CHROME CASTING

When we wrote about Roku and Amazon Fire Stick for bringing in extra movie channels, games, and apps on your TV, we neglected to talk about Google’s Chromecast, which is cheaper: $35 online or $30 at Walmart. The $49 Roku stick easily won our test against the $39 Amazon Fire Stick. But we didn‘t have a “Chromecast.” So last week we went out and bought one and tested it thoroughly. The results were disappointing. Chromecast sounds great in theory: just about anything you see on your phone can theoretically be mirrored on your big TV. They call it “casting.” In our tests, however, it didn’t always work and was highly frustrating to handle. Now we’re sorry we gave two Chromecasts […]

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BEYOND THE LANDLINE

We just read that landline phones will be phased out – meaning “cutoff” — in about five years. We’re ready, now that our cell phone is connected to a speaker that takes calls and plays music.

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DESK LIGHTS

Okay we’re caving in – a little bit — to the desire for gift suggestions:

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ROACH AND RESCUE

Search and rescue dogs are fine for finding trapped victims but cockroaches can go anywhere – unfortunately.

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IT’S A BLAST

Fitness tracking has hit basketball. Now you can measure the height of your jump and how long you hang in the air before dunking that shot. Users say cheers are in order if you can climb air for .7 of a second; one user claimed doing 1.2 seconds. Sign that kid up.

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A PHONE ON YOUR BIKE

There are several makers of cellphone holders for bicycles and motorcycles. We got one from Satechi, $30, because it was beautifully engineered and we couldn’t res

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TINY DESKTOP COMPUTER

Zotac is a small company known for small computers, and this time they’ve gone the pink limit. It’s a full featured Windows computer that can be slipped into a jacket pocket. It is slated to be available in mid November and will sell for $199. This little computer is called the “Zbox Pico” and is about the same size as two smartphones stacked on top of each other. You can plug in a monitor, hard drive, keyboard and mouse wherever you happen to go. It has a quad-core “Atom” processor made by Intel, two gigabytes of RAM, and 32 gigabytes of flash memory. It also a micro SD slot for your camera card, two USB ports, Bluetooth 4.0, an Ethernet […]

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SMARTY PANTS

“Athos,” is a $99 pair of pants coming out in November that will analyze athletic performance. The pants can tell whether your squats are using your left leg more than your right and also take your blood pressure. They can even tell you whether you’re using your muscles correctly on a stationary bike. The smart phone app glows green when you’re at your maximum. There are a couple of negatives here: one user said it feels like a wetsuit, and you can’t wear men’s underwear (interferes with the sensors). The maker claims they’re machine washable. (No bleach, no starch.) More info at LiveAthos.com.

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FITNESS TRACKING

The oddly-named “Misfit Shine,” our favorite fitness tracker, will be out in October in a new version, this time for $50 instead of the original $100. It’s called the “Misfit Flash.”

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SHUTTERBUGGED

People are taking — and posting! – around 1.8 billion photos a day. Back in the primitive time of 2008, they took 20 million a day. We now post twice as many — 44 million, every hour. By the way: only one percent are still taken on film. Bye, bye, Kodak; sic semper transit and all that.

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Ibogaine University Reviews