How to Automate Lights (Both Smart and Non-Smart)

Smart lights are one of the most useful smart home devices on the market today. They provide a wide variety of options to use to automate lights inside and outside of your home.

In this article, we’ll cover how to do this by using either actual smart bulb solutions, or by using other smart home devices to control your existing light bulbs.

Options to Automate Lights in Your Home

You can control lights throughout your home with your smartphone in different ways. If you don’t want to replace every light bulb, you can just replace strategically located switches and plugs. Or, if you want more advanced features like colors or dimming, look into smart bulb options.

Here are all of the options you have to choose from:

  • Replace wall switches with smart switches.
  • Plug smart plugs into existing outlets.
  • Replace existing light bulbs with smart bulbs.

Each of these have pros and cons, and the options you choose can change the overall cost significantly if you don’t plan wisely.

Smart System Compatibility

When you start building your smart home, you’ll need to decide which smart home ecosystem you want to base your system on. 

While the smart home industry isn’t quite the Wild West that it used to be, there isn’t one central device you can use to control all other devices. But there are a few common devices – called “smart home hubs” – that attempt to do so.

  • ZigBee: Connects to your smart devices via an IEEE 802.15.4 personal-area network.
  • Z-Wave: A mesh network that talks to smart devices via low-energy radio waves.
  • Lutron: Connects to Lutron smart lights via Clear Connect RF technology.
  • Philips: Uses ZigBee 802.15.4 network technology to connect to Philips smart bulbs.

There are two areas of compatibility you need to consider: which light bulbs, switches, or plugs the hub will talk to, and what smart home controllers it’ll work with like Alexa, Apple HomeKit, or Google Home.

Replace Wall Switches With Smart Switches

If you want to automate all of the lights in each room with your smartphone, the best way to do this is by replacing your standard wall light switches with smart switches instead.

There are a few varieties of these. If you want to install several of these switches in various rooms, you should choose some that are compatible with the ZigBee or Z-Wave smart hubs. A Lutron smart hub with Lutron switches is another option.

GE Zigbee Smart Dimmer

There aren’t a lot of Zigbee hub-compatible switches on the market, but it should be no surprise the GE offers one that works with Alexa. GE has been creating many smart home devices that continue to top most smart home review lists.

Install the GE Zigbee Smart dimmer in multiple rooms of your house and then connect them to any Zigbee compatible hub like SmartThings, Wink, or most smart hubs offered by major cable companies.

The dimming feature only works with dimmable bulbs, but you can also use the switch to turn lights on or off as well. 

Purchase GE Zigbee Smart Dimmer for $32 to $43 depending on style.

GE Z-Wave Smart Dimmer

GE also offers one of the best smart switches compatible with Z-Wave smart hubs like ADT hubs, Honeywell, Nexia, Vivint, and more. It also acts as an extender by extending the wireless signal from the Z-Wave hub. Meaning you can place switches throughout your house beyond the 150 foot distance limitation of the Z-Wave hub itself.

The GE Z-Wave Smart Switch is compatible with both Alexa and Google Home. It works with any standard room lights by controlling them through the same wiring used by your original light switches.

Purchase GE Z-Wave Smart Switch for $40. If you prefer a smart dimmer, then go with the GE Enbrighten Z-Wave Smart Dimmer for $35.

Wi-Fi Smart Switches

If you only have one or two rooms that you want to control, then you might consider just going with a Wi-Fi connected smart switch. These switches don’t require any smart hub. They instead connect directly to your Wi-Fi network so you can control them to your Wi-Fi connected smartphone.

The following are 5 of the most popular Wi-Fi smart switches on the market.

Replace Bulbs With Smart Bulbs

If you only wish to turn your home lighting into smart home lighting, and aren’t interested in adding a family of different products, then dedicated smart home bulbs might be a better option.

This is especially true if there are only one or two rooms you care about, so that the number of smart bulbs you need are limited. Another advantage of this approach is that you don’t have to do any electrical wiring work to automate lights. You just change out the light bulbs, and you’re done.

Philips Hue Smart Bulb Starter Kit

The Philips Hue starter kit (either colored or white lights) comes with the Philips Hue hub and a set of four bulbs. The bulbs communicate with the hub via Zigbee communication protocol. Plug the hub itself directly into the router and you can control all of the lights via a smartphone app

By using the app you can set various color schemes, dim the lights, or even automate the lights to match movies or games that you’re watching on a television in the same room.

As you expand the Philips Hue smart light system, you can install the bulbs into any room of the house. You can assign the lights to any room and control them all via the hub. You can also control the lights via Alexa or Google Home.

Purchase the Philips Hue smart light starter kit for about $200.

C by GE Smart Lights Starter Kit

If you really don’t want to dish out a few hundred dollars to get started with smart lights in your home, GE offers an affordable solution with the C by GE smart lights starter kit

This solution uses an innovative plug that you can use to control a lamp or any other device, and it also serves as a Wi-Fi bridge for controlling the light bulbs as well. Use Alexa or Google Home to control the bulbs and the plug. It even has integrated voice control as well.

Buy the C by GE smart lights kit with 2 bulbs for $35 or 4 bulbs for $55. 

Using Smart Plugs to Automate Lights

One of the simplest ways to automate lights in your house is to just plug lamps in each room into a smart plug. Then use your phone to control all of those lamps from a single app.

The following are the most popular smart plugs you can use to do this.

  • TP-Link Kasa ($23): Works with Wi-Fi, and no hub required. Works with Alexa and Google Home.
  • Belkin WeMo ($59): Connect to Wi-Fi and turn on or off with the WeMo app or using Alexa.
  • D-Link Outdoor Plug ($50): Control your outdoor lights or other devices with this 2 outlet outdoor smart plug. Works with Alexa or Google Home.
  • Amazon Smart Plug ($25): Affordable Amazon smart plug that works via Wi-Fi and integrates with your Alexa device. 

Automate Lights Inside and Outside Your Home

There are plenty of solutions for controlling nearly all lights around and inside your home using your smartphone or your smart home controllers like Alexa or Google Home. It doesn’t have to cost a fortune either.

If you want to convert your entire home, you can do so more affordably by buying a hub and adding compatible smart bulbs over time. Or, you could simply use Wi-Fi enabled devices and change out your bulbs into smart bulbs just one room at a time.

The option you choose just depends on how quickly you want to automate your home lighting and how much you’re willing to spend.

source https://www.online-tech-tips.com/smart-home/how-to-automate-lights-both-smart-and-non-smart/

How to Automate Lights (Both Smart and Non-Smart)

Smart lights are one of the most useful smart home devices on the market today. They provide a wide variety of options to use to automate lights inside and outside of your home.

In this article, we’ll cover how to do this by using either actual smart bulb solutions, or by using other smart home devices to control your existing light bulbs.

Options to Automate Lights in Your Home

You can control lights throughout your home with your smartphone in different ways. If you don’t want to replace every light bulb, you can just replace strategically located switches and plugs. Or, if you want more advanced features like colors or dimming, look into smart bulb options.

Here are all of the options you have to choose from:

  • Replace wall switches with smart switches.
  • Plug smart plugs into existing outlets.
  • Replace existing light bulbs with smart bulbs.

Each of these have pros and cons, and the options you choose can change the overall cost significantly if you don’t plan wisely.

Smart System Compatibility

When you start building your smart home, you’ll need to decide which smart home ecosystem you want to base your system on. 

