Dish’s AirTV launches an $80 streaming stick for accessing Sling TV, Netflix & broadcast channels

Dish is expanding its hardware lineup today with the launch of a new 4K streaming stick, the AirTV Mini, designed to make it easier for cord cutters to access from one user interface its live TV service Sling TV, plus Netflix and over-the-air channels. The Android TV-powered device is meant to complement an existing setup that already includes an OTA digital antenna and an AirTV Wi-Fi-enabled network tuner, the company says.

For a limited time, new and existing Sling TV customers can get the latter two items for free — an AirTV Wi-Fi-enabled network tuner and an indoor antenna — by prepaying for three months of Sling TV’s service.

In addition, the AirTV Mini also includes support for 2×2 802.11AC Wi-Fi, a lost remote finder feature, support for Google Assistant and Google Play, as well as support for VP94K decoding, which allows you to watch YouTube or Netflix content in 4K.

airtv mini

The company has been offering streaming devices for a couple of years. Dish first unveiled its AirTV Player, a 4K media streamer set-top box, at CES 2017. In 2018, it expanded its hardware lineup to include a new device, just called the AirTV, a networked TV tuner that streams local programming via Wi-Fi.

Despite the new AirTV Mini’s streaming stick form factor, it’s not meant to compete with rival streaming sticks like the low-cost Amazon Fire TV Stick, Roku streaming stick or Chromecast in terms of price. Instead, it’s a $79.99 alternative to the $119.99 AirTV Player bundle — perhaps for someone who doesn’t care for the sort of Playskool-inspired design of the original streaming box, but still wants over-the-air channels, 4K support and easy access to Sling TV and Netflix.

The remote for the Mini is improved as well, in a more typical shade of black instead of the AirTV Player’s white and blue design. It’s also a more standard length and width than the stubby and seemingly childish AirTV Player remote. And it still has dedicated buttons for Sling TV, Netflix and Google Assistant.

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Through the remote, users can issue voice commands to control their TV experience. For example, you can use voice search to find favorite shows and movies, or say things like “go to guide,” “show me my DVR” or “rewind 10 seconds.”

“The AirTV brand is committed to making local TV relevant and easily accessible to streamers,” said Mitch Weinraub, director of product development for AirTV, in a statement. “The AirTV Mini is a powerhouse streaming stick with more memory and a faster processor than anything else in the category. When combined with the AirTV network tuner and the Sling TV app, the Mini delivers a superior streaming experience, especially for Slingers who want premium features in a small package at an affordable price.”

The audience for this sort of product — or any AirTV device, for that matter — is fairly niche. While there’s certainly some demand for access to over-the-air programming among cord cutters, there are other solutions that don’t lock you into Sling TV, specifically.

For instance, you can easily switch to your connected antenna from a Roku TV or you could buy the (currently $179.99) Fire TV Recast, which offers a Fire TV interface plus access to stream and record from live TV with its built-in DVR. Neither the AirTV Mini nor the AirTV tuner come bundled with a DVR — you have to provide your own, and plug it into the tuner.

Overall, the solution makes sense for DIY’ers who also subscribe to Sling TV and prefer a Google Assistant-powered experience instead of Alexa.

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Startup brings low-cost braces to Singapore

Zenyum aligners are custom-designed, based on a 3D scan of the patients’ teeth
| Photo source Zenyum

Healthcare & Wellbeing

The invisible aligner market has reached Singapore with the launch of affordable invisible aligners with a complimentary app that tracks progress

Spotted: Singapore startup Zenyum has created low-cost, invisible aligners for teeth. Unlike typical braces, or “railroad tracks”, the Zenyum aligners are custom-designed, based on a 3D scan of the patients’ teeth. 

The braces focus exclusively on making aesthetic improvements, primarily to the front teeth. Prospective patients send Zenyum images of their teeth. If the company thinks it has a good chance of helping, they direct the customer to a partner clinic for an exam and scans. 

Customers switch to a new set of aligners every five to seven days, while the company uses an app to check on the progress of customers’ teeth. Results take between three and nine months, compared to around 24 months for standard braces.

By acquiring and qualifying customers in-house, Zenyum keeps costs down. As a result, their treatments cost on average around S$2,200 (€1,437) – far less than the S$6,000 (€3,921) to S$10,000 (€6,536) usually charged in Singapore. The model has attracted investment from an early stage accelerator program run by Sequoia and is working on growing its network of partner dentists and orthodontists. 

