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Elisabeth Luard: ‘My old table is the only thing that matters to me in my new kitchen’ | My kitchen
Posted on Saturday August 19, 2017

An irreplaceable handmade table laden with memories is the heart of the kitchen for celebrated food writer Elisabeth Luard. Here she shares an extract and recipes from her latest cookbook, Flavours of Andalucia.

About two months ago, I packed up my country home in Wales and moved to London. You’ve no idea how much stuff there was. Five bedrooms, outhouses, 100 acres of woodland, an enormous library, and everybody’s debris. I had to concentrate everything right down into what I really minded about. Getting rid of one’s life can be traumatic, but I found it liberating.

When my children were small, I moved the family to Tarifa in southern Spain. It was the 1960s, not long after the Civil War. We built a house in a cork oak forest. The table is from that time – made by a carpenter named Ramon Sosa, a republican who had to stay deep undercover – it’s made as a shipwright would make it, everything is tongue-and-groove. The inset tiles came a few years later, they’re from the 19th century. I scrub it with bleach when I feel like it. The children had every meal at this table, and would slide anything they didn’t want to eat into the drawers. It is the only thing that really matters to me in the whole kitchen, I can do without everything else, so the fact that it fits in my new flat – it’s about 8ft long – is thrilling.

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Kay Plunkett-Hogge’s recipe for cabbage stir-fried with fish sauce | Comment
Posted on Friday August 18, 2017

Don’t be freaked out by the thought of including fish sauce in European or American food. Try it in this linguine and clams recipe ...

“I’ve just hired a Thai Texan,” David Thompson tells me over tea. “She was making some gumbo recently, and I said to her: ‘You know what that needs? Fish sauce.’ And she looked at me with stark horror … ”

This is not an unusual response. Many Thais see fish sauce as belonging exclusively to the Thai canon. Likewise, many westerners are freaked out by the thought of its inclusion in European or American food. As a child, my Bangkok-born mind thought fish sauce was, if not uniquely Thai, then at least particular to south-east Asia. But, aged 11, I found some anchovy essence in a cupboard in my gran’s Lewisham kitchen and realised the two condiments were loosely the same.

Related: Kay Plunkett-Hogge’s pad krapow moo recipe | A taste of home

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Kitchen gadgets review: a salt block for cooking eggs at the heat of the sun
Posted on Wednesday August 16, 2017

Hot-stone cooking just got saltier and more ostentatious: this natural block makes an ideal grilling surface, but it’s like having a nuclear rod in the house

Salthouse Himalayan salt block (Whole Foods Market, £34.99). Aggregate mass of halite, arranged in rectangular cuboid and employed as a cooking surface.

Related: Kitchen gadgets review: MealKitt portion controller – the blueprint for a totalitarian diet

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Watches, monitors and lights – seven of the best gadgets for runners
Posted on Monday August 14, 2017

Then market is saturated with new tech that can help keep athletes – whether veterans or newbies – safe, entertained and informed. Here are some of our favourites

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The war on food waste has a new weapon: a £99 fridge camera
Posted on Saturday August 12, 2017

Phone app offers households savings for a fraction of the cost of a top-of-the-range smart fridge

The world’s first wireless fridge camera goes on sale in the UK next month aimed at helping households slash food waste by being able to check exactly what they have in their refrigerator at any time.

As well as taking selfies to be sent to the user, the Smarter FridgeCam and app will also monitor use-by dates and send out automatic top-up reminders to buy more milk, for example. It will also encourage people to eat what they already have – typically festering at the back of the fridge or in the salad box – by suggesting recipes.

Related: We all love bagged salads – but they’re the tip of the food waste iceberg | Aine Carlin

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Noisy vacuum cleaners will bite the dust under new EU rules
Posted on Saturday August 12, 2017

From next month new models must be below 80 decibels – but there are doubts about what will happen after Brexit

A ban on the sale of deafening vacuum cleaners, with a noise level above 80 decibels, will come into force at the start of next month in the UK (and other EU countries) under new European rules designed to boost energy efficiency and cut carbon emissions.

