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The Nightmare On Connected Home Street

timothy posted about 4 months ago | from the coming-from-inside-the-house dept.

Software 186

theodp (442580) writes With the battle for the connected home underway, Wired's Mat Honan offered his humorous and scary Friday the 13th take on what life in the connected home of the future might be like. "I wake up at four to some old-timey dubstep spewing from my pillows," Honan begins. "The lights are flashing. My alarm clock is blasting Skrillex or Deadmau5 or something, I don't know. I never listened to dubstep, and in fact the entire genre is on my banned list. You see, my house has a virus again. Technically it's malware. But there's no patch yet, and pretty much everyone's got it. Homes up and down the block are lit up, even at this early hour. Thankfully this one is fairly benign. It sets off the alarm with music I blacklisted decades ago on Pandora. It takes a picture of me as I get out of the shower every morning and uploads it to Facebook. No big deal." Having been the victim of an epic hacking, Honan can't be faulted for worrying.

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Uh-oh (5, Funny)

paiute (550198) | about 4 months ago | (#47239945)

Better return that USB Fleshlight

Re:Uh-oh (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47239969)

You can't return a fleshlight that's covered in semen. Sorry.

Re:Uh-oh (1)

K. S. Kyosuke (729550) | about 4 months ago | (#47240047)

I'm pretty sure it could get re-sold in Japan, right next to the used panties vending machine.

Uh-oh (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47239981)

I agree, I don't want to get bobbitted.

Re:Uh-oh (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47240239)

There's one that is virtual reality like, you log on, use the device and the device does all the work for you. It was featured on one of the late night half-hour sex shows, I do not get the premium channels, I get 3 day weekend previews from time to time and saw it, it was without a doubt the most humorous thing I've seen.

The show is a copy cat to HBO's documentary Sex show, only it was on one of the Stars or Showtime owned channels.

Re:Uh-oh (5, Insightful)

dinfinity (2300094) | about 4 months ago | (#47240269)

The times of your PC speaker blasting Yankee Doodle at 17:00 are long gone.

TFA is overlooking a very important part of how hacking and viruses work anno 2014 and that is that hackers and virus makers have gone from people just messing around to people making hard cash or disrupting very specific and powerful entities. If anything, the symptoms described would only be part of ransomware or some terrorist attack when directed at average Joes.

Like the devices targeted by most viruses today, these sorts of devices will mainly be infected to track and sell data, to be able to use them for ddossing or cryptomining, and as a vector to extract financial authorization data. I don't think the 'my house has a virus and now I'm hearing Skrillex every day' is going to be very prevalent.

Of course the threat is real and the results when being targeted specifically more dangerous (to the body) than in traditional hacking. In that sense, we do need to be extra concerned with safety when it comes to 'connected homes'.

Re:Uh-oh (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47240501)

For the most part--but RAT trojans do exist, and some nasty things are done to RAT slaves.

Re:Uh-oh (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47240587)

TFA is overlooking a very important part of how hacking and viruses work anno 2014 and that is that hackers and virus makers have gone from people just messing around to people making hard cash or disrupting very specific and powerful entities.

Bingo! Overload the electric grid by simultaneously turning _everything_ on. And then poof everything is down. Want to induce a bit'o panic with it? Blast some "terrorist" declaration at the same time... even better some pre-canned "news" report about an attack. Leave them sitting in the dark with "news" that there was an attack and let imaginations run wild.

too soon? too much?

cheers

Re:Uh-oh (1)

Ol Olsoc (1175323) | about 4 months ago | (#47240997)

Better return that USB Fleshlight

Can you imagine when the Russians pull a ransomware attack on that?

This is what happens (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47239951)

when you need to create "employment" because your social model is obsolete.

We don't need people to work on useless things anymore. We have technology and resources to allow for a livable lifestyle for everyone with far less work than before.

But we "must" all work! Work work work! But what's actually left to do?

Nothing! So let's make stuff up! Quick! Universities must ramp up new courses! Textbooks shall be written (and re-written!)! Employers shall demand decades of experience!

Re:This is what happens (1)

K. S. Kyosuke (729550) | about 4 months ago | (#47240041)

Work work work! But what's actually left to do?

Uh...building a sustainable (energy+raw materials) technological society?

Re:This is what happens (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47240053)

Uhhh that was my point. We're going to have to figure out how to cope with the end of growth and the reality that we are 7 billion here.

No fantasies, no escapism, no sci-fi. Just reality, right here, right now.

Re: This is what happens (1)

loufoque (1400831) | about 4 months ago | (#47240063)

Just keep expanding outside of Earth. Problem solved.

