E-Waste has an Epitaph

I own a Flurry Ambient Weather Clock Radio. I’ve had it since @ 2009 and it has worked like a champ. dual alarms, 2 day weather for anywhere in No America, decent radio and a great GUI design paired with an almost Dieter Rams industrial design.


The weather feed comes from Accuweather and the daily weather description comes from well, somewhere else. It’s usually spot on and more than often cleverly worded almost pithy descriptions of the day to come. Well, as of January 01 a new message was displayed and it read:

"B’Nell Offline 12 31 19"

Did B’Nell quit on New Years Eve? Was is it downsizing? Is B’Nell an AI that became self aware on New Years Eve and decided to try something else? Did somebody get tired of typing?

The Flurry has been out of production for a several years but the same service is used by other devices sold by Brookstone and Bushnell. Not any more it seems.

A sad day in IoT land.


Could sniff it, see what is up. Wireshark will show you the wonders of the digital universe. (Usually)

Fwiw, my Chumby (Infocast 8) is in a similar state of limbo.

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You don’t appear to be alone…

Bushnell products appear to be affected too.


Silly and possibly pointless suggestion but have you tried contacting customer support?


They claim to still support the device.

Amusingly (or not), googling also throws up this:

Well, maybe one of you should change their name to something less generic…


I see from the comments on the jillcataldo blog post (I usually follow the advice to never read the comments) that someone’s device came back online. Did yours?

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That is a great looking clock. I am saddened that I have learned of its existence only now when it is too late.

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Hm, a pity.

Alfred Bester: “Who stole the weather, Powell?”
Cordwainer Smith: “The Ballad of Lost B’Nell”


Questionable. Their web page hasn’t been updated since '14 it seems. I did contact customer service but, as of yet I have had no reply.

Happily yes! Just before midnight last night. Right after I spent a least an hr or more down the rabbit hole trying to find a suitable replacement!

It appears that Ambient Devices rely on U.S.A. Mobility, a paging service, for their datacasting network. Perhaps as of Jan 01 their service agreement lapsed. Turns out that U.S.A. Mobility is HQ’d close to me here in Va. Perhaps I’ll wander over and see what’s what…

Just a reminder how fragile these types of services are. So, for now the Epitaph will have to wait for another day.

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It’s clearly some sort of clever allusion to Stephenson’s The Diamond Age. Recognizing the user’s maturity, the clock bids the user to go forth and meet atmospheric vagaries head-on. Or something.

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