Ask Hackaday: The Internet Of Things And The Coming Age Of Big Data

Samsung has thrown its hat into the Internet of Things ring with its ARTIK platform. Consisting of three boards, each possesses a capability proportional to their size. The smallest comes in at just 12x12mm, but still packs a dual core processor running at 250MHz on top of 5 MB flash with bluetooth.  The largest is 29x39mm and sports a 1.3GHz ARM, 18 gigs of memory and an array of connectivity. The ARTIK platform is advertised to be completely compatible with the Arduino platform.

Each of these little IoT boards is also equipped with Samsung’s Secure Element. Worthy of an article on its own, this crypto hardware appears to be built into the processor, and supports several standards. If you dig deep enough, you’ll find the preliminary datasheet (PDF) to each of these boards. It is this Secure Element thing that separates the ARTIK platform from the numerous other IoT devices that have crossed our memory banks, and brings forth an interesting question. With the age of the Internet of Things upon us, how do we manage all of that data while keeping it secure and private?

What is The Internet of Things?

These kind of terms get thrown around too much. It was just the other day I was watching television and heard someone talk about ‘hacking’ their dinner. Really? Wiki defines the IoT as –

“a network of physical objects or “things” embedded with electronics, software, sensors and connectivity to enable it to achieve greater value and service by exchanging data with the manufacturer, operator and/or other connected devices.”

Let’s paint a realistic picture of this. Imagine your toaster, shower head, car and TV were equipped with little IoT boards, each of which connects to your personal network. You walk downstairs, put the toast in the toaster, and turn on the TV to catch the morning traffic. A little window pops up and tells you the temperature outside, and asks if you want it to start your car and turn on the air conditioning. You select “yes”, but not before you get a text message saying your toast is ready. Meanwhile, your daughter is complaining the shower stopped working, making you remind her that you’ve programmed it to use only so much water per shower, and that there is a current clean water crisis in the country.

This is the future we all have to look forward to. A future that we will make. Why? Because we can. But this future with its technical advancements does not come without problems. We’ve already seen how malicious hackers can interfere with these IoT devices in not so friendly ways.

Is it possible for our neighbor’s teenage kid to hack into our shower head? Could she turn our toaster on when we’re not home? Or even start our car? Let’s take this even further – could the government monitor the amount of time you spend in the shower? The amount of energy your toaster uses? The amount of time you let your car idle?

Clearly, the coming age of the Internet of Things doesn’t look as nice when we lose the rose colored glasses. The question is how do we shape our future connected lives in a way that is secure and private? If closed source companies like Samsung get their IoT technology into our everyday household items, would you bet a pallet of Raspberry Pi’s that the government will mine them for data?

This, however, does not have to happen. This future is ours. We made it. We know how it works – down to the ones and zeros. There is no fate, except that which we make. Can we make the coming IoT revolution open source? Because if we can, our community will be able to help ensure safety and privacy and keep our personal data out of the government’s hands. If we cannot, and the closed source side of things wins, we’ll have no choice but to dig in and weed out the vulnerabilities the hard way. So keep your soldering irons sharp and your bus pirates calibrated. There’s a war brewing.

67 thoughts on “Ask Hackaday: The Internet Of Things And The Coming Age Of Big Data

  1. …or the rose colored glasses of the IoT definition above, but rather that of collecting your personal information by tailoring your interaction and behavior through behavior manipulation and removing the randomness of the data.

    1. THIS. would have also accepted “spending $80 to track a .03 cent change in power consumption of all 200 IoT devices in your house.” I find it dumb and useless but a great way to move .68 chinese baubles that can’t possibly have any attack vectors :P

  2. Everybody is talking about what we CAN do but nobody ask IF we should do it.
    I’m interested in the technology and I see a few Use Cases where IoT makes sense, like metering of energy and water consumption but why would I need a showerhead or a toaster with Wifi? So an app is telling me that my toast is done or the water is now having the right temperature… Though I love technology I don’t want to spend the whole day staring at a screen or getting notified by… whatever…

    For me IoT is a similar buzzword like industry 4.0… everybody is talking about it, every company is advertising with fancy stuff. But do I see useful products or ideas coming out of that hype? Very few.

