Amazon Sidewalk: Should You Be Co-Opted Into A Private Neighbourhood LoRa Network?

WiFi just isn’t very good at going through buildings. It’s fine for the main living areas of an average home, but once we venture towards the periphery of our domains it starts to become less reliable.  For connected devices outside the core of a home, this presents a problem, and it’s one Amazon hope to solve with their Sidewalk product.

It’s a low-bandwidth networking system that uses capability already built into some Echo and Ring devices, plus a portion of the owner’s broadband connection to the Internet.  The idea is to provide basic connectivity over longer distances to compatible devices even when the WiFi network is not available, but of most interest and concern is that it will also expose itself to devices owned by other people. If your Internet connection goes down, then your Ring devices will still provide a basic version of their functionality via a local low-bandwidth wide-area wireless network provided by the Amazon devices owned by your neighbours.

I Can See Your Amazon Ring From Here

It looks so harmless, doesn't it. A Ring doorbell once installed.
It looks so harmless, doesn’t it. Amin, CC BY-SA 4.0

The massive online retailer and IoT cloud provider would like to open up a portion of your home broadband connection via your home security devices over a wireless network to other similar devices owned by strangers. In the Amazon literature it is touted as providing all sorts of useful benefits to Ring and Echo owners, but it has obvious implications for both the privacy of your data should it be carried by other people’s devices, and for the security of your own network when devices you don’t own pass traffic over it. For the curious there’s a whitepaper offering more insights into the system, and aside from revealing that it uses 900 MHz FSK and LoRa as its RF layer there is not a lot information on how it works. As you might expect they have addressed the privacy and security issues through encryption, minimising the data transmitted, and constantly changing identifiers. To read the Amazon document at face value is to enter a world in which some confidence can be gained in the product.

The question on the lips of skeptical readers will no doubt be this: what could possibly go wrong? We would expect that the devices themselves and the radio portion of the network will be investigated thoroughly by those who make it their business to do such things, and while there is always the chance that somebody could discover a flaw in them it’s more probable that weaknesses could be found in the applications that sit atop the system. It’s something that has plagued Amazon’s IoT offerings before, such as last year when their Neighbors app was found to sit atop a far more garrulous API than expected, leading to a little more neighbourly information being shared than they bargained for. If Amazon’s blurb is to be believed then this system is to be opened up for third-party IoT device and app developers, and with each one of those the possibility of holes waiting to be discovered increases. We’ll keep you posted as they emerge.

Products such as Amazon Echo and Ring are incredible showcases of 21st century technology. They’re the living embodiment of an automated Jetsons future, and we’d be lying if we said we didn’t want a little slice of that future. But as you all know, the version of that future peddled by them and their competitors is a deeply flawed one in which the consumers who buy the products are largely unaware of how much data is created from them. From a purely technical perspective the idea of home security products that automatically form a low bandwidth network for use in case of main network failure is an exceptionally cool one, but when coupled with the monster data slurp of the Amazon behemoth it assumes a slightly more worrying set of possibilities. Is it possible to be George Jetson without Mr. Spacely gazing over your shoulder?

60 thoughts on “Amazon Sidewalk: Should You Be Co-Opted Into A Private Neighbourhood LoRa Network?

    1. My guess is this would not use existing LoraWAN services like the things network. Amazon would probably spin its own private Lora network. It would probably work more like all the ring cameras are an internet connected node. If your internet goes down the camera will temporarily get connectivity though a neighbors still connected camera. The problem with Lora is it doesn’t have the bandwidth for much more than sending notifications, perhaps a thumbnail still image. At it’s highest speed configuration you’re talking about 37kbps under extremely ideal conditions. Realistically you’re talking about speeds less than dialup modems before 56k modems came out. Lora isn’t really designed for sending pictures or video. It is designed for low bandwidth telemetry data.

