We’ve got Alexa in most rooms, that we don’t really use. We’ve got a Ring which is great because I can tell solicitors to fuck off without getting out of bed. We’ve got two Tend cameras downstairs that we got in a fuku. And none of those things talk to each other.
A.I. tries to predict my behavior and always gets it wrong, and someone expects me to trust all of my home to this?
I can see it trying to make the bed when I decided to sleep in, order another Hawaiian pizza when I want steak, and turning on the Alabama game when they play Texas A&M when I want to see a close match.
I want fancy LED Christmas lights that I can animate to music and such, and maybe some interior lighting of similar or just slightly elevated smartness, but overall I don’t want much of my infrastructure connecting to the Internet. Or intranet. Or, frankly, anything, if I can help it.
Almost none of those devices gets a security audit. I’m not sure some of the companies making them know what a security audit is. Yeah, sure, you can VLAN them all off into a little sandbox, but I’d prefer to avoid having a honeypot that will result in my lights, coffee machine, blender, fridge, heater, or something even more expensive try to destroy itself. There’s a lot to be said for convenience, but there’s also a lot to be said for reliability and unhackability.
Oh HECK no! My brother works for a defense contractor and says “if you knew how vulnerable this technology is, you would run far and fast!” Didn’t change my mind, just reinforced my suspicions. Call me what you will (I fully expect it ), but I’ll take a hard meh! Couldn’t hit that button fast enough!
@ybmuG So true. And with streaming feeds of video in our homes, the threat isn’t just from foreign and/or malevolent entities—but from big brother as well. Hell, even Amazon could benefit from putting these in our homes—I already don’t trust the Echo devices that listen in our households. Why give them eyes inside too?
Besides the privacy issue, I don’t trust that the companies configured the computers embedded in all these devices securely. Some of the “smart” devices are running old versions of linux that have not been patched in years; or the on-board web servers are full of vulnerabilities. What about the custom written software? Has it been properly tested?
And let’s say that miraculously, a company puts out a secure device, is there an upgrade program that would allow an average user to easily install security patches in a timely manner?
So what you may be left with is a home network full of vulnerable “computers” that can be used as staging grounds for attackers to target your computers and other devices that contain or access your sensitive information and accounts.
I think that the industry is still too young and more is needed to ensure that all the “smart” devices are also secure.
I have “smart fingers”. I use them to operate light switches, the thermostat, to pet the cats, open the fridge, operate the microwave, computer and phone… The best part is these fingers came free with my body. They are powered by body created electrical and chemical signals controlled by a brain that uses things like ice cream and chocolate to function. No need to buy anything like batteries (sorry @shahnm) or wifi either. Best deal on the planet.
I don’t want or need to live in a surveillance home. Besides, every company that makes an IOT device fully intends to monetize them by forcing you to “subscribe” to one or more services that the devices are completely dependent upon to function in order to guarantee the revenue stream from you.
Don’t pay the ransom, and you’re left with a crippled or useless device.
The interests if the companies that make IOT/“smart” devices are not the same as yours. You are an income stream, not a customer, friend, or anything else. Just ask the shareholders, directors, the CFO, or the VCs that fund them.
IOT devices are just bait.
They are platforms for ransomware, either the manufacturer’s own critically dependent “cloud services”, or that of “valued partners” (silent and anonymous, of course) or any rando hacker.
How many Vizio “smart” TVs and Samsung TVs are trying to connect to their Chinese servers to send them your streaming media passwords? The Amazon password you use to log into Prime Video is the same one you use to buy stuff and to change your password. The same for YouTube and your Gmail account. They call the surveillance data they colkect on you “telemetry”, and they consider it their property once they collect it - they count it as an asset on their balance sheets and how much you (the customer) are “worth” on their IPO and VC exit strategies.
My Vizio is still looking for updates from the Yahoo! web app store. Every four hours. Yahoo shut that crap down four years ago. There is no plan for failed IOT devices or the services they depend on.
Never in a million years will I have a “smart” home.