    In my eyes *grab popcorn* IoT and Industry 4.0 hypes made by people who have no idea about technologie… I attended a conference about wearables not too long ago, the most technical thing about it was that bigger screens will shorten battery life, the rest of it was simply shiny advertising about how cool this stuff is.

    1. Yeah, toast is a silly example, meant more to demonstrate that the tech will soon be so cheap and pervasive that it could be used for trivial things. Real, worthwhile uses tend to emerge when the tech is in place.

      For example, I got a late start on a pot roast dinner. What usually takes me eight hours to cook was needed in four. With X10, and a couple of RF thermometers I was able to control the temperature of my old analog crock pot, and see how fast heat was penetrating into the roast. Within 30 minutes I had enough data to do some curve fitting in Excel, and see when it would be done (collagen almost fully converted to gelatin) at the current temperature. Then I predicted and set the exact temperature that would do it within the allotted time. It worked perfectly. Wouldn’t have been possible without the tech already in place, guesswork probably wouldn’t have resulted in quite as good a meal.

      There are plenty of things I’d like to be notified of. Still not toast. But for example, when the flow from an aquarium filter is becoming restricted, or an impeller has jammed.

        1. Yes and no. People probably wouldn’t notice the LED. Perhaps if it tweeted, at least their friends/parents might notice and tell them….

          In reality, there are some more interesting things I am working on (that others have also attempted):

          -A chicken coop controller: In the more northern states, chickens need some extra light to keep laying in the winter months. An automated controller to keep some extra lights on would be handy (and is on my list). Also, I am looking at warnings if the temps gets too hot or cold inside. Not really going for a full HVAC system there, but would like to be worked up before I have frozen chickens.

          -A connected gardening system that monitors soil moisture levels and automatically waters based on the moisture level. The IOT part comes from reading atmospheric conditions and weather forecasting (why water if it’s about to rain?).

          In both of those cases, it more of an InTRAnet of Things than Internet of Things since the entire world doesn’t need to know about my chickens. That said, Amazon already has those little buttons for re-ordering your laundry soap and whatnot and you can bet that it won’t take too long for their data mining to start telling you it’s time to re-order.

          This will be great for companies looking for loyal customers willing to pay a small premium for convenience. Not so much toast, but things like those Coffee Pod systems that could automatically keep you stocked so you never run out, or water filters than can re-order instead of blinking that LED that you forget about.

      1. Was the crock pot thing really IoT? You could get data with a wired processor, and then there’s using wireless, and then there’s another step to going to the internet.

        And technically they already monitor our electricity and water usage. I don’t know much about the utility side of things.

        But these IoT things might happen if they become trivially cheap. Microcontrollers are cheap enough for toasters these days. Maybe in the future there we’ll ignore things on the internet the way we ignore microwaves dinging now.

        Amazing they have so much technology and everyone’s trying to find some way to make it useful. Jackpot for someone who actually does.

        1. That’s where we are taking IoT.

          It’s where Arduino + some wireless tech is.
          It’s where the ESP8266 is.
          It’s where the TI Sitara projects are going.

          What we are seeing is factory network security (nil) added to devices that can turn on and off inductive loads and pipes and switches and relays. And the base security is pretty much nothing.

          I’m working on a comm stack that will attempt to address it. Mainly, the idea is to use a shared secret, and send hashes of the data to either execute commands or query status. It’s not HTTPS, but it’s some sort of security for these devices.

          1. That is one reason I like using the NRF24L01 chips and creating an Intranet. It’s still not an encrypet messaged, but using a closed protocol instead of general WiFi means that someone has to sniff out the frequency, intercept the datastream, decode the packet, and then after all that work they find out that it’s 75 degrees in my basement.

