Parental Control is a great way to keep your children supervised without having to watch their every move. Parental Control is located in System Preferences under System. To use Parental Control, you will first need to create or use an existing account that does not have administrative controls, and then use an Administrator’s account to control the other account. Parental Control is able to limit computer usage time, websites, and many other things parents may worry about. A feature that I feel many parents will appreciate is the Weekday and Weekend time limiter and bedtime controls. These allow you to choose how many hours your child will be allowed to use his or her computer during the weekend or weekday. Setting the time is easy enough, just click the Limit Computer Use box and drag the bar to how many hours you will allow. The bedtime setter can be used to make sure your children are not up all night playing on their computers. For setting Bedtimes, select the checkbox and then punch-in the bedtime to wakeup time. In the Web section you are able to choose from allowing all web sties or customizing which websites to allow access to. Customizing websites can be a long task because you will need to type the URL of every website into the system, yet is viable if there are specific websites you would like your child to refrain from using. To do this click Customize in the Web section of Parental Controls. A new window will be brought up, and after there will be two sections, with an “always allow” and a “never allow” option. To add a website, just click the plus sign and type the URL in, and to take out a website press the minus sign. These are just a few of the many features Parental Control offers, check it out in System Preferences.

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My thoughts:

The Bose QuietComfort line has been around since 2000. Since then it has evolved greatly into the QuietComfort 3, and QuietComfort 15. I had bought a pair of the QuietComfort 3 headphones back when they first came out in 2006, and have used them moderately for 6 years. At the time they sounded better, and had better noise cancelling technology than the QC2’s and I personally found them more comfortable. As the years went by (5 years), the ear cushions started to lose their comfort and the battery started to lose it’s ability to retain a charge as well. This was not a deal breaker, because both the ear cushions and battery is replaceable replaceable, but the headphones started to emit a high frequency sound whenever the ear cushions were to be compressed, so that I had to shelve them. These headphones are great from the short term to the mid term (1-4 years), but beyond that, the quality of the sound becomes strained and purchase of a new pair is advisable.

However, as I went talked to Bose about my situation, they offered a trade in program which allows me to trade in my headphones and battery for any brand new quiet comfort product for the additional cost of $100. The Ear cushion and battery would cost me $85 so I decided to get the brand new pair of Limited Edition QC15’s. Getting to use both these headphones I have always been impressed by Bose’s quality in their products. Upgrading from the QC3’s I found the QC15’s to be more comfortable while wearing them for long periods of time. . That said, I was most impressed by the noise cancellation was the ability to cancel out nuisances, such as the sound of babies crying on the plane a few rows away from us. Without these headphones, it would have been a completely different, and likely unpleasant, experience.

Both headphones come with a case that holds everything you need to carry with you on a trip. The QC3 requires a rechargeable lithium-ion battery that comes with a charger. All of this fits in the case in a specific way because it is so compact, so it can be tedious to pack when you are in a rush. According to Bose, the battery is estimated to last about 25 hours, and from mild testing, that claim does seem to hold up – provided you don’t put them on full blast.

Additional information:

The QC15 case has a larger case with more room for peripherals, and because it takes one AAA battery (lasts me about 40 hours) it is easier to pack and take out for quicker easier access. In the future I am hoping Bose will release an add-on that might fit into the connector of the QC15 allowing for wireless blue tooth connectivity. If you look at the headset connector, it seems be large enough to fit some future adapter that will fit inside the headset for a seamless integration. However there seems to be no rumors on this, and because Bose is so successful with their current product line, they do not need to release a Blue tooth solution quite yet.

Bottom Line: the Bose QuietComfort line is a very nice choice for any frequent traveler, casual listener, or anyone who is looking for a great sound experience. The price is definitely disappointment, but the sound quality is near unrivaled in that price range, so it’s safe to say that Bose more or less controls much of the market for middle price range headsets.

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Having trouble sleeping at night? One problem might be that you are using your computer before you goto bed. Instead of going into the complex science of eye stimulation (which I do not quite understand myself), I will give you the brief over view. On f.lux’s website they explain it to us that the blue lights that your computer emit can keep you up late at night, so the purpose of f.lux was to eliminate these blue lights. They have done this by making your computers screen adapt to the time of the day. For example, on there website they state: “When the sun sets, it makes your computer look like your indoor lights. In the morning, it makes things look like sunlight again.” Overall, f.lux has personally been a great help with my tendency to work late into the night. So for all of you people out there like me I would recommend downloading f.lux. For more information behind the science of f.lux click here.

