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Best Mother’s Day Gifts When You Can’t Be There in Person

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This story is part of Gift Guide, our year-round collection of the best gift ideas.

Many of us live far away from our mothers. Some of us are several states away from Mom, while others are separated by continents and oceans. But even if you can’t physically be in the same place as your mother, you can still make Mother’s Day meaningful for her. A Mother’s Day gift isn’t the same thing as being there in person, but it will go a long way towards letting Mom know how much she means to you. 

Sure, there are the old standbys like flowers and cards, but how about a sweet gift for the sentimental mom, or something practical that will make your mom’s life easier? To help you find just the right gift for your long-distance mom, we’ve created a list of the best Mother’s Day gifts for when you can’t be there in person. These thoughtful and unique Mother’s Day gifts will demonstrate your love can truly go the distance.

Sarah Tew/CNET

If your mother loves Disney but hasn’t tried Disney Plus yet, give her the gift that keeps on giving: all the Disney she can watch. Your mom can watch popular shows like The Mandalorian and finally see what all the fuss is about with Encanto. We rated Disney Plus, as the best streaming service for kids at heart, so if your mom loves nostalgia and wants to stay on top of the latest releases, she’ll love Disney Plus. 

Mixbook

When you can’t be with your mother in person, a personalized photo book of all of your moments with her can fill in the gap. Mixbook, one of CNET’s best photo books, allows you to create the ultimate gift by uploading photographs from your phone, computer or social media sites like Instagram and Facebook, and from there build your book, calendar and more with just a few steps.  

The Sill

The Sill is a plant marketplace with a wide variety of fantastic plant choices for plant parents of all kinds. The Easy Care bundle is the best present for a mom who enjoys plants, but prefers a low-maintenance option. In this bundle, she’ll get the pet-friendly peperomia obtusifolia and a drought- and low-light-tolerant ZZ plant. What’s more, as one of CNET’s best places to buy plants online, your mother will adore this present’s quality. 

Amazon

The Kindle Paperwhite is our best all-around ebook reader for a reason. It features warm light settings, a longer battery life and is completely waterproof. For a better viewing experience, this edition of the Kindle Paperwhite sports a 6.8-inch display, perfect for a virtual book club. 

Cuddle Clones

If you have a mother who adores her pets, consider getting her a plush animal to provide as a constant reminder of her affection. You begin the Cuddle Clones process with the pet’s name, then you follow up with the type of pet and finally the breed. After that, you go through a sequence of simple questions and picture uploads, and voila your mom will have a fuzzy version of her pet in eight weeks.

Amazon

This ArtPix 3D Photo Crystal is another cool way to preserve a special picture, but in 3D. This is accomplished through the use of laser engraving that brings any photograph to life. You can fully customize this gift by font, size, background and more. And this present can be enhanced even further by including a base and LED lights, but the crystal itself is plenty to convey your affection.

Homesick

There are a variety of ways to express gratitude to your mother, but a candle (together with a handwritten letter) is a wonderful touch. This candle is 13.75 ounces and will burn for around 60 to 80 hours. Created with a natural soy wax blend that includes notes of bergamot, lavender, sage, jasmine and other fragrant aromas this candle will brighten her day.

Etsy

Does your mom love jewelry and keep all your old handwritten papers from childhood? Why not combine her two loves with this customizable, handmade bracelet made from gold, rose gold or silver. Once you decide how you want it engraved, you can write the message and choose an image matching the way you want it to look. 

Uncommon Goods

If you want to let your mom know you’re thinking of her in real time, this is the gift for her. No matter where you are, this lamp will work like a charm by lighting up and transmitting a colorful glow to her when you touch it. 

Amazon

The Eufy RoboVac 25C is rated CNET’s best affordable robot vacuum. It has a powerful suction that is effective on both hardwood and carpeted floors. Pet hair and other little dust piles are easily picked up by it. And while it isn’t the most advanced robot vacuum, it is more than enough to allow your mother to relax while something else cleans up the mess. 

Amazon

Making coffee should be as simple as possible, but to accomplish it properly, you’ll need the perfect coffee maker. The Editors’ Choice winner, the Oxo Brew eight-cup coffee maker, is our favorite drip brewer. This machine will make your mother a cup that will rival any coffee shop. The Oxo Brew has a single-cup filter basket, precision settings for better water temperature, a double-wall vacuum and it’s small enough to fit on your mother’s kitchen counter. 

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Overwatch 2 Beta Begins Tomorrow: Start Time and What to Expect

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Overwatch 2 starts its second beta on Tuesday, June 28, for PC and console players. The beta begins at 2 p.m. ET/11 a.m. PT and runs through Monday, July 18. Sign-ups are still open for a chance to participate, and you can still get guaranteed access if you’re willing to spend some cash.  

The next beta will be our first look at Junker Queen, a new tank hero who first appeared in posters on the Junkertown map that was released in 2017. Fans have been hoping to play her ever since, and five years later, we’re finally getting the chance. The new beta also adds a new hybrid map, Paraiso. The developers have laid out their goals for the beta, which include testing server capacity and hero balance. 