Re: This is what happens (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47240199)

I said "reality". Fantasies for eight year olds don't cut it in the real world, I'm afraid.

Re: This is what happens (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47240357)

Like the fantasy that the earth is round and there could be a western water route from Europe to Asia?

Re: This is what happens (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47240701)

Weird, the planet exists outside of our imagination, unlike your proposals. That the Earth was round was knowledge the ancients already had. So I really don't get the tone of your reply either.

Re: This is what happens (1)

CRCulver (715279) | about 4 months ago | (#47240575)

Even with multiple space elevators, you'll never be able to move more people off Earth than are being born on it at any given moment. The OP's right in that, while there is still work to be done in the sciences and moving mankind into space, it's unreasonable to expect the billions of uneducated and unpoverished peoples among us to all get a piece of that pie.

Re:This is what happens (3, Funny)

ArcadeMan (2766669) | about 4 months ago | (#47240043)

I just tried to apply for a job where they required 6 years of experience in Swift.

Re:This is what happens (0, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47240195)

There's nothing unreasonable about that. Yes, Swift was just publically announced a few days ago. But you need to show that you have experience with it if you want to get the job that uses it. The best way of checking if somebody has experience is to see how long they've been using the technology. It doesn't matter if it was released tomorrow, today, yesteday, last month, or decades ago. If you're good enough for the job, then you'll already have 6 years of experience with Swift. If you don't have the experience, then you just aren't good enough. Is that really so hard to understand?

Re:This is what happens (4, Funny)

ColdWetDog (752185) | about 4 months ago | (#47240259)

There's nothing unreasonable about that. Yes, Swift was just publically announced a few days ago. But you need to show that you have experience with it if you want to get the job that uses it. The best way of checking if somebody has experience is to see how long they've been using the technology. It doesn't matter if it was released tomorrow, today, yesteday, last month, or decades ago. If you're good enough for the job, then you'll already have 6 years of experience with Swift. If you don't have the experience, then you just aren't good enough. Is that really so hard to understand?

Now I know what our HR manager is doing at her desk. Hi Sandy!

Re:This is what happens (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47240465)

I wish this were only a troll--but it's more of a sad reflection that people actually think like this. Managers in particular...

Re:This is what happens (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47240863)

There's nothing unreasonable about that. Yes, Swift was just publically announced a few days ago. But you need to show that you have experience with it if you want to get the job that uses it. The best way of checking if somebody has experience is to see how long they've been using the technology. It doesn't matter if it was released tomorrow, today, yesteday, last month, or decades ago. If you're good enough for the job, then you'll already have 6 years of experience with Swift. If you don't have the experience, then you just aren't good enough. Is that really so hard to understand?

We're looking for passionate people. If your shop isn't already using Swift, none of you are passionate enough for us to hire. Tell you what, if you really want this job, you bring Swift into your organization, spend six months of their time and money training up on it, and then, when your company's going down in flames because you and your co-workers are trying to be more agile and passionate and change-embracing than each other (and your managers are getting bonuses for it!), then you can leave, along with half your team, to join us!
- Your friend in HR,
Sandy :)

Re:This is what happens (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47240203)

Wow. Link?

Re:This is what happens (2)

ArcadeMan (2766669) | about 4 months ago | (#47240303)

I'm sorry, the link [cloudfront.net] doesn't work anymore.

Re:This is what happens (1)

Kurast (1662819) | about 4 months ago | (#47240585)

You needed 6 years in the Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication?

Re:This is what happens (1)

Oligonicella (659917) | about 4 months ago | (#47240649)

Coolio! I happen to have that.

which Swift? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47240885)

Swift? You're sure they didn't mean the European currency exchange and clearing mechanism? It's as old as I am. (Well, not quite. Nothing's that old.) But it's definitely old enough that you can have six years' experience a few times over.

This is what happens (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47240055)

This book has a fascinating idea that just might solve this problem. If you haven't read it yet, I suggest you do (it's free!)

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

Just run it on OpenBSD, for crying out loud. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47239961)

For crying out loud, it doesn't matter if it's your PC, a server, a toaster, or your goddamn huose. If you want to avoid viruses and computer worms and malware, just do the smart thing and run OpenBSD. OpenBSD is as secure as you're ever going to hope to get when it comes to an operating system. If OpenBSD isn't secure enough for you, then you're pretty much shit out of luck, son. OpenBSD is the epitome of operating system security. You don't want your automated digital house playing shitty music? Run OpenBSD. You don't want your automated digital house spewing sewage out of the toilets and the kitchen sink? Run OpenBSD.

