Tag Archives: Stuff We Like

The ICONSPEAK T-Shirt Is the Perfect Apparel for Any World Traveler

The ICONSPEAK T-Shirt Is the Perfect Apparel for Any World Traveler

There are a lot of tools out there for breaking down language barriers, but there’s nothing quite as simple as pointing at a picture. The ICONSPEAK t-shirt will let you communicate what you need no matter where you are.

The t-shirt has 40 symbols that clearly reference the essentials required by any traveler. There are icons for drinking water, housing, transportation, food, bathrooms, and even repairs. If you’re on a multi-country trek and end up somewhere you don’t know the language, you can just find someone and point to what you need on your shirt. You can also point to combinations of icons if you need something more complicated like car repair, or a place that serves both food and alcohol. It’s a clever solution to a common problem for any worldly adventurer. You can grab an ICONSPEAK t-shirt in most sizes for $33 from their web site below.

http://lifehacker.com/three-simple-i…

ICONSPEAK T-Shirt | ICONSPEAK Store via Buzzfeed

Use This Wooden Dough Tamper as a Cheap, Effective Cocktail Muddler

Use This Wooden Dough Tamper as a Cheap, Effective Cocktail Muddler

When we suggested using an old rolling pin to make a pair of cocktail muddlers, reader mfusion found this cheap dough tamper that’s perfect for the job, thin in the center for easy rolling, and will only set you back six bucks—a far cry from pricier wooden muddlers or bartender’s gear.

http://lifehacker.com/make-a-pair-of…

Sure, you could destroy a rolling pin to make a pair of muddlers, especially if you have the pin lying around, but this dough tamper from Sur La Table (of all places!) is affordable and perfect for the job. A wide bottom and thinner handle makes it easy to grip and press with, as well as roll between your hands to really break up the citrus, fruit, herbs, or whatever else is in the bottom of your cocktail shaker at the moment.

Don’t get me wrong, we generally prefer DIY solutions to household problems, but in this case you get a pretty flexible muddler for the money. There are cheaper options of course: this metal one is $8 at Amazon and this wooden one is only $4, but neither have the wide base that the dough tamper has, because—well, it’s designed to tamp down dough into baking pans. The tamping end is only about 1.5" at the bottom, and you can always flip it over and use the 1.25" top end if your glass or shaker is too narrow (which it shouldn’t be.) If you’re building a home bar, it’s worth adding to your kit.

Tart Dough Tamper ($6) | Sur La Table

Thanks for the tip, mfusion!

The Raspberry Pi 3 Adds Built-In Wi-Fi and Bluetooth, Gets a 50% Speed Boost

The Raspberry Pi 3 Adds Built-In Wi-Fi and Bluetooth, Gets a 50% Speed Boost

It’s no secret that we’re big fans of the Raspberry Pi and today a new model is available. The Raspberry Pi 3 features a new, faster processor, but more importantly, it finally comes with Wi-Fi and Bluetooth on the board. It’s still just $35.

The Raspberry Pi 3 Adds Built-In Wi-Fi and Bluetooth, Gets a 50% Speed Boost

The big news here really comes from the built-in Wi-Fi and Bluetooth on the Raspberry Pi 3. Previously, you needed to shell out around $10 for a USB Wi-Fi adapter and waste precious USB space on Bluetooth dongles. Now, all that’s built in, which means you not only get to save a little money, you also get access to more USB ports.

The other big news comes from the speed bump, which ups the CPU to a 64-bit 1.2 GHz chip (which should work out to be about 50% faster than the Pi 2) and a slight speed boost in the graphics chip, which is now 400 MHz.

After spending some hands-on time with the Raspberry Pi 3, it’s clear the speed boost is useful, but not totally revolutionary. All told, the Pi 3 feels pretty similar to the Pi 2 when using Raspbian. However, an updated version of Raspbian is also being released today that should improve compatibility. We did try to run some benchmarks, but without the new version of Raspbian to test, they weren’t particularly reliable, so we’ll need to revisit them later.

The good news is that Wi-Fi and Bluetooth work pretty much out of the box and if you’re booting into the Raspbian graphic interface, setting up both work just like they would on any modern operating system. Right-click the Wi-Fi Network icon in the top right corner of Raspbian, then enter you’re network information. As far as setting up Wi-Fi from the command line goes, that’ll work the same as it always has, but you won’t need to track down drivers for that adapter anymore.

