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Comcast Offering Home Security Bundle

samzenpus posted more than 3 years ago | from the we'll-protect-your-home-sometime-between-8am-and-noon dept.

Security 102

vaporland writes "Bloomberg reports that media giant Comcast has begun offering home security bundles with cable or phone service in selected markets. From the article: 'The Philadelphia-based company is starting Xfinity Home Security in seven markets for $39.95 a month. It lets users remotely adjust lights and thermostats, watch cameras, and get e-mail or text alerts when doors and windows are opened and closed. Customers can watch live video of their homes on an Xfinity website or with an Apple Inc. iPad application.'"

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This just in: (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36419896)

Comcast offers new, unnecessary product at exorbitant rates.

Re:This just in: (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36420014)

I really don't get why I would buy my security bundle from Comcast. You don't get to choose which one you want. Besides, I've already paid for my Kaspersky and think it's good enough for me.

Re:This just in: (1)

tripleevenfall (1990004) | more than 3 years ago | (#36420094)

Well, if when you buy things from Comcast you get the privilege of paying twice what people in other markets pay for comparable products.

Re:This just in: (1)

jhoegl (638955) | more than 3 years ago | (#36420432)

You get to pay for their terrible service and fund their acquisitions in their attempt to take over the world.
OMG, Comcast is pinky and the brain!

Re:This just in: (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36420118)

Kaspersky is not home security, moron.

Re:This just in: (1)

Runaway1956 (1322357) | more than 3 years ago | (#36420764)

Yeah, I was scratching my head on that. Kaspersky? Home Security? Nahhhh - but maybe I should google it?

Re:This just in: (2)

Hylandr (813770) | more than 3 years ago | (#36422618)

RTFA FTW.

I can already do all these things Comcast is trying to sell, and it didn't take much for the customers employee's to destroy it all and go back to robbing the employer blind.

I can only imagine the fun consumers will have with this. Or the free tap Comcast may be giving the Govt...

- Dan.

Re:This just in: (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36422592)

his name is jay

Re:This just in: (1)

Inner_Child (946194) | more than 3 years ago | (#36421704)

Comcast offers new, unnecessary product at exorbitant rates.

And you just know every bit of that service will count against their cap.

Convergance (4, Insightful)

Bananatree3 (872975) | more than 3 years ago | (#36419900)

Convergence: When your home automation, grid power, security, telephone, TV, internet and wireless companies are all owned by the same conglomerate

Re:Convergance (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36419918)

A couple weeks ago, while taking my mail-order Thai bride shopping at the local mall, I had to take a piss. As I entered the john, Steve Jobs -- the messiah himself -- came out of one of the booths. I stood at the urinal looking at him out of the corner of my eye as he washed his hands. He didn't once look at me. He was busy and in any case I was sure the security guards wouldn't even let me shake his hand.

As soon as he left I darted into the booth he'd vacated, hoping there might be a lingering smell of shit and even a seat still warm from his sturdy ass. I found not only the smell but the shit itself. He'd forgotten to flush. And what a treasure he had left behind. Three or four beautiful specimens floated in the bowl. It apparently had been a fairly dry, constipated shit, for all were fat, stiff, and ruggedly textured. The real prize was a great feast of turd -- a nine inch gastrointestinal triumph as thick as his cock -- or at least as I imagined it!

I knelt before the bowl, inhaling the rich brown fragrance and wondered if I should obey the impulse building up inside me. I'd always been a liberal thinker and had been an Apple customer since 1984. Of course I'd had fantasies of meeting Jobs, sucking his cock and balls, not to mention sucking his asshole clean, but I never imagined I would have the chance. Now, here I was, confronted with the most beautiful five-pound turd I'd ever feasted my eyes on, a sausage fit to star in any fantasy and one I knew to have been hatched from the asshole of Steve Jobs, the chosen one.

Why not? I plucked it from the bowl, holding it with both hands to keep it from breaking. I lifted it to my nose. It smelled like rich, ripe limburger (horrid, but thrilling), yet had the consistency of cheddar. What is cheese anyway but milk turning to shit without the benefit of a digestive tract?

I gave it a lick and found that it tasted better then it smelled.

