Best for outdoors SmartThings Wi-Fi Smart Plug Aug 31 • Alexa can tell you if someone breaks into your house WeMo Mini Wi-Fi Smart Plug Share your voice iDevices Outdoor Switch Best for HomeKit See All Chris Monroe/CNET TP-Link Kasa Smart Wi-Fi Plug with Energy Monitoring See at Amazon Aug 31 • Best smart light bulbs for 2019 (plus switches, light strips, accessories and more) Preview • Apple’s slow-moving HomeKit is a smart-home slacker • See at Walmart Apple HomeKit Best overall Smart Home TP-Link Kasa Smart Wi-Fi Plug Mini At $30, the WeMo Mini Wi-Fi Smart Plug is affordable and comes with native Google Assistant, Alexa and yes, HomeKit compatibility.The WeMo app isn’t our favorite, and you won’t get energy monitoring with this plug. Those shortfalls aside, this space-saving design and solid HomeKit compatibility make it easy to recommend to users in Apple’s ecosystem. Read our full review of the WeMo Mini Wi-Fi Smart Plug. Comments Google Assistant Alexa SmartThings Amazon Best Buy Apple Apple HomeKit This smart plug comes with an easy-to-use app, monitors your energy consumption in kilowatt hours (kWh), and works with Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa for voice commands. The plug’s design blocks the outlets above or below it, and it isn’t compatible with Apple HomeKit. Still, the TP-Link’s Kasa app is great, and you’ll get a clear picture of how much energy your connected appliance is using. Unlike some smart plug manufacturers, TP-Link has a host of other Kasa smart home products including light bulbs, cameras and even a power strip, making it easy to expand your smart home in one app if you like this plug.Read our full review of the TP-Link Kasa Smart Wi-Fi Plug with Energy Monitoring. Tyler Lizenby/CNET Now playing: Watch this: See at Amazon Aug 30 • Battling bot vacs: iRobot Roomba S9+ vs Neato Botvac D7 Connected News • The best Apple HomeKit devices of 2019 Aug 30 • iRobot Roomba S9 Plus vs. Neato Botvac D7 Connected Best laptops for college students: We’ve got an affordable laptop for every student. Best live TV streaming services: Ditch your cable company but keep the live channels and DVR. See at Best Buy Best for energy monitoring At just $18, this smart plug is the most affordable on our list. It’s also the smallest. Pair that with energy monitoring and Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa smarts, and you’ve got a great option for your smart home. The SmartThings Wi-Fi Smart Plug won’t work with HomeKit and there’s no extra USB charging port. The SmartThings app doesn’t offer as many customization options and scheduling capabilities as TP-Link’s Kasa smart plug above, but SmartThings did impress us by creating an easy to set up smart plug that doesn’t need a SmartThings hub. reading • Best smart plugs for 2019 3 Tyler Lizenby/CNET 3 reasons you need a smart plug Other models we testedThere are dozens of smart plugs out there from companies large and small, and while we haven’t tested every single one, we’ve seen quite a few come through the CNET Smart Home. Here’s a quick look at other notable options. Amazon Smart Plug: Amazon’s flagship smart plug costs $25 and only works with Alexa. While setup is easy, it isn’t as feature-rich as other models. Satechi Dual Smart Outlet: This HomeKit friendly smart plug is expensive at $60, but you will get two outlets and energy monitoring capability. There isn’t any compatibility with Google Assistant and or Amazon Alexa. iHome Outdoor: This $40 outdoor smart plug works with all three voice assistants, but you’ll only get one outlet. ConnectSense Smart Outlet 2: This $60 behemoth does it all—energy monitoring, individually controlled outlets, a USB port and LED status lighting. However, the price and unattractive, oversized design are enough to keep me from recommending it. Koogeek: This $32 smart plug works well with HomeKit, but blocks adjacent outlets. Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa integrations aren’t as smooth as we’d like to see. Puregear Pureswitch: This HomeKit-centered smart plug is another solid choice for Apple smart homes, but it didn’t perform as well in our testing. Eufy smart plug mini: This pint-sized smart plug is just slightly larger than our SmartThings budget pick above and costs just a few dollars more at $23. You’ll get Amazon and Google Assistant smarts, as well. Things to rememberChoosing the best smart plug for you begins with voice assistant compatibility. Choose a plug that works with whichever voice assistant you’re using. You can usually find this information on the product box, website or in your voice assistant’s mobile app. Next, consider where your plug will be placed and whether blocking other adjacent outlets is a concern. If so, be sure to pick a plug that isn’t too large. Most models described as “mini” will be space-saving. Extra features like energy monitoring and USB charging can add even more control and convenience. No matter which smart plug you choose, bringing everyday products online with a plug is one of the simplest ways to automate and smarten your home. Tags The $50 iDevices Outdoor Switch is a great way to automate outdoor lights, fans, lamps or other patio electronics. It works with Google Assistant, Alexa and HomeKit and includes energy tracking. While you will get two outlets, you can’t control them individually. If that’s a must-have for you, we’d recommend checking out the iClever Smart Plug.Read our full review of the iDevices Outdoor Switch. Smart products are replacing our old light bulbs, refrigerators, speakers and more, but what about the stuff in our homes that isn’t smart yet? That’s where smart plugs come in.These nifty gadgets connect your regular old coffee maker, lamp, fan or nearly anything else to your smart home for voice control and automation. There are models for every voice assistant. Some even work with all three: Google Assistant, Apple HomeKit and Amazon Alexa. Read more: Want to buy a smart plug? Read this first | These smart plugs are the secret to a seamless smart homeNew smart plugs are popping up all the time. Wyze recently announced the Wyze Plug (we’ll be testing it out soon). Picking the right smart plug means taking a look at your needs, your home and the platform you use to control it all.We’ve tested dozens of smart plugs from companies large and small and these are our best bets for bringing the rest of your home online. Disclosure: CNET may get a share of revenue from the sale of the products featured on this page. TP-Link’s Kasa line of smart home products includes this space-saving smart plug. It works with Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa, and the Kasa app offers plenty of detailed options for customizing scheduling, away modes and timers. What you won’t get? Energy consumption data, a USB port or HomeKit compatibility. Still, if you’re interested in scheduling and voice commands, TP-Link’s $30 smart plug is a great choice.Read our full review of the TP-Link Kasa Smart Wi-Fi Plug Mini. Best budget pick Chris Monroe/CNET 2:02 CNET Smart Home CNET Smart Home See at Best Buy
Avengers: Endgame movie reviewTwitter”We’re in the end game, now” as Dr. Stephen Strange tells Tony Stark in the Avengers: Infinity War, Avengers: Endgame, the 22nd film from the Marvel Cinematic Universe, is ready to take the Indian box office by storm with its Friday (April 26) release in English, Hindi, Tamil and Telugu. In a bid to grab tickets, the online ticket booking site BookMyShow has sold over 2.5 million tickets in just over a day in the advance sales which opened last Sunday.Positive reviews have been pouring in after the highly anticipated superhero film was screened for critics a day prior to its release in India. And undoubtedly, the movie seems to have left a long lasting impression on the critics driving them through a rollercoaster ride of emotions, breathtaking action sequences and needless to say, a visual delight.Avengers: Endgame, which picks up from its previous instalment Avengers: Infinity War, stars Robert Downey Jr., Chris Evans, Mark Ruffalo, Chris Hemsworth, Scarlett Johansson and Brie Larson, amongst others.While the craze for the film has been overwhelming, let’s take a look what Indian film critics have to say about Avengers: Endgame.The Times Of India: “‘Avengers: Endgame’ is a befitting tribute to the Cinematic Universe that has spawned larger-than-life superheroes and super fans. At three hours plus, ‘Endgame’ delivers on a lot of its hallmark promises, leaving its fans with a range of emotions and fond memories.”Rating: 4.5 stars out of 5.Taran Adarsh: “#OneWordReview… #AvengersEndgame: MARVEL-OUS. The