Window Air Conditioner

Does that window air-conditioning unit make you an easy target for burglars?

Well, the new version of the Dallas Police Department’s incident reports are sorely lacking in interesting information. For example, we can tell you that a burglar entered a house in the 5900 block of Revere Place, just a few blocks south of Stonewall Jackson Elementary, “through the doggy door” on Aug. 18, but we can’t tell you what he stole. And on the same day, not so far away, a burglar entered a house in the 6200 block of Velasco Avenue by removing an air-conditioning unit from a window. But there are no details on the loot, which is often the most interesting part.

Luckily, we still have the two Park Cities police departments to give us the scoop on incidents such as this: Between 11 p.m. on Aug. 22 and 9:30 a.m. on Aug. 23, a burglar entered a black 2014 Range Rover that had been left unlocked in the 3800 block of Miramar Avenue and stole a Louis Vuitton wallet — which held $150 in cash and seven credit cards — from a purse. (The victim said she always leaves her purse behind the front seat, for whatever reason.) But the burglar ignored (or didn’t notice) a bank envelope in the same purse that held several hundred dollars in cash. He did, however, take a blue iPod Mini, a white first-generation iPod, and a charger from the console. Poor choices on the part of both the victim and the criminal here.

Click through to read our crime report covering the Park Cities.


Nest Protect

More and more buyers are opting for “wired” homes that fully integrate alarms, media, and safety, but it’s not accessible for all price ranges.

Until now that is.

Today Nest, the creators of their gorgeous interactive programmable thermostat, launched “Protect.” It’s a full-featured smoke detector that not only works with Nest thermostats, but can send push notifications to your smartphone when something’s up. It also has a motion detector, and in case you like your bacon crispy, it can be deactivated with a gesture instead of furiously batting a spatula or tea towel at it. And it’s gorgeous, too.

Nest Protect and thermostat

Here’s the dish on how it works from Gizmodo:

Protect is packed the the gills with sensors—for smoke and CO of course, but also for heat, light, motion, and ultrasonic waves. These sensors aren’t slapped on to add shelf appeal, or turn your home into a life-streaming Big Data experiment gone wrong (see your home’s microbe count visualized!). Rather, they’re all part of a use case in which Protect is a truly heads-up device.

Nest Protect Push NotificationLet’s pretend for a second that you’ve screwed up a grilled cheese (again? You doofus!). After detecting smoke, Protect will issue a vocal warning that smoke has been detected, rather than going off at full blast. (A fascinating aside: The voice is female because, according to Nest, studies have shown that young children are more easily woken by a female voice than by an alarm). If you’re in another room, the motion sensor will sense it and beam the warning to the nearest Protect via Wi-Fi. The newly-overhauled Nest app will also send a push notification to your phone, along with the option to call emergency services. The ring of LED light at Protect’s center turns a vibrant yellow—something’s up.

Then, since it’s a false alarm, you can silence Protect by waving your hand nearby, or dismissing the push notification. If the smoke doesn’t clear up, though, the warning escalates into a full-blown horn alarm (and the LEDs flash red). After the danger has passed, Protect’s voice system lets you know everything is back to normal, and the LEDs glow green.

All this for just $129 — quite a bit cheaper than retrofitting a ranch with full-featured wired home automation. What do you think?