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After four months with the Fitbit Aria WiFi Smart Scale ($130), I haven’t shed any significant weight. However, should I find the motivation to improve my fitness and diet, I do believe the Aria will provide an attractive and effective mechanism for tracking my progress. But let’s back up a bit…
As our homes and appliances collectively gain sentience via Internet connectivity, health gadgetry has become something of hot topic. The current crop of digital pedometers doesn’t do much for me, but a WiFi scale with automated tracking and charting is appealing. In this burgeoning new category, there are basically two manufacturers to choose from: Withings and Fitbit. And I went with the Fitbit Aria primarily because it clocked in $30 cheaper than Withings (at the time) and Fitbit has decent buzz due to the success of those aforementioned activity trackers (that don’t do much for me). So, while Withings may have a more sophisticated display, at the end of the day I’m just looking for two numbers — weight and body fat percentage. Assuming both products provide similar accuracy, which I can’t definitively address. Continue Reading…
2012 Nest left, 2011 Nest right.
While perusing the FCC’s seemingly limitless database of upcoming gadgets, looking for something streamy, I landed upon what looks like the second generation Nest learning thermostat. And, I gotta say, the timing is fortuitous… Because, as a new home owner with dual climate control units, I’ve been stockpiling my Lowe’s coupons ahead of a potential Nest purchase. So my dilly dallying on the fence may allow me to pick up the latest greatest — assuming this new model (02A) replaces the original (01A). Most of the juicy details will remain confidential until March, 2013. However, I expect we’ll see the new “home monitoring unit” arrive this fall. Reports indicate the original Nest, launched in 2011 for $250, might incorporate a Zigbee chipset… whereas the new FCC docs proudly proclaims it via a dedicated “Zigbee report.” Hopefully foreshadowing the future direction of Nest Labs, either in terms of building out their own home automation solutions and/or integrating with other related HA products. I would’t mind a lower price of entry, either.
The FCC yesterday released its latest pricing data on pay-TV services. In the twelve months leading up to January 1, 2011, the average cost for “expanded basic” service increased 5.4% across the country to $57.46 per month. The price for expanded basic service is defined as “the combined price of basic service and the most subscribed cable programming service tier excluding taxes, fees and equipment.” Oddly, however, the FCC also points out that average costs increased slightly more in competitive communities than they did in non-competitive communities. The difference was 5.7% to an average monthly cost of $58.47 in competitive communities versus 5.2% to an average monthly cost of $56.82 in non-competitive communities.
The findings here are highly counter-intuitive. Why would pay-TV service cost more in communities with reasonable service provider competition?
There’s no simple answer to that question, but there are a few critical things to point out about the FCC data. First, the FCC isn’t including equipment fees in these numbers. Continue Reading…
Geek chic with a healthy amount of disposable income? Christian Louboutin has you covered with these (new?) Lady Peep Geek Embroidered Pumps: From the description:
Embroidered with microchip-inspired patterning, numbers, and sequins, a satin upper boasts eye-catching shine balanced with texture. In addition to a distinctively sexy aesthetic, Christian Louboutin shoes are also instantly recognizable for their vibrantly red-lacquered soles.
While $1700 seems somewhat steep for this unfashionable working stiff, if you’re a shoe connoisseur in the market for a pair of designer “red bottoms” these pumps are sure to impress your peers at any celebrity LAN party.
(Thanks, Ricky Tan!)