The Wild Pizzas of Southern Italy Have to Be Seen to Be Believed

A restaurant critic and two chefs go on a pie-in-the-sky adventure to find exactly how far you can stretch the idea of pizza.


Richard Vines

Source: The Wild Pizzas of Southern Italy Have to Be Seen to Be Believed

Pizzas at Di Gesù, a popular bakery in Altamura, Puglia.

Photographer: Carol Sachs for Bloomberg Businessweek

When do dough, tomato sauce, and mozzarella stop being mere ingredients and become pizza?

It’s a philosophical question that has divided chefs and diners for decades. For some, only pies in the Neapolitan and Roman styles are acceptable—Sicilian, at a stretch. Others extend the goal posts as far as Chicago deep dish.

But pizzas have been eaten in southern Italy for hundreds of years, and the rainbow of variations that can be found there—if you know where to look—rivals the rest of the world’s best efforts. Its proximity to North Africa means that flatbreads have been popular for centuries. Forget calzones—I’m talking about pizzas and pittas created specifically for breakfast, or marvels the size of entire tables, or baked spirals of crust begging to be torn into satisfying, savory chunks.

Francesco Mazzei (center), with locals from the town of Cerchiara di Calabria.

It’s not easy to discover these secret pizzas in the towns and villages; the economically troubled region doesn’t yet enjoy the number of tourists you find elsewhere in Italy. If you don’t speak Italian, you’re likely to struggle. When I go, I bring a guide: chef Francesco Mazzei, arguably the world’s leading ambassador for the cuisine of his native Calabria. His London restaurants include Fiume, Radici, and Sartoria, and he’s the author of Mezzogiorno (Preface Publishing, 2015), a celebration of southern Italian cooking. Even better, on this occasion he’s suggested bringing along Pierre Koffmann, the three-Michelin-starred French chef whose protégés include Marco Pierre White and Gordon Ramsay.

We pile into Mazzei’s Maserati for a road trip that starts in Calabria, winds through Basilicata, and ends in Puglia—the three southernmost provinces on Italy’s mainland. Our quest? To find the wondrous pizzas of his home culture, some of which have never been seen outside the region. We cover 250?miles over four days, sampling perhaps 20?versions. I’ll ultimately gain five?pounds. Koffmann will tell me later that it took him months to get the weight off. “The pizzas were so good, I kept on eating,” he says. “We think we know all about pizza, but I’m still surprised by the variety.”


Our journey starts in the rugged and parched province that provides the toe of the Italian boot. It’s a wild region of mountains and remote villages that bear little resemblance to the sophisticated cities and resorts most visitors know. Mazzei grew up here and learned to make gelato in his uncle’s shop. His family owns a tiny cottage on a hillside, with views across sun-scorched land to the Mediterranean. “Mezzogiorno means noon, half-day, or lunchtime,” Mazzei says. “But for me, it just means home.”

When we visit, a forest fire is raging so fiercely, the billowing smoke brings traffic to a standstill on the highway. We join other travelers standing outside cars, watching the flames in awe.

Mpigliati con le sarde

An mpigliati con le sarde pie at the Petite Etoile hotel consists of dough coated with a mash of sardella, a rich fish sauce with red peppers, and tiny fish cured with salt and paprika.
Photographer: Carol Sachs for Bloomberg Businessweek

Deep in the countryside, at the Petite Etoile hotel in the town of Spezzano Piccolo, Gemma Constantino cooks us a salty, beautiful pie that looks like a bundle of bread roses. It consists of strips of dough coated with a mash of sardella, a rich fish sauce with red peppers, and pilchards (small, herring-like fish) cured with salt and paprika. The strips are rolled and stuck together before baking; to eat, you just tear off one of the rolls, which are great with an aperitivo. There weren’t many other patrons, but the staff laid out a feast for Mazzei, who’s a celebrity in the region. This pizza is a good example of the cucina povera of southern Italy, where humble local ingredients are used to create deeply flavored dishes. The sweetness of the bread and the spiky fish flavors make this a favorite of Mazzei’s. “You’ll find a lot of the best cooks we meet are women,” he says.


Cullura uses dough made with pig fat, which is stuffed with broccoli raab; it’s generally served cold.
Photographer: Carol Sachs for Bloomberg Businessweek

The team at Petite Etoile also serves up a pizza dough made with pig fat, layered with cime di rapa (broccoli raab), rolled a bit like a strudel, and then formed into a circle. Cullura is generally consumed cold and works as an everyday snack for farmers to take up into the mountains. “This is like a meal in itself,” Mazzei says. “We Italians usually don’t eat breakfast, so around 10:30 a.m., you are just ready for something to keep you going until lunch time.”


Pitta is a Calabrian flatbread that’s crunchy on the outside and soft on the inside; it includes toppings such as tomato, peppers, and herbs. We sample slices from one monster loaf served at a bakery in Castrolibero. When we arrive in the small town, the mayor and some residents turn out to greet us. About 25 people join us as we walk the narrow streets before finding ourselves in a room for a reception with pitta, cakes, and wine.

The city of Matera in Basilicata.
Photographer: Carol Sachs for Bloomberg Businessweek

Pizza al taglio

This square pizza has a variety of toppings. It can be baked for a whole family to share, or bought by the slice. The one we devour is from the Pan Caffè in Fontanesi-Santa Lucia, near Castrolibero, where large groups gather to share giant pies. “This is street food at its best,” Mazzei enthuses. “You go out with your friends and eat all you can eat.” Although remote, the room is filled with happy diners dividing their time between the food and the soccer match on a big screen. Mazzei steps into the open kitchen at one end of the room and rustles up a spaghetti dish with garum, an anchovy paste, and basil. Several diners abandon the match to film and photograph Mazzei on their phones. The wine flows: It’s party time.


This half-moon-shaped treat, like a small calzone, is usually eaten cold, but we sample some fresh from the oven at a new roadside bakery, Il Forno dei Sapori di Martorano Vincenzo, outside the hillside town of Cerchiara di Calabria. It’s unusual to find such a spotless and well-equipped bakery beside a road out here, where your best hope in another country might be for a gas station with a convenience store. The owner greets us and describes his food with pride, though (as keeps happening) the actual chef is a woman. Falagones are popular in Calabria, where they’re allowed to rest so the juices seep into the bread. Parents pack them for a seaside trip or for children going to school. Ours are filled with Swiss chard, onion, and sweet paprika. Another one comes with roasted peppers, potato, and onion.

