Over the last year of working from home through the pandemic, there’s been one constant: The house is eternally messy, and we’re eternally cleaning it. Because we’re home with our two pets all the time, if we aren’t vacuuming and mopping daily, our hard floors get dirty quickly.
When we got our dog, Kaya, last year, I was ready for life with a puppy. I’d read the books and watched endless training videos. What I wasn’t prepared for was the endless assault of companies trying to sell me a million kinds of dog things.
From smart dog cameras with lasers to automated fetch toys, device makers have come up with a slew of gadgets for pet owners to splurge on — even though a stash of dumb toys would do the job just fine, as we’ve recently argued on Debugger. …
The internet is about to experience a dramatic shift toward privacy.
To be clear, Google will continue to track users within its own platforms and use that information to target ads…
Like many people who suddenly began working from home when the pandemic began, my setup was less than ideal. My desk was probably too high, and my cheap chair didn’t encourage great posture. Meanwhile, I started spending long days in front of a computer for both work and fun. The result was wrist pain that makes typing quickly feel uncomfortable, and it reached the point where I struggled to type for more than short periods without needing a break.
Then I stumbled on a gadget that seemed like it might offer some help: an ergonomic mechanical keyboard, ZSA’s Moonlander. The…
Popular password manager LastPass dropped an unwelcome surprise this week. In March, the company will restrict access to its services for users on its free tier, forcing them to either pay a regular subscription fee or limit password management features to mobile or desktop. Free users will no longer be able to use both without paying, and they will also lose access to customer support via email.
This is a hostile move that should make anyone using the software consider moving elsewhere before coughing up. What else will the company change to juice its subscription numbers?
Of course, password managers…
The Australian government is currently on track to pass a law that would require the largest online platforms to pay local media whenever they publish material from an article on their sites, or even link out to a news story. It’s the latest sign that the nation is willing to go to war with the platform behemoths in defense of its media industry, regardless of the cost.
The proposed regulation, called the News Media and Digital Platforms Mandatory Bargaining Code, would require social media platforms to negotiate with local media in order to use their content. …
If you’ve spent any time walking down a neighborhood sidewalk recently, you might have noticed an increasing number of doorbell cameras from companies like Amazon’s Ring. These cameras are observing you, yes, and they’re also uploading all of the footage they collect to a dizzying array of cloud servers.
I own one of those internet-connected doorbells, a Nest Hello from Google, and while I find it useful for seeing who’s at the door when I’m away, the thought that I’m slinging endless footage of innocent people into a cloud I don’t control bothers me. …
When Amazon Web Services decided to stop hosting the alt-right social network Parler last week following the insurrection at the Capitol, it looked like the site was doomed to go offline.
Migrating an app successfully between cloud providers, and ensuring it works on the other side as expected, is hard enough. But moving the vast amounts of data associated with a social network (likely hundreds of terabytes of information) would be agonizingly slow, taking far longer than the 24-hour warning Amazon gave Parler.
With the pandemic keeping us cooped up inside for the foreseeable future — and the cold weather meaning no more open windows — I’ve started to wonder about indoor air quality.
I stumbled across a New Yorker article from 2019 that pointed out the danger of hidden pollution indoors and decided it was time to invest in an air purifier. But, as I’ve found in the past, the recommendations I found online focused on raw functionality over aesthetics or ease of use: They didn’t necessarily consider how a device would fit into my living space.
Do you remember the internet before Stories?
When Snapchat introduced Stories in 2014, the format was novel but niche: It provided a new way to view pictures and video by tapping back and forth in full screen, an experience that fit smartphones better than anything that had come before it. Now, it feels like “Stories” are showing up everywhere.