My new Whistler Radar detector


After two years of throwing money on several second-hand radar detectors and a no-name new one that got me a ticket faster than I could mount it, I decided it was time to be responsible and invest a little in a new, branded device that could save me all the trouble the other ones didn’t. I did my research on the internet and started getting more and more curious about Whistler detectors and their prices, that promised quality and a lot of interesting features. After a few days, I said to myself I couldn’t do better than with a new CR93 Laser Radar Detector, so I bought it and I’ve been driving with it for the past month.

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My first thought when I got it out of the box was that it couldn’t be so accurate with such a simple design, but I couldn’t be more wrong. The buttons are very easy to reach and operate, and the display remains clear and gives you only the crucial information, so that your sight isn’t suffocated with data. What’s more, you can even modify the luminosity of the display.

 

ua8But let’s get to the heavy advantages I’m currently enjoying. First of all, this Whistler model detects all radar bands, laser and Pop alerts. Usually, you would think this means that I get a lot of false alarms and that I drive with a constant alarm noise in my car, but it is not the case with the CR93. In fact, it has a three-step city mode that allows me to limit the sensitivity on the X-band, and even to shut it down completely. Plus, it comes with Field Disturbance Sensor rejection and Traffic Flow Sensor rejection, to eliminate the false alerts caused by these sensors. As for the alarm sound, this model offers a quiet mode, that will eliminate all sound, and an Auto Quiet Mode, that will make the sound dim after 5 seconds. Also, you can set it to Voice Alert, both in English and Spanish, and I can guarantee, there’s no better way to keep your grandkids quiet on a car ride.

All jokes aside, the best part of this model, and a novelty on the market is the integrated GPS, that tells you where red light cameras, speed cameras and other immobile detectors are, so that you can avoid getting a ticket.

Taking care of your mattress – my advice


The good quality of a new mattress isn’t enough to protect it from fast wear, the key rather being a commitment to  taking care of it throughout its lifespan. Here are a few tips on how to maintain your mattress in a good state.

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The most common cause for mattress damage are the spills and splatters of all sorts. The easiest and most effective way to keep them under control is to protect your mattress with a waterproof cover, that’s going to need periodic cleaning, but will preserve your investment. Having a cover won’t just keep food and drinks away, but will also help fight the premature sagging that appears because of perspiration, oils, and environment humidity. However, you must keep in mind that the mattress also needs proper ventilation, so a cover must not be considered an everlasting accessory, but should be removed once in awhile.

If the accident already occurred, dry-cleaning the mattress is totally prohibited. The chemicals used in this process could permanently damage the cover  fabric and even the filling.

Some baking soda spread right on top of the mattress will absorb humidity and expel odors. You can give it around half an hour to work its magic and then use the vacuum cleaner to collect it.

Another problem that occurs after some time is the appearance of bumps and depressions within the mattress after sitting too often on just certain points. This can be ameliorated by flipping over the mattress, and rotating it head-to-toe. This will even out the pressure inflicted upon it over time and will prolong its life.

Frequent vacuuming is another secret to maintain the mattress clean and less prone to damage, even if it doesn’t seems to be important. Dust and dirt are a continuous threat to its life and the often you evacuate them, the better.

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A good quality mattress won’t last long if it’s not well supported. I recommend you to make sure the shape and size of the mattress is consistent with the box spring or bed frame you own, so that no unnecessary pressure or bending damages it.

Finally, a small memento for those of you with too much energy. The mattress has a certain purpose and shouldn’t be used outside of it. Allowing your kids to use it as a trampoline is likely to have you replace it much sooner than you should.

How much power should your next vacuum cleaner have


Our society seems to be on the hunt for everything that’s faster and stronger, and we’ve been telling ourselves these two features are always worth investing in. But should we pause for a second and really consider their advantages in everyday objects and tools, maybe we would discover that we don’t really have use for too high a performance.

An interminable discussion on forums and manufacturer’s websites regards the suction power of vacuum cleaners and we just want to make a few points.

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When you’re choosing a new vacuum cleaner, you are taking into consideration the type of surfaces you are going to need cleaned. This is also a factor in deciding the amount of suction power you will be needing. An area covered with carpets will require a stronger air flow in order to break the resistance of the carpet threads, whereas a small, wooden or tiled floor will be okay with a medium and even low suction power. The size of your space matters as well, and while a canister with a high suction power will work for large areas, you can confidently use an upright with medium power on smaller areas, such as a two-rooms apartment or a small office space.