Pitta rustica

A pitta rustica with prosciutto, caciocavallo cheese, and salumi between pitta-style bread.
Photographer: Carol Sachs for Bloomberg Businessweek

Also at Il Forno dei Sapori di Martorano Vincenzo, we discover prosciutto, caciocavallo cheese, and salumi sandwiched between two discs of pitta-style bread. It’s popular for parties or as an afternoon snack. “This is a simple pizza made with whatever you find in the fridge,” Mazzei says. “Every mum makes this for the kids.” I retreat to a corner to drink some crisp, light wine made locally from the ancient Greco bianco grape. The Calabrians are so hospitable, it’s an all-you-can-eat pizza fest, over and over.

Pasta da forno

Pasta da forno, a popular breakfast food at Panificio Mauro in Calabria, has no tomato sauce, no mozzarella, and no onion—just crushed tomato with salt, oregano, and olive oil.
Photographer: Carol Sachs for Bloomberg Businessweek

Forget the “pasta” name; this is a pizza, and it’s popular for breakfast. There’s no tomato sauce atop the dough, no mozzarella, no onion. It’s just crushed tomato with salt, oregano, and olive oil. This one is served to us at the smart Panificio Mauro, also in Cerchiara di Calabria. (In Italian, panificio means bakery.) Traditionally, pasta da forno comes in a round, black tray and is served cold. The absence of sauce helps keep the base crispy, making this a perfect snack to carry to school or to work.


The heel of Italy is developing a reputation for its wines, and the food isn’t far behind. Again, we’re struck by the beautiful countryside and the ramshackle historic towns, such as Altamura, with its narrow alleyways and medieval city wall. And then there is Bari, a buzzy port city second only to Naples in the south of Italy.

Focaccia altamurana

The thick focaccia altamurana is studded with tomato and green olives.
Photographer: Carol Sachs for Bloomberg Businessweek

We enter Di Gesù, a popular bakery in Altamura, to try this pizza with dough made only with semolina flour and baked in the city’s oldest oven. Di Gesù is a thriving business now but traces its history to a small shop that opened in 1838. You can sense the pride put into the bread as it’s pulled from the oven. This is thick, like a deep-dish pie, with tomato, green olives, and extra virgin olive oil. “People who haven’t spent time in the south of Italy don’t know how good the food is,” Mazzei says. “We have the best fish, the best meat, the best fruit. You don’t need fancy cooking or luxuries like foie gras. You need to keep it simple and cook from the heart.”


Basilicata, the instep of Italy’s boot, straddles two coastlines. It’s absolutely charming, for both its splendid beaches and ancient towns in which Greek, Spanish, French, and Arabian influences from the times of traders and invaders still remain.

Panzerotto di carne and panzerotto fritto

Panzerotto di Carne at Luale
Photographer: Carol Sachs for Bloomberg Businessweek

These two pie pockets look like calzones but smaller. The first is filled with minced pork and spices, then baked and seasoned with thyme, rosemary, and oregano while the melted fat is still hot. It’s popular as a street food and also comes in a fried version, panzerotto fritto. The one we wolf down contains rich strands of mozzarella, sweet tomato, and basil. Luale, a bakery on the edge of a shopping mall in Policoro, serves both. It looks like a fast-food joint, but the store is clean and efficient, the food rich and layered. It’s the kind of modern store you might easily pass as you hunt for?charm.


Strazzata, a summer-style pizza with peppers, tomato, and extra virgin olive oil, from Ristorante Pizzeria il Fosso, a small shack in a forest near the Basilicata village of Noepoli.
Photographer: Carol Sachs for Bloomberg Businessweek

We drive so deep into a forest, we feel certain we won’t find our way out, let alone the way to the small restaurant we’re seeking. But we do: Ristorante Pizzeria il Fosso is housed in what looks almost like a shack, yet it’s the most charming of the 20-plus spots we visit. Maria Ferrara is in charge of the kitchen, where children play inside and dogs run amok. Mazzei tucks into the strazzata, a fresh, crispy summer pizza with peppers, tomato, and extra-virgin olive oil, then delivers his verdict. “I love this place,” he says.

Tapes: A Ridiculously-Quick, Frictionless Screencasting Tool for Mac OS X.

Source: Tapes: A Ridiculously-Quick, Frictionless Screencasting Tool for Mac OS X.

AppIcon.175x175-75A while ago I wrote a post covering all the screencasting tools I could think of from expensive-and-complex at one end of the continuum to free-and-simple at the other. Since writing that post, I have discovered another screencasting tool that I am quite enamoured of.

Tapes is the simplest and fastest way to make a screencast I’ve ever seen. It’s quick. I mean really, really, quick to use.

Click on the Tapes menu bar item, choose “Record New Tape” and bang! you are recording. When you choose “Stop and Upload”, it instantly tells you that a link has already been placed on your clipboard. You can immediately paste that into an email or discussion thread, even as the video is still being uploaded in the background! It’s that easy and quick. Watch this little 1 minute demonstration to see what I mean. It’s really quite something.


It’s not the tool I’d use to make a full-featured screencast. But for a quick explanation, it just can’t be beat.

Tapes has a one-time purchase price of $12:99, which also gives you 60 minutes of recording each month (ongoing) but if you buy it from this promo code, you’ll get an extra 15 minutes per month.

If you are looking for a free alternative, QuickCast is similar but not so amazing.  For example, unlike Tapes, when you click to record, it gives you a 5 second count-in, whereas Tapes just starts recording.  Also with QuickCast, once you finish recording, you have to wait until the video has finished uploading before a share link becomes available. Furthermore, once your video has finished uploading in QuickCast you have to pull down the QuickCast menu and click on the video, to copy a share link, whereas Tapes does all that for you.

Those shortcomings in QuickCast might seem inconsequential, but they mean you’ll find yourself wasting minutes every time you make a screencast, whereas in Tapes – as soon as you’re finished recording, you can paste the link somewhere, and forget about it, moving on to the next task. That increase in efficiency is noticeable – and since efficiency is the core reason for wanting to use either of these apps in the first place, Tapes is the better choice.

The best screencasting software for teachers

As an edtech consultant, a common question I’m asked by teachers and school leaders these days is “Which screencasting software is best?” In this post I’m going to recommend…

Source: The best screencasting software for teachers

The best screencasting software for teachers

As an edtech consultant, a common question I’m asked by teachers and school leaders these days is “Which screencasting software is best?”

