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Your Holiday Decorations May Be Interfering With Your Wi-Fi Signal

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You may want to consider your holiday streaming plans before hanging that eighth set of string lights around the living room this year. According to UK communications company Ofcom, Christmas lights and other electronic devices, including baby monitors and lamps, can cause interference that slows down wireless broadband Internet speeds.

Ofcom estimates that nearly six million homes around the UK could benefit from Wi-Fi optimization. According to Nandan Kalle, a networking business unit manager for Belkin, many everyday electronics all use the same bands of frequencies (around 2.4GHz). Speaking to PC Mag, Kalle uses the analogy of a "three-lane road that's really, really busy," and lists nearby routers, cordless phones, microwaves, and older Bluetooth devices as objects that can add to the interference. Large groups of people can also slow down Internet speeds, because the signal works harder to pass through the amount of water in human bodies (although Kalle calls that scenario "an extreme case").

The Ofcom app, which helps check the strength of your home Wi-Fi network, is currently available in both the App Store and on Google Play.

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fun
Here's How to Turn an IKEA Box Into a Spaceship
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Since IKEA boxes are designed to contain entire furniture items, they could probably fit a small child once they’re emptied of any flat-packed component pieces. This means they have great potential as makeshift forts—or even as play spaceships, according to one of the Swedish furniture brand’s print ads, which was spotted by Design Taxi.

First highlighted by Ads of the World, the advertisement—which was created by Miami Ad School, New York—shows that IKEA is helping customers transform used boxes into build-it-yourself “SPÄCE SHIPS” for children. The company provides play kits, which come with both an instruction manual and cardboard "tools" for tiny builders to wield during the construction process.

As for the furniture boxes themselves, they're emblazoned with the words “You see a box, they see a spaceship." As if you won't be climbing into the completed product along with the kids …

Check out the ad below:

[h/t Design Taxi]

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Food
The Best Cupcake in All 50 States
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We’re going to sugarcoat it. Twelve years after the advent of the cupcake-only bakery (the California-launched chain Sprinkles is credited with opening the first in 2005), there are a lot of options. We rounded up 50 of the best decadent desserts across the country. So go out, have your (cup)cake—and eat it, too.

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