Project Fi officially rebrands to Google Fi, finally supports iPhones and most Android devices

The prematurely posted report from yesterday was right: Google has indeed rebranded its Project Fi carrier into Google Fi. To further mark its exit from beta status, it’s also announced that the network finally supports iPhones and most Android devices.

There’s a huge catch, however. While you can bring your own phone to Fi, in order to benefit from the full functionality of the service you still need to use one of only a few Android handsets that the carrier is offering directly (or has in the past).

This means that the smart network switching between T-Mobile, Sprint, US Cellular, and Wi-Fi won’t work on an iPhone or any Android device that Fi isn’t selling. You’re also not getting Wi-Fi calls, and it seems that if you bring your own device you’ll only be using T-Mobile’s network. So make sure to check coverage in your area before you make the jump to Fi.

Your Android phone needs to be on Nougat or later, while iPhones need to be on iOS 11 or later. If you make the jump to Fi with your current phone, an ongoing promo is offering you $200 of service credit (if you port-in your number), but only if you sign up today.

Do that and also purchase a phone from Fi and you will receive a travel gift card in the exact same amount you spent on the phone. You’ll be able to use this at Delta, Southwest, Airbnb, and Hotels.com. It’s a pretty amazing deal but it expires at 11:59 PM PT today.

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.From neglecting storage to choosing too many finishes: The five mistakes that instantly cheapen your bathroom

A beautiful bathroom adds a feeling of luxury to the home but there are a variety of mistakes people often make when decorating them.

These easy-to-make errors can turn the room into a space that gathers clutter easily and becomes an extension of the medicine cabinet.

Australian website My Domaine has gathered the best tips from a variety of interior designers as to how people can best organise their bathroom.

They have also explained some of the main mistakes people make, which include using too many finishes and neglecting storage.

A beautiful bathroom adds a feeling of luxury to the home but there are a variety of mistakes people often make when decorating

A beautiful bathroom adds a feeling of luxury to the home but there are a variety of mistakes people often make when decorating

OVERLOOKING LIGHTING

Interior designer Tali Roth said there is nothing worse than a poorly lit bathroom.

‘People often forget that they need multiple light sources and end up with a single dull sconce—which basically ensures you’ll leave the house with scary clown makeup. Try to incorporate both decorative and task lighting,’ she said.

Davies-Gaetano agreed with her as she said the importance of lighting is often overlooked when people are designing their bathroom.

She explained that it’s important that a bathroom has a good source of natural light as well as lighting that is strategically placed both overhead and surrounding the vanity light.

For those bathrooms that have bad lighting she suggested people add a table or floor lamp.

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Dear Family, You Need To Get Your Act Together In The Bathroom

brazzo/Getty

I walked into the bathroom the other day, not because I had to go, but because there appeared to be white slime dripping down the window, and it startled me away from my vacuuming.

As I got closer, I noticed the slime was actually toothpaste. And that toothpaste was sprayed all over the bathroom — on the mirror, the window, the windowsill, the toilet.

How the hell did toothpaste end up on the toilet? Was someone multitasking? Forget it. I don’t even want to know what happens behind these doors when I’m not looking.

I turned to grab some toilet paper to wipe up the mess until my kids got home from school and I could tell them to do a proper scrubbing. But because I already knew there was toothpaste making its way down the window, there was no way I was going to be able to function properly for the rest of the day.

But guess what? The only toilet paper in sight was a dinky little square someone left draped over a bald toilet paper roll, probably because it’s too much work to get a fresh roll and change it.

I walked out of there, refusing to get the toilet paper out to clean up the toothpaste spit because then that’s one less thing they would have to do.

When they got home I was full of piss and vinegar, partly because of their laziness and also because there was actual piss on the toilet seat and pooled on the edge on the toilet and god knows where else.

My daughter’s razor was sitting on the bottom of the tub caked with hair, and who knows how long those stiff towels have been laying on the floor.

I’ve tried to explain in the nicest way possible (read: only moderate swearing involved) that the bathroom is a place we go to wash our hands, take a shower, moisturize, and really, to get clean. And as they could see, their sorry-ass excuse pit of a bathroom wasn’t fit to get anything clean.

“How can you feel good about going in there to shower or wash your face or even take a dump? How can you relax in that hell hole?”

Their blank stares told me they literally didn’t understand the question, and I was wasting my breath. My oldest walked in, looked around and said, “Mom, it’s not that bad. Did you have a bad day?”

