Numbers

Less than one minute reading time
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It’s week 3 of 2017 and great things did already happen. This is just a little recap.

  • In the OSS Metrics leaderboard we are on place 30. Within three months we moved from our starting place which was 66 in September 2016 up to the current one.
  • We were listed on Github Trending. Also, was @balloob mentioned as trending developer.
  • @balloob’s talk at the OpenIoT Summit 2016 was rated as one of the Top 5 videos of the conference.
  • We now ship over 500 components and platforms.
  • We processed over 3500 Pull requests on the main repository so far.

You may ask yourself why this is amazing. It’s amazing because we are a community-only project driven by volunteers there is no financial support, no company in the background, and no paid developers who are working on Home Assistant. Here is another “Thank you” because you are the driving force behind Home Assistant.

What more numbers? Checkout the Trivia page

– Fabian


0.36: ISS, USPS, Image processing, Insteon

five minutes reading time
  • Release-Notes
Comments

Welcome to 2017 and 0.36. We are proud to announce the first release for this year. While we are still migrating parts to async but 0.36 is focusing on new features and a lot of bug fixes.

Packages

Packages are providing a new way to organize different component’s configuration parts together. With packages we offer the option to include different components or parts of configuration using any of the !include directives.

InfluxDB export

The InfluxDB component was causing problems in a wide variety of use cases. @titilambert improved our InfluxDB exporter feature. It might be that you need to run the migration script to update your InfluxDB database.

$ hass --script influxdb_migrator \
    -H IP_INFLUXDB_HOST -u INFLUXDB_USERNAME -p INFLUXDB_PASSWORD \
    -d INFLUXDB_DB_NAME

International Space Station (ISS)

No, unfortunately we are not going to space. The iss sensor is tracking the position of the International Space Station and gives you some details.

Insteon local

The support for Insteon was removed due to issues a while ago. With the insteon_local component support for Insteon is back and let one work locally with an Insteon setup.

Image processing

The new image processing component currently works with number plates. But this could level the way to integrate feature like facial recognition, motion detection, or gestures control.

All changes

Release 0.36.1 - January 17

Breaking changes

  • APNS service was moved to the notify domain. Use notify.apns_NOTIFIER_NAME instead of apns.NOTIFIER_NAME.
  • InfluxDB component has a new schema to store values in the InfluxDB database. You may require to run the influxdb_migrator script. You have to note:
    • There will not be any tags/fields named time anymore.
    • All numeric fields (int/float/bool) will be stored as float inside influx db.
    • All string fields corresponding to state attributes will be renamed as FIELDNAME_str, where FIELDNAME is the state attribute, to avoid type conflicts.
    • All string fields corresponding to a state will be renamed as state (former value).
    • Fields named value will always be stored as float.
    • Fields named state will always be stored as string.
  • TTS cache files use now the language abbreviation as part of the name. If you want to use the cache, it need to be renamed or cleared, new created. E. g. HASH_PLATFORM.xxx -> HASH_LANG_PLATFORM.xxx.

If you need help…

…don’t hesitate to use our Forum or join us for a little chat. The release notes have comments enabled but it’s preferred if you use the former communication channels. Thanks.

Reporting Issues

Experiencing issues introduced by this release? Please report them in our issue tracker. Make sure to fill in all fields of the issue template.


Control My Christmas Tree Stats

two minutes reading time
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Hello and Happy New Year!

I am not Paulus. My name is Ben. I’m the creator of the BRUH Automation YouTube channel. If you’ve ever seen any of my videos then you’ll know I love home automation and Home Assistant.

I wanted to share some exciting stats from one of my latest projects - Control My Christmas tree! For this project, I created a Home Assistant instance on a Raspberry Pi 2 that was publically accessible via DuckDNS. Paulus was great in helping me disable several of the developer services that could have been exploited to disable the Home Assistant instance.

I added three devices to the Home Assistant instance - a Wemo Insight, Sonoff Switch (running MQTT firmware), and a DIY MQTT Digital LED strip. After adding a few 3D printed Star War decorations, the tree was ready to go!

The Christmas tree in action.

During the time by tree was set up, I had 7,366 visitors from 88 countries connect to my Home Assistant instance. This generated an estimated 100,000 clicks on the switches in my Home Assistant instance - thanks in part to some folks who posted up with macros for 6-8 hour stretches.

