Dan Cohen AUTHOR Voters in the town of Harvard, Mass., last week turned down a proposal by MassDevelopment to rezone a portion of Devens to lure a biotech company to the site 35 miles west of downtown Boston.Zoning changes at the former Fort Devens require approval from Harvard and the installation’s other two host communities, Ayer and Shirley. Only Harvard voters rejected the state development agency’s proposal to rezone a residential area on the western side of Devens to allow industrial and commercial uses.Harvard residents were concerned about the potential for a factory to create noise problems after a nearby manufacturing facility built by Evergreen Solar prompted similar complaints, reported the Boston Globe. Evergreen Solar went bankrupt and suspended operations in 2011; its factory is being used by another firm.The reuse project is the home of a manufacturing plant operated by Bristol-Myers Squibb Co., and MassDevelopment had hoped to bring a second biotech factory to Devens. Harvard’s rejection of its proposed rezoning represents a missed opportunity that would have brought $500 million to $1 billion in investment to central Massachusetts, according to the development agency.“There are very few sites of this scale, zoned and ready for development in the commonwealth,” said Marty Jones, MassDevelopment’s chief executive.Despite the setback, MassDevelopment and Harvard said they are hopeful of reaching agreement on a new zoning plan allowing for commercial development in that part of Devens.
Though not technically a Labor Day sale, it’s happening during Labor Day sale season — and it’s too good not to share. Nationwide Distributors, via Google Express, has just about the best AirPods deal we’ve seen (when you apply promo code ZBEDWZ at checkout). This is for the second-gen AirPods with the wireless charging case. Can’t imagine these will last long at this price, so if you’re interested, act fast. Angela Lang/CNET Sarah Tew/CNET Comments Tags Best Buy Google Nest Hub: $59 (save $70) HP Laptop 15t Value: $520 (save $780) $999 $999 Read Lenovo Smart Clock review Sarah Tew/CNET Lenovo 130-15AST 15.6-inch laptop: $210 (save $90) I thought this might be a mistake, but, no, the weirdly named HP Laptop 15t Value is indeed quite the value at this price. Specs include an Intel Core i7 processor, 12GB of RAM, a 256GB solid-state drive and a 15.6-inch display. However, I strongly recommend paying an extra $50 to upgrade that display to FHD (1,920×1,080), because you’re not likely to be happy with the native 1,366×768 resolution. Sarah Tew/CNET Spotify and most other streaming services rely on compressed audio, which robs the listener of full fidelity. Enter Tidal, the only “major” service that delivers lossless audio — meaning at least on par with CD quality, if not better. Want to see (er, hear) the difference for yourself? Grab this excellent extended trial while you can. It’s just $6 for three months, and it’s good for up to six listeners. See It See at Amazon TVs Speakers Mobile Accessories Cameras Laptops Automobiles Smart Speakers & Displays Review • iPhone XS review, updated: A few luxury upgrades over the XR $155 at Google Express Read the Rylo camera preview Sprint What’s cooler: A snapshot of a firework exploding in front of you, or full 360-degree video of all the fireworks and all the reactions to seeing them? Oooh, ahhh, indeed. At $250, the compact Rylo dual-lens camera is selling for its lowest price yet. And for an extra $50, you can get the bundle that includes the waterproof housing.This deal runs through Sept. 3; it usually costs $500. The problem with most entry-level laptops: They come with mechanical hard drives. That makes for a mighty slow Windows experience. This Lenovo model features a 128GB solid-state drive, so it should be pretty quick to boot and load software, even with its basic processor. Plus, it has a DVD-burner! That’s not something you see in many modern laptops, especially at this price. $299 at Amazon Disney Star Wars,I’m shocked — shocked! — to learn that stores are turning Labor Day into an excuse to sell stuff. Wait — no, I’m not. As much as I respect the original intent of the holiday (which became official back in 1894), to most of us, it’s just a bonus day off — one that’s blissfully tacked onto a weekend. So, yeah, stores; go ahead, run your sales. I’m listening. Perhaps unsurprisingly, Labor Day doesn’t bring out bargains to compete with the likes of Black Friday (which will be here before you know it), but there are definitely some sales worth your time.For example:We’ve rounded up the best Labor Day mattress deals.We’ve also gathered the best Labor Day laptop deals at Best Buy.The 2019 Vizio P Series Quantum is back under $999.Be sure to check out Amazon’s roughly three dozen Labor Day deals on TVs and audio. Google Express is having a big sale as well, one that includes deals on game consoles, AirPods, iPhones, laptops and more.Below I’ve rounded up a handful of individual items I consider to be the cream of the crop, followed by a handy reference guide to other Labor Day sales. Keep in mind, of course, that products may sell out at