The Raspberry Pi 3 retains the form factor of the Raspberry Pi 2, so any cases you may have picked up will work just fine with the newest version.

As with previous iterations of the Pi, you’ll need to wait for operating systems other than Raspbian to update for compatibility. This includes the much loved RetroPie, which turns your Pi into a retro game console and Kodi. Historically, both are usually quick to update. As usual, if you want to update your current build of Raspbian in anticipation for the Pi 3, you can do some from the command line. Just type this in at the command line and then tap Enter:

sudo apt-get update && apt-get upgrade

Your Pi will now update to the new version of Raspbian, which means you can just swap that microSD card into the Pi 3 when it arrives.

The Raspberry Pi 3 is available from the usual list of distributors at launch, with more being added afterwards. Hopefully it’s not as difficult to track down as the Pi Zero is.


The Raspberry Pi 3 Adds Built-In Wi-Fi and Bluetooth, Gets a 50% Speed Boost

The Raspberry Pi 3 Adds Built-In Wi-Fi and Bluetooth, Gets a 50% Speed Boost

It’s no secret that we’re big fans of the Raspberry Pi and today a new model is available. The Raspberry Pi 3 features a new, faster processor, but more importantly, it finally comes with Wi-Fi and Bluetooth on the board. It’s still just $35.

The Raspberry Pi 3 Adds Built-In Wi-Fi and Bluetooth, Gets a 50% Speed Boost

The big news here really comes from the built-in Wi-Fi and Bluetooth on the Raspberry Pi 3. Previously, you needed to shell out around $10 for a USB Wi-Fi adapter and waste precious USB space on Bluetooth dongles. Now, all that’s built in, which means you not only get to save a little money, you also get access to more USB ports.

The other big news comes from the speed bump, which ups the CPU to a 64-bit 1.2 GHz chip (which should work out to be about 50% faster than the Pi 2) and a slight speed boost in the graphics chip, which is now 400 MHz.

After spending some hands-on time with the Raspberry Pi 3, it’s clear the speed boost is useful, but not totally revolutionary. All told, the Pi 3 feels pretty similar to the Pi 2 when using Raspbian. However, an updated version of Raspbian is also being released today that should improve compatibility. We did try to run some benchmarks, but without the new version of Raspbian to test, they weren’t particularly reliable, so we’ll need to revisit them later.

The good news is that Wi-Fi and Bluetooth work pretty much out of the box and if you’re booting into the Raspbian graphic interface, setting up both work just like they would on any modern operating system. Right-click the Wi-Fi Network icon in the top right corner of Raspbian, then enter you’re network information. As far as setting up Wi-Fi from the command line goes, that’ll work the same as it always has, but you won’t need to track down drivers for that adapter anymore.

The Raspberry Pi 3 retains the form factor of the Raspberry Pi 2, so any cases you may have picked up will work just fine with the newest version.

As with previous iterations of the Pi, you’ll need to wait for operating systems other than Raspbian to update for compatibility. This includes the much loved RetroPie, which turns your Pi into a retro game console and Kodi. Historically, both are usually quick to update. As usual, if you want to update your current build of Raspbian in anticipation for the Pi 3, you can do some from the command line. Just type this in at the command line and then tap Enter:

sudo apt-get update && apt-get upgrade

Your Pi will now update to the new version of Raspbian, which means you can just swap that microSD card into the Pi 3 when it arrives.

The Raspberry Pi 3 is available from the usual list of distributors at launch, with more being added afterwards. Hopefully it’s not as difficult to track down as the Pi Zero is.


The Raspberry Pi 3 Adds Built-In Wi-Fi and Bluetooth, Gets a 50% Speed Boost

The Raspberry Pi 3 Adds Built-In Wi-Fi and Bluetooth, Gets a 50% Speed Boost

It’s no secret that we’re big fans of the Raspberry Pi and today a new model is available. The Raspberry Pi 3 features a new, faster processor, but more importantly, it finally comes with Wi-Fi and Bluetooth on the board. It’s still just $35.

