This is part of our Road Trip 2017 summer series "The Smartest Stuff," about how innovators are thinking up new ways to make you — and the world around you — smarter. A little after 2 p.m. on an impossibly muggy summer day in June, I squeeze my sweaty, 6-foot-1-inch body into the passenger seat of Antonio Puliafito's shiny black Maserati. As excited as I am about speeding along the Italian coast in a luxury convertible, Puliafito isn't showing off what his nifty '90s-era, 6-cylinder Italian sports car can do. He isn't even particularly interested in the ride, though we both relish the breeze after a punishing day in the heat. Puliafito wants me to look at his phone. On it is a map of the area we're navigating in the hilly city of Catania on Sicily, the island just off the toe of Italy's boot-shaped mainland. The city dates back nearly 2,800 years, when the Ionians settled there. Today, Catania is home to 313,000 people, in addition to industrial, … [Read more...] about These smart cities in Italy put Silicon Valley to shame
Garage door opener repair
You’re supposed to close your car doors before driving. The Tesla Model X, with its upward-opening “Falcon Wing” doors, like most cars, has visual and audible alerts that go off if a driver attempts to drive with any doors open. The Model X also has sensors that prevent the doors from opening fully if there’s an obstruction, but they do not prevent the car from actually moving.As it happens, the electronic warnings didn’t prevent an Illinois Tesla Model X 90D owner from attempting to leave a garage without closing all the doors, according to Electrek.A Tesla Model X with a clipped wing was spotted at an auto repair shop in Lisle, Illinois and photos were sent to Exotic Wrecks, a website that archives images of damaged vehicles. The images were accompanied by the caption, “Forgot that the door was open when driving out of own garage. Nobody hurt. Spotted at repair shop.”It’s unknown whether car design played any part in the … [Read more...] about Ouch! Don’t leave the garage with your Tesla Falcon Wing doors open
If you’re shopping for a new computer like the recently updated MacBook Air or a new smartphone like the Samsung Galaxy S4, you’ve probably noticed that many newer devices are so-called “802.11ac-ready” or “support Gigabit Internet.” Unless you have a router that also understands this AC standard, these devices won’t be much faster at streaming your movie or at moving files than your existing gear.Of course, what will really make your Internet tick is if you have the fastest possible pipe, like the gigabit Google Fiber fueling your network, but even for most of us who aren’t lucky enough to get that service (or even the 100Mbps Verizon FiOS or 150Mbps Comcast), we can make the most of what we’ve got with new AC routers.That’s because the new AC networking protocol is more equipped to move large amounts of data than the current standard, 802.11n. Not only is AC three times faster at transferring data and can cover a wider area … [Read more...] about Best 802.11ac Wireless Routers
What does "wireless" mean?What's the difference between wireless and mobile?Today's wireless technology—cellular networksTomorrow's wireless technologyWireless networksHow do wireless networks work?More on LANsMore on WANsWhat have been the traditional hurdles to wireless adoption?Is the landscape any different today?What are the limitations of wireless?Do I really need wireless?What about ROI?What about security?Benefits of wireless communicationChallengesRecent improvementsGetting startedBuzzwordsHot questionsChecklist – 8 things you need to knowWireless means transmitting signals over invisible radio waves instead of wires. Garage door openers and television remote controls were the first wireless devices to become a part of everyday life. Now the cordless keyboard and mouse, PDAs, and digital and cellular phones are commonplace.Wireless technologies are used for things as simple as making a phone call or as complex as letting the sales force get information from an ERP … [Read more...] about Wireless Definition and Solutions
No matter how intelligent they claim to be, many smart home gadgets are vulnerable to hackers. Nowadays even the lock on your front door is susceptible to a cyberattack. No longer do you only have to worry about someone simply picking the lock, now a burglar could go through cyberspace to unlatch the door.Just like the lock on your front door to keep out burglars, you should protect your high-tech devices from cyber threats. Start by choosing different passwords for your internet router and each of your smart devices. It is also important to use multi-factor authentication as an added protection to prevent a hacker who guesses your password from breaking into your home. You should regularly install manufacturer updates to make sure you are running the most current security system in your home.Ovum's "Smart Home Devices Forecast: 2016–21" found that the largest smart home markets will be China and the US, because of high availability of devices and greater consumer interest … [Read more...] about What home products are most susceptible to cyber burglars?
