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Don't Want Google In Your House? Here Are a Few Home-Tech Startups To Watch

Soulskill posted about a month ago | from the why-is-my-immersion-blender-tweeting-at-me dept.

Technology 88

curtwoodward writes: Google bought Nest. Then Nest bought Dropcam. Then Nest opened up its platform to tech partners, including... Google. This may not creep everyone out, but for those who don't like the idea of Google's all-seeing eye owning their smart-home devices, there are some small, independent companies developing alternatives. Maybe they'll survive long enough to get acquired by a company that doesn't make 90 percent of its money from advertising — right?

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88 comments

For Starters... (5, Funny)

Lab Rat Jason (2495638) | about a month ago | (#47318687)

... how about a company that has a more lofty goal than "getting acquired" for once?

Re:For Starters... (2)

Russ1642 (1087959) | about a month ago | (#47318835)

Nothing wrong with 'getting acquired' as a goal. Not everyone wants to run a big business. If I had a successful business and Google wanted it I'd sign so fast the ink would burn. Then I'd spend the rest of my life stress free.

Maybe.... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a month ago | (#47318985)

But if Google were to be reviled as much as Microsoft one day, you will be condemned for selling out. Then again, folks would use you as an example of Google's abusive business practices and consider you a victim - while you cry all the way to the bank with your millions for being "ripped off" by a major player.

Re:For Starters... (3, Informative)

Lab Rat Jason (2495638) | about a month ago | (#47319085)

There is plenty wrong with _just_ wanting to get acquired. Many times, acquisition is predatory, in the sense that a bigger company wants your tech, but not your people. So you stand on the backs of hard working people until you get your golden parachute, and leave them with nothing but unemployment when you go. Even if that ISN'T the case, if your goal is to be acquired, you make a product that is good enough to get you acquired, rather than building a product great enough to make your company a household name. You have perfectly illustrated one of the biggest problems in startup culture today... namely, sell out and coast because your name was the one on the door of the corner office.

Re:For Starters... (1)

BUL2294 (1081735) | about a month ago | (#47319323)

Not necessarily true. Just because you're the 23-year old "CEO" of a small firm employing 25 people making one product or service, doesn't mean you're capable of scaling up if things take off. Sure, it may be fun & games at 25 people, but if you suddenly balloon to 1000 employees, you'll need someone who knows how to navigate all of the following in the business world: shareholders, investors, salespeople, legal headaches, red tape, patent trolls, new products, multi-year plans, security breaches, logistics, accounting, etc. Those situations likely call for such a firm getting acquired--and they should be acquired.

Any firm that experiences exponential growth, especially related to the Internet or IoT, should be acquired...

Re:For Starters... (1)

hjf (703092) | about a month ago | (#47320753)

hehe watch the TV series "silicon valley" by HBO.

Re:For Starters... (1)

JackieBrown (987087) | about a month ago | (#47320847)

There is plenty wrong with _just_ wanting to get acquired. Many times, acquisition is predatory, in the sense that a bigger company wants your tech, but not your people. So you stand on the backs of hard working people until you get your golden parachute, and leave them with nothing but unemployment when you go.

This sucks for the people let go, but there is no reason to lose out on a golden parachute if that is what you want. If offered a ton of money, how many of those people would keep working for you - and do you have a right to expect them to stay with you for less money?

Re:For Starters... (1)

SonicSpike (242293) | about a month ago | (#47321279)

Except that the person in the corner office incurred risk, something people outside of the corner office did not do. People who incur risk are often handsomely rewarded for it by the market, as they should be. If the people who don't work in the corner office, as you have described, want to work for themselves, they too are free to incur risk although most choose not to.

Re:For Starters... (1)

Lab Rat Jason (2495638) | about a month ago | (#47324431)

The person in the corner office does take more risk, I agree. But that person is also compensated in the job for said risk.

Employees of a startup also take risk, but they get very little in the way of compensation for it. Employees risk showing up to work at any time and finding the doors locked. They risk their pensions and retirement money vanishing, They risk being terminated at any time because V.C. didn't come through and the company can't make payroll, and they risk shitty insurance packages. All this for pay that is no better than anywhere else in the industry.

