Looking at Internet of Things phenomenon, the Portland FBI issued a blog post talking about how connecting your computer to the same network as your internet-enabled refrigerator could pose a security risk. They advise changing the device password settings from the default, make them as long as possible and unique. Leo says that it's not practical to have a separate connection for your IoT devices. But regularly updating your devices and giving them a good password is a good idea.
internet of things
John recently returned from vacation to Prague, and he brought his Amazon Echo dot with him. He connected it to his travel router and reconfigured it for the Czech Republic, according to Leo's instructions. John had no problem with it. He could listen to music, podcasts, news from home. And it was his alarm clock. It worked great. Leo says it's a great idea to take that along with you.
Joe was thinking of getting a NEST thermostat, but he doesn't want to pay a fee. Rich says the only fee you pay is for buying the device. NEST uses WiFi to connect to the internet, where you can control it using your mobile device. But you don't have to pay a subscription fee to use it. Can you control it using your computer? Rich says you should. But the NEST doesn't have to be programmed since it uses machine learning to learn how you want it to operate. Also check with your energy company. NEST also offers a $50 rebate.
Doctor Mom joins Leo to talk about a new skill for Amazon Echo called "Guest Connect," which enables Echo users to play their favorite music on someone's else's Echo. But the downside is, that the owner of the Echo will be able to go into the Echo history and hear everything you say. But only for a 24 hour period.
Doctor Mom says that Amazon announced 25 new products this week, many of which will likely be vaporware. But there were some interesting new Echo products including Echo Studio, which is like a major home hub for your IoT devices. Leo says that Amazon's goal is to have an IoT device in every room and hallway. Leo also says that Amazon is updating the Eero Mesh routers as well.
Sandy's RING Doorbell will not chime on her mobile phone. She installed an app called ZEDGE and it suddenly stopped. Leo says you can check your RING doorbell health by going into the app itself. Then look in the settings and see if it's been changed by the ZEDGE app. That could have caused it. Make sure your notifications are enabled.
Dan is running home automation in his home with plenty of products. He wants to run ZWave and needs to know which hub to get? Leo says it's usually best to keep within the set ecosystem. They don't like to play cross-platform. Check out Stacy Higginbotham's Stacy on IoT podcast. She also uses WinkHub, which allows her to use ZWave.
Jim lives in a congested area and wants to be able to pick up his wifi signal from anywhere in the neighborhood to talk to his yard sprinkler unit with his smartphone. Leo says if you can talk to the control unit, you can talk to any individual unit within WiFi distance. But that's a call to your manufacturer support.
Richard wishes he could name his Google Assistant something else so it wouldn't go off when he doesn't want it to. Leo says that the Hey Google in the mobile phones can. So why can't the assistant? It may be that it just doesn't have a powerful enough processor, and as such, it couldn't read it fast enough. It's likely comparing waveforms with what it has on the device, and then, activates. Then again, it may just be marketing.
NEST has officially become Google NEST, and will solely become a Google Product. Leo says that while Google has owned NEST for a while now, it had kept it largely autonomous, including the data it collected. No longer. No Google owns all the data it collects and will use it. Even worse, Leo says that Google is already phasing out support for other IoT devices and will solely be supported by Google Assistant. Leo says it's annoying when a company encourages you to deep dive into a product's ecosystem and then changes it so that it can't be used with other products.