Our oddest Christmas current this yr is a robotic vacuum, given to us by a younger relative. Bob was massively skeptical at first however he has to confess: “It really works, but it surely doesn’t maintain a lot.”
Go to YouTube.com to seek out evaluations for dozens of those, from Roomba on down. Ours, the LeFant 300m, prices $140 on Amazon. Roomba ranges from about $200 to over $1,000.
We now have hardwood flooring, 4 small mats within the kitchen and a big Dwelling Depot rug in the lounge. It appears difficult, but the robotic vacuum dealt with all of them, touring from room to room in our small condo. We charged it by plugging it into the wall. We dumped the particles through the use of a tiny Phillips screwdriver to open up the compartment the place the filters are. One of many filters is washable. The opposite is a HEPA filter that limits mud, smoke, pollen, micro organism and mould. Pleasure likes it.
Readers ring in on robocalls
We lately talked about “don’t disturb” mode on the iPhone however not noted a vital level. Readers had been fast to level this out. Thanks, guys!
As one reader writes, with this new iPhone characteristic, “robocalls cling up earlier than they even get to voicemail. Any human name you miss goes to voicemail so you may name proper again.” One other factors out that the missed name could be discovered below “Recents.” We’re guessing that the niece of ours who missed an vital job interview after turning on “don’t disturb” isn’t within the behavior of checking voicemail fairly often.
● “Museum of Misplaced Objects.” Search on that phrase to discover a BBC web site with attention-grabbing articles and podcasts. They hint the historical past of antiquities destroyed or looted in Iraq, Syria, India and Pakistan. For instance, a yr in the past a person used a drill to deface a winged bull within the historical metropolis of Nineveh, in Iraq.
● TubiTV.com has hundreds of free films, together with classics. Pleasure instantly watched a part of an previous favourite, “Rodgers and Hammerstein’s Cinderella.” In addition they had one among Bob’s favorites, the spaghetti Western “My Identify is No person,” and rather more current titles, just like the 2007 film “Conflict” with Jason Statham. We clicked “browse titles” and didn’t should register on the location to begin watching.
● “You possibly can nonetheless purchase $1 houses throughout Italy.” Search on that phrase to seek out an enchanting article from CNN.com. It’s an try and do away with deserted houses, principally within the south. Although many have been snapped up, you may nonetheless get one in the event you put down a deposit starting from $2,200 to $5,600. You get your deposit again in three years when you’ve got refurbished the house.
● “The very best factor you are able to do in your well being: sleep effectively.” Search on that phrase to seek out the Guardian newspaper’s most-read article of 2019. Each Ronald Reagan and Margaret Thatcher bragged about sleeping solely 4 or 5 hours an evening, however they each received Alzheimer’s. Inadequate sleep could also be an element.
The worst online game ever
The opposite day we had been listening to “Sidedoor,” a podcast from the Smithsonian. They had been speaking in regards to the worst online game ever, a 1982 Atari sport primarily based on the film “E.T. the Additional-Terrestrial.” As a substitute of the standard eight months, the developer was given just one month to create it. Apparently, it was so unhealthy it ruined the corporate. Atari’s identify was mud. (Atari means “that’s successful” in Japanese.) The developer misplaced his job and have become a therapist.
It didn’t assist that Atari allowed different corporations to make use of the Atari identify, and after some time, there was solely a lot you could possibly do with the previous format. Their online game gross sales dropped 90% between 1982 and 1986.
Within the podcast we realized group got down to discover the previous cartridges dumped by Atari within the New Mexico desert. Certain sufficient, they uncovered 1,178 of them.
Pedal to the steel
Pleasure purchased a foot pedal for her stitching machine on eBay for $20 however It was the fallacious one. Returning it to China price $23.50, and concerned standing in an extended line on the Publish Workplace twice. The primary time she needed to step out of the road to fill out a type.
The irony is, the Chinese language vendor had already refunded her account on eBay and hadn’t requested for the package deal again. But it surely felt fallacious to maintain it. Lesson realized: Take note of the place a product is coming from. If it’s from too distant, it might price loads to return it.
Pretend websites are a rising drawback. They now quantity within the hundreds.
Pleasure thought she was shopping for a birthday current from Arlington racetrack in Illinois, but it surely was actually a Shopify.com website with Arlington within the identify. 5 months later, she came upon that the recipient had not obtained it. When she contacted the Shopify retailer, they refunded the cash for the unique shirt she ordered, equipped a free shirt of a distinct sort and apologized profusely for letting issues fall via the cracks whereas they had been in a transition interval.
The Washington Publish did an investigative piece on Shopify issues nationwide. They gave an instance of a photograph of a $2,495 coat from Overland Sheepskin that was used to promote a $70 knock-off with lopsided sleeves. The material was described by one purchaser as trying like “roadkill” or “rat fur.” Round 753 web sites stole Overland Sheepskin’s images to promote their very own wares. Most of those websites are on Shopify. By the way in which, the Publish sells its personal branded merchandise via Shopify.