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For most people today, the cellphone has long since become a central component of their lives. Belated, reluctant cellphone user A. D. Coleman finally gets with the program, starting with a phone and service plan he obtained through the government's nationwide project, misleadingly known as the infamous "Obamaphone." With the assistance of Presidents Ronald Reagan and George W. Bush, and Assurance Wireless, a division of Virgin Mobile, A.D. Coleman explores this noble concept – free cell phones for folks in need. To learn more of his adventures in cellular communictions read his full article!

A.D. Coleman, Originally Posted 7/31/13 - Updated 10/16/13

The invention of beer (and therefore, bread, circa 5000 BCE) has been said to be responsible for humanity's ability to develop technology and build civilization - who knew? Even our nation's founding fathers were avid brewers. Modern homebrewers can now take advantage of digital controls, apps and software that allow them to apply modern technology to an ancient craft. Read on to learn about our recent visit to the 35th Annual American Homebrewers Association national conference held in Philadelphia.

Nancy Burlan and Harris Fogel, Posted 7/5/2013

In this review we look at the Magellan RoadMate 5265T-LMB GPS and see what Magellan has packed into the new unit. With red light camera notice, driver alerts, and landmark guidance plus a polished new GUI, it is a clear updating of their classic RoadMate line. The GPS also signals an important change – native Macintosh compatibility. Read our review to find our thoughts on the new unit!

Harris Fogel and Nancy Burlan, posted 7/2/2013

Tablets are great devices, but many of us still find it vexing to use them for serious typing or entering of text and data. What else explains the multitudes of keyboards and cases available for them? We have tested keyboards in the past, but the approach taken by a small startup in creating the Brydge+ keyboard for the iPad is unique. It claims to bridge the gap between an iPad and an Apple MacBook Air. How does it deliver on its promise? Read on for our full review!

Harris Fogel and Nancy Burlan, posted 6/27/13, updated 5/16/2014

For the past year, Samsung’s wildly popular Galaxy series has dominated the Android market, and it finally makes its way to Virgin Mobile with the Samsung Galaxy Victory™ 4G LTE Android Prepaid Cell Phone. But does it hold up to the competition? Read our review to find out!

Thomas Fogel, with additional reporting by Nancy Burlan, Posted 6/14/13


Audio quality matters. When using your computer for audio and/or video chat and conferencing it is crucial that your voice comes through clearly and background noise is kept to a minimum. For years we at MER have used and reviewed Blue Microphones, one of the best-known manufacturers of quality microphones, from the Snowball to the Yeti. The Tiki is one of their latest products. To learn how well the Tiki works, our crack investigative team takes a look and a listen, and spends time checking it out.

A. D. Coleman, with additional reporting by Harris Fogel, Posted 6/6/13

Here's a hard truth: Your computer's OS can fail at any moment. Any backup strategy should include a bootable copy of your internal drive on an external disk or drive, complete with such salvage tools as Carbon Copy Cloner and Disk Warrior. A. D. Coleman narrates the steps by which those apps, and a Seagate FreeAgent GoFlex Pro portable drive, helped in an emergency.

A. D. Coleman, Posted 6/1/13

In this review we look at the microStreamer, the successor to HRT's excellent HeadStreamer external Digital to Analog (DAC) Converter and see what's different in the new unit. With a new industrial design, new components, and a line-level output, the microStreamer ups the ante in this suddenly populated product space. Curious if this still-affordable DAC/Headphone Amp will deliver even better audio? Read our review to find out!

Harris Fogel, with additional reporting by Nancy Burlan, posted 5/28/2013

At the end of the night after a Digital Experience event for the press we finally had a chance to stop by and chat with the nice folks from Dropcam, manufacturers of a palm-sized wireless webcam that promised a quick no-fuss, no-muss setup and installation. They promised we'd be streaming video wirelessly in a few minutes. Wondering if this affordable webcam actually delivered on that promise? Could it really be possible to have a 24/7 live feed of your cat sleeping or your dog barking in a just a couple of minutes? Read our review to find out!

Harris Fogel, with additional reporting by Nancy Burlan, posted 5/20/2013

In this review we look at the NEC 23” NEC MultiSync P232W LCD LED Backlit Display. NEC has a long tradition of leadership in the display industry, and this affordable new display is no exception. With an IPS panel, 1000:1 contrast ratio, and a unique integrated ambient light sensor, could this be a display for your digital imaging workflow? Read our review to find our thoughts on the new unit.

Harris Fogel and Nancy Burlan, posted 4/16/2013