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Skynet is Coming

or Why Does My Toothbrush Need Bluetooth

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Journeyman20/02/2021 09:26:05
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943 forum posts
173 photos

Hopefully a non-political topic for discussion. Why does my tumble dryer need wi-fi? Just replaced my ancient non-efficient tumble dryer with a new one. It has wi-fi so that with the correct app I can control it from my phone.

Why does it need this superfluous level of control? I have to walk up to the dryer and open the door manually to put the washing in, oh and wile I am there I can press the button to start it. Likewise I have to open it manually to extract the hopefully dry washing. Surely controlling it by phone is entirely unnecessary given that the recommendation is not to leave tumble dryers running when the house is empty (fire risk). I suppose it could let me know when the load is dry but the house isn't that big and the beeper is quite loud!

On a similar vein my new electric toothbrush has BlueTooth. Again, why? As I have to pick the thing up to use it why on earth do I need to talk to it with my phone.

I am becoming worried that all these interconnected household appliances will conspire against me. Probably controlled by Amazon in the form of Alexa.

Skynet is coming - indeed it may already be here!

John

David Colwill20/02/2021 09:44:09
739 forum posts
38 photos

Ours also has wifi and an app to control it but sadly my phone is not new enough to work it!

David.

Oven Man20/02/2021 09:48:09
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118 forum posts
8 photos

Maybe it has wifi so it can let you know when it catches fire?

I am in full agreement, "smart" appliances are a complete waste of time. The manufacturers would be better off putting effort into making the products more reliable and repairable.

Peter

Zan20/02/2021 09:56:11
225 forum posts
18 photos

too many devices are becoming so called smart

why would you want a phone app to control a toilet flush.. not nice later handling a contaminated device.....

do what you can to disable the wifi, the pw  protection on them is usually poor and it gives opportunities for hackers to get into your systems

My dishwasher annoys me, we only use one program but it has to be selected with three button ( extreme left, centre then extreme right ) presses not one if you hit the wrong button in the centre the so called eco program runs for 3.5 hours not our normal 29 min......

my camper van control unit had only three buttons one to cycle through then select with another then back to the first to cycle through the changes you need. So frustrating when you miss the thing u want. It failed, repaired, failed replacement costs £300 . So I , ripped it out n replaced it with switches

Edited By Zan on 20/02/2021 09:59:00

Mick B120/02/2021 09:56:57
1862 forum posts
92 photos

It's so that the Central Committee of the Glorious People's Revolutionary Party can check you're cleaning your teeth twice a day of course! How could anyone possibly object?

wink

JasonB20/02/2021 10:12:46
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Moderator
20289 forum posts
2218 photos
1 articles
Posted by Journeyman on 20/02/2021 09:26:05:

Why does it need this superfluous level of control? I have to walk up to the dryer and open the door manually to put the washing in, oh and wile I am there I can press the button to start it. Likewise I have to open it manually to extract the hopefully dry washing. Surely controlling it by phone is entirely unnecessary given that the recommendation is not to leave tumble dryers running when the house is empty (fire risk). I suppose it could let me know when the load is dry but the house isn't that big and the beeper is quite loud!

All very well if you are at home all day but what about those that go out to work. Fill it up before you leave home and then get your phone out before you leave work and set it to run. Low and behold it's is all washed dried and ready to come straight out of the machine when you arrive home.

Russell Eberhardt20/02/2021 10:30:51
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2649 forum posts
85 photos

"Hey Google, turn the tumble drier on at 2am" or whenever your cheap rate starts?

Russell

Journeyman20/02/2021 10:31:05
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943 forum posts
173 photos
Posted by JasonB on 20/02/2021 10:12:46:

All very well if you are at home all day but what about those that go out to work. Fill it up before you leave home and then get your phone out before you leave work and set it to run. Low and behold it's is all washed dried and ready to come straight out of the machine when you arrive home.

skynet.jpg

Either that or the house has burnt downdevil

John

Edited By Journeyman on 20/02/2021 10:37:07

pgk pgk20/02/2021 10:32:42
2073 forum posts
290 photos

Most folk know roughly when they'll be back so a simple timer does that with no risk of being hacked or details of where you work, phone type and likely all your contacts being sent to the washing machine and sold in China...

