You Should Be Careful Hooking Your Thermostat To The Net

It’s been an interesting adventure around here for the last week or so.  I moved my website from one host to another and that meant I had to rebuild much of what I’d done (or at least ensure it was all in the same space.) The podcast had to be re-entered and reuploaded to a new host (I’m using Libsyn now) and the email system moved to Mailchimp.  It’s been an adventure indeed.

Thoughts On Amazon:

I published the first two ebooks last week as well.  Wild Hunt is here   and 2047: Hell In A Handbasket is here.(They’re both on Kindle Unlimited btw so you can download/read for free if you’re a member)
I’ll likely have the third book up later this month after I get it all back from my copyeditor.  This isn’t the publishing schedule I wanted to use so I’ll have to explain later in another post.

Frankly Speaking

Here’s the first “soft” robot. I think this is a very cool development in that there are no hard chips, no hard structures, etc. It’s the first step in an entirely new concept in robotics and while it’s very basic, it demonstrates the principles of “soft” and autonomous activity. Think of making a jellyfish and you’re in the ballpark here. Read about it here.
Speaking of new ways of looking at the world…
Let me introduce you to “Swarm Intelligence.” A short form version would be the more sources of information you can gather, the more accurate will be your decision. Computers are, by nature, able to find and collate huge amounts of data from a variety of sources. Here’s a great introductory article and video – easy to read and relevant to the current political situation in the U.S. Swarm intelligence accurately predicted Donald Trump would win Times Person Of The Year.

You Should Be Careful Hooking Your Thermostat To The Net

Just in case you’re wondering what’s coming next, let me give you a list of 72 Stunning things in the future that will be common ten years from now that don’t exist today Read it here and put on your wondering-what-coming-next hat.
The above article on 72 Things lists the following for physical devices or the Internet of Things (IOT)
“The Internet of things is the network of physical devices, vehicles, and buildings embedded with electronics, software, sensors, and actuators designed to communicate with users as well as other devices. We are currently experiencing exponential growth in IoT devices as billions of new ones come online every year.

  •  Smart chairs, smart beds, and smart pillows that will self-adjust to minimize pressure points and optimize comfort.
  • Sensor-laced clothing.
  • “Print and Pin” payment systems that uses a biometric mark (fingerprint) plus a pin number.
  • Smart plates, bowls and cups to keep track of what we eat and drink.
  • Smart trashcan that will signal for a trash truck when they’re full.
  • Ownership networks. As we learn to track the location of everything we own, we will also track the changing value of each item to create a complete ownership network.
  • Self-retrieving shoes where you call them by name, through your smartphone, and your shoes will come to you.
  • Smart mailboxes that let you know when mail has arrived and how important it is.”

I’ve been thinking a great deal about the Internet of Things lately and while I understand it’s coming, I’m far less interested in participating today than I was a week or three ago. Call me a Luddite if you will, but I recently spent some time reading about security on “smart” thermostats and other things such as printers.  Here’s an article summarizing some of the issues but it’s equally instructive just to read the  referred titles rather than entire articles. Or, do a search on Internet of Things Security.
A great description of the latest bot that’s taken down quite a few websites (coming to a site near you soon!) and uses your routers etc is here.
While I may change my mind about this (after all, I do use Siri and that’s a foot in the door) I didn’t hook up my new printer to wifi.  I cable to it just as if it were an old dumb printer.
I’m also looking at how and why I use my smart phone and I’m going to have to get back to you about it.
Luddite indeed.

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