A KILLING IN ADVERTISING

Over 40 million people have downloaded “AdBlock,” a free program for blocking ads on  the web. We were skeptical initially but are now converts. Often, when a web site comes in slowly it’s because it’s loading ads. Lately, Joy’s computer has been so slow, she could put on water for tea and come back before the site had loaded. Then she loaded Adblock, and it helped. It counts the ads it kills and gives you totals; it knocked off 2,500 in the first week. What made Bob turn to AdBlock was pants. He bought some pants online and by the next day the entire clothing business had ads for pants on whatever web site he called up. It was clear […]

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SAFE LUGGAGE

Recently, we warned against writing your name and address on luggage tags, since burglars might figure you’re not home. Instead, we said, you might use smart labels from HomingPIN. These can be tracked worldwide by the airports’ own system.

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AN ALARMING SITUATION

Lots of security cameras around, but “Presence” from Netatmo won four innovation awards at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas. This is future stuff, because it won’t be available till next Fall at the earliest. But it is the edge of the wedge, as they say, and shows how sophisticated surveillance cameras can be.

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DUDE, WHERE’S MY BAG?

We still remember the time an airline company rang our doorbell at 3 a.m.to deliver our lost bags. At least we were home, not at a computer show where we might be forced to wear Hawaiian shirts and flip-flops. Now there’s a gadget aimed at preventing all lost bags.

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GIVING AWAY AN OLD PHONE

ConsumerAffairs.com has an article about wiping your old Android phone before giving it away. The bottom line: sexy photos, corporate secrets, and old love notes may still be there, even after a full factory reset.

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SMART LOCKS

We got a dog and bone for our brother-in-law. It’s not a pet, but a new “smart lock” from a company called Dog & Bone.

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PRIVATE BROWSING

We always assumed that when you use Firefox’s “Private Browsing” feature, no one could track you. Not so, until now.

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FREE WINDOWS PROGRAMS

A reader reminded us of a great website for software freebies: NiNite.

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THE RISKS OF APPLE PAY

According to a 2015 Mobile Payment Security Study of 900 security professionals, half say mobile payments such as Apple Pay are not safe. Nevertheless, nearly all expect paying by phone to become a lot more common in the next 12 months.

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READER IS RIGHT

A reader doubted our recent comment that the Max Smart Home smoke and security alarm was bad for your ears. He’s right. We were wrong; it’s not bad at all.

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