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Report: Apple To Unveil "Smart Home" System 174

Posted by samzenpus
from the ask-the-house dept.
An anonymous reader writes "According to a report Apple will be unveiling a new smart home system at the upcoming Worldwide Developers Conference. The system will allow users to control security systems, appliances and lighting with their iPhones. A "select number" of device makers will be certified to offer products that work with Apple's upcoming system, according to the report, which didn't name any of the manufacturers."
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Report: Apple To Unveil "Smart Home" System

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  • no thank you apple (Score:3, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday May 26, 2014 @05:59PM (#47095289)

    and no thank you google

    plenty of options exist that are already very mature products no need for a vendor lock in with constantly changing terms. open solutions exist many commercially available and or inter-operable with commercially available stuff

    • by peragrin (659227)

      um what open solutions? I have yet to see an in home system that wasn't locked down hard and that even if they use open protocols which is rare are still not compatible with each other.

    • by nurb432 (527695) on Monday May 26, 2014 @06:36PM (#47095483) Homepage Journal

      Who says this wont be built on an open standard?

      • by fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) on Monday May 26, 2014 @07:15PM (#47095655) Journal
        Apple's track record? Apple is actually pretty agnostic about open standards, they don't seem to have a pathological case of NIH syndrome or anything; but with two important caveats:

        1. If the existing standard doesn't suit them for whatever reason, their implementation will be a variant of that standard and their only concern will be interoperability will first party and (to a slightly lesser extent) officially-blessed third party stuff. They won't reinvent the wheel just for kicks; but if they decide that their needs are somewhat different, their implementation will be as well, and it's just too bad if that's an issue. (It's not unlike the degree to which Microsoft 'based' Active Directory and Domains on, LDAP and Kerberos.)

        2. Crypto: Unlike the old days, when you could only be proprietary by keeping your obfuscated binary protocol or your weirdo connector one step ahead of the reverse engineers, now you can have it all in the open and still nearly useless unless it's signed and blessed. Apple's "Facetime", for instance, is based on a lovely, standards-tastic, collection of standards; but important parts of setting up a connection involve mutual certificate verification between an Apple server and an Apple device, so that's effectively irrelevant to 3rd parties.
        • by AmiMoJo (196126) *

          That doesn't seem to be the case. Take the iTunes database for example. Could have just used sqlite or something, there are plenty of open database formats. Instead they went with a custom one. One people reverse engineered it they added encryption to lock out non-iTunes software.

          Facetime is actually another counter-example. They leeched open protocols and made use of open source implementations, and then added some encryption on top to lock everyone else out. It's similar to what TiVo did with GPL'ed code,

          • One people reverse engineered it they added encryption to lock out non-iTunes software.

            Er? iTunes contains two library files. One of them is a database which is protected and encrypted most likely to prevent hacking. The other is the XML file which contains some of the same data as the database version. Yes it is missing some information but if you need to import/export/show your iTunes library to another application, the XML file has a great deal of information.

            They leeched open protocols and made use of open source implementations, and then added some encryption on top to lock everyone else out.

            I'm pretty sure encryption was added to secure the communication.

            It's similar to what TiVo did with GPL'ed code, and which the GPLv3 seeks to prevent. I'm sure that's why those chose BSD as the basis for MacOS and iOS, because they would not have been able to lock down the iPhone like that had the code been GPLv3.

            Er? Are you aware of the history of OS X? NeXT created the propri

            • by AmiMoJo (196126) *

              iTunes contains two library files. One of them is a database which is protected and encrypted most likely to prevent hacking.

              LOL, what kind of "hacking" do they prevent? Non-iTunes software loading music onto an iDevice style hacking?

              I'm pretty sure encryption was added to secure the communication.

              Secure the communication... over a USB cable... or over an already encrypted wifi connection that could support SSH if they were really paranoid. Okay.

              • LOL, what kind of "hacking" do they prevent? Non-iTunes software loading music onto an iDevice style hacking?

                So data that interfaces directly with iTunes software as well as the iTunes store does not need protection from being hacked. Yeah, sure. Again your main complaint was it was encrypted but you failed to mention that there is an unencrypted copy of most of the data.

                Secure the communication... over a USB cable. . .

                Do you understand why encryption is used? FaceTime is used over the internet. Plugging in a USB cable does absolutely nothing if the communication isn't encrypted over the internet.

