Belkin WeMo Switch and Motion
Home automation and smartphones are a natural fit. As such, we’re seeing the proliferation of systems that let you turn lights on and off, brew coffee, monitor security cameras and control other things around the home from anywhere, just by tapping on your phone’s screen.
The WeMo Switch + Motion is a $100 kit from Belkin that acts as a simple home automation system. Plug the self-contained unit into an electrical outlet, connect a light or an appliance, then pair the WeMo your smartphone over Wi-Fi. Once everything’s hooked up, you gain the ability to switch lights (or whatever) on and off without leaving the comfort of your bed. Activating the included motion sensor will give you a truly automated setup, but if all you need is the Switch, it’s available on its own for $40.

Belkin WeMo Switch and Motion

Home automation and smartphones are a natural fit. As such, we’re seeing the proliferation of systems that let you turn lights on and off, brew coffee, monitor security cameras and control other things around the home from anywhere, just by tapping on your phone’s screen.

The WeMo Switch + Motion is a $100 kit from Belkin that acts as a simple home automation system. Plug the self-contained unit into an electrical outlet, connect a light or an appliance, then pair the WeMo your smartphone over Wi-Fi. Once everything’s hooked up, you gain the ability to switch lights (or whatever) on and off without leaving the comfort of your bed. Activating the included motion sensor will give you a truly automated setup, but if all you need is the Switch, it’s available on its own for $40.

Giant Nasa spider robots could 3D print lunar base using microwaves (Wired UK)
The first lunar base on the Moon may not be built by human hands, but rather by a giant spider-like robot built by Nasa that can bind the dusty soil into giant bubble structures where astronauts can live, conduct experiments, relax or perhaps even cultivate crops.
We’ve already covered the European Space Agency’s (ESA) work with architecture firm Foster + Partners on a proposal for  a 3D-printed moonbase, and there are similarities between the two bases — both would be located in Shackleton Crater near the Moon’s south pole, where sunlight (and thus solar energy) is nearly constant due to the Moon’s inclination on the crater’s rim, and both use lunar dust as their basic building material. However, while the ESA’s building would be constructed almost exactly the same way a house would be 3D-printed on Earth, this latest wheeze — SinterHab — uses Nasa technology for something a fair bit more ambitious.

Giant Nasa spider robots could 3D print lunar base using microwaves (Wired UK)

The first lunar base on the Moon may not be built by human hands, but rather by a giant spider-like robot built by Nasa that can bind the dusty soil into giant bubble structures where astronauts can live, conduct experiments, relax or perhaps even cultivate crops.

We’ve already covered the European Space Agency’s (ESA) work with architecture firm Foster + Partners on a proposal for a 3D-printed moonbase, and there are similarities between the two bases — both would be located in Shackleton Crater near the Moon’s south pole, where sunlight (and thus solar energy) is nearly constant due to the Moon’s inclination on the crater’s rim, and both use lunar dust as their basic building material. However, while the ESA’s building would be constructed almost exactly the same way a house would be 3D-printed on Earth, this latest wheeze — SinterHab — uses Nasa technology for something a fair bit more ambitious.

The surprisingly low-tech solution to big cities’ climate woes: Triple-pane windows | Grist
Climate scientists have estimated that, in order to avoid runaway global warming, the world would need to cut its carbon emissions roughly in half by 2050. Since emissions in developing countries like China and India are still rising fast, meeting this target would require developed nations to aim for a figure more like 80 percent. When you consider that the United States, the largest polluter in the developed world, has no real strategy in place to achieve that — and that no binding international agreements appear to be on the horizon — the goal can start to sound nigh impossible.
The task is so intimidating that even serious people are starting to entertain extreme-sounding geoengineering ideas like flying business jets into the stratosphere and spraying sulfuric acid all over the place to try to deflect sunlight before it reaches the Earth. Others reckon it’s already too late to prevent catastrophic warming — we’ll have to build sea walls and hope for the best. President Obama alluded to a possible cap-and-trade system in Tuesday’s State of the Union address, but few believe such a sweeping policy would pass Congress.
Yet in a report released on Thursday, the nonprofit Urban Green Council makes the case that the country’s largest population centers needn’t rely on a federal breakthrough. Specifically, the 51-page report, titled “90 by 50,” finds that New York City could slash its emissions by a whopping 90 percent by 2050 without any radical new technologies, without cutting back on creature comforts, and maybe even without breaking its budget.