I hesitated no longer. I shoved the fucking thing as far into my mouth as I could get it and sucked on it like a big half nigger cock, beating my meat like a madman, and thrusting my pink iPod Shuffle into my ass. I wanted to completely engulf it and bit off a large chunk, flooding my mouth with the intense, bittersweet flavor. To my delight I found that while the water in the bowl had chilled the outside of the turd, it was still warm inside. As I chewed I discovered that it was filled with hard little bits of something I soon identified as peanuts. He hadn't chewed them carefully and they'd passed through his body virtually unchanged. I ate it greedily, sending lump after peanutty lump sliding scratchily down my throat. My only regret was that Steve Jobs wasn't there to see my loyalty and wash it down with his piss.

I soon reached a terrific climax. I caught my cum in the cupped palm of my hand and drank it down. Believe me, there is no more delightful combination of flavors than the hot sweetness of cum with the rich bitterness of shit. It's even better than reading an Apple press release!

Afterwards I was sorry that I hadn't made it last longer. But then I realized that I still had a lot of fun in store for me. There was still a clutch of virile turds left in the bowl. I tenderly fished them out, rolled them into my handkerchief, and stashed them in my briefcase. In the week to come I found all kinds of ways to eat the shit without bolting it right down. Once eaten it's gone forever unless you want to filch it third hand out of your own asshole. Not an unreasonable recourse in moments of desperation or simple boredom.

I stored the turds in the refrigerator when I was not using them but within a week they were all gone. The last one I held in my mouth without chewing, letting it slowly dissolve. I had liquid shit trickling down my throat for nearly four hours. I must have had six orgasms in the process.

I often think of Steve Jobs dropping solid gold out of his sweet, pink asshole every day, never knowing what joy it could, and at least once did, bring to a grateful Apple customer.

Re:Convergance (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36420124)

When fanboyism goes way too far...

Re:Convergance (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36420210)

Corporate America is way behind the times. We basically already had all of that in the 1950s, back when I was growing up in the Soviet Union.

Re:Convergance (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36420372)

It's totally different! You had central planning, where one government official who doesn't care if you get your toilet paper or not made all the decisions. This is capitalism, where one executive makes all the decisions, and if he makes bad choices, he gets paid millions of dollars in bonuses and bails out.

Clearly the guy being paid bonuses whether he screws up or not will make better decisions than some government flunky.

Re:Convergance (1)

QuietLagoon (813062) | more than 3 years ago | (#36422334)

When your home automation, grid power, security, telephone, TV, internet and wireless companies are all owned by the same conglomerate

.
And that conglomerate has one of the worst customer service records of any corporation in America. It sounds like the making of a success story to me.

Linking physical security to the Intertubes? (4, Insightful)

zonky (1153039) | more than 3 years ago | (#36419902)

What could possibily go wrong!

Re:Linking physical security to the Intertubes? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36421084)

Nothing. I know a few people who has this setup and have talk to the guy who setup steve job's system. It's a very secure system but like anything it's not like it's impossible to crack. Just so far, hasn't happened from what I've heard. Comcast is losing business because not many people want their tv / phone services these days since the internet does all that so they have to find a new market or two to replace them.

Not just Comcast (2)

JavadeHut (1479159) | more than 3 years ago | (#36419908)

Rogers, Canada's largest telecom, also started offering a similar service a few weeks ago.

Re:Not just Comcast (3, Insightful)

compro01 (777531) | more than 3 years ago | (#36421748)

Sasktel over here in Saskatchewan has offered this for years.

Pay for your own survailence? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36419910)

Will we have to buy the bullets they shoot us with too?

Uplinks (2)

zigmeister (1281432) | more than 3 years ago | (#36419926)

Well maybe they'll finally start providing some decent upstream bandwidth then. Who woulda thunk it.

Re:Uplinks (4, Insightful)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | more than 3 years ago | (#36420086)

If this is anything like their quasi-VOIP offering a while back, they'll specifically run all their blessed-and-packaged stuff over a separate logical link(and no, the existence of that link on the same physical line in no way implies that we could remove it and offer better upstream bandwidth. Shut up, consumer, and watch some pay-per-view.) and call it a feature.