When Which? tested most new vacuums, it found that noise levels varied dramatically from 65 up to 90 decibels – that’s the difference between the sound of a conversation a metre away to the sound of a busy main road.

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With Apple discontinuing iPods, what are the alternatives?
Posted on Thursday August 10, 2017

Marigold has a broken iPod and would like to hear about alternative MP3 players, mainly for listening to podcasts and Audible audio books

I was appalled to read that Apple is abandoning iPods. I have a seventh-generation iPod that has just packed it in, but I hesitate to spend money on repairs if it is about to go obsolete. Meanwhile, I am happily using my 2008 model, which lacks a radio but is fine otherwise. The grandson declares that this is the moment to get a “proper” phone that will do everything, but I am refusing to submit to blackmail and have no wish to consult the internet at every opportunity.

I am addicted to podcasts and books from Audible, and don’t often play music. Would an MP3 player from another maker still tie up with iTunes and Audible? Could I get one with a radio, preferably DAB? Marigold

Apple is abandoning its traditional iPods because most people with smartphones now use them for everything. However, many current smartphones – including Apple’s – don’t have FM, and none has a DAB radio.

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‘This house has been entirely furnished with things I’ve found or been given’ | A cook’s kitchen
Posted on Saturday August 05, 2017

Flea-market finds and gifted cookware find a new lease of life with Zoe Adjonyoh

I’ve lived in this warehouse in east London since 2010, the year of my first peanut-butter stew experiment, which was the beginning of Zoe’s Ghana Kitchen. It’s a great big space, set back from the road, super quiet and peaceful and flooded with sunlight. When we moved in, it was essentially an empty white box – we built the kitchen and two bedrooms ourselves. It’s cosy, but cluttered. I love living right by the canal at the end of the road, and that in this little compound, everyone knows each other – there’s a great sense of community.

The asanka pot on the chopping board is basically a Ghanaian version of a pestle and mortar. Beautifully tactile, and very heavy, it’s a really versatile piece of kit: you cook in it, blend things in it. If I’m giving a lot of love and attention to a particular dish, I’m using the asanka pot. This house has been entirely furnished with things I’ve found or been given: I love rescuing things. At some point, a neighbour of mine, Kanchi, was moving to Berlin just as I was coming back to London, and in the crossover I inherited a lot of things from her: a pink van, this retro trolley and a few other bits and bobs.

Related: Zoe Adjonyoh: ‘My only access to Ghana was the food’

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Is there a camera that can produce high-quality still images from videos?
Posted on Thursday August 03, 2017

Today’s compact cameras can often shoot both video and still images, but not at the same time. Christian is looking to save high-quality pictures from his home movies

I would like a compact camera that can take 20MP photo stills from the video. Something about the size of a Fuji X30 would be nice. Can you point me in the correct direction? Christian

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Fidget spinner toys pose risk of serious injury, tests show
Posted on Wednesday August 02, 2017

Warning over children’s craze after experts find poor-quality imports with edges sharp enough to puncture skin and eyes

Children are at risk of serious injury from dangerous and poor-quality imported “fidget spinners” – the UK’s most recent toy craze – according to an investigation by BBC1’s Watchdog.

A sample of the plastic gadgets were tested by experts and failed basic toy safety standards, with some found to have edges sharp enough to puncture skin and even eyes.

Related: As fidget spinner craze goes global, its inventor struggles to make ends meet

Related: Fidget spinners are not just a fad – ask any ballpoint-pen clicker | Katherine Isbister

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World's lamest cyborg? My microchip isn't cool now – but it could be the future
Posted on Wednesday August 02, 2017

Olivia Solon felt more key fob than RoboCop after getting implanted with a microchip to make contactless purchases. But the future could hold much more

I took two deep breaths, then a tattooed piercer called Andy stabbed me in the fleshy part of my hand between the forefinger and thumb, injecting a tiny microchip encased in a glass capsule the size of a large grain of rice. And so I became the world’s lamest cyborg.