In this post I’m going to recommend the screencasting tool that I think is the best for the majority of teachers.  But first I’ve briefly reviewed each of 15 other contenders, in each case outlining it’s pros and cons – and pronouncing a verdict on it.

There is no single best tool to use.  So much depends on the type of computer you use (Mac or PC*), how comfortable you are with video-editing software, how much time you want to spend making your screencasts and how professional and fancy you want your screencasts to be. There’s also an element of personal preference regarding interface design. So my recommendation at the end of this post is no more than my professional opinion.

I’ve bought and used each of the software titles below, and I’ve run Professional Development workshops on each of them over the years, as well as making screencasts for my own students since 2006 and having students make and publish screencasts as part of their own learning journey.

[*NB. In this post I have focussed on computer screencasting tools – if you are interested in iPad tools have a look at this previous post]

1. Adobe Captivate

Like most Adobe software, this is a tool for über-professionals.  It’s adobeously expensive (@ $435 per license), and its interface and workflow is frustratingly non-intuitive for the uninitiated, and it takes me hours to do what I can do in other software in minutes, but you end up with very slick screencasts, and file sizes that are relatively small.  If you are a professional screencaster (Ie.If you’ve been employed to make screencasts and that is your whole job) then you should probably have a look at it. For everyone else, keep reading.

Verdict:  I don’t recommend it for teachers.

2. Camtasia Studio

Very powerful PC-only software that lets me do almost everything I would want to do in an educational screencast, but I rarely recommend it to teachers who are starting out in screencasting because it costs $179 per license (education pricing) and requires a very steep learning curve.

Verdict:  I recommend it only for teachers who have already done some screencasting, are quite comfortable with a PC and demand a professional result. 

3. Camtasia:Mac

Although also made by Techsmith, Camtasia:Mac is not the same as Camtasia Studio.  It has some really cool, but arguably superfluous features (special effects and filters), is less complicated to use than Camtasia Studio, is less expensive (but still costs $75) and is still somewhat fiddly to use until you get familiar with its tools.

Verdict:  I recommend it for teachers who are fairly comfortable with their Mac, have already made some screencasts and want to experiment with cool effects.

4. Screenflow

Telestream’s Screenflow is my personal favourite screencasting tool (by quite a margin) and the one I most often turn to for my own screencasts, but I seldom recommend it to teachers because like Camtasia:Mac it’s expensive ($110), is Mac-only and is so feature-rich that many teachers are likely to find it daunting and time consuming. However, if you are a Mac user and fairly comfortable with multi-track video editing software, I think it’s worth both the money and the learning curve.  It has a high power:complexity ratio. It punches well above it’s weight in that regard.  

Verdict:  I recommend it for Mac users who are pretty good with a computer, have made some screencasts and now want screencast super-powers.

5. CamStudio

Please don’t confuse CamStudio with Camtasia Studio.  It has almost nothing in common with Techsmith’s powerful offerings (except that it has shamelessly piggy-backed on Camtasia’s good name).  CamStudio is an ugly, basic, kludgy, PC-only, dinosaur.  There are no good reasons to use it. Even if you don’t want to spend a cent, you’ll find better choices below.  Keep reading.

Verdict:  Keep walking, there’s nothing to see here.

6. Screenr 

Screenr is a web-based, Java tool.  As such it doesn’t require you to install anything on your computer (you simply go to and click the record button) but the downside is that you have to have an internet connection and it’s slow to use because you have to wait for the video to upload before you can then download and save it.  It doesn’t let you record your webcam, and only lets you record for 5 minutes. This is the sort of software that seems simple to use – but ends up creating frustration.

Verdict:  Maybe if your IT department won’t let you install software … but even then, there are better options. (See Screencast-O-Matic below.)

7. Jing

Jing is another screencasting tool by Techsmith. If you take all the pros and cons of Camtasia Studio and flip them, you have Jing.  It’s completely free, has a super-simple interface (probably the easiest of all the tools to use), but it lacks features: You can’t record your webcam, you can’t annotate your videos. It also has significant limitations: You can’t record for more than 5 minutes and worst of all, it only publishes videos in .swf format which won’t play natively on iOS devices.  That’s a deal-breaker for me.  What’s even worse, the particular .swf files produced can’t be converted to mp4 even with professional file-conversion utilities.  This means there is no way to edit them – unless you buy Camtasia Studio, which can edit Jing files.

Jing is free for a reason. Techsmith has positioned it as a gateway drug – it starts with Jing and before you know it you’re using SnagIt or Camtasia.  

Verdict: Friends don’t let friends use Jing.

8. SnagIt

Techsmith is smart.  They know that Jing is going to frustrate you.  So they provided yet another simple tool that is very similar to Jing in every way but without some of the frustrations: Ie. you can record for as long as you want and your videos are published in mp4 format.  But this time it’s not free. It costs $30.  It’s reasonably good but expensive for what you get.  It punches below it’s weight.  

Verdict: A nice program – but lacking features and expensive for what it is.  I think it’s worth $10, not $30. 

9. Microsoft Community Clips

Community Clips is a Microsoft labs experiment.  It’s available for free from various sites on the web (but not directly from Microsoft, anymore). It does a reasonable job of recording the screen, but that’s all it does. It’s probably about equal to SnagIt – except it’s free. The videos can, of course, be edited in Movie Maker if necessary.

Verdict: If you are a PC user, this is a better choice than Jing – at least the files can be edited in MovieMaker.  Still, there are better choices for features and flexibility.

10. Microsoft Expression Encoder

[Thanks to Thomas Gaffey for reminding me to include this one].  Expression Encoder is more full-featured than Community Clips and is still able to be downloaded from Microsoft. Like Community Clips it’s free – but unlike Community Clips it allows you to record both your screen and your webcam and it affords you basic editing options once recording is finished (you can cut sections out, for example).  The workflow is less obvious than some other apps.  You first record the video and then send it to a separate editor application.  This always feels a bit confusing to new users at first but don’t let that put you off. It’s not difficult to do once you’ve done it once. And doing this will stand you in good stead, should you decide later to upgrade to Camtasia Studio – because that is how Camtasia works, too.  It’s not hard to do once you understand the workflow.

Verdict: I’d recommend this to PC users as a good option. If you are a PC user, currently using Community Clips, SnagIt, Jing, Screenr, or CamStudio, you’d be better off with Expression Encoder. 

