Original Content podcast: ‘The Family’ investigates a secretive evangelical group

“The Family” is a new documentary series on Netflix, based on the work of journalist Jeff Sharlet — whose books promise to expose “the secret fundamentalism at the heart of American power” and “the fundamentalist threat to American democracy.”

Sarah Perez joins us on the latest episode of the Original Content podcast to discuss the series series, which offer a fascinating glimpse at a secretive group of evangelical Christians known only as The Family. Their most high-profile activity involves organizing The National Prayer Breakfast, an even that attracts major political figures, including every U.S. president since Eisenhower.

While the series opens with extensive, sinister and often cheesy reenactments showing Sharlet’s introduction to The Family, later episodes offer a broader perspective, interviewing figures who are part of or remain sympathetic to the organization, and pressing Sharlet on whether his view on The Family is correct.

Ultimately, “The Family” seems more interested in raising questions — about a specific organization and about the broader role of Christianity in American politics — than it is in answering them. It’s an admirable stance, but one might leave viewers a bit unsatisfied when they reach the end of the five-episode series.

In addition to our review, we also discuss Apple’s announcement of pricing and a November 1 launch date for its TV+ streaming service.

You can listen in the player below, subscribe using Apple Podcasts or find us in your podcast player of choice. If you like the show, please let us know by leaving a review on Apple. You can also send us feedback directly. (Or suggest shows and movies for us to review!)

And if you want to skip ahead, here’s how the episode breaks down:
0:00 Intro
0:53 Reader feedback
3:30 Apple TV+ pricing and launch date
16:59 “The Family” review

Sunday’s Best Deals: Bidets, Cable Organizer Bag, Calphalon Cookware, Japanese Sunscreen, and More

Best Deals of the DayThe best deals from around the web, updated daily.   

A Brondell Swash Luxury Bidet Seat at Home Depot, Cable Organizer Bag, and a Calphalon Flash Event kick off Sunday’s best deals from around the web.

Bookmark Kinja Deals and follow us on Twitter to never miss a deal.

Today’s Best Tech Deals

Do you hate traveling with all of your electronics because of how disorganized the cables and accessories can be? Do yourself a favor and grab a Cable Organizer Bag while it is $10 with the promo code CQUSPF63. It has space for an 11″ iPad or slim laptop, charging cables, SD cards, power banks, and more.


It is time to shred on this deal. Today only, you can save big on four different Bonsaii Paper Shredders during this Gold Box sale. Depending on how many sheets of paper you need shredded, and how fast you need it done, you can choose from four models ranging in price between $25 and $124.


If you’re still wrestling with a terrible inkjet printer at home, do yourself a solid and pick up the reliable Brother HL-2390DW monochrome laser printer today for just $100 today, down from its usual $120-$140.

While it doesn’t print in color, it more than makes up for that with the ability to spit out 32 pages per minute, duplex printing, and inexpensive toner cartridges that can last for years without being replaced. We’ve posted a lot of Brother deals in the past, and we’ve heard nothing but good things from readers about them.


If you’ve already preordered a new iPhone, you’re going to want to grab a charger that’s a bit more powerful than the one Apple provides. Right now, you can get a bunch of RAVPower charging ports on sale. The RAVPower 60W 6-Port Charging Station is $17 using the promo code KINJAP28, RAVPower 20100mAh PD Power Bank for $36 when you clip the coupon and use promo code P4AH6EKY, and more.


Today, the floodgates opened for pre-ordering the next batch of Apple’s flagship smartphones and with it, a ton of promotions from multiple storefronts.

Here’s what each store is offering:

  • AT&T is offering a BOGO promotion, where if you pre-order an eligible iPhone, you can pick up a second for free. (Just a heads up, you’ll find the details under the “special offers” link in the product page.)
  • Apple, Best Buy and T-Mobile offer a maximum $550 discount with an eligible trade-in, while Verizon’s offer tops out at $500. Sprint will deduct the value of your trade-in from each installment payment via their Sprint Flex lease. Only certain phones are eligible for the maximum trade-in value and other phones will get you smaller discounts, just as long as they’re made by Apple, Samsung, Google and LG.
  • Sam’s Club will send you a $200 gift card with your pre-order and activation.
  • Walmart keeps it simple by offering $100 off the purchase and activation of an iPhone 11 or iPhone 11 Pro. This offer only works with an installment plan, but luckily, there’s no penalty if you choose to pay it off early.

Amazon offering discounts on Apple products? Not too surprising. Amazon offering discounts on Apple products that aren’t even out yet though? That’s something new.

Releasing September 30, the new entry level iPad features a 10.2″ screen (up from 9.7″ on its predecessor), a smart connector for Apple’s smart keyboards (also on sale), and…not a ton else that’s new. It’s an iPad. It’s good. It’s pretty affordable. The 128GB version is the one you want, and preorders are available for $400, down from the $429 MSRP.

Today’s Best Home Deals

Been on the market for a bidet? Look no further. Home Depot’s Special Buy of the Day is on bathroom fixtures and few bidets are included in this sale. You can get a Brondell Swash Luxury Bidet Seat for $325 (50% off), today only.


It is time to ditch the cookware set that you bought back when you were in college. Right now, you can shop the Calphalon Flash Event at Walmart. The Calphalon Ceramic Nonstick 8-Piece Cookware Set is $100, while the hard-anodized 10-piece set is a few dollars more at $104.

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If you’re looking for something a little ritzier (that also helps you reorganize your space), the Calphalon Premier Space Saving Nonstick 15-Piece Cookware Set is $500 (which is $150 off retail).


Do you love to keep your drinks nice and cold? You can restock your glassware collection during this sale from MiiR. When you shop on Amazon, if you Buy Two MiiR products you’ll get 30% off your entire order.


Have you been meaning to stop at the store all week to pick up toilet paper but you just keep forgetting? Just order it online! You can stock up with 12 count of Cottonelle Ultra ComfortCare Toilet Paper for only $6.


