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Microsoft Backs Open Source For the Internet of Things

samzenpus posted about 3 months ago | from the free-and-open dept.

Microsoft 136

dcblogs writes Microsoft has joined a Linux Foundation effort to create an open platform for the Internet of Things. The AllSeen Alliance is an effort to standardize device communications. The code that it champions, called AllJoyn, was initially developed by Qualcomm but was subsequently made open source. Big vendors have been recruited to support it, and the AllSeen Alliance now includes LG, Panasonic, Sharp and Haier, among others. Its Xbox gaming platform is seen as a potential hub or control center for home devices. Microsoft's leadership in computing "and its significant Xbox business make it a potentially important contributor to the AllSeen ecosystem," said said Andy Castonguay, an analyst at Machina Research, a Reading, England-based research firm focusing on machine-to-machine (M2M) communications and the Internet of Things.

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IT'S A TRAP! (-1, Troll)

bADlOGIN (133391) | about 3 months ago | (#47372757)

That is all...

Re:IT'S A TRAP! (2, Insightful)

drinkypoo (153816) | about 3 months ago | (#47372805)

It's a trick.

Get an axe.

Re: IT'S A TRAP! (1)

darkestsoul (3010271) | about 3 months ago | (#47372999)

Like in the deal.

Re:IT'S A TRAP! (1)

Barsteward (969998) | about 3 months ago | (#47374227)

use the axe to kill Steve Balmer so he can turn in his grave.....

Embrace... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47374315)

2) ...
3) ...
4) Profit!

Re:IT'S A TRAP! (0, Troll)

russotto (537200) | about 3 months ago | (#47373075)

Obviously. Just step 1 of Microsoft's usual playbook -- embrace, extend, extinguish.

Re:IT'S A TRAP! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47373517)

This reminds me (it's a trap), why do those extremists always shout "Admiral Ackbar!" when they blow stuff up? They're all Star Wars freaks?

Re:IT'S A TRAP! (0, Troll)

uvajed_ekil (914487) | about 3 months ago | (#47373751)

Actually, it IS a trap. How long until they back away from their support of open source and back away, migrating to their own proprietary BS, taking full advantage of the progress made by others?

It's a trap, not a troll (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47373839)

Regardless of whether bADlOGIN was trolling, he is actually completely right.

Consider this article [computerworld.com] , referenced by the source. It says insurers might like to provide home automation and other "internet of things" devices for free. It mentions the "Teen Safe Driver Program" as an example of how this "free as in beer" program could work. So how does that program work? A black box in your car records events, sends it to the insurance company, and AFTER the insurance company reviews it, the parents might be given a copy of the data. That's right, the insurance company injects itself between parent and child, taking over the parent's job. Naturally, they have their own motivations which are separate from the proper parenting of children. This is espionage.

Now MS and insurance companies want to do the same for your home? That is prison.

Microsoft has been interested in home computing for decades with little to show for it beyond the X-Box. The main problem is that there is little in a home that needs to be computerized/automated/networked that hasn't already been from the beginning. A washing machine was a great automation, but there is no real need to automate it further. Have your lights turn on automatically when you come home? Nifty trick, but no one cares really. The only killer-app for home automation is spying on the residents and that is not desirable by the residents. Do they expect us to let insurance companies and other wealthy interests spy on us 24-7 in exchange for "free as in beer" worthless gadgets? To sweeten the bait they may attempt to find gadgets that are more useful. But those are just a trap.

Also, keep in mind the security of the devices. When the makers' intention is to spy on the users, there is little motivation to keep the device secure from even more spying. OpenSSL showed how a monoculture is insecure even if it is open source. Open standards with independent implementations provide security through diversity.

Obligatory (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47372789)

Who is this company and what have you done with Microsoft??!!1

Ballmer is gone guys. Not saying they're the good guys now, but it's been better lately.

They know the "Internet of Things" is a failure. (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47372907)

The "Internet of Things" is doomed to be a failure, and I think that Microsoft probably realizes this. But they also can't totally ignore it while it's the hype-du-jour, either.

The "Internet of Things" offers very few tangible benefits. Normal people just don't care if they can control their toaster using their smartphone. Most people aren't going to waste money on automatic curtains that they can control from their fridge, either.

And most people won't like the privacy implications. They may not realize how a web browser enables tracking of their behavior, but they sure as fuck will understand and totally dislike the idea of their showerhead watching them while they're naked, sending back telemetry about their genitalia so that some advertiser can target them more specifically.

In my opinion, this could very well be a token gesture to not appear out of the game, but while also not really participating in a game that nobody will win.

Re:They know the "Internet of Things" is a failure (3, Insightful)

penix1 (722987) | about 3 months ago | (#47373387)

I tend to agree with you but not to the paranoid extent you are taking it.

More to the point, I can see this being touted for home security (being able to enable / disable security systems from your phone, turn on and off lights, etc.) but that won't take off until they can guarantee the security of the Internet (which is something no company can do). As we all know, anything exposed to the Internet is just that... Exposed! To think it won't get exploited is putting your head in the sand.