Re: Just run it on OpenBSD, for crying out loud. (1)

loufoque (1400831) | about 4 months ago | (#47240057)

It doesn't really matter what the operating system is if the security bug is inside the software you need to run.

Re: Just run it on OpenBSD, for crying out loud. (4, Funny)

dotancohen (1015143) | about 4 months ago | (#47240093)

It doesn't really matter what the operating system is if the security bug is inside the software you need to run.

I think that was the point. Other than BIND, what runs on OpenBSD?

Re: Just run it on OpenBSD, for crying out loud. (1)

loufoque (1400831) | about 4 months ago | (#47240109)

Any POSIX-compatible software that you build and run yourself?

Re: Just run it on OpenBSD, for crying out loud. (1)

dotancohen (1015143) | about 4 months ago | (#47240261)

Do you really think that the Internet-Of-things hipsters will be writing POSIX compatible software?

Re: Just run it on OpenBSD, for crying out loud. (2)

loufoque (1400831) | about 4 months ago | (#47240289)

Most software on embedded devices is just Linux open-source software repurposed with a shitty UI on top.

Re: Just run it on OpenBSD, for crying out loud. (1)

NIK282000 (737852) | about 4 months ago | (#47240815)

Just like my house can have as many rooms as I want as long as I build them all myself. "u-compile" software is not for mass markets. Yes anyone can do it with after a serious Google session but that is more work than the average person will do for any kind of software.

Re: Just run it on OpenBSD, for crying out loud. (1)

loufoque (1400831) | about 4 months ago | (#47240979)

It's not any more work than installing OpenBSD

Re: Just run it on OpenBSD, for crying out loud. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47240147)

Mostly everything that is posix compatible I think. We have a few BSD servers at my workplace and I never had trouble running a program.

Re: Just run it on OpenBSD, for crying out loud. (1)

pla (258480) | about 4 months ago | (#47240301)

It doesn't really matter what the operating system is if the security bug is inside the software you need to run.

You may have meant this, but I would rephrase that to: "if the security bug is the software you need to run".

/ Fuck the Internet of Things, aka "Please let Madison Ave into your kitchen".

Re: Just run it on OpenBSD, for crying out loud. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47240495)

This is naive. The OS/application environment can, and does, do a great deal to limit the potential damage done by malicious applications. What is *more* insidious and can only be dealt with by entirely new techniques is actively malicious/passively leaky hardware. We desperately need host-proof computing. Google/Wiki it. The technology exists--but it's really slow right now.

Re:Just run it on OpenBSD, for crying out loud. (2)

KingOfBLASH (620432) | about 4 months ago | (#47240241)

While OpenBSD is certainly more secure than most operating systems, running it is not a cure all.

Just look at Heartbleed. The bug affected still affected OpenBSD.

And if you didn't patch your system, you'd still have issues to this day.

The fact of the matter is good security is hard, and requires a lot of work. Using OpenBSD may get you closer to your end goal, but you still will have to do some leg work yourself

Re:Just run it on OpenBSD, for crying out loud. (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47240479)

I'd love to. In fact, I've tried recently. After installation, I was informed that I didn't have enough inodes free to install ports and system sources. So I reformat with the smallest possible fragment size. CVS repeatedly hangs up. Not once can I manage to download the entire ports/sources trees OR install them from tarball and update them. I'm sure it's just me, only having been programming for 20 years, but shiiiit, you'd think they could smooth the installation a bit. If you can't install and update the damn thing, what good is it?

What a joke.. (3, Insightful)

bjwest (14070) | about 4 months ago | (#47239975)

The internet of things is nothing but a marketers (and hackers) wet dream. I've said it before, and I'll say it again - there is no reason what so ever for each device to be directly connected to the internet, or have internet access, for that matter. The refrigerator doesn't need access to the internet, neither does the washer and drier, toaster, or even the thermostat. One home router and a single control unit is all that's needed, or both in one unit. Let that control your food, soap and dryer sheet inventory. Each unit can tell the control system when a unit of measure is used, and it can keep track. Access to the internet is limited to that one device and there aren't 20 different ways to hack into my network. Of course, this will never fly. Each manufacturer will want to hold the patents on the standards, so they can charge for what should be a free and open standard. No one will ever play nicely so the general public can benefit rather than the elite corporations.

Fuck them, I'm glad I have the skills and knowledge to do this on my own, without all their patent encumbered, insecure crap. Of course, my washer and drier, refrigerator and oven will remain dumb, as they should.

