13 horribly designed everyday products that need to be reinvented

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We shouldn’t have to worry that our simplest household products will let us down.

But plenty of them do — on a daily basis.

For every perfectly crafted Dixon-Ticonderoga pencil, there’s a shampoo bottle that will never get completely empty.

Here are the everyday products we’ve been using for decades that — somehow — have withstood innovation.

SEE ALSO: 21 objects that are perfectly designed and can’t be improved any further

Umbrellas have existed since the 1st century AD, but the common collapsible variety is awfully flimsy when the going gets rough. Many turn inside-out or simply fall apart during heavy rainstorms.

Even if you’re meticulous about squeezing a tube of toothpaste from bottom to top, you’ll still end up with a maddening bit at the end that you just can’t use. The person who solves this problem should earn a Nobel Prize.

Same goes for soap and shampoo bottles, which use compressed air to dispense their contents. That mechanism fails miserably once the bottle gets too low, and you’re left with wasted soap every time.

See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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Ever tried flying underwater?

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The Subwing is like Superman meets Aquaman! You literally fly underwater with this super-thrilling, maneuverable underwater surfboard. Just strap it to a jet-ski or a motorboat, as you would for water-skiing, but instead of having water only splash in your face while you ski, you could just fly inside the water!

The Subwing comes with two wings that rotate on a common axis. Just the way rudders work on a plane, or fins work on fishes, the wings on the Subwing allow you to move upwards, downwards, and spin pirouettes endlessly inside the water like some sort of real-life underwater Temple Run! Why surf above the water when you can glide inside it! It’s almost beach season, so you may want to pick up your Subwing now! (You’re welcome 😉 )

Designer: Simon Sivertsen

BUY IT HERE: $295

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The new ‘Mario Kart’ is the best ‘Mario Kart’ game ever made

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It’s been 25 years since the first "Mario Kart" game launched on the Super Nintendo Entertainment System: A quarter century of cheap, last-second red shells; of increasingly-complicated drifting; of yelling and laughing alongside friends; of Luigi death stares.

Given all that time, it’s amazing that the latest entry in the "Mario Kart" series is also the greatest entry in the long-running racing franchise. Few games perpetually best their predecessors.

"Mario Kart 8 Deluxe" is a delightful exception to that rule.

Mario Kart 8 Deluxe (Switch)

Here’s why "Mario Kart 8 Deluxe," a brand new Nintendo Switch game that just launched, is so incredibly good.

SEE ALSO: 7 reasons Nintendo is discontinuing its ridiculously popular $60 game console, the NES Classic

First and foremost: Maybe you’re not acquainted with "Mario Kart" somehow? It’s an arcade-style racing game starring Nintendo’s most popular characters.

Listen, if you’ve managed to make it this far without learning what "Mario Kart" is, we’re impressed. 

The long and short is this: It’s a racing game starring Nintendo’s most popular characters, from Mario to Donkey Kong to Link. You and 11 other racers (either controlled by actual humans or by a computer) compete for first place on a variety of race tracks. In the process, you pick up usable items — like a heat-seeking red shell, or a limited-time fireball, among others — to slow other racers. It’s a game of skill, no doubt, but it’s also a game of luck.

Do yourself a favor and play any of the half dozen "Mario Kart" games that’ve arrived in the past 25 years. They’re all pretty similar, and they’re all pretty wonderful. The series appeals to so-called "hardcore" game players and more casual players alike. The latest iteration, "Mario Kart 8 Deluxe," is no exception. 

If you already played "Mario Kart 8" on Nintendo’s last console, the Wii U, you’ve already played the main section of "Mario Kart 8 Deluxe."

If, on the other hand, you’re getting some serious déja vu from hearing about "Mario Kart 8 Deluxe," it’s likely that you spent some time with the Wii U game. That feeling you have is spot-on — "Mario Kart 8 Deluxe" is very similar to the 2014 game for the Wii U. In fact, "Mario Kart 8 Deluxe" is the same game. The difference is in a handful of tweaks, and a new Battle Mode (we’ll get to that in a minute).

Here’s what isn’t different about the "Deluxe" version of "Mario Kart 8": No new race tracks.

That might be huge to you. If you played "Mario Kart 8," and played the additional content Nintendo sold after the game came out, you shouldn’t expect a bunch of new race tracks here. Nintendo’s banking on you not having played the game on Wii U, and that’s a pretty good bet considering how few Wii U consoles were sold. 

So, what’s new? The major addition is a Battle Mode.

Yes, the original version of "Mario Kart 8" came with a Battle Mode, but it was a shadow of its former self. Instead of dedicated Battle Mode courses, Nintendo simply walled off a few race tracks and hoped that would be enough. It wasn’t — fans and critics celebrated how wonderful "Mario Kart 8" was at launch, but lamented the hobbled Battle Mode. Previous games in the series included dedicated Battle Mode maps, but they were absent in "Mario Kart 8."

