Umer Pasha Blogs

Google Home vs. Amazon Echo 2nd gen. unbiased review.

I got to test both echo dot 2nd gen and Google Home together. I have a honeywell smart thermostat, philips hue lighting and a lifx bulb.

So Google home lost out in the end! It needs a lot of work with it’s integration. Even though the current price of $99 is appealing and it does have much better sound recognition, it’s integration with smart things is abysmal.
It is on the right track though and if it does not receive the Google Axe soon, it will bypass echo in it’s next generation.

Problems with Home:
There is not much direct native support for many brands to start wth. So you are reliant on IFTTT to do most of the stuff. That is where the problems start.

In the end, it was not able to do the primary job of toggling all lights upstairs on or off using one voice command….. and that did it!

Speaker is good. Pleasent friendly human voice. Not robotic like echo.
Looks way more aesthetic than an echo.
Voice recognition is miles better than echo.
Human voice interaction is very good and again, daylights better than echo.
Love it that I can insert numbers and text in IFTTT triggers. Like I can say set the temperature to #. Or, set the bulb color to $. Something not available with echo.
It does not say “Sending it to IFTTT” for every IFTTT trigger like echo and I can customize what it says. More Human again.

Cannot create groups of lights for hue. Mainly a problem with Hue itself but Echo mitigates it by providing groups. So basically, you can ask home to turn on the light in bedroom but are unable to turn on all lights upstairs with one voice command.
Cannot toggle hue lights in IFTTT trigger. Works 1/10 times. Adds to the problem above because you cannot even use IFTTT to mitigate that by creating multiple triggers on same event. The trigger worked fine with Lifx though.
It was not able to see my bought music on Google play and play it. Kept saying my playlist is empty. gave up soon on this and just played from my phone.
Have a properietery power input. For someone who likes to hide wires behind furniture, it hinders my mobility of things. Should have been some standard USB input.

Leave a comment »

Windows authentication fails on iOS when accessing an https URL on mobile-data/LTE

Windows authentication fails on iOS when accessing an https URL on mobile-data/LTE.

We are are trying to access a dot net web service with https URL and are not able to authenticate. It keeps on asking for username and password.

What we know:
– Works fine on http
– Works fine if connected to WiFi
– Any windows authenticated site on https does not work with mobile data but works fine with wifi
– Any windows authenticated site on https does not work with safari but works fine with Chrome on iOS
– Have tried both iOS 8.1 and 9.1

Anybody got any answers? Please let me know.

Leave a comment »

VB Source Code to get facebook status messages using Graph API

You will need an authentication token from facebook to access it. Please check for that. Again, you will have to create an app and get an authentication token generated with the correct rights.

        url = ",message&limit=50&offset=0&access_token=" & sToken

        strJSON = get_page_contents( URL ) 

        set user = JSON.parse( strJSON )

                    If TmpVal=OldVal then
                        exit do
                    End If
'                        FBStatus2 = cdate(left(,10) & " " & mid(,12,5)) & ": " & 
                        response.write "<li><span>" & cdate(left(,10) & " " & mid(,12,5)) & "</span><a href='#'>" &  & "</a></li>"