View counts of the video.

I’m very excited to report that Home Assistant didn’t crash a single time. In fact, it didn’t even bog down or need to be restarted. The Wemo Insight and Sonoff relays were incredibly resilient, as well. I only had one Sonoff failure and two Wemo Insight failures both of which were resolved by power cycling them. The digital LED strips also fared pretty well, hanging up only twice, aside from a loose connector.

I would like to send a big thank you to the Home Assistant developers who have worked so hard on making Home Assistant run so well. This project is a testament to your hard work on making Home Assistant one of the best home automation platforms out there. Thank you!

I’m looking forward to continuing my home automation adventures with Home Assistant and I can’t wait for next Christmas with an even bigger and badder tree. :)

Wishing everyone the best in 2017!

Cheers! -Ben


Thank You

two minutes reading time
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A year ago Home Assistant 0.10 landed. Last weekend we released 0.35. Doing 25 releases in a year is a big accomplishment by the community and each release has moved us forwards leaps and bounds. In this year alone we have seen 2800 pull requests on the main repo alone, that’s more than 7 a day!

One of the things that Jon Walker, the founder of the company I work for (AppFolio), has taught me is that the biggest advantage that you can create for yourself compared to your competitors is to release more often. Everytime you release you are able to get the new features into the hands of the users and developers. The faster people start using it, the faster you get feedback on the good and bad parts and thus the faster can you evolve.

That’s why I structured Home Assistant around a two week release cycle. It makes sure that features get out fast and it also forces us to not accumulate a backlog of things to document or test properly. Every two weeks we can start fresh. This makes it easy for new people to start contributing because it’s clear when things go out and people are not afraid to miss a release.

However, being on a two week release cycle also means that the community has to rally each two weeks to make sure everything is ready to go. A lot of people are involved in making sure that all pieces are in place, to all of those: thank you! Thank you for all the time and effort you put in to make Home Assistant the best home automation software out there.

Another big thanks goes out to the developers of the Python language and all the open source libraries and tools that Home Assistant depends on. Making quality software is not a small feat and all of you can be proud of yourself.

Also a big thanks for the companies that offer their services for free to open source projects. Without these we would not be able to operate at our speed or scale. Thanks GitHub, TravisCI, CloudFlare and Discourse!

And finally thank you community for being so helpful and awesome 🙇.

We’re taking a well deserved break and we will be back again in 2017 with more awesomeness. Happy holidays!

– Paulus


0.35: Text-to-speech, VLC, Flic, netdata

four minutes reading time
  • Release-Notes
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5000 stars on GitHub, 2000 people in out Gitter chatroom and over a million monthly page views. I don’t think we could wish for a better place to be at the end of 2016. Feels like an early Christmas present! Our early one for you is 0.35. It’s not a single thing inside a nice wrapping, more like several little gifts inside the 0.35 box.

This will be the last release of 2016 as our developers are taking a well deserved break. We will be back in 2017!

Text to Speech

With the addition of a text-to-speech component by @pvizeli we have been able to bring Home Assistant to a whole new level. The text-to-speech component will take in any text and will play it on a media player that supports to play media. We have tested this on Sonos, Chromecast, and Google Home.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ke0QuoJ4tRM

Call for help with HASSbian (our Raspberry Pi image)

In an effort to make Home Assistant, we’re planning to extend the things that people can do out of the box with HASSbian, our Raspberry Pi image. As you might know, the image is currently maintained by @Landrash. However he also spends a lot of time on improving the docs and helping out with a ton of other things.

So if you know your Linux-foo and would love to contribute to open source, join the Hassbian developer chat and take a stab at one of our open issues.

VLC media player, Broadlink, and GPSLogger

Let you control VLC media player and play sound on connected speakers.

This Broadlink switch platform allow to you control Broadlink RM2 Pro and RM mini IR+RF devices. This Broadlink sensor platform adds support for Broadlink RM2 and A1 Devices.

The GPSLogger now also supports attributes as the speed, direction, altitude, provider, and activity.

