When smart is dumb (10 June, 2014)

Have your say on today's Aardvark Daily column

Re: When smart is dumb (10 June, 2014)

Postby latewings » Wed Jun 11, 2014 4:43 pm

aardvark_admin wrote:Or will it be the secret microphones and cameras that the likes of the GCSB and NSA will demand be covertly incorporated into every "intelligent" appliance that will the the real worry? (LOL).


You mean like this? http://www.theregister.co.uk/2014/05/10/smarttv_bugging/
latewings
 
Posts: 349
Joined: Thu May 08, 2014 10:18 am

Re: When smart is dumb (10 June, 2014)

Postby enerider » Thu Jun 12, 2014 1:51 pm

Easy enough to fix: hey firewall! Don't let these things dial home ever or accept incoming outside connections ever!

Or just don't hook them to the network, or don't buy "smart" appliances and stick with your mechanically reliable stuff. :)

*edited to fix spelling
Last edited by enerider on Mon Jun 16, 2014 2:09 pm, edited 2 times in total.
enerider
 
Posts: 144
Joined: Tue May 13, 2014 11:01 am

Re: When smart is dumb (10 June, 2014)

Postby chyba » Fri Jun 13, 2014 2:34 pm

enerider, you are displaying a huge amount of IQ, plus common sense. Be careful it might catch on. ;)
chyba
 
Posts: 13
Joined: Tue May 13, 2014 8:13 pm

Re: When smart is dumb (10 June, 2014)

Postby Screw » Fri Jun 13, 2014 3:10 pm

enerider wrote:Easy enough to fix: hey firewall! Don't let these things dial home ever or accept incoming outside connections ever!

Or just don't hook them to the network, or don't buy "smart" appliances and stick with your mechanically relaible stuff. :)


Agreed Rider. I have no time for things that need a degree in Rocket Science to operate. Simple instructions that any old coot can understand is fine by me.

Chyb: another gem from you!!
Screw
 
Posts: 1296
Joined: Tue May 13, 2014 3:52 pm

Re: When smart is dumb (10 June, 2014)

Postby enerider » Mon Jun 16, 2014 2:28 pm

Screw wrote:Agreed Rider. I have no time for things that need a degree in Rocket Science to operate. Simple instructions that any old coot can understand is fine by me.


Oh the "smart" part of the applicances is smart ... for the vendors :) Chances are the *actual* operation of the fridge/toaster/coffee percolator will remain unchanged.

They can collect and collate various useful tidbits of information (like how many uses the machine seen, how long the door was open, lot of other garden-variety statistics). This can also be exploited to get other information which you probably did not want to divulge (if they decide to incorporate a microphone for "diagnostic purposes", for instance ;) ) by people who are clever enough to read some manuals, sniff some traffic and take the time to observe their domain (not just the networked one, but also the one in which you live :lol:).

Some of you may recall this little gem! http://www.geek.com/apps/chinese-applia ... s-1575315/

So it might not be as easy as just picking "dumb" appliances either unless you're prepared to crack out the toolkit and have a nosey! (But handily Warranty conditions prevent you from disassembling your newly-purchased gear, as that action will void the warranty - if detected. :twisted: Some people who are not adventurous or confident enough to make merry with a screwdriver could be rather cornered by red tape...)

So for operational security, back to fire and metal pots? Faraday cages for everyone? Or do we simply get busy and make our own appliances to use which would guarantee they havn't had anything snuck into them at time of manufacture? :mrgreen:

So many options and questions for the curious and paranoid! :mrgreen:
enerider
 
Posts: 144
Joined: Tue May 13, 2014 11:01 am

Re: When smart is dumb (10 June, 2014)

Postby GlennB » Mon Jun 16, 2014 4:44 pm

I like my smart phone because it contains features on one device that would otheriwse require multiple devices - phone, camera, diary/calendar, entertainment. So yes, I appreciate the smartnesss of my phone, but only because of its open felxibility in allowing third-party developers to use their imagination to create useful efficient apps while providing the eco-system for those apps to communicate with each other and the internet/cloud.

