-tech headset but offers a less-than-realistic virtual world.

Were really obsessed about this idea of democratizing VR, Bavor said on stage. Google for instance announced it will start offering YouTube videos for virtual reality and has partnered with news organizations, such as the New York Times, to try to bring readers into narratives.

Clay
Clay Bavor: Were genuinely obsessed about this idea of democratizing VR. Photograph: Stephen Lam/ Reuters

VR has long been associated with games and has always seemed like a technology for the truly geeky. Indeed, some of the most popular apps for Facebooks Oculus Rift headset allow people to step into the shoes of an American football quarterback or superstar basketball player.

But Silicon Valley is betting the technology will gain true prominence as a route for people to devour information online. Why read about a Syrian refugee camp when you can visit one? Or who needs to look at pictures of Glacier National Park when you are able to hike it virtually?

Repeatedly, Google executives Thursday talked about how they were discovering how to stimulate virtual experiences just as fulfilling as their physical equivalents. The key, they said, is devoting people a controller that enable them to use their hands to manipulate the real world.

Picking something up with your hands is one of the most natural and satisfying experiences, said Stefan Welker, a VR software engineer at Google, before demonstrating the virtual watering can for the virtual garden.

Google unveils smart speaker Google Home

He then showed how people could construct their own virtual drum kits they could play with virtual sticks before hurling the virtual drums across the virtual practise room. We also learned everyone really likes hurling things in VR, Welker said.

Google executives acknowledged this begs an obvious question: why?

Wheres the narrative? Wheres the utility? asked Mike Podwal, product manager for Googles cardboard VR headset. His answer: We learned that sometimes simply being somewhere astonishing is enough.

Podwal then showed how Google could place users on the tip of a high dive dozens of feet above a virtual pool. People look down, he told, but many are too scared to take the plunge.

Read more: www.theguardian.com

Go to Homepage

How Ivanka Sank From Millennial Womens Icon to Alt-Right Fellow Traveler

A year or so ago, Ivanka Trump’s last name was associated with luxury. Now it’s about racism, misogyny, and white-supremacist inundates. Hey–nobody induced her play along.”>

There was a certain pathos to Ivanka Trumps appearance atFortuneMagazines Most Powerful Women summit this week. She waxed defensive, then dismayed, at her fathers crude talking here groping women. She lamented that the vicious media, which for decades served her parent so well, somehow merely doesnt get the real him. She insisted she doesnt weigh in on strategy or policy, except for that maternity plan she pitchedthen made a commercial about. She brooded that somehow, people have gotten the crazy idea that she is a campaign surrogate( aWednesdaytext message to Trump advocates begins, Hi, its Ivanka ). And she raised the curtain on whats sure to be a concern at the next Trump family gathering: the runaway dumpster fire thats burning the Trump brand to cinders.

I assured on the front covering of The New York Times a narrative talking about how the Trump brand was being decimated due to the campaign, she said at the Fortune forum. Our team had statistics as it relates to our hotel company, for example, indicating traffic patterns and actual analytics and data. They insisted on using quotes from random people. I have no idea where they called.

They could have called FortuneMagazine itself. Or Bloomberg, whichare among the financial media companies whose analysis indicate the Trump brand is in trouble, if not in ruins. From what we know of hisfinances, after going belly-up in the mid-1 990 s, Trump changed from real estate developing as a core business, to marketing. The product he decided to sell? Donald Trump. And he set about affixing his surname to everything from hotels to golf courses to board games.

Trump markets Trump-themed products to three kinds of people: the affluent who can afford to purchase condos or stay in luxury hotels with his name on them; businesses and organizations who rent out his golf course, hotel venues, or Mar-a-Lago for events; and aspirational everymen who want to feel richer by swigging some Trump water or wearing a Mexican-made Trump suit.

The first group, according to the polls, cant stand Trump, whose run for chairperson has rebranded him from reality-show bon vivant to racist, woman-groping business failing and taxation cheat.