Re:Uplinks (2)

westlake (615356) | more than 3 years ago | (#36420424)

they'll specifically run all their blessed-and-packaged stuff over a separate logical link

But isn't this what you want in a home security product?

Re:Uplinks (3, Interesting)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | more than 3 years ago | (#36420814)

Yes and no. Obviously, you don't want video feeds of your house going over the public internet in the clear; but(since part of the service does involve accessing them over the internet from an offsite location), Comcast already has to have a secure-over-public internet approach sorted out(presumably just TLS). Also, since Comcast is the one running the setup, it is presumably the case that the route taken over the public internet would just be a hop from you directly to them anyway(since Comcast is both the ISP, and thus the closest thing on the network, and the one operating the server side of this service). Unless they really were to fuck it up, which would likely imperil the storage, or login page, or video streaming capabilities, you wouldn't get usefully greater security.

Since the two logical links(Comcast qua ISP, and whatever in-house Comcast services you are subscribed to) travel over the same line and assorted hardware, reliability is unlikely to be better over one than over the other, and having Comcast able to carve out swaths of untouchable bandwidth for its own services really just makes product bundling and squelching internet-based competitors easier and more tempting.

For non-technical users, the partition probably does have the virtue of providing a crude form of QoS; but the overall market effect of it is hard to be optimistic about.

Re:Uplinks (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36421146)

But remember, unlike DSL where the line.runs to the calamity, on cable you're on the same loop as all your neighbors,

Re:Uplinks (1)

swalve (1980968) | more than 3 years ago | (#36424302)

1- I just LOVE autocorrect mistakes. Usually iphone users...

2- I'd rather share a firehose than have my own drinking straw. The gross capacity of a coax cable is roughly 4.1 gbps (38 mbps times 110 channels). DSL is what, 4 mbps, tops, unless you are living out back of the "calamity" facility?

Re:Uplinks (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36426952)

The point being made is that everyone else on your loop can take a peek if they really wanted to. At least I think that's what they were getting at.

~ different AC

Re:Uplinks (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36422210)

they _will_ fuck it up. it is not a question of if, it is a question of how soon.

comcast cares to add features, not to fix bugs.

Re:Uplinks (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36421176)

why do you assume that they would provide you more upstream bandwidth thn their competitors for free?

also, why on earth would you ever think there's some kind of scarcity of cable bandwidth?

Re:Uplinks (1)

zigmeister (1281432) | more than 3 years ago | (#36421752)

Ya I wouldn't be too optimistic about upstream bandwidth or any other decent service from them until they get some competition. For what it's worth, my cable provider is pretty darn good in all respects except one: upstream bandwidth. I get a decent price, fast down speed, high reliability so far, quick resolution when it does go down, and they even showed up on time to install it. But VNC or RDP into the home box from the lab is painful. Ah well, good things take time right?

Re:Uplinks (1)

nurb432 (527695) | more than 3 years ago | (#36420310)

no, they will just lower the cap so you will get to pay more due to overage.

Umm... (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36420008)

" Customers can watch live video of their homes on an Xfinity website "

And what makes anyone think Comcast won't be doing the same whenever they want?

Some people are so stupid (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36420030)

Now they can watch you in your own home....genius.

Re:Some people are so stupid (1)

Aeros (668253) | more than 3 years ago | (#36424310)

Especially when you happen to piss off one of the 'customer service' people on a call. They and their co-workers will just tap in and try to find some good video of you and your family.

Centralized Burglary Map (4, Interesting)

MBCook (132727) | more than 3 years ago | (#36420034)

So now, someone can break into Comcast and easily see which houses have good stuff and don't have anyone at home. That must be very handy for thieves.

As a customer, I already don't trust Comcast and think they cost too much. Why would I pay them $40 a month for this? Especially since it would take away from my internet bandwidth?

added equipment like needed low on Sensors / keypa (4, Interesting)

Joe_Dragon (2206452) | more than 3 years ago | (#36420126)

http://www.comcast.com/homesecurity/iControlSMA/index.htm [comcast.com] Only Window/Door Sensors (4) Motion Detector (1) Wireless Keypad (1) Keychain Remote (1) Touch Screen (1) Cellular and Battery Backup Included what will more Sensors cost $0.25 /m each? Motion Detectors at $2 /m? added keypad $5-$10 /m? added Keychain Remote $3 /m see how much they bill you rent the cable box + they also bill you to rent the remote as well. That cost can go up fast. Also is there a Cellular modem rent fee like how you have to rent the emta that is not part of listed price.

