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Home Security

I reviewed the Belkin WeMo Smart Home Automation Switch about a year ago, and at the time, you really needed an iOS device to control the products.  There was an Android app, but it was in beta, but Belkin announced late last month that the Android app is ready.  Just like with the iOS app [...]

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posted in Android related, Home, Kitchen, News

This Kickstarter project gives you the tools to turn any dimmable light bulb into a WiFi-controllable bulb.  You don't need hubs, and getting your house connected is as easy as signing the bulb into your router.  The emberlight is a screw-in base that you can use with any of your current light fixtures or lamps [...]

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posted in Home, Kitchen, News, Wireless

When we moved into our condo, the first thing we did was replace the deadbolt - and that's despite living in a building with security locks on all exterior doors and the elevators, plus a doorman stationed at the door 24/7.  But what if you live in a rental where you can't change the locks [...]

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posted in Home, Kitchen, News

If you worry that your mail could be stolen from your outdoors mailbox,  you need to switch from the standard mailbox to the SecureLogic Mail Vault Locking Mailbox.  The mailbox comes with a color-matched mounting pole, and the bolts, screws, and other hardware you need to install it.  The box has a chute so the [...]

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posted in Home, Kitchen, News

For more than a thousand years, humans have been securing their front door with key-based locks.  Until recently, there hasn't been much innovation in the technology, but thankfully, several companies have tried to bring the door lock into the 21st century.  One of them, Yale, has provided us with their key-free Touchscreen Deadbolt.  I expected installation [...]

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posted in Home, Kitchen, Reviews

Winter is here, and so is the possibility of power outages due to ice storms in my area.  When the power goes off just just an hour or so, you're pretty sure the stuff in your freezer is still okay, but what if the power is out for most of a day or more?  If [...]

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posted in Home, Kitchen, News

When it comes to home security, peace of mind seems to be a factor in the type of security you get. And with several home security companies competing for your business I guess what it really breaks down to is the ease of use,  added options, and the service.  When I received the security system [...]

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posted in Android related, Home, Kitchen, iPhone, iPad, iPod, Reviews

I've been using the Dropcam to keep an eye on things around my house, and it has worked very well for me.  I'm impressed with the clarity of the images I see, even in a dark room.  Of course, I'm always interested to know when things get better, which is why I'm telling you about [...]

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posted in Audio, Video, TV Gear, Home, Kitchen, News

I've been using four WeMo Switch modules in my house for a few months now, and they work great for turning lights on and off on a program and for letting me manually control them from anywhere I have internet connectivity.  Belkin isn't resting on their laurels, though, and they have announced the WeMo Insight [...]

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posted in Android related, Home, Kitchen, iPhone, iPad, iPod, News, Wireless

The Nest Protect, from the makers of the Nest Thermostat, aims to change the way your home smoke alarm works.  The Protect monitors smoke, heat, and carbon monoxide levels in your home.  It's smart about how it alerts you to possible emergency conditions, too.  You tell the Protect what room it's in, so a human [...]

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posted in Home, Kitchen, News

I recently reviewed the Belkin WeMo Smart Home Automation Switch, and I'm still happily using four of them everyday to control my table lamps and the Fake TV.  There are some rooms, like the bathroom, that don't have table lamps, but I'd still like to be able to remotely control my ceiling fixture in there. [...]

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posted in Home, Kitchen, News, Wireless

I've been searching for a way to keep an eye on my summer cabin while we're not in residence, and the Xtreme Life Landscape Stone from KJB Security products would seem to be the answer.  It claims to provide unattended surveillance with minimal operator intervention and ease of operation.  I guess we'll have to see about that...The Landscape [...]

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posted in Camera Gear, Home, Kitchen, Reviews

The Gadgeteer has told you about some WiFi-connected doorbells that allow you to answer the door from anywhere in the world, but what if you just want to see and talk to the person at the door before you open the door?  The Doorphone 870 (SWHOM-DP870C)from Swann shows you color video and allows 2-way conversation with [...]

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posted in Home, Kitchen, News

This is an indiegogo crowd-funding project.  The iDoorCam is a WiFi-enabled doorbell that works with an iOS or Android app so you can see, hear, and talk with people on your doorstep.  You connect the iDoorCam to the wiring for your existing doorbell, connect it to your WiFi network, and then you'll be able to [...]

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posted in Home, Kitchen, News

I recently reviewed the Belkin WeMo Switch and said it was one of the steps I was taking to automate my home and increase its security. The Switches work great to control lamps plugged into outlets inside my house, but my porch lights don't plug in to an outlet. I had first thought that I [...]

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posted in Home, Kitchen, News, Outdoor Gear

I have some OCD tendencies that are under control now for the most part, but I still freak out about leaving the house unattended for any length of time.  I don't mean I have agoraphobia, but I'm afraid someone will break into the house while I'm out, even for a few hours.  We don't have [...]

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posted in Home, Kitchen, Reviews, Wireless

When I find a useful gadget or product that fits in with my life, workflow, etc. I then spend a lot of time trying to find the very best version of that gadget or product. Whether it's messenger bags, smartphones, styluses, ink pens or something else, I can become a little obsessed. Ok, a lot obsessed. [...]

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posted in Audio, Video, TV Gear, Home, Kitchen, Reviews

A few years ago, I wrote a news item about the FakeTV, which was a little box with LEDs that flicker, flash, and wane to simulate the look of a TV playing to make it look like someone is home.  That little box simulated the light output of a 27" TV, and that was just [...]

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posted in Home, Kitchen, Reviews

With the DoorBot, you'll be able to see, hear, and speak with a person who rings your doorbell, no matter if you're at home, at the office, or traveling.  This device is currently seeking funding at ChristieStreet, and it is roughly 20% funded at the time of this writing, with 41 days to go in [...]

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posted in Home, Kitchen, News

Last year I reviewed the Logitech Alert 750i Master System and continue to use it to this day to monitor both the interior and exterior of our home. One of my main Cons of the system was that its main control software was Windows-only. With Boot Camp running Windows to set it up and the [...]

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posted in Do-It-Yourself, How-To, Home, Kitchen, iPhone, iPad, iPod, News