I worked for a startup for over a year, and during that time I had all of the above mentioned issues. The final straw for me was when the newly hired lead developer (who lived 80 miles from the office when he hired on) convinced the CEO to move all development to a satellite office 60 miles closer to his home (making my commute change from 7 miles to 65 miles)... all under the promise that it would be temporary. I quit 6 months later.

My point is that employees of small and startup companies take big risks too(I had a $3000 deductible on my families health insurance). If a company has a goal of making a bitchin' product, and at the same time has a goal to get acquired, I have no beef. I'm saying that there needs to be some goal more noble than getting bought up so the big cheese can live off buy-out cheese while ex-employees live off gov'ment cheese.

Re:For Starters... (1)

SonicSpike (242293) | about a month ago | (#47324995)

This is where stock options come in to play...

Re:For Starters... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month ago | (#47321435)

> There is plenty wrong with _just_ wanting to get acquired. Many times, acquisition is predatory, in the sense that a bigger company wants your tech, but not your people.

Its probably more often the reverse, at least in the valley. It's called an acquihire. [wikipedia.org] As a customer I find acquihires to be more predatory because they kill the product. This startup made something cool that I bought and now it gets prematurely EOL'd (end-of-lifed) because the engineers have been fed into the bigger vortex of a company that at best has a competing and incompatible product. Even though the company "won" and got a nice payout, I as a customer who supported them with my cash got left behind.

Re:For Starters... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month ago | (#47322223)

There is plenty wrong with _just_ wanting to get acquired.

Probably trolling, but any company involved with making smart-devices should cause alarms to go off, for one, and well documented, is Nest's lack of security with their devices, and other companies have shown time and time again they too lack any sense when it comes quickly building/making a product without having some type of security protocol to make certain the device is secure. Even if it is, you have to worry whether they get bought out or stand on their own, privacy concerns, just because Gaagle as no respect or care in the world for others privacy, doesn't mean a stand alone company, or an acquired company isn't selling of you data to their own advertisers, contractors, or third parties, perhaps even government who will claim they are using the data to measure "energy consumption", ect.

Re:For Starters... (1)

someoneOtherThanMe (1387847) | about three weeks ago | (#47348925)

Tech = people. Assuming the acquirer wants to use and develop the tech, they will need people to do it, and who's better for it than those that have developed it? Of course, if the acquirer just wants to shut it down they may fire everybody, but in that case they may do so even without the acquisition.

Re:For Starters... (1)

kelemvor4 (1980226) | about a month ago | (#47319505)

Nothing wrong with 'getting acquired' as a goal. Not everyone wants to run a big business. If I had a successful business and Google wanted it I'd sign so fast the ink would burn. Then I'd spend the rest of my life stress free.

At least until you move to Belize...

Re:For Starters... (0, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | about a month ago | (#47318855)

Well that is the Republican way. Their kind doesn't believe in creating things of value. They only believe in perceived value. That's why their, for example, stock markets are about perceived value instead of real value. Their kind doesn't believe in reality. That's why they're constantly spouting nonsense about places they've made-up like heaven and purgatory. Also, it's the reason they're so racist. They can't see reality. In their minds, what they think a person is like is more important than what they're really like. They simply can't create things of value so they create things to be acquired.

Democrats hate the poor (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a month ago | (#47320865)

Democrats would rather you have no job for any amount if time than to have a good job for a few years.

They want the poor to die

Re:For Starters... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month ago | (#47321791)

Sounds like my ex, I acquired her then thee years later she acquired half of my shit.

I don't want "smart-home" (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about a month ago | (#47318737)

I like my home just the way it is. If it's called a "dumb-home" then so be it.

Re:I don't want "smart-home" (1, Troll)

Ultra64 (318705) | about a month ago | (#47318763)

So then don't buy and install these products.

Re:I don't want "smart-home" (4, Insightful)

CanHasDIY (1672858) | about a month ago | (#47318793)

So then don't buy and install these products.

Remember when people used to say that about GPS-enabled cell phones? "Well, if you don't want one, don't buy one."

Now every cell phone is GPS-enabled.

So much for that non-solution. Got any other ideas?

