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Thread: Reminded That I Live in the Future

  1. #121
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    It really was like the first 7 chapters of a 10 chapter book I already own, but made slightly more long winded. And it was a Dutch translation of a French book, not sure if it was ever translated to English.

    It's this one:

    https://www.abebooks.co.uk/Encyclope...20204866173/bd

    Apparently it should be in two parts. Hmmm next time I'm at the shop I'll check if it indeed has the "1" on it. I wonder what's in part two, given they covered almost everything in part 1 already. They didn't have any part 2 in the shop though.
    With sufficient thrust, water towers fly just fine.

  2. #122
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    I just learned that I can adjust my homeís thermostat using my phone.
    We have a utility-provided thermostat that allows them to disable our air conditioner for brief periods of peak load. Someone at the power company figured out that they could link it to the phone app that reports usage and billing. It turns out that the remote control features are more extensive than just on/off.

    Of course, anything that can be controlled via the Internet can be controlled from the far reaches of the planet or some hackerís basement, so I worry a little about security.
    I may have many faults, but being wrong ain't one of them. - Jimmy Hoffa

  3. #123
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    Quote Originally Posted by Extravoice View Post
    Of course, anything that can be controlled via the Internet can be controlled from the far reaches of the planet or some hacker’s basement, so I worry a little about security.
    And when the network goes down, so does your house.
    "I'm planning to live forever. So far, that's working perfectly." Steven Wright

  4. #124
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    Quote Originally Posted by Noclevername View Post
    And when the network goes down, so does your house.
    I suspect that only remote control of the thermostat is lost in the event of a network outage. If it doesnít continue local operation, it would be a really bad design.
    I may have many faults, but being wrong ain't one of them. - Jimmy Hoffa

  5. #125
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    Quote Originally Posted by Extravoice View Post
    I suspect that only remote control of the thermostat is lost in the event of a network outage. If it doesn’t continue local operation, it would be a really bad design.
    That's certainly how ours works. The boiler, heating and hot water programs continue as normal when the internet's down, and the local adjustment from the wifi control in the hallway continues to work, if I don't want to walk as far as the hard-wired control in the utility room.
    But I can turn the heating in the house from "frost prevention" back to "inhabited" settings while I'm standing in the boarding queue at a foreign airport, and then start the water heating while I'm waiting at the baggage claim in my local terminal (assuming such things ever happen in my life again).
    Oh, and there's a proximity setting which turns everything to "frost prevention" as soon as my phone gets more than some specified distance from the house. I feel my wife might object to that, though, if the heating shut down every time I went hillwalking.

    Grant Hutchison

  6. #126
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    Quote Originally Posted by Extravoice View Post
    I suspect that only remote control of the thermostat is lost in the event of a network outage. If it doesn’t continue local operation, it would be a really bad design.
    That's how ours works too (we have a Honeywell thermostat). If the Internet or our wifi go down, local operation still works just fine. It uses a Honeywell app that you can load on your phone.

    I'm not a particular fan of smart devices (because of the security concerns), but it is the one that came with our new furnace/AC. And it is otherwise a nice thermostat and the app is actually kind of cool (no pun intended).
    At night the stars put on a show for free (Carole King)

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  7. #127
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    Our house is just two years old. We can connect the HVAC, garage doors, generator, fridge, and who knows what else to the network. I have no intention of doing any of them.
    Cum catapultae proscriptae erunt tum soli proscript catapultas habebunt.

  8. #128
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    I donít know how this thermostat talks to the power utility. It doesnít rely on WiFi, so either it connects directly to the cellular system, via a dedicated radio network, or through the power line.
    I may have many faults, but being wrong ain't one of them. - Jimmy Hoffa

  9. #129
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    Quote Originally Posted by Trebuchet View Post
    Our house is just two years old. We can connect the HVAC, garage doors, generator, fridge, and who knows what else to the network. I have no intention of doing any of them.
    I always wonder how long that would work anyway. Phone apps have to be updated now and then to keep up with phone OS updates. Big established companies are more likely stay in business to do that, but how long will they bother? Iíve seen stories about smart speakers losing support after only five years from one major company, although the hardware still works fine. Big appliances can easily last twenty years or more. I pulled out an early 2000s PDA and got it working a bit just to try it again. It can only connect on an unencrypted wi-fi connection since it only supports an early, easily broken encryption standard no longer supported by modern routers. At that, Iím using an older router, how long before the old, slow wi-fi standard used by the PDA is no longer supported? The PDAís browser is virtually useless since it canít handle modern web pages. So thatís an example of the sort of things appliances might be faced with in future years.

    Then there are the appliances that depend on the company maintaining a site for the appliance to connect to. What happens when that goes away? Google bought Nest and has already switched over to a different scheme that caused owners to lose features.

    I wouldnít buy any appliance and count on the wifi features lasting more than a few years.

    "The problem with quotes on the Internet is that it is hard to verify their authenticity." ó Abraham Lincoln

    I say there is an invisible elf in my backyard. How do you prove that I am wrong?

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  10. #130
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    On a related note, I had a second-generation Kindle that only connected to Amazon via 3G cellular. I think 3G is no longer supported by any carrier.
    I may have many faults, but being wrong ain't one of them. - Jimmy Hoffa

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