hugely-anticipated film exceeds the humongous expectations… Emotional, humorous, lots and lots of surprises in store… Get ready for a Tsunami at the Boxoffice.”Rating: 5 stars out of 5.Keep watching this space for more critics reviews of Avengers: Endgame.First Post: “The Russos try to acknowledge a certain other film from a different era whose heroes used the same tactic to defeat the villains, but acknowledgement to a throwback only scores short term brownie points, and not true classic cinematic status. It works of course, because of how well-oiled the Marvel machine is, but one wishes the filmmakers went the extra mile in crafting a Thanos-defeating solution you wouldn’t see coming from a mile away.So drop everything and book your tickets for Avengers: Endgame, because this is a spectacle is tailor made for the biggest possible movie screens in your city.”Rating: 3.5 stars out of 5.Hindustan Times: “Regardless of what they say, Endgame is very much Infinity War – Part 2, in that it directly addresses the fallout of the Snap. Certain scenes feel like they’ve been there since the earliest drafts of the script, while others genuinely feel like they were added post the release of Infinity War – the Russos have always had a finger on the audiences’ pulse, so it would make sense for them to have done that.”Rating: 4.5 stars out of 5.Scroll.in: “Among the actors who benefits from the slower pace, frequent use of intimate close-ups, and focus on emotions is Robert Downey Jr. Stark snark is swapped for greater vulnerability, and Downey Jr delivers the movie’s standout performance. Jeremy Renner gets more screen space than in previous films, and Paul Rudd makes his mark as Ant-Man.The movie reserves its firepower for a climactic display of pyrotechnics, and the visual effects showcase is a relief from the puffy eyes and forlorn speeches. Thanos may be inevitable, but what’s an Avengers movie without showboating?”Rating: Not Known
TOUGH TIMES: Yoga guru Baba Ramdev and Managing Director of Patanjali Ayurved Acharya Balkrishna performing yoga. REUTERS/Amit DaveAfter gaining a considerable market share in the FMCG market space, self-styled Yoga guru Baba Ramdev’s Patanjali Ayurved is planning to diversify its business, this time into the solar power equipment manufacturing.”Getting into solar is in line with the swadeshi movement. With solar, each household in India can have power supply, and we are here to make that happen,” Acharya Balkrishna, managing director of Patanjali Ayurved told Mint in an interview.Since its inception, Patanjali is cashing in on the “natural” or ayurvedic and ‘swadeshi’ label to scale up its business. The company was set up in 2006, has been a success story now, as it has grown at a dramatic pace, with revenue touching Rs 10,561 crore as of March 31, 2017, from Rs 2,006 crore in 2014-15.Patanjali’s decision to foray into solar power equipment manufacturing space comes when the central government is considering a 30 percent capital subsidy as part of a new solar manufacturing policy, reported the business daily.”The government has been working on the solar industry, and even offering sops. We will manufacture solar panels in India without compromising the quality. But we are not going to get into the price war with the Chinese solar panels,” Balkrishna explained.The government has also proposed a scheme—”rent a roof”, with an aim to support its ambitious plan of generating 40 gigawatts (GW) of solar power by 2022.Earlier this year, the firm acquired a navigation aid equipment manufacturing company, Advance Navigation and Solar Technologies. Baba Ramdev backed Patanjali plans to invest around Rs100 crore in solar equipment manufacturing.For manufacturing solar equipment, the firm has already chosen a factory unit in Greater Noida, it is expected to be functional in next three to four months, reported the business daily.”This started with our plan to use solar as a source of power at all our factories. That time we understood (that) most of the solar modules come from China. And there was no quality consistency even in India-made ones. We started with making solar modules for our captive use initially and then decided to utilize existing capacity to manufacture solar modules and sell in the market. This unit is at a nascent stage at the moment,” Balkrishna said.
