I think I'm doing my Christmas shopping at the wrong stores

Was out looking for some gag gifts for an office gift exchange and ran across these beauties at my favorite liquidation store.  Some of these are truly inspired knock offs.  I’ve got a bunch of share, but will start with the Star Wars stuff...

 Star world...  not terribly original or catchy. And the vehicles don't look anything from the galaxy far far away.  Maybe you'd get lucky though, seeing as though “product may vary from photo and specification on box”.  Compared to other stuff at the store, the English on the box is surprisingly readable. Someone knows how to use a thesaurus... I'd be hard pressed to come up with "inexhaustible fun" to describe these little rover things. 

Star world...  not terribly original or catchy. And the vehicles don't look anything from the galaxy far far away.  Maybe you'd get lucky though, seeing as though “product may vary from photo and specification on box”.  Compared to other stuff at the store, the English on the box is surprisingly readable. Someone knows how to use a thesaurus... I'd be hard pressed to come up with "inexhaustible fun" to describe these little rover things. 

 This is some pretty shameless work.  Looks like they didn’t just knock off the logo, but also borrowed some artwork.  If the photo is accurate, they did a better job with the actual model, though.  I guess that’s why you pay $12. 

This is some pretty shameless work.  Looks like they didn’t just knock off the logo, but also borrowed some artwork.  If the photo is accurate, they did a better job with the actual model, though.  I guess that’s why you pay $12. 

 Thai is my favorite.  The model looks pretty bad, but the name still makes me chuckle.  What kid wouldn’t want something from Star Wart?  I wonder if the logo creator even knew what they were writing, or if they just wanted something that looked close.

Thai is my favorite.  The model looks pretty bad, but the name still makes me chuckle.  What kid wouldn’t want something from Star Wart?  I wonder if the logo creator even knew what they were writing, or if they just wanted something that looked close.

Tags

Accessing your cameras from anywhere

You have your webcam setup, and you can reach it on your LAN.  You probably access it via a numeric IP address that starts with 192.168.  Setup this way, you can only access your camera when you're connected to your own network.

In order to access your camera from anywhere, you need a DDNS (dynamic DNS) service.  DDNS will take your external IP address from your service provider (something other than a 192.168 address) and translate it to a named address.  Something like myhomecamera.ddns.net.

There are many options for this.  Some router manufacturer's have this built into the router software itself.  Asus is one of these.  Look for DDNS in your router's configuration.  If it's not a simple one-click setup in your hardware, How-to-Geek has a pretty good tutorial on setting it up.

DDNS is only part of the solution.  You also need to make your camera accessible externally.  Again, there are a couple ways to do this.  If you are confident in the security of your camera, you can use port-forwarding, which will route external traffic on a select port to your camera.  

A note about ports.  Web traffic by default uses port 80. You can forward one of your cameras on port 80.  However, if you have more than one camera, you can't have multiple cameras on port 80.  In this case, you can use any other external port and forward it to port 80 internally.  That way, one of your cameras will be reachable at something like myhomecamera.ddns.net:80 and a second camera might be reachable at myhomecamera.net:81.

Some cameras have been shown to have questionable security.  This isn't a problem on your LAN, but you might think twice about making cameras like this available on the internet via port forwarding.  A safer solution is to use a VPN.  This was discussed in yesterday's blog post. Please take a look!

If you're having trouble getting your camera configured to use with eyeCam, feel free to send me a note.  I can help you with your individual setup, point you in the right direction!

 

Tags

Securing your web cam

Web cams have gotten a bad reputation for being insecure.  This reputation is somewhat deserved.  Lots of them included back door accounts that were hardcoded and allowed anyone knowing the password to access any camera.  In fact, you can still find sites online that index insecure cameras, and there are lots of them.

So, should you stop using these old cameras?  You don't want anyone to be able to access your video, and even if you don't care about people seeing your camera's feed, it could eat up your bandwidth.

Luckily there's an easy fix.  Rather than put your camera right on the internet via port forwarding, you can leave port forwarding disabled and use a VPN.  Without port forwarding, normally your camera would only be accessible from within your LAN.  When setting up a VPN, you need an extra layer of security and encryption to access devices on your LAN.

VPN setup can be complicated, but luckily, many modern routers support it out of the box.  iOS devices can connect to many VPN servers without additional software, and one of the most popular VPN types, OpenVPN is accessible from iOS devices using a free app.

How-to-Geek has an excellent article on setting up your own VPN.  If you use web accessible cameras at your home, I'd suggest checking it out!  

 

Tags

eyeCam beta testers

I'm looking for a few more beta testers for the latest version of eyeCam.

This version supports all the cameras of the previous version, plus many more with audio using the new ffmpeg based backed.

If you have any web enabled camera and would like to get a sneak peek at eyeCam and help test, please send me a note at electrollama@gmail.com

Thank you!

Tags