Category Archives: General

Kwikset Premis smartlock review

Kwikset Premis smart lockControl your Kwikset Premis lock from your Apple device either at home or on the road.

Did you remember to lock the door?
Who is coming and going from your house?
What if I need to let someone in while I’m not there?
When did the kids get home?

You’ve managed important aspects of life from your smartphone for years. Why not have the same control over your home? Premis is designed to help you look after your home and family—even when you’re away.

Siri:

  • “Lock my front door”
  • “Is my front door locked?”
    – Also works with Apple Watch

Remote Access:

  • Add, change, delete user codes
  • Lock and unlock door
    *requires an Apple TV, or an iPad at home connected to your home network
  • See the lock’s history to see who has accessed the lock

App:

https://www.kwikset.com/premis/application

The App has a very useful interactive installation feature to guide you through installing the lock.

Code Options:

  • ONE-TIME
    Can only be used one time within the next 24-hours. Ideal for giving access to contractors who require a single instance of entering your home.
  • LIMITED
    Can be used anytime or recurringly within a set dates and times. For housekeepers and others that consistently come on certain days and times.
  • ANYTIME
    Can be used every day at any time. Perfect for family members and others who come and go frequently.
  • LIMITED BY DAY
    Can be used anytime within the date range set. Ideal for house vacationers who are meant to only stay from one date to another.

Security:

https://www.kwikset.com/premis/security

The lock will display 2 random numbers that you have to press first, before entering a valid code, that makes it impossible for someone to successfully read fingerprints off the keypad to try to determine your code. This is rather nifty and doesn’t add much hassle to using the keypad. If a long passcode option is your preference but you don’t want to have to press 9 or 10 buttons then maybe consider using a 5-digit passcode. This combined with the 2 random numbers you have to press first adds up to 7 digits. Also, Kwikset warranties the keypad for life in case you’re concerned about frequent use wearing down the keypad.

FAQ:

https://www.kwikset.com/premis/faqs

What devices are compatible with Premis?

  • Versions of iPhone, iPod, iPad, and iOS Premis lock can be enrolled with compatible HomeKit enable devices running iOS 8.1 or newer. These include the iPhone 4S, all iPhone 5, 6 and 7 variants, iPad 2 or newer, all versions of iPad Mini, and the iPod Touch 5th generation or newer.
  • Compatible versions of Apple TV Premis is compatible with 4th generation or newer.
  • Can I unlock Premis remotely? The lock can be locked or unlocked remotely using the Premis app or Siri, if the lock is connected to an Apple Home Hub. Home Hubs come standard on Apple TVs (4th generation and newer) and Apple iPads (with iOS 10 or newer). The Home Hub must remain in your home, connected to your home Wi-Fi network, and powered on.

Other things to consider:

Kwikset has a newer version of the lock that resists forced turning. Keep in mind that no lock is completely pick-proof. The idea is to make it as time-consuming as possible so that a would-be thief moves on. If they want in badly enough then there are likely easier ways.  (Windows, etc) Here is the video where they challenge professional locksmiths to pick the lock using various picking methods.

The SmartKey technology where you can ‘rekey’ the lock to work with your existing key requires that your current key shape will fit into the Kwikset lock. I had a different brand lock so my current key wouldn’t fit. I had to use the 2 keys that came with Kwikset Premis lock. It’s not really a big deal but I like to have a few extras, even with this new keypad feature. I ended up making a couple spare keys.

I read other reviews where people complained about the touchpad response time. I haven’t seen issues regarding this at all. It’s very responsive from my experience.

Installation Notes:

Installation was relatively easy though I had a few hurdles.