The 'Internet of Things' is the next NoSQL, RoR. (3, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47239989)

Amen, brother! Amen, amen, AMEN!

I've had to see through so many meetings now where some hipster dickweeds keep going on about the 'Internet of Things'. It is all so very tedious. It's just like three or four years ago, when they wouldn't shut the hell up about NoSQL. They said it would 'change the world' and we'd have to get rid of all of our real DB systems. MongoDB! Cassandra! Redis! They couldn't go 10 minutes without dropping one of those names, even when we were talking about rugby during lunch. And then they were proven wrong. Those technologies faltered and withered.

And it's just like four years before that, when these same hipsters had stiff, raging hard-ons for Ruby on Rails. It would 'change the world', they told us. We'd have to get rid of all of our web apps written in Java, PHP and Perl. Ruby! Ruby on Rails! DHH! Zed Shaw! Mongrel! The name dropping was maybe even worse than it would be for NoSQL. I couldn't go an entire work day without hearing some hipster verbally ooze lustful and quasi-erotic feelings for Zed Shaw. And then they were proven wrong. Those technologies faltered and withered.

The 'Internet of Things' is following the same pattern, and the outcome will be the same. The hipsters get excited about something stupid, the hipsters won't shut up about it, reality sets in, and their obsession becomes irrelevant when there's none of their hype surrounding it.

Re:The 'Internet of Things' is the next NoSQL, RoR (1)

hawguy (1600213) | about 4 months ago | (#47240307)

Amen, brother! Amen, amen, AMEN!

I've had to see through so many meetings now where some hipster dickweeds keep going on about the 'Internet of Things'. It is all so very tedious. It's just like three or four years ago, when they wouldn't shut the hell up about NoSQL. They said it would 'change the world' and we'd have to get rid of all of our real DB systems. MongoDB! Cassandra! Redis! They couldn't go 10 minutes without dropping one of those names, even when we were talking about rugby during lunch. And then they were proven wrong. Those technologies faltered and withered.

NoSQL technology did not falter or wither, it's stronger and more popular than ever and works quite well in certain circumstances. NoSQL didn't replace relational databases, but when used appropriately, it does exactly what it's supposed to.

Re:The 'Internet of Things' is the next NoSQL, RoR (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47240617)

I wish it was 'hipsters'. I see in my company 50-60 year old men jumping up and down about it. Course it is phone company.... and they are drooling over 1 cell modem in every object.

I think they are on version 5 of a project I started nearly 10 years ago. Ground up re-write as the last one 'was not very good' and the current project are 'the brightest and best' and 2 years behind. They do not understand the market. I tell them what they are doing wrong. But they want to sell 2 million units yesterday.

Honestly, no one cares about what state the lights in your bedroom are. They have a switch on the wall right next to the door. They do not need a remote control for it and a giant light bulb to say if it is on or off.

Most things at this point that needed a remote control have it. Its not like VCR's and TVs with them are a new thing. If there was a serious market for a remote control for your fridge they would already have it.

The 'internet of things' (I want to slap the guy who invented the term and I know who it is) is about connecting things that do not really need it. He took my project and decided everything could be connected up with it. It was just another industrial protocol. The whole reason he invented the term was to sell data lines and modems.

Oh and security? After thought.

Re:What a joke.. (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47239997)

Of course it will fly. It'll be Google Home controlling Android fridge, washer, dryer, toaster, etc. If you're rich and like to pretend that you're in control, you'll have Apple Home controlling iOS fridge, washer, dryer, toaster, etc. The app stores' curators will keep you safe, promise, and only the heretics who root their home will get viruses, obviously. Do you have a smartphone? Did you choose to have all the things it does? Why do you think you'll get to choose with regard to your home?

Re:What a joke.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47240031)

And all of it automatically posted to Google+, so they can claim everyone uses their service.

Wat (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47240005)

If my refrigerator isn't connected to the Internet, how will it automatically update my Facebook and tell everyone I'm out of milk?!

LUDDITE U JUST DONT UNDERSTAND GOOGLE GLASS

I MEAN GOOGLE FRIJ

Re:Wat (2)

ArcadeMan (2766669) | about 4 months ago | (#47240049)

When you're out of milk, is your Google Glass half-full or half-empty?

Re:Wat (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47240181)

Um, it's completely empty. You know, because I'm out of milk.

(It isn't a whoosh if I'm pointing out why the joke isn't a joke at all.)

Re:Wat (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47240295)

The joke is that the english language is so vague that some words have multiple meanings.

Google glass
This window is made of glass.
I have a glass of water.

