The future- Driverless Cars

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Driverless Cars

If there’s any device, machine or gadget that can be described as high tech, it’s definitely the driverless car- or a little more accurately- the autonomous car. We’ve fantasized about them for decades in movies and science fiction books or even just randomly in our imaginations. But for the first time in a really really long time, Autonomous cars are really being worked on, and at a very fast rate.

Driverless CarsA few basic facts:

They’re here already: If you shrugged your shoulders when you read the title of this article, with the assumption that driverless cars wouldn’t become popular in your own lifetime and that’s more appropriate for your grandkids, you need to think again. They’re not just being designed, autonomous cars are already being tested. And not just on closed roads, but on normal roads with other human-driven cars driving by.

The big boys are making plans: The giant automakers are all trying to outrace each other and be the first to be able to get it out on a commercial scale. Even Google has conducted tests, and we hear Apple has something in the pipelines too. General Motors has announced plans to release a version without steering wheels and pedals by 2019, Audi, BMW, Volkswagen, Volvo, Mercedes, Toyota and others have all conducted tests. If the big names are in on it, you can be sure it’s legit.

Some problems:

The Human factor: While engineers may have tested, corrected and retested their systems to ensure perfect working software for autonomous cars, there is, unfortunately, no such engineer for humans. Accidents will still occur due to negligence by human drivers. In fact, Google’s driverless car was involved in a minor accident during a road test when someone jumping a light rear-ended the vehicle. The solution to this might be to introduce driverless cars en masse while withdrawing traditional cars totally. This may not be practical however

Jobs: This is a big one. When autonomous cars take over, what will be the fate of the millions of drivers all over the world? Chauffers, cab drivers, even truckers will find themselves out of a job by the time this happens. We are however optimistic that a way will be found around this problem, think about it, the cinema owners and operators in the motion picture era must have been very scared when televisions became rampant. But then, everybody sorted themselves somehow. We’ll sort ourselves somehow too.

Security: Since the car is being basically driven and controlled by a combination of sensors and software, isn’t there the possibility that it gets hacked and incapacitated (or worse) by a malicious third party? This is another legit concern. But here’s an angle. If you can think about it, then the automakers and their engineers have most likely thought about it too and there will most likely be very intense security measures put in place to prevent unauthorized access and control.

Challenges aside, we can’t wait to get into a car, program the destination and catch a quick nap or read a book while it zooms off on its own.

New Vs. Used Appliances

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Maryland Used Appliances

In today’s economy, finding ways to cut down on daily costs has become the norm. With food and gas prices shooting up by the day, the ordinary citizen is being forced to make some difficult and conflicting decisions; more so when a daily-use appliance breaks down. One will often wonder whether to buy a new or a used appliance. This depends on a number of factors which our friends at Maryland Used Appliances have helped us with.

New AppliancesMaryland Used Appliances

Before arriving at a conclusion on which appliance to buy, consider devices that require maintenance. It is recommended to purchase new refrigerators and gas cooktops as they need a higher level of maintenance. This is especially since it’s difficult to know the device’s repair history and full usage.

Other devices that should be bought new are those that need significant amounts of energy. Furnaces, hot water heaters, and air conditioners are some examples.

Advantages of New Appliances

  • Longer warranty period of up to 5 years
  • Latest technological features/innovations on the product
  • Reduced risk of breakdown

Disadvantages of New Appliances

  • High cost of the appliance
  • Rapid depreciation of the price of the appliance
  • Servicing under the manufacturer’s warranty may take a long time

Refurbished Appliances

This refers to appliances that have undergone a series of tests and repairs to operate as good as new. If the appliance has a motor, it is usually replaced with gaskets and seals. This is because it is one of the main components that contribute to the machine breaking down; it receives the most wear and tear. Once all the repairs and adjustments have been made, it is sold as reconditioned or refurbished at a much lesser price than the original.

Sometimes the appliances aren’t necessarily used but are sold at discounted prices because of being on display. Sometimes home appliances are sold not because of defects, but reasons such as moving house, house remodeling, etc. Other times, the appliances are rejects from manufacturers because of minute details like size, small dents, etc. It is very likely that you get an appliance that appears new and in perfect condition. Refurbished items are an excellent way to save some bucks.