15th July 2019



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America’s housing crisis, summed up in 3 charts

Every year, Harvard’s Joint Center for Housing Studies releases a detailed report about the state of American housing. This year’s document, released yesterday at an event in Atlanta, contains some positive news—alongside harrowing numbers. At one point during the event, Chris Herbert, managing director of the center, jokingly described himself as “a member of the joint center for doom and gloom.”

Rents are rising. Land prices are rising. Homelessness is rising, especially in booming areas like California and Seattle. Crucially, severe weather is increasing, further increasing the cost and scarcity of housing. What isn’t rising? For starters, the amount of affordable housing available in the United States. And perhaps more importantly, average income is falling for some households.

“There’s a fundamental market dynamic here that’s been going on for decades that’s really impervious to change: Incomes have been largely flat—or falling, for low income folks—and housing costs have been rising, driven by the cost of materials and the cost of land,” Herbert explained.

The situation is “unprecedented,” the report’s authors state. Three maps explain why.

Most people are spending more of their income on housing

There’s some good news in the report: “Cost-burdened” families, a term that describes anyone who pays more than 30% of their income for housing, decreased a tiny bit in 2017 (about .5%, to be exact).

Also some bad news: Almost half (47%) of people who rent are cost-burdened, and that number barely changed at all. Meanwhile, low-income people are the most cost-burdened (83%). But the number of middle-income people who pay more than 30% of their incomes for rent is increasing too, especially in cities where housing is expensive: In high-cost areas, a whopping 46% of people, who make $45,000 to $ 74,999, were technically cost-burdened.

Low-income housing is disappearing

Pair those numbers with the fact that the amount of low-rent housing in America is dropping rapidly. About 4 million low-rent units (or those which cost $800 per month or less) disappeared between 2011 and 2017. Some areas of the country, like Seattle, Austin, and the Bay Area, have seen as much as 67% of their low-rent housing stock disappear during those six years. Only a tiny amount of new rental units being built are low-rent.

Add to that the fact that most of the dwindling low-rent housing left in America is old—43% of it was built 50 years ago or more, according to the report—and you’re left with a picture of a housing market where people are paying more of their incomes for housing, while the amount of housing available to them decays or disappears.

Home ownership is out of reach for many (and it has a lot to do with wages)

A bit more good news: Homeownership is increasing, thanks to an economy that’s recovering from the Great Recession, and it’s projected to keep growing rapidly over the next decade. However, that growth may be unequal. Over the past 30 years, the report notes, the incomes of people who are in the top quarter of the country’s earners rose by a huge 38.5%. How much did incomes rise in the lowest quarter? Just 2.3%.

“[A] rise in interest rates and home prices plus a tightening of credit, on top of the limited supply of entry-level housing, could put homeownership out of reach for many more households,” the authors explain. “[F]or the millions of families and individuals that struggle to find housing that fits their budgets, much greater public efforts will be necessary to close the gap between what they can afford and the cost of producing decent housing.”

Herbert summed it up concisely during the report’s launch: “In many places, that’s a question of: How do we get incomes up?”

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Economic Report: A $15 minimum wage could help 27 million workers, CBO says, but cost 1.3 million jobs

Fast-food workers protest in favor of a $15 minimum wage.

Some 27 million low-income Americans would get a financial boost if the federal minimum wage were doubled to $15, but another 1.3 million could lose their jobs, a congressional study estimates.

The Congressional Budget Office looked at options to raise the current $7.25 minimum wage to either $10, $12 or $15 an hour. A big increase would spread the benefits more widely, but also raise the potential costs, the agency concluded in a widely anticipated study.

The Democratic-controlled House is planning to vote soon on a bill to lift the national minimum wage for the first time since 2009 to $15 an hour. The bill faces low odds in the Republican-led Senate, however.

Many states and cities have sharply increased minimum wages in the past few years, with some set to raise them eventually to $15 an hour. Some major employers such as Amazon

AMZN, +0.50%

 and Costco

COST, +1.05%

 have also adopted minimum pay rates of $15 an hour.

The CBO, a bipartisan agency that advises Congress, said a $15 federal minimum by 2025 would boost the wages of 17 million workers “who would otherwise earn less than $15 an hour.”