                . or over an already encrypted wifi connection that could support SSH if they were really paranoid. Okay.

                Er what? SSH? FaceTime is not for command lines.

                • by AmiMoJo (196126) *

                  Maybe there is a copy of most of the iTunes data in an unencrypted form, but it's basically useless because it doesn't allow you to create or modify databases and send them to an iDevice. You must use iTunes, it's the only software that can produce the encrypted databases that iDevices demand. If you don't like iTunes, well fuck you.

                  What the fuck has Facetime got to do with the iTunes database?

                  • Maybe there is a copy of most of the iTunes data in an unencrypted form, but it's basically useless because it doesn't allow you to create or modify databases and send them to an iDevice. You must use iTunes, it's the only software that can produce the encrypted databases that iDevices demand. If you don't like iTunes, well fuck you.

                    That wasn't your complaint. Your complaint was that iTunes database was encrypted. So what? You still can get access to the data. But you're moving the goal posts. You want total control of a device you didn't make and not have to use the software the manufacturer requires. That's a lot of entitlement.

                    What the fuck has Facetime got to do with the iTunes database?

                    What? You are the one the mentioned how FaceTime had encrypted protocols to which I responded that was to secure it. Now you're confused that we were talking about FaceTime. Secondly, SSH is still not us

                  • Why do you want to send a database to a device you don't want to own?
          • That doesn't seem to be the case. Take the iTunes database for example. Could have just used sqlite or something, there are plenty of open database formats.

            Oh, your usual "Apple should have used stuff that didn't exist yet when development began" argument. You never grow tired of that one.

            • Not only that he implied that Apple chose BSD over GPLv3 in OS X because they wanted to lock down the hardware like TiVo did. Of course the fact that Apple chose BSD ten years before GPLv3 existed wasn't a factor in his mind.
      • by exomondo (1725132)

        Who says this wont be built on an open standard?

        Given their track record it's highly unlikely. Apple is open when they take existing open technologies and build on them:
        Webkit (KHTML), CUPS, BSD, Mach, etc...

        But they don't like interoperability with non-Apple devices so they lock those elements down:
        AppleTalk, Airplay, Airdrop, Facetime, Lightning connector, etc...

        • by msauve (701917)
          Apple learned well from Microsoft's "embrace, extend, extinguish" strategy.

          Who needs a security system which will only close the gates to the walled garden?

          BTW, Appletalk was every bit as open as NETBEUI/SMB/IPX/DECnet/XNS/SNA. It's not a good example.
          • by exomondo (1725132)

            Apple learned well from Microsoft's "embrace, extend, extinguish" strategy.

            How so? While they have embraced those open technologies they haven't added proprietary extensions and they haven't extinguished them, they still exist and are still open.

            • by msauve (701917)
              So, Apple's DRM on AAC wasn't proprietary and didn't prevent other devices from playing purchased content? (Don't argue that ITMS is now DRM free - the DRM was in place when Apple was taking over with the iPod). If iThing app distribution is open, where are the non-Apple stores? AirPlay isn't a proprietary alternate to DLNA to ensure lock-in?

              Or perhaps you simply don't understand EEE and are taking it too literally - Java continued to exist after MS-JVM came out, but got pushed to the wayside.
              • by exomondo (1725132)

                So, Apple's DRM on AAC wasn't proprietary and didn't prevent other devices from playing purchased content?

                It did but it isn't an example of EEE because it never became a defacto standard, in fact nobody else ever even used it and it was ultimately abolished anyway.

                If iThing app distribution is open, where are the non-Apple stores?

                It isn't open, why are you implying that anybody is suggesting this? Just a strawman, no "embrace, extend, extinguish" there.

                AirPlay isn't a proprietary alternate to DLNA to ensure lock-in?

                Again, a strawman, no "embrace, extend, extinguish" there. Creating a proprietary product is not EEE.

                Or perhaps you simply don't understand EEE and are taking it too literally

                No, it is clearly you who doesn't understand it: the idea is to embrace a technology, extend it in a proprietary way and then g

              • So, Apple's DRM on AAC wasn't proprietary and didn't prevent other devices from playing purchased content? (Don't argue that ITMS is now DRM free - the DRM was in place when Apple was taking over with the iPod).

                The DRM was there because the music industry insisted on it. All online music stores before and after also had DRM (apart from those with questionable legality, and those with music hardly anybody wanted). And no store owner but Apple spoke out for the removal of DRM.