11. Apple QuickTime Player

[Thanks to Chris Russell @choirguy_ for pointing out that I had neglected this one in my original post – shame on me! ] QuickTime Player comes installed on every Mac.  What lots of people don’t realise is that it has a screen recording feature built right into it!  Simply go to File > New Screen Recording.  It actually works very well, though it’s fairly featureless – being about equal, feature-for-feature with Community Clips and SnagIt.  But it is free (unlike SnagIt) and a huge boon is that it’s already there on a teacher’s machine, installed and ready to go.  Unfortunately QuickTime Player for Windows does not have this feature – so it’s a Mac-only boon.

Verdict: For Mac users wanting to quickly make a screencast with no fuss and without even downloading / installing anything – QuickTime Player is already there at the ready.

12. Snapz Pro

Snapz Pro (Mac only) has been around for years. It’s the first screencasting tool I ever used. It has similar features to SnagIt or QuickTime Player but even more expensive ($65).

Verdict: Not my choice anymore, and too expensive. 

13. iShowU

iShowU by Shinywhitebox is an evolving platform.  It used to be too feature-poor for the price tag ($30) but now they have added the ability to record the webcam, editing and other power-user features similar to some of those in Screenflow and Camtasia.  So far though I’ve been disappointed with its performance. It seems to crash a lot and is a bit buggy.

Verdict: I think it will eventually be a great choice for Mac users, but I can’t recommend it at the moment – It’s still too buggy.

14. Voilá

I hear a lot of buzz around Voilá but personally I think it’s over-hyped at $32.  It’s a pretty handy screen capture tool (for still screenshots) but that is not what I am really reviewing in this post. As a screencasting tool, Voilá would not be my choice.  It allows you to record your screen like any screencasting tool does, or it allows you to record your webcam – but disappointingly, not both at the same time. So for screencasting I’d say it’s about as useful as SnagIt – at about the same price.

Verdict:  M’eh. 

15. Collaaj

Collaaj does something that no other platform discussed here does. Not only does it work on Mac or PC but there is also an iPad app.  It’s pretty good too – it lets you record your webcam as well as the screen, and all the video is handled by Collaaj’s servers which makes for very easy sharing with your students and vice versa.  It lets you record your webcam (or FaceTime camera on the iPad) – which is something SnagIt and Jing and several others don’t allow.  Unfortunately the free version only lets you record for 2 minutes which is just too short to be useful.  There are a range of paid plans (a subscription model) that range from $5 – $75 per month depending on your needs.  For some schools this might be a good choice but I think the subscription model is probably a deal-breaker for many.

Verdict: I may recommend it, especially in a BYOD school, depending on your budget.

16. Screencast-O-Matic

I think Screencast-O-Matic hits the sweet spot in terms of features, ease of use and price. It’s free. It records your webcam as well as your screen, it couldn’t be very much easier to use, and it has some really nice features that you don’t get in any other free screencasting software. For example, when you click your mouse, it inserts a visible and audible click.  There is a Mac version, a Windows version and you have the option of launching it as a Java applet from without installing any software on your computer.  This makes it really versatile and useful.  The huge advantage of it being free is that you can ask students to install it on their computers without worrying about hitting the pocket-nerve of their parents.

Screen Shot 2014-02-07 at 4.02.22 pm

Videos can be saved to your computer as an mp4, uploaded directly to YouTube or published to Screencast-O-Matic’s own video-sharing server (useful if YouTube has not yet been unblocked by your IT department).

While Sceencast-O-Matic is free to use, it will limit you to 15 minutes and puts a small “Screencast-O-Matic” watermark in the lower left corner of the final published video.  There is a Pro version which unlocks a LOT more features.  The pro version gives you video editing (delete that cough!), the ability to record system audio, and the ability to record for longer than 15 minutes.  It also records videos in higher definition, allows publishing in more video formats, removes the watermark – and more. I think most teachers will find that the free version is all they need. But for those who want to take it up a notch – without going all the way to Camtasia Studio or Screenflow, the Pro version of Screencast-O-Matic only costs $15/year.

Verdict: I’d recommend it to almost any teacher who is starting out in screencasting. The free version is better than any other free tool i’ve found and it’s even better than most of the paid tools.  The Pro version (for just $15) is better than anything except the really pro tools such as Screenflow and Camtasia, but much more affordable, and easier to use.

[Edit: January 19, 2017 – if you want to purchase Screencast-O-Matic Pro with a 20% discount, you can use this link.

[Edit: December 5, 2017]

17. Screencastify

Another really great, simple screencasting tool that I highly recommend to teachers – especially Chromebook users, is Screencastify.  It’s as easy to use as Screencast-O-Matic, and has many of the same features, but it runs as a Chrome plugin, and saves your recordings to Google Drive. Having said that, it doesn’t just let you record the browser window; you can record your entire desktop and optionally even your webcam (which, like Screencast-O-Matic will appear as a cameo picture-in-picture at the lower right of the video. Screencastify also allows you to annotate over a Tab recording, and has some basic editing features  which you can use in post (if you want to).

The free version allows you to record up to 50, 10 minute videos (which in my opinion is long enough) per month, and watermarks your videos with a Screencastify message.  To remove these limitations, and to enable editing and cropping, Screencastify Pro costs just US$2 per month.

Because it runs as a Chrome extension, you need to have an internet connection to use Screencastify.

Verdict: I’d recommend it to any teacher – but especially to the growing number of teachers who use Chromebooks, for whom Screencast-O-Matic is not a good option.

 These are not the only choices of course.  This is an exploding market. Have you used one that you would recommend?

OneDrive, Dropbox, Google Drive and Box: Which cloud storage service is right for you? – CNET

Source: OneDrive, Dropbox, Google Drive and Box: Which cloud storage service is right for you? – CNET

If you’re ready to take the plunge into storing your files, photos and more in the cloud but need help deciding which service is right for your needs and wallet, we’ve got you covered with our in-depth cloud storage comparison.


Which cloud storage service is for you? Sarah Mitroff/CNET

Storing your files in the cloud has many advantages. You can view your files from any phone, tablet or computer that’s connected to the Internet, and the cloud can also provide backup for files so they’ll never disappear if your phone gets lost or your computer crashes. Using the cloud is a no-brainer, but picking which service to use is a bit more difficult.

For that reason, I’ve compiled a guide to the most popular cloud storage services, covering how they work and their strengths and weaknesses. I’ve also highlighted some lesser-known options if you want to get away from the mainstream.

Editors’ note, March 25, 2016: This guide originally include cloud storage service Copy, but we’ve removed it because it is shutting down on May 1, 2016.

