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Out of control — 21 Comments

  1. Just imagine the spotty little geek who wrote the software that controls it all – that should set your expectations low enough. Just bin all the fancy remote nonsense and press the on-button on the machine – at least that should give you a 50% chance of it working.

    • That’s what concerns me. It was the act of switching on that sent it off into a frenzy doing the wrong wash. I ended up with a tub full of sopping wet mess.

  2. Why the hell do I need to control things from my phone?
    It won’t fill the dishwasher/washing machine, put the detergent in, and empty it.
    If it starts the coffee machine, it won’t bring it to me.
    It won’t turn over the roasties in the oven at half way through.

    It joins the list of unneccessary additions to motor cars, like electric handbrakes, lane maintaining software etc.

    yours from the 20th century

    • Right. Point taken. I am usually the first to condemn gimmicks like that, however….. whoever made the yoke for the phone is a damn sight smarter than the bloke who set up the physical controls. The phone has a multiple choice menu system that is a hell of a lot easier to understand and I can do it from my armchair and not have to crouch on the kitchen floor for twenty minutes twiddling knobs and pressing buttons. In this instance, I rest my case.

    • You speak for me, Neil. As for you, Grandad, just take your washing to the laundrette like a gentleman. They’ll even iron and fold it for you!

      • If I Had a Gentleman’s Gentleman to do it for me that would be fine. As it is, I don’t have the time to be running up and down like a yoyo.

  3. Is someone else trying to remotely close their curtains or switch on their cooker and turning on your washing machine? Is your phone turning on and off the lights of someone’s house?

    • Dara Ó Briain has a brilliant sketch on the topic – how he loves to annoy his wife by randomly opening and closing the curtains and switching lights on an off while he’s away. He had to stop though when his wife texted him to say she was at work and he was scaring the shit out of the babysitter.

  4. So, on a similar vein, I saw an add on the telly “Alexa make me a coffee” says the voice and the Alexa compatible machine turns on… but here’s the kicker, they then go on to show the machine with a cup under the spout and someone’s hand putting one of those pod things into the machine.
    So I guess it goes like this; put the water and pod into the machine, put the cup under the spout then leave the room without turning on the machine!!? And ask Alexa to do it?
    Am I the only one who can see the problem here?

    • I think the winner has to be a gimmick I saw some years ago – a PC with a remote control for the CD drawer. Not one of us in the IT department could come up with a rational reason for that one.

      • On a par with those soap dispensers which automatically squirted soap on your hands when you held them beneath the spout. Their ads actually showed the dispensing button of a ‘dumb’ dispenser crawling with germs. Nowhere did it ask what’s the next thing one would do having covered the hands with soap. Daft, I call it.

        • I remember that yoke. It struck me at the time that it was a lovely sort of anti-paradox. I wonder why I haven’t seen it around lately?

  5. I assume you have to switch it fully on to set the programme? Rather than the traditional machine where you put power on and it’s in standby, then set the programme, then press ‘Go’ when ready. No way should it start sploshing until after you have chosen the programme.

    • I’m still getting the hang of it. I think I’m nearly there. I’m going to try today – switch the machine onto standby and then programme it from the phone. As I have sad, the phone is by far the most logical programming tool. It will be interesting to see what a hames I make of it.

  6. These SMART devices are usually anything but. They have lots of potential but usually it is limited by the programmer as to only useful for basic stuff. I want full control not something that gives the illusion of control.

    Everything is like this now, cars, banks, central heating, washing machines, phones. The list is endless and I try and avoid them all.

    The IoT has so much potential but why do we fuck up everything we do lately. People making decisions for us. I want to make those decisions, they should settle for allowing up to define our decision point but as a consession they can put in what they think we want as long as we can overwrite it.

    • The one that scares the shit out of me is the device that sits in the room listening for instructions to switch things on or off. Why is it a good idea to potentially broadcast every utterance in the room over the Interweb? So far the only “smart” devices I have are the washing machine [which I’m still trying to come to grips with] and my SatNav which takes voice commands [and I have to shout at to activate it, but it is really handy when it works].

      • That is why I don’t have one in my house. I’d expect a visit from armed Plod after watching Doris on Youtube for 5 mins.

        I still want certain voice functions so I’m building my own voice activated system that works internally and doesn’t connect to any third party api.

    • Nah. HAL could be disarmed by sliding blocks of perspex out. Mine doesn’t have those. I have yet to discover how to store memory on a block of clear perspex.

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