Putting my thing on the Internet

I have been hearing quite a lot lately about the "Internet of Things".

I reckon society can be divided into five groups –

There are the technical nerds who can't wait to invent more yokes to stick on the Interweb and who stand to make a fortune out of it.

There are the gubmints and Big Business who are all behind it as they can [and will] then control just about anything.

There are the bovine masses who cannot wait to wire every single aspect of their life to the Interweb, from their refrigerator to their underpants simply because it's "the latest thing".

There is the vast majority who haven't even heard of it and don't give a shite, despite it creeping into their lives.

And finally there is my [apparently very small] group which is more than a little worried by the whole business.

Now the Interweb is fine.  It's a grand place to look up information on just about any subject.  It's a grand place to research porn illegally downloading films your next holiday or finding long lost friends [though if you haven’t kept up with them by normal methods, they’re probably better off lost].  It's a grand way of doing the shopping.

I have a few things connected to the Interweb.  There are the laptops of course and all the little bits that go with them like the printer and a couple of hard disks.  Then Herself has an Interweb radio that can connect to tens of thousands of radio stations [she listens to about three of them].  The satellite box is connected so it can download [legitimate] films and that's about it.  Even my mobile phone is very rarely connected as I use it only for phone calls which is a different system.

Now people [the bovine masses group] are queuing to buy "smart" refrigerators, house lighting systems, central heating systems and probably the scariest of all, cars.  In the meantime Big Business is sneaking in "smart" meters onto our water, electricity, gas and waste disposal.

Has anyone ever heard of computer viruses?  Has anyone come across the term "hacking"?

Do you really fancy driving along a motorway doing the ton only to find some cunt has hacked your system and is now in control?  Wouldn't you be thrilled to come home only to find that some other cunt has disabled all your utilities and has changed all the security codes on your doors?  Wouldn't it be lovely if your "smart" kitchen decides you are running low on baked beans and automatically orders three tins, only because of a tiny glitch, they deliver three tons of baked beans?

As things stand at the moment, if the Interweb breaks [which it does occasionally] then I lose a bit of entertainment and that’s all.  Everything else is under my complete control.  I lock my own doors.  I switch on my own lights [and frequently forget to switch ’em off again].  I control my own heating, refrigerator, oven and other kitchen appliances and my own clothing.  I don't want to be able to send text messages to my cutlery or add my toiled seat as a "friend" on Farcebook.  If I have forgotten to set the heating to come on, then that's a trivial matter and I'm not so desperate that I need to be able to phone it to tell it to switch on.

There is an old expression – "if something can go wrong it will go wrong".

And another – "don't put all your eggs in one basket".

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Putting my thing on the Internet — 22 Comments

  1. Cool. I've heard the 'Internet of things' term before, but never bothered to figure out what it meant. Now I don't have to.

    • Basically I understand it means connecting things to the Interweb that have no fucking place there.  Connect your vest and it'll tell your doctor all about your heart rate.  Connect your security system so you can monitor it from a beach somewhere.  Connect your heating so you can switch it on from the bus on the way home.  In the meantime your electricity supplier reckons you are using more than your allocated juice so they throttle your supply and shit like that.

      It's all a VERY BAD IDEA.

      • Interesting. I can actually watch my security system from a beach, providing the beach has WiFi.

        I don't have any of that other stuff though

        • So you go on holidays to get away from it all, but still bring some of it with you?

          As a matter of interest, what happens if there is a burglary while you're on the beach?  Next flight home?

          • I don't often look at it while on holiday, although Mrs Bucko likes to check on the cats. I can view it at work and let my dad access it while we're away so he doesn't actually have to go round to the house to check on it. 

            Fact is though, most of my stuff is pants. It would actually be worth more to me robbed because the insurance would replace it all with new stuff that actually works. Got to think about the cats though.

  2. If the internet and interweb break down I still have my books and magazines. If the electricity system goes whump I can barbeque in the back garden – and won't have to light candles until around 10 pm to help me reread a biography of Casanova. Come to think of it, I'll forget the electric cooker and gas and just go into the back garden and let those sausages sizzle. I can build a fire with Bord na Mona turf briquettes. Got to pretend we're enjoying an Irish summer.