The second group risks boycott and protests if they associate with him.

The third cant generally affords the inflated room rates at properties that are typically located in blue states with few Trump voters. And the broader marketing audience for Trump products includes the people he has to turn with his abominable campaign: women, Hispanics, African Americans, Muslims, and college-educated white suburbanites.

A peek at a 2008 contract proposal from the Trump Organization, obtained from a source close to the enterprise, reveals how the Trump family trades on the perceived value of the name.

The proposal from Eric Trump to an overseas luxury-property developer, stipulates that Trump Organization licensing bargains contained three basic elements. The first is the initial fee, in the millions of dollars, upon execution of the contract. The second is a percentage of the gross sales price for each saleable real-estate unit sold( including all parking space, commercial units, and other features of the building that will be sold ). The third is an additional incentive fee that amounts to a premium paid to the Trump Organization for every dollar above the base sales price that the housing units sell for, in increments of $1,000. The higher the premium the developer charges over the basic price due to the Trump name, the highest percentages per incentive fee thats attached.

[ T] he Trump name is critical to obtaining a premium over market prices, Eric Trump tells the prospective partner , noting that the premiums due to the Trump Organization vary as prices escalatefor instance, a 20 percentage fee from $1,000 – $1,100 per square foot will escalate to a 30 percent payment from $1,100 – $1,200 per square foot, etc .); once again, the exact% is subject to negotiation.

Its tough to see what kind of premium the Trump Organization could charge today, or even whether developers will seek bargains to slap the Trump name on the side of their buildings.

For Ivanka, the damage could be twofold: both reducing her income from the Trump Organization, where she is an executive, and spreading the damage to her own brand.

The former model and fathers favoritesometimes in the creepiest possible stylehas spent years constructing her side business based on an appeal to youngworking women.

Ivankas website dispenses tips on work-life balance. Her attire, shoes, and handbags, manufactured in China and Vietnam , are available for sale on her site, as well as at Nordstrom, Amazon, and other online retailers. The line reportedly did $100 million in business last year.

But that business, like her fathers, is based on Ivankas last name. She hasnt developed a first-name-only brand, like Madonna or Beyonc. Her surname is how she makes a living, and how her brothers and their parent do, too. So the iceberg sinking the Trump campaign stands to cost her and their own families money.

Get The Beast In Your Inbox!

Daily DigestStart and finish your day with the top stories from The Daily Beast.

Cheat SheetA speedy, smart summary of all the news you need to know( and nothing you don’t ).

By clicking “Subscribe, ” you agree to have read the TermsofUse and PrivacyPolicy

Go to Homepage

The Miss America Competition Torches Trump, Tackles Colin Kaepernick, Is Totally Bonkers

Everybody deserves a drink–or five–after watching this. “>

As other beauty pageants have slowly run extinctor worse, exclusively to online streamingthe Miss America Competition has refused to loosen its glued-on French manicured grip on prime time television. The 2017 Miss America Competition aired on Sunday night, pitting the tireless work of 8, 000 female competitors against the premarital spats of Rob Kardashian and Blac Chyna. Unlike the rest of the pageantry, this was no competition, as the crowning of the Miss America pageant feels more and more irrelevant with every occur year. If I wanted to watch multi-hyphenates give me body, face, and campy talent realness, I would watch an episode of RuPauls Drag Race. If I had a craving for two hours of mediocre content, I would watch a newish episode of SNL. And if I wanted to feel bad about how I look in a bikini, I could just tune in to any television channel/ open a manner publication/ do a Google image search of Gigi Hadid.

The Miss America Competition isnt bad, or unentertainingits just not very good, and not as entertaining as it could be.

