Aga added networking to their super-high-end cookers, integrating them into the Internet of Shit


#1

Originally published at: http://boingboing.net/2017/04/13/aga-saga.html


#2

Enumerating the list of all Aga cookers would be trivial.
Can someone explain this?


#3

So the cooker is electric based? Seems like a waste, why not go natural gas? It’s more efficient and cheaper. Unless i’m missing something.

Also screw this IoT fuckery.

Edit: Just noticing i accidentally wrote my comment as a direct reply to yours. Total accident :slight_smile:


#4

You probably know it takes hours for an Aga to heat up. Switch it off, annoy the hell out of people.

The horror… the horror!


#5

“It would be easy to wreck all the Aga cookers!”

Or if not easy it wouldn’t be hard. Like it might actually take a day or two of work but “any reasonable practitioner could do it”. Like buying a plastic shed from Home Depot and putting it together in your back yard is “trivial”. Getting a bunch of lumber and screws and nails and stuff and designing and building a shed is non-trivial, maybe you have the skills to do it, maybe you don’t. Maybe you got the right bits. Maybe you didn’t. Sometimes “non-trivial” is used to imply “nobody has ever done this, and maybe it can be done, but maybe it can’t”.

(oh, and enumerate is “do something to each and every one”)

So the full impact of that statement is “the only thing that prevents you from enslaving all the aga cookers is not knowing the phone number for them all, and maybe an hour to a day writing some very simple code”

I guess the only way it could be worse is if the cookers were all on a list somewhere, or all assigned out of the same block of phone numbers so you didn’t even need to do any work to find them.


#6

OK, so can someone correct my math? Brute forcing these is contingent on not being rate limited, which SMS messages are (I read that in good conditions you can fire off 1 per second).

Which means to brute force one of these, it could take as much as 77 days… In ideal conditions.


#7

I’m not struggling with understanding the sentence. I was hoping someone could help me understand how it is trivial to collect all the Aga device phone numbers.


#8

Set up a system that iterates over the list of cookers and tries to turn them on to full power every 5-10 minutes. Start that system going on the first day of summer. [That way if someone notices and turns off their cooker, in a couple minutes they’ll have to turn if off again.] If the weather forecasts in a particular area predict a spike in the temperature or a heat wave, make the system iterate more quickly, say turning them on every minute.


#9

and do this to the CEO, CFO, and all the other C-level dummies of Aga

I bet they’ll have a fix in no time!


#10

Assuming they cook using their own dog food, of course. Though now that I think about it, if they don’t that would be useful information to broadcast as well. “Aga CEO cooks using $SOME_OTHER_BRAND” would be pretty nice ad material for the owner of $SOME_OTHER_BRAND.


#11

Some (later) models are electric. Agas are traditionally gas or oil fuelled though. As for “more efficient” you can kiss that right bye bye with Aga. Quoth Wikipedia:

“… the smallest traditional two-oven gas AGA providing simple cooking functions (i.e. no water heating or central heating) consumes almost as much gas in a week as a standard gas oven/hob does in nine months.”

My parents have an Esse stove (Aga competitor) which I assume is similar. It’s also a screaming nightmare to cook on.


#12

I thought this was a shit-post full of nonsensical tech speak. I was not far off.


#13

Welcome to BoingBoing!


#14

I came by my perception of Agas as “ridiculous, deliberately anachronistic fetish items for snobs” through first encountering them on "Posh Nosh."
I’ve yet to come across anything to disprove that.


#15

Yeah. Today its definitely a symbol of bourgeoisie, retro, we have money affectation. But up until fairly recently this sort of stove was simply how things were done. The AGA is basically the trendy brand of somehow still around coal fired stove. The extra heat they give off was part of the point, because houses were not heated. So a big chunk of hot Iron in the center of your house was a pretty good way to keep it livable.Its terribly inefficient today, but back in the day it was a damn sight better than open hearths and or no heat at all. And until about the 60’s or 70’s. In a good chunk of the world. This sort of stove was a symbol of poverty. Outside of Europe and the US it still kind of is.

My Great Aunt kept a peat burning, iron stove of this sort (not AGA brand, but mostly the same) in the family house in Ireland until the 90’s. Stubbornly refusing to change anything about her father’s house. The family considered it batty and backwards, but kind of charming. The neighbors considered it deeply embarrassing.


#16

Strange place. During a trip to Ireland in December 1997 I met an elderly lady who basically lived in 2 square meters of space around her only working water heated radiator, while just out of town I met people living in a very comfortable Scandinavian kit home with a heat exchanger on the ventilation system.


#17

Yeah things have gotten a little less weird there in the last 20 years. But there’s still some incredibly… old fashioned bits in some areas. 97 was around when the family finally convinced the aunt to replace her peat stove. She never got the hang of cooking on the new electric range they bought her for Christmas. She mostly used it for drying shirts and heating the house instead.


#18

The wikipedia article links to this paper Aganomics: the guide to AGA home economics. After glancing at it, I was reminded of an IBM mainframe sales pitch. Yes, yes, your newer appliances are so much more efficient than the devices of 40 years ago. But does that really need to be your benchmark? Shouldn’t you consider competing technologies?


#19

She would’ve been better off buying a space heater if anything


#20

I wonder if part of what made them a class marking item of conspicuous consumption was the fact that the always on “feature” meant that they couldn’t be used with a coin operated gas meter, which used to be fairly common in working class homes in the UK. http://www.coinbooks.org/esylum_v18n52a16.html