Friday, December 29, 2017

The Ultimate Smart Home Device iRobot Roomba 690

iRobot Roomba 690 on charging base

After having had the iRobot Roomba 690 for about a month now I am quite impressed. It's shocking the things it can pick up. From wood chips to cat litter it can pick up some impressively difficult things. I love not having to walk on litter anymore.

The Roomba 690 is super easy to use and even though it takes a couple hours to clean it's not very intrusive unless its right near you. Sometimes when it's in other rooms you wonder if it's still running it's so quite.

Although there are a lot of complaints about it not making it home I find that it's quite reliable. There have been a few occasions where its gotten stuck or ran out of battery but its usually pretty good. I think the weirdest thing is that it will tell you it's done cleaning but still spends a long time on its way back to its base.

This vacuum does require a little bit of maintenance. I like to empty the vacuum every day and am impressed by how much it picks up. I keep a ziplock bag near its base and just dump the waste in and seal it up.  It also requires frequent brush cleaning. At least if you have pet hair. It's not particularly difficult, but I find none of the tools work better than just pulling it out with my fingers.

I can't believe I waited so long to get one of these. It keeps my home cleaner and less dusty, it's less bothersome than vacuuming and it cleans under furniture.

If you like this post check out my post on Decorating a Smart Home to Make it Actually Look Smart

Sunday, December 24, 2017

According to Morgan Stanley the Value of Bitcoin Might be Zero

A common question when assessing whether to invest in Bitcoin is what they are worth? According to Morgan Stanley's research Bitcoin may actually be worthless. It's interesting to read although I think Bitcoin does have some value, my biggest concern is that all the added hype may risk increased volatility making it even more dangerous. Morgan Stanley has some very compelling reasoning as to why Bitcoin could be worthless.

Read more about it here.

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Saturday, December 23, 2017

Apple is Slowing Down your Older Devices Due to Battery Degredation

Show the condition of my battery is at 97%
Apple has admitted to slowing down older devices to improve battery life. While this doesn't seem like a huge issue to me, it can pose some significant problems to many consumers. Since I am the type of person that would normally upgrade my devices before the battery would need to be replaced it doesn't affect me very much.

 I primarily see it as an issue because not knowing why your device is slowing down doesn't give you a solution to fix it.  My iPad Mini is only at 79% which I would consider reasonable considering its age and since that should still give me about 8 hours of use I just wonder how much Apple is slowing it down. Apple really needs to create some built-in battery diagnostic tools.

Solutions Apple Needs to Immediately Implement 
  1. Add visible battery diagnostic tools
  2. Let consumers know when they are slowing down their device due to a bad battery
  3. Automatically tell consumers when their battery needs to be replaced
In the meantime, if your interested in seeing how your battery is performing you can download the Battery Life App by Victor Robinson. There are a couple of options, but this is the one I used. You can simply open the app and see what percent of your original battery life your phone is working with.

If you haven't completely drained your battery in a while the Battery Life App may be inaccurate and you should probably allow your phone to completely drain before charging next to let it recalibrate. Keeping in mind that completely draining your battery too often isn't good for it. If you find your battery is in terrible condition there are a number of options to replace it.

3 Ways to Replace an Aging iPhone Battery
  1. Replace it directly with Apple for $79 now $29 for iPhones and $99 for iPads
  2. Take it to a third party battery store such as Battery Plus  for around $60-$70
  3. Replace it yourself by buying a battery placement kit from iFixit for $25-$50
As you can see there are a number of options to replace your battery and even from Apple $79 isn't too bad to restore normal functionality for your phone if you plan to use it for a lot longer.

The biggest problem I have with Apple is that they weren't honest about. If they would have come out from the start and said we need to slow down your device as the battery ages to prevent it from dying all the sudden it would be much less concerning.

If you decide you want to get a new phone check out this post to Learn how to get a free iPhone 8? or Let me show you how you can get an essentially free 64 GB iPhone X right now

Friday, December 22, 2017

Bitcoin Makes Sharp Drop Losing Almost Half Its Value

Bitcoin Makes a Sharp Drop Pile of Bitcoins.

After reaching almost 20K earlier this week Bitcoin had dropped to less than 11K but is slowly inching its way back into the 12K range. This really makes it clear how truly volatile Bitcoin really is and how dangerous of an investment it is.

I am not sure whether this is a self-fulfilling prophecy from all of the critics or whether it was artificially overvalued. Either way, I am glad I didn't let the huge increases temp me into buying in. It will be interesting to see what happens next. It's certainly a tough decision for those who bought Bitcoin at about 20k because if you sell now you lock in your losses in case bounces back, but if hold your Bitcoins it could also drop more.

Saturday, December 16, 2017

How to get a free iPhone 8?

It might seem impossible, but there are a couple of ways you can get a free iPhone 8 or even a free iPhone 8 plus. The price of the 64 GB iPhone 8 is $699 which seems like a lot, but if you have good credit you can get financing through Apple and Citizens Bank with 0% APR and pay only $29.12/mo. Now how do you turn that $29.12 or ($33.29 for the 8 plus) into free?

Well, it won't exactly be free, but I will show you a few ways you can make your phone pay for itself.

First of all, if you don't already, make sure you are getting cash back on all of your purchases. I personally use Swagbucks, Ebates, Ibotta, and Checkout51. That may seem like a lot to check, but it really only takes second to see which site offers a higher percentage back for online shopping. You also want to make sure the site you are buying from doesn't charge a higher price for going through a rebate site. It's also worth checking for discount gift cards for everything you purchase at Raise.

In truth by simply making your Daily Goals on Swagbucks, you will make enough to pay for your iPhone. You can learn more about making your Daily Goals here. Basically here is how it works. You can get your first $25 gift card every month for 12% off. They have a wide range of gift cards so I am sure you can find something you would use anyway. By making your daily goals you will earn about $0.80 a day, but you can easily earn much more if you want to. Finally, for making your daily goal each day you will get roughly $0.08 a day bonus plus a $3 bonus for meeting your Daily Goal every day for a month. That makes $0.80earnings*30 + $0.08bonuses*30 + $3.00 monthly bonus for a total of $29.40 a month. Since the first $25 gift card is 12% off its the equivalent to $32.40. More than enough to pay for an iPhone 8 and about enough to pay for an iPhone 8 plus.

The Ultimate Smart Home Device iRobot Roomba 690

After having had the iRobot Roomba 690 for about a month now I am quite impressed. It's shocking the things it can pick up. F...

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