Posted on September 17th, 2023
It may be getting cold enough that I'm contemplating turning on the heat, but it's always warm on my blog... because an all new Very Special Video Edition of Bullet Sunday starts... now...
• Kookaburra! Now, granted, I would not want this outside my window (and I remember them very well from my trip to Australia), but it's sure nice to admire them from afar...
So cute. Are there any baby creatures that are not adorable?
• Andor! Diego Luna is precious and life-affirming. This entire video is fantastic...
On top of that? He's a remarkably gifted actor. I am dying for the second season of Andor to arrive.
• ¡Yo Quiero! "It's the same thing in a different thing." — HE'S FIGURED IT OUT! HE'S DISCOVERED THE TACO BELL FORMULA!
LOL. These foreign takes on quintessentially American things never gets old!
• Does Whatever a Spider Can! Video games have reached the point where you're basically playing a feature film. This looks incredible...
This was a Spider-Man game when I first started playing...
Insanity. And soon we'll have much, much better VR experiences, which could take it to an even more immersive level.
• Unreal! If you want a look into the absolutely fascinating world of 3D computer graphics, this is an amazing behind-the-scenes look at how photogrammetry works...
Now, I've written about the Unity gaming engine a couple times before. The stuff people are doing with it is breathtaking (including companies like Lucasfilm and Marvel using it for producing their projects). It is an amazing, amazing tool. Unfortunately, they've just unveiled a hugely controversial licensing model, which is gouging game developers in a terrible way. It's easy to say "Just switch to a different gaming engine if you don't like the cost!" Except video games take years to develop. Even for large studios with hundreds of employees. So if you've been working on a game for two or three years... how can you afford to switch to a different engine? This is a major deal. So major that some game projects are being canceled... and some developers are going to switch engines despite the additional time needed...
Of course the people behind Unity deserve to get paid for their hard work. But to kill developers to get there seems like a horrifically bad business model. Hopefully they will re-evaluate what they're doing and come up with something more reasonable.
• SCIENCE! Despite an inexplicable (and highly selective) anti-science movement by fucking idiots, science marches on. And this is fascinating...
Fascinating and scary. Plants screaming? But in brighter news... research into Alzheimer's just keeps advancing. Very promising that one day we might have a cure.
• HomeShit! For anybody saying that I am exaggerating about just how fucking shitty Apple's HomeKit is, this guy is a total expert and even he can't solve the problems he's been having. He finally ended up resetting and rebuilding his entire HomeKit setup...
If I get this desperate, I'm just going to bail on HomeShit altogether and go with Matter and some kind of smarter home hub (like Homey Pro). In the meanwhile, I am just applying Band-Aids to try to solve the massive fucking problems I'm having. As an example, I just installed a light and motion sensor in my garage as a backup to automatically turn the light on when the doors open since HomeShit automations keep dying on my door sensor for some reason (even though the light switch and sensor itself is operating perfectly).
And on that happy note... enjoy the rest of your Sunday.
Posted on June 11th, 2023
Recovering from being deathly sick has never been more fun... because an all new Bullet Sunday starts... now...
• Toast! Awww... my little Toast nightlight arrived!
It's a nightlight that I put in the dark corner of my kitchen next to my toaster. Get it?
• Buses? These captchas are getting frickin' stupid ridiculous...
So what? Now we're just supposed to be clicking on every fucking square on these idiotic things?
• Good Omens 2! This looks even better than the first one. The casting was note-perfect for these characters, and seeing more of them is something I am very much looking forward to...
It's weird how flawless the casting was for these.
• Schlage Rage! It went something like this...
ME: "I hate my Schlage Sense smart lock SO much. Flames... flames... on the side of my face... Which lock should I get to replace it? Preferably one with HomeKey."
HOMEKIT FORUM MEMBER: "Definitely the Schlage Encode Plus."
ME: "IS THIS SOME KIND OF JOKE?!? I hate hate HATE the Schlage I have now!"