Re:I don't want "smart-home" (1, Troll)

Ultra64 (318705) | about a month ago | (#47318865)

>Remember when people used to say that about GPS-enabled cell phones?
No

>Now every cell phone is GPS-enabled.
>Got any other ideas?
Go to settings and turn "GPS" to off?
Stop being a luddite?

"Oh noes, GPS. Now I can tell where I am on a map. "

How horrible.

Re:I don't want "smart-home" (5, Informative)

mythosaz (572040) | about a month ago | (#47318903)

This is /.

Cue the NSA muh freedoms! posts.

Clearly the GPS can be turned on by any TLA that wants to track you. The slider is a placebo.

Re:I don't want "smart-home" (2)

AmiMoJo (196126) | about a month ago | (#47323225)

I don't know why anyone even cares, they know where every dumb phone is too because they know which cell towers are talking to it and what the signal strength is. They don't need GPS to track you unless they want really precise details.

Re:I don't want "smart-home" (5, Insightful)

Bing Tsher E (943915) | about a month ago | (#47318909)

GP probably knows quite well where he is. The point is it's nobody else's business where he is and just because there's a little clicky on a menu in the phone that says the GPS is disabled doesn't mean that it's the case in all circumstances. Nothing that the big telecom providers, and Google and the like have been doing recently inspires our confidence.

Soon there may be websites with information on how to disable features you don't like on your eDevices. With informative pages that feature nice illustrations showing were to drill with a #44 drill bit and how deeply, to disable the GPS and no other function on the phone.

The time is certainly right for sites like that to emerge.

But yeah, duh, we're all luddites if we don't bow and kiss the ring.

Re:I don't want "smart-home" (1)

Ultra64 (318705) | about a month ago | (#47319007)

"But yeah, duh, we're all luddites if we don't bow and kiss the ring."

who's ring? What are you talking about?

Irrational fear of technology is what makes you luddite, nothing else.

Re:I don't want "smart-home" (2)

Bing Tsher E (943915) | about a month ago | (#47319123)

Irrational fear of technology WOULD be what would make me 'luddite' as you use the term.

Problem is, we don't fear technology. Just ways that it's applied. For instance, I have no innate fear of a gun, but if the wrong person points it at me that changes.

Do you work for one of the Big Data operators? It really seems like it bugs you when we dis Big Data in this thread.

Re:I don't want "smart-home" (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month ago | (#47321447)

That was pretty much the original problem for luddites. It wasn't that they were anti-technology, they were anti-technology-being-used-to-fuck-them. [wikipedia.org] You might compare them to the proverbial "buggy-whip makers" but getting fucked out of a job isn't what people typically mean when they accuse someone of being a luddite nowadays.

Re:I don't want "smart-home" (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month ago | (#47319659)

flagrant disregard of privacy by big data and the government is not an irrational fear, please take your head out of the sand.

Re:I don't want "smart-home" (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month ago | (#47320921)

But yeah, duh, we're all luddites if we don't bow and kiss the ring.

You're a luddite if you don't realize you can be tracked just as easily with a dumbphone. The GPS is irrelevant.

Re:I don't want "smart-home" (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month ago | (#47318921)

If you can't figure out, using a map, where you are, without a GPS, I seriously question your intelligence and ability to function in the world.

Re:I don't want "smart-home" (1)

Ultra64 (318705) | about a month ago | (#47318983)

This is the 21st century and we are talking about GPS on cell phones.

I am obviously referring to map apps on phones.

Re:I don't want "smart-home" (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month ago | (#47319773)

You can put the map in any form factor you want, digital or dead tree. If you can't tell where you are using it without having the GPS functionality of the device draw an icon saying "You are here", I still question your intelligence and ability to function in the world.

Re:I don't want "smart-home" (0)

CanHasDIY (1672858) | about a month ago | (#47318951)

>Remember when people used to say that about GPS-enabled cell phones?
No

>Now every cell phone is GPS-enabled.
>Got any other ideas?
Go to settings and turn "GPS" to off?
Stop being a luddite?

"Oh noes, GPS. Now I can tell where I am on a map. "

How horrible.

Sorry, since this is Slashdot I was expecting that I would be speaking to a rational adult.

Forgot that school's out.

FYI, so you know - "dur, yer uh Luddite" is not a substitute for a valid argument. It's actually a pretty douchey cop-out.