Advantages of Refurbished Appliances

  • Discounted price
  • Recognized brand at a much cheaper price
  • Good working condition

Disadvantages of Refurbished Appliances

  • Visible dents or marks on the outside
  • Shorter warranties for the devices
  • Limited warranties for some parts of the devices
  • Increased risk of breakdown

Do your research thoroughly depending on the appliance you want to purchase. Weigh the pros and cons of both new and used appliances and see which decision suits your needs and your budget.


Nest Smart Thermostat and Other Smart Thermostats

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Smart Thermostats

The Nest Smart Thermostat is an ENERGY STAR certified device that is programmable for efficient use by a smart home. It is not only easy to use, but it saves you a significant amount of energy by adapting to and working around your schedule. Utility bills can be a big headache, and Nest Smart helps reduce these heating and cooling bills.

Design and SetupSmart Thermostats

It has a slim design of measurements 1.2” thick and 3.3” diameters, with a large display of 2.1 vs. 1.8”, and a higher resolution. It is available in black to blend in with stylish décor and dark walls, stainless steel for that classy look, copper that gives warmth and white for those who prefer a subtle look.

To key in information, press the outer ring for the main menu while turning it left or right to find an item of your choice. Once you’ve done that, use the outer ring again to click on your selection. It is easy-to-use with fast, precise movements.

The mobile app will give you a video tutorial on how to go about the installation process. On their website is a system match that enables users to know if the thermostat will work with their existing wiring. After installation, you may need to charge for about 30 minutes which is not always the case.


For those who are not very excited about constantly making adjustments to their thermostats, the Nest Smart has an Auto-schedule which is a great option. Within some time, it creates a schedule according to your habits and lifestyle. Of course, this can be adjusted.

It contains temperature sensors as well as ambient light, activity, and humidity sensors. The third generation Nest Smart Thermostat has a Farsight feature that lights up when you enter a room. Previous versions require you to be in front of the device before they light up.

The thermostat is equipped with a Bluetooth radio, Wi-Fi circuitry, and 512MB of memory. It works extremely well with other Nest devices like the Nest security cameras and the Protect smoke detector. You can also connect it to many other smart products.

The package comes with a screwdriver for installation which is a rare occurrence. The Nest thermostat has a built-in battery which extracts energy from your HVAC wiring. This is a plus as it eliminates the need for battery replacement.

Warranty and Support

Installation is fairly simple, but you can contact the customer support team if you are experiencing any difficulties. Professional installation is recommended by Nest if you have a dual-fuel system, a whole-home dehumidifier, or a dehumidifier.

They are available on social media, live chat, phone, and email. They also have an online community forum where employees and users get to interact, share information, and ask questions regarding the product. Nest Smart Thermostat has a two-year warranty.

Washer and Dryer Features

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Washer and Drayer

Washers and dryers have come a long way which has ultimately made laundry easier to manage. There are constant upgrades to increase functionality, and this has improved their reliability today.  PG Used Appliances ( has seen a lot of changes and improvements over the years and gave us the following information.

Washer Features

  1. Remove allergensWasher and Drayer

Washers with steam or heaters can eliminate dust, mites, pet stains and all allergens present in the laundry.

  1. Large capacity washers

These washers can hold more in a single load. It saves the user a lot of time.

  1. Temperature control

Some washers have automatic temperature controls that regulate the hot and cold water to the appropriate temperature required for the wash cycle.

  1. Dispensers

Automatic dispensers are found in some washers which release the detergent, bleach, powder, fabric softener, etc., at the right time without splattering. They have unique reservoirs for holding these laundry products.

  1. Extra cycles

For those who are allergic to detergent residues, you might want to consider acquiring one with an extra rinse cycle for efficient rinsing,

  1. Noise reduction

Vibration reduction usually indicates washers with a sound-dampening material. Some have also done away with the noise completely for quiet operations.

  1. Delay wash

You can program some washers to take care of your load as you sleep or even when you step out.

  1. Steam cleaning technology

These washers use advanced steam technology that removes the need to pre-treat stains. Some have oxygen cleaners released during the cycle to brighten the clothes naturally.

Dryer Features

  1. Recycle clothes

Dryers that use steam technology enable you to straighten out your clothes and remove any odors eliminating the need for a rewash.

  1. Retain quality

The dryers can preserve your clothes’ quality and shape extending their lifespan.

  1. Moisture sensors

These sensors detect the amount of moisture present in the laundry and turn off the dryer when necessary. Unlike thermostats, they work better on fabrics and are economical for your utility bills.

