All posts by Will B.

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A radar detector that is good for city driving

 

A radar detector is a must have gadget for your car. It not only saves you from speed tickets, but also provides you with a sense of comfort and relief when driving in the city. I spend approximately 3 to 4 hours in the city every day driving my car as my office is located at the heart of the city. Therefore, when I decided to buy a radar detector, I wanted one that is specifically designed for city driving.

Today, you can find good radar detectors at a price around $400. They have the option to switch to city mode so that you don’t get false alarms. When you switch the mode to city mode, the device will limit the sensitivity so that it does not generate a false alarm.

If you have a radar detector that is not up to the standard, when you change the mode to city, the sensitivity will become so low that it will not detect certain radar guns used by traffic police in the city. So, you will end up paying speed tickets even when you have a radar detector installed in your car.

When I went to the shop to buy a radar detector, the first thing I told the salesperson was that I need a model that would give optimum performance while I am in city. After checking various models, I selected the Beltronics GT-7. It is the most affordable radar detector you can get having extreme radar detecting capability.  

 

Beltronics GT-7 is a wonder gadget to have in your car. It can easily alert you about red-light cameras, speed traps and highway patrol. When you are in a city, you need to turn the mode to “Auto No X” to get the maximum benefit. It will give you only positive alerts and remove all false ones. It has got a clear digital display and smarter vocal alarms that make it one of the best in this price range.

If price is not a constraint for you, I would recommend you to go for Beltronics GT-7, the best city drive radar detector. It offers you excellent performance, a complete no-false alarm and world class protection against red-lights and speed traps. What more do you need when you are driving in high traffic city roads? At $350, it is the best radar detector you can buy for driving on the city roads. And Beltronics GT-7 works well on highways too; all you need to do is to change the mode to “Highway”.

Vacuum cleaners that work great for pet hair

 

Are you searching for a vacuum cleaner for your home? If yes, then do you have pets at home and you think that the new vacuum cleaner will help you to remove pet hair? Think again. A normal vacuum cleaner is able to remove dust particles from your floor easily, but will it succeed in removing your pet’s hair from the floor, carpet and corners?

I have seen many home makers struggling with their vacuum cleaner to remove pet hair from the floors and furniture. It is difficult to find a regular vacuum cleaner that is able to remove pet hair effectively. You need to understand whether a vacuum cleaner specifies the word pet in the model name.

Before you buy a vacuum cleaner that is good at removing pet hair, I suggest you should check the two varieties available- a full-fledged vacuum cleaner and a hand held vacuum cleaner.  A hand held vacuum cleaner is good if you have a small area to cover, but if your home is big, then, it is better to go with a full-fledged vacuum cleaner.

Hoover WindTunnel T-Series Pet UH30310 is a good option if you are ready to spend around $150. It has a cord length of 29 ft and does a very good job in removing dust particles as well as pet hair from your floor, carpets and corners.

But I can still find pet hair in places where a corded vacuum cleaner cannot reach. Therefore, I decided to go for a hand held vacuum cleaner that can clean pet hair as well as dust the floor even in the smallest hard-to-reach corners. A hand held vacuum cleaner offers more maneuverability and portability compared to a full-fledged vacuum cleaner. Even though the suction power is comparatively low in a hand held vacuum cleaner, it still removes the pet hair from carpets, sofas, and windows easily.

Weight is also a factor to consider before buying a vacuum cleaner for cleaning pet hair. If your vacuum cleaner is heavy, it becomes really difficult to carry it around. Bissell Pet Hair Eraser 1650A Vacuum Cleaner is a great option if you are looking for a hand held vacuum cleaner that sucks well and removes every pet hair from your house.

What I really liked about the Bissell Pet Hair Eraser 1650A is that it removes even the longest of pet hair easily without clogging. I have seen some of my friends struggle with their pet vacuum cleaner when the pet’s hair is long.

So, depending upon the size of your room/house, you should choose a vacuum cleaner specialized on removing pet hair. The two options given above in my opinion do a good job and have good customer rating.

