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      How I upgraded my water heater and discovered how bad smart home security can be

      news.movim.eu / ArsTechnica · Friday, 17 May - 11:00 · 1 minute

    The bottom half of a tankless water heater, with lots of pipes connected, in a tight space

    Enlarge / This is essentially the kind of water heater the author has hooked up, minus the Wi-Fi module that led him down a rabbit hole. Also, not 140-degrees F—yikes. (credit: Getty Images)

    The hot water took too long to come out of the tap. That is what I was trying to solve. I did not intend to discover that, for a while there, water heaters like mine may have been open to anybody. That, with some API tinkering and an email address, a bad actor could possibly set its temperature or make it run constantly. That’s just how it happened.

    Let’s take a step back. My wife and I moved into a new home last year. It had a Rinnai tankless water heater tucked into a utility closet in the garage. The builder and home inspector didn't say much about it, just to run a yearly cleaning cycle on it.

    Because it doesn’t keep a big tank of water heated and ready to be delivered to any house tap, tankless water heaters save energy—up to 34 percent, according to the Department of Energy . But they're also, by default, slower. Opening a tap triggers the exchanger, heats up the water (with natural gas, in my case), and the device has to push it through the line to where it's needed.

    Read 38 remaining paragraphs | Comments

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      Home Assistant’s new foundation focused on “privacy, choice, and sustainability”

      news.movim.eu / ArsTechnica · Monday, 22 April - 17:34

    Open Home Foundation logo on a multicolor background

    Enlarge (credit: Open Home Foundation)

    Home Assistant, until recently, has been a wide-ranging and hard-to-define project.

    The open smart home platform is an open source OS you can run anywhere that aims to connect all your devices together. But it's also bespoke Raspberry Pi hardware, in Yellow and Green . It's entirely free, but it also receives funding through a private cloud services company, Nabu Casa . It contains tiny board project ESPHome and other inter-connected bits. It has wide-ranging voice assistant ambitions , but it doesn't want to be Alexa or Google Assistant. Home Assistant is a lot.

    After an announcement this weekend, however, Home Assistant's shape is a bit easier to draw out. All of the project's ambitions now fall under the Open Home Foundation , a non-profit organization that now contains Home Assistant and more than 240 related bits. Its mission statement is refreshing, and refreshingly honest about the state of modern open source projects.

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      I was wrong to ignore Zigbee and Z-Wave. They’re the best part of my smart home.

      news.movim.eu / ArsTechnica · Monday, 12 February - 12:30 · 1 minute

    Hue hub in stark relief against wood desk

    Enlarge / Where it all started for the author, even if he didn't know it at the time. (credit: Getty Images)

    I've set up dozens of smart home gadgets across two homes and two apartments over the last five years. I have a mental list of brands I revere and brands from which nothing shall ever be purchased again. In my current abode, you can stand in one place and be subject to six different signal types bouncing around, keeping up the chatter between devices.

    What can I say? I'm a sucker for a certain kind of preparedness and creativity. The kind that's completely irrelevant if the power goes out.

    When I started at Ars in the summer of 2022, the next generation of smart home standards was on the way . Matter, an interoperable device setup and management system, and Thread, a radio network that would provide secure, far-reaching connectivity optimized for tiny batteries. Together, they would offer a home that, while well-connected, could also work entirely inside a home network and switch between controlling ecosystems with ease. I knew this tech wouldn't show up immediately, but I thought it was a good time to start looking to the future, to leave behind the old standards and coalesce into something new.

    Read 14 remaining paragraphs | Comments

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      Contact publication

      feed.jabber.ddnss.eu / FHEMForum · Wednesday, 3 January - 19:29 edit

    Sind es die "" um die 73?

    20:25:52.012
    SENT
    zigbee2mqtt/Rollladen2/set
    {"position":"73"}
    20:25:52.075
    zigbee_pi
    zigbee2mqtt/bridge/logging
    {"level":"error","message":"Publish 'set' 'position' to 'Rollladen2' failed: 'Error: 'position' is not a number, got string (73)'"}
    20:25:52.087
    zigbee_pi
    zigbee2mqtt/bridge/logging
    {"level":"info","message":"MQTT publish: topic 'zigbee2mqtt/bridge/log', payload '{\"message\":\"Publish 'set' 'position' to 'Rollladen2' failed: 'Error: 'position' is not a number, got string (73)'\",\"meta\":{\"friendly_name\":\"Rollladen2\"},\"type\":\"zigbee_publish_error\"}'"}
    20:25:52.102
    zigbee_pi
    zigbee2mqtt/bridge/log
    {"message":"Publish 'set' 'position' to 'Rollladen2' failed: 'Error: 'position' is not a number, got string (73)'","meta":{"friendly_name":"Rollladen2"},"type":"zigbee_publish_error"}
    Aw: Probleme nach zigbee2mqtt-Update
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      Contact publication

      feed.jabber.ddnss.eu / FHEMForum · Wednesday, 3 January - 19:18 edit

    Kannst Du bitte beim Setzen der Position die MQTT Nachricht mitschneiden (z.Bsp. in FHEMWEB in der MQTT2_SERVER Detailansicht, "Show MQTT traffic") und hier anhaengen?