            Obviously not secure enough for say an industrial application, but for a home setup, I feel better using a closed network and a base portal (Say a Raspberry Pi or server) where you can control access to the sensor network.

            As technologies become cheaper, I imagine that the horsepower will be available to add encryption, however wireless communications is always a compromise. In an industrial setting, I think I would still want to wire things up and keep the network as secure as possible.

          2. @PointyOintment ESP has security, in the sense that it can use encrypted WiFi, but you know that is not impossible to break.
            Moteino uses AES, but there are other ways to attack it. Breaking the AES will also be easy since the IOT devices have quite a small “vocabulary” of things they say.

            Plus, assuming these radio controlled things need to operate constantly for your process to work, you can always sabotage things by jamming them.

        2. You’re right, the crock pot thing wasn’t strictly IOT, not in the way that I did it. More like a precursor. The average person isn’t going to approach this as an engineer, as [Thomas Barth] said.

          At some point in the near future, the average person is going to say “Ok Google, cook my roast in the crock pot”. This will pull up a list of apps capable of doing this, which folks like us would have designed and made available. You pick one and tell it a little about what you want. Then give it permission to remotely access the needed devices, and away you go. You’d provide a preferred method by which the app could contact you when the roast is done, or if there is any problem.

          That last part is particularly important. Remember I said I use an analog crock pot? A few years ago, someone gifted me a fancy new digital one. Big enough to roast a whole chicken. In fact, it had a program that claimed it would do so, and have it ready at a desired time. First thing I did was try it. Set it up before I went to work, to have it ready by the time I came home.

          And I come home to… a spoiled chicken. Seems it got just hot enough to efficiently incubate bacteria, then the AC power flickered briefly (as recorded by my X10 system). The crock pot, apparently having no persistent memory, reset and was awaiting instructions. It was promptly returned.

          Wired, self-contained consumer goods are dumb. Opening things up to to communicate and interact is the way to go.

      2. Trivial things is probably part of the problem, how many iterations of pointless will we go through to find the gems? Does an aquarium filter need to send you a text message to alert you or is it not critical enough and would a warning light do just as well? Is forgetting to put your dinner on going to be enough of a problem for a most people to want to bust out their tech mojo or will they just order food in?

        1. That’s where the home needs a controller for your rules.

          What you consider trivial or pointless someone else may consider vital. The I of Things doesn’t care. I may have a very valuable fish in my aquarium, and need an alert if the filter goes out. That doesn’t mean aquarium filters need to know how to send me a text, just that my home controller knows a rule that says “failed fish filter gets an SMS alert”

  3. IOT is like teenage sex: everyone talks about it, nobody really knows how to do it, everyone thinks everyone else is doing it, so everyone claims they are doing it.

    The problem with IOT is that most things don’t need to be connected and people are not willing to pay for small useless extras.

    How many low cost toasters are there sold out of all of them? Want it connected to the internet? 3X the cost. Replace toaster with almost everything else around you that uses electricity.

    So that you can know when the toast is done? Hate to say it, but 99.9% of the times when i make toast i am in the proximity of the toaster and my senses tell me when it is done. I am not willing to pay 100% extra money to get a IOT toaster for the 0.01% when i forget about it. Better yet: would you buy a toaster that notifies you when it is done, or one without notification for half the price?

    1. I really should report you for bring in facts to this conversation ! ;-)

      Yes, the cart before the horse is prevalent in IoT for the consumer side (really egg minders and piggy banks?). On the industrial side there’s a lot of working examples (IBM and GE are 2 companies, I know of).

      I’m doing IoT things (hobby) integrated with my HA (I hate the term smart home). I’m working on ideas that fit my needs.