Grocery shopping can be a hassle, especially when you have to carry everything inside. If you like reusable bags, for the environment’s sake or just because they’re convenient, we’ve got a deal for you. You can get a two-pack of Insulated Grocery Shopping Bags for $5 off on Amazon.

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These reusable bags are extra large (16″ x 13″ x 9″), come with reinforced handles, a hard bottom insert for added support, and can fold flat when they’re not in use.


Have you had your current cutting board for a couple of years? Ditch that cut-up board and get yourself a new one while it’s on sale. Right now the Joseph Joseph Cut & Carve Multi-Function Cutting Board (in black) is only $12 on Amazon, which is over 50% off.

Today’s Best Lifestyle Deals

Today is the 15th day of Ulta’s 21 Days of Beauty and they pulled out a sale on one of the most popular brands they sell. Right now, you can get 50% Off Facial Sprays from Mario Badescu. Time to stock up on the aloe & green, rosewater, lavender, and orange blossom facial sprays.

Chelsea Stone raved about this Mario spray on The Invetory:

I’ve you’ve ever been torn between the sweet relief of splashing some water on your face and the utter anguish of ruining your makeup, you should be misting. A good mist, like this Mario Badescu Skin Care Facial Spray, will be hydrating without causing your mascara to melt down your cheeks. I’ll spritz it on my face at random moments through the day when my skin feels dry, or at the end of a makeup touchup to make sure.


Don’t sleep on your skincare, get a bottle of Water Drench Hyaluronic Cloud Serum from Peter Thomas Roth for $33 (50% off) during Ulta’s 21 Days of Beauty.


Does your skin turn a nice tomato red after only five minutes of sun exposure? You better stock up on some sunscreen now before you’re assaulted by UV rays all summer long. Thankfully, a cult-favorite Japanese sunscreen is currently on sale.

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You can get a regular bottle of Biore UV Watery Essence for $8 or an extra large bottle (1.7x the normal size) for $14. The 50 SPF sunscreen is pretty literal to its name and is said to feel like water when applied to your skin.

Here’s what Shep McAllister had to say about it on The Inventory:

As far as sunscreen goes, the only thing I really knew about it was that I didn’t like it, and given the option, I would usually just opt to stay indoors until the UV index fell to around 3 or 4, or until someone invented a sunscreen pill, whichever came first.

That all changed when my wife introduced me to Biore Watery Essence sunscreen. It’s SPF 50 (the bare minimum for my needs, thank you very much), waterproof for 80 minutes, and feels like rubbing water on your skin. Cool to the touch, it rubs in effortlessly, and doesn’t come with the unpleasant smell or zincy stickiness of pretty much every other sunscreen I’ve used. About two minutes after putting it on, I’ve usually completely forgotten about it, which is a compliment of the highest order.


Most coolers are designed to be carried maybe 10 minutes away from the trunk of your car, but Kawartha’s Cooler Bag is just what you need to carry some beers and snacks deep into the woods on your next hike.

The Cooler Bag is actually a dry bag with a removable, insulated insert that can hold ice and food. Our resident outdoorsman Zach has been using it for awhile, and has nothing but good things to say:

During my first test of this bag, I managed to pack in 18 already cold beers and a few frozen steaks, with ice filling in any remaining space. Packing this much does mean some of your goods won’t fit inside the cooler insert (a 12-pack alone easily will), but if you can still close the outer bag using the roll top, everything still stays pretty cold. So after a 7 hour drive to the trailhead, it was another 1.5 mile hike into camp. Though there’s no convenient way to take that much weight into a secluded site, along with your own gear, this bag makes it bearable. Like a duffel, you can sling it over your shoulder, or carry it by the side handle, which is helpful in distributing the burden of your beer across different muscle groups.

For a limited time, you can use promo code KINJADB50 to get the whole setup for just $36 ($24 + $12 shipping, I know, I know), which would be a decent price for a good dry bag by itself, let alone one that can keep your drinks cold for hours.


Looking to update your wardrobe before the summer officially ends? You’re in luck. You can snag an Extra 40% Off Clearance at J. Crew Factory when you use the promo code SALETIME.


Football season is officially here, which means it is time to tailgate before you watch your favorite team play. If your tailgate setup is seriously lacking, it is time to invest. Right now, you can get an Ozark Trail 20′ x 10′ Straight Leg Canopy for $139 at Walmart.

Today’s Best Media Deals

Happy Sunday! Don’t waste your day off in bed or on the couch. Download a new series and dive right into it. Today only, you can get up to 80% off select series on Kindle. It looks like most books are starting at slashed down to just $3.


Today only, you can get 4 weeks free of The Washington Post on Amazon. You’ll get a basic digital subscription to the publication for one month. If you don’t cancel, you’ll be charged $6/month for the membership after your free trial.

Today’s Best Gaming Deals

Oh shit, did I remember to feed my Tamagotchi? If your original Tamagotchi died many, many times, you probably shouldn’t get a new one since you’re clearly a terrible parent. But, why not get one while the Tamagotchi Gudetama Yellow is $17 on Amazon?


Update: This deal ends in three days.

Humble is back with a scary good deal. You can fight the undead when you pick up this Humble Spooky Bundle full of horror games including INSIDE, Darkwood, Beholder 2, Butcher, Pacify, The Town of Light, and Agony.

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As usual, you can pledge as much or as little money as you want (as long as it’s at least $1) to get $98 worth of stuff. If you want access to INSIDE, you’ll need to pledge $10 or more. You can choose where your money goes to between the publishers and a charity of your choice via the PayPal Giving Fund.

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Deals You May Have Missed

Amazon Cloud Cam | $90 | Amazon

Whether you want to use Amazon’s Key in-home delivery service, or, you know, don’t, Amazon’s Cloud Cam is a solid standalone product for monitoring your home, and it’s $30 off today.

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With 1080p recording, night vision, a 2-way intercom, and 24 hours of free cloud clip storage (or more if you sign up for a paid account), its specs compare very favorably to the Nest Cam, especially at today’s $90 price point.