    • I can see it becoming successful, like Airplay which is adopted widely, and Carplay also gets lots of interest.
      For me, I am imagine that i wear the iwatch while sitting in the sofa and with a touch on its display I can quickly dim the lights. Or, when I am about to drive home in wintertime I use an iphone app to start heating the house.
      Yes, other systems exist but I like the convergence.
      Despite all the hate here, what Apple usually does very well is make technology accessible and userfriendly.
  • The road to hell is paved with good intentions and dreams of financial gains. Aren't they betting that such a system (or its components) cannot be hacked?
    • Now if they could only produce some smart people we might finally be getting somewhere.

  • Google retaliates by buying X-10.

    News at 23.

    • did you know that you can overclock the x10 devices and run a windowing system on them. or, so I'm told..

      • It can't just be a small overclock, you need to turn that bastard all the way up to 11.

        • by drkim (1559875)

          It can't just be a small overclock, you need to turn that bastard all the way up to 11.

          On X-10, I can go all the way up to 16!

    • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

      by ganjadude (952775)
      Just wait a few more weeks until apple sues google for nest infringing on ihome
  • by Noishkel (3464121) on Monday May 26, 2014 @06:10PM (#47095355)

    Honestly I just do NOT see why anyone would ever want to have their own so crazily wired into the internet. What could you possibly ever use it for? I LOVE technology but I can't for the LIFE of me see why this is even remotely appeasing. Yeah, sure there are security applications. But you'll still probably be buying some expensive service to run it. Why in the HELL would you even WANT to wire up your blinder, oven, or washing machine into the friggin' internet? Given the general price tag attached to Apple gear you'll be having to pay a third again higher price for these features.

    And hey... how about we talk about SECURITY? We've recent had an example of a hacker getting into a homes network. Using a baby monitor linked to the net to SCREAM at a sleeping baby. The more ways you connect your home to the internet the more likely you're going to leave yourself REALLY exploded to malicious actions.

    • one appeal is that it makes money for ipv6 vendors.

    • I think it would be quite convenient to have a cell notification go off when the oven has reached the right temperature or has finished cooking, or an alert that my stove has been on for over an hour. I wouldn't object to computer control for lights either (press a button to turn off every light when it's time for bed, etc).

      None of these features seem particularly valuable to me, but I'd personally more than happily spend a few thousand for a wired house if I was already dropping hundreds of thousands on th

      • by peragrin (659227)

        I can see lights and heat/cold being attached but if you need a reminder text when your oven has reached temperature then you really shouldn't be cooking.

        The problem with these systems is simple. you can't easily combine them into one. If a standard came out that was consistent it would jump forward until that time each system bounces around until you can't get products for it any more 5 years later.

        GE used to make a low voltage switching system for homes. the only thing still sold is the control relay's

        • Be warned that the oven just reached 220C or whatever is nice, it means you can save energy or fuel.
          About standards.. lol, in the 80s they said you would be able to do all that crap with an Apple II, etc. So stock on 5.25" floppies.

      • by GNious (953874)

        Now, it is mostly toys for me, but I'm using my LIFX bulbs along with a menu-app for my Mac and a home-made app for my Jolla to turn lights on/off, dimm them, or annoy the wife with various colours.

        Later, planning on relocating a LIFX bulb into each kid's room, so I can trivially check if they remembered to switch their lights off at night, dim the lights when it is bed-time, and let them go mad with strange colours! (the kids love playing with the bulbs).

        Yeah, could do a lot more (oven is interesting idea)

    • Perhaps people are thinking of it as a "baby sitter" monitor not a "baby" monitor.

    • by Lumpy (12016) on Monday May 26, 2014 @06:20PM (#47095409) Homepage

      I have been making a shitload of money doing it for a decade... except I use the real stuff from Crestron and AMX. Real lighting control, real automation.. To the tun of $20,000- $80,000 per home for the real stuff that does not break or fail all the time.