The Raspberry Pi 3 Adds Built-In Wi-Fi and Bluetooth, Gets a 50% Speed Boost

The big news here really comes from the built-in Wi-Fi and Bluetooth on the Raspberry Pi 3. Previously, you needed to shell out around $10 for a USB Wi-Fi adapter and waste precious USB space on Bluetooth dongles. Now, all that’s built in, which means you not only get to save a little money, you also get access to more USB ports.

The other big news comes from the speed bump, which ups the CPU to a 64-bit 1.2 GHz chip (which should work out to be about 50% faster than the Pi 2) and a slight speed boost in the graphics chip, which is now 400 MHz.

After spending some hands-on time with the Raspberry Pi 3, it’s clear the speed boost is useful, but not totally revolutionary. All told, the Pi 3 feels pretty similar to the Pi 2 when using Raspbian. However, an updated version of Raspbian is also being released today that should improve compatibility. We did try to run some benchmarks, but without the new version of Raspbian to test, they weren’t particularly reliable, so we’ll need to revisit them later.

The good news is that Wi-Fi and Bluetooth work pretty much out of the box and if you’re booting into the Raspbian graphic interface, setting up both work just like they would on any modern operating system. Right-click the Wi-Fi Network icon in the top right corner of Raspbian, then enter you’re network information. As far as setting up Wi-Fi from the command line goes, that’ll work the same as it always has, but you won’t need to track down drivers for that adapter anymore.

The Raspberry Pi 3 retains the form factor of the Raspberry Pi 2, so any cases you may have picked up will work just fine with the newest version.

As with previous iterations of the Pi, you’ll need to wait for operating systems other than Raspbian to update for compatibility. This includes the much loved RetroPie, which turns your Pi into a retro game console and Kodi. Historically, both are usually quick to update. As usual, if you want to update your current build of Raspbian in anticipation for the Pi 3, you can do some from the command line. Just type this in at the command line and then tap Enter:

sudo apt-get update && apt-get upgrade

Your Pi will now update to the new version of Raspbian, which means you can just swap that microSD card into the Pi 3 when it arrives.

The Raspberry Pi 3 is available from the usual list of distributors at launch, with more being added afterwards. Hopefully it’s not as difficult to track down as the Pi Zero is.


The Raspberry Pi 3 Adds Built-In Wi-Fi and Bluetooth, Gets a 50% Speed Boost

The Raspberry Pi 3 Adds Built-In Wi-Fi and Bluetooth, Gets a 50% Speed Boost

It’s no secret that we’re big fans of the Raspberry Pi and today a new model is available. The Raspberry Pi 3 features a new, faster processor, but more importantly, it finally comes with Wi-Fi and Bluetooth on the board. It’s still just $35.

The Raspberry Pi 3 Adds Built-In Wi-Fi and Bluetooth, Gets a 50% Speed Boost

The big news here really comes from the built-in Wi-Fi and Bluetooth on the Raspberry Pi 3. Previously, you needed to shell out around $10 for a USB Wi-Fi adapter and waste precious USB space on Bluetooth dongles. Now, all that’s built in, which means you not only get to save a little money, you also get access to more USB ports.

The other big news comes from the speed bump, which ups the CPU to a 64-bit 1.2 GHz chip (which should work out to be about 50% faster than the Pi 2) and a slight speed boost in the graphics chip, which is now 400 MHz.

After spending some hands-on time with the Raspberry Pi 3, it’s clear the speed boost is useful, but not totally revolutionary. All told, the Pi 3 feels pretty similar to the Pi 2 when using Raspbian. However, an updated version of Raspbian is also being released today that should improve compatibility. We did try to run some benchmarks, but without the new version of Raspbian to test, they weren’t particularly reliable, so we’ll need to revisit them later.

The good news is that Wi-Fi and Bluetooth work pretty much out of the box and if you’re booting into the Raspbian graphic interface, setting up both work just like they would on any modern operating system. Right-click the Wi-Fi Network icon in the top right corner of Raspbian, then enter you’re network information. As far as setting up Wi-Fi from the command line goes, that’ll work the same as it always has, but you won’t need to track down drivers for that adapter anymore.

The Raspberry Pi 3 retains the form factor of the Raspberry Pi 2, so any cases you may have picked up will work just fine with the newest version.