While the smart home industry isn’t quite the Wild West that it used to be, there isn’t one central device you can use to control all other devices. But there are a few common devices – called “smart home hubs” – that attempt to do so.

  • ZigBee: Connects to your smart devices via an IEEE 802.15.4 personal-area network.
  • Z-Wave: A mesh network that talks to smart devices via low-energy radio waves.
  • Lutron: Connects to Lutron smart lights via Clear Connect RF technology.
  • Philips: Uses ZigBee 802.15.4 network technology to connect to Philips smart bulbs.

There are two areas of compatibility you need to consider: which light bulbs, switches, or plugs the hub will talk to, and what smart home controllers it’ll work with like Alexa, Apple HomeKit, or Google Home.

Replace Wall Switches With Smart Switches

If you want to automate all of the lights in each room with your smartphone, the best way to do this is by replacing your standard wall light switches with smart switches instead.

There are a few varieties of these. If you want to install several of these switches in various rooms, you should choose some that are compatible with the ZigBee or Z-Wave smart hubs. A Lutron smart hub with Lutron switches is another option.

GE Zigbee Smart Dimmer

There aren’t a lot of Zigbee hub-compatible switches on the market, but it should be no surprise the GE offers one that works with Alexa. GE has been creating many smart home devices that continue to top most smart home review lists.

Install the GE Zigbee Smart dimmer in multiple rooms of your house and then connect them to any Zigbee compatible hub like SmartThings, Wink, or most smart hubs offered by major cable companies.

The dimming feature only works with dimmable bulbs, but you can also use the switch to turn lights on or off as well. 

Purchase GE Zigbee Smart Dimmer for $32 to $43 depending on style.

GE Z-Wave Smart Dimmer

GE also offers one of the best smart switches compatible with Z-Wave smart hubs like ADT hubs, Honeywell, Nexia, Vivint, and more. It also acts as an extender by extending the wireless signal from the Z-Wave hub. Meaning you can place switches throughout your house beyond the 150 foot distance limitation of the Z-Wave hub itself.

The GE Z-Wave Smart Switch is compatible with both Alexa and Google Home. It works with any standard room lights by controlling them through the same wiring used by your original light switches.

Purchase GE Z-Wave Smart Switch for $40. If you prefer a smart dimmer, then go with the GE Enbrighten Z-Wave Smart Dimmer for $35.

Wi-Fi Smart Switches

If you only have one or two rooms that you want to control, then you might consider just going with a Wi-Fi connected smart switch. These switches don’t require any smart hub. They instead connect directly to your Wi-Fi network so you can control them to your Wi-Fi connected smartphone.

The following are 5 of the most popular Wi-Fi smart switches on the market.

Replace Bulbs With Smart Bulbs

If you only wish to turn your home lighting into smart home lighting, and aren’t interested in adding a family of different products, then dedicated smart home bulbs might be a better option.

This is especially true if there are only one or two rooms you care about, so that the number of smart bulbs you need are limited. Another advantage of this approach is that you don’t have to do any electrical wiring work to automate lights. You just change out the light bulbs, and you’re done.

Philips Hue Smart Bulb Starter Kit

The Philips Hue starter kit (either colored or white lights) comes with the Philips Hue hub and a set of four bulbs. The bulbs communicate with the hub via Zigbee communication protocol. Plug the hub itself directly into the router and you can control all of the lights via a smartphone app

By using the app you can set various color schemes, dim the lights, or even automate the lights to match movies or games that you’re watching on a television in the same room.

As you expand the Philips Hue smart light system, you can install the bulbs into any room of the house. You can assign the lights to any room and control them all via the hub. You can also control the lights via Alexa or Google Home.

Purchase the Philips Hue smart light starter kit for about $200.

C by GE Smart Lights Starter Kit

If you really don’t want to dish out a few hundred dollars to get started with smart lights in your home, GE offers an affordable solution with the C by GE smart lights starter kit

This solution uses an innovative plug that you can use to control a lamp or any other device, and it also serves as a Wi-Fi bridge for controlling the light bulbs as well. Use Alexa or Google Home to control the bulbs and the plug. It even has integrated voice control as well.

Buy the C by GE smart lights kit with 2 bulbs for $35 or 4 bulbs for $55. 

Using Smart Plugs to Automate Lights

One of the simplest ways to automate lights in your house is to just plug lamps in each room into a smart plug. Then use your phone to control all of those lamps from a single app.

The following are the most popular smart plugs you can use to do this.

  • TP-Link Kasa ($23): Works with Wi-Fi, and no hub required. Works with Alexa and Google Home.
  • Belkin WeMo ($59): Connect to Wi-Fi and turn on or off with the WeMo app or using Alexa.
  • D-Link Outdoor Plug ($50): Control your outdoor lights or other devices with this 2 outlet outdoor smart plug. Works with Alexa or Google Home.
  • Amazon Smart Plug ($25): Affordable Amazon smart plug that works via Wi-Fi and integrates with your Alexa device. 

Automate Lights Inside and Outside Your Home

There are plenty of solutions for controlling nearly all lights around and inside your home using your smartphone or your smart home controllers like Alexa or Google Home. It doesn’t have to cost a fortune either.

If you want to convert your entire home, you can do so more affordably by buying a hub and adding compatible smart bulbs over time. Or, you could simply use Wi-Fi enabled devices and change out your bulbs into smart bulbs just one room at a time.

The option you choose just depends on how quickly you want to automate your home lighting and how much you’re willing to spend.

source https://www.online-tech-tips.com/smart-home/how-to-automate-lights-both-smart-and-non-smart/

Mavic Mini vs Mini 2: Should You Upgrade?

DJI upended the drone market with it’s powerful, tiny, and affordable Mavic Mini. It was a drone with a few serious sacrifices, but for the right user it’s in a class of its own. Now DJI has released a brand new iteration of their tiny drone. This time the Mavic branding is nowhere to be seen. This new tiny marvel is simply known as the DJI Mini 2

The name is however the only place where DJI has made a concession. In every other area, the Mini 2 is an improvement over the original. The big question is whether these improvements are worth shelling out for an upgrade or not.

We’re going to look at why the Mini 2 is a drone worth considering and look at the various ways in which DJI has upgraded their plucky little machine, compared to their pioneering featherweight champion.

Why Buy a Mini at All?

This article is mainly aimed at current owners of the Mavic Mini who might be wondering if they’d be better off buying the new model. However, in case you’re actually trying to decide between picking up the Mavic Mini at a reduced price or the Mini 2 at it’s retail amount, here’s what you need to know.

The Mini drone from Mavic has one major claim to fame. The both weigh less than the 250g cutoff point for drone licensing that exists in many countries. This limit was put in place in order to prevent the need for toy drones to require registration. DJI seemed to take this as a personal challenge and proudly put a sticker with “249g” on the sides of the Mini. Just in case a nosey law enforcement person wanted to see your permit.

Since then, lawmakers have become wise to the latest in lightweight drone technology. Which means that, regardless of how light a drone is, the criteria is now whether that drone has a camera or not. In countries such as the UK that have instituted this new definition, you’ll need a licence for a Mini. If you use your drone for commercial purposes, you may need a ground pilot’s licence regardless of drone weight as well.

With this legal advantage quickly disappearing, the appeal of the Mini is largely it’s size, ease of use, and phenomenal video quality for its price. It’s still a great product line, even if its previous selling point has been nullified.

A Better Camera

The first big improvement with the Mini 2 is the jump to 4K video. The Mavi Mini offered 2.7K video, which made for excellent 1080p footage and allowed for a bit of lossless reframing. However, using that footage in a 4K project did look a little soft.