HOMEKIT FORUM MEMBER: "I understand. I agree. But know that all the bad things on the Sense have been improved one thousand percent on the Encode Plus. And be sure to get the Plus if you want HomeKey."
OTHER HOMEKIT FORUM MEMBERS: "Hard agree!"
ME: "Just so you know, if I hate this lock I am coming back to haunt all of you."
• Hilarious! Zuckerberg on Apple Pro Vision: "Our vision for the metaverse and presence is fundamentally social. It’s about people interacting in new ways and feeling closer in new ways. Our device is also about being active and doing things. By contrast, every demo that they showed was a person sitting on a couch by themself. I mean, that could be the vision of the future of computing, but like, it’s not the one that I want." This is the stupidest fucking thing I've heard this week. How many times have a GROUP OF PEOPLE all put on their Facebook Quest VR goggles and sat around interacting in the same room? Nah, buddy. They're sitting alone on the couch! How is the Facebook headset more "social" when you're wandering around as a cartoon floating torso that's always gripping hand controllers? Apple at least went with uncanny valley avatars that attempt to look like you and leave your hands free...
Apple's take will cost HUGE MONEY... to start... but it will get cheaper over time. Facebook, who has lost millions (billions?) trying to do VR... and ultimately failing... shows Zuck's statement for what it is... fear. And bullshit. I'm not sure ANY of this is the "future I want." But I'd take Apple's vision over Facebook any day.
• Crossing the Street in Vietnam! Not a lie. Which would have been fine... except I had my mom with me, and most intersections are far busier than this one! I'll never forget the first time we went to cross a street. The intersection actually had a crosswalk signal (many don't). But it was totally ignored. We had the light but it made no difference at all... you're just expected to cross like this...
@travelwithpat Crossing the street in Vietnam is something you need to prepare to do #travel #vietnam #tiktoktravel ♬ Super Mario Bros Main Theme
But still... it's s country like no other and worth a visit. As is this guy's TikTok.
• Church & State? Okay, government funded Christian schools are a thing now... so are they going to also fund Muslim schools? Buddhist schools? Hindu schools? So much FOR FUCKING SEPARATION OF CHURCH AND STATE!! This is a big slap in the face to all Americans, even if they consider themselves "Christian." Absolutely outrageous. Can't wait until the government is forced to sponsor Church of Satan schools because they're so fucking stupid that they don't have the fist clue about the can of worms they are opening. Jesus. OR NOT. THAT'S *YOUR* FUCKING CHOICE IN THIS COUNTRY!!!
And now I guess I had better make my bed, take a shower, and try and get some sleep .
Posted on May 2nd, 2023
Look, I know that I'm droning on about top-tier First World Problems, but it's infuriating just how bad things are getting with Apple and their bullshit.
I am perfectly willing to accept the blame when the fault is mine. A few days ago it was overcast and raining that day. All of a sudden all my lights came on. It took me a second to realize that when I wrote the automation which monitors light levels and turns on lights when it gets dark was fooled by the overcast weather. My bad. I should have included a time range so lights aren't turning on in the middle of the day.
That I can deal with because I can (probably) fix it.
What I cannot fix is the idiotic crap that pops up every damn day.
Like coming home and telling Siri on my Apple Watch to unlock the front door. Something I've done hundreds of times before. Only to get this...
No reason. It just happened out of the blue. And when I go to the Home app on my iPhone? No problem. The front door is unlocked post-haste.
The other day I was writing an email in a language I'm not terribly comfortable with and decided to ask Siri if the word I was using means what I thought it did. Siri didn't understand. So I thought... let's try a more popular foreign language here in the USA...
ME: "Hey Siri, what does the word 'mañana' mean in Spanish?"
SIRI: "In Spanish, mañana means" =insert pause= "mañana!"
AND SIRI SAID THE SECOND MAÑANA IN A SPANISH ACCENT!! Thanks a fucking heap. Remember last week when I was talking about how Apple is losing the AI digital assistant battle badly? This is exactly what I'm talking about.