The radio-frequency identification (RFID) chip, once registered, allows me to open doors, unlock computers and pay for items – provided those systems use the right software and have dedicated contactless chip readers.

Related: 'Anonymous' browsing data can be easily exposed, researchers reveal

Implants have not altered our experiences of technology the way smartphones, face-detection or social media have

Related: The future of fake news: don't believe everything you read, see or hear

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Guardian journalist Olivia Solon gets microchipped – video
Posted on Wednesday August 02, 2017

Andy the piercer initiates Guardian journalist Olivia Solon in Three Square Market’s microchipping program, inserting a tiny chip the size of a grain of rice between her thumb and forefinger. The program is entirely voluntary, but more than 50 of the company’s 80 staff have already signed up. The chip allows staff to make contactless, cashless payments at special vending machines on site.

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'The oven had precisely two settings: incinerate and off' | Comment
Posted on Saturday July 29, 2017

Nothing in your holiday kitchen? Don’t fret: most can be made to work with a make-do-and-mend attitude

There’s a strange feeling that accompanies looking around the kitchen of your holiday rental for the first time: an anticipation coupled with an almost inevitable disappointment. I’m sure the Germans have a compound word for it. The anticipation exists because this just might turn out to be a dream kitchen, the disappointment because it very rarely is.

This is because holiday kitchens broadly fall into three categories: the barely equipped, the under-equipped (which can mean that there’s absolutely nothing in it) and the equipped for show, but not for actual use. (Of these, the third is the most annoying, because it really gets your hopes up. Until you actually try to cook something in it.)

My friend and I found ourselves cooking on a Calor Gas stove, which I do not recommend, and would never do again.

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Apple kills off iPod Nano and Shuffle, marking the end of an era
Posted on Friday July 28, 2017

The smartphone has claimed another victim as the once best-selling app-free music players are taken off the Silicon Valley company’s roster

Apple has killed off the last remaining app-free music players in its roster, the iPod Nano and iPod Shuffle, leaving nothing but multi-use, connected devices in the brave new world of streaming, apps and games.

From the moment the iPhone was launched in 2007 the writing has been on the wall for Apple’s iPod line, and by extension, every other dedicated music player out there. For Apple, in the era of streaming music and smartphone ubiquity, now is the time to put its legacy players to bed, with the wifi-enabled iPod Touch the last remaining member of a once dominant gadget line.

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Kitchen gadgets review: BBQ Toolbox – it’s a barbecue … in a toolbox
Posted on Wednesday July 26, 2017

Workmanlike in heft, pillar-box red in hue, this portable, covert grill is irresistible

The BBQ Toolbox (£54.95, is a metal box, with an adjustable vent, that holds hot coal. Food is suspended above the heat source by a rack of bars.

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Roomba maker may share maps of users' homes with Google, Amazon or Apple
Posted on Tuesday July 25, 2017

iRobot’s chief executive says company could share or sell maps of robot vacuum users’ homes to US tech firms as part of smart home and profit push

The maker of the Roomba robotic vacuum, iRobot, has found itself embroiled in a privacy row after its chief executive suggested it may begin selling floor plans of customers’ homes, derived from the movement data of their autonomous servants.

“There’s an entire ecosystem of things and services that the smart home can deliver once you have a rich map of the home that the user has allowed to be shared,” said Colin Angle, iRobot’s boss.

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‘It is ridiculous, but I find it so beautiful’ | A cook’s kitchen
Posted on Saturday July 22, 2017

The happy hoarder chef Peter Gordon likes his pottery piled high and shelves well-stocked with memories

I used to come to Broadway Market on Saturdays and think: I’d love to live in Hackney. I moved here six years ago – to possibly the only street in the East End that wasn’t bombed, which happens to look like Coronation Street. I have great neighbours – people who have lived here forever. When I moved in, I ripped out the hugely overgrown garden, and spent 10 weeks doing up the house. The kitchen came three years later. I kept the floor red – I’d fallen in love with the lino of the old kitchen – and, although I’d always steered clear of stainless steel in the home – too much like work – Round House Design suggested it, and it’s been good.