The Mini 2 solves this by offering crisp 4K footage. Albeit at the same 30 frames per second of the original drone. You also get 4X digital zoom and the option to take RAW photographs. That’s a huge step up for still photography. With RAW photos you can correct and enhance the image without any loss whatsoever.

Improved Wind Resistance

The Mini 2 has significantly stronger motors, without any compromise to flight time which is around 31 minutes in windless conditions. It can fly at up to 16 meters per second, compared to 13 for the Mavic Mini. 

It’s also moved up one category in DJI’s wind resistance scale. So the Mini 2 will do a bit better when the weather picks up. Instead of drifting away like a very expensive balloon.

The Mavic Mini is no slouch when it comes to flying in choppy conditions, but this better level of performance in the upgrade will protect the drone to a greater degree. It also means you can get to your filming position more quickly and keep up with fast moving objects such as action sports participants or off-roading vehicles more easily. 

Having more performance on tap is never a bad thing when it comes to drone videography. Although it should not be at the expense of everything else. 

Advanced Wireless Transmission Technology

Wireless connectivity is perhaps the biggest improvement the Mini 2 brings to the table over its predecessor. The Mavic Mini uses plain old WiFi to transmit data between the radio controller and the craft. That’s extremely sensitive to interference and has relatively limited range. We’ve had trouble with our own Mavic Mini in urban areas where lots of other WiFi devices exist or where structures with a high metal content interfere with the signal. 

While signal interference will do nothing to put your drone in danger, it does mean you might miss moments because the drone loses connectivity at the wrong time. 

For many types of video that doesn’t matter. That breathtaking waterfall isn’t going anywhere after all. But if you’re filming stuff that only happens once, such as your friends’ skateboarding accident, the WiFi transmission system can spoil your fun.

The Mini 2 comes with a proprietary technology called OcuSync (Version 2.0). This more than doubles the maximum transmission range, and OcuSync 2.0 is also much more resistant to interference. Which means your video feed stays clear and relatively lag free, while the drone has no issue accepting your commands. 

OcuSync was reserved for Mavic Pro and (recently) Mavic Air 2 Drones. As well as other high-end DJI craft. Having it in the entry-level Mini 2 is a big upgrade.

Mavic Mini Vs Mini 2

You have a few purchasing options with both of these drones. As always, DJI offers the drones by themselves or as part of a Fly More Combo. Your budget should be your guide, but we strongly recommend that you always opt for the Fly More Combo if you can afford it. 

Buying the goodies in the combo separately is always substantially more expensive and it’s all useful stuff. The Mavic Mini retails for $399 ($499 for the combo) and the Mini 2 will cost you $449 ($599 for the combo).

Should You Upgrade to the Mini 2?

There are two answers to this question and it depends on what exactly you’re using the drone for. If you’re using the Mini as a personal drone, to have fun with and capture footage to share on social media and for personal projects, then there’s no urgent need to buy this new version. The footage and performance of the original Mini is still amazing. Few people even have 4K display devices and if your shots aren’t mission-critical then OcuSync isn’t that big a deal.

However, we know there are plenty of people who actually use the Mavic Mini for professional purposes. Either because it’s the only drone they can take across borders without needing a licence at the destination or simply because even something like the Air 2 is too big to carry around all the time. You might be surprised at how much Mavic Mini footage ends up in professional projects. Because it can go places other, larger drones simply can’t.

For those users, the Mini 2 is almost a must-buy. 4K video is becoming standard for professional content producers. OcuSync helps ensure you get shots where there’s no opportunity for a second take. The improved wind resistance and speeds also bring the Mini 2 dangerously close in performance to much more expensive professional drones, while still having that go-anywhere size advantage. The Mini 2 is going to be an essential part of many professional video tool sets despite not being sold as one.

source https://www.online-tech-tips.com/gadgets/mavic-mini-vs-mini-2-should-you-upgrade/

What Is a Twitter Fleet and Why Would You Use It?

Twitter has always been a hard social media service to explain. To outsiders, the concept of a Tweet doesn’t make a whole lot of sense. However, once you’ve tried Twitter it can be one of the most engaging and dynamic social media services out there. 

Twitter itself has also changed often over the years. It’s introduced longer Tweets, threads, polls, GIFs, videos and more. The latest change to the service is the addition of a so-called “Fleet”. 

What is a Twitter Fleet? The answer is a little complicated, but we’re going to make it as simple as possible.

What Is a Twitter Fleet Exactly?

A Fleet is an alternative type of Tweet. It doesn’t go into the regular timeline of other users. Instead, it must be viewed from its own special section of the mobile app. The most important aspect of Fleets is, as the name suggests, that they are fleeting. Your Fleets will disappear after 24 hours.

Fleets can’t be retweeted and there’s no public feedback to them. If someone does react to a Fleet, it will show up as a direct message. Assuming that person can DM you.

Why Do Fleets Exist?

Twitter’s official Fleet post from their blog explains that Fleets are designed to address the perceived discomfort some people have with tweeting. These users feel that tweets are too public and can feel uncomfortable sending certain Tweets.

Clearly, Twitter wants people to stay on the site and not change over to Snapchat or WhatsApp to share more intimate content with a small, more personal circle of followers. From our point of view Fleets essentially offer a parallel social media platform that offers some of the feel and function of competing services. Right now, they don’t seem to intersect with Twitter proper.

What Can You Fleet?

While you can’t use hashtags or @ anyone in a Fleet, you can share text, videos, GIFs and photos. Text in this case can mean two different things. On an image (not video) you can place words anywhere on the fleet, choosing different colors and formatting. The other type of text you can add is “alt” text. That’s a text caption that isn’t superimposed on the Fleet, but that users can read as a separate piece of text.

How to Send a Fleet

At the time of writing, the Fleet function is only available on the iOS and Android mobile phone apps. It’s not available on desktop browsers or on the iPad app. Sending a Fleet is easy. Here’s the process:

  1. First, go to your home feed.
  2. Scroll to the top if necessary.
  3. You’ll see a bar with a circular profile picture, representing Fleets.
  1. Select the camera icon that’s labeled Add.
  2. Now select between Text, Gallery, Capture or Video as your type of content.
  1. Create or add content.
  1. Once you’re ready, select Fleet.

You can also share a Tweet in a Fleet! Try saying “Tweet in a Fleet” ten times quickly. We failed miserably when we tried.

To share a Tweet in a Fleet, select the share button and then choose the Share in a Fleet option. Here you still have the option to add some text to include your own opinion or comment, before hitting the Fleet button.

Incidentally, you don’t need to wait for the 24-hour period to run out to get rid of a Fleet. Just tap on your own profile picture in the Fleets bar. Then use the dropdown at the top right to select Delete Fleet.

Interacting With Other Fleets

To see the fleets that other people have sent, there are two locations you’ll want to visit. The Fleets bar, where you create your own Fleets, will also display the profile pictures of other users who you follow and their recent Fleets. 

Select any of their pictures to see their Fleets. If you have permissions to DM them, you’ll be able to leave a message about the Fleet that they’ll see as a Direct Message. You can also simply respond with an emoji.

You can also see someone’s Fleets by going to their profile page and tapping on their profile picture. If there are fleets, the picture will have a blue border.

Fleets are a great way to start a personal one-on-one conversation with someone, so if you don’t want to start a deeper chat, think twice about responding to a Fleet.