Cloud storage comparison

OneDrive Dropbox Google Drive Box Amazon Cloud Drive
File size restrictions? 10GB 10GB with website, none with Dropbox apps 5TB 250MB for free plan, 5GB for paid personal plan 2GB*
Free storage? 5GB** 2GB 15GB 10GB No***
Can I earn extra free storage? No** Yes No No No
Paid plans $2/month for 50GB** $10/month for 1TB $2/month 100GB, $10/month for 1TB $10/month for 100GB $12/year for unlimited photos, $60/year for unlimited files
OSes supported Windows, Mac, Android, iOS, Windows Phone Windows, Mac, Linux, Android, iOS, Windows Phone, BlackBerry, Kindle Fire Windows, Mac, Android, iOS Windows, Mac, Android, iOS, Windows Phone, BlackBerry Windows, Mac, Android, iOS, Kindle Fire

*There is no file size limit with desktop apps.

**In early 2016, Microsoft will change its free storage from 15GB to 5GB and offer a $2 per month for 50GB paid plan instead of its earlier offerings. It will also no longer let you earn free storage.

***Amazon Cloud Drive offers limited free storage with an Amazon Prime subscription.

Before we get started, just a note about Apple’s iCloud Drive. I didn’t include it here because the service is not available for Android and it’s really meant to be used within the Apple ecosystem, meaning if you use Mac computers and iOS devices together. If you do use mostly Apple products, it’s a solid choice for cloud storage. For a full run-down of its features, pricing and availability, check out CNET’s guide to Apple iCloud Drive.


OneDrive’s Android app. Screenshot by Sarah Mitroff/CNET


First up is OneDrive, Microsoft’s storage option. Those who use Windows 8 and 10 have OneDrive built into their operating system, where it shows up in the file explorer next to all of the files on your computer’s hard drive. However, anyone can use it on the Web, by downloading a desktop app for Mac and earlier versions of Windows, or the OneDrive Android, iOS, Windows Phone and Xbox apps.

You can store any kind of file in the service, including photos, video and documents, and then access them from any of your Windows PCs or mobile devices. The service organizes your files by type for you, so it’s easy to find what you need.

The Android, iOS and Windows Phone apps all have automatic photo uploads, meaning that when you shoot a photo with your phone, it’s automatically saved to your account. OneDrive’s biggest strength is that it works closely with Microsoft Office apps, such as Word or PowerPoint, so when you launch one of those applications you’ll see a list of recent documents saved to OneDrive. If you have an Office 365 subscription and open a document saved in OneDrive, you can collaborate on it in real time with other people. You’ll even be able to see the changes they make as they make them.

Microsoft is hoping that OneDrive will be the place where you store your photos, and the company is working on technology that will eventually sort all of the photos you take based on how important and meaningful they are. For instance, if you take a photo of your kids, a picture of a special meal and a shot of your parking space so you can find your car later, OneDrive would be able to understand the importance of each picture, save the ones it thinks are the most useful, and trash the rest. That’s still big-picture stuff for OneDrive, but it gives you an idea of the direction Microsoft is moving in.

In late 2015, Microsoft made an announcement that it would no longer offer unlimited cloud storage to Office 365 subscribers. Instead, they are limited to 1TB. Additionally, beginning in early 2016, the 100GB and 200GB paid storage plans will be discontinued, replaced with a 50GB for $1.99 per month plan. You will no longer get extra space if you allow the OneDrive apps to automatically backup photos on your phone. Finally, anyone with a Microsoft account will only get 5GB of free storage, instead of 15GB. We will update this guide in 2016 when those changes are made.

Where it excels

  • Works seamlessly with Windows devices because it’s built in to the Windows operating system.
  • It’s easy to open and edit files from OneDrive in Microsoft’s other applications, such as Word or Excel.
  • Signing up for OneDrive gets you a Microsoft account, which gives you access to Outlook, Xbox Live, and other Microsoft services.

Where it falls flat

  • OneDrive’s automatic file organization doesn’t always put files in the correct folders.

Best for: If you have a Windows PC, tablet and phone, and need to get to your files from any device with little effort.


Dropbox on Windows. Screenshot by Sarah Mitroff/CNET


Dropbox is a favorite in the cloud storage world because it’s reliable, easy to use, and a breeze to set up. Your files live in the cloud and you can get to them at any time from Dropbox’s website, desktop applications for Mac, Windows and Linux (Ubuntu, Debian, Fedora or compile your own), or the iOS, Android, BlackBerry and Kindle Fire mobile apps.

You can store any kind of file in Dropbox, by either uploading to the website or adding it with the desktop apps. Those apps live in your file system so that you can easily move files from your computer to the cloud and vice versa by dragging and dropping them into your Dropbox folder. The service automatically and quickly syncs your files across all of your devices, so you can access everything, everywhere. There is no size limit on files you upload to Dropbox with the desktop or mobile apps, but larger files can take several hours to upload, depending on your connection speed.

Dropbox gets a lot of praise for its clean design, and rightfully so. Though I am not a fan of Dropbox’s website because the design is very basic and it doesn’t give you many options to view and organize your files, its mobile apps and desktop apps are beautiful and easy to navigate.

Dropbox gives its users plenty of opportunities to get extra storage to beef up the paltry 2GB you get when you sign up. If you participate in the quick Getting Started tutorial, you get 250MB. Turn on the automatic photo upload feature on any of the mobile apps to get 3GB of extra space (you can get only 3GB total, not per device). You can earn 500MB for each friend you refer to Dropbox who actually signs up for the service, up to 16GB total, or 32 referrals.

Where it excels

  • Dropbox works equally well on PCs and Macs, Android and iOS.
  • The service is so simple and elegantly designed, that it’s easy for anyone to master.
  • Its desktop applications seamlessly blend with your computer’s file system.

Where it falls flat

  • Dropbox’s website doesn’t let you control how your files are displayed.

Best for: Simple sharing when you use tons of different kinds of devices.


Screenshot by Sarah Mitroff/CNET

Google Drive

Google combines a complete set of office tools with cloud storage in Drive. You get a little bit of everything with this service, including a word processor, spreadsheet application, and presentation builder, plus 15GB of free storage space.

If you already have a Google account, you can already access Google Drive. You just have to head to and enable the service. You get 15GB of storage for anything you upload to Drive, including photos, videos, documents, Photoshop files and more. However, you have to share that 15GB with your Gmail account, photos you upload to Google+, and any documents you create in Google Drive.