An additional 10 million who earned slightly more than $15 an hour might see their wages rise as well, the CBO said.

The potential downside? About 1.3 million people could lose their jobs, according to the CBO’s median estimate. Nearly half would be teenagers.

“For most low-wage workers, earnings and family income would increase, which would lift some families out of poverty. But other low-wage workers would become jobless, and their family income would fall — in some cases, below the poverty threshold,” the agency said.

Estimated job losses based on a $15 floor ranged from zero to 3.7 million.

Why such a large gap? For one thing, CBO analysts can’t predict to what extent worker pay would rise naturally in the absence of a minimum-wage increase.

Read: Tilting toward trouble? Worries on economy haven’t vanished after job gains, trade truce

Consider recent decisions by Amazon and other large firms to increase pay. One of the chief reasons they’ve done so is to attract more skilled workers in a highly competitive labor market characterized by the lowest unemployment rate in nearly half a century.

The agency is also unsure how companies would react.

The economics profession itself is divided. It’s long been a staple of economic literature that higher minimum wages lead to more job losses. Higher prices are strongly associated with lower demand.

Yet a handful of major studies since the early 1990s suggest higher minimum wages don’t necessarily lead to lower employment. A host of variables affect hiring decisions and staffing levels, including the availability of labor and the overall health of the economy.

“Findings in the research literature about how changes in the federal minimum wage affect employment vary widely,” the CBO acknowledged. “Many studies have found little or no effect of minimum wages on employment, but many others have found substantial reductions in employment.”

Read: The effect of a $15 minimum wage has on jobs and poverty in low-income areas

The CBO said a smaller increase in the U.S. minimum wage would have more modest impact.

The agency estimated a $12 federal minimum wage would help about 11 million workers and lead to median job losses of 300,000.

A $10 minimum would raise wages for about 3.5 million workers and have almost no effect on jobs.

Groups that support a higher minimum wage said the new study gives Congress ammunition to act.

“Today’s CBO report confirms what we’ve known all along: the Raise the Wage Act will benefit an estimated 27 million workers, reduce poverty and reduce inequality,’ said Christine Owens, executive director of the National Employment Law Project.

Douglas Holtz-Eakin, president of the conservative-leaning American Action Forum, argued that raising the minimum wage does nothing to boost overall income for poorer Americans.

“Gains to low-wage workers come at the expense of others — notably the newly unemployed,’ he said in a tweet.

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IKEA Is Building Affordable Sustainable Homes in the UK

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Automated low-cost malaria diagnosis



Adafruit 2019 2123

Octopi: Open configurable high-throughput imaging platform for infectious disease diagnosis in the field | bioRxiv vi a Twitter

… a low-cost ($250-$500) automated imaging platform that can quantify malaria parasitemia by scanning 1.5 million red blood cells per minute.

Stop breadboarding and soldering – start making immediately! Adafruit’s Circuit Playground is jam-packed with LEDs, sensors, buttons, alligator clip pads and more. Build projects with Circuit Playground in a few minutes with the drag-and-drop MakeCode programming site, learn computer science using the CS Discoveries class on, jump into CircuitPython to learn Python and hardware together, or even use Arduino IDE. Circuit Playground Express is the newest and best Circuit Playground board, with support for MakeCode, CircuitPython, and Arduino. It has a powerful processor, 10 NeoPixels, mini speaker, InfraRed receive and transmit, two buttons, a switch, 14 alligator clip pads, and lots of sensors: capacitive touch, IR proximity, temperature, light, motion and sound. A whole wide world of electronics and coding is waiting for you, and it fits in the palm of your hand.

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The rising cost of education and health care is less troubling than believed

AMONG THE compensations of ageing is the right to bore youngsters with stories of the prices of yesteryear. Once upon a time a ticket to the cinema cost just five quid, and a hogshead of mead but a farthing. Of course, savvier youths know how to debunk such tales. Adjust for inflation and many things are cheaper than ever. Since 1950 the real cost of new vehicles has fallen by half, that of new clothing by 75% and that of household appliances by 90%, even as quality has got better. Tumbling prices reflect decades of improvements in technology and productivity. But the effect is not economy-wide. Cars are cheaper, but car maintenance is more expensive, and costs in education and health care have risen roughly fivefold since 1950. Though no mystery, this rise is often misunderstood, with serious economic consequences.

