LINK AKC $149

Smart collar tracks your dog’s movements

The Link AKC is an attractive leather collar with an electronic device that serves as a sensor and GPS locator. The unit connects to your Android or iOS device via Bluetooth and communicates with the company’s servers via AT&T’s mobile network. It requires a $10 monthly plan, which goes down to $7 a month with a two-year commitment.

Depending on usage, the sensor should run for about two days between charges.

The Link AKC app lets you view your dog’s activity, locate the dog via GPS, turn on a light on the collar or play a beeping sound, which could be used for dog training.

The collar comes in different sizes. The tracking device, however, comes in only one-size, and although it fits, it’s a bit bulky for smaller breeds.

If your dog wanders out of Bluetooth range from the base station, the app will invite you to track your pooch, but this function isn’t 100 percent reliable. If you live in a large house — and especially if the dog is in the yard — it’s easy to get out of range. If your dog actually were to get lost, the collar is supposed to locate him through a GPS signal and the AT&T cellular network.

The product is advertised to “manage your dog’s wellness,” but the only thing it actually tracks is activity such as walks and when your dog is running around the yard. It doesn’t measure vital signs. It offers advice based on the dog’s breed, weight, age and activity levels, and there is a place where you can manually type in your dog’s vet records.

MERCURY NEWS

CORELDRAW $110

For amateurs, this graphics suite is enough

Even if you are an experienced amateur, don’t be put off by the “Home and Student” version of CorelDraw Graphics Suite. Its power is subtle, but there’s no mistaking that if you want to create text projects, retouch photos or other images and create drawings, this version of CorelDraw is an inexpensive gateway to the outer limits of your creativity.

Make no mistake CorelDraw Home and Student is not a replacement for its more expensive big brother — CorelDraw — or Adobe Illustrator. But you can learn to create your own newsletter template in less than an hour and then actually create one in another hour.

The user interface does take some getting used to and it seems dated.

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