“Yes, I had a bad day because I had to look at this disgusting-ness and I can’t fathom why any of you think this is acceptable!”

From the empty bottle of conditioner rolling around on the floor of the tub, to the fingernail clippings hanging out on the windowsill, to the soap scum mixed with toothpaste that had crusted over the faucet and drain, I needed a wash down after just looking in there.

I don’t expect the bathroom to sparkle. I realize skid marks are going to happen and every once in a while we may forget to pick up our towel. But the fuckery that was blossoming in the bathroom that day needed to be fixed.

And so I made my three kiddos get down and dirty. There was grout-scrubbing and shower curtain-washing and Q-tips were used to get into hard to reach places.

There is zero excuse to have a bathroom that looks like it housed ten drunk college students for a month.

Adults of the world feel the need to bash our head against the toothpaste stained mirror every time we have to explain to our kids that things like changing the toilet paper roll when it’s out, or why throwing away the clump of hair will actually make life more pleasant but apparently, it’s part of the job.

My family needs a huge lesson on pulling it together in the bathroom. And lord help me, if I find that much pee on the bathroom floor again, I’m going to make them do their business outside for a month. At least that way they won’t have to exert themselves to change the damn toilet paper roll.

However, to avoid that mess I’ve compiled a list for my family so we are really fucking clear.

Bathroom Rules:

1. If anything comes out of, or off of, your body (this includes but is not limited to pee, poo, vomit, snot, spit, fingernails, hair, boogers, and toothpaste), it’s your responsibility to clean it up. All the way.

2. Empty bottles and containers do not get dropped on the floor or put on the windowsill, they get put in that round thing next to the toilet commonly known as a trash can.

3. When said trash can is full, empty it. Don’t sprinkle more trash around it.

4. Do the person using the toilet after you a solid, and change the roll if needed. Keep in mind we all need more than just one square to get the job done.

5. Towels and bathmats get hung up on designated hooks. Think about it: do you really want to rub something that’s been collecting floor-dirt on your naked body?

6. If you simply can’t keep this straight and maintain a semi-clean bathroom, I simply can’t give you the WiFi password

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Not every new ‘better sleep’ option smooths the way to a restful night

Epperson

Sleep is a topic that is far-reaching with an unbelievable number of “better sleep” options including creams, air filters, medicines, special lighting, noise makers and, of course, the many styles, features and distinctive designs of our mattresses and accessories.

Watching television one night, my wife and I agreed that we deserved “the best night’s sleep in the whole wide world.” We had no idea what the price of such a sleep was until she reached out in response to the television ad and bought a set of two pillows. I know pillows can go from $20 to $200 or more, so these were affordable with one concern. Since these are advertised so much, how much money can be left to make a decent pillow?

When I got home from the office one night, my wife gave me my pillow that she had put into a fresh, clean pillow case. What could be better? Clean just-washed sheets, a mattress we both love and new pillows. Sounds like great luxury and serenity, doesn’t it? Oops, and with my loving wife of almost 49 years, too.

A few hours later, I am transferring onto the mattress, careful to juggle my remote controls for the TV, the adjustable bed, the lights and the electric blinds. My head reclined onto the pillow and sank in. It (the pillow, not my head) was too soft.

But you have to fluff and manipulate every pillow, don’t you? For the next half hour or so, I kept trying to push it into some level of firmness, even squeezing it together lengthwise. I found my old pillow of many years and had a great night’s sleep. My wife tried the new pillow for about a week, and she, too, returned to her old comfy one.

Was this a fair and unbiased test? No. Comparing something new with an item you have gotten used to for decades is not easy. And it was not a waste. The new pillows went into the guest room.

On the other hand, we did try something new that really works: This triangular long wedge that fits between the two mattresses on our adjustable bed. That was genius. And it helps me keep all my remote controls from falling between the beds.

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Barrow furniture store uses pic of Scottish retail park to advertise new premises

Why has the Sofa Group used a pic of a defunct Scottish retail park to advertise their new premises?

Why has the Sofa Group used a pic of a defunct Scottish retail park to advertise their new premises?

A BARROW furniture store has created confusion by using a picture of a mothballed retail park in Scotland to tell customers about its upcoming move to “bigger and better premises”.

The Sofa Group is set to move from its current Market Street home to “bigger and better” premises although bosses have remained tight-lipped as to the new store’s location.

In a post on the firm’s Facebook page they said: “The Sofa Group are moving to a bigger and better premises in Barrow, the best site in the area. Shop in style in our new designer store.