  1. My door frame strike, the receiving end of the deadbolt, was 1/2″ deep when it requires a 1″ depth. There was a metal frame in my door frame that I had to punch through. The Premis lock kept thinking that it was ‘jammed’ otherwise. It would still work but the locked/unlocked indicator in the App would show it as “jammed”.
  2. The outside portion of the door lock unit, the keypad part, wouldn’t slide into the door. The metal bar that turns the lock was about 1/8 of an inch off center. I had to unscrew the faceplace, the rectangular part that screws into the side of the door, 1/8″ inch to push the latch out a tad. It’s still solidly installed and you can’t really tell.
  3. The handing process worked but was a little confusing. When you install the batteries the first time the lock will go through a series of tests where it extends and retracts the bolt. The bolt would only retract in part way so I thought it was failing due to the previously mentioned issue (number 2) maybe due to too much friction on the turning mechanism. I took the lock apart, loosened the faceplate screws another turn, and redid the wired that you have to tuck into the inside portion of the lock taking more care that it wasn’t pressing too hard against the turning mechanism. I think it still exhibited the same issue retracting during handing but it retracts all the way, every time, when using a key, the keypad, or the app so it’s working and that’s all that matters.
  4. There are 3 small screws that have to be removed in order to remove the batteries. This is just not well thought out. However, if battery life lasts as long as it should then it’s not really a big deal. Two screws are on the sides and one screw is underneath the unit. My door handle is below the unit so it’s not the easiest screw to access. I ended up just leaving the bottom screw out.

So far I’m quite pleased with the Premis and would recommend it to others. I bought it for the convenience of letting others in if required, and as a backup, in case I somehow lose my key so I’ll have a way in.

I think in most cases installation is easy and it works as designed.

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Tips and Tricks for Surviving After Shoulder Surgery

I live alone so some of these may not apply to you but most should be helpful. As with anything, follow your doctor’s orders.

It’s been four months since I had my right shoulder repaired due to a SLAP tear from years of volleyball and overhand sports. I read a lot of information online and watched a bunch of videos! Some were helpful but many rambled on and repeated the same information. These are some things I discovered that I didn’t see mentioned anywhere else or at least rarely saw mentioned. Hopefully, you’ll find something helpful.

Pre Surgery Tips:

Buy anything you think you might need. (see suggestions below)

Get your home prepared:

  • Laundry
  • Clean if necessary
  • Food
  • Supplies (see below)
  • Open any jars of food that you might want to use because they are very hard to open with one hand. This goes for both new jars or jars you’ve already opened but might be tight for various reasons. [For example, salsa can dry around the rim and reseal an already opened jar. I struggled with this. ;) ]

Post Surgery Tips:

Sling Tips:

  • Get your sling adjusted and then you can just slide it over your head versus refastening all the straps every time you want to take it off. You really only need to undo the waist strap and lift it over your head. Often times I left the waist strap undone anyway and just used the shoulder strap. That way I didn’t have to do anything to take it off and it took no time. I tucked the waist strap into the area between the pad and the arm cup so it’s out of the way. At night I recommend fastening the waist strap to prevent you from any unintentional movements while you’re sleeping.
  • Your sling serves to not only support your arm but to prevent you from doing stupid things accidentally.
    • After a few days, you’ll gain confidence and leave it off when walking to the kitchen or bathroom. You’ll stumble over something and instinctually move your repaired arm and yell a string of curse words. Be incredibly deliberate with your steps or just don’t risk re-injuring yourself by moving around without your sling on. I was in the kitchen making something simple to microwave when I dropped a fork with my good hand. It bounced off the counter and I instinctually grabbed it out of the air with the hand on my repaired arm. Fortunately, it wasn’t a big movement but it woke me up to what could happen.
  • Ice Machine – “Polar Ice Machine”  – step on one end of the hose to hold it still to help connect the hose joints using only your good hand. (http://amzn.to/2xCvIbz)

Sleeping/Bed: (How to sleep after shoulder surgery)

  • Bed wedge (http://amzn.to/2hiYDgB) – The first few nights I mostly slept using the wedge but worked myself off of it as I grew more comfortable with my arm in a sling. Plus it comes in handy when you’re awake during the day, want to stay in bed and don’t want to lie completely horizontal.
  • Phone/tablet extender attached to your bed or night table with long charge cable. You’ll spend a lot of time in bed and you’ll get sick of trying to hold it or get it to stand upright. This is a hands-free option that allows you to lay anyway you want.
  • Light dimmer switch for bed http://amzn.to/2gA1MHA
    • I put this on the side of my bed so I could easily turn the light off/on or dim it without having to get up. Super handy!
  • 4 pillows (one on each side, 2 for my head)

Showering: (How to shower after shoulder surgery)

  • Liquid soap in a squirt/press bottle (http://amzn.to/2xDyguV)
  • Removable Showerhead (http://amzn.to/2gAehTt)
  • Washing Tips: Lean forward slightly in order to wash your repaired arm and use gravity in your favor.  Put your foot up on the side of the tub while standing and just let your arm hang or rest it against your thigh on the same side of your body. This way you can wash the repaired arm without having to use much muscle strength. Your leg will support your arm.
  • This goes for anything really but if you need to do something that is a bit challenging (shaving, shaving head) then do the hard side first because your good arm will get tired. It’s easier to do the easier side second.