That’s $30 less than usual, and if, somewhere down the road, you decide to buy a smart lock, you’ll have everything you need to use Amazon Key.


We’ve been fans of Privé Revaux’s affordable (but celebrity-approved) sunglasses for years now, but the company’s new Black collection offers a big step up in quality, at a really attractive price.

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Retailing at $40 rather than the company’s usual $30, the Black collection glasses are built from polished acetate and stainless steel frames, and feature detailed riveting, high-end hinges, and laser engraved logos…stuff you’d normally see on glasses that cost in the $100 range. And like Privé’s other glasses, the sunglass lenses are still polarized, and the optical glasses feature blue light filtering.

For a limited time, you can pick any two of the frames, and get them for the same $30 each as Prive’s older glasses. Just add them to your cart, and use promo code black25 at checkout.


Have you ever touched your hair after you’ve washed it and it didn’t feel clean? That feeling might mean you have build up in your hair. It could be dead skin or product that didn’t get fully washed out. If you need to get a real deep clean of your hair, the HEETA Hair Scalp Massager can help get the crud out.

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Aside from helping eliminate product build-up, the massage brush can also relieve itchiness and can promote blood flow to your scalp. The black brush is $5, while the purple and blue brushes are $6.


So, you finally caved and bought yourself an Instant Pot? Welcome to the family. If you have no idea what the make in your brand new appliance, why not 500 quick and easy recipes? You can snag the Kindle version of the Instant Pot Pressure Cooker Cookbook for $4. If you’re a Kindle Unlimited user, this download is free for you!


If your counter space is very limited in your kitchen, you probably don’t have a dishwasher either. That makes drying your dishes a bit of a challenge. No one likes washing dishes, but it is 20x worse when there’s nowhere to put them after. You can save on space if you nab this over-the-sink dish rack drainer.

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You can get it for $75, which is the cheapest we’ve ever seen this dish rack. It has room for your regular bowls, plates forks, and knives, as well as hooks to hang cooking utensils and a place to store your soap and sponges.


It didn’t take long for true wireless earbuds to go from high-priced status symbols to affordable Amazon commodities, but here we are. TaoTronics’ SoundLiberty 53 headphones feature IPX7 waterproofing, five hours of battery life (and 40 if you include the charging case), and perhaps most impressively of all, Bluetooth 5.0 for a stable connection.

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They’re a solid package for the usual $45, but for $32 it really might be time to cut the cord for good.


Kingdom Hearts: The Story So Far, which includes HD versions of every previous title, is down to a low $26. Complete the set with a $25 copy of Kingdom Hearts III and you can own all of the titles for less than the cost of a regularly priced game. Pretty sweet no?


There’s a light at the end of the breakout with this Neutrogena Visibly Clear Light Therapy Targeted Acne Spot Treatment. The tool uses red light to calm inflammation and blue light to kill pimple-causing bacteria, no mess, pain, or side effects involved. And now, you can use promo code KINJALIGHT to get one of your own for just $14. Shop now, and finally see your skin in a good light.


Summer is especially tough on skin, so treat your face right with this FOREO LUNA Mini 2, now down to $118 on Amazon. This small-but-mighty scrubbing machine removes makeup, dirt, and oil from your pores with the help of soothing pulsations and a silicone brush. We’ve tried the full-size version before and loved it, but hey, bigger doesn’t always mean better.


The cold weather is on the way, so you’ll definitely need a jacket for the rest of the year. Luckily, several select items from Columbia that would be perfect for fall’s breeziest nights are 65% off with promo code SEP65OFF. Gear up now, and get ready for whatever the weather throws your way.


Get some air, and save some cash with Nike’s latest deals on Jordans. There are loads of sneakers for adults and kids marked down significantly, along with all the apparel any rising basketball star might need. Just be sure to snag this slam dunk of a deal before the game clock runs out. If they can hold Zion’s feet, they can hold yours, too.


We all love to hate Crocs, but guess what! Those lightweight, hole-y, rubber-y slides are cool now, thanks to the always groundbreaking runway scene and one Post Malone. And you too can be hip to the trend thanks to this Warehouse Clearance Sale: Select styles are up to 70% off, no promo code required. In case you haven’t noticed, Crocs also makes other shoes that barely even look like Crocs. So go ahead and stock up on Crocs, because fashun.


These Hanes boxer briefs aren’t made from merino wool harvested from some faraway land, and they don’t have a separate pouch built in for your junk. But they’re boxer briefs. They’re fine. They have a comfortable looking waistband. And at $11 for a pack of eight from Walmart, they’re cheap.


Murad makes a whole lot of effective products for fighting back against any skin issues, from acne to signs of aging. And starting today, you can add them all to your skincare regimen for 20% off their usual prices in celebration of the launch of their new website. Might we recommend picking up the brand’s cult-favorite Rapid Age Spot and Pigment Lightening Serum, the most effective dark spot treatment I’ve ever tried, or the Retinol Youth Renewal Serum, one of our favorite retinol treatments in the skincare game? Just be sure to use promo code NEWMURAD at checkout to snag the savings.


Anker’s best known for batteries and cables, but their smart home gear is really well regarded. Today on Amazon, you can get their new, smaller smart light bulb for $16 (down from $20), and their smart light switch for $18 (down from $30).

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Going with smart bulbs or smart switches is a matter of personal taste, but the bulbs in this case are tunable, meaning they can display different shades of white, which can transform how a room feels. Daylight can energize you when you need to focus, and warm white can help ease you towards sleep and relaxation at night.


Everyone’s favorite bunny brand has some of the tastiest fruit snacks around. Never tried them? Now’s the time because you can get a box of 24 Annie’s Organic Bunny Fruit Snacks for only $11 on Amazon. You need to select Subscribe & Save (which you can cancel at any time) and clip the 20% off coupon. Included in the box are these tasty flavors: Berry Patch, Summer Strawberry, Sunny Citrus, and Tropical Treat.


