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NC #625 ecobee3 Installation and Review, Quarterback for Live TV on a Phone, Don’t Buy the TrackR, Security Bits

This week I’ll tell you about my experience installing the ecobee3 and later in the show I’ll review it. I’ll tell you why even though it’s awesome you shouldn’t buy it. We’ll have the first of our NAB 2017 interviews – Quarterback for Live TV on a phone. Then I’ll explain why you seriously want to avoid buying the TrackR (not because it’s awesome). Then we have a great episode of Security Bits with Bart Busschots. It’s got four Security Mediums which gave us a lot to chew on.


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ecobee3 is Awesome – Don’t Buy It

Ecobee3 finally installedIn my previous article I tried to give you the flavor of how to install the ecobee3 Smart Thermostat, and now let’s talk about how it actually works. But if after hearing more about it you feel tempted to buy one, don’t do it. My timing couldn’t be worse on this, because I just found out from Mark Pouley that ecobee will be revealing the ecobee4 next week!

From what I’ve been reading, it appears the new version will not just be a thermostat but will also be an Amazon Echo inside. In Mikah Sargent’s article on iMore, he explains that it’s not just going to have Alexa/Echo support, it will be one. Even if having Alexa (or another Alexa) in your house sounds cool, definitely hold off till the official announcement, and even if you don’t want that the price on the ecobee3 has dropped as a result so that’s cool too.

I think it’s a reasonable assumption that the functionality I like about the ecobee3 will be in the ecobee4, so let’s jump in and talk about it. I asked Steven Goetz to collaborate with me on this since he bought one just now too, and he’s done a lot more playing with his than I have.

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CCATP #484 – Bart Busschots PBS 34 of x – More JS Testing with QUnit

In this installment of Bart’s Programming By Stealth series, we review our test code using QUnit, and then learn how to use QUnit to test our code within a real browser page. We do that using the API we built together, the Bartificer Link Toolkit that identifies external links on a web page, makes them open in new tabs, adds the tag rel=noopener, and adds a cute icon to identify them as external links. As always Bart’s terrific written tutorials and downloadable examples are available at bartbusschots.ie/….

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NAB 2017: Lacie Thunderbolt 3 Dock

Allison interviews Gaspar Plantreau from Lacie about two of their new products. The first is the 2big Thunderbolt 3 dock which provides storage capacities of 12, 16 or 20 TB. Offering up to 27 Watts of power, the 2big can charge your MacBook Pro along with other peripherals. Lacie’s second product is the Rugged Thunderbolt drive with a built in USB-C connector cable. The Rugged drive is designed for use in the field and offers up to 5 TB of storage. The Rugged drive is available for purchase now and the 2big Thunderbolt 3 dock will be available in the early summer of 2017. The setting is the Showstoppers show floor. Learn more at http://lacie.com

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You Had One Job, TrackR

Trackr with no circleI’m a positive person, so if I don’t like a product, you won’t hear me review it. I’ll usually write to the company selling the product instead and tell them where they can improve. That’s why you don’t often hear me tell you not to buy something.

But I’m going to make an exception today. Please don’t buy the TrackR. TrackR is a coin-sized device that you’re supposed to hook on your keychain, throw in your luggage or purse, or hook to Fido so you can find these things if they ever get lost.

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NAB 2017: Quarterback Live HD TV for Smartphone

Allison interviews Bonnie Beeman, CEO of Airwavs, about their new Quarterback portable TV. Quarterback provides live, over-the-air HD TV to your smartphone while also serving as a battery case. The Quarterback has a built-in antenna to receive TV signals directly from broadcast towers, not over cell or WiFi networks. Quarterback includes an adjustable kickstand built in to the case for hands-free viewing and it comes in five colors. Quarterback is currently pursuing crowdfunding with models for Android phones expected to deliver in Q3 2017 and iOS models in Q4 2017. Learn more at https://quarterback.airwavz.tv

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A Noob Installs the ecobee3 Thermostat

Ecobee3 finally installedWhen I was in college, my roommate Sandy and I wanted to put up a hanging plant. Remember the 70s when macramé plant hangers were all the rage? If not, go ask your mom. Anyway, she said we should go get a boy to help us. I told her that if we couldn’t do it ourselves, then we weren’t allowed to have it.

A few years later when I was first dating Steve, I wanted a new stereo in my car. Steve said he’d install it for me. That got me to thinking. Maybe it’s ok to have different talents and help each other do stuff. Maybe everyone doesn’t have to be able to do everything themselves. Maybe that’s what helps us all get along. I let him install the stereo and for the past 35 years, Steve has done everything in our lives that required electrical wiring.

But this week I decided to put our marriage to a real test. For my birthday, Steve and Kyle got me the ecobee3 HomeKit-compatible Smart Thermostat with three remote sensors, and I wanted to do the installation and wiring setup myself, instead of having Steve do it. Steve and I discussed whether he could stand it, and he agreed he could survive supervising me. I really wanted to do it myself because I wanted to know whether a reasonably bright girl such as myself, but without experience or education in electrical engineering, could pull it off. Continue reading “A Noob Installs the ecobee3 Thermostat”

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NC #624 Server Caching Bug, macOS Bugs Discovered, Sandman Clock, Nexus 5X Review

In this early show, we’ll talk about how I figured out the true root cause of the problems in rendering the new podfeet.com theme (I was wrong last week). Then I’ll tell you about how I discovered two actual bugs in macOS that no one else had ever reported, and how I made the senior advisor laugh. I’ve got a review of the awesome Sandman Clock from Palo Alto Innovations. Then I’ll give you an Apple fan girl’s review of the Android Nexus 5X from LG (it’s more complimentary than you might think!


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Android Nexus 5X Review by a Die Hard Apple Fan

Nexus 5x in boxWhen Steve and I planned our great adventure to South America, we knew we needed a data plan for our phones. We decided to use Project Fi from Google for $10/GB. I’ve written up the experience in a couple of blog posts and talked about it on the show ( podfeet.com/…. Project Fi gave us inexpensive and fast Internet access on our trip, but I had to buy an Android phone in order to initialize our Project Fi SIM cards. For most people that would be kind of a drag, but it gave me an excuse to play with my first Android phone. I bought a Google Nexus 7 tablet many years ago but haven’t played with Android since.

The phone I chose to buy was the lowest cost model you could get and still use it to set up Google’s Project Fi. I bought an unlocked, European LG Nexus 5X. I paid $300 for it on Amazon directly from LG.

If you’ve been reading or listening for any length of time, you know I have an EVER so slight Apple bias. For that reason, you should not take my review of this phone as a definitive and unbiased review. But I have a spoiler for you, I kinda like this phone!

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Sandman – the Perfect Bedside Clock from Palo Alto Innovations

Sandman clock closeupPeople love clocks. I’m not sure why, but even in the middle of the night if we wake up, we want to know what time it is. But a clock on your bedside table can be a problematic if the numbers are too bright and keep you awake.

A lot of people keep their phones plugged in next to their beds, but it’s a hassle to wake them up. If you’ve got a phone, a tablet, a smart watch and a clock, where do you plug in your bedside lamp? For years Steve has had an iHome clock radio to give him a clock by his bedside. It has a 30-pin dock connector for his iPod, so that’s super useful nowadays. I said it was a radio but who listens to radio any more?

The iHome was expensive at $100 but it had one feature that sold Steve on it. He could dim the clock every night and turn it back up in the morning. It wasn’t ideal for me because from my side of the bed, without my contacts, I couldn’t read the numbers. Oh well, it worked for him. Continue reading “Sandman – the Perfect Bedside Clock from Palo Alto Innovations”

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