All changes

Release 0.35.1 - December 18

Some issues have been reported with TTS that will be addressed by 0.35.1. The TTS component had issues linking the media player to the right media file if you were using Docker or SSL certificates. This can be fixed by exposing to your HTTP config what url you use for hosting Home Assistant:

http:
  base_url: example.duckdns.org
  • Fix exit hanging on OS X with async logging (@balloob)
  • Fix Text to speech clearing cache (@pvizeli)
  • Allow setting a base API url in HTTP component (@balloob)
  • Fix occasional errors in automation (@pvizeli)

Release 0.35.2 - December 19

  • When base url specified, do not combine it with server_port (@balloob)

Release 0.35.3 - December 23

  • Fix issue with voicerrs and post api (@pvizeli)
  • Fix async component update on service calls (@pvizeli)
  • Fix async log handle do not close (@pvizeli)
  • Fix nest component with various KeyError exceptions (@technicalpickles)

If you need help…

…don’t hesitate to use our Forum or join us for a little chat. The release notes have comments enabled but it’s preferred if you use the former communication channels. Thanks.

Reporting Issues

Experiencing issues introduced by this release? Please report them in our issue tracker. Make sure to fill in all fields of the issue template.


0.34: New Remote component, Websockets, Sonarr, GPSLogger

six minutes reading time
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Here we go… 0.34. Let’s call it the “Santa Claus” release. Rudolph was faster than expected and there’s lot’s of goodies on the sleigh. Of course, more work on async programming done by @pvizeli and @balloob, new components, new platforms, major improvements, and much more.

GPSLogger

The work of @dainok let’s you use your Android device, with the Geolocation feature enabled, to track itself using GPS or WiFi networks with the GPSLogger app. GPSLogger can use multiple sources: the passive one just get the latest Android known location, without activating GPS sensors or scanning for WiFi networks.

Remote component

The brand new remote component made by @iandday will simplify the integration of all kinds of remote control units. The first platform for Harmony is included in this release.

HomeMatic

The HomeMatic component has received some updates worth mentioning:

  • Additional services
    • reconnect: Reconnect to your CCU/Homegear without restarting Home Assistant.
    • set_dev_value: Manually control a device, even if it’s not supported by Home Assistant yet.
  • Support for multiple HomeMatic hosts
  • Support for HomeMatic Wired (most devices) and HomeMatic IP (a few devices)
  • Various improvements and fixes, especially for HM-Sec-Key (KeyMatic)

The support for multiple hosts is a result of allowing mixed configurations with wireless, wired, and IP devices. This has the drawback of making the update a breaking change (along with the renamed set_value service). However, the benefits and possibilities gained will be worth it.

Websocket API

This release includes a new websockets based API by @balloob to power the next generation of Home Assistant frontends. The current frontend has been partly migrated to use it and will be further migrated in the future.

All changes

Release 0.34.1 - December 4

This release has a bunch of bug fixes including a big one: emulated_hue will now work with Google Home! We usually reserve patch releases for small bug fixes but we considered this more impactful bug fix so important that we’re including it now instead of having people wait two weeks.

To make the fix backwards compatible (it is a patch release after all) you will have to add two new configuration option to emulated_hue to have it work with Google Home:

emulated_hue:
  type: google_home
  # This is important. Sadly, Google Home will not work with other ports.
  listen_port: 80

We are working on a better solution for 0.35.

Release 0.34.2 - December 5

  • Fix Nest interpreting Celsius as Fahrenheit and converting it (@balloob)
  • Fix Nest sensor platforms throwing errors (@technicalpickles)
  • Frontend will now always show persistent_notification and configurator entities even if not part of the active view (@balloob)
  • Fixed media player cards taking up unnecessary space (@balloob)

Release 0.34.3 - December 6

  • Fix Hook connections (@dasos)
  • Fix random websocket connections (@balloob)
  • Fix Google Home sometimes not finding our emulated_hue (@jawilson)
  • Fix EnOcean config validation (@rubund)

Release 0.34.4 - December 7

  • Fix InfluxDB without authentication (@balloob)
  • Fix Kodi without authentication (@balloob)
  • Fix incorrect caching of /api/error_log (@armills)
  • Fix incorrect ordering of service calls which could cause delays inbetween turning on multiple entities (@balloob)
  • Fix Nest Climate temperature issues (@technicalpickles)

Release 0.34.5 - December 12

  • Fix Nest sensors doing I/O inside event loop (@balloob)
  • Fix Nest version bump not triggering re-install (@R1chardTM)
  • Fix Nest cameras without activity zones (@technicalpickles)
  • Fix Plex doing I/O inside event loop (@balloob)

Breaking changes

  • The HomeMatic component now uses a different syntax for hosts and the set_value service has been renamed.
  • All RFXtrx sensors will get a new entity ID.
  • The frontend now uses websockets. If you run a server in front of Home Assistant, you will have to update your config (example nginx)
  • Nest contains changes which will require your attention.

