ecobee3 First Look and Unboxing Video

I’m still tinkering with the new ecobee3 smart thermostat, and will have a full review posted soon.

In the meantime, you can check out my initial reaction in this unboxing video (in TWO parts):

Part 1:

Part 2:

Stay tuned for the full review soon!

New ecobee3 thinks it’s time to leave the Nest

While the Nest smart thermostat has fans of Apple-inspired designs swooning, it wasn’t the first smart thermostat. Toronto-based ecobee is actually the pioneer in this industry, and had two iterations of smart thermostats (the original “Smart” and the “Si”) on the market well before Nest (and now Honeywell) jumped into the fray. Like most pioneers, ecobee took a few arrows in its back. But now it’s firing back — and it looks like the arrows are aimed directly at Nest.

Announced this morning, the ecobee3 […]

What Hacked Nude Celebrity Photos Can Teach Us About Privacy in the Digital Age

Another day, another story about nude photos of celebrities being hacked and posted online. I won’t mention the names of the celebrities in this most recent round, because it really doesn’t matter… and I really don’t want to accidentally show up in web searches of people looking for the photos.

What is interesting about this story, however,  is that it appears that the photos were hacked from iCloud — Apple’s data storage service in use by every iPhone, iPad, and iPod on the planet.

That’s scary.

I could post […]

Getting Rid of Moles: What Works, and What Doesn’t

Like a lot of guys, I take great pride in my lawn. I like it green, flat, fertilized, and weed-free. Because I have an irrigation well, I’m able to water my lawn all summer long and keep the soil moist. But wherever you have moist soil, you have earthworms. And wherever you have earthworms, you have animals whose primary diet consists of earthworms… like moles.

Moles.

Are.

The devil.

I hate moles. I hate them with the same passion that Carl from Caddyshack hated the gopher:

Every year, I do battle with […]

My Favorite BBQ Accessories

This year has been one of the best summers I can remember in Seattle. The weather’s been perfect, and I’ve been able to relax — which includes working on a bunch of projects around the house (don’t judge how I relax :)). But one of my favorite things about summer is outdoor cooking on my Traeger BBQ 400 “Select” wood-pellet BBQ.

Regular readers of my blog know I’m a gadget geek – and while that applies primarily to electronics, it also extends to other areas, too… including […]

Product Review: Brake Performance Front Rotors for 2008 Cadillac Escalade ESV

If you do a Google search on “Escalade warped rotors,” you’ll quickly find lots of stories from Cadillac Escalade owners complaining about their front brake wear. It’s easy to understand why. These behemoths are heavy. The standard 2008 Escalade’s gross weight is 7,100 lbs. But if you opt for the longer ESV mode (like I drive)l, it’s 7,400 lbs! Stopping that kind of weight is murder on your brakes, and the front rotors (which handle the majority of the work of stopping) are prone to […]

Traeger Zinc to Stainless Steel Hardware Cross Reference

If you own a Traeger smoker grill, chances are you put it together yourself — using the hardware kit provided by Traeger. To save money, the majority of the nuts, bolts, screws, and washers in a Traeger hardware kit are made of zinc. However, Traeger grills are designed for outdoor use… and it’s my preference to use stainless steel hardware on anything that lives outside. Is there anything wrong with keeping the zinc hardware on your Traeger? No… but if you live in a humid […]

Product Review: Traeger BBQ 400 Select

I’ve been a “big stainless steel natural gas” barbeque grill guy for a long time. I’ve owned everything from entry-level Nexgrill units, to mid-level KitchenAid grills, all the way up to the big-daddy Viking grills. So this past Saturday, when my wife and I hit our local Costco, our intent was to pick up another mid-to-high-end stainless that burned natural gas (since we’ve got a natural gas stub on the deck).

But as luck, or perhaps fate, would have it… Traeger Grills was having a “road show” […]

Resize a Fedora, CentOS, or Windows Dynamic Guest Virtual Disk (VDI) in VirtualBox in 3 Easy Steps

Here’s the scenario: you’ve set up Dynamically Allocated Storage for the hard drive on your Guest VM in VirtualBox and you’ve run out of space — even though your Actual Size is smaller than the Virtual Size (this happened to me recently when my Virtual Size was 10 GB, and the Actual Size was only 5.55 GB… but my Guest OS was complaining that I didn’t have enough disk space to do an update.)

You thought that as long as the Actual Size was smaller than […]

Rant: Why is there no libbsd for CentOS 7?

CentOS 7 was released recently, and so I fired up my build VM so I could attempt to build the OpenDKIM package for submission to EPEL.

But the compile barfs on strlcat/strlcopy, because RHEL/CentOS doesn’t have libbsd available (yet?).

The libbsd package was a requirement for the package to work in CentOS 5 and 6… so we’re pretty much stuck in RHEL/CentOS 7 without it. Perhaps that package mainter is scrambling around trying to figure out how to get his package into EPEL for RHEL/CentOS, and […]