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Every gadget has a story. A new publication from Medium about consumer technology.

Microsoft has delivered fantastic noise-cancelling Bluetooth headphones with great multi-device connectivity and rock-solid stability

For the last year, most of my work day has revolved around being on calls thanks to Pandemic-induced working from home–but I’ve spent far too much of that time fidgeting with Bluetooth, trying to get my headphones to connect. Microsoft’s new Surface Headphones 2+, which are specially designed for the new remote world, promise to solve pairing woes forever.

The Surface Headphones, which originally debuted in 2018, were Microsoft’s first foray into personal audio. They feature two giant dials on each cup; turn the left ear and you’ll ratchet up the noise cancelling, or turn the right dial to change…


Excellent in-ear audio doesn’t have to cost an arm and a leg

After years of testing and wearing of different Bluetooth earbuds, I’ve come to the conclusion that the best ones are those that you forget about. You hear the sounds but the hardware that produces them fades into the background.

Apple’s well-crafted and snuggly fitting $249 AirPods Pro fit that description, as does the much more affordable Google Pixel Buds A-Series. Granted, Google’s in-ear earbuds are not entirely on the same innovation plane as Apple’s in-ear leaders. The case doesn’t offer wireless charging and the buds lack noise cancelling and spatial audio. …


Between spam, Do Not Disturb, and confusing permissions, I have no idea when I’m missing something important.

An illustration of notification icons in a jumble
An illustration of notification icons in a jumble

When I got my first Android phone in 2008, I remember being stunned by the notification shade. It was a brilliant feature that seemed so obvious, yet most platforms still hadn’t adopted it: a single place to get every kind of notification you’d need. Get a new email? Notification. Text message? Notification. Someone on Twitter called you a moron? It’s right there in the notification shade!

Finally, there was a single funnel that everything important could be run through and either addressed or dismissed with ease. No more manually refreshing a dozen apps to find everything I needed to know…


Windows 11 is coming, and Microsoft is quietly signaling that you should get ready

As Microsoft plans to usher in the next major edition of Windows (ostensibly Windows 11), it’s also quietly preparing to show the door to its 6-year-old Windows 10 operating system.

That news, which Microsoft certainly didn’t make news (no press release that I could find), was discovered by Windows platform watchers like Paul Thurrott on a Windows Lifecycle page that now lists October 14, 2025, as the Windows 10 “Retirement Date.” That’s roughly 10 years since the launch of the Windows edition that revitalized the brand after the magnificent stumble of Windows 8.

Out of context, this is shocking news…


Why your home needs some RGB LED magic

One of the more charming features of my new house in the San Francisco Bay Area is a series of three recessed lighting nooks that adorn the main staircase. Each is about a foot wide and four feet tall, with a lit-up glass bottom. It feels like they should be in a museum or some ancient temple, each holding a precious artifact that Indiana Jones can swoop in and steal.

When my family moved in, I resolved to do something cool with the nooks. Using home automation gadgets, I ended up turning them into an app-controlled, seasonally-themed RGB LED light…


This week in car news

As Covid restrictions ease up and the world gets back to some sort of version of normal, automakers are making sure that as we cruise into the Vaxx Summer of… well not love.. maybe just fun, we’re all reminded that buying a car is freedom and freedom is for sale at your local dealer.

The cheap and awesome Ford Maverick

One of the worst-kept secrets in a while, the Ford Maverick was finally unveiled and with a starting price hovering around $20,000 for a front-wheel-drive hybrid unibody compact pickup, it looks like Ford might have a winner on its hands.

Sure people love the big trucks…


Getting there first is, apparently, not everything.

There’s a scene in The Social Network, where one of the cofounders of HarvardConnection — arguing over whether or not to sue Mark Zuckerberg for stealing their website idea — makes a claim that is often taken as a sacred truth in real life.

Divya Narendra: We know he stole our idea, we know he lied to our faces for a month and a half.
Cameron Winklevoss: No, he never lied to our faces.
Divya Narendra: Okay, he never saw our faces. Fine. …


Your iPhone’s probably gonna like this

Apple’s iOS 15 could be the iPhone operating system’s most subtle update in years. It’s also potentially the most impactful, making significant and much-needed changes to web browsing, mapping, notifications, and intelligence-aided search.

Here’s the stuff I’m jazzed about.

New Maps


Finally, an example of AR that’s all sustenance, no fluff

Aside from a couple of cool apps — IKEA Place comes to mind — and a handful of interesting games, examples of Augmented Reality have been a little underwhelming, with many of the apps released to date becoming pointless after the initial “whoa, how cool is this?!” reaction wears off.

In fairness, this comes with the territory when new technology and capabilities are being adopted. Many companies are making apps to showcase what can be done, not necessarily what should be done.

The problem is that most examples are all fluff, no sustenance.

Step forward Me@Walmart

On June 3rd, Walmart announced its All-in-One…


Not every family has multiple iPads and sharing one can be a one-way ticket to awkwardville.

Apple had a commercial once that showed a child using an iPad Pro in fun places like at a shop and up a tree then exclaiming, “what’s a computer?” Yeah, it was a weird flex for a company that makes and sells quite a lot of computers. The general theme was that the iPad Pro is capable of doing most of the things a computer can do and in some cases, do it better because of the touchscreen. Then kids will use and forget all about those pesky computers the olds have been using for decades.

But even with…

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