“Precision is Important” or “Lessons in Floating Point Math”

That 0.00000000000001 percent makes all the difference.



Decisions Made Easier

This is a follow up to Decisions Made Easy. We now have 59 days of net metering data and are able to get a more accurate picture of what late-in-the-year rooftop residential PV looks like at our latitude. Continue reading “Decisions Made Easier”

What the Home Needs


I bet your Home product is pretty cool. I want to get one, but you have to do one thing first: make it support multiple users better than the Echo. I don’t want to say “switch profile” or some other nonsense. It needs to automatically differentiate between the voices of our household members. I wouldn’t mind training it. But it cannot simply assume only one person is using it.

Fix that and I’ll get one for us.

Crowdfunding Vaporware

It would appear to be the golden age of new, innovative products. Companies and startups nobody’s ever heard of promise to deliver technological marvels. Sites like Kickstarter help connect these companies with masses of interested people, who pledge to fund the product if they reach a certain mass. I eagerly await products like WigWag, the Lit Motors C-1, and a bunch of other neat things.

Unfortunately, this may all eventually backfire. If enough companies fail to deliver on their promises, the fountain of money from the fickle public will quickly dry up. There’s a reason that venture capital firms exist. They have experience in this kind of stuff. The average person does not. But the average person gets excited about a single device that promises to unite all of your disperate home automation technologies, or an electric two-wheeled gyroscopically-stabilized electric car that gets 200 miles per charge. It’s one thing to promise these inventions. It’s another thing to actually deliver. Call me a cautious optimist.

So the companies will continue to deliver promises while promising to deliver. And the people will continue to vote with their dollars.

Until they don’t anymore.

I honestly hope that day never comes.

Undercurrent – The Fridge Of Tomorrow: Shrinking The Distance Between Idea and Execution

I’ve considered this before. There are a couple problems with scanning the items’ barcodes as they enter and exit the fridge:

  1. To be more efficient you need two barcode scanners, one for incoming and one for outgoing: toggling the mode back and forth with a button will get old fast.
  2. Even with two barcode scanners, it gets old fast. What we need is passive RFID in product packaging. That will make building smart fridges a whole lot easier AND make tracking their inventory and expiration dates automatic.
Howabout simple scanning the barcode of every item you buy at the grocery store as you put them away in the fridge/pantry and then scanning them as they get thrown away/recycled? Still a lot of extra work. I should know: I tried it.

The lock is a funny idea.

Undercurrent – The Fridge Of Tomorrow: Shrinking The Distance Between Idea and Execution.

Awesome Home Automation, Beer-Drinking-American Style

I’ve been programming my phone system to do some pretty cool things, but eventually I want to be able to make my house do some pretty cool things, too. I found ioBridge and I’m sold, especially after finding all sorts of projects that people have made with their stuff. Here’s a great example: the Beer Cannon. Why get off the couch when you can have your beer fridge shoot one at you?!

ioBridge News and Projects» Network and iPhone Controlled Mini Fridge, Drink Cannon.