      When it comes to the things network, would they even allow commercial products/services on to the network, or is this purely hobbyist/makers allowed to use it? Even if commercial users were allowed on you can’t even find the things network everywhere. I am in a pretty major Florida city are there are no things network gateways around that I am aware of. There is very little Lora traffic at 915mhz here. I have setup a Lora transceiver at my location as a “sniffer” attached to a decent discone antenna on my roof, and I get anywhere from half a dozen to a dozen Lora msgs in a day. It’s all encrypted looking jibberish. I haven’t seen anything where it looks like someone setup something like a remote temp/weather station just sending out something like weather data in the clear.

      One has to wonder what this could mean for the future of Lora for hobbyists as well. If the spectrum is full of ring cameras constantly pinging each other, will the band become so full of amazon garbage that it makes it really hard for hobbyists to use?

      For those not in the know, LoraWAN is not Lora. LoraWAN is a service that runs on top of the Lora PHY. Amazon could spin up whatever other proprietary service they wish on top of the Lora PHY. Lora alone is just like a physical medium like a serial cable, whatever you spit out of your Lora transceiver is picked up by any others tuned to the same frequency. It is up to you to run a service on top of it, encrypt your data, otherwise it’s basically just serial cable in the air.

      Thankfully Lora transceivers can be tuned to other frequencies, including frequencies just above/below the ISM band and only consume about 500khz of bandwidth at it’s highest speed. So there are definitely other frequencies within the 915mhz ISM band you could use if amazon trashed the default 915mhz frequency. But this will break the interoperability of things like LoraWAN when these gateways may stick with the default frequencies.

      The typical Lora chipsets can transmit/receive anywhere from around 100mhz up to around 1ghz. The problem is the filters included in the modules typically limit them to around +/-100mhz of the 433 / 915 bands they are designed to use. But you could use it anywhere in that 100mhz to 1ghz at reduced efficiencies and tempting the authorities.

  1. Not really worried about data privacy on this conduit.

    More excited about the low-cost networkable device platform this would support. I think Amazon is looking less on capitalizing from data siphoned out of this network and more so wants to create a widespread low-bandwidth, network they can license access to device manufacturers.

    Location tracking products like Tile are expensive to the point of not scaling well for small things. This is a derivative of wifi, which would be much cheaper to insert into commodity battery-powered items. Consider a networked bike light. If your bike is stolen, the red tail light might become a beacon to help you or police retrieve the bicycle.

    The network would also make autonomous devices cheaper to mass produce with network connectivity, as cellular is a considerable barrier.

    I’m looking forward to this becoming a hackable service. AWS services are typically accessible for free to hobbyists with generous usage limits before fees kick in.

    1. Consider a networked bike light. If your bike is stolen, the red tail light might become a beacon, and so thieves will remove them.

      You might as well just put a sticker with your name on it, lol.

    1. Yes, lets not attack the company for writing take it or leave it EULAs that assume that your sell your soul if you think about using their product. Lets attack the consumer for wanting to use a product. Have you considered a career as a corporatist politician in the US, you would fit right in.

      1. There is a while lot to not like about ring. They share data with the police, they have really unreliable facial recognition software, they advised the warehouse workers.

        You say, “well yes, I signed away my privacy”, but what about your neighbors. That doorbell k is filming them, but they never signed anything.

        So something happens in your neighborhood, the police use facial recognition software, and declare your neighbor did it. So the burden is on them to prove innocence, the software accused them, and we’ll everyone knows computer software is good.

        Let’s start with the fourth amendment, probably the fifth amendment, and maybe the fourteenth all violated by the police, ring and bad software. Jeff Bezos still is a billionaire and your neighbor is in prison because they couldn’t afford a lawyer. Perfect.

        Now imagine a DDOS bug through the ring doorbell with sidewalk, and someone can’t use their VoIP phone to call 911 about a medical emergency. Jeff Bezos is still a billionaire and your neighbor is dead, because the medical responders never came.

        What could go wrong indeed.

