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The Best Smart Thermostats of 2019: Nest Learning Thermostat vs. Ecobee4

There has never been a better time to upgrade to a top-of-the-line smart thermostat. By utilizing the energy-efficient capabilities of a top-tier thermostat, your electricity usage will drop while your level of comfort will increase. The savings on your monthly electric bill will be immediately noticeable. In addition to the monthly savings, many electric companies are offering free smart thermostats and/or rebates to their customers.
Although quite a few new smart thermostats have recently become available, there are two that are hands-down the leaders in both market share and capabilities. Both of these thermostats have the ability to pay for themselves within the first year, so don’t let the sticker shock be a cause of concern.
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What to Do About Dog Foods Having Euthanizing Drugs

No one would want to think that their dog is no more in this world after eating their favorite meal of one of the popular dog food brands. Unfortunately, this can happen with your Fido too if the food he eats is laced with euthanasia chemical compounds.

Well, this is not something that happens frequently, but there’s always a slight chance that your dog’s food contains lethal substances which you will get to know about after reading this article. As a dog parent it is your responsibility to keep him safe by any means.

A general way to avoid this kind of misfortune is to research about the product. There are many online resources where pet loves best, for example, tests and reviews the pet products thoroughly. It is always good to remember the actual product is quite different than how it is marketed. In a nutshell, do not ever purchase a product without knowing about it contents, customer reviews, and experts’ opinions.

A Little Bit about Dog Euthanasia Drugs

Pentobarbital was found in dog foods during the late 1990’s, in 2000, FDA tested the dog foods and found 98% positive results. In fact, a pug died yesteryear after consuming dog food of a popular brand which I will talk about later in the different section. All the mishaps keep taking place and yet there is no perfect answer to the question, From where the recipes of dog foods get a euthanizing drug included?

Euthanasia in dogs is a process of painlessly killing the patient who has an untreatable disease. Generally, the drug used in euthanasia in dogs is a type of barbiturate called pentobarbital. Pentobarbital can exist in a form of free acids or salts of either calcium or sodium.

Coming to our concern, there were some cases where dog food from the popular brands has pentobarbital in it. The drug was neither purposely added in the recipe nor it had a proportion that can affect a dog. However, there should be no reason for the dog food brands to allow a recipe adulterated with euthanasia drug to reach the market.

This matter needs serious attention and action. Firstly, let us see which dog foods had pentobarbital in it.

Dog Foods with Pentobarbital

There were three renowned brands which were found of having euthanizing drug(pentobarbital) in its recipe. Evanger’s Dog Food, Against The Grain Pet Food, J.M. Smucker. All these brands recalled their products from the market and people who already had bought such products.

The recall list includes Evanger’s wet food recipes, Against the grain wet food recipes. The list below shows the products name and their respective barcode numbers(second halves of barcode)

  • Evanger’s: Braised Beef: (UPC: 20107)
  • Evanger’s: Hunk of Beef: (UPC: 20109)
  • Against the Grain: Pulled Beef: (UPC: 80001)

Also, voluntary recall list included J.M. Smucker brands i.e. Gravy Train, Skippy, Kibbles ‘N Bits, Ol’ Roy. The list of recalled products shows the UPC or the barcode number of the respective products.

Gravy Train Recalled Products

  • (UPC: 7910052541)
  • (UPC: 7910052542)
  • (UPC: 7910052543)
  • (UPC: 7910034417)
  • (UPC: 7910034418)
  • (UPC: 7910051933)
  • (UPC: 7910051934)
  • (UPC: 7910034417)
  • (UPC: 7910051645)
  • (UPC: 7910051647)

Kibbles ‘N Bits Recalled Products

  • (UPC: 7910010377; 7910010378)
  • (UPC: 7910010382; 7910048367; 7910010378)
  • (UPC: 7910010380; 7910010377; 7910010375)
  • (UPC: 791001037; 7910048367)
  • (UPC: 7910010375)
  • (UPC: 7910010378)
  • (UPC: 7910010380)

Skippy Recalled Products

  • (UPC: 7910071860)
  • (UPC: 7910050243)
  • (UPC: 7910050246)
  • (UPC: 7910050247)
  • (UPC: 7910050248)
  • (UPC: 7910050249)
  • (UPC: 7910050244)
  • (UPC: 7910050250)
  • (UPC: 7910050245)

Ol’ Roy Recalled Products

(UPC: 8113117570)

As the matter of fact, all the recalled products (most were voluntarily recalled) were wet dog foods which were found of having pentobarbital in it.

What is Safe To Feed a dog?