While you can access any of your files from the Drive Web site, you can also download the Drive desktop app for Mac and PC to manage your files from your computer. You can organize all of your files in the desktop app, and they’ll sync with the cloud so you can get to them anywhere.

Drive is built into Google’s Web-based operating system Chromium, so if you have a Chromebook, Google Drive is your best cloud storage option. Like other cloud storage services, Drive has apps for iOS and Android for viewing and managing your files from your phone.

Google Drive has the benefit of a built-in office suite, where you can edit documents, spreadsheets, and presentations, even if you created the document in another program. The service also a large collection of extras, such as third-party apps that can send faxes or sign documents.

Google also recently introduced Google Photos, an online photo locker, where you can organize photos into albums. Google Photos is built into Drive in a separate tab, but you’re really better off going straight to to see and organize photos. However, you don’t need to download the Google Photos app on your phone or tablet to back pictures you take there. The Google Drive app can take care of that.

What I like most about Google Drive is that you can drag and drop files into the Drive Web site and they’ll be uploaded automatically. You can also preview attachments from Gmail in Google Drive, and save those files to your cloud.

Where it excels

  • Google Drive requires very little setup if you already have a Google account.
  • If you use Gmail, it’s easy to save attachments from your e-mail directly to Drive with just a few clicks.
  • The app can automatically back up your photos on its own, without the need for the separate Google Photos app.

Where it falls flat

  • If you use Google Drive’s tools to create documents, spreadsheets or presentations, you must export those files to edit them in another program.
  • You have to share your storage space with Gmail, so if you’re inbox is overflowing, you’ll get less cloud storage space.

Best for: Google diehards, or anyone who wants a few office tools with their cloud storage.


Box on Android. Screenshot by Sarah Mitroff/CNET


Anyone can sign up for a free individual account on Box, but the service’s endless list of sharing and privacy features were built specifically for business and IT users. Beyond the basic cloud storage setup, where you can store just about any kind of file, Box lets you share files with colleagues, assign tasks, leave comments on someone’s work, and get notifications when a file changes.

You can preview files from Box’s website and even create basic text documents in Box. Like other cloud storage services, you can download a desktop app and sync your files between your hard drive and the cloud.

Box also gives you a lot of control over the privacy of your files. For example, you can decide who in your business can view and open specific folders and files, as well as who can edit and upload documents. You can even password-protect individual files and set expiration dates for shared folders.

Business users can also connect other apps, such as Salesforce and NetSuite, so that you can easily save documents to Box. There are also plug-ins for Microsoft Office and Adobe Lightroom that let you open and edit files saved to Box from those applications.

Where it excels

  • Box comes with tons of tools for businesses, including collaboration and file privacy control.

Where it falls flat

  • The service’s endless list of sharing and privacy features can be lost on someone who’s just using the service for personal storage.
  • Because of all those features, it can feel overwhelming to navigate the Box website if you’re only trying to manage a few files and folders.

Best for: Teams of employees working together on projects, and large companies that need a place to securely share documents with everyone.


Amazon Cloud Drive’s website. Screenshot by Sarah Mitroff/CNET

Amazon Cloud Drive

Amazon already sells you nearly anything under the sun, and it wants to be the place you store all of your music, photos, videos and other files too. Amazon Cloud Drive has been around for a few years, but the company introduced new storage plans in March 2015; one just for photos and one for all other kinds of files.

Neither plan is free, but both have three-month trials. Unlimited Photos is available for free for all Amazon Prime members or anyone with a Fire device. If you don’t have a Prime subscription or a Fire phone or tablet, you’ll need to pay $12 per month for the storage.

True to its name, Unlimited Photos gets you unlimited storage for your photos (GIF, JPEG, BMP, TIFF and so on) and 5GB of free storage for other file types, including videos, PDFs and documents.

Unlimited Everything gets you storage for an unlimited number of files of any type, for $60 per year. There is no limit for how many files you can upload, but each file needs to be under 2GB unless you use the Cloud Drive desktop apps.

The Cloud Drive desktop apps are available for PC and Mac, and let you upload or download files. However, unlike other cloud storage services, the Amazon Cloud Drive app doesn’t let you view your files from a folder on your computer. You can upload individual files and download your entire library, but if you want to view them or make changes, you’ll need to go to Amazon’s website.

Amazon Cloud Drive has apps for iOS and Android with automatic upload so videos and photos you take with your phone get saved to the cloud right after you shoot them. The service is also baked into Amazon’s Fire tablets and phone.

Where it excels

  • If you already have an Amazon account, you don’t need to sign up for a new service, you can simply sign into Cloud Drive.

Where it falls flat

  • The desktop app doesn’t work with your file system, you can only use it upload or download files.
  • You can only view and manage files from the Cloud Drive website, but you cannot upload files larger than 2GB there.

Best for: Anyone with an Amazon Fire tablet or Fire phone, because it’s part of the operating system. Unlimited Photos is good for Amazon Prime members, because you get it for free as part of that subscription.

Extra cloud options

Of course, OneDrive, Dropbox, Google Drive and Box aren’t your only options for cloud storage.

One is SugarSync, a Dropbox-like alternative with apps for every mobile platform. The catch is that after your 90-day free trial, where you can play around with 5GB of storage, you need to pay at $7.50 per month for 60GB to keep using the service (you can upgrade to more storage for extra money).

There’s also Space Monkey , which has an entirely different take on cloud storage. For $200, you buy a 2-terabyte (TB) hard drive from the company. You get to use 1TB of the drive’s space to store any and all of your files as a local backup. Your files also get encrypted and broken into bits that are sent to other Space Monkey users’ hard drives, so that you can access your files from another computer or mobile device. That’s where that extra 1TB of space on your drive comes in — it’s used to store bits of other people’s files. The service is free for the first year, then costs $49 per year to keep storing your files in the cloud.

3 reasons to retire as early as you can

Are you forgetting about one of your most valuable assets in life?

Source: 3 reasons to retire as early as you can

Time is one of the most valuable assets at your disposal. Unfortunately, many people spend 40 hours a week for 40 or 50 years trading their time for this thing we call money.

The great news is that there’s a corollary to that fact: If people are willing to give you money for your time, you can spend money to buy your time back.

That’s what we call retirement.

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It’s my opinion that everyone should pursue the opportunity to retire as early as possible. Having the financial security to choose what you do with your time is one of the greatest gifts you can give to yourself, your loved ones, and the causes you’re passionate about.

Here are three reasons to retire as early as you can.