Re:I don't want "smart-home" (1)

Ultra64 (318705) | about a month ago | (#47318993)

>FYI, so you know - "dur, yer uh Luddite" is not a substitute for a valid argument

And ad hominem is soooo much better.

If you had actually read what I wrote you would have seen that my real suggestion was "Go to settings and turn 'GPS' to off".

Could you really not tell that the luddite remark was sarcasm?

Re:I don't want "smart-home" (0)

CanHasDIY (1672858) | about a month ago | (#47319149)

>FYI, so you know - "dur, yer uh Luddite" is not a substitute for a valid argument

And ad hominem is soooo much better.

That's funny.

Mainly because your use of the term "ad hominem" in this instance indicates that you don't actually know what that term means. That, or we have a disagreement on my belief that your posts are indicative of an adolescent mindset. What you see as an ad hominem (also funny coming from someone who uses "Luddite" as a weapon against opposing opinions), I see as an accurate description. Guess we'll have to agree to disagree on that point.

If you had actually read what I wrote you would have seen that my real suggestion was "Go to settings and turn 'GPS' to off".

Which, as we've learned from the NSA, does fuck-all worth of good. Also, your "real suggestion" indicates that you completely missed my point - it doesn't matter if it can be turned off or not, it matters that the feature is omnipresent, and thus, there is no such thing as an option to not have said feature. You're being very inconsistent with your arguments here:

GP: I don't want this stuff
You: Then don't buy it
Me: What about when "don't buy it" is no longer an option?
You: Turn it off

That's not a well-reasoned response.

Could you really not tell that the luddite remark was sarcasm?

I can tell douchey cop-out bullshit when I see it. Like your claiming that your ad hominem attack on me was "sarcasm," for example.

Re:I don't want "smart-home" (1)

Ultra64 (318705) | about a month ago | (#47319199)

"An ad hominem (Latin for "to the man" or "to the person"[1]), short for argumentum ad hominem, is a general category of fallacies in which a claim or argument is rejected on the basis of some irrelevant fact about the author of or the person presenting the claim or argument"

"Sorry, since this is Slashdot I was expecting that I would be speaking to a rational adult.
Forgot that school's out."

You disregard my argument on the basis that you think I am still in school.

How is that not ad hominem?

Re:I don't want "smart-home" (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month ago | (#47319685)

pretty sure his remark was regarding the "rational adult" part and i would have used the short bus early drop off to describe your logic.

Re:I don't want "smart-home" (1, Insightful)

uCallHimDrJ0NES (2546640) | about a month ago | (#47319785)

Ultra64, are you expecting us to believe that you genuinely don't understand the fears of those in this forum who oppose your optimistic view of the way data collected on customers of these services will be used? Or are you just baiting and enjoying the argument? If the former, you are one interesting character, and the conversation should proceed. If the latter, you're a troll, and fun as it may be, we should all stop feeding you.

Re:I don't want "smart-home" (1)

Ultra64 (318705) | about a month ago | (#47321153)

"are you expecting us to believe that you genuinely don't understand the fears of those in this forum who oppose your optimistic view of the way data collected on customers of these services will be used?"

Yes. All I hear is a bunch of Chicken Little's freaking out because Google will know what temperature they like their house to be when they wake up in the morning.

Re:I don't want "smart-home" (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month ago | (#47322207)

Ever live in a small town (or go to a small enough school), long enough, to where everyone seems to know your business almost as well as you do, even people whom you may never really see?
Then a minor disagreement, off-putting remark about someone, etc can turn into an unintended Big Deal quickly., that in a bigget city just gets blown off. It isn't much fun to be in that maelstrom.

Re:I don't want "smart-home" (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month ago | (#47322187)

'Cept that doesn't really prevent it from turning on. It turns on if you call 911, for one. at least it takes time for it to acquire a location... it is the phone pushing out the current GPS location when it has it that is the problem. Of course they can narrow it down well just from cell node triangulation, wifi, etc too.

Re:I don't want "smart-home" (2)

ShanghaiBill (739463) | about a month ago | (#47318977)

Now every cell phone is GPS-enabled.

No they aren't. Most cell phones do not have GPS. Even for those that do, you can turn it off.

