Tech Troubles of @Seagate Backup Plus Slim

About two years back, I bought a Seagate Backup Plus Slim 2 TB external 2.5 inch harddrive. I love it! So much so, that I tried buying a second one a couple of months ago. From the get go, that second copy behaved weirdly, The disk was slow and seemed to operate in intermittent sprints only. I finally got out a benchmarking tool and the the tests bore out that something was wrong, when compared with my original (older) copy. The original one is displayed to the left, the new one to the right.

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Impressions from Installing and Configuring Devolo Home Automation Control Center

As a first step, I had installed remote controlled (Z-Wave) thermostats for my radiators. In addition, I installed Devolo’s Control Center and registered on its website for access to the control center. I had thought, from a prior email exchange with Devolo’s support, that it would not be necessary to use their web service. However, I was not able to identify (or find documentation) about a web server or some other management UI on the control center, so I decided to go through their website. I resent this, as I didn’t necessarily want them to have data on my home configuration, but it was the fastest way to a working set-up.

The first step was still a hardware installation step. I needed to plug-in the control center box and connect it to the Internet. My current solution below utilizes a Fritz! product, Ethernet over power-line. The Devolo Control Center comes with its own built-in Ethernet over power-line support and is supposed to be plug compatible with the Fritz solution, alas, this did not work out of the box. It is the one remaining problem to solve for me, later.

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Unwrapping and Experiences With Installing Devolo Home Automation Thermostats

As my first (rather small) home automation project I decided to install remote controlled radiator thermostats. (This is also known as a central thermostat and comes with most modern apartments, but then my new Berlin apartment is rather old and charming. It has no central thermostat, making me run around the apartment every morning to manually adjust the seven radiators.)

I chose Devolo’s “Home Control” thermostats and control center. This is an affordable entry-level product into the space of home automation, though the total of seven thermostats and one (proprietary) control center set me back about EUR 600.

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Putting on Their #Gearface (no Google Daydream)

With all the hoopla on Google Daydream coming up, I thought I’d share two photos of people high on Samsung’s Gear VR. I think Samsung chose a better name for their product. The second photo clearly shows a person with a gearface. Can’t imaging calling this a daydreamface. The future is so bright, you’ll have to wear a mobile.

Re: Your unsolicited email / our joint problem

To: ana.tackett@orcapr.com, eastonjohnston@iodimpact.com, digitalpragency@gmail.com, RobertP@informationhub.biz, gina@bloc.io, pms990@gmail.com, jillr@blackswansmedia.com, davidf@lfpr.com, khurst@harriswilliams.com, nancyt@vorticom.com, james@planet-dm.com, …

Dear PR professional:

With respect to our joint problem, Stanford researchers have found a solution!

Please see here for the answer: http://www.scs.stanford.edu/~dm/home/papers/remove.pdf

With kind regards,

Dirk Riehle

PS: If the research paper above doesn’t load, please see this copy: http://dirkriehle.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/06/remove.pdf

The Humor That is Alexa 2 / 2

So the Echo Dot seems like a good addition to a larger apartment or house. In addition, Amazon promises you can order it through your existing Alexa device. So I tried:

Me: “Alexa, order an Echo Dot.”

Echo: “I can only order product for Prime members. So I added Echo Dot to your shopping list. Please get a membership.”

Me: “Alexa, f#$%^@ you.”

Echo: “That’s not very nice to say.”

Me: “OK, how about that: Alexa, scr#$%# you.”

Echo: “Well, thanks for the feedback.”

I may be in the subscription business myself, but I generally try to avoid to be on the receiving end…

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The Humor That is Alexa 1 / 2

I was watching an old TV show rerun with a character in it called Alexa. My Amazon Echo (trigger word is Alexa) was also listening:

TV set: “Alexa, stop doing that!”

Echo: “Sorry, I don’t understand what you are saying.”

TV set (raised voice): “Alexa, don’t talk to me like that!”

Echo: “Sorry, I still don’t understand what you are saying.”

Despite a few more “Alexa, …” it fell quiet.

I’m amused. Ever since I have wondered what a mischievous screen writer could do given that the Echo can control a garden variety of devices in your house. Or order stuff. How about:

Mischievous character in TV show: “Alexa, open the blinds. Alexa, switch on the lights” (probably most effective a 1am or 5am)

Domino avatar on TV show: “Alexa, order 17 frutti di mare pizzas”

The possibilities seem endless.

Wiki Creole Grammar, Schema, Transformations Made Available

For wiki research purposes as well as the Wiki Creole community‘s convenience, we are making our EBNF grammar, the XML schema definition, and the to/from XML transformations available. You can use these specifications to create your own wiki parsers (using parser generators) as well as use standard technology (DOM, XSLT) to work with wiki pages and display or save them.

For more, see the dedicated wiki-creole page.