But even something like that is not going to send me into a ballistic rage where I want to rip my little HomePod orb out of the wall and chuck it out the window. No, that's reserved for stupid, inexplicable bullshit that has absolutely nothing to do with what Apple should be promising... but instead what they have actually been promising!
Like telling Siri to play a song I want to listen to. Have Siri tell me the song will play. Then have Siri tell me there's a problem with Apple Music. WHAT THE FUCK?!? I'm trying to listen to an Apple Service on an Apple Product. There's no disconnect here. And the solution I get from Apple Support Knowledgebase? Remove the HomePod from HomeKit. Reset it. Then reinstall it. Do you know what happens when I do that? THIS RIGHT HERE...
What a friendly error message! What the fuck does (300208) even mean? I tried three times. The fucker will not add back to HomeKit. And the KnowledgeBase isn't helping. I've wasted fucking hours of my life on this shit. So now I have a dead HomePod and I will have to try and get support out of Apple, whose support is so fucking shitty now-a-days that I am almost to the point where I want to throw this one away and get a new one.
For months the internet has been abuzz about how Apple is at the forefront of eliminating passwords forever so we can use biometric data (like a retinal scan or a fingerprint) to unlock our lives for us. Even when the story is about Google following Apple's lead! Which is so fucking laughable because Apple can't even get rid of passwords in their own fucking ecosystem! This is what I got when I went to remove my HomePod mini from my HomeKit so I could re-add it...
Apple asks me for my password ALL THE FUCKING TIME! And if Apple can't even get their shit to work for themselves, then what hope do they have trying to bring others along? Passkey barely works (when it works at all) on many sites which try to implement it (like this blog!).
This has disaster written all over it.
"Hey Siri! I can't breathe and I think I'm having a heart attack! Call 9-1-1!"
"Playing the song 'Every Breath You Take' on Apple Music." =insert pause= "Apple Music is not responding."
We're fucking doomed.
Posted on April 27th, 2023
And the critics aren't wrong. Siri hasn't gotten much smarter in years. Maybe a decade. Marry this to the absolute fucking travesty that is
HomeShit HomeKit (which is largely controlled by Siri) and Apple has fallen so far behind the curve that they can't even see the curve. It's all flat to them.
And, as I always do, I am going to blame this totally on Apple CEO Tim Cook. Apple needs a complete and total bastard like Steve Jobs in charge, and Cook isn't even close. Jobs was a ruthless taskmaster who obsessed over user experience and made absolutely sure that bugs got squashed and Apple was constantly moving forward. Cook seems to content to coast right off the racetrack and get lost in the woods.
Nope. Google, Amazon, Microsoft, and everybody else is jumping on the AI bandwagon to make smart assistants... um... smart... and Apple, as usual, doesn't give a fucking shit. They do whatever the hell they want whether it benefits their customers or not... whether their customers want it or not... whether it makes sense or not.
I fucking hate it, but what's the alternative?
Look, I am not expecting the world here. I don't necessarily want (or need) for Siri to be as smart as HAL 9000 or the computer on Star Trek or whatever. But I would like it to actually fucking work for the things it advertises it can do. But I've lost track of the number of times it fails with even the simplest request... like playing a song I ask it to play. And not from some third party service... from Apple Music! It's like, that's the ultimate softball request. Play a song from a service YOU control. And yet... well... good luck with that.
More than a few pundits are saying that Apple's complete lack of interest in making Siri competetive could ultimately sink the company. This could be hyperbole. But it's not outside the realm of possibility that it's dead-on accurate. When everybody else allows you to have a smart assistant that's actually keeping up with the times and, you know, useful... when Apple is still banging rocks together, how can they possibly survive?
Posted on April 23rd, 2023
The weather can't make up its mind lately, but I'm not letting grey skies ruin my weekend... because an all new Bullet Sunday starts... now...
