celestiaequestria t1_j5zn5t4 wrote

The smart features are a honeypot to get the user to connect the device to WiFi so it can transmit usage and other data. The problem is that the features you get for connecting to WiFi are often meaningless or gimmicks - because the real reason for the antenna being included was always data collection and transmission.


celestiaequestria t1_j5zmtto wrote

It worked with Smart TVs - people use the built-in apps to stream on their TVs, meaning they connect the TV itself to WiFi allowing the manufacturer to collect a ton of data that earns them more money than they make from selling the TV set. Basically the new Nielson families.

It just failed everywhere else because there's no killer feature to having your microwave connect to the internet.


celestiaequestria t1_j05tf89 wrote

The wiring in your walls is probably rated for 15 amps, depending on when your house was built the gauge and length of that wire run will vary. Along that wire run there are multiple plug sockets - again, number will vary with age of home.

Let's say your toaster is plugged into the last socket on that wire that runs back to the breaker box in your house - so it's using the full length of the wire. You turn it on and the heating coil wants to pull 15 Amps (1800 watts on a 120v) to heat up. So on one end of the long wire, you have 1800 watts being pulled, and the other end your breaker box - and that's the full capacity of the wire.

So what happens when something plugged into one of the sockets along the run is needing to draw power? Weird stuff! The voltage and power availability is affected by what's called "sag" and it's having to fight against the draw of the heating coil. If you wanted to make it even more funky, plug a motor like a blender into the same circuit - as many people do in the kitchen.

Basically, you're going from the illusion of how electricity works ("you plug it in and it just works") to the reality of how electricity works ("holy crap connecting a bunch of high power devices with thin bits of wire causes problems").


celestiaequestria t1_j05socm wrote

The primary power draws in your home are heating, cooling, and large appliances like washers, dryers, fridges, dishwashers, and hot water heaters. Those are the places to look if you have a high power bill and want to save money.

You can also address things like heat loss - for example, adding weatherstripping to old windows to seal up gaps, and adding a heavy thermal-liner curtain, can significantly lower your heating bills. Replace all light bulbs in your home with energy-efficient LEDs and check any appliance older than 20 years with a power meter to see if it's in line with modern standards - some will be fine, some will be wildly overusing and can be replaced to save yourself money.


celestiaequestria t1_it8nvr3 wrote

It will reduce the number of artists who can make a good living on their own skills, because it empowers the top talent (and firms) in the field to produce more work. A skilled artist who can tell the AI what they want, and then modify it as a painter / sculptor - could work with a handful of other artists to churn out tremendous volumes of work.

There are a ton of artists who make a living doing a good job drawing things most people don't want to draw - everything from boring stuff like commercial illustrations and technical drawings for training manuals - to furry porn. That's the kind of work AI can do far more cheaply - and that means illustrators for books and magazines, website drawings, personal art requests, billboard artists, et cetera - become more scarce.


celestiaequestria t1_iszp8ap wrote

The publishers have put themselves in a self-defeating position. If the textbooks were $50, people would grumble and buy them. If they're $400, people are going to do everything in their power to not have to get that book. Download a PDF and pay $100 for the dumb online homework key? Still better than paying $400 for the book that'll wind up being used to line the bottom of a bird cage because it's worthless once the shrinkwrap is off.