There are as many explanations for the ballooning cost of such services as there are politicians. But as a newly published analysis argues, many common scapegoats simply cannot explain the steady, long-run rise in such prices relative to those elsewhere in the economy. In “Why are the prices so damn high?” Eric Helland of Claremont McKenna College and Alex Tabarrok of George Mason University write that quality has improved far too little to account for it. Administrative bloat is not the answer either. In America the share of all education spending that goes on administration has been roughly steady for decades. Health-care spending has risen faster than GDP in rich countries, despite vast differences in the structure of their health-care systems.

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The real culprit, the authors write, is a steady increase in the cost of labour—of teachers and doctors. That in turn reflects the relentless logic of Baumol’s cost disease, named after the late William Baumol, who first described the phenomenon. Productivity grows at different rates in different sectors. It takes far fewer people to make a car than it used to—where thousands of workers once filled plants, highly paid engineers now oversee factories full of robots—but roughly the same number of teachers to instruct a schoolful of children. Economists reckon that workers’ wages should vary with their productivity. But real pay has grown in high- and low-productivity industries alike. That, Baumol pointed out, is because teachers and engineers compete in the same labour market. As salaries for automotive engineers rise, more students study engineering and fewer become teachers, unless teachers’ pay also goes up. The cost of education has thus risen because of the rising pay needed to fill teaching posts. Other factors matter too, and can explain, for instance, why Americans pay more than Europeans for health care and higher education. But across countries, none is as important as the toll exacted by cost disease.

Baumol’s earliest work on the subject, written with William Bowen, was published in 1965. Analyses like that of Messrs Helland and Tabarrok nonetheless feel novel, because the implications of cost disease remain so underappreciated in policy circles. For instance, the steadily rising expense of education and health care is almost universally deplored as an economic scourge, despite being caused by something indubitably good: rapid, if unevenly spread, productivity growth. Higher prices, if driven by cost disease, need not mean reduced affordability, since they reflect greater productive capacity elsewhere in the economy. The authors use an analogy: as a person’s salary increases, the cost of doing things other than work—like gardening, for example—rises, since each hour off the job means more forgone income. But that does not mean that time spent gardening has become less affordable.

Neither do high prices necessarily need fixing. Many proposed solutions would be good for growth but would not solve the cost-disease problem. Boosting the supply of labour by increasing immigration could depress costs in both high-productivity sectors and low-productivity ones. But the price of a college education in terms of sedans would remain eye-watering. Innovation in stagnant sectors, while welcome, would shift the problem of cost disease elsewhere. A burst of productivity growth in education—because of improved online instruction, say—should contribute to a decline in the price of education per student. But because a given instructor could serve many more students than before, teachers’ potential income would rise, luring some would-be doctors away from the study of medicine and exacerbating the problem of cost disease in health care. A productivity boom in health care might shunt the cost disease to dentistry, or child care, or veterinary medicine.

The only true solution to cost disease is an economy-wide productivity slowdown—and one may be in the offing. Technological progress pushes employment into the sectors most resistant to productivity growth. Eventually, nearly everyone may have jobs that are valued for their inefficiency: as concert musicians, or artisanal cheesemakers, or members of the household staff of the very rich. If there is no high-productivity sector to lure such workers away, then the problem does not arise.

A cure worse than the disease

These possibilities reveal the real threat from Baumol’s disease: not that work will flow toward less-productive industries, which is inevitable, but that gains from rising productivity are unevenly shared. When firms in highly productive industries crave highly credentialed workers, it is the pay of similar workers elsewhere in the economy—of doctors, say—that rises in response. That worsens inequality, as low-income workers must still pay higher prices for essential services like health care. Even so, the productivity growth that drives cost disease could make everyone better off. But governments often do too little to tax the winners and compensate the losers. And politicians who do not understand the Baumol effect sometimes cap spending on education and health. Unsurprisingly, since they misunderstand the diagnosis, the treatment they prescribe makes the ailment worse.

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Scientists deepen understanding of magnetic fields surrounding Earth and other planets –

Scientists deepen understanding of magnetic fields surrounding Earth and other planets
PPPL physicist Eun-Hwa Kim. Credit: Elle Starkman / PPPL Office of Communications

Vast rings of electrically charged particles encircle the Earth and other planets. Now, a team of scientists has completed research into waves that travel through this magnetic, electrically charged environment, known as the magnetosphere, deepening understanding of the region and its interaction with our own planet, and opening up new ways to study other planets across the galaxy.