Re: What a joke.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47240099)

Until everyone is running it and it becomes the number 1 target.

Re:What a joke.. (1)

nurb432 (527695) | about 4 months ago | (#47240119)

There is no reason what so ever for each device to be directly connected to the internet, or have internet access, for that matter.?

Or be 'computerized' at all..

Re:What a joke.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47240245)

How can you not see that what you're saying is even worse? Now they only have to have one device instead of a hundred.

Re:What a joke.. (1)

bjwest (14070) | about 4 months ago | (#47240275)

What?

Re:What a joke.. (2)

Cid Highwind (9258) | about 4 months ago | (#47240447)

One device to compromise. If malware infects the LAN-of-things gateway, it can tell your pillows to play deadmau5, tell the lights to flash, and tell the security system to upload shower-cam photos to facebook.

(But then, computer viruses that just annoy the user with sounds and flashing text are deader than dial-up. Connected home malware would probably wait silently for bad weather, then lock you out and demand 0.25 bitcoin to let you back inside, or steal your amazon credentials when the refrigerator orders more milk, or turn on everyone's air conditioner at the same instant to DDoS the power grid.)

Re:What a joke.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47240459)

mono culture. If there is just one device controlling everything, make sure you control the device. If there is only one device, it will be legislated that the government needs access in times of emergency, and since we're forever in an emergency, they have all the info they ever need.

Re:What a joke.. (1)

bjwest (14070) | about 4 months ago | (#47240535)

I know I'm leaning over the side of the bridge to talk to you, but no. The government has no access to my current router, what makes you think they'd get it for one with an "appliance application" on it? And really that application need not be on the router, or even, itself, have internet access. Mother of god, people, you do not need to know the temperature of your fridge or whether or not your washer is in spin cycle if you're not at home. Fuck the internet of things. My router is the only thing needing direct access to the internet, and I'm not counting the access device needed by the cable/phone company. My router is between my network and that.

Re:What a joke.. (1)

kheldan (1460303) | about 4 months ago | (#47240517)

THANK YOU! For once I'm not the one who has to make a post filled with common sense! Hear, hear!

Re:What a joke.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47240867)

. One home router and a single control unit is all that's needed, or both in one unit. Let that control your food, soap and dryer sheet inventory. Each unit can tell the control system when a unit of measure is used, and it can keep track. Access to the internet is limited to that one device

Smartphones are headed to this way. The appliance makers just have to write some apps. That wouldn't stop the need for connecting for firmware updates though.

Re:What a joke.. (1)

bjwest (14070) | about 4 months ago | (#47241073)

. One home router and a single control unit is all that's needed, or both in one unit. Let that control your food, soap and dryer sheet inventory. Each unit can tell the control system when a unit of measure is used, and it can keep track. Access to the internet is limited to that one device

Smartphones are headed to this way. The appliance makers just have to write some apps. That wouldn't stop the need for connecting for firmware updates though.

I don't want my smart phone to be the control system for my home, it leaves with me every time I go somewhere. There is no need for the device to directly connect for a firmware update, all this does is open an avenue for attack. You need nothing more than a file on a USB or SD drive. We were updating systems long before the internet and direct connections were mainstream. Besides, without direct connection, or as I'd prefer my devices, no connection at all, there is little need for constant security updates.

Re: What a joke.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47240989)

Try to separate the protocol layers. You might not like google/apple snooping on you, but you don't hate USB and Ethernet because of it. There is enough security in the IoT specs to keep it safe. Who you hand over control of your life to is up to you.

Re: What a joke.. (1)

bjwest (14070) | about 4 months ago | (#47241105)

No. I'm going to be forced to do this when I buy a new TV because you can't get one less than 50 inches now that's not "smart". My 7 year old Sony is showing it's age, and I'm dreading the new one. I'm going to have to figure out how to limit it to only access Netflix address when I do, and I'd rather not have to worry whether my kitchen/laundry appliances are spying on me and try to block that as well.

Re:What a joke.. (1)

mlts (1038732) | about 4 months ago | (#47241109)

I believe in the KISS principle. Even though people say that a hacker with the 0-days to go after IoT devices won't go after individual users... I will agree there. Individually, they won't bother with people. However, their script that walks the Internet and seizes control of devices, is what would be done, with that info being sold to another party, just like credit card dumps. In fact, a list of vulnerable/cracked devices a person owns might even be in the same database tuple as their name, social security number, and other item sold on the black market.

