SmartThings to Control Samsung’s Smart Appliances

Ry Crist Reporting for CNET:

With a SmartThings hub plugged into your home router, you’ll be able to monitor the status of your Samsung smart appliances right on your phone via the SmartThings app. If you’ve got a Samsung smart refrigerator in your kitchen, you’ll be able to check the temperature or humidity level, or receive an alert if the door gets left open. Additionally, you’ll be able to broadcast important smart home alerts to the screen that’s built into the refrigerator door. For instance, if a SmartThings moisture sensor detects a leak in the basement, the fridge will give you a heads up.

The washing machine and air conditioner integrations are more focused on saving energy – and money. With Samsung’s air conditioner in your window, you’ll be able to track your energy usage and control the temperature remotely or automatically – similar to what you’ll find with the Quirky Aros. You’ll enjoy remote control and alerts for the washing machine, too, along with the ability to set it to run overnight, when energy rates are the least expensive.

As for Samsung’s robot vacuum, SmartThings is promising a smart scheduling feature, along with push alerts whenever a cycle is complete, or when the dust bin needs emptying. Samsung’s also promising to leverage the vacuum’s integrated camera and microphone for smart security purposes. If SmartThings detects unexpected motion somewhere in your home, it can send the vacuum to investigate.

So with Samsung starting to integrate SmartThings technology with their own products now, Samsung are all in with the notion of connecting your home appliances together to make them smarter and to make them work for you – with their recent capture of SmartThings, they certainly have a good software team behind them to make this happen.

‘Masque attack’ on iOS

 

‘Masque attack’: Don’t panic but do pay attention | iMore:

“Masque Attack” is the new name—given by security firm FireEye—to an old trick intended to fool you into installing malicious apps on your iPhone or iPad. Most recently detailed by security researcher Jonathan Zdziarski, tricks like Masque Attack won’t affect most people, but it’s worth understanding how it works and, in the event you are targeted, how to avoid it.

To avoid Masque and similar attacks, all that’s required is to avoid downloading any apps from outside Apple’s official App Store, and denying permission for any untrusted app to install.

If you are concerned about being susceptible to attacks, then don’t jail break your device and only download apps direct from the App Store. Most consumer users probably won’t know how to install 3rd party apps anyway but it was worth noting for when people see a negative headline and are concerned.

Tidal Lossless Music Streaming Review: Forget Spotify, Get CD Quality Music

 

Tidal Lossless Music Streaming Review: Forget Spotify, Get CD Quality Music |Forbes:

But from today, there’s a brand-new service that is launching in both the US and UK. Its main claim is that while Spotify offers 320kbps music, it will offer CD quality streaming using the “Free Lossless Audio Codec” or FLAC – ALAC (Apple AAPL +0.16% Lossless Audio Codec) is used on iPhone and other iOS devices. The specs say that you’ll get the full CD sampling rate of 44 kHz, 16bit and at a bitrate of 1411kbps.

Of course the main selling point for Tidal over anything else is the quality. And on that front I have to say that I was totally blown away. I tried several different phones and a PC for my testing. 

Another part of the service is access to 25,000 ad-free music videos in HD. I used this less, but I really like the idea of it being there. In an ideal world I’d be able to stream these to a Chromecast from the app, but that might arrive later. For now, music videos are a nice bonus, but not really a reason to subscribe on their own.

£20 or $20 per month is expensive when compared to other subscription music services like Spotify £9.99 or Rdio £9.99 but then Tidal are offering a level of quality that only QoBuz is currently doing – full lossless sound quality at FLAC 16 bit/44.1 kHz 1411kbps. If you are seriously into your music then Tidal or QoBuz is the way to go with full unlimited music at true CD quality sound but until Spotify and Rdio catch up, that twenty per month might put some people off for the moment.

Taylor Swift Explains Why She Knew Spotify Was Trouble

 

Jordan Crook’s Argument Against Taylor Swift Explains Why She Knew Spotify Was Trouble:

Spotify is not the Napster of yesteryear, nor is it any of the illegal file-sharing sites of today. It is a legal way that millions of people listen to music, and that isn’t going to change, no matter what you do with your albums. What they can’t find on Spotify, they can always find on YouTube.

