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Comment Re:A mystery (Score 1) 500

As a European, I continue to be utterly bemused/scared by America's obsession with owning guns. I know all the arguments that usually get trotted out, they just sound like crazy talk to me.

As an American, I continue to be utterly bemused/scared by some Americans' obsession with owning guns. I know all the arguments that usually get trotted out, they just sound like crazy talk to me.

Comment Re:Another company that doesn't dogfood it's stuff (Score 1) 432

Every time I see a bug like this I can't help but think - the engineers that built this don't actually use this.

Actually, I think the case is that the engineers don't use it in the same way as the average person. Nest has a unique design, in that it can pull power without the need for the 24V common line that isn't present in all homes (especially older ones). But I'm sure the engineers are well aware that it is more reliable if they use the 24V line, and I'll bet their homes are already wired with a 24V line, or if not, they are fully capable of running one themselves. As such, they would be much less reliant on the Nest's battery than a customer who doesn't have their Nest connected to 24V.

Comment Re:Often the simplest tool is the best job. (Score 1) 432

I don't always get home at the same time, either. If I decide to leave early now I just kick the nest on and it'll have the house cooled a few degrees before I get home.

I think a lot depends on how stingy you are. With a programmable thermostat, I'd set it to turn on slightly later than I usually get home from work. With an internet thermostat, I turn it on just as I'm leaving work, thus spending a little more money. Were I less stingy in my original programming, I'd have the heat/AC kick on slightly before the time I usually arrive at home, insuring the temperature is comfortable.

Honestly, though, I find that I only ever control the heat remotely. If AC is appropriate, I only turn it on when I'm actually home. (Though I'll admit I might have a different opinion if I lived somewhere like Florida or Arizona)

Comment Re:Often the simplest tool is the best job. (Score 1) 432

And, really, how much benefit does internet connectivity really add to a thermostat anyway?

There are two benefits I can see:
1. auto-clock set - useful for daylight saving time, and avoids any drift
2. it's cool

But you have a valid point -- compared to my previous non-internet programmable thermostat, I'm probably using just a little more heat thanks to that internet connectivity. For example: I'm usually home by 6pm, so that's when the heat is programmed to be on. Generally, though, I get home at 5:45. Thanks to the internet, I just turn on the heat at whatever time I happen to leave work in order to come home to a warm house. When I travel, I keep the heat just high enough to prevent frozen pipes. Without an internet thermostat, this means I'd come home to a cold house, and just keep my coat on until it warms up. Now, I can turn the heat on from the airport, meaning I come home to a comfortable house, at the expense of having the heat running a little longer.

So yeah, I use my internet thermostat for convenience, comfort and coolness factor. I realize it doesn't save me any more money than a programmable thermostat does, but for me, it's still worth it.

Comment Re:Batteries? in a Nest ? (Score 1) 432

Protip: Almost every home heating and cooling system operates on demand from a t-stat that runs on 24 volts ac low voltage.

Yes, but only if you're talking new construction. My condo was built in the 90s, and sadly, that particular wire was never run from my furnace to the thermostat. I chose to jumper the fan line at the furnace (such that if the heat/AC is on, so is the fan), and used the wire that used to carry the fan signal from the thermostat to instead carry 24V to the thermostat.

The reason Nest has a battery is because many people have wiring like mine, and they aren't comfortable re-wiring, or cheating like I did. (Plus by controlling the fan, Nest can squeeze out a little more cold from the AC after it's turned off, which I wouldn't be able to take advantage of.) In a home without the 24V common wire, the nest will trickle power out of the other lines -- this is not ideal, but the only other options would have made it less user-friendly, by requiring the user regularly replace a battery, or provide an external power source.

Comment Re:we need a public utility (Score 2) 289

And emails and messaging is already cheaper and available in more locations. I can send an email for free, telephone service costs like 60 dollars a month minimum

Really? I've known people who live in very rural areas. In such areas, the options for internet access are generally limited to satellite and dial-up. However, as long as there's electricity, phone service is available too.

Also, I have no idea where you get your pricing figures. I pay $30/month for my cell phone service. I don't have a landline, but I imagine if I wanted to get one, it would be a similar price. $60/month sounds more on-par with what I pay for cable internet service.

Comment Re:And in the real world (Score 1) 50

Came here to say this.

Also, who the fuck uses a *pin* and owns a smartwatch? Aren't these early adopter types the ones using google wallet and apple pay?

I own a smartwatch, and I still occasionally need cash. I'm more likely to get cash by visiting an ATM than by walking inside the bank to talk to a teller.

Comment Re:And in the real world (Score 1) 50

Also, at 73% accurate for 'touch log' events, it will only capture an average of 2.92 characters of a four digit pin.

It depends how the accuracy is divided. I would suspect the biggest divide is between people who touch type, and those who hunt and peck. It is possible that 73% of people hunt and peck, and for these individuals, it's easier to record their entire pin. For the touch-typers, it will be much less likely to accurately record any portion of the pin.

Comment Re:And in the real world (Score 1) 50

Most people wear watches on their off hand, so it won't be a problem.

I'm left handed, and wear a watch on my right hand. I also tend to use my right hand to type on numeric keypads, since they're generally located on the right side of a standard keyboard.

I don't know if my behavior is standard for left handed people or not. But your point is still generally valid since most people are right handed.

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