Besides, for any of that stuff you don't need it exposed to the internet. Just a local network that blocks all devices that haven't been programmed into the router. That way when you lock yourself out of your house you can unlock the doors with your phone while you are standing outside. Who in their right mind would want to unlock their doors when they are on vacation?

Re:They know the "Internet of Things" is a failure (1)

jeIlomizer (3670951) | about 3 months ago | (#47373709)

but not to the paranoid extent you are taking it.

Paranoid? Companies and governments wanting to conduct surveillance on us is a simple reality that has repeated itself many times.

Re:They know the "Internet of Things" is a failure (4, Interesting)

Ol Olsoc (1175323) | about 3 months ago | (#47373755)

I tend to agree with you but not to the paranoid extent you are taking it.

More to the point, I can see this being touted for home security (being able to enable / disable security systems from your phone, turn on and off lights, etc.) but that won't take off until they can guarantee the security of the Internet (which is something no company can do).

When I think of the internet of things, I think of those home security systems from Comcast, where the happy smiling mother breaths a sigh of relief that she just saw her children get home from school. Life is good.

Wait until people see how this backfires. For those old enough to remember when only the wealthy had cell phones, there was a time whne we could envision being out of touch for a while. Hell, that was the only way I got Sundays off, by hopping in the car to not be reachable by phone. Fast forward to today. I've seen people drop into a cold sweat when their phones show no bars. "What if someone needs to get hold of me? Jesus, can't you take a route that has towers along the whole route?" Even me, if I forget my phone now, the wife freaks out.

Now imagine that happy smiling woman (for some sexist reason they always use women in these commercials) who after a few days of seeing that her children are at home, suddenly starts becoming concerned if something might happen to the house when she isn't looking. What if a fire breaks out, or someone breaks into the house while the children are home? So just like cell phones which are now a permanent fixture of the generation that never looked up, we will have home security addicts, afraid to ever look away from their screen. Maybe even demanding another screen at work so they never have the home out of site.

Soon the only time they won't be anxiously monitoring their house will be when they are there. Soon, no more happy smiling parents, just anxious nervous wrecks who can't even check facebook any more, lest something happen while they aren't' looking.

And just wait until some smartass rebellious teenager comes home, is pissed off because mommy is monitoring, and decides to moon or flash the camera. Instant kiddie pr0n! broadcast right to the cubicle. Oh, boy, the boss is mad at the unsmiling miserable woman.

Re:They know the "Internet of Things" is a failure (1)

SuricouRaven (1897204) | about 3 months ago | (#47374183)

I've seen some groundless speculation from dubious non-experts that modern connected parenting is detrimental to childrens' development, well into their teenage years. They are so well supervised and protected they can't properly develop their independance - just a generation or two ago it was fairly common practice for children to go out and play with other children, yet any parent who allowed that today would be seen as neglectful in exposing their child to danger. Because society has become hyper-sensitive to any threats to children, they no longer get to do this - every non-trivial action they take is either supervised or outright organised by an adult. This results in teenagers who are still utterly helpless without their parents around.

Re:They know the "Internet of Things" is a failure (1)

ButchDeLoria (2772751) | about 3 months ago | (#47374357)

So just like cell phones which are now a permanent fixture of the generation that never looked up...

I resent that statement. Not only do I actively avoid responding to phone calls and texts, but I only freak out about having no cell signal when I'm using my phone as a WiFi hotspot for my laptop or my desktop when the cable is out. /offtopic

Re:They know the "Internet of Things" is a failure (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47373575)

The IoT reminds me of the Clipper Chip, CPRM, SDMI 1.0 and 2.0 (with detection of musical signatures), Sony's auto installing of XCP, hardware enforced DRM stacks and other things.

Lets be real here. Other than geek value, the IoT does not benefit us as individuals. It means more DLC-like BS (picture your microwave not nuking a dinner because you didn't pay for the "microwave pizza" ability), and it means private companies in your life.

Don't forget this is a gold mine, not for the NSA, but for district attorneys here in the US who are forced to convict and prosecute by the private prison lobby. If they don't prosecute and throw the book at people, they get replaced by those who do.

Now, picture DAs going on routine expeditions obtaining the data in bulk, then hiding the fact (using parallel construction) that they did a marijuana bust because the microwave in a college dorm room reported that it nuked a lot more pizzas than normal. Or have CPS come and take kids away because the parent hasn't bought enough "registered" processed foods.

IMHO, we need to run from anything IoT related. The other shoe will drop once IoT devices become available, and that is mandatory use of them (failure to buy "registered" (nope, can't use that cow in the backyard farm) milk cartons means abuse of a kid (and the kids being taken away), drinking too much soda will notify the insurance company, too much alcohol will notify doctors who can get one deemed incompetent [1].)

IoT is a nightmare beyond 1984. In 1984, telescreens were just one per room. Now imagine every single device down to the condom in use reporting anything it can.

[1]: There is a reason why the prison companies are investing in mental institutions. It will be their next money maker after the immigration detention centers. It wouldn't take much to change the law to have things back to the 1950s where it just takes two doctors or social workers to get someone committed for the rest of their days (and give a tidy profit to the private company running the local "hospital".)

Re:They know the "Internet of Things" is a failure (1)

Ol Olsoc (1175323) | about 3 months ago | (#47373761)

You forgot something about chemtrails there Sparky.

