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The Best Episode Of The Office Explained

After binge-watching The Office, what’s that one episode that sticks out as both incredibly cringe-worthy, but also extremely hilarious? It has to be The Dinner Party.

 Jim and Pam try dodging Michael’s dinner requests over a subtle, several-episode arc, but the inevitable happens and the awkwardness culminates with Pam, Jim, Andy, Angela, Michael, Jan, and surprise guests trying to have a civil dinner together.

As part of the episode hitting its 10-year anniversary, Rolling Stone interviewed the cast and dug into one of the most beloved and cringe-worthy episodes in The Office’s history.

The episode is a crucible for the various relationships on the show,” says Ed Helms, who played Andy Bernard. “It’s a tight, contained space where so many relationship issues are bubbling around between Jim and Pam, Andy and Angela, Michael and Jan. It’s that pressure-cooker aspect that heightens everything, plus the decorum of the dinner party, the sort of need to rise to a different sort of social construct, as opposed to just being co-workers in an office space. It’s just a boiling-hot crucible of comedy.

Carve out some time to give the whole episode history a read.

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The Ultimate Guide To Choosing A Home Wi-Fi Router

wifi router

Wireless internet and connectivity is the lifeblood of your house. Netflix, Xbox Live, YouTube, Sonos, Alexa, Nest’s thermostat, they all need that intenet juice to do their jobs.

For high-speed wireless internet, you need a modem, which brings the internet into your home and then you need a Wi-Fi router to send it out wirelessly. Cable and phone companies typically like to set you up with both of these devices (sometimes all-in-one) so you pay them more money. You can, however, use a different wireless router if you’re noticing slow, spotty, or poor wireless signal.

The obvious question then becomes: what Wi-Fi router should I get?

Here are tips and things to consider–including a few recommendations of different Wi-Fi routers that will hopefully provide solid internet across your home.

Coverage
Needing to stand in one corner of the living room to get a Wi-Fi signal is no way to live life and will cause many people to rip their hair out in frustration.

Takeaway: Don’t skimp on a lower priced router trying to save a few bucks instead of getting one that adequately provides enough signal for all your rooms.

Everyone’s home is different so there are no guarantees until you get the router set up and try it, but here are some very general guidelines on what you should budget based on the size of the place you’d like Wi-Fi.

Expected cost estimates:
0-1,000 sq. ft. – $25-$50

1,000-1500 sq. ft. – $50-$100

1,500-2,000 sq. ft. – $100-$300

2,000+ sq. ft. – $200-$400

Features
Routers have gotten pretty advanced in the last few years and certain ones now come with some pretty cool features built in. You can find routers which can monitor internet traffic, monitor kids’ devices, prioritize gaming over Instagram, and turn off the internet after bedtime, among other things.

 Takeaway: Besides a solid and reliable wireless connection, figure out what additional features you want, such as ease of use, parental controls, insight into internet consumption, or, device priority.

The reason Google Wifi and Eero have become so popular in the last few years is that they focus on making a complicated Wi-Fi network simple enough for anyone to set up and use. You might give up a few features from the more technical routers, but, they are dead-simple to set up and can be expanded for more signal strength in the future.

Price
These things are not cheap! Unfortunately, if you want to blanket your home in that Gucci internet, it’s going to cost you.

Take away: Although the Wi-Fi systems with multiple parts like Orbi and Eero are more expensive, they are typically simpler and you can expand them later in the future to add signal strength if you find you need more space connected.

Here are some suggestions on router options, divided into the two main groups for most people.

Lower cost and traditional router options

For smaller homes with open floor plans and people with less demanding streaming media needs–less than 10 connected devices in the home.

TP-Link N450

 

NETGEAR AC1000

TP-Link AC1900

 

Expandable (mesh networking) router systems

For larger homes with more closed off floor plans and people that are streaming more media–more than 15 connected devices in the home

 

Eero home wireless 

Google Wifi system

Netgear Orbi Wifi system

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Why You Don’t Need To Compulsively Quit All Your Phone Apps

quit apps

True or False:  
* After you use an app you immediately double-tap the home button and swipe the app away
* You always swipe away all or most of your open apps so they don’t keep running
* You believe that if you don’t quit an app on your phone it will burn your battery quicker

If you answered ‘True’ to one or more of those statements, it’s time for some myth-busting.

