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The iPad Air 2 Finally Lets You Easily Switch Between Carriers

ipad-air2

Whether using a smartphone or tablet, wireless users have typically been tethered to a single carrier, constrained by their mobile device’s cellular band limitations and its SIM. No longer—well, at least with the iPad Air 2. While Apple didn’t highlight it in its Thursday keynote, the iPad Air 2 has a new SIM that could change the way you think of cellular network access. The company details its new SIM, dubbed the “Apple SIM,” in its iPad Air 2 wireless section, saying “[it] gives you the flexibility to choose from a variety of short-term plans from select carriers in the U.S. and UK.” This allows you to choose the plan that works best for you, whenever you need it, without ever needing to enter a carrier retail store. Unlike phones,…

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Blumoo Lets You Control All Your A/V Gear With Smartphone

blumoo

WIRED Operates thousands of IR remote-controllable components. Turns any home-audio setup into a Bluetooth speaker system. Simple setup. App has a live TV guide. TIRED Doesn’t provide the full controls of some supported devices, so you’ll still need to keep your remotes handy for some components. While its database is extensive, it can’t control everything. App is crashy. Blumoo is a three-inch-tall component for your home audio/video setup built around two simple theories. One: It’d be nice if you could stream audio to your home stereo system no matter how old it is. Two: The best universal remote isn’t a universal remote at all, it’s the mobile device in your pocket or on your coffee table. Blumoo wants to replace your remotes with your Android or iOS device, or at…

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parrot-headphones

Calling Parrot’s new Zik 2.0 headphones “headphones” is like calling the Iron Man suit a “shirt.” These cans are loaded with sensors, connectivity options, noise-cancellation features, and gesture controls. And naturally, they also have their own sidecar app. Like the first-generation Ziks, these over-the-ear headphones were designed by Philippe Starck, and the new design incorporates thicker, softer faux-leather padding around a swiveling aluminum headband. You can lay them completely flat, and the pillowy pleather ear cups feel nice and soft around your ears. Despite the additional padding, they’re more than 15 percent lighter than the last model, according to Parrot. The sensor-fest starts on the right earpiece with a “head detection” chip that recognizes when the Zik 2.0s are around your neck or on your ears. When you put the…

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pseries-tv

When they were introduced at CES, Vizio’s P-Series LCD sets did something most other LCD TVs at the show didn’t: They made buying a 4K set seem enticing and affordable. Starting at $1,000 for a 50-inch panel, the Ultra HD resolution (3,840 x 2,160) wasn’t the only thing that made the new TVs stand out. The other perks included full-array backlight panels with local dimming. That kind of setup is normally only found on the highest of the high-end LCD sets, but Vizio has been adding these once-expensive features to all its TVs in 2014. The 70-inch P-Series set has 72 local-dimming zones, while the rest of the models have 64 zones. Each of the sets also has a technology called Active Pixel Tuning that helps eliminate light bleed even…

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Simple.tv – Almost the Best Over-the-Air DVR. Almost.

SIMPLETV

WIRED Compatible with most mobile devices and set-top streamers. Supports account sharing and offline viewing. Doesn’t occupy a valuable HDMI port. TIRED Noisy fan. No Wi-Fi. Virtually useless without premium subscription. Mobile apps can’t download recorded shows directly. No quad-tuner option. In the short span of six months, no fewer than three new set-tops have set their sights on your home theater: the Channel Master DVR+, the Tablo DVR, and, most recently, the second-generation Simple.tv. These boxes aim to replace your dusty VCR with a modern DVR, one that’s not beholden to extortionist cable and satellite providers. The content arrives old-school, over the airwaves, without a price tag attached. Alas, while the content may be free, recording it will still cost you. The dual-tuner Simple.tv box costs $200, while a…

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Should You Buy a New iPhone?

iphones

As you are surely aware, there is a new iPhone. There are two new iPhones, in fact. The early reviews are good, the specs are solid and the long lines are already thinning out to the point where you should be able to walk right in and pick one up. But should you buy one? It honestly isn’t for everyone. Let’s break it down based on just who you are. I have an iPhone 5C or 5S Don’t upgrade. I mean, let’s say you have a lot of money and can afford to upgrade. I understand what you are thinking. Yes, it makes a sort of financial sense to keep the latest model because you ultimately pay so much for your contract. But think of the rare earth minerals and…

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