Re:I don't want "smart-home" (1, Informative)

CanHasDIY (1672858) | about a month ago | (#47319081)

Upon further review, I found that I was indeed mistaken, based off a misinterpretation of a newer FCC rule. Mea culpa on that one.

Let's try a different example:

So then don't buy and install these products.

Remember when people used to say that about cars without black-boxes? "Well, if you don't want one, don't buy one."

Now every car has a black box.

Better? Or are we not counting that one, either, since the mandate doesn't kick in until September?

Re:I don't want "smart-home" (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month ago | (#47322215)

Actualky, they do. GPS is required for E-911 in the US, and has been for some time (my old flip phone had it, 8 years ago).

Re: I don't want "smart-home" (1)

alkaloid (456651) | about a month ago | (#47323797)

I wouldn't say GPS was "required" that long ago, but the market pressured were making it so. I was building control plane assisted GPS software for the e-911 mandate in 2004, a time when Moto had iDEN. Those phones had a chip that you could "turn off" in the UI except, of course, I could still query it via the network and pull a location.

When I was writing locative software in Africa a big issue was that the burner phones didn't have GPS chips in them since they were so cheap. No worries, we just trilateral end their position and kept historical records of their movements so as to predict their patterns. Several drug dealers could attest to that but you'll have to go ask them in the afterlife.

We also had a Stinger. In 2009, and were listening to encrypted cellular conversations based on the ESN in 2006. Anyone who thinks they have privacy with a cell phone needs to buy some oceanfront property in Arizona.

Re:I don't want "smart-home" (1)

Bing Tsher E (943915) | about a month ago | (#47318809)

I don't want an UltraSparc. It was 64 bits and all, but noisy and it consumed a LOT of power. So I didn't buy and install it. In fact, I gave it to Goodwill.

Still, it's refreshing to know that there are other people like me who don't want a 'smart home' and will speak up on the topic. And their detractors are okay, too, I suppose.

Re: I don't want "smart-home" (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month ago | (#47318901)

Uh, isn't that what he/she implied?

Not everyone gets an early-adopter boner for Nest-like devices that expose themselves over the internet (i.e. potential security problems) and sell data to corporations (i.e. potential privacy problems).

Re:I don't want "smart-home" (4, Informative)

Lab Rat Jason (2495638) | about a month ago | (#47319213)

I've got nothing but love for people who don't want a "smart home", and I respect anybody who wants the peace and quiet that comes with it. For myself though, I want a smart home that doesn't rat me out to every advertiser, as well as the cops. Google does both.

Think about this: a nest costs $200 according to the literature at my local hardware store, amazon.com shows about the same price. For that kind of scratch, I SHOULD be keeping my privacy.

Re:I don't want "smart-home" (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month ago | (#47321679)

"..rat me out to every advertiser..." Hooray, FUD! Google doesn't sell your data to advertisers, it shows you ads based off of your information, big difference. Advertisers get aggregated statistics but not your precious precious data.

"...as well as the cops." https://www.eff.org/who-has-yo... [eff.org] Google has 6/6 from the EFF on keeping your information private from the authorities (unless they are complelled to by the law).

Even before Google acquired Nest their products already gave your information to a third party (how do you think the web and app works?). If you want your privacy you have to make some sacrifices: setting up and securing your own home automation server, doing without a smart home, trusting someone else (who will still have the warrant problem), or something else I'm not thinking of.

Re:I don't want "smart-home" (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month ago | (#47321857)

Are you paid by google? Seriously? Stop your BS.

http://www.google.com/intl/en/... [google.com]

"We provide personal information to our affiliates or other trusted businesses or persons to process it for us, based on our instructions and in compliance with our Privacy Policy and any other appropriate confidentiality and security measures."

Gee.. I wonder who google considers a "trusted business". Ofcourse.. Google must hate advertising companies... except .. ALL their partners are advertising companies

"We may share aggregated, non-personally identifiable information publicly and with our partners â" like publishers, advertisers or connected sites. "

Oh hey.. yeah.. share the love man.. information wants to be free !

Doesn't take a genius to figure this shit out.

Re:I don't want "smart-home" (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month ago | (#47322711)

If you want your privacy you have to make some sacrifices: doing without a smart home

That is indeed a very persuasive argument. I can't believe that we humans have survived thus far without an intelligent domicile!