Re:added equipment like needed low on Sensors / ke (1)

hitmark (640295) | more than 3 years ago | (#36420662)

Only thing missing seems to be razor wire fencing and automated gun turrets...

Re:added equipment like needed low on Sensors / ke (1)

Phyridean (1122061) | more than 3 years ago | (#36420920)

Automated Gun Turrets would make me consider subscribing, making sure they were connected only to my LAN, and then unsubscribing.

Quite. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36420138)

Well, people have no scruples about advertising their location by way of Facebook, Foursquare and twatting every time they leave their house. The masses simply don't care. Can't say I care too much, either. There are easier ways to figure out if someone is home or not, honestly.

But I wouldn't use this service, for your ultimate reason - it'd be taking away from my bandwidth. Sorry, Comcast - ditch your cap, or at least stop ejaculating about unlimited (they were still trying that line when I was reduced to using Comcast, at least) - and maybe we'll talk. ...Probably not though, because I'm pretty sure that with a trip to Fry's and a lazy Sunday, I could have a much better system in place for myself.

Re:Centralized Burglary Map (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36420142)

You can trust Comcast, they use RSA SecureID fobs. Oh wait?

Re:Centralized Burglary Map (1)

wvmarle (1070040) | more than 3 years ago | (#36421988)

I don't think it would take away from your Internet bandwidth - when you're not watching it, there is no data to be streamed. And when you're watching you're normally away from home so no problem there.

Anyway, while I basically like the idea to keep an eye on your property from afar, the one thing I'd be most worried about is the security of the system itself. How to make sure that only authorised people can access the cameras, and no-one else, not even Comcast staff?

Having this over a centralised system makes it a nice target for criminals: one hack, and you're looking at thousands of homes. And it appears to be a centralised system as they're talking about watching it from a certain web site. I really wonder how they're going to do authentication (two-factor or just a password?), and how they can prevent any unauthorised persons to access the video and other information about a home.

Text Alerts (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36420036)

You guys still paying for incoming texts over there?

Incidentally, being notified of someone breaking into one's home or watching a live stream of the same hardly seems like security to me.

Nice internet connection there. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36420074)

It'd be a shame if something happened to it...

The real added value: (5, Funny)

aix tom (902140) | more than 3 years ago | (#36420106)

You get relevant targeted advertisements from consumer electronics companies right after you stereo gets stolen.

Re:The real added value: (1)

k3vlar (979024) | more than 3 years ago | (#36420476)

I can see it now: You're watching the video feed, and you see that your TV is missing (it was stolen! OH NO!). Moments later, the space where your TV was is filled with the ghostly image of a Samsung® 60" LED TV with Quatron® Technology using augmented reality. Clicking the image charges the TV to your Comcast account (along with a Comcast convenience fee), and instructs the installers where to hook it up. It also orders you a Comcast cable box, and monthly service to go with it.

Re:The real added value: (1)

Phyridean (1122061) | more than 3 years ago | (#36420938)

While I agree that your post is hilarious, it might not be all that far off. I can certainly see Comcast running some sort of automated image-detection algorithm (or outsourced Indian Manual image-detection algorithm) on the feeds, and targeting ads on their highjacked DNS pages to what would become an *extensive* database of your brand tastes.

Re:The real added value: (2)

Seumas (6865) | more than 3 years ago | (#36421028)

Or you get an email from GoodVibrations that says "Hi, we noticed your bottle of lube is about to run out. Please click the instant-order button below, to be taken to our website and purchase a fresh bottle.!"

Do not want (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36420146)

They can't even bill me correctly for their crummy internet and their web account services site is a joke. I can just imagine the lights flickering wildly or the thermostat perpetually resetting itself to 50 degrees Fahrenheit during the summer. And then, "Sorry, the soonest the technician can be there is in two weeks."

get interactive (3, Funny)

hercubus (755805) | more than 3 years ago | (#36420154)

  • 1) find out which Comcast execs use their own service
  • 2) hack in with malice aforethought
  • 3) ???
  • 4) profit!

