Echo Dot owners can get three months of SiriusXM streaming radio for free

Alexa’s always ready to play your favorite stations.

SiriusXM is teaming up with Amazon to offer three months of streaming radio for free to Echo Dot owners. New customers who sign up for a SiriusXM All Access or SiriusXM Premier subscription will receive one of the smart speakers featuring Amazon Alexa for free, which is a $50 savings. Plus it’s the latest (third-gen) version of the device. Furthermore, SiriusXM is offering 60% off six-month All Access subscriptions right now.

If you’re already a SiriusXM Select listener, upgrading to one of the tiers above will also score you a free Echo Dot. Once it’s arrived at your home, not only will you be able to listen to your favorite SiriusXM channels, but you’ll also gain access to tons of Alexa Skills, check the weather, and use it to control connected smart home devices like Philips Hue lights.

New Microsoft Garage app aims to make expense reporting a breeze

Built by the MileIQ team, “Spend” is an automatic expense tracker built for businesses and workers.

A number of interesting apps have spawned out of Microsoft’s Garage program since its inception, including a travel companion known as Outings, the AI-powered Video Indexer, and even the tech that went on to power Mixer’s HypeZone.

The existing Surface Pro Type Cover works with the Surface Pro 6

Best answer: If you already have a Surface Pro type cover then you’ll be able to reuse it on the Surface Pro 6. If you do have to get a type cover, we recommend the Surface Type Cover with a built-in fingerprint scanner.

Microsoft: Surface Pro 6 ($899)
Amazon: Surface Type Cover ($125)
Microsoft has confirmed compatibility

Besides a new color choice, all other changes to the Surface Pro 6 from its predecessor have taken place inside. On the outside, everything is the same size and location, as Microsoft has confirmed:

As there are no changes to the exterior of Surface Pro 6 compared to last year all cases, adapters, accessories, skins, and more all work without issue.

Bundle and save if buying new

If you do need a Type Cover, and honestly, to get the most from the Surface Pro 6, you do, then one way to save a little is by building a bundle when you buy from Microsoft. Eventually, third-parties will no doubt jump on this train, but for now you can get a little off the asking price by buying it this way.

Set yourself up for victory in Call of Duty's new battle royale mode

Learn how to play the world’s favorite new Battle Royale game.

Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 has three fantastic multiplayer modes on tap. Blackout is the sole newcomer of that bunch, and we’d understand it if more than a few of you have more than a few questions. Read these tips and take what you learn into Blackout mode to see if you can survive as the last one standing.

$60 at Amazon

Blackout basics

As Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 doesn’t have much in the way of a tutorial for Blackout, let us help you. This mode is what we like to call Battle Royale.

The schtick is that there are up to 100 people dropping into a huge map, and their sole goal is to survive as the last person or team standing. That means others will be hostile in their attempts to make it to the end, making this a bloodbath from start to finish.

You’ll drop from a chopper and race to the ground to pick up your first gun, shooting anyone who threatens you and picking up better guns and more useful items on the way. Rival players aren’t the only ones gunning for you, though, with a safe zone that continues to collapse and force everyone inward until, eventually, there’s no more room to run.

You will die and fail, a lot. But don’t let that get you down. The only way to get better at Blackout is to continue playing it and trying to be a little bit better than you were the last time. That said, we have some tips that’ll give you a better fighting chance than if you were to go in blind.

Can you upgrade the RAM in Synology's DS119j NAS?

Best answer: Due to its budget-friendly pricing, it’s not possible to access and replace the RAM in the Synology DS119j. I’d recommend going with the DS218+ instead, especially if you want to do more intensive tasks.

Amazon: Synology DS218+ ($298)

Inaccessible RAM in the budget NAS

Because the DS119j is Synology’s budget entry into its NAS catalog, the company made some design choices, including having the RAM embedded onto the main PCB. This means it’s not possible for you to upgrade the RAM inside this NAS. If you plan to do some intense NAS processing and require additional system memory, you’ll need to spend a little more on a better equipped Synology NAS.

The DS218+ comes rocking two hard drive bays, which is far better for data redundancy and storage capacity. It also has an improved processor, additional USB 3.0 ports, and — most importantly — upgradable RAM. There are a few downsides, which include the almost $200 more expensive pricing and higher power draw.

