Sarah Tew/CNET If you have a serious home-theater system, or even a semiserious one with three or more components, a universal remote control is a wonderful thing. The best universal remotes can unify all those different device clickers into a single wand in a way that can feel magical. All of the best universal remote options have superior ergonomics, with more intuitive button layouts and a better feel than standard remotes. And many of them work with your smartphone or voice systems like Amazon Alexa and Google Home. My family and I have used many of the remotes on this list to control my main home-theater system for months or years at a time. At various points they’ve controlled multiple devices including my TVs, AV receivers, game consoles, Roku streamers and even a cable box DVR. My family uses the system as much as I do, and my main criteria in a universal remote is making it simple enough for a child to operate.Here are my favorite choices for best universal remote over the years that are currently available, in ascending order of price.Note that CNET may get a share of the revenue if you buy anything featured on our site. Read the Logitech Companion review My pick for the best universal remote for the money, is the Companion, a real remote tied to a Harmony Hub. Since the Harmony Hub handles the actual command sending you don’t have to aim the remote and risk one of your devices missing a command — which leads to confusion and delay. The remote is slick and easy to hold, and the battery lasts for months. In my years of using it at home, the main things I missed are backlighting behind the keys and a remote finder. Logitech Harmony Companion: $105 Sarah Tew/CNET Read the Logitech Harmony 650 review Caavo Control Center: $60 plus service fee Read the Logitech Harmony Express preview Read the Amazon Fire TV Cube review Read the Caavo Control Center preview See at Amazon Comments Logitech Harmony wrote the book on the universal remote control, and these are its most basic clickers I can recommend. The main appeal over a cheaper, non-Harmony-based remote controller, or the clicker that comes with your cable box, is the activity-based control. Press the “Watch TV” or “Listen to Music” buttons and the remote controller turns on all the relevant devices (such as your smart TV, blue-ray player, cable box and AV receiver), switches to the right inputs and maps the keys to that activity (Volume to the receiver and Channel up/down to the cable box, for example). Unlike more-expensive Harmonys (below), which use a universal remote app for setup and control, you’ll have to use Harmony’s Mac- or PC-based software to program the remote. The 650 and 665 also rely on IR (infrared) codes emitted from the front of the remote — if you want point-anywhere convenience, you’ll have to spend up for a system with a hub.The 665 is the only one currently listed on Harmony’s site but the 650 is identical (aside from color and number of devices each can control) and can often be found for less, especially refurbished. Harmony Elite: $250 Now we’re getting into big spending territory. The Elite’s main draw over the Companion is its screen, and for most users it’s just not worth it. The touch screen makes it more versatile than cheaper models, especially for calling up favorite channels and Roku apps, and the full backlighting is great. Unfortunately, both suck a lot of battery power so you (and your family) will need to remember to park the remote in its dock on the reg. The Hub is the only clicker on this list that doesn’t actually include a clicker. Instead, you control everything using the Harmony smartphone app — or by talking to your Alexa or Google Home speaker. The hub itself nestles deep in your AV cabinet, blasting out Infrared, Bluetooth and Wi-Fi signals to your equipment. This Harmony smart control is a great system if you live on your smartphone, but for most people investing in a real remote is worth the extra few bucks. Share your voice See at Amazon See at Amazon Amazon Fire TV Cube: $120 Logitech’s newest all-in-one remote control is its most voice-centric yet. Like the Caavo, you can use voice commands to control stuff by talking into the smart control, but unlike Caavo, the Express can talk back in Alexa’s voice. It’s like having a miniature Alexa speaker in your hand. After a couple months as my family’s main remote I find myself wanting an actual power button — you have to say “Turn on the TV” or “Watch Netflix” or even “Turn off the TV” to get stuff to happen — but my main quibble is its high price. As Harmony’s only remote with a finder function, however, this is still the one I’d get if money wasn’t an object. The wacky Cube is a mashup of universal remote controls, Fire TV 4K streamer and Amazon Echo speaker. It comes with a remote but its keys are sparse and rudimentary: real device control happens via your voice. The Cube has an IR blaster to control your gear and a mic sensitive enough to hear your commands over the blare of music. On the downside, you’ll need to keep your old remotes around for many functions.This controlling device is often sold for as little as $80 or less, so