        1. “So the burden is on them to prove innocence…”

          No, it’s not. Two things. 1: that video will be verified by human eyeballs. If there is any question as to what it shows and who it shows it’s essentially useless material. 2: A video of your neighbor on or directly in front of their property while a crime occurred on that street is not enough evidence to even charge them. Unless the video shows him actually commiting the crime, it’s just a video of him in an area he has every right and good reasons to be.

          “You say, “well yes, I signed away my privacy”, but what about your neighbors. That doorbell k is filming them, but they never signed anything.”

          In the US atleast, if a spot on your property is visible from outside the property by simply looking from ground level from outside the property then nobody needs to get your permission to look at it, including with a camera. If you don’t want it to be seen, the impetus is on you to secure it or obscure it from view. Nobody has to get you to sign anything, they can film you nude sun bathing on your front next to the street if they want to.

          1. Police have already wrongfully charged people with crimes based solely on geofencing data, with no further evidence presented. You may be surprised how low a DA will go to put one in the “Win” column.

          2. Yeah, American’s assumption of their privacy rights continually astonishes me. Seems pretty simple to me: if you are visible by the public, then you don’t have a reasonable expectation of privacy!

          3. You have an unwarranted (no pun intended) level of faith in the ability and desire of law enforcement to cross-check one kind of evidence against another, especially when gathering the second type of evidence is difficult, time-consuming, and/or goes against the biases of the officers and lawyers involved.

            There are plenty of cases in the US where the police responded to a potential crime based on a confusing/flimsy/made-up assertion or evidence trail and ended up killing the alleged perpetrator and/or bystanders. Even when that doesn’t happen, it’s easily possible for innocent people to get dragged into an expensive and life-destroying ordeal of trying to prove their innocence against evidence that upon reasonable examination is ridiculously flimsy and/or provably wrong.

            As another poster responded, it doesn’t even have to be the police. Prosecutors can and have overridden the objections of involved officers to charge people with serious crimes based on complete crap.

        2. You don’t have a right to privacy in public places except for what isn’t visible on your person or in your car. You’re filmed by security camera often whether you know it or not.

    2. Buried in page 115, subsection 19.5.43(e), of the 400-page EULA of the last IOT-enabled object you purchased, is a clause full of legalese wherein you authorize corporate representatives to break into your house and smash your most treasured belongings.

      But it’s your fault for blindly agreeing to it when buying the product, so I have zero, ZERO sympathy for you. Right?

      Or maybe we shouldn’t have to go over an EULA with a microscope before every single purchase.

      1. It is almost I would say common knowledge that any of these devices (apple/google/amazon/???) randomly record background sounds (which can accidentally capture speech), to help develop noise baseline for training data sets. There is also in-house transcription where a bunch of humans fill in the missing words that the neural networks fail to match (currently). This is so that more valid edge case training data can be generated to train future iterations. e.g. “Aw laddie, laddie, whit ah’m ah gaunnae dae wi ye? she sais”

        If people choose to buy these things, more will be made, if people reject them, less.

        1. I thought lots of things were common knowledge. I’ve been repeatedly surprised by what others don’t know. I continue to reduce my expectations.

          You know that or you wouldn’t have used the qualifier “almost”.

          1. I have reduced my expectations to zero. I presume nothing about the knowledge of others. Doing so always ends in disappointment. I can guarantee most people no nothing about how these devices work. Nothing.

    3. I think part of the problem is that “blindly” is relative. To HaD readers, the security concerns are obvious. To the general public, not so much.

      This kind of thing seems to be getting worse, where the actual function of the technology is becoming less and less obvious to the typical user. And corporations seem to simply put in enough effort to say “well we tried,” but when it comes down to it, they don’t really care about security. Not their customers’ anyway.

      1. They’re corporations. They care about:

        1 Profit.

        That’s it. It’s not insightful to point out that they dont care about the computer security of devices they sell to consumers. They dont care about consumers, period, full stop, end of file.

