The absolute horror of WiFi light switches

by @edent | # # # # # # | 72 comments | Read ~162,169 times.

I've just got a WiFi light switch. As I've explained previously, swapping out all my existing light bulbs with Smart Bulbs would be hugely expensive and has the disadvantage of not working when the switches are off at the wall. A WiFi light switch (theoretically) allows me to control the lights from my phone -… Continue reading →

Cheap BlueTooth Buttons and Linux

by @edent | # # # # # | 34 comments | Read ~33,999 times.

Selfie sticks - like most modern inventions - are utter tosh. But they've rapidly brought down the price of Bluetooth buttons. So who am I to complain? Let's take the venerable AB Shutter 3 - You can find it on Amazon for around £2 including postage - or around $2 on AliExpress. Frankly, that's stupidly… Continue reading →

3D Printed, Arduino Powered, Educational, Open Source, Micro-Robots!

by @edent | # # # # # # | Read ~1,317 times.

Last week I was invited to attend a product launch by BQ. They're a small company based out of Spain who create some curiously innovative products - including smartphones which natively run Cyanogen. I'm particularly looking forward to reviewing their Ubuntu Tablet later in the year. The thing which really caught my eye was Zowi… Continue reading →

Reverse Engineering the BMW i3 API

by @edent | # # # # # # # | 36 comments | Read ~24,383 times.

I'm really enjoying driving the BMW i3. I'd love to have it tweet its driving efficiency, or upload its location to my server, or let me turn on its air-conditioning when the temperature gets too warm - there are a hundred interesting things to do with the car's data. The official app has some of… Continue reading →

Repairing the Sercomm RC8230 PTZ Camera

by @edent | # # # # # | 2 comments | Read ~309 times.

I've been busy writing the definitive Sercomm Camera API documentation. (No, you need a hobby!) While doing so, I noticed that I couldn't get my Pan/Tilt/Zoom camera to... well... pan! No lateral movement whatsoever. It'd move up and down - but its left and right movement was non-existant. I could hear the stepper motor whirring,… Continue reading →

An API for Amazon Wishlists

by @edent | # # # # # | 1 comment | Read ~2,778 times.

In the glorious past, Amazon had an API for interacting with its "Wishlist" service. Not any more though. So, here's the inspiring story of how a rag-tag band of adventurers brought it back from the dead! Several years ago, Justin Scarpetti created a tool to extract data from an Amazon wishlist - the imaginatively named… Continue reading →

Don't Use Bit.ly To Advertise Your PGP Key

by @edent | # # # # # | 2 comments | Read ~2,743 times.

I had dinner with the outgoing editor of The Guardian the other night. Clever chap, sure he'll go far in life. The Guardian is very hot on security. Many of their writers have PGP keys which they publicly advertise. In theory, that's great (complaints about PGP notwithstanding) - but the reality shows just how tricky… Continue reading →

Adding WiFi To A Roomba

by @edent | # # # # # | 4 comments | Read ~28,583 times.

There are two very clear signs that I'm getting old. The first is that I bought a domestic robot to help me with the chores. The second is that, rather than spending my evenings and weekends reading decades old forum postings, reverse engineering serial interfaces, and soldering components together - I plunked €99 on a… Continue reading →

Operation Weeting: Voicemail Interception Confusion

by @edent | # # # # # | 2 comments | Read ~161 times.

I don't usually get involved in legal blogging. I am not a lawyer, and I find the finicky details somewhat hard to follow. That said, I do appreciate how (most) judges in the UK write their judgements in a relatively clear and unambiguous manner. Jack of Kent today pointed out the recent judgement on Operation… Continue reading →

Prism and Plausible Deniability

by @edent | # # # # | 1 comment | Read ~108 times.

The leaders of several huge corporations have issued statements saying that their companies do not allow the US Government to illegally spy on their users. I'm sure they believe that. I'd even go so far as to say that I'm sure the entire board and top management genuinely have no knowledge of any malfeasance. Why… Continue reading →