Home Automation

Blink Cameras: The Travelin’ Man’s Dream Come True

Blink Cameras: The Travelin’ Man’s Dream Come True

Monday, July 12, 2021

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Okay, I’ll admit it. Our family has morphed into a band of traveling gypsies. We’re spreading our time between four cities and four "homes." Not many folks are that crazy, but many of you have vacation homes thanks to Covid. And one of the first things that pops up on your to-do list is how to secure your residences when you’re not at home. Yes, you can pay a monitoring service in every location a hefty monthly fee to do… Read More ›

Taming the Condo Call Box with a Raspberry Pi & Asterisk

Taming the Condo Call Box with a Raspberry Pi & Asterisk

Monday, April 5, 2021

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If you live in an apartment complex or condominium with a call box to let visitors gain door access by calling your apartment, then today’s column is for you. The way almost all of these call boxes work is the management company programs your name, phone number, and apartment number into the call box after which a visitor can look up your name or enter your apartment number and the call box will call you. When you answer the call… Read More ›

Never Miss a Meeting: Google Calendar Alerts for XiVO

Never Miss a Meeting: Google Calendar Alerts for XiVO

Monday, September 19, 2016

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Today we’re pleased to dust off an oldie but goodie and to introduce Google Calendar integration for XiVO and Asterisk® 13.1 This gets you a reminder call at any number you choose based upon the Notification time that is set whenever you schedule a meeting or appointment in your Google Calendar. Our special thanks to Terry Wilson for his pioneering work at Digium® on the calendaring API. Together with the flexibility that XiVO affords out of the box, it made… Read More ›

Mobile Internet: The 2016 Road Warrior’s Guide to Choosing New Wheels

Mobile Internet: The 2016 Road Warrior’s Guide to Choosing New Wheels

Monday, January 18, 2016

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Embed from Getty Images OK. We’re not going to bring Mobile Computing down to the teepee level, but we have decided to dedicate a column regularly to Mobile Internet developments in the marketplace. Of course, our major focus will remain the impact on unified communications and especially Asterisk®, FreeSWITCH™, PBX in a Flash™, and Incredible PBX™. The idea here is to document a design that lets road warriors travel with the same communications dexterity that they have at home or… Read More ›

The 30-Second PBX: Introducing Proxmox 4 for the Intel NUC and Asterisk 13

The 30-Second PBX: Introducing Proxmox 4 for the Intel NUC and Asterisk 13

Monday, October 19, 2015

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With the advent of cloud-based computing and desktop virtual machine platforms like VirtualBox, we haven’t played with dedicated hardware for Asterisk® in a couple of years. WOW! It’s just amazing the quantum leaps in miniaturization, price, and performance that have transpired during our absence. Last week, we introduced a dedicated server platform for under $200 that could serve as a small business PBX for almost any 20-30 person organization. Today, meet Big Brother. You’re looking at all the components that… Read More ›

The Voice Recognition Revolution: Move Over Siri and Meet the New Kids

The Voice Recognition Revolution: Move Over Siri and Meet the New Kids

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

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The automobile manufacturers had the right idea years ago. Make it easy to change the temperature in your vehicle. Just say "cooler" or "warmer." That project went about as well as their GPS interfaces are progressing today. So let’s give credit where credit is due. Apple’s Siri revolutionized voice recognition by making it something really useful on the smartphone. If you’ve wondered who Siri actually is, wonder no more. You’re in for a pleasant surprise. Meet Siri from Australia. And… Read More ›

Santa’s Technology Roundup: The Best Products of 2014 with Some Surprises

Santa’s Technology Roundup: The Best Products of 2014 with Some Surprises

Monday, December 22, 2014

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View image | gettyimages.com Once a year we like to pause and take a look back at 10 technology products that really grabbed our attention. 2014 will be remembered as a spectacular year. So here’s what made the Nerd Vittles short list for 2014… Smartphone of the Year: It’s a 5-Way Tie And the winners in no particular order… Galaxy Note 4, iPhone 6+, LG G3, HTC One M8, and Moto X.1 So which should you choose if you can… Read More ›

The Poor Wise Man’s Burglar Alarm System with Asterisk: Under $10/month

The Poor Wise Man’s Burglar Alarm System with Asterisk: Under $10/month

Monday, July 14, 2014

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If you’re like us, spending $50 a month or more on a home security system is a bit like pouring money down the toilet. Add to that the complications of getting one to work reliably with VoIP without spending another $50 a month on a Ma Bell vintage telephone line just adds insult to injury. So perhaps you can share our elation when an email arrived last week announcing Straight Talk’s new Remote Alert System, a $10/month cellular-based system that… Read More ›