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Comment: Re:Pick an existing building automation standard. (Score 1) 116

by 486Hawk (#45303589) Attached to: A Protocol For Home Automation

This is true. The major problem for any home automation setup will be the endpoint user interface. Most of the solutions I have played with are very expensive for home use.
What I have been thinking about for home use are some cheap modbus thermostats from china along with a decent rs485 adapter. Given the nice python modules (modbusTK) out there it would be very easy to put something together python and some sort of web interface.
If you are going BACnet over rs485 good luck finding a cheap solution that can speak the protocol.

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Scientists Identify Head of France's King Henry IV 64

Posted by samzenpus
from the losing-then-finding-your-head dept.
JThaddeus writes "The Associated Press reports that 'After nine months of tests, researchers in France have identified the head of France's King Henry IV.' Henry was assassinated in 1610, and his head has been missing. His body was dug up and decapitated during the French Revolution. Researchers found features similar to those in royal portraits, and radiocarbon dating confirms that the head dates to the 17th Century. Interestingly, 'Perfumers on the team used their professionally trained noses to identify specific embalming substances in the mouth used to hide nasty odors.' The results have been published an online medical journal."
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Firefighters Let House Burn Because Owner Didn't Pay Fee 2058

Posted by samzenpus
from the deadly-serious-homeowner's-association dept.
Dthief writes "From MSNBC: 'Firefighters in rural Tennessee let a home burn to the ground last week because the homeowner hadn't paid a $75 fee. Gene Cranick of Obion County and his family lost all of their possessions in the Sept. 29 fire, along with three dogs and a cat. "They could have been saved if they had put water on it, but they didn't do it," Cranick told MSNBC's Keith Olbermann. The fire started when the Cranicks' grandson was burning trash near the family home. As it grew out of control, the Cranicks called 911, but the fire department from the nearby city of South Fulton would not respond.'"
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Today's Children Are Officially Potty Mouths 449

Posted by samzenpus
from the kids-say-the-#@^*est-things dept.
tetrahedrassface writes "When the Sociolinguistics Symposium met earlier this month swearing scholar Timothy Jay revealed that an increase in child swearing is directly related to an increase in adult swearing. It seems that vulgarity is increasing as pop culture continues to popularize vulgarities. The blame lies with media, public figures, politicians, but mostly ourselves. From the article: 'Children as young as two are now dropping f-bombs, with researchers reporting that more kids are using profanity — and at earlier ages — than has been recorded in at least three decades.'"
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Man Patents Self-Burying Coffin 159

Posted by samzenpus
from the ashes-to-ashes-righty-tighty dept.
disco_tracy writes "A California inventor has filed a patent for a coffin that screws into the ground vertically. The reason? It greatly reduces excavation labor and burial costs, decreases land use, and opens up more space for burials in unused areas of a cemetery. Writer Clark Boyd also lists 5 other unconventional burial options, including lye, ecopods, GPS devices that track bodies buried without headstones, cryogenics and — my favorite — getting buried in the sky."
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Stats Show iPhone Owners Get More Sex 397

Posted by samzenpus
from the there's-a-lap-for-that dept.
An anonymous reader writes "According to OK Cupid's survey of 552,000 user pictures iPhone users have more sexual partners than BlackBerry or Android owners. By age 30, the average male iPhone user has had about 10 partners while female iPhone users have had 12. By contrast, BlackBerry users hover around 8 partners and Android users have a mere 6. As the blog's author's wryly observe: 'Finally, statistical proof that iPhone users aren't just getting f*@ked by Apple.'"
Wikipedia

Wikipedia Is Not Amused By Entry For xkcd-Coined Word 553

Posted by timothy
from the didn't-confuse-me-for-one-frobnitzjibber dept.
ObsessiveMathsFreak writes "Today's xkcd comic introduced an unusual word — malamanteau — by giving its supposed definition on Wikipedia. The only trouble is that the word (as well as its supposed wiki page) did not in fact exist. Naturally, much ado ensued at the supposed wiki page, which was swiftly created in response to the comic. This article has more on how the comic and the confusion it caused have put the Net in a tizzy. It turns out that a malamanteau is a portmanteau of portmanteau and malapropism, but also a malapropism of portmanteau. All this puts Wikipedia in the confusing position of not allowing a page for an undefined word whose meaning is defined via the Wikipedia page for that word — and now I have to lie down for a moment."
Education

3rd-Grader Busted For Jolly Rancher Possession 804

Posted by samzenpus
from the step-away-from-the-candy dept.
theodp writes "A third-grader in a small Texas school district received a week's detention for merely possessing a Jolly Rancher. Leighann Adair, 10, was eating lunch Monday when a teacher confiscated the candy. Her parents said she was in tears when she arrived home later that afternoon and handed them the detention notice. But school officials are defending the sentence, saying the school was abiding by a state guideline that banned 'minimal nutrition' foods. 'Whether or not I agree with the guidelines, we have to follow the rules,' said school superintendent Jack Ellis."
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St. Louis Museum Offers Thrills, Chills, and Lawsuits 140

Posted by samzenpus
from the everything-fun-is-dangerous dept.
theodp writes "Despite the whiff of danger, or perhaps because of it, the WSJ reports that the City Museum is one of St. Louis's most popular attractions. Housed in a 10-story brick building, the City Museum shows none of the restraint or quiet typical of most museums. It boasts a five-story jungle gym with two real-life jets kids can climb on, an enclosed Monster Slide that drops riders the length of three staircases, and a rooftop Ferris wheel. Sure, there are the occasional severed fingers and skull fractures, but museum founder Bob Cassilly contends that it is as safe as it can be without being a bore. 'They [lawyers] are taking the fun out of life,' says Cassilly, adding that 'when you have millions of people do something, something's going to happen no matter what you do.'"
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Man Sues Neighbor Claiming Wi-Fi Made Him Sick 574

Posted by samzenpus
from the bad-waves dept.
OrangeMonkey11 writes "A Santa Fe man who claims to suffer from 'electromagnetic sensitivities' has sued his neighbor after she refused to stop using wireless devices. 59-year-old Arthur Firstenberg claims his sensitivity can be set off by cellphones, routers and other electronic devices. From the article: 'Firstenberg, 59, wanted Raphaela Monribot to limit her use of the devices. "I asked her to work with me," he said. "Basically, she refused." So he sued Monribot in state district court, seeking $530,000 in damages and an injunction to force her to turn off the electronics. "Being the target of this lawsuit has affected me very adversely," Monribot said Friday in response to e-mailed questions. "I feel as if my life and liberty are under attack for no valid reason, and it has forced me to have to defend my very basic human rights."'"
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Seinfeld's Good Samaritan Law Now Reality? 735

Posted by samzenpus
from the not-that-there-is-anything-wrong-with-that dept.
e3m4n writes "The fictitious 'good samaritan' law from the final episode of Seinfeld (the one that landed them in jail for a year) appears to be headed toward reality for California residents after the house passed this bill. There are some differences, such as direct action is not required, but the concept of guilt by association for not doing the right thing is still on the face of the bill."
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Using a Toy Train To Calibrate a Reactor 120

Posted by samzenpus
from the little-engine-that-could-measure-minute-amounts dept.
alfredos writes "Physicists and engineers at Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory built tracks inside a fusion reactor and ran a toy train for three days to help them with their calibrations. From the article: 'The modified model of a diesel train engine was carrying a small chunk of californium-252, a radioactive element that spews neutrons as it falls apart. “We needed to refine the calibration technique to make sure we are measuring our neutrons as accurately as possible,” said Masa Ono, the project head of the National Spherical Torus Experiment.'"

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