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Amazon’s smart home consult figured out how to connect a 50-year-old thermostat

Setting up smart-home devices can be painful, especially if you have no idea what you're doing. Amazon and iDevices both offer services that will help you set up or choose smart-home devices, and we gave them a try.
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Paint it black? 6 online tools that help you visualize, choose your new wall color

Will your living room walls look awful in brown? Thankfully, there are ways to find out using online tools from various paint companies. Upload a photo of your place, and you can start trying out different hues.
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Turn Touch: This Kickstarter-backed remote control is an aesthetic and functional marvel

Remote controls are powerful and highly programmable devices but one thing they usually are not is beautiful. Now a new Kickstarter-backed project wants to bring a remote control that is both functional and well-crafted to the masses.
Outdoors

Norwegians are developing eco-friendly snow machines that heat homes

Support from the Norwegian Ministry of Culture is going toward researching a better snow machine at SINTEF and the Norwegian University of Science and Technology. To make them work in a higher climate, they must change the way they work.
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Mattel gives Barbie a 21st century makeover with the Hello Barbie Hologram

Featuring similar voice-controlled commands like Amazon Echo and Google Home, Mattel's Hello Barbie Hologram is an interactive new Barbie experience. Mattel says it should cost less than $300 and launches later in 2017.
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ChefSteps' Joule sous vide now works with Facebook Messenger, too

Amazon's Alexa has skills for ChefSteps' Joule sous vide appliance. Adding voice control to the low-temperature vacuum cooking method is like an extra set of hands. The appliance also just added Facebook Messenger support.
Mobile

Weekly Rewind: Facebook vs. YouTube, animal-free pork, a Google Chromecast deal

In the tech world, a lot happens in a week. So much news goes on that it's almost impossible for mere mortals with real lives to keep track of it. That’s why we’ve compiled a quick and dirty list of the top 10 tech stories from this…
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Mommy’s Watches will help you track your breast milk’s expiration date

Meet Mommy's Watches, a wrist-bound timer meant specifically to track temperature and time of breast milk bottles and bags. Because being a new mother is hard enough without keeping tabs on breast milk.
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The new frontier in London office rentals: Your home

People are now renting out their homes when they’re not in them. That’s the notion behind new startup Hermit Offices, which aims to enable startups and other small businesses to set up office in residential homes and apartments in…
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Germany bans the My Friend Cayla dolls, calling them an espionage device

Those big brown eyes of your child's favorite teddy bear may not be as innocuous as they seem. That, at least, is the charge being levied by a number of privacy groups, who believe connected toys could be spying on kids.
Deals

Need a new computer? Acer Aspire E5-575-33BM laptop just $350 on Amazon

Available for $350, the Acer Aspire E5-575-33BM laptop is a solid and affordable computer suited for general use. The 15-inch laptop runs on a seventh-generation Intel i3-7100U CPU and comes with a 1TB hard drive.