Will the future change how we define Moore’s Law?

The computing power that once fit inside an entire room now fits into your smartphone, all made possible by cramming more transistors onto a single integrated circuit over the past 50 years.

This exponential growth resulting in periodic increases in computing power was predicted by Moore’s Law, an observation and projection by Gordon E. Moore which plotted the number of transistors in a dense integrated circuit doubles approximately every two years due to improved design and manufacturing methods.

ExponentialGrowthofComputing
Source: Singularity.com

But Moore’s Law is more than just a prediction; it’s become the goal and self-fulfilling prophecy for the semiconductor industry, resulting in the transistor fabricated on a microchip being the most frequently manufactured human artifact in history.

According to David Brock, “Estimates of the number of transistors produced in a single year now match, or exceed, estimates of the total number of all the grains of sand on all the world’s beaches. With computing devices made of microchips, the price of computing has fallen over a million-fold, while the cost of electronics has fallen a billion-fold.”

Can innovation continue at this rate? Continue reading Will the future change how we define Moore’s Law?

Making the switch: do smart bulbs make good home lighting automation systems?

Once you’ve sat down to watch Netflix, your motivation to get back up and turn the lights off goes down. Your lazy-side will thank your automation-side if you can turn off the lights with your smartphone from the comfort of your recliner.

But once you’re hungry for some popcorn, opening up your app to turn on and off the lights might not seem as convenient. Suddenly, the task of simply flicking a switch is turned into a multi-step process.

popcorn-166839_640

This is why home lighting automation systems should always be operable from a wall switch, too.

But not all smart bulbs are created equal; even with their heftier price tags, some smart bulbs really aren’t that smart.

So which ones pass the wall switch test? Continue reading Making the switch: do smart bulbs make good home lighting automation systems?

Stop fiddling with keys! Get a smart home automation door lock

We stayed in a cozy, canary yellow beach home in Emerald Isle last year with my side of the family and geeked out whenever we got to use its keyless, smart home automation door lock.

When heading out to the beach, just press your hand lightly on the door lock and listen to it’s sturdy, mechanical gears grind to a halting lock. Tap in the personalized code when you return.

We felt freed.

No keys. No phones. Just throw towels over our shoulders and grab a good book or two.

This is why, even though there’s plenty of flashy smart home automation door locks out there, we went for a more traditional, reliable and still smart, Yale Real Living Touchscreen Z-Wave Deadbolt.

61AYu5+iFDL._SL1137_

If you want to free yourself from keys or a fob or take a break from your phone, then this lock is for you. All you need is to remember a code.

While operating with a code is problem-free, we have an issue with controlling from our Wink Hub app, which we suspect could be due to the distance between the lock to the hub. Once we test out a Z-Wave repeater, we’ll let you know if the problem is fixed.

Even though we prefer to be keys-free, the manual key override gives us peace of mind. As for installation, it was a cinch with less than 10 steps and voice-enabled programming.

Want to learn more? Continue reading Stop fiddling with keys! Get a smart home automation door lock

Install a home security camera system at your front door

Want to know when a package is dropped off or when visitors stop at your front door by, even if you’re not at home?

While a doorbell helps when you’re home, a home security camera system can notify you when you’re away.

Read on to learn what’s involved in installing a home security camera at your front door.

hikvision Continue reading Install a home security camera system at your front door

Master of your domain with home surveillance camera systems

When we started our search for our home, one of Dan’s top requirements was a house that backed to the woods, which seemed like an impossible dream for a house within the city limits. Lucky for us, we came across our house which backs to a 287-acre city park.

The woods meander down into a steep ravine so it’s unlikely we’ll get intruders from there, but we do have a basement walkout door we want to keep an eye on (and also try to catch some wildlife visitors).

Our solution was to set up a home surveillance camera to enhance our security alarm system: Hikvision DS-2CD2332-I Original 1/3″ CMOS 3MP 2.8mm Lens POE Network CCTV Dome IP Camera. Continue reading Master of your domain with home surveillance camera systems

Meet the basement: before

“I would have to move,” said my cousin’s wife, who has a fear of basements but braved into ours as part of the house tour. She wasn’t the first to find our basement spooky. My mother-in-law also got the “heebie-jeebies.” Our basement wouldn’t have been so freaky if it weren’t for the great dig.

basement

In daylight hours, the basement is actually quite welcoming with a lot of full windows and a walkout door. But that’s just the first tier of the basement. Continue reading Meet the basement: before

Free alternative to wireless intercom system for home

Sure, you could always keep up the regular shouting matches required to gather the family around the dinner table.

Or you could give your vocal chords a rest with an intercom system. (Or do as my mom always did, and ring a dinner bell to summon the troops.)

ARP_Bell_white_bg

But a traditional wired intercom system is a pain to install and smart, interconnected systems are pre-order only.

A quick-solve solution is installing Zello, a free walkie-talkie app, onto smart devices you already have to establish a wireless intercom system. Continue reading Free alternative to wireless intercom system for home