Smart Home & Gadgets

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This thing sucks. In a good way. The Samsung VR9300 is the most powerful robot vacuum cleaner that you can buy in Australia, and it's redesigned to be slimmer in profile than its predecessors to better slip underneath your couch and furniture to keep your house clean. Integrated Wi-Fi and a ceiling-mapping camera and onboard sensor suite means it'll guide itself around your property while you're away, and you can remotely control it to give your house a bit of a tszuj while you're out.

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For those not in the market for spectrally named vehicles with starting prices at over $400,000, the concept of a Rolls-Royce umbrella may be foreign. But the company has great pride in the rain shields it hides in its cars. They're treated more like royalty than you or I will ever be.

Shared from Lifehacker

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Dear Gizmodo, I am starting to collect points from different airlines. I am starting to sign up to credit cards as a part of my effort to do so — Amex has been rewarding because we can transfer the points to Singapore Airlines, Etihad, and so on. Do you have any tips to earn more points? I know buying wine from the Qantas online store is one of the best ways, but I don’t spend on wine.

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The southern stretches of the Monaro Highway make for a wholesome pastoral drive, passing fields full of cows and golden grass swaying in soft breezes. The road winds around hills and dams, at one point tipping up and over a crest to reveal an unexpected sight: thousands of solar panels shining in the hard Australian sun.

This is the Royalla Solar Farm — a paddock full of solar photovoltaic modules that together are capable of powering 4500 Canberra homes. And despite living in Australia's smallest territory, Royalla is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the ACT's solar accomplishments.

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Last week, Tesla announced Australian pre-orders for its solar roof, with installations starting in 2018. The idea is fantastic — replace your house roof with solar tiles that look good, generate power and are even more durable than existing options. But in the real world, is it worth the price? We crunch the numbers to find out.

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Following the WannaCrypt attacks, which started a week ago, you probably have security on your mind. While you can protect your computer with some solid anti-virus software, up-to-date software, and an ounce of common sense, that's not always the case with everything else in your life.

If you're a bit concerned about vulnerabilities in the real world, here are some things you can buy for some extra peace of mind.

Shared from Kotaku

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Fidget spinners are taking the country by storm, as the Tamagotchi and yo-yo did before them. Unlike those other examples, spinners aren't necessarily toys, but rather concentration tools for distracted or hyperactive kids. They're being banned from schools all the same. In New York, you can grab one at pretty much any convenience store and twirl to your heart's content. If you can't grab one, we'll, there's an app.

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We've been waiting a long time for either the Google Home or Amazon's Alexa AI assistant to reach Australian shores. Both are voice-activated speakers that can handle a bit of your life admin, giving you a calendar update or keeping track of your shopping list. But now they can talk to each other — and they get along — so I'm not sure how long it'll take until they realise that they should just team up and kill all humans.

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You've got your shiny new Apple TV hooked up to a big display... so how do you get all the videos you own up there on screen? Easy enough for your iTunes movies, not so straightforward if your content's on a Windows laptop or an Android tablet. Here's how to get almost anything streamed to your Apple TV.

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Honestly, this is usually the bit of Toy Aisle where we tease the rest of the fancy toys and merchandise we've spotted over the past week. But when you learn that there's a goddamn giant Mickey Mouse mecha that turns into a truck, Optimus Prime-style, do you really need to know what else there is in here? Let's just get started.