Comcast Exec: [logs into service] hmm, why does my home thermostat read 666?

Re:get interactive (1)

Xanlexian (122112) | more than 3 years ago | (#36420720)

Because I'd otherwise sweat and swelter to death in a neoprene suit.

Re:get interactive (1)

Nidi62 (1525137) | more than 3 years ago | (#36421532)

  • 1) find out which Comcast execs use their own service

None of them do, of course. Why would they pay that much money for a crappy service?

Oblig. (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36420164)

In Soviet Russia, cable watches you.

Taking it into the 21st Century... (1)

geekmux (1040042) | more than 3 years ago | (#36420192)

"...Customers can watch live video of their homes on an Xfinity website or with an Apple Inc. iPad application.'"

You misspelled Criminals.

overages (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36420200)

you have exceed your plans "time at home" you are now being locked out side. if you wish to upgrade to the next plan you can call comcast costumer service.

Wannabes (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36420288)

These guys really want to be the copz.

jr

dead man's switch (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36420290)

I always thought home security systems should have one of these, if a code isn't entered X amount of times in Y amount of days, it is assumed that something is wrong, and information gets sent out by the home owner.

Oh yeah, "security" (2)

The O Rly Factor (1977536) | more than 3 years ago | (#36420464)

Philadelphia Police: Sir, we caught this man trying to break into your house at approximately 1:30 this afternoon after receiving an urgent notification from Comcast.

Homeowner: Who is he?

Philadelphia Police: He claims he is from "Verizon" and that he was here to "install FiOS", whatever that means.

Now they'll know.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36420518)

Now they'll know when to throw more advertising at you by determining your schedule. Perhaps they can find a way to "cap" the amount of door openings and window usages...or at least the alerts you receive so now you'll have to avoid opening your door too often or pay overage charges.

comcast (1)

JohnVanVliet (945577) | more than 3 years ago | (#36420704)

this better be SELinux compatible
I would NEVER put the security of the house in the hands of Microsoft

Re:comcast (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36421574)

...I would NEVER put the security of the house in the hands of Microsoft

 
That's because you're a tinfoil-hat-wearing know-it-all priss.
 
Linux, by jeebus!

Re:comcast (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36426084)

Man, this place would be better without AC posts. :-)

No downside (1)

straponego (521991) | more than 3 years ago | (#36420738)

Why wouldn't we give one of the least ethical companies in the world access to everything we do at home? They already inspect and record everything we do online.

Re:No downside (1)

hedwards (940851) | more than 3 years ago | (#36421720)

Because Larry Ellison wasn't available to personally menace that many people?

How hard is security to do? (1)

GoodNewsJimDotCom (2244874) | more than 3 years ago | (#36420970)

I was thinking of programming a system that links up to a modern computer and buying cheap webcams. Then you could monitor your house from a Flash Enabled Phone, and get alerts if motion sensors are triggered with the video feed. I was thinking with how cheap web cameras are now(practically free), all you're really paying for is cables and installation. You could probably wire a house for $500, and clear 300$ profit or more.

Has anyone else considered this as a business?

The sleaziest people in my apartment - Comcast. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36421178)

Seriously Comcast security?

I had a ongoing problem with my Comcast service and the remedial degenerates they sent to repair the service were downright scary looking and would have otherwise NOT have been invited into my dwelling.

I answered the door one day and immediately though "WTF.. did I order drugs?

No to offend tattoo and body modification aficionados, but if you have neck tatoo...

My experience with it (4, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36421296)

I have the service. Allow me to enlighten you as to what it is ( and isn't ).

First, you MUST have a router feeding the house network. You need an available eth connection as well for the alarm head unit. The unit is NOT static IP configured, it's dhcp so it will be begging the router for an IP address. Force a static on it from the router and it will be thrilled. Head unit is listening on port 80 so you need to forward the port through the firewall to allow net access. Yeah every scan on Earth will see it so I suspect your router logs are gonna jump an order of magnitude or so. Hitting the unit asks for the install code ( 16 digit ) but I didn't test it past that.