Getting Dressed: (How to get dressed after shoulder surgery)

  • Because I worked from home for a couple weeks I lived in gym shorts and tees, very easy to put on! With your repaired arm held at your side, in the same position as if the sling were on, it’s easy to slide the first sleeve and t-shirt on over that arm and up over your head. Then put your good arm through the other sleeve second.
  • Slip-on shoes (like shoelace-less Converse, Vans, slippers, etc)
  • It’s possible to tie shoes w one hand but it’s hard (look it up on youtube).  I gave it a shot but gave up because it wasn’t something I had to do.
  • Completely fasten your pants with a belt before putting them on. It obviously helps a lot if they are slightly too big so you can pull them over your hips. Completely fasten them, lie down on your bed, and slide them on. Then stand up and tighten the belt. I used one of those D-ring belts that are easy to tighten with one hand once you have them on. (http://amzn.to/2ykZUv6)

Work:

It depends on kind of work you do, obviously, but if you work a desk job then a laptop is much easier to work on because your hands and arms move very little. 

I used a laptop at work and used Microsoft Remote Desktop/Apple ARD to remote into my desktop which was right in front of me. This basically allowed me to use my laptop keyboard for my main system. I preferred it over the other small keyboards I tried but you may not. (You can also get wireless keyboard or mini keyboard if you think it’ll help (jelly comb mini keyboard – http://amzn.to/2hs6nxc)

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Live Nation magazine subscription scam duping customers out of $14.99 per purchase

Please beware that when purchasing tickets to certain events via Live Nation (Ticketmaster) you are very easily being duped into a “bonus” or “complimentary” magazine subscription. Why is this a scam?

First of all, yes, Live Nation gives you the option to ‘opt out’ of this “complimentary” subscription but it’s listed under “Privacy Information”. It should be listed elsewhere with a different heading. Also, “bonus” implies free, no cost to you, and this is not the case. Also, you must check the box to opt-out versus checking the box to opt-in.
(Click on the image below for larger version)

Secondly, if you do decline this “bonus” offer, you are then eligible for a “refund” of $14.99 if you are thorough enough to read the fine print and follow a couple links. Why are you eligible for a “refund” if this is indeed a “complimentary” offer?!


Ticket Special Bonus:
A one-year (52) subscription to Entertainment Weekly (a $14.99 value) is included in your concert ticket purchase today. Your first issue will mail in 8-12 weeks. You will not receive a bill for this magazine subscription. This offer is valid for new U.S. subscribers only and is limited to one subscription per household. Entertainment Weekly publishes eight double issues a year. Each double issue counts as two of 52 issues in an annual subscription. The subscription will be mailed to your ticket purchase order shipping address. If you would like to decline your magazine subscription you may request a $14.99 rebate. To request this rebate: please mail this completed form along with confirmation of purchase to Live Nation Rebate, Entertainment Weekly, P.O. Box 63440, Tampa, FL 33663-3440 within 30 days of your purchase.

I, for one, didn’t read the fine print and received 2 issues of Entertainment Weekly in the mail. I had no idea why I was receiving this magazine until a friend, weeks later, asked me if I noticed this practice on Live Nation’s website when she was purchasing tickets for a different comedy show. That’s when it became obvious to me why I was receiving Entertainment Weekly. Of course this was 30 days after my “purchase” and too late to request a refund. I suspect this is intentional and part of the scam. By the time customers figure out what is going on, it’s too late. 6-8 weeks to receive your magazine, remember?

Here is the quote from Live Nation’s Privacy Policy:


“Newsletter and Magazine Subscriptions: When you complete the ticket purchase for our shows, you will be automatically enrolled in our newsletter. In addition, for some shows you may receive a complimentary subscription to a trade magazine. For this purpose, we will provide your name and mailing address to the magazine subscription fulfillment company. You may choose to simultaneously opt out of both subscriptions during the checkout process.”

You can see the entire Live Nation final ticket purchase page to the right. (click on it to enlarge) Notice how there is a timer on it at the bottom right? It forces you to rush through the page and not read everything because you’re afraid of losing your tickets.