The Best Types of Fleet Content

With new types of content like Fleets, it can be hard to decide what to do with them. So, what should you Fleet? 

First, don’t feel pressured to use Fleets. If your main reason for being on Twitter is to engage with people and share things publicly, Twitter Fleets aren’t really for you. 

Think about who’ll see the Fleet. It could either be someone who checks your Fleets manually on your profile page or a follower who sees it in the Fleets bar. Those users will be interested in more personal Tweets. 

Eat something cool for lunch? That’s better as a Fleet. Caught your cat making a weird face? That’s good as a Fleet as well. Of course, plenty of Fleet pioneers are going to figure out what works best as a Fleet rapidly. So the best strategy is to examine the Fleets of other people to get a feel for the correct vibe.

As mentioned above, Twitter Fleets are likely to start personal conversations with people. So it’s a good place to post things that specifically ask questions or are designed to elicit a response.

Finally, take advantage of sequential Fleets to tell a story. Multiple Fleets essentially turn into a slideshow, opening up many creative options.

What NOT to Fleet on Twitter

While Fleets may delete themselves after a day, that’s no excuse to put questionable content or inappropriate opinions out into the world with them. Fleets may not show up in a future audit of your social media history, but it’s easy for someone to take a screenshot and post it to regular Twitter. In short, a Fleet is not a license to be a horrible person online without consequences. You’ve been warned!

To Fleet or Not to Fleet

It’s easy to get caught up in the excitement of a new social media feature. Everyone wants to try it and the early days are going to be a little awkward. Eventually people will figure out how to use Fleets in the best way.

Chances are that what they end up being popular for won’t be something that the people at Twitter intended. That is, if they stick around at all. It’s more common for experimental social media features to quietly disappear than for them to become popular.

Either way, there’s no downside to ignoring Fleets completely for now. Thanks to the way they are designed, they aren’t much use for social media clout. So anyone who’s on Twitter to grow an audience will find their appeal limited. If you’re a Twitter lurker on the other hand, Fleets might be just what you’ve been waiting for to share your thoughts in a semi-private way. Let us know how it works out for you.

source https://www.online-tech-tips.com/fun-stuff/what-is-a-twitter-fleet-and-why-would-you-use-it/

What Is a Twitter Fleet and Why Would You Use It?

Twitter has always been a hard social media service to explain. To outsiders, the concept of a Tweet doesn’t make a whole lot of sense. However, once you’ve tried Twitter it can be one of the most engaging and dynamic social media services out there. 

Twitter itself has also changed often over the years. It’s introduced longer Tweets, threads, polls, GIFs, videos and more. The latest change to the service is the addition of a so-called “Fleet”. 

What is a Twitter Fleet? The answer is a little complicated, but we’re going to make it as simple as possible.

What Is a Twitter Fleet Exactly?

A Fleet is an alternative type of Tweet. It doesn’t go into the regular timeline of other users. Instead, it must be viewed from its own special section of the mobile app. The most important aspect of Fleets is, as the name suggests, that they are fleeting. Your Fleets will disappear after 24 hours.

Fleets can’t be retweeted and there’s no public feedback to them. If someone does react to a Fleet, it will show up as a direct message. Assuming that person can DM you.

Why Do Fleets Exist?

Twitter’s official Fleet post from their blog explains that Fleets are designed to address the perceived discomfort some people have with tweeting. These users feel that tweets are too public and can feel uncomfortable sending certain Tweets.

Clearly, Twitter wants people to stay on the site and not change over to Snapchat or WhatsApp to share more intimate content with a small, more personal circle of followers. From our point of view Fleets essentially offer a parallel social media platform that offers some of the feel and function of competing services. Right now, they don’t seem to intersect with Twitter proper.

What Can You Fleet?

While you can’t use hashtags or @ anyone in a Fleet, you can share text, videos, GIFs and photos. Text in this case can mean two different things. On an image (not video) you can place words anywhere on the fleet, choosing different colors and formatting. The other type of text you can add is “alt” text. That’s a text caption that isn’t superimposed on the Fleet, but that users can read as a separate piece of text.

How to Send a Fleet

At the time of writing, the Fleet function is only available on the iOS and Android mobile phone apps. It’s not available on desktop browsers or on the iPad app. Sending a Fleet is easy. Here’s the process:

  1. First, go to your home feed.
  2. Scroll to the top if necessary.
  3. You’ll see a bar with a circular profile picture, representing Fleets.
  1. Select the camera icon that’s labeled Add.
  2. Now select between Text, Gallery, Capture or Video as your type of content.
  1. Create or add content.
  1. Once you’re ready, select Fleet.

You can also share a Tweet in a Fleet! Try saying “Tweet in a Fleet” ten times quickly. We failed miserably when we tried.

To share a Tweet in a Fleet, select the share button and then choose the Share in a Fleet option. Here you still have the option to add some text to include your own opinion or comment, before hitting the Fleet button.

Incidentally, you don’t need to wait for the 24-hour period to run out to get rid of a Fleet. Just tap on your own profile picture in the Fleets bar. Then use the dropdown at the top right to select Delete Fleet.

Interacting With Other Fleets

To see the fleets that other people have sent, there are two locations you’ll want to visit. The Fleets bar, where you create your own Fleets, will also display the profile pictures of other users who you follow and their recent Fleets. 

Select any of their pictures to see their Fleets. If you have permissions to DM them, you’ll be able to leave a message about the Fleet that they’ll see as a Direct Message. You can also simply respond with an emoji.

You can also see someone’s Fleets by going to their profile page and tapping on their profile picture. If there are fleets, the picture will have a blue border.

Fleets are a great way to start a personal one-on-one conversation with someone, so if you don’t want to start a deeper chat, think twice about responding to a Fleet.

The Best Types of Fleet Content

With new types of content like Fleets, it can be hard to decide what to do with them. So, what should you Fleet? 

First, don’t feel pressured to use Fleets. If your main reason for being on Twitter is to engage with people and share things publicly, Twitter Fleets aren’t really for you. 

Think about who’ll see the Fleet. It could either be someone who checks your Fleets manually on your profile page or a follower who sees it in the Fleets bar. Those users will be interested in more personal Tweets. 

Eat something cool for lunch? That’s better as a Fleet. Caught your cat making a weird face? That’s good as a Fleet as well. Of course, plenty of Fleet pioneers are going to figure out what works best as a Fleet rapidly. So the best strategy is to examine the Fleets of other people to get a feel for the correct vibe.

As mentioned above, Twitter Fleets are likely to start personal conversations with people. So it’s a good place to post things that specifically ask questions or are designed to elicit a response.

Finally, take advantage of sequential Fleets to tell a story. Multiple Fleets essentially turn into a slideshow, opening up many creative options.

What NOT to Fleet on Twitter

While Fleets may delete themselves after a day, that’s no excuse to put questionable content or inappropriate opinions out into the world with them. Fleets may not show up in a future audit of your social media history, but it’s easy for someone to take a screenshot and post it to regular Twitter. In short, a Fleet is not a license to be a horrible person online without consequences. You’ve been warned!

To Fleet or Not to Fleet

It’s easy to get caught up in the excitement of a new social media feature. Everyone wants to try it and the early days are going to be a little awkward. Eventually people will figure out how to use Fleets in the best way.

Chances are that what they end up being popular for won’t be something that the people at Twitter intended. That is, if they stick around at all. It’s more common for experimental social media features to quietly disappear than for them to become popular.

