"smart" home happiness / nest sucks
08-29-2018, 08:55 PM,
Post: #1
"smart" home happiness / nest sucks
Nest sucks.  There, I said it.  I bought two thermostats and two protects five years ago when you could wave to dismiss the fire alarm.  That was the killer feature for me.  Nest shortly afterward disabled that feature -- forever.  In fact, that may have been the last time that they've updated their feature set across their entire product line.

The thermostats do not learn. They pick up bad habits and refuse to change.  You can manually adjust it every day for an entire season, and it doesn't learn that someone is home during the day.  Stupid.

The Nest protect smoke alarms are terrible.  You can't shut them off.  Not at all.  One goes off, and you press the button.  It says, "cannot silence this alarm."  That's not helpful. Oh, and they talk to each other, so when one goes off, they both do.  

So how do you stop a Nest protect alarm that refuses to be silenced?

  1. Get a step ladder
  2. remove the protect
  3. unplug the power cable
  4. find your small screwdriver
  5. remove the two small screws on the back of the Protect
  6. remove the batteries.

I'm an adult.  I should be allowed to shut it off.  When an adult arrives on the scene, the adult should be allowed to assess and make decisions.  Especially in his own house.  What's worse is that now the disassembled protect sits on my desk, I'm putting household at precisely the risk I bought the Protect to defend against.  

Nest products quite literally undermine their user.

My Protect complained yesterday with an informative push notification:


Honestly. Push notifications from Nest Protect are awful.  I got one when I was on a cruise.  My mother-in-law was staying at the house.  It said smoke downstairs.  Well, there's nothing you can do about that on a cruise. I still don't know how the notification got through, I had neither WiFi nor cellular service.  I think it's safe to say that there's nearly no condition in which I want to know my smoke detector is on when I'm not at home.  But I digress.

This particular message is spectacularly bad because it offers no information.  Apparently the device was chirping all day.  My dogs hate that noise and refused to come back in the house when I got home.  Great.  

Wirecutter says that Nest Protect is the "best" smart smoke detector.  But they don't say the best is horrible.  I'm going to upgrade to a dumb smoke detector.  The dumb ones have better sensors on them anyway.

The only smart home product I like is Hue. And I don't use them indoors.  They're not convenient to control.  But I have them on a timer on my porch.  They're older, so the greens aren't really green, but otherwise, they're great.  Not necessarily better than regular bulbs, but I like them.

Get off my lawn!  Shakefist
08-29-2018, 10:36 PM,
Post: #2
RE: "smart" home happiness / nest sucks
[Image: 0663_CFC7-_F268-4_DB1-8_C62-_B25293_DE2762.jpg]

Yeah, there ain’t no way I’m letting that shit into my home.
08-29-2018, 11:26 PM, (This post was last modified: 08-29-2018, 11:29 PM by Gippy.)
Post: #3
RE: "smart" home happiness / nest sucks
I have a Nest thermostat and a protect.
I’ve got pretty much the same gripes. The thermostat is set to a hard schedule. We don’t bother with learning. It never does the right thing. But we can adjust the thermostat from
Our phones, so there’s some convenience there.

Alien: both Roo and I got ours before Google bought them.

I don’t really have an urge to do other home automation things. It’s just more maintenance and security holes.
A massage doesn't always have to lead to sex, but if it doesn't then you're doing it wrong.
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08-29-2018, 11:50 PM,
Post: #4
RE: "smart" home happiness / nest sucks
I have a programmable thermostat. It works fine except when my wife inexplicably sets the temperature to an arbitrary number and sets it to “hold” at that temp. <grrrrr> I can replace my thermostat; replacing the spouse and/or the behavior is a bit more complex...

I never saw the need for a thermostat on teh intarweb. Now that it’s owned by Google there is no way I’m willingly installing that in my house.
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08-30-2018, 01:41 AM,
Post: #5
RE: "smart" home happiness / nest sucks
Nest is garbage now. As soon as Google bought them they let everything go to shit. You'd be better off with a Honeywell smart thermostat.
My logic is infallible. Resistance is futile.
08-30-2018, 08:07 AM,
Post: #6
RE: "smart" home happiness / nest sucks
Yes. As Gip said, bought before Google took over, so the damage was done. But I'm not buying any more, that's for sure.

Nest sucks.
bedstuy Wrote:mocking a pair of $500 jeans is a form of class warfare... why do you hate my social status?
08-30-2018, 02:47 PM, (This post was last modified: 08-30-2018, 02:51 PM by Skippy.)
Post: #7
RE: "smart" home happiness / nest sucks
Just bought an Ecobee3 lite at Costco today, though I should have protested more last November when my mother had a new furnace and central air system installed on a Tuesday, and they advertised a free Nest with a new furnace/air install the that Thursday. Came with two sensors for the same price as it would be elsewhere without. Looking forward to getting it installed, though the company that installed the new furnace/central air said they'd have to come out and reprogram something if I decided to change the thermostat; I believe they are rightly full of shit. I like Ecobee because they're Canadian, and that they're not Google.