A home burglary occurs somewhere in the U.S. every 15.4 seconds, according to the FBI, making it the most common home security threat, by far. To avoid becoming a victim, it is important to first gain an understanding of the crime.Despite our increasingly high-tech existence, the world of home intrusion hasn't evolved much in the past couple of decades. The majority of home and apartment burglaries occur during the daytime, when most people are away at work or school. Most occur in the summer months of July and August, while the fewest occur in February. Burglaries are committed most often by young males under 25 looking for items that are small, expensive and can easily be converted to cash. Favorite items are cash, jewelry, guns, watches, laptop computers, music CDs and video DVDs, DVD players and video game machines. Statistics show that 70% of the burglars use some amount of force to enter a dwelling, but their preference is to gain easy access through an open door or window. … [Read more...] about Home Security: The Basics
Any car can be a smart vehicle. That's the appeal of Fixd, a simple device that can identify information ranging from when you need to bring your car in for maintenance to why that check-engine light just came on. So how does Fixd work and what exactly can you use Fixd to find out? What are the user reviews like? Here's what you need to know about this increasingly popular car sensor. What is Fixd? Fixd is a hardware-software combo sold by Georgia-based Fixd Automotive that gives you actionable information about your vehicle. The hardware feeds information from your car to an app on your smartphone, and if Fixd pinpoints any problems, you can give that data to your mechanic. Fixd is also a handy maintenance tool that can remind you when your car needs service. How does Fixd work? Fixd features a sensor that plugs into an OBD-II port in your car (more on that in a moment). Once you plug in the sensor, you just leave it there, since it's powered by your car. In other words, you … [Read more...] about What Is Fixd, and Should You Buy It?
Update, June 20, 2017: Lowe's has made a number of improvements and upgrades to its Iris by Lowe's smart home system, including the addition of a professional monitoring option. We decided to take a second look at the second-generation system. You'll find our new review here.Update, April 6, 2016: After living with the second-generation Iris by Lowe’s connected-home system for nearly four months, my opinion on the system has evolved quite a bit. Problems that I mentioned in the review—such as the hub’s failure to reconnect to the Iris service after a broadband disruption—continue to dog the service, and its app still is only usable by a single individual, with no way to grant anything more than access codes to other users.Lowe’s also has been much too slow to add new third-party sensors and devices to the ecosystem. Four months out from launch, the number of officially supported new devices has grown by maybe 10. I’ve also become quite … [Read more...] about Iris by Lowe’s (second generation) review: Good features, diverse ecosystem
Machine-to-machine (M2M) is real and will continue to become more prominent in business and home. For some, the idea behind M2M is a bit vague — for others, the idea is clear — but where M2M is heading is filled with questions.I sat down with some folks at Verizon to dig deep into the muck and mire that is M2M and came out with some points of clarity.Point 1: Is Verizon working in conjunction with other companies to further M2M with tablets, smartphones, and other mobile devices?Verizon Wireless is committed to providing M2M partners the facilities they need to develop and commercialize products, services, or applications. To that end, the company has two Verizon Innovation Centers located in the key innovation hubs of Boston and San Francisco. At these centers, Verizon works with a variety of business partners in the healthcare, security, transportation, vending, and marketing fields, among others.Here are the capabilities of the Verizon Wireless Innovation Centers: Access … [Read more...] about Five ways Verizon is helping to drive M2M towards the future
Some people are just never happy. Charles Williams’ neighbors, it seems, fall into that category. You might have your own gripes about mechanics. Their fingernails aren’t clean and they occasionally smell of solvents or diesel fumes, but hey, someone’s got to make sure your lawnmowers, golf carts and pickup trucks stay running. Get In Stock Alerts on Twitter for SNES Classic, Switch and More In fact, that’s exactly what Williams was doing before he invoked the wrath of his insufferable neighbors. Williams is not just a mechanic — he also belongs to another group of contentious and detestable human beings: disabled people.As we all know, it’s much preferred that someone who’s suffered a horrible construction accident which renders them devoid of legs should be reduced to a sentient couch potato, rather than stay occupied by practicing a hobby that benefits their community. Right? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a8HZDm8BmbE Let No Good … [Read more...] about Awful Neighbors Trying To Destroy Hobby Garage