In a nutshell, modern mobile apps are built to be paused when the app is not in use. Both iOS and Android are modern operating systems made for mobile devices, they know that they are running on phones with limited battery. Conserving power is job number one.

Phone apps are not desktops apps

In the past, apps designed for desktops (or computers constantly plugged into the wall), weren’t concerned with power consumption, they were more concerned with speed and getting things done fast.

But what about that time when…

Let me guess, there was a time when an app was visibly draining your battery and you quit it and everything was magical again? Every once in a while that is the case. In fact Apple has a guide and instructions to show users how to force quit an app. They also say, “You should force an app to close only when it’s unresponsive.”

Android is the same. Here’s a response from Google’s SVP of Platforms & Ecosystems for Android, Chrome, and Chrome OS, Hiroshi Lockheimer responding on Twitter.

Time to blow your mind

It takes a certain (very tiny) amount of power and battery life to launch an app. Once the app is running, it takes even less energy (battery) to leave it paused in the background than it does to relaunch the whole thing from a cold state each time.

You’re likely using MORE battery life to quit your apps after each use and re-open them, especially if the apps are ones you open a bunch of times everyday.

Just keep this in mind if you’re trying to live that full-battery lifestyle. Feel free to share this info with other people as well.

In the end…

Of course, apps like Spotify and Google maps don’t completely pause when you switch to a different app. You’d be upset with your phone if couldn’t listen to Spotify and browse Facebook at the same time.  

Running these more battery-hungry apps all day will take a certain amount of juice, but all of this to say, you should not be worrying about using all the apps on your phone. Go about your normal day, use the apps you need, and don’t spend the mental energy worrying about your phone’s software. It’s fine. It’s all fine.

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The Best Travel Cases For Electronics For Under $50

You probably carry a bunch of electronic devices with you when you travel, but do you have a really good way to carry all the cables and chargers that go with those devices?

Almost everyone uses a toiletries bag to keep their personal care goodies organized when they travel – why shouldn’t we have the same for our electronic gadgets?

3 Key Features of a Tech Travel Organizer

After putting several electronics bags through the wringer over the years, here are the three main factors I consider when evaluating a tech travel case:

  1. Size: The size should be wide enough for your laptop charger, but not so bulky that you can’t fit it in your backpack or purse.
  2. Versatility: Make sure that there are enough pockets and straps to suit all of your gadgets, laid out in a way that will work for different cables and devices as your electronics change over the years.
  3. Price: If you want to throw down, that’s your prerogative, but, in the end, this is a bag for cables and small electronics. There are plenty of good-looking options for under $50.

Here are four the best options I’ve found – all of which meet the criteria above.

Bellroy Classic Pouch – $49

The curved nature of this “pouch” makes it feel smaller than it actually is, but still holds a bunch of cables and chargers–including being long enough to hold an Apple Pencil.

Aer Cable Kit – $45

With a book-like opening on one side and an open compartment on the other, Aer hits a lot of the needs for organization while remaining thin and manageable. The Cable Kit also has a handle, so you can use it stand-alone, if that’s all you want to carry.

Incase Nylon Accessory Organizer – $49.95

The Nylon Accessory Organizer is similar to Aer’s Cable Kit with a book-like opening, but provides a few more pockets, straps, and internal organization options.

There’s a very similar Incase Travel Organizer which is $10 cheaper if you’re looking to save a few bucks.

Topo Designs Accessory Bags – $19

This bag is just that, a single pocket bag. While it’s not the best option for a lot of situations, it’s flexibility allows it to be useful far into the future. It’s also stylish, well constructed, and provides plenty of space.

Throw in some cables, cards, chap stick, coins, adapters, and then throw it in your bag. Sometimes it’s freeing just putting miscellaneous items in a place to keep them from floating around.