Monthly Archives: June 2017

Mayweather and McGregor’s 8-ounce boxing gloves have started a science fight

Trash talk has been a fundamental part of the run-up to the August 26 match between undefeated boxer Floyd Mayweather and Mixed Martial Arts champion Conor McGregor. A few weeks ago, Mayweather turned his attention to the weight of their fight gloves on social media. He proposed the pair battle while wearing gloves that weigh 8 ounces each, instead of the usual 10-ouncers required for their weight class, which is 154 pounds. McGregor’s response was positive (and obscenity laden), and the Nevada State Athletic Commission, which is sanctioning the bout, has granted the opponents a one-time exception to use lighter gloves. What this means, however, is a topic of much debate in the boxing community. Those 2 ounces have caused a big stir, especially in a time when the scientific data about brain injuries in sports grows more troubling.

“They’re supposed to use 10-ounce gloves,” says Larry Lovelace, president of a group called the Association of Ringside Physicians, which advocates for the safety of fighters in combat sports. “There’s not a lot of scientific research to say that’s where the cutoff should be. But, the question that I have is, why is Nevada going to go against their own regulations and rules?”

The ARP has issued a statement questioning the Nevada commission’s decision and calling for more scientific research on whether or the Commission’s glove guidelines actually benefit the fighters’ overall health during and after the match.

There is no national governing body that regulates boxing, and the rules about gloves vary from state to state. The Nevada commission’s rule NAC 467.427, section 5, subsection a states that a fighter “at 135 pounds or less must wear gloves which weigh 8 ounces during the contest or exhibition.”

Section b continues: “At more than 135 pounds must wear gloves which weigh 10 ounces during the contest or exhibition, except that an unarmed combatant weighing in at more than 135 pounds but not more than 147 pounds may wear gloves which weigh 8 ounces during the contest or exhibition if both unarmed combatants agree to wear gloves of that weight.”

It’s all about the hands

Boxing experts will tell you that the original intent behind sheathing boxers’ hands was to protect them from breaking. Greek gladiators used to wrap leather straps around their fists. The Marquess of Queensberry Rules, published in England in 1867 and one of the earliest recorded rulebooks on boxing, demanded gloves be “fair-sized” but didn’t specify a weight or physical dimensions.

This budget-friendly bot is a total neat freak

Testing

Like most robot vacuum cleaners, setting up the RoboVac 11 is easy. You flip it over, snap on a couple side brushes, connect the charging base to an outlet, set the vacuum on the station, and then wait a few hours for it to fully charge.

The RoboVac 11 doesn’t have Wi-Fi or a dedicated app like many of its more expensive competitors. It does, however, come with a remote control that lets you do many of the same things: create cleaning schedules, start and stop the vacuum, and send it back to its charging cradle (the bot does that automatically as well when its battery is low).

Using the remote, you can choose between one of six cleaning modes: Auto, Edge, Spot, Max, Single Room, and Manual. Auto tailors the bot’s cleaning pattern to the individual room it’s in. Edge cleaning is what it sounds like—the RoboVac slows down when it reaches a wall and then follows it cleaning the perimeter of the room. Spot cleaning sends the vacuum off in a spiral cleaning pattern that’s meant for areas of concentrated dirt, and Max has increased suction for carpets. Single Room mode is meant for, uh, single (confined) rooms, and Manual mode gives you control over the direction of the RoboVac from the remote.

After everything was charged and ready to go, we set the vacuum loose in our bedroom, kitchen, office, and living room. For comparison purposes, we also recreated our usual obstacle course of filth in our 28 x 15-foot living room. Filled with a combination of hardwood floors and low-pile carpeting, as well as a mixture of furniture—a couch, multiple bookshelves, a coffee table, and credenza—it’s a complicated room to clean with plenty of areas in which a robovac can get stuck. We added our special mixture of flour, rice, dirt, and plenty of short, pointy dog hairs to see how well the vacuum handled them.

Observations

Anyone interested in buying a robovac these days has their work cut out for them. What was once a category dominated by one company has become a crowded (but dirt free) playing field filled with all manner of floor-cleaning bots. At the high-end, you get advanced sensors and navigational systems, dedicated apps for controlling your vacuum remotely, and various bells and whistles like ability to set up invisible walls. At the other end you get, well, a robot vacuum that bounces around and sucks up dirt from the floors.

