1x50: Automated

Jeremy Garcia, Jono Bacon, Bryan Lunduke, and Stuart Langridge bring you the wonderful world of Bad Voltage, in which you get a mat underfoot because your feet hurt, there is a small Lunduke on the scene, and:

  • 00:04:48 Mycroft, the open source "AI for everyone" home automation thing that you can put in your house and speak commands to, has achieved its Kickstarter goals and will happen. We like it. Here's why
  • 00:24:48 Chris Waid from Thinkpenguin and savewifi.org speaks about the American FCC's consultation which requires restricting wireless devices from using unapproved frequencies. Understandably, the SaveWiFi team are very concerned this will result in outright banning of open source router firmware and possibly open source wireless drivers generally. Today we discuss the issue with Chris, whether it's quite as big a problem as is suggested, and what can be done about it
  • 00:48:17 Hack Voltage: Jeremy spends a minute recommending a cool thing. In this episode, a bathroom mirror which runs Android
  • 00:49:24 Unbiasedly leading on from Mycroft, one of the things it touts itself as is integrating with your home automation; Internet-of-Things things around your house, whether thermometers or Dropcams or smart fridges. We've been getting into home automation to varying degrees, and it's a big area; here we talk about it and open standards
  • 01:08:14 Jono reviews the LIFT standing desk conversion kit, and the idea of standing desks generally

We're doing a live show, and you can be in the audience! See details of Bad Voltage Live, in Fulda, Germany on September 30th 2015, at badvoltage.org/live!

Download the show now!

Hmmm… another coded message [found in the news feed]… I think this one means, “Sorry, we’re all drink. We thought we’d test you to see if you could work out just how drunk we actually are”. :wink:


I tried https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dgU-TrqdUw4 but to no avail.
What am I missing or doing wrong?

Thanks to @aluco, he noticed a “-” that I missed.

It will be interesting to see what comes of all this.

Standing Desk

Hey everyone, thanks for the great show.

I ended up buying a standing desk about 5 months ago after a teammate of mine could not stop talking about his. It really is a game changer. For me at 42 years old I was starting to feel the pain of sitting all day. Even if I got out to exercise in the middle of the day. Yes it is super expensive especially since I got the treadmill option as well. (okay I am a total gadget geek too).

Is it worth it?

For me it has been. But I understand that the price makes it tough to imagine it being worth it. Overall I feel better at the end of the day and during the day. (only grumpy now 40% of the day instead of 90%) and I now get my 10,000 step goal in every day as I use the treadmill during some of the day while coding.

So even a standing area you move to every hour or so is better than sitting all day imo. And if you have a treadmill in your home then a piece of wood across the handle bars is an option as well and just give it a try and see if it changes your focus and energy levels for the day.

And as noted in the podcast the standing pad is key.

Out of curiosity, which one did you buy? Anything, specifically, you like or dislike about it?


Loved the show, as always, but it highlighted one of the things that bugs me about the OSS movement, and that is in the quality of spokespeople for issue x.

Clearly Chris Waid was passionate about what he was trying to promote, but I failed to engage with his points, because they weren’t clearly explained. FCC are evil, is not a convincing argument.

Furthermore, he was in friendly territory when being questioned, and had little to worry about, but failed to convince me of anything.

I’m really not having a go at Chris here, because he’s clearly motivated and concerned, and wants to influence what could be a poor outcome for us to be a better outcome, and I applaud him for so doing. My overarching concern, is we need a better class of spokesperson for these kind of issues who can communicate complex, and frankly boring ideas simply and engage a wider interest in the subject

As a side note to this auspicious 50th episode, a big happy birthday to my fellow presenter Jono Bacon.


Sorry had a link ready to share http://www.thehumansolution.com/uplift-treadmill-desk.html

Why? Cause my team mate is one of this people that obsessively researches something before he buys it so I just asked him :smile:

So far I have 0 complaints. 4 spot memory (sitting, standing, treadmill), goes up an down nicely etc.

My other teammate bought one after and got a curved one that is dark bamboo. I like that one better more like Star Trek!

Thanks, pal!

I’ve spent 30 years on my feet wishing I could sit down. But, I imagine that if it was 30 years of sitting, I would wish I could stand up. The recommendation of having sitting breaks is a good one. I’ve got varicose veins starting from all this standing. @Alfred_Nutile’s walking desk looks practical.

I really like @jeremy’s short Hack Voltage with the mirror. It looks really interesting and could be quite practical. Besides, it would give me something to look at instead of that hideous thing I see in my mirror! :smile:

And just what age have you achieved @jonobacon?

Thanks. Looks quite nice, but is definitely on the pricier end of the spectrum.


BTW, if anyone has experience with either the Ergo Depot Jarvis or Evodesk, I’d be keen to hear about it.


This was a pretty good ep guys, thanks!
Bryan, I appreciate you can be upfront about trying to keep you guest on topic, but my evidence supports that Qualcomm is a bag of dicks. (TM, circle-c, circle-r, SM, dot-com, boo-yah). Candelatech has been trying to work with them for years now and they are just…
anyhow, they’re laying off some thousands of people and the DDWRT project is super responsive in comparison. So, I totally commiserate with Chris Waid.

By the way - you did get the name right re SuprEngr - it is SuperEngineer. but you knew that already] I must confess, though, I am now thinking of changing to one of the various attempts - they were more fun! - I would try to spell the ones I thought were best, but need a bigger pooter to work out how to spell the pronunciations.

As to what to include in the show - I think you know my opinion already! :wink:

[but if you could include a few more “excited” exchanges of opinion amongst yourselves, well - that’s cool] :slight_smile:

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Unfortunately, the save wifi wiki page is what happens when people attempt to speculate on complex regulatory issues outside their field of expertise. Its easy to panic, claim the sky is falling, make slippery slope arguments, and refuse any changes besides the status quo. It is hard to calmly put aside your own biases, find the relevant experts/insiders in the industry to find out how the changes will be handled. Chris is doing the former instead of the latter.

Hey guys! Great show as always! After listening to the segment about standing desks I wanted to share my old setup. Last year I had a herniated disc in my lower back, so sitting in a chair was excruciatingly painful. My only option was to “build” a standing desk, but as a broke college kid my options were pretty limited. My setup wasn’t as fancy as Jono’s, but for less than $20 it worked extraordinarily well. For those who can’t tell, it’s just a normal Ikea Galant desk on top of 4 5-Gallon buckets that I bought from Lowe’s Hardware. It was the perfect height and was surprisingly stable.


My personal theory on standing desks—and new workflows in general—is that whilst it’s completely understandable and even rational to respond to someone spending $200 with comments like “It’s just a box!” and “Why not use a bunch of HTML4 reference manuals?”, they miss the crucial idea that the $200 is not a financial investment in the idea but a psychological one.

In other words, dropping a non-trivial amount of money commits you to “really” try the idea to a certain degree, lest you experience guilt for the expenditure or some other drawback. You absolutely don’t need fancy new trainers to start running, but I bet you see greater adherence when you do.

@jeremy Jono’s 50 ? Wow , I thought he was still in his thirties.

In further disturbing no-open-source-router-for-you news, the EU are considering the same ban as the US’s FCC (HT @dotwaffle). We constantly have to fight against this sort of thing :frowning:

Please respect our code of conduct which is simple: don't be a dick.