      Home automation has been a reality for a very long time, you just had to spend money on it. And yes my clients have been able to control it all from the internet for 10+ years It's not hard at all to make a secure encrypted tunnel from their phone to the house. So they can look at cameras, control lights, see who is home ,lock or unlock doors, see door status, open or close the garage doors, even control the AV system from a distance (that was one of the more wierd requests from a customer)

      • by nblender (741424)

        I'm glad you've been making a shitload of money... I'm glad there are people willing to pay it... I don't see the appeal either.. One friend of mine has such a system.. After the install, he asked the installer for the configuration software so he can change the 'mood' or 'scene' settings in his home and the installer said "well, technically i'm not allowed to do that. I license the software from the manufacturer and am not allowed to let the end-user have it. I can see you're more than capable of dealin

    • Living with a connected home for over a decade now. Lights are nice, just starting on color as well as brightness. Security systems well think that is a major feature. Security camera's, arming and disarming via cell phone proximity, and giving status via the phones tablets, tv's and PC's are all killer features for me. Looking at HVAC controls, and really need something more tied in that just the thermostats as it needs to set boiler set-points at least and preferably control multiple systems. Ceiling

      • Where I live I don't need security. I leave the front door open when I leave the house, and I never lock my car. I have no need for HVAC because the weather is pretty good most of the year. I do use a small gas heater for a couple of months to take the chill off, but I can still leave the windows open to keep fresh air coming through. I have no need for fans, or curtains, or sensors, or anything technical and I love my house and where I live. I also happen to live in a major city which is consistently ranke
        • I've got cows as neighbors but yet still have security it's not a question of where you live but how vigilant about security you are that is a life choice. You could not get me to want to live in any city no matter what the climate, crime rate, or who says it's the best place ever.

          Melbourne AU? Been there nice place, needs AC.

      • by gstoddart (321705)

        Ceiling fans are very nice, automated curtains actually have a noticeable change in heating/cooling bills.

        But, and be honest now ... given what you've spent on the connected home, is a little energy savings ever going to help you recoup your costs?

        Or is this one of those things where you've spent $40K on automation, and have just saved $50 on your heating/cooling?

        I'm afraid I will pretty much remain someone who sees the connected home as a cool demonstration piece of technology, but not something I'd ever c

        • Na I'm a DIY sort my spend was well under 100 bucks for the curtains would guess well under 2k total (video security probably half of that). Mind you I've got 50 ish feet of south facing windows with just 2 curtains between them, it would be a vastly different price if I was trying to do blinds in every window. My build was not really motivated by heating/cooling savings the automation itself and a bit of nerd cred was more important.

          • by gstoddart (321705)

            My build was not really motivated by heating/cooling savings the automation itself and a bit of nerd cred was more important.

            And, that is a perfectly valid reason to do pretty much anything. :-P

            • Walking into a room to have it open the curtains if a bunch of logic is met is fun, tied together with logic for the lighting to come on/change dimming levels/change color is even more fun. Looking at integrating better with the home theater bits, closing curtains and dimming lights is nice for a movie overkill for the GF listening to an episode of murder she wrote. Also looking at something like boblight toned down for the whole room.

    • I'm with you. I'm currently adding an extension to my house and the only tech that is going into it is regular AC electricity with a DC circuit for LED only lighting and appliances. I'm specifically looking for low-tech appliances, without standby, and without clocks, preferably DC where possible to allow the whole extension to be able to be run off battery if required. I work with tech all day, I know enough about that to know that I don't want that high maintenance shit anywhere near my house.
    • by praxis (19962)

      If you begin by stating you will never understand something, then there's really not much point in trying to learn about it is there? You've already set yourself a very high bias.

      I agree that home automation doesn't really have much return for its risk today but do you really feel home automation is a pointless area to explore? Do you still wash all your clothes by hand and line dry them? Do you not use a microwave? Do you not use an automatic dish washer? Do you not use a thermostat? Those all came out of

      • by Noishkel (3464121)

        Well I think there's a significant difference here between rather mundane conventional devices and trying to needlessly tie everything into the internet. What benefit is there to having, say, a washing machine that connects to the internet? Or a refrigerator? Or a microwave? Lighting could have a utility as related to the security system. But controlling your HVAC system through the internet?

        This is not to say I'm saying that no one should have these things. I'm very libertarian about most things. So

        • by praxis (19962)

          Well I think there's a significant difference here between rather mundane conventional devices and trying to needlessly tie everything into the internet. What benefit is there to having, say, a washing machine that connects to the internet? Or a refrigerator? Or a microwave? Lighting could have a utility as related to the security system. But controlling your HVAC system through the internet?