The surprisingly low-tech solution to big cities’ climate woes: Triple-pane windows | Grist

Climate scientists have estimated that, in order to avoid runaway global warming, the world would need to cut its carbon emissions roughly in half by 2050. Since emissions in developing countries like China and India are still rising fast, meeting this target would require developed nations to aim for a figure more like 80 percent. When you consider that the United States, the largest polluter in the developed world, has no real strategy in place to achieve that — and that no binding international agreements appear to be on the horizon — the goal can start to sound nigh impossible.

The task is so intimidating that even serious people are starting to entertain extreme-sounding geoengineering ideas like flying business jets into the stratosphere and spraying sulfuric acid all over the place to try to deflect sunlight before it reaches the Earth. Others reckon it’s already too late to prevent catastrophic warming — we’ll have to build sea walls and hope for the best. President Obama alluded to a possible cap-and-trade system in Tuesday’s State of the Union address, but few believe such a sweeping policy would pass Congress.

Yet in a report released on Thursday, the nonprofit Urban Green Council makes the case that the country’s largest population centers needn’t rely on a federal breakthrough. Specifically, the 51-page report, titled “90 by 50,” finds that New York City could slash its emissions by a whopping 90 percent by 2050 without any radical new technologies, without cutting back on creature comforts, and maybe even without breaking its budget.

What Is the Industrial Internet? | MIT Technology Review
What is the industrial Internet?
As good a place as any to find the answer is at General Electric’s newest U.S. factory, a $170 million plant it opened in Schenectady, New York, last July to produce advanced sodium-nickel batteries for uses that include powering cell-phone towers (see “GE’s Novel Battery to Bolster the Grid,” “Inside GE’s New Battery Factory,” and “Can We Build Tomorrow’s Breakthroughs?”).
The factory has more than 10,000 sensors spread across 180,000 square feet of manufacturing space, all connected to a high-speed internal Ethernet. They monitor things like which batches of powder are being used to form the ceramics at the heart of the batteries, how high a temperature is being used to bake them, how much energy is required to make each battery, and even the local air pressure. On the plant floor, employees with iPads can pull up all the data from Wi-Fi nodes set up around the factory.

What Is the Industrial Internet? | MIT Technology Review

What is the industrial Internet?

As good a place as any to find the answer is at General Electric’s newest U.S. factory, a $170 million plant it opened in Schenectady, New York, last July to produce advanced sodium-nickel batteries for uses that include powering cell-phone towers (see “GE’s Novel Battery to Bolster the Grid,” “Inside GE’s New Battery Factory,” and “Can We Build Tomorrow’s Breakthroughs?”).

The factory has more than 10,000 sensors spread across 180,000 square feet of manufacturing space, all connected to a high-speed internal Ethernet. They monitor things like which batches of powder are being used to form the ceramics at the heart of the batteries, how high a temperature is being used to bake them, how much energy is required to make each battery, and even the local air pressure. On the plant floor, employees with iPads can pull up all the data from Wi-Fi nodes set up around the factory.

Dutch architect to build house with 3D printer
A Dutch architect has designed a house “with no beginning or end” to be built using the world’s largest 3D printer, harnessing technology that may one day be used to print houses on the moon.Read more at: http://phys.org/news/2013-01-dutch-architect-house-3d-printer.html#jCp

Dutch architect to build house with 3D printer

A Dutch architect has designed a house “with no beginning or end” to be built using the world’s largest 3D printer, harnessing technology that may one day be used to print houses on the moon.

