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April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review

Smartphone, smart home

By Mary Clare Fischer






Until recently, installing high-tech gear to create a smart home could cost tens of thousands of dollars and often involved unsightly wires. Now, however, you can use wireless technology to duplicate many useful smart-home features for a few hundred bucks. Most systems will let you use a smartphone or tablet to perform tasks remotely, such as adjusting your thermostat, turning lights on and off, and controlling a basic security system. Pricier systems add such features as moisture detectors and remote door locks.


One of the lowest-cost systems is called Iris (it's available at home-improvement chain Lowe's). There are two basic kits: one comes with contact and motion sensors as well as a keypad to disarm the system; the other includes a plug and thermostat that let you adjust the temperature and monitor energy usage. Each kit costs $179, or you can get both packages and a range extender for your wireless Internet by buying a $299 Smart kit.


Lowe's doesn't charge a monthly fee for its basic service, which gives you remote access to all your appliances and sends you an alert if, say, a motion detector is tripped. Premium service -- with such features as the ability to set on/off schedules for all your devices -- costs $10 a month (free for the first two months). You'll need broadband Internet that's always on and a router or modem with at least one open Ethernet port. For do-it-yourselfers, Lowe's has an online installation video.


Comcast and Verizon Wireless offer similar systems, and AT&T, Time Warner Cable, ADT Security and Vivint sell more-advanced packages. Keep an eye out for promotions; AT&T recently offered new buyers $100 off its higher-level kit.


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Ask about discounts on homeowners insurance; most insurers will give you 20 percent off if you purchase a security system that's monitored by the police and fire department. Lowe's Iris doesn't do this, but most other systems do.

REMOTE CONTROLS


  • Front entrance. Locks with keypads allow you to create access codes specific to certain people. You can also stream video of your home to see whether a cat or a cat burglar set off your door sensor. (Verizon Wireless Entry Accessory Offer; $390 plus $10 a month).

  • Living room. You can create settings that trigger changes all over your house. For example, your "night" setting might tell the thermostat to drop a few degrees, turn off the lights and activate the alarm. (Lowe's Iris Smart kit; $299 plus $10 a month).

  • Basement. If sensors detect too much moisture or carbon monoxide in your home, you receive an alert via text message or email. (AT&T Digital Life Water Detection package; $200 plus $45 per month).

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All contents copyright 2013 Kiplinger's Personal Finance Distributed by Tribune Media Services. All rights reserved.

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