If you need help…

…don’t hesitate to use our Forum or join us for a little chat. The release notes have comments enabled but it’s preferred if you use these communication channels. Thanks.

Reporting Issues

Experiencing issues introduced by this release? Please report them in our issue tracker. Make sure to fill in all fields of the issue template.


0.33: New Calendar component, Wink thermostats and Cisco IOS

three minutes reading time
  • Release-Notes
Comments

For this release we put a lot of focus on finishing our async upgrade and fix a bunch of bugs in the process.

But a new release wouldn’t be awesome if it didn’t had some new goodies and this release is no different. This release includes a new calendar component by @mnestor. It comes now with Google Calendar support, which should allow you to automate things based on your calendar events!

Changes

Release 0.33.1 - November 20

Release 0.33.2 - November 22

Release 0.33.3 - November 23

  • Update Yr.no entities every hour (@kellerza)
  • Bump Netdisco to 0.7.7 (fixes discovery on Synology)
  • Fix discovery race condition (most obvious in Wemo) (@balloob)

Release 0.33.4 - November 24

  • Set executor pool size to 10 (as intended) (@pvizeli)

This should fix occasional performance problems that some people have reported.

Breaking changes

  • We have included a fix that impacts how we generate entity ids. This only impacts devices with accented characters. Instead of being stripped out, they are now replaced with the non-accented version. So now Tèst Mörê will become test_more instead of tst_mr.
  • Command line switches will now use the specified object ID for their entity ID instead of basing it off the name.

Reporting issues

Experiencing issues introduced by this release? Please report them in our issue tracker. Make sure to fill in all fields of the issue template.


0.32: Hacktoberfest, InfluxDB sensor, Error reporting, and Weather

six minutes reading time
  • Release-Notes
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Another two weeks have passed and we are pleased to present Home Assistant 0.32.

Hacktoberfest

The Hacktoberfest is over now. Home Assistant made the 2nd and the 3rd place out of almost 30’000 participating repositories with a total of 528 pull requests closed - that’s an average of 17 pull requests a day! Thanks to all the contributors but also to the team of reviewers. This wouldn’t been possible without you 👏 .

Improved error reporting

This release has improved the reporting when a config validation error occurs. Thanks to @kellerza you will now get a persistent notification added to your UI when this happens.

Asynchronous

This release contains the first asynchronous sensor and camera platforms. @pvizeli and @fabaff ported most of the “internal” sensors to async programming. We hope that you will enjoy the new speed.

@balloob and @pvizeli worked a lot on the improvement of the core itself.

Weather component

For a long time we have had a bunch of weather sensors but it’s getting better: There is now a Weather component. Sorry, not much more to tell right now. The plans are to create a weather UI element and to improve the initial implementation.

All changes

Release 0.32.1 - November 6

We’ve added a warning to 0.32 to catch platforms accidentally slowing down Home Assistant. Our aim is to fix these quickly when reported, so here is 0.32.1 with all reported platforms fixed.

  • Fix Sonos doing I/O inside the event loop (@pvizeli)
  • Fix Radiotherm doing I/O inside the event loop (@balloob)
  • Fix camera MJPEG streams when using HTTP 1.0 (@balloob)

Release 0.32.2 - November 7

  • Move Honeywell I/O out of the event loop (@balloob)
  • Use sequential updates for non-async entities to prevent race conditions (@pvizeli)
  • Fix setting temperature in Celsius on Radiotherm CT50 thermostats (@andyat)
  • Fix PiLight config validation (@DavidLP)

