The Boston Diaries

The ongoing saga of a programmer who doesn't live in Boston, nor does he even like Boston, but yet named his weblog/journal “The Boston Diaries.”

Go figure.

Monday, February 26, 2007

What we need is nuclear power

I'm not a protocol designer. I'm sure that people have been thinking about this for a long time, but I bet all the thought has been behind closed doors and not in a public appliance design forum and framework. That said, my vision is of a household full of devices that

In the most basic implementation, for example, a Powerline time broadcast system allows every device to be time synchronized, so you don't have to reset all the clocks after a power outage. More sophisticated systems can advertise themselves as displays, inputs or outputs. To use the tired coffee maker example: your coffee maker thus no longer has to include its own scheduling device; your alarm clock can schedule all necessary tasks, find your coffee maker as an output device with a standard set of services, and just tell it when to start percolating at the same time that it tells your Wifi rabbit to start caching its the news and traffic MP3s. Your pressure-sensitive carpet can just broadcast “turn on 1/10 power” to all lights in its vicinity, which turn on as you walk to the bathroom in the middle of the night, they light your way. If you have no such lights, they don't light.

Why we need a good appliance communication protocol

Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.

[Arthur C.] Clarke's Third Law

The link wasn't directly from Blahsploitation, but he's also thinking along similar lines here. And while I would love the lights to turn on as I walk about the house, or the tea kettle to turn on ten minutes before the alarm goes off, I worry about making this seem more magical than it appears.


My conclusion: I don't dare tell my kids they're smart. If they work hard, I'll recognise that. Amaze me. Just being smart is so passé.

Via Flutterby, Smarts don't mean much (and expensive running shoes ruin your feet

Hmmm …. certainly explains a lot about me.

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