Re: They know the "Internet of Things" is a failur (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47374155)

I'd rather be sparky than snarky. One is bright and lively, the other is just mean.

Re:They know the "Internet of Things" is a failure (1)

jenningsthecat (1525947) | about 3 months ago | (#47373791)

The "Internet of Things" offers very few tangible benefits. Normal people just don't care if they can control their toaster using their smartphone. Most people aren't going to waste money on automatic curtains that they can control from their fridge, either.

This attitude reminds me of how I felt when cell phones started incorporating cameras. I didn't want one, thought it was a stupid idea, and couldn't see how the idea would ever take off. Now I use mine all the time. It was a similar story with 'the cloud', except I saw the attraction and the utility - I just don't like giving up that much control over my data.

The point is that new technologies, (and new uses for/integrations of them), have a way of becoming wildly popular and successful, even when their usefulness or appeal isn't immediately evident to most of us. Smart companies realize that and gamble on new tech and new uses for existing tech; these gambles often pay off big time.

I'm still not happy with MS getting into bed with Open Source though. My first thought was best expressed by an earlier commenter talking about 'embrace, extend, eliminate'. My second thought is 'who's fucking whom here', and I'm afraid I already know the answer.

Re:They know the "Internet of Things" is a failure (1)

SuricouRaven (1897204) | about 3 months ago | (#47374193)

The Internet of Things offers many benefits - just not for most people. Pair it up with big data analytics and you've some potential for really useful things. Like a power grid that can dynamically manage demand on a second-by-second basis by modulating things like car chargers and air conditioning, or a city that can anticipate traffic congestion in real time and adjust signal timings to avert it.

Re:Obligatory (2)

lgw (121541) | about 3 months ago | (#47373699)

Microsoft's owners (the shareholders) realized the old Microsoft was a dead end. Everyone involved with putting Windows 8 out over the objections of the usability studies is gone now, up to and including Bill Gates. The asshole who used to be in charge of Xbone who was badmouthing customers? Gone. The message that MS can't dictate terms anymore was heard - not by management, but by shareholders.

So, yeah, it is a new Microsoft. Better? Almost certainly - even at random that's almost sure to be true. But they seem to realize now how quickly their user base is shrinking, and how desperately they need to succeed on new platforms.

So now we get Android phone sold by MS, and embrace of open source, and especially an attempt to make Xbone everything they possibly can in the living room. Without a low-end tablet or TV OS, the Xbone is their only chance for a presence in the new world of computing.

Re:Obligatory (1)

SuricouRaven (1897204) | about 3 months ago | (#47374207)

Windows 8 was supposed to flop. It's a strategic release, not tactical. Microsoft management knew full well that everyone will hate it, but they still have the power to force it out, and use it to establish new technologies that are of great benefit to Microsoft in the long term. Things like the Windows store - they've seen how successful Apple was with that business model, and they want to copy it. Or Secure Boot, which offers up a screw which may one day be tightened to seriously harm linux on the desktop. The problem with selling operating systems is that once people are happy with what they have they won't be paying for an upgrade (See XP) - so Microsoft is aiming to stop just selling the OS, and start selling the whole ecosystem around it. OS, software distribution, cloud services.

Uhh (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47372819)

Is this like in the matrix where neo jumps into the agent and eats it from within (but in reverse) ?

Re:Uhh (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47372845)

Have you watched matrix 3? If not, you don't need to (its really a very boring movie), i'll spoil to you that exactly this will happen at the end of the movie.

Re:Uhh (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47372959)

Uhh yah - it's almost as though that's what I was referring to :P

Re:Uhh (1)

SuricouRaven (1897204) | about 3 months ago | (#47374209)

You could also have been refering to a scene near the end of Matrix 1, where Neo tests out his new godlike powers.

Speling (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47372841)

AllJoyn.

I wish Linux programers could spel.

Trust, i do not (-1, Flamebait)

nurb432 (527695) | about 3 months ago | (#47372843)

Microsoft, evil it is.

Re:Trust, i do not (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47372877)

want to copy google android success, microsoft does. promote xbox, microsoft wants. Even in darth vader a small piece of good can be.

Re:Trust, i do not (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47373199)

Why? It comes with a built in backdoor provided by the NSA. Should be safe.

Trust (1, Interesting)

rtb61 (674572) | about 3 months ago | (#47372865)

Can M$ be trusted with this http://www.computerworld.com/s... [computerworld.com] . M$ and insurance companies partner to make insurance cheaper? The whole system is sounding way, way to invasive. The internet of things with cameras, microphones, security systems (motion and heat detectors, monitoring all access and egress points), computers, modem and mobile phone. Everything you ever say or do can be monitored, recorded, filtered (make nothing look bad whilst hiding the good) and used against you by anyone with access, both government and corporate.

Uniform standard for connection is a bad idea much smarter would be strong limits on connections with secured protocols for different classes of appliances. Some protocols would be internal only and blocked from reaching out across the internet. Others would be restricted to only specific kinds of encrypted access perhaps even with legislated controls on that access. Very few would have 'open' unencrypted access. So how about a name change. THE ALLSEEN AND SECURED ALLIANCE as a reminder of what you need to be focused on.

