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This article was published 6/9/2015 (2450 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.
Soap for your soiled smartphone
PHONESOAP got my attention by telling me my smartphone is 18 times dirtier than a public restroom toilet.
They had other fun comparisons, but I'll leave it at that. This one was enough to get me to try their product.
In case you didn't know it, your cellphone is flat-out disgusting. I'm referring to the germs on the screen and case, which can be cleaned with the PhoneSoap device.
It's pretty simple to use. (Before loading up my iPhone, I tried it on an older, smaller smartphone.) It makes your phone squeaky-clean in minutes, without chemicals, heat or liquid (which surprised me). This is done with UV light that eliminates the bacteria and germs.
On its website, PhoneSoap states, "UV-C light penetrates the cell and disrupts the DNA, killing the pathogen."
It's designed to allow you to hear alerts from your phone while cleaning and charging, so you can clean the device nightly.
New this fall, the company will be launching the PhoneSoap Plus for all the new, larger smartphones hitting the market. The PhoneSoap Tablet will be after that.
DETAILS: US$59.95; phonesoap.com.
Multi-cooker works like magic
I'M not taking up a new profession in doughnut-making, but the T-Fal 7-In-1 Multi-Cooker sure makes it tempting.
The AC-powered countertop cooker is so easy to use, even a dysfunctional kitchen type like me has a chance to cook snacks and a meal worth eating.
T-Fal launched the cooker in August as part of a new line of multi-purpose kitchen electronics designed to eliminate the need for separate appliances and save space in kitchen cabinets.
The multi-cooker is touted as the first of its kind, making it ideal for the most elaborate kitchens or even small apartments.
The seven features are boil/pasta, braise, brown, fry, sauté, simmer and warming. You can switch with the touch of a button.
The device has a built-in removable timer, which is great if you have to walk away from the kitchen.
With my limited kitchen knowledge, a company representative suggested I try orange drop doughnuts and supplied me with a recipe. Despite my lack of expertise, the results were outstanding and incredibly easy to make.
My next-favourite feature was the cleaning. Just put the removable cooking bowl (which has a non-stick coating) into the dishwasher, and you're done.
DETAILS: US$99.99; t-falusa.com.
Don't cheap out on charging cables
LIKE many others, I've learned the hard way a wire is not a wire. In this case, I'm referring to charging cables for the pile of portable gadgets we all have.
The USB cord that comes with the device is great and works fine. But we all want and need extras, and I've fallen victim to several deals to buy extra cables that end up not working.
A longtime work associate from Other World Computing (OWC)/NewerTech has persuaded me to stop buying cheap cables in order to keep them out of "yesterday's cable drawer," which in my case is a large box.
Think of how important these cables are to your daily life, and you'll see the necessity of having OWC/NewerTech's top-quality cables.
They come in all sizes and colours, with all the necessary connectors (Lightning, micro-USB, Thunderbolt) on the opposite end of the standard USB connection.
I'm a believer, and, as my associate mentioned to me, I'm trying to help my readers save money by buying the cables only once.
DETAILS: Prices vary based on the type and length (for example, a one-metre black Thunderbolt cable is US$29.99); macsales.com.
firstname.lastname@example.org Twitter: @GreggEllman