Review: Sonoff S20 WiFi Plug


A schematic diagram of a smart plug

The good folks at Sonoff have sent me a bunch of kit to review. First up, the S20 WiFi Plug - an easy way to retrofit IoT smarts to your existing appliances. This fills the same niche as the Belkin WeMo but with one crucial difference - it's about half the price. Direct from Sonoff […] Read More

Virgin Media are hijacking your router - again!


Virgin's opt-out form

Virgin Media are trying to resell your internet access. Worse still, they appear to be doing it without users' permission. A brief recap: Back in 2015, Virgin Media announced plans for a WiFi sharing network. A user's router would broadcast a separate WiFi network and other Virgin customers could roam on to it via an […] Read More

Terrible emails from @nest


A marketing email from nest

I never tire of telling people how bad my Nest Protect smoke alarm is. It is a buggy box which requires magic batteries and doesn't support some of its advertised features. Still, I've drilled it on to my ceiling now, so have to put up with it. This morning, I glanced bleary-eyed at my phone. […] Read More

Should you open your WiFi during a disaster?


There has been a terrible natural disaster in Italy. A huge quake has broken a city. Rescue teams race to the scene to try to save lives and stabilise the situation. During the rescue efforts, the Italian Red Cross sends this tweet: #Terremoto, per favorire comunicazioni e operazioni di soccorso vi invitiamo a togliere la […] Read More

Virgin Media's Free WiFi Sharing Comes With A Cost


Virgin Media, the UK's semi-national cable broadband provider, is rolling out a WiFi sharing service - although it's not quite as altruistic as it may seem. Here's the email being sent to subscribers - followed by some commentary on what this means and whether it's a good idea for you to opt-out. Let's ignore them […] Read More

128 WiFi devices ought to be enough for anyone...


Google have just announced their brand new WiFi router - OnHub. It promises to make WiFi connectivity a breeze, increase speeds, reduce buffering, and clean your carpets. Nestled at the bottom of the annoucement is this curious specification. That seems... low. Doesn't it? I did a quick tally of all the devices my wife and […] Read More

Adding WiFi To A Roomba


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 […] Read More