      At my age, I won’t touch the teen sex stuff! ;-)

      I currently have Misterhouse (http://github.com/hollie/misterhouse) talking to MQTT and MQTT to my MQTT client (Chipkit UNO32 talking IP to the MQTT server). There is no security (huge issue) but I’m looking into that right now. I also have Node-Red talking to MQTT and I have a number of recipes working (lots of weather stuff, earthquake, etc).

      If I can find out the price on this Samsung stuff I can determine if it’s cost effective to use in my hardware. RIght now they’re in Pi waters and the price dropped Pi and a cheap Arduino make a pretty good solution. I can build a secure solution with that for less than %50 (US). Including the case and power supply.

      1. Totally agree on the industrial side, because there the “consumer” is more tech savvy.

        My point with the toaster is that there are many products that don’t need to be connected to the internet because this brings small benefits versus cost. Yes, I have been interested in IOT back from when we did not use that name, but home automation or smart home. Having build a lot of things that are now not in use any more i have learned a few lessons. A lot of the things around us could do a lot more with some extra electronics(not even internet connected) but they still don’t bring enough to be justified for the average person.

        In your case you use central intelligence in your home, but almost all commercial products put the intelligence in the cloud for various reasons which I don’t like. There’s yet no official rule about how this data is treated, and even if it was, i would prefer that it does not leave my house in the first place.

        1. That’s my main complaint. There is no reason for the data or the rules to leave my house, unless it needs to interact with some external system.

          On the other side, I would like every device to have some connectivity. If it’s important to me, I may want an alert if it’s failing, or a status notification when it’s changed state. Even a seemingly insignificant device may need to interact with the home controller if it’s something another device is depending on.

          1. Well the is currently a number of reasons for data to travel outside the realm of the house.

            1) You probably will want to have access from work or a smart phone. How many people will want to be able to open their garage door with their smart phone … ignoring the fact that the distraction will probably cause then to run over the neighbour’s kids.

            2) The protocol output from some devices will need to be transformed into readable information on a server.

            3) You will need a server (ie internet server) because you will want to access the devices via a browser or app.

            4) At home you can’t access (for example) crockpot.home because you have no DNS server to convert the name space to an IP address.

            I suspect that for access from home we will see small LAN DNS/Web servers that will also handle protocol conversion. But in the long run people age going to want remote access from work or their smart phone so the logical solution is to have a shared online server unless you want to have remote access to a server at home. The problem with a home internet server is that it is complex to set up the name space on the internet.

    2. You’re right about the toaster.

      How about a crock-pot.

      I now have it an internet connected device. I have temp probes on it so the computer can set accurate temps. I have a humidity sensor to detect scorched food (and turn it off). When IoT prices get down far enough, it can take a picture and show the status of the food. And you can turn temp up or down as needed.

      A not so good version of what I just said goes for $129.

      http://www.crock-pot.com/slow-cookers/wemo-enabled-smart-slow-cooker/crock-pot-6-qt.-smart-slow-cooker-with-wemo/SCCPWM600-V1.html

      There’s other places where this can be used. Online oven that can turn on or off oven, and fire detection for natural gas based for alerts when you left the burner on and out of the house. A fridge that can alert user that the fridge/freezer has failed or water filter needs replaced. Lights with built-in wifi and passive ir motion to calibrate lights to user. Coffee pot with remote brew control and detection. Washer/dryer that can detect and alert when jobs are done, as well as a water fail meter on the back to detect critical fail modes. Pipes with flow detection to calculate how much water is being used and where. A security system that communicates to all these devices and gives the user a simple interface.

      That above Tl;Dr. block is worthy of a few dozen Hackaday.io prizes.

  4. IOT is in its hype phase – it’ll be a while before it enters its useful phase. They already tried to sell refrigerators with screens, nobody bought them. Same Same, only different.

    I would like a device that tells me that the water is running when it shouldn’t be.

      1. OR…you could make sure you turned off all of the faucets before you leave the house and before you go to bed, and at the end of the month, take a stroll down to your [analog] water meter and record yer data. If you want to get really fancy, you could even use a spreadsheet to log your data(!).

