Latest News

  • My Hopes for CES 2018: Taking Privacy Seriously (1/8/2018) - Every year, thousands of tech enthusiasts attend CES to discuss technology and new consumer devices. Folks show up to see the fanciest new TVs, computers, and smart home products. Some of those products will turn out to be ground-breaking and exciting. Most of them will turn out to be shiny but ultimately not very useful. If feels like for the last several years, most smart-home gadgets have fallen into the second category: see last year's Read More
  • Google and Amazon Digital Assistant Patents (1/4/2018) - Technology enthusiasts probably view the holy grail of smart home technology to be an fully-fledged intelligent digital assistant: the assistant that you don't have to ask to turn on your lights because it already knows to turn on the lights for you. Those same enthusiasts probably view products like the Amazon Alexa, the Google Home, and similar products as an exciting early foray into that technology, even if they are ultimately rather limited right now. Read More
  • amazon blink purchase Amazon Purchases Blink (12/23/2017) - The news today is that Blink has been purchased by Amazon. Blink, the builder behind the popular connected Wi-Fi home security cameras bearing their name, was started in 2014 after a successful crowdfunding campaign that raised over $1 million for its products. The purchase of Blink adds additional connected devices to Amazon's growing stable of smart-home devices, and if you're already part of that ecosystem, you will likely start seeing tighter integrations in the near Read More
  • smartthings hub Blink Discontinues support for SmartThings Hub (12/20/2017) - Readers may be familiar with the small Blink cameras that folks love to integrate into their home setups. We have discussed the cameras in our review of some of the most popular indoor home security cameras. The cameras offer a method of adding indoor and outdoor video feeds to a system without requiring any wiring for power or network connections. Specifically, the devices communicate via wireless and are battery-powered. Unfortunately, some Blink users may have Read More

Featured Article

  • Roku as a Home Streaming Device (1/30/2018) - After using a gaming console as my primary media streaming device for years, I have finally retired the device in favor of a more modern streaming device. While there are several competitors in the streaming device market, these entry-level streaming sticks are probably best identified by three devices: Google's Chromecast, Amazon's Fire Stick, and Roku's Streaming Stick. You can find numerous reviews of the three products, but after some internal debate, I've settled for the Read More
  • nest camera Smart Home Camera Review (12/25/2017) - Adding a security camera to your list of smart home devices opens up some interesting possibilities. Users can remotely know what's going on in their home, see if a package has been delivered, and even have some handy video evidence in case that package goes missing. There are, however, a huge number of manufacturers to choose from. If you're interested in adding a security camera to your list of smart home devices, we go through Read More
  • Raspberry Pi DACs: HiFIBerry Review (11/14/2017) - While we have previously discussed how to get the best sound out of a standard Raspberry Pi, there is only so much that you can do with the device's limited on-board audio. If you want higher-quality sound, you will need to add a separate audio card to your Pi. These cards are generally added as HATs (hardware added on top), and a handful of competitors offer the cards. In addition to audio processing, these cards Read More
  • steam link native apps Steam Link Review: A Great Alternative To Anti-social Desktop Gaming (11/10/2017) - Shortly after moving into a new home, I ran across a deal on the Steam Link. As noted in an earlier article, it was a perfect fit because in my previous home, I had directly connected a desktop PC to my television but it wasn't possible in the new space. The gaming PC would need to be on the other end of the home. Realistically, that meant that my wife was likely to see a Read More
  • Installing Raspbian and Mopidy on the Raspberry Pi (10/21/2017) - Over the next few days, we will be adding a Raspberry Pi running Raspbian to our home network. While we could install Volumio on the Pi just like we did previously, I would prefer to instead install Mopidy as our music server.¬†Mopidy is similar to Volumio (they're both based on MPD - the most popular Linux music player daemon), but Mopidy has an even more active community around it, comes with several different front-ends to Read More