Overwatch 2 is the sequel to Blizzard’s class-based shooter, featuring two teams of five players fighting over objectives. Overwatch devs announced in June that the game will be free to play and will launch in early access on Oct. 4. The first beta injected a frantic pace into the game, which was a welcome change from the slower, more grinding pacing that’s plagued Overwatch in recent years. The free-to-play PvP element will bring the game more in line with other competitive shooters, like Valorant and Apex Legends.

How to sign up for the Overwatch 2 beta

Anyone can sign up for Overwatch 2’s second beta, but it’s not technically an open beta. The game will add people gradually as it ramps up server capacity, and the first big wave of beta access will happen on July 5, according to the beta FAQ page. Even if you were in the previous beta, you’ll need to sign up again. 

Here’s how to sign up:

1. Go to the Overwatch 2 beta site.
2. In the top right corner, log in to your Blizzard Account.
3. At the bottom of the Overwatch 2 beta page, choose your platform (and region for PlayStation players).
4. Then hit Request Beta Access.

If you want guaranteed beta access on June 28, you can purchase the Watchpoint Pack ($40). In addition to beta access on day one, you’ll also get two legendary character skins, a unique player icon and enough digital currency to buy the first two battle passes.

How do I download the Overwatch 2 beta?

Blizzard hasn’t released details on downloading the second beta, but it should follow the same process as the first beta. Here’s how that worked:

1. Log in to your Battle.net account and navigate to Overwatch on the game launcher.

2. In the bottom left, click the Game Version drop-down.

3. Select Overwatch 2 Tech Beta to install.

4. When the download is complete, hit the blue Play button to start.

Junker Queen spinning her axe

Junker Queen’s ultimate ability helps her close distance and end fights quickly.


Blizzard

Junker Queen abilities

The new beta finally gives fans a chance to play as Junker Queen, a hero we’ve all been excited about and/or thirsting over since she was first teased on the Junkertown map. Here’s what we know about Junker Queen’s abilities, from the Overwatch Twitter account:

New Hybrid Map: Paraiso

The beta also adds Paraiso, a new hybrid map that explores Lucio’s home, including the DJ’s Clube Sinestesia. As with all hybrid maps, players will start by attacking or defending a control point, and if the attackers succeed, players will spend the rest of the map attacking or defending a payload. 

An underground club with light-up floor

Clube Sinestesia is where support hero Lucio found fame as a DJ.


Blizzard

For more Overwatch 2 news, check out everything we learned from the Overwatch 2 reveal event.



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Icebergify: How To Create an Iceberg of Your Most Listened to Spotify Artists

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Been on social media today? Seen those bizarre musical Icebergs floating around in your feed? You’re not alone. Screenshots like this have been doing the rounds today, particularly on Twitter. 

It’s all created via the magic of a website called Icebergify.

Using the data from your Spotify listening habits, Icebergify creates an Iceberg of your most listened to artists ranked by popularity. At the tip of the iceberg? Your favourite “mainstream” artists. Your Taylor Swifts, your Beyonces, your Drakes, etc. The further down you go, the more obscure it becomes. It looks a little like this…

If you want to see your own iceberg, you can head to the website directly. Be warned: it does require your Spotify log-in. 

The Icebergify website was developed by Akshay Raj, a freshman studying Computer & Data Science at Rice University. He says he has no plans to monetize the site or use the data collected — which is limited to your username, Spotify account ID and the top 50 tracks and artists listened to over the past few years. 

How does it work? It’s fairly simple. Icebergify takes your most listened to artists and sorts them according to popularity rankings. Streams, shares, saves, likes, and followers are all taken into account. This is why Beyonce might be at the top of your iceberg, but lesser known artists are at the bottom, beneath the ocean. Also worth noting: It seems like Icebergify is being flooded due to its surprising popularity. Head back later if it doesn’t immediately work.





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Apple’s First Mixed-Reality Headset May Sport New M2 Processor

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Apple’s first mixed-reality headset could come with the company’s flagship M2 processor, just one of the “deluge” of new products the company is expected to unveil in the next year, Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman reported Sunday.

The M2, unveiled in June, features redesigned central processing units and a significant memory increase, which would provide a significant boost to the much-rumored headset over the previous M1 chip.

The much-rumored headset incorporating both virtual and augmented reality environments is expected to provide a boon to the gaming industry. Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo said earlier week that the headset — expected to be announced in January 2023 — would be the most complicated product Apple has designed yet.

Apple CEO Tim Cook has been vocal about his excitement about AR. Earlier this week, he explained that the tech industry is still in the “very early innings” of this technology’s possibilities.

“I couldn’t be more excited about the opportunities we’ve seen in this space, and sort of stay tuned and you’ll see what we have to offer,” Cook told China Daily.

Other products Gurman expects to debut in the next 12 months include four iPhone 14 models, three Apple Watch variations, several Macs with M2 and M3 chips, iPads, updated AirPods Pro earbuds, a fresh HomePod, and an upgraded Apple TV. 

Apple didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.

Read moreApple AR, VR Headset Rumors: WWDC, Release Rumors, M1 Chip and More



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