    • If my Interweb breaks down, I just carry on living life.  I'm not reliant on it for anything except a bit of amusement.  I'm well used to my electricity failing so I have a gas camping stove and loads of oil lamps and candles.  My ancestors survived and so will I.

  3. I refuse to buy an internet connected washing machine until they work out a way for it to load and unload the washing, fold it, iron it and put it back in the wardrobe.

    If they can manage that, then I'll buy one…

    • I would buy one of those if there was one, but why the hell should the Interweb be connected to it?  Would it have to Google for its instructions?

    • If you're happily married, like Grandad, you don't need an internet connected washing machine. The missus has been programmed to accomplish all the listed tasks, including putting everything back in the wardrobe.

  4. Do I detect the dead hand of Big Business here? There are millions of idiots/paying punters out there, all salivating over the promoted benefits of internet connectivity. Everyone Knows the systems don’t work, will fail, often spectacularly, and cause endless trouble for real people. But the programs generate income. I agree totally with you. Live life sensibly, using the technology known to work, and simply use the internet to access information. It’s all about people actually living their real lives instead of some futuristic Valhalla. Did I mention automated/ computer driven cars? What happens when you are faced with the infamous Blue Screen? I could be dissuaded from driving ever again

    • Of course Big Business likes the idea.  Apart from the masses all queuing to buy the latest "Internet ready" appliances for their homes there is the ability to spy on and control the population.  As it is, they know my shopping habits [they're welcome to those] but I don't fancy for example my car insurer being told every single time I break a speed limit.   

  5. Heh! Same as that, GD. As for cars connected to the internet, forget it. I try to buy cars that don't even have electric windows because when the fuckers go wrong it's a bloody nightmare. They always get stuck open when it's freezing and pissing with rain. Same goes for computerised engine management systems. My ideal car is something like a 1975 Ford Cortina. Not much to go wrong, and when it does, it's cheap and easy to fix.

    • From the point of view of simplicity I couldn't beat my old Austin Mini ['68 or so?].  I was able to [and did] strip it down to the crankcase and rebuild it at the side of the road.  The only thing I wasn't able to do myself was the regular change of CV joints.

      The problem with cars connected to the Interweb is that you or I can refuse to buy them, but what's to stop a hacker controlled car smashing into us?  I know there are some crap drivers around, but if there is a sudden general system failure on a motorway?

      • Yes, but weren't those little by-pass hoses a bugger. You were supposed to take the head off to replace them, although I never did. Some bright spark finally came up with replacements that could concertina which made the job do-able, although still not easy. I had an Austin Cooper 'S' for a while (1971, I think. K reg, anyway), which had been bored out to 1400 cc and had uprated carbs and other goodies. Used to go like shit off a stick. One of the best cars I've ever owned.

        Sigh… Those were the days…

        • Now you need a degree in computing and half a million's worth of testing equipment.  God be with the days of the feeler gauge.  I wonder if they even make those these days?

          • I've still got a set of feeler gauges – in thou, not metric. A necessary item to set the points, among other things. Not that cars have distributors any more…

          • Still have a couple of [non-metric] ones myself.  I was always losing the damned things.

  6. I was reading up on heating controllers as part of replacing a very elderly boiler. At least one of the systems seemed to require an internet connection so that it could take all the instructions from an application running on a phone. If the internet or the phone battery went down, so did the heating system. Another used a weather website to assess the ambient temperature around your house to automatically tweak the timer settings.

    There was an early IoT domestic control system; I think Google developed it. Then they decided that everybody had to buy their new improved (and incompatible) system so they turned off the servers for it, bricking everything running on the older hardware.

    There is a place for connecting to embedded devices with the internet (been there, done that), but they are just playing a game of “what can we persuade the terminally gullible to buy?” now.

  7. Who could be so busy they haven't the time to check the fridge for fuck sake? How will it know if you decide to get a fish and chip on your way home, will you have to email the cooker, will it get upset?

    • I might be doing the ton but the bloke who veers across the road and smacks into me is the twat who has just lost Interweb connection.

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