The scientists, led by Eun-Hwa Kim, physicist at the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory (PPPL), examined a type of wave that travels through the . These waves, called electromagnetic ion cyclotron (EMIC) waves, reveal the temperature and the density of the plasma particles within the magnetosphere, among other qualities.

“Waves are a kind of signal from the plasma,” said Kim, lead author of a paper that reported the findings in JGR Space Physics. “Therefore, the EMIC waves can be used as diagnostic tools to reveal some of the plasma’s characteristics.”

Kim and researchers from Andrews University in Michigan and Kyung Hee University in South Korea focused their research on mode conversion, the way in which some EMIC waves form. During this process, other waves that compress along the direction they travel from outer space collide with Earth’s magnetosphere and trigger the formation of EMIC waves, which then zoom off at a particular angle and polarization—the direction in which all of the are vibrating.

Using PPPL computers, the scientists performed simulations showing that these mode-converted EMIC waves can propagate through the magnetosphere along at a normal angle that is less than 90 degrees, in relation to the border of the region with space. Knowing such characteristics enables physicists to identify EMIC waves and gather information about the magnetosphere with limited initial information.

A better understanding of the magnetosphere could provide detailed information about how Earth and other planets interact with their space environment. For instance, the waves could allow scientists to determine the density of elements like helium and oxygen in the magnetosphere, as well as learn more about the flow of charged particles from the sun that produces the .

Moreover, engineers employ waves similar to EMIC waves to aid the heating of plasma in doughnut-shaped magnetic fusion devices known as tokamaks. So, studying the behavior of the waves in the magnetosphere could deepen insight into the creation of fusion energy, which takes place when plasma particles collide to form heavier particles. Scientists around the world seek to replicate fusion on Earth for a virtually inexhaustible supply of power to generate electricity.

Knowledge of EMIC waves could thus provide wide-ranging benefits. “We are really eager to understand the magnetosphere and how it mediates the effect that space weather has on our planet,” said Kim. “Being able to use EMIC as diagnostics would be very helpful.”

More information:
Eun‐Hwa Kim et al, Electron Inertial Effects on Linearly Polarized Electromagnetic Ion Cyclotron Waves at Earth’s Magnetosphere, Journal of Geophysical Research: Space Physics (2019). DOI: 10.1029/2019JA026532

Scientists deepen understanding of magnetic fields surrounding Earth and other planets (2019, July 12)
retrieved 13 July 2019

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part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only.

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Wirecutter’s best deals: Save $200 on Klipsch R-51PM wireless speakers

Eufy RoboVac 11S Robot Vacuum


Street price: $220; deal price: $150 w/ on-page coupon, code ROBOVAC11S

Usually $220, this recommended robot vacuum is down to $150 with clipped on-page coupon and code ROBOVAC11S, matching the all-time low we saw during Cyber Week. Due to its low profile, this vacuum may be able to clean more of your house, like under coffee tables with shelving, because it can fit under more stuff. If you are looking for a quiet and affordable robot vacuum, this is an excellent price for one.

The Eufy Robovac 11s is the top pick in our guide to the best robot vacuums. Wirecutter Senior Editor Liam McCabe wrote, “No other robot vacuum blends into the background like the Eufy RoboVac 11S. It can clean almost every nook of your house, yet you’ll barely notice it. It sounds more like a fan than a vacuum, so even if you’re at home while it’s running, it shouldn’t get on your nerves. Of all the bots we’ve tested, it’s one of the least likely to get stuck and quit cleaning mid-session. We also found that, in certain situations, it’s strong enough and persistent enough to pick up more debris than bots that cost two or three times as much. Like most affordable robots, it relies on a semi-random navigation system, which can struggle in larger homes (and some people get frustrated when they watch it too closely). But it’s perfectly effective in smaller spaces, and you can find ways make it work in bigger areas, too.”

Ring Video Doorbell Pro + Echo Dot (3rd Gen)


Street price: $250; deal price: $170 for Prime Members (price reflects in cart)

At $170 in cart for Amazon Prime members, this is a nice bundle price that includes the Ring Video Doorbell Pro, which typically has a street price around $240 on its own. It’s an especially good option if you want or need a camera smaller than our top pick, but be warned—this model requires hard-wiring your doorbell. While there’s still the monthly subscription fee and installation to contend with, this drop helps lessens your initial investment. The added Echo Dot (3rd Gen) is a nice bonus for yourself or as a gift.