  2. I like the idea, and would leave it enabled if I didn’t already hate closed source locked down gadgets, leading me to not buy them in the first place.

    I feel a bit conflicted that it’s opt out, because people seem to be upset, but I personally would leave it on.

    I hope someone comes out with a way to do this on an open source and decentralized basis though, like APRS, even though it would probably result in a bit less privacy. Because locked down gadgets are of course horrible and can become e waste at any moment.

  3. My main concern is how the system will work outside the USA. In Australia, the 900MHz band has very low power limits for non licensed use (3mW, from memory). The main frequency for LoRa in Aus is 433MHz (25mW non licensed)

    1. I envy your peace of mind if that is you biggest concern… Its a highly valid concern to be sure. But a mesh of devices that are potentially handing sensitive information transparently to the user is a terrible, terrible idea. I mean the way the Amazon home assistant functions isn’t exactly a good idea either, but at least you the device owner know its there and how your data reaches the web… Personally I’m more worried the mass deployment of such things will make everyone else’s existing and legal use of the LoRa bands rather less functional.

      For once I’d have more confidence if they said they were only letting their own products use it – at least then any flaws are their own and fixable, all this third party stuff is just asking for trouble that won’t be easy to manage. Either be properly closed (which I’ll hate, but that does make it harder to find flaws) or be fully open and audited so in short order a flaw will be fixed, this middle ground of its ‘ours’ but here third parties you do stuff with it too is the worst of both worlds…

      1. The corporate system exists to destroy responsibility. Walmart shakes their fingers at contractors and says “dont use sweatshops”… fully aware of the fact that they are. They deliberately trust somebody with a motive to lie, because they want to be lied to.

        Amazon will put on paper “3rd party apps must internally comply with our security plan”… fully aware of the fact that 3rd party apps will ignore every one of the standards and practices that amazon wants to show customers.

    2. Simple single-channel point to point LoRa links would use 433 simply due to the need to maximise range, as there’s no relaying available.

      LoRaWAN meshes on the other hand are still in the 915 band, and can legally go up to an effective 20dBm/100mW (iirc) because they also do frequency hopping.

  4. Don’t fall for it and don’t buy that shit from large tech companies and let them rot.
    All they want is your data for their algorithms to train on.

    But go tell the public about that, they won’t understand.

  5. While an open source solution would be a good thing, the fact that a device like
    a Ring etc. would allow connections from outside is itself a security risk to my
    network. I do remember a story of a family that had the FBU visit them because
    their IP address was associated with the viewing of stuff no one should see.
    Turned out it was a nearby neighbor but the family was put through hell.
    I’ve said this for decades. My data is mine, and I am the one who decides who gets it.
    Store wants my phone number? I don’t have a phone. People don’t realize what can happen
    if they expose their network via these devices. Xfinity wanted customers to provide
    a hotspot via their wireless cable modems to other Xfinity subscribers.
    Now, why on earth would I want to do that? I pay for my broadband and Xfinity isn’t
    giving me a break on my bill to dole out wifi to any Xfiniity Tom, Dick and Harry
    that happens to be in range. There are also the news stories of people listening in
    on baby monitors, tapping into nanny cams etc. and that is the downside to having
    default keys. I would like to see a notice and a software solution come with each
    and every device. “Notice: this device uses a default encryption key please change it.”
    Or, demand a key change when the device is first used.
    It seems you have to opt out of things you don’t want to participate in.
    I think opt-out needs to be the default and people should have to opt in
    if they want to. So for me, no Rings, no Alexa, no ‘smart’ TV, just me and my PC.

    1. “It seems you have to opt out of things you don’t want to participate in.”

      My concern is that these opt out settings have often been ignored or reset ‘accidentally’ during software upgrades. Frankly I do not trust vested interests not to override my requirements when it becomes economically advantageous for them.

      My cynicism is of course fuelled by several decades working in the electronic security industry.

  6. I don’t think the questions is “what could possibly go wrong?”, it is “what could possibly go right?”

    This is an absolute insane idea that is doomed to fail no matter how hard they try.

