After having been working with voice controlled or .. voice activated “smart” environments for a while, here’s my take: This could get really great if .. and that’s a big if .. we find a common protocol that enables flexibility, compatibility and true interactions. Read More →
Some folks actually have a weird attitude towards PHP. I understand that it isn’t a “pure” language. It’s not truly “objective”. It’s inconsistent. Too many functions. Whatever. For me it’s still the Swiss Army Knife of programming languages (after “C” of course). Read More →
So – you got this Amazon Alexa device at Cyber-Monday? And maybe a connected “smart” plug or light bulb? Before you start adding more “smart” stuff – here’s what you need to know. Read More →
Yep – those little ESP chips are cute. And powerful. And easy to program. And much more. But if you are going to control more than – say a closet light – you want to think about security. This requires hashes and tracking of the current time.
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Sometimes we have to send short command sequences and/or replies over unprotected networks. Especially when working with IoT environments. Though SSL/TLS is always preferred – sometimes it’s just too much overkill. Read More →
Cheap IoT devices like power plugs are mostly manufactured in China. They connect to “bridging” servers we don’t really have control over, they are usually not documented and those required “bridging” services may fail or even be terminated at any time. Which would of course render your (or my) “smart” power plugs useless. Time to do something about it. Read More →
I remember my first “ping” to prep.ai.mit.edu. This must have been around 1993 . I worked with networks before that time, hacking X.25 networks and using embedded “out dials” to reach phone line connected BBS systems around the word. All my life has revolved around the “net”. So – I know a thing or two about the Internet. Let me make something very clear: We lost net neutrality years ago. Read More →
The problem with geeks: We are never satisfied. But that’s not too much trouble for those of us who learned to code in the dark-ages (emm .. about 25 years ago). We are used to sit down and learn, analyze, create or change stuff until we’re happy. Which lasts about 10 minutes ….. or until we find something else that needs to be changed.
In order to understand things, I like to create something useful learning all steps in the process. After connecting a few Alexa-enabled plugs, I wanted to control my TV – at least switch it on and off. So – I started a project. Here’s how it went .. Read More →
Alexa, Google Home, Siri – the new revolution of computing power is the spoken word. You just tell a device what you want and – voila – it happens. But in order for stuff to happen – say turning lights on – a few of things have to be considered to create a safe environment. Read More →