1. You can’t earn back time

One of the most common regrets of the dying is that they worked so hard and for so long, according to nurse Bronnie Ware. “They missed their children’s youth and their partner’s companionship,” she wrote.

You can always find a way to earn back money you spend or lose, but you can’t go back in time and experience the moments you missed. Retiring early means you’ll have more opportunities to be with your family.

Further, it’s a fact of life that some things become more difficult as we age. When you’re in your 60s or 70s, you may not be able to do all the things you put on your bucket list in your 20s and 30s — and you may not have enough time left to do them regardless.

2. It’s really hard to run out of money if you plan things right

My advice is to retire as early as you can. But how do you know when you can retire? Nearly half of workers aged 50 and older say their biggest fear is running out of money in retirement. These people are not confident in their retirement plans — or they don’t have plans at all.

However, planning for a financially secure retirement doesn’t have to be difficult. Here’s where to start:

Read a few articles on safe retirement savings withdrawal rates. (Financial adviser Michael Kitces suggests 3.5% for early retirees to keep things simple.)

Figure out how much you’ll spend in retirement.

Save and invest in appropriate assets until the math works.

Even if the market takes a severe downturn and you get nervous about living off your retirement assets, you can always pick up some part-time work. If you use a 3.5% withdrawal rate, $10,000 in annual income is effectively worth $286,000 in your portfolio.

And don’t forget you can tap Social Security at age 62 if you need to. While you’ll receive a reduced monthly benefit (up to 30% lower than your full benefit), it can help shore up your retirement funds if you feel the need. Just don’t count on Social Security to fully fund your retirement.

3. You can (still) work on the things you love

A lot of people love their work.

Warren Buffett had a net worth of $1 million by the time he was 30 — likely more than enough for him to retire to his modest home in Omaha. Of course, Buffett chose not to retire because he loved his work. “For over 60 years, I’ve been able to tap dance to work, doing what I love doing,” Buffett says in the HBO documentary Becoming Warren Buffett.

For reference, Buffett is now 87, still working, and closing in on a net worth of $100 billion, even after giving billions away to non-profits.

Not everyone is lucky enough to have their passions and their career align so perfectly. But early retirement offers the opportunity to pursue endeavors you love. Whether they’re profitable or not is no longer the point once you have the financial security to support your lifestyle.

You can get around to writing that book you didn’t have time for when you were working 40 hours a week. You can start brewing beer in your basement and open a nice little speakeasy for your friends to enjoy a lager or a cocktail with you (tips only!). You can fix up run-down houses and rent them out or sell them for a profit. Or you can volunteer your time to help causes you’d otherwise support with monetary donations.

Not only does working on things you love provide the potential for monetary rewards, but it could help you live longer. There’s no rule, however, that “work” has to be a traditional job.

NiCAD vs. NiMH Batteries

NiCAD vs. NiMH Batteries NiCad (Nickel-Cadmium) and NiMH (Nickel-Metal Hydride) are two very different types of batteries. Both types must be handled differently from one another in regards to charging and discharging procedures and philosophies. In general, NiMH batteries cannot handle the high rate of charges or discharges (typically over 1.5-2 amps) that NiCad batteries can. Many modelers use high rate, peak detection or time-based chargers to charge NiCad batteries. Such chargers are NOT recommend

Source: NiCAD vs. NiMH Batteries

NiCAD vs. NiMH Batteries

NiCad (Nickel-Cadmium) and NiMH (Nickel-Metal Hydride) are two very different types of batteries. Both types must be handled differently from one another in regards to charging and discharging procedures and philosophies.

In general, NiMH batteries cannot handle the high rate of charges or discharges (typically over 1.5-2 amps) that NiCad batteries can. Many modelers use high rate, peak detection or time-based chargers to charge NiCad batteries. Such chargers are NOT recommended for NiMH batteries (unless otherwise specified in the charger or battery literature) as they can cause permanent damage to the NiMH cells. Also, NiMH batteries will not perform well in high rate discharge applications, typically providing only a small fraction of the rated capacity in these instances.

NiMH batteries also have approximately twice the self-discharge rate of NiCad batteries when in an used state. For example, when your radio is off, a 1650mah NiMH battery can discharge itself nearly twice as quickly as a NiCad battery, typically within one week. Therefore, you must charge your NiMH batteries the night before each use.

When handled correctly though, NiMH batteries can be very beneficial, providing much longer run times than comparably sized and weighted NiCad batteries.

We highly recommend NiMH batteries in applications that call for long duration but not a high amp load. If you have an aircraft with very large servos that pull a lot of amps or more than 8 standard servos we recommend using NiCad batteries for the best results.

Choosing the correct battery for your application is critical. When making this decision you may need to ask yourself the following questions:

  1. How much room do I have?
  2. How much weight can my application handle?
  3. How many amps will I be using under full load?
  4. How much “run-time” do I need?
  5. How fast do I need to recharge?

NiCAD vs. NiMH Batteries

Source: NiCAD vs. NiMH Batteries

NiCAD vs. NiMH Batteries

NiCad (Nickel-Cadmium) and NiMH (Nickel-Metal Hydride) are two very different types of batteries. Both types must be handled differently from one another in regards to charging and discharging procedures and philosophies.

In general, NiMH batteries cannot handle the high rate of charges or discharges (typically over 1.5-2 amps) that NiCad batteries can. Many modelers use high rate, peak detection or time-based chargers to charge NiCad batteries. Such chargers are NOT recommended for NiMH batteries (unless otherwise specified in the charger or battery literature) as they can cause permanent damage to the NiMH cells. Also, NiMH batteries will not perform well in high rate discharge applications, typically providing only a small fraction of the rated capacity in these instances.

NiMH batteries also have approximately twice the self-discharge rate of NiCad batteries when in an used state. For example, when your radio is off, a 1650mah NiMH battery can discharge itself nearly twice as quickly as a NiCad battery, typically within one week. Therefore, you must charge your NiMH batteries the night before each use.

When handled correctly though, NiMH batteries can be very beneficial, providing much longer run times than comparably sized and weighted NiCad batteries.

We highly recommend NiMH batteries in applications that call for long duration but not a high amp load. If you have an aircraft with very large servos that pull a lot of amps or more than 8 standard servos we recommend using NiCad batteries for the best results.

Choosing the correct battery for your application is critical. When making this decision you may need to ask yourself the following questions:

  1. How much room do I have?
  2. How much weight can my application handle?
  3. How many amps will I be using under full load?
  4. How much “run-time” do I need?
  5. How fast do I need to recharge?