    Aw: Probleme nach zigbee2mqtt-Update
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      Matter was more of a nice smart home concept than useful reality in 2023

      news.movim.eu / ArsTechnica · Saturday, 23 December - 12:35 · 1 minute

    Illustration of Matter protocol simplifying a home network

    Enlarge / The Matter standard's illustration of how the standard should align a home and all its smart devices. (credit: CSA)

    Matter, as a smart home standard , would make everything about owning a smart home better. Devices could be set up with any phone, for either remote or local control, put onto any major platform (like Alexa, Google, or HomeKit) or combinations of them, and avoid being orphaned if their device maker goes out of business. Less fragmentation, more security, fewer junked devices: win, win, win.

    Matter, as it exists in late 2023, more than a year after its 1.0 specification was published and just under a year after the first devices came online, is more like the xkcd scenario that lots of people might have expected. It's another home automation standard at the moment, and one that isn't particularly better than the others, at least how it works today. I wish it was not so.

    Setting up a Matter device isn't easy, nor is making it work across home systems. Lots of devices with Matter support still require you to download their maker's specific app to get full functionality. Even if you were an early adopting, Matter-T-shirt-wearing enthusiast, you're still buying devices that don't work quite as well, and still generally require a major tech company's gear to act as your bridge or router.

    Read 11 remaining paragraphs | Comments

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      Homey Pro review: A very particular set of home automation skills

      news.movim.eu / ArsTechnica · Monday, 11 December, 2023 - 12:30 · 1 minute

    Homey Pro hub sitting on a desk, with a blue-ish rainbow glow on bottom

    Enlarge / The Homey Pro, settling in for some quiet network check-ins at dusk. (credit: Kevin Purdy)

    I know there are people who will want to buy the Homey Pro . I’ve seen them on social media and in various home automation forums, and I’ve even noticed them in the comments on this website. For this type of person, the Homey Pro might serve as a specialized, locally focused smart home hub, one that's well worth the cost. But you should be really, truly certain that you’re that person before you take a $400 leap with it.

    Homey Pro is a smart home hub pitched primarily at someone who wants to keep things local as much as possible, forgoing phone apps, speakers, and cloud connections. That means using the Homey Pro to boost a primarily Zigbee or Z-Wave network, while also looping in local Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and even infrared remotes. It’s for someone willing to pay $400 for a device that offers robust local or cloud backups, professional design, advanced automation, and even a custom scripting language, along with access to some “experiments” and still-in-progress tech like Matter and Thread. It’s for someone who might want to add a select cloud service or two to their home, but not because they have no other option.

    But this somebody has also, somehow, not already invested in Home Assistant , Hubitat , or HomeBridge , which are more open to both add-on hardware (like new capabilities added on by USB stick or GPIO pins) and deep tinkering. It's someone who is willing to check that every device they want to control will work with Homey. While the device offers a pretty sizable range of apps and integrations , it’s far from the near-universal nature of major open-source projects or even the big smart home platforms. And you have to do a little checking further, still, to ensure that individual products are supported, not just the brand.

    Read 24 remaining paragraphs | Comments

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      How to control your smart home without yelling at a dumb voice assistant

      news.movim.eu / ArsTechnica · Tuesday, 31 January, 2023 - 12:30

    Woman staring disconcertedly at a smart speaker

    Enlarge / We don't have to rely on megacorp obelisks to operate the things we buy. We don't have to learn their language. We can break free. (credit: PonyWang/Getty Images)

    For many people, an automated smart home is about little things that add up to big conveniences over time. Lights turning on when you pull into the driveway, a downstairs thermostat adjustable from your upstairs bedroom, a robot vacuum working while you're at the grocery store—you put in a bit of setup work and your life gets easier.

    What most smart homes also include, however, is a voice assistant, the opposite of a quiet, unseen convenience. Alexa, Siri, Google Assistant: They demand that you learn specific device names and structures for commands, while they frequently get even the most simple command astoundingly wrong. And they are, of course, an always-listening corporate microphone you're allowing inside your home.

    There are ways to keep that smart home convenience while cutting out the conversation. Some involve your phone, some dedicated devices, but none of them involve saying a device's name. Here's an overview of the best options available.

    Read 27 remaining paragraphs | Comments

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      Antw:Erfahrungen mit Eglo Connect.Z

      feed.jabber.ddnss.eu / FHEMForum · Sunday, 22 January, 2023 - 12:02 edit

    Danke, Thomas!

    Da ich zwar den Conbee-Stick schon seit dem Sommer rumliegen habe, aber noch nicht wirklich was damit getan habe, werde ich nun also erstmal mit einem der überschüssigen IKEA-Tradfri-Leuchtmittel üben und dann die Eglo resetten und an DeCONZ anlernen und dann die FB neu anlernen. Gestern hat die Zeit dafür nicht mehr gereicht, weil es schon spät war, und "das grelle weiße Licht" gedimmt werden sollte  ;)

    Meine Eglo-Leuchte hat eine super-sophistizierte Reset-An/Aus-Folge, für die es extra ein YouTube-Video gibt. Das hat auch Vorteile. Anekdote warum:

    Im Bad sind 6 IKEA-Tradfri-Spots in der Decke versenkt, die je nach Sprachbefehl alles oder nur die Toilette, nur den Waschtisch oder nur die Badewanne erhellen. Der noch nicht in die Geheimnisse des SmartHomes eingewiesene Besuch musste abends mal aufs Klo. Dazu braucht man Licht und dazu gibt es ja den Lichtschalter. Klick-Klack-Klick-Klack-Klick-Klack-Klick-Klack. Nanu, warum geht das Licht denn nicht an??? Klick-Klack-Klick-Klack-Klick-Klack. Boris, das Licht im Bad ist kaputt! Kannst Du mal schauen, bitte?  >:(