        Apologies about being a smart aleck, but as of yet (May 2015) there still seems to be no practical use for this technology.

        1. It seems to me they are targeting the idea that you can monitor your water consumption in real time and also the ability to close the master valve remotely.
          What you are saying will not save you from broken pipes..which is kind of their intended use.

          1. Yep, I came home to a flooded lower level of my house one time. Nothing like walking in the door after a hard day at work and hearing that hissing noise and seeing $$$ new carpet in your near future. Plus there is a problem with the garden hose being left running. I tried one of those timer things but it’s a wetware problem in this case (guys, pick your battles). I was out of town once and the hose was left running for the whole time.

            To do it right I’d need something that could cut water off at the system level, but also at the exterior faucets level.

            The tricky part would be to figure out the “when it shouldn’t be” part and the system would have to dynamically understand thresholds.

            Alternately when I’m out of town I could just pay the neighbor kid to come over every night at 9 and turn it off :-)

  5. > Let’s take this even further – could the government monitor X?

    Why pose this in the form of a question? As geeks, we know the answer is “yes.” We know the government has the ability to capture data in flight as well as require that companies provide data on an ongoing basis. We also know the government uses gag orders to prevent those companies from divulging their complicity to customers or to the press.

    As geeks, it’s our duty to be sure that this is a factor in everybody else’s thinking. If they decide they don’t care, that’s their prerogative.

    1. I agree, only I fear it is worse. It’s not just in flight. Snowden has remarked multiple times that the ENDPOINTS are insecure.
      Whenever the issue of trust comes up, TrustZone technology is name-dropped as if if something is called trustworthy it automagically becomes trustworthy. People like to think they are in control of the software/OS’es they run on their ARM processors. The truth is: trustzone is a bypass of memory protection (and more). It is somewhat similar but orthogonal to bare-metal hypervisors. The processor core (or at least one if multicore) can reside in 2 states: Secure World (SW) state and Normal World (NW) state. Most users are only aware of the Normal World state. Practically all smarthpones and TrustZone equipped dev-boards actually run 2 operating systems: the one the user chooses & is aware of runs in NW, the “trusted environment” a generic name for any brand of minimalist OS specifically designed to run in SW state. At power-up the core boots in SW state and a little bit of on-die flash contains a miniature bootloader that reads the first external bootloader, and checks the signature on the external bootloader and verifies it to a Public Key burnt into e-fuses on the chip. This means that the very first code to run must be signed by whomever has the private key (getting vague exactly who owns the keys,… and there has been some interesting symbolic gesture inquiry by the EU towards ARM, which was satisfied by a long and bloated non-answer, or an answer that says that it can only be answered after NDA upon NDA)… Also code in SW can read all memory from NW, but not the other way around! Also SW code can hide devices and hardware on the AMBA bus etc from the NW… Even if you knew more about TrustZone and were able to write your own SW firmware & OS, you still wont get your First (TM) Root (C) Initial external (say from flash) bootloader signed, since you don’t have the private key which corresponds to the public key in your processor. Our stuff doesn’t get backdoored when we connect to the web, it started out backdoored, by design and manufacture. We must assume that whatever runs in the SW state is probably backdoor.

  6. WOW can anyone say Big Brothers, now can anyone say Big Brother is in my toaster. Very Rose colored glasses scenario. The real use of this technology won’t be so you don’t burn your toast, it will be in the Data-Collection and sale of your data to companies so they can better rip you off, not serve you better. The only people who see this as good are the people in the industry creating this crap or the people profiting from this crap either way it’s all crap.

  7. oh wait i forgot DRM, this a the new way to use DRM on your products. Guess who is one of the biggest promoters of “IoT” Hmmm, can anyone saw MICROSOFT. Digital Rights Management failed in it’s last inception (Music CD’s and PC/Console Games) Now that most products have some kind of Wifi/PC access what do you think the Big Companies are talking about. Controlling their markets anyway possible, Data collection is the first step.