Lazy Susans can help you make the most of a small pantry or fridge space, and this one from Copco has great reviews, and includes a rubberized base to keep your spices and such from falling over. Normally $15, it’s down to $12, which is a solid deal, even if it won’t set your head spinning.


V-Moda’s design language is unmistakable, and not everyone’s cup of tea, but there’s no denying that they make really great headphones. Their Crossfade Wireless over-ears are virtually indestructible, can run in both wireless and wired mode, and pack in massive 50mm drivers that should sound terrific no matter what you’re listening to. Today, all four colors are marked down to $100 on Amazon, an all-time low.


Polk Audio’s new Command sound bar looks like a speaker that swallowed an Echo Dot, but look past the built-in Alexa support, and you’ll simply find really good audio quality. It even includes a wireless subwoofer.

Normally $250, it’s marked down to $200 today, an all time low. So this is a great chance to upgrade your TV’s audio before your big scary movie marathon.


The iPhone 11 Pro is finally going to ship with a USB-C to Lightning fast charger. But standard iPhone 11 purchasers, or anyone with an iPhone from the last couple of years, might not realize that they can fast-charge their phone too.

All you need is an 18W or greater USB-C charger (like this one), plus a USB-C to Lightning cable. Anker’s are MFi-certified, more durable than the ones Apple makes, and cheaper to boot. This 6′ model will charge an iPhone from 0% to 50% in just 30 minutes, and you can get it for $15 today, down from the usual $20.


If one of your goals in life is to visit every professional hockey arena, we’ve got a great way for you to show off your progress. You can now preorder Pop Chart’s Pro Hockey Arenas Scratch-Off Chart. You can scratch off every arena you’ve been to and it will reveal a full-color, close-up shot of center ice.

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To get this deal, you can use promo code 20INTHEBOX. The promo code also applies to any bundled hanging hardware, like poster rails. Orders will begin shipping Monday, September 30th.


Our readers have bought thousands of OxyLED’s T-02 motion-sensing light strips over the years, but if you’ve found them to be to annoying to charge, the new T-04 is an easier to use option.

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Like the T-02, the T-04 can attach to basically any surface via the included adhesive strips, and will automatically light up when it detects motion in the dark. The main difference is the battery: rather than charging AAAs or plugging in a microUSB cable, the T-04’s battery pack is fully detachable, and plugs directly into any USB charging port. I have a couple of these set up around my apartment, and they work extremely well. Get one today for just $14 with promo code DRWDQY94.


Want to keep your money and small valuables really safe from pickpockets while traveling? This belt includes a hidden zipper pouch on the inside, which…yeah, that ought to do it.

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So if you have any trips on the docket, the belt is already marked down to $10 from its usual $15, and a $1 coupon makes it even cheaper.


What better way to get ready for exercise-friendly fall weather than an extra 20% off Under Armour’s already affordable outlet? Pick up at least $100 worth of workout shirts, sweats, leggings, shoes, and more, and use promo code FALL20 at checkout to stack on the savings. If you do nothing else with this sale, at least replace your old underwear with Boxerjocks.


It’s still technically summer, but let’s be real: You’ll probably still need a jacket for cool nights, and you’ll definitely need one when fall finally arrives. And since Mountain Hardwear is taking 65% off the original price on select items, you could probably use many of the on-sale items right now and for future winters to come. So use promo code MHWSEP65, and load up on outerwear to keep you toasty warm the next time you step outside.


Need an extra controller for your PS4? Amazon has a DualShock 4 controller for $44. While we’ve seen DualShock controllers for $40, the extra bit of cash can be worth it if you want some in-game Fornite content. This includes Epic Neo Versa Outfit, Epic Neo Phrenzy Back Bling and 500 V-Bucks

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Oh, non-PS4 owners should know that Apple’s letting you use these controllers for your Apple TV or iPhone too.


Anker’s recently launched Soundcore Life Q20 headphones boast Hi-Res Audio certification, four noise cancelation microphones, Bluetooth 5.0, and excellent battery life. In our humble opinion, they’re the best headphones $60 will buy you, but for a limited time, you can get them even cheaper.

This week on Amazon, Q20s are marked down to $48, if you clip the 20% coupon on the page. If you ever fly, take public transit, or just work in an office that’s a little too noisy, noise canceling headphones are a life changing purchase. These might not sound quite as good or block as much noise as $300 options from Sony or Bose, but they perform better than any other sub-$100 ANC headphones we’ve tried.


Apple’s new MacBook Air may be boring, but it’s a thin little workhorse with a bigger, better screen and a faster processor than the 12″ MacBook, which might just hit your laptop Goldilocks zone. And unlike the MacBook Pro, it comes with TouchID (yay!) without the obnoxious Touch Bar (yay!).

If the price was scaring you away, Amazon is taking $200 off the brand new (released in July) 2019 model, which added a True Tone display, faster SSD performance, and a revamped keyboard that should prove more reliable. The deal’s available for both the 128GB and 256GB configurations, and in all three colors. For whatever it’s worth, my wife got one of the 2018 models when it first came out, and she loves it.


I thought I’d seen it all in the USB battery pack space, but RAVPower went and made something completely new: a battery pack that you can recharge with literally any phone charger you have lying around. Yes, it features USB-C, microUSB, and even Lightning inputs.

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The 18W USB-C PD input will be by far the fastest recharge option, but it’s nice to know that any cord you have lying around will be capable of juicing up the battery pack overnight.

That USB-C port is also an 18W output port, which can charge an iPhone from 0% to 50% in 30 minutes with the right cable. You also get two standard USB outputs, one of which features Quick Charge 3.0, all tied to a 20,000mAh battery. The lowkey nicest feature though might be the screen that displays your remaining battery life as an actual percentage, rather than an array of like, three or four dots.

The battery is priced at $50, which isn’t out of line for a USB-C PD battery of this size, but if you clip the $5 coupon and use promo code KINJACBE at checkout, you can get it for just $35.