The whole system is wireless so the main unit needs to be centralized if possible so the sensors can talk to it. The install tech has to add the sensors to the head unit and you don't get to play in the config once they're done. Preferred package is four door / window sensors and one motion sensor. Additional sensors are horrendously expensive ( $170 for a motion sensor ?! ) but the system is General Electric based so you may be able to buy your own ( Z-Wave compatible ) but they will have to configure them in the head unit. Head unit also has a battery backup with a cellular system in the event of a power failure or loss of cable signal. Head unit is broadcasting it's own SSID and appears to be running with at least WPA.

They fail to mention on their site that the customer is required to obtain an Alarm Operators Permit from your local municipality. Not expensive ($25 first year, $15 renewal) but necessary as the fine for the police showing up on an alarm call if you don't have one is expensive.

Email and text messages for damn near anything can be configured. System arm / disarm, tamper switches trigger, individual triggers for every sensor, etc. Make sure you have a decent messaging plan.

Remote monitoring, arm / disarm and system / sensor history are available once you log in using your info. Same for the IPhone app.

They need to add a swivel bracket to the motion sensors for better placement options IMO. Three year contract. $200 install and $39.95 month. Qualifies for insurance discount. IS a monitored service. Seems to perform fairly well. No real complaints to speak of so far.

Re:My experience with it (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36422292)

1st mistake ... port 80 ... clear text ... => FAIL
Alarm Operators Permit ... ,eh? Wut?

Re:My experience with it (1)

kmoser (1469707) | more than 3 years ago | (#36422310)

If an intruder wants to disable the system all they have to do is open the junction box outside and unplug the cable that feeds your house. Voila: you're off the net and they're free to break in.

Re:My experience with it (1)

mmalove (919245) | more than 3 years ago | (#36422360)

Actually... this would be totally worth the 40 bucks if the police get called on every time the internet service drops.

Re:My experience with it (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36424060)

Did you forget the cellular backup?

Re:My experience with it (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36424858)

Actually, no.

The systems head unit has cellular backup built into it. In addition to a battery to run it. Cut the cable line and / or kill the power
to the home and you'll still get the alarm once you activate a sensor.

Re:My experience with it (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36426250)

Except that the system also uses telephone landliness and the cell network, so unless they also cut your phone line and jam all wireless signals, the system will work.

If you need greater protection that this you need a security company and a hardened system. For most consumers, the comcast offering is enough.

Re:My experience with it (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36426690)

And most security companies use phone lines. A hedge clippers will slice that in a heartbeat and leave your house vulnerable as well.

Re:My experience with it (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36426996)

Did you not read the part about the cellular back up in the head unit?

Re:My experience with it (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36427310)

If an intruder wants to disable the system all they have to do is open the junction box outside and unplug the cable that feeds your house. Voila: you're off the net and they're free to break in.

As he said, it has built in cellular if the cable goes out. All standard alarm systems do now.

Re:My experience with it (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36430658)

I believe you missed this part, "Head unit also has a battery backup with a cellular system in the event of a power failure or loss of cable signal."

Re:My experience with it (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36444308)

If an intruder wants to disable the system all they have to do is open the junction box outside and unplug the cable that feeds your house. Voila: you're off the net and they're free to break in.

Learn to read for comprehension.

Did you miss the part where he said: "Head unit also has a battery backup with a cellular system in the event of a power failure or loss of cable signal."?

It's about time (2)

bhmit1 (2270) | more than 3 years ago | (#36421454)

Maybe now all the established security vendors will create a decent offering that works over IP, rather than plugging their old technology into a voip box. I wouldn't trust my home security to Comcast, but the established security vendors need to upgrade their products off of telephone modem technology badly.

If you were on IP, a simple "ping" could be run periodically to make sure you haven't had your connection cut. And you can get more advanced, like viewing the status on a web page (we already have banking online, so this can be done right) or getting a feed of the audio and video during a break-in to give police a heads up if it's a likely false alarm or send pictures of the criminal so police know who to look for. The alerts would also be sent faster, and can be encrypted over IP, rather than waiting for the modem to dial out.

Call me paranoid... (2)

steppin_razor_LA (236684) | more than 3 years ago | (#36422184)

... but the first I think of is the irony that Orwell had it wrong. The govt won't have to force people to install cameras into their homes, we will do it ourselves...