“What’s new? Our gallery lighting department, accessories for the home, designer furniture, outdoor furniture, oak furniture, Italian leather sofas, recliner sofas, bespoke sofas and more. Prices as always will be the best in the UK.”

The news was shared alongside a picture of an impressive-looking large furniture showroom in a glass-fronted supersized store leading many to assume the image was The Sofa’s Group future home.

However one eagle-eyed Twitter user revealed the image used was actually an artist’s impression of a retail park in Scotland.

A story in Scottish newspaper The Courier two years ago published the image alongside news that the planned retail park in Fife had been rejected.

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Get into connected home tech with LIFX’s smart light bulbs, discounted to $40

Creating a connected home doesn’t have to mean expensive 4K security cameras and elaborate alarm systems. I’ve long argued that smart lighting is the easiest, most accessible way to tech out your house, and LIFX’s bulbs, which I’ve been using for years, are seeing some pretty great discounts for Black Friday.

They might sound superfluous at first, and smart bulbs are energy-efficient and let you cycle through different colors and brightness levels throughout the day. Maybe you want your lights to come on automatically in the mornings, set to a dimmed level, and go off at a certain time every night. Maybe you’re just bored of regular white or yellow lighting and want to make the house look purple or green.

You can control your smart bulbs through the LIFX app or with your voice assistant on either your phone or a smart speaker, and LIFX integrates with services like IFTTT to create automated actions — I have the kitchen lights set to turn on automatically if I come home after 8 PM, but there are all sorts of cause-and-effect recipes you can create depending on what other connected devices you have sitting around.

Smart bulbs are a great gateway into building out a smarter, more convenient home.

LIFX offers its smart bulbs in different sizes and made for different mounts to accommodate as many people as possible, but most buyers will do best with the A19 multi-color bulb. It’s discounted from $60 to $40 for Black Friday, and while that sounds pricey for a light bulb, it’s rated to last for up to a whopping 22.8 years — half of the bulbs in my house are LIFX A19s, and none of them have shown any signs of aging or degrading. If you prefer the BR30 shape, you can grab that for the same discounted price.

I also have a few LIFX Minis for the kitchen and bathroom, where I don’t necessarily need the full 1100 lumens of the A19. They work in exactly the same ways, but come in a smaller, slightly dimmer (800 lumens) bulb that works well for small lighting fixtures like desk lamps. While they’re usually $45, you can pick them up right now for $30.

I love LIFX, but a lot of my friends and colleagues are equally happy with Philips Hue’s smart bulbs, and as luck would have it, their selection is pretty heavily discounted for Black Friday, too. Whichever bulbs you get, smart lights are fun, convenient, and more practical than you might think. This is as good a time as ever to buy a bulb or two — or to refit your entire house, your choice.

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A tiny house festival is coming to Slidell

Getty Images

Around 30 microdwellings—including school bus conversions, yurts, vintage campers, caravan wagons, and tiny homes—will descend on Slidell next month for the Louisiana Tiny House Festival. The three-day fest is the first of its kind in Louisiana, according to co-founder John Kernohan, who has produced 10 tiny home festivals nationwide.

“It’s a hodgepodge collection of designs, modalities, and individuals that will be hitting the New Orleans area in two weeks,” Kernohan said in a phone interview.

Attendees can tour the structures and get a tangible sense of just what a 150-square-foot home feels like—which is useful for those who are in the early planning stages of a tiny house build. Perhaps more importantly, attendees can question tiny homeowners about their unique living situations.

People line up to tour tiny houses at one of Kernohan’s tiny house festivals.

“You can talk to the people who live in and built these structures,” said Kernohan, who lives in a 304-square-foot DIY home. “At an RV show, you interact with dealers, but here you can talk to people who live in these structures.”

Luminaries of the tiny house world, including vlogger Yvette Stokes and blogger Jenna Spesard, will present workshops and lectures on topics that range from off-grid living to disaster preparedness. Bucktown Allstars, Circus with a Purpose, and Florida-based fusion rock-reggae band Root of All perform.

“If you’re going to say you’re a festival, you need to be a festival,” Kernohan said.

There will be food and beer for sale, a children’s area, giveaways, and fire performances. The event is a collaboration between nonprofit Louisiana Cultural Economy Foundation and the United Tiny House Association. Proceeds benefit Tiny House Festivals, a for-charity organization that has donated $500,000 to more than 60 nonprofits. Admission is $20, but the fee is waived from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. Friday, December 7. A complete schedule can be found here.