25% Off Sitewide | Perky Jerky | Promo code Kinja25. 6-flavor sampler excluded.Photo: Perky Jerky

As salty snacks go, jerky is a pretty healthy option, and a delicious one at that. Perky Jerky offers dozens of flavors made from turkey, wagyu beef, and pork, and you can save 25% on any or all of it today (with the exception of the six-flavor sampler) today with our exclusive code.

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Just load up your cart with as much or as little jerky as you want, and use promo code Kinja25 at checkout to watch the price shrivel up like so much salted meat.


If you have a habit of pouring water into your bottle but taking forever to drink it, you’re not alone. Nothing is grosser than going to drink your water, only to find it has gotten warm. Avoid that by snagging 50% Off Forever Cold Water Bottles at Waves when you use promo code KINJAFC50. A Forever Cold bottle is 34 oz. and can keep drinks cold for 24 hours or hot for 12.


There are few beauty products that stand out from the crowded Amazon search results pages, and this Thayers Witch Hazel Toner is one of them. With thousands upon thousands of reviews on Thayers’ many different scents, this product is beloved as a natural acne-fighting solution, and right now, the brand’s soothing lavender version is down to its lowest price ever at $6. The formula is alcohol free, so it won’t dry out your skin, and it contains aloe vera to promote hydration and healing. So stock up now before this skin-clearing deal gets toned down.


Topo Designs is the latest “status” backpack brand, and right now, you can score the 200D Ripstop Klettersack style in blue or black for $132—that’s 35% off its regular price. (The regular Klettersack is also on sale in clay and olive colors, though it’s significantly pricier at $169.) This pack is ultra durable, boasts plenty of interior and exterior pockets, and features a ripstop nylon construction that’s light enough for even the longest of hikes, or city street treks. So bring home yours now, before this deal gets sent packing.


Everyone knows that the best part of any haircut is the scalp massage you get while your hair is being washed. But with this deal on a pair of Vitagoods scalp massagers, you won’t have to wait until the next time you need a trim to experience that pure, cranial bliss. This two pack of gently vibrating, water-resistant massagers costs just $10 with promo code KJVITAG, so be sure to buy before this deal goes down the drain. After all, saving money feels almost as good as a scalp massage.


Regular fire pits are cool, but portable fire pits are even better. This Fireside Outdoor Pop-Up Fire Pit and Heat Shield Combo Kit is a packable, 8-pound version of the heavy pits you’re probably familiar with, and right now, it’s just $78 at Huckberry, down from its usual price of $120. The Pop-Up Fire Pit holds up to 125 pounds, so there’s no need to be conservative when you load on the firewood, and it cools down in just 90 seconds, meaning you can pack up and hit the road ASAP. Ideal for camping, tailgating, or just a backyard gathering, be sure to pick up your pit before this fiery hot deal burns out.


We’re in that weird time of year, where it feels like fall in the morning, but it is back to summer temperatures by noon. Welcome to Second Summer! It lasts a few weeks and it is a confusing time. Take advantage of the ever-changing temperatures during the Summer Close Out Sale at Jachs. You can get short sleeves for as low as $10, shorts for $12, chambray shirts and henleys for $17, and more.


Casper, maker of our readers’ favorite pillow in addition to acclaimed mattresses, is running a deal that you can wrap your head around. Through September 19, when you purchase either The Wave or The Casper mattress from the brand, you’ll also get two free down pillows, which happen to feature an ultra comfortable 5-chamber design. These pillows normally go for $125 each, so be sure to use promo code PLUSTWO to score this deal of your dreams before morning comes.


Custom tailored suits aren’t just for Very Important Business People with Super Platinum Medallion status and briefcases that cost more than your rent. At Indochino’s prices, custom suiting is attainable for all, and that’s especially true with our exclusive sale. 

You can (almost) any of these seasonal suits for just $299 with promo code KINJA19. If your suit of choice is priced at $329 or less on this pace, the promo code will bring it down to $299. The only exception are the $399 Hamilton suits, which will drop the $349 at checkout. The Hamilton collection is built from “a more luxurious fabric that is blended with mohair to add lightness, lustre and durability,” but whatever suit you buy, all of your customizations, alterations, and shipping are included in the price. Options range from simple, versatile navy and gray options to brighter blues and even a burgundy suit, so you can definitely find something that will fill a niche in your closet.

If you aren’t familiar with Indochino, this is nothing like buying a suit off the rack. You get to choose every little facet of the suit yourself, and everything is cut to measure to fit you perfectly. But if you don’t have time to take your measurements right this minute, you can check out now and submit your measurements later, which makes it very easy to gift. There are plenty of fun and colorful options available, as well as lots of business-minded suits that still look great.

Having a suit that fits perfectly is great, as is picking from dozens of styles, but the little details Indochino lets you customize, from your jacket lapels to pocket flaps to accent stiching around your buttons, are where things get really fun. Just look at some of the options:

How It Works

If you live near a showroom

You can purchase your suit online with our discount, then take your receipt into an Indochino showroom. They’ll do your measurements, walk you through your customization options, and have your suit delivered to the showroom. Return once it arrives for any final alterations if they’re needed.

Or, measure and customize from home…

Follow the directions on Indochino’s site to submit your measurements and customize your suit. Once the suit arrives, if anything doesn’t fit quite right, you can bring it into an Indochino showroom for adjustments. If you don’t have a showroom nearby, Indochino will provide directions for your local tailor, along with a $75 credit to cover their work. If for whatever reason you can’t get the suit to fit quite right, Indochino will remake your suit. Shipping and return shipping are free.

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Let us know which style you’ll be wearing to your next event (or day at the office) in the comments. Just note that this deal expires at midnight on Tuesday.


How do you do, fellow kids? If you’ve never had Prime Student before because you were a broke college kid, you’re in luck. Thanks to an offer from Sprint, new Amazon Prime Student customers can get their first six months for free.