Looking at these popular brands found manufacturing adulterated recipes – accidentally! Then what dog food should a pet parent trust to feed his/her pooch? An answer to this problem is not that simple too.

There are many ways of feeding your dog the healthiest dog food that is available on the market. Additionally, understanding the nutritional importance of genuine ingredients and cheap filler ones.

Finally, keeping a check on the FDA recall alerts and connecting to the customer database of the dog food brand you are feeding your dog. Both these mediums will notify you of any recalls or possible chances of contamination. Staying well aware of the happenings with dog food companies is advisable.

How Pentobarbital Gets Mixed in the Dog Food

Pentobarbital is the euthanizing drug which was found in the dog foods. However, the proportions of the drug found in the dog foods were so negligible to have adverse effects on dogs. This was validated by the scientists from FDA.

Rendering Animal will not Eliminate Euthanasia Drug

If a dog food is found of comprising pentobarbital then the first thing coming to our minds would be – Does the dog foods use euthanized dog/cat as the ingredient?

This was the same case happened in the late 1990’s, at that time many vets noticed of the dogs showing resistance towards the effects of euthanizing drug pentobarbital. Which led to a strong belief amongst many pet parents and vets that dog food companies have been using euthanized dog and cats to prepare the recipe.

Adding to the fact, soon after these allegations, FDA developed a sensitive method to quantify the amount of rendered animal in the recipe. The method can detect up to 0.005% of any rendered animal present in the recipe.

Using that, in 2000 FDA tested all the samples of dog foods to find any inclusion of dog or cats at all. They used protein in the recipe to trace the DNA of dogs and cats in it. Fortunately, there was no inclusion of dogs or cats in the recipe for any dog food products. Yet 98% of dog foods were found positive for having pentobarbital in them.

That could be caused due to using the euthanized cattle or the horse as an ingredient in the recipe.

A Pug Dies After Consuming Pentobarbital(Euthanizing Drug)

After the case of dog foods comprising of pentobarbital noted in 2000, this situation did not seem to be bothering most of the pet parents until a pet died in 2017.

It was New Year’s Eve when Nikki, the parent of four pugs fed them Evanger’s Hunk of Beef Au Jus. After a couple of minutes, all the pooches started showing abrupt symptoms. She immediately rushed to the vet where they all stopped moving till the time.

All of them were admitted to ICU where one of her dogs(who ate the most) couldn’t make it back alive. Also, one of her three pugs had occasional seizures after being released from the hospital.

After this case, Evanger’s spokesperson conveyed their regrets but no immediate recall was placed without the batch samples were tested. In fact, a legit recall was made by the brand on 3rd Feb 2017 i.e. after a month of the incident took place. However, the brand directed the local dealers to recollect the sold products from the customers if wanted to return without any questions asked.

At that time, not only Evanger’s products were recalled for having traces of pentobarbital in its recipes but also the products of Against The Grain Pet Food were recalled.

The EndNote

After this mishap took place, many pet parents started switching to the homemade dog food recipes. Because it was is the only method to check or control which ingredients are used to prepare a dog food. Ultimately when a pet parent is making the food on his/her own then the chances of a dog getting anything harmful are none.

But again, preparing homemade dog food can be a hassle for the people who don’t like to cook or who do not have enough time to prepare food for their pets all the time. So, all you can do is keep yourself updated with the latest updates from FDA and do some homework before you head towards the shop to buy dog food. If you have a gut feeling about your pets not eating or refusing to eat the food properly, that warrants a call to your vet, because not every dog is picky eater!

Building an Apex Legends- Friendly PC on a Budget

Apex Legends, by now I’m sure you’ve heard of it, Respawns battle royale behemoth making waves in the multiplayer and streaming scene, but what does it take to run it? how budget friendly can you be when speccing up a PC to smoothly play this new gaming phenom? Let’s find out…

Apex Legends recommended specs are

  • 3rd gen core i5 processor,
  • A second to top tier Maxwell GTX 970 or a GCN 2.0 R9 290
  • 8GB of RAM

Fairly respectable specs, these are the recommended settings to run at least 60FPS, Medium, 1080p, roughly where the console equivalents would be let’s see what can we get from current generation hardware to beat that target.

Our first build is for streamers on a £500/$550 budget, we aim to hit High settings with at least 60-70fps at 1080p while streaming. Our second build is catering for the ultra spec gamers on a tight budget we’re aiming to hit £700/$750 with the aim of 1440p High settings 60fps or mixed settings for 1080p with 100+fps. Finally, our third build is as budget-friendly as you can get.

