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The Nightmare On Connected Home Street 186

Posted by timothy
from the coming-from-inside-the-house dept.
theodp (442580) writes With the battle for the connected home underway, Wired's Mat Honan offered his humorous and scary Friday the 13th take on what life in the connected home of the future might be like. "I wake up at four to some old-timey dubstep spewing from my pillows," Honan begins. "The lights are flashing. My alarm clock is blasting Skrillex or Deadmau5 or something, I don't know. I never listened to dubstep, and in fact the entire genre is on my banned list. You see, my house has a virus again. Technically it's malware. But there's no patch yet, and pretty much everyone's got it. Homes up and down the block are lit up, even at this early hour. Thankfully this one is fairly benign. It sets off the alarm with music I blacklisted decades ago on Pandora. It takes a picture of me as I get out of the shower every morning and uploads it to Facebook. No big deal." Having been the victim of an epic hacking, Honan can't be faulted for worrying.
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The Nightmare On Connected Home Street

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday June 15, 2014 @08:56AM (#47239989)

    Amen, brother! Amen, amen, AMEN!

    I've had to see through so many meetings now where some hipster dickweeds keep going on about the 'Internet of Things'. It is all so very tedious. It's just like three or four years ago, when they wouldn't shut the hell up about NoSQL. They said it would 'change the world' and we'd have to get rid of all of our real DB systems. MongoDB! Cassandra! Redis! They couldn't go 10 minutes without dropping one of those names, even when we were talking about rugby during lunch. And then they were proven wrong. Those technologies faltered and withered.

    And it's just like four years before that, when these same hipsters had stiff, raging hard-ons for Ruby on Rails. It would 'change the world', they told us. We'd have to get rid of all of our web apps written in Java, PHP and Perl. Ruby! Ruby on Rails! DHH! Zed Shaw! Mongrel! The name dropping was maybe even worse than it would be for NoSQL. I couldn't go an entire work day without hearing some hipster verbally ooze lustful and quasi-erotic feelings for Zed Shaw. And then they were proven wrong. Those technologies faltered and withered.

    The 'Internet of Things' is following the same pattern, and the outcome will be the same. The hipsters get excited about something stupid, the hipsters won't shut up about it, reality sets in, and their obsession becomes irrelevant when there's none of their hype surrounding it.

  • by bluegutang (2814641) on Sunday June 15, 2014 @09:04AM (#47240013)

    It doesn't matter if we WANT a "connected home". We are going to have it, like it or not. In a couple decades, it will be impossible to buy an appliance that isn't "connected'. Connectivity will cost less than whatever the marketing companies will pay to track our habits, and all devices will include connectivity by default. We likely won't even be able to buy unconnected devices, because economies of scale will not exist to make them affordable.

  • by pla (258480) on Sunday June 15, 2014 @10:06AM (#47240189) Journal
    It doesn't matter if we WANT a "connected home". We are going to have it, like it or not. In a couple decades, it will be impossible to buy an appliance that isn't "connected'.

    You could say that today about things like printers and TVs - They always seem to want you to plug in a network and tell them how to get to the outside world. But! We have one option that will always work - Don't plug it in. And if it uses wireless, well, you should already use MAC whitelisting on your router (yes, I know, not "real" security, but as with so many other things, it keeps the "honest" casual-thieves away).

    Of course, with your TV, that will break functionality you may want, such as direct access to YouTube. With printers, I've never understood why they need to know how to get out of your LAN, they just need a valid local address; no gateway, no DNS required. And with your refrigerator, toaster, microwave oven? Sorry, but automatic restocking, a live video feed of the color of my toast, and remotely starting dinner don't really count as "killer apps" (except insofar as the last one will eventually lead to houses burning down as a result).

    The real problem comes with more expensive things like cars, where the cost of giving it its own cell connection falls far short of the marketing value of selling out your driving habits; in that case, though, you can disable it, they just make it somewhat difficult (in the case of my most recent car, I needed to pull out the entire center console to get at and unplug the TMU). But overall, the way to keep your devices offline? Pull the plug, simple as that.

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