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Nest is down again

Let me start by saying that I have referred several people to the Nest products. When they are working, they are great. The last few months Nest has been down too many times for my taste. In other words – Nest has been shit lately.

I can’t access cameras, thermostats via the web or app. I pay a service fee every month and I don’t get a month’s worth of service lately. Not cool. I spend more time on this page checking to see if the unreliable Nest services are working or if it is something else. The only thing keeping me from jumping ship and heading to Wyze is that Wyze doesn’t offer 24/7 recording as of yet (or an outdoor camera). The closest thing is Wyze’s “Complete Motion Capture” which is better than the crappy 12-second clips but still not good enough for real-world security.

Nest Status

For most, this post will not apply. For those with trucks and trailers – this is a game-changer. Gone are the days of having to hardwire a clunky brake controller inside of your tow vehicle. The Curt 51180 Echo plugs into your standard 7-way connector and communicates with your smartphone via an app. From the Curt Echo app, you can control brake sensitivity, braking power, and store several profiles. This setup becomes super powerful for...

Imagine a drone that isn’t much bigger than your cellphone. Imagine a drone that weighs just 0.55-lbs and can shoot 2.7k video (at 30fps). Still not impressed? How about a 30 minute flight time, 3- axis gimbal, stabilized camera, and a 2.5-mile range. This is the DJI Mavic Mini. Pretty awesome for such a pocket-sized drone. My favorite part, other than the battery life and range, is the fact that it is small/light enough to dodge the silly...

GoPro Max 360

GoPro’s latest camera, GoPro Max, is three cameras in one: a 360 mode camera, a screen-facing vlogging style camera, and a traditional HERO style camera. The latest video stabilization, Max HyperSmooth is amazing. No more jerky videos.

The GoPro Max has six microphones, four cameras, and built-in folding mounts. It is also waterproof to 16-feet and is loaded with features, too many to list here. Check it out here.

Too far away from April Fools to be a joke and way to elaborate. This yard robot autonomously patrols the yard looking for dog poop piles to scoop up. About time!

This cool robot is from Beetl Robotics and looks like a little green and white tractor. The Beetl Poop Robot uses computer vision and sensors to locate poop in your yard, hovers over the top and deploys its jaws and shears to scoop the poop. Pretty cool stuff. Video of the poop-bot after the break. (more…)

I am a big fan of making the home a smarter place. I have smart locks (the Nest X Yale Lock and the Yale Assure Lock SL), smart switches, smart plugs, smart sensors, etc… I prefer the Apple HomeKit enabled ecosystem as Apple is one of the rare tech companies that still cares about customers privacy. The only downsides of these Yale smart locks is that they are bit bulky...

Ring (Amazon) just can’t help running over folks privacy. First, they let law enforcement know where every camera is in use, then they coached law enforcement on how to get user videos without using a warrant,...

Ring Doorbell Sucks

I am a huge fan of the Nest line of cameras – the Nest Cam Outdoor, Nest Cam Indoor (just buy the outdoor version), and the Nest Hello Doorbell. With that said, I will toss them all in the trash if the Google/Nest decide to follow Amazon’s (Ring) level of creepiness with regards to sharing camera data.

Let me back up a bit. If you haven’t read the news about Amazon’s Ring camera creepiness, read on. (more…)

Retevis RT45 Backlit LCD

Haven’t heard of Retevis? Give it time, you will. Retevis is making quite a name for themselves stateside with their high quality and low priced line of radios. They have everything from low to high-end radios from 0.5-watts up to a full 10-watts! On to the Retevis RT45 FRS/GMRS review. (more…)

aurora_dimmer_install_steps

I have spent quite a bit of money making my homes lighting situation a bit smarter. I am an Apple guy, mainly because I value my privacy, so naturally, I went with solutions that were Apple HomeKit enabled. My house is a bit older and doesn’t have neutral wires run, which means most of my light switches are the Lutron Caseta PD-6WCL. They work great (I have given up on the sh*tty Leviton switches).

I was always intrigued by the Philips Hue bulbs but never pulled the trigger because they have a huge flaw. If anyone turns off the light switch, which people do all the time, the bulb is no longer accessible on the network and goes from “smart” to totally “dumb”. Because of this, I opted to replace my dumb lightswitches with the Lutron Caseta switches. This route takes a bit more work, but ultimately it works very well and I don’t have to worry about the “Philips Hue problem”. Read on for details. (more…)