The Houston Auto Show is billed as largest auto show of the South. In its 35th year, the 2018 show brings the public an opportunity to check out new vehicles from all the major automakers. It also brings the Houston automotive community together. Dealers, manufacturers, marketers, engineers, and media all converge on the show each year.That seems like a fine opportunity to talk with some of them about the state of the automotive industry and auto sales in Houston. In an interview from the floor of the Houston Auto Show, Houston Matters Host Craig Cohen talks with Bob Krapes, regional director for Chevrolet, Chris Poulos, owner of West Point Lincoln, and Steve McDowell, president of Infonation, which produces reports about — and for — the automotive industry. Share
Courtesy of Salvation Army of HoustonThe Salvation Army will close its men’s shelter in Houston’s Near Northside at the end of the year.The Salvation Army will close its men’s shelter in Houston’s Near Northside at the end of the year because of the expensive maintenance of the facility and residents of the area who are concerned about the shelter’s clients, especially because of the tragic murder of 11 year-old Josué Flores in 2016, are welcoming the decision.The name of the shelter, which is located at 2407 N. Main, is Harbor Light Center and Red Shield Lodge. Starting January 1, the Salvation Army will start housing men at what is currently its women’s shelter, Sally’s House, in downtown Houston. The name of the facility will change to The Center of Hope.The women’s shelter will move to a facility for families located in midtown. The Salvation Army says uniting the shelter for women and families will result in resource and staffing efficiencies.Major Kent Davis told News 88.7 the reason for closing the shelter in the Near Northside is the organization wants to reduce costs and improve services. “One of the things about the Harbor Light Center is that it’s a very outdated building facility,” he noted, “there’s a lot of cost in maintaining that facility.”Recovery programThe Center of Hope will have programs to help veterans and homeless people who want to get a job, while the men’s recovery program will be administered at the Adult Rehabilitation Center in Washington Avenue.Davis said no decision has been made about the future of the shelter in the Near Northside. “We are discussing that and we’re looking at our options,” he said.Area residents held a press conference Friday to say they are relieved because of the shutdown. The shelter has been on their minds particularly since Josué Flores was fatally stabbed multiple times in May 2016 in the neighborhood as he was walking home from Marshall Middle School.Andre Timothy Jackson, a veteran who was arrested for the boy’s murder but who the Harris County District Attorney’s Office ultimately decided not to prosecute because DNA and blood analyses were inconclusive, was reportedly living at the shelter at the time the crime occurred.Stella Mireles Walters is a former Near Northside resident who founded the Safe Walk Home program for the neighborhood. The initiative provides training to volunteers who watch the area, especially when children are walking to school or leaving school to return to their homes.Courtesy of Joel CisnerosStella Mireles Walters is a former Near Northside resident who founded the Safe Walk Home program for the neighborhood and has called for closing the Salvation Army shelter.“Call for justice”Mireles Walters wanted the shelter to be shut down and told News 88.7 she considers the closing a “call for justice” for Flores and the community. “This has been a great victory,” she emphasized, while noting the shelter has been a reason for concern “because of the lack of respect that the clients from Salvation Army have been displaying over and over again in this area.”Mireles Walters added there have been “numerous calls” placed to local law enforcement agencies. She and other residents have also argued that a METRO rail stop located in the neighborhood means unknown men go in their community without oversight.Asked about whether the criticism from the residents was a factor to decide shutting down the shelter, Davis said: “I think that we’ve been really good neighbors with all those wonderful Near Northside community and we appreciate their support.” He underscored the decision is based on “the cost of the facility.”Halfway housesThe shelter’s shutdown isn’t the end of the road for the residents according to Mireles Walters because there are also several halfway houses in the Near Northside that are also a reason for concern. She said residents will continue monitoring the halfway houses and “making sure that they are following the rules and the laws of Houston, and if they do not, we want to shut them down.” Share
Join the Baltimore County Public Library and help less fortunate children and families in the community. Bring a new, unwrapped toy to any branch or special program between Nov. 28 and Dec. 11. The gifts will be donated to various local charities benefitting the community.The toy drive is part of BCPL’s Connecting the Community initiative. “The Baltimore County Public Library is one of the most important and wonderful resources that you have at your disposal,” said BCPL Director Paula Miller. “We serve over 800,000 people. To have that much impact on people’s lives and on the communities that we are in is wonderful.”For more information, visit: www.bcpl.info
Kolkata: Mystery shrouds the death of a girl whose body was found hanging from the ceiling fan inside her house at Debpur village of Memari in East Burdwan.The victim has been identified as Kaveri Laha. According to the preliminary investigation, police suspect that the victim might have committed suicide after being jilted in a love affair. Police have recovered a note book from the room of the victim where she has expressed her love for a youth. They also suspect that on the two pages of note book the victim might have written with her blood. Also Read – Rain batters Kolkata, cripples normal lifeThe note book contains a letter written by the victim addressing her boyfriend with whom the victim had a relationship for the past few years. Cops suspect that the girl might have committed suicide after her boyfriend married another girl. The family members knocked on the door of the victim repeatedly but the victim did not open the door. The victim’s parents informed the locals who in turn called up the local police station. Police later broke open the door of the victim and found her hanging from the ceiling fan. The victim was rushed to a nearby hospital where the doctors pronounced him brought dead. The body was sent for an autopsy which might throw some light on her death. Also Read – Speeding Jaguar crashes into Mercedes car in Kolkata, 2 pedestrians killedAfter interrogating the parents of the girl, police came to know that she had been in a relationship for nearly four years. She was under tremendous mental depression for the past few days but the family members could never expect that she would take such a drastic step. Police also came to know from local sources that the victim had met her boyfriend in a nearby area a few days ago. The victim had also cut her hand on repeated occasions. Cops are also investigating if there was any foul play behind her death. Police have started a detailed probe in this regard.