definitely wait for a sale — or Prime Day — before buying it. Sarah Tew/CNET Logitech Harmony 650/665: $50 Best laptops for college students: We’ve got an affordable laptop for every student. Best live TV streaming services: Ditch your cable company but keep the live channels and DVR. Logitech Harmony Hub: $70 TVs Media Streamers Logitech Harmony See at Amazon Sarah Tew/CNET Sarah Tew Amazon Bluetooth Best Buy Google Logitech Roku Tags Read the Logitech Harmony Elite review See at Amazon 4 See at Best Buy Caavo’s Control Center is one of two non-Harmony remotes on this list and is also the second-cheapest, but there’s a catch. To get Caavo’s advanced features, you’ll need to shell out bank for the service fee. It costs $4 per month, $40 per year or $130 for the lifetime of the remote. Unlike Harmony, Caavo Control Center includes an HDMI switch in addition to the smart remote. You plug your stuff into the switch and it handles the rest, including automatically recognizing your gear during setup. Caavo has its own voice control system and onscreen display to help you find stuff to watch, the clicker itself is simple and elegant and the remote finder is gold. Like the hub-based Harmonys below, Caavo doesn’t require line of sight (the switch acts as the hub) and will also work with voice commands from Alexa and Google Home speakers. Logitech Harmony Express: $250 See at Amazon
Rescue personnel have cordoned off the area at the Turku Market Square in the Finnish city of Turku where several people were stabbed. Photo: AFPFinnish police arrested five people in a Turku apartment overnight in their investigation into a stabbing rampage that left two people dead, they said Saturday.Police shot and wounded a knife-wielding suspect on Friday, arresting him minutes after an afternoon stabbing spree at a Turku market square. Police on Saturday raised the number of injured in the attack from six to eight.“There was a raid and we have now six suspects in custody, the main suspect and five others,” detective superintendent Markus Laine of the National Bureau of investigation told AFP.“We are investigating the role of these five other people but we are not sure yet if they had anything to do with (the attack)… We will interrogate them, after that we can tell you more. But they had been in contact with the main suspect,” Laine said.Police have not confirmed the identity of the suspect, but Laine said investigators were “pretty sure” they knew who he was.Police have so far only described him as “a young man of foreign origin”, providing no other details except to say they were collaborating with the Finnish Immigration Service.The suspect is being treated in hospital in intensive care for a gunshot wound to the thigh.The motive for the attack was not yet known, and police have refused to confirm if it was terror-related.“We haven’t yet interrogated the main suspect because of his medical condition,” Laine said.Media reports in Finland said police believed the suspect had picked his victims at random, but Laine could not confirm that.Police have said it was likely the suspect acted alone, but added they were looking for “other possible perpetrators.”Central Turku was swiftly cordoned off after the attack, which occurred just after 4:00 pm (1300 GMT), although the area was reopened several hours later.Finland also raised its emergency readiness across the country after the stabbing, increasing security at airports and train stations and putting more officers on the streets.In June, Finland’s intelligence and security agency Supo raised the country’s terror threat level by a notch, from “low” to “elevated”, the second notch on a four-tier scale.It said at the time it saw an increased risk of an attack committed by the the so-called Islamic State (IS) group.
Kolkata: Better coordination between members of Rogi Kalyan Samities and hospital authorities is going to be one of the main points of discussion during the meeting in which Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee will be taking stock of the present situation of the health sector in the state. Senior officials of the state Health department, state-run hospitals and medical colleges and other concerned officials will be present in the meeting, that will be held at Nabanna Sabhaghar on Tuesday. It may be mentioned that the meeting was earlier scheduled to be held on May 22. Later, it was rescheduled and would take place on Tuesday. Sources said that representatives of Rogi Kalyan Samiti will also be present in the meeting and there will be discussion to ensure better coordination between them and hospital authorities. Also Read – Heavy rain hits traffic, flightsAccording to the sources in Nabanna, there will be a turnout of around 425 officials in the meeting and it includes the heads of all departments as well. It may be recalled that the Chief Minister had held such a meeting soon after coming to power in 2011. The meeting was held in Town Hall then. However, now, almost all the meetings of the state government, including the central level administrative review meeting that used to take place in Town Hall, are organised in Nabanna Sabhaghar.
