The Internet of Shit is so manifestly insecure that people are staying away from it in droves


#1

Originally published at: https://boingboing.net/2017/11/16/unsafe-at-any-speed-2.html


#2

Or perhaps there is just no upside for many people. My washing machine doesn’t connect to the internet. It’s fine. It’s better than fine actually, because you just know that someone in a suit is itching to make DRM limited soap a thing.


#3

Yeah, I can’t even justify a connected thermostat, diminishing returns makes most of this stuff a non-starter before I even think about the security aspect.


#4

I still find it fascinating that it’s ‘OMG INTERNET OF SHIT ARRRGH’ when there’s pages of the BoingBoing Shop devoted to selling exactly this kind of stuff, such as the ‘Sinji Wide Angle Smart Wi-Fi Camera’ and ‘Ultraloq Bluetooth Fingerprint and Touchscreen Smart Lock.’

Even funnier is that Cory has often complained about unreliable, unsecure weird-ass off-brands. Which ‘Sinji’ most certainly is not! :wink: But as long as the money is flowing, it must not be that important.

“So remember everyone, stay away from The Internet of Shit and its flimsy, dangerously insecure devices like the Zubot Interactive HD Surveillance Smart Robot, now available from my store at 10% off. Order now!”

https://store.boingboing.net/search?utf8=✓&query=smart


#5

I’m kinda more concerned about that 20% that doesn’t believe that “companies use their personal data” or the 22% that doesn’t believe “their personal data is shared with third parties”.

Do these people live under rocks? Is it some sweet collective delusion of safety? Do they simply not know the existence of demographic specific marketing?

I mean… really.


#6

And the word ‘believe’ is misleading too. It’s like saying ‘do you believe in gravity?’ or cats. or whatever. Belief doth not maketh a thing true.

Personal. Data. Is. Bought. And. Sold.

That’s like a solid truth of our modern world.


#7

I’m staying away from it because I have to MANAGE it. I don’t want the hassle. Shit breaks all the damn time, and I’m sick of it.


#8

Technophile here and I still haven’t been able to justify any home automation


#9

Engineer here with somewhat of a specialisation in automation. I certainly can live without it at home, that is not to say, I don’t want that shit at home.


#10

I’m not sure where you draw the line, but I have a few IOT devices. I have a wireless printer, an Amazon Echo, and some Hue bulbs. I put stuff like this on my guest network.


#11

I’m still waiting for my Tex Avery “House of Tomorrow”.

None of that IoT BS there.


#12

How hard is it to flip a lightswitch?


#13

Don’t we have that problem solved already?


#14

This, so this. I do a lot of stuff by scripts, but in regard to home automation, I fail to see the benefit. It helps that we have a very stable lifestyle, sure, but our heating system already starts on 6 and stops on 8, starts again at 14:40 and stops at 19:00. Our hot water pumps is self-learning. Our washing machine and even our stove can get started programmatically, but we haven’t needed that in 15 years, much less needed to start it via app.

The only thing I did automate was turning our answering machine on and off according to our comings and goings, also some call forwarding rules. But people don’t leave messages anyway, so I didn’t bother to fix it when a software update to the router broke my messy scripts.


#15

Why in god’s name would I want my refrigerator chatting up my car, “Hey turn in at the package liquor store, I’d like a couple of six packs sitting in my shelves”. Shit, if I can’t think of that myself then I don’t need it.


#16

And neither the Nest nor the Amazon Lock thing have an incredibly catchy jingle!


#17

Hello? Armless robot, here.


#18

Home automation could be done with a lot of technologies, CAN-bus enabled burglar alarms integrated with heating control and solar panel control. Also there is KNX or rs-485 that could be used, then one could add an interface for GSM or PSTN to control and send alarms.

What seems to me is that to build these embedded system is required to have skilled software teams and they look less shiny compared to a cobbled together solution using a full-fledged linux stock box instead to write custom bare metal software for a 8051 or Z80 CPU.


#19

Yes, but what’s even more important is that you don’t need internet for most of this. At all. Apart from starting the heating or ventilation perhaps, when you have an irregular lifestyle or can’t stand to wait half an hour for the temperature to raise from 18° to 20°. (Something I never understood, since you usually heat when it’s cold outside, so even 18° will seem like paradise when you come inside.

Everything else can be done with embedded systems or a linux box running in the cellar or wherever.

When I read what many people do with their stuff it certainly feels more like home remote controlling than home automation: You do the same stuff you did before, but you can do it on your way home or without leaving the seat.

Though I guess the latter is nice when you aren’t physically up to those tasks.


#20

Appliances have very long lifespans. If I won’t replace my fridge until it catches fire, we can be looking at 30 years or so. What’s the chance of software support for these products from the same companies which can barely manage 2 years of Android updates?