Smarthome

Top Automated Home Thermostats

Home automation is becoming more and more practical with every new product, but none are as practical as the smart home thermostat. It self-adjusts to precisely meet your family’s comfort needs and use less energy, and it can be controlled from afar—which ultimately saves you time and money. If you’re interested in installing a smart thermostat, check out the most impressive models that will update your home for 2016.

Insteon Smart Thermostat

If you’re looking for sophisticated integration, the Insteon Thermostat has you covered. It’s compatible with most HVAC systems, including advanced two-stage systems, and can control other heating and cooling-related products like ceiling fans and duct dampers. You can purchase sensors to detect when doors and windows are open, as well as leak sensors that will help you keep an eye on your heating and cooling expenses. It’s compatible with HomeKit and can be controlled remotely via your devices, including your Apple Watch. The thermostat preserves your settings even if the power goes out, meaning you spend less time worrying about heating and cooling in your home and more time being comfortable.

The Nest Learning Thermostat (3rd Generation)

Nest is a pioneer in smart thermostat technology. Even though other brands have given it a run for its money, the 3rd Generation Nest Learning Thermostat lives up to its legacy. The already sleek and bubbly LCD display has gotten even more attractive, and its remote management features surpass even its looks. Some of this model’s best features include:

More temperature sensors: if a thermostat is going to learn about your home as it claims, it needs to be able to sense what’s going on inside of it. The additional sensors help it recognize drafts, humidity, and even HVAC shut-off patterns that warn when something is amiss. It then warns you via notifications on your device.

Farsight: the thermostat senses when you enter a room and lights up to display the current temperature.

Pattern recognition: Over time, the thermostat learns your habits. If you like to turn up the temperature by a couple degrees every winter morning, it will learn to follow your routine, helping you go on with your busy day without thinking about your comfort level. It also shows you your energy history so you can know how much you’re saving and what areas you need to improve.

Refined control settings: you can manage your thermostat remotely from your device, as well as establish Auto-Away settings—these will minimize the action of your HVAC while you’re not at home to save you both energy and money.

Ecobee 3 Smarter Wifi Thermostat

Ecobee goes head-to-head with Nest for the best smart thermostat, and similarly brings its A-game with its third model. One of its most attractive features is the highly intuitive LCD touchscreen display with easy-to-navigate options. Several of latest Nest model’s best attributes are found in some form here, but the Ecobee 3 Smarter Wifi Thermostat has one advantage: it comes with an external sensor that can be placed anywhere in the house, and up to 32 additionals sensors can be purchased. This allows it to adjust not just the overall temperature, but the room-to-room temperature based on occupancy, which it registers via the remote sensor. It also registers the outdoor temperature in order to bring your optimum indoors comfort.

Honeywell Lyric Wifi Thermostat

Honeywell’s past smart thermostat models have looked a little clunky and old-fashioned compared to the polished designs of its competitors. But the Honeywell Lyric Wifi Thermostat is up-to-speed in looks and maturity. Its responsiveness relates more to you and your devices than the environment; for instance, rather than sensing the occupancy of your rooms, it senses when you are nearby and adjusts accordingly. It also learns from you and automatically creates settings based off your patterns, which you can easily modify. The Smart Cues feature keeps track of your HVAC system and alerts you when something is wrong, ultimately helping you gain better control of your energy usage.

While all three models are highly intuitive, the remote sensor feature of the Ecobee 3 is ideal for getting the most out of your heating and cooling and keeping everyone in your home comfortable, even if your house is large and normally difficult to stabilize when it comes to climate control.

You can find more Smart IOT Products over at SmartHome.

Sam Ash Music

YAMAHA MX88 SYNTHESIZER

YAMAHA MX-88: Overview

The YAMAHA MX-88 synthesizer embodies everything that YAMAHA has been about since it’s founding. Consisting of a wide-variety of piano, synth, guitar, bass, and more exotic sounds, the MX-88 gives you the tools to take on any project. This synthesizer is blessed with modern amenities, but it keeps the vintage player happy too. This is a piece of equipment that feels solid, but is not ridiculously heavy. It’s still mobile at a little over 30lbs, but it’s not as lightweight as some other more modern synthesizers. It maintains that iconic sleek black look often associated with legacy YAMAHA piano’s and keyboard synthesizers,. However, it has some new-school charm to it at the same time. Quality and efficiency have been big for YAMAHA throughout the years, and they’re sticking true to that concept. No matter what playing style you have, the MX-88 will leave you satisfied.