    Even if it isn’t hacked (which it will be) the concept of opening up your home network for a random person to pass data through is about as appealing as playing Russian roulette..

  7. First, LoRa in the real world is not there yet so that’s already a dealbreaker.

    Second, if my neighbors want to eavesdrop on my sexy time they can buy a subscription just like my members do.

    1. LoRa works great for IoT devices. At my retail job (top 3 retailer in the US) all of our walk up and walk in freezers are now monitored with LoRa. They tell us there is more to come as far as LoRa devices on our salesfloor.

      I think the eavesdropping with this is a bit overblown as LoRa is like 10kb/s lol

  8. Like most technologies this turns into very muddy waters once the lawyers get ahold of it. To me it comes down to a simple question, who is responsible for the traffic, the originator or the carrier? This turns every user into an ISP. Many ISPs service contracts forbid reselling or sharing the service, or limit the amount of devices you are allowed to attach to the service. In practice this comes down to limiting you to one or a few IPs which we slap a router on and hook up whatever we want to, but something like this would probably be grounds for having your service cancelled if you squint at it hard enough.

    As far as privacy of the data goes, my answer would be to look at things like Freenet and TOR. These are designed to undermine government or corporate snooping and censorship and provide plausible deniability to anyone running a node, the idea being you cant be held accountable for data you have no way of monitoring or controlling. Obviously Amazon or any other company is not going to provide such protections to their users, not when there is so much money to be made and power to be tripped on in gathering and reselling customer data. I do love the idea though, and an open source mesh network using lora built on something like OpenWRT using cheap, widely available hardware would be a beautiful thing for all. Which is why it would be criminalized before it could ever catch on.

    1. Some seem delusional about what Lora actually is. You are not going to be running a “free and open internet out of regulatory control” over Lora. It’s bandwidth is like dialup from the 80/90s. It is not designed to replace things like WiFi for high bandwidth needs. It is designed to transmit small chunks of data like telemetry from a weather station over long distances at low power. Want to run a remote solar powered weather station out in the wilderness? that’s what Lora is for

      1. Speed != content. The internet existed in the days of dialup, and still does in many low speed forms. Packet radio used by ameture radio operators for instance. If the connection can transmit data reliably, it can be used for transmitting data for any purpose. Whether a given user has the patience to wait hours for what used to arrive nearly instantly is a matter outside the scope of my post, however if people are willing to sacrifice privacy and security for free service, or put up with targetted ads, then more than a few would likely be willing to use free hotspots, regardless of speed. Especially if they live within range of one and could let a download run while they sleep.

  9. “It’s fine for the main living areas of an average home, but once we venture towards the periphery of our domains it starts to become less reliable.”

    Tell me about it, my house has steel siding.

  10. I *think* comments here and elsewhere mix up things that just aren’t mixed up in Amazon’s idea.

    It’s not about “passing any data through my network”, as commenters here make it look like. It’s about a company (Amazon, which I don’t like, but I am trying to be fair here) using a (small!) part of your bandwidth to pass THEIR data through it if official ways don’t work. That, by itself, looks like a good general idea to me. It does have its downsides, which are numerous but include the point that “your” bandwidth might already be split up into several of such “small slices” (here in Germany I don’t “own” my bandwidth, with telephone lines having been forced over into VOIP for years and bandwidth for VOIP being reserved all the time anyway). Yes, it’s not much, but “not much” can add up pretty fast if there’s a lot of “not much”.

    The point is: It is NOT about passing “any data” through such a “sidewalk”, but data that the Amazon devices require to work. While there will be hacks, no doubt, HACKING might be the evil part. It’s NOT the knife that is evil, it IS the murderer who yields it.

    I would so much prefer discussion to focus on what is actually on the agenda. If discussions – as they usually do – digress to tertiary battle fields like “what COULD you do with it”, NO progress in technology would be possible. I know … it’s not going to happen. Because, it’s Amazon. Because, it’s not open source. Because, that’s evil by definition.

