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Automated gardens and smart beds made my apartment every geek’s domestic dream

Smart-home devices sometimes require complicated installation that just doesn’t make sense for renters. Plus, apartments have different needs than single-family homes. That’s why we decided to outfit a whole condo with smart devices that don’t require rewiring or permanent installation. Each week, we’ll tackle a different category and look at various products, then explain how we made our selections. At the end of the series, we’ll examine ...
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Twitter to live-stream more than 15 eSports events as part of ESL deal

Why it matters to you Twitter is set to live-stream a ton of major eSports tournaments accessible to everyone on the web, regardless of whether you have a Twitter account. Twitter is opening a new front in its battle to become a live-streaming destination. On Thursday, the social platform announced a new deal with the world’s largest eSports company, ESL, that will include a total of 1,500 hours of live broadcasts from over 15 events. The c...
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Grace Digital’s Mondo+ is the first internet radio featuring Chromecast built-in

Why it matters to you If you're looking for an internet radio with multiroom features, Grace Digital's Mondo+ is currently your best (and only) option. After rebranding from Google Cast, Chromecast built-in has been making its way into an increasingly large swath of product categories. On Wednesday, Grace Digital announced its new Mondo+ internet radio, which it says is the world’s first to include Chromecast built-in. Grace Digital’s produ...
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Alcatel’s Plus 12 Windows 2-in-1 boasts a built-in 4G LTE Wi-Fi hot spot

Why it matters to you Alcatel's Plus 12 Windows 2-in-1 can help you and 15 colleagues set up a portable office. Although the Mobile World Congress (MWC) 2017 is mostly about the most mobile of devices — namely smartphones and wearables — that doesn’t meant that manufacturers of larger mobile devices like PCs are being left out. Whether it’s traditional notebooks or Windows 2-in-1s, PC vendors are taking advantage of the hype to introduce so...
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Even Putin wouldn’t poo-poo this posh pop-up cabin overlooking Pirogovo Lake

Why it matters to you The benefits of prefabricated homes are many and the cabin's architects showed how quickly the innovative practice can help install a home. Located just outside of Moscow, Russian architecture firm Bio Architects took just 10 days to build an innovative prefabricated cabin nestled in the serene forests surrounding Pirogovo Lake. By leaning heavily on a modular design, the company built much of the cabin in Kazan, Russi...
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5G to debut in U.K. in 2017, with tests in 11 U.S. cities starting this spring

“5G will be a crucial pillar of the U.K.’s economy in the 2020s. The smarter network infrastructure and an enhanced ability to support exponential scale for connectivity will open the doors to further applications across a variety of markets such internet-of-things, industrial applications, and the full promise of autonomous vehicles,” Arqiva chief executive Simon Beresford-Wylie told IBTimes. So why are these tests being conducted in the U...
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Lyft rolls into 50 more U.S. cities to take the fight to Uber

Why it matters to you An increase in competition will lead to more options and hopefully to an improved service, whichever one you choose. Lyft has just embarked on the biggest one-day expansion of its ride-sharing service, rolling into more than 50 additional cities across the U.S. The major multi-city launch took place on Thursday and comes a month after Lyft landed in another 40 cities throughout the country. This means that only two mon...
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The best waterproof camera you can buy

Do your summer vacations revolve around an active lifestyle? Whether it’s snorkeling in the sea or wading in the kiddie pool, jaunting around cobbled-stone streets or tearing over hills on a dirt bike, you’ll want a camera to capture it all without breaking. More: Best vacation cameras, from action cams to micro four thirds Waterproof, rugged cameras are designed to tolerate the elements, making them ideal for travel. The bodies are designe...
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Best app deals of the day! 6 paid iPhone apps for free for a limited time

Everyone likes apps, but sometimes the best ones are a bit expensive. Now and then, developers make paid apps free for a limited time, but you have to snatch them up while you have the chance. Here are the latest and greatest apps on sale in the iOS App Store. These apps normally cost money, and this sale lasts for a limited time only. If you go to the App Store and it says the app costs money, that means the deal has expired and you will b...
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Box office hits and misses: ‘The Great Wall’ crumbles while ‘Lego Batman’ reigns

Why it matters to you The most expensive movie ever made in China had a rough debut in the U.S. It wasn’t an entirely wonderful weekend for The Great Wall, director Yimou Zhang’s effects-driven $150 million adventure that featured a mercenary played by Matt Damon fending off hordes of monsters from China’s legendary wall. The most expensive movie ever made in China, the film earned a mere $18 million in its U.S. debut, according to early bo...
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Amazon’s smart home consult figured out how to connect a 50-year-old thermostat

Why it matters to you Finding out you just bought a gadget you can't use is annoying, so Amazon wants to offer free consultations before you buy. Having set up countless smart-home products, I have the routine pretty much down. Setting them up usually involves downloading the app, connecting the device to the Wi-Fi, and selecting preferences to make the product more automated so I have to use the app as little as possible. That doesn’t mean...
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Angelenos can borrow a Chevy Bolt EV with the Maven car-sharing service

Why it matters to you GM is combining the future of electric cars with what some argue is the future of car use. General Motors’ Maven “personal mobility” brand is adding the Chevrolet Bolt EV to its fleet. Members in Los Angeles can now borrow the electric car under an expansion of the car-sharing program that launched there in October. Maven is adding 100 Bolt EVs in the Los Angeles area, and expects them to be capable of covering 250,000...
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Eagle attack! France trains bird of prey to take down rogue drones