How to Edit Your Hosts File on Windows, Mac, or Linux

Source: How to Edit Your Hosts File on Windows, Mac, or Linux

How to Edit Your Hosts File on Windows, Mac, or Linux

On occasion you will need to edit the hosts file on your machine. Sometimes because of an attack or prank, and others so that you can simply and freely control access to websites and network traffic.

hosts files have been in use since ARPANET. They were used to resolve hosts names before DNS. hosts files would be massive documents used to aide the network name resolution.

Microsoft kept the hosts file alive in Windows networking which is why it varies very little whether used in Windows, macOS, or Linux. The syntax stays mostly the same across all platforms. Most hosts files will have several entries for loopback. We can use that for the basic example for the typical syntax.

The first part will be the location to redirect the address to, the second part will be the address that you will want to redirect, and the third part is the comment. They can be separated by a space, but for ease of reading are typically separated by one or two tabs. localhosts #loopback

Now let’s look at accessing the hosts files in the different operating systems…

Windows 8 or 8.1 or 10

Unfortunately Windows 8 or 10 makes it annoying to open apps as administrator — but it’s not too difficult. Just search for Notepad, then right-click on Notepad in the search results list, and choose to run it as administrator. If you’re using Windows 10 this will be on the Start Menu.

If you’re using Windows 10, it’ll look more like this:


Once you’ve done so, open up the following file using the File -> Open feature.



Then you can edit as normal.

Windows 7

To access the hosts file in Windows 7 you can use the following command in the Run Line to open notepad and the file.

notepad c:\windows\system32\drivers\etc\hosts


Once notepad is open you can edit the file. In this example we will block Facebook. To do this just enter in the following after the # mark.


Now that you have edited your Hosts file make sure to save it.


Now notice if we try to access Facebook in IE we can’t get to the page.


We also were not able to get to it in Google Chrome… (check notes at the end). Also for more info on editing your Hosts file, check out The Geek’s article on how to create a shortcut to quickly edit your Hosts file.



In Ubuntu 10.04 and most Linux distro’s you can edit the hosts file directly in the terminal. You can use your favorite editor or even open your favorite GUI text editor. For this example we will use VIM. Like Windows 7, Ubuntu’s hosts file is located in the /etc/ folder, though here it is in the root of the drive. In order to edit the file you will need to open it as root which is why we use sudo here.

Now that it is open we can edit it to redirect Facebook into nothing. You will notice that with Ubuntu there is also a section for IP6. For most needs you will only need to edit it the top section and ignore the IP6.

Now we can save the file and try to go to Just like in windows we will see that we are now redirected to a site that does not exist.


macOS (Any Version)

In macOS, accessing the hosts file is very similar to Ubuntu. Begin in terminal and use your favorite editor, even is you wish to call a GUI text editor, it is easier to do so from terminal.

The file will look a bit more like Windows, only with a little less explanation. Again we are going to redirect Facebook.

This time it seems that is a loopback and will direct you to the computers Apache test page.


There are some things to note from this walkthrough that we did notice. When tested it, Chrome did not use the hosts file in any operating system but we were able to block Facebook in Chrome by adding Also, make sure to place and extra line after the last entry for the section.

This should get you started in understanding the Hosts file and how it can help protect your computer. You can use it to block sites that you don’t want a PC to be able to access. If you have more suggestions for any of the operating systems we coved, then leave a comment and let us know!

Create a Shortcut to Quickly Edit Your Hosts File in Windows

Chris is a Mac geek who still knows his way around Linux and Windows. He’s always looking for a good way to translate geek to english.

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Which Headlights Shine Best: Halogen, HID or LED? | Angie’s List

While old-school halogen still rules the road, LED headlights are becoming more popular.

Drivers may soon notice brighter and whiter headlights on the road as the popularity of traditional halogen headlights continues to dim.

Halogen still ranks highest as the most common headlight on the market, but several alternatives, including xenon-based and light-emitting diode (LED) headlights, are growing in popularity. Here’s how the options compare in terms of performance, safety and price.

Headlight versus headlight

According to Motor Trend, you’ll notice several important differences in light produced by LEDs, xenon and halogen headlights. LEDs have the coolest color temperature at around 6,000 Kelvin, which makes them appear whiter than daylight. Xenon headlights come in at around 4,500 K, while halogens round out the list at a yellowish 3,200 K.

When it comes to reflection, LEDs offer better light return from road signs, while xenon lamps better illuminate the sides of the road. In part, this is because xenon lamps typically produce more light, measured in lumens, than LEDs.

Both LEDs and xenon provide a large pattern of light on the road, whereas halogens offer a small pool of yellow light directly in front of the vehicle. If you’re buying a new car, expect LED headlights to be the premium option, and make sure your auto repair shop is equipped to handle LED headlight replacements and repairs.

If you’re looking for intense light and don’t mind the glare, xenon may be the best choice. LEDs, meanwhile, offer great light, low power and long life, but often come with a bigger price tag.

Halogen headlights

Halogen lights are the most popular lights on the market and are found in most consumer cars. These bulbs are similar to familiar incandescent lights and use heated tungsten filaments to produce light. Halogen headlights produce a significant amount of heat, and even small deposits of skin moisture on the bulb during replacement can affect their performance.

The main benefits of halogen bulbs include low replacement costs and longevity.

Xenon headlights

Xenon lights, also known as high-intensity discharge (HID) lights, produce a brighter light than halogen bulbs and with far less heat. The blue-white light emitted by xenon bulbs is so bright, it has been known to “blind” other drivers.

These headlights require a large amount of power at the outset to produce their first burst of light, but once fully operational, they require much less energy to maintain constant brightness.

Xenon bulbs have a long lifespan and emit little heat, but they cost more than halogen bulbs.

LED headlights

LEDs are the most recent innovation in headlight technology. Instead of gas and filaments, LEDs rely on small diodes that produce light when electric current excites their electrons. They need an low amount of power to work but do produce a significant amount of heat on the diode. This requires heat control systems at the bottom of the headlight and near other car components. If this system fails, not just the light, but other electronics could be affected.

The small size of LEDs means they can be formed into almost any shape, and their light is naturally directional rather than diffuse, making them an excellent choice for headlights.

Editor’s note: This is an updated version on an article originally posted on Nov. 20, 2013.

Source: Which Headlights Shine Best: Halogen, HID or LED? | Angie’s List