The Eufy RoboVac 11 falls into the latter category, but here’s the thing: It does its main job—sucking up dirt, hair, and dust—as well as or better than many of its high-end competitors. Not only did it manage to suck up nearly every kind of mess we created for it, it was actually better at cleaning along side walls and furniture legs, possible thanks to its dual side brushes (most robot vacs only have one). At just over three inches tall, the RoboVac could also fit under low bed frames and other areas that vacuums we’ve tested simply couldn’t get to. It is also surprisingly quiet, which is great.

While the vacuum always did a thorough job of cleaning our test rooms, it does not appear to follow any defined path or pattern when doing so. Instead, the vacuum just sort of ping-pongs around the room, often overlapping areas it’s cleaned multiple times. If the RoboVac’s battery didn’t last as long (upwards of 90 minutes), this would potentially be a more annoying issue, but as it stands the semi-random pattern didn’t bother us or affect the ultimate results.

The RoboVac did have a few issues. On more than one occasion it got stuck on power cords behind our living room credenza and underneath the bookshelf and required rescuing. It also didn’t do a great job on a high-pile carpet we doused with dog hair and dirt, although it’s not recommended for this carpet type. For those with a lot of potential obstacles (dog bowls, etc) in a given cleaning area, it’s worth noting that the RoboVac 11 doesn’t come with any kind of virtual wall barriers or magnetic tape to keep the vacuum from plowing into them.

Still, these were are all small inconveniences, and easily forgiven when considering the RoboVac’s price. And that’s really the bottom line here: No robovac will clean as well as a human operated push vacuum. However, they are a great way to keep floors tidier for longer and prolonging the need for those deep cleanings. What you’re ultimately left with is a pretty simple question: Would you rather spend as much as a grand for that incremental robo cleaner or $220? For us, the choice is easy.

Conclusion

If you don’t mind the absence of smartphone support and other bells and whistles, the RoboVac 11 is an easy recommendation for anyone who wants to keep their wood floors and low-pile carpets cleaner for longer.

New gadgets bask in the post-eclipse glow

How are your eyes feeling? Lots of people hit up Google about eye problems after last week’s eclipse, but hopefully, they’re feeling better now. If so, you can use your healed-up eyes to check out the stuff that happened in the tech world last week. Listening to the new Taylor Swift single on repeat while you read it is totally optional.

Tight fit

 Fitbit released a new smartwatch and fitness tracker called the Ionic. It promises an impressive four days of battery on a full charge, as well as a new platform for third party apps, and will cost $299 when it launches in October. That makes it more expensive than the original Apple Watch, so it has some work to do if it wants to impress the wearables crowd.

Cookie robot

The new version of Android is officially named Oreo and will start rolling out to devices in its final version soon. If you have a phone that runs a stock version of the OS, like the Google Pixel, you’ll likely be in the first wave to receive the update. If you have a different phone, it will roll out whenever the magic wizard casts the appropriate spell to make it compatible with your device, or however it is they figure that out.

Classy cans

Audio-Technica’s new flagship headphones, the ATH-ADX5000, cost $2,000 and come in their own luxurious suitcase for travel and storage. They’re open-back headphones, which audiophiles enjoy for their ability to crank out high-fidelity sound.

Stick joy

If you’re sick of losing at Overwatch on Xbox Live, you can pick up Razer’s new Wolverine Ultimate controller, which has a cadre of customizable triggers and buttons to tweak your controls. It also has customizable lighting colors and swappable thumb sticks. All that tweakability will cost you $159, which is slightly more expensive than Microsoft’s own Xbox One Elite controller.

Look at all these sweet ‘Star Wars’ toys

Labor Day 2017 is upon us, which means summer is over and so is the latest season of Game of Thrones. However, that also means we’re getting into new gadget season, and the kickoff party is in Germany at the IFA trade show. There’s a lot of new stuff to see on this list, including a whole heap of new Star Wars toys that are ready to eat up your kids’ college funds.

Apple picking

First things first, we learned that the next Apple event will be happening on September 12th. We’re expecting to meet the new iPhone, as well as a revamped Apple TV, but details—as always—are sparse beyond that. There are currently plenty of places on the internet to read and argue about rumors, but I can tell you with certainty that it’s a bad way to spend your Labor Day. Or any day, really. Don’t do that.

Jed-eyes

Perhaps the coolest new Star Wars toy comes from Lenovo. This mixed reality headset lets you have an all-too-real light saber battle in the comfort of your own home. It looks like a ton of fun, but be aware of your surroundings because you don’t want to accidentally smash your grandma in the face while flailing wildly around your living room.

We come in pieces

Also on the Star Wars toy front, Lego introduced a new $799 Millennium Falcon kit with roughly 7,500 pieces. Only time will tell which one of those pieces you’ll drop under the couch and never find again.