Re:Call me paranoid... (2)

twocows (1216842) | more than 3 years ago | (#36425290)

Huxley had it right, though.

Re:Call me paranoid... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36427508)

No, this system or one like it from the big three will soon be required on all homes. If you refuse, they'll turn your home into a Mr. Donut.

when I originally posted this to firehose... (1)

vaporland (713337) | more than 3 years ago | (#36422420)

I asked the question: Will Comcast charge me extra when intruders hack their security and start monitoring my cameras 24/7, pushing me over my 2.5GB monthly data quota?

Who else?? (1)

cheros (223479) | more than 3 years ago | (#36422588)

Who else .. .. gets to see this feed .. gets to know my entry and leaving times .. gets to enable and disable my alarm?

I like the idea, but there is no chance in hell I'll ever allow anyone else to place a camera inside my home or be 100% in control over its defenses. Notifications, fine, outside cameras, maybe, but no internal feed is ever going to leave my place unless a member of the family permits it.

Oh, and no alarm system of mine is ever going to be solely dependent on a single Internet provider - I have seen that mistake too often..

Re:Who else?? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36433890)

> Who else .. .. gets to see this feed .. gets to know my entry and leaving times .. gets to enable and disable my alarm?

If you can't trust Comcast, who can you trust? (evil laugh)...

At times like these... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36423378)

...I am happy not to own anything valuable (well, maybe except my computer, but who's interested in stealing PC's anyway?).

A better product is.. (2)

onceuponatime (821046) | more than 3 years ago | (#36423404)

We will be releasing a new product in two months time that will allow you to monitor your home before they break. You receive SMSes with links to video trigger from sensors outside of your house and then you can set off flood lights, alarms, send SMSes, E-mails, gateway to other systems of your own etc etc. It encodes the video to WebM (I expect it's the first security product to do that) so you can save the events and all this is under your own control, not an external company. It's highly configurable and you can take input from and control devices connected via X10 or via a generic digital I/O board (Phidgets).

http://www.hydracontrolfreak.com/ [hydracontrolfreak.com]

Note, the website is in pre-release state as we haven't released the product yet. We expect it to be released in about 2 2/12 months.

Cheers,
Kim

Re:A better product is.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36429326)

I want to be able to answer my door in the U.S. via smartphone from a street-front cafe in Thailand.

Re:A better product is.. (1)

onceuponatime (821046) | more than 3 years ago | (#36429406)

I've heard about products that do that. Of course you can't let them in. Out product doesn't do that.

Actually, you could with our one. You could let them in because you could control a solenoid with the generic output control (Phidget 8/8/8 board). However, you wouldn't be able to talk to them. If you don't mind strangers wandering around in your house then it can do it for you :-)

Re:A better product is.. (1)

FlxMatrix (454915) | more than 3 years ago | (#36448782)

Can you share more info about your solution? I checked the website but it is lacking info.
I see you are running a SheevaPlug - Linux? And what is being used as a middleware? OSGi?

Just curious on the implementation.

Cheers,

Re:A better product is.. (1)

onceuponatime (821046) | more than 3 years ago | (#36449290)

It is a Sheevaplug under the covers, but it's not designed to be user customisable product as in the users can login and do things in the OS. It's not using OSGi. It's a standalone appliance (Black box). However, we have designed it to be very flexible. There are several different types of inputs that a user can provide to the box as events

        * X10 events from wireless PIRs
        * HTTP events as in a user can define button groups and button titles and then we provide a link that will provide the user with a page of buttons on the smart phone that send the events they have defined
      * I/O events from a phidgets 8/8/8 interface card, which can be used as physical button events or outputs from an existing alarm system can be fed here for example
    * Scheduled events. You can setup events that will fire regularly into the system, as in a calendar
  * Network camera input. This is continuously monitored and one of the other events can trigger capture of one or more cameras. The user can specify the capture to start in the past so you can see what happened before the event was triggered. For example, 5 seconds before the user triggers the PIR so that you can see the intruder traverse past the PIR.

the device then provides flexible event processing where you can trigger many output events, along with a lot of qualifiers, such as time of day constraints, the presence of certain "state" (Which can also be added by the event processing engine) and finally it then triggers the output events, these include:

    * X10, i.e. switch on/off/dim appliances or trigger the X10 alarm module
    * I/O trigger on/off of a port on the phidget 8/8/8 or send a custom defined pulse train
    * Send an E-mail event. This contains the name of the event and links to any video that triggered by the event (Viewable as either mjpg or pseudo mjpg which is viewable on Android or Windows 7 phones)
* Send an SMS event, same as an E-mail event, except via SMS
* Sent a custom HTTP event. The user can setup key/value pairs of parameters and a target url and method. This provides a very easy to use gateway facility to your own application.
* Trigger video capture of one or more video streams.