any time, even if the sale itself is still running. Note that CNET may get a share of revenue from the sale of the products featured on this page. Tidal 3-month family subscription: $5.99 (save $54) Boost Mobile See it $59 at eBay Share your voice Read DJI Osmo Action preview DJI Osmo Action camera: $261 (save $89) $210 at Best Buy See It Preview • iPhone XS is the new $1,000 iPhone X $999 Apple AirPods with Wireless Charging Case: $155 (save $45) See at Turo Tags Other Labor Day sales you should check out Best Buy: In addition to some pretty solid MacBook deals that have been running for about a week already, Best Buy is offering up to 40% off major appliances like washers, dryers and stoves. There are also gift cards available with the purchase of select appliances. See it at Best BuyDell: Through Aug. 28, Dell is offering an extra 12% off various laptops, desktops and electronics. And check back starting Aug. 29 for a big batch of Labor Day doorbusters. See it at DellGlassesUSA: Aug. 29 – Sept. 3 only, you can save 65% on all frames with promo code labor65. See it at GlassesUSALenovo: The tech company is offering a large assortment of deals and doorbusters through Labor Day, with the promise of up to 56% off certain items — including, at this writing, the IdeaPad 730S laptop for $700 (save $300).See it at LenovoLensabl: Want to keep the frames you already love and paid for? Lensabl lets you mail them in for new lenses, based on your prescription. From now through Sept. 2 only, you can save 20% on the blue light-blocking lens option with promo code BLOCKBLUE. See it at LensablSears: Between now and Sept. 7, you can save up to 40% on appliances (plus an additional 10% if you shop online), up to 60% on mattresses, up to 50% on Craftsman products and more. The store is also offering some fairly hefty cashback bonuses. See it at SearsNote: This post was published previously and is continuously updated with new information.CNET’s Cheapskate scours the web for great deals on tech products and much more. For the latest deals and updates, follow the Cheapskate on Facebook and Twitter. Questions about the Cheapskate blog? Find the answers on our FAQ page, and find more great buys on the CNET Deals page. $520 at HP Share your voice Comments Rylo Read Google Home Hub review Use promo code 19LABOR10 to get an unusually good deal on JBL’s interesting hybrid product — not quite headphones, and not quite a traditional speaker, but something you wear like neckphones to listen to music on the go. $6 at Tidal Turo: Save $30 on any car rental Sarah Tew/CNET Turo is kind of like Uber meets Airbnb: You borrow someone’s car, but you do all the driving. I’ve used it many times and found it a great alternative to traditional car-rental services — in part because you get to choose exactly the vehicle you want (not just, say, “midsize”) and in part because you can often do pickup and dropoff right outside baggage claim.Between now and Sept. 1, the first 300 people to check out can get $30 off any Turo rental with promo code LDW30. $90 at Daily Steals via Google Express Free Echo Dot with an Insignia or Toshiba TV (save $50) 7 JBL Soundgear wearable speaker: $90 (save $160) Formerly known as the Google Home Hub, Google’s Nest Hub packs a wealth of Google Assistant goodness into a 7-inch screen. At $59, this is within a buck of the best price we’ve seen. It lists for $129 and sells elsewhere in the $89-to-$99 range.This is one item of many available as part of eBay’s Labor Day Sale (which, at this writing, doesn’t specifically mention Labor Day, but that’s how it was pitched to us). $261 at Daily Steals via Google Express Read the AirPods review $60 at Best Buy CNET may get a commission from retail offers. Rylo 5.8K 360 Video Camera: $250 (save $250) An Echo Dot makes a fine match for any Fire edition TV, because you can use the latter to say things like, “Alexa, turn on the TV.” Right now, the 24-inch Insignia Fire TV Edition starts at just $100, while the 32-inch Toshiba Fire TV Editions is on sale for $130. Just add any Fire TV Edition to your cart, then add a third-gen Echo Dot, and presto: The latter is free. DJI’s answer to GoPro’s action cameras is rugged little model that’s shockproof, dustproof and waterproof down to 11 meters. It normally runs $350, but this deal drops it to $261 when you apply promo code 19LABOR10 at checkout. The Cheapskate Apple iPhone XS Video Games Chris Monroe/CNET $999 3 Mentioned Above Apple iPhone XS (64GB, space gray) Turo See It Amazon EA Games You can do anything you set your mind to — but also, stick to your strengths.In an earnings call Tuesday, Disney noted it’s steering clear of returning to games development, reports Variety.Disney, owner of Marvel, Star Wars and Pixar, said it had a “good” relationship with Electronic Arts, the company it partnered with in 2013 but admits video game making is not the House of Mouse’s forte.”We’re good at making movies and television shows and theme parks and cruise ships and the like, we’ve just never managed to demonstrate much skill on the publishing side of games,” CEO Bob Iger said when asked about Disney potentially dipping