Tuesday, August 29, 2017

iRobot Roomba 650 Review



If you have pets, the IROBOT ROOMBA 650 is perfect for your home. This robotic floor cleaner is specifically for helping with removing pet hair and danger.

Other types of similar products can get clogged by such elements but this one won’t. The special design that it offers with powerful brushes and suction are the winning combination that make a huge difference in the cleanliness of your flooring. While the 650 is a bit older than the latest Roomba models, it was designed specifically with pet owners in mind.

In this Roomba 650 review, we will take a look at the main features, pros/cons, and overal impressions.
Important Features of the Roomba 650
3 Stage Cleaning System: This product features a three stage cleaning system. It is able to pick up dirt, pet hair, and debris that other robotic devices leave behind. The stages work by loosening the materials, using high power suction to remove them, and ensuring every area of the floor is clean before it moves on to the next.
Advanced Sensors: The sensoring system is able to target the dirtier areas of flooring. As a result, they get more time and they will be very clean. Every section of the flooring gets clean so you aren’t going to have to go back and clean up missed locations. Since more time is spent on the heavier debris areas, this eliminates them not being as clean as the rest of the flooring.
Auto-Scheduled Cleaning: It is easy to program and can be schedule for up to 7 cleaning sessions. Just use the buttons to pick the date and the time. That is all there is to the programming so it isn’t intimidating or complex at all.
Simple Push Button Control: There aren’t complicated buttons or settings that can be confusion like with some similar products. Instead, there is a large button on the top for cleaning. When turned on, it will be green to indicate it is ready. When the battery is getting low it will turn yellow and when the battery is dead it will turn red.
Return to Base Charging: The dock button can be pressed to get it to return to the dock, which is the home base, where it will be stored and where it will recharge when not in use. You can also select the spot button so that it will only clean in the proximity of an area you have selected. This is perfect for small clean up jobs.
Powerful Clean for the Size: The cleaning brushes are very powerful and able to successfully pull debris and hair from the flooring. The design of these brushes is better than other similar products. It is this very design that enables the iRobot Roomba 650 to be able to successfully lift up the dirt, debris, and pet hair that other products would leave behind.
Best in Class Suction: The patented AreoVac offers spinning brushes along the sides of the device. While the brushes loosen things, the powerful suction pick them up.
Maintenance Accessories: There are some tools that come with this device to help allow the features to work like they should. Over time, the brushes can get debris stuck to them and it can be removed easily with the brush cleaning kit. This will ensure your device is able to continue working at its optimum level. It is a good idea to perform such maintenance on a regular basis, depending on how large your home is.

Pros of the 650 to Consider
It is a small, compact product that weighs about 12 pounds.
The iRobot Roomba 650 works on any type or height of carpeting. It is able to adjust automatically as it goes from one room to the next. It can also be used on tile, hardwood, and linoleum flooring.
The bin is larger than in other models of the Roomba so it doesn’t have to be emptied as frequently.
12 month limited warranty.
Very simple to program. One touch start.
Able to detect furniture, cords, and stairs.
It is very quiet so you can clean your floors while you engage in other activities or even while you are sleeping.
The suction power is better than many of the other similar products on the market.
In addition to the dock for charging, there is also a cord that can be plugged into the device and then into an electrical socket at the other end.

Cons to Consider
The iRobot Roomba 650 isn’t the cheapest robot out there, (see here for lowest pricing). However, it is one of the cheapest Roomba’s out there (and the the cheapest model which still has auto scheduling, for example).
It is a round shape so that can make it harder for it to remove all dirt, pet hair, and debris in corners.
It does take a long time for the battery to become fully charged once it has died. It is a good idea to return it to the charging dock when not in use so that it can replenish what has been used of the batter life rather than allowing it to completely run down.
It can take 45 minutes to 1 hour to fully clean an averaged sized floor. This is due to the in depth cleaning that it offers. Yet when you empty it, you will be completely amazed at all it picked up!
Some owner’s complain that this device leaves patterns in their carpeting that are hard to disguise. It depends on the type of material and the height of the carpeting. To remove such patterns, you can quickly go over them with a regular vacuum cleaner.
The 650 does not have “memorize” the floor patterns like the newer versions due. Instead, it uses the “dirt detect” system to seek out problem areas. Sometimes this can lead to longer or varied cleaning times. The end result is the same, just a different slightly less efficient process to get there.
Sometimes, the iRobot Roomba 650 can become stuck or hung up going from carpet to another flooring surface. It is believed the sensors believe it is a drop off area and can’t distinguish that it is only a flooring transition. If that occurs, it may have to be programmed to only clean one room at a time.