Apex Legends PC Build 1 – All AMD

  • CPU – First-gen AMD Ryzen 7 1700 (3GHz- 3.7GHz boost, 8C/16T) – £140/$175
  • Motherboard – ASRock B450m-HDV – £55/$70
  • Cooler – Stock – £0/$0
  • GPU – ASUS ROG RX 570 4GB – £140/$175
  • RAM – 2 x Corsair Vengence LP 4GB 2666MHz – £50/$65
  • Storage – 120GB Kingston SSD + Seagate Barracuda 1TB HDD – £18/$22 + £35/$45
  • Case – Cooler Master MasterBox Q300L – £40/$50
  • PSU – beQuiet! System Power 8 400w – £37/$48

Build Total: £517.50/$681

Summary:

We’re £17.50/$23 over budget here, but that can be remedied by cutting out the SSD we’re using for a boot drive and sticking to a free OS as mentioned above, its not something we’d recommend but if you’re dead set on playing and streaming Apex Legends at high 60+fps on a strict £500 limit, it’s definitely attainable.

So, build one down, streamers happy, let’s tackle those of you just playing the game and wanting the sweet taste of ultra settings with our second build.

Apex Legends PC Build 2: Intel + NVIDIA  

  • CPU – 8th Gen Intel Core i5 8400 – £180/$200
  • Motherboard – ASRock H310m HDV – £45/$60
  • Cooler – Arctic Freezer 11 LP – £14/$18
  • GPU – NVIDIA’s GTX 1660ti – £240/$270
  • RAM – 2 x Corsair Vengence LP 4GB 2666MHz – £50/$65
  • Storage – 120GB Kingston SSD + Seagate Barracuda 1TB HDD – £27/$36 + £35/$40
  • Case – Phanteks Eclipse P300 – £45/$60
  • PSU – beQuiet! System Power 8 500W – £78/$95

Build Total: £694 pre-shipping

We’re coming in under budget here, maybe use the £6 you saved on some Apex packs? Or spill over budget but a little and grab a bigger HDD or some additional fans?

Bonus Build!

We figured maybe you want something at the most entry level of the range, can we manage it under £400? you’re damn right we can.

Apex Legends PC Build 3: Medium 60FPS 1080p

  • CPU – AMD Ryzen 3 1200 – £65/$80
  • Motherboard – ASRock B350m-HDV – £50/$65
  • Cooler – Stock – £0/$0
  • GPU – Gigabyte RX 570 4GB – £130/$150
  • RAM – 2 x 4GB Ballistix Sport LT set at 2666 MHz – £45/$50
  • Storage – 120GB Kingston SSD – £18/$22
  • Case – BitFenix’s Nova – £27/$35
  • PSU – beQuiet! System Power 8 400w – £37/$45

Build Total: £375

Conclusion:

Getting into Apex can be done at almost any reasonable budget if you’re wanting to target the high settings for £500 or max everything at £700 you’ve got a whole host of options. You could even combine the GPU of our second build with the CPU/Motherboard of the first build and have a streaming monster, or slim your budget down and use a Ryzen 3 or i3 and wipe squads out while sliding around happily for under £450. Even under £400 we’ve proven that with the third build on this list. It’s never been easier to piece together a powerful gaming PC.

These 7 New Gadgets Might Actually Help You Sleep Better


Research conducted by Seniors shows that health is an area that we are embracing with technology, with 85.5% of recipients surveyed saying that technology empowers us to manage our health. With that in mind, we’ve researched the exciting new tech gadgets on the market that have been proven to help make better sleep possible, and therefore improve our overall health too.

Could a simple tool from the latest batch of high-tech sleep aids send you peacefully off to dreamland? Take a look.
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5 Innovative Gadgets for Geeks

Syber Cube Xtreme 400 Gaming PC

Make your command center the focal point of any room with the Syber Cube Xtreme 400 Gaming PC. Featuring a high-end design, this desktop device combines RGB lights and high-end components to enhance your gaming experience. With its unique cube design, the Syber Cube displays any added component through the three glass panels in the front, resulting in a cool sci-fi look.

Syber Cube Xtreme 400 Gaming PC

PlayStation Classic Miniature PlayStation Console

Reminisce over one of the most popular gaming gadgets of the 90s with the PlayStation Classic Miniature PlayStation Console. This miniature recreation is less than half the size of the original PlayStation and features the same layout, packaging, and logo. It even comes with two wired replica controllers and virtual memory card.

PlayStation Classic Miniature PlayStation Console

Magic Leap One AR Goggles

Explore the world of computing in a whole new way with the Magic Leap One AR Goggles. This innovative AR system comes with an external computer called Lightpack, goggles, and a handheld controller. Designed with creators in mind, the headset provides an entire set of capabilities for you to experience and enjoy.

