The Best Sites for Buying Affordable Glasses

Open your closet door and take a quick inventory. How many dozens of shirts/blouses, slacks, skirts, dresses, business suits, sports jackets, sweaters, etc., do you own? Look down. How many pairs of heels, flats, loafers, sneakers, sandals, hiking boots, snow boots? You also likely have a raft of rings, bracelets, necklaces and watches.

Now look in the mirror. If you wear glasses, you’re likely staring at the only pair you own.

Why own just one pair of glasses when you can buy a collection of fashionable eyewear far more cheaply — for as low as $10 for a complete pair — by shopping online?

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The Best Smart Locks

Of all the functions and devices technology promises to improve or replace, there are few more critical to you and yours than the lock on the front door to your home. Like most technology, however, so-called “smart” locks represent two steps forward and one step back for your home security.

Fortunately, there’s a plethora of smart locks offering a variety of technologies and features that address or alleviate these steps backward, and you should be able to find options that suit your specific home security situations and needs.

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Is Home VR Doomed?

Few mass market tech failures have been as remarkable as at-home 3DTV. While 3D still has a life in theaters, no TV maker bothers to hawk (or, in many cases, include) the feature anymore.

Why? Dependence on glasses for home entertainment was soundly rejected. It’s basically the same story for Virtual Reality (VR) in the home, although wearing VR headgear is a lot more uncomfortable than wearing 3D TV glasses.

Could this same no-glasses-at-home aversion keep the nascent home VR market from taking off?

Continue reading the rest of this post here.

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D-Link 8000LH Mini HD Camera Review

Saving some cents makes sense in most shopping cases. But protecting life and property isn’t a place to budget. Which brings us to D-Link’s DCS-8000LH Mini HD WiFi Camera, available as a single unit for just $59.99 or as a two-pack for $119.99. You can literally buy three of these small cylindrical cameras for the same price as a single Logitech Circle 2 Wi-Fi camera.

The question is: are three 8000LH’s worth a single Circle 2? It depends on how much you value your home’s security.

Read the rest of this review on GearBrain here.

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AV1: Curb Your Enthusiasm

Like Chewbacca cosplayers drooling in anticipation over any Star Wars Episode IX detail droplet, attendees at the recent Streaming Video East confab were all atwitter over the potential of the recently minted AV1 video codec proffered by the Alliance for Open Media (AOM).

It is the very earliest days for the new codec, and streaming giants—such as AOM founding member Netflix—are hoping to add AV1 to its codec toolbox as soon as it’s feasible.

So why all the AV1 enthusiasm? In short, AV1 is designed to produce higher-quality, high-resolution video efficiently and without royalty payments to AOM. At least that’s the short answer. As usual, the devil is in the details.

Continue reading this post here.

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6 Best Google Assistant Speakers

A review roundup of the 6 best Google Assistant speakers.

Read the rest of this roundup on Techlicious here.

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The 4K Video Codec War: What You Need To Know

We’re all familiar with format wars — VHS v. Beta, Blu-ray v. HD-DVD, even the 19th century’s AC v. DC war of the currents. What you may not be familiar with is the current 4K video compression format war between HEVC (High-Efficient Video Coding, aka H.265), Google’s VP9, and a new and potentially disruptive entrant, AV1 from the Alliance for Open Media(AOM).

The question is, is this format war too inside-baseball for most CE retailers and vendors to worry about?

Continue reading this post here.

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JBL Link 500: This Speaker Should Be Played Loud

Just before the seminal rockumentary The Last Waltz begins to unspool, you are famously advised that “This film should be played loud!” This is wise guidance you should follow when playing the JBL Link 500 Google Assistant speaker ($399.95).

Read the rest of this review here.

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Beyond AirPods, ‘True’ Wireless Headphones Developing Into Lucrative Market

Anyone traversing sidewalks, trains, buses and running paths have noticed the white sticks sticking out of the ears of a growing number of people. Apple’s completely wireless AirPods — a type of completely wire-free earbuds that wirelessly connect via Bluetooth not only to a smartphone or music player but to each other — are ever-present, a new cultural must-have.

Yes, Apple dominates this new “true” wireless category, also referred to as “hearables” to differentiate them from more traditional behind-the-neck wireless Bluetooth earphones. According to The NPD Group, Apple accounts for 86 percent of the dollar volume in this nascent headphone sub-category category.

But Apple’s early dominance of the true wireless market doesn’t mean other manufacturers — and non-Apple retailers — can’t or won’t get involved.

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The Next Best TV Under $1,000?

In January, we named the 55-inch 6 Series TCL TV, the 55P607 (the 2017 model), the best value for a TV under $1,000, and now TCL has upgraded its 6 Series for 2018. Better yet, the company is selling its new 2018 model Series 6 TVs for the same price as last year’s models – $649 for 55-inch 55R617 and $999 for the 65-inch 65R617.

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