The competition opens at the Show me your shoes parade, a mini-challenge of kinds where the contestants are forced to model the distinctive footwear of their home nations. The 2017 Miss America Competition clearly did not go out of its way to distinguish itself from the dystopian YA series The Hunger Games, in which competitors are introduced to the nation in attires inspired by the products that their districts have been forced to fabricate. Playing the role of Caesar Flickerman is Bachelor dad Chris Harrison and his co-host, Sage Steele.

Harrison and Steele introduce the Miss America pageant as second only to the presidential elections , noting that this competition is no less fierce, but a whole lot more friendly. They also emphasize that, We are not to be associated with any other Tv competitions, or any presidential candidates, building us all nostalgic for past presidential races when we could take a lack of beauty pageant affiliation for awarded.

The competitors proceed to introduce themselves in a series of segments, sprinkled throughout Atlantic Citywe have daughters awkwardly gyrating in an abandoned Buddakan, posing for the camera on a cruise, and waving on the boardwalk. Contestants who Chris Harrison hates are forced to making such a introductions from inside an incredibly windy bumper vehicle arena. These 10 -second meet and greets are an early highlight of the competition. Miss Arizona wants you to, Thank my country for giving you the Miranda warningyou have the right to remain silent, except when cheering for me. Miss Arkansas boast, In my country, daughters dont need to wait to get a diamondwe can dig up our own. There are athletics facts, numerous shout-outs to the armed forces, and one rascal Neil Patrick Harris reference. As each woman delivers her line, her pageant sisters awkwardly shake their bodies around in work-appropriate red, white, and blue transformation dress, as if theyre participating in a lunch breaking flashing mob at a midtown Au Bon Pain.

Chris Harrison tells us that the preliminary magistrates have already been cutting down the competition for two weeks. Tonight, hell announce the 15 women who are advancing to the onscreen portion of the pageantthe swimsuit, talent, and topic segments. The first woman who will be moving forward is the audience picking, Miss Kentucky. In her pre-shot video, Miss Kentucky briefly talks about her eating disorder, as the crowd cheers and Chris Harrison speed-lists the next 15 names. The pacing of this show is truly insaneChris Harrison has quickly pivoted from Bachelor in Paradise, a depict from which ABC squeezes hours of content every week, to this two-hour information-and-action-packed extravaganza. The women move from one side of the stage to the other as the co-hosts rattle off the members of the commission of starring magistrates. Gabby Douglas! Ciara! Mark Cuban! Laura Marano?

Harrison finishes reading off the listing of women who now have the honor of getting to go change into their bikinis. At this phase, weve got to pour one out for Miss Missouri Erin O Flaherty, the pageants first openly gay contestant, who didnt make it into the top 15. O Flaherty, who openly spoke about her sexuality but never wanted it to define her, proves that gay women can do anythingeven old school, borderline problematic straight people things like beauty pageants.

After a short # SponCon segment of the contestants showing off their Sally Hansen Airbrush Legs, Chris Harrison introduces the bathing suit competition to really kick off the depict. According to Harrison, the original bathing beauties of the Atlantic City pageant have transformed into well-rounded, modern women in athleisure, leaning into fitness and swimsuit appears. In the Miss America Competition, women actually can do it all: wear a bikini, five-inch heels, huge earrings, AND walk around in tiny circles with their hands on their waists. I understand how hard ABC is trying to salvage this competition from the aura of sexism and superficiality that surrounds every beauty pageantry. Regrettably, all of that work was instantly undone by a shot of Mark Cuban diligently taking handwritten notes while staring at a woman walk down a runway in a thong bikini.

Twelve contestants advance to the evening gown round. Harrison insists that, This isnt a manner depict. Instead of superficially examining these garments, Chris Harrison urges to magistrates and the audience to genuinely home in on these womens bodies and faces. You may have come for the rhinestoned manner calamities, but youll stay for the informative voiceovers.

