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The Internet Technology

Why the Internet of Things Is More 1876 Than 1995 142

An anonymous reader writes "Some folks would like you to think that 1995 was the year everybody was brought online and that, starting this year, we'll bring everything else along for the ride. If that seems far fetched to you, Glen Martin writes about how the Internet of Things has more in common with the age of steam than the digital revolution: 'Philadelphia's Centennial Exposition of 1876 was America's first World's Fair, and was ostensibly held to mark the nation's 100th birthday. But it heralded the future as much as it celebrated the past, showcasing the country's strongest suit: technology. ... While the Internet changed everything, says Stogdill, "its changes came in waves, with scientists and alpha geeks affected first, followed by the early adopters who clamored to try it. It wasn’t until the Internet was ubiquitous that every Kansas farm boy went online. That 1876 Kansas farm boy may not have foreseen every innovation the Industrial Revolution would bring, but he knew — whether he liked it or not — that his world was changing."'"
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Why the Internet of Things Is More 1876 Than 1995

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  • The one, single biggest weakness with the whole IoT movement is the lack of any sort of use.

    I did mention that, too. I can't think of much use for IoT-devices myself, either, except for the fridge: it'd be handy if it reminded me of groceries that will be going bad in a day or two. I did read a blog-post from someone who bought a bunch of those smart-bulbs and programmed them to follow a specific schedule, like e.g. slowly rising in brightness when it's time to wake up in the morning, turning off automatically during work-hours, automatically setting a specific mood in the workroom and so on, but all that really works only for people who have very strict schedules. It's hard to think of cases where all the hassles of keeping the things working, updated and secure is worth the trouble in our daily lives.

    And I certainly don't want all those things open to remote access hacks.

    That's the thing I worry the most about. With lax security someone could just drive by your house, turn everything on, crank your thermostat to max. and so on, resulting in possibly burned-out machines, higher electrical bills, terrible nuisance when you're trying to sleep and so on. If IoT-devices were ever to become mainstream these kinds of things should first have to be solved in a standard, global manner.

  • by JazzHarper ( 745403 ) on Tuesday February 11, 2014 @01:45AM (#46215473) Journal

    My great-grandfather graduated from Milwaukee High School in 1878. He first attended a "normal school" with the intent of becoming a teacher, but found the opportunity to learn stenography and to operate a writing machine. The Scholes & Glidden machine had been developed in Milwaukee in 1874, and the manufacturers set up schools to teach students how to use them. These were very temperamental machines and were tricky to use. (At that time, you could not see the text that had been typed without lifting the platen). His first professional job was as a type-writer for the Winchester Repeating Arms Company in New Haven, Connecticut. Meanwhile, his long-time pen-pal in Chicago had learned how to use the machines at her father's office. They began exchanging letters in type-written form, which must have been considered, for that time, as high-tech as any Internet romance would have been in 1995. They were married in 1883. My great-grandfather and his brother-in-law went into business together, selling the machines across the Midwest.

  • by bkmoore ( 1910118 ) on Tuesday February 11, 2014 @02:31AM (#46215601)

    ....CEO of WIFI Alliance tried to make the case that all IoT-devices should simply use WIFI...Also, your fridge, coffee-maker and the likes have absolutely zero need for all the bandwidth WIFI would bring, so Bluetooth-LE or something similar would be the saner choice....

    Not a troll, but a genuine question. If all these devices are connected to AC power, why not some simple protocol over power line? A lot of home automation used some form of RS-232 over power line to control lighting, etc.

Where it is a duty to worship the sun it is pretty sure to be a crime to examine the laws of heat. -- Christopher Morley