          This is not to say I'm saying that no one should have these things. I'm very libertarian about most things. So people should be able to spend their money on any kind of fluff that the wish. I simply can't understand why anyone would want such a set up. Hell, if nothing else this system is probably going to cost thousands of dollars to implement into a home. Money that could probably be better spent buying high quality appliances that aren't tired into an Apple system.

          I too do not know where this all might lead, but that's the beauty of innovation: sometimes unexpected advancements happen. I can see having a refrigerator one could query the contents of remotely could be useful at times. The cost (in terms of risk, privacy and cost) probably outweighs the benefit today but the steps today lead to the steps tomorrow and so forth. Not wanting to participate in these steps makes a lot of sense--I don't either--but not seeing the appeal is blind to advancements we haven't con

  • The system will allow users to control security systems

    Surely they mean "property owners"? This will not end well.

  • Awesome if you are prepared to rip it out and install a new one every 3 years, when Cupertino yells "Change Places!"
  • by the eric conspiracy (20178) on Monday May 26, 2014 @06:37PM (#47095485)

    What could possibly go wrong. Like there are no issues whatsoever with the large scale systems.

  • Can't wait... (Score:4, Insightful)

    by mars-nl (2777323) on Monday May 26, 2014 @07:15PM (#47095651)

    ... to buy a light bulb, come home and read the small text on the box that says: "works with Apple devices only".

    We *must* use open standards here and not let Google, Apple or whoever infiltrate our houses any further. But looking at how easily folks sell their soul to Apple or Google (Android), I'm not holding my breath. Next time you buy a house, you'll have to decide Apple, Google or Microsoft...

  • by nick_davison (217681) on Monday May 26, 2014 @07:24PM (#47095697)

    So I'll have to rewire my house every couple of years when they change from one proprietary cable standard to another?

    iPod: Firewire. Buy lots of firewire connectors.
    Newer iPod/iPhone: Dock connector. Toss all of your firewire accessories and move to dock connectors.
    Newer iPhones: Lightning connector. Toss all of your dock connector accessories, move to lightning.

    Everyone else gets to stick with USB that doesn't carry a $10 premium per cable/device because Apple just invented another proprietary standard.

    • So I'll have to rewire my house every couple of years when they change from one proprietary cable standard to another?

      iPod: Firewire. Buy lots of firewire connectors.
      Newer iPod/iPhone: Dock connector. Toss all of your firewire accessories and move to dock connectors.
      Newer iPhones: Lightning connector. Toss all of your dock connector accessories, move to lightning.

      Everyone else gets to stick with USB that doesn't carry a $10 premium per cable/device because Apple just invented another proprietary standard.

      And USB has changed standards 3 times since then as well.

      Firewire - well, we had USB 1.1 and the gigantic USB B connector. (2001)

      Dock connector - we still have gigantic USB B connector. Dock connector adds USB support as well. (2003).

      Meanwhile, USB introduces USB mini-B connector. Sees Firewire, goes beserk and introduces USB OTG and USB mini-A and mini-AB connectors.

      Somewhere along here, Apple deprecates Firewire as a data interface, but keeps it as a charging interface.

      USB sees people using mini-A and mini-AB connectors without implementing full USB OTG spec and deprecates connectors. At same time, USB introduces USB micro A, AB and B connectors.

      Apple deprecates Firewire charging now.

      Apple decides Dock connector is too full of legacy for its needs, introduces new lightning connector and adapters, 2012.

      USB sees Lightning has many advantages of Micro B, introduces USB 3.1 universal connector.

      So the dock connector had a good run - it's over 10 years old, doesn't support what people want these days (no HDMI, for example) and been stable. In the meantime, USB decides to change the cables it uses several times over.

      I still have piles of USB A-B, USB A-mini-B and am slowly building up a collection of SB A-micro-B cables. But USB 3.1 will introduce a new incompatible set of cables, requiring more adapters. Sorta like how Apple has lightning to dock adapters (which if you only need USB, are stupidly cheap at like $3-4).

      I even ignore USB 3.0's expanded and incompatible cables - you can't plug a USB 3.0 cable into anything that doesn't support USB 3.0. You can plug USB pre-3.0 cables into USB 3.0 devices though. The saving grace is that USB 3.0 cables are rarer so you're far more likely to pull a USB 2.0 cable than a USB 3.0 one.

      USB has gone through more changes in its plugs than Apple in the same period. And it's a standard.

