links for 2009-08-18

August 19, 2009
  • <p>When I push [my toaster] lever down, if there's a crumb stuck in the coils, it isn't long before my fragile pre-coffee state is shattered by the piercing siren of my smoke detector. It doesn't know about the toast, but really it should. If it were sociable, as soon as it detected particulate matter in the air, it would query the toaster to see if it had been activated. That would tell it that in all likelihood, it wasn't detecting an unattended, middle-of-the-night fire but instead a benign morning meal. The price of low-power radio networking and the just-minted funding for smart home energy networks makes this sociable smoke-detector scenario entirely within our reach. I want one.</p>
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