 

Point and shoot cameras are very good right now

 

Many people these days prefer to use a Smartphone camera instead of a point and shoot camera. Even though there is a huge battle going on between point and shoot cameras and camcorders, there is no doubt in my mind that compared to a Smartphone’s camera, a point and shoot camera is a better and safer option.

Yes, it is right that many Smartphone companies are coming with excellent quality cameras for taking pictures, but if you look at the overall performance, I still believe a point and shoot camera can beat them all, even if it is by a narrow margin. Of course you have to be willing to pay a higher price for getting the best point and shoot camera for your needs.

Let’s look at some of the advantages of a point and shoot camera. A dedicated point and shoot camera offers better lens and controls as they are designed specifically for clicking clear pictures. The quality of the picture taken in a point and shoot camera looks good not only when you are viewing it on the camera screen, but also when you transfer it to your laptop, post it on a social network site or when you take a print of it. Camcorders and Smartphones are able to take quality stills, but when you transfer it to your laptop or take a print, it does not look great. The sharpness in the image will be missing.

Optical zoom is a feature that is very important when you are taking pictures. A good zoom lens is a must to have feature as it brings distant object closer. You cannot expect this feature in a Smartphone, even though there are some Smartphones that offer optical zoom now. But still, they are no match to the optical zoom option available in a good point and shoot camera.

Have you ever tried to capture a moving object with your Smartphone? How do the images look when you maximize it? In my experience, one of the advantages of the point and shoot camera is that it can take quality images of moving objects. In other words, the quality of the image of a football match taken using a point and shoot camera will be better compared to the image taken using a high end Smartphone.

Storage is a very important point to consider and that’s another area where a point and shoot camera scores. Most point and shoot cameras supports 8 GB to 64 GB memory card that is dedicated for storing images and videos.

If you are confused whether to buy a point and shoot camera, I will recommend you to buy one if you are going to use it on a regular basis. It is a good investment.

 

 

I’m so happy I bought a camcorder

I love filmmaking and was planning to shoot a short film produced by a friend. Even though we both loved DSLR, we were sure that we would use a good camcorder for shooting our first short film. Yes, it is true that the popularity of the camcorder has come down in the last couple of years. But, if you are planning to shoot films for hobby, it requires you to shoot moving objects.  You surely need a good quality camcorder for such endeavors.

When we decided to buy a camcorder for our first short film, many of our friends advised against it saying that the camcorder is not an in-thing. But the Spielberg in us knew exactly what we wanted. We turned a deaf ear to them and went ahead with our decision to buy a good camcorder.

High end camcorders have so many features and options to capture amazing and high quality videos that no DSLR or Smartphone can offer as of now. Don’t take me in the wrong sense. Yes, there are many DSLRs and Smartphones which record high quality videos, but the advantage of the camcorder is that it is specifically designed for video recording; hence it provides you with numerous options to let your dream come true in form of stunning videos.

 

Another advantage of the camcorder is that its capability to record clear audio is excellent when compared to DSLR and Smartphone. For recording a short film, the camera has to get high quality audio recording. Most camcorders have built in microphones and other features for recording good quality audios.

Autofocus is a very important feature to have in a camera for my hobby. The camcorder that we bought has very good autofocus capability and handles auto exposure easily.  It is difficult to find this feature in a DSLR or Smartphone.

Memory is another point to consider. Even though camcorders have less internal memory compared to DSLR and Smartphone, they support connecting hard drive and hence you can store big videos easily. It is very important to have enough storage space when you are recording HD videos.

Canon XA10, a high end camcorder for Youtube videos is used by professionals, offers everything you need in a great camcorder. We are really happy that we bought it even though it cost us fifty percent of our one month’s salary. If you are serious about quality recording and audio and want to shoot professionally looking videos, then we recommend you to go for a professional camcorder.