Related: ‘I once put my nephew in the dumbwaiter’ | A cook’s kitchen

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SubPack S2 review: portable mega-club experience, without the hearing loss
Posted on Friday July 21, 2017

The vibrating back plate adds a physical dimension to music, games and VR in your home or office, but without the neighbour-ruining racket

Hearing music is one thing, but to really become enveloped by it, you need to feel the music too. Until recently that meant standing in front of an enormous speaker that pounded your body and ears with sound, the kind that makes your chest reverberate and your ears bleed. But what if you wanted that super-club experience at home? Meet the Subpac, a sub-like device you strap to your back to give you that body-rumbling feeling without deafening yourself or annoying your neighbours.

Pros: fun, immersive, discrete when strapped to a chair, adds something difficult to get without annoying everyone around you

Cons: expensive, difficult to wear about and about in today’s security climate, needs relatively large headphones to make the most of it

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Kitchen gadgets review: finally, a magnetised device to measure spaghetti
Posted on Wednesday July 19, 2017

It’s always pasta o’clock where I live – so, even in these carb-swerving times, a convenient gadget that delivers the goods rings my bell

Dexam spaghetti timer and measure, (£15, Crystal oscillator and diode display, with swivel-out back panel cut with holes of variable diameter. Portions and controls the cooking of spaghetti.

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'Spices are a good way to tell kids where food comes from' | A cook’s kitchen
Posted on Saturday July 15, 2017

Travel oddities, pilfered herbs and stack of spices embellish the rather narrow kitchen of kids’ food specialist Claire Thomson

We moved here a couple of years ago. It is an old railway cottage, long and narrow – a funny-shaped house. Railway workers used to get free coal, so instead of an attic, we have a large cellar with a hole in the outside wall, through which they must have poured it in. We have plans to knock through a wall to expand the kitchen. For now though, we have a big mirror on one side, which makes the space at least feel bigger, with a huge table in front of it. I don’t know how the previous owners got it in here – they must have built it in.

Before seeing the kids off to school and getting on with my day, I need a cup of coffee. I like a simple brew – a long americano with a splash of milk; iced in summer, hot in the winter. The AeroPress makes the perfect cup.

Related: Stéphane Reynaud: ‘A friend of mine makes goat’s cheese and I buy 40 at a time’ | Kitchen encounters

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This week in games: Destiny "accidentally" pops up on Steam, Civilization goes tabletop, and Animal Farm gets a game adaptation
Posted on Friday August 18, 2017

Licensed games all-but-disappeared for a few years there, swept into the trash alongside a bevy of B-tier studios. But I guess they’re back—and way weirder this time around, too. Adaptations of both Planet of the Apes and Animal Farm were announced this week, and the Pillars of the Earth point-and-click hit Steam. I can only imagine Ken Kesey’s logging classic Sometimes a Great Notion is next. Maybe Call of Duty: Catch-22?

That, plus Destiny briefly sort-of pops up on Steam, Total Warhammer II adds the ratlike Skaven, and Civilization gets adapted into board game form.

This is gaming news for August 14 to 18.

To read this article in full or to leave a comment, please click here

Jackery Titan S 20100 review: An affordable battery that packs a punch
Posted on Friday August 18, 2017

Anker PowerCore+ 26800 PD review: Everything you want in a battery pack
Posted on Friday August 18, 2017

Samsung Fast Charge Portable Battery Pack 5100 review: Slim, portable, and full of energy
Posted on Friday August 18, 2017

Note: The following is part of our roundup of USB-C battery packs. Go there for details on how we tested this device.

Samsung may have earned the honor of being at the end of random battery jokes, and suggesting a battery pack from Samsung may seem unlikely. But just put the Note 7 debacle in a box—keep it there, just in case something else bad happens.

Now, look at the Fast Charge Portable Battery Pack 5100. This $59 pack has a 5100 mAh (19.38Wh) capacity, is slightly thicker than a Galaxy S8, and is easy on the eyes.
A carrying loop sticks out of the top, with a power button and a USB-C port for charging the pack found on one side. On the other side you’ll find a USB-A port, used to charge your phone.

