May 24, 2014

Perhaps They Should Have Tested More - Nest Labs

Nest Protect - Don't Make Waves!

In April, Nest Labs determined that their Nest Protect smoke alarm system's "Wave" feature could cause problems if people were "waving" when a fire occurs. The Consumer Product Safety Commission is now calling this a "recall", even though the devices could be updated over the internet to disable this feature.
  • About 440,000 units will be recalled
  • Nest can fix the problem with a software update.
  • Not a physical recall so much as a software update alert
  • Glitch that can stop the alarm from sounding.
  • The Nest Protect could misinterpret people waving their hands and turn off if there was a real fire
  • Activity near the product during a fire can prevent the alarm from immediately sounding when the Nest Wave feature is enabled
  • If your device is not connected to a Nest account, or you’ve taken it offline, you should “immediately” reconnect it so the company can remotely disable the feature.
  • If you can’t connect to Wi-Fi, you should stop using the device altogether

On April 3rd, Tony Fadell, the CEO of Nest Labs wrote:
At Nest, we conduct regular, rigorous tests to ensure that our products are the highest quality. During recent laboratory testing of the Nest Protect smoke alarm, we observed a unique combination of circumstances that caused us to question whether the Nest Wave (a feature that enables you to turn off your alarm with a wave of the hand) could be unintentionally activated. This could delay an alarm going off if there was a real fire. 
We identified this problem ourselves and are not aware of any customers who have experienced this, but the fact that it could even potentially happen is extremely important to me and I want to address it immediately. 
We feel that the best and safest thing to do is to immediately disable the Nest Wave feature to resolve the issue and remove any safety concerns. While we fix Nest Wave, we have also halted sales of all new Nest Protect alarms to ensure no one buys an alarm that needs an immediate update.
Once we have a solution that ensures Nest Wave works as intended, we will update our software to turn this feature back on. This will only happen after extensive testing and once we have received approval from safety agencies in the US, Canada and UK. We expect this to take at least two or three months and we’ll continue to update you as we have more information.

So if you own a Nest Protect, you can nod, wink, or say "Hi". But don't wave at it, whatever you do! (Just kidding. Seriously though, disable the Nest Wave feature immediately!)

Next time Nest Labs releases a product, I assume they'll check the ramifications of waving at it before they begin sales. Perhaps this time, they should have wave tested more?

[Full Disclosure: I own a Nest Learning Thermostat (see: So if you are in Maine, and you see me waving furiously at my thermostat, you'll know that I'm not crazy - I'm just conducting my own testing. So far, no bugs found.]

See Also:

This article originally appeared in my blog: All Things Quality
My name is Joe Strazzere and I'm currently a Director of Quality Assurance.
I like to lead, to test, and occasionally to write about leading and testing.
Find me at

May 5, 2014

Free Podcasts I Like - Dough Roller

Free Podcast - The Dough Roller Podcast with Rob Berger

Often when I'm relaxing on the beach, or taking a walk alone, or doing yard work, I use my iPod.  I have found that, while I enjoy some music, I tend to enjoy talk and good discussion even more.  So I have loaded my iPod with podcasts, and refresh them regularly. copyrightjoestrazzere

Recently, I've been doing a lot of reading and listening about financial planning. This is in preparation for the next stage of my life, which should take me into my retirement years.

One podcast I have started listening to during the past few months and that I like a lot is The Dough Roller Podcast by Rob Berger. 

In addition to possessing in-depth knowledge of such personal finance areas as retirement, banking, credit, debt, insurance, investing, and social security, Rob is very easy to listen to. He has a great way of explaining how these aspects of financial planning work. Rob doesn't try to sell anything, or to convince you that his way is the only way; instead he just explains how things work (or in some cases don't work), how he has made his own financial decisions, and how you can come to your own conclusions.

From the show's description:
The Dough Roller Podcast helps people make the most of their money. Through interviews, news, tips, and resources, the show helps you take your finances to the next level. Whether you are just starting out, under a mountain of debt, or nearing retirement, the Dough Roller Podcast can help you achieve your financial goals. And remember, the best thing money can buy is financial freedom.

You can find the Dough Roller web site at There you can also sign up for a weekly newsletter. 

Why don't you give it a try and see if you agree that Rob is someone worth listening to?

This article originally appeared in my blog: All Things Quality
My name is Joe Strazzere and I'm currently a Director of Quality Assurance.
I like to lead, to test, and occasionally to write about leading and testing.
Find me at