Network and computer essentials for a smart home

by Blogger on ‎01-29-2015 11:23 AM - last edited on ‎01-29-2015 11:45 AM by Editor in Chief

preview.jpgSmart thermostats, smoke detectors, door locks and appliances have gone mainstream and are finding their way into more homes than ever. What sometimes gets lost in the list of cool things those smart devices can do is that they are connected. Without an Internet connection, most of them fizzle. Poor Wi-Fi means a poor user experience and for many people, their wireless router is the weak link in the smart equation. In this post, I’ll review the network and computer essentials for a smart home that lives up to the billing.

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How to save money on your grocery bill like a pro

by Blogger ‎01-28-2015 10:06 PM - edited ‎01-28-2015 10:07 PM

grocery-bill-like-a-pro.jpgI’m one of the few people I know who enjoys grocery shopping. For me, it’s a challenge finding new and interesting products, getting the best price on those things I buy all the time, and saving money at the checkout. And because groceries make up a sizable chunk of my monthly spending budget, I like to save money on them as often as I can. Read on and I’ll share some tips that will have you saving on your grocery bill like a pro.

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Control your home with your Misfit Flash

by Blogger ‎01-27-2015 02:22 PM - edited ‎01-27-2015 02:23 PM

misfit-flash.jpgThe Misfit Flash is now poised to be even more than your fitness companion – an announcement from Misfit HQ today has taken the Misfit Flash out of the realm of simple and effective fitness tracker and placed it squarely into the category of smarthome accessory, because now you’ll now be able to use the Smart button face on the Misfit Flash to interact with some of your favourite apps and smart hardware.

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Super Easy Super Bowl Appies & Dips

by Blogger on ‎01-27-2015 09:58 AM - last edited on ‎01-27-2015 01:42 PM by Blogger

Superbowl.jpgThis Sunday, the Seattle Seahawks will be taking on the New England Patriots in Super Bowl XLIX in what I’m hoping will be an epic battle. Will Wilson step up to the task and avoid throwing four interceptions to reclaim Super Bowl glory for the second year in a row? Will Brady look ridiculously handsome as always? Whether you’re a football fan or not, the Super Bowl is always a good time. And whether you’re planning on hosting a small gathering for four, or are attending the party of the year, no Super Bowl is complete without an adequate amount of food. So here are some easy and delicious appies and dips that will be a hit, no matter what the outcome of the game.

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Preview.jpgThere will come a time when a new PC is in your future. Maybe it’s your first, or maybe you’re moving on from an older computer that just didn’t make sense to upgrade. Making the decision to buy a new PC is one thing, but picking the right one? That’s a lot tougher, especially when you begin to wade through all the specs and promotional material. Don’t make your choice based on who has the best marketing department. I’ll help you to choose your next PC like a pro, so you end up with a computer you’re happy with.

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Samsung-TV.jpgWhen it comes to creating a home theatre room, there are really no set rules. What might work for one person, one space, and one budget, may not work for you, your space, or your budget, and that’s ok. A home theatre doesn’t need to be created in a 1,000 square foot dedicated space. It can be created in your basement, living room, or even a dorm room. All you need are a few key components to get the most immersive viewing experience possible.

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surround 3.jpgBuying a fancy surround audio system doesn’t mean anything if it’s not set up correctly!

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How To Use Flash Like A Pro

by Blogger ‎01-26-2015 04:14 PM - edited ‎01-26-2015 04:22 PM

Untitled.jpgFlash can be a pretty unflattering style of lighting, and yet there are pros who use it successfully all the time. Today we're going to look at some of the different ways you can use flash to make amazing photographs.

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[FINAL]RZGC_TwitterContest_twitter1_880x440_EN.JPGReward Zone is Best Buy’s very popular loyalty points program. Earn points with every purchase, and then convert those points in to reward certificates that can be applied to future purchases.  The Reward Zone Gamers Club has additional benefits like exclusive offers and contests: this is one of those. Gamers Club members who also follow BBYC_GamersClub on Twitter will be eligible to win great prizes once we exceed 10,000 followers, which should be this week.  Join now and help us “level up” to 10,000 followers and you could be entered in a draw to win some awesome prizes. Read on for more details:

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NAMM 2015 Close-out

by Blogger on ‎01-25-2015 03:30 PM - last edited on ‎01-26-2015 11:52 AM by Editor in Chief

NAMMAnother NAMM show has come to a close and while all the exhibitors contemplate packing up their booths, I'm reflecting on all that I've seen over the past few days. There weren't any show-stopping standout announcements this year, but there was a lot to see!