  8. Wow, paranoia. As per usual. What will you guys do when a quantum device that allows me to capture the energy states of atoms in an area anywhere in the world remotely do? Better to get over your infantile imaginary friend called privacy now rather than later. In a world where everybody can know minute details about people, nobody will care. I mean people fail to indicate when driving ninety percent of the time, I don’t expect most people to bother. And stalkers are always gonna stalk, regardless of the tech. And you’re an utter idiot if you think the future will be anything like 1984 in the sense that nobody has any personal freedoms. When we all know how kinky each other is, do you think people will still largely care about it? No.

    1. “In a world where everybody can know minute details about people, nobody will care.” I shall disagree and point you to the mindless masses with Facebook posts plastered to their retinas.

    2. And I suppose you walk around naked all the time because privacy is completely unimportant to you.

      But a little more seriously, if you are suggesting a collective groups of moderate to higher intelligence are all suffering form paranoia and implied delusion, then I suggest you have a second take and perhaps make a re-evaluation given that paranoia and delusion have no knows causative link to higher intelligence.

    3. > In a world where everybody can know minute details about people, nobody will care.

      …unless you’re running for public office, applying for a job, trying to get a loan or lease an apartment, asking someone out online, etc. There’s an /insane/ amount of background checking going on right now, and there are many aspects of your personal life that can become barriers to entry without your even knowing about it.

      The mistake you (and many others) make is in assuming that the issue is individual data points. No, probably no one cares what your thermostat set point is right now, or what time you left your home this morning, which songs you chose to skip on Pandora while commuting, etc. But in aggregate, those individual data points paint a shockingly detailed picture of your financials, political stances, and state of your health (to name only a few).

  9. There is, of course, a 100% secure way of using all of the devices and gadgets in your house without giving anyone else the ability to mine data or control things remotely: Use real honest-to-goodness power switches!
    Sheesh, I don’t even leave my desktop computer powered when it’s turned off. Why take the chance? I sure as heck won’t be connecting everything else in my house together. I know when my toast is done because I hear the toaster pop. I know how long I am taking in the shower because I pay attention. I know how long my car idles because I am sitting in it when I put the key in the ignition and start the engine.

    Why in the world do we need to have computers control everything for us? Are we really that freaking lazy?!?

    1. The really rich don’t need to tell others how rich they are, ’cause you already knew about their net worth. They can afford to have someone on staff 24/7 to cook them meals, to recommend wine, to drive them anywhere, to take care of their finances and even turn on the lights/open doors for them.

      So I guess I am a failure as a consumer there.

  10. I just had this conversation over the weekend with my brother’s girlfriend’s father over a dinner. He works for IBM, and seems to be all for this IoT. He’s in his late 50’s or so, I just passed 31.

    Perhaps it’s just years of reading Slashdot, or living with computer science majors in college, but I just find all the reasons to not connect every device to the internet. I see the way things are headed, and I see it is inevitable that everything that can be connected, will be. Not because it needs to. And cost won’t stop it. It will be pushed into anything and everything for pure hype and bragging rights reasons, by people who run companies, and admen, and consumers, those among them who are all too stupid to see anything but “Ooh! shiny!” as a motivator.

    They will do it because it will give them something to brag about, something to brag how advanced their product/item is to buyers, or other people. Much in the same way everyone actually pays for the stupid white apple earbuds even when
    their sound quality is horrible- they don’t care about functionality. They care that they can broadcast their “taste” to others.

    That is what all tech has become. That is also how it keeps and has gotten better- techie bragging rights.

    No one needs a wifi enabled toaster. But people will beat each other over the head at Xmas to get one if it becomes a sign of trendiness to have one. And admen will make sure of that. And politicians will make sure of that, by trying to show how they are “in touch” with modern technology by buying and openly using whatever idiotic thing comes out. The same as celebrities. They will make a bigger impact.