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In order to sign up for Prime Student, you need an active school email address and will need to enter an expected graduation year. When signing up, you will need to select which plan you’d like after your free six-month trial. You can either select a monthly plan, which is $6.49 a month or pay a lump sum of $59 for an annual plan, which is less than $5 a month.

With Prime Student, you’ll get free two-day shipping on all Prime-eligible orders, Prime movies and TV shows, music streaming, photo storage, and more. Additionally, Prime Student members are able to get Amazon Music Unlimited for $1 a month.


20 Super Nintendo games are now on the Nintendo Switch for free with your Nintendo Switch Online membership. And if you’ve got Amazon Prime, you can get a year’s worth of Nintendo Switch Online for free.

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Until September 24, Twitch Prime subscribers can get up to a year of Nintendo Switch Online benefits, including online play and access to classic NES games and SNES games. Membership will also give you the ability to purchase the $30 retro SNES controllers.

SNES Games AvailableScreenshot: Kotaku

If you’ve got Amazon Prime, you can sign up for Twitch Prime for free.

Here’s how it works: You can claim the 3-months membership offer now by linking your Twitch and Nintendo accounts, then come back to claim the 9-month individual membership 60 days later, once it unlocks. Just set a calendar appointment! And if you’re already an individual Nintendo Switch online member (no family memberships, sorry), this deal just extends your renewal date for free.


If you’re having trouble sleeping, suffering from anxiety, or having trouble sleeping because you’re suffering from anxiety, Sunday Scaries CBD products could help. Jolie Kerr shared her thoughts on them for The Inventory, and now, our readers can save an extra 25% on the already-discounted CBD Flight with promo code FLIGHT25, the best deal we’ve ever seen.

Note: You’ll have to scroll down the page a bit to find the CBD Flight bundle.

The Flight includes a bottle of the standard gummies, a bottle of vegan gummies, and a bottle of stronger CBD tincture for $83 when you combine the promo code with the monthly plan discount (which you can cancel at any time). Buying those three products separately would cost you $158.


Back in March, Private Internet Access (our readers’ favorite VPN service) raised its prices for the first time ever. And while our readers can still get an exclusive 3-years for $99 plan, they just lowered their other plans back to their old prices for a limited time.

The reason this is a big deal is that you can renew your membership as many times as you want at whatever price you originally paid. Once the prices go back to normal, you’ll still be locked into the lower rate.

Here are the new (old) promotional prices, along with what you’d normally pay:

  • 1 month: $6.95 (down from $9.99)
  • 1 year: $39.95 (down from $71.88)

Clearly, the annual plan is the sweet spot here if you don’t want to commit to the three-year plan, but $6.95/month for 10 simultaneous connections, clients for just about every conceivable device, and servers in 32 countries (foreign Netflix, anyone?). We aren’t sure when the prices will go back up, so you probably want to lock in your account ASAP.


Firstleaf is an online wine club that learns your preferences, offers tons of great wines from around the world, and most importantly, saves you money compared to buying from the store.

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Every new Firstleaf member gets an introductory delivery with six bottles of wine for just $40 with free shipping, and every box thereafter includes six bottles for $80, plus $10 shipping. But if you use this link when you sign up, you’ll get FREE shipping on every box for your entire first year. That’ll save you over $100 if you get a new box every month. At the very least, you should send Mom the trial box for less than $7 per bottle. I mean, why wouldn’t you?

Please get your digital affairs in order

I really wish I hadn’t had cause to write this piece, but it recently came to my attention, in an especially unfortunate way, that death in the modern era can have a complex and difficult technical aftermath. You should make a will, of course. Of course you should make a will. But many wills only dictate the disposal of your assets. What will happen to the other digital aspects of your life, when you’re gone?

There are several good guides to “digital wills” and one’s “digital legacy” out there, including e.g. handling your Facebook and Google accounts, and I encourage you to both go to those links and research the subject further. A few things seem particularly worth noting, though.

One is that this is yet another reason to use a password manager such as LastPass or 1Password. That in turn becomes an itemized list of your online accounts, and comes with a built-in recovery mechanism which can be used to pass them on to your survivors and/or heirs. LastPass (my password manager of choice) actually has a detailed guide to “preparing a digital will for your passwords,” and third-party guides to using 1Password for this purpose exist as well.

Another is the problem of two-factor authentication. What happens in case of an accident which also destroys your phone or Yubikey? Or if your heirs can’t get past your phone password? Do yourself and them a favor: create 2FA backup codes, and add them to your password-manager emergency-recovery kit.

The more technical you are, the more complex your digital affairs are. For most people we’re just talking about email, social media, and photos. But for technical people, and in particular developers, things get more complicated. Do you own domains? Do your heirs even know you own domains, and who the registrar is? Are they technical? If not, by the time they figure that out, the domains may well have expired. Do you have services running on AWS or GCP or Digital Ocean? Do you have private GitHub repos, or public ones with a nontrivial number of stars / forks / issues / wiki pages? Do you administer a Slack workspace?

If you find yourself nodding along to the above, you may want to identify a separate “technical executor” and give them some guidance regarding what you want done with all of the above. Even if they have access, nontechnical people may not really understand that guidance. A little advance work can make it substantially easier for those tasked with taking care of your affairs.

Finally, what about any cryptocurrency you might personally hold? Generally, cryptocurrency wallets come with some sort of recovery seed. Is yours in a safety-deposit box somewhere? Do your heirs know it’s in a safety-deposit box somewhere? If you want to pass your bitcoins on to them, you’re probably going to have to let them know. (Obviously there is a security trade-off here; depending on how much we’re talking about, you may wish to be more or less cautious about this.)

So, to summarize: Do further research on digital wills, and construct one. Use a password manager, which acts as an itemization of your online accounts, and ensure your heirs can access its emergency recovery key. Provide them 2FA backup codes as well, and recovery seeds for your cryptocurrency wallets if any. Identify a technical executor as and if appropriate. Also — and this is pretty key — make sure that a few trusted people know you’ve done all this. Won’t do them much good otherwise.

