Saturday, January 16, 2016
Now that almost a week has gone by since the last time I wrote here I find myself suffering that regular antsiness or should I say angstiness that it's time to do so again. It wasn't until my first post of the new year that I saw for certain I hadn't managed even one a week last year, down quite a lot from the more than one hundred I'd managed annually in the past. Back then too were regular contributions to Adventures Ink, my personal reminiscence blog next door. Now the problem as I see it these days is twofold, the first being that too much of what catches my attention these days is very depressing and who wants to write about bad news? Not me. The second is that over the course of time I developed a habit of drawing, or quite often, painting a picture for every post. Although I'm still capable of making pictures it appears I can't do it on demand any more - at least not on my demand. So what I'll do instead, beginning right now, is when it comes time to write a blog post, even if I have no illustration of my own, I'll post a picture or two by someone much more prolific than myself, someone whose work I find suits my mood and sense of irony - this time (and likely often) by the wonderful German artist, Michael Sowa.
A story that caught my attention a few days ago was about a device many of us are reliant upon at this time of year - the thermostat. Apparently, there is a new one called 'The Nest Learning Thermostat' which allows users to monitor and adjust their thermostats on their smartphones. Last week all of them suffered from a software bug that drained their batteries, leaving them useless and their users cold.
The fix required customers to follow a nine-step procedure to manually restart the thermostat, which involves detaching the device from the wall, charging it with a USB cable for 15 minutes, reattaching it to the wall, pressing a series of buttons, charging it again for at least an hour, and then..
Meanwhile, you freeze, your family freezes, and maybe your pipes freeze too. In case you're thinking you can sue the company it turns out you can't. Buried deep in Nest’s 8,000-word service agreement is a section called “Disputes and Arbitration,” which prohibits customers from suing the company or joining a class-action suit. Instead, disputes are settled through arbitration. The terms limit damages and specify that customers need to travel to San Francisco for arbitration. Oh.
After being put on hold with Nest’s technical support for over an hour, one customer went to his nearest Ace Hardware store (while still on hold) and picked up an old-fashioned mechanical thermostat for about $25.
What can one say?
Quote of the week:
"There is no coming to consciousness without pain. People will do anything, no matter how absurd, in order to avoid facing their own Soul. One does not become enlightened by imagining figures of light, but by making the darkness conscious."
~ Carl Jung