Amazon Is Working on Free One-Day Shipping for Prime Members

iStock.com/Jorge Villalba
iStock.com/Jorge Villalba

If you've managed to avoid signing up for Amazon Prime up til now, new changes to the subscription service may finally lure you onto the bandwagon. As The Verge reports, the cost of an Amazon Prime membership will soon include free one-day shipping.

Free two-day shipping has long been one of the biggest perks offered through the service. Amazon Prime costs $119 a year—a fee that can quickly pay for itself if members order from the online retailer on a regular basis.

Now Amazon is looking to add even more value to the membership. During the company's first quarter 2019 earnings call, chief financial officer Brian Olsavsky said that Amazon plans to expand one-day shipping to Prime members, first in North America and then around the globe. In order to do that, Amazon is working with the U.S. Postal Service and its other delivery partners to bring one-day shipping to more ZIP codes. There's no timeline yet showing when the new perk will be available to Prime members, but the company plans to share more details in the second quarter of 2019.

Amazon currently offers free one-day shipping to Prime customers, but only on select orders of $35 or more. This new perk would apply to all eligible orders at no extra cost.

Even before Amazon rolls out free one-day shipping, there are plenty of reasons to join Prime. Members receive unlimited photo storage, free e-books, and access to streaming movies, music, and TV shows. You can sign up for a free trial here.

[h/t The Verge]

These ASMR-Ready Headphones Promise to Lull You to Sleep

AcousticSheep
AcousticSheep

What do hushed whispers, gently tapping fingernails, and Bob Ross’s voice have in common? They’re all examples of triggers that may cause what’s known as an autonomous sensory meridian response (ASMR), or, as Dictionary.com succinctly explains it, a “calming, pleasurable feeling often accompanied by a tingling sensation” that can be triggered by soothing stimuli. ASMR has recently been recognized as an effective relaxation technique for those looking to calm their nerves; now, ASMR enthusiasts and novices alike can experience it in the form of a sleep-ready headband.

Upon first glance, SleepPhones: ASMR Edition may look like just a fabric headband, but the device actually features flat speakers tucked into soft, stretchy, eco-friendly material. Unlike regular headphones, SleepPhones can be worn comfortably to bed, even if you sleep on your side, and they come preloaded with content designed to help you relax. They feature eight hours of built-in ASMR content by 16 different ASMR artists (or ASMRtists), including but not limited to tracks with rhythmic tapping and "peaceful Italian whisperings."

A close-up of the SleepPhones speaker technology
AcousticSheep

The speaker components of SleepPhones
AcousticSheep

Using SleepPhones is designed to be a stress-free experience. The speakers have the ability to play for 20 ad-free hours with a mere three-hour charging time in between. There are also zero cords involved, meaning you won’t get all tangled up as you lie down or if you have a tendency to toss and turn at night. The small button located in the back of the headband allows you to start, pause, or skip tracks and control the volume.

For people looking for ways to relax beyond yoga and meditation, ASMR may be the way to go. One study observed that subjects watching ASMR videos not only reported feeling that aforementioned pleasant tingling, but were also found to have reduced heart rates.

You can get a pair of your own SleepPhones on Kickstarter with a pledge of $75 or more. They come in three different sizes with seven colors from which to choose.

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The UK Wants to Use 'Noise Cameras' to Crack Down on Loud Cars and Bikes

iStock/Ales-A
iStock/Ales-A

Snarled traffic creates more than air pollution. Thanks to modified engines, mufflers, and exhaust systems on cars and motorcycles, congested roadways can become symphonies of belching and rattling. Now, the UK government is looking to do something about it.

According to the BBC, the Department for Transport is currently testing “acoustic cameras” that will measure the decibel levels of vehicles on public roads. If a microphone detects a vehicle producing an excessive amount of noise, a camera will photograph the source and the owner will be fined.

What defines excessive? That remains to be seen. The UK enacted a law in 2016 limiting new cars to no more than 74 decibels. It's primarily older cars and modified motorbikes that create noise disturbances and prompt complaints from people living nearby.

The trial equipment will also need to prove it can identify one vehicle's noise emissions from another's and single out cars from other possible sources of sound. If the trial results are promising, it's likely the "acoustic cameras" will be policing UK roads in the near future.

[h/t Jalopnik]

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