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Gear Ogling

by Blogger on ‎01-25-2015 01:41 PM - last edited on ‎01-26-2015 11:58 AM by Editor in Chief

API DeskLike most of you in the home and project studio game, I like to read the trade magazines and gear review sites frequently. I'm a firm believer in the "it's-not-about-the-gear" mantra, but hey, if money weren't an object...

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How to boost performance on an old PC or laptop like a pro

by Blogger ‎01-25-2015 12:10 PM - edited ‎01-25-2015 12:11 PM

Preview.jpgMany of us have an older PC or laptop kicking around that simply isn’t cutting it. The easy solution is to buy a new one. But there’s a cost to doing that and it isn’t always necessary. A relatively small investment in parts, software and labour can often make an old computer run like new. It may not be quite so fast as the current crop of PCs, but you can make it zippy enough that using it is enjoyable again. And if you still have an eye on an upgrade to a new model, you’ll have a nice machine to pass down to someone else. Here’s how to boost performance on an old PC or laptop like a pro.

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Akai Advance 49 Controller

by Blogger on ‎01-25-2015 12:00 PM - last edited on ‎01-26-2015 12:03 PM by Editor in Chief

Akai Advance 49Akai terms their Advance line of controllers as "unprecedented" plug-in control. The 49-note version that I played with came pretty close to the mark.  I can see its potential as a studio and live situation controller that, once you adjust your workflow, will help you organize, recall and control all of your software synths and effects.

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BBY_LoopIn_Giveaway.jpgBest Buy has recently expanded its awesome health and fitness products selection. We organized a scavenger hunt on Instagram so that you can win some of these great products. Read on for all the details

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Behringer U-Phoria USB Audio Interfaces

by Blogger on ‎01-25-2015 11:30 AM - last edited on ‎01-26-2015 03:51 PM by Editor in Chief

Behringer U-PhoriaIt's always been a mystery how Behringer comes out with products that pack so many features but don't break the bank.

 

The new U-Phoria line of audio interfaces does just that. With world-class pre-amps from MIDAS, these seem to be a no-brainer.

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KORG Kaossilator 2 Dynamic Phrase Synthesizer

by Blogger on ‎01-25-2015 11:15 AM - last edited on ‎01-26-2015 04:31 PM by Editor in Chief

Korg Kaossilator 2Don't be intimidated by the long, complicated name of this product, it should just be called "fun". The Korg Kaoss line of X-Y instruments and controllers has been around for over a decade and they've all been noteworthy tools in electronic music production. This is the smallest version I've seen and it has a lot going for it.

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Casio Previa PX-760 Digital Piano

by Blogger on ‎01-25-2015 10:21 AM - last edited on ‎01-26-2015 04:05 PM by Editor in Chief

Casio PX-760In the crowded market of digital pianos, it's hard to stand out. The Casio PX-760 seems to accomplish just that feat with a feature-rich package that impresses but at the same time, doesn't intimidate.

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NAMM Day 3 Wrap Up

by Blogger on ‎01-24-2015 11:56 PM - last edited on ‎01-26-2015 04:36 PM by Editor in Chief

Saturday CrowdSaturday is always the busiest day (and night) at NAMM - as you can see by the crowd waiting to get in. The weekend brings out a lot of local people who couldn't make it the last two days and/or folks looking to spot artists roaming the floors. We didn't have any specific appointments to hit today, so I took the opportunity to just walk around and see what I could find.

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NAMM Artist Sightings - Day 3

by Blogger on ‎01-24-2015 06:00 PM - last edited on ‎01-26-2015 04:41 PM by Editor in Chief

CamerasSaturday was a-buzz with artist endorsement and demonstrations. That came with the obvious lines and crowds huddled around the booths to the displeasure of convention centre security. NAMM sometimes becomes a game of "Do I know him/her?".

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Weighted Keys or Non-Weighted Keys?

by Blogger on ‎01-24-2015 05:34 PM - last edited on ‎01-26-2015 04:46 PM by Editor in Chief

Playing KeysIt's not actually a black-and-white question. There are many different variations of keyboard action and it gets down to a personal preference question.

 

Being armed with what to expect is going to get you a good way down the road to a decision.