Miss California tells us that her No. 1 style icon is Nina Dobrev. Other quoth runway inspirations include Kendall Jenner and Amal Clooney. Its hard to say what would offend Amal Clooney more: being lumped together with Kendall Jenner, or being name-called in a beauty pageant runway show that includes more than one built-in cape. Miss Iowa thoughtfully informs us that there is a period and a place for sexinesson a red carpet, sensuality is a run, but you should probably keep it in your pants when youre visiting a pediatric cancer ward. Take notes, ladies. As always, Miss America is an intoxicating cocktail of retro femininity and 21 st century womanhooda mod podge mood board of wedding gowns, contemplations on modesty, and Lady Gagas latest runway look.

Next we flash to a 9/11 tribute, in which we learn that the Miss America Competition was Americas first public event televised after the towers fell. A contestant at the time recalls praying with her fellow competitors for guidance, before ultimately deciding to go forward with the pageantry. As stock images of candles and American flags flash across the Atlantic City arena, the reigning Miss America sings a ballad and Chris Harrison frantically gestures at individual producers to pick up the pace.

Its time for the talent depict! Miss California does a tumbling routine in front of Gabby Douglas, as if the Olympian hasnt endured enough already. A tasteful sign flashings at the bottom of the screen , notifying us that Miss California was a Super Bowl cheerleader. Miss New York reps with a jazz criterion and Miss Mississippi performs a very gentile rendition of A Piece of Sky from Yentl. Miss Texas graces the stage with three batons. As she opens her legs to the heavens and twirls a stick skywards, we learn that this contestant knows pi to 25 decimal places. The producer behind these artfully selected factoids is a national gem, and possibly the funniest person I will never know.

Miss Maryland sings God Bless America, because someone had to. On a scale from Ryan Lochte in Rio to Russian Spy, how unpatriotic is it is to say that I actually disliked this performance? Miss Washington tap dances to Jennifer Lopezs Lets Get Loud, which is something that people dont do enough on prime time television. Miss Iowa performs ballet en pointe to the music of Pirates of the Caribbean, which is something that people should never do on prime time television.

The 2017 Miss America Competition sinks to the nadir of #SponCon with an Atlantic City tourism ad in which the women lip-synch to Beyoncs Formation.

Get The Beast In Your Inbox!

Daily DigestStart and finish your day with the top tales from The Daily Beast.

Cheat SheetA speedy, smart summary of all the news you need to know( and nothing you don’t ).

By clicking “Subscribe, ” you agree to have read the TermsofUse and PrivacyPolicy

Go to Homepage

Google Wifi is an affordable style to blanket your home with fast, dependable Wi-Fi

Google Wifi
Image: raymond wong/ mashable

I think we can all agree that Wi-Fi routers aren’t sexy devices. Nobody really get excited over a router, unless maybe if you work in IT.

And yet, Wi-Fi routers are various kinds of the rage right now. You assure, we all want fast and reliable Wi-Fi in every corner of our home. But networking gear is largely “meh, ” with ugly and cumbersome hardware and sub-par software, often using dated web-based interfaces that might as well require a computer science degree to figure out.

Google’s OnHub router, which debuted last year, was a good step towards improving Wi-Fi at home, but at $200 it was still too pricey and didn’t really fix bad Wi-Fi in large, multi-room homes.

Google’s new approach to improve home Wi-Fi, simply called Google Wifi ($ 129 for a single division, $299 for three ), takes a different tack. Rather than cramming a dozen antennas into one router, Wifi mimics routers from the likes of Eero and Luma, using multiple small routers to create a “mesh network” and essentially kill dead zones.

Coverage and speed

The only ports you’ll find on the Google Wifi unit.

Image: RAYMOND WONG/ MASHABLE

Though it’s possible to get a beefy wireless router with a dozen antennas sticking out of it like some kind of alien spaceship for better wireless scope, the vast majority of people aren’t going to buy a router that looks like a plastic tarantula taking a nap.

Most people usually stick with the modem and router their cable/ internet provider includes with their internet service. And because these routers are usually average, they largely have poor Wi-Fi range, which means the farther away you go from its physical place, the weaker your signal gets.