PS exactly how much money has the NSA put into this :(.

Re:Trust (4, Insightful)

geekoid (135745) | about 3 months ago | (#47372955)

"M$" makes you sound like some sort of drooling loon.

Re:Trust (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47373237)

"M$" makes you sound like some sort of drooling loon.

Complaining about a common nickname for a despised organisation makes you seem like a paid social media management sockpuppet trying to change public perceptions.

Re:Trust (0, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47373311)

"Complaining about a common nickname for a despised organisation makes you seem like a paid social media management sockpuppet trying to change public perceptions."

+1 INSIGHTFUL

Re:Trust (4, Funny)

Nemyst (1383049) | about 3 months ago | (#47373781)

Why is this modded insightful? Using "M$" and other such derogatory acronyms was fine when you were 12, but people come to Slashdot for (hopefully) enlightening discussion. Using "M$" is like swearing in a debate, it makes you completely out of place.

Re:Trust (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47374143)

Fuckwit.

Re:Trust (1)

serviscope_minor (664417) | about 3 months ago | (#47374557)

Why is this modded insightful? Using "M$" and other such derogatory acronyms was fine when you were 12, but people come to Slashdot for (hopefully) enlightening discussion.

Personally, I always preferred Micros~1. Plus that took a quite reasonable dig at the awful FAT-32 filing system which was entirely justified.

Actually, I'm kidding. I used them all. Micros~1, Micro$oft, M$, Micro$shaft, and of course Losedos.

Re:Trust (0)

rtb61 (674572) | about 3 months ago | (#47373445)

As Always I use MS specifically for http://www.msaustralia.org.au/ [msaustralia.org.au] , http://www.msnz.org.nz/ [msnz.org.nz] , https://beta.mssociety.ca/ [mssociety.ca] , http://www.mssociety.org.uk/ [mssociety.org.uk] , http://www.mymsaa.org/ [mymsaa.org] (Ohh Look M$ scared them off). Of course also if you had any history going you would know when it comes to coding M$ was big on the $ not to do with making money. Of course the M$ first use came with stories about the creation of rental models and advertising in application way back in the nineties.

So all of your don't ignore MS and dig deep, remember how important our noggins are to geeks and nerds. Thanks to you for your M$ paranoia, it gives me the opportunity to promote worthwhile charities, only happens about once a year. Some silly anal retentive type has to spout off and a bunch of modders from a particular company join in (there I used M$ five times including this are you happy yet?).

Re:Trust (-1)

Trogre (513942) | about 3 months ago | (#47373473)

No.

M$ is the acceptable shorthand for Microsoft Corporation, commonly used by those who dislike them.

And, if you have been paying any attention to the activities of that company, this will include you.

Re:Trust (0)

rtb61 (674572) | about 3 months ago | (#47373479)

Ahh the psychic commenter claiming to know what is in my mind. I can assure when I refer to MSM, I use, MSN, check my comment history, I never stick the $ in MSN. Go look check it out for yourself as far back as you want to go, LIAR.

Re:Trust (1)

Trogre (513942) | about 3 months ago | (#47374471)

o_O

I'm... not... sure you're replying to the right post there, sonny. I was the one backing up your fair use of the legitimate term M$. I know nothing of your use of MSN, with a $ or otherwise.

Re:Trust (1)

rtb61 (674572) | about 3 months ago | (#47374125)

PS I also use MY MSN have done so for decades, prefer it to Google. I also do not use GMail at all. Dislike BING mostly because of the name, it really comes off as goofy, always reminds me of the insurance salesman in Groundhog Day (wasn't 'B' for Ballmer an insurance salesman), never could understand why the would devalue the MSN brand as in MSN Search, MSN kind of rolls off the tongue. Ain't no amount of intimidation or insults ever going to stop me from what I have been doing for over 20 YEARS M$ it was and M$ it will be and it really is pretty childish of the M$ marketdroids to try.

Re:Trust (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47374247)

And, if you have been paying any attention to the activities of that company, this will include you.

No. Wrong. If you pay attention to the activities of almost any large corporation, you'll find things to dislike. However, I love Microsoft compared to the alternatives. I don't prefer getting fucked up the ass by Apple and I don't want to associate with dumbass neck-beard faggots that promote Linux. Microsoft makes an operating system I like, gives me no trouble, and has steadily improved over the course of 20 years. Idiots, assholes, and trolls like you will disagree, but that's all the more reason to stay loyal to Microsoft.

Re:Trust (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47373851)

Yeah, better would have been to say "Micro$hit" and "Winblows".

Re:Trust (1)

ArsonSmith (13997) | about 3 months ago | (#47373861)

I don't think the spell check and grammar check in M$ Word are "that" bad.

Re:Trust (1, Insightful)

tapi0 (2805569) | about 3 months ago | (#47372967)

You lost me at M$
Anyone wanting a serious discussion about MSFT automatically deducts credibility points from people using the outdated "M$", "Micro$oft" or "Microshaft" (amongst others)

Re:Trust (0)

lannocc (568669) | about 3 months ago | (#47373685)

Chill. "M$" is close enough to "MS" that I bet many people don't interpret it in a derogatory fashion. In fact, I think it's a rather cool re-branding. Anyways, I don't whine when people call Linux linux, linus, lennox, GNU/Linux, whatever. Besides, you're the first to be throwing out the term "Microshaft" on this story's forum here; perhaps you're just here to feed the trolls!

