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  • HomePod software updates brings new features to every model

    Wow, and I’ve had a few Eve sensors sitting in my Amazon cart waiting for me to pull the trigger… That is so cool! I forgot about the supposed hidden temperature and humidity sensors from the Mini launch a few years ago! I’ve got 5x of these suckers total across 3x floors! *Clears out Amazon cart haha
  • Inside Apple's Singapore Marina Bay Sands retail store

    I popped in here during the pandemic when my ship was stuck in port Singapore. My inner Apple geek just had to see it! The Marina Bay Mall is chock full of super high end luxury brands so I can definitely say that this particular Apple Store surely fits in with the local aesthetic! It was quite a site to see! Although I later ended up grabbing my iPad mini at the more conventional store on Orchard Road that has been there for a bit. They re-opened the Apple Store in Aventura, FL last year and that was remodeled into something similar in that you enter through a narrow walkway into a massive all glass cube and then ride huge escalators down into the main store floor, all the while in between the escalators are stadium seating in front of a tremendous OLED array that is used to advertising and teaching how-to classes as well. Pretty cool stuff!
  • Iowa stalker arrested for hiding three AirTags in victim's vehicle

    I have a bunch or AirTags and find them quite useful for our vehicle keys, suitcases and my briefcase. You shouldn’t get rid of something just because a handful of bad actors use them for evil. It’s the same argument for firearms in my book. Guns don’t get up and shoot people any more than AirTags jump off the table and stalk women in their cars. Prosecute the offenders to the maximum extent of the law and allow the rest of us to go on with our lives enjoying our technology and toys. 
  • Apple works on waking Siri without the 'Hey'

    My own personal Siri fantasy involves being able to rename her “Computer” and a cheap HomeKit-enabled smart plug attached to my electric tea kettle haha. “Computer: Tea, Earl Grey, Hot.”
  • Level Lock+ HomeKit smart lock can be picked open in seconds

    Once again, with feeling:

    The idea of the Level is that you replace the cylinder with the one you already have in your door. That means you can keep using your keys, which you probably have all over the place. This is the entire design concept and it is why it is laid out like it is. There are hundreds of YouTube videos showing you how to do it.

    So the Level is exactly as pickable as your current cylinder because it uses your current cylinder. It's like the same cylinder though, as it's a completely standard 5-pin model that you can even re-key to use your existing keys.

    There are LOTS of reasons not to buy this lock, but pickability is not one of them because almost every lock out there is easily pickable. Better reasons include:

    1) If you touch it with any body part, even just brushing it, it will lock/unlock. It's so annoying almost everyone turns it off

    2) the auto-lock will re-lock the door even if its open, which means you you go to close it, BANG

    3) the auto-lock will re-lock even if you deliberately unlocked it. there's no way to leave your door unlocked if you're expecting someone. If you don't have a storm door you can keep closed... well, tough.
    For anyone who uses a Simplisafe system in their home, their smart lock works great and will actually check your door's contact sensor to make sure it's actually closed before extending the locking bar to prevent exactly that - slamming your lock into your door frame haha. The Simplisafe lock is the same as the Level Lock in that it mere replaces the inside knob with a motorized unit and manual lever on top, thereby keeping the same deadbolt in place and not requiring you to have to re-key or carry a separate key which is nice. $99 was also a whole lot easier to swallow for having to remember a PIN or use an app instead of tapping an iPhone to the lock. I wish it worked (easily) with the rest of my HomeKit gear, but the integration with the security system is very good as unlocking the door will automatically disarm the system the way I have it set. Hopefully someday down the road when it's time to replace my switches, dimmers, plugs etc everything will play nicely by then without having to let Amazon or Google into my home haha.