Powerful Little Backups

An Uninterruptible Power Supply (UPS) provides protection against blackouts and brownouts. In this age of tablets and laptops the modern office seldom comes equipped with a battery backup device. Most of us are lucky to get a power strip with a surge protector.

The need for a UPS still exists. Small power supplies to protect modems, routers, NAS devices and DVRs are now available. These devices have a low current draw so they don’t need those large bricks like a CPU require.

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Clever Ideas, 2017 Edition

Fast Company magazine offered their top ten of 2017’s most clever tech ideas. From smarter photo sharing to the ongoing AI wars— there was a lot going this year.

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For all the tech industry’s talk of changing the world, sometimes the best innovations aren’t particularly dramatic. They’re ideas that are small—but so clever that they seem obvious in hindsight. They improve the products we already use in ways we can immediately appreciate.

Big breakthroughs and splashy new products tend to get all the attention; for once, here’s a tribute to the small-scale innovations that are just as important.
The 10 Cleverest Tech Ideas Of 2017

What are your favorite tech innovations of 2017?

Ooma Eyes Home Security

Ooma beefs up its home security offering with a clever smartcam.

Ooma, the company that’s probably still best known for its VoIP platform, today announced that it has acquired Butterfleye, an AI-powered video camera and security platform that produces a smart security camera for home and business use. Ooma plans to integrate Butterfleye’s camera into its Ooma Home security solution, but the company will also continue to…

via Ooma acquires AI-powered video camera platform Butterfleye for its home security service — TechCrunch

A $20 Security Cam

When the Nest Cam — or the Dropcam, as it was known back then — was first introduced, it was something of a game changer. A security camera that just… worked. Plug it in, get it on WiFi, and you’re set. Nowadays, the Nest Cam stands in a more crowded arena. Logitech, Netgear, Samsung, and…

via This $20 security camera is aiming for the Nest Cam’s throne — TechCrunch

Smart Thermostats Getting Smarter

The bar has been raised. Again.

But this time it’s the new kid on the block— and the bar was raised a lot. Thermostat newcomer Ecobee has been catching up to the venerable Nest over the last few years. But they recently upended the game with their latest offering, the Ecobee4.

Clones of the popular Nest abound. But most, like this Honeywell Lyric, don’t offer the features or value of the original. Not so with the smart offerings from Ecobee!

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Wi-Fi Hot Tomato

Shopping for a router?
I suggest you start your quest at an unlikely place. It’s called Advanced Tomato and it’s the home of a wonderful open source firmware for routers. There are a number of open source firmware options available– DD-WRT, is probably the best known. Tomato is another, and Advanced Tomato is a sleek interface that improves the look and feel beyond OEM standards. Continue reading “Wi-Fi Hot Tomato”

Tips for Cordcutters

Cordcutters have never had it easier. A great selection of antennas and over the air (OTA) resources are available to help you watch all your favorite TV shows without paying for satellite or cable. Digital television means you have access to free HD programming from an ever-growing list of broadcasters. All you really need is an antenna. Once you’ve assembled the necessary hardware consult the web to learn how and where to find the stations you want to watch.

Antennas
ClearStream Eclipse    Amplified Sure Grip Indoor HDTV AntennaIn general antennas fall  under indoor or outdoor. While some antennas are marketed as indoor/outdoor, that just basically means they’re outdoor units that are small enough to bring inside or stuff into an attic. Flat antennas are very popular, easy to hang and work best when positioned near a window. Online tools (keep reading) can help you determine what style of indoor antenna is best suited for your location.  Continue reading “Tips for Cordcutters”

Chromebooks Go Pro

Samsung goes upscale with Google’s entry-level computers.

In recent years we’ve seen the Chromebook grow from sideline oddity to the second best selling computer in America. In an age where phones and tablets are packed with more computing power than the Apollo missions, the conventional desktop and laptop computer markets are lagging. The only computers to clock rising sales lately?

Chromebooks. Continue reading “Chromebooks Go Pro”

Making Water

SunGlacier makes sculptures that produce water from thin air!

sunglacier-mechanismThe brainchild of Dutch artist Ap Verheggen, the  WaterCube is one design that melds art and technology. A photovoltaic solar panel powers the device to cool an aluminum block so that it causes water to condense on the core.  Continue reading “Making Water”