LAS VEGAS – Homeowners (and probably insurance carriers!) can rejoice at the Guardian automated leak prevention system, shipping today. The system is entirely do-it-yourself and requires no plumbing to be done at all. Simply clamp the main unit onto the pipe where your water main control valve is, and then set the Wi-Fi-connected sensors in strategic locations around the house. When one of the sensors detects a leak, the system’s automated motor closes the valve to prevent water damage from a constantly-fed open pipe. Each sensor has a 15-year battery inside it. We think that’s long enough to get your money out of the system and move on to something else cool in 10 years! Guardian also includes a temperature sensor to help prevent against water damage from frozen pipes. At 45F the system starts sending alerts to your iPhone; at 40F it shuts off your water. The iOS app can also be used to control and monitor the system remotely. A kit with the battery-backed base unit and three Wi-Fi sensors is priced at US$399, and you can add more sensors whenever you like.
Recent Articles By Dave Hamilton [RSS]
Apple’s macOS High Sierra introduced enough performance enhancements that my dual-core, 2011 MacBook Air felt like it had new life breathed into it. Occasionally, though – and more and more frequently recently – events would cascade such that my CPU would run at full tilt for 5-10 minutes before finally settling in. When that was happening, Activity Monitor and/or iStat Menus would show two system processes chewing up CPU: tailspind and spindump. Thankfully, we now know how to stop that.
This is the time of year when package deliveries are happening every day. It can be helpful to know when something’s coming so that you don’t miss it, but sometimes you don’t get a tracking number ahead of time. Sometimes you don’t even know that a package is coming at all. In today’s Mac Geek Gab Highlight, listen to this short segment to learn how to get notifications about incoming packages… and then how to track them once you know about them!
John Martellaro and Bryan Chaffin join guest-host Dave Hamilton to discuss Jony Ive’s returned focus on products at Apple. Also: Bitcoin surged… why?
It is my pleasure to welcome Timing as this week’s sponsor here at TMO. I am an efficiency freak. I have a lot to get done, a lot I want to do, and yet I often get to the end of my day and wonder, “where did the time go?” For the past week I’ve been using Timing and this problem is 100% solved. You can start using Timing, too, and by visiting TimingApp.com/MacObserver you not only get a 14-day free trial, you also qualify for a TMO-exclusive 10% discount when you purchase!
Starting December 2nd, there’s a bug that causes some notifications to crash your iPhone. iOS 11.2 is the fix, and we’ll show you how to apply it and avoid these 12/2 crashes.
Are you someone who finds Live Photos on your iPhone annoying and turns the feature off? If so, listen to this Mac Geek Gab Highlight, to learn how I had my mind blown when presented with the concept of using Live Photos as a form of “permanent burst mode”. Doing this means the best picture is almost always there on your iPhone, even long after the fact!
We’re keeping an up-to-date list of KRACK-related router firmware updates so you can find out if one is available for your router. (Update, 22-Nov-2017, 1:30pm EST: Added info from Linksys about their recent KRACK updates)
During this week’s Mac Geek Gab 679 we discussed how many people have emailed us asking for a macOS Sierra 10.12 installer download link… and no one can seem to find one. Searching the Mac App Store yields nothing and, thus far, there’s no Apple knowledgebase article with a link to it (Update: that KB article now exists). MGG Listener “Kirk van” came to the rescue with this Mac App Store download link to the macOS Sierra 10.12.6 Installer.
The movie studios let you add digital movies to your library for two dollars, and Apple’s reality distortion field is still strong – and perhaps self-inflicted – and that’s what Kelly Guimont and John Martellaro discuss with guest-host Dave Hamilton on today’s TDO. Press play… and enjoy!
Sonos’s new Alexa support doesn’t offer full control for Apple Music, but next year’s AirPlay 2 integration might just provide Apple Music subscribers full voice-control of their Sonos sytems.
NEW YORK CITY – Similar in size and form to Sonos’s popular PLAY:1, the Sonos One adds a six-microphone array to give it far-field voice recognition capability, and will ship on October 24th with support for Alexa baked right in.
NEW YORK CITY – Details were sparse, but throughout the presentation, the company said the brand new, voice-controllable Sonos One would support AirPlay 2.
In this week’s Mac Geek Gab Highlight, listener Ian shares a tale of joy where a picture he took saved him from having to pay for an out-of-warranty repair. There’s a lesson here for all of us, and lessons like this are shared each week in Mac Geek Gab, too!
Malware is a real threat for many platforms, even Macs. Up until recently, malware scanners had to be launched manually to search for this software that could screw up your Mac, and perhaps compromise sensitive information. In this Mac Geek Gab Highlight, John F. Braun and Dave Hamilton discuss new real-time scanning options, including the new Malwarebytes 3, its current memory leak issues, Drive Genius 5, and ClamXAV 2.
Alexander Hamilton is household name these days for many reasons, perhaps even moreso in my house, but likely yours just the same. The Library of Congress has now published digital versions of over 12,000 letters, legal papers, speech drafts, and more, many of which are in Hamilton’s own writing. The example shown here is a letter Hamilton wrote on November 11, 1769 when he was 12-years-old in St. Croix, telling his friend that he would “willing risk my life tho’ not my character to exalt my station.” There are some fascinating treasures within.
This week’s Mac Geek Gab had many listeners writing and calling in, asking for guidance on their cloud backup options now that CrashPlan has announced the end of CrashPlan for Home. John and Dave talk through various solutions including BackBlaze, B2, Amazon Glacier, CrashPlan for Small Business, and others. Listen to this Mac Geek Gab Highlight from MGG 672 to hear the advice of your two favorite geeks.
If you have internet problems, perform these quick-and-simple tests before you drop a few hundred bucks replacing your router, just to confirm that’s the issue.
Jeff Butts and John Martellaro join Dave Hamilton to talk about Apple’s potential deal for first-run movies in-the-home, as well as ways to avoid getting scammed by fake calls from Apple support.