Clickbait (2)

CanHasDIY (1672858) | about a month ago | (#47318749)

Posting a summary of your own blog post? Poor form, sir.

Re:Clickbait (1)

The New Guy 2.0 (3497907) | about a month ago | (#47318987)

That's how Slashdot works currently... most news sources are submitting everything they have in their RSS feed. See the Firehose section to see how poorly that works.

Re:Clickbait (1)

Yer Mom (78107) | about a month ago | (#47323875)

As is not at least linking to the single-page view.

(And who breaks pages in the middle of a sentence?)

Home Brew (3, Insightful)

SuperTechnoNerd (964528) | about a month ago | (#47318807)

I rather make my own devices and sensors. Much more fun and they will do exactly what you want them to do.

Re:Home Brew (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month ago | (#47319277)

Yeah, but if I sell my soul to $evil_corporation they will give me a smart-home for "free".

apple homekit (2)

Noah Haders (3621429) | about a month ago | (#47318845)

there's another real option here. the apple framework with iOS and homekit. Yes, it will be a nanny-state sand box where you can only use hardware and software that are approved. but you won't be tracked for advertising. Apple has the best privacy policy of any big company. they legitimately don't care what you do, as long as you buy their expensive shizz.

Re:apple homekit (2, Insightful)

rogoshen1 (2922505) | about a month ago | (#47319101)

Oh but they will; they may not advertise it, or do it to the same extent as Google, or even put a shiny spin on it.. but they will track you, and will sell that data -- eventually.

With shareholders completely focused on short term profits what do you think will happen when the idevice market truly becomes saturated? Ethics and morality are not represented on the balance sheet, and untapped revenue streams will not be tolerated.

Besides, look at the Apple user base, they are probably a much more sought after demographic in terms of peer influence and disposable income. Think Costco vs Sam's Club.

Trusting any company to not retroactively change their labyrinthine TOS and abide by any kind of personal privacy standards is silly.

Given the choices, go with Apple (1)

alispguru (72689) | about a month ago | (#47326229)

Realistically, your choices are:

* Facebook and their ilk, who will sell your individually identifiable data without a second thought.

* Google, who will absolutely sell your info, probably aggregated. At least they're upfront about it.

* Apple, who views their non-release of your data as a market differentiator [macworld.com] and thus a valuable part of their brand.

As long as people choose Apple for privacy, Apple will value privacy and not sell their data.

Re:Given the choices, go with Apple (1)

Noah Haders (3621429) | about three weeks ago | (#47330461)

+1 well put.

Re:apple homekit (1)

fermion (181285) | about a month ago | (#47320961)

Apple promotes Dropcam on it's website, the exact company that Google is going to buy. I don't know what homekit is going to be. Dropcam pretty much requires you to send your personal life to what soon will be Google. The lights require an hardware interface. Presumable Homekit will presumably intergrate the products, if the companies rewrite the software to Apple interfaces. Not to be cynical, but recall the number of Apple ideas that really have not panned out. For instance, I have almost no Apple ebooks.

The problem with google is that it makes most of it's money from advertising. It really has no hardware that is priced to sell, i.e. $1500 google glasses. Therefore one has to assume that at some point your personal home videos will be up for sale in some way. I am looking at y-cam and figuring out what their business model is. The only way to keep your private stuff private is to pay for it. Which is why dropcam was a good choice prior to the google purchase.

Why? (4, Informative)

rainmaestro (996549) | about a month ago | (#47318939)

Yeah, I'm eagerly awaiting the day when attackers are able to exploit my smart fridge to remotely unlock the smart lock on my smart door. And the inevitable automatic firmware update that bricks my smart air conditioner.

Why does everything need to be a web appliance? My crockpot should convert electricity into heat and produce delicious stews and roasts. It doesn't need to use my search history to suggest new recipes, I have a PC that can do that.

On the bright side, I'm looking forward to the instructions on how to run Debian on my blender.

Re:Why? (4, Funny)

neminem (561346) | about a month ago | (#47318959)

Presumably so you can run Blender on it, and make a Yo Dawg joke about it? I heard you like blending, so I installed Blender on your blender, so you can Blend while you blend!

