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NOTE: We urge you to read the transcript of this interview even if you prefer watching videos; it contains material we left out of the video due to sound problems.
Today, Matt is with us again. This video is about 'Negotiating for Nerds.' Matt talks about negotiating a pay raise or consulting fee increase, starting with learning who has the actual power to negotiate with you. This is essential knowledge if you are employed (or self-employed) in IT and want to make sure you're getting all you are worth.
This kind of product seems to be attractive to the kind of people who fund Kickstarter projects, and this bunch seems to have good resumes and some interesting, well thought-out products. There is apparently room in the 'draw circuits and learn electrical basics' market for both AgIC and Electroninks -- and probably for another dozen competitors, too.
Drones are the hottest hobbyist thing going right now, Aron says, but all five of the hobbyist/tinkerer' categories Terapeak tracks are growing steadily at a rate of up to 70% year over year, with drones leading the way and robotics trailing (but still growing). It's good to see people taking an interest in making things for themselves. If you remember (or have heard of) the Homebrew Computer Club, you have an idea of what tinkerers and hobbyists can produce if given even a tiny bit of encouragement. And it's good to see that the DIY mindset is not only still alive, but growing -- even if it seems to be moving away from traditional hobby tinkering (cars; radios) toward concepts (drones; robotics) that weren't considered mass market 'homebrew' possibilities even a few years ago.
Two years ago traded my 1994 Jeep Cherokee in for a... 1996 Jeep Cherokee. Yes, it's fuel injected and computer-controlled, but everybody from Autozone to Hector at Segundo Auto (a traditional, highly-skilled "Mexican" mechanic from L.A.) has a reader that works on it. Can I fix my Jeep? My eyes are horrid and I'm sick and weak, but up to a point, yes. I still know how, and I still do the light stuff like tuneups and a/c recharges -- essentially annual service. Plus belts and hoses, which I routinely change because as all taxi and limo owners know, rubber is responsible for at least 80% of all road breakdowns. (check my login name - I used to own a small limo service.)
Brakes and more physical work? Hector needs to feed his kids, and he has a hoist and air tools -- and doesn't rip us off. Like when my wife went to the Hyundai dealer for a $19.95 oil change and tire rotation and they gave her a $2000 estimate for a 60,000 mile service (includes timing belt change) and Hector did all the work for $200 - not counting the timing belt kit, which includes the serpentine belt, water pump, and front main seal, that I got online for something like $120.
The day I can't fix my own car or hire someone like Hector instead of going to the dealer is the day I stop driving. Hopefully I'll be dead before things get that messed up.
A little cursory Google searching will soon lead you to other companies selling into the home/prototype circuit board market, including Cartesian Co and their Argentum 3-D printer that does prototype and short-run PCBs and only costs $899 (on special at the time this was written) and Electroninks, which markets the Circuit Scribe pen and associated materials with an emphasis on education. There are others in this growing field, and a year from now there will probably be more of them, all working to replace the venerable breadboard the same way electronic calculators replaced slide rules.
The two companies shown in this video are called WigWag and Yonomi. WigWag sells you a "Relay," which they say "is a powerful mini computer that gives you control of your home's smart devices." The minimum pre-order buy-in for WigWag seems to be a $149 WigWag Relay. Their 'products' page his page shows the Relay -- and many other gadgets and kits that could easily run your total tab up to $1000 or more. Yonomi, on the other hand, "resides on your phone and in the Cloud. No need for a hub, controller box or other additional hardware. Yonomi magically finds and enhances your existing connected devices allowing them to interact with one another in ways never before possible."
Yonomi may start with a free Android app (iOS coming soon), but you still need to buy lights, speakers, thermostats, and other things that are Internet-aware, so you're not going to save much (if anything) over buying a WigWag relay and the rest of what you need to create your own, private Internet of Things. And what about good old X10 and other home control systems? They're still out there, still doing their thing in millions of homes even if they aren't getting all the IoT buzz. In any case, it's nice to see new home automation alternatives coming down the pike, even if their cloudness may make them easier to hack than an old-fashioned appliance like this coffeemaker.
I'd far rather camp in a Shelterbox tent than in a plastic sweatbox since I, too, live in FL. I have a week's worth of food, water, and cooking fuel stockpiled in case of a hurricane, and I can charge our laptops and smartphones from our cars.
If our house trailer blows away, so it goes. We have a tent, and while my wife whines a little about camping, she's basically okay with it and has the necessary skills to 'live rough' comfortably. A FEMA trailer would be fine with us. We happily live in a 1 bedroom trailer now, so no BFD living in a travel trailer. Or a tent. Civilization is nice, but we can do without most of its trappings if we must.
We have guns and a shitpot of ammunition, too, because you never know...
Reaction Housing is not the only attempt to make post-disaster housing better, or at least less expensive, than the infamous FEMA trailers. A charity called ShelterBox in Lakewood Ranch, FL, fills boxes with everything a family or group of up to 10 people needs, including a heavy-duty tent, bedding, and kitchen supplies, in order to survive after a natural disaster. (Here's an interview video I shot in 2010 about ShelterBox.) Exo, ShelterBox or any one of dozens of other emergency housing alternatives are good to have around, ready to go, for the next Katrina, Sandy or Tsunami. High tech? Not necessarily, but technology has obviously made emergency housing faster and easier to erect than the "earthquake shacks" that were built in San Francisco to house people made homeless by the 1906 earthquake.
The Humanoids, first published as 'With Folded Hands,' was a science fiction novel first published as a novelette in 1947. It was the first book or article I read (in the late 50s) about machines taking over.
The Machine Stops dates all the way back to 1909 and posits a world where humans depend on a global Machine -- and what happens when the machine stops working.
Last week I bought an interesting version of Bach's 'Well Tempered Clavier from the artist online. Could have ripped it, but I like Ms. Ishikaza's work and want to support her.