December 7, 2017 Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own. Free Webinar | Sept. 9: The Entrepreneur’s Playbook for Going Global Growing a business sometimes requires thinking outside the box. The holidays came early this year — Nov. 3, to be exact — for lucky entrepreneurial techies. Not only did those early birds snag their preordered iPhone X models, but they enjoyed quick access to the newest Apple gadget while competitors had to wait up to six weeks for theirs. And what those first buyers discovered is that the iPhone X has shattered the mold once again, offering significant opportunities to businesses wanting to up their game.Aside from the X’s myriad aesthetic improvements — like no home button on the frame, to nearly edge-to-edge display — iPhone X reviewers agree that Apple has cemented itself as the influential leader in driving technology, even at the gulp-worthy starting price of $999.Related: Will X-gen iPhone Axe the Exiting?Behind all the bells and whistles, though, is the whisper of what could be — and what will be — for entrepreneurs prepared to lean on the iPhone X as a personal and professional tool. Not only is it a social media and web-browsing monster, it’s also a platform that can launch the next generation of sales, marketing and customer-experience opportunities, even while it springboards startups into 2018.A lookalike that sets itself apartNo one can look at the iPhone X without recognizing its enhancements. The taller screen, with its 19.5:9 aspect ratio and approximately 20 percent space increase, is sleeker and bigger than the screens of previous iPhones. But that’s not even the best part: That status belongs to the phone’s hardware and software, which are ultimately blowing users’ minds.With the addition of Face ID, enabled by the inclusion of a front-facing and infrared 3D camera, the days of Touch ID seem like a bygone era. Using a system that recognizes a user’s face, the iPhone X can be unlocked — day or night, with or without sunglasses — when its user simply looks at it. And because Apple keeps face maps out of the cloud, it’s secure against hackers who might try to use two-dimensional photos or create 3D masks. In addition, the iPhone X’s rear, 12-megapixel camera offers greater image stabilization and a smarter portrait mode through AI, for adding visual effects and recreating lighting scenarios.Nor are these attributes playthings, either. They’re radical, sociological experiments that, if Apple’s history is any indication, will transform the way consumers, and therefore entrepreneurs and businesses, interface with devices. In fact, according to Recode, the iPhone has a long history of changing the world: 85 percent of photographs are now taken on cellphones, and what was once an App Store containing 500 apps is now a spectrum of 5.5 million app offerings, if you total those available from the App Store and Google Play. Even the newly introduced gestures, swipes and movements used to access the iPhone X will likely become the new normal.Making today’s difference tomorrow’s normEntrepreneurs need to recognize these features not as novel, then, but rather as the soon-to-be, de facto standard around which they should already be structuring their operations. As in years past: When Apple rolls out new gestures, entrepreneurs should roll those new iPhone X traits into their company software.Related: How iPhone X Can Make an Entrepreneur’s Life EasyFurthermore, the iPhone X’s gorgeous display and Dolby Vision-rated color experience are things content-creators should embrace. While color correction and accuracy have never been one of the biggest selling factors for mobile devices, Apple’s HDR-capable screen adds a degree of color accuracy that lends a new level of nuance and flexibility to technology concepts, as well as interface elements.Moreover, having more screen real estate for software puts more things within the view of a user — from task lists to emails to social media posts. In daily usage, this means a user can get through more content quickly without the need to refresh or scroll as often.All of these new interface features and experiences disrupt the marketplace, and founders who use them to pursue their business goals and address the needs of their target audiences are the only ones who’ll be able to keep pace with the changes already here.To seize the business opportunities your iPhone X presents, you should:1. Run existing applications through heavy-duty screen tests. With the new screen resolution and size, certain applications are guaranteed to function differently on an iPhone X