Re:Trust (1)

ButchDeLoria (2772751) | about 3 months ago | (#47374377)

What about the ever-popular 'Lunix?'

Re:Trust (1)

tapi0 (2805569) | about 3 months ago | (#47374511)

Perhaps you're right, maybe it's just moved on to an accepted alias
It does just seem to indicate an unwillingness to move on though, and potentially hurts any point trying to make as the first thought is that whoever's using it is clinging to (potentially) outdated grievances, and allegiances, rather than wanting open discourse.
But I think I was being a little OTT there, it was late and I responded quickly.

Re:Trust (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47373917)

Pull your head in look at what's going on around you, you myopic twit

Uniform standards create new markets (4, Insightful)

TapeCutter (624760) | about 3 months ago | (#47373399)

Fax machines were invented in the 1930's, they didn't really take off until the 1980's. The reason being that before the 1980's there was no comms standard for fax machines, if you wanted to send a fax the other person had to have the same brand of machine for it to work. This meant business could have an internal fax system but it was useless for interfacing with any external entity.

It's also somewhat paradoxical that without the "bad idea" of TCP-IP we wouldn't be having this conversation. I really don't understand the slashdot paranoia, nobody is forcing you to put these gimmicks in your home, and governments/corporations can already crush you like a grape today if they so desired. So even if your every movement was forcibly broadcast live around the planet, I can't see how you have anything to lose other than your dignity.

Re:Uniform standards create new markets (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47373805)

No we are not forced to use these gimmicks, but if we wish to use viable home automation systems, having Microsoft putting a poison pill in the de facto system would probably be better.

Re:Uniform standards create new markets (1)

advocate_one (662832) | about 3 months ago | (#47374269)

Fax machines only really took off in the UK when our Royal Mail went on strike and businesses discovered they could fax documents to each other and the signatures on them could be considered valid...

Re:Uniform standards create new markets (1)

rastos1 (601318) | about 3 months ago | (#47374305)

I can't see how you have anything to lose other than your dignity

I do care about my dignity, you insensitive clod.

AllJoyn == P2P dbus (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47372879)

AllJoyn uses the D-BUS wire protocol and is essentially a networked, peer-to-peer D-BUS.

Nerds, please make the IoT work... (2, Insightful)

uCallHimDrJ0NES (2546640) | about 3 months ago | (#47372921)

...so we can steal it from you in the future and sell the resulting data to governments. You have our permission to be geniuses for exactly as long as it takes to innovate this IoT stuff. Have you heard about our Partner Program? You'll love it! Don't worry, we won't suddenly start competing with you instead of partnering with you while you're busy working your job. Let's get some standards drafted! Love, MS

Re:Nerds, please make the IoT work... (1)

bug1 (96678) | about 3 months ago | (#47373013)

Yep, big linnup of corporate freeloaders trying to get in early in the exploitation of others.

We need to abandon freedom 0 (The freedom to run the program, for any purpose),
The Free software movement should not demand that software be allowed to be used to make society less free. We cant just concern ourselves with software, we are not an island,
We need a non-commercial licence

Re:Nerds, please make the IoT work... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47373109)

I'm technically doing something like this. Or at least the bosses are saying it's internet-of-things stuff. And it is likely to never be open source stuff. All sorts of standards though as the marketing people and customers want standards no matter how impractical and even better if the standard uses XML over a pitifully tiny bandwidth. But the source is likely to be closed because that's where the real money is. Selling dirt cheap boards and chips won't make any money. The software is what makes the whole product worth something. That package may be sold to third parties to integrate into their own product and they won't buy ours if someone else can make it a penny cheaper and just copy our software. Competitors may say that our product is a great idea and something no one else does and too bad they don't know how to do the same thing... oh wait, they can just copy it all. So the comptition isn't about which company is the most innovative but which company is the biggest and most able to manufacture the most efficiently.

While the open source is great and I support it, practically speaking there's no way the executives and the legal department would ever let something like this happen. Which is why the companies listed above are basically the big giant manufacturers that are inexpensive but dumb as nails. What a lot of customers are going to want is the basic internet-of-things module where they attach their own proprietary piece to make a finished product.

Re:Nerds, please make the IoT work... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47373485)

That sounds more like Google and Apple than Microsoft that take open source and package it as proprietary (or slap a whole heap of proprietary on top of it to make it usable). The problem is "nerds" can make brilliant products for themselves (development/IT/infrastructure tools) but not for end users. Decades on and linux distros are still just poor clones of Windows and OSX, nothing innovative or disruptive.

Ultimately it would seem that the "nerds" need these big corporations to take their work, do all the additional work and turn it into a real consumer product so the "nerds" can then copy that. There still is no decent free PC, tablet, multimedia player or smartphone despite much of Apple and Google's work being built atop open source and free software.

Re:Nerds, please make the IoT work... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47373807)

Umm... UNIX was around long before Winblows and OSX. As a mater of fact OSX was based on Linux.

