A Present From Julia Allison & The HuffPo


Won’t somebody, anybody – Rain? Dave M? – bestow a smart stall upon this self-proclaimed “exuberant force for good”?

Posted 2/14/16 in the “Tech” section:

Could a smart thermostat reduce the divorce rate? Could a connected fridge be the key to unlocking relationship woes? According to the findings of a new survey commissioned by Intel, a quarter of Americans believe it can. The report goes on to hint that in the future, the all encompassing phrase “IoT” won’t just stand for the Internet-of-Things, it will herald in a new terminology, built around the idea of the “Intimacy-of-Things.” In other words, things (and their endless maintenance) would no longer block, but actually aid our intimacy.

For anyone who shares domestic duties with a partner (and that’s most of us), we quickly realize that the constant maintenance required due to the wear and tear of the things we own often leads to wear and tear on our romance. Very few people find it sexy to argue over household chores. The American dream of owning a home comes with a little nightmare, the often-overwhelming amount of time, energy and cash it takes to maintain that home. Light bulbs burn out, furnaces strain and dishwashers leak. Home sweet home doesn’t always ring true when our homes seem to be where our to-do lists go to multiply.

The irony is that while we argue about basics, like garbage and vacuuming, at the same time we are carrying around enough computing power in our pockets to guide a small space ship! We can tap into an app to navigate us home, check on traffic, watch our favorite show and video chat with the cat, yet once the garage door is raised we still fiddle with keys, turn on switches and manage thermostats. Wait a second, it’s 2016! Where are the retinal scan entry systems that open the door, turn on the heat, raise the blinds and welcome you with the entry melody of Hail to the Chief?

The good news is that a techno-fueled hope is emerging on the horizon — the promise of the smart home. A new report, “Intel Architecting the Smart Home of the Future,” revealed that people desire smart homes for many of the same reasons they seek more work life balance, for increased quality time with our families and — bonus!! — less arguing with our partners about chores. If the Intel survey is right, the reality is closer than we think. According to the report findings, 7 in 10 Americans are confident that smart homes will be as common as smartphones within the next decade.

To illustrate the point, Intel even built a tiny home to serve as a “living lab” for the future of Smart Home technology, “an experimental showcase to explore the opportunities, experiences and tensions of creating a Smart Home.” The technologies showcased include innovative sensors that don’t just tell you when you have a leak — they actually call a plumber to fix it then unlock the door to let them in.

This is just the beginning of an industry that will revolutionize the way we live. Not only in our homes – but as Intel points out, “a smart world where our homes, cars, neighborhoods and cities will talk effortlessly to each other.” So if our living environments are raising their connected IQ, will it provide us with the extra time and energy we crave to increase our own emotional IQs? Professors at Carnegie Mellon University predict it will, saying: “We believe a smart home should provide families with a feeling of control over their lives: being relieved from breakdowns in daily routines, and getting emotional satisfaction from the things they value — identity, time, and relationships.”

With the smart home of the future there will be no need to argue about taking the garbage out – the smart home already disposed of it. No need to hire a babysitter, when you can get a virtual assistant – that’s right, according to the Intel report some 10 percent of millennials would use a virtual babysitter! If we can successfully automate this conveyor belt of everyday chores and inconveniences, the impending smart home has every ability to live up to the promise American’s are seemingly so ready to embrace. According to Intel’s findings at least 71 percent of Americans expect at least one smart device to be in every home by 2015.

So, if you are still scratching your head looking for inspiration on an original Valentine’s gift to purchase your loved one this season — hint, hint — the answer may be smarter than you think. Even cupid’s got an app for that now!

Have at it, bunnies!

Bottom Picture Hall of Shame: The 11 Fans in the ‘Stans who liked Donkey’s vacation from vacation-itis “perfectionist” post.

8) Maya Dibley! The dibs lives and works in England, and before you white knights rush to the aid of the Pretty White Lady, please know she’s been giving Donkey thumbs up and appreciative comments for years. The dibs’ bio even includes an epigraph attributed to the laziest burro in San Francisco:

Don’t we all want to be strong, vulnerable, happy and scared all at the same time? To never figure it out? And, just maybe – to be okay with that? – Julia Allison, Marie Claire (UK Edition), April 2008.


  1. I can’t believe I am about to say this, but… not terrible.

    Look, I’m not saying this is even a good piece of journalism, but this is not terrible for a piece of HuffPo lifestyle fluff. I think this is actually the best article I’ve ever seen from Julia. It actually has a smidge of information. Yes, a lot of cliched phrases, and no, no original thoughts or interviews/quotes. But all in all, it’s… ok. It’s not about Julia. Except she just had to throw in a parenthetical implying omg boyfriend.

