And then the @dropcam says to the @nest I’ll see your motion and raise you 2 degrees…

My dorky attempt at humor to say, while neither my @Dropcam nor my @Nest talk to ME (yet), they do now talk to each other 🙂

This is a quick post. I saw an update come across today for the Dropcam App.

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Since it mentioned Nest and I have both devices in my home, I wanted to try out the newest integration.

Remember, Google bought Nest and then “Nest” bought Dropcam.

I’ve had both for almost 2 years so pre-Goog and I admit I was a bit skeptical at first but definitely think the integration has promise to bring much cool to the IoT table.

So, I read the release notes, updated the Dropcam app and launched it.
Sure enough a new menu item appeared.

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Clicking Connect with Nest brought two pages of explanation and a Continue button:

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The explanation seemed interesting. I continued to a prompt for my Nest account

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Once authenticated by Nest the Dropcam App showed connected.

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Disregard the kids’ toys strewn about ;P

Inside Dropcam there are new Nest Alert Schedule & Nest Camera Schedule that can be toggled on/off.

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To test each feature out I enabled them both.

Switching over to my Nest App, I manually set Away.

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After verifying that my Dropcam was On, I then switched the Nest back to home.

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Sure enough, my Dropcam switch off on its own.

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The reverse also worked, the camera turned on when I “left”.

I didn’t see any alerts in my activity feed, but I’m also using the Activities Zones feature and I have them pretty well dialed in so not many stray false alerts.

I’ve also enabled a few IFTTT Recipes with my Nest. Overall, the integration of these two “Things” feels like a good start.

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My next gadget splurge may be a SmartThings hub, as I like the openness it seems to offer and already play nice with these and a few other devices I have a geek crush on. 🙂

Do you use any of these tools? What are your thoughts?

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I bought an iphone, changed religions & switched political parties

…not really! I only did one of those crazy things…. I bought my first ever iPhone. A single check-in at the Apple store this evening drew shock, concern and confusion from close friends and family.

@kylemurley WHAT?!? Is this the twilight zone?!? Is it true? 📱

— Kendra Murley (@KennaMurley) October 3, 2013

screenshot text bonk

others asked if I was feeling alright and even where they’d failed me…

Screenshot fb - failed sick darkside

Still others jeered my conformity. Going with the pack?

Screenshot lemming

Discussing OSes, religion or politics is generally not polite conversation.

While I won’t go as far as to categorize myself as a ‘fervent’ supporter or naysayer against any one platform in particular, I do like openness, flexibility and options. That’s not generally been my impression of what Apple offers it’s users. I am however open to finding out for myself.

After the ancient days of Nokia being a thing, my smartphones were Palm, then Winmo and finally Anroid. Until now.

Generally I have had a true love hate relationship with my devices. I love the fact that they offer the potential to connect nearly any standard peripheral (keyboard, mouse, sd card, etc) and run applications from independent developers which may or may not go through all the proper channels. I understand this is a ‘risk’ and have been willing to take it. I also understand that this may be (okay, likely is) what leads to my experience eventually degrading to a point where at times I’d nearly love to throw it against the wall and watch it shatter, but resist the urge because it is such a precious resource and provides my window to the world.

This had become especially true of my latest device. I’d grown tired of  sluggishness, instability and constant need to power up (I’ve always carried multiple swappable batteries).

The full truth is my contract was up, and I was eligible for a new device and in fact I actually received a reimbursement check from my carrier that covered nearly half the cost.  So, I went for it. Sooner or later I may come to loath this latest device just as much, or even more than previously coveted gadgets, time will tell.  (heck Win8 may push me even further down this path… though, I am typing this on a chromebook)

Anyhow  I certainly have lots to learn and explore.

Already in just the few hours since picking up the device I’m finding things I need to adjust to. I discussed with my ‘genius’ at the Apple store methods of managing my apps that does’t require an ‘app’ being installed and running on another device (iTunes/AppStore). Couldn’t I just just browse a website (like playstore) and ‘push’ apps to my phone since I’ll be signed in using the Apple id credentials I created? (which I entered no less than 5 times during out of box device setup).

I also already experience my first lockup, requiring a soft reset when I tested the Lightning Digital AV adapter that I purchased. Plugged it in, display popped up, rotated the screen and… then it become unresponsive. Unplugged the dongle, still nothing, futzed with all the buttons til I found the soft reset or maybe it just rebooted on its own. Donno?

