Nov 17 2016

Review - D-Link DIR-885L/R AC3150 Ultra Wi-Fi Router


I like the recent trend to make higher-end Wi-Fi routers look interesting. Stepping away from the old-school canister or plain shell with antenna is especially pleasing. No one has embraced this more fully than D-Link, with the DIR-855L/R being one of the latest crop of performance routers. Sporting a dual-core 1.4GHz Broadcom BCM4709C0 SoC, this 4x4 stream AC3150 (1000Mbps 2.4GHz + 2167Mbps 5GHz) class Wave2 802.11AC with MU-MIMO should provide excellent performance for most homes and users, and at $280 SRP ($200 street), it won’t break the bank either.

Nov 10 2016

News - Amped Wireless ships APOLLO & APOLLP PRO long range HD Wi-Fi cameras

I like Wi-Fi cameras, and making them long range is clearly better, but I'm not sold on the subscription fee to make them, um... useful. Maybe I'm just cheap, er..., value oriented, but that really galls me. There might be a BYOS[torage] option, but I didn't see one in the quick look over the PR.

Nov 03 2016

News - Fractal Design launches Define C full ATX chassis

It's hard to beat Fractal Design cases when it comes to build quality, cooling and value, so it's great to see another Define chassis added to the mix. Will be interesting to see how its magnetic dust filter works Smile.

Nov 03 2016

News - Netamo launches Presence Wi-Fi camera

I almost didn't read the press release for the Netamo Presence. If I'm not interested in something, I figure why would you be? And what's that interesting about yet another IoT Wi-Fi camera? I am glad I did read it though, because there's a lot of neat things going on with the camera including:

  • Local SD storage
  • Innovative installation mechanism (you replace an exterior light with it for power)
  • Intelligent image detection, so it will determine if the moving object is a person, animal, or car and provide configurable decision login around that.
  • IFTT support
  • Dropbox or FTP cloud storage

And that's not all. There's quite a few other really compelling features provided by the £250 camera.

Oct 26 2016

News - XBox One S will get Dolby Atmos support

One of my biggest gripes with the XBox One S's support for UHD BD looks to be getting fixed in a future firmware update. When this happens, it should move from "value-with-caveats" to "best value" player for the next-gen format.

Oct 25 2016

News - Amazon Echo now controls Harmony via "Skill"

If you have an Amazon Echo (or Echo Dot) you can now natively control your Logitech Harmony Smart Hub via a "Skill". It is US only for the moment (suck), but I was able to have a brief play with it anyway (shhh). Overall, it's nice that it's there. But, lacks some of the flexibility avaiable with ha-bridge integration (e.g. renaming activities to whatever you want). That said, not everyone want to spin up a box to host a 3rd party bridge app.

Oct 19 2016

News - NETGEAR announces NIGHTHAWK X10 R9000 802.11ac/ad Wi-Fi router with Plex

If you have $500 burning a hole in your pocket, and a desperate need to be the first one on your block to have an 802.11ad Wi-Fi router with 10Gbe fiber support (?) - the newly announced NETGEAR NIGHTHAWK X10 is just the thing for you. That's not to say, it doesn't have some useful features though; like powererd TX/RX (new v. X8) anntennas and Plex support (!) built into the box. That said, I've very curious about the transcoding limitations. Anandtech is listing the SoC as one quite similar to what was in the RN212 - which works, but had some caveats attached. Either way, exciting times. For the well heeled anyway Smile. BTW, anyone know where I can find an 802.11ad Wi-Fi adapter?

Oct 15 2016

Guide - FLIR ONE + USB-C mobile solution

Like an increasing number of people my mobile uses a USB-C connector, so my FLIR ONE won't work without an adapter. Having tired of pulling my old phone out of storage everytime I want to use the thermal camera, I contacted FLIR ONE support this week. Unfortunately, they were no help at all. Seemingly unaware that the world has moved on from Micro USB, and unable (unwilling) to provide any guidence on a specific adapter, or what I would need to look for in one.

Oct 15 2016

Guide - Run ha-bridge on startup on Ubuntu

I recently installed ha-bridge to expose my custom switches and those from my Harmony and Vera systems to the Amazon Echo. One of the challenges I ran across was that the Linux (VM) system that I want to host the app on is Ubuntu, and the installation instructions didn’t cover that. Now, this isn’t a complex task, but there was a bit of trick to it so I thought it worth documented. Save others some time and provide a reference the next time I need to set it up Smile.

Oct 14 2016

News - Mesh Wi-Fi roundup

Mesh Wi-Fi is a rapidly developing market, which something I'm glad to see. Being able to quickly add signal everywhere in your home without needing to worry about channels, SSID, etc. makes solving the problem much easier for everyone (even geeks Smile). This round up doesn't really get in to the technical bits much (or really at all), but that doesn't mean there isn't a lot of value to be gleaned from the UX (user experience) provided by the three systems.

Oct 12 2016

News - NETGEAR announces Arlo Pro

If you liked the original Arlo, you will love the updated "Pro" model. Which adds rechargable batteries and 2-way audio. Very slick.

Oct 12 2016

News - Loki "smart" Wi-Fi thermometer Kickstart[er]s today

As a fan of "smart" technology and cooking, I was immediately interested in the Loki thermometer when I heard about it. From what I understand the orb senses when your food is going to be ready and let's you know that it's time to take it off. Making it much easier to get the perfect, bloody (or not) meat. For someone who can never get that my pork loin quite right (always overshooting, grrr...), I'm going to have to join the early queue.

Oct 06 2016

News - SVS brings the boom, announcing two 16" subs

I love my sub, but sometimes I have to get up from the couch and turn it down a bit (after getting yelled at). Have to imagine this would only be made worse if I happened to have one of these massive 16" (ported or sealed) subs just announced by SVS, so I quite like that their's a little remote and a couple of apps available manage that without needing to stand up.

Unfortunately, I won't be able to make any of the demo sessions (sigh, they're all in the US), but if you're free and want to be impressed you can RSVP here.

Oct 03 2016

Guide - DIY 433MHz "Smart" Wi-Fi switches with Amazon Echo and Vera Control support

I’m not sure exactly why my wife came home with a cheap (£10-15) set of 433MHz remote controlled switches. While I gave her some grief initially, I’m glad she did. Because for a few £ more we now have four “smart” IP switches that can be controlled from a home automation controller (HAC). And since we have an Amazon Echo, voice as well.

Oct 01 2016

News - Arduino ESLOV IoT kit on Kickstarter

I'm a big fan of these little IoT enabling kits, including the Arduino. Getting everything working with the various sensors can be a bit of a challenge (or a big one). This kit looks to help with that by providing standard interfaces to a pile of really useful sensors and a more user friendly IDE.

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