Re:Nerds, please make the IoT work... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47373887)

Umm... UNIX was around long before Winblows and OSX.

and UNIX is not open source or free software, it's a corporate development of AT&T's Bell Labs so include UNIX in the list of corporate products the "nerds" attempt to copy.

As a mater of fact OSX was based on Linux.

wrong, its kernel is combination of Mach and BSD kernels, nothing to do with Linux. Based on the content of your comment it appears you dont have much knowledge on this subject at all.

Re:Nerds, please make the IoT work... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47373869)

If this is the same end user who has a desktop full of icons (and can't find a program or file if it accidentally gets deleted from the desktop), saves documents and then can't find them again, sends money to Nigerian princes, uses passwords like 12345678 or "password", uses IE (yikes!) and Bing (double yikes!) because that's what came with the computer, etc., I think the problem might be the end user, not that "nerds can't design products.

what is internet of things (1)

Spy Handler (822350) | about 3 months ago | (#47372925)

as opposed to internet of ideas? Or internet of energy?

Re:what is internet of things (1)

geekoid (135745) | about 3 months ago | (#47372969)

It's using the internet to control the devices around you. lights, thermostats, that sort of thing. The idea and term is over 20 years old.

Re:what is internet of things (1)

Darinbob (1142669) | about 3 months ago | (#47373123)

An IP address on lots of things not typically on the network today. Although practically it's a lot like "The Cloud" in that it's more of a high concept marketing idea than what it really is. Networked smart meters could be considered internet of things, and those silly Nest things, or refrigerators that send you tweets when the yogurt goes bad. It may be normal high bandwidth stuff (refrigerator talks wifi) or very low bandwidth but long distance like smart meters or sensors. Overall though it just gets a lot of business development people really excited to have a new buzzword.

Re:what is internet of things (2)

Earthquake Retrofit (1372207) | about 3 months ago | (#47373287)

It's a wonderful place where I can operate all kinds of devices with my smartphone from wherever I happen to be. All kinds things like toasters, security systems, cars, nuclear power plants... oh wait.

Steve

Re:what is internet of things (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47373649)

It is what Microsoft wants the Xbox to connect to. First they get an Xbox in every home, then connect it to every appliance in your home, then Skynet officially goes online

Re:what is internet of things (1)

creimer (824291) | about 3 months ago | (#47373829)

An IP-enabled toilet will analyze your poop, send the results to your doctor, and schedule an appointment to have your doctor inform you that you only have six months to live. That's only the beginning of Big Brother, Skynet or whatever else.

Let's not AllJoyn the "AllSeen" Alliance... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47372935)

s/communication/surveillance/gi

s/.* of things/dragnet/gi

Fantastic! Open sourcing will make pwning easier! (4, Insightful)

BUL2294 (1081735) | about 3 months ago | (#47372965)

Everything about the IoT is a bad idea, especially when it comes to security on old devices. Now there's a consortium to open-source some of the code? Even better--for those who want to cause harm.

Right now, most household appliances (refrigerators, stoves, thermostats, home automation, home security, etc.) are devices that are closed off. So, even though my stove may have a security hole, I might not be able to exploit it without using a JTAG. Ultimately, there's no easy way to exploit them unless you have physical access to the internals of the appliance. But the IoT changes that--and not for the better. To add, many of the devices you'd want to connect to the IoT have lifespans of decades. So, unless we get government action saying that "if you want to make an IoT device, you have to provide security support for 20+ years", we'll end up with pwned thermostats that we can't change, the fridge that now sends spam & doesn't have enough available processing power to turn on the compressor, or that my TV now shows popup ads for hookers, offshore pharmacies selling Viagra, and other ads in front of the kids & I can't shut it off. And all the better when the pwned IoT fridge wants to talk to my non-pwned IoT Smart TV. On top of that, it won't help that the Linux kernel (or Apache, PHP, MySQL, drivers, etc.) it's running on is 20 years old & nobody--except malware authors--has looked at that version for over a decade...

What an obvious clusterfuck waiting to happen... I'm just waiting for a group of early Smart TVs to get bricked because some malware does something to them--and the manufacturer says "not our problem--it's old!" Then people might realize what a Pandora's Box this is...

Re:Fantastic! Open sourcing will make pwning easie (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47373053)

Indeed, imagine the scope of a 'heartbleed' type vulnerability.

Perhaps a better idea would be the "Intranet" of things

Re:Fantastic! Open sourcing will make pwning easie (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47373317)

> What an obvious clusterfuck waiting to happen... I'm just waiting for a group of early Smart TVs to get bricked because some malware does something to them--and the manufacturer says "not our problem--it's old!"

What does manufacturer abandonment have to do with open-sourcing the software inside the devices? (Nothing, I suspect.)
Closed source doesn't do much to slow down 'sploit writers. Moreover, opening the source code gives nerds a fighting chance to update abandoned devices. Don't believe me? Look at Cyanogenmod.

Re:Fantastic! Open sourcing will make pwning easie (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47373403)

The AllJoyn stack is open source, not necessarily the whole software on the device. And the license is permissible so you don't even know what changes are required to work on the device.

