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Comment Re:Odd how little criticism they get (Score 1) 112

Its because of the "no one has ever lost a job buying Cisco" attitude that is so prevalent in the industry, many engineers drank the cool aid long ago and don't want to admit that Cisco is not completely infallible.

Almost every network engineer I know has some sort of Cisco certification, people have to continue to justify the heft price for the hardware and the expensive certifications.

Comment Re:Time for a change? (Score 1) 234

Had there been no 4th or 6th grade levels, and had the "6th" graders grown up in a system where they themselves were mentors, the situation you described would not have existed.

having "grades" based on age creates a pseudo class system among students, 6th grade students feel superior to the 4th grade creating a situation where bullying is almost imminent. Strong personalities need a strong moral compass, putting the more developed kids in to a leadership role teaches them the necessary social skills to be effective leaders and not lash out at the week within the group.

Comment I've gone a little overboard... (Score 1) 287

Starting from the firewall, infrastructure hardware:
Old PC with added NIC's running Astaro (now Sophos) UTM
HP Procurve 1800-8G switch (in the server closet)
Dlink 8 port gig switch in the basement (media access)
HP Procurve 802.11G AP in the basement
Qnap TS-419PII NAS (with 4x2TB drives)
Meraki 802.11N AP (Demo unit, upstairs)

7x Android\iOS devices (phones and tablets)
3x PC\Laptops
4x TV\Media players (Smart TV with Netflix, XBMC, BoxOffice, AV Unit)
2x Audio streaming devices (Squeezebox)
1x Hot Tub (remote controlled over IP)
1x Brultech home energy monitor
1x Lexmark laser printer

The phones and tablets are capable of remote controlling the media centres, audio streaming and the hot tub, good wifi coverage on both side of the house (up and down).

Comment Re:or maybe (Score 1) 732

Have you seen the new tractors and combines that are available now? GPS guided, fully automated harvesting, feeding, fertilizing, etc... Automation is making its way to all areas of employment, including farm hands.

Comment Re:I Fully Support This (Score 1) 116

I think there are lot of useful cases, but I don't think voice control would be useful however (nobody wants to have a conversation with their microwave).

Lighting automation would be useful in a number of ways; on\off\vacation schedule, see a list of all active lights with power consumption (and then turn them off remotely), auto on\off depending on your location, etc...

Appliance automation; coffee pots have timers but why not control the settings from your remote device? Preheat the oven remotely, schedule your slow cooker based on your schedule, notifications when timers are done (microwave, oven, washer, dryer, etc...)

Power Monitoring; get a detailed report on power consumption per appliance, room, season and setup automation depending on peak hour usage rates.

Audio\Video: Crestron has some great automation, Logitech has excellent remotes, imagine if you could control the lights when settling in to watch a movie.

Security; get live feeds from your house, pickup audio, two way communication, remotely control locks (real security concern here however), random light control when on vacation.

All of these things can be done but are not integrated. If all these devices worked together we could think of some really creative ways to automate, making a phone or tablet the central control device for the home would be genius!

Comment I Fully Support This (Score 3, Informative) 116

I've been attempting to connect, network and control as much of my house as possible with little success. Too many companies are trying (and failing) to offer up an integrated solution, none have the ability to truly integrated across the board.

Key systems that need this:
HVAC - Nest is doing great things for automation and remote control, limited reach however
Lighting - a bunch of half baked solutions out there, each with their own app and control interface
Security - sound, video, motion detection, garage door control, etc...
Appliances - remote control certain appliances, pre-heat your stove, notification when the dryer is done, etc...
Power Monitoring - Semi decent solution out there, however needs better apps and integration
Audio\Video - Remote control

If all of these systems used a common protocol we can focus on developing great apps and home automation, as long as manufacturer dick around with their own setup we'll never move forward.

Comment Fact Checking and Bias (Score 4, Interesting) 175

Where to begin...

The competition to get to the story first is too great and often over shadows the duty of the new to check facts and report an unbiased account of events.

What is missing is any sort of repercussions for reporting false facts, who do we hold accountable? Unfortunately good news simply does not pull in the desired ratings and ad revenues.

Comment Great News, Concerning Live Sports.... (Score 1) 124

Its great to see content creators embracing the new paradigm!

Concerning live sports, I recently discovered that this weekends UFC fight is available online as a live stream for $9.99. I've ditched cable\ satellite years ago and its nice to see some live sports becoming available online. As we see some of the bigger creators like Disney shift to services like Netflix its just a matter of time before we see networks follow suit.

What I would love to see is networks offer online subscriptions that plugin to your device of choice, pay for a stream and receive content on your Roku or XBMX for example. There is no reason we need to be tied to a cable, satellite or phone connection specifically, its all data and I should be able to access it any way I choose.

The trouble with money is it costs too much!