As with previous iterations of the Pi, you’ll need to wait for operating systems other than Raspbian to update for compatibility. This includes the much loved RetroPie, which turns your Pi into a retro game console and Kodi. Historically, both are usually quick to update. As usual, if you want to update your current build of Raspbian in anticipation for the Pi 3, you can do some from the command line. Just type this in at the command line and then tap Enter:

sudo apt-get update && apt-get upgrade

Your Pi will now update to the new version of Raspbian, which means you can just swap that microSD card into the Pi 3 when it arrives.

The Raspberry Pi 3 is available from the usual list of distributors at launch, with more being added afterwards. Hopefully it’s not as difficult to track down as the Pi Zero is.


The Raspberry Pi 3 Adds Built-In Wi-Fi and Bluetooth, Gets a 50% Speed Boost

The Raspberry Pi 3 Adds Built-In Wi-Fi and Bluetooth, Gets a 50% Speed Boost

It’s no secret that we’re big fans of the Raspberry Pi and today a new model is available. The Raspberry Pi 3 features a new, faster processor, but more importantly, it finally comes with Wi-Fi and Bluetooth on the board. It’s still just $35.

The Raspberry Pi 3 Adds Built-In Wi-Fi and Bluetooth, Gets a 50% Speed Boost

The big news here really comes from the built-in Wi-Fi and Bluetooth on the Raspberry Pi 3. Previously, you needed to shell out around $10 for a USB Wi-Fi adapter and waste precious USB space on Bluetooth dongles. Now, all that’s built in, which means you not only get to save a little money, you also get access to more USB ports.

The other big news comes from the speed bump, which ups the CPU to a 64-bit 1.2 GHz chip (which should work out to be about 50% faster than the Pi 2) and a slight speed boost in the graphics chip, which is now 400 MHz.

After spending some hands-on time with the Raspberry Pi 3, it’s clear the speed boost is useful, but not totally revolutionary. All told, the Pi 3 feels pretty similar to the Pi 2 when using Raspbian. However, an updated version of Raspbian is also being released today that should improve compatibility. We did try to run some benchmarks, but without the new version of Raspbian to test, they weren’t particularly reliable, so we’ll need to revisit them later.

The good news is that Wi-Fi and Bluetooth work pretty much out of the box and if you’re booting into the Raspbian graphic interface, setting up both work just like they would on any modern operating system. Right-click the Wi-Fi Network icon in the top right corner of Raspbian, then enter you’re network information. As far as setting up Wi-Fi from the command line goes, that’ll work the same as it always has, but you won’t need to track down drivers for that adapter anymore.

The Raspberry Pi 3 retains the form factor of the Raspberry Pi 2, so any cases you may have picked up will work just fine with the newest version.

As with previous iterations of the Pi, you’ll need to wait for operating systems other than Raspbian to update for compatibility. This includes the much loved RetroPie, which turns your Pi into a retro game console and Kodi. Historically, both are usually quick to update. As usual, if you want to update your current build of Raspbian in anticipation for the Pi 3, you can do some from the command line. Just type this in at the command line and then tap Enter:

sudo apt-get update && apt-get upgrade

Your Pi will now update to the new version of Raspbian, which means you can just swap that microSD card into the Pi 3 when it arrives.

The Raspberry Pi 3 is available from the usual list of distributors at launch, with more being added afterwards. Hopefully it’s not as difficult to track down as the Pi Zero is.


Das Keyboard’s Division Zero Is Gaming Gear that Makes Work Fun Too

Das Keyboard’s Division Zero Is Gaming Gear that Makes Work Fun Too

PC gaming gear can be fun, and even help you be more productive, but it’s rare to find ones designed to be customizable and high-performance for gaming but equally useful when it’s time to get things done. Das Keyboard’s new gaming line, Division Zero, manages both, with some caveats.

The Lineup

Division Zero is Das Keyboard’s first foray into gaming peripherals, a market already saturated by big names and popular brands. That doesn’t mean they didn’t bring solid gear to the table, but it does mean you have to weigh it against some well-known competition. Here’s the lineup:

