So, we just bought the Gold’s Gym Cycle Trainer 400 Ri. This thing was a real chore to get put together, but I was finally able to do it. After the peddles were in place, I sat down, pressed a button, and got three beeps from the console. No matter what I pressed, three beeps.
The top layer says go their website to activate the console; so I do that, and guess what? They want my credit card, and after the free trial, $15/month to use the features on the bike.
Needless to say, I wasn’t happy. The bike was a pain to put together, and now it says it wants a credit card? Surely (don’t call me Shirley!) there’s a way to use this bike and screen without paying an extra $15 a month for their app and workout program.
Turns out, you can. You have to press the “Bluetooth” button and hold it. The first thing you’ll notice is nothing happens…keep pressing! Then a green light will go on. Keep pressing! Finally, the screen will turn on. From there, you can pedal away. Turn the fan on (and off, by hitting reset).
The screen will turn off after a period of inactivity. The next time you want to use it, just start pedaling and the screen will come on.
If you want to use their workout program, by all means, set it up. But if you don’t, follow the instructions above.
by Steve·Comments Off on Synology DS420j NAS announced at CES 2020
Synology announced an affordable NAS for home at CES 2020. The Synology DS420j costs just $299. It’s a diskless NAS, so you’ll have to supply your own disks. It has room for four disks, a 64-bit 4-core 1.4 Ghz processor. If you’ve been looking for an inexpensive NAS, you’ll want to check it out!
There hasn’t been a lot of changes in robot vacuums over the last ten years, until now. Dyson’s new vacuum sports a 360 degree camera which it uses to determine reference points for where it is in the room. It has the suction tech Dyson vacuums are known for. It can also be controlled with an iPhone.
It’s a bit taller than a Roomba, so it’s not going to be able to go under a low couch. It’s going to be interesting to see how much this thing costs.
by Steve·Comments Off on Nest pulls Nest Protect smoke detector for sale
Nest has pulled the Nest Protect from sale because of an issue where the detector could unintentionally be turned off, delaying the alarm in case of a real fire. Once the issue has been fixed, they’ll put it back for sale.
If you have one of these, Nest suggested you immediately disable this feature. When they fix the issue, they’ll produce an update.
by Steve·Comments Off on The Facebook Acquisition of Oculus Rift And Thinking Long Term
People’s first response has been “Why would Facebook buy Oculus Rift”? They see the current incarnation of Facebook and think, “What can you possibly do with VR on Facebook? Facebook is just a text interface! Are they just going to make VR Facebook games?” That’s really short term thinking. In order to make really ground breaking technology, you have to think long term.
For example, say that you come up with a really great product idea, but it requires a lot more network bandwidth than is currently available to most consumers. In other words, even if you wanted to build it today, you couldn’t because of the lack of network bandwidth that would be required. A lot of people would just drop the idea right there, or wait until that type of bandwidth comes available.
In research projects, you really can’t be limited by that kind of restriction. You have to project where the technology will eventually be and how fast it will get there. Technology like networking will continue to improve for the foreseeable future. The question is how long it will take for it to catch up with your idea.
With something like VR, people always ask “What kind of program can I use this with? VR office where I can see everyone? Third person shooter?” Those are exactly the wrong questions. Sure, you can make a game. You can make a environment where people run around and build things, like in Minecraft. But you can do those on a regular computer screen too, maybe even with 3D glasses. What’s the point?
The question needs to be, how can I make something so compelling that people will use it exclusively. Something so amazing that they only way to really experience it correctly is with what you’ve built. It’s the difference between Second life and Star Trek’s Holodeck.
And it’s only with long term thinking that something like that can be accomplished.
I’m hoping that whatever Facebook has planned, it takes this long term approach. Build something new and different, something so compelling that people need to use this new tech on it’s own.
by Steve·Comments Off on Keurig’s DRM Coffee Machines
Ah, Keurig Coffee Machines, those coffee makers that take a little cup, drop it in, and out comes a nice cup of coffee in whatever flavor you like. People buy those coffee makers, and find inexpensive sources for those little cups you drop in, since the Keurig brand isn’t at the price they want to pay.
TechDirt is reporting that Green Mountain Coffee Roasters, the company behind the coffee makers is working on the next generation coffee maker that won’t accept those third party coffee drop-ins any more, if those drop-ins aren’t licensed.
You know, pretty much how a lot of printers work with ink cartridges these days. Except with the printers, if you put in a third party ink cartridge, it’ll probably work, you just won’t have the printer tell you things like how much ink is left.
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