The 2020 Perseid meteor shower is still going strong: How to watch the show

Some 2019 Perseids, as seen from Macedonia.


Spaceweather.com/Stojan Stojanovski

It’s mid-August, which means the annual Perseid meteor shower is active, and will be until Aug. 24. The Perseids are one of the best, brightest batches of shooting stars, and it feels like we could really use them now to add a bit of wonder and distraction into these pretty dismal times we’re living through.  

This famous shower comes around this time every year as the Earth drifts through a debris cloud left behind by the giant comet 109P/Swift-Tuttle. Bits of dust, pebbles and other cosmic detritus slam into our atmosphere, burning up into brief, bright streaks and even the occasional full-blown fireball streaking across the night sky. 

Technically, the 2020 Perseids peaked on the evening of Tuesday, Aug. 11 and morning of Wednesday, Aug. 12, but that doesn’t mean the show is over. Far from it, actually. 

The popularity of the shower is a combination of the fact that it’s one of the strongest, with up to 100 visible meteors per hour on average, and it’s coinciding with warm summer nights in the northern

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Top 5 Tablets for Business Professionals

Different professionals often need different hardware. Find out if one of these five tablets might may fill your workday niche.

Tablets have long occupied an odd middle ground between smartphones and laptop computers. Larger screens mean the devices are better for consuming media and playing games, but a lack of a full-fledged operating system means tablets are likely to underdeliver for heavier computing tasks.

That’s not the case in 2020, with a multitude of tablets available that can fill a vital role for different types of professional users–in some cases, even replacing a work laptop entirely. If you’re in the market for a new tablet, these five options are each suited to one or more business niches, and could be your must-have device for getting work done on the go.

Apple iPad Pro

Image: Apple

Apple has been pushing hard to make the iPad Pro a new option for laptop owners, and there are a lot of features in the 2020 iPad Pro that make it a potential choice, especially for those who wish MacBooks would get a touchscreen. The iPad Pro can reportedly outperform many PC laptops, it has great peripherals like the Apple Pencil, Magic Keyboard case, trackpad,

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2020 Audi Q7 review: The strong, silent type

The Q7 always keeps a stiff upper lip.


Craig Cole/Roadshow

The Audi Q7 SUV is as quietly confident as ever. For 2020 it gains some important under-hood upgrades, fresh technology and mildly enhanced styling, alterations that further refine this already-solid vehicle. 

Like

  • Swift and easy-to-use infotainment system
  • Comfortable, high-quality interior
  • Eerily hushed inside
  • Pillow-soft ride

Don’t Like

  • Dearth of center-console storage
  • Soft throttle tip-in

Nuts and bolts

The most significant change is found right behind that large, single-frame grille, which has also been upgraded with some bright vertical slats for a more distinctive look. The soulful supercharged V6 of previous model years has been replaced by a 3.0-liter turbocharged engine. A 2.0-liter turbo I4 is still the standard engine, but this optional V6 delivers 6 more horsepower than its predecessor, topping out at 335, but provides way more torque, 369 pound-feet in total. That’s an increase of 44 lb-ft compared to what the 2019 model could muster.

Augmented by a 48-volt mild-hybrid system, this single-turbo V6 is a smooth operator, almost free of vibration and nearly silent. Even though it has to fight against 5,082 pounds of SUV, it can still whisk the Q7 to 60 mph in a fleet

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Stimulus check 2 update: How fast can the IRS send a payment? Here are some possible dates

A second stimulus check is being worked on, but the payment schedule is still unknown. We break down some likely scenarios.


Sarah Tew/CNET

The timeline of when you might get your next stimulus check is less certain now that talks over another economic relief package are on hold. The debate is less over the total $1,200 upper limit for people who qualify and more about the total size of the package and additional aid. (Here’s how the current proposal, called HEALS, compares to the previous stimulus bill.)

If and when Republican and Democratic leaders are each willing to compromise — and here are five reasons we think that might happen — Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin has said that he can get it sent out faster than the first stimulus check.

So when will that happen? That all depends on when both sides renew serious negotiations. But the initial hope after comments over the weekend that there could be talks this week seem less sure now. If negotiations begin again and a deal is made, we’ve calculated some possible dates you could get your first check — assuming it happens.

This story was recently updated with new information.

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CyberGhost VPN review: Promising improvements but its parent company concerns me


CyberGhost

In CNET’s previous coverage of virtual private networks, we’ve praised CyberGhost for its roster of competitive features. Our in-depth review of CyberGhost last year included speed testing, security verification and an analysis of its full suite of privacy tools. Since then, CyberGhost has increased its number of servers and is prepared to roll out a new suite of privacy tools, all while remaining one of the cheapest VPNs we’ve reviewed — at $2.75 per month for a three-year plan

Like

  • Offers split tunnelling
  • Fast-growing server network
  • No leaks detected in latest tests

Don’t Like

  • Parent company with a shady past
  • Ineffective ad blocker
  • No obfuscation

As we’ve bolstered our approach to VPN ($13 at CyberGhost) reviews in recent months, however, CyberGhost has raised some red flags. Its parent company‘s history warrants skepticism, our previous tests have shown it to expose your VPN use to your internet service provider, its website and app trackers are a more numerous than warranted and its ad-blocker uses an untrustworthy method of traffic-manipulation no VPN should even think about. Its low price previously made it worth considering if you needed to change the appearance of your location online, but

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Stimulus check: How the first payment’s fine print on income limit, eligibility could affect the next

There’s a lot to know about the round of IRS stimulus payments authorized by the CARES Act.


Sarah Tew/CNET
For the most up-to-date news and information about the coronavirus pandemic, visit the WHO website.

Congress could still pass a second stimulus payment of up to $1,200 for qualifying Americans, but talks for a new economic relief package are currently at a standstill and are complicated by a series of executive actions of questionable legality signed by President Donald Trump on Saturday. 

“If we can get a fair deal, we’re willing to do it this week,” Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said on Monday, signaling that an agreement is still possible.

If a final deal becomes law, we can look at the first round of stimulus checks to glean some clues as to how long it will take for payments to arrive, whether it will be taxable on your 2020 return, who qualifies and what your rights are with regard to the money. The GOP-backed HEALS Act borrowed from the CARES Act guidelines for a new direct payment, so they could be similarly structured and sent out faster than last time.

If you were expecting to get the

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