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The home automation paradox. Editor’s note: This post originally appeared on Scott Jenson’s blog, Exploring the World Beyond Mobile.

The home automation paradox

This lightly edited version is republished here with permission. The level of hype around the “Internet of Things” (IoT) is getting a bit out of control. It may be the technology that crashes into Gartner’s trough of disillusionment faster than any other. But that doesn’t mean we can’t figure things out. Quite the contrary — as the trade press collectively loses its mind over the IoT, I’m spurred on further to try and figure this out. But let’s backup just a bit. But of course, it’s much more than just coffee machines. The luddites will always crawl out and claim this is creepy or scary in the same way that answering machines were dehumanizing.

However, I am deeply concerned these home automation scenarios are too simplistic. I’m reminded of one of the key learnings of the artificial intelligence (AI) community. Moravec’s paradox created two type of AI problems: HardEasy and EasyHard.

ISP

Andrews & Arnold Ltd - Broadband Prices. Broadband prices Keep it simple, with Home::1 from AAISP In addition to our units based pricing, we now have our new Home::1 tariff specifically aimed at home users.

Andrews & Arnold Ltd - Broadband Prices

It starts with ADSL and 100GB/month download for £25 but has simple add-ons for higher usage levels and faster speeds, like FTTC for just £10 more.. Home::1 is an anytime tariff, but has the same high quality that makes it ideal for any family, whether you are in to games or just FaceBook and iPlayer. Personal cloud solutions. In the past I've written about the cloud space; the benefits, and the dangers.

Personal cloud solutions

Recently I went to a family reunion, and recognized a great desire for everyone to stay in touch, and share family information. Photos, documents, old home movies. I ended up configuring a website for the family, containing a wiki, blogs, forums, galleries, event calendars and mailing lists. All of this is contained within an environment called Tiki, a configurable all-purpose wiki-based website that can be as simple or as complex as you need it to be. However, this article is not about TikiWiki, although I may visit a review of it in the future. I've written in the past about how personal data in the cloud space is not entirely safe. If any of these issues are a concern to you, there are certainly alternatives.

There are a number of easy to use solutions. But what if you have one computer with you, and your other one is turned off? I started shopping around and eventually settled on Tonido. Replicator™ 2X Desktop 3D Printer. Canon PIXMA iP100 Portable Printer review - Printer. Most of Canon's PIXMA inkjet printers are desktop machines where, within reason, size and weight aren't problems.

Canon PIXMA iP100 Portable Printer review - Printer

There's one area of the market, though, where both these considerations are important and that's portable print. If the printer needs to be light and compact, but still offer good quality output in a reasonable time, constraints on its design are much tighter. The PIXMA iP100 is just such a portable printer and can be used with an optional lithium ion battery, well away from the mains. This printer is about the size of one and a half Xboxes laid on their sides and is all decked out in silver, apart from black cheeks at either end and a black bar across its top, bearing the Canon logo.

Lift the top cover and the front cover, which is held to it by a magnetic clasp, automatically drops down. Physical controls and indicators are simple, with a power button and inset power LED and a feed button with inset paper jam indicator.

iPhone

Home Information Security. Half a million homes losing 4Mbps of broadband speed, says TalkTalk. More than half a million UK homes are losing out on roughly 4Mbps of broadband speed according to new research from TalkTalk.

Half a million homes losing 4Mbps of broadband speed, says TalkTalk

The loss of speed is chiefly caused by poor home wiring and routers not being configured properly. Other factors have an impact on speed reduction too. TalkTalk’s survey of 25,000 UK homes found that microfilters hadn’t been installed and in some cases people weren’t connecting their routers to the master socket. Of the 25,000 homes visited, TalkTalk Bright Sparks engineers found that: 31% - lost speed through poor wiring 20% - needed routers set up or reconfigured 17% - needed the phone socket properly set up 14% - needed an ADSL broadband filter 13% - had other problems such as customers not connecting routers to the master socket TalkTalk commissioned the research as a way of promoting its Bright Sparks home engineers service. “People need to think of broadband in the same way as water and electricity.

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