Generally, canister vacuum cleaners are known to have more suction power than an upright model, but it all depends on the type of surface you have – the upright model usually has a rotating brushroll that shakes the carpet threads, allowing the vacuum to collect more, even if its suction power isn’t maximized.

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When you’re shopping for vacuum cleaners, the best way to assess their suction power is to look at their CFM number, which represents their airflow capacity, telling you the number of cubic feet of air that the machine will suck in 1 minute. As a reference point, you should know that the standard vacuum will have between 50 CFM and 100 CFM.

However, this measurement isn’t always listed by the manufacturer, but you can look for the number of air watts (AW) which can give you an accurate idea. This measurements tells you the number of watts that the vacuum consumes in order to suck a unit of air through the nozzle. While an upright vacuum can be very efficient with 180-200 AW, a canister will need to have more, since it also has the job of pulling the air through the hose. Therefore, you should look for one with at least 300 AW.

Age limits for convertible car seats – how long can you really use such a model?


Any parent that owns a car probably knows the legal recommendations for child safety. We all heard about infant car seats, convertibles and boosters, but how much can you stretch the use of these safety seats?

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Most experts recommend to use an infant or toddler seat with rear-facing position until the child is at least 2 years old. But does that mean that we’re not allowed to use a rear-facing convertible until that age? The answer is no. The purpose of a convertible is to serve both as a rear-facing seat as well as a forward-facing one, thus satisfying the main requirement of an infant car seat. However, we do need to point out that a child under two also needs substantial body support, so you must make sure the convertible car seat you choose offers that.

 

From the age of two up until the age of eight, a child is supposed to be comfortable and safe in a convertible car seat, but we can make some arguments against being so definite about age in this particular matter.

 

ua4About the maximum limit of age for the use of a convertible car seat, most articles and studies say that it can go until 8 years of age, but you need to be aware that this is an approximation. All car seats, disregarding their type, have weight and height limits, and these are the real parameters which dictate their limits of use. If a child is 7 years old but has the constitution of a 12-year old, then he might not be safe in a convertible anymore, and you can see that just by looking at the way he/she fits in that seat. The same rule applies in the opposite case. Some children are petite until late in their grade school years, so they can still meet the weight and height requirements of a convertible, even if they’re 10 years old. They won’t sit in one willfully, but they could, and they would be safe.

 

So, the best advice that anyone could give those of you who wonder about the limits of age for convertible car seats is to look past this reference point and follow the instructions of the manufacturer, for they know best what their products can support.

The main piece of your nursery – the crib


Choosing the best crib for your infant can be difficult, especially if you’re becoming a parent for the first time. With the plethora of models and features on the market, having some information about the basic features of a crib could help you make the right decision.

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The first feature you have to look for in a crib is certification. This means that the manufacturer has tested the model according to the standards established by the laws, and the crib is considered to meet the safety level required to be on the market.

Secondly, based on your budget and on your plans for the future, you have to decide whether you want to spend money on a standard crib that will probably be good for your child for about two years, or if you want to spend a little more on a convertible crib that will last throughout toddlerhood and maybe further along. A portable crib has the advantage of being foldable and easily transportable, but won’t be of much help once your newborn grows.

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Size, as usual, matters. While you have to consider the space you have available for placing the crib, going smaller than the standard size, that is 52*27.8 inches, may interfere with your baby’s growth rhythm and sleep comfort.

Safety features such as teething rails and a small distance between the slats are crucial for keeping your infant out of the pain that appears with splinters and blocked limbs.

While not an absolute reference point, the price of the crib can give you an idea about the quality of the materials and manufacture. Since the prices can go from one hundred to several thousands of dollars, finding a medium price in your budget range shouldn’t be that hard.

Most cribs come without a mattress, but they still have to have a sturdy mattress support. Wood presents greater risks than metal, so our advice is to go for the second option, as it is the safer choice. If a mattress is included, make sure it is a firm one, for your baby will need body support. Innerspring mattresses are considered better for infants, as a surface that’s too soft can even lead to SIDS.

If you’re still not sure what type would fit your needs the most, we recommend going through some users reviews and dedicated forums that should give you an idea about what other parents consider important.

Babyliss Pro flat irons – what makes them special


Babyliss Pro has got a lot of history in the fashion and hair care industry on its own, so many people don’t know that the company is actually a subsidiary division of Conair. What else could boost our confidence in the quality of a product than the self-speaking decades of continually improving the technology and client approach. On the other hand, some brands are known for lowering the bar on their products quality once they’ve reached a high rank in sales, so here are a few reasons why you should always trust the Babyliss Pro series.