Release 0.32.3 - November 11

  • Fix OpenWeather weather platform doing I/O in event loop (@lwis)
  • Fix Alarm.com doing I/O in event loop (@jnewland)
  • Fix Tellstick doing I/O in event loop (@balloob)
  • Fix KNX doing I/O in event loop (@balloob)
  • Increase warning threshold for catching platforms that do I/O (@balloob)
  • Change pilight systemcode validation (@janLo)
  • Fix Yamaha discovering already configured receivers (@sdague)
  • Fix Sonos from installing dependency each time HA was started (@pvizeli)
  • Fix Synology camera SSL and error handling (@pvizeli)
  • Fix Panasonic Viera doing I/O in event loop (@balloob)
  • Improve generic camera error handling (@kellerza)
  • Light - Flux Led Lights: allow specifying mode if light does not support white mode (@DanielHiversen)
  • Fix Rest switch default template (@pvizeli)

Release 0.32.4 - November 15

  • Fix device tracker from crashing HASS when a new device was discovered (@balloob)
  • HTTP: Fix X-Forwarded-For feature (@mweinelt)

Misc

Our website has now an additional category called “Ecosystem”. This will become the place where tools, apps, and other helper for the Home Assistant ecosystem can store their documentation or guides.

Breaking changes

  • The Yahoo Finance platform supports now multiple stock. Please adjust your configuration.
  • Deprecated components garage_door, rollershutter, thermostat, and hvac have been removed.
  • The minimum Python version on Windows has been bumped to Python 3.5.
  • The Insteon Hub integration has been disabled due to a request from Insteon.

If you need help…

…don’t hesitate to use our Forum or join us for a little chat. The release notes have comments enabled but it’s preferred if you the former communication channels. Thanks.


Explaining the Updater

three minutes reading time
  • Organisation
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On Saturday, we released Home Assistant 0.31 which includes an improved updater component that checks for new versions using the Home Assistant servers. We wanted to update the community on its rollout and answer some questions that have come up. As part of the update check anonymous information about your operating system and Python version is submitted to Home Assistant servers unless you have opted out.

Why we changed the updater

This change was driven by two important factors.

Improving the security of the users.

As a user, you will be able to be notified if you are running a Home Assistant version that includes components that have known security flaws.

Although we hope to not have to use this feature often, it is important for us to be able to reach out to impacted users. We had the need for such a feature once in the past. Due to a bug the forecast.io sensor was making a huge amount of API requests causing some of our users to get charged because they went over the free quota.

Please note that this functionality is not done yet but will be available in a future release.

Focusing our resources where it matters

As developers of Home Assistant, we will be able to see in what kind of environments Home Assistant is running. Here’s a few data points we didn’t have until now:

  • Total number of instances
  • Which operating systems versions and flavors are in use
  • Python version
  • What option is more popular: Docker, Virtualenv or bare metal installs?
  • How popular is our new Raspberry Pi image?

Why we look up your IP address with GeoIP

We store the city so that we can see where our users are from. This information will be used to give us a better insight in where our users are from. This will help us gather data to see if we should for example prioritize internationalization. In addition, we previously had a nasty bug with the sun component in which users above a certain latitude were having crashes multiple times a day. Had the updater component been in place we could have targeted a special priority update notification only to them.

As stated in the release blog post, the location information is not provided by your local Home Assistant installation but is instead gathered by comparing your IP address against the GeoLite2 data created by MaxMind. From their documentation:

IP geolocation is inherently imprecise. Locations are often near the center of the population. Any location provided by a GeoIP database should not be used to identify a particular address or household.

Why is it enabled by default

We decided to have it enabled by default because we consider the information that is gathered not harmful. We understand that not everyone will agree with us and so we have provided multiple ways to opt out.

It is in our short-term planning to add an option to control this to our frontend.

Source Code

The source code of our updater AWS Lambda function is now available here.


0.31: Reading you the news, some serious business, spooky hackery and a breaking Z-Wave change

14 minutes reading time
  • Release-Notes
Comments

Hello again friend,

How are you? Having a good day? We sure are. If you aren’t having a good day, this might cheer you up…

Every other weekend around here gets a little hectic leading to a big sigh of relief as we release a new version of Home Assistant to the world. And this time is no different. Our developer community has once again built us a beautiful new release with lots of new features and improvements. We hope you like it.

One last thing before we get going though, I should warn you… @balloob got a bit lazy this week and let me (@robbiet480) step up to the plate again to write the blog post and do the release. I guess I didn’t do such a bad job in 0.27. You’ll never know what surprises I have in store. Now that i’ve got all that stuff out of the way, let’s get started…

Stats Update

Sadly, no big amazing stats to update you with this time, but we did recently pass 7,000 commits! This release featured submissions from 45 contributors. Hopefully with the new updater component we will be able to give you some really good stats in the 0.32 blog post.

