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How To Turn An Old Smartphone Into A Home Security Camera

Devices like Nest Cam and Canary can keep an eye on your home while you’re away, but all you really need to set up your own home security system is an old phone or tablet you’re not using, an internet connection, and the right app. Here’s how to get started and what you should know.


Everything You Can Say To Your Amazon Echo

Voice control is one of the core capabilities of the Amazon Echo: the tall, black cylinder comes with a basic remote and some on-board buttons, but speaking commands and questions is the most intuitive way of interacting with it. If you’re wondering just what your Echo can do and which commands it responds to, here’s a comprehensive list.


NSW's Solar Bonus Scheme Draws To An End This Year

After six long years of earning fed-in-tariffs of 20c to 60c per kWh, NSW’s Solar Bonus Scheme is set to end this December. Once it ends, households formerly on the scheme are being encouraged to install smart meters as part of a voluntary market-led rollout in NSW, which will allow them to get the most from their solar energy.

A new government bill is set to expand the number of contractors able to install smart meters from 2000 to around 35,000, but estimates say households could be paying up to $600 to get the new meters installed.


Everything You Can Say To Siri On The New Apple TV

Siri is a big part of the next-generation Apple TV. You can use the personal assistant app to choose content, identify movie actors, skip songs and more. If you own one of the latest puck-shaped boxes, then here are just about all the things you can say to Siri — just press and hold the microphone button on the remote and start talking.


How To Save Power (And Money) Cooling Your Home In Summer

Temperatures expected to reach above 40 degrees in Sydney today, so here’s some advice to keep you from melting into a puddle. It may be tempting to crank the air-con up high and keep your house at sub-arctic temperatures until the weather outside finally cools down, but it’s worth thinking about the impact that’s going to have on your bill. There are plenty of ways you can cool your house in a more economical way — or, if you can’t bear turning off the air conditioner for a minute, we’ve collected a few tips so that you can use it more economically.


General Electric Will No Longer Make Fluorescent Lighbulbs

GE just announced that it no longer make or sell compact fluorescent lamp (CFL) lightbulbs in the US. The company will wind down the manufacturing of CFL bulbs over the course of the years, and it will begin to shift its focus on making the newest and most energy-efficient lightbulbs — LEDs.


A Newtown Housing Co-Op Will Have Australia's First Multi-Dwelling Solar And Battery Storage System

One student housing co-op’s electricity needs will soon be covered by a solar array and battery storage system, in the first installation of its kind in Australia. The City of Sydney is providing the funding for the project as part of an environmental grant.


Nest Thermostats Leaked User Data, But Don't Freak Out

It’s no secret that connected home devices are riddled with security concerns. A recent investigation into Nest thermostats leaking user data onto the internet seemed especially anxiety-inducing, given how incredibly popular the gadgets are. But the story’s not as scary as some reports might lead you to believe.


How Connected Cars Will Transform Our Lives At Home

Let me put this bluntly: Smart homes are pretty dumb. Or at least historically, connected devices for the everyman’s house have seemed gimmicky at best. This week at CES, however we saw some new technology that stands to reform our very conception of how homes work.


Tips And Tech To Make Your Australian Home Energy Smart

Turn off the lights when you’re not in the room, unplug devices on standby and run appliances at off-peak power times — we’ve heard all these tips for lowering your power bill before. With all the power-saving apps, services and gadgets that are now on the market, there are so many more options for making your home energy smart.


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