• Ghosty Mc Ghost Ghost! I was SO looking forward to Ghosted on Netflix. The film didn't disappoint. Ana de Armas is frickin amazing... and the fact that Chris Evans could play absolutely ANYTHING he wants, but chooses to play the damsel in distress in this movie just makes me love him all the more (he had already completely changed my mind about his career trajectory with Gifted, which I also loved)...
This is a great action flick, and the performances are everything you'd hope they'd be given how outrageous the story is. There's also some notable cameos to watch out for, if you're interested in giving it a shot.
• Mrs. Davis Loves You! There's a new show on Peacock called Mrs. Davis. I'm loving it, but am having a hardtime putting into words why I'm loving it. Maybe the trailer will help?
Jake McDorman (from Limitless) is in it, which doesn't hurt. Also in the series? A very cool edition of Bristish Knights shoes...
Alas, you can't actually buy these, which seems like a hugely missed opportunity.
• Edna! Comedian Barry Humphries died this past week. He is most known for playing a character which I obsessed over for the longest time...
In one of those sublime ironies, Humphries grew famous for a drag performance, but was a noted transphobe. I always looked at him differently after that. Fortunately most of the time I knew of Dame Edna was well before he outed himself as a bigot. But still...
• S'more! I won't go so far as to say that I hated The Menu... but I came very close. It was a film based on manipulation and shock value which had no value. At least not to me. It also dragged on to the point of tedium once the plot had been revealed. This was a painful conclusion for me to draw, because I loved the cast and the performances were amazing. THAT BEING SAID... the end game was brilliant. From Anya Taylor-Joy's little monologue to Ralph Fiennes's response to Anya's last request to the final shot of the film. It's flawless and haunting. I have fast-forwarded the movie to the end to watch it at least six times. Including just now today...
It makes me want to re-cut the movie down to a 15-20 minute short which is nothing but that which could have been a great flick.
• Pricey Taco! I swear before the pandemic that I was able to walk into Taco Bell and get my usual Two Chalupa Supremes (substitute rice for beef), a side of Fiesta Potatoes, and a bottle of water for under $10. But now? SEVENTEEN FIFTY-SEVEN?!??
WTF?!? And what's worse? NOBODY TAKES YOUR ORDER! YOU HAVE TO INPUT IT YOURSELF ON A BACTERIA-RIDDLED TOUCH-SCREEN! Good thing I travel with hand sanitizer!
• Hey Siri! The fact that Siri has become so fucking useless for home automation shouldn't really surprise me, but it totally does. Lately when I ask Siri to play a song, all I get is "There's a problem with Apple Music." Ask to unlock the door... The front door is not responding (though I can unlock through the app just fine). Even turning on a frickin' light is hit-or-miss. And when you call Apple they don't know shit. About a music service I PAY them for. And HomeKit has always been useless, so I don't even bother to try and get support for that. And so... no idea what I'm going to do. Amazon and Google are pulling resources from their digital assistants, so I don't know if they'll even be around to switch to. Thank heavens I made sure that all my new devices are Matter compatible. Maybe some enterprising company (or individual) will come up with a localized voice assistant for Matter that I can buy to run locally. Then I get a small computer and some kind of Matter-compatible microphones and call it a day. Why is it that companies have failed so miserably with a technology that's supposed to be our future? It started out so promising... now this.
• Taters! I bought a bag of luxury potatoes because I wanted to make potato salad this weekend. But when it came time to do it tonight... I looked at the bag... and thought "ZOMG! I WANT CRISPY-FRIED SPICY POTATOES FOR DINNERRRRR!!" I love them, but they take SO long to make properly. You have to cook them on low under a cover to get them softened. Then you have to add oil and fry at a higher temperature. Then you have to keep micro-dosing oil on them and turning not too early and not too long so they brown up nicely. Then you have to taste continuously so you can add just the right amount of freshly-ground black pepper, salt, harissa spice, cayenne, and Central Street blend. BUT OH SO WORTH IT! So crispy! So spicy! So hot!