Either way, there’s no downside to ignoring Fleets completely for now. Thanks to the way they are designed, they aren’t much use for social media clout. So anyone who’s on Twitter to grow an audience will find their appeal limited. If you’re a Twitter lurker on the other hand, Fleets might be just what you’ve been waiting for to share your thoughts in a semi-private way. Let us know how it works out for you.

source https://www.online-tech-tips.com/fun-stuff/what-is-a-twitter-fleet-and-why-would-you-use-it/

Best Action Cameras Under $100

Want an action camera, but don’t want to pay $300 and more for a GoPro? Then we have some good news for you. The action camera market has exploded and there are some fantastic action cameras for under $100. 

You’ll be able to get your feet wet with action camera photography without breaking the bank. We break down what you need to consider when purchasing a new action camera and then pick the top cameras that’ll take stunning videos of your next adventure.  

What to Look For in an Action Camera?

There are a handful of features you should consider when shopping for an action camera. You first should think about how you are going to use the camera. Are you going to use it for extreme sports in challenging conditions? 

Or will you use it to record normal, everyday YouTube videos? These basic questions will help you determine which type of camera you should purchase and how much you should pay. 

Durability

Whether you’re showing off your bike skills at a flow park or flying down a ski slope, you should be able to grab your action camera and not worry about breaking it. Look for cameras that are waterproof for starters, so you can use them in the rain and snow. They also should come with a case that’ll both protect them from dirt, as well as prevent them from being damaged in a fall. 

Resolution

Most action cameras support at least 720P HD video recording, with some even recording at 4K. The higher the resolution, the more you can do with the video clip, but the larger the file size. 

A 4K clip will look stunning on a 4K TV but may be overkill for internet playback. A 1080P is a good compromise and suitable for playback on most televisions and online. Most cameras that record in the high resolution 4K format can also record at a  lower resolution if you prefer. 

Frames Per Second

For most purposes, a frame rate of 30 frames per second will deliver smooth video for watching online or on television. If you want to record slow-motion videos or capture still images from a video, look for a camera supporting 60 or even 120FPS. 

Display 

Having a display on an action camera is an often overlooked benefit. The screen lets you see the angle you are capturing, so you don’t accidentally capture the ground when you want to record the surroundings. You also can use it to review the videos you’ve recorded. You can see if you nailed the clip or need to do a reshoot before packing up to go home. 

Touchscreen

Some action cameras include a touchscreen display, which may add to the cost of the device. If you can afford it, a touch screen is convenient so you can tap on the screen to play back video and change the recording settings. 

If you don’t have a touchscreen, you’ll have to learn which buttons you need to press to access the different menus. 

Image Stabilization

Image stabilization can make or break your video, especially if you plan to use an action camera for high-intensity activities. You’ll appreciate the smooth video from a stabilized camera. 

Battery Life

Battery life is a challenge when it comes to action cameras. Batteries tend to be compact, providing anywhere from 30 minutes to 3 hours of recording time. Look for a camera with a removable battery, so you can have a fully charged backup ready to go. Some cameras don’t have a removable battery, so you’ll need to bring along a portable battery pack.  

Mounts

Most action cameras support a wide variety of mounts, allowing you to place the camera in hard-to-reach locations. Look for a camera that includes several mounts or supports the GoPro standard mounting system. There are a lot of cheap third-party mounts for GoPro. 

Other Features

Other features you may encounter include:

  • Wi-Fi: Lets you connect to the camera and control it remotely with a smartphone. It also makes it easy to download videos to your phone. 
  • Voice control: Makes it easy to turn on/off recording and power. It’s beneficial in the winter when gloved hands make it difficult to use the buttons. 
  • Remote control: Some cameras come with a remote control or sell a remote control separately. These controls can be mounted in an easy-to-access location, so you can control the camera without having to take it out of its mount. 

The Best Action Cameras Under $100

You can’t go wrong with any of the cameras on this list. They may vary in price and features but each one will capture all your memorable moments. Choose the camera that meets your price point and desired features. 

APEMAN A100 

Best 4K Camera

If you want a 4K camera with no compromise, then the Apeman A100 should be at the top of the list. 

It has everything you need and more to record top-quality video at 4K, 50 frames per second video, and a 20MP camera. On the back of the unit is a 2-inch retina LCD touchscreen that lets you change shooting modes and preview footage right on the camera. 

Designed for rugged conditions, the Apeman 100 ships with a protective waterproof case, a UV protection film for the sensor, an IR filter, and a glass-covered lens. 

Crosstour Action Camera

Best Low-Cost Camera

One of the most affordable cameras on our list, the Crosstour Action records high-quality 1080P videos and captures crisp 14MP photos. It lacks extras like remote control and a touchscreen that typically are found on expensive models, but that doesn’t mean you should dismiss it. 

The low price and outstanding image quality more than make up for these missing features. It offers outstanding value for someone who wants a basic action camera. 

AKASO EK7000 Pro

Best for Teens/Tweens

The Akaso EK7000 Pro takes impressive videos, especially in 1080P, with support for advanced recording functions like time-lapse and loop recording. It’s missing image stabilization, so you probably don’t want to use it for running or similar high-impact activities.  

It has a compact design, making it easy to carry around in a pack or a purse. The included batteries provide plenty of recording time and can be recharged quickly using the included charger. It also connects easily with third-party apps that you can use to transfer photos and videos to your iPhone and then post to Instagram or other social media platforms.

AKASO Brave 4 

Best GoPro Clone

The Akaso Brave 4 is as close to a GoPro as you can get without paying GoPro prices. Unlike the EK7000 Pro, which also is by Akaso, the Brave 4 includes electronic image stabilization, which makes a considerable difference in high-impact sports like running or mountain biking. It takes fantastic 4K videos with a 5X digital zoom and has remote control for convenience. 

Dragon Touch Vision 3

Best Entry-Level Camera

For its price, this camera is nothing short of impressive. The Dragon Vision 3 takes quality pictures, videos & slow-motion videos, but it doesn’t have image stabilization. 

It comes with enough mounting hardware to place the camera almost anywhere you want it. The camera ships with two batteries and a charger that lets you charge both at once. 

VTech Kidizoom Action Cam HD

Best Budget Action Cam for Kids

You can tell from the size and color choices that the VTech Kidizoom Action Cam is designed for younger kids. It has an easy-to-use menu system and compact design that’s perfect for smaller hands. 

The camera includes a durable and waterproof case that can mount to a bike, skateboard, or more. It offers kid-friendly effects, frames, and photo filters that your children can add to their videos and photos. When it comes to fun, the Kidizoom action camera is a winner. 

Best Action Cameras Under $100: Other Considerations

Action cameras are an outstanding tool for athletes and adventure junkies who want to capture all their escapades. They are compact and can be thrown in a pack so you always have it. 

Features vary between the models but each one on our list is capable of recording quality video for your daytime adventures. They also are affordable which makes them ideal for those who want to get started in action photography with a minimum investment. They also are great for the average person who needs an action camera for a trip and doesn’t want to spend a fortune on a camera they’ll only use occasionally. 

source https://www.online-tech-tips.com/gadgets/best-action-cameras-under-100/

11 Best Netflix Original Series and Movies to Watch Now

After finishing a new TV series or movie, finding the next one to watch can be frustrating. When you have so many choices, it’s hard to know what you’ll like or dislike. Netflix in particular has tons of great TV shows and movies that could be your next favorite. 

Netflix Originals are shows or movies produced by Netflix themselves, and many of them are definitely worth a watch. Since Netflix has started making Originals, there have been a lot created, so you might wonder which ones are best. In this list you’ll find the top picks of Netflix Original Series and movies you can watch right now. 