    1. With any of the BigTech companies. First thing to know is that they are data mining you if you are stupid enough to use their products and you are paying them for the privilege.

      Secondly they sell that information to anyone who meets their price.

      Third by using their devices you destroy your own privacy.

      But on the upside you can be a stupid lazy spud with voice activation.

    2. “While there will be hacks, no doubt, HACKING might be the evil part. It’s NOT the knife that is evil, it IS the murderer who yields it.”

      Oh come on. This is the electronic equivalent of installing a window with a little glass door in it, and the manufacturer saying “This window defaults to having the little door open all the time, but we promise that we’ll only use it for helpful purposes, that you can close it if you really want, and that if you decide to close it, it’ll stay closed. Trust us!”

      It’s entirely appropriate to point out that such a window is inherently less secure than one without a door. That other similar doors have been forced open by criminals in the past, that manufacturers tend to be bad about securing the doors properly, and that manufacturers also have a history of using the doors for purposes they don’t disclose to window users. The window isn’t evil, but it’s insecure, and the manufacturer may not be evil, but they’re not likely to be good at security and their interests don’t align with users’ interest in secure, private windows. Those are all bad things whether hackers ever even rear their heads.

  11. Amazon Sidewalk: Should You Be Co-Opted Into A Private Neighbourhood LoRa Network?”

    There is a maxim in the newspaper business concerning the writing of headlines:

    “If your headline asks a question, the answer is “no”.

  12. Don’t be too worried about people using the Internet over a LORA connection at best it is 27Kb/s and usually about 10Kb/s. It’s like using AOL over a modem in 1990. This is 1/1000th the speed of wifi.

  13. I once bought a squeezebox.
    I was slightly annoyed that it had to update itself when first plugged in, but decided to allow that.
    Then it tried to force me into making some kind of misty account to some untrusted party at the other side of the world, and without that it was not possible to play my own ripped CD’s.
    That was when I unplugged it and brought it back to the store for a refund.
    After that I never did anythong more with the cloud stuff.

    1. Still have my Squeezebox. Love that VFD. And the public SqueezeBox Server at Logitec is still up and operating, redirecting my favorites list to internet radio stations I enjoy listening to. This thing was open, and you can operate your own server at home without any reliance on the cloud version. Was a great product for it’s time.

  14. Not a good idea to me. But then I am working back toward wired ‘Internet’ connections only in the house and disconnecting the Wifi. Basically go dark again. Leave the Internet Wifi to the hotels and restaurants that are truly public….

    This sidewalk device reminds me of a common saying “We are the government and here to help” …. Right.

  15. I dislike Comcast as much as the next guy, but you still need to be accurate in your complaint.

    The hotspot is easy to opt out of – just go to your Xfinity account online and opt out. The link is literally the first hit on Google. Sure, opt in would be better, but then there wouldn’t be much of a hotspot network.

    The hotspot doesn’t compete for your data any more than your next door neighbor does. It’s essentially a different account to Comcast.

    You transition from your complaint about the hotspot to horror stories that involve people being logged into your network. The hotspot is a completely separate network. There have been no reported vulnerabilities (in the CVEDetails database) that allow leakage from your network to the hotspot network. That means nobody is listening to your baby monitor or downloading child porn on your network or surfing through the files on your incorrectly contributed PC.

    Why should you allow this? I guess it comes down to whether you enjoy the ability to connect to free, fast WiFi away from home on the Xfinity hotspot network. If you don’t ever use it, then turn it off on your router. If you do use it, though, then you have to decide if you want to be a leech or a contributing member of a community whose benefits you take advantage of.