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RAVPower 20100 review: USB-C and QC 3.0 together
Posted on Friday August 18, 2017

Aukey 30000 PowerBank with Power Delivery review: A respectable upgrade
Posted on Friday August 18, 2017

Note: The following is part of our roundup of USB-C battery packs. Go there for details on how we tested this device.

The Aukey 30000 Power Bank was last year’s top pick, despite a couple of flaws. Its price point, combined with Quick Charge (QC) 3.0 and a handy flashlight (as gimmicky as it may sound) were enough to propel it to the top.

The current model (available for $80 on Amazon) adds Power Delivery (PD) charging, extending its compatibility to more devices, such as a MacBooks.

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Amazon is selling an EVGA 450W PSU for $10
Posted on Friday August 18, 2017

Whether you've got a PC building project on deck or need to replace an existing PSU, you can get an incredible deal on a power supply right now. Amazon is selling the EVGA 450 BT for $10 after mail-in rebate. That means you'll pay $30 upfront, and then get $20 back in the form of a prepaid debit card.

The rebate offer lasts until Monday.

This 450W PSU comes with a three-year warranty, and it's 80+ Bronze certified, which means it operates at 85 efficiency or greater under usual workloads. It has a single 12 volt rail, and if you need or want to know what that means, this YouTube video offers a great explanation.

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63% off Anker SoundCore 2 Bluetooth Speaker with 24-Hour Playtime - Deal Alert
Posted on Friday August 18, 2017

SoundCore 2 From Anker produces outstanding audio from an astonishingly compact speaker. Upgraded 2x 6W drivers blast out rich, clear sound. IPX5 water-resistant rating and dustproof engineering mean you can bring your beats anywhere - from the garden, to the beach. Upgraded materials provide smooth touch, and better grip. Listen for up to 66ft with latest Bluetooth 4.2 technology, while an in-built microphone makes hands-free calling a breeze. If you find yourself without BlueTooth, an aux port allows you to plug in and play. And a 24-hour / 500-song playtime means you can listen all day. The SoundCore 2 from Anker's typical list price has been reduced 63% to just $33.59. See this deal on Amazon.

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Five to Try: Hamilton's official app takes its shot, and Framed 2 revives the comic caper
Posted on Friday August 18, 2017

Don't miss this week's hottest new Play Store picks.

Elgato Stream Deck review: A streamer's best friend
Posted on Friday August 18, 2017

Pro-grade equipment at a bargain price. That’s the reputation Elgato earned as first YouTube videos and then Twitch streaming took over video games. Straddling a line between hobbyist and professional-grade—a line that’s hard to walk competently, I might add—Elgato’s capture cards have become a mainstay of streamers at all levels.

The Stream Deck, Elgato’s latest piece of hardware, is something altogether different: A video switcher (or mixer), not a capture card. But aside from some early-days software issues, it’s poised to be just as important a piece of kit for a certain tier of creatives.

Power at your fingertips

Video switchers are a fairly standard (and boring) part of multi-camera broadcasts. If you’ve ever watched a sporting event or another live broadcast, chances are a switcher was employed—it allows a producer to switch between multiple camera feeds on the fly, rather than sticking a camera on a tripod and calling it a day. Usually it’s a big gray rectangle full of dials, levers, and color-coded buttons.

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Netgear Arlo Go review: This security camera lets you roam free
Posted on Friday August 18, 2017

This indoor/outdoor security camera runs on batteries and a cellular connection, It doesn't need to be in range of your Wi-Fi network.

What to do when your laptop's touchpad stops working
Posted on Friday August 18, 2017

When your laptop’s touchpad stops responding to your fingers, you’ve got a problem. Have you ever tried to use a Windows PC without a mouse, touchpad, or other pointing device? It’s all but impossible. 

If the problem just started, reboot your computer and see if that fixes it. (Yes, I know that’s painfully obvious, but we all sometimes overlook the obvious.) If that doesn’t work, try these solutions.