"Mario Kart 8 Deluxe" fixes that in a beyond-satisfying way: by creating five new Battle Mode maps, and re-making three beloved ones from previous games.

Mario Kart 8 Deluxe

See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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24 time-saving hacks that will free up hours in your weekly schedule

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Relaxing

Research about productivity teaches us one clear lesson: Multitasking doesn’t work.

So what are busybodies of the 21st century to do?

According to users in a recent Quora thread, there are a range of daily behaviors people can tweak — even just slightly — to free up lots of extra time during the week.

Get ready to be your most efficient self.

SEE ALSO: 11 habits the most influential people share

Automate as many of your daily tasks as possible, so you can focus on bigger things.

"Let’s see what are the things you could automate:

-Don’t love going to the grocery store every week? Use Instacart

-Don’t love going to the gas station every week? Use FuelPanda (Disclosure: I am a co-founder)

-Don’t love cleaning your house every few weeks? Use Handy

-Don’t love cooking every day? Try different Food delivery services

-Don’t love washing clothes? Use Washio

-Don’t love doing small online errands? Use Fancy Hands

-Don’t love paying bills? Use Auto pay on your account

-Don’t love thinking about what to wear each day? Wear the same type of dress every day

Once you automate everything that you don’t love, then the rest is beautiful!"

Pavan

Follow the "Two-minute rule": If something takes very little time, just get it done.

"If you can do something (like replying to an email, or a house chore) in 2 minutes, do it now. Planning it for later, remembering it, doing it in the future will take 5 minutes or more."

Marius Ursache

Think of your ability to make good decisions as a limited resource, because that’s what it is.

"Don’t think that willpower will help you when you get in trouble. Make important decisions in the morning and automate everything possible (delegate, batch etc.). US presidents don’t have to choose their menu or suit color every day — otherwise their willpower will be depleted at that late hour when they should push (or not push) the red button)."

Marius Ursache

See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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This guy built a travel dock for his Nintendo Switch and I want one

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I love my Nintendo Switch. Almost an unreasonable amount, really. It’s traveled thousands of miles with me at this point, and I’ve probably traveled just as far around Hyrule in Breath of the Wild.

One thing the Switch lacks, though, is a more portable dock. A travel dock, if you will. Something that lets me hook my Switch up to TVs when I’m on the road without having to lug the clunky home dock around with me. As we’ve learned from various teardowns, the dock is pretty much empty inside except for a little 3″ board: why not make something more compact?

So this guy built his own.

Redditor imnotashinobi gutted an official dock, 3D printed a two-piece case that ditches all of that extra space, did some cable origami, and boom: he’s got a dock that fits right inside the case he carries his Switch in. He calls it the “Dockling” (Duck, Duckling. Dock, Dockling. Clever!)

Rather than sitting your Switch into the dockling, you plug it in via USB-C. On the other end, you’ve got another USB-C port (for power) and an HDMI port (for hooking it up to the TV.) It means carrying around an extra cable or two, but cables are a whole lot easier to stuff into a suitcase — and less likely to get crushed.

It’s still something of a proof-of-concept, but his eventual goal is to sell these cases (you’ll have to bring your own innards) to other folks who want something a bit more portable.

But really, Nintendo: people want this. If you don’t make it, someone else will.

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100 movies on Netflix that everyone needs to watch in their lifetime

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Netflix has no shortage of content. Going through its growing original material along with other shows and movies, you could binge endlessly and still never crack the surface.

Welcome to the new world of streaming.

It’s become harder on the movie front, as Netflix boosts its TV side, but you can put a good dent in some classic films if you have the right guide.

That’s why we’re here.

We have searched through all the latest titles on the streaming giant so you don’t have to, and we’ve put together the 100 movies streaming on Netflix right now that you have to watch in your lifetime.

Here are the 100 best movies streaming on Netflix:

Note: Numerous Netflix titles drop off the streaming service monthly so the availability of titles below may change.

SEE ALSO: 20 modern classic TV shows everyone needs to watch in their lifetime

1. "10 Things I Hate About You" (1999)

Heath Ledger and Julia Styles have an incredible love/hate vibe that fuels the movie. And a baby-faced Joseph Gordon-Levitt looking for love is great, too.

2. "13th" (2016)

This Netflix original documentary from director Ava DuVernay ("Selma") explores the history of racial inequality in the US, particularly the key moments that have led to a disproportionate prison population in the country (one out of four people in prison around the world, and many of them African-American).

3. "Adventureland" (2009)

Director Greg Mottola takes us back to that feeling of our first summer job — the experience that is supposed to prepare you for the real world. But really all that happens is hitting on your coworkers. 

See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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The best commands for Google Home

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The Google Home speaker finally went on sale in the UK in April and while it’s a neat little smart speaker, it has some catching up to do. The Amazon Echo has already managed to garner more than 10,000 skills and the Home has very few. While the search giant works with developers to build up its selection, there are still some very useful things you can do with the smart speaker. Here’s a selection of what we think are the best.

