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November 2008
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January 2009

DEVONthink 2 enters public beta

A new public beta of DEVONthink is available today. The website includes some very helpful screenshots details that really show that this is a major update. The more modern UI is a big plus, but I'm mostly looking forward to the ability to have multiple databases open at the same time.

For more about how I used DEVONthink in my home office, see My Paperless Office.

I'll have more thoughts on the new version of DEVONthink once I've had a chance to try it out.

The automated luxury hotel room

The new ARIA hotel in Las Vegas will feature guest rooms that include personalized home automation. According to a recent press release the rooms include:

As guests approach their room or suite, the system will recognize if it is their first time in the room and “greet” them as they enter. Light will fill the room, curtains will automatically part, and the TV will turn on to display a list of automated controls for guests to personalize.
Guests will enjoy seamless, integrated one-touch control of guestroom features, including lighting, room temperature, television/video systems, music, wake-up calls, draperies and requests for services through a single, easy-to-use remote control. All settings will be remembered and incorporated every time a guest is in-room.
Green settings on the room’s remote system will allow guests the opportunity to voluntarily “green their stay” by indicating their preferred light level, room temperature and frequency of linen and towel changes.

The automation is being provided by Control 4. This is a very interesting development as it will require automation that is intuitive to use and doesn't annoy or surprise the guests. A challenge, but if successful it could help drive the home market, too.

The automated lazy-boy recliner

I previously mentioned that having INSTEON-based window sensors and universal modules would create new opportunities for home automation using that system. That's because being able to sense the real-world means your home can be a lot "smarter" about how it reacts. This can provide serious benefit, as well as silly, and sometimes a little of both. For example, see the video Automated Talking Chair built using the relatively simple and inexpensive ActiveHome software, and an X10 window sensor.

Typed with My Thumbs - my iPhone signature

Several friends and coworkers have expressed appreciation for the email signature I wrote for use on iPhone. Some have liked it so much they've adopted it; a few even asked permission.

Let a thousand sardonic signatures bloom! Here it is, if it tickles your fancy too, feel free to use it, even if you're still using a crackberry:

Typd w/my thmbs. Plse 4give brevty & tupos.