Premium Feel

One of the MX88’s most important features is how great it feels and how well it responds. The keys use Yamaha’s Graded Hammer Standard weighted action. What this means is that the weight on the lower, and more bass heavy keys is heavier than the more high pitched keys. This gives you a more realistic acoustic piano feel which is no surprise considering the action is meant to emulate Yamaha’s genuine Concert Grand Piano’s. Play with much more tone, groove, realism, and accuracy with the Optimized Touch Curve. It’s truly incredible for a music synthesizer to possess this level of virtuosity and dynamics, but it’s expected because Yamaha has been producing quality instruments for 100 years!. Playing the MX-88 will inspire you to create and perform constantly.

Hands on Control

One of the MX88’s most modern amenities is it’s seamless software integration. Thanks to its USB output, the MX88 is a great controller for your favorite, DAW software, and software synthesizers on both Mac and PC! It is even compatible with IOS devices(iPhones/iPads). Use the on-board transport controls with any DAW of your choice and interact with the plug-in parameters through the control knobs on the MX-88’s top panel. It also offers a 16-channel MIDI interface which allows you to use the MX-88 as a tone generator and a keyboard controller.

Sounds and Layering

No conversation about Yamaha Synthesizers is complete without talking about the incredible sound engine. Borrowed from Yamaha’s flagship Motif XS, all sounds including synths, pianos, organs, basses, and more, have been meticulously sampled from high quality instruments using premium studio recording equipment . This adds to the “true” musical feel of the keyboard. Some other great re-creations included in this synthesizer are orchestral sounds such as strings and woodwinds. The Motif Sound Engine is made of up to 8 elements. Each of these elements can be utilized in many ways. Layer the elements to construct a thick, fat type of sound, or set up zones to isolate an element to a specific part of the keyboard! You also switch between the elements based on velocity for better dynamics, or set them to random them for a more experimental take on your sound. 128-note polyphony ensure that any performance is free of dropout.

You can find more musical instruments at Sam Ash Music.

Rakuten Kobo

It’s hard to be inspired when it takes 15-minutes to dig the car out of the driveway or the temperature sinks lower than your spirits. It’s equally hard to really get down to work in the first days of summer, when the patio is practically screaming your name.

Springtime may mean March Break or reading week for students, but for the rest of us, the in-between season is a great time to give renewed energy to all the resolutions you made for the year, and to channel some of that spring fever into fervor for the projects piling up at work.

We’ve pulled together some books that are guaranteed to re-ignite your ambition for a hard sprint before a well-earned summer holiday.

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  1. THE CULTURE CODE by Daniel Coyle is a look at what makes for a great corporate culture – meaning, one where people feel valued and where good work gets done. The thing is, many of the ideas within this book would be equally effective in the rest of your life, too.

    The author looked at all kinds of groups – observing why kindergartners were better than MBA students at solving a problem as a group; at top ranking sports teams and their coaches; at successful businesses like Zappos and Pixar. He looked at how pilots work together; he studied a gang of jewel thieves. He was able to define what makes a group – or a relationship – work.

    Coyle’s theory is that great teamwork depends on establishing safety, sharing experience, and then sharing vulnerability in order to build trust. Big corporations aren’t excellent because people are running around being corporate – they become excellent if they are human, if the leader can admit vulnerability or mistakes, and the team has faith their ideas will be heard.

    As an added bonus, it’s fascinating to read about how three pilots averted a plane crash, why a basketball team consistently wins, or how Pixar makes such great movies.

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  2. BIG MAGIC – Creative Living Beyond Fear by Elizabeth Gilbert (who also wrote Eat, Pray, Love if you are looking for a life-coach type of book) isn’t exactly a business book, but it will help you give yourself the freedom to follow your passion.

    It’s about tapping into your own creativity and curiosity, and intends to help readers live a creative life – if you always had a dream to write a book, this is the book to help with that; if your dream is to be a better baker, it will help with that, too. In a nutshell, the idea is that we all have creativity and it should be expressed. It’s neither selfish, nor silly, and is the best way to live a satisfying life.

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  3. THE FOUR TENDENCIES by Gretchen Rubin, author of The Happiness Project (also excellent by the way), is based on how each of us responds to expectation. Understanding if a deadline makes you want to finish a project a day ahead of time or immediately leave for Hawaii is really important, in that you can be sabotaging yourself out of instinct rather than design. The book will help you learn how to game your own system in order to achieve the things you need to do.

    “Our Tendency shapes every aspect of our behavior, so understanding this framework lets us make better decisions, meet deadlines, suffer less stress and burnout, and engage more effectively with other people,” Rubin told Forbes magazine. “Just as important, we can use the Four Tendencies to deal more effectively with others…The Four Tendencies hold practical answers if you’ve ever asked yourself, ‘Why do people tell me that I ask too many questions?’ or ‘How do I work with someone who refuses to do what I ask—or one who keeps telling me what to do?’”

​Each of these books is helpful but also fun to read, so they are exactly like this season – in between work and play.

Visit Kobo today.