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Mercury in retrograde: When technology and communications go haywire

Your survival guide to a crazy season

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Buckle up, everyone! Mercury is in retrograde once again. In Astrology, this means the planet that governs technology, communications, and our very own thought processes spins backward. In our reality, it means doomsday is coming.

When Mercury is in retrograde, flights and travels are usually delayed, people from the past pop back in our lives, communication systems break down, and our gadgets get into accidents or start malfunctioning.

More importantly, this season makes everything fluid. Nothing will be set in stone. Decisions are usually changed when the season ends, so it’s not a good time to sign contracts, schedule surgeries, have makeovers, launch a new project, or shop for electronic devices.

But fret not, this season shall pass. Here’s what you should do before, during, and after the Mercury retrograde.

Protect your gadgets and gizmos with trusty cases and accessories

Honey, this season makes us feel frustrated, agitated, and annoyed. Often, we’ll be rushing and getting into accidents. You might drop your phone on the toilet, break them, or forget them on a cab or restaurant. You gotta get yourself some strap to keep your phone with you at all times and dress them up with hard, shock-proof cases. Should they fall from your hands, you know they’re safe.

Back up your data, make sure it’s safe and secure

Okay, Jenny, listen up. Mercury in retrograde is the season where we lose important stuff moments before we actually need them. It can be your keys, card, or presentation for your next meeting. The point here is you should back up all necessary data. Flash drives might break, Google Drive and other forms of storage may not work properly at the time you need them. The next thing you know, your life is in shambles.

Another thing to worry about is security and privacy. This season is also the time when people’s secrets tend to get exposed, such as your affair with your best friend’s boyfriend or your intimate videos getting leaked in the deepest, darkest corner of the internet. Keep your reputations from being smeared!

Double check what you type and say

Be careful with miscommunication, my dear. It’s normal to feel there’s chaos in your head since Mercury in retrograde disrupts our thought processes. We become forgetful and more prone to mistakes, so double check your typos before hitting send. In addition, think twice before voicing out your opinions and emotions. Take a deep breath, and think before you click. Your words are powerful. Once you’ve hurt someone with it, you can be forgiven but they’ll never forget.

P.S. Be mindful of what you post or tweet if you don’t want to get dragged on social media.

 

Keep your emotions in check and block your exes

If you haven’t blocked your exes until today, you need to re-evaluate your life, Susan. During this season, we barely use our logic and just follow our emotions. There might come a time where you want to send a seven-paragraph message to your ex, please don’t. You owe it to yourself to move on from the past and stop them from coming back to your life.

Oh, one more thing: Stay open to possible opportunities. Sure, Mercury in retrograde brings our past lovers back from hell, but they also bring in colleagues we’ve worked with. Most of the time, they want to work with us again. Additionally, this is a good time to reconnect with old friends. Seriously, this period isn’t that bad.

Be extremely flexible (not just in yoga but also in life)

If there’s one thing you can learn from this, it’s that life doesn’t always work out in our favor. It’s a reminder to always find a way. Be flexible and adaptable to every surprise that life brings. If we’re going to give in to our emotions, we already lost. Take a step back and reassess what’s happening, compose yourself and think of a solution. This is just another storm that’s passing by. You will overcome this.

Take a moment to slow down

Lastly, like any retrograde season, it’s a cue from the planets and the stars to slow down. We’re all rushing from one point to another, and we’re moving extremely fast. Planets spin backward to remind us that we need to look back and slow down to appreciate how far we’ve come, what we’ve been doing with our lives, and catch up on what we missed. Above all, it’s a reminder to rest. You’re doing well, my friend. I’m proud of you.

Her GadgetMatch

The Fitbit Charge 5 might be your companion for holistic wellness

Fitbit’s most advanced health and fitness tracker yet?

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Fitbit fans, rejoice! The Fitbit Charge 5 is now officially in the Philippines.

As a refresher, the Fitbit Charge 5 is the company’s most advanced health and fitness tracker yet. The fifth iteration of the Charge lineup comes with new features. And a thinner, sleek design built to empower you to focus on your health.

It’s equipped with tools and metrics to help you monitor your holistic well-being. Additionally, it sports new features such as Daily Readiness Score and EDA Sensor.

It retails for PhP 11,990 and includes a six-month Premium membership for both new and returning customers. The wearable is available for purchase online at Fitbit.com and comes to major retailers such as Digital Walker and Fitbit’s Official Store on Shopee and Lazada.

Fitbit Premium just got even more fun

Fitbit Premium has already partnered with actor, producer, and musician Will Smith. If you haven’t joined his mindfulness sessions and workouts, get going now.

Apart from that, Fitbit has partnered with Calm, a popular sleep and meditation app. The effects of calming sessions can reflect on your tracker’s heart rate and EDA responses via a guided session — so it’s worth checking out if you’re stressed lately.

Moreover, Fitbit Premium comes with Snore & Noise Detect, albeit for Sense and Versa 3 users only, to help users understand their sleeping environments. And hopefully, improve their sleep.

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Louvre at home? It’s possible with Samsung’s The Frame

Match made in art heaven

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This news could be thrilling for art enthusiasts and lovers of anything premium. Samsung is teaming up with the iconic Musée du Louvre in Paris, France for an exclusive artwork partnership.