The Ring Video Doorbell Pro is the slimmer, no battery pick in our guide to the best smart doorbell camera. Wirecutter Staff Writer Rachel Cericola wrote, “The Ring Video Doorbell Pro stands out from the Ring 2 for its smaller size and more granular motion-detection options. You can also connect it to a 5 GHz Wi-Fi network, whereas the other Rings can use only 2.4 GHz. It doesn’t include a battery, so it requires a hardwired connection to your home’s doorbell system. Although its field of view is slightly smaller than that of the Ring 2, if your doorframe requires a smaller device and you have the wiring to support it, this is the doorbell cam to get for basic monitoring and alerts. Video recording requires the same $30-per-year subscription as other Ring doorbell cameras.”

Klipsch R-51PM Speakers


Street price: $500; deal price: $300

Down to $300, this is easily the best price we’ve seen for the vinyl enthusiasts pick in our guide to the best wireless powered bookshelf speakers. Often as much as $500, this $200 drop is a considerable discount, especially compared to the regular $400 deals we’re used to seeing for the Klipsch R51-PM. The versatility these speakers offer usually results in one of the higher price points in our guide, but this deal has the R-51PM speakers costing less than our other picks.

The Klipsch R-51PM are the vinyl enthusiasts pick in our guide to the best wireless powered bookshelf speakers. Wirecutter Editor Brent Butterworth wrote, “Klipsch’s R-51PM is the most versatile choice of all our picks because it includes a phono input for connecting to a turntable, plus USB, optical digital, and analog inputs and a subwoofer output—but that versatility comes with a higher price. Our panelists ranked the R-51PM just slightly behind the Edifier S1000DB in sound quality. Everyone agreed it had a reasonably full and natural sound, but all said they’d prefer a little more bass. At 13.3 inches high by 9.1 inches deep by 7 inches wide, the R-51PM speakers aren’t quite as bulky as our top pick, and they have a more contemporary look.”

Whistle 3 GPS Pet Tracker


Street price: $80; deal price: $64

Down to $64, this on-collar pet tracker is $16 less than the typical retail price of $80. Whether you have a serial escape artist or lingering fireworks are still driving your pet crazy, a pet tracker can be a lifesaver. We don’t see deals on this tracker too often, so if you’re thinking about getting one, this is a good chance to grab it a solid price.

The Whistle 3 is the top pick in our guide to the best GPS trackers for cats and dogs. Wirecutter Senior Staff Writer Nick Guy wrote, “If you’re concerned about your pet getting away and you want a tool to help you more easily find it, the best option is the Whistle 3 GPS Pet Tracker & Activity Monitor. This tracker is as accurate as any model we tested, quickly transmitting its GPS signal back to your phone. It lasts longer on a charge than any of the other contenders we tried, its hardware design is the best by a long shot, and its smartphone software is equally well thought out.”

Because great deals don’t just happen on Thursday, sign up for our daily deals email and we’ll send you the best deals we find every weekday. Also, deals change all the time, and some of these may have expired. To see an updated list of current deals, please go here.

All products recommended by Engadget are selected by our editorial team, independent of our parent company. Some of our stories include affiliate links. If you buy something through one of these links, we may earn an affiliate commission.

Wirecutter is a list of of the best gear and gadgets for people who want to save the time and stress of figuring out what to buy. Their recommendations are made through vigorous reporting, interviewing, and testing by teams of veteran journalists, scientists, and researchers.

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Banza vs. RightRice — how 2 low-carb rice alternatives stack up in taste and nutritional value

  • Banza and RightRice make rice alternatives that have fewer carbs, more fiber, and more protein than traditional white rice.
  • Both cook and taste just like white rice, too, making the switch to either of the brands one of few sacrifices.
  • Banza has less sodium and fewer calories, is faster to cook, and is a little cheaper, while RightRice doesn’t require as much supervision while cooking and is also available in flavored options.

Whatever food or snack you love, there’s probably a more nutritious, “better-for-you” version of it out there. Noodles made from spiralized zucchini, pizza crusts made from cauliflower, and sweet treats made from dried fruit rinds just scratch the surface of ways you can make your favorite food healthier.