  1. Fast drying time

Advanced dryers now have large blowers from express cycles that significantly reduce drying time

  1. Eco-friendliness

Other dryers have eco sensors which monitor the level of energy to enhance efficiency while reducing the negative impact on the environment.

Trash Compactor Features

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Trash compactors are a great addition to your home for your waste management needs. They offer a simplistic way of reducing the amount of garbage in your household and the frequent transportation costs. It also eventually does the environment some good by lowering the space used in landfills.

The models come in various sizes, colors and materials to blend in with your kitchen décor. They are very convenient requiring little maintenance. If you would like an environmentally friendly option, use biodegradable bags in your compactor.

The three types of trash compactors available in the market today include;

  • Under-the-counter compactors

These are installed between cabinets and lack finished tops. For flush console looks, trim kits are available. Don’t forget to include the trim kits’ measurements during installation.

  • Convertible compactors

They are installed as either freestanding or under-the-counter compactors.

  • Freestanding compactors

These have fitted tops that provide extra space as working areas. Take extra caution not to place anything fragile on the compactor.

Features in Trash Compactors

  • Tilt sensors
  • Anti-jam sensors
  • On/off start control keys
  • Insulation against noise
  • Foot capacity: 1.4 cubic
  • Compacting ram force of 2000, 2300, or 5000 lbs
  • Key knob controls that can be removed to avoid accidents
  • Trash baskets that tilt away for easier removal
  • Front panels that can be reversed to match your kitchen’s decor
  • Odor absorption features such as charcoal filters or in-built air freshener

Trash Compactor Size

The exact measurements of the height, weight, and depth will, of course, vary for each compactor. The available space in your kitchen should match with the compactor you choose. Their height averages between 34 1/8 to 35”, weight from 12” to about 15” while the depth is 24 to 24 ¼”.

How to Care for Trash Compactors

  • Before you start, unplug your compactor
  • Remove the bin and follow the instructions given
  • Vacuum to remove any loose dirt
  • Clean the outside and the inside using some warm water and detergent
  • Rinse the compactor
  • Put a new bin in place
  • Regularly check the charcoal filter

Safety Precautions for Trash Compactors

  • Do not put glass or aerosol cans inside.
  • Keep away from children or buy one with child lock features.
  • Safety features are present in some which prevent compaction when the door is open.
  • Do not put inflammable or explosive chemicals inside
  • Remove the trash before filling capacity (abt 40-50 lbs)

Hi Tech Appliances

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In today’s world, technology is everywhere. We see it in our cars, we see it in our gadgets, and now even see it in our homes with a range of hi tech appliances. Smart home devices, make life much easier, when it comes to conserving energy, and even doing house chores.
Take the smart home appliances  what example. You can now purchase a refrigerator with the touch screen television on the door. This can serve as a general family notetaking area for organization. Or also to peek inside your refrigerator without even opening the door. Cameras are mounted inside your refrigerator.  With a few taps of the screen you can view inside to see what you need from the grocery store.  Once you arrive at the grocery store, you may remember something else that you’re not quite sure that you have in the fridge.  Good thing that refrigerator has a smart phone app, simply open the app and view inside your refrigerator from the grocery I’ll using your smart phone.

Smart Washers & Dryers

 What about laundry?  Did you know that now there exists, even smart washers and smart dryers.  You may ask why what I need to control my washer and dryer from my smart phone.  Well many of these models are made to be stacked. One on top of the other, the wash machine on the bottom, the dryer sits on top. If you’re shorter than 5 foot seven, it makes it incredibly difficult to push the buttons or even see the controls of the dryer mounted above. Grab that extra iPad or tablet that you don’t use anymore, mounted to the wall of your laundry area, and now you can control both washer and dryer from the smart phone app which is connected to your washer and dryer.

Smart Water Heaters

 It doesn’t stop there. The appliance in your home that uses the greatest amount of electricity, is your water heater. There are now  technologically advanced water heaters.  So you go on vacation, the last thing you’re going to worry about is opening that access panel to the water heater and cranking the heater down to somewhere closer to room temperature. So your water heater doesn’t heat water for no one to use. Well, when you’re sitting in line at the airport waiting for that plane to land, so you can board and be on your way, use your smart phone, connect to your water heater, and decrease the temperature settings so as not to waste electricity. Now you’ve got more money to spend on vacation.