Is there an unsecured wireless network near you?
Avoiding Exercise with an ESP8266 and Blynk
Tuesday, 12 July 2016 19:00

[Mike Diamond] was tired of climbing down (and back up) 40 stairs to check his mailbox. He decided to create a mailbox alert using the ESP8266 to connect to his WiFi. The idea was simple: have the ESP8266 monitor when the mailbox flap opened using a magnet and a reed switch. As always, though, the devil is in the details. [Mike] got things working with a little help and shares not only the finished design but how he got there.

To handle the sending of e-mail, [Mike] used the Blynk app. You often think of Blynk as a way to build user …read more

CityFibre takes on Ofcom over pledge to open BT ducts and poles
Thursday, 07 July 2016 01:39

Small broadband provider CityFibre has complained to the competitions watchdog that Ofcom is backtracking on its promise to break the country's dependency on BT's Openreach by forcing greater access to its ducts and poles.

In its Digital Communications Review ( 1.23, page 10 ) in February, Ofcom said it would open up the former state monopoly's infrastructure for other providers.

CityFibre has specifically appealed against Ofcom's decision not to impose duct access in the leased lines markets.

However, in its subsequent Business Connectivity Market Review , the regulator said: "We think that at this stage in leased lines markets, it

Broadcasting Bluetooth Beacons With Bubbles
Monday, 11 July 2016 11:30

Bluetooth beacons have only been around for a few years, but the draw is incredible. With Bluetooth beacons, your phone is location aware, even with location services are turned off. They’re seen in fast food joints, big box retailers, and anywhere else there’s a dollar to be made. [Nemik] has been working on a home automation project, and came up with a use for Bluetooth beacons that might actually be useful. It’s a WiFi-based Bluetooth beacon notifier that scans the area for beacons and forwards them to an MQTT server.

[Nemik]’s ‘Presence Detector’ for Bluetooth advertisements is actually a surprisingly …read more

Oz competition regulator seeks input on ending wholesale ADSL declaration
Tuesday, 05 July 2016 11:56

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) is considering whether the eventual advent of the National Broadband Network (NBN) means wholesale DSL regulation can be retired.

Wholesale ADSL – that is, where a reseller is taking the service from an infrastructure owner like Telstra, and adding their own billing – was first declared in 2012. The service declaration meant anybody offering such a wholesale service did so at regulated prices.

The 2012 declaration expires in February 2017, and as with all service declarations, the ACCC has to conduct a review before that date.

The two big questions are whether regulation

Dumbing Down a Smart Switch
Friday, 08 July 2016 04:00

Internet of Everything is the way to go for home automation these days. ITEAD makes an ESP-8266 switch that IoT-ifies your appliances. If you still have an ancient, 433 MHz style radio switch system, they even make one that does WiFi and 433 MHz. But if you’re too cheap to shell out for the dual-mode version, you can always add a $1 433 MHz radio yourself. Or at least, that’s what [Tinkerman] did.

Aside from the teardown and reverse-engineering of the WiFi-enabled switch, [Tinkerman] also flashed custom firmware into the switch’s EAP-8266, and worked it all into his existing home …read more

Custom Firmware Unlocks Fitness Tracker
Monday, 04 July 2016 10:01

[Mikhail] sent us a teaser video for a hack he’d done (embedded below). He takes a Bluetooth LE fitness tracker dongle and reflashes it spit out the raw accelerometer data and trigger events. He then wrote a phone app that receives the data and uses the device as an alarm, an on/off switch, a data-logging device, and more.

We thought it was cool enough that we asked [Mikhail] for more detail, and he delivered in spades! Inside the device is a Nordic NRF51822, their ARM Cortex + Bluetooth chip, an accelerometer, and a bunch of LEDs. [Mikhail] mapped out the …read more

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