Alan Buckingham

Hulu and Spotify partner on student discount bundle

students celebrating

It's the time of year that many college students dread, although some secretly love -- back to school. Yes, the university doors are open once again; textbooks are being loaded into backpacks and alarm clocks are being set for ungodly early hours.

When these students aren't studying or going to class, they need to relax. Many of them choose streaming music and video as a way to unwind. Unfortunately, college is quite expensive, so splurging on multiple services is often not possible. To cater to the needs of these cash-strapped students, Hulu and Spotify have joined forces on a new bundle deal that will save them a few dollars.

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How to disable a touchpad on a Chromebook

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Using a Chromebook and having problems? You aren't the only one. In the middle of typing, your cursor can jump to the center of another sentence or jumble all of your words. It's not only annoying, it can get confusing to fix. What you need to do is disable the touchpad.

On some Windows PCs there's a simple solution that involves pressing a key at the top. That isn't the case with Chrome OS. It can be done, it just takes a bit more work to accomplish the goal.

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The difference in lighting today

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It's been a long time since Thomas Edison gave us that little gift that slowly took candles from necessity to decoration. We've since come a long way, from gas lights through incandescent and on to compact fluorescent and now LED.

Each iteration has brought improvements in terms of such things as energy use and longevity. Today's, LED bulbs have a lifespan of roughly twenty years so changing them is almost unheard of. They are also full bright when you switch them on which is a big step up from the compact fluorescents we'd just grown used to. Those were almost like watching a sunrise.

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Alexa and the Wink home automation hub team up on colors 

Amazon Echo

Are you automating your abode? It's become the in-thing these days with more and more products hitting the market. While we can't stress enough about the insecurities that have been discovered, it still can be a fun experience, although sometimes a difficult one.

There's no end, seemingly, to the things you can do, but where many people start is with lights, which, in theory, are easy. Some aren't, so be warned.

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There's only a few days left to get your free Roku Premier with DirecTV NOW

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Looking for a good set-top box that can do most anything? There are several on the market, including Amazon Fire TV and even Android TV, but the top one for most folks out there is the tiny Roku. With its hundreds of apps and ability to play things like Hulu, Netflix and others it's a solid choice.

Models and prices vary, but the Roku Premier is currently being offered for free if you'd like to get in on the action.

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Getting a 'charge your watch' message from Android Wear? Here's a fix

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So you have an Android Wear watch, congratulations. Regardless of which brand you got you should have some nice hardware. It doesn't, however, come without a few nuances. One of those has recently surfaced and you may be experiencing it.

A message continuously pops up that says "charge your watch" -- even if it is fully charged. The good news is that there's a fix, but it's a bit of a hassle to go through.

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The pros and cons of smart light bulbs

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Home automation, "the internet of things" or IoT, has been a popular subject for the past couple of years. Unfortunately, that subject isn't always good -- some things have proven infinitely hackable, making it a bit on the worrisome side.

One of the first items to make the mainstream was light bulbs, and we've played around with a few and here is what we have found.

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What it's like to live with the new Sling TV cloud DVR

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The digital video recorder has been around for quite a while now and it revolutionized home media. The way we watch TV completely changed when we no longer had to pop in a blank tape and manually plan our recordings. Now we just set a show to record whenever it happens to be on.

Sling has been rolling out a cloud DVR over the past couple of months, and I've been using it since it arrived -- so, around two months or so. I'd like to give you a bit of the ups and downs from my experience.

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DirecTV NOW comes to Roku

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DirecTV is a popular satellite service for those who don't or can't get cable TV. Many people love it, especially because of its exclusive NFL Sunday Ticket experience.

Roku is also a bit of a darling to people. The tiny box continues to add new "channels" that enhance the functionality of the device.

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Wink joins up with Google Home for Assistant

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Like Amazon Echo, Google Home is a device that can answer your questions, play music, and control home automation tasks. It's a handy thing to have around if you don't mind Google listening to you on a regular basis.

Now the device is gaining a bit more operability. Thanks to its announced update of the Weave platform, it can now work with the Wink home automation hub.

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Sling TV gains a new Xbox One interface, now comes pre-loaded on Windows 10 devices

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You probably know Sling TV, one of the darlings for "cord cutters", and you certainly know Xbox, a favorite of gamers. The latter is also great for media with countless apps and HDMI pass-through. Microsoft hopes that is enough to make you remain on its platform and never change systems.

In conjunction with Microsoft, Sling is today introducing two big new updates -- a new interface on Xbox One, and Sling TV pre-loaded on Windows 10.

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Don't have cable and want to watch March Madness? Here's how

sling

Now that we've had Selection Sunday, people can begin filling out their brackets and putting their money where their mouths are. From number one ranked Villanova all the way back to number 68 Mt St. Mary, and all of the schools in between.

But what if you don't have cable or satellite to watch the action? You have some viewing options. Using a set-top box like Roku you need never miss a moment.

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Amazon announces new pilot season for Prime video

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If you happen to have an Amazon Prime account then you're aware of the benefits that come along with your annual fee. There's the free two-day shipping, the streaming video service, the music, and more.

Amazon is also producing its own original shows, several becoming big hits, like The Man in the High Castle and Transparent.

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Roku hit 1 billion streaming hours in December

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If you have one of the many modern and tiny streaming set-top boxes then chances are it may be a Roku. There are others on the market from Amazon, Google and Apple and plenty that have failed. Roku got in early and gained traction.

So much traction, in fact, that it has been showing some pretty serious numbers regarding how it is doing in the market.

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Babbel free six months ends soon

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Been looking to learn a foreign language? Depending on your skills for such things it can be easy or difficult – we're all different. Some people seem to pick them up like a magnet and others struggle. But these days it's easier to at least try. No more classes or books, you can do it right online.

Babbel is one of many online services willing to help you and it has a number of languages available to choose from so you can learn to be bi-lingual.

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