Now that Amazon's Echo has been launched locally, we have a full set of premium speakers that can be used as home assistants that can listen to our commands and pander to our beck and call. So, how does it stack up against Google's Home and the Apple HomePod, which hits the stores tomorrow? Let's take a look.
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Dodgy Wi-Fi is the bane of human existence (or close to anyway), and even worse when it’s at home. There always seems to be a black spot (hint, it's on the toilet, or in bed), or random hard to pin down interference that causes Netflix to buffer. Fortunately, there are a bunch of easy ways to diagnose and improve your Wi-Fi woes.
When it comes to selling your house, even small changes can have a noticeable effect on the final sale price or time it takes to sell. The problem is knowing which ones are a useful return for your time and money. From using stripes to make a space seem larger, to anticipating that buyers will snoop in cupboards, these tips and tricks will help ensure you get the best price, or fastest sale.
Fires in Western Australia last week have killed four people after catastrophic fire conditions in the region near Esperance. All the victims reportedly died in vehicles. Australians are still underprepared for bushfires. With fire seasons getting longer thanks to climate change we need to look at why people are still dying in fires, and what you can do to get prepared.
Normally, DIY electronics projects require a lot of room to spread out and specialised tools, but this simple, tiny workbench by Instructables user gizmologist bucks the trend. It offers storage for tools and room for a breadboard, Arduino, and a few other gadgets, all in a portable package.
If you're putting together a home bar, you're probably thinking about the essentials you'll need, but not necessarily how it's laid out and where in the room. Kevin Liu at Serious Eats suggests you think about positioning too -- the right layout will keep you and your guests happy and leave you less to clean up.
Prolific Photoshop expert Helen Bradley (who last featured at Lifehacker explaining how to touch up photographs taken from planes) offers up another useful tutorial, this time on how to check what different paint colours look like on your house before committing. On-screen testing isn't a complete substitute for using a test pot or two, of course, but at least you can narrow down the possibilities before you hit the hardware store.Photoshop - change the colour of your house
Plan out your next redecoration or plot the layout of your next furniture rearrangement with online room mapping tool PlanningWiz. You can either load pre-made plans and modify them to suit your space or create your own plan from scratch. There are templates for furniture covering everything from couches to tables to beds and cribs. Save the plans you create, share them via email, or print them out. You can even customise the background of your floor plan, if you just can't visualize your new living room layout knowing the default flooring just doesn't match your swanky green shag carpeting. PlanningWiz is similar to previously mentioned Furnish or even Google SketchUp, but there's no download—all the magic happens in your web browser.PlanningWiz
Spring brings with it eager thoughts of planting for gardeners, along with ominous thoughts of keeping weeds at bay. If you're planning on using pre-potted plants or want to protect an entire area from the ever-growing menace, try corn meal, according to the This Garden is Illegal blog:
Corn Gluten is a pre-emergent, which is a fancy way of saying that is it is a seed birth-control. Corn meal scattered around an area will keep any seed in that area from growing into a plant. This means a weed seed or a desirable seed. This method is a good option for areas that you plan on planting grown plants in.
Hit the link for six more ways to kill unwanted growth in your garden, and share your own weed-stomping tips in the comments. Photo by Cyrstl.The 7 Deadly Homemade Weed Killers
Need an on-the-go, no-time-to-iron solution for wrinkled clothes, but loathe paying a premium for spray bottles of liquid wrinkle releaser? The TipNut blog has a recipe for a homebrew version. Pour one teaspooon of liquid fabric softener and one cup of water (distilled, preferably) into a spray bottle with a nozzle that can produce a fine mist, shake it up, and, just as with the commercial stuff, apply it to a small patch first to make sure it won't stain or discolour. The bonus is that you can halve the mixture if you want to save room while traveling, which is when this magic elixir really comes in handy. Hit the link below for more iron-less tips for smoothing out clothes. Photo by sometimesdee.DIY & Homemade Wrinkle Release Tips
The Productivity 501 weblog asked several work-at-homers what the most important, non-intuitive piece of advice they had for anyone setting up a home office. Their points ranged from making sure you have a door you can close, investing in a comfortable chair, and keeping an egg timer on hand to remind yourself to take breaks. Having set up a few home offices in my career, I'd add this: store stuff in a way that makes it easy to use (put stamps with envelopes, paper by the printer, fresh folders on or in the filing cabinet, pens and paper within reach, etc.) What's your best tip for making your workspace (at home or at the office) better? Let us know in the comments.Advice for Setting up a Home Office - Group Interview