Most restaurants won't put in the time and effort. But I'm patient and have very good flipping skills with a skillet.
Now it's time to eat those beautiful taters.
Posted on March 14th, 2023
The fact that Sonos can say that their Voice Assistant is a viable means of controlling their speakers with anything approaching a straight face is new levels of laughable.
I hear "Sorry, I Don't Understand! Please use the Sonos app!" so often when attempting to use their bullshit that I feel Sonos should hire somebody to sit in the corner with the Sonos app so I have voice control that will actually work.
Between Sonos Voice Assistant and Apple's HomeKit, I spend a hell of a lot of time being embarrassed for tech companies right now.
Posted on February 20th, 2023
Apple is one of the wealthiest companies on the face of the earth. So is it really too much to expect that they fix their stupid home automation bullshit? After my fifth reboot of my router and all my HomePod minis because my automations randomly stopped working... again... I ordered a bunch of cheap NON-HOMEKIT smart-plugs. This way instead of having to run around my house and move all my furniture when I'm forced to reboot, I can just use the Gosund app to reboot them all from the comfort of my couch...
I find it absolutely embarrassing that Apple can't seem to get their shit to actually work. They released HomeKit EIGHT FUCKING YEARS AGO! Eight years and they're still fumbling around in the dark. Just like I am when the automation to turn on my garage light doesn't work... again.
I cannot fathom how Apple isn't embarrassed as fuck that they have unleashed a shitty technology and haven't been able to get it working reliably for eight years. If I were Apple CEO Tim Cook, I'd dedicate however much money it takes to FIGURE THIS SHIT OUT so that HomeKit customers don't have to spend $40 on smart plugs from another manufacturer just to keep their crap operational. Anything less make him look like fucking amateur hour.
And while he's at it... maybe he could have them fix Apple Mail so that deleted messages actually delete instead of randomly go blank buck stick around until you quit and restart the app? Not everybody buys into HomeShit, but most of their customers are using the mail app that came with their computer!
And, oh yeah, happy fucking Presidents' Day.
Posted on February 10th, 2023
It's that time of year when Six Colors has released their annual report card on all things Apple.
Their report card is calculated by talking to a lot of people. Mine is calculated based only on my own experience. In many ways I agree with their assessment. In others I disagree strongly (they gave HomeKit a D+, which I thought was incredibly generous given the shitshow it is).
But anyway... here we go...
Apple must be doing something right, because their latest round of MacBook Pros were sweet enough to convince me to upgrade after only one year (thanks to their trade-in problem, which is not great, but so easy and better than nothing). For most things... like email and web browsing and the like... there is virtually no difference with the new M2 MAX chip. But for the actual work I do? 15% to 20% faster is absolutely worth it. Less time waiting on renders and stuff gives me more time to do other stuff. I was a bit surprised that the iMac is still stuck at 24" and the M1 chip... and there's still no MacPro, which is getting increasingly embarrassing... but I am fairly certain all that is forthcoming with the advent of Apple's new 3nm chips, coming soon to a computer near you. Though it's kinda a bizarre flex for a desktop machine when the true miracle of dropping to 3nm is the power savings, so I'm guessing it must have one heck of a performance bump. 2022 was pretty much a stop-gap year to the Next Big Thing, and how 2023 pans out will largely depend on just how big that Next Big Thing ends up being.
If I wasn't on the Apple iPhone Upgrade Program track, I would have likely skipped the iPhone 14 Pro. It just wasn't much more significant than the 13 Pro it replaced. All the improvements were mediocre and far from sexy, which is a real head-scratcher. Maybe now that we're in 2023 Apple has something more spectacular planned... a better camera would be a great start... but I have to wonder if there's nothing but low-hanging fruit from here out. I'd like to think that the "Dynamic Island" isn't the pinnacle of iPhone innovation, but it's really starting to feel that way. If I were still with my iPhone 12 Pro, I'd likely be none-the-wiser, and that's a very bad sign for Apple. Still, their phones are really nice (and still my favorite), so grading them lower than a B seems criminal.
