Google gets romantic with photos, fireplaces

CNET Update shares the love:

In this episode of Update:

- Learn about the federal bill pushing for a smartphone kill switch, and why the wireless industry is against it.

- Get mushy on Google+ with animated hearts on lovey-dovey photos.

- Mourn the loss of Lovematically, which auto-liked all your friends photos on Instagram.

- Set the mood with Chromecast's new fireplace visualizer when streaming Google Play Music.

- Put an end to snoring by plugging in this high-tech nudging pillow.

CNET Update delivers the tech news you need in under three minutes. Watch Bridget Carey every afternoon … Read more

Craving a cozy fire on a snowy night? There's an app for that

If you're looking for further evidence that 2014 is shaping up to be the year of the smart home, take a look at fireplace manufacturer Heat & Glo, which announced the new IntelliFire Touch Control app at today's NAHB International Builders' Show in Las Vegas. Using IntelliFire, you'll be able to control and monitor your Heat & Glo fireplace directly from your iOS or Android device, whether you're home or not.

Aside from starting and stopping the gas flow that feeds the flames, the app makes it possible to monitor fireplace usage by individuals and engage … Read more

Review: Fireplace Live HD Free displays one of four fireplaces on your iOS screen

Fireplace Live HD Free is exactly as it sounds -- an app that will display a digital fireplace onscreen. It offers a handful of options for how to display that fireplace and the core functions are all free to use; but like most simulated fireplaces, windows, or other effects on the phone, the app has some issues related to the ads.

When you open the app it will automatically load to the default fire. You can tap the settings menu at any time to change between one of four different fire options. On newer iPhones you can switch to HD … Read more

Don't mount a TV above a fireplace

Mounting a TV up and out of the way above a fireplace seems logical, convenient, and undeniably cool. However, there are serious issues with such placement.

If you're planning on watching the TV only occasionally, that's one thing. But if this is your main TV and you're going to be watching it more than a few minutes at a time, beware.

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Get three BluScenes Blu-ray discs for the price of one

You paid big bucks for that HDTV and Blu-ray player, so you might as well utilize them to their fullest, right? That's the idea behind BluScenes, a series of Blu-ray discs that turn your TV into an aquarium, a fireplace, and, um, a space telescope.

Each disc usually sells for $14.99, but from now until April 23, you can score all three BluScenes discs for just $12.99 (plus $2 for shipping).

The Coral Reef Aquarium is pretty straightforward: it offers three different aquarium views, all of them shot in 1080p using one of those fancy RED One … Read more

Fireplace impersonator

3D Realistic Fireplace Screen Saver provides users with a fairly lifelike fireplace on their screen. While simple to operate, the program's options are what makes it red hot.

The interface is so intuitive that users will not need a trip to the Help file, though it is available if necessary. The program is well labeled and all the options make perfect sense. We had no trouble navigating it and customizing our flames. We were pleased by the fireplace and how easy it was to set up. While it will not fool anyone into thinking your computer is on fire, … Read more

Keep the home fires burning with cooking irons

Nothing beats sitting by a nice, warm fire when it's cold outside. That is, nothing except sitting by a nice, warm fire while cooking food. We have our grills for outside use, but options are limited for harnessing flames indoors. Luckily, the common fireplace can easily be used for cooking up some goodness. All you need are the right tools.

The Fireside Cooking Irons are perfect for stoking the comfortable flames associated with food and fire. The irons are constructed from heavy cast iron and feature stay-cool wooden handles. Simply place your food in the iron and nestle it … Read more

Keep the home fires burning in any room

Who doesn't enjoy a nice warm fire crackling away when it's chilly outside? The primordial cave dweller hiding somewhere deep inside of all of us certainly understands the allure. As beneficial as drywall and glass windows may be to modern humans, there is one way in which our ancestors have us beat. When they needed heat for cooking and warmth, they built a fire, anywhere they damn well wanted to (noting proper ventilation first, of course).

Now, we as a modern society can finally honestly say we have equaled our ancestors by bringing the fire inside.

Similar to … Read more

Bordeaux fireplace: A $1,700 bad idea

When you first see the Bordeaux electric fireplace, you might think, "Gee, this looks like an attractive way to get a fireplace in my living room without installing a chimney. A real wood mantle! Actual heat! Remote-controlled convenience!"

But then you open the side panels to reveal hidden storage--for wine. Wine, right next to a heat source. And that heat source is capable of warming up to 400 square feet.

I can kind of get what manufacturer Muskoka is going for; after all, who doesn't enjoy a glass of wine while warming up next to the fire? … Read more

Rotating fireplace turns up the heat

I know what you're thinking after looking at the feature picture for this blog post: "But it's not cold outside yet!" And in thinking so, you'd be right, but with September right around the corner, it'll be Fall in just a few short weeks. And when the colder weather rolls in, I'd like to be prepared.

For me, "prepared" means supplementing my wardrobe with extra sweaters. For you, it may mean an investment in a home-heating device, and if you're tired of the old-fashioned space heater, then a gadget like … Read more