    Tech has become a badge of superiority, means, and a way of broadcasting taste. Refined, or often otherwise. So it will lead to the IoT the same way fur coats 100 years ago led to the mass losses of animals such as the beaver. People will make something, and buy it, if they think it makes them seem fashionable, and they will never question the consequences of it until it is too late. The beaver and mink were nearly wiped out, and people’s privacy rights and identities will be wiped out, over and over, in enormous numbers from this rush of technology adaption for frivolous reasons, before anyone even begins to question why, or whether or not it was smart to rush into this situation without questioning whether it was necessary, or whether the security was there.

    I know that is exactly what will happen, it’s just a matter of a couple years now. I’m already mocked for not having a smartphone- just a text keypad normal phone. It won’t be long before I’m mocked for not having a wifi-enabled car.

    Deal with it- that’s the stupidity we are headed toward.

      1. Yeah- I know I am old at 31 now- because only 12 years ago, I remember what the internet was like. DRM was a nacent problem, it hadn’t infested everything at the level it has now. Cameras were not everpresent- I didn’t feel like I was being monitored everywhere, everytime I went outside. Now I can’t even trust that the webcam on my laptop hasn’t been compromised and is recording my voice and image, and sending it to the NSA for whatever reason.
        TVs weren’t able to record your conversation and broadcast it back to their company to market things to you. Targeted ads and cookies weren’t really a problem. I was able to find new music from groups too obscure to ever be sold in a store somewhere, without fear the MAAFIA would destroy my credit or something. I felt like going online brought me to a happy, nacent world of seeing all the good that existed in the world. Information outside my area was open to me.

        Now going on the internet is a chore, I never feel like even the keystroke to type this isn’t somehow being recorded, or trawled by advertisers to market to me, or be saved to use against me somehow by a government agency looking for people’s lives to ruin and store infinitum. Hell, even using Linux or visiting FOSS or linux forums has openly branded me and others “extremists” with certain agencies. I wish I was making that one up- but it’s real.

        The digital world frightens the hell out of me. In a mere 15 or so years, the internet has gone from a playground of open information, unity, and wonders to a panoticon-enabling repressive tracking hell, where everything is held against you and marketed at you without much say, and stretched beyond my room to everywhere, at all times, thanks to smartphones and Utah datacenters. People’s identities and privacy are sold away as products. It’s all going to hell in the name of “ooh! shiny!” and people who don’t care about the dangers of the digital world around them, no matter how rationally and abridged you try to explain DRM, the DMCA, FOSS, Net Neutrality, or basic security protocols.

        Christ, it’s more than depressing. This site is one of the few happy places I have left. I’m sorry to bring such sadness to it by even posting this all. So I’ll stop now.

  11. but what if this “IOToasters” could allow you to give a thumbs up or thumbs down on the quality of each piece of toast produced so that it could learn your own personal toast preferences and prepare the ultimate toast for you! It would of course require users to log in to the toaster before each slice, using your facebook, google, or twitter accounts so that it all of your friends can see when you make toast. Also, unless you want to pay the $0.99 for the premium toast app, there will be ad logos cooked into each piece, but that’s the price of freeware!

    I’m just being facesious. Of course there will be some very useful IOT devices and some that are absolute crap. Just like in the smartphone app markets. Although the more useful they become, the more vulnerable they are to hacking/privacy issues. I.e. personal medical devices.

  12. “you’ve programmed [the shower] to use only so much water” — More likely, some government agency programmed it and will fine you if you use more than your allotted value. “Big Brother” here we come!

    1. lol. he shows a pedophile a scan of his kids anus to prove that the smart pipe anus scan images are not child porn!!

      I could see this happening. And if your anus scan is sent to a server for storage it could get moved oversees and back and then become property of the government. at least thats what i learned from an interview with snowden.

