Most "smart home" automation systems require a significant investment in additional equipment in order to smarten up your otherwise not-so-smart gear.
I use Google Reader and Listen quite a bit on my Android devices, and for quite a while, I had to manually change the screen timeout and volume settings every time I opened one or the other. It was a pain, but now I use PerApp to do it for me automatically. Here's how it works:If you haven't already allowed your device to accept non-Google Play apps, you need to do that first. On newer devices, just tap the menu key, then select "Settings," then "Security," then check the box next to &… Read more
Lowe's has teamed up with U.K.-based monitoring-tech company AlertMe for some home improvement designed to take your house into the future (or at least help you save on your energy bill).
The companies unveiled today the Iris, a new cloud-based home-monitoring and security system. Iris, which won't be in stores until the end of August, is meant to let homeowners monitor and control devices in the home -- including heating and cooling, home alarm systems, security cameras, or appliances -- using a smartphone, tablet, or computer.
Mary Turner, CEO of AlertMe, said the system is an … Read more
Over the last two weeks I have been thinking about switching to Android for a few months in order to gain a better perspective of the differences between Android 4.1 and iOS 6. I can tinker and mess around with Android all I want, but unless I force myself to use it all the time, I won't truly learn the operating system. At least, that's my theory.
So, I made a list of all the things I use on iOS/OS X and started looking for a way to replicate it on Android. One of the items … Read more
From a nearby shrine here in Tokyo, I can hear the jingling of a bell being rung by devotees of Inari, a Shinto harvest god. They're praying for prosperity, which may or may not come in the form of lots of rice.
Doubtless the deity would drool over the latest rice-packing machine from automation firm Suzumo. It's a sushi robot that specializes in inarizushi, a fishless sushi variety consisting of rice wrapped in pouches of fried tofu, which the god and his fox messengers crave big-time. … Read more
I use Dropbox to store work files and share pictures and other stuff with friends and family, but there are plenty of other uses. If you use it more than occasionally, you may have troubles keeping organized or sorting through your cloud files. SortMyBox lets you set up rules to automatically sort files in whichever folders you want. Here's how to use it:
Point your browser to SortMyBox. Log in with your Dropbox credentials. Note that SortMyBox is not affiliated with Dropbox, so if you store extremely sensitive files, you may not want to share your credentials with them. … Read more
It's getting simpler to automate all sorts of day-to-day tasks, and cloud storage services like Dropbox and Google Drive make these tools even more powerful. Wappwolf is a Webapp that lets you set up rules for automating tasks set to run on files you drop into particular folders. It's easy to use, and quite powerful. Here's how to set up automatic file conversions:Point your browser to Wappwolf. Click "Try Now!" to set up a free account. You can either use your Dropbox account or an e-mail address. Select a folder to … Read more
NEW ORLEANS--AT&T will finally make good on its promise to let consumers remotely control every facet of their home -- from the thermostat to the door locks -- through any smartphone, PC, or tablet.
A day before the CTIA Wireless conference kicks off, AT&T said it would enter the home security and automation business in a big way. The company said it has formed a digital life services group to push these services, which will be available nationwide and work with any Internet connection.
The creation of the group represents a completely new business for AT&… Read more
Someday soon, FedEx packages could be transported by autonomous planes and apple trees sprayed by driverless tractors, says aerospace and robotics expert Mary "Missy" Cummings.
Cummings, a professor of aeronautics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, was interviewed today at Wired's Disruptive by Design conference in New York, where she offered her views on the state of the art in autonomous vehicles.
The work of Google and automakers has shown how cars can drive themselves in some situations. And many commercial flights are already fly-by-wire, allowing pilots to monitor the plane for when something wrong happens, rather … Read more
I can't imagine what it's like wafting to Berkeley to study something vaguely scientific. Though I do know a couple of people who went there and they have very peculiar personalities and certain troubles with dating.
I mention this because of the extraordinary ingenuity and possible slight strangeness of freshman Derek Low. He clearly isn't being sufficiently challenged by his curriculum. So he thought he'd see how much he could automate his dorm room.
He uploaded the results of his travails to YouTube and they make for quite mesmerizing viewing.