Andy's Blog

A handful of ramblings...

My Wall is similar to someone's Facebook or Twitter feed - quick posts.

Goodbye Darksky!

Yet again, the big guy swallows up the small and highly useful resource.
https://www.engadget.com/2020-03-31-apple-dark-sky-weather-app.html

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Farewell Snips! Another one bites the dust

Snips, a privacy focused locally processed voice agent is being acquired by Sonos. In the deal, the formally open system will be closing their console system. This system is what makes Snips available for developers to create their own apps based on the snips system. Unfortunately, this means that I will have to go back to the drawing board for a couple of my projects and try converting to an alternative - and hope whatever I land on doesn't get acquired and closed.

https://forum.snips.ai/t/important-message-regarding-the-snips-console/4145

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One more reason for local control only...

In a bizarre move by Google, they are closing out their "Works with Nest" program effective at the end of August and have decided that only google products can control google products. So, no more interoperability through open projects like Home Assistant or OpenHAB and possibly no interoperability with things like the Echo or Harmony remotes.

I can't imagine that Google shutting out their competitors isn't going to force their competitors to say "ok, fine, our products work everywhere but in the google ecosystem." In the end either Google strikes a deal with the bigger manufacturers to continue with some kind of special API or they'll suffer the backlash of manufacturers. This seems to me as a very arrogant move. It's like they don't know that Amazon still holds the market on voice assistants. Do you really want to piss off Amazon right now?

https://www.tomsguide.com/us/google-works-with-nest,news-30053.html

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Is the cloud worthwhile?

This is an interesting read that is supposed to be a product launch announcement but wound up being more of an indictment of cloud requirements by hardware providers.

https://blog.ui.com/2019/01/09/introducing-unifi-protect/

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$53 almost smart smoke detector

Ok, the secret to having a reliable, certified, inexpensive smoke detector may be in overlooked option that exists in some industrial smoke detectors - A/C relays. What do you really need in a "smart" smoke detector? For me, knowing which smoke detector went off is what I care about the most. Second is the ability for that information to be used in automation and notification. So, what I really need is a signal wire that tells my system that this particular unit detected something.
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Moes 3-way smart switch in a 4-way configuration - YouTube

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WSDCdUFOj7k
I'm testing the Moes 3-way switch at the power end of a 4-way configuration. It does seem to work but I'm getting an unexpected leak voltage on the load when the circuit is off. Travis at DigiBlurDIY, confirmed that he was seeing similar low load results. It does appear that this is expected behavior and that a higher current load will drive the leaking voltage down.
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[Update: resolved, API reinstated and commitment to keep it around] Logitech Harmony removes local API - Home Assistant

https://www.home-assistant.io/blog/2018/12/17/logitech-harmony-removes-local-api/

If you think that the cloud powered device that you bought really belongs to you, then you might want to check this out.

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