Alan Buckingham

Happy St Patrick's Day! can help identify your Irish roots

Are you part Irish? Do you know? I bit the bullet recently and had the DNA test done. There were no shocks, I’m of Irish, Scottish, English and Welsh descent. I knew this, but a bit more data always helps.

The test I used came from and was fairly simple. I recommend saving up your saliva though, you’ll be using a lot of it, and be sure to follow the instructions to a tee, you’ll need to.

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Has your Harmony remote stopped working? Let's fix it

The Logitech Harmony remote is one of my favorite devices. It can control home theater equipment, and some can control home automation items like Nest products, lights and more.

Sometimes though, the remote can experience funny problems, which can be annoying. Don’t let it scare you away, it’s generally not serious and it doesn’t happen very often. You can fix it, it's just a matter of troubleshooting. The most common problem tends to be that you accidentally screwed things up by hitting a wrong button, so that’s what we’re going to look to fix here.

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My favorite tech products of 2018

As another year starts, I wanted to look back on my favorite products of the previous 12 months. I’m not talking just 2018 products here, as it has to be said, some things I use most aren’t that new.

In the past I’ve been called everything in the comments. My favorites have been a Microsoft fanboy and Microsoft hater. I haven’t figured out how I could be both. The reality of what I use may surprise the people who have said those things.

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Find out where you came from with this Cyber Monday deal on Ancestry DNA

Forget Black Friday, Cyber Monday is now the biggest shopping day of the year. Amazon is shipping millions of packages per day and many other companies are offering deals, including some you may not expect.

One you may not have thought of concerns your family history. I’m not talking about sending you to cemeteries, archives and historical societies, although I recommend that if you really want to dig into things. We’re just talking the basics here, which is where in the world your family originated from.

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Cyber Monday deal: Get Hulu for less than a dollar per month!

Tomorrow is Cyber Monday, a modern addition to the holiday shopping season that originated from people returning to work after the long holiday weekend and, with access to a PC and fast internet, doing some shopping on the company’s time

The day has grown into a phenomenon and is expected to outperform Black Friday in 2018, with predictions ranging in the neighborhood of $7 billion in sales.

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Happy Thanksgiving! I'm thankful for cutting the cord

As Thanksgiving day gets under way in the US, it’s time for reflection on what it is we are most grateful for. If your list doesn’t begin with family and friends, I urge you to rethink your priorities. Though that doesn’t mean you can’t be grateful about other things as well, from accomplishments in life to even inanimate objects.

We also should not forget that today most of us celebrate in a warm home with an abundance of food to choose from and, for those interested, some good sports to watch. I was trying to think out of the box for a bit and one of the non-traditional things that immediately occurred to me was the 3.5 years I have spent without my old satellite TV service. Cutting the cord saved money and, in some ways, provided more options.

Continue reading may alter next year's Super Bowl halftime show

If you haven’t been marooned on a desert island for the past couple of years, you’ll be aware of the Colin Kaepernick saga. As a refresher, the quarterback was drafted by the San Francisco 49ers. He started for them as a rookie and had a good season, though he dropped off slightly in the following seasons. When his contract expired it was not renewed.

You can have your own views of why he is no longer in the NFL. It could be his play, though he’s more than qualified to, at least, get a second string job on many teams. However, most think it was his protests that did him in. When he chose to stay on the bench during the National Anthem it caused an outcry. People claimed he hated the country, hated the military and all sorts of more bizarre things. The fact was, he was protesting violence and, after talking to a military officer, he learned to get up from the bench and take a knee.

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TuneIn brings music to your commute using Waze

Regardless of whether you’re completely lost or getting your kicks on Route 66, music has always been a staple of driving. Thanks to more modern technologies, like GPS, getting lost is harder to do than it was in the days of our parents.

Also, in this current generation, music has become easier than turning a dial and trying to tune in whatever radio station happens to be in the area you're passing through. Now we have our phones, SiriusXM and other options.

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It’s not about cookies, but data, as the Girl Scouts gets hacked

It’s that time of year where we look for cookies outside of stores. The prices of those sold by Girl Scouts have gone up over the years, but we all continue to buy them. Regardless of whether you like Thin Mints, Samoas or any of the several other brands available, there’s something for you.

Right now, however, the Girl Scouts have more problems to worry about beyond their fundraising campaign. The Orange County, California branch of the organization has warned 2,800 members that their personal data could have been compromised. You can view the letter here.

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Multiple ways to recover lost tabs in Chrome

While Firefox, Opera and even Internet Explorer and Edge have their fans, many of us stick to Chrome as our primary browser. There are good reasons for that -- features like built in translations, autofill, and syncing across computers and other devices, all work really well.

One of the browser's biggest faults, however, is losing tabs. You’ve likely experienced this annoying problem. Let’s take a look at the easiest ways to get that missing site back in your browser.

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Ring unveils its 'next generation neighbor experience'

You've no doubt heard of Ring -- there’s near constant ads for it on TV these days, some featuring Shaquille O’Neal.

Ring became famous for its video doorbell that shows you who is outside, without you needing to open the door. The company has since expanded into video security cameras and full security systems, complete with camera, doorbell, sensors and all. Coverage runs you $10 per month, much cheaper than the big names that tend towards $30.

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Amazon brings Alexa to more of Europe

Ciao. Hola. There are many ways to say hello around the world, even in dead and nearly dead languages. If you own a smart speaker, there's a good chance you greet it by saying 'Alexa'.

Amazon's Echo products have been a huge success, bringing the retail giant's smart assistant to millions of homes around the world. Amazon isn't resting on its laurels though. As well as rolling out new versions of Echo Dot, Echo Plus, and Echo Show it has expanded the list of countries where you can buy them.

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Mugger tip: Here's what not to do

The world has a number of less-than-bright criminals, from those who become stuck in their exit route (think vent pipes and the like), to those who get caught through use of a stolen device. Facebook has even led to a few arrests of people who bragged or posted the video evidence online.

Although this story is courtesy of Facebook, one alleged criminal took an interesting approach to outing himself. While the whole situation is sad for the victim, the end is shocking.

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For those with serious charging needs, here comes the ChargeHub Powerstation 360

We all have lots of different devices that need charging on a regular basis, often at the same time, placing ever increasing demand on our plug sockets, and resulting in companies attempting to deliver different solutions to the growing problem.

Cheap power strips and USB hubs offer a solution of sorts, but if you're after something more advanced, there's the Chargehub Powerstation 360 Surge Protector Power Strip. Quite a mouthful, huh? It’s made by Limitless Innovations, an Illinois-based company.

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Roku resumes Mexico sales after copyright victory

It’s getting to be that time of the year where people look to the tropics for an upcoming vacation. While some seem born for the snow, many feel the same about warm sunshine. One excellent location is Mexico, and it has many vastly different areas to explore.

However, if you have something more permanent south of the border -- a beach bungalow you invested in, or a full-time residence -- then your entertainment options just got a little better.

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