New Video – Grr! Alexa/Echo Gives Wrong Weather: How To Fix This!

YouTube thumbnail for my 'fix Alexa weather forecast' video.

I love most of the features that Echo provides… apart from the weather forecasting, that is. That’s because I moved house a few years ago, but it still gives me the weather forecast for my old town. Also, Alexa uses AccuWeather which – despite its name – isn’t always the most accurate. As a result, … Read more

Stolen Ring Doorbell: What Happens? Can It Still Be Used?

A removed doorbell, showing the two supply wires (blue and orange twisted pairs).

You wake up in the middle of the night to a sound outside your front door. You check your phone and see that you have a Ring motion alert. You check it… only to see a burglar stealing your actual Ring Doorbell! Wait, what? The Ring Doorbell is meant to prevent burglars, not actually get … Read more

Do Smart Plugs Work Away From Home?

A smart plug phone app on top of a person on a train.

When talking about the benefits of smart plugs, I usually give the example of being able to turn your slow cooker on from work, so that you come home to a perfect meal. This relies on a key benefit of smart plugs: being able to turn them on and off whilst you’re away from your … Read more

Scary Thought: Can The Ring Alarm System Be Jammed?

The Ring Alarm base station mounted on a wall above a metal shelf.

The Ring Alarm is there to protect you and your house 24/7, right? After all, it’s an alarm system so it should be built to withstand a range of basic security attacks… which includes obvious attacks (e.g. a window being smashed) but also the less obvious attacks: someone jamming the WiFi signal of your house, … Read more

Can Philips Hue Lights Be Used In Enclosed Fixtures?

An enclosed light fitting in my bathroom.

An enclosed light is a housing which is completely sealed off, such that any light must shine out of the partially see-through exterior surface (usually glass or translucent plastic). Enclosed light fixtures are good where you want light to shine mainly downwards, without any ‘being wasted’ out of the side or top – bathrooms and … Read more

New Video – 15 Relaxing Google Home Sleep Sounds (Free, No Subscription Required)

A Google Nest Mini on top of a fox cushion.

I am a big fan of using white noise and relaxation noises as a sleep aid, and so I wanted to shoot a quick video to showcase the 15 different commands you can issue to Google Home to play sleep sounds (without any separate subscription or installing a third party skill): Video Transcript Hey YouTube, … Read more

Are ecobee Air Filters Worth It?

Marketing image showing two ecobee air filters.

ecobee, the Canadian smart device manufacturer best known for their line of smart thermostats, unveiled a HVAC air filter subscription service in April 2020. You get regular shipments to ensure you change them, along with reminders on your smart thermostat. But are they worth it? ecobee’s HVAC air filters are good quality and it’s very … Read more