 

ua1Once you’ve decided to buy a new flat iron, you have probably spent some time on the internet, looking for what’s new and what are the best features of a straightener. Amongst them will always be the ability of the appliance to keep your hair safe while it’s doing its job. Most Babyliss Pro flat irons are produced using EP technology, that is similar to the one used in forging jewelry: electroplating ensures a coating of micrometric metal particles that reduce friction and let the plates warm up evenly to avoid any burning points.

 

Another great feature of the Babyliss Pro straighteners is the Advanced Heat-Management system that allows the plates to become instantly hot and, because of the electronic control of the temperature, it will constantly maintain the heat with an accuracy of half of degree.

 

ua2When it comes to most hair care brands, their products seem to follow a certain niche of clients or a certain set of technologies that cover only some of the market needs. With Babyliss Pro, however, you have a large and extremely varied series of flat irons, that can help straighten the thin and frisky to the coarse hair, all of them providing the highest level of protection. From long-plated straighteners for professional use, to small, 1-inch plated irons that you can use at home, this brand has set its mind to be of help to anyone.

 

Lastly, we can’t overlook the ergonomic and lightweight design of the flat irons produced by this brand. If you don’t believe us, just take a look at some of the customer reviews and see for yourself the excitement of women’s trying a Babyliss Pro flat iron for the first time.

Are expensive camcorders worth the investment?


With smartphones and digital cameras gaining terrain on the market of video and photography equipment, many people refrain from investing in expensive camcorders, thinking that the above mentioned counterparts will offer the same quality for a much lower price. However, some people, most of them professionals, still defend the old camcorder, and manufacturers seem to insist on keeping their products on the market, and some of them, at no shy prices.

 

ua7I would like to start answering this question by pointing out that not all photographers and filmmakers have the same thing in mind when buying such a camera. If you only want to shoot some short home videos of Christmas gift unwrapping or your cat being funny, you probably won’t even think about getting a high-end camcorder, since you can easily and effectively use your smartphone. But if you’re into more serious film-making, spending some money on better equipment might be worth a thought. So what are the advantages of an expensive camcorder and can they be found in cheaper packages?

 

4K resolution is the top feature presented by the most expensive cameras on the market and it makes room for insanely good picture quality. But as smartphones are catching up in this department, this motivation won’t last for much longer. So if we take this feature off the table are we still left with something worth mentioning?

 

ua6Many camcorder fans like the viewfinder and the high optical zoom that no other gadget masters like a camcorder, and that are essential for a professional filmmaker. Another feature that really makes the difference in high-end camcorders is the built-in microphone, which does a much better job than one on a DSLR. So these are some of the features that make camcorders the first choice for many filmmakers. Does an increased price make them go away or lose importance? On the contrary. An increased price usually reflects the fact that the manufacturer has put an effort to maximize these features – see the 20x optical zoom vs. the common 10x optical zoom and their benefits, and maybe topped them with additional features – you can now find Wi-Fi enabled camcorders, for example.

 

Ultimately, the question of expensive camcorders being worth the money is reduced to the question if investing in more quality is worth it. And we think that is always a personal choice, as experience, information, and talent also have a say in the quality of the final product.

Nikon point and shoot cameras – the best models of 2016


With almost 100 hundred years of experience in the field of optics and imaging technology, we can’t expect from Nikon but to amaze us further. While small brands can feel the cold wind of smartphone technology rising, a titan such as Nikon doesn’t seem to have anything to worry about.

ua3In 2016, many have turned their attention to what has been called the “Nikon beast”, the Coolpix P900, a bridge camera belonging to the wider Coolpix series of compact cameras designed to accompany the photographer in a wide variety of situations and decors. The P900 introduces an equivalent focal length of 24-2000 mm, with 4000mm Dynamic Fine Zoom, and that, my friends, means an 83x zoom, which is enough to take a close look at the spots on the Moon or the feathers of your favorite bird. Packed with an LCD display with 921k dot-resolution, the P900 offers an electronic viewfinder, it can go from 7 fps to 120 fps, and you can transfer your work via the built-in Wi-Fi and NFC technology. The only drawback of this model, according to users and testers around the world is its bulkiness, that distances it a little from the classic compact camera design.