Why it matters to you The authorities are steadily building up their defenses against irresponsible drone pilots who continue to flout the rules. If you happened to be in charge of taking down rogue drones, what solution would you go for? A shoulder-mounted, projectile-firing bazooka , perhaps? Or maybe an electromagnetic defense shield ? Or how about something a little more low-tech, like a highly trained golden eagle? The bird-based solut...
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Get big savings (66%) and sound from tiny Anker SoundCore Nano Bluetooth Speaker

The term “portable” speaker is used rather broadly. It can mean anything from a speaker you can physically move away from an outlet to a speaker you can fit in your hand. If you’re looking for a true portable speaker — as in easy to pick up and take with you — check out this Anker SoundCore Nano Bluetooth Speaker,  now just $17 (66 percent off) on Amazon. More: T he Best Bluetooth Speaker You Can Buy The Anker SoundCore Nano Bluetooth Speak...
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Break out the birthday candles, Flickr just became a teenager

Why it matters to you Flickr's 13th birthday offers an opportunity to reflect on the pace of change and growth in the image-sharing space. Flickr has officially entered teen-dom — On February 10, the image-sharing platform celebrated its 13th anniversary . The photo platform says it is “just as full of wonder, snark, and creativity as we’ve ever been.” And now, the platform is home to 13 billion photos — and, as of 2016, a billion monthly a...
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What can’t she do? The best ways to use Amazon’s Alexa around the house

Whether you have an Amazon Echo, Dot, Tap, or what we can only imagine will be an increasing list of third-party devices that currently work with Alexa , there are lots of things you can ask the digital voice assistant to do. And while you likely already know she’ll read a couple lines of a Wikipedia entry or spout off a laundry list of facts, we doubt you’re aware of everything she’s capable of. That said, below are some of our favorite wa...
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Ramin Djawadi’s live concert tour takes ‘Game of Thrones’ on the road

“Even if you’re not watching the video, you can put the music on, and it takes you there. If the music does that, then I think we’ve done our job.” M usic Is Coming. It was a simple statement spelled out on a theater marquee a good number of months ago, but the rabid fanbase or HBO’s top-rated series Game of Thrones knew exactly what it meant: The show was going on the road, quite literally. That is, the music of the show was going to be co...
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Toyota’s RAV4 Adventure brings a rugged look to an understated crossover

Why it matters to you If you love Toyota reliability but want a more rugged look and extra ride height, the Rav4 Adventure crossover for you. We have Subaru to blame/thank for this. While crossovers took the automotive market by storm, Subaru went a step further to make its all-terrain vehicles actually look like all-terrain vehicles. As people began pouring into Subaru dealerships (their sales have been off the charts for the last couple y...
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‘Nioh’ review

About 20 hours into Nioh — roughly halfway through — a giant, spear-wielding frog will tell you to “always stay calm and be like water,” because “haste is the harbinger of failure.” By this point, you should already know this to be true: Nioh, an action game from Ninja Gaiden and Dead or Alive developer Team Ninja made in the style of From Software’s “Souls” and Bloodborne games, won’t let you get very far if you aren’t careful. Between the...
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MSI GS63VR Stealth Pro gaming laptop review

You’ve likely come across MSI’s GS60 if you’ve shopped for gaming laptops in the last ten years. Built with an off-the-shelf enclosure from Clevo, and whichever Nvidia GPU is currently trendy, this is not the first time we’ve unboxed this perennial offering, and it won’t be the last. But this time felt a little different. Intel’s mobile CPU offerings are more power efficient than ever, and Nvidia’s mobile line performs very similarly to the...
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Keep your drone, camera gear, and other equipment safe with a Pelican Storm Case

Why it matters to you This rugged case will keep your drone, camera, or other fragile electronic equipment safe when traveling in remote places. Need to keep your fragile electronic equipment safe and well-protected no matter where you go? If so, then the new Pelican Storm Case was built with your needs in mind. This cargo box is designed to safely and securely carry drones, camera gear, scientific research equipment, and other delicate ite...
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The best computer monitor you can buy

Over the past few years we’ve seen a wide variety of niche-market monitors hit store shelves, but prohibitively high prices and sub-par performance have really limited their appeal to a wider audience. Who wants a 4K monitor if it’s just two panels stuck together, and can’t run faster than 30Hz? Luckily, 2016 has changed all of that. This year we have seen the monitor market really come into its own. Previously exotic solutions like curved ...
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Don’t fly your drone within 35 miles of Sunday’s Super Bowl, FAA warns

Why it matters to you Fly your drone within 35 miles of Houston's NRG Stadium on Sunday and you'll probably end up losing your bird, missing the game, and paying a fine. The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) isn’t messing about when it comes to drone flights at the Sunday’s Super Bowl. Not only is it banning flights over Houston’s NRG Stadium during the big game, it’s also warning drone owners to keep their fly machines grounded for up ...
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Hack your living room with Ikea’s open source furniture

Why it matters to you Ikea's new line of furniture breaks with tradition, leaving plenty of room for people to truly make it their own. Its superstore might be hours away but Ikea goods are all around you. If you don’t have a piece of its carefully crafted kitchenware or flat-pack furniture in your home, your neighbor probably does. The design is always Scandinavian minimalist: slick, clean, and practical, with little room for personalizati...
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Get more desktop real estate with AOC 27-inch frameless monitor (51% off)

Having a large display for your desktop PC is great, but staring at big, chunky bezels around the screen is not – particularly if you are running a multi-monitor setup. Wide bezels surrounding the display can be visually distracting and create a bulky, unattractive appearance. As desktop monitors have gotten larger and slimmer, however, models like the AOC 27-inch frameless monitor  are increasingly sporting superslim bezels tht cut down on...
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