1. The Haunting of Hill House

  • Starring: Victoria Pedretti, Oliver Jackson-Cohen, Kate Siegel, Michael Huisman, Elizabeth Reaser
  • Released: 2018
  • 1 season, 10 episodes

Ghost stories are a dime a dozen, but this eerie limited Netflix Original series does it right. Five siblings come together as they endure difficulties relating to a house they lived in during childhood. To them, it is unclear what really happened during their stay, and they are determined to make sense of it as their lives fall apart around them. This show is based on the book written by Shirley Jackson. 

2. The Queen’s Gambit

  • Starring: Anya Taylor-Joy, Thomas Brodie-Sangster, Marielle Heller, Harry Melling
  • Released: 2020
  • 1 season, 7 episodes

The show follows the young orphan and chess prodigy Beth Harmon as she gains traction in the competitive and male-dominated world of chess tournaments. As a period piece set during the Cold War, it shows accurately the prejudices and stigmas of the time. The Queen’s Gambit dissects how it feels to be gifted in a world that’s set against you, and the struggles that come with these gifts. 

3. Russian Doll

  • Starring: Natasha Lyonne, Charlie Barnett, Greta Lee, Elizabeth Ashley
  • Released: 2019
  • 1 season, 8 episodes

Russian Doll is a mind-bending Groundhog Day-esque tale where the lead, Nadia Vulvokov (Natasha Lyonne) is reliving the same day over and over, ending whenever she dies. As she realizes what’s going on and does her best to figure out just what is happening, she uncovers the lasting impact of her childhood traumas and what it means to let go of the past. 

4. I’m Thinking of Ending Things

  • Starring: Jessie Buckley, Jesse Plemons
  • Released: 2020
  • Runtime: 2hr 14m

From the director of other thought-provoking films such as Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind and Synecdoche, New York comes a new emotionally charged piece. As a woman goes on a road trip to meet her boyfriend’s parents, she realizes the relationship is not what it seems.

In fact, she finds that she herself is not who she seems to be, either. This odd, surreal film will leave you questioning what just happened while you try not to tear up. 

5. When They See Us

  • Starring: Jharrel Jerome, Asante Blackk, Ethan Herisse, Caleel Harris, Marquis Rodriguez
  • Released: 2019
  • 1 season, 4 episodes

This show is based on the true story of the Central Park Five, a group of young boys who were charged for the assault of a jogger in Central Park despite maintaining their innocence. When They See Us provides a deep dive into the American justice system and the issues within it, all with great performances from the stars of the Netflix Original series and suspense that will keep you watching until the end. 

6. The Umbrella Academy

  • Starring: Elliot Page, Tom Hopper, David Castaneda
  • Released: 2019
  • 2 seasons, 20 episodes

Based on the comic book by Gerard Way (of My Chemical Romance fame), this Netflix Original series focuses on seven children with supernatural powers, all adopted by a billionaire set on preparing these children to fight evil. However, over time, they all went their separate ways. When their adopted father dies, they come together once more to investigate what really happened to him. 

7. Enola Holmes

  • Starring: Millie Bobby Brown, Helena Bonham Carter, Louis Partridge, Henry Cavill
  • Released: 2020
  • Runtime: 2hr 1m

Putting a twist on the classic Sherlock Holmes series, this movie looks at what his younger sister might be up to. The movie encapsulates the same sleuthing concepts as the original Holmes stories, yet with a twist. It’s a fun, lighthearted movie with great performances from some familiar faces. 

8. Orange is the New Black

  • Starring: Taylor Schilling, Laura Prepon, Uzo Aduba, Natasha Lyonne, Danielle Brooks, Kate Mulgrew, Dascha Polanco
  • Released: 2013
  • 7 seasons, 91 episodes

Orange is the New Black gives you a no-holds-barred experience into a fictional women’s prison, following main character Piper as she gets locked up for her past relationship with a drug runner. You are introduced to a large and unconventional cast of characters, and are presented with glimpses into their pasts which show you just how human these prisoners really are. 

9. Mindhunter

  • Starring: Johnathan Groff, Holt McCallany
  • Released: 2017
  • 2 seasons, 19 episodes

Based on real true crime stories, this show examines the development of criminal profiling within the FBI. It follows two agents who attempt to understand the inner workings of serial killers in order to catch them. You may recognize some of the serial killers depicted in the show, such as Charles Manson and Ed Kemper. If you’re a big fan of true crime, this show is binge worthy on Netflix.

10. The Irishman

  • Starring: Al Pacino, Robert De Niro, Joe Pesci, Harvey Keitel
  • Released: 2019
  • Runtime: 3hr 30m

A film from a true master, Martin Scorsese takes you through a world of crime with the extremely talented Robert De Niro and Al Pacino. The movie takes place in the 1950s, when a truck driver switches over to a life of crime in Pennsylvania, rising through the ranks as he eventually becomes a hit man. The Irishman, with its compelling storyline and impressive performances, is likely to go down as one of the best gangster films of all time. 

11. Maniac

  • Starring: Emma Stone, Jonah Hill, Justin Theroux, Sonoya Mizuno
  • Released: 2018
  • 1 season, 10 episodes

When a doctor begins to hold pharmaceutical trials for a pill he claims can fix any illness of the mind, two very different individuals sign up to take part. One is Annie, played by Emma Stone, who is jaded by life and deals with borderline personality disorder.

The other is Owen (Jonah Hill) who deals with schizophrenia. The show contains extremely surreal sequences, with a unique retro-futuristic feel that will completely sweep you into this fictional world. 

Sit Back and Enjoy a Netflix Binge

There’s always something fun to watch on Netflix. But these Netflix original series and movies come with unique plotlines and the right amount of drama. Watch them alone or use Netflix Party to watch with friends. Do tell us about any original series or movie that should have made this list. 

source https://www.online-tech-tips.com/fun-stuff/11-best-netflix-original-series-and-movies-to-watch-now/

11 Best Netflix Original Series and Movies to Watch Now

After finishing a new TV series or movie, finding the next one to watch can be frustrating. When you have so many choices, it’s hard to know what you’ll like or dislike. Netflix in particular has tons of great TV shows and movies that could be your next favorite. 

Netflix Originals are shows or movies produced by Netflix themselves, and many of them are definitely worth a watch. Since Netflix has started making Originals, there have been a lot created, so you might wonder which ones are best. In this list you’ll find the top picks of Netflix Original Series and movies you can watch right now. 

1. The Haunting of Hill House

  • Starring: Victoria Pedretti, Oliver Jackson-Cohen, Kate Siegel, Michael Huisman, Elizabeth Reaser
  • Released: 2018
  • 1 season, 10 episodes

Ghost stories are a dime a dozen, but this eerie limited Netflix Original series does it right. Five siblings come together as they endure difficulties relating to a house they lived in during childhood. To them, it is unclear what really happened during their stay, and they are determined to make sense of it as their lives fall apart around them. This show is based on the book written by Shirley Jackson. 

2. The Queen’s Gambit

  • Starring: Anya Taylor-Joy, Thomas Brodie-Sangster, Marielle Heller, Harry Melling
  • Released: 2020
  • 1 season, 7 episodes

The show follows the young orphan and chess prodigy Beth Harmon as she gains traction in the competitive and male-dominated world of chess tournaments. As a period piece set during the Cold War, it shows accurately the prejudices and stigmas of the time. The Queen’s Gambit dissects how it feels to be gifted in a world that’s set against you, and the struggles that come with these gifts. 