There are some things I don't need. I can look at the date of items in my fridge and tell they are going to expire. I don't need to have a fancy infrastructure in place so that some company can sell me milk in the next round of banner ads. I can look near the commode and tell how many rolls of TP that I have, and don't need to upload that info somewhere. I don't need a toilet which checks sugar levels, but quietly uploads that to health insurance companies so they have an excuse to raise premiums. If I'm worried about sugar levels, I can always get a meter and a roll of test strips and do the job right.

We do not need an IoT. We are being sold this shit because "market expansion" balloons stock prices even though it may or may not make revenue.

IoT devices will be engineered to be as cheap to produce as possible. They will be coming out of the cheapest factory in China, and engineered to barely work. At best, they will barely pass UL standards, if they don't just come with a fake UL tag in the first place. It will be a given that there will be little thought to security [1], and the only way to fix them will be replacing them with devices that are even buggier and more expensive.

If we want monitoring, the parent had one way to do it "right". I'd prefer a wired bus that is engineered the reverse of early USB. Devices can send info, but the top node that gets the info cannot initiate or send data... just send an ack that it got received. Even with this, there are still ways to hack it, so the ideal is no system at all.

Because it be connected to the Internet, doesn't mean it should. Take the Internet connected deadbolt. We don't need junk like that. Instead, the time it takes to engineer that should have been spent making a better locking mechanism/door/jamb system to help against actual threats like lock bumping and kick-ins.

[1]: I've heard "security has no ROI" many a time, coupled by "Infosys/Geek Squad can fix anything if we get hacked", when I ask the followup question about contingency plans.

Overly paranoid (0)

Dereck1701 (1922824) | about 4 months ago | (#47239983)

Seems a bit overly paranoid. I've never had a device that I couldn't get it to switch languages, adjust the volume or disable/reset a function (house telling you to exercise). I have no interest in networking the houses primary utilities (door locks, dish/cloths washer, lights, electricity, fridge, HVAC, etc) but some secondary functions (exterior security cameras, temperature/water sensors, etc) would be fine as long as they are not in any way connected to the primaries. Technology is great, but until we figure out device security it shouldn't be integrated too deeply into our lives.

What about rain? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47240009)

You know, if there comes some soft rains, what will the house do?

Re:What about rain? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47240033)

Annie Lennox can answer that for you:

Here comes the rain again
Falling on my head like a memory
Falling on my head like a new emotion
I want to walk in the open wind
I want to talk like lovers do
I want to dive into your ocean
Is it raining with you?

So baby talk to me
Like lovers do
Walk with me
Like lovers do
Talk to me
Like lovers do

If there comes soft rains, you and your house will need to talk like lovers do.

How's this then? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47240071)

        There will come soft rains and the smell of the ground,
        And swallows circling with their shimmering sound;

        And frogs in the pools, singing at night,
        And wild plum trees in tremulous white,

        Robins will wear their feathery fire,
        Whistling their whims on a low fence-wire;

        And not one will know of the war, not one
        Will care at last when it is done.

        Not one would mind, neither bird nor tree,
        If mankind perished utterly;

        And Spring herself, when she woke at dawn,
        Would scarcely know that we were gone.

Re:How's this then? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47240083)

Yours is kind of queer, in the dicks-in-the-bum sort of way, I'm afraid to say. Annie Lennox's work is much more respectable and meaningful than the crap from Linkin Park that you've just posted.

Re:How's this then? (2)

istartedi (132515) | about 4 months ago | (#47241117)

His is by Ray Bradbury. You were saying? Everybody else on this thread so far, except for the top-level poster, TURN IN YOUR GEEK CARD.

Re:What about rain? (1)

russotto (537200) | about 4 months ago | (#47240385)

If there comes soft rains, you and your house will need to talk like lovers do.

I suppose the house will have to come with a RealDoll avatar.

Re:What about rain? (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | about 4 months ago | (#47240913)

I suppose the house will have to come with a RealDoll avatar.

This is how the world ends. Not with a bang, or a whimper, but with a moan.

Re:What about rain? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47240191)

Do houses not have roofs [wikipedia.org] where you live?

It doesn't matter if we want a "connected home" (3, Interesting)

bluegutang (2814641) | about 4 months ago | (#47240013)

It doesn't matter if we WANT a "connected home". We are going to have it, like it or not. In a couple decades, it will be impossible to buy an appliance that isn't "connected'. Connectivity will cost less than whatever the marketing companies will pay to track our habits, and all devices will include connectivity by default. We likely won't even be able to buy unconnected devices, because economies of scale will not exist to make them affordable.