into video games once more.Disney video game titles have been dropping like flies. In 2016, Disney shed video game series Disney Infinity, and in 2018, it closed massively multiplayer online role-playing game Club Penguin Island.EA is still going strong with Star Wars games (which it has exclusive rights to through the Disney partnership), saying Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order will come this year. “We’ve had good relationships with some of those we’re licensing to, notably EA and the relationship on the Star Wars properties, and we’re probably going to stay on that side of the business and put our capital elsewhere,” Iger said.Many have criticised EA’s strategy when it comes to Star Wars and its video game releases. Its Battlefront series has been embroiled in controversy over its “loot box” strategy and as recently as January, EA canceled its long-troubled, open-world Star Wars title in development. Recently updated to include digital-photo-frame capabilities, the Lenovo Smart Clock brings Google Assistant goodness to your nightstand. It’s a little smaller than the Amazon Echo Show 5, but also a full $30 less (and tied with Prime Day pricing) during this Best Buy Labor Day sale. Lenovo Smart Clock: $59.99 (save $20) Best laptops for college students: We’ve got an affordable laptop for every student. Best live TV streaming services: Ditch your cable company but keep the live channels and DVR.
Share your voice Tags Enlarge ImageYalitza Aparicio as Cleo (left), Marco Graf as Pepe and Daniela Demesa as Sofi in Roma, written and directed by Alfonso Cuarón. Alfonso Cuarón I saw Academy Award nominee Roma by Alfonso Cuarón intending to peek into the memories of his childhood in Mexico City. When I left the theater, though, I had an intense need to look into my own. In the late ’60s and early ’70s, Mexican youth fought on the streets of the capital for democratic change, civil rights and freedom of expression. On Oct. 2, 1968, the protests ended in the violent siege of Tlatelolco Plaza that left hundreds dead, but the demise of the movement came in 1971 (the year I was born) with El Halconazo, when government-trained paramilitaries beat up and killed demonstrators during a march in Mexico City. It’s in this time and place Roma unfolds. The movie, a deeply personal masterpiece of storytelling and cinematography, opened in select theaters in October and is now streaming on Netflix. It won the Golden Globe for best foreign language motion picture, and it got 10 Oscar nominations, including netting Netflix its first much-coveted Best Picture Oscars nod. (Read my review of Roma in Spanish here.) Roma is based on Cuarón’s childhood memories. In the film, the father leaves the family and the mother struggles to make sense of her new social and practical realities. There are four children and a grandmother, but the movie is really about their servants, Cleo (a fantastic Yalitza Aparicio) and Adela (Nancy García García). They both speak Mixtec, a language spoken in Central and Southern Mexico. “Stop speaking funny,” the youngest kid tells Cleo at the beginning. “I don’t understand you.” This foreshadows what’s to come. Cleo is the emotional, practical problem solver: She cooks, cleans, does dishes, puts the kids to sleep and lets the matriarch (an excellent Marina de Tavira) blow off steam whenever she needs to. In the film’s most heart-wrenching scene, we see El Halconazo through Cleo’s eyes. She’s pregnant and witnessing the violence in the streets from a furniture store when her water breaks and she’s taken to the hospital. A receptionist there asks the grandma for Cleo’s full name. “I don’t know her full name and I don’t know where she’s from,” she answers, crying. The transition from national to personal turmoil represents some of the most intense, impactful 20 minutes of cinema I’ve seen in a long time. Shared memories For many, growing up in the Mexican middle class meant living in a delicate bubble. While we waited for the implosion, we lived with privileges reserved for the aristocracy, but on a more modest scale. That meant we had domestic workers — nannies, cooks and in some cases even chauffeurs — but they were paid menial salaries with no benefits, lived in our homes in miniature bedrooms, cooked dinner late at night and woke up early the next day to have breakfast ready. In return for the lack of compensation, the Mexican middle class treat their workers “as family.” Roma, in many ways, reminded me of my neglectful obliviousness. I feel mortified and regretful. Trailer for Netflix’s Roma has no spoilers, or anything else Guillermo del Toro and Netflix team up on new horror series How ‘Shape of Water’ mixes digital effects with monster makeup Netflix TV and Movies My Cleo was Mari, my grandmother’s cleaning lady, a strong, fair-skinned woman who lost three fingers when she was a kid in separate accidents with a pair of scissors and a firecracker. Every time I went for a visit, she’d make my favorite lime pie. She’d also cook pozole soup, and it was particularly exquisite because she’d clean each kernel of hominy by hand, meticulously extracting its black