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How to Upgrade Your Home Office, With Gizmodo’s Alex Cranz and Brian Kahn

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Illustration for article titled How to Upgrade Your Home Office, With Gizmodos Alex Cranz and Brian Kahn

Photo: Micaela Heck/Elena Scotti

This week we’re improving our work-from-home setups with help from Gizmodo’s own tech whiz Alex Cranz and Earther’s managing editor Brian Kahn. Listen to hear their tips on how to improve your internet connection (beyond just power-cycling it), what to use to make your space greener and more comfortable, and how to actually drown out all that dang neighborhood noise.

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Alex and Brian are also hosts of Gizmodo’s new podcast, System Reboot, which dives into the systems that are failing us—from the food supply chain to our crappy internet—and explores realistic opportunities to create something better.

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Listen to The Upgrade above or find us in all the usual places podcasts are served, including Apple Podcasts, Google Play, Spotify, iHeartRadio, and NPR One.

Highlights from this week’s episode

From Alex Cranz:

On what to do before calling to complain to your ISP:

[O]ne of the best things that I learned to do was get familiar with what good Internet looks like in my home. So, like on your cable, a lot of people have cable modems and you can actually plug into your cable modem and see what your signal levels are. So whenever I have really bad Internet, I can go on there, look at my my my signal levels. And then when I call Charter to yell at them [since] I have more information.

On why it’s important to invest in a good-quality router:

I think the technology is changing so, so rapidly and improving exponentially that it just makes sense to kind of keep up to date with that stuff and invest wisely when you do get a new router. Read Gizmodo dot com. We have some great reviews. [I]nvest in it the same way you would a fridge. This is something that you’re using constantly. Don’t cheap out on it and buy the hundred-dollar one to like power the internet for your 1000 square foot home or whatever.

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From Brian Kahn:

On the benefits of greening-up your space:

[S]cience indicates that plants do not necessarily clean up the indoor air quality that much, but, you know, greenery, open spaces, being outside. I mean, these are things that have been shown have clinical like have actual mental health benefits. And so being outside, especially during the workday, not to say it’s super easy, but if you bring a little bit the outside in, perhaps getting some plants…that is actually really good for your mental health.

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To hear more of Alex and Brian’s home office upgrades, we recommend checking out the full episode. We also recommend checking out their new podcast, System Reboot!

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Have any feedback or ideas for future episodes? Want to be featured on the show? Leave us a voicemail at 347-687-8109 or send a voice memo to upgrade@lifehacker.com.

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Conquer Your Pup’s Dander and Fur With $700 Off a Cobalt or Charcoal Bobsweep PetHair Plus Robot Vacuum

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Best Home DealsBest Home DealsThe best home, kitchen, smart home, and automotive deals from around the web, updated daily.

Bobsweep PetHair Plus Robot Vacuum & Mop (Cobalt) | $200 | Best Buy

Bobsweep PetHair Plus Robot Vacuum & Mop (Charcoal) | $200 | Best Buy

Allergies can be bad enough as the seasons change. Don’t let pet hair and dander add to that by vacuuming it up early and often. That chore is easier said than done— unless you have a robot vacuum to do the work for you. This lovely bright cobalt Bobsweep PetHair Plus robot vacuum and mop, only $200 today at Best Buy seems like an ideal option. That’s a whopping $700 off, by the way.

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You can get the same deal for the charcoal version of the robot vac, too. This model is not only specially made for picking up pet hair, it self docks and charges when it’s finished with the work.

It also comes with a mop attachment, so it can take care of those kitchen floors for you as well. Grab it while it’s still available for this fantastic price!

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Apple will replace AirPods Pro for free with faulty noise cancellation, static or crackling

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Today, exactly one year after Apple first launched the AirPods Pro — and thus the same day the very first AirPods Pro owners will see their one-year warranties expire — Apple has launched a repair program that offers free repairs or replacements for another whole year if your AirPods Pro experience issues with noise cancellation or static.

Specifically, Apple will fix:

Crackling or static sounds that increase in loud environments, with exercise or while talking on the phone

Active Noise Cancellation not working as expected, such as a loss of bass sound, or an increase in background sounds, such as street or airplane noise

Apple says only a “small percentage of AirPods Pro” are affected by the issues, but it apparently wasn’t just an early batch — Apple says affected units were manufactured “before October 2020,” meaning every AirPods Pro ever made might be eligible. That’s quite a recall if so. Apple says it will repair faulty AirPods Pro for two years after you first buy them.

We’ve heard complaints about degraded noise cancellation before, and at least one Verge editor has replaced their AirPods Pro under warranty. It’s nice to hear that Apple isn’t just cutting buyers off as soon as that warranty expires.

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This 55″ 4K TCL Smart TV Hangs on Your Wall for $200

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Best Tech DealsBest Tech DealsThe best tech deals from around the web, updated daily.

TCL 55″ S434 4K Smart TV | $200 | Best Buy

Best Buy has an insane deal going for a brand new 55″ 4K TCL smart TV. It’s the S434, which is pretty baseline for TCL’s lineup, but at just $200, there’s little to complain about. TCL’s panels are plenty sharp and accurate, and with this set, you’ll get HDR10 compliance for enhanced color and brightness in supported games and video content. This model has Android TV onboard for all your app needs, and with an included voice remote, all your favorite content is just a shout away with the help of Google Assistant.

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