Next week, on October 5, 2011, I'll be performing in Magic Chicago. There are three magicians on the bill this month, and my segment will be brief, but I'm cooking up something to welcome the start of the Hallowe'en season.
The GlobalLink security panel puts on quite a show for anyone casing your house or business. By all appearances, you have a National Security-level burglar alarm, which should convince them find another victim. It's pricey to be sure, but at the very least you could crank up some Pink Floyd and charge kids to watch it.
The other day I received an email from a Smart Home Hacks reader looking for a way to convert an analog surveillance system into one that's accessible from the web. This approach can make a lot of sense if you already have security cameras installed, or if you want higher quality video than what a typical webcam provides.
I haven't tried it, but the general approach is to use an Analog to IP Camera adapter, such as the Hawk-I. This one is among the lower-cost options, and only converts one camera. You can also find 2 channel boxes if you need to view an additional camera.
Ed Rogers live close (very close) to a railroad. To help deal with the noise of nearby trains, he has created a system for automatically closing his windows when a train approaches. A fine smart home hack. See his video about how it all works at DVICE.