Calderwood Butte

Calderwood Butte

February 22, 2016
iPhone 6s, Shutter: 1/657, f11/5, ISO: 25

The Nightmare Scenario

Apple announced today via an open letter to their customers that they would not be complying with a court order to “assist in the enabling of the search of a cellular telephone”. This particular phone was owned by one of the San Bernardino shooters.

Part of Apple’s letter states:

Specifically, the FBI wants us to make a new version of the iPhone operating system, circumventing several important security features, and install it on an iPhone recovered during the investigation. In the wrong hands, this software — which does not exist today — would have the potential to unlock any iPhone in someone’s physical possession.

It would be reasonable at this point to ask the question, “What’s the big deal, Apple?” Especially when Apple says in the previous paragraph, “We have great respect for the professionals at the FBI, and we believe their intentions are good.”

Here’s why this is a Big Deal, and why Apple giving in and creating such a piece of software truly is a Nightmare Scenario:

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Control A ZWay Server From The Command Line

Who doesn’t want to automate their house via cron?

I have a Razberry module hooked up to a RaspberryPi, along with about a dozen or so Z-Wave devices (switches, sensors, etc.) throughout my house. The ZWay server still has an awful scheduling UI (you have to add an app for each schedule rule you want). Even X-10 had a scheduling UI, in the 90s. (Sadly, I couldn’t find any good pictures of this old interface; perhaps I’m forgetting the proper name of the device.)

Well, cron has been executing the world’s scheduled jobs since 1979. Whenever I can utilize a simple *nix tool to get a job done, I jump at the chance.

The only problem is that there isn’t a basic command line interface to the ZWay server. So, I wrote one.

zway-cli is a simple Ruby gem that gives you basic command line access to your ZWay server. You can query device status, and turn things on and off. It’s super basic, and super simple, which is exactly what I wanted for an application like this.

Things like this make me happy: $ zway kitchen_lights on

If you’re running ZWay and want a simple way to control it via the command line you ought to give it a try.

How to 3D Print a Copy of your House Key

What You’ll Need

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3D Printing: Arrival

I got my first 3D Printer on January 6, 2016. I ordered a Maker Architect 3D Printer from Monoprice for $299. It turns out that the Maker Architect 3D is basically a Flashforge Creator, with a single extruder and no heated bed. It came with 1kg of white PLA filament.

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