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April 21, 2014

Andrew Silow-Carroll: Passoverkill? Suggestions to make next year's seders even more culturally sensitive

Sara Israelsen Hartley: Seeking the Divine: An ancient connection in a new context

Christine M. Flowers: Priest's execution in Syria should be call to action

Courtnie Erickson: How to help kids accept the poor decisions of others

Lizette Borreli: A Glass Of Milk A Day Keeps Knee Arthritis At Bay

Lizette Borreli: 5 Health Conditions Your Breath Knows Before You Do

The Kosher Gourmet by Betty Rosbottom Coconut Walnut Bars' golden brown morsels are a beautifully balanced delectable delight

April 18, 2014

Rabbi Yonason Goldson: Clarifying one of the greatest philosophical conundrums in theology

Caroline B. Glick: The disappearance of US will

Megan Wallgren: 10 things I've learned from my teenagers

Lizette Borreli: Green Tea Boosts Brain Power, May Help Treat Dementia

John Ericson: Trying hard to be 'positive' but never succeeding? Blame Your Brain

The Kosher Gourmet by Julie Rothman Almondy, flourless torta del re (Italian king's cake), has royal roots, is simple to make, . . . but devour it because it's simply delicious

April 14, 2014

Rabbi Dr Naftali Brawer: Passover frees us from the tyranny of time

Greg Crosby: Passing Over Religion

Eric Schulzke: First degree: How America really recovered from a murder epidemic

Georgia Lee: When love is not enough: Teaching your kids about the realities of adult relationships

Cameron Huddleston: Freebies for Your Lawn and Garden

Gordon Pape: How you can tell if your financial adviser is setting you up for potential ruin

Dana Dovey: Up to 500,000 people die each year from hepatitis C-related liver disease. New Treatment Has Over 90% Success Rate

Justin Caba: Eating Watermelon Can Help Control High Blood Pressure

The Kosher Gourmet by Joshua E. London and Lou Marmon Don't dare pass over these Pesach picks for Manischewitz!

April 11, 2014

Rabbi Hillel Goldberg: Silence is much more than golden

Caroline B. Glick: Forgetting freedom at Passover

Susan Swann: How to value a child for who he is, not just what he does

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Financial Tasks You Should Tackle Right Now

Sandra Block and Lisa Gerstner: How to Profit From Your Passion

Susan Scutti: A Simple Blood Test Might Soon Diagnose Cancer

Chris Weller: Have A Slow Metabolism? Let Science Speed It Up For You

The Kosher Gourmet by Diane Rossen Worthington Whitefish Terrine: A French take on gefilte fish

April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review July 8, 2011 / 8 Tamuz, 5771

Peel: It's an iPhone-based remote, except when it isn't

By Mark Kellner



http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | You have an Apple iPhone, and you have a flat panel TV, a home sound system perhaps and certainly a cable/satellite box with a digital video recorder, or DVR. Maybe you also own a Roku player or an Apple TV to stream additional video content to the aforementioned TV.

Want to guess how many remote controls you have? Three or four, perhaps, and maybe more if you have extra gear hooked up to everything. Wouldn't you rather have just one remote, especially if it could be, say, that iPhone, or maybe an Android phone?

This is - and simultaneously isn't - the concept behind Peel, a $99 device that sits between your wireless router, your television and the rest of your home entertainment setup. Plug a cable-cum-transmitter into your home network's wireless router, place the pear-shaped "fruit" by your TV, enter a simple access code into the free Peel app available now for iPhone/iPad/iPod Touch and soon for Android, and you're good to go. Peel will, its makers claim, control your TV, cable box, digital video recorder, and home stereo system, at a price that's less than many competitors ask.

According to Peel CEO Thiru Arunachalam, the device, once installed, will let users do "everything a consumer will do on a daily basis" with that warren of individual remote controls.

Well, yes, Mr. Aryunachalam, and no. Instead of what is a "standard" for universal remote control devices, the ability to punch in channel numbers and go to Food Network or MTV or ESPN, you're offered a range of pictures: an icon for "Law and Order" will find all the episodes currently airing, ditto for a sports program or what have you. Peel's CEO claims "the concept of channel numbers will go away," as consumers move to time-shifted recordings of baseball games, streaming rentals from Netflix and downloads via Roku, and so forth.

That may well be the case, and the band Choking Victims's "500 channels of a day-dream stimulation" will be numberless at some point in the future. For now, most of us watch Fox 45 or USA9 and so on. Hardcore HGTV fans on Verizon FiOS in Howard County know it's channel 665, and that HBO begins at 901.

Thus, the inability to tap in a number is a bit of a problem, but Mr. Aryunachalam asserts that two soon-coming tweaks: the ability to establish an unlimited number of "favorite" channels - one or two taps on the iPhone screen and you're there; and a way to search via channel number. Again, tap twice and you switch over.

The channel-number-is-dying postulate comes, Mr. Aryunachalam said in a telephone interview, from what smartphones have done to dialing. Instead of memorizing your brother-in-law's number, you call up his name in your contact list, tap on the appropriate number, and it's "dialed."

I feel as if I might need an Excedrin or two, and soon.

In very limited testing - I installed Peel after my less-than-three-years-old Logitech Harmony One remote's LCD screen suddenly died - Peel seems to work well, but not as well as one might hope. The search-by-icon paradigm is off-putting to some users, and the lack of a way to directly input a channel number is frustrating. Ditto for no easy means of punching up an on-screen guide to make station selection a tad easier.

Mr. Aryunachalam is smart enough to recognize that customer demand will drive his firm's actions. If enough Peel users demand a remote that's more traditional, he'll rework the software in that direction. And there are other firms who are angling to supply the same market; I know of two such, one of whom, Gear4, said they would send a device for testing. TiVo users can also download an application called Peanut, which, if the DVR is connected to your home wireless network, will mimic a classic TiVo remote control.

We're on the cusp of bringing everything together on an iPhone, iPad or Android tablet. Until that digital nirvana arrives, Peel makes for an interesting, if sometimes frustrating, step in the right direction. Details on the product are at www.peel.com.

Every weekday JewishWorldReview.com publishes what many in the media and Washington consider "must-reading". Sign up for the daily JWR update. It's free. Just click here.

JWR contributor Mark Kellner has reported on technology for industry newspapers and magazines since 1983, and has been the computer columnist for The Washington Times since 1991.Comment by clicking here.

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© 2011, News World Communications, Inc. Reprinted with permission of The Washington Times. Visit the paper at http://www.washingtontimes.com

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