Enough about that though, I don’t want this to be me ‘venting’ about all the things I don’t like about the new platform. It’s going to be different… and hopefully better… Besides, others’ responses will be “Well, why would you wanna do that” anyway… Am I right? 😉

The biggest positive thus far is I have a new, reliable device that connects to my various networks. Now I need to make sure I can be productive working on it.

As for apps there are many I want to explore but for now I need to quickly load the essentials, webex, go2mtg, gmail, gvoice, gmaps, skype, 4sq, fb, etc.

A concern I still have is streaming music, which is a big part of my daily experience of the world. I need to find a replacement for Grooveshark mobile app that allows music streaming while outside of the US and gives me offline access to songs. I said streaming, I have no interest in ‘owning’ or storing media files.

Wow, if you’re still reading, you should probably go buy yourself a new phone or something… I’m off to go play with mine.

Hey, still here? Okay, fine. Here’s a question for you, respond in the comments: Did you switch from Android to iOS? What have you found were the most valuable lessons/tools that helped you make the leap?

Juiced: #VMworld Essential Power Plan, Survivability & Disaster Avoidance!

In preparing for VMworld 2012, this year I invested in a few essential items. I wanted to ensure I was productive and had a good time.
Having a solid plan for powering up and staying “juiced” is especially important at an event like VMworld where in addition to the entire program for session descriptions and locations being online, the primary means of communicating is via Twitter, be it #hashtags, dms or from the normal stream of goings on, if your connected device dies, it means you’ll be missing out on some great opportunities.

As my “conference survival kit” began coming together from Amazon fulfillment, I tweeted out what I had in the works and several followers asked for my review of the devices. So, it’s a little late, but here ya go.

The compact mobile power pack by NewTrent (IMP120D) is a 12,000mAh rechargeable external batter with two USB ports. This device gave me the confidence to head out from the hotel for a full (18-20 hour) day without having to consider how/where/when I was going to locate a wall charger and spend time pluggin’ in. For years now, I’ve been sporting two batteries for easy swap out, but even while rocking two extended batteries and a clunky wall charger in your back pocket, those last few hours of an evening can be nail biting when you’re trying to find the after-after party meetup or figure out where the heck you are so that you can hail a ride back to your hotel.

New Trent IMP120D iCarrier 12000mAh Heavy Duty 2A/1A Dual USB Ports External Battery Pack

Things I considered when selecting an external battery charger:
Form factor: size matters as does shape.
— While no featherweight the compact form fits pants pockets well. It’s un-attached meaning it didn’t add bulk to my device(s) or require any type of stand.
Price – convenience has its price but within reason.
— I wasn’t willing to spend >$99
Capacity( mAmp) – how many more hours of runtime would it add
— I found I could easily get 3 full charges of my phone (from 10% to full in ~20 mins). This was plenty, plus I had a second batt on standby in case.
Output: You faster is better when charging over USB.
— For tablets & smartphones a trickle charge can’t keep up with usage, leaving you drained. For fast charges I used the 5V 2.1A USB and occasionally connected a second device (bluetooth) to the 5V 1A output.

Another item that made it’s way into the survival kit was a compact travel powerstrip made by TrippLite, the TRAVELER3USB.
This gem was recommended by @jfranconi (who has reportedly been “Kicking the crap out of one for months as a PSO roadwarrior for VMware.

Down low on this baby is: Tripp Lite TRAVELER3USB Notebook Surge Protector USB Charger 3 Outlet 540 Joule
3 triple prong outlets spaced to accommodate even bulky “brick” plugs
2 USB ports for charging accessories ( I did find hey would only trickle charge (500mA per port) So a tablet or smartphone to charge adequately may take overnight)
Small & light with a short cord that wraps into a space carved out in the housing, excellent design for keeping it out of the way when packing.
I also always throw into my bag a 2-prong plug adapter in case I’m faced with an old school wall outlet or worse, at the end of a cheap extension cord.

One other purchase I made that I continue to appreciate: HUSH PUPPIES!
Yeah, they’re back…or they never left… or whatever, but I’ll say this: they’re comfy and the hold up!
Those 3-4 days of 18+ hours include plenty of walking and standing. Solid footwear is critical to your Disaster Avoidance and Survivability!

Any how, those are just a few items I’m glad I invested in and I thought you may be interested to know how they worked out.

What tech items always go along with you when travelling for work or fun?

Let me know in your comments, Partner Exchange is coming up quick, I may need some optimal travel equip for Las Vegas!