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In the world of consumer technology you can always buy something new. Want to know a secret? Many upgrades are not worth your money and time.
Is this an 8K TV? No need until more supported content appears. Expensive HDMI cables? The gold plating looks beautiful, but the cheap ones do the same job.
But there are outstanding technologies that you will really enjoy and appreciate. Here are ten things I use all the time and you will too.
Keep tea or coffee hot all day
There’s nothing better than being annoyed when you go back to your morning drink – tea in my case – and realize it’s cold. I finally pulled the trigger Smart mug Ember. I know it’s expensive, but listen to me. My tea stays hot even when I forget about it for an hour.
Select the desired temperature from 120 to 145 degrees (I like the default 135) and your drink will stay hot for up to 80 minutes on a single charge. It’s smart enough to turn off when empty or if you haven’t touched the mug in two hours.
Looking for a more affordable option? Here’s a simple preheated mug that you can get for about $ 12.
Video recorder for cord cuts
You’ve joined the streaming revolution, but how can you record your shows without your cable DVR? Buy yourself. There are many options and it all comes down to how much storage space you want.
Amazon Fire Recast is a reliable option. This model can record up to two shows simultaneously and stores up to 75 hours of programs in HD.
If you are a TV and a sports fan, there is a more powerful option. Record up to four shows at once and store up to 150 hours of HD. Pair it with an Alexa-enabled device and you can also control your recordings with your voice.
Compressed air that never ends
Compressed air perfectly helps to remove dust and dirt from all the little gaps in your gadgets. The problem? It’s expensive – not to mention how annoying it is when you’re done halfway cleaning your dirty keyboard.
Instead, try a compressed air electric anther. These things are very powerful and can explode garbage just like canned air. It blows air up to 67.5 miles per hour. It also has a handy built-in light for those dark, hard-to-reach places.
Have someone else vacuum and wash
It took me a long time to sit on the foot of the robot vacuum cleaner. Now that I have it, I won’t be back. Sure, sometimes I have to rescue my vacuum cleaner from a hard place, but I can’t complain if it vacuums my floors all day.
There are many brands and price points. I went with iRobot Braava Jet M6. It vacuums and washes and you can even send it to clean up the spill with a voice command. It’s convenient. It reflects your home, so the more you use it, the smarter it becomes.
With a limited budget? This model is from Eufy gets great reviews.
Solar charger for phone and tablet
Poverbanks are great, but what if you lose energy? Or maybe you’re going on a hike without much access to electricity or even a long plane ride. Solar charging stations have come a long way.
That’s less than $ 50 and can charge your phone up to 10 times or your tablet three to four times.
The best way is to light candles
I don’t like dealing with lighter fluid, and buying lighters just to throw them away later is a waste. I upgraded to en an electric lighter that charges via USB.
These lighters use a strong electrical pulse to illuminate, making it easier to light the grill on a windy day. I love it. It charges via a micro USB cable in about an hour.
Make sure no one is listening
Do big technology companies listen to you? This is a difficult question. Smart speakers and smart helpers are constantly accidentally triggered. Here’s how to stop them altogether. Companies like Facebook don’t do that need listen because they collect so much of your data in other ways.
Don’t take risks if you are worried about someone being eavesdropped on if you are having a private conversation or a sensitive meeting. Many new devices (such as your phone or laptop) have microphones that are controlled by software, so there is no physical switch to mute the microphone.
Products like Mic-Lock microphone lock designed to circumvent this. Mic-Lock contains a semiconductor circuit that simulates a live microphone. This trick mutes your device’s microphone and blocks all sound.
When you are born in a car
You hurry, finally get to the car, and it does not start. Instead of waiting for help on the road, take matters into your own hands. This portable starter is a must for any driver. You may not need it so often, but it’s a lifesaver.
It can run engines up to V8. As a nice bonus it is also a powerful LED flashlight, power bank with USB data ports, compass, thermometer, reflector and alarm.
Robot bartender to make your favorite drink
Okay, you can’t technically need this one, but I had to turn it on. Premium machine for Bartesian cocktails like Keurig for cocktails.
Put the pod, select the desired strength and press the mix. In a few seconds you have the perfect Margarita, Cosmo or whatever you like.
Remove the fluff from the couch and clothes
It’s one of those “Hey, why didn’t anyone tell me it existed?” products. The fluff that accumulates on sofas, chairs and other furniture can make them look rat-like. The same goes for blankets, pillows, sweaters and other clothing prone to peeling.
Fabric razors give your fabric a new look by gently removing lint. I like this one from Philips. It runs on AA batteries and can buzz through sofa cushions in just a couple of minutes.
Bonus tip: 5 ways to clear photos before it’s too late
We all have far more photos than we know what to do with them. Between your physical albums and the digital images that litter your phones and computers, you probably have so many photos that it’s hard to organize them all. In this episode, I’m sharing clever strategies for cleaning up your huge collection of photos.
Listen to podcasts here or where you get podcasts. Just find my last name “Team”.
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Learn about all the latest technology on The Kim Commando Show, the largest weekend radio talk show in the country. Kim takes calls and gives advice on the modern digital lifestyle, from smartphones and tablets to hacking online privacy and data. To get her daily tips, free newsletters and more, visit her website at Komando.com.