Juicer requires downloading it’s app, creating an account, internet connection, and QR code all so it can refuse to work on any off brand products. Also it costs $400. Future mandatory subscription fees TBD at press time.
@jsfs That still doesn’t solve the privacy problem of the telemetry/data they collect on you and share (intentionally or not) or the hostage/ransomware fundamentals core to the manufacturer’s profitability (or IPO/VC exit strategy).
PiHole can’t protect from “authorized” data exfiltration or guarantee security/availability for criticalky dependent remote services. It can’t protect from the failed separation of duties in every online account ever - the password to use your account should never be the same password to control/change your account. And yet it is. All of the two-factor complications are simply another failed attempt to fix that root problem.
Always on == Always vulnerable.
The solution will need more than PiHole. Separate accounts for every device for starters. But most people won’t bother to do the work you are forced to do to protect your network and privacy. The makers of these devices want and like it that way to drive your inaction and compliance to their interests, not yours.
@mike808 Well, yes and no. If you signed in before you configured your PiHole, then yes. If you did your homework and found someone’s research on all the telemetry from your model, then blocked it before signing in for the first time… maybe not. (I’m hoping not, anyway, since that’s going to be most of my solution in the near future…)
However, I do agree that the industry needs to standardize on something a lot better than what we’re doing now. Finding a way to make consumers comfortable - or willing - has been the major hurdle, as you’ve noted; most don’t even like two-factor.
Living where I do, I don’t take power for granted. Our internet providers are below acceptable so anything that needs the interwebz to be on 24/7 is a no as well.
It’s good training for California of Tomorrow & today.
I am hoping you all can help me.
Back several decades ago (80s?) I was alone one night watching TV and ran across a movie. This young woman had just gotten (inherited?) a house so she invited her beau and several friends to join her as she moved in. The house (small modern looking mansion) had a computer system and could do just about anything asked (I.e. one of the world’s 1st customized smart homes). Long story short, she had grown up in the house and it had loved her. So now that she was back, it wanted to keep her and kill off any “competition” (I.e. beau, friends who suggested she leave with them after the first two people died, …).
There was a shower murder (or maybe that lady just went nuts? I am thinking that, but it was long ago), indoor pool death, …, I think the house imploded in the end as she and maybe one other fled.
Anyone know this movie?
My house is as smart as I need it to be. It has wi-fi. It doesn’t need any extras. If I can see via cameras, so can someone that can hack the system. I don’t need Alexa, and Siri is turned off on my iPhone. I worked in IT too long to trust it.
Sorta. I have a Nest and some Hue bulbs, both of which are great. I have received a couple Alexas and a Google Home for free over the years. I do use the Alexas a bit, but the Google Home is garbage and I’m considering throwing it away.
I gave all my Alexa crap to my mother. Yup, I fell into the gimmicky trend that was the “smart home.” It was sort of neat, but then I realized (despite the privacy issues) it wasn’t really convenient or time saving. In fact, it was sort of annoying. I probably said, “Shut up Alexa” more than asking it to do anything.
@goldnectar I have my Echo in a box because my boyfriend was constantly being annoyed by it and he’d unplug it. It would start talking in response to something someone said on the TV and then he’d never be able to get it to stop. I think the only thing I used it for was to listen to music. I should really sell it on eBay. I bought a speaker for it here on Meh and it was actually pretty cool, but it was going to be murdered if I left it out anymore.
Nope. I do have Echoes in the kitchen and garage, but no cameras in the house. The Echoes share wifi with the Roku and e-readers, but the computers and any devices with personal info are on a separate band with a different password. If someone hacked the Echo and got the password, they would be able to see my music playlist, what shows I watch, and what books I read, which would bore them to sleep. Having Alexa control stuff was fun for a bit, but it didn’t last. It is just easier to flip switches, especially before morning coffee, when I mumble.
Even though we wont go as far as using our phones to turn on our washer, I do want cameras for outside the house only for the fact that since I order most anything we use online, we get a shit ton of deliveries. Even though I am home most of the time, the junkies that troll our neighborhood are a lot faster than I am. And even though they couldn’t outrun a bullet, my very smart husband doesn’t trust me with a gun.