House is getting pretty smart. I've had WeMo switches for a few years, and just added one to the back door light to make sure it can be turned off remotely in case we didn't do so when letting Molly out before bed. They're linked to HomeKit with a WeMo bridge, but unfortunately it gets stoopid every once in a while and a request to turn on any of my three lights turns on the front porch light. Have to ask Belkin about that one. Also want to have a WeMo switch in the bedroom, but the wiring doesn't support it. Garage door opener (made by Chamberlain) should have had the ability to be smarter than it is; as it is, it can be controlled remotely by its app, but not HomeKit. They sell a bridge to connect it to HomeKit, but it is inexplicably unavailable in Canada. Homebridge on my Raspberry Pi links it to HomeKit, though. Wasn't going to do it at first, but I got a decent bonus at work, so I bought a Schlage Sense deadbolt for the front door. Really nice to not have to take the keys with me when I'm headed around the block with Molly, or, if I happen to be away longer than I thought I would, my neighbours can use their code to "kidnap" Molly.

Last year, I was tasked with helping out a family member who was in the hospital. He wanted some more Nest cameras installed at his home so he could keep track of things. Install was a total pain in the ass, given that the new Nest cameras didn't want to be set up due to the Nest Protect he also had. The Nest Protect kept saying it had an error, and I finally reset it back to factory settings, after which the goddamn thing didn't want to reconnect to my family member's Nest account. Argh. Call tech support. Wait on hold. Eventually got the cursed thing working; I think I had to power cycle my iPhone, of all the dumbass things. That experience, and the fact that Google doesn't need to know how I heat or cool my home, is why I bought the Ecobee. That, and the sensors. The bedrooms always seem too hot in the summer, and too cool in the winter; hoping the sensors will help change that.
08-30-2018, 08:42 PM,
Post: #8
RE: "smart" home happiness / nest sucks
Sounds like Nest is the weak link again. But WeMo doesn't sound easy either.

You know what makes me mostly happy? I installed a motion sensing switch in the kitchen. Lights turn on and off when I'm in there.

That's convenient.
bedstuy Wrote:mocking a pair of $500 jeans is a form of class warfare... why do you hate my social status?
08-31-2018, 01:18 AM,
Post: #9
RE: "smart" home happiness / nest sucks
At least power cycling the WeMo Bridge gets the light's behaviour proper again. But I shouldn't have to do that. If I say I want the living room light on, I don't expect the porch light to come on.

But yeah, Nest's insistence on using an already active (but not working properly) device in order to set up other devices was downright idiotic; that's why the install of the cameras at my family member's place was so frustrating. And our regulations here in Canada mean we have to have at least four smoke detectors in our home, so any smart smoke alarm would be prohibitively expensive.
There is no dark side of the moon, really…matter of fact, it's all dark.
09-08-2018, 07:29 AM,
Post: #10
RE: "smart" home happiness / nest sucks
Ecobee is installed! Obviously, we need to touch up a bit of paint: the old thermostats were much larger.


Only problem I had was the setup videos on the Ecobee website were a little outdated: the setup for HomeKit was not where it was explained to be. But other than that (and being told by the HVAC company that the install would be free over the phone, and the installer telling me it was COD), the setup has been smooth.

"Hey Siri, set the thermostat to cool."

Cooling down the house…

"Hey Siri, set the thermostat to heat."

Baby, it's cold inside. Heater coming on…

Damn, I feel like I'm living in the future!
09-08-2018, 11:14 PM,
Post: #11
RE: "smart" home happiness / nest sucks
I can't even use Siri. I hold the button, and the screen overlay switches to the Siri animation.

I say something like "I need directions to 13 magnolia street"

A second or two later, the words appear on the screen, "What can I help you with?" and the animation changes.

Exasperated that I was given a cue to speak but it wasn't ready while simultaneously realizing I've been duped by the same fucking thing Siri always does -- always while I'm driving and trying to be responsible with a smart, hands-free device -- I typically mutter something like "oh god damn it."

I huff and repeat my query. "I need directions to 13 magnolia street"

The screen changes to something like "magnolias treat go dam jitney directions thirteen magnolia trees"

And it cheerily displays what she's found for that. Or it gives me driving directions to Brisbane Australia.

Fuck you, Siri.
bedstuy Wrote:mocking a pair of $500 jeans is a form of class warfare... why do you hate my social status?
09-09-2018, 06:41 AM, (This post was last modified: 09-09-2018, 06:43 AM by Skippy.)
Post: #12
RE: "smart" home happiness / nest sucks
I wish I could say Siri has always worked flawlessly for me, but…


For the record, my colleague was curious as to how tall The Rock was, and Siri didn't stop listening. Still curious as to where she got the old boobs from. And there's no way in hell I'd ever want to do a web search for that.
09-09-2018, 09:09 AM,
Post: #13
RE: "smart" home happiness / nest sucks
[Image: Screenshot_20180908-170751.jpg]
09-09-2018, 10:41 AM,
Post: #14
RE: "smart" home happiness / nest sucks
Yes, it works for me, too. She just heard a bit too much that day (and also had boobs on the mind, apparently).
There is no dark side of the moon, really…matter of fact, it's all dark.
09-09-2018, 02:18 PM,
Post: #15
RE: "smart" home happiness / nest sucks
Also, in a bit of irony, it would seem, I have yet to even use the thermostat to control anything. It's been too cool for A/C, but too warm to have the furnace come on.
There is no dark side of the moon, really…matter of fact, it's all dark.

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