Monday, June 19, 2017

MOULTRIE PANORAMIC 150I



With a 150 degree range, the Moultrie Panoramic 150I Revolutionizes the World of Scouting Cameras.
Alabaster, Alabama – Moultrie Products, LLC is pleased to announce that the award-winning Panoramic 150 is now available in a No-Glow model. The Panoramic 150i revolutionizes game scouting with a 70-ft No-Glow flash and three infrared motion sensors that cover a super-wide, 150-degree detection area. That illusive buck of a lifetime can now be captured within three times the area of a typical game camera. A trigger speed of less than one second and a battery life of over 9,000 images make this camera an extremely effective scouting tool when in the field.

For over 20 years, Moultrie has provided serious hunters and game managers with reliable, high performance products for a variety of situations. The 8.0 megapixel Panoramic 150i, combines a silent-slide lens with 70-foot NO-GLOW flash that rotates to take extremely clear photos wherever and whenever motion is detected. The Panoramic 150i not only captures photos, it also has the ability to record 720P HD videos to allow you to get an even better idea of animal activity.

The Panoramic 150i offers the choice of two capture modes. In Panoramic Mode, the camera captures three photos from each 50-degree zone and assembles them into a single, 48:9 extra-wide image; providing 150-degree coverage. In Single Mode, the camera detects game and then silently rotates the lens to capture individual 16:9 widescreen photos and videos from the area where motion is detected. The single image or video will provide a 50-degree field of view.

The Panoramic 150i is fully loaded and powered by six C-cell batteries allowing you to avoid the disappointment of an exhausted power source. A convenient power port has also been provided for the optional use of an external power source. An easy access SD card port is capable of accepting a 32 GB card for everlasting memory.

The operation and set-up of the Panoramic 150i has been made easy with a new simplistic interface, capable of password protection for increased security. A new feature that Moultrie is excited to introduce on all of its new products is backlit navigation buttons, which eliminates the difficulties of low-light set-up. All of these features are hidden from the view of game animals by Realtree® Xtra camouflage. The combination of all these innovative features will make the Panoramic 150I from Moultrie a staple in every serious hunter’s lineup. The Panoramic 150i has an MSRP of $259.99.

About Moultrie: Moultrie is the most recognizable game management brand in the industry. Moultrie develops and manufactures feeders, spreaders, sprayers, scouting cameras, feed supplements and accessories for deer, turkeys, hogs and fish. With over 30 years of experience, Moultrie is an expert in game observation and management. Moultrie is a division of PRADCO Outdoor brands.

Friday, March 17, 2017

MEET THE WOMAN MAKING LUXURY NIGHTSHIRTS FOR BARNEYS, THE LINE AND MORE

Alexandra Suhner Isenberg has serious fashion cred: When she was 19, the Vancouver-born designer went to Paris to study at the Chambre Syndicale de la Haute Couture, then went to Central Saint Martins in London, where she completed the MA program under the tutelage of Louise Wilson. She's also worked for Sonia Rykiel and Burberry. But when it came time to strike out on her own, instead of staying in the world of high fashion, she turned her attention to sleepwear.

Specifically, sleep shirts. It all began when Suhner Isenberg spotted a vintage nightshirt in London's Spitalfields Market. She bought it and wore it constantly. "You know when you find something really nice and you panic and you’re like, 'Oh God, what happens when I wear it out?' I started thinking about that with the nightshirt, so I decided to start making my own." She tweaked the shape and collar a bit to make it look more contemporary and turned The Sleep Shirt into a business, producing everything in Canada, where she was based at the time.

It's exactly the type of thing you don't know you want until you see it. Despite being such a niche product, it's available in many of the world's top retailers, including Barneys, Selfridges, Le Bon Marché, Net-a-Porter and The Line.


Of course that list of stockists took some time to build. Like any designer just starting out, Suhner Isenberg bootstrapped in the beginning, doing sales on her own using contacts she had from her former job at "a website that is like the equivalent of Daily Candy in Canada." She got picked up by several stores in Vancouver, but her wholesale business really accelerated when she partnered with Rainbowwave, a respected sales and PR firm based in London that's known for bringing emerging brands to market. Under their guidance, she expanded the collection to include a wider variety of styles. "That’s when we started to get the more serious retailers like Barneys and Bon Marché."

Of course, The Sleep Shirt does come in at a luxury retail-level price point, ranging from $110 for a lounge pant to $290 for a long sleep shirt. While not outrageous, that can be a lot for some to justify spending on pajamas. "It’s just about educating people," insists Suhner Isenberg. "People spend so much money on their bedrooms and sheets and it seems kind of weird not to buy some decent nightwear." She also points out that they're something you can just buy one or two of and wear every day, depending on how often you do laundry — the nightshirts can be machine or hand-washed depending on the fabric and, according to the designer, they get softer and better with age. She envisions her customer as "someone who likes to be around the house and have breakfast on Sundays and read the paper and keep [her] nightie on."