Re:Why? (1)

rainmaestro (996549) | about a month ago | (#47319153)

Thank you. I was wondering how long it would be until someone made that joke. Less time that I had guessed.

Re:Why? (1)

Bing Tsher E (943915) | about a month ago | (#47319041)

On the bright side, I'm looking forward to the instructions on how to run Debian on my blender.

I remember awhile back reading the instructions on how to install NetBSD on one of my old Powerbooks. The problem is, the NetBSD kernel and base OS is supported on it, but only the serial console. So I suppose I could hook my Powerbook up to my old VT-220 in order to boot it up and then ssh or telnet into it to run software on it. But it's a Powerbook. With a 68xxx processor.

Similar anecdotes will apply to many of the 'Install Debian on your...' howtos.

Re:Why? (1)

ShanghaiBill (739463) | about a month ago | (#47319053)

My crockpot should convert electricity into heat and produce delicious stews and roasts. It doesn't need to use my search history to suggest new recipes

No, but it should be smart enough to temporarily disable the heating element when the sun goes behind a cloud, all the solar panels in your neighborhood stop producing power, and the electric company bumps up the spot price of electricity.

Re:Why? (0)

swb (14022) | about a month ago | (#47319305)

Or more intelligently, disable something else so that my reserve power can keep running the crock pot so I can eat before 11 PM and/or not have to throw out a crock pot's worth of ingredients that stopped being dinner and started becoming weapons grade clostridium botulinum.

What you describe is Brazil+1984 (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month ago | (#47319597)

Robert De Niro already had to deal with something like that in Brazil [wikipedia.org] . Unfortunately to make it more realistic now you should watch the movie along 1984 in a dual screen...

Who needs it? (2)

kheldan (1460303) | about a month ago | (#47318999)

You don't need a 'smart home', you need a 'common sense homeowner'. Besides which there are already 'smart home' systems out there that don't need to be connected to the goddamn Internet, just use those.

Re:Who needs it? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month ago | (#47321429)

Tell me more about this "Common Sense Homeowner". Does Apple HomeKit or Google Nest support this initiative? And can I control it from the internets, does it have artificial intelligence?

Re:Who needs it? (1)

kheldan (1460303) | about a month ago | (#47324449)

Being an AC the only form of intelligence you'd have would have to be the artificial kind, that's for sure.

Re: Who needs it? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month ago | (#47326705)

Precisely, I am not smart enough to wait for automated home products to mature first. Granted there are some good efficiency aspects but most of us can wait given the privacy and security risks.

Lazy (0, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about a month ago | (#47319609)

Using smart home technology when you're at home is just a solution to laziness.
Not being able to interact with your home when you're away is a problem.
Internet connected smart home devices solve this problem.

Re:Lazy (2)

PPH (736903) | about a month ago | (#47320299)

Internet connected smart home devices solve this problem.

PtP connected devices make more sense. I don't need a middleman to turn my home's thermostat down.

Re:Lazy (2)

Bing Tsher E (943915) | about a month ago | (#47320881)

The Utility companies want the ability to turn down your thermostat when they feel it's necessary. Or turn up your thermostat, if it's summertime. At this point in places they offer some sort of a 'price break' if you enable this.

Let's wait awhile. Before too long, it will be 'anti-social' if you don't voluntarily let them take this control. Eventually it will become mandatory, or over-the-top expensive not to get into that pricing arrangement. You want to be a decent person, don't you, citizen?

Re:Lazy (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month ago | (#47321409)

Can't wait for our Utility Overlords to dictate no lighting when I go take a piss at 3:00 am for the good of the hivemind.

Re:Lazy (1)

CaptnZilog (33073) | about a month ago | (#47321651)

Can't wait for our Utility Overlords to dictate no lighting when I go take a piss at 3:00 am for the good of the hivemind.

Just the opposite, 3AM is a low usage time in most places - they'll dictate that when the motion sensor goes off that you are walking into the bathroom, every light in your house goes on, and the temperature on the 'fridge goes down a few degrees to chill that late-night snack you're going to surely be getting soon.

Re:Lazy (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month ago | (#47321683)

Good point, they'll just run the lights "at full blast" during non-peak times when you're sleeping to "take advantage" of the great rates during that time!

