While 2016 is the actual election year, it sort of feels as though it began soon after the previous inauguration back in January 2013. For many people, it hasn't been a fun ride, but there has certainly been some entertainment along the path to November 8th.
We're into the final fortnight of this whole circus and it's perhaps time to put it in perspective. What better way than with music? It has a way of defining lives -- songs invoke certain memories, and awaken past events.
Google recently released two new flagship Android phones -- the Pixel and Pixel XL.
Designed to be serious iPhone rivals, these handsets represent a large investment and one that any buyer would certainly wish to keep safe. To that end, Incipio is releasing a lineup of cases to keep your Pixel or Pixel XL protected.
The US has perhaps grown used to the political season, complete with its ugly mudslinging. The name-calling-laced tirades become something that many just tune out, sometimes in fear for their own sanity. 2016 has become an example of gutter-talk that will be held up for many years and it has fueled late night comedians like no previous campaign.
If nothing else, the debates alone have kept Saturday Night Live relevant, though one candidate no longer thinks a show he once hosted is very funny anymore and has even stated that it should be taken off the air.
Nest has become a popular choice for those getting their feet wet in the new world of home automation. A thermostat that thinks for you, learning your habits and adjusting the temperature in your home accordingly, sounds great. It's not always perfect, but it improves over time as it gathers more and more information.
Now the company is aiming to push this feature further, welcome news for those who have found the process a bit off with temperatures adjusting by themselves, sometimes at inopportune times.
Little more than a week ago, Hurricane Matthew rolled up the southeastern US coast, wreaking havoc from Florida to North Carolina, with the latter seemingly getting the smallest hit, though it turned out the worst in the long run. My cousin, located there, was without power for some 48 hours and was forced to place his phone in power-saving mode. This eliminated Messenger and all information we received from him afterwards came from texts.
SMS, it seems, is fine in that mode, but Messenger was not -- he claimed he could see that he had messages, but he couldn't read them.
2016 has been a long year for retailers, with a number of them being relieved of customer data by hackers looking mostly for credit card information. Wendys, Eddie Bauer, Hard Rock Hotel and Casino Las Vegas and others have all been forced to step forward in an effort to protect customers, though largely done after the fact.
Now the latest victim has been announced as retailer Vera Bradley reveals it too has suffered a serious breach of its payment processing system.
It seems like it was just yesterday we were putting up the decorations, and we've only just put away the bathing suits. Now it's time to think about going through the whole cycle again. We know some of the new tech that will be hitting the store shelves this forthcoming holiday season because some was announced way back in January at the Consumer Electronics Show.
On the other hand, some is only just being unveiled, hoping to capture the news cycle and be fresh in consumer minds as the wish lists begin to get written. One of those companies announcing new devices is HP, which is refreshing its lineup of Windows computers.
Roku has been in the news several times recently, releasing a new line of set-top boxes as well partnering up with more manufacturers of smart TVs, most recently Hitachi. But the platform is about more than just video. There's also the audio experience.
One of the hot music apps these days is iHeartRadio, which pulls in a plethora of stations and genres for even the most eclectic tastes out there. Now the service is improving its features with a line of new options.
HD inspired pretty much everyone to buy a new TV, but then the manufacturers faced a problem -- what next? They banked on 3D, but people balked, and the technology failed to capture interest with pretty much everyone.
As you may already know, Roku has jumped into the TV market now, pumped up by the possibilities for the future of the platform. The set-top box maker hasn't jumped into the business with its own OEM, but has licensed its software to power the latest big screens in your home. Now the latest model is hitting the market, this one rolling out from Hitachi, a big name brand in the electronics market.
It's probably no great secret that today's older generation has a flock of followers online that they largely do not want, who are trying to con them out of their money. Trying to take advantage of this generation is nothing new. In the past it was done door to door with scams such as "roofers" and "driveway repairmen".
Security company Kaspersky has done a study of internet users aged 55 and older and the results, while unsurprising, aren't particularly good.
Tonight at 9pm ET the two vice presidential candidates square off in their one and only debate. Unlike the top of the ticket, this pair doesn't get three tries at it. Mike Pence and Tim Kaine, perhaps the most two ordinary candidates in an extraordinary year, will get the chance to give their views and defend their tickets.
If you have cable or satellite then you should have no problem catching the action, depending on your package. But if you no longer have that option it doesn't mean you're out of luck. There are other ways to catch the big debate.
Up until now Amazon has had a free reign of the market for home assistants thanks to the success of Alexa. It was time to get some competition, which tends to make things better all around and few companies are more capable than Google.
That's exactly what the search giant is doing today. While rumored as the event to unveil the Pixel Phone, other things were also on tap for showing off, including a new Wi-Fi system and Home, Google's answer to Alexa.
As Google TV struggled, Roku and Amazon Fire TV were seemingly taking over the market. Google finally let its TV platform go, but announced it would be replaced with Android TV. The company also promised a third-party set-top player known as the Mi Box.
It has taken since June, but the much-anticipated Mi Box, announced at Google I/O, is finally hitting the market.
One of the fastest growing areas in home automation seems to be lighting. Every day new products come on the market and one of the most popular has been the Philips Hue, thanks to not only simple automation but also the ability to change colors. However, it is not the only one on the market with such a chameleon quality.
LIFX also produces bulbs that can set the color to your mood or taste. The LIFX Color 1000 is one of the latest models from the manufacturer and it will do all that other bulbs in this market are capable of.
If you have a Wink hub then it's easy to set up home automation across a number of different platforms. Throw in Alexa and do a little additional setup and you'll be able to control it all with voice commands.
In the past you've been able to use groups to control multiple bulbs -- simply name each bulb and then add them to a group which you also name.