Suhner Isenberg is now based in Sweden with her family, but still produces everything in Vancouver, while her business partner Megan McEwan lives in Montreal. "We’re not like womenswear where you have to do fittings once a week; our product range is quite small," she explained of the arrangement. "So we’re able to do a lot by Skype, email and traveling."

As for what's next, Suhner Isenberg wants to build on the theme of creating a more beautiful, comfy bedroom situation — slippers and some simple knits and jersey pieces her customers can pair with the higher quality pajama pants and shorts she also sells. The brand also recently began selling handmade Amish quilts on its e-commerce site.

"One thing we try and talk about is that sleep is good and we love it and it’s nice to have nice things to sleep in," the designer said at the end of our conversation. We couldn't agree more.


Thursday, March 9, 2017

The 94-year-old inventor of lithium ion batteries just announced a battery that can’t catch on fire


Here are three links worth your time:
University of Texas professor John Goodenough (an ironic name for an inventor) lead a team to develop the next generation of batteries that charge 3 times faster and won’t catch on fire no matter how badly you abuse them (3 minute read)
How much should you charge for your Software-as-a-Service tool? I analyzed prices from 1,530 products to find out (4 minute read)
Before you bury yourself in packages, learn the Node.js runtime itself (9 minute read)

Bonus: Beau explains how you can get your web app to show your users desktop notifications using JavaScript (4 minute watch)
Thought of the day:
“I think computer viruses should count as life. I think it says something about human nature that the only form of life we have created so far is purely destructive. We’ve created life in our own image.” — Stephen Hawking

Wednesday, March 1, 2017

Client-side vs. server-side rendering: why it’s not all black and white



Since the dawn of time, the conventional method for getting your HTML up onto a screen was by using server-side rendering. It was the only way. You loaded up your .html pages on your server, then your server went and turned them into useful documents on your users’ browsers.

Server-side rendering worked great at the time too, since most webpages were mostly just for displaying static images and text, with little in the way of interactivity.

Fast-forward to today and that’s no longer the case. You could argue that websites these days are more like applications pretending to be websites. You can use them to send messages, update online information, shop, and so much more. The web is just a whole lot more advanced than it used to be.

So it makes sense that server-side rendering is slowly beginning to take a backseat to the ever-growing method of rendering webpages on the client side.

So which method is the better option? As with most things in development, it really depends on what you’re planning on doing with your website. You need to understand the pros and cons, then decide for yourself which route is best for you.
How server-side rendering works

Tuesday, January 3, 2017

I analyzed every book ever mentioned on Stack Overflow. Here are the most popular ones.



hen asked to head Facebook’s Applied Machine Learning group — to supercharge the world’s biggest social network with an AI makeover — Joaquin Quiñonero Candela hesitated.

It was not that the Spanish-born scientist, a self-described “machine learning (ML) person,” hadn’t already witnessed how AI could help Facebook. Since joining the company in 2012, he had overseen a transformation of the company’s ad operation, using an ML approach to make sponsored posts more relevant and effective. Significantly, he did this in a way that empowered engineers in his group to use AI even if they weren’t trained to do so, making the ad division richer overall in machine learning skills. But he wasn’t sure the same magic would take hold in the larger arena of Facebook, where billions of people-to-people connections depend on fuzzier values than the hard data that measures ads. “I wanted to be convinced that there was going to be value in it,” he says of the promotion.

Despite his doubts, Candela took the post. And now, after barely two years, his hesitation seems almost absurd.

How absurd? Last month, Candela addressed an audience of engineers at a New York City conference. “I’m going to make a strong statement,” he warned them. “Facebook today cannot exist without AI. Every time you use Facebook or Instagram or Messenger, you may not realize it, but your experiences are being powered by AI.”
Follow Backchannel: Facebook | Twitter

Last November I went to Facebook’s mammoth headquarters in Menlo Park to interview Candela and some of his team, so that I could see how AI suddenly became Facebook’s oxygen. To date, much of the attention around Facebook’s presence in the field has been focused on its world-class Facebook Artificial Intelligence Research group (FAIR), led by renowned neural net expert Yann LeCun. FAIR, along with competitors at Google, Microsoft, Baidu, Amazon, and Apple (now that the secretive company is allowing its scientists to publish), is one of the preferred destinations for coveted grads of elite AI programs. It’s one of the top producers of breakthroughs in the brain-inspired digital neural networks behind recent improvements in the way computers see, hear, and even converse. But Candela’s Applied Machine Learning group (AML) is charged with integrating the research of FAIR and other outposts into Facebook’s actual products—and, perhaps more importantly, empowering all of the company’s engineers to integrate machine learning into their work.