With this collaboration, artworks from the Louvre will join the collection that you can display on Samsung’s The Frame. This brings The Frame’s catalogue to over 1,500 works of art from 42 different countries that you can bask in at stunning 4K resolution.

The overall collection also includes the following:

  • Prado Museum in Madrid
  • Albertina Museum in Vienna
  • Tate Modern in London
  • Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam
  • Hermitage State Museum in Saint Petersburg and LUMAS

Louvre at home

Some collection you might want to enjoy at home are must-see masterpieces, such as the Mona Lisa and The Wedding Feast at Cana, as well as photos of the majestic Louvre galleries, its architecture, and museum grounds (Louvre Pyramid, Tuileries Garden, etc.). A short description of each work gives users a glimpse into their background and history.

Samsung and the Louvre also plan to unveil other exclusive content for The Frame users later this year.

Louvre

Take The Frame home

The Frame is part of Samsung’s lifestyle TV lineup. It’s aim is to offer an elevated TV experience. And nothing feels as elevated as blessing your eyes with luxurious art pieces right in your living room.

The 2021 version of the lifestyle TV offers new custom options to complement every space and style, with two frame designs: modern (available in white, teak, beige, and brown) and beveled (available in white and brick red).

The Frame can be hung flush to the wall on an ultra-slim mount and connected to a One Connect box via a single translucent cable that integrates all TV connectors including the power source. Users can also set The Frame anywhere in the room on a Studio Stand.

Watch our Samsung The Frame review.

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8 things we love about the new, LG PuriCare mask with VoiceON

No more muffled talking while wearing a mask!

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If you found yourself on the fence when it came to the first generation LG PuriCare Wearable Air Purifier, then its latest iteration is set to fully win you over. This time around, the Korean tech giant decided to address each of the issues most people found with the first run of the mask.

Here’s what we’ve been loving with the new version – so far.

Lighter, comfier

At just 94 grams, the LG PuriCare VoiceON is much easier on the ears. I find that I don’t even need the neck strap included in the packaging when wearing it. This says a lot as while I found the first PuriCare mask easy enough to wear, I was dependent on the neck strap. This, especially if I wanted to wear it for a longer period.

The brand promises that the new mask is comfy enough to wear for up to eight hours. I think I speak for everyone when I say I still prefer to be mask free but the fans on both sides of the mask do help.

Sleeker design

Same as the first generation LG PuriCare mask, the new one also has two HEPA filters on each side. These powerful filters clean the air you breathe, making sure there are zero nasties going into your lungs. In the first version, the HEPA filters went into compartments located at the front of the mask. This time around, those compartments were placed at the back, giving you a smoother surface.

It takes a bit more technique to get the filters in but nothing too difficult.

The sleek design also makes it even easier to match with any of your outfits, taking it from a quick workout, doing your errands, and even to something that’s a little formal for the evenings.

Talking made easy

One of the common issues people had with the first version was how it muffled one’s speech. This wasn’t much of a concern to me as my speaking voice tends to be on the louder side. So if you’re someone who’s got a softer voice, this one’s for you. No need to speak a little louder and strain your vocal cords throughout the day.

Just a quick press on the power button activates the VoiceON feature. The mask, through AI, is able to detect when you’re speaking. It only amplifies your voice and there are no weird breathing sounds in between.

If you’re a Star Wars fan then you just know this feature can actually make you feel like an improved version of Darth Vader. A version that has a clearer register.

Color choices

And speaking of Darth Vader, the new LG PuriCare Wearable Air Purifier also comes in black. But should you prefer this colorway, you must act fast once they become available again. Units get snapped up pretty quickly. 

Friendlier to the environment

During our review of the first LG PuriCare mask, we already mentioned how the pandemic has been rather brutal to our environment. There’s just so much more waste nowadays, especially when it comes to disposable masks. The new iteration of this technology takes eco-friendliness up a notch by opting for biodegradable packaging.

Increased battery life

Lighter doesn’t mean less powerful. The battery life was also increased from 820 to 1000 mAh. You can wear the mask longer before you need to grab the USB-C cable it comes with for a quick charge. You need about two hours for a full charge, just like the first version. I was able to take the mask around the Metro as we did errands on a Saturday – from 11am to 3pm – and it did not conk out on me. I did have the VoiceON feature off most of the time.

Bluetooth connectivity

One of the mask’s new features is how it can be connected to your smartphone through an app. It will help you track your breathing and even provide you with product maintenance information. As of this article’s publication, the app isn’t on the Philippine versions of Apple’s App Store and Google’s Play Store. But here’s to hoping we get it soon enough!

Maskne protection persists

Like its older brother, the new LG mask continues to protect my skin from irritation. It also makes sure my skin can breathe. Medical masks make me so oily because of the heat and their material can irritate my pores. With this type of technology, I get to feel a little fresher despite the mask and shield combo.

Do take note that like its older brother, the new LG mask needs the inner covers changed every day and the HEPA filters once a month. It’s an added expense but it’s something that’s considered as an investment in your health and well-being.

Is this your GadgetMatch?

If you’re someone who’s tired of maskne and uncomfortable masks, then this is something for you. Especially if you intend to talk throughout the day – it makes sure you’re both heard and protected. You can snag your own LG PuriCare Wearable Air Purifier with VoiceON at their official stores on Lazada and Shopee.

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