Read more at: http://phys.org/news/2013-01-dutch-architect-house-3d-printer.html#jCp

In the Coming Age of the Connected Home, Your Phone Will Be a Magic Wand |  Wired.com
Your smartphone is going domestic. In the age of the connected home, your mobile devices are becoming the central command, the brains, if you will, of the entire smarthome experience.
It makes sense. Rather than remote controls with menus to memorize and knobs, dials and switches to manipulate, your smartphone or tablet becomes one remote to rule them all. You’ve always got it with you when you’re out and about, it’s never far from hand when you’re sitting on the couch and it’s dead-simple to use.
What we’re seeing started with the birth of the smartphone, when gadgetmakers realized smartphone integration could add tremendous value to consumers’ product experiences. It started with simple apps that transform your phone into a remote control for a DVR or set-top box, letting you use a touchscreen to navigate complex user interfaces. It grew with apps that tie into our home security systems and, more recently, our appliances. Remembering if the milk in your fridge is past its prime or whether you have recipes based on the things in your freezer was once the stuff of The Jetsons, but is increasingly commonplace today.

In the Coming Age of the Connected Home, Your Phone Will Be a Magic Wand |  Wired.com

Your smartphone is going domestic. In the age of the connected home, your mobile devices are becoming the central command, the brains, if you will, of the entire smarthome experience.

It makes sense. Rather than remote controls with menus to memorize and knobs, dials and switches to manipulate, your smartphone or tablet becomes one remote to rule them all. You’ve always got it with you when you’re out and about, it’s never far from hand when you’re sitting on the couch and it’s dead-simple to use.

What we’re seeing started with the birth of the smartphone, when gadgetmakers realized smartphone integration could add tremendous value to consumers’ product experiences. It started with simple apps that transform your phone into a remote control for a DVR or set-top box, letting you use a touchscreen to navigate complex user interfaces. It grew with apps that tie into our home security systems and, more recently, our appliances. Remembering if the milk in your fridge is past its prime or whether you have recipes based on the things in your freezer was once the stuff of The Jetsons, but is increasingly commonplace today.

CES 2013: The Break-Out Year For The Internet Of Things

Robin Raskin is founder of Living in Digital Times, which produces conferences and expos at CES and throughout the year focusing on how technology enhances our lives.

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Robin Raskin

CES, like Las Vegas where it’s held, has always been about big. Big announcements like the DVD, Blu-Ray, the Xbox, the VCR – that’s the magnitude of stuff that’s been announced at CES events of years gone by. At the 2013 CES lat week, there were fewer standouts – but that doesn’t mean it wasn’t a big year for change. In fact, the 2013 show was a synergistic effort that launched a new way of looking at technology as the “Internet of things.”

The Internet of things is the term used to mean any device that can connect to the Internet and share and receive information. How does that play out?

The Connected Car: The Google car powered by Velodyne has driven itself from San Francisco to Las Vegas. That’s right: A driverless car that has completed 300,000 autonomous-driving miles accident free. Toyota and Audi also have driverless cars. GPS maker Garmin showcased its K2 platform that makes the car dashboard digital, using voice control, infrared buttons and smartphone integration to provide navigation, vehicle diagnostics, office features, communications and entertainment.

The Smarter Home: The Internet also enabled a new set of products to do everything from keep an eye on your home (Dropcam) while you’re not there, keep your home bless-fully keyless by using your phone to activate your lock (SimpliciKey), Whirlpool showed an innovative Fireplace concept that combines a multifunctional cooking table and an air treatment/mood lighting hood. The idea is to create your own atmosphere for your own high tech family hearth. And their refrigerator will serenade you with your fav streaming Internet playlist while you search for snacks.

The Internet of the Fittest: You might remember the days when a PC conjured images of chubby gamers with joysticks in hand, but at this CES, it was a survival of the fittest gadgets. BodyMedia announced its CORE 2 an attractive arm bracelet body monitor, Runtastic built a set of apps that counts your pushups and sit ups using your phones accelerometer, MyBasis combines more sensors than most in a lovely wristband but it’s also beefed up the motivational aspects and encouragement that exercisers need. And FitBit, one of the first personal body monitors announced the Flex, a bracelet that you never need to take off (or lose).

The Greenest Office Building In The World Is About To Open In Seattle | Co.Exist
The Bullitt Center is made from totally clean materials, has composting toilets, and catches enough rainwater to survive a 100-day drought. And it’s 100% solar-powered, in a city not known for its sunny days.

The Greenest Office Building In The World Is About To Open In Seattle | Co.Exist

The Bullitt Center is made from totally clean materials, has composting toilets, and catches enough rainwater to survive a 100-day drought. And it’s 100% solar-powered, in a city not known for its sunny days.