Hacktoberfest

Hacktoberfest logo

October means Hacktoberfest time and our community has really come through with some excellent improvements and additions. As of this writing, we have 194 merged and 41 open pull requests to the home-assistant repository and 209 merged/28 open pull requests submitted to the home-assistant.github.io repository. If you want to get in on the fun check out our Hacktoberfest blog post or the Hacktoberfest website. You get an awesome t-shirt for free if you have 4 pull requests merged in the month of October! We even have tasks that a non-developer can easily accomplish with a tiny bit of work. Better hurry up though, only 9 days left and most of the easy tasks are gone!

⚠️ A greatly improved updater component (Please read this!) ⚠️

This release includes an update to our updater component. The responsibility of the updater component is to check if a new version is available and notify the user if this is the case.

It used to be that this component would check with PyPi (the Python package manager) to see if a new update was available. This had a couple of problems:

  1. We are unable to do a slow rollout
  2. We are unable to show the user extra information (like a link to a changelog or the release date)
  3. We are unable to warn users for critical security updates

So to work around these problems, we decided to start hosting the version check service ourselves. Since we had to get some infrastructure spun up anyway, we figured we would take it a step further. Which leads me to this bit of the update (the most important part):

What you need to know (the important bit!)

Remember how I mentioned that up there in the title that there is some serious business in this release? Well, we also added some basic analytics to the updater component which get sent to the server and stored so that we get a better idea of our user base.

Each Home Assistant instance running the updater component will generate a unique ID (based on UUIDv4) that will be used for the updater to be able to differentiate between instances. This UUID will be stored in your config directory in a file called .uuid.

Opting out

There are two ways to opt-out. The first way is by using the new opt_out option for the updater. This way the updater will continue to check for updates, but no information about your system will be shared with us.

updater:
  reporting: no

You can also disable the updater component entirely by removing updater: from your configuration.yaml although we would not suggest you do this as you would miss any critical updates.

Finally, you can also reset your unique identifier by deleting the .uuid file and restarting Home Assistant.

Data stored on the Home Assistant update server

Here is what my production Home Assistant instance looks like from the server side:

Name Description Example
arch CPU Architecture x86_64
distribution Linux Distribution name (only Linux) Ubuntu
docker True if running inside Docker false
os_name Operating system name Darwin
os_version Operating system version 10.12
python_version Python version 3.5.2
timezone Timezone America/Los_Angeles
user_agent User agent used to submit analytics python-requests/2.11.1
uuid Unique identifier 10321ee6094d4a2ebb5ed55c675d5f5e
version Home Assistant version 0.31.0
virtualenv True if running inside virtualenv true

In addition to the above collected data, the server will also use your IP address to do a geographic IP address lookup to determine the city that you are from. To be extremely, extremely clear about this bit: The Home Assistant updater does not: store your IP address in a database and also does not submit the location information from your configuration.yaml.

Geo-lookup on my IP resolves to Oakland with latitude/longitude pointing at the geographical center of the city.

The server also adds two timestamps to the data: the original date your instance UUID was first seen and the timestamp of the last time we have seen your instance. This gives us the following extra data:

Name Description Example
first_seen_datetime First time instance ID was submitted 2016-10-22T19:56:03.542Z
geo_city GeoIP determined city Oakland
geo_country_code GeoIP determined country code US
geo_country_name GeoIP determined country name United States
geo_latitude GeoIP determined latitude (of the city) 37.8047
geo_longitude GeoIP determined longitude (of the city) -122.2124
geo_metro_code GeoIP determined metro code 807
geo_region_code GeoIP determined region code CA
geo_region_name GeoIP determined region name California
geo_time_zone GeoIP determined time zone America/Los_Angeles
geo_zip_code GeoIP determined zip code 94602
last_seen_datetime Most recent time instance ID was submitted 2016-10-22T19:56:03.542Z

This data is held in the highest security. The update system runs in a secured Amazon Web Services account owned by me (@robbiet480). I personally have 5 years of experience with complex AWS deployments and have an extensive security background. I have audited the entire system and made sure to take every step to protect the data, including limiting who has access (just @balloob and myself). While not directly personally identifiable we absolutely understand some users hesistance to giving this information out. Please understand that we are only collecting this information to better understand our user base to provide better long term support and feature development then is currently possible.