Re:It doesn't matter if we want a "connected home" (1)

K. S. Kyosuke (729550) | about 4 months ago | (#47240059)

I don't think it's about economies of scale, the machines will most certainly work offline. But connected smart appliances will be necessary for the use of opportunistic energy sources (like solar PV) without energy storage. You'll simply get a larger power bill.

Re:It doesn't matter if we want a "connected home" (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47240247)

I sincerely doubt that the devices will work offline. I already have devices which won't let me use even basic offline functionality without a network connection. In the near future even the simplest devices will have wireless network interfaces that don't need your cooperation for an online connection. They will simply be online when they are powered on, either via powerline communication or built-in mobile network credentials (M2M SIM card). (Do you have a Kindle?)

You have the option to use your TV without an internet connection now, by pulling the ethernet cable or removing the WLAN stick or credentials. Enjoy it while it lasts.

Re:It doesn't matter if we want a "connected home" (1)

ColdWetDog (752185) | about 4 months ago | (#47240297)

Oh hardly. If you really, really don't want a 'connected' refrigerator, buy a used one of current lineage. You can keep a major appliance alive for 30 - 40 years with only minimal fuss. Personally, I cannot stand washer / driers that have more complex electronics than my boat (and I'm looking at YOU, LG you mindless idiots). My paradigm for washing clothes does not involve nearly that many decisions.

So we have a washer / drier that has those quaint mechanical dials. That keep on cleaning and drying, doing exactly what I want them to do. And nothing more. I can keep them running until I'm ready for the nursing home, at which time I probably will neither know nor care how clothes washing is done.

Ah, first world problems.

Re:It doesn't matter if we want a "connected home" (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47240523)

Yep. This. A million times, this. Buy used. Buy tools. Invest in hard assets that hold their value along with inflation. Learn how to fix and maintain your own tools. Then, learn how to build your own tools. The cost is high up-front, but drastically lowers your costs in the future. No longer do you need to pay someone else to repair everything or buy a brand new disposable piece of shit. Then, teach your children to do the same, so that when you go to the nursing home, they aren't screwed.

I still use a hammer (a small sledge) handed down from my great-grandfather. Works the same as when he was alive. Same for many of the tools kicking around here. Sadly, most people are too lazy to do anything besides watching the latest reality show.

Re:It doesn't matter if we want a "connected home" (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47240931)

You didn't use enough buzzwords. You should have called it "sustainable" or "green" or something.

Re:It doesn't matter if we want a "connected home" (1)

NotInHere (3654617) | about 4 months ago | (#47240819)

You don't need your fridge to send information about its contents to google for the fridge being abled to recieve unidirectional energy price broadcasts. You can design protocols which remove the need for your energy company to know every detail of your energy consumption, and still enable dynamic energy prices.

Re:It doesn't matter if we want a "connected home" (2)

ArcadeMan (2766669) | about 4 months ago | (#47240061)

To anyone currently building or planning to build a house: have a faraday cage built-in into the walls, floors and roof. That includes the windows. It's going to be a pain in the short term to not have wi-fi in your house, but in a decade or two you'll be glad you did.

Re:It doesn't matter if we want a "connected home" (3, Informative)

fisted (2295862) | about 4 months ago | (#47240349)

What makes you believe you couldn't run a wireless network inside a faraday cage?

Re:It doesn't matter if we want a "connected home" (4, Interesting)

pla (258480) | about 4 months ago | (#47240189)

It doesn't matter if we WANT a "connected home". We are going to have it, like it or not. In a couple decades, it will be impossible to buy an appliance that isn't "connected'.

You could say that today about things like printers and TVs - They always seem to want you to plug in a network and tell them how to get to the outside world. But! We have one option that will always work - Don't plug it in. And if it uses wireless, well, you should already use MAC whitelisting on your router (yes, I know, not "real" security, but as with so many other things, it keeps the "honest" casual-thieves away).

Of course, with your TV, that will break functionality you may want, such as direct access to YouTube. With printers, I've never understood why they need to know how to get out of your LAN, they just need a valid local address; no gateway, no DNS required. And with your refrigerator, toaster, microwave oven? Sorry, but automatic restocking, a live video feed of the color of my toast, and remotely starting dinner don't really count as "killer apps" (except insofar as the last one will eventually lead to houses burning down as a result).

The real problem comes with more expensive things like cars, where the cost of giving it its own cell connection falls far short of the marketing value of selling out your driving habits; in that case, though, you can disable it, they just make it somewhat difficult (in the case of my most recent car, I needed to pull out the entire center console to get at and unplug the TMU). But overall, the way to keep your devices offline? Pull the plug, simple as that.