Why fight against the flow of your industry, like the people who came before you and ultimately lost, when you truly have the power to dictate what the newest version of the music industry will look like?

Interesting points from Jordan and it would need a great many more artists to follow Taylor Swift’s lead for the subscription model to change if at all but maybe the solution for all parties maybe become clear once Trent Reznor and Apple have their say soon:

Trent Reznor talking to Billboard:

I am on the side of streaming music, and I think the right streaming service could solve everybody’s problems,” Reznor told Billboard. “Ownership is waning. Everybody is comfortable with the cloud — your documents, who knows where they are? They are there when you need them. That idea that I’ve got my records on the shelf doesn’t feel as important even to me as it used to. I just think we haven’t quite hit the right formula yet.”
Apple acquired Beats Music when it bought Beats for $3 billion earlier this year. As the chief creative officer of Beats Music, fans are curious as to how Reznor’s role will evolve under Apple’s leadership.
“Beats was bought by Apple, and they expressed direct interest in me designing some products with them,” Reznor told Billboard. “I can’t go into details, but I feel like I’m in a unique position where I could be of benefit to them. This is very creative work that’s not directly making music, but it’s around music. It’s exciting to me, and I think it could have a big enough impact that it’s worth the effort. I’m fully in it right now, and it’s challenging, and it’s unfamiliar and it’s kind of everything I asked for — and the bad thing is it’s everything I asked for.

USB stick offers infinite iPhone storage

 

Oddball USB stick offers infinite iPhone storage | Cult of Mac:

The iBridge comes with a Lightning connector on one side that you can plug into your iPhone, and a USB on the other so it can double as a regular USB drive. Unlike other iPhone storage expansion options, like Mophie’s Space case, iBridge works both with and without a case, thanks its odd J-shape that wraps around the back of your iPhone or iPad to beef up your storage.

iBridge will require users to download its app to add files to the storage drive, but now that iOS 8 lets apps into the share sheet, tossing pictures, music, videos, and other files onto this thing should be a breezy.

Leef tells us all the details will be revealed later this month, with the first units hitting stores before Christmas. For now though they’re keeping quiet on price and how much storage it comes with, but as long as it lets me carry my entire music library without taking up any space, I’ll be happy.

Finally.

Neato for iOS – A Unique Widget Notification Centre Text Composer

With the introduction of customisable widgets in the notification centre in iOS 8, developers have been prolific in expanding their apps to take advantage of the extra functionality that the Notification Centre can bring and Neato is a dedicated app designed just for the widget/Notification Centre functionality.

From a rules perspective, it’s highly possible that Apple will pull this app from the App Store due to the fact it potentially infringes on the App Store’s guidelines that apps must stay within the boundaries of the API guideline for the Notification Centre and it’s highly likely that any sort of text composing or editing is such one of these guidelines. Due to the recent controversy over the app PCalc and what they were allowed to show in the Notification Centre for their app, it’s possible that Apple is currently reviewing their guidelines and this Neato app has slipped through the net so to speak.

Screen Shot 2014 11 07 at 11 12 16

Having said, the functionality of the app is very useful as once you swipe down to show the Notification Centre widgets and start typing, you can then send that text straight to Evernote or Dropbox. With Evernote’s own widget, you have a link to create a new note which upon tapping, takes you straight to Evernote to start composing your text but with Neato’s widget, I can compose my text right on the Notification Centre and when I am done, I tap send and it will open up Evernote, create a new note and have the text already filled in so I can store it or expand on it more.

With Neato you can:

•Take notes simply and quickly

•Take notes while using other applications

•Save the notes to your Dropbox or Evernote immediately

•Mail, tweet or text the notes rapidly

There is an argument to be made on whether you are actually saving any time typing in the Notification Centre but if you think of other scenarios where you quickly want to write some text, a quick swipe down on your iPhone is going to be quicker, then unlocking your iPhone, navigating to an app then composing.

It’s a simple app overall and it has some issues namely with cursor placement which will be down to the API restrictions but for a free simple, text composing widget, I like it and would suggest downloading it very soon before Apple pulls it from the App Store. You can download it here.