We are paying big bucks to bug our own lives


You might want to stop and think twice before buying that shiny new smart watch, smart TV, or other smart what-not that uses the web to operate — devices that comprise the Internet of Things. According to this week’s report from the U.S.-China Economic and Security Review Commission, the Chinese government is hellbent on exploiting the Internet of Things to spy on every aspect of our lives — including the most intimate ones.

According to Gartner, the Connecticut-based global consulting giant, there are more smart gizmos connected to the Internet than people in the world. By 2020, the total population of Internet of Things devices will swell to 20.4 billion.

Because Internet-connected devices operate via the web — everything from pacemakers and baby monitors to smart toys and automobiles — they can be readily hacked. In a now-famous demonstration in St. Louis, Mo., security gurus Charles Miller and Chris Valasek took over a Jeep Cherokee driven by Andy Greenberg, a senior writer for Wired magazine. “Immediately my accelerator stopped working,” Greenberg recounts. “As I frantically pressed the pedal and watched the RPMs climb, the Jeep lost half its speed, then slowed to a crawl. This occurred just as I reached a long overpass, with no shoulder to offer an escape. The experiment had ceased to be fun.” read more

8 Comments on We are paying big bucks to bug our own lives

  1. Save your breath, the people that buy these “smart” devices are the same ones the voluntarily submit their lives to Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, et al. They are sheep, they like to be sheered.

  2. I was at a friends a couple weeks ago and he had purchased a new refrigerator, it had a screen on the front and he could go online with it, watch movies etc. I had never seen one, I told him he was insane but the younger generation doesn’t seem to mind. It’s 1984 in 2018.

  3. It’s not only the ability of these devices to communicate with the mother ship that we need to worry about. A far more serious and fatal flaw exists in many of these devices.

    Cheap Chinese design, engineering, component selection and manufacturing.

    Say you buy some of these gizmos to make your life easier. The shower floor warms an hour before you wake up, coffee starts brewing 15 minutes into your shower, the dog is automatically fed and let out, your garage door opens and closes by your mere presence, you can control the temperature of the your house and all of the lighting, etc.

    Now think about one of those little devices with a poor solder joint on the main power interrupt for controlling the lighting in your living room. The cheap knockoff transformer overheats, causing the non fiber reinforced plastic housing to warp, exposing the live interrupt that was accidentally bridged when the cat tangled itself in the cord for the blinds.

    It smolders all night while you’re on vacation. Your smart phone alerts you to a failure in the lighting system but that could just be a burned out bulb.

    Eventually the cheap Chinese non fiber reinforce plastic ignites and the cheap Chinese wall plate along with the smart home device melt into a toxic lava that ignites the formaldehyde infused cheap Chinese flooring you got at Lumber Liquidators.

    Soon the house is engulfed in flames and your cat is dead. All because you were happy to find some cheap smart home controllers on fleabay that were dropped on your doorstep in a China Post bag for less than you can ship a small package cross country.

  4. I’m getting ready to pay for a VPN service for the first time.

    It will be worth $50 a year to shield my comments or at least provide a firewall from the techno-stalinists who are curating files on your every purchase, search and, yes, comment you have ever uttered for the last 20 years. Scanning your private e-mails on their “free” email services. Monitoring everywhere you travel to with the GPS on your cellphones.

  5. I think that someone will be able to make a shitload of money in the not-too-distant future manufacturing a line of new cars/trucks that have no computer systems in them. Also other kinds of appliances and equipment.

    People will start getting a clue one of these days. EMP attack, anyone? Hurricane or other disaster that knocks out the internet, electricity?

    My nephew got stranded last month in the middle of nowhere in Nevada where there was no cell phone coverage when stuff went out in his “crossover SUV”.

    What is with people wanting to plug themselves in like parollees with ankle bracelets. Or bots in the Matrix.


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