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CES 2018: August Smart Locks

Allison interviews Lisa Auslen from August about some of their new smart locks. Lisa demonstrates how the August Smart Lock Pro can lock and unlock your door remotely, instantly track who’s coming and going, and inform you if your door is closed and locked. This intelligent lock automatically locks your door when you leave and unlocks when you arrive. It provides keyless entry for family and friends and it works with Amazon Alexa, Siri and Google Assistant. Best of all, you can keep your existing deadbolt lock and keys. The setting is Pepcom at the Mirage Hotel in Las Vegas. Learn more at https://august.com/keyless-entry

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$20 WyzeCam Beats $150 D-Link Omna Webcam

Wyzecam in my hand with infrared lights lit upWhen Steve and I were at CES, we had the opportunity to hang out with fellow NosillaCastaway Joe LaGreca. While we were talking about the disappointment of the security model for D-Link and their $150 Omna webcam, he mentioned that he uses a little camera called the WyzeCam.

We were intrigued because Joe said the WyzeCam is only $20 plus $5 shipping. But how good could this camera be? Joe showed us a live erityideo feed of his kids’ playroom – and it was pretty darn good. For $20, it was amazing.

Joe cares as much about security as we do (if not more) but since a $150 HomeKit-compatible webcam from a big-name networking company doesn’t guarantee us great security, I have changed my expectations.

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CES 2018: TRAE Lamps Made by Geeks

Allison interviews Chadi Ghanem from TRAE about the new innovative lamps. Chadi describes how the TRAE team is composed of friendly design and engineering geeks with serious addictions to cool toys and new technology. TRAE has begun designing and producing unique products, starting with lamps. TRAE lamps designs are creative, simple, functional and eye-catching. An example is the cool-looking Luni LED desk lamp that is flexible like a snake and includes both a high-current USB charging port and a Qi-enabled wireless charging platform on its base. The setting is Pepcom at the Mirage Hotel in Las Vegas. Learn more at http://traeproducts.com/

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CES 2018: Lynky Smart Home Hub

Allison interviews Joe Dugandzic from Lynky about their new Home Intelligence Hub. Lynky is a new smart home hub with an elegant control panel for your wall or kitchen counter. If provides one simple interface to control your entire home and has a voice-activated smart speaker with Google Assistant. With Lynky, you can command all of your smart devices via touchscreen, voice or mobile app. You can create scenes and automations easily with a drag and drop builder and use the full capabilities of Google Assistant. The setting is Eureka Park at the Sands in Las Vegas. Learn more at http://lynky.com/

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D-Link’s Attention to the KRACK Vulnerability Gives Me Pause

omna webcam in my handOne of our goals in Home Automation has been to buy HomeKit-compatible devices whenever possible for security reasons. I’ve even created an elaborate network setup to isolate non-HomeKit (and Windows) devices from the rest of my gear.

Last year we bought the first HomeKit-compatible webcam, the Omna 180 Cam HD from D-Link. At $150 it wasn’t cheap but buying from a reputable company like D-Link who clearly have been in the business of network gear for ages gave us peace of mind.

The camera hasn’t been a huge success for us for a few reasons. The video isn’t as sharp as we’d expected. It was supposed to be 1080p but it’s pretty fuzzy. It doesn’t store information anywhere but on its own SD card, which might be a plus for some people but for us it limits the usefulness. It gets pretty hot which concerns us, and it is simply offline sometimes and we have to unplug it and plug it in to get it running again.

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CES 2018: Spartan Radiation-Blocking Boxer Shorts

Allison interviews Thomas Calichiama from Spartan about their innovative radiation-blocking boxer shorts. Spartan boxers shield the wearer’s reproductive organs from wireless radiation while providing comfort. Spartan WaveTech is the same technology used in space suites, incorporating pure silver fibers within the cotton of the fabric to act as a Faraday Cage. They are anti-bacterial, machine washable, and they don’t set off security screening sensors. The setting is CES Unveiled at the Mandalay Bay hotel in Las Vegas. Learn more at https://spartanunderwear.com/en/home/

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CES 2018: Mira Ovulation Monitoring System

Allison interviews Cara Morgan from Mira about their at-home ovulation monitoring system. The Mira method of analyzing samples gives the user-specific numerical data, rather than the traditional ‘smiley face’ approach of current testing systems. This provides more definitive results, giving the user a better sense of their cycle, increased accuracy, and cycle prediction that improves over time. The Mira system includes a test wand, an Analyzer module into which the wand is inserted, and a mobile app to which the Analyzer sends its data. The Mira Fertility testing platform uses machine learning AI to learn the user’s changing hormone patterns, which provides personalized and accurate ovulation prediction and fertility advice specific to the user. The setting is CES Unveiled at the Mandalay Bay hotel in Las Vegas. Learn more at https://www.miracare.com/

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Security Bits – Spectre & Meltdown Update (Again), Dark Caracal, chaiOS

Meltdown & Spectre Update

  • Steve Gibson of GRC (author of ShieldsUp & SpinRite) has released InSpectre, a free Windows app which clearly communicates your PC’s current level of protection against Meltdown & Spectre, and what kind of a performance hit you should expect — www.grc.com/…
  • RedHat have withdrawn their microcode patch for Spectre after it caused some systems to become unbootable (Linux supports dynamic updating of CPU microcode without the need for a BIOS update) — www.theregister.co.uk/…
  • A great post on the official Raspberry PI blog that primarily aims to explain why the Raspberry PIs are not vulnerable to Spectre, but in the process, explain Spectre in clearest and most understandable way I’ve yet seen — www.raspberrypi.org/…

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Nite Ize Taglit Might Save Your Life

Taglit yellow red with leds onIf you’ve been paying any attention to my nonsense over the years, you already know that I exercise a lot. In the mornings I alternate between running along the beach and doing the elliptical at the gym every other day. In the afternoons, I take Tesla for a nice long walk, anywhere from 1-3 miles depending on how many more calories my Apple Watch tells me I need to burn. I’m usually doing around 18,000 steps a day with this routine.

I exercise this much to avoid heart disease (my dad had his first heart attack at age 43), but also so I can eat (and drink) more!

So what’s the problem to be solved, it all sounds great, other than I’ll probably need a knee replacement or two way ahead of most people? The problem is the time change. I’m lucky enough to live where we have a lot of daylight, but in the winter, if I go for my usual walk around 4-5pm, it will be at dusk.

In the last few weeks, I was almost hit by a car. Twice.

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CES 2018: Netgear Outdoor Orbi WiFi System

Allison interviews Amit Rele from Netgear about their new outdoor version of the Orbi mesh WiFi system. The family of Orbi tri-band WiFi systems is designed for a broad range of home environments. The Orbi Outdoor Satellite (RBS50Y) extends high-performance WiFi coverage outdoors by up to an extra 2,500 sq. ft. with a weather-resistant, wall-mountable, add-on unit. The Outdoor Orbi is rated at IP55 and can operate over a temperature range of -20°C to +50°C. The setting is Pepcom at the Mirage Hotel in Las Vegas. Learn more at https://www.netgear.com/orbi/

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