More sinister theory is remotely switching it off in an energy crisis - but they can do that with your smart meter anyway (assuming a mobile signal in your area and a smart meter can work - or condemned by ruralism to paying full whack). Likely insurance companis will refuse to pay out on floods/fires caused by failed machines 'cos you were out at the time the same way they wonlt pay out if you forgot to lock your car and it gets nicked. the whole point of insurance used to be for those silly occasions when one forgets...

pgk

SillyOldDuffer20/02/2021 10:39:26
Moderator
7042 forum posts
1549 photos

Ah, the Internet of Things! As always, the Good the Bad and the Ugly.

The idea is to improve life by making devices aware of the environment and each other. The basic idea has been around a long time: in my youth (I don't remember the sixties), most computers lived in a purpose built building surrounded by acolytes and 2 or 3 engineers on site who kept the thing going. When Minicomputers arrived, better, but still not completely reliable, paying an engineer to idle about on site cost too much, so the machine would monitor itself and phone home if it detected a fault. Since then many mechanical controls like washing machine timers and thermostats have been replaced by electronic sensors coupled to management units; this generally makes the device more efficient and reliable, and cheaper to make. Although self contained until recently, they don't have to be.

Now cheap high-speed communications and microprocessors are almost universal, it's possible to extend connectivity to almost anything. Machines can report faults or that consumables are running short. And they can be remotely controlled by the owner, or respond to remote sensors and control systems, like the electrical supply system or a weather station. The machine can be almost anything, anywhere - your fridge, car, office photocopier, burglar alarm in a shed, pacemaker, or a smoke alarm in Grannies house. Stolen power tools could report their GPS location, or activate a camera. The possibilities are almost endless.

Good: owners benefit from improved control, security, faster fixes, save money and generally worry less about maintenance trivia and inconveniences.

Bad: bound to go wrong at times and likely to be applied for daft useless reasons, in incompatible ways, to the bafflement and irritation of everyone.

Ugly: loss of personal control, privacy & security issues including cyber-warfare and criminality. Most people not understanding any of it, will throw unnecessary wobblers and be conned galore.

Is IoT useful in the workshop? Yes, but not essential. Just as it's possible to enjoy model engineering without a internet connection, computer, spreadsheet, 3D CAD and CNC, there's no particular reason to jump at IoT. But, if the hobby takes you towards Arduino, radio-control, 3D-printing, or CAD/CAM etc, it's here already. Many opportunities.

This is another development where I feel the opinions of retired gentlemen aren't particularly useful. Although my career in Information Technology gives me an insight, I'm at least 10 years out of date. The value of my experience wanes by the day because I don't know which old issues have been fixed or what the new ones are. I'm afraid the pros and cons of this are for the next generation to decide, not us.

sad

Dave

Nicholas Wheeler 120/02/2021 10:48:57
567 forum posts
37 photos

Posted by Zan on 20/02/2021 09:56:11:

My dishwasher annoys me, we only use one program but it has to be selected with three button ( extreme left, centre then extreme right ) presses not one if you hit the wrong button in the centre the so called eco program runs for 3.5 hours not our normal 29 min......

my camper van control unit had only three buttons one to cycle through then select with another then back to the first to cycle through the changes you need. So frustrating when you miss the thing u want. It failed, repaired, failed replacement costs £300 . So I , ripped it out n replaced it with switches

Four button control panels for multi-function devices annoy me far more than unnecessarily 'smart' ones. You don't have to connect smart features, but are forced to remember which one of several complex sequences of button presses whilst singing the Elbonian national anthem backwards at half speed in a minor key changes from automatic to manual. That's dreadful design, compounded by not having a clear, hardcopy instruction manual.

Touch screens should have reduced this, but the emphasis seems to be more on making the icons look pretty rather than actual use.

Dave Halford20/02/2021 11:57:01
1395 forum posts
12 photos

Does the Smart wifi appliance have a decent access code or is it a generic joke one if so it gives a hacker access to your home network.

V8Eng20/02/2021 12:29:34
1561 forum posts
31 photos

I just finished reading this thread when an email from Argos arrived headed “control your home from your phone”. Funny coincidence or big brother at work!

