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Furniture-style dog crates are an excellent way for pet owners to save space. Here are the 11 best

South Florida Local News - Tue, 09/19/2023 - 23:14

Many dogs thrive on the safe feeling provided by crates, helping them to deal with short periods of separation or other stressful situations. However, they take up a fair amount of room, which is why multipurpose furniture-style dog crates are such a good idea.

Depending on where you position them, furniture-style dog crates can act as end tables, sideboards or nightstands, saving you space. You can find them in many styles and finishes to work with most decor.

Dog crate sizes

It’s important to choose the right size crate for your dog. It should be able to sit, stand, lie down and turn around easily. However, the crate shouldn’t be too big or your dog may feel unsafe — or choose to use one end of the crate as a bathroom. To find the right size, you’ll need to measure your canine companion.

Add 2 to 4 inches to these measurements, and this will tell you what length and height of crate you need. The width is in proportion to the height and the length, so as long as those two measurements are correct, the width should be right too.

Colors and finishes

Among the main reasons to choose dog crate furniture over a standard crate is because it looks better in your home. Therefore, you should choose a color or finish that you’re happy with.

You’ll find dog crates in a wide range of wood finishes, from dark espresso to pale pine, plus painted wood or laminate veneer finishes in colors such as gray and white. You might want to find a close match to other wood furniture in your home or opt for a neutral color, such as white, that works with a range of wood finishes.


Crates should be well-ventilated to keep your dog with a steady supply of fresh air so it doesn’t get too hot inside. As such, you should look for crates with bars or wire mesh covering a large proportion of all four sides. This also lets your dog see out of their crate, which many dogs prefer.

Two-door design

Two-door designs make it easier to get your dog in and out of the crate without issue. It’s also good for dogs who have free access to their crates, rather than being shut in, because they can come and go as they please and won’t feel trapped. Having multiple doors also gives you more options for positioning your crate. Even if one door is up against a wall or another piece of furniture, you can still use the other one.

Ease of cleaning

Ideally, furniture-style dog crates should be made from smooth, varnished wood or wood composite that’s easy to wipe clean. Some have removable trays in the base to make cleaning inside easier.

Best furniture-style dog crates

Unipaws Furniture Style Dog Crate ]

With a choice of attractive gray, rustic wood and walnut finishes, this stylish crate looks great as a sideboard, end table or nightstand. It has a slide-out plastic tray in the base for easier cleaning.

Merry Pet 2-in-1 Configurable Pet Crate and Gate ]

You can configure this dark wood option as a crate that doubles as a table or take the top off and unfurl it into a pet gate. The plastic tray in the base protects your floor and makes cleaning it a breeze.

Zoovilla Dog Crate ]

Available in black or white, this sleek crate has a neutral style that works with classic or contemporary decor. You can choose from small, medium and large options to fit most dogs.

PawHut Dog Crate Furniture ]

This crate is perfect for small dogs, thanks to its compact design, and doubles nicely as an end table. You have a choice of black, white and dark brown finishes.

Casual Home Wooden Pet Crate ]

This sturdy crate is suitable for dogs from roughly 25 to 40 pounds and features a secure latch and a tabletop weight capacity of 120 pounds. You have a choice of four finishes: walnut, espresso, black and white.

Penn-Plax Modern and Sophisticated Dog Crate ]

With a gorgeous gray driftwood finish, you don’t have to choose between style and function with this crate. It includes a cozy crate pad with washable cover and has two doors for easy entry and exit.

New Age Pet Ecoflex Dog Crate ]

Made from a recycled plastic-wood polymer composite, it’s a durable and long-lasting choice that won’t warp or split over time — and it looks just like wood at first glance. It’s available in four finishes: russet, gray, espresso and antique white.

Snimoy Heavy-duty Dog Crate ]

Not only is this crate extremely rugged and well-made, but it has a cool industrial look that fits right in with contemporary decor. It has two doors for easy access, and cleaning it is a breeze, thanks to the removable trays in the base.

Rehomerance Rustic Heavy-duty Dog Crate ]

With a black metal body and a dark wood top, this crate won’t look out of place next to trendy furniture. It is well-ventilated and has two doors so dogs can easily enter and exit.

