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Comment Check out Ubiquiti Networks (Score 1) 189 189

I use the Ubiquiti mFi mPower to control a lamp remotely. That's a very basic setup for this system, but it has been very reliable compared to other solutions I've used. There's an iPhone and Android app, and you run the server on a local machine, so there's no third party to go through. They also offer various sensors, such as a temperature sensor. I'm not sure if it's cheap enough, but otherwise I think it might meet your needs. www.ubnt.com

Comment Re:Ban is not the answer (Score 1) 990 990

Actually, the Cree LR-6 and CR-6 fixtures would work fantastically well in your home. The CR-6 is available at many Home Depot locations. Costs about $50 but they really will last the 50,000 hours that they advertise. If you move to a new house, take your CR-6s with you. Great color temperature, dimmable nearly to zero on a standard triac dimmer, and only about 10 watts for the equivalent of 75 watts of incandescent lighting. Nice fixtures.

Comment Like pricing Coke based on the weather (Score 1) 832 832

This is a great idea but a bad implementation. If Intel wanted to build consumer goodwill while still maintaining price flexibility, they should have offered a $50 rebate to anyone willing to 'downgrade' their CPU after they bought it. This is very similar to an experiment I've heard run with soda machines: it's a great idea to be able to dynamically adjust the price of the soda based on the weather, and it's very easy to do: install a temperature sensor, write a little code, and you're ready to go. The trick is how you promote the idea. If you add a "surcharge" when it's hot outside, people get angry and think you're taking advantage of them. However, if you offer a "discount" when it's cold outside, people think they're getting a deal. You can use the same prices and just advertise it differently.

Quickies

Submission + - "Want to keep your wallet? Carry a baby pictur->

Ant writes: "Times Online reports that lost wallets with baby people are most likely to be returned — "What would you do if you found a wallet on the street? Leave it? Take it to a police station? Post it back to the owner? Keep it, even? The answer, scientists have found, depends rather more on evolution than morality. Hundreds of wallets were planted on the streets of Edinburgh by psychologists last year. Perhaps surprisingly, nearly half of the 240 wallets were posted back. But there was a twist. Richard Wiseman, a psychologist, and his team inserted one of four photographs behind a clear plastic window inside, showing either a smiling baby, a cute puppy, a happy family or a contented elderly couple. Some wallets had no image and some had charity papers inside. When faced with the photograph of the baby people were far more likely to send the wallet back, the study found. In fact, only one in ten were hard-hearted enough not to do so. With no picture to tug at the emotions, just one in seven were sent back..." Seen on Neatorama."
Link to Original Source
Republicans

Netcraft Shows Smartech Running Ohio Election Servers 688 688

goombah99 writes "Netcraft is showing that an event happened in the Ohio 2004 election that is difficult to explain. The Secretary of State's website, which handles election reporting, normally is directed to an Ohio-based IP address hosted by the Ohio Supercomputer Center. On Nov. 3 2004, Netcraft shows the website pointing out of state to a server owned by Smartech Corp. According to the American Registry on Internet Numbers, Smartech's block of IP addresses 64.203.96.0 – 64.203.111.255 encompasses the entire range of addresses owned by the Republican National Committee. Smartech hosted the recently notorious gbw43.com domain used from the White House in apparent violation of the Presidential Records Act, from which thousands of White House emails vanished." Update: 04/25 01:24 GMT by KD : ePluribus Media published a piece called Ken Blackwell Outsources Ohio Election Results to GOP Internet Operatives, Again on election eve 2006, when a similar DNS switch to Smartech occurred. They have been investigating the larger story of IT on Capitol Hill and elsewhere for two years.
E3

E3 Exhibitor Numbers Dwindling 29 29

CVG is reporting on the full list of exhibitors at this year's E3 (now the E3 media Expo), and things are looking quite a bit slimmer than in past years. As you'd expect given the change in tone, the smaller development houses are much thinner on the ground than they used to be. Only 32 companies will be making the trek to Santa Monica, and you can probably name them all off the top of your head. "Most of the big players seem to be there but it's a big way off last year's exhibitor list which exceeded 400. There are also only two independent developers listed, id Software and Foundation 9 Entertainment, which is disappointing seeing as one of the biggest reasons for the down-scale was to give smaller devs a chance in the spotlight. This year's E3 will consist of an exhibit hall in Santa Monica's Barker Hanger as well as company-run demos in nearby hotels. As always third-party press conferences will be held in a common location while platform holders will hold their own bashes - though the big three are yet to make any announcements."
United States

Submission + - Is America going fascist?