Spending an additional $200 on a NAS isn’t something you’re likely to be fond of if the DS119j is within your budget, but in order to enjoy enhanced functionality and features, you’ll need to part with additional cash. The DS128+ is better suited for a Plex media server with multiple users connected at once. The DS119j is good for file storage and energy efficiency, but not so much for media playback.

Step up your game with Razer's $80 Kraken Pro V2 and a free headset stand

Stay focused.

If you’ve been looking to level up with a new gaming headset, Razer is giving customers a great reason to pick up its Kraken Pro V2 headset directly from its website. Right now, you can get a free Razer Headset Stand with the headset at its regular price of $79.99 by adding both to your cart and entering promo code OCTSTAND18 during checkout. That saves you $40 off what the stand would cost otherwise. Shipping is free. Purchasing the Kraken Tournament Edition headset for $99.99 would snag you the $40 discount as well.

We fully recommend using the stand to keep your desk tidy and your headset safe, but if you don’t see yourself using it, you can grab the Kraken Pro V2 headset solo for $66 via Amazon.

Head over to our review of the headset if you’d like to dive into the pros and cons of the Kraken Pro V2 before your purchase.

Battletech 'Flashpoint' expansion now available to preorder for $20

Battletech’s first expansion is nearly here, and now you get your preorder in ahead of launch.

Turn-based mech fighter Battletech is gearing up to release its first expansion, titled “Flashpoint,” on November 27, and preorders are now available for $20.

Mutant Year Zero: Road to Eden developers offer peek behind the curtain

Learn just what Mutant Year Zero: Road to Eden is all about with this inside look from developer The Bearded Ladies.

Mutant Year Zero: Road to Eden has shown off plenty of gameplay footage in the leadup to its release, but the developers are using their latest video to offer an in-depth look at what the game is all about.

Document editor Coda adds third-party integrations with G Suite, Slack, Twilio and more

Coda, the smart collaborative document editor that breaks down the barriers between documents, spreadsheets, databases and presentations, is today launching one of its most important updates since its launch in 2017. With this update, users will be able to pull in data from third-party sources and send out messages to their teams on Slack or by SMS and email. With this, the company’s take on building living documents that are essentially small apps is now really taking shape.
“Coda is a new type of documents,” Coda co-founder and CEO Shishir Mehrotra told me. “It combines the best of documents, spreadsheets, presentations, applications into a new surface. The goal is to allow anybody to build a doc as powerful as an app.” That means you can use your inventory spreadsheet to build a small inventory management app, for example, that lives entirely in a tabbed Coda document. Mehrotra noted that many businesses essentially run on documents and spreadsheets, but they don’t have the ability to use that data to its full extent.

One part of these new integrations, which Coda calls “Coda Packs,” is that you now have the ability to extend your spreadsheets with data that you typically would have had to pull in by hand — something few people are likely to do. That may be stock, sports or weather data, but also open GitHub requests, Intercom tickets and data from your Google Calendar. But there also is a second set of integrations that now let you push out information to Slack and Twilio . In addition to these, Coda supports Figma, Greenhouse, Instagram, YouTube, Walmart Shopping and Wikipedia.

Two Google alums just raised $60M to rethink documents

What’s cool here is that Coda lets you build buttons that can combine dozens of different actions. Maybe you have a spreadsheet about an upcoming event with the phone numbers of a dozen friends and want to text them all a reminder? You can now build a button that talks to Twilio and sends an SMS to all of those who haven’t RSVPed yet. And with the weather integrations, you can tell them what the temperature will be.
I’m typically rather skeptical when I see a company that tries to reimagine a well-established concept like a text editor or spreadsheet. And who knows if Coda will be a commercial success. But I can see how the overall concept makes sense (especially thanks to the ability to add a formula anywhere in a document). It’s worth noting, though, that Microsoft is also moving in this direction with the ability to pull third-party data into Excel (though mostly under the guise of artificial intelligence). What Microsoft doesn’t really do as smoothly as Coda is combine all the different document types in one.

Document editor Coda adds third-party integrations with G Suite, Slack, Twilio and more