The smart gadgets that make our homes easy prey

A survey of 15 devices by the consumer group Which? found that eight were vulnerable to hacking via the internet, wi-fi or Bluetooth connections. Picture: Pixababy

A survey of 15 devices by the consumer group Which? found that eight were vulnerable to hacking via the internet, wi-fi or Bluetooth connections.

It comes as manufacturers routinely install technology into new household products that allows them to connect to the “internet of things”, an umbrella term for devices that can go online.

This lets them work with smartphones and “home hubs” such as Amazon’s Echo and its virtual assistant Alexa, as well as the Google Home device.

For a report called The Hackable Home, Which? set up a home with a host of gadgets and hired a team of ethical security researchers, SureCloud, to hack it.

One of its most disturbing discoveries involved CloudPets smart toys such as cats, unicorns and bears that play back messages sent to a child from family and friends.

Which? said: “Building on a recently published flaw, SureCloud hacked the toy and made it play its own voice messages. Scarily, anyone could use the same method to speak to children from outside in the street.”

The team then used the toy pets to send commands to the Amazon Echo home hub, using its “voice purchasing” system to order cat food from the online retailer.

Which? also found a flaw in home CCTV camera systems, increasingly popular with families who use to them to keep an eye on their property when they are out. The consumer group’s researchers found the Fredi Megapix system operates over the internet using a default administrator account without a password.

It said: “This a real privacy concern and we found thousands of similar cameras available for anyone to watch the live feed over the internet. Worse still, the hacker can even pan and tilt the cameras to monitor activity in the house.”

The Which? team also found it was easy to crack the password on the Virgin Media Super Hub 2 router, letting it on to the Wi-Fi network.

The consumer group said: “After SureCloud gained access to our Wi-Fi network, it could easily control any devices that didn’t require a password.”

Alex Neill, of Which?, said: “There is no denying the huge benefits that smart home gadgets and devices bring to our lives. However, consumers should be aware that some of these appliances are vulnerable and offer little or no security.

“There are a number of steps that people can take to better protect their home, but hackers are growing increasingly more sophisticated.But even as they transform our lives, they put families at risk from criminal hackers taking advantage of security flaws to gain virtual access to homes, a report warns.

“Manufacturers need to ensure that any smart product sold is secure by design.”

[“Source-iol”]

 

10 must-have gadgets for every home

Image result for 10 must-have gadgets for every home

You’ve got your own place and it’s probably time to fix it up with all the necessary devices needed to turn your house to a home. The list of things you need is seemingly endless but on that long list, some items remain absolutely essential. Yudala provides an insight into the top 10 must-have devices for your home.

Electric kettle: In need of some hot water for a cup of tea or to make eba (garri)? Looking to fast-track boiling your rice? Or you simply wish to sterilise your baby’s bottle with some sizzling hot water? Then you definitely need an electric kettle.

Blender: The blender is one of the most under-rated home appliances ever! How often do you actually want to go out and grind your pepper at the public roadside grinder’s place? Do you feel this is a hygiene issue for you? One word: Blenders.

Home entertainment system: Are you a movie or music lover? Do you crave the sound effect and acoustic difference, which a quality entertainment system delivers? Then you definitely have to get a Home Theatre System. Imagine watching the ‘Fate of the Furious’ in your living room, supported by a powerful Home Entertainment System. Certainly an experience worth having.

Microwave oven: Nobody likes coming home to eat cold food after a long, hard day. A good microwave is in order and a very essential appliance for your home.

Refrigerator: Cold water, cold drinks, fresh fruits, preserved left-overs, what do all these wonderful things have in common? Yes, you got it right, a quality fridge. The importance of a refrigerator can never be overemphasised!

Gas cooker: You definitely have to cook something at some point. Even if noodles are all you are good at; a table top gas cooker is perfect. There are several great options at e-commerce stores. An added incentive is that gas cookers are quite durable and easy to clean.

Air conditioner: The weather in this part of the world can get really humid. Gone are the days when a good air-conditioning unit was considered a luxury. With several competing brands in the market, you can now get an air-conditioning unit that combines excellent design with great functionality!