Random BedHead Ed writes: "The Guardian this week has a call to arms, examining the ten steps to fascism and proposing that America is quietly taking virtually all of them. It's not as much of a partisan concern as you might think: many conservative groups have joined forces under a new organization called the American Freedom Agenda, which along with the ACLU and Center for Constitutional Rights has been fighting to put pressure on the federal government to pull the country away from what they see as a slippery slope. From the article: "As Americans turn away quite leisurely, keeping tuned to internet shopping and American Idol, the foundations of democracy are being fatally corroded. Something has changed profoundly that weakens us unprecedentedly: our democratic traditions, independent judiciary and free press do their work today in a context in which we are "at war" in a "long war" — a war without end, on a battlefield described as the globe, in a context that gives the president — without US citizens realising it yet — the power over US citizens of freedom or long solitary incarceration, on his say-so alone.""
Power

Nanotubes May Improve Solar Energy Harvesting 93 93

eldavojohn writes "Scientists are hoping that the 'coaxial cable' style nanotube they developed will resolve energy issues that come with converting sunlight to energy. The plants currently have us beat in this department but research is discovering new ways to eliminate inefficiencies in transferring photons to energy. Traditional methods involve exciting electrons to the point of jumping to a higher state which leaves 'holes.' Unfortunately, these electrons and holes remain in the same regions and therefore tend to recombine. The new nanotubes hope to route these excited electrons off in the same way a coaxial cable allows a return route for electrons. End result is fewer electrons settling back into their holes once they are elevated out of them yielding a higher return in energy."
Businesses

Submission + - How an Email Rant Jolted a Big HMO

Radon360 writes: From the WSJ Article:

On a Friday morning last November, Justen Deal, a Kaiser Permanente employee, blasted an email throughout the giant health maintenance organization. His message charged that HealthConnect — the company's ambitious $4 billion project to convert paper files into electronic medical records — was a mess.

Mr. Deal signed the email. Before sending it, he says, he printed out a copy and handed it to his boss. Soon afterward, his office phone was ringing off the hook. IT staffers later arrived to seize his computers, and Mr. Deal was placed on paid leave from his $56,000-a-year job.

Despite Kaiser's efforts to squelch and downplay the incident, the email episode shows that, in the digital age, flicking away whistle-blowers isn't as easy as it once was.
Communications

RIM Offers BlackBerry Service Without the BlackBerry 80 80

TheCybernator writes "RIM has announced that they're essentially planning to offer BlackBerry service ... without the BlackBerry. The company plans an app suite that will turn its push e-mail technology into a platform for Windows Mobile 6 devices. Less than a week after a network outage crippled BlackBerry users across North America, Research In Motion announced an application pack for Windows Mobile 6 devices that Canadian software developers said will intensify the competition for push e-mail. The firm has said that the BlackBerry Application suite will appear as an icon on the screen of the Mobile Windows device and load BlackBerry applications such as e-mail, phone, calendar, address book, tasks, memos, browser, and instant messaging. RIM said users will easily be able toggle between the two platforms, one of which would have a BlackBerry-style interface."
The Internet

Time Warner Customers Get Free Wi-Fi Hotspots 113 113

Hotspots writes with a link to a BusinessWeek article discussing a new service that Time Warner Cable is offering to its customers. Flying in the face of most business decisions about Wi-Fi availability, Time Cable customers will soon be able to turn their connections into public wireless hotspots. This privilege comes as Time Warner inks a deal with the Spanish startup Fon, which is already operating a similar deal with ISPs in Europe. "For Time Warner Cable, which has 6.6 million broadband subscribers, the move could help protect the company from an exodus as free or cheap municipal wireless becomes more readily available. Fon was founded in Spain in 2005 on the premise that people shouldn't have to pay twice -- once at home, then again in a coffee shop -- for Internet access. At first, the company offered software that let members, called Foneros, turn Wi-Fi routers into shared access points, but it took hours to get up and running."

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