I love my iPad Pro, but there has been zero reason to upgrade it after three years. There's nothing going on with iPad, which is a shame, but it's still the best tablet on the market by a country mile. And, as Apple-savvy as I am, I have no fucking clue which accessories work with which model, which is an absolute disaster for a company that bills itself as the easiest and most user-friendly option.
Apple Watch: B
Another product that just doesn't seem to be going anwhere... no revolutionary new features or ideas here. At least with the base model. A very notable exception is the Apple Watch Ultra, which is amazing on every level and bumps my grade from a C to a B. Problem is that it's very narrow in focus, as big as a Buick, and has a limited audience. And yet for those who need it, the thing is a game-changer. I am still waiting for a blood glucose monitor before I upgrade again. My 3-year-old Apple Watch is just fine. Even then, my "ancient" tech is still far more appealing to me than the newest of the new when it comes to other brands.
Holy shit. What the fuck is it going to take before Apple gives us a user interface that's worth a shit? I just raged about this fairly recently, and if I start in again I may not be able to stop. Just about every other TV interface on the market that I've seen is better than this crap, and the fact that Apple does nothing about it just means I'm not investing in any more of their bullshit. I don't care how good the remote is.
I am so meh on everything Apple is doing in the Services arena that I am finding it difficult to even comment. It's all still too expensive for what you get. The plans don't have enough options so that people can get exactly what they need, so they are either paying for more or less than what they would otherwise like. Apple TV+ is okay, but I don't watch enough on it to really care (until Ted Lasso returns). I don't give a crap about the fitness stuff. I switched to Apple Music when I dumped Amazon Prime, but it's not that different and costs more than what I was paying, so I honestly don't care. I don't have time to play their games. I know Apple is making a metric shit-ton of money off Services... I wish I could say they earned it. Right now their bundles aren't worth it to me, so I am paying for iCloud Drive, AppleTV, Apple Music, and iTunes Match all separately. In order to get an Apple One bundle, I'd still have to purchase an iCloud Drive upgrade because what comes with it isn't enough. Let me build my own bundle with a calculated discount and I'd likely upgrade my score to a B. That's for flexibility, not value.
I jumped to HomeKit when Insteon folded the first time. This involved a lot of expense on my part, as most all my switches and devices had to be changed out. And what did I get for my money? A horrendously fucked up system that barely works. And it just keeps getting worse. All of a sudden half my shit will just up and stop working. HomePods will refuse to issue commands. I've woken up to find that my garage door mysteriously opened at 2am for no reason. And despite everything running on the super-speedy Thread technology now, Automations are slow as shit... when they bother to work at all! At the rate that I've had to unplug and plug back in my HomePod minis in an attempt to get things working again, you'd sure as hell think that Apple would make a plug on the mini itself so I don't have to go moving the fucking furniture every time I need to unplug to reset my network. HomeKit is HomeShit more than ever, and there's no end in sight. Just more "architecture upgrades" to slap lipstick on a pig. Fortunately most of my devices are Matter compatible, so I'll be looking into going that route. Hopefully it will allow me to use Siri since Apple is in with Matter, but things will actually work once I transfer.
Hardware Reliability: A-
Software issues and OS stupidity aside, the hardware is always on-point. Although I am dropping them from an A to A- because of the afore-mentioned wired plug on the HomePod mini. Now that the MacBook Pros offer an SD card slot and an HDMI port instead of forcing me to use dongles, I'm thrilled (a
Software Quality C+
Even with HomeKit removed from the equation, I still have numerous problems with the way Apple software functions (or doesn't function as the case may be). Apple Mail is a fucking travesty and one of the biggest piece of shit apps I have ever used. And Apple doesn't give a fuck. Features I use are stripped out of their software for no reason other than they want it that way. Bugs are rampant and pop up in the strangest places. It's almost as if nobody at Apple is using their own apps, because the same bugs never seem to go away. One day maybe Apple will start giving a shit. Until then? Still the best option, faults and all.
