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Home Automation

The New York Times published an intesting article today about home automation. Brian Chen describes the pros and cons various options and features, and I notice myself being somewhat slow to jump aboard. https://www.nytimes.com/guides/technology/how-to-make-a-smart-home While many embrace their smartphones wholly, I have actually taken a step back. I noticed myself taking the iPhone to my […]

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Troubleshooting PLS 2 Palm Laser Level

My construction company loves PLS laser levels. We own three of them: one PLS 2 and two PLS 5’s. The PLS 2 was purchased used around 2010, and a label under the controls shows the date code as “2/07” so I assume that is when it was made. Toward the end of 2012, the level […]

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Structural Crack Monitor

Here is an easy way to keep track of movements of concrete, stucco, flagstone, or any other material you can think of. Structural Puzzle One of our clients has a house that sits perched on a hill east of San Francisco. This area is prone to earthquakes, and soil on hills has a tendency to move. […]

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Online Fraud: The Buck Stops Here

Earlier this week, I noticed some small charges to my VISA card. $0.99 for an iTunes movie rental; $1.05 for a Berkeley parking meter; and $1 for something related to TransUnion. I could not recall what that might had been. Fearing a deluge of scam-related charges, I went to investigate. I called TransUnion, and indeed, […]

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Desalination: Good For Israel. Good For California?

The New York TImes reports today on how Israel is mitigating a shortage of much-needed rain by desalinating seawater. California, reeling from its driest winter in history, has a long coast line and the same opportunity as Israel. Of course, the problem with desalination is that it requires a lot of energy. According to the […]

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Amsterdam Architects Build Full-sized Home With 3D Printer

Amsterdam Architects Build Full-sized Canal House With 3D Printer

Leave it to those Amsterdammers! Famous for their red light district, Old Dutch Masters, and gorgeous canal houses, one is now being built with a 3D printer. A few weeks ago, Annemarie Coevert of the Dutch newspaper NRC Handelsblad reported how DUS architects designed the world’s first building being constructed with a 3D printer. Visitors […]

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Some Technologies Waste Time — Lots!

As part of my work, I spend quite a bit of time driving. Meetings with clients, checking progress at construction projects; and so forth. While on one of those trips recently, I wondered how much faster traffic would move if drivers all over the world would stop texting and checking email. (more…)

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Installing The Nest Thermostat

Google Buys Nest!

Google buys Nest Labs.

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Sperry Instruments GFI6302 GFCI Outlet Tester Review

Last year, I reviewed two electrical outlet testers: F-Circle’s CircTest 3579-4 for regular, grounded receptacles; and the Commercial Electric MS6860H, which can also be used to test GFCI circuits. The main complaints I voiced were that both were labeled on one side only, making it cumbersome to test receptacles that were installed upside down, and […]

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Hitachi C10FCE2 Compound Miter Saw – One Small Design Flaw, Easy To Fix

Around 2004, I bought the best-ever Hitachi 10 inch sliding compound miter saw, model CF10FSB, made in Japan. That saw was one of the awesome-est (!) tools I owned, and so it was with great chagrin when I discovered it stolen from a job site several months ago. Thankfully the thief did not bother taking […]

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Photo © RemodelBlog.net 2013

Solar Power Day And Night!

NPR’s Alan Yu wrote an interesting article about Abengoa Solar. On Wednesday, Abengoa cranked up the world’s largest solar energy plant of its kind. What is newsworthy is not only its size — it powers 70,000 homes in Arizona — but the technology that enables it to store energy during the day and then generate […]

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Installing The Nest Thermostat

Installing The Nest Thermostat

In April of 2012, Remodel Blog published a post showing how to install the Nest Learning Thermostat. It was accompanied by a video featuring step-by-step instructions on how to identify the polarity of unidentified wires coming from the furnace. This post was quite popular, in part because it showed the installation procedure for when your […]

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Steps To Take After Removing WordPress Malware Infection

A few days ago, I wrote about how we got our arms around a malware infection of this site. With the help of Sucuri.net, the site was scanned, scrubbed clean of malicious code, and site’s URL was submitted to the various powers-that-be to have Remodel Blog removed from blacklists. Upon completion of its work, Sucuri.net […]

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