I bought an apartment in October. You can imagine the joy at the thought that it'd be my future family's home, terror at the sight of the mortgage value on the signed contract, and all the excitement about getting to set up a house from scratch. I could pick everything that I loved from design to materials to colors to organization, and yes, also automation.
I wanted lights that turn on when the doors open, A/C units that cool the place when I'm coming home and the outside heat is too much to bear, cameras that catch intruders the moment they are detected, a washing machine that notifies me when the load is done, colored lights that coordinate with whatever I'm watching on TV, blinds that open and close with the sunset and sunrise, and much more. Read More
Samsung's been trying very hard to get all units of the Galaxy Note7 returned to them, but some owners are having trouble letting go of their beloved stylus-equipped phablets. To force owners into giving them back, Samsung will be updating the Note7 to be severely crippled in Canada and literally unusable in the US. Now, Samsung is taking similar measures with UK Note7 units. Read More
Itching to get your hands on some great Sony gear? Hurry over to Amazon and do some shopping because you might be able to score a total of 15% back on select Sony products if you purchase them with an Amazon Store Card. Over 2,000 listings qualify for the deal in most of the major product categories, including audio equipment like headphones and speakers, Bravia televisions, Xperia smartphones, and memory cards. The offer ends at midnight (PST) tonight, so get moving on this one. Read More
A few days ago, independent security firm Zimperium released details about several major security flaws in the popular AirDroid application. In summary, attackers can easily intercept insecure requests to AirDroid's servers, as well as push malicious APKs to devices which appear as AirDroid add-on updates (which AirDroid then prompts the user to accept). Granted, the user has to be on an insecure Wi-Fi network for the attack to work, but it's still a major problem.
That alone is bad enough, but Zimperium informed AirDroid of the problem a whopping seven months ago. During that time, a major 4.0 update was released, which still had the same security issues. Read More
Google is making no small effort when it comes to lining up content for its new Daydream virtual reality platform, and that content isn't restricted to games and 360-degree video. Following in the footsteps of HBO and Hulu, Netflix now comes in VR flavor for those subscribers with a Pixel phone and a Daydream View headset. The app is live on the Play Store right now, though it's not compatible with non-Daydream systems - sorry, Gear VR owners. Read More
In the market for a fitness tracker with a touchscreen? If you don't particularly fancy the frequently-discounted Moto 360 Sport, perhaps the Gear Fit2 and its less smartwatch-inspired design is more up your alley. Now's a great time to buy, as Amazon is currently taking $50 off the Fit2's $179.99 MSRP, making it $129.99. Read More
Rogue One: A Star Wars Story will hit theaters in under a week, and fans of the long-running franchise are practically radioactive with anticipation. Since Google is a company that 1) likes money and 2) probably has more than the usual number of employees who list their religion as "Jedi," is going Allo-in with its latest promotion. [Editor's note: Michael, one more crappy pun like that and you're fired.] Starting today, new stickers featuring characters from Rogue One are available in the Allo chat client. Read More
Android Pay made its first Asian appearance in Singapore back in late-June. A couple months later, in August, rumors began circulating that Google was in negotiations with numerous financial companies to prepare for a launch in Japan. Names of the likely partners included: Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group, East Japan Railway Company, Rakuten, NTT Docomo, and JCB, to name a few. Since then, details have been sparse; but with evidence discovered in the latest update to Android Pay, it's now clear that a deal has been struck with Rakuten. Read More
Here's an interesting wrinkle in the rapidly-closing saga of the Galaxy Note 7. Yesterday Samsung announced that it would send a software over-the-air update to the few remaining phones in the US, preventing the devices from taking a new electricity charge, and hopefully stopping any more battery-based fires. It's far from the first measure the company has taken to further encourage owners of the defective phones to accept the voluntary recall, but it might be the last. American wireless carrier Verizon, for reasons of its own, isn't participating in the latest software update. Read More