Feandrea Dog Crate Furniture ]

Just as stylish as a side table as it is practical as a crate, it’s a good choice for small and medium dogs, and there are two sizes available. You have your pick of either rustic brown or “greige” finishes.

Dwanton Dog Crate Furniture ]

The choice of four sizes means you can find an option to fit most dogs, although there isn’t anything big enough for giant breeds. It works well as a side table or end table with adjustable feet to keep it level.

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Lauren Corona writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.

BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. BestReviews and its newspaper partners may earn a commission if you purchase a product through one of our links.

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Which 144-hertz laptop is best for gaming?

South Florida Local News - Tue, 09/19/2023 - 23:14

Reaction times in video games are crucial if you want to get the highest score or the fastest lap. But it doesn’t always come down to your internal hardware. While a powerful central processing unit can help, the frame rate of your display is a significant factor.

A higher frame rate moves the pixels across the screen faster, letting you see what’s happening before an opponent with a slower frame rate. Fortunately, there are several 144-hertz laptops that have frame rates optimized for gaming.

Why a higher refresh rate is better

Any content on a laptop’s screen, whether a video game or a Hollywood blockbuster, is made up of pixels. These tiny specks produce the visuals by changing their colors quickly. In conjunction with that, content is made at a certain frame rate, which is measured in frames per second.

For example, a video game coded to use 60 frames per second (and thus a refresh rate of 60 hertz) changes frames twice as fast as a game that is 30 frames per second. It makes the visuals much smoother because more frames and detail are displayed. More frames mean you have more time to react to in-game actions.

Refresh rate vs. response time

The frame rate measures how quickly the entire scene changes, but it’s not solely up to the hertz to produce that. An often overlooked aspect is the display’s response time, which indicates how quickly each pixel can change color.

A lower response time is always the best, as you want your pixels to change color in one or two milliseconds. But you’ll get ghosting effects or color blurring if the response time can’t keep up with the lightning-fast frame rate. The two display technologies must work together to create the best possible visuals. Having a fast refresh rate but a slower response time is counterproductive.

The display’s resolution

The display’s refresh rate is responsible for smooth graphics, but the resolution shouldn’t be taken for granted. Bigger is usually the best, but it gets tricky when involving 144-hertz or higher displays.

Generally, most gaming laptops with high refresh rates have a display resolution of 1080p (Full HD), as it provides enough detail while the components don’t need to be stressed to the maximum.

Upgrading the graphics card in a laptop isn’t easy or affordable, so many gaming laptop makers stick to 1080p visuals. On the other hand, you can achieve higher resolutions, such as 2K or 4K at 144 hertz, but you’ll need a more powerful graphics card.

What you need to buy for gaming on a 144-hertz laptop

MSI GV15 15.6-inch 144-hertz Gaming Laptop ]

In addition to the 15.6-inch 144-hertz display, this gaming laptop has an Intel 11th-generation Core i5 processor with a maximum clock speed of 4.5 gigahertz. It has 8 gigabytes of DDR4 RAM and a 256GB hard drive. The biggest drawcard, however, is the Nvidia GeForce GTX 1650 graphics card, providing excellent visuals to the full-HD screen. But all that power generates a lot of heat, and the fins underneath help to dissipate it.

ASUS TUF Gaming F17 Gaming Laptop ]

This 17.3-inch gaming laptop is powered by an Intel Core i7-11800H processor, 16GB of DDR4 RAM and a generous 1-terabyte hard drive. The 144-hertz visuals are provided by the Nvidia GeForce RTX 3060 graphics card with 16GB of DDR4 onboard memory, and you’ll have no connectivity issues with the built-in Gigabit Wi-Fi 6 component. It comes pre-installed with the latest version of Windows 11.

Razer Blade 15 Gaming Laptop with NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3080 Ti ]

This laptop is the best option for gamers who demand the best visuals possible. The 144-hertz 4K display is powered by the excellent Nvidia GeForce RTX 3080 Ti graphics card, 32GB of DDR5 RAM and a 12th-generation Intel Core i9 processor with a maximum clock speed of 5.3 gigahertz. This laptop has more exhaust fins and quieter fans than previous Blade models as well as a larger liquid cooling capacity.

