VMS713 – Project Update 20141203.02

I cannot get the RFM69HWs to talk to each other, even using the TxRxBlinky example in the RFM69 library, or the gateway and garage door node sketches from the Über Home Automation Project. At this point, I wonder if the RFM69s that I purchased are bad… or if I killed one of them while soldering.

I’m also about ready to lose my mind, as two of my HC-SR04s seem to experience phantom pings — distances jump dramatically, without anything in front of the sensors. Continue reading

VMS713 – Project Update 20141202

Channelling the Sad Cat Diary: my effort to combine wireless transceivers, arduino, python and bluetooth audio does not go well. Bluetooth and pygame do not play well, together (nor can I get pyaudio to function, properly, without a dedicated sound card). The wireless transceivers do not, as best I can tell, trans or ceive. The fallback is to pair an arduino sensor with a raspberry pi, connected directly to a speaker. Continue reading

Does iTunes (and iCloud) have a systemic security problem? [updated]

John Gruber doesn’t think so, but my experience and the experiences of countless others seems to show otherwise.

Back in late-January of this year, I received a curious email from Apple, indicating that my credit card information and billing address listed in my iTunes Store account had ben recently changed. Now, I never keep credit cards on file with retailers, nor do I have the iTMS linked to PayPal. I strictly adhere to a policy of making music, app and video purchases using only gift card balance, mainly out of concern that credit card account information stored anywhere outside my wallet or my noggin is inherently vulnerable, so I avoid it, when possible.

I logged into my iTunes account and found that, while my street address remained the same, my house had been magically transported to Townson, MD 21286-7840. Furthermore, my account balance, which had been about $34 the evening before, now hovered around 12¢. Apparently, after teleporting to Townson, I went on a spending spree, buying Fruit Ninja, Fruit Ninja HD, Angry Birds Seasons, Angry Birds Seasons HD, Plants vs Zombies, Plants vs Zombies HD, and so on, including a mystery lifestyle app titled “27000+ 天下美食.” Continue reading