Washing machine: Dirty laundry? No worries. Now you can do your laundry in record time and without expending your energy. With a small budget, you can get a useful, quality brand that can handle your laundry tasks for many years.

TV set: Your home is certainly incomplete without a TV set hanging from your living room wall. Interestingly, TV sets come in various screen sizes and in most cases, the bigger the screen, the better for your viewing pleasure, especially for movie and sport lovers.

Inverter: One of the most important items your home needs is a quality inverter. How do you intend to power all your appliances when public power supply fails? Unfortunately, power supply is often erratic and cannot be relied upon exclusively. If noisy generators are not your thing, you can give yourself and the neighbours the much-needed peace of mind by getting an inverter.

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[“Source-ndtv”]

Best gap year tech: from Torino to Tokyo, these gadgets will help you have a great time

If you’re planning a gap year or packing for the trip of a lifetime, you’ll want to cram as many creature comforts into your backpack as possible, not to mention some tech on which to record and share some phenomenal views and bragging rights. We’re rounded up some near-essentials (aside from a huge backpack and warm coat) to make travelling easier and more exciting, whether you’re trekking through jungles and camping in the wild or catching trains and seeing the sights of Europe. Just don’t forget your toothbrush.

Sure, you’ll need a massive rucksack for lugging your worldly possessions from hostel to hostel, but it won’t be much use for sightseeing in a busy metropolis. Thankfully, there’s the Wolffepack that comes in many forms, including the ‘Capture’ for photographers that keeps all your tech, money and passport safe and sound.

Designed to allow users to reach into their bag without the hassle of unstrapping and taking it off, the backpacks all come with a  clever ‘orbital trapeze’ system that allows a wearer to swing the pack from their back to their front effortlessly. While this is a time saver, it’s also great if you want to keep your bag where you can see it on a sketchy street or busy train.

The Capture holds 26 litres and comes with a removable camera pod, three compartments, tripod clip, laptop sleeves and waterproof rain cover. With Carbon fibre, Kevlar and Dyneema cords, it’s also built to withstand the wildest of adventures.

GoPro HERO5 Action Camera

While serious photographers seldom travel without an SLR, the GoPro is brilliant for people on the go and perfect for recording bike rides and scenes you’ll want to remember in years to come. The HERO5 Black is dubbed the ‘best GoPro ever’ and supports video resolutions up to 4K at 30 frames per second, video stabilisation and stereo audio recording, as well as professional quality 12MP photos.

A simple one button control and two-inch touch display makes operating it a breeze and it’s waterproof without a housing up to 33 feet – great for recording a white water rapids ride or trip to a waterfall. Once users have recorded their envy-enduring footage, the HERO5 can auto-upload their photos and videos to the cloud for safe keeping and share it easily online. It makes bragging easy.

Cat S30 smartphone

You may be surgically attached to your iPhone or top-of-the-range Android in the city, but we all know dropping these handsets can prove to be an expensive mistake. Instead, why not invest in the Cat S30 handset. Built to be work in extreme environments, the water, dust and shockproof smartphone is designed to survive a 1.8-metre drop test and has an easy grip design as well as 12 hours talk time and up to 19 days standby – perfect if you’re staying in the back-of-beyond (or have mislaid your charger).

Price: £239.99 | Buy Cat S30 smartphone

Griffin Survivor Extreme

A tablet is a godsend when you’re pushed for space, working as a map, address book, novel, games console and internet café if you’re lucky. But they can be delicate, making a ruggedized case a sensible investment. Griffin Technology makes an array of ‘Survivor’ cases for different models, including the iPad Air 2 (pictured) to protect their backs and screens.

The new ‘Survivor Extreme’ is built to enable the iPad4 mini to survive drops onto concrete of up to 6.6-feet, cushioning falls within the impact-resistant shell. Its slide on design all but eliminates the air gap between touchscreen and the screen guard for extra protection, while its sealed shell protects the device from mud and water.

