10 Best New Gadgets for 2013

31 December, 2012 Life No comments
10 Best New Gadgets for 2013

As we fade out of 2012 and step up into 2013, we get to look forward to everything the new year will bring us: Prosperity, new chances, and tons of cool gadgets. As tech evolves, we’re granted new ways to work, rest, play, and even exercise. 

Here are 10 of the best new gadgets for 2013. 

Neural Impulse Actuator – Video games are still attempting to move away from the controller, and one of the latest attempts is the Neural Impulse Actuator. This headband streams your body’s biosignals directly into any PC game, negating the need for a computer or a mouse. That’s right: It is now possible to kill dragons with your mind. 

HD media router – If you live in a house that swears by tech, you’re going to need an HD media router sooner than later. It allows multiple people in a household to play games, make VOIP calls, watch streaming movies, and lots more without glitches or lags. 

TSir wristband charger – If you’re on the go a lot and you start to feel a little nervous when your phone drops to 40% battery power with no outlet in sight, you’re definitely going to want to consider getting the TSir wristband charger. It powers up almost every portable device that utilizes a USB connection, making it ideal for long trips and extended waits in a queue. 

USB hubs – These days, USB hubs are as important as electrical outlets. Guess what: That demand is only going to grow. If you haven’t done so already, use a USB hub to split up one USB connection into several and plug in as many accessories as you want. 

Wearable Video Cameras – Remember when you used to have to lug around a heavy camera to capture family memories? Not anymore. Wearable cameras like the GoPro HD Hero clip onto your person and leave your hands free. Said cameras are a particularly good option for extreme sports fiends looking to capture footage of their adventures. 

Xbox Next/720 – We don’t know what Microsoft aims to call its follow-up to the Xbox 360, but the “Xbox 720” or “Xbox Next” are popular guesses. The Xbox 360 is nearly seven years old, and we’ll almost certainly hear more about its successor in 2013—if we don’t get to buy it outright. We don’t know what it’ll be like, but given Microsoft’s success in the hardware market, it’s hard not to be excited. 

PlayStation 4 – Likewise, we don’t know what Sony has in mind for the PlayStation 4, but we can lay down bets that we’ll hear and/or see something in 2013. What features will the PlayStation 4 have? What lessons did Sony take away from the PlayStation 3’s slow start? 

Wii U – Unlike the “PlayStation 4” or the “Xbox 720,” the Wii U is a tangible thing that you can play with. With its unique tablet controller, creative MiiVerse community, and the strength of Nintendo’s franchises, it’s going to be fun to see the Wii U come into its own through 2013. 

Wireless Activity Tracker – If getting into shape is in the cards for 2013, you might want to invest in a wireless activity tracker. These devices keep tabs on your exercise regime, including distance, pace, and calories burned. Some models also alert you when you’ve reached your daily goal. 

Camelbak’s All-Clear Water Bottle – If you spend a lot of time outdoors, then you already know that public water fountains dish out some mysterious-tasting fare, and bottled water isn’t great for the environment. Consider Camelbak’s All-Clear Water Bottle, which makes tap water or natural water more potable within 60 seconds.

How to Move Your Tech and Home Theater Safely and Without Hassle

17 December, 2012 Life No comments
How to Move Your Tech and Home Theater Safely and Without Hassle

Oh, boy. Moving. Some people love pulling up their roots and starting anew in a strange new world. Others detest the act and need plenty of good reasons to shift themselves out of their comfortable groove. Love it or hate it, moving can prove to be a major source of stress for one reason in particular: the packing and moving of electronic devices. Though some tech is sturdier than we give it credit for, stuff gets jostled in transit and becomes scratched, broken, or (horrors!) lost. But if you take precautions, moving technology and networks can be done safely and easily. 

From talking to your provider to storing up those all-important monitor/television boxes, here are five tips to help you move your tech easily and without hassle. 

Deal with ISPs ahead of time – Sometimes it’s easy to forget how much our day-to-day lives rely on a sturdy Internet connection, but you’ll remember in a hurry if that Internet connection vanishes for days at a time. Before you move, make sure you tell your providers what they need to know at least two weeks before the actual move date (a month is ideal). Also, make sure service is turned off at the old homestead. 

Shut down everything – Turn everything utterly off before you move it. Seems like an obvious piece of advice, but with so many of our electronics running off batteries these days, sometimes we forget that “Hibernation Mode” is not the same as a full-fledged shutdown. You don’t know how long your gadgets are going to be in a box, so make sure they’ve been completely put to bed before you hit the road. 

Label cables – Here’s a guarantee: When the last box has been shoved into the living room and you’re ready to set up your computer in its new home, you’re not going to feel like digging through a ratty wad of cables in order to sort out what belongs to what. Make sure you label each cable before packing it away—you’ll save yourself a lot of hassle when you reach Point B. 

Backup data first, if possible – It’s never a bad idea to make regular backups of your most important files, but it’s especially important when you’re moving. For some unexplained reason, computers, etc, get temperamental when you move. The worst probably won’t happen, but if your data goes kaput, you’re definitely going to want a backup on hand. 

Store monitors, TVs in boxes – When you bought that new HDTV, you kept the box, right? Right? Ideally, easily-scratched electronics like TVs and monitors should be moved in their original packaging. If you disposed of your boxes because space is at a premium in your house (or if the cats claimed it as their personal fort), give yourself time to ask computer/electronics shops if they can spare any extras. Make sure you remember the exact measurements! 

For more tips on moving your electronics with as few tears as possible, visit 

How to Move Your Home Network and Media Center With Minimal Stress at CNet

How to Stream Music Around the Home

12 December, 2012 Life No comments
How to Stream Music Around the Home

In the past, sharing your music with the household meant turning up the living room stereo to 11—a gesture the neighbors didn’t always appreciate. In recent years, wireless digital technology has made it possible to pipe your tunes to any room, at any volume (11 is still an option, provided you’re willing to risk the neighbors’ wrath). 

Whether you’re engaged in work, chores, spring cleaning, or just want to feed some gentle music into a toddler’s bedroom as the day winds down, there are plenty of easy and relatively inexpensive ways to  stream music throughout your house. Here are five.   

AppleTVAppleTV is a handsome little box that lets you stream music (and other media, including video and pictures) from your iTunes account to household televisions. It’s easy to set up, it’s user-friendly, and you can rent or purchase digital movies when the mood strikes. AppleTV is compatible with Macs and PCs. 

Xbox 360/PlayStation 3 Video game consoles like the Xbox 360 and the PS3 have become major media hubs across the past few years. You can use both to wirelessly access media in other rooms of your house, though doing so with the Xbox 360 requires a wireless adaptor, sold separately (the latest model of the Xbox 360 has built-in Wi-Fi).   

Sonos Multi-Room SystemSonos’ Multi-Room System pretty much delivers what it promises. Sonos is easy to set up, and you can use it to stream one song through the house—or different songs to different rooms. Sonos’ music menus can even be controlled with your iPhone following the download of a free app. 

Rocketfish Wireless SpeakersRocketfish’s  speakers are an easy, cost-effective way to place your household music where you crave it the most. The speakers operate via a wireless transmitter, and plays music from almost any MP3 player. 

D-Link Media Lounge – The D-Link Media Lounge is a popular streaming option thanks to its affordability (you can typically find it for under $200 USD) and performance. The Media Lounge can stream music, video, and still pictures.    

For more tips on how to stream music throughout your house, read: 

How to Stream Audio and Digital in Your Home at DigitalTrends

Make Your House Rock from Any Room at PCWorld

How Can I Stream Music Around my House? at PopSci