Magic Leap One AR Goggles

Misty II Advanced Personal Robot

Enjoy the presence of a companion with the Misty II Advanced Personal Robot. Incredibly cute and clever, this intelligent robot can easily be programmed to become your ideal buddy. Complete with a far-field microphone and 4K camera, Misty II recognizes your face, knows how to move through your home, manages your smart home devices, and more.

Misty II Advanced Personal Robot

UX Kits Wireframe Card Deck

Building wireframes on your work desk is easy with the UX Kits Wireframe Card Deck. This set includes 80 double-sided cards, each of which contains common UI and website elements. Complete with hi-fi and lo-fi elements on both sides, the cards enable you to come up with and create layouts with your team members or clients.

UX Kits Wireframe Card Deck

Why the Ascent Charge+ wireless earbuds are a must for music lovers

Wireless earbuds have come a long way in recent years. Initially, they were known for their poor battery life and Bluetooth limitations. However, technology has now improved significantly. When using the latest Bluetooth 5.0, the two earpieces can work together and pair to your phone  simultaneously and seamlessly. Additionally, the Bluetooth update provides a much better battery life, making them perfect for everyday use.

Rowkin’s new Ascent Charge+ earbuds make the most out of these features, including a truly wireless design and battery life that lasts all day long.

How many hours can you get out of your wireless earbuds?

Getting any type of rechargeable battery into a small, lightweight earpiece is an impressive achievement of engineering.

With that in mind, you might even say that Rowkin has achieved the impossible. Powered by high-density cells, the Ascent Charge+ earbuds offer more than 3.5 hours of play time. Even so, each earpiece weighs just over 0.20 ounces.

To top it off, the earbuds include a wireless charging case. Thanks to the 1900mAh capacity, the case is capable of charging the earbuds 15 times over. That means it offers more than 50 hours of play time without requiring any additional charging.

While battery life is important, the sound quality is even more important.

Utilizing mylar diaphragm drivers, the Ascent Charge+ earbuds deliver beautiful sound with an impressive dynamic range. Moreover, bass lines provide a pleasing thud for any genre.

The earbuds’ ergonomic design further enhances the listening experience. The box comes with three tips sizes to ensure a snug fit whether you’re on your commute, at the gym, or relaxing to a podcast.

Bluetooth 5.0 allows you to enjoy wireless sound without any interference. The Ascent Charge+ earbuds even come with an LDS antenna for a strong and reliable signal. Plus, the touch controls make it easy for you to navigate your music.

By using the companion app, you can also create a custom sound profile to make your earbuds work for you. Cleverly, the app also helps you locate your earbuds if you can’t find them.

 

True wireless earbuds

Rowkin’s wireless earbuds signify the growth of wireless audio. Loaded with impressive audio technology, the earbuds are lightweight and sleek.

Should you upgrade?

Even though the Ascent Charge+ already comes with impressive battery life, there are pricier earbuds that last longer. Whether or not it’s worth the investment is something for you to decide.

8 Latest Amazon Alexa compatible gadgets

Meural Canvas Modern Digital Art Frame

Fill your home with museum-quality images with the Meural Canvas Modern Digital Art Frame. This smart device combines modern design and innovative technology to create images that look just the originals hanging in museums all over the world. Likewise, it uses TrueArt technology to give the images a lifelike and textured quality.

LG Rollable OLED TV

Fold and roll up your entertainment just like a newspaper with the LG Rollable OLED TV. Offering 4K resolution, the concept television suggests that portable TVs will be available in the not too distant future. In addition to the futuristic design, the Rollable OLED TV provides access to Amazon Alexa for exceptional ease of use.

Ring Door View Cam

Know exactly who is at your front door with the Ring Door View Cam. Even though it looks like a smart doorbell, this device actually replaces your door’s peephole to offer a better look at who’s right outside. Featuring a camera on the outside and the battery on the inside, the wireless Ring Door View Cam looks good on any door.

Kohler Konnect Sensate Smart Kitchen Sink Faucet

Turn your sink into a smarter one with the Kohler Konnect Sensate Smart Kitchen Sink Faucet. Complete with voice-activation technology, this virtual kitchen assistant works with Amazon Alexa and other voice assistants to simplify your sink-related needs. Simply use your voice to control the water, fill up a certain amount/, and more.

HELLO 2 Encrypted Video Communication Device

Transform your television into a powerful communication tool with the HELLO 2 Encrypted Video Communication Device. This device makes it easy to communicate via video and audio for video conferencing, screen sharing, live broadcasting and more. Thanks to smart assistant integration, you can also use it to automate your home with just your voice.