Re:It doesn't matter if we want a "connected home" (3, Insightful)

dissy (172727) | about 4 months ago | (#47240493)

With printers, I've never understood why they need to know how to get out of your LAN, they just need a valid local address; no gateway, no DNS required.

Most printer vendors these days offer a feature to print from the internet, and they figure (correctly I suspect) it's easier to have the printer connect out and poll than to explain how to port forward something through a home router to the average customer.

HP for example assigns the printer an email address on one of their domains, and the printer just polls the mailbox.

I suppose under the asumption one wants such a feature, this is the better way to go about it...

You do know (0)

MouseTheLuckyDog (2752443) | about 4 months ago | (#47240035)

That the house will run off an OS that runs on a Prom, with updates delivered by drone. If it gets infected reboot it.

Re:You do know (1)

MouseTheLuckyDog (2752443) | about 4 months ago | (#47240039)

PS: I gonna b**** slap anyone who says "I can't do that Dave."

Re:You do know (2)

ArcadeMan (2766669) | about 4 months ago | (#47240065)

Of course you would. Your name isn't Dave.

Re:You do know (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47240281)

Bullshit. It will have a PROM that is just big enough to download the manufacturer-signed software and your configuration from the cloud into the RAM via its built-in mobile connection on boot up. It'll still be flawed and open to being hacked, but you won't be able to inspect or fix it. If it gets infected, you will have to call the manufacturer, because it has got emergency power and no buttons - unplugging doesn't reset it. If you're lucky, you have a separate phone, because the home will redirect your call to a phishing call center.

Not Mat again (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47240089)

Mat Honan is no stranger to this kind of stuff and I'm really tired of hearing what he has to say. The thing that soured me was when he stuck his phone in his back pocket, sat on it in a taxicab, and the screen cracked...and promptly whined to someone else at Wired and had them write a whole article about phone glass to justify that it wasn't his fault that he plopped his ass down on his phone and busted the screen. [wired.com] This guy seems to blunder constantly and then blames all of the things that happened on someone else.

Re:Not Mat again (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47240103)

After visiting that page again, I just realized that they nuked all the comments. They were full of statements to the effect that "Mat shouldn't have sat on his fucking phone, that was really stupid."

Re:Not Mat again (1)

MouseTheLuckyDog (2752443) | about 4 months ago | (#47240185)

Maybe someone should post an article to slashdot.
"Wired censors people who critique their writers intelligence."

Re:Not Mat again (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47240637)

writer's

This Presupposes you'll let your items connect... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47240177)

This level of paranoia implies that all of your appliances and devices are going to magically connect to the internet all by themselves.

I've got a smart TV. Guess what? I just don't let it connect to any wifi networks. Problem solved. As to other devices? Just don't buy them. The "pillow" described above? It has speakers. Speakers have wires going to them. Wires that can be cut. Problem solved.

Re:This Presupposes you'll let your items connect. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47240383)

It will be required for your refrigerator to refrige, for your washing machine to wash, etc.

Already you can see this in blu-ray players, which if you don't let them connect online, will soon stop playing any new movie.

It'll be a requirement, not an option. And people will eat it up, because they always do.

Networking 101 (2)

bananaquackmoo (1204116) | about 4 months ago | (#47240187)

These days there really should be a basic computer networking class that everyone has to take. If there were then people would know how to fix these problems themselves. Lockdown your LAN and make sure you keep your wireless device software up to date with super strong passwords, if you really need to have wireless.

Re:Networking 101 (1)

ColdWetDog (752185) | about 4 months ago | (#47240327)

You sir, obviously, do not work in a customer-facing field.

modZ up (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47240305)

The Nightmare on WINDOWS(TM) Home Street (0)

Shompol (1690084) | about 4 months ago | (#47240337)

You see, my house has a virus again. Technically it’s malware. But there’s no patch yet...

a) Do not let a Windows machine control your hose. US Navy tried that. Bad idea.
b) Going by the past history there won't be a patch from Microsoft. Wait for a third-party A/V software to come out with a fix.

The Nightmare On Connected Home Street (1)

NotInHere (3654617) | about 4 months ago | (#47240829)

The Nightmare On Connected Home Street

Connected Home Street itself is already a nightmare.

The biggest problem I anticipate this winter... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47241091)

The biggest problem I anticipate this winter is having to crawl from my nice electrically-heated sleeping area out to the wood stove and get it fired up. Moving to the boondocks *does* have some advantages. I don't expect my electric heater or my stove to be playing dubstep anytime soon. My PC is actually hooked to cable internet (we ain't off-grid), but everything else is vintage 1978, and I intend to keep it that way.

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