Previous month:
July 2011
Next month:
September 2011

The end of X10?

The other day I received notification from X10 Corp that they are suspending their affiliate program. That struck me as odd, and now the other shoe has apparently dropped. CEPro is reporting that X10 Corp is going bankrupt soon.

What this means for home automators isn't clear. It's likely that there are plenty of X10 modules in stock, and we might even see liquidation sales if the company is desperate for money. It's also likely that resellers will hike their prices in an attempt to cash in on folks wanting to hoard devices before they disappear from the market.

The X10 protocol is out of patent protection, so its conceivable that another company could step in and make compatible devices. However, INSTEON is the clear successor technology, with other more modern protocols like Z-Wave waiting in the wings.

It will be interesting to see how this all plays out, and if indeed, X10 Corp goes out of business.

Horrible anti-environmental package from K-Mart

The other day I mail-ordered an item from K-Mart. It has been over a decade since I last set foot in one of their stores, but this was an exclusive web-only item so they got my business. This time, anyway.

When the box arrived, I noticed it was much, much larger than I expected. Upon opening the box, I found a sea of styrofoam packing peanuts.


I dug around a bit and couldn't feel anything inside. Following a hunch, I closed the box, flipped it over, and opened the bottom. Sure enough, there was my item, on the very bottom of the box with barely any packing peanuts underneath it.


So the entire box was filled with earth-choking styrofoam that literally were not serving any purpose (it's a wood item and doesn't need much protection), in a box about 5 times larger than it needed to be. Plus, there were two copies of an unasked-for catalog inside.


C'mon K-Mart, you can do better than this!