Lenovo Legion Y540 15.6-inch Gaming Laptop ]

Perfect for power gamers on the move, this Legion Ultimate S laptop has 16GB of RAM and an Intel Core i7 processor with a maximum clock speed of 5 gigahertz. It has a 256GB solid-state hard drive and comes pre-installed with Windows 10. Visuals are provided through the Nvidia GeForce GTX 1660Ti graphics card with 6GB of onboard memory.

Acer Nitro 5 AN515-55-53E5 Gaming Laptop ]

Pre-installed with the latest Windows operating system, this gaming laptop has a 144-hertz display powered by an Nvidia GeForce RTX 3050 graphics card, 10th generation Intel Core i5 processor and 8GB of RAM. It has a 256GB solid-state hard drive and backlit keyboard keys.

Asus ROG Strix G17 ]

This gaming laptop is the ultimate in top-tier entertainment. In addition to the massive 2TB hard drive and 17.3-inch display, it has 64GB of RAM and uses an Nvidia GeForce RTX 3060 graphics card. It has a backlit keyboard and comes with a complimentary 32GB USB thumb drive.

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Charlie Fripp writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.

BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. BestReviews and its newspaper partners may earn a commission if you purchase a product through one of our links.

Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.

SpaceX knocks out Space Coast’s 50th launch of the year

South Florida Local News - Tue, 09/19/2023 - 20:49

A SpaceX launch from Cape Canaveral lit up the Space Coast for the 50th time this year while also achieving a milestone for the company.

The Falcon 9 rocket carrying up another 22 of the company’s Starlink satellites made a record 17th flight with liftoff at 11:38 p.m. from Cape Canaveral Space Force Station’s Space Launch Complex 40.

Liftoff! pic.twitter.com/5SkARIOQ2y

— SpaceX (@SpaceX) September 20, 2023

The booster previously launched on the GPS III-3, Turksat 5A, Transporter-2, Intelsat G-33/G-34, Transporter-6, and 11 Starlink missions. It made  another recovery landing on the droneship A Short Fall of Gravitas in the Atlantic Ocean.

SpaceX has flown all but three of the Space Coast launches this year with United Launch Alliance sending up two and Relativity Space the only other one.

Falcon 9’s first stage has landed on the A Shortfall of Gravitas droneship, completing the first 17th launch and landing of a booster pic.twitter.com/DFCw43FoVw

— SpaceX (@SpaceX) September 20, 2023

With this mission, SpaceX has flown 37 from Cape Canaveral and another 10 from Kennedy Space Center including all three human spaceflights to orbit from the U.S. this year as well as three powerhouse Falcon Heavy launches.

The launch manifest for the remainder of the year should see the Space Coast beat the record 57 launches it saw in 2022.

That includes several more SpaceX Falcon 9 missions and at least one more Falcon Heavy next month, targeting as early as Oct. 5 to send up NASA’s Psyche probe to the asteroid of the same name.

SpaceX has become the most prolific launch provider since the first Falcon 1 successfully made orbit in 2008. Including this launch, Elon Musk’s company has now managed 265 successful launches across its Falcon 1, 9 and Heavy rockets with the last launch failure coming in 2015. It will also mark it 227th landing and 199th reuse of a rocket booster.

In comparison, ULA has managed 157 launches since it was formed by Boeing and Lockheed Martin in 2006 with its busiest year in 2009 when it had 16 launches. That pace slowed in the last few years with ULA managing only five or six launches from 2019-2021, eight in 2022 and only two so far this year.

After SpaceX and ULA, the next busiest launch provider is Rocket Lab, albeit with smaller rockets. It was on record pace to hit 15 launches in 2023, but suffered an issue during an launch attempt earlier Tuesday from its New Zealand launch facilities resulting in a loss of its customer payload, a satellite for Capella Space.

The Electron rocket completed its first-stage burn and stage separation, but suffered an issue at 2 minutes and 30 seconds into flight.

“Tough day. My deepest apologies to our mission partners Capella Space,” Company CEO Peter Beck posted to social media. “Team is already working on root cause. We’ll find it, fix it and be back on the pad quickly.”

That mission was its ninth launch attempt for the year, which is how many it had in 2022. To date, Rocket Lab has had 37 successful orbital missions across 41 attempts including flights from the U.S. for the first time this year from Virginia.

For now, the next launch is postponed as Rocket Lab works with the Federal Aviation Administration to investigate.

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