Weekly Roundup

On September 14, 2014, in General, by LuCuS

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Home Automation Pays Off

On September 12, 2014, in Home Automation, by LuCuS

While on a conference call this morning, my house started alerting me that my electricity consumption had spiked dramatically. It was showing that there was something eating up power on my front porch. When I went to check what the problem was, I found a huge utility cable plugged into the front porch outlet and was extended around my house toward the lot next door where they’re building a new house. Even though they have power at the lot next door, one of the workers thought it was a good idea to plug his stuff into my house.

When I confronted him about it, his response was, “I didn’t realize anyone was home”. What does that have to do with anything? Whether I’m home or not, he was still trespassing and stealing utility services. Just minutes after I confronted him about that, my house alerted me to the side of my house where another worker had connected a water hose and was filling his cement tumbler with water from my house.

Last week while out of the country, I received several alerts from my house for similar things. Tonight I am going to review the event log and security camera footage to find out what exactly those guys have been doing on my property. I’m also going to step up my home automation system so that whenever X number of alerts happen without me responding to reset the alert count, I want my house to automagically shut off all power and water to faucets and outlets.

In a way, I’m kinda glad that all of this happened today. It reminded me how important it is to have all of my force field (alarms, motion sensors, proximity alerts, computer vision, etc…) up and running at all times. I had recently disabled many of the things in my system so that I could expand, test, and debug my home automation system without having to run around the outside of my house to trigger the system. I at least made sure everything inside my house was working 100% before leaving the country last week. Just forgot to put everything outside back online.

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Monthly Roundup

On July 31, 2014, in General, by LuCuS

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Weekly Roundup

On July 27, 2014, in General, by LuCuS

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WTF, Amazon?

On July 24, 2014, in Make Money, Marketing, by LuCuS

WTFApparently Amazon is making enough money that they don’t need help from anyone else to promote their products. Either that or they really don’t give a damn about anyone else which is more likely the case. Since 2009, I have been using the Amazon Associates program to monetize some of the websites that I own and operate, including this one. As an example, on this very site, I have written numerous reviews of products and always make sure to include links to my Amazon Affiliate account whenever I write those reviews. I have also written guest posts for several other websites where I review different products and, of course, link to those products on Amazon so that I get paid for purchases made from people clicking on those links.

Now, I’m sure that Amazon has updated their affiliate terms of use since I first signed up for an account. However, I am being honest when I say that I haven’t read it since I first read it back in 2009. Being that I haven’t read it in so long, I have forgotten pretty much everything mentioned in it. But, since I haven’t had any issues (until now), I honestly believed I was following their rules. After 5 years of promoting Amazon and sending them business, they decided to close my affiliate account, to withhold any & all outstanding payments, and to ban me from the program for life. And, it isn’t for any reasons you would think. Let me explain.

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