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Home builders are getting hip to the smart home, with Lennar signing a deal to put Savant’s smart home control software in one of its developments and KB Homes apparently installing an energy management system that will lay the groundwork for later home control upgrades in all new homes it builds. An article in the Silicon Valley Business Journal has an interview with a KB Homes VP about how the homebuilder has so far implemented technology into its homes, and the user reaction. I wish there was indication on how open KB’s systems are, but it’s still worth a read.

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U.S. Sen. Al Franken has written to Netflix asking its opinion on Comcast’s efforts to buy Time Warner Cable, implying that Netflix is a good indicator of the potential consumer and content harms of the deal. In his letter, Franken touches on peering challenge, noting that Comcast implied that it was no big thing in its hearing before the Senate Judiciary committee. Since Netflix wasn’t at the hearing, perhaps Sen. Franken just wants to get Netflix’s comments on the record. And while, we aren’t Netflix, if Sen. Franken is interested, here’s how we think regulators should view the deal.

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Woohoo! SmartThings has added support for TCP Lighting, Quirky Pivot Power Genius, and my personal favorite, the ecobee thermostat. This will allow people who currently use apps to control these devices to control them through the SmartThings app, cutting down the number of places you have to go to control your home and giving users a way to set automation plans that incorporate the newly supported gadgets. I’m excited because I’ll now be able to program an away mode that will lower my thermostats, cut my lights off, lock my doors and shut my blinds.

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The conditional rule setting service, If This Then That (IFTTT) is on a roll with some new channels for internet of things lovers. The site has new options for the connected Quirky products that use the Wink app. So now your connected egg tray, piggy bank, A/C unit or even your power supply can tie into your email or other web services. I haven’t shelled out (heehee) for the Egg minder yet, but if I did I’d set up a recipe connecting it to Evernote so when I’m close to empty I could add eggs to my grocery list.

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Like many of its chipmaking competitors, Texas Instruments is really stoked about the promise of connected devices. It all boils down to more chips sold. So TI has built out a partner program for the internet of things to help manufacturers link together devices and services from different companies. Participants in TI’s ecosystem include 2lemetry, ARM, Arrayent, Exosite, IBM, LogMeIn (Xively), Spark, and Thingsquare. Basically if a company buys TI chips they’ll work with software, hardware or cloud offerings from the above vendors.

On The Web

“[The internet of things] is not necessarily about the Internet, or connectivity. Instead, it’s about recognizing that you can’t replace everything in your life with a mobile app, and embracing that dedicated physical objects and interfaces are usually better tools than touch screens. Everything has a brain, now, and everything is speaking relatively understandable languages.” Some great thoughts here. Go read it.

In Brief

Apple appears to be continuing on its path to ever more vertical integration as Japanese newspaper Nikkei reported that the consumer electronics giant is in talks with Japan’s Renesas Electronics to take over a unit that supplies all of Apple’s iPhone liquid crystal displays. Displays aren’t only the “face” of the phone, they are also the largest consumer of battery power. With such IP in-house, I’m sure Apple’s engineers can not only create a reliable supply of these components, but also improve the most important customer-facing aspect of a phone or tablet. Apple is reportedly seeking to buy a 55 percent stake of Renesas SP Drivers, a joint venture Renesas has with Sharp and Powerchip.

In Brief

Structure 2011: Jayshree Ullal – President and CEO, Arista Networks

Structure 2011: Jayshree Ullal – President and CEO, Arista Networks

It’s about time. On Monday Arista, the company behind a generation of superfast and scalable networking gear, filed to raise up to $200 million via an initial public offering. For Arista’s history and goals check out Om Malik’s epic profile on the company. Unfortunately, as software defined networking has exploded, Arista had been caught with a proprietary operating system that ran counter to the trends we’re seeing with open source code and merchant silicon boxes. Yet, Arista had sales of $361.2 million — up 87 percent from 2012 — and net income of $42.5 million, about double from the year before. Not too shabby compared to many tech IPO hopefuls that are all revenue and no profits.

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