You may well even have occasion to thank yourself for it, in case of some hardware loss or disaster. Regardless, your heirs will definitely thank you. None of us think that we’ll meet our demise randomly, without warning — but I’m here to tell you, from grim recent experience, it does happen. Be prepared.

You Can Finally Get Yourself a Bidet During Home Depot’s Bathroom Fixtures Sale

Up to 50% Off Select Bathroom Fixtures | Home DepotGraphic: Ana Luisa Suarez

Best Home DealsThe best home, kitchen, smart home, and automotive deals from around the web, updated daily.   

Up to 50% Off Select Bathroom Fixtures | Home Depot

Been on the market for a bidet? Look no further. Home Depot’s Special Buy of the Day is on bathroom fixtures and few bidets are included in this sale. You can get a Brondell Swash Luxury Bidet Seat for $325 (50% off), today only.


Week in Review: Apple games the system

Hey all. This is Week-in-Review, where I give a heavy amount of analysis and/or rambling thoughts on one story while scouring the rest of the hundreds of stories that emerged on TechCrunch this week to surface my favorites for your reading pleasure.

Last week, I talked about shifting Facebook user habits and their play to take down Tinder.


Screen Shot 2019 09 10 at 2.41.57 PM

The big story

This week, Apple launched some new products, but really the only big surprises were how aggressively the company is moving with pricing their subscription products. The Apple TV+ product and Apple Arcade gaming subscriptions will both be launching this fall for $4.99.

The prices were aggressive. Given the costs of Apple News+ and Apple Music, most people might have expected the services to strike $9.99. While TV+ is striking a low price to take on entrenched streaming competitors, the pricing of Apple Arcade is particularly interesting because Apple is trying to boldly shift how games are priced.

Subscribers get access to 100+ games on Arcade, with new games added monthly. The games are exclusives and they are ad-free and micro-transaction free. In a lot of ways, this subscription is seeking to undo many of the mobile gaming monetization trends it helped create, but it seems unlikely they can put Pandora back in the box.

Getting gamers on a discovery platform like this could be great for indie devs looking for eyeballs, but that’s only if the economics work out, something that depends on Apple throwing an awful lot of money at the problem.

While Apple News+ divvied up $9.99 among Apple and hundreds of publishers, it was an easier sell because publishers saw it as an entirely new class of customers for digital products that they were already creating and monetizing elsewhere. For developers bringing their titles to Arcade exclusively, that $4.99 is the whole pie for all parties involved, and even if Apple is fully or partially funding the titles, the whole model seems predicated on Apple spending through the process of acquiring customers.

While original content TV-streaming and music-streaming are avenues that Apple has had to ride up against a clear competitor, there isn’t a particularly successful mobile gaming subscription product out there. Apple has always claimed to skate to where the puck is going with its hardware products, but they have been late on services for the most part, with Apple Arcade it could be different, but turning back the clock won’t be easy.

Send me feedback
on Twitter @lucasmtny or email
lucas@techcrunch.com

On to the rest of the week’s news.

(Photo by Zhang Peng/LightRocket via Getty Images)

Trends of the week

Here are a few big news items from big companies, with green links to all the sweet, sweet added context:

  • Alibaba’s Jack Ma officially retires
    To Americans, Jack Ma may just be another Chinese tech billionaire, but the Alibaba founder is a larger-than-life entrepreneur, which makes his retirement a huge development. The retirement is no shock, as Ma had long teased his departure from the Chinese online retail giant. Read more here.
  • Uber lays off hundreds
    Uber is having an interesting public debut, but the ridesharing giant is opting to consolidate a bit as it aims to shrink its losses. The company announced this week it is laying off 435 employees. Read more here.
  • New Apple hardware
    Apple made some services announcements this week, but they also dropped some hardware updates. What we saw were probably the most iterative iPhone and Watch updates that we’ve ever seen. The always-on display of the Apple Watch will keep you tilting your wrist left often to see the time and the crazy triple-camera module on the iPhone 11 Pro will bring some new functionality to the camera. Read more here.

(Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

GAFA Gaffes

How did the top tech companies screw up this week? This clearly needs its own section, in order of badness:

  1. America takes aim at Google:
    [49 states and the District of Columbia are pushing an antitrust investigation against Google]
  2. Apple makes “improvements” to anti-competitive App Store algorithms:
    [Apple tweaks its App Store algorithm as antitrust investigations loom]

Disrupt SF

Our biggest event of the year is right around the corner and we’re bringing in some of the most important figures in the tech industry. Here’s who’s coming to Disrupt SF 2019.

In addition to taking in the great line-up of speakers, you can roam around Startup Alley to catch the more than 1,000 companies showcasing their products and technologies. And of course the Startup Battlefield competition that launched the likes of Dropbox, Cloudflare and Mint will once again be one of the biggest highlights of Disrupt SF.

Sign up for more newsletters in your inbox (including this one) here.

This App Works Like Shazam For Art

When you hear a song you like that you can’t quite place Shazam has become many people’s solution to the problem. All you have to do it open the app, let it listen to the tune for a few seconds, and more often than not you’ll be presented with the title and artist in just a few seconds.

Now some app developers are recreating that experience for actual art. The New York Times highlighted a few of the apps in the space, specifically Magnus, an app that can figure out who the artist is for a piece of art you see. Even better, it can also give you the title of that piece of art, and how much it was last sold for. That price tag is info you won’t even see on a museum floor.

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The app shows you both historic and recent prices from both auctions and gallery sales, so you can get a decent idea quickly how an artist’s popularity has risen (or fallen) over the years. It also has the added bonus of letting you exactly how unlikely it is that you’ll ever own a piece of the artist’s work in your home.

The app also helps you find art and offers information about galleries and museums near you as well as what their current shows are and hours.

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When you do find an artist you like, the app can help you find more work by them, and see where they’ve exhibited in the past as well as where you might be able to catch more of their work right now.