Most newer Wi-Fi routers support 2.4 GHz and 5GHz wireless frequencies. Each has its advantages and disadvantages. A 2.4 GHz network has greater coverage over farther distances, but lower velocities, and a 5GHz network has poorer long distance coverage, but faster speeds.

Google Wifi, just like Eero and Luma, offers the best of both worlds: coverage and speed.

Google OnHub( left) vs. Google Wifi( right ).

Image: raymond wong/ mashable

A single Google Wifi division runs exactly like the OnHub. You connect it into your modem via Ethernet, plug it into power, use the Google Wifi app( previously called OnHub) for iOS or Android to configure it, and in less than the time it was necessary to attain yourself a hearty sandwich, you’ve got a functional Wi-Fi network. It’s really telling how easy Google made the setup process when the box doesn’t even come with instructions.

If you’ve got a small apartment( 500 -1, 500 square feet ), a single Google Wifi unit is enough, and at $129 it’s more affordable than the OnHub. Not to mention the physical Google Wifi is less than half the size of it progenitor.

Creating a home ‘mesh network’

A 3-pack of Google Wifi is $299.

Image: RAYMOND WONG/ MASHABLE

But you’re likely reading this review because you do have Wi-Fi dead zones in your home and want to know if the $299 three-pack of Google Wifi routers will fix things.

And the answer is: yes, Google Wifi will fix them.

All you have to do to attain your poor Wi-Fi go away is place a second or third Google Wifi division in the room you want to extend Wi-Fi to and wirelessly connect it the main unit.

So for example, if my main Google Wifi unit is connected to a modem in the living room, but I want to get a stronger Wi-Fi signal in, say, the basement or garage, I merely need to place Google Wifi divisions in those two rooms and have them wirelessly connect to the one in the living room.

Place additional Google Wifi divisions in rooms the hell is farther away and have weaker signals.

Image: screenshot: raymond wong/ mashable

Image: SCREENSHOT: RAYMOND WONG/ MASHABLE

The two Google Wifi divisions in the basement and garage are essentially acting as nodes for your wireless network. I tried the above setup at my at my sister’s home where the Wi-Fi download and upload velocities are usually half that in the living room.

I operated the Ookla Speedtest app on my iPhone to compare the velocities before( network with OnHub) and after( network with Google Wifi) in the basement and garage and was happy to see the new velocities matched those in her living room.

Living room Wi-Fi speed( OnHub)

Image: SCREENSHOT: RAYMOND WONG/ MASHABLE

Basement Wi-Fi speed( with Google Wifi)

Image: SCREENSHOT: RAYMOND WONG/ MASHABLE

Living room Wi-Fi speed( OnHub)

Image: SCREENSHOT: RAYMOND WONG/ MASHABLE

Garage Wi-Fi speed( with Google Wifi)

Image: SCREENSHOT: RAYMOND WONG/ MASHABLE

If you’ve ever tried connecting to Wi-Fi networks in rooms that are either too far or obstructed by physical barriers that the Wi-Fi can’t pass across easily, you’ll know that your connection can be very spotty. Trying to stream a YouTube or Netflix video is a test of patience as you watch it try to buffer with little success and downloading files is slow as balls.

At some point you’ll probably just give up and move closer to your router.

I noticed no such wireless issues while testing Google Wifi and its additional divisions in what were previously Wi-Fi dead zones. The Wi-Fi was as strong and fast as if I was standing next to the main router. Your mileage may vary, but I’m quite impressed at how Wi-Fi mesh networks are tackling the problem of lousy Wi-Fi performance and coverage.

Google says two Wifi divisions are good for homes between 1,500 and 3,000 square feet. Use three to cover a home with 3,000 to 4,500 square feet.

App control

The Google Wifi app( formerly called OnHub) induces it easy to configure and monitor your wireless network( s ).

