The Best of Gizmodo This Week

Apple jumped into the streaming music game this past week, and we give it a try. We had some thoughts. We also previewed the new Mac OS El Capitan, and tested a bunch of inexpensive laptops to find the very best. Meanwhile, our weekly podcast discussed what would happen if a star exploded near Earth, we talked to James Cameron about his fixation with solar power, and demystified cats for you.

Here are the highlights from the week.

James Cameron’s Plan to Fix Solar Panels


When Avatar came out, James Cameron boasted that it would be the first solar-powered movie franchise in history. Now the director, deep-sea explorer, NASA advisor, and all around badass has turned his attention to designing cinematic-quality solar panels for the rest of us.

Apple Music’s a Crushing Disappointment, But Not Because It’s Bad


By all accounts, Apple Music is a totally serviceable streaming music service. But it’s 2015. Give me more than the same old service everybody’s been offering for years.

This Is The One Thing That People Never Understand About Cats


You probably don’t know your cat as well as you think you do. According to a recent survey of cat owners in the UK, most people are pretty clueless about their cats’ lives.

Hands-On With Apple’s OS X El Capitan: Tiny Tweaks Make a Big Difference


After the visual overhaul Apple gave to Yosemite, it’s perhaps no surprise that this year’s desktop and laptop refresh is altogether more muted. This is a step rather than a leap forward, but there are still a lot of little improvements that are worth the upgrade.

How NYC’s Underground Park Is Piping in Real, Live Sunshine


We’re living in an age of extremely ambitious urban technology. Floating pools that filter dirty river water. Artificial eco-habitats. And even green parks that sit under cities, nourished by actual sunlight literally piped down from above.

Meanwhile in the Future: Death By Supernova


We often think of stars as twinkling, harmless little points of light that fill our night sky with majesty. But stars can be dangerous too. When they come to the end of their lifespan, some stars explode fantastically as supernovae. So what would happen if one of those giant explosions happened nearby?

The Best Cheap Laptop Under $250


Buying a cheap laptop can feel like a gamble. You might get lucky and find a machine with a good keyboard that isn’t slower than a tortoise-snail crossbreed... or you might get saddled with a cheap piece of crap that cries when you load a browser or try to open WordPerfect because Word is just too much. Yes, you get what you pay for. That doesn’t mean you have to settle for crap if your budget is small.

IKEA’s Wireless Charging Is Almost Like Having Magic Furniture


Cheap and easy wireless charging sounds like Nikola Tesla’s fantasy brought to life. It’s downright futuristic to think your smartphone could suck up juice just by placing it near a power source. And that’s exactly what IKEA wants to do with its new wireless charging devices. Yes, that IKEA—the Swedish furniture empire.

Here’s How That New Sex Pill for Women Actually Works


Sometime in the next two months, the FDA will vote on whether to approve flibanserin, a new drug to treat women with hypoactive sexual desire disorder, or lack of desire for sex. The drug has been touted as “female Viagra,” in the sense that it helps bring sex back into these women’s lives. But flibanserin doesn’t actually work like Viagra.

How To Use All The Weird Toilets You’ll Find Outdoors


There you are, visiting a remote cabin, when it’s time to poop. You walk into the bathroom and there’s a toilet seat, like normal, but underneath it is nothing but a hanging plastic bag. What do you do in it and how do you dispose of it after? Don’t worry, IndefinitelyWild is here to help you poop properly.

Mr. Robot Recap: Are You a One or a Zero?


The second episode of the moody, surprisingly accurate hacker drama that’s your new crack aired last night on USA to much fanfare. So how does it stack up to the pilot that already nabbed a second season?

The Plan to Feed the World by Hacking Photosynthesis


With the world population projected to soar past the 11 billion mark by 2100, we’re going to need to find some creative new ways of putting food on the table. The latest science-powered plan to feed the world? Hacking photosynthesis.

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