      • by oji-sama (1151023)

        Firewire - well, we had USB 1.1 and the gigantic USB B connector. (2001)

        USB B is still being used... There's one in my display (which only supports USB1-2), another in my printer (although I connect via wifi).

        USB has gone through more changes in its plugs than Apple in the same period. And it's a standard.

        And yet I can take a USB1 memory stick and it works in a USB3 port.

        • That's not what he's saying. Of course USB B cable from 2001 still works today. What he's saying is that mini B, micro B (and now C) have been added since 2001 and new devices use these new ports. So you'll need a new cable if your new device doesn't connect using that old B cable. By comparison, Apple changed their cable once in 10 years.
          • by oji-sama (1151023)

            That's not what he's saying. Of course USB B cable from 2001 still works today. What he's saying is that mini B, micro B (and now C) have been added since 2001 and new devices use these new ports. So you'll need a new cable if your new device doesn't connect using that old B cable. By comparison, Apple changed their cable once in 10 years.

            I know, but you do realize that all those mini and micro cables can be connected to the same original usb1 port (and/or usb2 / usb3 port), as the host end has always been the same. Does the same 'of course' apply to Apple's cables? Admittedly I think the mini was a bit of a misstep, and going straight to micro would have been better.

            Of course all this may change with the 3.1, but if it does, it is in my count the first major change for the cables...( And hopefully there's no 'hardware drm' in the cables to

            • I know, but you do realize that all those mini and micro cables can be connected to the same original usb1 port (and/or usb2 / usb3 port), as the host end has always been the same. Does the same 'of course' apply to Apple's cables? Admittedly I think the mini was a bit of a misstep, and going straight to micro would have been better.

              You do realize that one end of Apple's iPod/iPhone cables for the last 10 years has been USB B and it doesn't matter if it's USB1 , 2, or 3. The other end has been proprietary Apple. In this regard, how is it any different than all the variations in USB? You'll need an adapter for one end if you have the wrong port. Or you need another cable.

              • by oji-sama (1151023)

                True, but this requires excluding the Firewire from the listing. My main complain is the inaccuracies, which I partially addressed above.

                I even ignore USB 3.0's expanded and incompatible cables - you can't plug a USB 3.0 cable into anything that doesn't support USB 3.0. You can plug USB pre-3.0 cables into USB 3.0 devices though. The saving grace is that USB 3.0 cables are rarer so you're far more likely to pull a USB 2.0 cable than a USB 3.0 one.

                This is misleading, considering that you can indeed use a USB3 cable with a USB2 host. And as stated above, you can use the old cables with new devices, so I would not exactly call this an actual change of standard. Upgrade it is. And personally I much prefer the idea that you can use any cable, not a proprietary one.

      • by AmiMoJo (196126) *

        A USB cable is â1 on Amazon or eBay and works with everything. Even though the cable may have changed a few times the protocol didn't, so your old 1995 USB keyboard will still work perfectly.

        Each revision of Apple's cables used a different protocol. Your old accessories often ceased to work, even with an adapter. Hell, sometimes they even ceased to work between revisions of the same port. A friend of mine had a nice iPod compatible hifi speaker system that wouldn't work with his iPhone, despite the doc

        • Each revision of Apple's cables used a different protocol. Your old accessories often ceased to work, even with an adapter. Hell, sometimes they even ceased to work between revisions of the same port.

          Er what? And you have some examples of this? Because no USB cable I've used refused to work.

          and they periodically break all the unofficial ones with firmware updates.

          No third party USB cable of mine has ever been broken with a firmware update. Care to back that up with a citation?

      • by thegarbz (1787294)

        That is a load of crock. Yes USB has introduced changes in cabling, but guess what, even those are backwards compatible.

        USB3.0 Device end will except USB1.1 cables. That's right your "depreciated" USB-B cable will still work with the latest and greatest USB3.0 device. Just like USB micro-B cable will work with USB3.0 devices as well. Want to look at the other side of it? Well the USB3.0 host side plug was specifically designed to accept all cables back to the USB1.0 standard.

        This of course is completely be

        • by tlhIngan (30335)

          USB3.0 Device end will except USB1.1 cables. That's right your "depreciated" USB-B cable will still work with the latest and greatest USB3.0 device. Just like USB micro-B cable will work with USB3.0 devices as well. Want to look at the other side of it? Well the USB3.0 host side plug was specifically designed to accept all cables back to the USB1.0 standard.

