My first purchase from a KeyMe kiosk and I have notes!

KeyMe Kiosk

I have used MinuteKEY before. To easily bypass DO NOT COPY keys quite successfully. Todays errand was more about a quick solution then a security bypass. I was just copying normal keys today.  Here is what i learned.  With MinuteKEY, you could only make batch copies of the same key.  In fact, the MinuteKEY kiosk locked your key into the machine until all the copying is done.  There were zero protections against DO NOT COPY keys.  They do however print keys right there in a variety of styles and colors.

MinuteKey - DO NOT COPY close

MinuteKey - DO NOT COPYMinuteKey Workings
None of that is true with KeyMe.  First off, the interface is much easier to use (despite misleading or outdated instructions).  you can batch different keys at once witch is very handy. They offer to mail you cut keys of different styles, but the only ones cut in the machine are basic brass and brass with a bottle opener.  They offer a novel approach to DO NOT COPY with a Store Employee Check Required screen.  The 3 digit code is cute, but can easily be shoulder surfed.  Apart from that, with the batching of keys, there is no way for the Store Employee to even know which key you are copying at that moment.  Unlike the MinuteKey, nothing is locked in place.  The machine is already ready to scan another key.

KeyMe - Kiosk (close)KeyMe - employee check
Final observation on an interesting feature that i want to investigate further.  KeyMe kiosks allow you to store your key on their system protected by your fingerprint.  That’s just the start.  With the app, you can take a picture of a key and have it printed at a kiosk.  Send keys to friends/family/subordinates though the system.  I will just say that i am both intrigued and terrified by these novel ideas.  what are your thoughts?

It’s finally fixed!

 

As you can see, it did turn out to be hardware, a GPU and CPU (ouch!).  The flash storage was not it, but I figured that out eventually. This has been an issue since October!  With many fixes attempted.  It was a bit of a blow to my pride eventually having to turn to Apple, but they stepped up and got it done with only mild frustration on my part.   Plus, they picked up the tab as my warranty is certainly expired.  There comes a time when you realize that a fix would require more parts then you had at hand.  I have been enjoying my functional desktop again, just in time for the new iMac Pro to make it obsolete.

New Toys – Myo Armband & Leap Motion interface devices!

Myo Armband & Leap Motion interface devices

Trading technology with my friends left me with some exciting new toys.  Now with a bit more time since these devices were introduced there are lots of interesting demos for each. Though similar, these are very different devices and not intended to be used together.  I am excited to see what they are capable of.  Anything to replace the flat pointer driven systems we seem to be stuck with. I think I’ll integrate my Leap Motion with the Oculus i have on loan.  So far, it’s hard to type without triggering my Myo Constantly.

My favorite products play well together!

DiskStation and Amplifi

Ubiquity’s Amplifi wifi mesh system is awesome and incredibly easy to setup. It also looks great next to Synology’s DiskStation product line.  Together they make the most amazing Time Capsule replacement. The functionality doesn’t stop there.  The DiskStation does so much more then just backup.  As a backup however, it allows you to mirror the disks for extra protection as well as synchronize between other servers, DiskStations, cloud storage, or even AWS S3!  Getting nearly 200Mbit everywhere!  Already backing up three computers.  What other services should I add to the Synology?

Monitoring power usage is sometimes my only insight.

I have been working on a number of Raspberry Pi projects in various stages of working. To distract from more difficult projects (not to mention nostalgia and fun) I have been building  an Adafruit PiGrrl portable classic game emulator.  At several points with this project or other without a lot of feedback from the device I’m working with, I’ve relied on milliamp readings from the Mico USB Cable/Voltage Display.  This tiny bit of information is incredibly helpful in determining what my Pi is up too. Idle? Booting? Overwhelmed?  In the land of the blind the one eye’d man is king.  At the very least it reduced the total time waisted waiting on crashed or other broken attempts.

Micro USB amp meter