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A Smart Home Knows When to Blast the AC

The Corliss Group Latest Tech Review The newest idea in home automation is letting your thermostat track your smartphone, and only blast the air conditioner when you're at home. WSJ Personal Tech Columnist Geoffrey A. Fowler put Honeywell's new Lyric thermostat to the test. When it's hotter than Hades outside, wouldn't it be nice if your air conditioner knew you were coming home and cooled things down inside? That's the idea behind two new "smart" climate-control systems, the $279 Honeywell Lyric thermostat and the $279 Aros window air conditioner made by Quirky and General Electric. GE -0.56% They blast the AC when you're at home, and not when you're out. Welcome to the era where your AC keeps tabs on you. These Internet-connected appliances take commands from apps and work by tracking the location of every smartphone in your household—yours, your spouse's, and Grandma's too. (In a pinch, you can still control them manually.) I installed Lyric and Aros in my San Francisco home, and in two friends' homes in warmer Bay Area climes. We found both devices can go a long way toward liberating you from fiddling with thermostat dials, and possibly saving energy. But neither are quite smart or simple enough to just set and forget. These appliances are attempts at reinvention by Honeywell and GE, two of the biggest brands in climate control, now under attack from Silicon Valley. Nest Labs raised the bar in two ways when it launched its first consumer-installed "smart" thermostat in 2011: First, we now expect our home heating and AC to be smartphone-control lable and have some intelligence to supposedly help save us money. Second, many of us no longer balk at paying $250 for a dial that used to cost less than $50. To make their systems more competitive, Honeywell and GE (working with partners at product development firm Quirky) added Wi-Fi and remote-control apps and simplified their interfaces with big, clear displays. But their biggest innovation is tracking location. The app knows when your family is or isn't home by drawing a virtual circle around your house, visible only to your smartphone, called a "geofence. " In my tests, this worked as promised: Every time I moved past the perimeter, my phone would quietly alert the app, which then sent commands to the appliances via the Internet. Both were also smart enough to understand my family—it conserved energy only when everyone had left the house and kicked back on for the first person to return. Read Full Article: http://online.wsj. com/articles/tech- review-a-smart-hom e-knows-when-to-bl ast-the-ac-1404840 312 Read more Tech Reviews here: http://www.scribd. com/CorlissTech https://www.facebo ok.com/pages/Corli ss-Tech-Review-Gro up/158517567690687  (Jul 18, 2014 | post #1)

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Cybercriminals Have Your Number, But Which One?

The Corliss Group Latest Tech Review The Star Wars Cantina of cybercriminals targeting your identity, health care, finances and privacy today might seem like a movie you've seen so many times you could lip sync the entire thing. Nevertheless, cybercrime and identity-related scams change faster than trending hashtags on Twitter, and the fact is nobody knows what's going to happen next. Who would have thought Apple's iCloud was vulnerable (much less to ransomware)? Or eBay? Data breaches are now the third certainty in life and sooner or later, you will become a victim. According to the Privacy Rights Clearinghouse Chronology of Data Breaches tracking tool, at least 867,254,692 records were exposed through data breaches between 2005 and May 22, 2014. The Milken Institute says the number of compromised records was more than 1.1 billion between 2004-2012. The Identity Theft Resource Center reported 91,982,172 exposed records in 2013 alone. Frankly, it really doesn't matter who is right. The amount of information out there is simply staggering. You probably realize that identity thieves are after your email addresses and passwords, but that's not all they want. In particular, each of us is attached to various sets of numbers that, when cobbled together, enable sophisticated identity thieves to get their claws into you. The fraudster doesn't need all your information to complete the problem set. They just need enough to convince others that they are you. Here are eight numbers that they are gunning for. Continue reading: http://www.huffing tonpost.com/adam-l evin/cybercriminal s-have-your_b_5407 780.html Read more related article: http://thecorlissr eviewgroup.com/ http://thecorlissr eviewgroup.com/blo g/ check this out: https://twitter.co m/CorlissTech https://www.facebo ok.com/pages/Corli ss-Tech-Review-Gro up/158517567690687  (Jun 4, 2014 | post #1)