spots. I don’t remember Mari’s last name, though I was able to visit her in her village as an adult. Her home was furnished with objects she inherited from my grandmother. Mari was “like family,” and yet she wasn’t. Growing up, the expression “like family” drove me crazy because of its inherent injustice. “They have their own family, and would rather be with them,” I’d argue. But I don’t remember how many brothers and sisters she had, anything about her parents or where she grew up. Roma, in many ways, reminded me of my neglectful obliviousness and made me feel mortified and regretful of not acknowledging Mari enough. In The Labyrinth of Solitude, an incisive and piercing essay about what it means to be Mexican by Nobel Prize winner Octavio Paz, the author describes hearing a noise in his home. “Who is there?” he asks. “I was answered by the voice of a servant who had recently come to us from her village,” he writes. Her reply: “No one, señor. I am.” She’s a Nobody who doesn’t want to call attention to herself, who does what she needs to do, just like Roma’s Cleo. Related articles Someone who denies another human being their right to be, Paz writes, “is also changed into a Nobody.” Cuarón, who won an Oscar for best director for Gravity in 2014, and who wrote, produced, directed and even did the cinematography for Roma, dedicated the film to Libo, his childhood nanny. In doing so, he not only acknowledges who she was and what she meant to him, but also reasserts that Libo was Somebody. By doing that, Cuarón makes himself a Somebody too. Cuarón has said he waited to have the emotional maturity to make this movie. It’s perhaps his most personal yet, so it makes sense the director would also take total control of the camera instead of recruiting his regular collaborator, three-time Academy Award winner Emmanuel “El Chivo” Lubezki. He details his memories breathtakingly, filming in black and white: water running on the floor when Cleo sweeps the garage; slow-moving airplanes flying through a gray sky; the family watching TV together with Cleo sitting on the floor. Alfonso Cuarón directs a scene from Roma, coming to Netflix in December after opening in theaters. Carlos Somonte/Netflix La Roma of RomaOne of the main characters in the film is the neighborhood itself. I grew up 15 miles north of Mexico City in a suburb called Satélite. But my first job was in Colonia Roma, the neighborhood that gives the movie its name. The movie reminded me of the era’s massive American-made cars, like the Chrysler Imperial or Valiant Acapulco shouldering past the minuscule and omnipresent Volkswagen Beetles crowding the roads. It also evoked the sprawling movie theaters surrounded by peddlers, who sold everything from strange-looking plastic Superman and Batman toys to multicolored balloons in indistinguishable forms. But it’s the neighborhood that’s the center of it all.La Roma is near downtown Mexico City. Its main boulevard, Álvaro Obregón Avenue, is lined with trees amid big neo-colonial and Art Deco houses. Many of the old structures have been replaced by 20-story buildings with mirrored facades, and traffic today among its tight avenues is relentless, like in the rest of the city. La Roma, the epitome of bourgeois, was battered twice on an ominous day: Sept. 19. In 1985 and 2017, powerful earthquakes rattled the city, and La Roma was one of the most affected areas with hundreds of multiple-story buildings crumbling. As a character, the neighborhood fits perfectly in the narrative about growing up middle class in Mexico. It’s a seemingly idyllic place, with a modern and European feel, but lies in the center of a city that still struggles with its identity as the former Aztec capital, the hub for Spanish colonial exploits and, today, the epicenter of Mexican hipsterism. Like La Roma, the Mexican middle class also has a conflict of identity. In general, middle-class Mexicans are convinced we’re part of the solution. La Roma is home to many bureaucrats, professionals and intellectuals close enough to power to wield influence, but far enough away to avoid being tainted by rampant corruption. But our little secret is that we’re also part of the status quo, especially when it comes to exploiting others for meager pay and questionable living conditions. According to the National Institute of Statistics and Geography of Mexico, of the 2.48 million domestic workers in the country, 90 percent are women.While Roma is about Cuarón’s memories, it forced me to squeeze my brain and remember my hometown, Mari and all the women who helped take care of me and my family along the way. I am thankful for all the memories, and the personal reckoning, it sparked — the reason I am planning to see the film again.First published Dec. 14, 2017. Update, Jan. 6, 2018 at 7 p.m. PT: Adds that Roma won the Golden Globe for best foreign language film. Update, Jan. 22 at 8:41 a.m. PT: Adds that Roma has been nominated for Best Picture at the Oscars. Culture: Your hub for everything from film and television to music, comics, toys and sports.Movie Magic: The secrets behind the scenes of your favorite films and filmmakers. Comments 4