Homebridge Nest Integration

I’m working on a side project to integrate my Nest devices with Apple HomeKit, so you can interact with your Nest thermostat(s) and camera(s) in the Apple Home app.

https://github.com/potmat/homebridge-google-nest-sdm

I assumed that only a few people would care, but as I was writing this I looked up the stats and found that over 400 people have actually downloaded it. Someone even donated $10! If this thing takes off I could be right up there with people like @chrisjshull! Can you imagine? That was just a little joke.

Anyway take a look if you’re interested.

Homebridge Nest Integration

What Ya Gonna Do When They Come for You… Part 2

Update on the theft of my neighbour’s car!

My wife works at a forensic engineering firm, and she sent the videos to their engineers that deal with such things. Here is a slightly edited response:

As best as I can decipher from the video:

  1. The car was left unlocked (us crazy Canadians are so trusting), which allowed access to the trunk. This is additionally important as I was told by Jaguar that if the vehicle was locked it would require a key to program a new key. If the vehicle was unlocked there are less security measures in place to reprogram.
  2. The initial visit was to disconnect and remove the KVM (RFA module) which just so happens to be located in the hatch on the left side (where thief 1 spends his time).
  3. During the time the thieves are away they are reprogramming the KVM or extracting the data needed to replace it with another one with a key already programmed.
  4. The final visit is just to plug the new/reprogammed module back into the Jag and drive away. Note: they are so certain this will work, thief two starts walking away before thief one even enters the driver’s seat.

What I don’t know: Why it looks like they took a photo of the back left corner when they returned.

This is why I ask that we always look for signs of tampering of key (pun not intended) modules when inspecting vehicle thefts. If you ever removed an infotainment center you know trim clips almost never come off easy and without some damage. Also loose nuts and modules that are cleaner than their surroundings or have hand prints are also giveaways. Unfortunately, when thieves are this skilled the vehicles are rarely recovered.

Don’t forget to lock your doors.

So there you have it, they reprogrammed the device on the car that is responsible for authenticating the key to accept a new key. I bet they have some pretty advanced diagnostic equipment in order to make this work, possibly stolen from a Jaguar service centre.

What Ya Gonna Do When They Come for You… Part 2

What Ya Gonna Do When They Come for You

Yesterday night my neighbours had their car stolen right out of their driveway. It was a Jaguar F-Pace S. It is the silver car on the left of the frame. The thieves are driving some kind of black SUV/CUV/Whatever.

First the thieves show up at 2:10AM and somehow open the trunk and possibly put something in. Then they drive away…

Then they show up AGAIN 40 minutes later. This time they again open the trunk (possibly retrieving what they put in earlier) then they open the drivers door, then they start the car. The startup procedure looks rocky, the headlights blink more than you’d think. Then they drive away.

This is actually the second time this has happened in less than a year. The previous owner of the house had their Range Rover Sport stolen in much the same way (the thieves simply got in and drove off).

I’m really curious as to how they did this, the Jag was only a year or two old by the looks of it.

What Ya Gonna Do When They Come for You

Back in Action: 1954 Peterborough Royale Deluxe

About twenty years ago my father and I restored a derelict cedar strip boat that was slowly rotting away at a cottage nearby ours.

That’s me on the left. Teenagers are awful.

It took us several years, and I think we did a ripping good job. We don’t have a “before” picture, but here’s how it turned out:

Unfortunately as is often the case with these things, we got it to about 98% restored then ran out of steam. There were a few things that we simply never got right. We lived with it for a few years, then we put in storage for 15 years or so.

We were storing it in a building belonging to our cottage association. But then the building was sold. This means we were faced with an important decision. Get rid of it, or sort it out.

We decided to sort it out and put it back in the water. Since neither of us has the time to work on it anymore it went to Woodwind Yachts and we (by we I mean my Dad) paid them to sort it out for us. There wasn’t much that needed doing, but that final 2% is often the most difficult part, as anyone who has tried to restore a vintage vehicle of any kind will tell you.

We got it back this week and took it for it’s first ride. We then had to immediately pull it out of the water and store it for the winter.

It doesn’t look particularly different, but there are some important structural changes that make it much more usable. Since we’ve got it back I’ve been working on replacing the hilariously dim incandescent bulbs in the running lights with LEDs. More on that to come…

Back in Action: 1954 Peterborough Royale Deluxe

More LEGO Sets

Back at the cottage means more of my old LEGO sets! These were the smaller sets that you could sometimes convince your parents to buy you on a whim if you happened to be at the mall and begged loud enough, whereas the bigger ones like the seaport were reserved for Christmas.

6524: Blizzard Blazer

6644: Road Rebel

6646: Screaming Patriot

6351: Surf N’ Sail Camper

The names of the sets are absolutely hilarious. “Screaming Patriot”? They sound like the names of unlicensed Halloween costumes. You know the type, where it’s clearly “The Incredible Hulk” but it’s called something like “Angry Green Man”. I’m guessing they were named by some Swedish guy who worked at LEGO in the 1980’s and 1990’s and was given the job because he had a relative in America.

More LEGO Sets

Hidden Metro

I am rapidly approaching my fortieth birthday. That means I’m old enough to remember when Toronto was “Metro Toronto”. Long story short: Toronto used to be governed by many small regional entities who all cooperated under a framework called Metropolitan Toronto. Just before the end of the previous century this was replaced with one monolithic government in the name of “cost savings”. Whether that was actually successful or not I can’t say for certain (though my completely non-scientific intuition says it’s not terribly likely) but the neat thing is that you can still find the logo for Metro Toronto hiding all over the place. I try to take pictures of it when I see it.

On overpasses
On crosswalk buttons
On bollards
Hidden Metro

Unzip a File to Memory in Scala

Recently I had some trouble unzipping a file in Scala.  After combing through many different StackOverflow threads I eventually worked out this solution:


def unzip(path: String): Map[String, Array[Byte]] = {
val zipFile = new ZipFile(path)
zipFile.entries().asScala
.filter(!_.isDirectory)
.map { entry =>
val in = zipFile.getInputStream(entry)
val out = new ByteArrayOutputStream
IOUtils.copy(in, out)
IOUtils.closeQuietly(in)
IOUtils.closeQuietly(out)
entry.getName -> out.toByteArray
} toMap
}

Unzip a File to Memory in Scala