versus other business equipment. Some applications will have major problems, such as overlapping text, and getting these problems fixed quickly is vital, especially when it comes to sales and marketing.Even if the software works perfectly, businesses can take their investigation a step further to see if the new screen real estate opens doors to unheard-of user interface or user experience concepts. For example, older navigation paradigms might be best abandoned in favor of more natural, modern ones. And, as augmented reality is already changing how consumers shop, entrepreneurs should look to the possibilities of the iPhone X and its augmented reality platform to better understand what their businesses should offer and how they should offer it.2. Work emerging gestures into UX. With all the new muscle memory that will be developing among iPhone X users, entrepreneurs should see how that can be leveraged for UX. For example, if gestures that users are comfortable using provide them with shortcuts to an application’s key features, they’ll be more likely to prefer those gestures and perhaps that brand.Related: 10 Things You Need to Learn From Apple’s MarketingObviously, leveraging these features for your own business means experimenting with the control-less screen and 3D facial-mapping software, as well as that software’s far-reaching capabilities (if Apple provides this ability to developers, that is). While some users will always want to have click-ability and a sense of touch — hence the password protection that backs up iPhone X’s Face ID — many will expect to be able to engage with other software á la their devices.3. Consider how face-mapping can engage your customers. Interestingly, 3D-mapping software is ideal for use on human faces and on objects. This opens new possibilities: Could tapping into the new hardware enable people to try on items, as glasses purveyor Warby Parker has already done? Might facial gestures unlock accessible interfaces for the hottest new brands? Down the line, it may even be possible for face-mapping software to send personalized content to users based on the expressions they make.So . . . is it worth shelling out a grand so that every employee of yours has an iPhone X to explore and innovate with? Probably not. But figuring out the advantages of these evolutions is essential. Today’s marketplace is as dynamic as it’s ever been, and if the iPhone X teaches entrepreneurs anything, it’s that failing to keep up with these changes is the quickest route to backsliding in 2018. Register Now » 7 min read
[dropcap]W[/dropcap]hat an unholy mess at Cardiff which at face value looks grossly unfair on manager Malky Mackay.15th in the Premier League and four points off the drop zone is far better than most pundits would have expected at this stage of the season and throw in their notable scalp of Swansea.Despite this, it looks long odds-on that this will be Mackay’s last game in charge on the Bluebirds.Mackay received an ultimatum via email from owner Vincent Tan on Monday, telling the 41-year-old to quit his post, or face being sacked. Details of the message first emerged on Thursday night.Mackay did not attend Friday’s pre-match media conference ahead of the trip to Anfield, with assistant David Kerslake taking his place.But the former Watford boss has travelled to Liverpool with his squad for what appears almost certain to be his last game in charge.This isn’t a game that Cardiff would have expected to win with Liverpool pitching to go top of the table (possibly just for a couple of hours) and there’s little recent head to head form between the sides:HEAD TO HEAD(last 10)Feb 2012 Carling Cup Liverpool 2-2 CardiffOct 2007 Carling Cup Liverpool 2-1 CardiffDec 1959 Div 2 (old) Liverpool 0-4 CardiffAug 1959 Div 2 (old) Cardiff 3-2 LiverpoolFeb 1959 Div 2 (old) Cardiff 3-0 LiverpoolSep 1958 Div 2 (old) Liverpool 1-2 CardiffDec 1957 Div 2 (old) Cardiff 6-1 LiverpoolAug 1957 Div 2 (old) Liverpool 3-0 CardiffApr 1954 Div 1 (old) Liverpool 0-1 CardiffNov 1953 Div 1 (old) Cardiff 3-1 LiverpoolThrow into the mix Liverpool on a high after Luis Suarez has signed a new long-term contract and surely there’s only one way this can go.It’s hard to believe that Cardiff’s off the field drama won’t spill over into their performance at Anfield and the mood is hardly a positive one.Liverpool at 2/9 is far too short to interest me – but I’ll certainly take Liverpool (-2) on the handicap with Star Sports at around 5/4.RECOMMENDED BET (1-10 points)10 points LIVERPOOL (-2) at around 5/4 with Star SportsWhat’s your view? CALL STAR SPORTS 08000 521 321