  • The X40 Pro gaming keyboard ($149) is a low-rise, metal mechanical keyboard fitted with custom “Alpha-Zulu” switches. It features changeable aluminum top plates to customize the look of the keyboard, and red LED backlighting behind the keys turns itself off when idle. There’s a spare USB 2.0 port, and audio passthrough so you can plug in a microphone and headphones—which means you also have analog audio cables to plug into your PC, but you don’t have to use them.
  • The M50 Pro gaming mouse ($79) features an ambidextrous design, a 6400 DPI laser sensor, on the fly DPI control settings, and nine programmable macro buttons. It also features on-board memory to remember those macros and your per-application (or per-game) profiles, and a tilt-scroll wheel with multiple degrees of motion side-to-side.
  • The 47W Surface is Das’s flexible mousepad, designed for use with the M50, comes in three flavors, the Flex ($19), Control ($19), and Speed ($29). Das sent us the Control version, and it works beautifully with other mice as well as the M50. It’s a textured mousepad, thinner than a sheet of paper but even more flexible, and features a grippy underside that makes sure it won’t move, no matter how hard you move your mouse.

All in all, their prices are on par with other PC gaming peripherals: Pricey. If you’re rocking the keyboard and mouse that came with your PC, these aren’t for you. However, if you love features like programmable macro buttons, LED backlighting, customizable profiles, and sharp, enthusiast-focused design, then it’s nothing you’re not used to. If you’re a mechanical keyboard enthusiast, well. You’re definitely used to playing this much for a keyboard.

Where They Excel

After using all three, it’s safe to say they shine both for gaming and for getting work done, which is exactly how I prefer my peripherals. I want them to pull double duty on my desk, and for the amount of money you’d spend, you probably would too. They’re not perfect though, and have some glaring drawbacks that should make you think before pulling out your wallet. Let’s break them down into three big categories: build quality, customization, and usability, with special attention to those fancy custom switches.

Build Quality

Das Keyboard’s Division Zero Is Gaming Gear that Makes Work Fun Too
A mess of cables, but all braided, fabric-wrapped, and with their own velcro for easy management.

Both the X40 and the M50 are sturdy and feel like you could put them through a long gaming session or an arduous workday. That’s exactly what I did, since my work and gaming are in the same physical place. I wound up using the X40 and the M50 for work all day writing, and I would swap them over to my gaming PC for a few hours of blissful, cathartic destruction, puzzle solving, and exploration. The X40′s aluminum build and heavy body served it a little better than the M50′s mostly plastic (but still heavy) build. The braided cloth cables on both are great for keeping dust away and avoiding tangles, and the cords are nice and long with velcro wraps to keep the slack managed.

http://lifehacker.com/the-logitech-m…

The M50 is a quality ambidextrous gaming mouse, which is nice to see. I found the scroll wheel really stiff and tough use (especially compared to the Logitech MX Master I use for work and the Logitech Proteus Core I use for gaming) but it loosened up over time (or maybe I just got used to it.) The 47W is grippy and won’t move or slide around even a smooth desk surface (like mine), and is large and nicely sized.

Customization and Key Macros

If you’re going to spend this much on gear, you may as well get the most possible use out of their customization features. The programmable macro keys work with third-party tools like AutoHotkey, which we’ve shown you how to use with your gaming gear, by the way, just as well as Das Keyboard’s own software.

http://lifehacker.com/why-i-started-…

In Windows, all you need to do is press Fn + F12 to enable macro recording. Making the special buttons on the X40 and the M50 do whatever you want them to do, whether it’s an Excel macro or a spell rotation, is easy. If you prefer to use AutoHotKey or another utility, it’s just as simple—just tap the button you’d like to assign the action to, program it, and away you go. You can easily turn the five programmable keys on the left side of the X40 into web browsing actions or music controls (technically there are function keys for that, although I miss the Das Keyboard 4′s hardware audio controls and volume knob) and then switch them out for weapon loadouts in your favorite shooter or attack rotations in an MMO.

The other big customization feature on the X40 is one that’ll cost you money: aluminum top panels for your keyboard. Das sent us two to switch out with the default aluminum silver: the “Defamer” in mustard, and the “Stryker” in red. Both have subtly different designs, and there’s also a Defamer in silver and a Stryker in olive green if you prefer those colors. Each additional panel will set you back $39, which is a lot, but if a fresh top panel will give you that fresh-keyboard-feeling without actually buying a new keyboard, we say go for it and swap them out when the mood strikes.

Usability

Das Keyboard’s Division Zero Is Gaming Gear that Makes Work Fun Too
Each keyboard proudly displays the switch you chose. Linear is off-white, tactile is green.