First, make sure you haven’t accidentally disabled the touchpad. In all likelihood, there’s a key combination that will toggle the touchpad on and off. It usually involves holding down the Fn key (which is probably near the lower-left corner of the keyboard) while pressing another key.

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How to change your email address without losing your friends
Posted on Thursday August 17, 2017

Think of all the places where your old email address resides, outside of your immediate control, waiting to give people plenty of false information. There are other people’s address books, old messages in people’s inboxes, websites that use your address as your logon name, and your business cards.

Changing your email address can be quite a chore.

1. Keep the old address for a little while

The first thing you need to do is check with your old mail provider and find out how long you can keep the old address and at what price. It’s probably worth the money to keep it for at least a few months.

2. Tell your contacts, but bcc: please

Then you need to tell everyone about the change. Using your new address, send an email to everyone in your address book—friends, relatives, and business associates. Address the message to yourself (again, with the new address), and BCC everyone else.

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The best graphics cards for PC gaming
Posted on Thursday August 17, 2017

Galaxy S8 and S8+ case roundup: Protect your investment in style
Posted on Thursday August 17, 2017

Verizon is selling a Miracast dongle for $20
Posted on Thursday August 17, 2017

Similar to an Android phone, your Windows 10 device has a type of casting built-in—but depending on your hardware you may not be able to use it. Right now, you can change that by picking up a Belkin Miracast Video Adapter from Verizon for $20. That's about $20 cheaper than what you'll find elsewhere.

Miracast is one of two standards—the other being DLNA—that Windows 10 can use to cast content from your Windows 10 device to a television. With Miracast, you can project to your TV as if it was a wireless display for mirroring your PC's desktop. You can also use Edge's casting feature to throw web content onto your TV, or just right-click any media you have on your Windows 10 PC, select Cast to Device and select your Miracast dongle. Miracast is also supported on some Windows 8.1 devices, as well as Android 4.2 and up.

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Hands on with Microsoft's Story Remix, the new tool to make your photos pop
Posted on Thursday August 17, 2017

Microsoft’s Story Remix for Windows 10 is what happens when someone who suffered through too many dull slideshows of vacation photos thinks about what they could do better—a lot better. Try virtual dragons!

Update: An earlier version of this story noted that one of the best features of Story Remix—adding 3D objects to an existing video or image—had been delayed. But Chris Pratley, the corporate vice president in charge of Windows 10’s Photos, Videos, and Story Remix, confirmed that that feature will ship at the same time as the Windows 10 Fall Creators Update as an updated app.

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60% off Logitech G105 Gaming Keyboard - Deal Alert
Posted on Thursday August 17, 2017

The G105 gaming keyboard from Logitech features dual-level LED backlighting, fully programmable g-keys for single actions and macros, and anti-ghosting capabilities. Program 3 macros per key -- configure up to 18 unique functions per game. Program single keystrokes, complex macros or intricate LUA scripts. Record new macros on the fly while you're in the game. The G105 Logitech gaming keyboard is built for serious gaming and its typical list price of $59.99 has been reduced 60% to $23.99. See this deal on Amazon.

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65% off AcuRite Refrigerator/Freezer Wireless Digital Thermometer - Deal Alert
Posted on Thursday August 17, 2017

How often do you check temps in your fridge or freezer? With the AcuRite wireless fridge/freezer thermometer you can be sure that your food is being stored at safe temperatures. It displays the refrigerator temperature, freezer temperature and the high / low temperatures recorded for each. An alarm notifies you audibly and visually when temperatures exceed your customizable presets. Especially useful in a power outage, or if you plan to store food in a cooler for an extended period of time. Right now the typical list price on AcuRite's thermometer is discounted 65% to just $13.84. See this deal on Amazon.

To read this article in full or to leave a comment, please click here

Kobo Aura H20 Edition 2 review: A waterproof e-reader worthy of your consideration
Posted on Thursday August 17, 2017

While not indestructible, this Kindle competitor can survive being submerged in water.



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