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
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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.
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.
You have an elevator in your house?
I believe the GPS III constellation will be the modernization effort you're looking for.
Link to Original Source
"All your base are belong to us."
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."