    It’s the only thing I can remember her publishing that did not enrage me. It definitely seems edited.

    • Yeah, it’s ok. Just standard fluff. The same crap she used to plagiarize write for The Georgetown Hoya back in the day. Onward with her brilliant career!

      See, Dadser!! I did too write that article for Arianna! Now please send the check. Lilly and I are starving!

      • LOL that’s what I “read” too:

        By Julia Allison… by way of the Intel Press Team

      • Julia has previously had professional dealings with Intel – she claimed to have had a $100,000 contract with them. Is this disclosed anywhere within this shill piece?

        • She couldn’t even get up before noon for her own reality show. She’d last less than a week in corporate America.

      • Yeah, this 100% read as one of those “press releases” (lol) that Julia rearranged, like a professional (double lol) version of a student paraphrasing Wikipedia for a paper.

        • Yes, definitely reiterated from a press release but I didn’t even think Julia could do that. In the past, when that sort of thing seemed called for, she would instead just blurt our two sentences with too much punctuation “My boyfriend marriage HAHA!! Horizontally scrolling toward marriage emoticon!!! Awwww, Me!!!!!!!!!!!!”

      • Agreed. I’m reading this and thinking, it actually is coherent and made sense, and is therefor not written by Donk.

  2. She refers to the different subjects of two different questions as “it” rather than “they”, & that’s at the beginning of the 1st paragraph — from there, the quality of D0nk’s ‘writing’ careens blindly downhill at breakneck speed.

    Single-&-living-off-Dad$er D0nk weighing in on ‘domestic duties with a partner’ & ‘work life balance’ is like, well, like two-sizes-too-small D0nk giving fashion advice. No Bueno.

    Th last paragraph is the worst — what the hell does it have to w/ the rest of the article — is D0nk advising the masculine to rush out after 5:30 p.m. & pick up a smart stall as a last minute Valentines Day gift?

    • She’s definitely hinting that someone buy her a smart stall. Yoo hoo, Dave Morin! I don’t mind being your side piece!

      • Remember, idiots D0nk & Rheumy spent two hours on the phone w/ Comcast, getting their wifi set up — a Smart Stall™ would be wasted on Mulia Mallison since she has no job to leave for, & as such, no schedule around which smart things would merit being programmed.

    • Plus the entire article is about stuff that might be developed in the next ten years, and then she ends it with a fluff line about going out and buying…one…?? I don’t even know.

  3. I am not getting her Intimacy-of-Things/Internet-of Things correlation. What is she even talking about?

  4. Needs editing, rambles, involves relationship stuff that is unnecessary (maybe because Valentine’s Day) and then doesn’t really carry that theme throughout, tacks it on the end. Doesn’t tell a coherent story that flows. Uses unnecessary words. Clearly she lifted much of it from a press release.

    But not the worst I’ve seen from her.

    Would love to know how long it took her.

    Good luck trying to make a living from this kind of thing, Donkey. You’ll have to churn out and publish several of these per day.

  5. Yeah right Julia shares domestic duties with anyone. At best, she pays a cleaning lady to come in and do it for her, on daddy’s dime, then acts like she’s doing everyone such a huge fucking favor.

    • When she thehometheyshared with Dev she claimed to have entertained 12 times in some length of time and finally understand her mother’s beautiful work as a homemaker or some shit.

  6. The report goes on to hint that in the future, the all encompassing phrase “IoT” won’t just stand for the Internet-of-Things…

    Um. Since when has anyone heard of or use the term “IoT”, and since when does this stand for “the Internet of Things?” And how is this term all-encompassing?

    I better stop now. I am sure I could pick apart her shitty writing for hours.

    • Speaking of shitty writing, “used” not “use.” I hate typing on this iPad keyboard. My desktop has a Qwerkywriter and I love that thing.

      • I only skimmed the thing, but why would anyone be wringing their hands over whether or not to publish filler in the HuffPo? It’s not like anyone other than us will ever read this PR crap or Arianna is going to pay a Donkey in anything other than hay. Is she trying to get a job with Intel? WAIT! Didn’t she once say she had a huge contract with them? Oh, dammit, I’m on deadline and no time to research. Won’t someone help me? Hint, hint.

        • Oh shit…hahaha. Yeah, I cleared cookies on the iPad the other night and had to log in again. Autocorrect has a hard time with the word grifty. It keeps wanting to change it. Thanks for spotting it, I’ve fixed it now.

        • JFAing to say, I don’t Twitter and I am not in tech PR. Which is probably why I haven’t heard it before.