18 years into owning this ~65 y/o house and I’m still finding the idiotic things the previous DIY’er owner did.
Electric outlets - some inexplicably, randomly placed and/or non-functional, some upside down, some rightside up, some w/out the ground wire connected, a whole room where all 3 wires in the outlets are connected but the circuit is ungrounded - that one was a shocker, literally; it’s my music studio and I was regularly getting zapped by various component knobs (not to mention annoyed by the hum and buzz) before discovering the ungrounded circuit.
Now that room gets its power from a long extension cord coming from another room/circuit.
Bathroom light switch/outlet combo had the power jumped from the switch to the outlet with a length of lamp cord.
Insulation stuffed haphazardly in some places, completely missing in others.
And more and more…
The electrical work is the scariest, as I worry about the things I can’t see/haven’t discovered.
The old pull-tab Lite Beer cans I found under the attic insulation and between the basement ceiling and first floor, and the Lite bottle cap used to level the basement vanity sink probably explains most of it.
On the plus side, fixing/replacing/updating these things has, in most cases, made me feel vastly more competent a DIY’er in comparison.
One exception being that damned bathroom outlet/switch - tried rewiring it and replacing it with a GFCI, which burnt out the first time I used the space heater, and now I have a heavy gauge extension cord running from another room and under two doors to provide power to bathroom appliances.
One of these days I’ll get around to hiring an actual electrician to make things right… hopefully before another 18 years pass.
@DennisG2014 I wish I had a picture of it, but in our first house the previous owner had run electric out to the front porch, which used to be open but they had enclosed with windows, using a run of zipcord all the way around and little plugs along the way. But here’s the biggest part - he ran the zipcord down into the basement and put the bare ends of the wire into one of those screw-in outlets that go into a light socket, and then wrapped the whole thing with electrical tape. I freaked out when I found it.
Partially smart, we have a lot of hue bulbs, which with the use of the lutron aurora dimmer dial are great. I originally got into the whole thing when I broke my foot and wanted to be able to shut the lights off from bed. I thought I would just use the app/phone, but they offered the original echo for a decent price on prime day so I took a shot. I really enjoy using my Sirius XM subscription on it as well as controlling most of the lights in the house. We have a 1st gen show in the kitchen, which I had intended to use with a ring or other video door bell, but I haven’t figured out which one would work with our existing door bell wiring. I have a feeling I might have to pay someone to come out for that. We have dots in the kids rooms/game room that function as intercoms so we don’t have to yell, which is nice. They also enjoy playing with the hue settings, especially in the game room. To avoid accidentally triggering Alexa, we refer to her as “The Lady in the Corner.” We have a harmony hub that also controls the lights with the home theater system, which can be cool, but we don’t get to sit and watch movies much this time of year. We just got the hue outdoor lighting this year and I really like it. The hue timer seems to work more consistently than other dawn dusk timers and so far hasn’t been affected by occasional internet outages.
We have five Echo Dots and two Shows. I was actually a beta tester for the first gen Echo Show while I was working at Amazon. We are reasonably pleased with the features (use drop in, announce, and music all the time), and I am reasonably concerned about the privacy issues. As an example, we do not use the Shows for recipes, but they always recommend uncannily timely recipes for meals we have talked about having. So far, at least, convenience has outweighed reservations.
Yes, I do. It’s kind of a hobby for me. I enjoy finding new ways to combine all my different components to make my life easier and more secure. I’m a single guy who works for an airline so being able to ensure that my house is secure and my cats aren’t on fire when I’m away is important to me. When leave my house all the doors lock, the garage door closes, and the cat cameras turn to where the cats usually hang out. When I get in bed all the doors lock, garage door closes, all the lights and TVs turn off. There’s so many thing I have automated, I can’t describe them all here. It does require a lot of maintenance because things stop working for seemingly no reason. I don’t think we are at the point of having consumer level smart homes that just always work but I love my house.