Alan Buckingham

ZoomGo unveils its own media stick with extras

Streaming media sticks have become an in-thing these days, with big releases from major players like Amazon and Roku. They plug into an HDMI port on any TV and bring you all sorts of entertainment goodness. The one drawback is that they aren't exactly mobile.

Now one company aims to change that, giving you all of your media on the go and just in time for a big travel season.

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Spotty downtime hits Facebook Messenger worldwide

There are multiple ways for people to communicate these days. Pen and paper have largely gone the way of the pony express as the world graduated to the telephone and then moved on to text messages and, these days, WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger.

The electronic age has not necessarily alleviated problems but has simply led to new ones that can be even more frustrating.

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American Airlines computer glitch gives all pilots Christmas off

Christmas is quickly approaching and Santa is not the only one flying for the holiday. The yuletide season is one of the most popular travel times of the year. After all, as the song says There's No Place Like Home for the Holidays.

If you've planned your trip out and already booked your flight then you may not want to start packing just yet. There may be a small problem in that well thought-out itinerary, so alert mom and dad now.

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After a brief absence, CBS returns to DISH

For those who have cable or a satellite TV service, you may be used to the occasional channel, or a few of them, disappearing. This is most frequently due to contract disputes as large conglomerate networks attempt to prop up channels that aren't doing so well. It's usually worked out, though it can take some time.

That scenario recently played out between CBS and DISH. The former yanked its channel package off of the satellite provider's service in an effort to extort more money.

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Amazon knocks big discounts off Nest products for Black Friday, deals start now

Feeling cold, hot or insecure? There are many solutions provided by the Internet of Things, from lights, cameras, locks, thermostats and much more. You need to choose carefully though as not all work as claimed, and some have rather glaring security problems. But, if you're up for the challenge, then you can set up a fairly cohesive and secure system in your home.

One of the top purveyors of some of these products is Nest, part of Google/Alphabet. If you have been looking for a smart thermostat or security camera then this may be a good time to pull the trigger.

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CBS blocks its network from DISH subscribers

While many people opt for cable there are also a fair amount who go against that grain, subscribing to a satellite provider for various reasons -- maybe it's location, perhaps it's NFL Sunday Ticket. There are two major players in that market -- DirecTV and DISH.

All sorts of problems can interrupt service, both to an entire system, or just certain provided networks. One of the biggest reasons for providers and customers alike is contract disputes. That's something we see all too often. The mess is generally sorted out, but it sometimes drags out for too long.

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Verizon to offer discounted deal on FIOS for a limited time only

Internet, TV and phone have become, perhaps sadly, some of the most important services in our lives. The problem for many of us is getting the service we want as it's limited in most areas -- in fact, many people only have one choice thanks to monopolies by area.

If you live in a location which has Verizon then you have access to one of the faster connections in the United States and now you can get a better deal on the service, although it's for a limited time only.

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Flo announces its sophisticated new water leak sensor

Water seems an innocuous element; we bathe in it, swim in it, wash things with it, and drink it. We even use it to generate power. But water is not a friend to your home. It can cause damages that can run into a lot of money, and it's not just rain water that undermines your foundation, but leaks as well. If you've ever had a pipe burst then you know what it can do.

Today home automation company Flo Technologies announces its latest offering to help protect consumers. Flo is a comprehensive water monitoring and shut-off system that has some noticeable improvements over the technology we have been using.

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SmartThings introduces Lock Codes to help friends and family

Smart locks have become another popular product in the market commonly known as the Internet of Things, or IoT. It's designed to make a home safer, but also more accessible. It has its limitations though, and companies are constantly working to overcome those.

Now SmartThings has a solution which utilizes Lock Codes. These allow the user to create temporary codes for friends and family, which will give the owner more control of comings and goings from their abode, hopefully leading to more peace of mind.

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Wal-Mart commits to the new Tesla Semi

You certainly know Tesla, the car brand launched by Space X's Elon Musk. It's an electric car that has had its ups and downs in its relatively short life. Musk is always looking to the future, though, so each of his current major companies continues to innovate in an effort to stay ahead of the market.

This week the company announced its latest offering, simply called the Semi. The product -- as the name implies -- is an 18 wheeler which looks similar to those you see on roads every day, but perhaps a bit more sleek.

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Want a Logitech Harmony Hub? Right now it comes with an Amazon Echo Dot

If you haven't used a Harmony product and you have a home theater system then you may be missing out. The Logitech devices can control all manner of things from receivers, TVs, Blu-ray players, and so on, to many Internet of Things products in your home, such as light bulbs like LIFX and thermostats such as Nest.

If you have an Amazon Echo, better known as Alexa, then you can already do a bit of that, turning your recliner into a throne from which you can oversee your kingdom.

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Forever 21 becomes the latest retail chain to suffer a security breach

Over the past several years we have seen a multitude of security problems plague major retail stores around the world. Breaches have come in many forms and have frequently targeted credit card information, though in some cases personal data has been part of the haul.

Now we find ourselves looking at yet another incident. Retail chain Forever 21, which is wildly popular among young people in the United States -- you can barely find a mall that doesn't have one -- has officially announced that its systems were compromised.

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Ecobee brings voice control to its thermostat through Google Assistant

While the Internet of Things, or IoT, has been around for several years, voice control is a more recent development. It is convenient for performing all sorts of actions, such as switching lights off and on, changing the settings on a thermostat, and countless other things that you may never have thought of.

Of all the IoT devices on the market, the thermostat is one of the most popular and there are several competing brands on the market.

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Pandora for Sonos gets a major boost to blast your favorite music

You are almost certainly familiar with Pandora, the popular music app that allows you to build stations based upon your favorite artists or songs. It's available in both free and paid versions, and you can choose which one to go for based on your tolerance for commercials.

You may, however, be less familiar with Sonos. For those who don't know, it is a whole house music system that allows you to connect multiple speakers, each of which can be individually controlled -- you can have them all synced to play the same thing, or different songs in different rooms.

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The Lord of the Rings -- Amazon plans to take you back to Middle Earth

Did you read the classic JRR Tolkien books? Perhaps you saw the award-winning series of movies that did a phenomenal job of portraying The Lord of the Rings story. There are, of course, some things left out for brevity's sake -- it's hard to put that many words on the big screen.

For everyone who reminisces about the books and/or the films there will soon be a way to get transported back to that magical land of elves, dwarves, wizards, orcs and other creatures that reside in a certain part of our psyche.

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