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Like most baby boomers and Gen X-ers, we grew up in a home with a wall-mounted thermostat that had four setting choices: on or off, heat or cool. It had a little dial that hid a mercury-filled glass tube on a bi-metallic temperature-calibrated metal spring. There was no formal timer function other than a parent reminding us that money doesn't grow on trees, so turn down the heat and put on a sweater. Now, Honeywell brings us a new kind of thermostat that improves upon digital efficiency, and then some. The Honeywell Wi-Fi Smart Thermostat – RTH9580 allows full internet connectivity, the ability to create detailed personalized schedules, and more. Read on to see our experiences with HVAC and the internet using the Honeywell Total Comfort Connect app.

Harris Fogel and Nancy Burlan, Posted 12/1/2013

Oppo has been garnering glowing reviews across the globe for its line of Blu-Ray players, which we have enthusiastically reviewed. Each iteration of hardware from Oppo doesn't simply introduce radical new features rather each one offers refinements that enhance previous models. The BDP-103 and BDP-105 Universal Blu-ray Disc Players up the ante with revisions to every subsystem, and we wondered how the new models measured up. The verdict is that both models have indeed surpassed our expectations, so read on for our full review to find out how the new models update the Oppo product matrix and which one is right for you.

Harris Fogel, Posted 12/1/2013

The annual International Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas always offers a wonder of technological invention and surprise. Sometimes the surprises aren't big or flashy, or have a large marketing campaign or a sports star behind them. Sometimes they are simple, small, why-didn't-think-of-it ideas that can really make a difference. The Luci solar-powered inflatable light source is one of those rarities. First seen at the ShowStoppers press event during CES in January, the Luci lit up the room – pun intended! To find out the idea behind this novel invention, read on. And for under $15 you can donate one to help out folks in need around the world.

Harris Fogel, Posted 11/29/2013


The Seagate Central shared storage device is a Network Attached Storage device (or NAS for short) which is essentially a hard drive attached to your network. NAS devices have been around for quite some time, and Seagate created some of the earliest successful consumer products with its GoFlex line. The Seagate Central is a NAS device built for home use whose goal is to assimilate and gather into one place data from a wide variety of devices, social media sites, smart phones, and tablets, along with the ability to share both locally and globally. Read on to see how the Seagate Central worked for us.

Harris Fogel, with additional reporting by Nancy Burlan, posted 11/13/13

Most of us have no problem creating and saving data. Movies, music, word processing, images - you name it, and we probably have it. The problem is how to keep all that data organized, how to find it when we need it, and how to share the data. Over the past few years we have seen a steady increase in network attached storage (NAS) with Seagate having a lot of experience in this area. Their recently introduced Seagate Central and Wireless Plus storage solutions are their latest refinement of their vision of shared data. Read on to see how the Wireless Plus worked in practice.

Harris Fogel, with additional reporting by Frank Schramm, posted 11/13/13

Once again, the Virgin Mobile FreeFest day-long music festival, held at the Merriweather Post Pavilion near Baltimore, delivered great fun and good music – plus opportunities to document the day with a Samsung S III 4G LTE phone. This event is more than just a free concert, it’s also a charity event that raises funds to help improve the lives of homeless youth. Read our review to learn how our day went and how the Samsung Galaxy S III 4G LTE cell phone performed!

Nancy Burlan & Harris Fogel, with additional reporting by Jonathan Fogel, posted 10/12/13

In this review we look at the ever-present need to charge and manage your accessories. For chargers, the Bracketron Twist & Charge USB Charger, Ventev’s R2200 Wallport Dual-USB charger, TYLT’s Y-Charge Dual USB Car Charger and Band Car Charger, and to hold it all, the STM Cable Wrap. What do we think of these cool gadgets? Read more in our review.

Harris Fogel & Nancy Burlan, Posted 10/2/13

Missing a cable for your iRig on your way to a gig? The iLine Mobile Music Cable Kit from IK Multimedia will patch you up. When the original iRig instrument interface system debuted, it was based on an analog output. The recently released iRig HD addresses this issue by moving toward a digital input into your iOS device for better sound and lower noise. Read more about these new tools for the musician in your life in our review.

Harris Fogel & Nancy Burlan, with additional reporting by Thomas Fogel, Posted 10/2/13

A very interesting thing is happening in fall 2013 - three out of four of the most popular operating systems in the US market are getting significant revisions. John Mulhern III analyzes iOS 7, OS X 10.9 Mavericks, and Windows 8.1 and takes a look at what this means as many new devices debuting in this four month window that ends with CES 2014 will rely on these three new operating systems.

John Mulhern III, Posted 8/18/13

Sony's Cyber-shot DSC-RX100 occupies the increasingly tenous midrange between full-featured digital SLRs and all those smartphone cameras. John Mulhern III takes a look at the new model from an SLR owner's perspective at what the RX100 brings to the market in 2013.

John Mulhern III, Posted 8/11/13