Speaking of the keys on the X40, we discuss those new Alpha-Zulu mechanical switches that Das is so proud of. The switches come in “linear” and “tactile,” both offering the same 1.7mm travel distance and 45g actuation force, but the difference is how the two feel. The linear switches aren’t tactile or clicky, and the tactile ones still aren’t clicky, but they do require a little extra force to engage the key halfway through the travel distance. What that all means for you is that the “tactile” ones are for gamers used to half-pressing their keys and then engaging them fully at just the right time, while the linear ones are for people who hold those keys down and rely on long-presses. I tested the linear switches.

The switches are great, but they’re not perfect. They’re quiet but satisfying, and give you the depth and key traversal you want from a mechanical, but without the audible “clack-clack” that often comes with. However, if you’re a Cherry MX lover and you love that audible click, you’ll miss it. If you use the linear model and miss feeling the actuation point, you’ll miss that too.

http://lifehacker.com/how-to-choose-…

When I switched between the X40 and my trusty Corsair K70 with Cherry MX Red keys, I definitely missed the sound, but after even a few days I was more than used to the quieter profile. (Which was especially nice, since the linear switches are similar to the MX Red.) They won’t drive you or anyone else nearby nuts while you work, and they’re still fun to play on.

Where They Fall Short

Das Keyboard’s Division Zero Is Gaming Gear that Makes Work Fun Too
Even in low light, the keyboard is somewhat weak, but the mouse pulses brightly.

Division Zero line has its strengths, but it also has weaknesses. We wouldn’t be writing about it if we thought it sucked, but there are some things you should pay attention to if you’re thinking about buying.

  • The LED backlighting is weak, and not just brightness-wise. The mouse’s LED is bright and strong, but the keyboard’s LED backlighting is dimmer and nothing to write home about. It’s decent, but it’s all red, and in an age of RGB keyboards, it’s a bit of a bummer that you can’t customize the colors (especially at this price.) Plus, it’s not per-key backlighting, so keep that in mind. That all said, it looks nice behind the aluminum backplates, but consider that you can get more customization, colors, and brighter LEDs for less.
  • The price. Das’ Division Zero line is new, and as with all PC peripherals, they’re more expensive today than they’ll ever be. The X40 is $149, the M50 is $79, and the custom faceplates are $39 each. That’s a lot of money, especially considering most of the keyboards the X40 is competing with, like the Razer Deathstalker, the Rosewill RK-9000, and some other entry level mechanicals are all closer to $99. Similar mice to the M50, like the Logitech Proteus Core and the Razer Deathadder, are both slightly cheaper, closer to $70. It’s a tough sell, but expect to see prices come down as Amazon and other retailers get their hands on these and start competing for business.
  • The keyboard’s single USB 2.0 port and extra cables. This is a bit of a nitpick for me, but since I generally don’t use audio passthrough on a keyboard, the analog audio cables on the X40 were just wasted space, velcroed together on top of my desk. It’s a nice feature to have, but I just don’t know many people buying a keyboard wishing they could plug their headset into it. I would have much rather had a second USB port right next to it, get hardware audio and volume controls, or have that port be USB 3.0 instead of 2.0.

These drawbacks may be dealbreakers for some of you—especially the price. If you don’t mind splurging, or you’ll use yours for gaming and for work, then they may be a good buy, especially when compared to its more popular—and in some cases more affordable—competition.

The Bottom Line: Pricey, but Sturdy, Sharp, and Fun to Use

Das Keyboard’s Division Zero Is Gaming Gear that Makes Work Fun Too
The “Defamer” keyboard cover, which includes the wrench required to swap top plates.

So that leaves us with the big question: Should you buy these? Well, we can definitely recommend the 47W mousepad and the X40 keyboard. The M50 is a little trickier to tell you to buy.

The mousepad is huge and grippy, and will probably stay on my desk long after the M50 makes its exit in favor of the less-ambidextrous but smoother-to-use Proteus Core, which is still my favorite mouse for gaming right now, and I’ll probably continue to use my MX Master for work. In short, the M50 is great, and great for lefties or people who just prefer an ambidextrous mouse, but it’s stiff, a little heavy, and while it glides across your desk easily enough and has all the right DPI settings, I still felt myself missing the button layout of the Proteus Core, and if I had to run out and choose one from a store shelf, the Proteus Core is cheaper.

