Web

Japanese man accidentally sets fire to his home during live stream

If you really must do a live stream about your newly acquired “permanent match” lighter, best you don’t smoke a cigarette while you’re doing it. And maybe put aside your regular lighter. And take a bit more care with flammable liquids. You might want to remove nearby trash bags full of paper, too.

Broadcasting from his bedroom over the weekend, a guy in Japan ignored all of the above, his foolish attitude resulting in a live stream as spectacular as it was disastrous.

Inferno

After four-and-a-half minutes spent fiddling about with his new gadget, the star of the stream finally manages to light the permanent match, a contraption that, as its name suggests, makes regular matches a thing of the past. Trouble is, because he failed to fully clear up an earlier oil spill, the lit flame is bigger than expected, causing him to drop the burning lighter on the floor.

As he tries to deal with the blaze to his left, he fails to notice another fire in a garbage bag to his right. At this point, members of his audience can be heard trying to alert him to the garbage fire behind him, with text-to-speech messages urging the unfortunate streamer to turn around.

From here the situation develops very quickly from bad to downright scary. For the next six minutes we witness the guy’s futile, and quite frankly abysmal, efforts to extinguish the growing fire using anything he can lay his hands on. Half a bottle of water. Cardboard boxes (yes, cardboard boxes), a blanket, more water. The audience sensibly suggests grabbing a fire extinguisher, or, here’s a good one: calling the fire department.

As the fire continues to rage, smoke fills the room and the stream finally cuts, presumably because the computer and all its innards melted.

While currently unconfirmed, some websites have linked the fire to an incident on Sunday on the island of Shikoku, about 350 miles south-west of Tokyo. Reports suggest the fire occurred on the second floor of a family home, and while no one died, three people are believed to have been treated for burns.

As for the hapless streamer, we suggest he stays well away from this particular contraption for his next live demo.

Smart Home

Rocco wants to rock out. Parrot learns to use owner’s Amazon Alexa

Rocco, an African gray parrot, fell in love with his owner's Alexa unit and ordered himself treats and other goodies, but mostly uses the smart assistant to rock out to his favorite music.
Home Theater

What’s new on Netflix and what’s leaving in January 2019

Our complete list of what's new on Netflix for January 2019 and which titles will be removed will help you catch up on your bingeing, and also ensure you don't miss any titles heading into the streaming ether.
Home Theater

Kill your cable and switch to streaming with our painless guide

If you're going to quit cable or satellite for a streaming TV solution, you're going to want to get it right the first time. We've outlined exactly how to get started, step by step. Follow our lead, and you'll never look back.
Home Theater

Step aside set-top boxes, the best streaming sticks are tiny and just as powerful

Which streaming stick reigns supreme? We pit the Chromecast and Chromecast Ultra against the Roku Premiere, Roku Streaming Stick+, and the Amazon Fire TV Stick 4K to help you decide which one will be the best fit in your living room.
Computing

From beautiful to downright weird, check out these great dual monitor wallpapers

Multitasking with two monitors doesn't necessarily mean you need to split your screens with two separate wallpapers. From beautiful to downright weird, here are our top sites for finding the best dual monitor wallpapers for you.
Web

Google Translate updated to reduce gender bias in its translations

Google is changing how Google Translate offers translations. Previously when you entered a word like doctor, Translate would offer a masculine interpretation of the word. Now, Translate will offer both masculine and feminine versions.
Web

Encryption-busting law passed in Australia may have global privacy implications

Controversial laws have been passed in Australia which oblige tech companies to allow the police to access encrypted messages, undermining the privacy of encryption with potentially global effects.
Web

Can Microsoft’s Airband Initiative close broadband gap for 25M Americans?

A new report from the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) says that 25 million Americans do not have access to broadband internet. Of these, more than 19 million are living in rural communities. Can Microsoft help out?
Computing

Microsoft’s Chromium Edge browser may be adding your Chrome extensions

Fans sticking to Google Chrome because due to its vast extension library might be able to switch over to Microsoft's latest iteration of Edge, as a project manager confirms that the company has its eyes on Chrome extensions.
Computing

If you've lost a software key, these handy tools can find it for you

Missing product keys getting you down? We've chosen some of the best software license and product key finders in existence, so you can locate and document your precious keys on your Windows or MacOS machine.
Computing

Google+ continues to sink with a second massive data breach. Abandon ship now

Google+ was scheduled to shut its doors in August 2019, but the second security breach in only a few months has caused the company to move its plan forward a few months. It might be a good idea to delete your account sooner than later.
Social Media

‘YouTube Rewind 2018’ is about to become its most disliked video ever

YouTube is about to achieve a record it really doesn't want — that of "most-disliked video." Yes, its annual recap of featuring popular YouTubers has gone down really badly this year.
Computing

Want to save a webpage as a PDF? Just follow these steps

Need to quickly save and share a webpage? The best way is to learn how to save a webpage as a PDF file, as they're fully featured and can handle images and text with ease. Here's how.
Mobile

5G: Why everything is about to change

Curious about the many ways 5G will change and enrich your life? Here’s our guide to all things 5G.