Heat Seek Blog

  1. Urban Justice Center

    Today we got in touch with Stephanie Rudolph from the Urban Justice Center. She and other lawyers at UJC often represent tenants in low-income housing who have no heat. You can read more about the Urban Justice Center below:

    The Urban Justice Center serves New York City’s most vulnerable residents through a combination of direct legal service, systemic advocacy, community education and political organizing. Our 10 Projects assist clients on numerous levels, from one-on-one legal advice in soup kitchens, to filing class action lawsuits to bring about systemic change, to pushing social justice legislation forward.

    Stephanie is really excited about our project and has two new users for us. She asked for more, but we’ve only got two sensors available for now. We’re hoping that by working with UJC, we’ll be able to better understand the housing court system and how heating code violations are lodged and resolved in court. If Stephanie can advise us on the best way to make our app and sensors user-friendly to tenants and lawyers, we can tailor our temperature logs to look like the ones people submit in court. We’re really excited about the partnership and look forward to working with Stephanie!

    - MAR 17, 2014 -

  2. Technology Is Power

    Everyone who works in technology seems to be building things for the people who have money. I get it, they want to get paid. But if technology is power - more than ever these days -  what will happen if we continue to build technology only for the rich?

    - MAR 01, 2014 -

  3. Deployment Problems

    William tried to get Heat Seek up on Heroku but it looks like we need a second buildpack. We’re using Capybara in production as part of the process of collecting readings, which requires PhantomJS, and that uses a separate buildpack. By default, Heroku only lets you have one, and we’re using it to run Rails. We need to figure out how to use multipacks.

    - FEB 17, 2014 -

  4. Missing Readings

    Our first user’s apartment is showing tons of violations. It’s amazing that even this late in the heating season we’re still showing such a huge problem. Its hard to imagine living in such a frigid apartment, and his readings are only underscoring how difficult it is for tenants to resolve the problem. Now we really need to get deployed, since we’re missing readings whenever William’s computer is shut down. It’s been extremely difficult getting to production in such a short amount of time, but its so frustrating that every time William’s computer dies or he loses internet access, we stop collecting readings from our user. Once we’re fully deployed, the sensor will be able to take readings regardless of whether William’s computer is up and running, since the data will feed into a server instead of directly onto his laptop.

    - FEB 08, 2014 -