Category Archives: home

Your Army of Robots

Just a few years ago, I was posting about a robotic vacuum cleaner. Then came a robotic lawn mower. At first, neither of these products were worth it. But time has gone by, and these and other devices are starting to go mainstream.Mashable offers a fun list

Here are the main functions

  • personal transportation (the segway is finding a use)
  • robotic vacuum cleaner
  • robotic companionship
  • rootic window cleaning
  • robotic pool cleaner
  • robotic lawn mower
  • robotic pet feeder
  • robotic monitoring system

I am still waiting for the robotic laundry service that mixes cocktails and plays music while I learn to rhumba with my robotic dance instructor.


Is Tartu Sold Out of Fat Balls?

Indeed! I have been to three different stores today and none of them have any fat balls on offer. What to do?

Hmmm … you might be wondering why anyone in their right mind might be searching for fat balls. Fair enough. You are obviously not attuned to the rhythms of nature!

I have become more attuned to the rhythms of nature since living with an orchard of apple trees. 14 at last count. And there are two cherry trees, three or four plum trees, and several other fruit providing growths. These produce an explosion of fruit each summer. And along with the explosion of fruit, an explosion of creepy crawlers that enjoy nothing more than devouring what is rightfully mine! There are few things worse than wormy apples!

There is a solution. Little birds love to eat these bugs and such. But normally there are not enough of them after the harsh winter. And so, I have become a source of food – providing fat balls that dangle from tree branches. in metal dispensers.

The system works like a dream. Last year, my apples were the talk of the town. Well, ok. That is an exaggeration. My ex-wife did comment on them anyway. And I have kept it up.

Until today. There are no fat balls to be found! And as I look out the winder, a small army of tiny birds stare back at me, wondering if they have in some way offended.

This cannot stand! Stay tuned!

Will Tesla’s Solar Roof Work?

One of the things you have to like about Elon Musk – he is not afraid to take big leaps forward. He did that with the Tesla sports car, the SpaceX reusable rocket, the Tesla house battery pack and now the solar roof. I left out the hyperloop because others are making this happen.

The solar roof is not out yet, and there is some question whether it will come out. Musk recently announced that there would be a delay. I am not one of those doubters.

Musk has proven again and again that he can translate ideas into design and production. But even if you set aside Musk’s track record, the idea makes sense. Roofing materials are very old fashioned. Upgrading them so that they are multipurpose is brilliant.

So I will be sticking with this story and waiting for an Estonian Tesla roof installation service. Stay tuned!

Sonos: Defaulting to the Simplest Solution

Patrick Spece is the CEO of Sonos. Sonos? You might recall, that Sonos speakers were a while ago, quite revolutionary – wireless and high quality. Since then, wireless Bluetooth speakers are everywhere.

So Spence needs to get the company focused on taking the right next steps – to differentiate it. He says

“We are focused on the home sound system and filling people’s homes with music,” he says. “We’re not focused on figuring out how to be the world’s largest retailer, or focused on trying to be the voice-search option for people.” Such thinking explains why Sonos spent four years building Playbase, the $700 soundbase launching today.

Playbase? It looks like this.

Image result for Sonos Playbase

Not the TV! The white thing under the TV.

You could view the Playbase as a perfect complement to the existing Sonos lineup, another beautiful speaker in the set. That’s what Sonos wants. No one at Sonos ever tires of saying Sonos is, first and foremost, a music company. But you could also see the Playbase as the company’s most radical move yet, a bold gambit to win coveted space in people’s living rooms and set itself up as the interface of interfaces, the tool through which all other gadgets and protocols communicate. To make sure that no matter what you use, you can use Sonos. Sonos likely won’t say that, for fear of alienating its partners—many of whom have similar ideas. But that’s the only way for Sonos to make itself undisruptable, invincible to the Echoes of the future.

But the above does not do justice to what the Sonos team did to make the Playbase work amazingly well. Just one example –

After much experimentation, the team finally landed on a design that called for the drilling of 43,000 individual holes in the fascia. Because there are five different sizes of holes — which start small near the middle of the cabinet and gradually increase toward the sides — they had to be drilled rather than molded. In order for the bass to escape, the holes near the reflex port needed to have a larger diameter than the ones covering the midrange drivers and tweeters, but if this diameter had been used for all of the holes, it would have compromised the look of the speaker.

So yes, this is expensive. But do you want quality or what?

Pierre Cardin’s Bubble Palace

The Bubble Palace was built between 1975 and 1989 by the Hungarian architect Antti Lovag, who wanted to design a home that mimicked prehistoric human dwellings in caves. Its undulating lines, circular spaces and lack of corners were the trademarks of Lovag, who said he considered the straight line to be ‘an aggression against nature’.

Image result for Pierre Cardin bubble palace

Check out the Guardian for some amazing pics!

BTW, it is on the market for €350mm. I love this shot that includes the neighbor’s place

Image result for Pierre Cardin bubble palace

Yes, I want a Solar Roof

My house needs a new roof. But instead of installing one, I am just repairing it. Why? I am waiting for Tesla to come out with their solar roofs.

What is the big deal?  If the promises hold true, this is the technology of the future. The roof will look better than my roof does now, and it will generate electricity. And  if the cost is not too outrageous, what could go wrong=

BI offers an update — Tesla plans to release their first solar roofs this year.