Developer Relations N/A
As I am not currently in the Apple Developer Program, I don't really have room to comment. Except to say that the World Wide Developer Conference always seems like a fantastic step in keeping things right with those developers on their platform. As a consumer, however, I can say that their App Store is a pile of shit. Which is a mystery because they get a cut of every sale. You'd think they would want it to be a top-tier experience. But instead apps you are looking for are hard to find, update options are weird, AND THERE'S NO FUCKING WAY TO FIND ONLY GAMES THAT DON'T REQUIRE IN-APP PURCHASES! And speaking of in-app purchases... maybe they wouldn't be as annoying if they weren't so damn expensive, but since Apple takes such a huge, huge cut of the money, expensive they will remain. This is such a problem that it's entirely likely Apple will be forced to allow customers to "side-load" apps and bypass the App Store. This would be a disaster because affordable apps wouldn't come with protections. And it's all on Apple and their greed.
Societal and Society Impact B
They are one of the most accessible platforms in existence, and trying to make sure that anybody can use them regardless of any physical or mental challenges is pretty incredible. Where they fail is with their employees. And it's some pretty heinous failures. They need to do better.
Customer Service B+
This is a category I added on my own after my heinous experience with the iPhone Upgrade Program (I returned my old iPhone at an Apple Store... Apple said I never returned it... and I spent TWO MONTHS trying to get it straightened out). I have to say... exchanging my iPhone in the mail? Flawless. The trade-in experience with my MacBook Pros? Flawless. Actually getting support? Not so flawless. Apple makes it incredibly difficult to get the help you need, instead letting you use Google for support (see: HomeKit). That being said, they did exchange my faulty keyboard with hardly any trouble, so hardware is not the issue it used to be, so there's that.
Overall, Apple is still doing more right than wrong. It's why I'm so loyal, because other brands are pretty awful. And yet there's always room for improvement, and Apple has more than a few things that need improving, so here's hoping.
Posted on February 7th, 2023
As I mentioned a few times, I wandered back into Apple's HomeKit smart home technology after the Insteon stuff I was using went out of business (apparently they were bought out, so I dunno what's happening with it now). Very fine people were saying that HomeKit had improved muchly since I tried it out years ago, so I thought "Let's give it a shot."
Turns out it wasn't a smart move.
HomeKit is still HomeShit, and it's frustrating me to absolutely no end. Today when the Kitty Breakfast alarm chimed, none of my Automation routines triggered. Lights didn't turn on, thermostat hadn't changed, and what have you. Then this evening the lights didn't turn on when the light sensor determined the light was dim enough to trigger.
Now, Automations have been finicky for a while, and this is nothing new. What is new is that 75% of my devices are "Updating" and then "Not Responding."
Turns out that Apple updated HomeShit and it broke my home.
After researching on the internet for nearly an hour, I saw that many, many people are having the same problem. And what works for one person doesn't work for the other. The only thing I could do is keep trying everything that everybody else did and hope that eventually something would fix itself. So I rebooted the router. I removed and re-added devices. I unplugged all my HomePod minis and AppleTVs and plugged them back in. I unplugged them again, rebooted my router again, then plugged them back in. Then I did that exact same thing, but this time I only plugged in one HomePod mini that I wanted to act as a "border router." And that's what did the trick. The next day I plugged in the remaining HomePod minis and AppleTVs and everything was working again.
Except for the door sensor that turns on the garage light when I open the pass door.
Eventually I took the battery out and let it sit overnight. Then the next morning I put the battery back in and everything started working again.
Rumor has it that Apple is working on a HomeKit Controller. Like an iPad with special hardware to build a more reliable HomeShit network. I think that's probably because giving that task to HomePod minis isn't working and they know it.