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Scotrail teaching passengers how to use doors in new video

Image result for Scotrail teaching passengers how to use doors in new video

It’s back to the past as classic InterCity trains are to be re-introduced to Scotland’s railways. The 17 five-carriage and nine four-carriage trains trains date back to the 1970s, but they have been given a massive £54million overhaul.

The new – or should I say old – features will include manual door handles and sliding windows. To clear up any confusion to our button-pressing society, Scotrail have released an instructional video on how to board these high speed trains.

Brain teasers as to “turning the handle 90 degrees” and “pulling the door open towards you” are all included to ensure passengers can alight to their seat safely and quickly.

Scotrail boasts that passengers will have “more seats, more room and more comfort” on board and space to accommodate for bicycles.

The locomotives, originally part of the Great Western Railway franchise, will be rolled out across across the country in the upcoming months in a bid to reduce travel times.

They will ultimately offer better connections between Scotland’s seven cities, offering more direct connections from Inverness and Elgin to the Central Belt.

Scotrail managing director Alex Hynes said it “felt fantastic” to board one of the five-carriage trains for its maiden voyage from Aberdeen to Edinburgh last month.

He told the Press and Journal that the north-east formed a crucial part of Scotrail’s vision for the future: “We wanted to launch this in Aberdeen because we recognise that the north-east is a huge part of our business and we are looking forward to getting our customers faster journeys.”

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Microsoft opens the door to native ARM apps on Windows 10

Chris Velazco/Engadget

ARM-based Windows 10 devices have improved in performance, but the software is another story — without official tools to write native 64-bit ARM apps, it’s been difficult to help these machines reach their potential. That shouldn’t be an issue after this week. Microsoft has released Visual Studio 15.9, which gives developers the tools they need to craft native ARM64 apps. They can submit those apps to the Microsoft Store, too, although they can also release ARM apps elsewhere (or bundle them into releases for other chip architectures) if they’d prefer.

It may take a while before you see these apps arrive in earnest. However, they could help make a more compelling case for ARM-based Windows PCs. Right now, their frequent dependence on emulated x86 apps (not x64) offsets their touted advantages in battery life and portability. While a Snapdragon-based laptop isn’t about to outperform a reasonably quick Core i5 system any time soon, the gap may shrink enough that more people will give the ARM computer a chance..

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Microsoft opens the door to better Windows on ARM apps

Photo by Amelia Holowaty Krales / The Verge

Microsoft is removing one of the big limitations of Windows on ARM this week by allowing developers to create 64-bit ARM (ARM64) apps. Developers will be able to recompile existing win32 or Universal Windows Apps to run natively on Windows 10 on ARM hardware. That means 64-bit app performance should get a lot better, as long as developers take the time to recompile.

Microsoft is now relying on developers to use its tools to improve its Windows on ARM efforts. That’s a situation the software giant has found itself in before, relying on developers to create Universal Windows Apps for Windows 8, Windows 10, and Windows Phone apps for a variety of new touch-based hardware. It’s hard to say whether 64-bit app support will really help move Windows on ARM into the mainstream, but it’s certainly laying the ground work for a bigger push by Microsoft.

Windows on ARM has been progressing steadily over the past year, but performance and app compatibility are still big issues. Windows 10 includes an emulation layer for x86 apps running on ARM processors, and it’s the way you’ll experience most desktop apps on one of these machines at the moment. Emulation is never ideal, so if developers recompile their apps to run natively on Windows on ARM then we’ll start to see just how well these laptops can compare to traditional Intel-powered devices.

As Intel continues to struggle with its 10nm processors, competition from ARM processors has closed the performance gap significantly. Apple compares its latest iPad Pro gaming performance to an Xbox One S console, and benchmarks show it’s competitive at CPU tasks. ARM is also promising laptop-level performance from its Cortex-A76 chip design in 2019. The chip design company has been claiming that ARM processors next year will compete with Intel’s Kaby Lake range on laptops.

New Windows on ARM devices have started appearing recently, including Lenovo’s Yoga C630 and Samsung’s Galaxy Book 2. Both are powered by Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 850, and have phenomenal battery life. Microsoft has not yet launched a modern ARM-powered Surface. Recent reports suggest the company was considering ARM for the Surface Go, but Intel reportedly intervened and petitioned Microsoft to choose its Pentium Gold processors.

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