Alan Buckingham

Wink releases version 2 of its hub, automate your home now

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A while back Wink released its first hub and we put it to the test. After a few minor hiccups, everything worked fine and provided great integration with many products including voice control through Amazon Alexa, which can then control lights, Nest thermostats and more.

Recently the company announced version two of the device and now Wink has officially made it available for purchase.

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Microsoft releases new Office Hub app for Windows 10 Creators Update for Insiders

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If you are using Office on an Insider Preview of the Windows 10 Creators Update you are getting some goods today as Microsoft quietly released a new app. The Office Hub can now be found in the Taskbar.

Before you get too excited, the app is currently pretty basic right now. It allows you to view your Office documents, open Office apps and get support. However, it is expected to be improved before the final release and there is some speculation about what those improvements could be. These include mobile apps to allow access to documents.

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Sonos brings a new color sub to your home

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Most people with a passing affinity for home media likely know the name Sonos. The company has become the go-to whole-house media system. It's a bit high-end, but those who buy in swear by the setup.

Perhaps just as important as the sound and overall capability to many people is the aesthetics. After all, if a device is sitting in your home in plain view then it's nice if it looks like it belongs and isn't some alien object.

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Evernote enables sign-in with Google

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Have to keep track of something like a to-do list, shopping list or other items? There are multiple apps that will handle this for you and sync across platforms, allowing your lists to go on the road with you. That ability is one of the keys to choosing a good note-taking app, but things such as easy sign-in are also important for most users.

You are, perhaps, used to seeing options that allow you to bypass entering a username and password and instead click a button that will log you in automatically.

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Google now alerts you to early voting for 2016 US election

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As the big (or dreaded) day of November 8th draws ever closer, many states have now opened early voting. The process is pretty simple, but we've seen long lines in some locations. It's an interesting approach, given that new stories and revelations hit the news cycle on an almost daily basis.

Not every state has early voting available, and it opens on various days depending on your location. So how do you find out when and where to head to the polls?

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TP-Link unveils new Wi-Fi bulbs with 16 million colors

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Smart lightbulbs have become an in-thing these days. Philips brought it to the mainstream with Hue, but we've reviewed others in the market such as LIFx. All do basically the same thing, working from a phone or tablet to turn on and off, or change colors. It mostly comes down to what the app can do and how easy is it to use?

Can the market handle one more? Of course. Competition is great for consumers, so the more that come to market the better for everyone. Which is good news for TP-Link which is jumping in with a new bulb that it hopes will light up your life.

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Have anxiety over the 2016 US election? Spotify will make you laugh or cry

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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.

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Looking for a case for the new Google Pixel? Incipio has some choices

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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.

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US Presidential debate launches latest Twitter meme

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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.

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Nest introduces Eco Temperatures to its learning thermostat

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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.

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Facebook Messenger gets data-saving mode in beta, test it now

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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.

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Vera Bradley is the latest retailer to fall victim to hackers, extent unknown

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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.

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HP announces refreshed line of Windows PCs for the holidays

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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.

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iHeartRadio 2.0 brings new features to Roku customers

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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.

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Hitachi 4K Ultra HD TV's powered by Roku hit the market

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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.

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