Questions in the Technology category.
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January 9

Home automation - flood detection and motorised valves

I live in a flat and I am petrified at the idea that I may cause water damage to my neighbours (especially when I am not at home - which is a lot of the time these days). I am looking to put together a home automation system which detects water leaks and automatically turns off the domestic hot and cold water supply. I think I will have Fibaro water sensors, a Z-wave hub, and z-wave switches to control motorised valves and turn off the supply. Do you have any experience with or advice for such a setup? [more inside]
posted by Parsnip at 12:55 PM - 5 answers

At&t shutdown 2G, now I don't have 3G

I get my cell service from Consumer Cellular (which uses AT&T cell towers), reception at home has always been spotty, but OK. As of last week I now get absolutely nothing at home (even after 3 days no texts got through), Consumer Cellular says this is because of the 2G shutdown (we have 3G/4G capable phones). AT&T says we should have plenty of 3G reception, but won't do anything about it because we are not directly their customers. [more inside]
posted by 445supermag at 10:13 AM - 8 answers

January 7

Oh Green, what's this machine?

Just curious what this machine is that one of the characters in The Night Manager was carrying. My best guess is a portable printer, but I don't see a similar one online and the blocky thing on the back of it doesn't seem like it would be part of a printer.
posted by duoshao at 9:01 AM - 5 answers

January 6

Home security webcam recommendation

My partner and I just moved into a new condo in the city, and the added foot traffic in the hallways seems to be driving our dog crazy. We are looking for a wireless webcam security solution that will allow us to check and see how he's doing while we're out, as well as provide a bit of extra security, as a secondary priority. Researching the options on Amazon is totally overwhelming. Requirements within. [more inside]
posted by lieber hair at 10:24 AM - 9 answers

Excel PivotTable filter: how to calculate percentage?

One field, FieldA, is being summed in a column. Another field, FieldB, is being counted in a column. How do I get FieldA/FieldB as a percent in the pivot table? [more inside]
posted by bologna on wry at 8:57 AM - 5 answers

January 5

Wireless access points or mesh networking?

Our house is not tremendously big, but is challenging to cover with wifi signal because it has plaster walls with metal underneath. Currently we have a router wired to two wireless access points, a setup which provides pretty good coverage. Our internet service supposedly runs at 1 gigabit per second, although we are told to realistically expect 40 MB. I'd like a router that has parental controls and wondering which way to go: [more inside]
posted by lakeroon at 8:58 PM - 10 answers

Port Corporate Phone Number to Google Voice

GV won't port corporate number, there has to be a way to port number to a personal line cheaply and then port to GV, right? What is the cheap way to do it? [more inside]
posted by xicana63 at 3:48 PM - 2 answers

Photos, Chromebook, and Google Drive

I'm probably doing something wrong, but I have questions about Google Drive, my Chromebook, and pictures. [more inside]
posted by pdb at 10:19 AM - 8 answers


Widgets Inc. (in the US) wants to schedule a phone interview with me (on vacation in Germany). How do I make this work? [more inside]
posted by sondern at 7:40 AM - 17 answers

January 4

Help me find my bitcoin!

I have a bitcoin "wallet backup" from a couple years ago, but I don't know how to re-import this into a bitcoin client. [more inside]
posted by anotherthink at 8:12 PM - 7 answers

In my day, we called them 'roh-buts'

It's been a while since last someone asked, so for 2017: what are good recommendations for non-iPhone smartphones for seniors? [more inside]
posted by infinitewindow at 2:38 PM - 4 answers

Apps for communicating with deaf friend?

I'm looking for apps that will help me communicate with a deaf friend. Are there apps that will add subtitles to real life, so that he can read what's being said during group conversations? Also, is there a way to video chat with captioning, so that he can skype someone in real-time? [more inside]
posted by tinymegalo at 2:30 PM - 3 answers

Wireless carriers in the US Southwest (New Mexico) in 2017

Is there a suitable replacement for Verizon as a wireless carrier in New Mexico? I'd like to cut our bills while getting coverage throughout the state, and nationally (occasionally). [more inside]
posted by filthy light thief at 7:50 AM - 8 answers

I want my morning alarm to be a stream of online radio via my phone.

I've been using the Public Radio and Podcast app, but sometimes (like this morning) the alarm either doesn't go off or it goes off at the wrong time. I understand that the app's creator is no longer supporting it. What is the best replacement? I'm looking for something that functions well and has the variety of choices offered by the Public Radio and Podcast app. My phone is an Android. Thanks!
posted by Fister Roboto at 7:02 AM - 5 answers

January 3

Cell phones: institutional edition

The institution I work for allows cell phones as long as they are pre-paid and have no camera, internet capability or voice recording. Does such a thing (still) exist? [more inside]
posted by arrmatie at 6:28 PM - 15 answers

Snowflakey Goal Tracking App

Looking for an Android app to assign me cumulative points based on all the stuff I do or don't do. Details inside. [more inside]
posted by soren_lorensen at 12:57 PM - 6 answers

Antenna to extend wifi range?

I want to buy or rent a small, powerful USB antenna (or other hardware) to extend a laptop's wifi range to 600+ feet (physically like this one, though I don't see an indication that one is powerful enough). [more inside]
posted by kalapierson at 12:11 PM - 5 answers

January 2

Repair oldish Macbook Air through Apple or some third party, or replace?

My Macbook Air (2012 model) has a bad hard drive, I think. Should I try to take it to Apple for maintenance, or a third-party? [more inside]
posted by skewed at 12:14 PM - 7 answers

My message is lost on Facebook

I sent a message and a friend request at the same time. But once the friend accepted, my message was still in la la land as it was hidden under 'Message Requests.' Even subsequent messages continued to appear under the same filter. I tried deleting my conversation and sending a message but to no avail. I was able to confirm this with a separate account. It appears the only other option would be to write on their wall, but would rather find an alternative than to make the convo public. Any ideas, please?
posted by AngryTypingGuy at 3:10 AM - 7 answers

January 1

How to transfer these smartphone photo albums?

Is it possible to/how do I transfer the photo albums in the Samsung app "Story Album" to a Samsung Galaxy S7 from a Samsung Galaxy S4? [more inside]
posted by Snarl Furillo at 4:43 PM - 1 answers

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