We currently have no plans to publicly expose any of this information. If we did do such a thing in the future we would of course notify you in advance. It must also be stated that we will never sell or allow the use of this information for non-Home Assistant purposes.

We thank you for understanding why we are collecting this data and hope that you leave the feature enabled but fully understand if you feel uncomfortable with this.

This section was updated on October 24 to be more clear about geo-lookups being on the city level. See original version.

Now, back to the fun stuff…

Good evening. I’m Ron Burgundy and here’s what happening in your world tonight.

Home Assistant got a crazy idea recently that it couldn’t do enough already and wanted to challenge itself even more. I really don’t understand how it came up with this kooky idea, but it now thinks that its newest hobby should be a minor career in journalism.

0.31 adds support for the brand spanking new Alexa Flash Briefing API, allowing you to get updates from Home Assistant anytime you ask Alexa to read your flash briefing. What’s the use case you ask? Well, now when I wake up in the morning and get my flash briefing, Home Assistant adds this to the end of it for me:

Drive time with traffic is 35 minutes. There is an UberPOOL that will cost $11.52, estimated to be 2 minutes away, for a total of 37 minutes. BART is currently estimated to take 29 minutes. You should take BART, as it is estimated to be faster by 8 minutes.

Now I know how to best get to my real job (no, Home Assistant is not my real job, it does seem like it sometimes though) every morning. Obviously not the best home automation example, but I think you get the idea. I could see this being used to tell you any major events that happened in your home overnight or reading you your hyperlocal weather report. Thanks to the audio support you could even replace all of the default Alexa Flash Briefing sources with your own news feeds. Home Assistant supports both text and audio content as well as displaying data in the Alexa app. I also want to point out that unlike the existing Skill integration, the Flash Briefing API does not require HTTPS (but you should still be using HTTPS if possible). For more information, check out the new docs.

You stay classy, San Diego. (It’s funny, because balloob lives in San Diego))

Major breaking Z-Wave changes ahead

A rather nasty Z-Wave issue was discovered recently by @lukas-hetzenecker. There was a somewhat large chance that if you had multiple of the same model Z-Wave device they may both try to use the same entity IDs. To fix the issue the internal Z-Wave index is now appended to the end of all Z-Wave entity IDs.

What this means for all you Z-Wave users is that you will need to update your configurations to reflect the change. I personally have quite a few (17) Z-Wave devices and went through the process this week. Here’s what I had to do:

  • Update customizations
  • Update groups
  • Update my zwave.customize section
  • Update my Alexa skills that used old entity IDs
  • Because I use emulated_hue with Alexa and emulated_hue uses the entity ID as a unique identifier I also had to remove all Z-Wave devices from Alexa and re-add them.

Your todo list may be a little different from mine, I just wanted to outline the steps I took to give you an idea of what you need to think about. It’s not a very hard process, especially when using global find and replace in Sublime Text but did take me about 20 minutes to complete.

This is super annoying, I know, especially since we had said in 0.12 that Z-Wave IDs should hopefully never change again, but we are now forced to eat those words. I will state again that Z-Wave IDs shouldn’t change in the future but obviously we see how that went. To sum up on this section… sorry but it had to happen.

All changes

Release 0.31.1 - October 24

  • Identify special character encoding error in YAML files (@kellerza, @lwis)
  • iOS app component bug fixes (@robbiet480)
  • Fix a spelling problem on user-facing error (@robbiet480)
  • YAML includes will ignore dirs/files prefixed with . (@lwis)

Breaking changes

  • The HTTP component now takes a different format for authenticating IPs
  • Configuration format has changed for Proximity
  • The Arduino platform are now covered by the configuration check. Please check the documentation to see how.
  • The Z-Wave entity ID change mentioned above

If you need help…

…don’t hesitate to use our Forum or join us for a little chat. The release notes have comments enabled but it’s preferred if you the former communication channels. Thanks.

Until next time

Thanks for reading all of the above, especially since this week was a pretty long post. We should be back with a new post around November 5th announcing the arrival of 0.32.

– Robbie