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Comment Re:Fixed vs mobile longevity? (Score 1) 299 299

Typical sealed lead acid batteries in my UPS devices last at most 5 years. That's with minimal use (one large outage a year, drained at most 50%, smaller minute-based outages) and no vibration to contend with for the plates within. I've seen cars and motorcycles last 7-8 years before failing. Of course, the car doesn't tell you the battery is failing until you either notice the starter moving slower under load or the car just doesn't start. UPS devices (good ones) will test the battery at least once a week to ensure fail-resistant use.

Given that these probably aren't SLA batteries, they could last much much longer depending on depth of discharge allowed. li-ion, for example does remarkably better (2000 more cycles) at only taking the depth of charge down to 75% as opposed to 30% or lower.

Comment Re:A smart phone is rarely convenient (Score 1) 248 248

I've thought for a while that this would be a very neat, extendable thermostat controller for the house based on a cell phone. Instead of paying hundreds to get a device that does it for you, you can pick up a pre-paid phone and wire it up. The only thing I don't know about is the controlling functionality - perhaps if you're not so savvy, base it off of wireless and control something arduino based off of the furnace - or find some way to directly have the phone interact with the existing wires coming up from the furnace... would be an interesting hack.

Comment Re:A smart phone is rarely convenient (Score 1) 248 248

There's a fairly extensible app called llama for android that could be integrated into this. You can set up triggers - at least for things on the phone - so that if your cell phone sees certain cell towers/wifi, it knows where you are - you could get more advanced and also program in time of day for triggers (i.e. if I hit the cell towers 5 minutes from home and it's > 3:00pm, turn up the heat/AC so it's ready when I get home.)

I don't know about the back end integration with a thermostat, but I'm making an assumption that this could be done based on it's triggering mechanism for apps etc.

Comment Re:Regulation Strikes again (Score 1) 194 194

Some cars with keyless ignition do have column locks. My 2008 Lexus ES350 auto-locks the column:
1. if I shut down the car before opening the door, the act of opening the door locks the column.
2. if I shut down the car after opening the door, the car dings at me with the seatbelt chime, warning me that the column is unlocked. Upon shutting the door after exiting the car, the column locks.

Comment Haven't gone thru comments yet (Score 1) 263 263

What about something that I've thought about? Using a cheapie Android phone (i.e. pay as you go, can get an LG Fuel - rootable - for $10 on sale from time to time). Obviously only if you're really into digging into coding if you want absolute security, but I'm sure there's something out there perhaps pre-packaged in an app to do what you want. I've thought of this as a sort of hacked-together security system for home just to upload video of anyone coming and going from the house. And yes, I know it's not really security - but honestly, I'll defer to a monitored service if I want the "security" portion.

Comment Re:Anyone know how Zotac cards hold up? (Score 1) 66 66

I've had late 90s motherboards (think AMD Athlon xxxxXP chip timeframes) from asus with bad caps; had a customer who loved to keep equipment well past serviceable date blow a few up. Since then, Gigabyte boards with solid caps - haven't had a bad board since, even though I've read reviews of others on newegg/amazon with some DOA concerns.

Ditto with EVGA; bought 2 cards direct, no issues - however if I have a choice at the time of build, I'll usually go with something with a quieter than stock aftermarket cooler attached. EVGA has (had?) a trade up program, but I upgrade so rarely that I've never taken them up on it.

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