Georgineer20/02/2021 12:54:39
503 forum posts
30 photos

No need to worry that Skynet is coming. Skynet 2A was de-orbited in 1974 but as far as I know the others are still up there in stable geostationary orbits.

We launched Skynet 2B by piling up all the paperwork and throwing it off the top.

George B.

Swarf, Mostly!20/02/2021 13:27:00
570 forum posts
47 photos

Hi there, all,

I hope the following won't be judged too far off-topic!

Our ISP is Virgin Media. We're fairly satisfied with their service but we received an email from them yesterday that has prompted a clutch of reactions.

Their basic message was that they have doubled the speed of our wi-fi. To enable them to do this, they say they monitored our wi-fi usage over a few days and then tweaked our frequency to optimise our achieved performance (or psudo-techie words to that effect).

Now, we have 'his' and 'hers' computers and two printers. I can access either printer via ethernet. My wife has to communicate with one of our printers via wi-fi but hasn't printed anything for weeks. We do also have a lap-top equipped with wi-fi (aren't they all nowadays? ) but I haven't used the lap-top for a couple of weeks either. We do have a mobile phone, I'd say it rates as about 1½ G, definitely far from smart. So, just what wi-fi traffic they thought they were monitoring, I don't know.

Their email didn't actually say we're now connected to the turbo-encabulator, maybe that comes next?!?!?!

Best regards,

Swarf, Mostly!

Mike Poole20/02/2021 13:28:17
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Moderator
2940 forum posts
70 photos

Despite the denials it's difficult to believe that Alexa, Siri and Cortana are not listening in 24/7. The coincidences of discussing something completely random and then being confronted with a connected advert next time you are online are becoming too many to be chance. It’s funny how things that we see no requirement for slowly become desirable and then essential. The internet is still not present in every home and this is not just due to people who feel they are too old to learn something new, my contemporaries are in their early to mid 60s and there are some who have still not embraced smart phones and the internet, of course there are people who simply can’t afford the costs involved and some who simply prefer not to be connected. I once owned a substantial but by no means huge collection of LP’s and then CD’s I gave most of the LP’s to a vinyl junkie and ripped all my CDs to firstly a Brennan then to a NAS drive and SONOS network. My sons consume media from Spotify and Netflix and thus don’t have piles of hard media to store. I am slowly being tempted to subscribe to Spotify but I still have an affection for some music from my pub rock years that is unlikely to be online so other sources will be needed.

Mike

Bazyle20/02/2021 13:37:45
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5834 forum posts
217 photos
Posted by Georgineer on 20/02/2021 12:54:39:

We launched Skynet 2B by piling up all the paperwork and throwing it off the top.

George B.

laugh Know what you mean. I worked on Intellsat V payload.

"The coincidences of discussing something completely random and then being confronted with a connected advert". Sorry Mike I have unfortunately disproved this. I keep shouting "Beautiful Naked Ladies" but so far no connected adverts at all.

Journeyman20/02/2021 13:47:08
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943 forum posts
173 photos
Posted by Dave Halford on 20/02/2021 11:57:01:

Does the Smart wifi appliance have a decent access code or is it a generic joke one if so it gives a hacker access to your home network.

Seems to use the machines serial number but everything connects through a 'cloud' somewhere. Don't trust clouds, they turn into rain!

Posted by Bazyle on 20/02/2021 13:37:45:

The coincidences of discussing something completely random and then being confronted with a connected advert". Sorry Mike I have unfortunately disproved this. I keep shouting "Beautiful Naked Ladies" but so far no connected adverts at all..

Amazon must be out of stockwink

John

Georgineer20/02/2021 21:27:21
503 forum posts
30 photos
Posted by Bazyle on 20/02/2021 13:37:45:

"The coincidences of discussing something completely random and then being confronted with a connected advert". Sorry Mike I have unfortunately disproved this. I keep shouting "Beautiful Naked Ladies" but so far no connected adverts at all.

Check your Safe Search settings. They're probably set to "Prim'".

George B.

Roderick Jenkins20/02/2021 22:01:52
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2065 forum posts
555 photos
Posted by Georgineer on 20/02/2021 21:27:21:

Check your Safe Search settings. They're probably set to "Prim'".

George B.

smiley

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