As for Cyanogenmod, ook how many Android devices are not supported by it, even though all those devices are phones with the more or less the same features. And because they are complex devices, they use more or less the same hardware components without only slight variations.
Now imagine in your home, how the devices are completely different beasts, some with their own custom hardware.

Re:Fantastic! Open sourcing will make pwning easie (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47373491)

> The AllJoyn stack is open source, not necessarily the whole software on the device.

The Cyanogenmod folks got KitKat to work nicely on the Nexus S, despite the presence of several binary blobs that were written to work with older versions of Android.

> As for Cyanogenmod, ook how many Android devices are not supported by it...

I said "gives nerds a fighting chance", not "gives companies a reason to pour dollars and full-time manpower into maintenance of software for abandoned hardware". Please have some perspective. :)

Re:Fantastic! Open sourcing will make pwning easie (1)

BUL2294 (1081735) | about 3 months ago | (#47373511)

Closed source doesn't do much to slow down 'sploit writers. Moreover, opening the source code gives nerds a fighting chance to update abandoned devices. Don't believe me? Look at Cyanogenmod.

Really? There's enough encryption, licensing, hardware, etc., that prevents most users from rooting their Android & iOS devices. I have an Android phone and I am a nerd. But I'm still afraid to put Cyanogenmod (or another distro) on my phone for fear that it'd be an expensive one-way trip. Manufacturers have come a long way since the simple hardware that Rockbox [rockbox.org] could be used on... (Notice how Rockbox hasn't added any devices lately--and that the project is receiving less submissions...)

And just because something has been open sourced & the code has been dumped onto Sourceforge or GitHub doesn't mean someone's actively working on the project. And most manufacturers would not cede control of the code, even for 5-10 year old devices, lest that code be used by a competitor--or worse, by someone filing a lawsuit for a defective product...

Re:Fantastic! Open sourcing will make pwning easie (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47374251)

> There's enough encryption, licensing, hardware, etc., that prevents most users from rooting their ... iOS devices.

$ git clone git://developer.apple.com/ios
Cloning into 'ios'...
fatal: iOS is a proprietary operating system, you git!
$

> But I'm still afraid to put Cyanogenmod (or another distro) on my phone for fear that it'd be an expensive one-way trip.

That sounds like a personal problem. If the process is documented in the CM wiki, and you meet the prerequisites, and you follow the instructions, it works.

> And just because something has been open sourced & the code has been dumped onto Sourceforge or GitHub doesn't mean someone's actively working on the project.

Agreed. I never claimed otherwise.

Re:Fantastic! Open sourcing will make pwning easie (1)

tlhIngan (30335) | about 3 months ago | (#47374079)

Moreover, opening the source code gives nerds a fighting chance to update abandoned devices. Don't believe me? Look at Cyanogenmod.

Only if your device is "popular" enough. Given there are dozens of new Android phones being released daily (Samsung alone just released 4 "budget phones" yesterday), I don't see how Cyanogen can support them. In fact, I'm pretty much going to say Cyanogen only supports phones the nerds want - the high end high spec phones.

Meanwhile, if you're one of the people owning the 90% of phones sold for free or cheap with contract, I'm fairly certain odds are against you on having Cyanogen support for your phone.

(The "flagships" and interesting phones make up less than 10% of the Android population - Google said during the I/O they had 1B unique devices the past 30 days. In the past 2 years, the flagship phones sold less than 100M).

So some IoT stuff will have modded firmware. The vast majority of stuff probably won't.

Re:Fantastic! Open sourcing will make pwning easie (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47374239)

> So some IoT stuff will have modded firmware. The vast majority of stuff probably won't.

Agreed. I said "gives nerds a fighting chance", not "gives companies a reason to pour dollars and full-time manpower into maintenance of software for abandoned hardware".

Extending the life of interesting and/or high-quality hardware well beyond the manufacturer's planned obsolescence period is better than being unable to extend the life of any hardware at all. Do you disagree?

Re:Fantastic! Open sourcing will make pwning easie (1)

ButchDeLoria (2772751) | about 3 months ago | (#47374389)

Cyanogen supports some of the more popular mid-spec devices, like the Moto G, as well. But you are right, they won't support, say, a random DoCoMo Android-based fliphone made for the Japanese market.

Re:Fantastic! Open sourcing will make pwning easie (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47373819)

Open source is a good thing, because you can see what it's doing. What are you smoking? Even if it did make it more vulnerability, everyone has a moral right to know what the devices are doing.

Re:Fantastic! Open sourcing will make pwning easie (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47373901)

Yup, XP would be better than open source.

Re:Fantastic! Open sourcing will make pwning easie (1)

jkrise (535370) | about 3 months ago | (#47374167)

and the manufacturer says "not our problem--it's old!" Then people might realize what a Pandora's Box this is...

This is exactly what Microsoft is saying about Windows XP. For IOT devices lasting dozens of years, it is better to stay as far away from Microsoft as possible.

Re:Fantastic! Open sourcing will make pwning easie (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47374255)

On top of that, it won't help that the Linux kernel (or Apache, PHP, MySQL, drivers, etc.) it's running on is 20 years old & nobody--except malware authors--has looked at that version for over a decade...