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Zildjian Gen16 Accoustic / Electric Cymbal System

by Blogger on ‎01-24-2015 04:40 PM - last edited on ‎01-26-2015 04:48 PM by Editor in Chief

Zildjian Gen 16It wasn't really until today that I saw something that made me literally stop and backup. 

 

Zildjian is famous for its cymbals and has an artist endorsement list that goes on forever. These cymbals not only look different, but the display also encouraged you to listen to them through headphones.

 

I just had to see what this was all about.

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Casio XW-J1

by Blogger on ‎01-24-2015 02:28 PM - last edited on ‎01-26-2015 04:49 PM by Editor in Chief

Casio XW-J1The XW-J1 DJ Controller for your iPhone, iPod touch or iPad is ideally suited to mixing music and videos. The controller is equipped with the latest functions and a number of effects, so even beginners can use it intuitively for successful performances.

 

As the controller is compatible with iOS, Mac and Windows, the product offers functions that are coordinated with the popular djay and vjay app from Algoriddim and Deckadance from Image-Line.

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Shure USB and iOS Microphones

by Blogger on ‎01-24-2015 11:00 AM - last edited on ‎01-26-2015 04:53 PM by Editor in Chief

Shure USB and iOS micsShure has introduced a line of products for the portable or desktop recordist who doesn't want to deal with lots of gear with bells and whistles. The new MOTIV line microphone solutions aren't just re-issues of existing products, they've designed new products that have a cool retro feel and a feature-set that is just right.

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Yamaha AG Mixers

by Blogger on ‎01-24-2015 10:15 AM - last edited on ‎01-26-2015 05:05 PM by Editor in Chief

Yamaha AG06Yamaha introduces a new category of mixers with their AG line. The AG03 and AG06 are hybrid mixing consoles and USB audio interfaces for web/podcasting, gaming audio, and music production. This new approach to mixers eliminates the need for software by putting all the control at your fingertips. 

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IK Multimedia and Android

by Blogger on ‎01-24-2015 09:40 AM - last edited on ‎01-26-2015 05:04 PM by Editor in Chief

iRig Mic StuiodThe one stand-out customer request that IK Multimedia has had to wrestle with over the past few years is releasing the fantastic products that are enjoyed on iOS devices for Android devices. This year, they've been able to deliver upon that request!

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saintsRowIV-GatOutOfHell.JPGIf it's content you're looking for, The Saints, Violition, and Deep Silver, have you covered. Brought up to the big leagues with the standard up-rez, you don't go to Steelport for the beautiful scenery, you go for the endless chaos and good times. To help get you through the cold months, it comes pre-packaged with more DLC than you can imagine, including stand-alone adventure Gat out of hell. Get Re-elected with Saints Row IV: Re-elected.

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NAMM Artist Sightings - Day 2

by Blogger on ‎01-24-2015 07:39 AM - last edited on ‎01-26-2015 05:00 PM by Editor in Chief

jordan.jpgAs with any NAMM, there are artist endorsements and demonstrations galore. Just look for a crowd around a booth and there's probably somebody you know sitting there talking or playing an instrument. Saturday (today) is usually when they come out in force, but yesterday proved to be fruitful.

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NAMM Day 2 Wrap Up

by Blogger on ‎01-24-2015 01:26 AM - last edited on ‎01-26-2015 04:57 PM by Editor in Chief

NAMM CrowdsToday was busy! Even the exhibitors on the floor thought it was busy. The weather was fantastic (although I only caught a glimpse of it on the walk to the Annaheim Convention Centre), there were some artists spotted and some cool new gear discovered by yours truly.

 

 

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NAMM Day 1 Wrap Up

by Blogger on ‎01-24-2015 12:25 AM - last edited on ‎01-26-2015 11:48 AM by Editor in Chief

roland-drum-kit.jpgEven though I've been here before, NAMM is exciting, overwhelming, thrilling and exhausting. The first day was a hit-the-ground-running experience even though my brain and gear-geek self were asking my body and schedule to slow down. My francophone co-hort (Marc-Andre) and I caught up on each others' past year, took a spin through the exhibit floor, saw a lot of new and familiar faces and, most importantly, took lots of photos, videos and notes on lots of interesting things!

 

 

 

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Slow-Cooker-Pot-Roast-3075.jpgOne of the reasons why I struggle with bad food choices is because I always wait until the last minute to start cooking, and then I’m completely starving before I finally get to eat. But I’ve found the solution to this issue, and it’s all thanks to my slow cooker.

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