Image: SCREENSHOT: RAYMOND WONG/ MASHABLE

No more blinking lights on your router. When your Google Wifi isn’t work right, it’ll send a notification to you via the app.

Image: screenshot: raymond wong/ mashable

The OnHub app set the bar nice and high with its super-friendly interface. It also came with some handy velocity exam and the ability to prioritize bandwidth for a specific device.

The Google Wifi app is just as visually attractive and friendly. It still lets you manage all of the advanced router stuff( DNS, WAN, PPoE, etc .) manually if you’d like and comes with all the aforementioned features that were in the OnHub app.

The Google Wifi app is easy to use and very friendly.

Image: SCREENSHOT: RAYMOND WONG/ MASHABLE

With Family Wi-Fi, you are able to “pause” the Wi-Fi on select devices on your network, blocking them from accessing the internet. Sorry kid, homework first or no YouTube!

Image: SCREENSHOT: RAYMOND WONG/ MASHABLE

One new feature is called “Family Wi-Fi” and it lets you “pause” a device from accessing Wi-Fi. Paused devices are still connected to the Wi-Fi network, but they won’t be allowed to refresh app content or access the internet. Google says this is useful for, tell, mothers who want to temporarily disable their kid’s Wi-Fi for dinner or homework time. I could see it being a good tool for mothers, for sure, but if your kid’s still got a cellular connection, the intermission feature doesn’t block that.

A more useful new feature is “Guest Wi-Fi”, which, as you can probably guess, makes a Wi-Fi network for guests. A guest network is separate from your main Wi-Fi network and also lets you grant guests access to devices you’ve got set up to your main network( i.e. Chromecast ). It’s definitely a nice convenience.

Better Wi-Fi at home

You can dim or turn off the light via the Google Wifi app.

Image: raymond wong/ mashable

Google Wifi is not the first mesh network system out there. As I said earlier, Eero and Luma promise the same exact thing.

I’ve heard largely good things about those products and how they bathe your home with faster, more reliable Wi-Fi. But they’re merely too expensive.

A single Eero costs $199 and a single Luma costs $149. Google Wifi is less than both at $129. Luma is priced the same as Google Wifi for a 3-pack ($ 299 ), but a 3-pack of Eero costs a whopping $499.

Google Wifi is all the more compelling( even if you don’t live in a large home) now that Apple is reportedly no longer attaining its AirPort Wi-Fi routers.

If you want your Wi-Fi to “just work, ” I can’t recommend Google Wifi enough.

Google Wifi

The Good

Stupid easy to set up Simple, beautifully designed app Handy Wi-Fi pausing feature Boosts coverage and Wi-Fi velocities Single device is cheaper than competition

The Bad

Only comes in 1- or 3-pack

The Bottom Line

Google Wifi is a sleek and affordable way to improve bad W-Fi at home.

BONUS: Virgin America debuts First Class shoes with Wi-FI and video display.

Read more:

Go to Homepage

What the Great Gwen Ifill Meant to Black Women

How Gwen Ifill “ve given me” career advice that I’ve never forgotten–and that I’ve used as a measuring stick for myself ever since.”>

When most people lament larger-than-life legends that 2016 snatched from us too soon, they focus on names like Prince and David Bowie, figures so unrivaled in their contributions that collective mourning over their passing seemed to be among the few things to unite us during a divisive year.

But for those of us working in media, particularly those of us who are women of color, has been informed of Gwen Ifills passing was like losing Marian Anderson, Nina Simone, and Billie Holliday in the same day. Her contributions were that enormous, her shoes that big to fill, and her influence that far-reaching.

Much has already been written about Gwens extraordinary career. A few highlightings include: moderating two vice-presidential debates, being part of the first all-female anchor squad, and on Wednesday she would have been the first African American to receive the Columbia Journalism Schools John Chancellor Award .

But I want to take a moment to explain what she meant to some of us beyond her rsum.

Gwen was one of the greatest journalists working, but her contributions were not limited to her reporting.