Let’s put a stop to this practice by complaining directory to Live Nation. You can retweet this here.

-Chris Thacker
http://alternapop.com
http://twitter.com/indiesongaday

———————————-

Update: May 11, 2011

On February 18, I purchased tickets via Live Nation to see Kevin Nealon at Cobb’s Comedy Club in San Francisco. Now that I’m aware of Live Nation’s duplicity when buying comedy tickets I was diligent enough to check the box to decline the “complimentary” magazine subscription and fill out the necessary paperwork to receive the $14.99 refund on said COMPLIMENTARY subscription. I mailed out the paperwork within a week.

On April 28th, I realized that I hadn’t received my refund so I tweeted this to @livenation and a specific Live Nation employee who follows me. She said she’d have someone look into it.

On May 2nd, Ben from Live Nation emailed me to assist. I told him that I hadn’t yet received my refund and was curious if Live Nation had a comment regarding my concerns about the nature of how these subscriptions are filled. He said he’d look into the refund and ignored my other point.

On May 4th he said that he learned that the refund had been processed and I received a voice mail that day or the next. I replied back:

“Hi Ben,
Thanks for your help with this.

So correct me if I’m misunderstanding this whole process but every time
someone orders comedy tickets online, they must opt-out of a “free”
magazine subscription yet are entitled to a refund if they both decline
the free subscription and fill out the necessary paperwork? LiveNation
expects customers to repeat this process over and over for every ticket
purchase?”

Again no reply.

Today it’s May 11th and I have yet to receive my refund. I emailed Ben, the Live Nation rep, and he replied back, “The check is on the way and you will be receiving it this week!”. This tells me that they didn’t send the check before, like he said they did, and they just got around to it. Really?

Additionally, I found this class action lawsuit against Ticketmaster (1)(2)(3)(4) from 2000! They have been doing this for over a decade.

———————————-

Update: June 1, 2011

After calling/emailing Live Nation numerous times I finally received my rebate check for $19.99. I have no idea why that was the amount versus the stated $14.99. So the three tickets I purchased totaled around $89 and I got $20 knocked off of that.

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Microsoft replacement of black man causes uproar over a common advertising practice

Microsoft recently used a different version of a photo within an ad for two different markets. Apparently this has caused an uproar, Microsoft has apologized, and replaced the changed photo.

huffingtonpost.com

All they did was photoshop out a black man and replaced him with a white man. Advertisers and marketers have been doing this since the beginning of advertising and marketing.

I was part of a similar plan in 2003. I was a model for a Microsoft ad where they hired 3 men and 1 woman. The other two men were of Japanese and Chinese decent. Their intent was to use a different version of the ad for different markets, US, Europe and Japanese.

Click on each photo icon above to see the full size ad.

Why is this just now being brought to light and frowned upon? Because the man was photoshopped and it wasn’t reshot with a different actor?

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How to tie a tie the correct length every time

Here is the secret that I discovered myself several years ago.

I’m not going to go into the specifics about the mechanics of actually tying the tie but just how to set it up so you learn how to do it the same way every time.

What is important to remember is that different ties are different lengths but it doesn’t really matter how long or short the short/skinny end of the tie is after you tie your tie. What is more important is how long the long/wide end of the tie is. This is what people see and what causes retying if you tie it incorrectly.

1. Let both of your arms hang down at your side. Hang your tie around your neck and hold the tip of the wide end of the tie in your downward stretched arm’s hand, downward at your side. For me personally, I hold the tip of the tie in the tip of my index finger and thumb.

2. Take mental note where the end of the wide end of the tie falls with regards to the length of your arm. (eg: middle of your fingers, tip of your fingers, a couple inches past your fingers) This serves as your personal gauge.

3. Tie your tie.

4. If the length is how you like it, you now know your personal gauge. Hold any tie in your downward stretched hand in the exact same spot from now on. If it’s too short/long for your preference, untie your tie and start over adjusting where the tip of your tie falls in your downward stretched hand adjusting for how short or long the tie was with the first tie attempt. Just slide the tie a little more over on your neck to adjust for this length difference. Just use this same gauge every time you tie your tie and the length will be about the same every time, right? The short/skinny end is the end that will vary with different ties.

Was this helpful? If so, please consider buying your next tie (or any Amazon purchase) using this link. Also please share this with your friends and comment below if you found this helpful.

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