Low Cost: Cheerson CX-20

Price: $300

A great drone for anyone starting out. When I first got my Cheerson CX-20 I beat, dropped, and slammed into walls. Eventually the drone broke after a few months, but this was a great way to learn how to fly. The Cheerson lacks a high end interface and auto pilot controls, but through this lack of technology I became a better pilot. Having moved on from my Cheerson onto more advanced drones (that basically fly themselves), I would have never gotten to my skill level had it not been for the Cheerson. The Cheerson is a basic quadcopter with similar resemblance to the older DJI Phantom. The UAV does not come equipped with a built in Camera so you will have to snap on a GoPro. Incase you would like a more advanced drone without the price, you can always upgrade your CX-20 with a POV monitor, gimbal, and other accessories at $50 to $100 at a time.

Note: Cheerson has updated to the CX-22 (but it costs twice as much)

Medium Cost: Xiro Xplorer

Price: $800

Probably one of the best valued drones on the market is the Xiro Xplorer. There are two models sold by Xiro including the Xplorer G equipped with a 3-Axis gimbal for your GoPro, or the Xplorer V equipped with an in-house camera created by Xiro delivering crisp 1080p video. The Xiro Xplorer is a very durable and well made device that looks like it should cost twice as much as it does. It also includes much of the technology expected from higher end drones like video streaming, a specially design app, orbit mode, follow mode, and many other features. This is a high end drone, without the high end price tag.

Note: Watch out for the Xiro’s new Xplorer2!

High Cost: 3DR Solo

Price (UAV): $1000

Price (Gimbal): $400

Deemed the smartest drone on the market, it is hard to disagree after my first flight. The 3DR Solo has a noticably sleek and clean look as compared to its ugly competitor the DJI Phantom. Compared to the DJI Phantom the 3DR Solo only lacks in its range, but can be fixed for $20 dollars by buying range extenders and ends up bettering the Phantom. 3DR put time in to developing one of the best applications for their drone, so that a beginner will have the ability to take professional quality shots. The Solo is able to keep itself very steady in the wind, launch itself, orbit, follow, cable follow, and much more (not to mention the updates). If you have the cash, the 3DR Solo is worth the investment as a beginner drone as it is not very difficult to fly.

Note: Don’t worry about model updates as the 3DR Solo has updates that change its dynamics and expansion bay allows for extra accessories to be attached.

Over the past few years, Bluetooth headphones have entered the market. High-end brands such as Bowers & Wilkins decided to stay out of the market because the company claimed Bluetooth did not provide the ability to deliver high-quality audio. B&W has entered the market with the help of aptX which delivers higher quality audio – however devices such as the iPhone do not support aptX. The P5 Wireless headphones bear a resemblance in hardware to the P5 Series 2 headphones (Wired). The wireless headphones are in the luxury price range at $400, a $100 increase from the wired P5.

The design of the wireless headphones is basically the same as the P5 Series 2. It sports the aluminum design along with leather ear pads that provide an elegant design. It is evident that B&W carefully thought through the design challenges of a wireless headphone. For example, below the right ear pad, the MicroUSB charging port is cleverly hidden. In the event, the headphones run out of battery, one of the ear pads can be removed to insert an audio cable. The headphones come with a beautiful quilted case to store the headphones with a hidden compartment to store the charging cable and audio cable.

When testing the P5 wireless headphones on an aptX supported device, the audio quality was incredibly clear. Compared to the wired versions of the P5, it was hard to tell a difference in audio quality. On non-aptX devices (such as the iPhone), there was a marginal change in audio quality, but the difference was only noticeable to trained ear.

The P5 wireless headphones are not noise cancelling headphones, but it does a good job for the most part. The only time I notice a difference is on flights when noise cancelling headphones are necessary. One benefit of the P5 wireless headphones not being noise cancelling is the extended battery life, it is reported to play for 17 hours (compared to Beats Studio Wireless noise cancelling headphones at 9hrs). If noise cancelling is a must, these headphones are not for you. In my testing, I didn’t notice a huge difference except on airplanes. I preferred the 8-hour battery life gain since I rarely ran out of battery and it gave me one less thing to worry about charging.

The P5 wireless is a beautifully designed headphone that delivers a high-quality audio experience. These headphones require some compromise and this experience is not for everyone. But, if you are looking for high-quality headphones that block most noise and desire longer battery life, these are the headphones for you.