Kind of want.
The Nest Thermostat could be considered the iPod of themostats but at $250, it's not going to be for everyone. Why buy what is essentially a $300 thermostat? I get into some of the things i love about the Nest below, but for now this will appeal primarily to the early adopter / geek crowd. Having said that, Nest is having some success taking the product mainstream as they are starting to partner with utlity companies and distribution through Lowes & Amazon in the United States.
Setup & Installation
I am not handy when it comes to this sort of thing, but i followed the instructions and had the thermostat up and running within about 40 mins. After about a week of usage it learned about our house (i.e how long does it take to cool) and programmed a schedule based on our habits.
Appearance & UI
Nest has a big colorful 320 x 320px screen that senses when you approach and lights up. When you are cooling the house, the screen gets a nice bright blue background treatment and when warming an orange-red hue. Tony Fadell (founder of Nest) worked at Apple on every version of the iPod, and you can really see the influence with the simple scroll wheel and push to select UI.
Being able to remotely modify the thermostat on our iOS devices has been my favorite feature so far. It's really useful when you are away from home and want to put the house into away mode or get it ready when you are on your way home. Another good use is when you wake up in the middle of the night and the temperature needs adjusting, you can just reach over and grab your phone instead of having to get up, go downstairs and manually adjust.
Impact on hydro bill
I'm not sure what to make of our results yet. Generally it has been a hotter summer than last year, so it makes sense that our KWh would be higher - but this much higher?
This could also be due to other factors...I work at home now full time and so it makes sense air conditioning is used more during the day than in 2011. It's hard to measure savings when you're not comparing apples to apples.
Will be interesting to see how the Nest handles the transition from cooling to waming the house - and that awkward phase during the fall when somedays you need A/C and somedays heating. In Canada, the best place to buy the Nest is directly from their website.
- Pitch Black tuner
- MXR Bass Compressor
- MXR Bass Octave Deluxe
Need to acquire:
- MXR Bass Envelope Filter
- Boss DD-3 Digital Delay
- Boss CE-5 Chorus Ensemble
- Boss BF-3 Flanger
- Tech21 Sansamp GT2
Need to sell:
- DOD FX25 Envelope Filter (want to switch to MXR)
- MXR El Grande Fuzz distortion
As Larry David would say, pretty pretty pretty good. I knew it would be, but it was still about 100 times better than i was expecting. The subtle musicianship of his band is truly impressive - in particular the pedal steel/banjo'ist, and his 2 backup singers were all incredible. Check out the tune he closed with: a cover of Queen "Fat Bottomed Girls":
"Everyone knows they’re building a tablet. What have they said, though? Nothing. What have they shown? Nothing. When will they say something? When it’s done. What will they show? Something real."
TV's are a low margin commodity. Apple likes selling high margin hardware. To make a 60" Apple Television would require building a more expensive television. The 27" Apple Cinema Display costs $1000. How much more would a 60" Apple Television cost?
This was a strange, strange show. First of all the mix was horrendous. I'm not sure if it was just our theater, or if this was a problem at the source but the low frequencies were cranked so loudly that you couldn't hear any of Flea's basslines or Chad's tom work aside from an annoying rumble/distortion. The guy doing percussion was great but do we really need that much tambourine in the mix? Have i mentioned the mix was horrible?
There was a strange vulnerability about the show too, Anthony Kiedis & Flea seemed visibly uncomfortable at times. Kiedis forgot lyrics (he seemed to be reading lyrics too), screwed up song structures and tripped on odd time signatures (i.e "Ethiopia"). Flea had his share of troubles too, he had a hand cramp bring the show to a halt for like 2 mins and many of his usually hilarious comments in between songs were really awkward and weird. One of the songs "Did I Let You Know" had to be performed twice because "the truck wasn't rolling" - if you know what the means please let me know in the comments. They didn't even keep the promise of playing the entire album as they missed a great track "Even You Brutus?" and there was no encore as the show seemed to be cut short. By the time they got to the older material they seemed like they couldn't wait to get out of there.