She spoke openly of the racism she endured early in her career, and suffer she did, ultimately climbing the ladder in our profession, and with every rung opening doors in media that all black women working today have walked through, myself included.

Her trailblazing widened beyond race. When women of color ultimately began securing on-air opportunities, many fit a certain mold early on. They were often lighter scalped, or had more Eurocentric features. Consider news legends Sue Simmons, Carole Simpson, and Dana Tylerall stellar journalists in their own right whom I admire vastly. Their appearances, however, appealed to white standards of beauty. Gwens skin color, and trademark short do and the enormous acclaim she enjoyed, sent a message to all of us who aspired to follow in her footsteps that we could succeed based on the quality of our run and our run aloneeven if we didnt have fair scalp or a tiny snout.( I have neither .)

But perhaps her greatest contribution was in showing us that you could preserve a career rooted in work with integrity. In an age when all of us working in this field feel pressure to worry about how many clicks or tweets something we write or tell will get, we always knew Gwen was ultimately worried about things like truth and accuracy. Though our industry and the world changedinto one in which the Kardashians were deemed 60 Minute worthy, and a reality-show host deemed president-electher criteria never did change. Neither did the quality of her journalism. I know I am not the only person who felt that on those days that people poked at our profession like a piataoften with good reason, especially such elections yearshe was one of the beacons of illuminate that built us proud, but also helped keep us accountable.

Though I didnt know Gwen well, she showed me a measure of kindness throughout my career that was not only a hallmark of her character but a testament to her generosity of spirit. I first fulfilled her soon after I had begun appearing on television. I told her how much I admired her. She could not have been more gracious, took the time to chat, and I ultimately mustered up the fortitude to asks her if she had any career advice.

Among the pieces of advice: Never become anyones token, and be conscious of the power of my words and image and how “they il be” applied by me, as well as by others. We talked for a bit about what that mean. Over the years we crossed routes at various social events, and the conventions. Though we were not close, and she never knew this, the Gwen Ifill test became the test that most shaped my career. When I was offered an opportunity, whether it was to appear on a certain television present, or take a meeting about a certain media job, I asked myself if I would be proud to tell Gwen Ifill about it the next time we crossed routes. Would I feel like I was honoring the advice she gave me? Would I feel like I was honoring the path she worked so hard to pave for people like me?

If an opportunity didnt pass the test, I passed. Though I may not have always succeeded, Ive tried my best to follow the lead she defined for all of us, and I know Im not the only one she inspired in such a way.

Her loss not only leaves us with one fewer outstanding journalist, but with one fewer prominent journalist of color in an industry already struggling with issues of diversity. While the ascending of Lester Holt to the anchor chair and as presidential-debate moderator is worth celebrate, the numbers regarding minority talent in newsrooms across the country are not. According to The Atlantic , In 2014, all minority groups accounted for 22. 4 percent of television journalists, 13 percent of radio journalists, and 13. 34 percent of journalists at daily newspapers. Pretty pathetic, considering the fact that minorities make up 37.4 percent of the U.S. population. Even more pathetic when one considers that issues such as racial profiling, immigration, criminal-justice reform and the rise of a racially charged political landscape have become the defining issues of our time; issues that wont be covered as fully if journalists of color are not playing a role in the coverage .

So as we all look for ways to pay homage to Gwen Ifill and her legacy in the working day and weeks to come, one route is for those of us already in this industry to do better. Another is to encourage talented young people of color to get into this industry and help them stay there. Recruit, mentor, encourage and perhaps most of all, help financially if you can. Because research shows that with its many no-paying or low-paying internships and entry level salaries, media is increasingly becoming a hobby profession for the white and affluent. Not merely will that result in limited perspective in the newsroom, but less well-rounded reporting.

It will also mean that our profession would be deprived of detecting the next Gwen Ifill, and wouldnt that be a dishonor.

Read more: www.thedailybeast.com

Go to Homepage