          • ioT is to tech jargon as Glass is to wearables. Both are really stupid, and I refuse to use them. It’s not shocking Julia would wrap her sausage fingers around the lazy and useless concept, though. #ThoSmug

      • Yeah uhm, Grifty, I love you but… “IoT” is one of the biggest buzzwords in tech right now. So much so that I am absolutely sick of hearing about it. To me, it means tech execs putting wifi in every product they can think, along with a minimally secure OS and then using words like “cloud”, “connectivity”, and “synergy” to sell it to you. Think toasters (for real now), fridges, washing machines, light bulbs, hair dryers, tvs (done and done), egg timers, baby monitors, security cams, body sensors, etc.

        The super dystopian view here is that when every device in your home can be used as a microphone/camera/sensor to spy on you, and hacking said device is trivial because they were rushed products with little attention paid to security and you cannot update them, we open ourselves up to a horrible future where we cannot escape omnipresent surveillance, even in our own homes. Are you cool with Google knowing when you are/aren’t home? Do you have a Nest thermostat? What about when that is the only kind they make any more?

        Personally, I find the whole thing very distasteful and laughably Silicon Valley branch tone-def. With ever-widening income disparity, people in the lower to middle classes are not going to be concerned with getting a wifi-enabled refrigerator. They don’t even own their house you cunt! People in my East Bay neighborhood are already in debt, struggling to just buy healthy groceries and maintain a reasonable comfort of living in this stupid area. What do you think their reaction would be to “Hey, I bet you’d love to upgrade your sewage pipes so they automatically call your plumber and unlock your door when they leak!” Hahahaha!

        • I admit to being out of the loop a bit. I used to write freelance for Apple for 15 yrs. and kept up on all this stuff, but I retired from that in 2011. I still read a fair amount but I hadn’t come across this term yet.

          • This is the first I’m hearing it too. I’ve heard of the Internet of Things and I’ve heard of “smart” devices (and the concerns Kraken listed are very valid, it’s not dystopic to point out that people unwittingly leave their unsecured baby cams wide open so that fans in the ‘Stans can watch diaper changes).

            However I have never seen the IoT acronym before today. I feel educated! Thanks Julia! Oh wait, I didn’t actually read her article. I mean Thanks Grifty! Thanks Kraken!

        • One of my recent gigs was writing a series of very short posts on wearable tech. The “Internet of Things” bugs me.

  7. She accidentally learned a new already old tech word. Look Dad! No hands (or skill) and I’m a journalist again.

    • JFA’ing to add: Someone forgot the “d” & another “i” in Julia Allison’s #iOT Huffpo puff piece. #Idiot

    • Yeah really, all the articles like this about IoT were written last year. Either it took her a year to write this or she is just late to the trend, as usual. Either one is plausible.

      Those in the know know consumer IoT is for chumps. The real IoT is going to happen in industry. Millions of tiny sensors in manufacturing plants will monitor input/output and be guided by machine learning in that never ending quest for maximum efficiency.

      • I think the term bugs me because it seems to imply a false separation of the category from, like, the rest of the world. I am not articulating this well, which is probably why I only write fluff about tech.

        • calling something the Internet of Things implies that there is another internet made of … what? Memories? Fluffy clouds?

          I’m right there with ya.

      • This is your world ks, my comments were as it relates to med tech (should have clarified) same problem, though, too much information to too many people that don’t need it (especially where health is concerned), hacking pacemakers etc.
        I agree that for efficiency, that the general public will never likely understand (or need to), is where this is relevant but not ever in the mouth of a simpleton like Julia Allison. May she get gored by a unicorn 😉

    • I love you for that! Guessing someone PM’d her the easy route to huffpo and that’s why she took the post down.

  8. What the fuck does a consumer survey have to do with the point she is trying to make? (Also, what point is she trying to make?) She offers no new or interesting insights on smart home technology. Another breathtakingly stupid pile of crap from a pathetically limp mind.

  9. It’s pretty obvious that someone has convinced her that it’s been too long since she’s had anything published, and that she was going to have to have some things appear in print to give her credibility as a writer in order to get paid. So I expect we’ll see some more of these vapid fluff pieces from her in the near future. She’s entering a much more competitive marketplace than she did when she first started her columns years ago, so it’s going to be much harder for her to stand out when there so many better writers out ther. Including former newspaper staff who are used to working against deadlines and being extremely productive. The pay is also ridiculously low. There’s no way she can support herself in a $4000 apartment or home by writing things like this.

  10. I think I must be really tired, because I couldn’t make heads or tails of any of that. It reads like a high school student wrote it as an assignment, based on an episode of The Jetsons.

