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Zorin the Lynx
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Florida cat who is fond of science and technology. Often silly, so beware. :)
Florida cat who is fond of science and technology. Often silly, so beware. :)

342 followers
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I met a dolphin while out on my morning bike ride today!

Considering I've been visiting these spots often for a few years now, this must not be a common encounter, so it felt special. :)
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11/4/17
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I'm disappointed with JBL as a company.

A few years ago I bought a smart speaker from them, the JBL Authentics L8. It is an amazing speaker technology-wise; it sounds wonderful, can fill a room with bass, crisp and clear and supports Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, TOSLink, analog in, and so on. As far as performance this is probably the best wireless speaker I've ever owned.

However, it requires an app to configure it. The app is called "JBL Music" which you need to set up Wi-Fi and adjust the speaker's equalizer, which is important because out of the box it is a bit too bass-heavy.

The app was last updated in 2014, and no longer works on iOS 11 because it is still a 32-bit app.

I contacted the company months ago on Twitter when I found out the app wasn't going to work on iOS 11. They told me they would look into it.

https://twitter.com/JBLaudio/status/839470368356098050

This was before the iOS 11 beta period through which they should have been working on making the app compatible.

No updates.

I contacted them again a week before iOS 11 came out.

No response. No updates. iOS 11 has been out for weeks now and the app still doesn't work.

So now I have to use an older version of iOS on another device to configure my speaker, all because JBL decided to stop software support on a product they are STILL SELLING, even.

Bad JBL. No cookie. And no future purchases from me! I was a pretty loyal customer since 2000 or so, too.

This also makes me very wary of buying devices that require apps to configure them. The rate at which technology moves ensures those apps will eventually break if the company doesn't update them, leaving you unable to configure your product. For something like a speaker that has a very long lifetime, this is very bad. Embedded web servers are the best; these will always work.
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I realized I didn't write up much about the hurricane, so here we go.

Things are starting to return to normal here after hurricane Irma. I realize things are still far from normal for many, though, with extended power outages still afflicting many of the affected areas.

The worst of it started early Sunday morning.

The storm was a stressful experience, primarily because of water intrusion. A lot of water started coming in during the second half of the storm, through a window on the north side. The seal around the window must be imperfect, and the high wind must have forced the water in. In total about six buckets of water ended up filled, along with a lot of water that had to be picked up using towels on the ground.

Cellular service stayed up for a couple hours after the power went out, but then became unusable. I think the local tower lost backhaul because there were always 2-3 bars of service but no data or calls would flow.

We were able to run a TV using a UPS and a large 12V battery, which was extremely helpful so we could continue to see the radar images of the storm and know exactly where it is. It's times like this that I really appreciate the continued existence of over the air television and hope that it never goes away. The antenna in the attic performed admirably.

After the storm we were surprised to see very little damage. We didn't know during the storm where the water was coming from, but it became obvious once we could inspect outside. No damage to the roof, vehicles, fences, or anything else. What can I say, luck smiled upon us for this storm.

Getting the generator going was tricky. It would start, but then only run with the choke engaged. It would then eventually sputter and die; presumably the engaged choke caused the carb to flood. After wrestling with it for a while, on a whim I removed the air filter and sprayed some WD-40 directly into the carb. After a few more pulls the engine started and run perfectly for the rest of the power outage.

The aforementioned 12V battery eventually stopped taking a charge; I'm not surpised since it was a UPS cast-off from work. It did manage to provide a few hours of television during the storm, though. Next time a storm threatens I'm going to buy a brand new, large 12V SLA battery for this purpose; I'm tired of using unreliable UPS cast-offs.

I'm also lucky to have a portable propane stove and plenty of little canisters. This came in really handy.

Power was restored late Tuesday evening.

The APC UPS I was using as an inverter for the TV and lights mysteriously died (the actual UPS, not the battery). It was strange, as I never used it at a significant percentage of its capacity, and it didn't run very warm. I'm glad it was a cheap UPS in any case.

A stressful experience, but given what I've seen on the news lately, I feel like we got lucky.

I hope everyone else is doing well. Hurricanes suck.
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