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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.

Continue reading “ecobee3 is Awesome – Don’t Buy It”

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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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CCATP #471 Mikah Sargent on Siri and Alexa and Home Automation

Mikah sargent steve alMikah Sargent, senior editor at Mobile Nations and podcaster at RelayFM joins us to compare and contrast how Siri from Apple and Alexa from Amazon help with home automation and other tasks around the house. He has a vast array of Home Automation devices from Hue lights to Eve sensors to an Ecobee thermostat to an August smart lock so he’s got the experience. I found Mikah’s intelligent commentary combined with his light humor to be a delightful combination.

If you want to connect with Mikah, look him up on Twitter @mikahsargent. You can read his excellent articles on iMore at imore.com/… and see pictures of chihuahuas at chihuahua.coffee/….

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