3. Russian Doll

  • Starring: Natasha Lyonne, Charlie Barnett, Greta Lee, Elizabeth Ashley
  • Released: 2019
  • 1 season, 8 episodes

Russian Doll is a mind-bending Groundhog Day-esque tale where the lead, Nadia Vulvokov (Natasha Lyonne) is reliving the same day over and over, ending whenever she dies. As she realizes what’s going on and does her best to figure out just what is happening, she uncovers the lasting impact of her childhood traumas and what it means to let go of the past. 

4. I’m Thinking of Ending Things

  • Starring: Jessie Buckley, Jesse Plemons
  • Released: 2020
  • Runtime: 2hr 14m

From the director of other thought-provoking films such as Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind and Synecdoche, New York comes a new emotionally charged piece. As a woman goes on a road trip to meet her boyfriend’s parents, she realizes the relationship is not what it seems.

In fact, she finds that she herself is not who she seems to be, either. This odd, surreal film will leave you questioning what just happened while you try not to tear up. 

5. When They See Us

  • Starring: Jharrel Jerome, Asante Blackk, Ethan Herisse, Caleel Harris, Marquis Rodriguez
  • Released: 2019
  • 1 season, 4 episodes

This show is based on the true story of the Central Park Five, a group of young boys who were charged for the assault of a jogger in Central Park despite maintaining their innocence. When They See Us provides a deep dive into the American justice system and the issues within it, all with great performances from the stars of the Netflix Original series and suspense that will keep you watching until the end. 

6. The Umbrella Academy

  • Starring: Elliot Page, Tom Hopper, David Castaneda
  • Released: 2019
  • 2 seasons, 20 episodes

Based on the comic book by Gerard Way (of My Chemical Romance fame), this Netflix Original series focuses on seven children with supernatural powers, all adopted by a billionaire set on preparing these children to fight evil. However, over time, they all went their separate ways. When their adopted father dies, they come together once more to investigate what really happened to him. 

7. Enola Holmes

  • Starring: Millie Bobby Brown, Helena Bonham Carter, Louis Partridge, Henry Cavill
  • Released: 2020
  • Runtime: 2hr 1m

Putting a twist on the classic Sherlock Holmes series, this movie looks at what his younger sister might be up to. The movie encapsulates the same sleuthing concepts as the original Holmes stories, yet with a twist. It’s a fun, lighthearted movie with great performances from some familiar faces. 

8. Orange is the New Black

  • Starring: Taylor Schilling, Laura Prepon, Uzo Aduba, Natasha Lyonne, Danielle Brooks, Kate Mulgrew, Dascha Polanco
  • Released: 2013
  • 7 seasons, 91 episodes

Orange is the New Black gives you a no-holds-barred experience into a fictional women’s prison, following main character Piper as she gets locked up for her past relationship with a drug runner. You are introduced to a large and unconventional cast of characters, and are presented with glimpses into their pasts which show you just how human these prisoners really are. 

9. Mindhunter

  • Starring: Johnathan Groff, Holt McCallany
  • Released: 2017
  • 2 seasons, 19 episodes

Based on real true crime stories, this show examines the development of criminal profiling within the FBI. It follows two agents who attempt to understand the inner workings of serial killers in order to catch them. You may recognize some of the serial killers depicted in the show, such as Charles Manson and Ed Kemper. If you’re a big fan of true crime, this show is binge worthy on Netflix.

10. The Irishman

  • Starring: Al Pacino, Robert De Niro, Joe Pesci, Harvey Keitel
  • Released: 2019
  • Runtime: 3hr 30m

A film from a true master, Martin Scorsese takes you through a world of crime with the extremely talented Robert De Niro and Al Pacino. The movie takes place in the 1950s, when a truck driver switches over to a life of crime in Pennsylvania, rising through the ranks as he eventually becomes a hit man. The Irishman, with its compelling storyline and impressive performances, is likely to go down as one of the best gangster films of all time. 

11. Maniac

  • Starring: Emma Stone, Jonah Hill, Justin Theroux, Sonoya Mizuno
  • Released: 2018
  • 1 season, 10 episodes

When a doctor begins to hold pharmaceutical trials for a pill he claims can fix any illness of the mind, two very different individuals sign up to take part. One is Annie, played by Emma Stone, who is jaded by life and deals with borderline personality disorder.

The other is Owen (Jonah Hill) who deals with schizophrenia. The show contains extremely surreal sequences, with a unique retro-futuristic feel that will completely sweep you into this fictional world. 

Sit Back and Enjoy a Netflix Binge

There’s always something fun to watch on Netflix. But these Netflix original series and movies come with unique plotlines and the right amount of drama. Watch them alone or use Netflix Party to watch with friends. Do tell us about any original series or movie that should have made this list. 

source https://www.online-tech-tips.com/fun-stuff/11-best-netflix-original-series-and-movies-to-watch-now/

11 Best Netflix Original Series and Movies to Watch Now

After finishing a new TV series or movie, finding the next one to watch can be frustrating. When you have so many choices, it’s hard to know what you’ll like or dislike. Netflix in particular has tons of great TV shows and movies that could be your next favorite. 

Netflix Originals are shows or movies produced by Netflix themselves, and many of them are definitely worth a watch. Since Netflix has started making Originals, there have been a lot created, so you might wonder which ones are best. In this list you’ll find the top picks of Netflix Original Series and movies you can watch right now. 

1. The Haunting of Hill House

  • Starring: Victoria Pedretti, Oliver Jackson-Cohen, Kate Siegel, Michael Huisman, Elizabeth Reaser
  • Released: 2018
  • 1 season, 10 episodes

Ghost stories are a dime a dozen, but this eerie limited Netflix Original series does it right. Five siblings come together as they endure difficulties relating to a house they lived in during childhood. To them, it is unclear what really happened during their stay, and they are determined to make sense of it as their lives fall apart around them. This show is based on the book written by Shirley Jackson. 

2. The Queen’s Gambit

  • Starring: Anya Taylor-Joy, Thomas Brodie-Sangster, Marielle Heller, Harry Melling
  • Released: 2020
  • 1 season, 7 episodes

The show follows the young orphan and chess prodigy Beth Harmon as she gains traction in the competitive and male-dominated world of chess tournaments. As a period piece set during the Cold War, it shows accurately the prejudices and stigmas of the time. The Queen’s Gambit dissects how it feels to be gifted in a world that’s set against you, and the struggles that come with these gifts. 

3. Russian Doll

  • Starring: Natasha Lyonne, Charlie Barnett, Greta Lee, Elizabeth Ashley
  • Released: 2019
  • 1 season, 8 episodes

Russian Doll is a mind-bending Groundhog Day-esque tale where the lead, Nadia Vulvokov (Natasha Lyonne) is reliving the same day over and over, ending whenever she dies. As she realizes what’s going on and does her best to figure out just what is happening, she uncovers the lasting impact of her childhood traumas and what it means to let go of the past. 

4. I’m Thinking of Ending Things

  • Starring: Jessie Buckley, Jesse Plemons
  • Released: 2020
  • Runtime: 2hr 14m

From the director of other thought-provoking films such as Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind and Synecdoche, New York comes a new emotionally charged piece. As a woman goes on a road trip to meet her boyfriend’s parents, she realizes the relationship is not what it seems.

In fact, she finds that she herself is not who she seems to be, either. This odd, surreal film will leave you questioning what just happened while you try not to tear up. 