A cynical person would say that Apple created a problem so they could sell you the cure. Maybe it's true.
All I know is that I am sick and fucking tired of having invested new money into having a smart home only to find that the discontinued, broken, 18-year-old system I had been using for six years was more reliable.
Apple has billions of dollars. Billions, with a B. And yet they apparently don't give one cent's work of fucks to fix their busted HomeShit bullshit. I keep waiting for the class action lawsuit which would force them to either fix HomeShit or refund all the money people have invested in it, because this is getting fucking ridiculous.
If this was the home I wanted I would have just left it as a dumb house and saved some money.
Posted on December 27th, 2022
With each passing day I grow more enraged at Apple.
It used to be that they did no wrong. But now-a-days? It's just one shit sandwich after another.
Take for example HomeShit (AKA HomeKit). This technology has been fucking stupid from the very beginning. But everything I read lead me to believe that over the past six years most of the problems have been resolved and it's a very good home automation solution in 2022. And so when INSTEON bit the dust and I had to replace all the smart tech in my home, I went ahead and took a bite of the HomeKit Sandwich. With a caveat. I made sure that the HomeKit stuff I bought was "Matter Smart Home Enabled" so if I wanted to switch to Google Home Assistant or (heaven forbid) back to Amazon Alexa, I would be able to do so because Matter is going to be compatible with everything.
Yeah... HomeKit is still HomeShit.
Nothing is a more glowing indication of this than the fact that Apple just rolled out a new "HomeKit Architecture Upgrade"... then had to immediately delete it because people were having all kinds of crazy troubles with losing their smart home. Some great beta-testing Apple has there. Though I should note that my upgrade proceeded without issue. That I know of. Yet.
And... the upgrade actually seems to have solved a problem where if you edited an automation it would stop working. Mine seem to be working now.
But it's not all a bed of roses.
As I was driving over the mountains for the holidays, I realized that I forgot to turn off the alarms that I have set up on my HomePod minis to let Jake and Jenny know when it's time for breakfast and dinner (I found that by training them to listen for an alarm, they don't bother me when I'm home as it gets close to feeding time). I was not worried though, because I could just turn them off remotely using the Apple "Home" app on my iPhone.
Except, no. Not so much.
For some stupid fucking reason, Apple requires you to be on the same WiFi network before it will allow you to change the alarms. Never mind that I could easily change them remotely when my alarms were on Amazon Alexa... Apple refuses to allow me to turn off the alarms remotely. And I've never been so disgusted with any "smart home" technology I've ever used. Not being able to turn off alarms means that every morning at 6:55am and every evening at 5:55pm, my HomePod minis would have their alarms going off... and they don't fucking stop going off for fifteen fucking minutes! That's fifteen minutes of my poor cats having to listen to an alarm blaring. That's just fucking cruel, and I am so enraged with Apple that I very nearly threw all my HomePod minis in the fucking garbage when I got home. So damn stupid. WHAT'S THE FUCKING POINT OF HAVING MY SMART HOME ON MY PHONE IF I CAN'T CONTROL ALL ASPECTS OF MY SMART HOME WHEN I'M AWAY FROM MY HOME?!?
This goes beyond AirDrop file transfers not working.
This goes beyond print jobs failing all the time.
This goes beyond the Mail app being a hot pile of fucking trash.
This goes beyond daily frustrations with bugs in Apple apps that never get fixed.
This even goes beyond the fact that HomeShit automations still failing ALL THE FUCKING TIME...
It's a simple thing that has huge impact on my poor cats having to listen to alarms blaring at them.
But Apple doesn't give a single fuck about crap like this because they're too big to give a fuck about customers. As what has always been the case, you get the shit sandwich that Apple serves you or you eat a shit sandwich from somewhere else. And they're all terrible. Though it would seem that Google Assistant is the least worst, according to tests by Marques Brownlee...
Personally, I'm about ready to go back to having a stupid home. Sure it's not as helpful, but at least you can count on it to work as expected.