After an inspirational post by Loren Halvorson, we decided to emulate his team's use of an Ambient Orb to track the status of our continuous integration builds.
After being backordered for a couple of months, it finally show up yesterday. It's happily glowing green on my desk as I write this. Unfortunately, what we didn't know is that in order to bend the orb to our will and get it to show our build status, we have to shell out $20 a quarter for their "premium" service. Humph. Plus, I've been having some "issues" with it. It's supposed to reflect the current status of the DJIA, which is down right now, but the orb is green, which is supposed to indicate that the Dow is up. I can't seem to make it be anything but green. I know it's not a problem with the lights, because when it was "synchronizing" it strobed through just about every color there is. After it's done though, I only get green.
Anyway, all that together has prompted us to order their serial interface kit, so we can control the thing directly without depending on their wireless network. Maybe not as elegant, but it should be deterministic, which it more important in this case. Seems like a lot of work for what was supposed to be a funny toy.