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My clock isn’t smart, but it works even if US-East-1 is down

I call him a clocker. Which makes sense because he’s a clock. Maybe “Tocker” would have been better, but he looks like a Clocker. And anyway, the name has stuck now.

Clocker is a mahogany Winchester chiming mantel clock. The chimes go off every quarter of an hour, like a…

Cracked screens and scuffed edges. The mental toll of using devices not designed for the real world

Photo Credit: AndreyPopov via Getty Images

A few weeks ago, I dropped my iPad. There was a moment, a gut-wrenching moment, seemingly in slow motion, as I watched my iPad Pro, 12.9", with its Apple A12X chip, Bionic 64-bit architecture, and Apple M12 motion coprocessor fall. …

I missed the joy of a simple, traditional watch that doesn’t depend on a dual-core processor to tell the time

Image courtesy of the author

In March, I decided to stop using both my iPhone and Apple Watch for an entire month.

Now, as challenges go, this isn’t quite up there with climbing Everest or running 26 consecutive marathons, but for someone who has been nestled deep within the Apple ecosystem for about 15 years…


Ring doorbells see all, but know nothing

Do you remember, way back about six or seven years ago, when Ring just made video doorbells?

This was after the small startup company competed on Shark Tank but before it was swallowed up Amazon, which made the now-ubiquitous doorbells the center of a universe; last time I checked, that…

Galaxy Buds Pro vs Jabra Elite 85t

The Jabra Elite 85t earbuds. Photos courtesy of the author.

True wireless earbuds have come a long way in a short amount of time. As someone who loudly rejected the mobile phone trend of jettisoning the 3.5mm headphone jack, I’ve come to appreciate and in many ways prefer Bluetooth wireless earbuds like the Jabra Elite 75t when comfort and all…

The gear you need for superior sound

Images courtesy of author

Hands up: I have a headphone addiction.

I’m lucky (or perhaps unfortunate, given my condition) that I get sent lots of free pairs of headphones to review for my YouTube channel. This has given me an appreciation for a wide range of consumer cans.

Whether you’re really into the quality…

Long video calls and chronic digestive issues don’t mix

Senior woman waving hi to the Zoom call with a restrained expression.
Photo: Nico De Pasquale Photography/Getty Images

Sammy Nickalls, a writer based in Pennsylvania, often has to poop immediately before a Zoom call. “I always end up thinking to myself, ‘Oh God, do I have time to take care of this before the call?’ and ‘WHY DOES THIS KEEP HAPPENING?’”

Nickalls is experiencing what for most of…

How these online communities rallied together during the pandemic

Image: SOPA Images/Getty Images

When the pandemic lockdowns first started, most people started staying home on nights and weekends and even worked or studied from home. …

And inspires others to do the same

Photo: Cytonn Photography/Unsplash

“I do not respond to emails on weekends. If this is an emergency, please call my mobile. If you do not have my mobile number, then you do not have a weekend emergency.”

That was one professor’s bold out-of-office reply, and when it was discovered by the internet, it spurred…

Dear Omar

In its highly experimental 2021 edition, South by Southwest shows how Zoom conferences can be done

Photo: Franck Fife/Getty Images

Welcome to Dear Omar, a weekly Debugger column from tech expert Omar L. Gallaga. If you have questions for Omar, send them to with the subject line “Dear Omar.”

It must have been around July 2020 when I decided I was officially done with virtual conferences.

They were a…


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