    But also, how can anyone get to be her age without realizing the majority of Americans don’t just call a plumber when something goes wrong? That most people can’t AFFORD to call a plumber? I can’t even go on with this — it’s too infuriating and she’s too bloody moronic and not worth it. I hate her.

    • I finally had two seconds to read the entire piece and gave up at “The good news is that a techno-fueled hope is emerging on the horizon.” Cue opening theme: Meet Donkey Jetson!

    • I know, me too. I read about a sentence and my eyes glazed over and I gave up — way to go — great journalism!

    • No, the best part is : “innovative sensors that don’t just tell you when you have a leak — they actually call a plumber to fix it then unlock the door to let them in.”

      So if the dumb sensor gets it wrong, it unlocks your door for rapists and ISIS and you have no idea a stranger is coming to your house. It decides for you. To Donks, this is brilliant. Because she’s a fucking idiot.

      Donks- You still have to physically take the garbage out, you stupid lazy bitch. No, your app can’t do that. I love how she’s fretting like the hausfrau of a mansion, instead of an itinerant burro gypsy hobo. Even if she did have a house of her own, she literally has nothing else to do. She’s too busy with her emotional wellness things to deign to flush a toilet, you see. Christ, she’s unbearable, what an asshole.

  11. Trends · Change
    Promoted by Intel

    Something smells in donkeytown. Was she paid by Intel to write that piece and they bought a spot in Huff po?

      • OK-why isn’t she bragging and posting this all over the internet? It’s inconsistent & contradictory, it’s also unethical, as a journalist, not to disclose if she was paid by intel. Or if intel placed the “article” as part of a native advertising campaign in Huffington Post, who should also disclose it’s advertising. Slippery slope when talking about brainwashing people into purchasing products that are intrusive with the potential to access personal data with little knowledge to the owners.

          • Yes, but companies are moving towards native advertising because it’s difficult to tell if it’s an ad or content. Huff Po removed my question from the bottom of her article asking if it was native advertising. Signs pointing to yes.

  12. If I have to see one more picture of her f*&^%$ing tongue. I swear. Enough dicks have seen that thing, Julie. Please put it back in your mouth.

  13. I can’t see Intel having anything to do w/ this POS “article” that Donkey couldn’t foist off on any media outlet other than HuffPo as a last resort — I think it’s strictly for Dad$er’s benefit to show him that she’s been “working” real hard & deserved a paid-for-by-him vacay.

    • It’s quite possible but why isn’t she posting (and bragging) all over FB and Twitter like she did the NYTimes shitty article? I don’t have a conclusive answer, so I’m really just asking.

  14. If she’s serious about getting PAID as a writer, she should write under an assumed name. Because, this site.

  15. my biggest takeaway is that a Donkey argues about chores with her stall mates. Seriously, I don’t recall the last fight I had about cleaning with my husband. Something needs to be cleaned, one of us notices, and cleans it. That’s it. Done. We need more milk, one of us takes an extra ten minutes out of our day and picks it up. We stay reasonably happy, our place is reasonably clean, and we don’t resent each other.

    At first I was going to compare A Donkey to a thoughtless college kid, but eyes not even at THAT level. She’s like an impetuous teenager who has to be nagged to do her chores. That’s sad. We are the same age. Grow up Donkey.

    • When adults don’t understand what goes into keeping a house habitable or simply refuse to make an effort, it is a blatant mark of immaturity, entitlement, or both. I have served as OMGtech/wannabe-oil-money people’s maid before, so I know this firsthand. Also my entire adult home life has been one constant fight with housemates who think niceties like toothpaste and toilet paper are included with rent, pretend they don’t notice when they miss the toilet bowl and piss all over the floor, and expect me to pick their pubes out of the bathtub drain, but these people have been either college kids, constantly fucked up, and/or freeloaders who are used to charming people into letting them get away with shit. It’s an ugly look that no amount of programmable wifi self-emptying garbage cans can fix.

  16. “If I could gouge out my eyeballs and stuff them up my ass so I never had to read those words again, I would do so.”

    Sure, Susan Sarandon said that to Molly on Mike & Molly RE: Molly’s short story, but it stands to reason that an M&M script writer overheard D0nk’s publisher utter them first, right before she packed her St. Martin’s Press desk contents into a cardboard box.

    ::watching reruns::

  17. Also, if I could just say — my parents have been married about 50 years, and the basis of their relationship is adjusting (or checking) the thermostat from upstairs and/or downstairs. And then harrumphing and getting annoyed about — “the house is freezing!” “This place is too hot!” “We’re wasting heat/electricity…” “If you’re cold — put on a sweater!”

    If the whole thing was computerized, they would be divorced within a week.

    I bet a lot of people’s parents would be, too.

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