Why I don’t recommend convertible car seats

 

When my daughter was born I was unsure about what kind of things I would need for her. So, I made sure to spend minimum on the fancy baby items that are available in the market. I never wanted to get things just for the sake of purchasing for my baby and stuffing her room with all sort of gadgets.

Even after being so careful about needs of my daughter I ended up with many things that seem to be really useless. One of these is a convertible car seat gifted by one of my friends. I tried to use it many times while travelling. I always felt uncomfortable to place my daughter in this robust looking but uncomfortable car seat.

One thing I really dislike about it is that it is fixed. It has to be fixed in the car to use it and once fixed you cannot detach it at will. Its versatility ends in the car. I appreciate a baby basket that can be easily picked up and carried to any place.

When my daughter was three months old, she was really tiny in physique. She could not stay in the car seat as such, without help of some extra cushions. So, I had to buy a regular car seat to travel with her.

The most disappointing thing is the harness. It is same for a toddler as well as for a kid. The harness can be adjusted, but only to a certain extent. It is too loose for a tiny baby and too tight for an older kid. So, it was not of much help at any stage of my daughter’s childhood.

It is always in upright position, so it is not very comfortable for the babies. If you want them to lie down and sleep during a long drive, you will really be unhappy with the limit posed by the upright position.

Though it was a gift, but still I am pretty dissatisfied with the utility of this car seat. I don’t think that the huge price tag attached to the convertible car seat is justified considering its features.

Finally..

I have used other furniture and gadgets for my daughter like a crib and a stroller, but somehow I am not very content with the utility of a convertible car seat. You may have a difference of opinion but, I would always recommend a regular car seat than a convertible car seat. Still if you are looking to acquire a convertible car seat here a few resources I recommend:

a. Babycenter

b. Bestconvertiblecarseats2017.com

c. Consumer Reports

 

Advantages of sleeping on Gel Mattress

 

It is common knowledge that certain kinds of foam mattresses tend to trap heat within their layers. Since there is no way for heat to escape the system, it gets recirculated to the top making you feel stuffy and sweaty.

Fairly a new concept in the market, gel mattresses or gel infused mattresses are gaining ground in the mattress world.

Heat Regulation

The gel layer or gel bead infusion, unlike the mattress, if free flowing. It has the capacity to increase air flow and disperse heat radiated from the body and absorbed by the mattress. The flow of air is created by special open-cell-formulation technology. The heat taken in by the gel layer is dissipated as it circulates, keeping your body cool.

 

Interface pressure reduction

For those of us who like sleeping on our sides, the surface area in contact with the mattress is reduced. This is inversely proportional the pressure exerted on our body and our spine and causes pain and stiffness the next morning. The gel mattress is cushy and helps spread out the pressure evenly, giving you a more comfortable sleeping experience.

 

Motion Isolation

Sleep can be disturbed even if the mattress keeps cool but your spouse or partner changes positions too often. In spring mattresses with a continuous coil, motion and movement from one end of the mattress is easily transferred to the other end. With the gel topper or gel based technology, the motion is isolated and contained, so that you get a good night’s rest even though your partner is tossing around.

Gel mattresses come in a variety of models. Here are some of the common ones in the market.

Gel memory foam mattress

This mattress is first and foremost a memory foam mattress. The gel infusion could either be in the top comfort layer as well as a few layers beneath, or infused as gel beads throughout the mattress foam.

The greatest advantage of gel technology with memory foam is that you get the best of both worlds. Memory foam gives your body support and comfort, while the gel layers keep you cool and ventilated.

 

Gel Foam Mattress toppers

If you already have a memory foam mattress that’s fairly new and well within its replacement period, you could opt for a gel topper. This essentially gives you all the benefits of a normal gel memory foam mattress when combined with your existing one.

 

Source of the article

 

 

A few tips for using a flat iron safely

 

Safe use of any electrical devices is more essential than you think. This goes twice for a flat-iron, since you’re operating a gadget which generates heat as well as runs on electricity. Most flat-irons come with an auto-switch off for the heating paddles when the surfaces get too hot. But if you’re not careful while using it, you may end up getting a nasty burn or damage your hair beyond repair.