          You miss the point, because you know what? Every iDevice since 2003 also plugs into a USB A port! Compatibility!

          No, a USB A-B cable will NOT work with y

        • That is a load of crock. Yes USB has introduced changes in cabling, but guess what, even those are backwards compatible.

          This is not exactly true. USB 3 Type B cables cannot be used with USB 2 Type B hosts. USB 2 B cables will work in USB 3 hosts though. See for yourself. [moddiy.com]

      • Add to that the "oh my god we gotta copy _____" about the new USB C connector. You can flip it, just like a Lightning connector. But yet another micro connector.

        And don't get me started about the "full speed" "high speed" "Higher speed" mess that is 1.0 2.0 and 3.0 speeds.

    • by dolmen.fr (583400)

      So I'll have to rewire my house every couple of years

      Most home automation standards are now wireless: ZigBee, Zwave, EnOcean...

    • Sure, you'll have to rewire your house every few years, but that's a small price to pay for a faster and more portable house!
    • So I'll have to rewire my house every couple of years when they change from one proprietary cable standard to another?

      iPod: Firewire. Buy lots of firewire connectors. Newer iPod/iPhone: Dock connector. Toss all of your firewire accessories and move to dock connectors. Newer iPhones: Lightning connector. Toss all of your dock connector accessories, move to lightning.

      Everyone else gets to stick with USB that doesn't carry a $10 premium per cable/device because Apple just invented another proprietary standard.

      Reality:

      iPod, first newer iPods: Use Firewire (later with the adapter that comes with each new iDevice)
      later newer iPods, iPhone, iPad: Use USB with the adapter that comes with each new iDevice) (after USB finally became usable)

    • This is more than 45 years overdue. Apple was in position to dominate this market two generations*before* you start.

      The Mac IIfx had slave processors that were essentially a 6502 with a bunch of other stuff on the chip that could handle the AppleTalk network.

      AppleTalk could be run over the second pair of the home phone wiring.

      All they needed to do was sell the $10 chip to go into anything that someone would want to control in the home . . .

      At the time, Apple would have gone broke selling a $100,000 Rolls R

  • namely, Bill Gates' home from the 1990s, which changed music, lighting, temperature, all sorts of things when you moved from room to room. thanks to a smart tag that linked to your preferences.

    so how'd Apple get that patent, anyway? another case where examiners have a black hood over their cages after their work shift, so they can't read or hear anything?

    • ... Bill Gates' home from the 1990s ... so how'd Apple get that patent, anyway?

      Patents last for 20 years. Hence, something patented by Microsoft in 1990 would have expired in 2010.

      • by exomondo (1725132)

        Patents last for 20 years. Hence, something patented by Microsoft in 1990 would have expired in 2010.

        Yeah I think that's his point. It's been patented, that patent has expired. You think someone can then re-patent it?

        • Only by adding one of the following phrases:

          "on the internet"
          "on a mobile device"
          "in the cloud"
          "with rounded corners"

          Well, that last one is an Apple exclusive, but you get the idea.

          • Only by adding one of the following phrases:

            "on the internet" "on a mobile device" "in the cloud" "with rounded corners"

            Well, that last one is an Apple exclusive, but you get the idea.

            Funny how the only such patent I have come across in the last couple of years was the one Samsung tried to sue Apple with. http://www.google.com/patents/US5579239 [google.com]

      • ... Bill Gates' home from the 1990s ... so how'd Apple get that patent, anyway?

        Patents last for 20 years. Hence, something patented by Microsoft in 1990 would have expired in 2010.

        Of course Occam's razor says that Bill Gates did not let Microsoft engineers develop a home automation system for his home, patent it and then let it rot. Instead he bought a turn-key solution from people in the trade for at least a decade already.

  • Basically because their usebase is so fucking dumb, that if everything isn't handed them and they aren't told "this is great stuff", they're lost.

    I swear. It's the turtlenecks. They're wearing them too tight.

  • And just like the iMessage fiasco, when you decide to ditch your iPhone and switch to Android, your security system won't be able to be turned off and when you call Apple they'll tell you the solution is to buy another iPhone.

    No thanks.

I've never been canoeing before, but I imagine there must be just a few simple heuristics you have to remember... Yes, don't fall out, and don't hit rocks.

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