Chad's drumming was definitely the highlight, and Klinghoffer held his own pretty well but i missed Frusciante's killer backup vocals and guitar ideas. The jam with Flea seemed a bit weak & awkward, and I missed the chemistry Flea & Frusciante had.
So yeah, It was basically a shit show all round. Having said that, the new album really is fantastic and you should go buy it. Lets just hope they can figure out how to make it translate live before the tour brings them to North America.
Idea: What if ISP's offered a few hours in the middle of the night (i.e 12-6am) that did not count towards monthly caps? This would allow people to schedule cloud backups to run in the middle of the night, minimizing the impact on the ISP and allowing customers to back up their stuff.
Note: @lilappfactory has an update submitted to Apple they think may solve this problem - i will update this post once it's fixed.
I'm a little OCD about keeping my iTunes metadata in order so i was excited when i stumbled across Tagalicious today in the App Store. The idea with Tagalicious is it scans your iTunes library, and compares your meta data for each song, with the Grace Note database. The benefit of this is it can automatically correct mis-spellings & missing album artwork/metadata. Having all your metadata populated & accurate means you can create playlists much easier and keep your OCD rage at bay.
At first I was impressed. I downloaded the trial directly from the developer, and did a few songs one at a time. Worked great. All the artist, track #'s, year, genre etc were being correctly updated. It was a little disappointing when it came to artwork, often finding pictures of the actual CD (WTF?!) or crappy low res scans. Most of my artwork is ok so no big deal there.
The problem is Tagalicious works great if you are doing a handful of songs at a time, but it seems once you get above an iPod shuffle worth of songs to check - it craps out. I have more than 20k songs in my iTunes library, and i'm sure there are people with much more. Anyways, at $9.99 it's a relatively expensive app and i would have expected it to be able to tag my entire library without having to go song by song.
I've sent an email to the developer to see what they suggest, if anyone knows any workarounds for large libraries let me know in the comments!
About a month ago i pulled the cord and closed my Facebook account. There wasn't one single thing that drove me over the edge, rather a stack of annoyances:
1. I was starting to hate people I shouldn't
People proselytizing their religion / quoting bible passages as status updates. People bragging. People putting 500 exclamations in a status update. People spamming how many sleeps until their fucking vacation or how hard their P90x workout was. Bub-bye. (note, see my post on Facebook stereotypes for more fun with this)
2. Managing my own hypocrisy
I was starting to catch myself doing some of my own peeves. I started to get so preoccupied with every interaction i had on Facebook. Before every post i'd say to myself "ok self, you're not about to do one of the things that drives you crazy when other people do it are you?".
One day i was talking with a close family member about some pictures she had been posting of her children, and she asked "how come you've been 'liking' other peoples posts lately but not mine?". Or "how come you didn't wish me happy birthday on my wall?"
4. "Hide all posts by user" is not 100%
I hid posts by all the people who annoyed me but they would still manage to sneak into the comments thread on others pages from time to time. Simply unfriending wasn't really a great idea because of the potential for drama. Had to use the nuclear option.
5. Event Spam
The games/app spam is fairly easy to get under control, as you can hide the posts in your stream easily. However, i was most bothered by event spam. People inviting me & the 1000 others they haven't seen in 10 years to their event.
So there you have it. Just over 30 days into my FB detox and feeling great. Still loving Twitter though!
P.S Feel free to share this on Facebook.
We've all seen the images of the shuttle launching a thousand times on TV, but it's much more dramatic in person. The 2 things that surprised me most, was the 30-50 second delay of the rumble sound after liftoff (wasn't expecting the delay), and because the shuttle went through clouds fairly early in the launch, it's huge plume created a massive shadow effect that went all the way across the sky on top of the clouds we could see from the ground, though we could no longer see the shuttle itself.