Having your fridge auto order-groceries is a pathetic implementation of so-called smart technology - for one thing, only half my groceries are in the fridge. I found keeping a mini-whiteboard magnetised to the side of the fridge (as a manually written shopping list) did the trick, but even then I had to dumb down that technology becuase I kept losing the pen and/or leaving the damn whiteboard in the supermarket trolley - so now I have a simple piece of paper stuck to the fridge.

I had a conversation a few years ago about whether a car should auto-detect rain droplets on the windscreen and then turn on the windscreen wipers - we already have some very smart devices in the car to handle that function - they're called eyes, brain and hands.

Where a smart device can carry out a task that's too complicated for most, or would take too long to do manually, then great, bring it on! But if the task can already be carried out quickly and efficiently by humans, applying technology to the task is redundant.

Similarly to a poster above, smart TVs don't do much for me. I'd much rather have the smarts in a separate box and just use the TV as a dumb monitor. This allows for individual boxes to be replaced when needed.
GlennB
 
Posts: 7
Joined: Wed May 07, 2014 4:32 pm

Re: When smart is dumb (10 June, 2014)

Postby Malcolm » Mon Jun 16, 2014 5:01 pm

GlennB wrote:I like my smart phone because it contains features on one device that would otheriwse require multiple devices - phone, camera, diary/calendar, entertainment. So yes, I appreciate the smartnesss of my phone, but only because of its open felxibility in allowing third-party developers to use their imagination to create useful efficient apps while providing the eco-system for those apps to communicate with each other and the internet/cloud.

Having your fridge auto order-groceries is a pathetic implementation of so-called smart technology - for one thing, only half my groceries are in the fridge. I found keeping a mini-whiteboard magnetised to the side of the fridge (as a manually written shopping list) did the trick, but even then I had to dumb down that technology becuase I kept losing the pen and/or leaving the damn whiteboard in the supermarket trolley - so now I have a simple piece of paper stuck to the fridge.

I had a conversation a few years ago about whether a car should auto-detect rain droplets on the windscreen and then turn on the windscreen wipers - we already have some very smart devices in the car to handle that function - they're called eyes, brain and hands.

Where a smart device can carry out a task that's too complicated for most, or would take too long to do manually, then great, bring it on! But if the task can already be carried out quickly and efficiently by humans, applying technology to the task is redundant.

Similarly to a poster above, smart TVs don't do much for me. I'd much rather have the smarts in a separate box and just use the TV as a dumb monitor. This allows for individual boxes to be replaced when needed.


For the car windscreen that already exists. I think I saw it on a BMW X5 ,the intermittant mode on the wipers did exactly that.
As for the shopping list, forget about the fridge and pen/paper and go back to your smart phone. You can get a dedicated app for it (Remember the Milk is on which springs to mind) Or create a list in Google Keep or Evernote. Or what we do at home is a google drive document shared with my wife so either of us can edit it. You can also use the app from Countdown/New World if you shop there exclusively, it will even tell you the prices and which aisle the item is down. The trouble is it doesn't support generic names e.g Jam, instead it has to be a single item e.g Craigs Apricot Jam 200g. You can scan barcodes instead of entering the item names which is nice sometimes.
Malcolm
 
Posts: 564
Joined: Thu May 08, 2014 9:43 am

Re: When smart is dumb (10 June, 2014)

Postby GlennB » Tue Jun 17, 2014 2:48 pm

As for the shopping list, forget about the fridge and pen/paper and go back to your smart phone. You can get a dedicated app for it (Remember the Milk is on which springs to mind) Or create a list in Google Keep or Evernote.

I do use Google Keep for a variety of (other) lists and have the client installed on the phone, tablet, work PC and home PC - it's great. But the piece of paper stuck with magnets to the fridge is still the most convenient way for me to maintain a grocery list - given I'm nearly always in the kitchen when it occurs to me to add to the list. Picking up a pen and scribbling on paper (or asking my son to) absolutely beats finding the phone, unlocking it, opening Keep, scrolling to the correct list, opening the list and finally typing in the new item.
GlennB
 
Posts: 7
Joined: Wed May 07, 2014 4:32 pm

Previous

Return to Today's column

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 15 guests

cron