Flat-iron temperature settings

Flat-irons are meant to be hot. Hot enough to flatten your hair, and not melt metal! Some of the irons you get in the market today are extremely heavy duty and salon-professional. They’re meant to be used by trained stylists who clients’’ treat hair with heat-resistant products. Since these irons are available to everyone, it is important to know just how much heat your hair can withstand.

Hairs are unique for different people and vary in texture and thickness. Curly, coarse, and thick hair needs more heat than thin and wavy hair. It is advisable to do a small patch test on a bit of hair for heat tolerance.

 

Hair preparation

Most people ignore the part of preparing hair to be treated with a flat-iron. Conditioning one’s hair after shampooing and blow-drying to get hair dry, is mandatory if you want to achieve salon straight but smooth and glossy hair.

Applying any sort of heat to hair continuously, leaves hair devoid of natural moisture. Dry and frayed ironed hair may look straight, but lifeless and unhealthy. Coating your hair with heat resistive conditioners and lotions reduces much of the damage caused due to ironing and blow drying. Post straightening serums are also necessary, if you want the hair to remain looking straight after cooling.  Remember not to use too much of styling product.

Choosing the right flat-iron

Not all flat irons for short hair deliver the same type of styling that your hair requires. Knowing your hair texture will help you choose the best type of iron for you.

From ceramic and metal paddles, to curved surfaces or straight tongs, hair straighteners come in various styles and shapes. Choosing the right iron also depends on the type of styling you want to achieve.

 

Safe operation

At the end of the day, the flat-iron is an electrical machine and should be treated with the same care you take when you change a bulb, or when you plug in a socket. Do not operate your iron when you’re on a wet bathroom floor.

Do not leave your iron on fabric like your bed or pillow! Ensure that after each use, you leave the iron hanging far from anything combustible till it cools. Allow the iron to cool completely before stowing it away.

 

Features you should look for in a hair dryer

 

Hair dryer is a wise investment for both women and men who care about their hair. Hair dryer not only helps your hair to dry fast after a shower, but also lets you style your hair. Currently you can find many varieties of hair dryers in the market. Which is the best one for you? Read along to find the cue to get a good hair dryer.

When I went to buy a hair dryer for myself, I clearly knew what features I preferred it to have. Here are some features I checked for in my hair dryer.

What hair type do you have? Different hair types require different setting of heat for drying. Thick hair needs high range of heat for drying, whereas thin hair requires less amount of heat. For curling your hair, cool shoot feature in the hair dryer is preferable.

Noise-yes hair dryers do make noise if you purchase a low priced one. A professional hair dryer will make less noise as compared to a budget or low end hair dryer. So, before you decide what hair dryer you need, think about how much noise you can handle.

Most people prefer easy to use, lightweight hair dryers. If your hair is thin, then you won’t need to use the hair dryer for long. So, even if your new dryer is a bit heavy, it is fine. But, if your hair is thick, then it becomes really difficult to use a hair dryer that has weight for long duration. Therefore, weight and user friendliness are two features you need to consider when buying a hair dryer.

Dryer attachments are also an important feature to consider if you are someone planning to use the hair dryer for styling purpose. Diffusers and Concentrators are two important attachments you need when using a hair dryer for styling.

Once you are sure about the features that are given above, the next confusing part will be deciding whether to buy a ceramic or ionic technology hair dryer. There is also a third type called tourmaline hair dryer to add to your confusion. Ceramic hair dryers provides you with extra shine and protect your hair from being damaged, whereas ionic hair dryers work on the principle of negative ions. They take lesser time to dry your hair and hence are better for your hair. Tourmaline hair dryer intensifies the principle of negative ions and also provides your hair with extra shine.

So, next time when you go out to buy a hair dryer, think about the features discussed here, and I am sure you will be able to choose a good hair dryer the way I was able to do.

Also, if you want to buy a good model I suggest reading some online blow dryer reviews.

