I can't come to your home to help with ideas (sorry), but I can give you some dos and don'ts when it comes to TV placement, to point you in the right direction (i.e., toward the screen). … Read more
Microsoft Research is continuing to advance work on its home operating system (HomeOS) project. The latest new component is the addition of a new framework, called the Lab of Things (LOT), which allows researchers to better study connected device usage in homes and other physical spaces.
Microsoft is fielding a first beta of the LOT software development kit (SDK), seemingly in conjunction with the opening day of the annual Microsoft Research Faculty Summit event in Redmond. The SDK is available for download from Microsoft's CodePlex site.
Everybody loves Monoprice. I know this because whenever I mention, say, a cheap HDMI cable from any other source, readers invariably chime in to say, "I get all my cables at Monoprice."
A couple years back, the company branched out into its own line of tech products, including some surprisingly decent speakers at surprisingly low prices. Today, one of them is surprisingly even lower.
Today only, in fact, and while supplies last, Monoprice has its 8247 5.1-channel home theater speaker system for $71.11. It normally sells for $84.10, so the savings aren't that dramatic … Read more
Peachtree Audio's Deepblue ($400 street) may seem like a curiously named device given IBM's famous chess-playing supercomputer, but it's a fitting moniker: this is a Bluetooth speaker that makes exceptionally deep bass.
The performance shouldn't be surprising once you look at the specs, which boast a 240-watt amplifier and a jumbo (by Bluetooth standards) 6.5-inch woofer. It all adds up to big, aggressive sound that's particularly fantastic with heavier rock tunes, delivering more low end than any other shelf system I can recall. On the flip side, that rough-and-tumble feel is all over the … Read more
Home-automation technology found in the ZigBee wireless spec will be coming to Samsung's next line of handsets, a new report claims.
The company plans to integrate Zigbee technology in the next Samsung Galaxy, Pocket-lint is reporting, citing people who claim to have knowledge of its plans. With help from the ZigBee Alliance, Samsung reportedly will bundle ZigBee wireless technology into its Galaxy handsets that will allow users to control everything from lighting switches to heating controls, providing full smart home automation.
Samsung is essentially hoping to turn its next devices into "home smartphones" that provide all of … Read more
If you're cranking your AC to beat the heat, you probably don't care too much about standby, or vampire, power. That's the juice electronics suck when they're off or in standby mode.
While it's slight, it adds up to huge national figures. Household modems and routers in nearly 90 million U.S. homes, for instance, are estimated to eat up about $1 billion in electricity annually as they're idling.
That's why smart home appliances like Valta make sense. It's a Canadian concept for an energy management system that's sensitive enough to show when devices aren't in use to cut electricity waste. … Read more
With the slow and inevitable transition to Ultra HD 4K happening whether it's necessary or not, it's not surprising that cable manufacturers are jumping at the chance to sell new and more expensive "4K" HDMI cables.
But guess what -- you don't need 4K HDMI cables, because your current HDMI ones can probably do 4K just fine. Seriously.
Here's why.… Read more
Facebook is attempting to repair its "broken Home" with a feature that finally allows device owners to organize their applications in folders. The new tool, previously in testing, was rolled out Monday through a Facebook for Android update.
Facebook Home is a suite of social-networking software that replaces the home and lock screens on select Android devices. The package has been widely criticized for taking over a person's phone and preventing fast access to apps. Facebook first attempted to appease fans of other apps with an ever-present application drawer to store favorites.
With folder support, smartphone owners … Read more
Evernote for Mac makes it possible to write yourself reminders and notes, and keep them stored and organized in the cloud for safekeeping. By installing additional apps for your other devices you can also access your notes on the go from an iPad or iPhone.
We installed Evernote for Mac via the App Store, and were brought directly to a screen for creating an account. Once inside the app, we poked around, appreciating its attractive and functional interface. On our test machine, we wrote a quick note and attached a file to it. Switching over to an iPhone, we fired … Read more
Working from home is a privilege, and in some cases, unavoidable. Here, in our San Francisco office, many commuters were hit hard by the recent Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) strikes, forcing those reliant on the public transportation service to be stranded at home. Luckily, working from home doesn't mean you have to be any less productive.
Here are some of our recommended apps to make sure that you stay focused and productive so that you can get the most out of your work, no matter where you're at.
Time management is key; timers are a great … Read more