POSTS WITH TAG: home electronics

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    With all of the shopping you've just done, probably the last thing you want to do the day after Christmas is MORE shopping -- however, you could be leaving some amazing deals on the table. In fact, if you were smart, you'd celebrate Christmas on Dec. 27. Hey, not a bad idea. Too bad I just thought of it. Not only do stores need to clear out their holiday inventory, they also need to clear out their year-end inventory, so it's usually a double-whammy of sales. Here are 8 of the best bets for places you should be able to find deep post-Xmas sale-poloozas.

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    Phew! As a woman who is fairly obsessed with good lighting, I'm thrilled -- thrilled, I say! -- to hear that someone has developed an energy-efficient bulb that actually produces nice, soft lighting. What a bright idea! (Ha!)

    Hulger, the geniuses behind the retro phone handset that hipsters can ironically attach to their cellphones, has developed the world's first "designer" energy-saving light bulb. Shall I shed a little light on the subject? (Sorry I can't stop!)

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    You gotta love cable companies. And by "gotta love" I mean "gotta loathe with every fiber of your being." Prices constantly go up despite the fact that you can never, EVER find anything good to watch. Time Warner started charging you or making you buy the very same modem you've owned all of these years. And now Cablevision gets the award for most heartless Scroogey cable company of the year. Why? Cablevision is refusing to automatically grant refunds to those who lost their power during Hurricane Sandy -- like Time Warner at least did. No, instead, they want those who are without cable (and probably their homes as well) to CALL them and ask for a refund. So let's see what this would look like for the average Sandy victim.

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    October is Breast Cancer Awareness month, and while showing your support for the brave women who have battled the disease is important all year, now is definitely a great time to step things up a bit.

    And while buying clothing and other products that donate a portion of their proceeds to breast cancer research is a great way to get behind the cause, stocking up on all things pink is a great way to spruce up your home decor as well.

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    It's only the end of May, but plenty of cities across the country are already experiencing summer-like temperatures, especially in the northeast -- where it's 90 degrees this afternoon! It feels like an oven out there, and on days like today, I'm especially thankful that our house has central air conditioning. I really don't know how people live without it -- or at the very least, without air conditioning units in most rooms of the house.

    Suffering through sweltering temperatures isn't just uncomfortable -- it can also take its toll on your health by upping the risk of heat-related illnesses. But if you are using air conditioning units to cool down your pad instead of central air, you want to make sure you have them installed properly, and taking the proper safety precautions is a must. The last thing you need on a super hot and humid day is for your unit to overheat and cause a fire!

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    Oh, life. Full of rainbows and roses and shiny, happy things. Also? Full of thunderclouds and thorns and really really annoying things. You know what I'm tawkin' about. We all have our list of stuff that drives us crazy. In JoAnn From Bensonhurst's case, most of that stuff happens when she's doing routine -- one might say mundane -- household chores, the kind of things we all do as moms. It's not surprising. She's our very own version of a real (not desperate) housewife here at CafeMom Studios YouTube Channel. One with a very pronounced Brooklyn accent.

    Anyway, the things that annoy JoAnn are probably very similar to the things that annoy you too. They range from telemarketers ("They should actually be auctioneers. They talk so fast that before it hits your brain after it hits your ear, you're tellin' the guy yes") to grocery scanners ("I don't deal with robots") and so many other irritants in between. You should hear what she has to say about cable TV ... 

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    Regardless of which two teams are playing in the Super Bowl (it's the Patriots and Giants, right?), men definitely see the big game as a good excuse to pig out on delicious snacks, throw back a beer or five, and hang out with their buddies for a nice little male-bonding session. The game is basically a hall pass to enjoy a few hours of mindless entertainment, which members of both sexes definitely need from time to time.

    Of course, the aftermath of a bunch of guys hanging out together watching football for an entire evening typically results in potato chips ground into the carpet and empty beer cans stacked on the coffee table, making your living room look and smell like a frat house the next morning.

    Odds are good that you'll be the one cleaning up after the hog fest, but you may be able to bribe your man into at least helping you vacuum and dust with the promise of letting him buy a new toy.

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    Hanukkah begins at sundown on Tuesday, and for the next eight ("craaaazy") nights, we'll celebrate the Festival of Lights by lighting one candle a night on our menorahs. Growing up, my family used a traditional, metal menorah and those waxy, crayon-colored candles in the token blue box. I remember being so curious about the flames as a kid that I actually burned the very tip of my finger one year. Whoops!

    Thankfully, Hanukkah fire hazards are a little less likely these days, thanks to electronic versions of the old-school menorah. Beyond that, there are some seriously high-tech menorahs out there for those of you just itching to take your Festival into the future. Here, five of the coolest ...

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    It was with great interest that I read that the standard thermostat had been redesigned by a team that took Steve Jobs and Apple as their inspiration. It’s so genius. I mean, it seems that stores like Skymall and Hammacher Schlemmer exist only to convince us that we need things we’d never use, when in fact what we want is new twists on the ubiquitous items we use every single day. The new thermostat, called The Nest ($249 at store.nest.com), is more than just sleek and sexy-looking -- it learns your family’s habits so that it can turn on and off even when you don’t think to do so, which is supposed to save you energy. Which is great and all, but really, it’s kind of amazing that we accepted this ugly ecru-white box as a must-have for as long as we did. Now, I’m hungry for more home utilities that look better than they have to. Here’s what I’ve found:

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    A friend of mine got a Roomba just for the hell of it, and found it made a perfect toddler babysitter: his 3-year-old would follow the damn thing around the house, chirping, “Woomba! Woomba!” as if it were his beloved pet. Myself, I never found the things to be all that useful as a cleaning device -- by the time I finish de-cluttering the floor, I may as well vacuum the place myself. But a group of German industrial-design students saw an amazing potential in the Roomba: they attached lights to the automatically-piloted vacuum cleaners, and took long-exposure photographs of their journeys. The results? Gorgeous, Spirograph-like images of light sculptures. Here’s how they did it. Don’t you wish your housecleaning left such a cool image?

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