But I'm probably a little cynical when it comes to this whole home automation stuff. I don't get the internet-connected stuff, sounds like a bad idea. Better to have things connect to a single point of failure like a hub than expose everything, not to mention the creepy corporate data tracking...

I'll wait for things to shake out over the next couple to few years; hold off on my natural "shiny gadget" tendencies. There is some good aspects to reducing energy uses, etc.

Re:Lazy (1)

PPH (736903) | about three weeks ago | (#47341289)

The Utility companies want the ability

Then they can pay for my fiber to the home connection.

Re:Lazy (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month ago | (#47321485)

> Using smart home technology when you're at home is just a solution to laziness.

Using a dishwasher when you have a sink is just a solution to laziness.
Using a word processor when you have a typewriter is just a solution to laziness.
Using an air-conditioner when you have a window is just a solution to laziness.
Using a vacuum when you have a broom is just a solution to laziness.
Using a dyer when you have a clothesline is just a solution to laziness.
Using indoor plumbing when you have a well and a bucket is just a solution to laziness.

The modern world wouldn't exist if we weren't so lazy.

Re:Lazy (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month ago | (#47323273)

Using a dishwasher when you have a sink is just a solution to laziness.

It is.

Using a word processor when you have a typewriter is just a solution to laziness.

It is.

Using an air-conditioner when you have a window is just a solution to laziness.

There are swamp coolers, ceiling or table fans, or even calorie-powered fans, all of which consume less power than an AC unit. Better insulation and proper ventilation in the house goes a long way, too.

Using a vacuum when you have a broom is just a solution to laziness.

It is.

Using a dyer when you have a clothesline is just a solution to laziness.

It is, except in very wet climes, where clothes can take a really long time to dry.

Using indoor plumbing when you have a well and a bucket is just a solution to laziness.

Not every one has a well (water table too low; live in an apartment, etc.), though a community well could serve the purpose.

The modern world wouldn't exist if we weren't so lazy.

Not really, no.

You are the product (1, Insightful)

used2win32 (531824) | about a month ago | (#47320229)

Remember: With a normal company you are the customer buying their products. With Google ~you~ are the product they sell to advertisers. They gather and sell your information, you are the product.

Re:You are the product (1)

itzly (3699663) | about a month ago | (#47321829)

Yes I know. And then I block the advertisers.

Re:You are the product (2)

Threni (635302) | about a month ago | (#47322547)

Why do people keep saying that? Nobody cares! It makes no difference to anything at any level. "Normal company"? They're all normal companies - they exist to make money. Which company isn't normal? You probably meant "companies you spent money with"; this is clearer; additionally it highlights the emptiness of your "point". People have been "the product" for years; whenever you turn on the radio, tv, pick up a newspaper, look at an advert or a logo on a branded item.

Re:You are the product (0)

Anonymous Coward | about three weeks ago | (#47330057)

True, but the growth of so-called "big data" is what concerns people. In a post-Manning/Snowden/Drake/et al world, you're gonna hear more grumblings about it.

The extent to which corporations can track people in ever minute details is unprecedented. Now the problem corps and spooks have are properly mining the data for appropriate details. Don't worry though, they'll get there eventually.

Re:You are the product (1)

Threni (635302) | about three weeks ago | (#47331657)

Not really. Whether you're paying for a service or not, people still have your data. Don't forget - any time your data, music, emails, messages etc pass through or is stored in a server/network in the US, you have to assume that the US government has access to it.

ISY994i (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month ago | (#47320465)

How come no one mentions the isy994i. it works with insteon x10 and xwave or zigbee devices is not cloud connected and costs less than 40.i It can do almost any device and has a great community.

Missing the point (1)

WaffleMonster (969671) | about a month ago | (#47321717)

All of the so called "alternatives" listed in TFA basically operate on the same crappy model of your gear connecting to vendor owned servers over the Internet to facilitate access.

When a vendor decides to change their terms of service, change service pricing model, go out of business or EOL product no longer worth their time supporting your screwed to say nothing of potential risks involved should vendor's systems become compromised...which ... never happens... regularly...

If I can't connect directly to manage my own gear I paid for without vendor being involved then no sale.

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