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Black Friday’s online sales are projected to hit $5.9B – TechCrunch

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The Daily Crunch is TechCrunch’s roundup of our biggest and most important stories. (This one’s a little shorter than usual — it’s a holiday weekend in the United States.) If you’d like to get this delivered to your inbox every day at around 9am Pacific, you can subscribe here:

1. Black Friday predicted to hit $5.9B in online sales, $645M spent so far

After a record-breaking Thanksgiving with $3.7 billion in digital sales across desktop and mobile devices, it looks like Black Friday will also pull in a bumper year for e-commerce. Adobe — which tracks trillions of transactions across a range of retail sites — says that as of 7am Pacific Time, there has already been $645 million spent online.

Shopify, which provides a real-time sales visualisation for some 600,000 merchants on its platform, notes that the average sales per minute for those merchants is hovering at just over $400,000 per minute.

2. Amazon warehouse workers in Europe stage ‘we are not robots’ protests

They’ve timed the latest protest for Black Friday, one of the busiest annual shopping days online as retailers slash prices and heavily promote deals to try to spark a seasonal buying rush.

3. Be a Thanksgiving security hero with these family-friendly tips

If you’re reading this, chances are you’re: Pretty good at tech stuff, spending time with your family for Thanksgiving and bored because you’re reading this newsletter right now.

4. Silentmode’s PowerMask is a $200 connected relaxation mask

Someone described the PowerMask as a kind of small scale take on a sensory deprivation tank — and sure, why not?

5. BlueCargo optimizes stacks of containers for maximum efficiency

Under current sorting methods, yard cranes end up moving a ton of containers just to reach a container sitting at the bottom of the pile. BlueCargo wants to optimize those movements by helping you store containers at the right spot.

6. Gift Guide: 16 fantastic computer bags

Yep, it’s another TechCrunch gift guide, this one focused on Matt Burns’ favorite subject.

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Amazon Gives Discounted Xbox Series S A $40 Credit For Cyber Monday

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The Xbox Series S is an ideal backup console for a second room in your home (perhaps used with your monitor to complement your gaming PC), or for your young ones who don’t get caught up in pixel peeping and only care about playing the latest games. Even if you have a 4K TV and you intend to use this as your primary console, games can look pretty great with the advanced resolution upscaling available in most of today’s sets, and you still get that smooth 120Hz performance in games that support it.

Sadly, affordable storage space remains a problem for all current-gen consoles. While Microsoft advertises 512GB, you might get less than 400GB after the system OS eats its share. With some games demanding as much as 100-150GB, you can quickly run out of headroom. You might survive with an affordable external hard drive to store games on while you’re not playing them, as moving games from one hard drive to another is much quicker than redownloading them.

It’s also worth noting that older, non-optimized games can be played directly from an external hard drive. If you anticipate needing more storage for current games, your best bet might be to step up to the 1TB Xbox Series X, which costs $260 more than this deal (and is typically harder to find), or add an optional storage expansion card, which is similarly costly, starting at $220 for 1TB.

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ARK: Ultimate Survivor Edition Review For Nintendo Switch: Fight For Your Fun

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Whether you’re playing the standard version of “ARK” or this new all-in-one Switch port, the fundamental game is the same: Your character wakes up in a semi-random spot on your chosen map, then you get to work crafting survival implements and putting together a shelter. Eventually you branch out into bigger and better stuff, and even start to tame dinosaurs to act as mounts, protectors, or specialized material gatherers.

Gather materials and supplies, craft tools and gear, level-up to learn more crafting recipes, gather more materials, craft better stuff, and so on. All while balancing your character’s need for food and water, navigating extreme temperatures, and trying not to get eaten by prehistoric animals. Comparing it to “Minecraft” might seem disingenuous, but the game runs on similar principles.

Some things are a bit more complicated in “ARK,” however, even without the need for terrain manipulation found in “Minecraft.” There are a lot of status effects to consider (get too warm, too cold, poisoned, knocked out, broken bones), and you have to craft everything — including the parts needed to build yourself a home. It’s a satisfying enough feedback loop of steady progression, but it also feels a bit hamstrung by its history.

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The Apple Watch Ultra’s Oceanic+ App Just Landed

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Apple broke the good news in a blog post, talking about the new Oceanic+ app as well as its creation process. Made through a collaboration with Huish Outdoors, the app is meant to turn the Apple Watch Ultra into a proper diving computer fit to serve even serious divers. Prior to the launch of Oceanic+, the watch came equipped with basic software called “Depth.” This allowed divers to check current depth, the temperature of the water, maximum depth reached, and how long they’ve been underwater. The new release expands those options considerably.

Apart from the above, Oceanic+ unlocks a lot of useful trackers. You’ll be able to track no-decompression time, how long it will take you to reach the surface, the gas mix currently in use for scuba divers, haptic feedback, a dive planner, and how fast you’re ascending when it’s time to swim back up to the surface. More importantly, the app comes with color-coded warnings. Moreover, if you use Oceanic+ on the iPhone, it will also provide some extra information about your dive.

The app is available for the Apple Watch Ultra as long as you’re running watchOS 9.1 or later. It also needs to be paired with at least an iPhone 8 (or later) running iOS 16.1 and above. You can access a lot of its features for free, but if you want the premium version, it will cost you $9.99 a month, or $79.99 a year.

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