5. When They See Us

  • Starring: Jharrel Jerome, Asante Blackk, Ethan Herisse, Caleel Harris, Marquis Rodriguez
  • Released: 2019
  • 1 season, 4 episodes

This show is based on the true story of the Central Park Five, a group of young boys who were charged for the assault of a jogger in Central Park despite maintaining their innocence. When They See Us provides a deep dive into the American justice system and the issues within it, all with great performances from the stars of the Netflix Original series and suspense that will keep you watching until the end. 

6. The Umbrella Academy

  • Starring: Elliot Page, Tom Hopper, David Castaneda
  • Released: 2019
  • 2 seasons, 20 episodes

Based on the comic book by Gerard Way (of My Chemical Romance fame), this Netflix Original series focuses on seven children with supernatural powers, all adopted by a billionaire set on preparing these children to fight evil. However, over time, they all went their separate ways. When their adopted father dies, they come together once more to investigate what really happened to him. 

7. Enola Holmes

  • Starring: Millie Bobby Brown, Helena Bonham Carter, Louis Partridge, Henry Cavill
  • Released: 2020
  • Runtime: 2hr 1m

Putting a twist on the classic Sherlock Holmes series, this movie looks at what his younger sister might be up to. The movie encapsulates the same sleuthing concepts as the original Holmes stories, yet with a twist. It’s a fun, lighthearted movie with great performances from some familiar faces. 

8. Orange is the New Black

  • Starring: Taylor Schilling, Laura Prepon, Uzo Aduba, Natasha Lyonne, Danielle Brooks, Kate Mulgrew, Dascha Polanco
  • Released: 2013
  • 7 seasons, 91 episodes

Orange is the New Black gives you a no-holds-barred experience into a fictional women’s prison, following main character Piper as she gets locked up for her past relationship with a drug runner. You are introduced to a large and unconventional cast of characters, and are presented with glimpses into their pasts which show you just how human these prisoners really are. 

9. Mindhunter

  • Starring: Johnathan Groff, Holt McCallany
  • Released: 2017
  • 2 seasons, 19 episodes

Based on real true crime stories, this show examines the development of criminal profiling within the FBI. It follows two agents who attempt to understand the inner workings of serial killers in order to catch them. You may recognize some of the serial killers depicted in the show, such as Charles Manson and Ed Kemper. If you’re a big fan of true crime, this show is binge worthy on Netflix.

10. The Irishman

  • Starring: Al Pacino, Robert De Niro, Joe Pesci, Harvey Keitel
  • Released: 2019
  • Runtime: 3hr 30m

A film from a true master, Martin Scorsese takes you through a world of crime with the extremely talented Robert De Niro and Al Pacino. The movie takes place in the 1950s, when a truck driver switches over to a life of crime in Pennsylvania, rising through the ranks as he eventually becomes a hit man. The Irishman, with its compelling storyline and impressive performances, is likely to go down as one of the best gangster films of all time. 

11. Maniac

  • Starring: Emma Stone, Jonah Hill, Justin Theroux, Sonoya Mizuno
  • Released: 2018
  • 1 season, 10 episodes

When a doctor begins to hold pharmaceutical trials for a pill he claims can fix any illness of the mind, two very different individuals sign up to take part. One is Annie, played by Emma Stone, who is jaded by life and deals with borderline personality disorder.

The other is Owen (Jonah Hill) who deals with schizophrenia. The show contains extremely surreal sequences, with a unique retro-futuristic feel that will completely sweep you into this fictional world. 

Sit Back and Enjoy a Netflix Binge

There’s always something fun to watch on Netflix. But these Netflix original series and movies come with unique plotlines and the right amount of drama. Watch them alone or use Netflix Party to watch with friends. Do tell us about any original series or movie that should have made this list. 

source https://www.online-tech-tips.com/fun-stuff/11-best-netflix-original-series-and-movies-to-watch-now/

Discord Not Opening? 9 Ways to Fix

Discord is one of the most popular online chat services, especially for gamers. It uses VoIP and instant messaging to keep users connected to one another, and it will also let your friends know what you’re currently playing. 

Discord is free to use, although there is an optional premium subscription that will provide users with animated avatars, emojis, and more. It’s also widely compatible across a large range of devices. 

Sometimes, Discord may not be opening when you expect it to. If you boot Discord only to receive an error message, try these methods to fix the problem. 

1. Update Discord to the Latest Version

Discord receives frequent updates to ensure no one can take advantage of exploits or bad code. Discord may not open if your version isn’t the latest version available. There are several easy fixes for this.

Update Discord to the latest version, and then set the app to automatically update whenever a new version comes available. Be aware, however, that some users note “update loops” in which the new installation file creates an issue and refuses to update the application.

2. Update Your OS

Whether you’re using Windows or macOS, Discord relies on you having the most recent version of your operating system. Keep your OS up to date to avoid any issues in launching applications. If Discord is not opening, make sure there are no necessary system updates and then try again. 

3. Close All Other Programs

Some users report that Discord encounters errors if launched with other programs running in the background. Shut down resource-intensive applications like games, photo or video editing software, and particularly antivirus software before you launch Discord.

Some antivirus programs have been known to block Discord from starting, while games running in the background can also cause issues. Launch Discord first (or select for it to launch on startup) before you begin playing a game. 

4. Clear App Data

One major issue that Discord users encounter is corrupted app data. To correct this, you need to clear and reset the related app data. To do this, first press Windows + R and then type %appdata% in the “Run” box. Press Enter.

In the window that opens, find Discord and right-click the folder and delete it. Repeat this process, but type %localappdata% instead. Find the Discord folder once again, right-click and delete it. 

This clears both the server app data and the local app data. Once you’ve done this, try relaunching Discord. 

5. Kill the Background Discord Task

Open Task Manager and look for Discord in the “Processes” tab. Right-click and select “End task.” Re-launch Discord after you’ve done this. Killing the process and restarting the app will often correct any problems that arise when initially launching Discord. 

6. Change Date/Time Settings

Discord automatically checks for the date and time on your machine as part of its verification process. If your date and time don’t match what Discord receives from its servers, then the application often will not start.

Open your Date/Time settings and make sure you turn on Set time automatically. After you’ve done this, try to launch Discord again. 

7. Flush the DNS Settings

Sometimes your internet settings can cause Discord to throw an error. If this happens, you can “flush” the settings and reset them. In many cases, this will correct the problem and allow Discord to boot normally.

Open the Windows command prompt. You can do this by pressing the Windows key + R and then entering cmd. After you’ve done this, type ipconfig/flushdns and press Enter. Finally, relaunch and check if Discord is still not opening. 

8. Open Discord on Web

All versions of Discord sync with one another. If you cannot launch Discord from your desktop, there might be an issue with the information provided from other sources. An easy fix is to open Discord in your web browser and log in.

After you’ve logged into the web version of Discord, close your session and try launching the version from your desktop again. Users have reported this as a potential fix for Discord launch issues, but bear in mind that all evidence is anecdotal. 

9. Uninstall and Reinstall Discord

If Discord is not opening, there may be a problem in the initial installation or in an update of the program. One of the easiest ways to correct this is to completely uninstall Discord and all related files. 

Once you have uninstalled Discord, restart your PC. Navigate to Discord’s website and download the latest installation and setup file. Then re-install the program. This will fix any problems that arise from an earlier glitch in downloading or setting up the software.

source https://www.online-tech-tips.com/computer-tips/discord-not-opening-9-ways-to-fix/