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May 07, 2012 10:00 AM Too Much Technology?

By Daniel Luzer

There’s apparently a rather unfortunate update to the story of Derek Low, the Berkeley student with an automated dorm room so intricate that Gizmodo did a story about him: he’s in trouble.

According to an article by Brittany Jahn in the Daily Californian

Despite the creative measures he took, residence hall officials have asked Low to appear at a judicial hearing this week because he is allegedly in violation of housing policies, and the room is a potential fire hazard, according to Low.

The precise nature of the violation is rather unclear, however. Berkeley residence hall policy says that “misuse or tampering with fire safety equipment including, but not limited to, removal of doors, door closures, and unapproved posting is prohibited.” But Low did none of those things.

Apparently he used “heavy duty tape, zip ties and binder clips to secure wires, buttons and motion detectors” in a careful effort to ensure the room wasn’t a fire hazard. According to the article Berkeley sent an electrician to the room last week; he found nothing wrong.

This doesn’t appear to bother Low much, however.

“I’m moving out the dorms in two weeks and moving the entire setup to my own apartment,” Low said. “The whole system is quite mobile, actually, so that won’t be too difficult,” he told Jeremy Hsu at Innovation News Daily.

Daniel Luzer is the news editor at Governing Magazine and former web editor of the Washington Monthly. Find him on Twitter: @Daniel_Luzer