The freaks can be linked together. For example, one freak could send an event to another freak across the net so that the remote freak can turn on a panic light for example. In addition to whatever other output events are triggered locally. They are also linked for video capture, so that one freak can trigger the video that is being captured on a remote freak and we provide a webpage that will provide you with a synchronised and merged view of the video that is captured across a specified "slice" of video cameras you have chosen across your collection of freaks. This is also good for a neighbourhood watch scenario, where you have a PIR sensor at your place, but your neighbour places the camera on their window sill where it can see you place. When someone enters your place, you can an SMS with "guest video" from your neighhour where his camera can clearly see the intruder enter your place. When you combined this with the video buffering you could see the person enter your place even if the sensor was not triggered till several seconds later.

Once a capture period has been captured, the system encodes this into WebM video, which is great for remote viewing of large format video sections, saving events. The video that is captured is instantly playable even as it's still capturing, so you can view the intruder within seconds of the intruder triggering the sensor.

A description just doesn't really do it jusfice, but we will be preparing some video of it's operation that we will put online when we are closer to releasing. That and additional documentation, examples of use etc. Right now we are working hard to try and get it in the shops so to speak within the next two months.

Homeseer.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36424658)

Buy Homeseer and do this all yourself and make your own password.

I'd be interested to see what the underlying technology is. If it is Zigbee I'd expect they will get load of interference problems. If it is Zwave I am loading up on Sigma Designs stock.

Re:Homeseer.... (1)

wpiman (739077) | more than 3 years ago | (#36425362)

It is Zwave compatible....

Note to Self (2)

logandr (521767) | more than 3 years ago | (#36424774)

Note to self: cut landline AND cable TV coax before breaking and entering

Re:Note to Self (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36424974)

The cellular backup in the head unit won't care. It will still dial the monitoring station once you trip one of the sensors. Technically
you COULD also bring a cell jammer, but if you're smart enough to bypass the alarm to begin with, then you're likely not breaking into
the average home anyway unless you're a genius criminal who is setting their standards bar way too low :D

Then again, the homes the intelligent criminals want to target aren't running home security by Comcast either. They'll have dogs and
folks with guns walking around the property :D

Privacy? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36425614)

Something tells me their cable boxes already spy on you so opting into the security package is just a way to inadvertently consent to everything else they are already doing by signing a confusing and lengthy EULA.

This isn't new (1)

WankerWeasel (875277) | more than 3 years ago | (#36426034)

Comcast has offered a home security product in a number of markets for a number of years. This isn't something new.

Re:This isn't new (1)

geoffrobinson (109879) | more than 3 years ago | (#36426310)

I believe it has only been in test markets up til now. This looks like they are beginning to roll this out.

Re:This isn't new (1)

WankerWeasel (875277) | more than 3 years ago | (#36426394)

When I worked for Comcast (was working for Time Warner and then worked for Comcast for about 1 week after they took over the Minneapolis market) at least 3 years ago, they offered it in the Texas area and a number of other spots. Seems they have added some features but they did offer security system services in a small number of markets.

creepy... (1)

schlachter (862210) | more than 3 years ago | (#36426954)

don't like the idea of video feeds in my home that are centralized to any company. If I ever set up video feeds, I'd want to host them on my own server/router and login to view.

Is this a Slashdot article or an ad? (1)

frank_adrian314159 (469671) | more than 3 years ago | (#36429086)

This looks like transcribed verbiage right off the sales brochure. At least in the past the Slashdot folk have rewritten the ad to be a bit more oblique. What's next? \/1agr/\ by Comcast ads in Slashdot?

In any case, anyone who would trust their security with Comcast is a fool, just as is anyone who uses their internet service.

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