Price: £69 | Buy Griffin Survivor Extreme

ThermaCELL ProFLEx Heavy Duty Heated Insoles

Whether you’re trekking at high altitudes or staying in a drafty hostel, your toes can get chilly, especially once the sun has set. ThermaCELL ProFLEx Heavy Duty Heated Insoles heat up a user’s feet and can be controlled using a smartphone with a Bluetooth connection. The accompanying app lets users warm their feet to a chosen temperature. When this is reached, the insoles temporarily turn off before switching on again.

They’re cushioned to make walking boots more comfortable and include removable, replaceable extended life batteries so users can swap them out without having to wrangle their insoles out of their shoes or boots. One charge taking just two hours provides up to 8.5 hours of warmth. There are Bluetooth Pocket Warmers too for people who want heat on demand in a more flexible package.

 

 

[Source:- T3]

Pimp my mobility scooter: 10 best gadgets for seniors

Old people tech hero

Tech can do many things, however right now, one of the things it can’t do is stop the ageing process. What it can do though is help you out during those twilight years. It can help you stay in touch with family, pop down to the local store to buy your copy of Saga magazine, or prevent you from being unwantedly disturbed by cold callers druing Countdown. As such, here are 10 of the best gadgets to own when you qualify for a bus pass.

 

[Source:- T3]

8 Gadgets That Can Turn Your House into a Smart Home

From smart locks to smart light, home technology is getting magical. The addition of newest devices and apps are simplifying tasks, making better use of resources, and transforming the way we live—just at a click from your smart phones. Using internet, you can now assemble your favorite gadgets from phone to make your home intelligent.

 
Though some of these gadgets are complex to use but most are handy and blends with the day-to-day activities in our lives. Here are some of the most promising gadgets that will allow us to automate our house, securing our lives and enhancing our convenience, reports Independent.

 

Nest smoke detector

 

 
Connect this smoke detector and it will talk to you if there’s smoke or CO and tell where the problem is so you know what to do. It also sends a message to your phone if the alarm goes off or the batteries run low. It is as dependable as a normal smoke and carbon monoxide indicator.

 
Philips Hue starter kit

 

 
Experience the peace of mind by controlling your lights wherever you are, with Philips’ Hue lights. It enables home automation through the light scheduling function. The Philips Hue white starter kit is compatible with Apple HomeKit technology. Not too bright, not too dark, just the right brightness.

Nest thermostat

 

 
Nest remembers the temperatures you like and programs itself accordingly. And if you don’t like that, all options are accessible from an app. It helps you save energy by automatically turning itself down when you’re away. It’s very easy to install, sometime consuming less than 30 minutes.

 
Canary security system

 

 
It is a perfect and all-in-one environment security system for your home. You control it from your phone, connecting all your smart devices together and making one security system that can do a lot. It’s built to learn and sends intelligent alerts with HD video and audio directly to your phone. This easy to set up system watches for intruders, sends you video of any irregular activity and also checks in on the temperature and air quality using a set of built-in sensors

Belkin WeMo switch

 

 
No worries now, if you left the iron, coffeemaker or hair straightener on, smart electricity switches can be hooked up to anything to make them internet-enabled. It set schedules and receives customized notifications. For instance, plugging a lamp will mean you can turn it on and off over the internet. You can also connect it to other services like thermostat or your phone’s location so that they’ll go off and on when you arrive and leave.

 
Netatmo weather station

 

 
It enables you to discover your environment and maximize your well being. The weather station’s outdoor module gives you real-time weather information that matters like wind and rain reports around the house even from afar using an app. the weather station’s indoor module measures your indoor comfort by providing vital information, alerting you when you need to air out your home to bring down its pollution levels.

 

iKettle

 

 
Creating a connected kitchen that works for you, this internet-connected kettle will mean that you’ve got boiling water ready for your tea before you arrive in the kitchen. It helps you avoid that bitter taste and brew at the right temperature.

 
Logi Circle

 

 
Record and download video of the people and pets with Circle. You can place this portable sphere anywhere in the room you want to capture the video. For example, you can login live via the app. It’ll save any moments where there’s visual or audible activity that you can rewind. And you can also talk through your phone, if you want to shoo your kitty off the furniture.

[Source:- Siliconindia]