Constant kernel and software stack updates for stoves!
  What would it take to make a device software supported for over 25 years (just like those old workstations with some BSD distributions)? A set of common, portable IoT platforms above which the manufacturers and others could build and a set of protocols and APIs which would enable the interoperability. Scaling down functionality of the device as a function of support becoming impossible would cause problems with the consumers, unless the customers themselves were controlling the process and were clearly informed about the impact of updates outside of the warranty period.

Xbox as the home hub? (-1, Troll)

ArcadeMan (2766669) | about 3 months ago | (#47372977)

Its Xbox gaming platform is seen as a potential hub or control center for home devices.

Does a vendor lock-in for a big, expensive, power-hungry, heat-producing box sounds like a good idea to anyone?

Re:Xbox as the home hub? (1)

AHuxley (892839) | about 3 months ago | (#47373211)

More firms will just stay on the Windows PC side, PS4, explore Apple and Linux options. Why be trapped on the platform side?

Danger, danger, Will Robinson!!!!!! (0)

QuietLagoon (813062) | about 3 months ago | (#47373017)

...Its Xbox gaming platform is seen as a potential hub or control center for home devices....

At some point, the XBox will have "special" protocols and interfaces so that Microsoft will be able to push its own incompatible version of any infrastructure. History has shown that to be the manner in which Microsoft operates.

Microsoft does not know how to work in a marketspace where the playing field is level, so Microsoft will always strive to tilt the playing field in its favor.

More embrace, extend, extinguish (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47373079)

It's amazing how much money they spend in attempts to destroy open source when if they instead invested the money in starting to hire decent developers, they might be able to actually compete. Instead, they try to be underhanded since they have no confidence in themselves.

Linux and Open Source as buzzwords (1)

Mister Liberty (769145) | about 3 months ago | (#47373391)

Is there anybody here that misreads Microsoft's motives?
MS wants their foot in your Windows, your door and your fire escape.

Re:Linux and Open Source as buzzwords (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47373477)

Often there are people on Slashdot who want Microsoft to release open source things. When they do, though, it's perceived as a trap.

Microsoft has form (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47374101)

Perhaps because of the number of times it turned out to be a trap. Embrace/Extend/Extinguish. It's going to take a long time before seeing MS "embrace" a standard doesn't automatically trigger an "oh crap, not again" reaction in us old timers.

Re:Microsoft has form (1)

exomondo (1725132) | about 3 months ago | (#47374225)

Perhaps because of the number of times it turned out to be a trap. Embrace/Extend/Extinguish. It's going to take a long time before seeing MS "embrace" a standard doesn't automatically trigger an "oh crap, not again" reaction in us old timers.

Old timers with alzheimer's maybe. I can't remember a time they released open source stuff and it turned out to be a trap. The essence of the "EEE" concept is adding additional proprietary functionality that developers ultimately use because they need it and because they aren't worried about compatibility of other platforms because the only platform that matters is Microsoft's. But how does that apply here? Actually how does that apply anywhere these days? The days of Microsoft having a monopoly even in personal computing are long over.

We've seen M$ before (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47373619)

... to standardize device communications ...

Ahh, ahh, ahh! We've seen this story before: M$ joins a standards alliance for some software protocol, M$ releases their own dysfunctional version of protocol, M$ replaces open protocol with proprietary protocol. The result is a broken alliance and multiple versions of an open protocol. All hail the abuse of a market monopoly!

Is it any surprise (1)

MouseTheLuckyDog (2752443) | about 3 months ago | (#47373765)

that a company whose proprietary phone OS's and tablet OS's are having a hard time gaining traction in the market place are now pushing for nonproprietary OS's to control small devices?

History! (5, Interesting)

Altrag (195300) | about 3 months ago | (#47373779)

1. Embrace <-- you are here
2. Extend
3. Extinguish

Seems to be a lot of downvoting going on (1)

BoogieChile (517082) | about 3 months ago | (#47373785)

Is it just me or or is anyone else noticing a lot of flamebait and troll mods being applied to any comment reminding people of Microsoft's standard operational practice when faced with a potential new market?

Embrace, Extend and Extinguish [http] was a real thing, and this sort of behaviour might make people suspect that the lepoard has not changed his shorts.

Re:Seems to be a lot of downvoting going on (1)

exomondo (1725132) | about 3 months ago | (#47374059)

I would suspect because things like "EEE" were from nearly 2 decades ago in a time when the company was run by Bill Gates, who has since been succeeded by Steve Ballmer who has since been succeeded by Satya Nadella. It's the same as when Google introduces a new product and we get those same posts polluting the story "reminding" us of how many products they have killed off or their StreetView wifi case. The same as how in just about every Apple story we get "reminded" of issues like the iPhone 4's antenna or the iBooks anti-trust saga.

Do you really need to be reminded of these things every single story? Of course the intention is to incite arguments and it's always the same old stuff every time, often argued by the same people. I'm quite sure it gets pretty tiresome.

Patents? (2)

advocate_one (662832) | about 3 months ago | (#47374275)

What's happening with any patents that Microsoft raises on this tech? Will they be truly open patents free to implement in open source products that are freely redistributable? The article makes no mention of this.

how many bleepin' minutes do you have to wait between posting these days?

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