Rice, the thousands-year-old grain that cultures around the world enjoy, is also getting the better-for-you makeover.

Two food brands, Banza and RightRice, are taking on the beloved grain with rice made from alternative ingredients — Banza’s primarily with chickpeas, and RightRice’s with a mix of lentil, chickpea, pea, and rice flour. While they cost more than traditional white rice, these new rice products are perfect for anyone watching their carb, fiber, and protein intake. To their credit, they also cook and taste like white rice.

Banza is best known for its chickpea pasta, and rice is the second product category created by the startup (which got a boost with help from the Chobani Food Incubator). Meanwhile, RightRice concentrates solely on rice.

We tried both companies’ rice and loved them as tasty, nutritious alternatives to traditional white rice. To help you decide which one you should cook with, we broke down their similarities and differences in a few categories.


The chart below shows the nutritional differences among the types of rice, per 50 grams of dry rice. Information for white rice is taken from the USDA database, while information for Banza and RightRice is taken from their respective nutrition labels.

Alyssa Powell/Business Insider

The “winners” of each category (comparing only the rice alternatives, Banza and RightRice) are bolded and highlighted. Both Banza and RightRice have 10 fewer grams of total carbs than white rice and more than five times the fiber. Banza slightly edges RightRice out on calorie and protein count, and has half the sodium content. Based on nutritional content alone, Banza beats RightRice.

Cooking the rice

You cook Banza and RightRice as you would cook traditional rice on a stovetop. At this time, neither is recommended to prepare in a rice cooker.

How to cook Banza rice

  • Amount of water required per bag: 6 cups of salted water
  • Prep instructions: Bring water to a boil, reduce heat, then add Banza. Cook and stir for approximately five to six minutes. Drain using a fine mesh strainer and rinse with water. Return to pot and fluff with fork.

How to cook RightRice rice

  • Amount of water required per bag: 1 1/3 cup of water
  • Prep instructions: Bring water to a boil, add RightRice, immediately remove from heat, and cover. Let stand for 10 minutes and fluff with fork, then let sit for two to three more minutes.

Though RightRice took longer to prep, I personally liked that I didn’t have to babysit and stir it. It required less water and once off the stove, I could just let it sit and cook by itself. However, if you’re pressed for time, Banza might be the better option.


Taste and texture

Banza’s rice is a longer grain than RightRice’s, and the overall taste and texture of both are impressively close to that of white rice. Banza’s and RightRice’s rice are fluffy and chewy, with a faint nutty taste that serves as a great neutral base for any meal or recipe. I usually make rice bowls or use them as a side to protein and vegetables, but you can also use the rice for dishes like paella and arancini. Unlike cauliflower rice, these rices will actually fill you up and leave you feeling satisfied.

If you also want flavored options, RightRice is a better bet. In addition to the plain, Original version, it comes in Garlic Herb, Lemon Pepper, and Spanish flavors online, as well as Thai Curry in Kroger stores.

Price and where to buy it online

Both come in six-packs for around $24 and are available to buy on Amazon. Prices on Amazon can fluctuate, but right now Banza is slightly cheaper per ounce.

Banza price: $23.94 for a 6-Pack (8 oz. bags)

RightRice price: $23.99 for a 6-Pack (7 oz. bags)

They’re both more expensive than regular white rice, so depending on your budget, these alternatives may not be a sustainable, long-term purchase. However, they’re great to supplement your existing diet. If you eat rice five times a week, for example, you could eat Banza or RightRice for two of those meals, and you wouldn’t have to spend too much extra money.

The bottom line

I grew up eating rice every day, so I’m picky about any rice alternatives. I love Banza and RightRice’s more nutritious takes on this grain staple and could gladly eat both when I want a healthier rice. Here are some things you should consider when deciding between the two:

Buy Banza rice if:

  • You want to consume less sodium and fewer calories.
  • You want your rice to be done under 10 minutes, but don’t mind tending to it at the stove.
  • You want to pay a little less.
  • You don’t care about flavored options.
  • You’re already a Banza pasta fan.

Buy RightRice rice if:

  • You like shorter-grain rice.
  • You want the most low-maintenance cooking option.
  • You like having pre-flavored options.

Shop Banza and RightRice on Amazon

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