Cast music and video to other devices

One of the big draws for Google Home is the ability to use voice control on Chromecast and Chromecast Audio devices. You can stream music from your phone over Wi-Fi from a variety of Chromecast-enabled audio apps Google Play Music, Spotify and TuneIn.

Control your home

Home automation is one of the connected speaker’s main skills, and it’ll enable you to control a variety of smart home devices with your voice, including Nest, Honeywell and Tado smart thermostats, Philips Hue lights and Samsung SmartThings products. Something as simple as "Turn on the heat" can warm the house when it starts feeling a little fresh inside the house.

Settle an argument

Sometimes the fairest way to make a decision or settle an argument is with the simple flip of a coin. Home can produce an electronic coin flip with the words "Hey Google, flip a coin." If you want to complicate things a bit more, you can say "Hey Google, roll a die" or go one step further with "Hey Google, roll a 12-sided die."

Be at one with the Force

As you’d expect from any self-respecting assistive gadget, there’s a selection of Star Wars-based Easter eggs on offer including, "Hey Google, these are not the droids you’re looking for", "Hey Google, aren’t you a little short for a storm trooper?" and "Hey Google, who shot first?".

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Tune an instrument

Tuning your guitar just got a whole lot easier. Rather than fiddling around with an electric tuner or app, just say "Hey Google, tune my instrument" or you can ask for a specific note, for example, "Hey Google, play an B flat".

Sort your life out

Google Home gets to know you based on your daily travel and activities and saying "Hey Google tell me about my day" will fire up a curated update for you including the weather, traffic on your usual travel route and any appointments you have in the diary.

Play a game

The game selection is pretty thin on the ground at the moment, but expect more to be added as third-party ‘services’ join the party. For now, try "Hey Google, Mad Libs", "Hey Google, play Lucky Trivia" or "Hey Google, Crystal Ball"

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Get nerdy

Not a Star Wars fan? No bother. Google Home has plenty of other sci-fi-related Easter eggs to try out including "Hey Google, are you SkyNet?", "Hey Google, set phasers to kill" or "Hey Google, do you like Star Trek or Star Wars?". And of course, the ultimate question – "Hey Google, what is the answer to life, the universe, and everything?".

Tap into Google search

Probably one of the Home’s biggest advantages over the Bing search-based Amazon Echo is its ability to tap into Google’s superior search engine, complete with Maps, Translate and more. You can ask a vast range of questions from "Hey Google, how many species of shark are there?" and "Hey Google, how do I say ‘happy birthday’ in Spanish?" to "Hey Google, what is 7 x 350?" and even "Hey Google, how is GoPro’s stock?".

Get Google Home to sing

If you can’t decide what listen music to listen to, you can have a little fun with Home. Just say "Hey Google, sing a song" and see what you get. Alternatively, try "Hey Google, can you rap?", "Hey Google, drop a beat" or "Hey Google, beatbox".

You don’t need to talk posh

Unlike some voice-control services, Google Home has been specifically developed to understand the UK’s many regional accents so you shouldn’t need to adjust your speaking voice to make yourself understood.

Get the news that’s most relevant to you

Rather than being stuck with American news sources, Google Home offers access to a number of outlets closer to home, including the BBC, The Telegraph, The Guardian, Financial Times, The Sun, The Economist, Sky News and Sky Sports.

Play with animal sounds

With what could be a useful educational tool or just something to keep the kids occupied for a while, Google Home lets you play with animals noises. You simply have to ask "Hey Google, what noise does a dog/cow/hippo make?".

Indulge your inner film buff

Google has plenty of film-related Easter eggs on offer – just try chucking some of the best-known film quotes at it and see what happens. Kick things off with "Hey Google, who you gonna call?", "Hey Google, party on, Wayne!", and "Hey Google, always be closing."

Follow-on questions

Google Home can recognise when you’re asking a follow-on question, so that you don’t have to keep saying "Hey Google" for related queries. For example if you asked "Hey Google, where is the nearest off-licence", followed by "when does it close", it’ll know exactly what you’re referring to.

Get chatty

If you get seriously bored, you can try and strike up a sort-of conversation with Google Home, kicking off with "Hey Google, I’m bored". Try digging a little deeper with questions like "Hey Google, what are you afraid of?", "Hey Google, what am I thinking right now?" or "Hey Google, do you want to take over the world?". You can also try out some British phrases like "Hey Google, Bob’s your uncle".

Try out some tech references

It’s also worth trying out some techie questions from straightforward stuff like "Hey Google, what are the three laws of robotics?" and "Hey Google, are you friends with Alexa?" to "Hey Google, do you speak Morse code?".

Talk like a gamer

You’ll also find a few Easter eggs for gamers including "Hey Google, up up down down left right left right B A Start", "Hey Google, is the cake a lie?" and the classic "Hey Google, all your base are belong to us".

Be direct

Stuck for things to do? Get straight to the point and ask "Hey Google, what are your Easter eggs?".

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