Latest Comic : Thursday, July 20. 2017

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Moving to Apple HomeKit with Elgato Eve

Months into using the SKT Smart Home as the home IoT system, several shortfalls such as the lack of interaction beyond the main app and no actual user-side ownership of data left me feeling unfulfilled. Meanwhile, Apple's own home IoT efforts, HomeKit, had been maturing and being quite an Apple enthusiast, I thought this may be a good time to give it a try.

First appeared on iOS 8 in 2014, HomeKit finally got its own system app "Home" and a place in the Control Center with iOS 10, along with notification from accessories (iOS 10.2) and geofencing support. With the upcoming iOS 11, it's set to become even more powerful, supporting more accessory types, per-user geofencing, better timing options (offsets and delays), shorter Bluetooth LE latency, and hobbyist development of accessories.

Stepping into the Apple HomeKit world with Elgato Eve sensors - Weather, Door & Window, and Motion

For my first HomeKit accessories, I picked up several types of Elgato Eve sensors during my Fukuoka visits in April. Eve Weather tracks the outside temperature, humidity, and air pressure. Eve Motion senses human movement up to 9 meters in the 120 degrees' field of view. Eve Door & Window detects the opening and closing of openable items. They seemed to be good starting points for future expansion because they provide sensor data that can trigger actions.

Now, the reason why I bought them in Japan is because most of the HomeKit-enabled accessories are not sold in Korea at the moment. They are most prominently available in the U.S., but this means that anything that runs off AC power like power plugs and light switches are often 120V-only, incompatible with the 220V outlets. Battery-powered ones can be found with relative ease in many Eurasian countries. For now, I'm sourcing various accessories from the U.S., Germany, and Japan.

FYI, the sensor series for Elgato Eve are most widely available around the world and you should compare the prices when buying them from overseas. Price in Japan isn't particularly favourable, so you should pick them up from physical stores only if you're already visiting the country for other reasons.

Hayun inserts the AA batteries into Eve Weather

Eve sensors are battery operated, so they can be installed freely around the house. What's more, batteries in these sensors last at least a year according to Elgato, so they need little maintenance. More than two months into their use, battery indicators have barely budged. Should the batteries eventually run out, Eve Weather and Eve Motion use standard AA batteries, so they are cheap and easy to replace.
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The most up-to-date biography I've seen yet

I got this biography of Moon Jae-in in the mail and it says this 2nd print came out on May 18, 2017... which is today

Moon Jae-in became the 19th President of the Republic of Korea on the morning of May 10, 2017 immediately after the confirmation of his win in the snap election. Naturally, lots of books written by or related to him were flooding out to the bookstores to capitalize on the occasion. For my kids, I ordered this cartoon biography targeted for young readers (who? special - Moon Jae-in) online yesterday.

To my surprise, the publisher was very keen to have the book updated. The 1st print of this book only came out on March 7 of this year, a few days before the constitutional court upheld the impeachment of Park Geun-Hye. This meant that they were pretty confident of how the events would play out around when the National Assembly approved the motion to impeach last December and started to get the book ready. The 2nd print was dated May 18, which is today, implying that I got one of the first shipments of the even more updated version.

...and on the last pages of the book, it says clearly that he had been elected as the President, which happened just a week ago

Indeed, this print of the book ends with Moon officially becoming the president. The 1st print had the same pictures but with a somewhat placeholder caption, so the publisher apparently anticipated the results and did a quick edit after the election was over. I have to say, I was quite impressed.
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We voted for a new president

The most important election in the recent Korean history has started this morning - the 2017 Presidential Election. It's being held more than 7 months earlier because the citizens like us have successfully ousted Park Geun-Hye from power. We made our voices heard with various protests, and it resulted in her impeachment at the National Assembly; the decision was ultimately upheld by the constitutional court last March. Now our family put our efforts in electing a new president, who will hopefully clean up the giant mess and make new progress.

We made it to the local voting place a little past 10AM, and there were a steady flow of people coming in


Once the you get your identity verified and leave a signature on the list at the right side, you receive a ballot on the left side
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Fukuoka again (2/2): Garden, buildings, and the final return

With about 100 minutes left to walk around Fukuoka, I decided to visit the Fukuoka City Botanical Garden next to the zoo, then work my way back to the port by the shortest route through Tenjin. At this point, I could almost walk around Fukuoka without a map and not get lost.

Next to the zoo entrance are the long, steep steps to the Fukuoka City Botanical Garden, which made me wonder how I'm supposed to bring kids there in the future


At the end of the steps you still have to walk some more, but it looks like the hill does offer some nice picnic spots for the locals
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Fukuoka again (1/2): Apple Store pickup & walk in the park

Mere 4 days after I dropped off my 1st generation Apple Watch at the Fukuoka Tenjin Apple Store, I was told by an e-mail that the repaired device was now in the store for pickup. The mail also said that I should come visit in one week unless I give the store a call to reschedule. Looking at the travel options to Fukuoka, it seemed to be better to make the trip sooner rather than later both in terms of cost and availability because of the various holidays in May and June. So I booked a single-day round trip for that weekend, returning to Fukuoka just one week since I left.

Busan subway line 1 was test operating the Dadaepo Beach extension that was supposed to officially open the in a few days when I rode it on April 15


I was to ride the 8AM Beetle hydrofoil service operated by JR Kyushu to go from Busan to Fukuoka this time with a US$79 round-trip ticket thanks to promotional pricing, but the check-in desk didn't open until 6:50AM and I didn't have much time between ticketing and boarding
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