    1. There haven’t been any security complaints yet. But you know once a hacker finds a way to bridge the two separate antennae in the router they can possibly gain open access to your internal network. That’s a potential. Public wi-fi is never secure. And you are correct that it’s a separate account that doesn’t cost you any fees for using the bandwidth. But you do have to share bandwidth from your access point in the sense that it’s coming from the same pipe and has to be split here. And according to studies it can cost up to $20 per year in electrical costs to the consumer to power Xfinitys public wi-fi.

      Frankly it should always be opt-in when you piggy back on someone else’s service. Not because there’s an intent to do abuse, but because there is potential for abuse that could have been prevented by not allowing the point of failure to exist in the first place. But for this pint of failure, the consumer who falls victim might not have in the first place. And if said consumer goes from potential to actual victim in the future, who will compensate that customer for their loss? Xfinity? Amazon? Will they have to sue first to get just compensation?

      Xfinity and Amazon and any company using this kind of tech should be opt-in, regardless of the low turn out for the provider company because it’s the ethical thing to do. And if you opt-in to xfinity public wi-fi and they use your power and there is some performance loss from splitting your bandwidth shouldn’t you get a discount each month? Or at least not be charged a monthly device rental fee for letting them lease space in your home for their public wi-fi WAP?

      There’s a form of abuse that’s happening and unfortunately we as consumers are allowing it by being so lazy.

  16. You’re all missing the point : you are paranoid geeks who understand this stuff.
    The vast millions of idiots out there who have bought a Ring and are happily paying the subscription do not understand and do not care. And any news article about people who got arrested or whatever happened to other people and they still do not care.
    Amazon are big enough to push this to the masses and if they see a.commercial advantage : they will.
    Only if it doesn’t make money one day will they not do it.

    Remember how youtube used to be mostly a free for all with few adverts? And notice how now, you either buy youtube premium or it is as awful as American TV?

    That’s what Amazon are planning for Lora. A free service now (maybe) and in a few years when everyone has gotten used to it, they’ll start charging more for it, on top of your existing subscriptions for all your smart products all round the house and garden. And by then, you won’t be able to live without it.

    And there is virtually nothing any of you can do, apart from vent, because you don’t have as many billions as Bezos does.

    “Oh no, the world of tomorrow looks different to today.” What a surprise. Not. I thought this site would be filled with futurists. Instead it is full of Luddites. “Oh no, the cotton mill will put us all out of business and the Lora will steal all our data, and then the world will be awful.”

    No, it will be different, and people growing up with it will deal with the difference and you’ll be one of the people sat on the porch complaining about how it used to be better in the old days when people had horses instead of cars and there wasn’t all this wifi all over the place.

    So get over yourself and figure out how to embrace new things rather than fearing and rejecting them.

    1. The cotton mill brought a lot of progress, but it separated a lot of limbs from bodies in the mean time. Lest NOT repeat the past. Let’s not throw heaps of people in front of the bus to get a better pavement. We have brains for planning and can get to a better future without sliding back into serfdom.

    2. I am a CS major and worked in field since ’86 …. And it does make one paranoid ‘knowing the underbelly’ and how things work. And I embrace new things, … when and if I evaluate the pros-cons of using said device and ramifications. No blind, hey neat! Buy it! Nope not me…. A lot like politics…. People (sheeple) may think differently if they’d stop listening to the talking heads on TV, and actually go dig out how the candidate is on the ‘issues’ and what he/she has done,

      As for youtube, I just installed ad-blocker and ublock orgin and rarely see ads. Next up is to setup pi-hole on the network to eliminate more issues. At work (no plug-ins allowed), I am amazed how much ‘ads’ people put up with!!!! Not just on youtube. And you know I don’t mind an advert … if it sits to the side and is ‘static’. Fine. But not the in your face’ adverts.

  17. Devil’s advocate: the crypto side of loraWAN passes muster. What else could go wrong? The metadata.

    What is it worth to Amazon to map out all the devices in your neighborhood? Target the houses that still don’t have their devices?

    Is this going to lead to ethical, competitive economic behavior on the part of Amazon? Further destruction of local retail economies? Is this the world that we want to build?

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