Kolkata: Sulabh International on Tuesday inaugurated a water treatment plant to provide low-cost drinking water in arsenic-hitBengal villages.Bindeshwar Pathak, founder of Sulabh International unveiled the water treatment plant at Panchberia, West Midnapore with Prof K J Nath,Chairman Arsenic Task Force, former director of All India Institute of Hygiene and Public Health (AIIH&PH) and Advisor, Sulabh International Social Service Organization (SISSO) under ‘Sulabh Drinking Water’project to provide villagers arsenic-free safe drinking water. Also Read – Speeding Jaguar crashes into Merc, 2 B’deshi bystanders killedThe basic objective of the project is to provide arsenic free safe drinking water of WHO standard at cheap rates to the rural population of about nearly 3,000 people in Panchberia and nearby villages, Daspur block,West Midnapore.The new water treatment plant has a capacity to produce 10,000 bottles of varying capacity (600 ml to 20 litre) with a sophisticated laboratory and a completely automated bottling plant. The produced water is being sold to the villagers at less than Also Read – Naihati: 10 councillors return to TMC from BJPRe 1/ per litre.The villagers along with women from the local Self-Help Group are going to operate this plant with supervision and required training provided by SISSO.According to WHO, drinking arsenic-rich water over a long period results in various health hazards, including skin problems, skin cancer, cancer of the bladder, kidney and lung, besides other diseases.Bindeshwar Pathak, Founder, SISSO said: “I have been totally surprised after visiting the plant! It is amazing to see that village level workers and women could operate and manage such a sophisticated plant producing safe water of WHO standard at minimum cost. Sulabh would be happy to provide all support and technical assistance.The project is an excellent example of empowerment of rural community, particularly women at thevillage level”.
Read MoreLatest Staffordshire Police News Get the biggest Daily stories by emailSubscribeSee our privacy noticeThank you for subscribingSee our privacy noticeCould not subscribe, try again laterInvalid EmailThe A53 was blocked for two hours in both directions by a lorry following an accident The accident took place on the A53 Etruria Road near the junction with Lanehead Road – and the driver has been taken to hospital. The road was closed in both directions between A5010 Etruria Road / Festival Way (Festival Park Roundabout) and A500 D Road /Etruria Way ( Basford Roundabout). INRIX, a traffic data company, reports the accident has happened near Etruria Park and the road is blocked in both directions. The accident is believed to have taken place at around 9.30am and reopened at 11.30am Traffic was queuing in the area – with police asking motorists to seek alternative routes if possible. A Staffordshire Police spokesman said: “A53 – Etruria Vale Road was currently closed in both directions whilst officers respond to an incident. “We had the A53 closed both directions due to an incident by Festival Park.” Read MorePolice probe after North Staffordshire woman, 56, found dead in Central America The section of road reported blocked (Image: Google/INRIX) The approximate location of the accident The closure led to queuing traffic on other major roads in the area including Trinity Street in Hanley and the A500 Southbound. A West Midlands Ambulance Service spokeswoman said they had sent two ambulances to the scene and taken a man to hospital. She said: “We were called by Staffordshire Police to reports of a man in cardiac arrest in a lorry. “Police performed CPR on the scene. Two ambulances attended and paramedics took over advanced life support. “The man has been taken on blue lights to Royal Stoke University Hospital.” Police find £250k cannabis factory There is no other reported traffic disruption in the city at the moment. For more live traffic and travel news from across Stoke-on-Trent, North Staffordshire and South Cheshire visit our daily live news service here.
CIE Tours’ April Sale covers Ireland, Scotland, England, Wales & Italy Tags: CIE Tours, Promotions Monday, April 8, 2019 << Previous PostNext Post >> Travelweek Group Share TORONTO — CIE Tours’ April Sale takes 10% off select, all-inclusive guided vacations through Ireland, Scotland, England, Wales and Italy.Tour departures must be booked by April 22 and run through peak summer travel dates. The promo code is APR1910C.Sample tours, with pre-discount starting rates, include:Irish Spirit: 8 days, starting at Can$2,903 per person – An introduction to the east and west coasts of southern Ireland, including Galway, Connemara and Mayo, plus two nights at the luxury Lodge at Ashford.Irish Classic: 13 days, starting at $4,293 person – The architectural and natural wonders of Ireland with visits to can’t-miss destinations, including Blarney Castle, Cliffs of Moher and Giant’s Causeway.Best of Britain: 10 days, starting at $3,654 per person – A comprehensive tour of England, Wales and Scotland, spanning Britain’s great cities and the charming old towns of the British countryside.Highlights of Britain: 15 days, starting at $5,396 per person – Explores some of Britain’s most popular sites, including Stonehenge, London, Edinburgh Castle and Shakespeare’s birthplace.Scottish Dream: 8 days, starting at $2,552 per person – Castle tours, a trip to picturesque Isle of Skye and the bustling cities of Edinburgh and Glasgow.Taste of Italy: 7 days, starting at $2,903 per person – Venice, Florence and Rome featuring Italy’s top sights, culinary highlights and hidden gems.More news: Hotel charges Bollywood star $8.50 for two bananas and the Internet has thoughtsFor more information see cietours.com. Posted by