 

ua4Another Nikon breakthrough this year comes in the form of the Coolpix A900, a new arrival in the A series. The Coolpix A900. The first feature that stands out on this compact camera is how small and compact it really is, competing with any regular-sized smartphone. 4K video capture at 30fps give you the perfect tool to create beautiful photography. A 921k-dot resolution LCD screen that tilts over gives you the possibility to integrate yourself in the scenery, and all these wonderful features are topped with Wi-Fi, NFC and Blueooth connectivity.

 

ua5Lastly, the Coolpix B700 comes with a 60x optical zoom with an equivalent 24-1440mm focal length, seconded by 120x Dynamic Fine Zoom, using a super telephoto Nikkor Ed glass lens. A 3’’ tilting LCD display, 4k video capture at 30fps, raw image capture and ISO 100-1600 (expandable to ISO 3200), this model is nothing but power. With the same connectivity features as its abovementioned “siblings”, the B700 is a great investment for anyone who want to rise above entry-level in creative photography.

The best Revlon blow dryers


There is no such thing as a perfect blow dryer, mostly because different types of hair require different types of care. However, Revlon, as an experienced personal care products manufacturer who’s been in the business for over seven decades, knows that the key to finding it is constantly assessing the consumer needs and improving their products accordingly.

Revlon currently has three collections of blow dryers on the market, each designed for a certain level of styling. Amongst them, the Pro collection renders a perfect combination of top quality materials, durability and an impressive number of features designed to improve your experience and give your hair the best care possible. There are two models in this collection that need to be pointed out as they reach a high standard.

 

Pro Collection Salon AC Motor Styler

 

ua1This pink dream can trick the eye with its sweet, candy-like aspect, but beneath the layers of paint lies a great combination between tourmaline and ceramic coating that will protect your hair against overheating while getting rid of all the dampness. A stronger, faster airflow lets you limit your hairstyling time, while you chose between three levels of heat and two speed levels. Seal in the curls and bangs with the cool shot that will inhibit the heat that’s been building up, and get greater volume with the help of the volumizing diffuser attachment. What’s more, this blow dryer features a smoothing concentrator attachment, so you’re covered, whatever your hairstyle choice of the day is. The Styler offers not only great performance, but it also comes in a easy to use, compact design, that will turn it into your best travel buddy.

 

Pro Collection Salon One-Step Hair-Dryer and Volumizer

 

ua2This hair tool by Revlon is the best in a series designed to combine the action of a blow dryer and styling brush. While keeping the ceramic coating and ionic technology, the manufacturer has yet to improve it with tourmaline, but instead featured it with an oval brush, perfect for shaping even the most stubborn ends. The brush has nylon pins with ball tips that are designed to spread the heat evenly while forming the curls and waves you’ve been getting only at the salon. Multiple heat settings let you adapt the tool to the specific needs of your hair, while its professional design make it easy for you to store it, carry it, and keep it handy at all times.

The best GPS manufacturers


When buying a GPS unit, the first question that comes to mind is which brand offers the best and safest technology. Accuracy and versatility also weigh in on such a decision, and with the growing number of manufacturers and insane rise of the use of smartphones and tablets as substitutes, the decision becomes more and more difficult. Certainly, we are inclined to look for brands that have years of experience in the field of automotive navigation systems, but the real measurement system of a product is the satisfaction it provides for the buyer.

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Looking at the customer reviews everywhere, you can easily spot Garmin as one of the most appreciated GPS manufacturers, and here are a few reasons why. First of all, Garmin has been on a continuous race towards improving the features of its products even since 1998, when it first released the StreetPilot, and ua5finishing with the versatile Garmin Nuvi series, that completely raised the bar for GPS units feature combinations. The major advantages that a Garmin unit offers are its incredible ease of use, its friendly interface and the details that it offers the driver so that not only does he/she know the road, but also the traffic, relevant info about the surroundings, and possible obstructions on the road. High-resolution screen, touch -screen, wi-fi, text-to-speech capability, route-planning, voice guidance, these are just a few of the features Garmin has included in the design of its GPS units, and it all culminates with its large number of models and the long lifespan of the units.

Another beloved brand is TomTom, who covers from the automotive GPS market to fitness and outdoor gear. As an European company, one might expect it to have less impact on the American market, but the quality of its products have overpowered any reluctance one might have had and now, this Dutch manufacturer is the top competitor for Garmin. With a much more information displayed at once, a much more accurate HD real-time traffic service, an ad-free interface, and all the connectivity features that will let you access the internet and read your text messages on the GPS screen.

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Naturally, the features themselves don’t make them “the best”, but the decades of time invested in perfecting the technology, and most of all, the incredible amount of confidence that the American driver has given these two brands make us believe you won’t be safer with anything else.