  13. Wasn’t samsung was one of the ones caught sending private information of their ‘smart’ TV’s to their HQ? Caught because it was sent in plain unencrypted form?. So I guess the solution to people finding out what the big corporate bastards do is encrypting it so the dumb consumers can’t find out what’s going on…

    So let’s be honest about the reason as to why they employ encryption more and more, not to protect you but to protect themselves.. Although the hackers can of course piggy-back on that development somewhat. Same as with intel and such and their support for encryption.

    1. Once the encryption setup becomes common place it will be reverse engineered and broken.
      Besides even without decrypting the encrypted traffic you can just look at where the packets are going and how much data there is to deduce if it’s up to no good.
      If it’s spying it’ll be sending a lot of data.
      You probably can even deduce if a device is sending audio or video by subjecting it to sounds and images that are hard to compress and see if the data volume increases.

  14. IoT = Marxist rationale for replacing the dynamic resource allocator that is market clearing price with the static and arbitrary centralized control by crystal ball gazing policy wonks.

    Big Data = A Bolshevik’s wet dream.

  15. So this guy develops a novel device, It’s a spherical bearing and can withstand insane amount of external PSI, almost looks like a tennis ball. Insane amount of testing, gets the invention perfected and spends a sh1tload of cash to patent it. Thinking he can sell it to a telecom or oil company that does offshore work.

    2 days later, FEDERAL Agents arrive from a undisclosed agency with warrant and subpoena to provide all documents, knowledge, data and prototypes pertaining to his invention. With wife and kids watching in horror he is cuffed in front of them and has to lead the agents to search the premise. They make a wonderful mess to scare the family and secure the data.

    He appears in front of a FISA judge in which he has to swear testimony about the patent and invention that for “National Security” AND “Eminent Domain” is being exercised and he no longer owns any rights to the device.

    “Umm is there any compensation for my work?” “The compensation is we don’t treat you as an enemy of the state”.

    http://archive.wired.com/science/discoveries/news/2005/09/68894?currentPage=all

    It’s not the question do you have anything to hide, it’s like saying to draw your curtains to have sex or sit on the toilet.

    No, we can agree post twin towers the world has become dark. And sadly it’s easier to steal then to compensate. That said I don’t like wifi or bluetooth. They serve no purpose for me. Unless it is an access point DDOS to pull in the creepy neighbor’s drone cam I don’t give a shit. Conversely, I’d be all for a smart watch that generates a retardly insane amount of random BLE id’s OR a Cellphone device that spews out invalid IMEI’s or even a NFC/RFID random ID poisoner (get bumped by some shady creep looking to steal my ID) or a Office/BnB/Hotel that has a RFID coil wound into doorframe.

    The fact we have a lobby group that spends Millions (or Billions) to say 3rd party collection is okay is sickening. And being a third party they can sell your info ANYWHERE in the world. Experian, Athema, Target and we get a letter saying “sorry but we will give you one free year of protection”. After one year we have to pay? WTF? CEO of Lifelock has been compromised 3 times already.

    It’s NOT paranoid if they sell you a crap security. If companies can spend Millions of dollars to design state of the art facilities to do business and research in a “secure” environment. Doesn’t it make sense to spend $200 to make a few EMI/RMI filters and build your own pigeon coup with some proper aluminum or steel mesh hardware cloth.

    Meh, I’m nauseous of lack of concern for common folk. I don’t want to talk about this ever again.

  16. If someone says internet of things one more time to me. I’m going to punch them in the face!

    That said i had a great IoT idea today that i think i can build easy. Laundry machine status indicator. My house is sound proof now because i live by the airport. so i cant hear when laundry is done. but if i connect it to the home network i can have a text/email/webpage/etc.. alert me, when i say me i mean my wife. o she Scan start the next load. I’ll post on hackaday.io when its one done.

  17. Somehow, the prospect of enjoying the fragrance of growing plants in my warm, cozy greenhouse, whilst listening to soft music seems like a saner, happier future to me…
    Dear children, if build these things you must, then do us all the courtesy of equipping them with a simple off switch.

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