Amazon Echo Dot Smart Speaker Review, Gen 2

The Amazon Echo Dot is a WiFi and Bluetooth enabled smart speaker, that acts as the front end for Amazon’s Alexa voice service.  The Echo Dot can “hear” your spoken questions and commands, and can speak the answers back to you.  The Dot is also an internet radio that can play thousands of internet radio … Continue reading Amazon Echo Dot Smart Speaker Review, Gen 2



Belkin Wireless Range Extender F9K1106v1 Review

We purchased the F9K1106v1 Belkin wireless range extender a couple years back, hoping to improve wireless network coverage throughout our back yard.  Until then, the Wi-Fi signal from the main house quickly grew weak and unreliable, once you moved outdoors, and beyond approximately 150 feet from that indoor-situated router.  The wireless connections would fail at even shorter distances on … Continue reading Belkin Wireless Range Extender F9K1106v1 Review



Advanced Audio Coding (AAC) Pros and Cons

Advanced Audio Coding (AAC) is an aural bit stream compression technique that has supplanted other popular, yet older compression algorithms like MP3, and to date, it appears to be the best lossy audio compression standard.  That is, for a given bit rate, you’ll experience the highest quality sound from AAC.  Indeed, it features excellent sound … Continue reading Advanced Audio Coding (AAC) Pros and Cons



Glass Cooktop Stove Pros Cons

In the past decade or two, the glass cooktop stove has appeared nationwide as an alternative to the direct resistance electric burners and natural and propane gas ranges.  As popular as these are, you’d think that they’re God’s gift to chefs and novice cooks everywhere.  Certainly, they do have their advantages: rapid response heat control, … Continue reading Glass Cooktop Stove Pros Cons



Front Loader Clothes Washing Machine Pros and Cons

In a front loader clothes washing machine, you get nearly all the conveniences and effectiveness of taking your laundry to a Laundromat, but you get them in your own laundry room!  You’ll benefit from significant water and energy savings, and in many cases, more effective cleaning.  You can wash all but the biggest washable bedding items … Continue reading Front Loader Clothes Washing Machine Pros and Cons



Soft Scrub Original Cleanser Review

We’ve used the various versions of   Soft Scrub Original Cleanser   for decades, and have found it to be quite the versatile, effective but not terribly abrasive liquid cleanser.  It’s easy on the skin, emits virtually no odors or fumes, and a single bottle has enough product to keep a bathtub clean for a year or … Continue reading Soft Scrub Original Cleanser Review



Electric Cable Ceiling Heat Pros and Cons

Many houses built during the 1960s and 1970s, in areas not served by natural gas suppliers, incorporated electric cable ceiling heat as the primary means of keeping the interiors warm during the cold months of the year.  The house builders, before installing the plaster or drywall to form the ceilings, would install electric resistance heating … Continue reading Electric Cable Ceiling Heat Pros and Cons



iTunes Sound Check Vs. Winamp Replay Gain

Sound Check in iTunes and iPods is the same as Winamp’s Replay Gain feature. The two automatic volume control mechanisms attempt to ensure that the recordings in your audio library play at roughly the same average volume level.  This reduces the differences in volumes as one recording ends and the next one begins. Each method suffers various pros and … Continue reading iTunes Sound Check Vs. Winamp Replay Gain



Programmable Thermostat Pros and Cons

heat thermostat  In today’s energy conscious society, that focuses on maximizing energy efficiency and minimizing energy costs, the programmable thermostat continues its reign as a significant (potentially large) energy saving device throughout society, in residential and industrial settings.  It will become even more so, as the phase-in of green energy sources progress, and people grow more comfortable and proficient … Continue reading Programmable Thermostat Pros and Cons



Anti Reflective Glasses Coating Pros and Cons

Anti reflective lenses have found their way into most optical applications over the past two decades.  They’ve become widely available, affordable, and notably more durable.  However, they’re still somewhat fragile, and thus, easy to scratch, and some people experience eye strain and fatigue when wearing them.  But whatever drawbacks these lens coatings present, have not dissuaded … Continue reading Anti Reflective Glasses Coating Pros and Cons