Juno AI LED Speaker Downlight

Make the most of your living space with the Juno AI LED Speaker Downlight. Complete with Amazon Alexa integration and a JBL speaker, this advanced light is actually a smart home ecosystem. Combining music, lighting, and voice service in a single unit, the Juno AI LED Speaker Downlight a must-have for any smart home.

ASUS Lyra Voice Alexa Router Speaker
Do more with your voice with the ASUS Lyra Voice Alexa Router Speaker. Combining a router’s connectivity with a speaker’s sound, this device connects with your ASUS Lyra devices and blasts out your music simultaneously. The Lyra Voice also comes with Alexa built-in so you can control your smart home devices using only your voice.

Panasonic GZ2000 4K OLED TV

Enjoy greater color accuracy while watching movies and shows with the Panasonic GZ2000 4K OLED TV. Available in 55- and 65-inch sizes, this television always determines and displays the right color, regardless of the level of brightness. Supporting Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant, the GZ2000 4K OLED TV comes with convenient voice control.

Meet MovieMask, your wearable movie theater

Movie lovers seem to agree: there’s no better place to watch a movie than in the theaters. After all, these venues provide the latest technology when it comes to both audio and visuals. However, theaters aren’t always ideal. Tickets can be on the pricey side and you might not always get the best seat.

MovieMask is an innovative headset that allows you to enjoy the big-screen viewing experience whenever and wherever you like. Unlike virtual reality headsets, this wearable offers an unobstructed view of the screen. Therefore, you can watch movies at four times the definition that gaming headsets offer.

Since VR attempts to replicate and digitize the real world, one of the largest technical difficulties lies in the mimicry of depth. To create 3D digital landscapes, the majority of VR headsets use a slightly different image for each eye.

When it comes to this type of system, the issue is that you are losing viewing space, especially if you are using a smartphone headset. Instead of using the entire display, you are only viewing two windows, which causes a significant drop in resolution.   

Since MovieMask isn’t mimicking the real world, it doesn’t have to separate your eyes and allows for an unobstructed view inside the headset. As a result, you can make the most out of every pixel that your smartphone provides, turning your iPhone into your very own IMAX screen.

To start using MovieMask, just slip your device into the secure front pocket. Any content that can become full-screen is available on the menu, along with any OS, offering Netflix, YouTube, HBO, and more.

Utilizing a patented single-lens system, the headset keeps the entire display in focus. The ergonomic padding around the viewing windows also offers a comfortable fit. Plus, you can change the viewing distance and even use it with your glasses on.

While you may have a huge television at home, MovieMask allows you to enjoy the big screen from any location. It is also an ideal headset for drone piloting. The only thing that could be better with MovieMask is audio. Wireless earbuds do the trick but other options can feel a bit awkward.  All in all, it’s a fantastic experience for personal entertainment.

Stay warm with the Down X Heated jacket

When it comes to the cold, nature tends to be hard to beat. Even though there are several types of synthetic insulation, down is known as the most effective one. After all, it is the same material that helps birds retain their body heat in harsh winter conditions.

The Ravean 12v C6 jacket is a medium-weight garment that features both electric heating pads and responsibly sourced down filling. This winning combination makes it possible for you to stand in freezing temperatures without noticing just how cold it is.

Typical unheated clothing traps your body heat to provide warmth, which is why more layers allow less heat to escape. Protective outer layers also prevent cold wind from getting inside. However, your body may have a tough time generating enough heat once the mercury drops. That’s when a heated jacket is a must.

The Ravean C6 Jacket has integrated thin heat pads in the back on both sides, the breast and the pockets. All you have to do is turn the pads on as soon as you start to feel cold. The amount of heat is also easily adjustable in the same way you adjust an indoor thermostat. The jacket is capable of keeping you warm in -10 degrees Fahrenheit when it is on full blast.


Not just heat alone

The C6 Jacket comes with a curved battery pack, which gives power to the heat pads. The unique shape of the pack makes it comfortable against your body.

Once the battery is fully charged, it has enough power to offer more than two hours at max output and over six hours on low heat. Additionally, the battery can also be used to charge mobile devices. Thanks to its 10,5000 mAh capacity, you can easily charge your smartphone three times.

Even though the Ravean C6 is loaded with tech, it weighs just 150 grams. The jacket is also machine washable and easy to pack during your travels.

Responsibly sourced

The Ravean heated jacket is an ideal addition to your collection, especially as the winter temperatures start to bite. The responsibly sourced down and adjustable heating also make it stand out amongst other heated jackets.

Upcoming designs

It would be interesting to see jackets with similar technology that can avoid animal products altogether by using a different filling.