 

 

How to configure a new GPS for your car?

 

Have you just purchased a new GPS for your car? Do you need help in configuring the new GPS system? I did not have a GPS system in my car and was always looking out to buy one. Finally, last month, I purchased a brand new GPS system for my car. After buying, I decided to configure it myself as I wanted to learn how to do it on my own.

According to multiple GPS reviews, there are actually two kinds of GPS systems- one is battery powered which is easy to install whereas the other one is vehicle powered which is a bit difficult to configure. The first step is to insert your SIM card into the GPS device you just bought.

After inserting the SIM card into my GPS device, I switched on the GPS device and kept it in a secure place in my car. To avoid annoying signal problems, I made sure there are no other electronic devices close to the GPS device.

Now, for setting up GPS device to send and receive data, I went through the manual. I have read in many websites that it is better to follow the instructions given in the manual for configuring GPS. After setting up the GPS system, the next step is to install the software that is usually available with the GPS system in your laptop. You can also download the latest version by providing the unique GPS ID to install in your Smartphone.

One point to note here is that your laptop or computer should have a GPS modem for linking with the GPS system. Now, follow the instructions given in the instruction manual to manage the GPS system using your laptop or Smartphone.

If you are going for a vehicle powered GPS system, then there are some additional points to configure. There will be many wires present when you connect a GPS system that is vehicle powered. You need to ensure the wires are not in those areas where it can get pinched. Keep the GPS antenna in the windshield of the vehicle. Keep it as flat as possible to get the maximum signal. You should choose a power lead that can constantly supply a power of 12 volts. If the power goes beyond 9 volts, there are chances of your GPS system getting damaged.

I was able to successfully install GPS system by following the instructions given in the manual and keeping in mind the points mentioned above. I would recommend you to read the instructions in the manual once before you start installing the GPS system on your own.

 

 

2 cheap crib models that are worth your consideration

Having a baby comes with the giggles and the groans. It may seem like your little one needs her own bank account. All things with tag ‘for baby’ are expensive, due to the high quality and testing requirements, safety standards, child-safe material used etc. The most expensive purchase in your new nursery would most definitely be the crib.

If you don’t wish to make a large dent in your pocket for an item that you would probably use for only a few months, here are two affordable cribs we’re looking at, that are under 150$.

The Union 3-in-1 convertible crib:

This pocket friendly crib clocks in at 110$ and comes in four pastel colors. This model allows you to convert the crib into a daybed, a toddler bed, and a full bed. The crib is made of imported New Zealand Pine wood to give you a feeling of warmth. The crib, is elegant and minimalistic, perfect for a sleek little nursery!

For baby’s comfort, the crib provides four adjustable mattress levels as well. A point to note here would be, that the crib mattresses and crib converters are sold separately.

You may want to purchase ‘Safety 1st’ baby mattress for the crib at around 48$.

The crib weighs around 40 lbs and is 53.5 x 30.5 x 33.5 inches in dimension.

Its sturdy stature and easy assembly is a hit with many parents as well!

The Graco Hayden convertible crib:

For a slightly higher price of 143$, you get the Graco Hayden crib which offers 4-in-1 convertibility. This cherry wood crib is slightly more embellished and comes in fun colors like cherry and espresso and classic white. Just like in the Union, this crib also comes stand-alone and other accessories like crib mattresses or trundle drawers will have to be purchased separately. The Graco Hayden comes with fixed sides to provide support, durability and most importantly, child safety.

This model converts from crib to daybed to toddler bed and to a full-size headboard. It also offers three adjustable mattress support positions. Suitable for most nurseries, this crib is 50 lbs in weight. The dimensions are 30 X 60 X 45 inches.

Quick shipping, clearly labeled parts for quick assembly and pretty colors gave this crib a big ‘thumbs up’ by parents.

Both cribs discussed above are well liked and rated high by Amazon customers. They are easy to put together and are convertible to meet your growing baby’s needs. They also come with a standard limited 1 year warranty.