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Comment Re:Wi-Fi toothpick (Score 1) 401

Powerline ethernet costs way more than WiFi. You need a whole bunch of components to interface with the power line - components that don't exist in WiFi or Bluetooth solutions. These days the entire radio is integrated on one chip with a microcontroller. There's usually about 10 external components needed to get it on the air if you assume that suitable power supply voltage is available.

Comment Re:Wi-Fi toothpick (Score 1) 401

You're completely detached from real economics of the thing.

WiFi in the socket means that you need to replace the whole light fixture, as the entire thing has to be UL listed as a unit, you can't just swap out a socket for something else. That usually costs big money: a permit, a licensed electrician to do it, materials, etc. A light bulb has a much smaller regulatory footprint, and you're bound to sell it in much higher volume than light fixtures.

The electronics of course don't give a flying fuck about the heat, because in such a small unit there's no parts that degrade over time with heat, it's as simple as that - at least as long as you're talking about what adding WiFi would entail. I don't know if you realize what a modern WiFi solution looks like. It's a chip, a couple tiny external components, and an antenna. You'd be swapping the existing power supply controller chip for a WiFi chip. Chip count stays the same. I'm sure that at a small added cost you could get rid of the electrolytics in the bulb's power supply as well. That way you end up with a design that has can be made to work "forever".

Again, the cost of the chip is nothing compared to the cost of changing anything more than a lightbulb. It's basically light bulb or nothing.

Comment Re:if only X10 could've lived to see this day (Score 1) 401

X10 is almost useless in a modern home where almost anything you plug into the outlet has a switching power supply, including every light bulb. It wasn't designed to cope with that. There are much better and higher bandwidth protocols. They leverage modern signal processing. It lets them perform better than X10 in spite of being orders of magnitude higher bandwidth!

Comment Re:Wi-Fi toothpick (Score 2) 401

I think it won't be too long till the added cost of Wi-Fi in a bulb will be a couple of USD. Remember: a Wi-Fi chip has a microcontroller inside of it. That microcontroller should be enough to run Wi-Fi and a simple mesh network. It doesn't need a full-blown webserver, but even that could be done on a micro. The volume lets you optimize the heck out of everything. It would cost $0.0 in materials to have this chip control the light that already needs to have a power supply built into it anyway. In fact, the added on-top-of-Wi-Fi chip cost might even be negative if they let the Wi-Fi chip do power regulation in firmware as well. That way you lose the voltage regulation silicon, so that may cut some cost. Why the heck not, every modern industrial servo drive does all of the control in software anyway, and it's a couple control loops worth more complex than a power supply :)

Comment Re:Of course. (Score 1) 749

The problem is that Snowden actually HAS proof to back up his claim

So far the government tries to weasel out pretending like it isn't true, and, last time I checked, "releasing" fiction doesn't get you in legal hot water. So far we only have Snowden's word that the "proof" (the documents) are true. Further government action will be required for us to have some substantiation as to whether it's fiction or fact. So far everything looks like yes, the documents are true, and Snowden is certainly in hot water, but the government is in orders of magnitude more hot water.

Comment Re:Of course. (Score 1) 749

he broke several laws in releasing this information

The point is: if the information is made up, he broke no laws. Writing fiction is writing fiction, plenty of people do it publicly and get paid for it, even! If the information is true, though, then whatever laws he broke doesn't take the government out of hot water. They are admitting to the accuracy of the information by bringing charges against the guy. That makes the so-far only alleged data collection practices suddenly undeniable. In fact, they must be true for any charges to be with merit, the government has no choice but to admit to the truth of the information in order to bring charges.

Comment Re:Such as when they declared Iceland to be terror (Score 1) 404

The government had no way of covering it up even if they wished to. As I've said, they were in the hole many times their worth. At least in the almost-failed Euro countries, you've had debt on the order of GDP. In Iceland, GDP was a joke compared to what was lost.

Comment Re:The limited revelations so far... (Score 1) 404

I'm not a conspiracy theorist, but hey, all we have is their word for those numbers of suspects. For all we know, it might be enough to misdial a number once to be labeled a terror suspect. How can we trust the government when all of this stuff is secret? I'm pretty damn sure that in any clandestine service organization, there's lots of compartmentalization of knowledge and even MI-5 chief is not privy to all of the nitty gritty - he'd be a big liability if it were so. So even if the MI-5 chief will swear by something, there's no way for us to know, because even he truly can't be fully sure of what's going on.

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