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A Guide To Smart Home Automation In 2018

As 2018 gets into gear, many are predicting that this year the smart home revolution will enter the stratosphere. Domestic automation has never been more advanced or more affordable, so what are some of the devices and systems that are set to define the next 12 months?

The Hubs To Watch

Fashion Swatch

Back when Apple first introduced Siri with the iPhone 4S in 2011, the idea of talking aloud to a voice-controlled virtual assistant seemed faintly preposterous. Cut to seven years later and people are much more at home with the concept, not least because the rise of smart speakers and hubs has helped to eliminate a lot of these inhibitions.

By far the most prominent product range in this niche at the moment is offered by online shopping stalwart Amazon. The Echo family of smart speakers, including the full sized model, the more compact Echo Dot and the touchscreen-toting Echo Show, have brought Alexa into millions of homes worldwide. And in doing so, expectations about what smart home hubs should offer have skyrocketed.

Social Media Addicts Have a New Way to Propose with This Engagement Phone Case

[ By SA Rogers in Gadgets & Geekery & Technology. ]

If you don’t capture every minute detail of your life and post it on social media, did it even happen? That’s one question that comes to mind when you first get a look at the RokShok – a new, highly Instagrammable way to propose to your partner. This (hopefully) one-time-use $40 smartphone case puts the engagement ring you’ve purchased on a pedestal right in front of your phone’s camera so you can capture whatever facial expressions pass over his or her face. Ah, just the ring presentation we’ve all dreamed of since we were kids, huh?

Apple faces $999 billion lawsuit for slowing down iPhones

Apple iPhone 7

Apple has been hit with eight lawsuits, including one for almost $1 trillion, after revealing it purposefully slowed down older iPhone models. Read more

Miniature Calendar Photo Project: Tiny Scenes for Each Day of the Year

[ By SA Rogers in Art & Sculpture & Craft. ]

No object is too ordinary or random to end up being used as a stand-in for a full-scale building, boat, landscape or prop in art director and photographer Tatsuya Tanaka’s imaginative miniature landscapes, released each and every day on an online calendar. There’s a donut island, a record player as a lake, a literal sushi train, tiny European houses made of clips and dice, disposable razor ski lifts, brush bristle fields and even a cracked iPhone standing in for a hole in an icy lake.

What to Get an Architect for Christmas [2017]

In what has become an annual “must write” post, I present to you THE definitive list of “What to Get an Architect for Christmas.” This is the 8th version of this list and I’m not going to lie, I’m starting to feel a little like Ebenezer Scrooge about the whole thing because I have unknowingly started to come up with some internal rules that govern what sort of gifts do, and do not, make my list. For the most part, I have tried to move away from do-dahs and bric-a-brac … because why? I want these gifts to be something that will live on past this particular holiday season, and that means that I focused more on longevity, purpose, and substance over style … I suppose substance AND style are preferred.

Does that make me a Scrooge? Maybe a little, but the stuff on this list isn’t meant for a 5-year-old, it’s gender-neutral, and I think most of these items your co-workers would want to steal (which, for most people, is really the measure of a desirable gift).

So on Dasher and Dancer, and Prancer, and Vixen, and … all the rest of those reindeers. Here are 43 things, one of which will surely make that irritatingly picky architect friend of yours truly happy.

Concrete Like You’ve Never Seen It: 15 Unexpected Furniture & Object Designs

[ By SA Rogers in Design & Furniture & Decor. ]

Concrete might typically be cold, hard, impersonal and impermeable, but treat it right and it’ll soften right up into surprisingly comfortable, accessible and usable everyday items, from pens and iPhone skins to rocking chairs and squishy-looking seating. Cast it from pillowy molds, 3D-print it in squiggles, brush it onto highly detailed objects, impregnate it into textiles or imprint it with delicate textures and you’ll have objects full of intriguing contradictions.

Concrete 3D Printer Enables Innovation

Apple Watch Series 3 includes built-in cellular service for receiving calls remotely

Series 3 Watch by Apple

Apple has unveiled the third edition of its smartwatch, which features built-in cellular service so it can be used completely independently from the iPhone. Read more

Apple announces iPhone X with Face ID technology

Apple iPhone X

Apple has confirmed rumours that it is releasing the iPhone X, which the tech company claims is "the biggest leap forward since the original iPhone". Read more

Apple leak suggests company will unveil "iPhone X" this week

Apple Iphone X has been leaked.

Details of Apple's new smartphone have been leaked ahead of the company's annual keynote event tomorrow, suggesting it will be named iPhone X and feature an OLED screen, as well as face recognition software. Read more