Getting back to the 47W control surface though: You’ll have to choose the surface you think is best for you. I liked the Control surface a lot, and the price there is about right for a “gaming” mousepad, if that’s what you want. If you don’t though, well, it’s an easy one to skip.

The X40 is a bigger deal though. I liked it, enough to push over my Corsair K70 sometimes. I like the idea of the changeable top plates, but I’m also a sucker for customization like that. Little ways to make something you own feel brand new are a great way to spend a little where you could have spent a lot. However, the X40 is definitely missing things I miss from other keyboards. And like the others here, it’s pricey. Even so, it’s fun to use, great to type on and play on, and it’s the first keyboard in a while that I enjoyed writing on as much as I enjoyed gaming on. If you can try it before you buy, definitely do, and make your own decision, but I don’t think you’ll be disappointed.

Logitech’s Bluetooth Audio Adapter Turns Any Pair of Speakers into Wireless Ones

Logitech's Bluetooth Audio Adapter Turns Any Pair of Speakers into Wireless Ones

If you have a great pair of bookshelf speakers or even computer speakers, but wish you could stream music from a phone, a laptop, or another device without rearranging wires, Logitech’s Bluetooth Audio Adapter is for you. It’s tiny, affordable, and makes any set of speakers you plug it into Bluetooth and wireless.

For about $27 at Amazon, Logitech’s Bluetooth Audio Adapter can turn just about any set of speakers into Bluetooth ones. That’s a huge deal if you have an audio setup that you love, or invested good money into, but you want the good sound your quality speakers offer but have laptops, tablets, smartphones, and other audio sources in your home that aren’t connected to them. Just connect the audio adapter to your receiver or your speakers via 3.5mm or RCA, power it up, and you have a new Bluetooth audio device in your home.

Put the adapter into pairing mode, and pair it with any other Bluetooth devices—your laptop that’s not connected to your stereo, your iPad or Android tablet, your friend’s phone (who’s over to visit and wants to play you his new favorite track), your spouse’s computer, whatever you want. Think of it as a more universal approach to technologies like AirPlay, Google Cast, or even a non-geeky approach to DLNA. Pretty much everyone understands Bluetooth, and you don’t need to download a special app or use a special tool to make this puppy work.

Of course, if you’re already a DLNA master and don’t need another gadget, or you’d prefer a Chromecast audio for your in-home streaming needs, you may not need something like this—but even for the money, the convenience, simplicity, and broad cross-platform, cross-device support just can’t be beat.

Bluetooth Audio Adapter | Logitech

http://www.amazon.com/Logitech-980-0…

Find the Perfect Safety Razor Blade for You with a Sampler Pack

Find the Perfect Safety Razor Blade for You with a Sampler Pack

Safety razors are a great way to get a cheaper, less irritating shave. But unlike cartridge razors, there are a ton of different blades out there, and which one you like best will depend on your razor and your skin. Try a sampler pack to find the perfect blade.

http://lifehacker.com/learn-to-use-a…

Ask 10 wet shavers what their favorite blade is, and you’ll get 10 different answers. So if you’ve been using the same blades since day one, you might be missing out. Michael Ham, author and shaving expert, explains:

Feather blades, to take another example, work extremely well for me in some razors (for me, only in the Feather premium stainless razor, the Gillette Tech, and a couple of others), but a very skilled and experienced shaver I know cannot use a Feather blade, regardless of the razor: his skin simply cannot take that particular blade. So you cannot really blame blade, razor, or shaver: the combination may work, or it may not. But to say that the problem is inherent in any one of those is a trying to make things simpler than they are.

. . . while you can change the brand of blade and/or the particular razor, you cannot change yourself—you can change your prep and your technique, but not your skin nor your beard: you are a constant. But do understand that a blade and razor combination that works well for you may not work at all for someone else.

So, to find the best blade for your razor and your skin, grab a sampler pack with a few different brands and try them each for a couple weeks. Michael offers a number of places to buy sampler packs in his blog post, but Amazon has quite a few with varying brands, so it’s a good place to start. Be sure to try each razor for at least a few shaves before writing it off, and check out Michael’s full blog post below for more info.

A Disquisition on Blade Sampler Packs | Later On

http://smile.amazon.com/FEATHER-Oclock…

Photo by Scott Feldstein.