It’s obviously an app that will be a bit more powerful when you see that painting in an office building you love rather than one in a museum with an info tag beside it, but just like Shazam for music lovers it can be an excellent thing for art enthusiasts to have on their phone ready to use when they need it.

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After conquering smartphones, PopSocket sets its sights on beverages

In its first half-decade of existence, PopSocket has grown into one of the most popular — and imitated — smartphone accessories on the market. In 2018 alone, the company generated $90 million in profit. Not to bad for a little Colorado-based upstart.

So, where does an utterly dominated accessory maker go from here? Beverages, naturally. Delish was the first to report the existence of the PopThirst line. You may well have missed it in the wake of this week’s iPhone news. I was on a plane with limited WiFi access, I swear. Whatever the case, the weird little retractable phone holder that has captured the world’s imagination $15 at a time is now headed for the lucrative field of refreshments. 

It’s an odd evolution of the brand, to be sure. But why not strike while the iron (and coffee) is hot? I know plenty of people who swear by the phone accessory, and the pop-out gripper looks to fit pretty well on a matching koozie for hot and cold beverages, alike. Pop it on a can of LaCroix to find yourself on the cutting edge of the 2016 zeitgeist.

The cupholders feature a wide range of styles, from leopard print to camo. They’re up for pre-order on Popsocket’s page for $15 a pop. They’ll go on sale Sept 15.

Get More Time in Your Work Day By Setting ‘Hard Stops’ For Meetings

Image: Getty

Time is one of those things that we can all probably use more of.

Especially in work situations, it’s easy for a meeting or a phone call to run over its allotted time, leaching time off the next task you had on your calendar and ultimately leading you to not have time to finish those last few things you have scheduled for the day. That, or keep you at the office for an extra few hours so you can finish them.

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A few years ago I started enacting a “hard stop” mentality to most of the meetings and calls I had. Inspired by a few of the people I interviewed, who said they had a “hard stop” after 14 or 30 minutes, the practice makes it so you know what you’re doing has a definitive end time, facing you to get what you need to get done completed in the allotted time.

It’s great.

When you tell someone that you have to leave a meeting after a set amount of time, that person makes more of an effort to get to the point. They’re on time, ready to start your meeting or chat, and the whole thing moves significantly more efficiently.

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In contrast, when I would just show up for that 10am meeting without establishing a hard end time, often the person I was meeting with would still be meeting with the reporter before me, pushing our meeting to 10:05 or 10:15. The first 10 minutes would be filled with that person getting coffee or waters, checking in with their secretary… stuff.

In the end, most of the meetings I’ve had that should have taken less than 30 minutes would run over an hour because there was so much unnecessary activity happening around them. Saying I had a hard stop after just 30 minutes made everything run much more efficiently.

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Do I have somewhere to be in 30 minutes? Sometimes I do, sometimes that next place is my desk to work or a place to pick up lunch. The whole point is to dictate how much of your time you’re giving something, so it doesn’t hijack more of your day because it can.

If you want to stay in that meeting longer, sure, do it. But by setting a limit ahead of time you’re also giving yourself a great opening to leave if you need to, and reclaim those minutes or hours of the day you might lose otherwise.

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This week Fast Company ran a story by the COO of MessageBird that made a similar suggestion. Her suggestion is to simply set boundaries for what you’re able to do. Identify how much time you have to dedicate to something, tell people what they are, and stick to it. And give yourself some time to yourself as well. You deserve it.

How to get your ads working, and whether PR is worth it

We’ve aggregated the world’s best growth marketers into one community. Twice a month, we ask them to share their most effective growth tactics, and we compile them into this Growth Report.

This is how you’re going stay up-to-date on growth marketing tactics — with advice you can’t get elsewhere.

Our community consists of 600 startup founders paired with VP’s of growth from later-stage companies. We have 300 YC founders plus senior marketers from companies including Medium, Docker, Invision, Intuit, Pinterest, Discord, Webflow, Lambda School, Perfect Keto, Typeform, Modern Fertility, Segment, Udemy, Puma, Cameo, and Ritual.

You can participate in our community by joining Demand Curve’s marketing webinars, Slack group, or marketing training programSee past growth reports here.

Without further ado, onto the advice.


How to get customer testimonials from hard-to-reach executives

Based on insights from Guillaume Cabane.

A customer testimonial from a well-known executive may be the social proof that improves conversion rates on your landing pages or in sales collateral. But executives of reputable companies are generally busy and difficult to reach.

Here’s how to get the testimonial:

  • Contract with a freelance journalist who’s written for a reputable publication like the New York Times.
  • Reach out to your executive customers with something like “Hey, we have a journalist who has previously written for NYT who’s interested in speaking to a few of our customers for a piece. Do you have 15 minutes for a quick call?”
  • For $200 in freelancer time, you get a testimonial you can use (in the words you want) from a reputable executive. Be sure to figure out some way to make it worth the executive’s time.

How to Check on Your Passport Application Status

Image: Getty

Chances are good when you request a new passport or a passport renewal you’re doing it because you have a trip on the horizon. If you’re me, a trip that’s coming up pretty soon.

If you have a really short amount of time to get it, I recently wrote a post on how you can potentially get that renewal handled in 24 hours. If you have a little more time and aren’t springing for the expedited service, then when your new passport will arrive is a bit of a mystery.

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Rather than anxiously checking your mailbox every day, the State Department offers a number of different options for how you can check on that application’s status. Travel + Leisure highlighted them this week.

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The easiest way is to simply check the State Department’s website. The website should have info about your application 7 to 10 days after you apply. You can also sign up for automatic email updates on the site, so you don’t have to keep checking the site and can instead check your inbox going forward.

If you don’t want to go the web route, you can also call the National Passport Information Center at (877) 487-2778. The number has an automated system where you can check on your application’s status, as well as humans you can talk to Monday through Friday 8am-10pm ET as well as 10am-3pm on Saturdays.

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