The cost of adding a networked computer to something is now low and getting lower, but the cost of making the software the runs on it secure or reliable has stayed high. With engineer salaries having grown like they have, it may actually be getting more expensive. In the long term, businesses are going to wake up to liability and customer satisfaction concerns and stop selling insecure, unreliable “internet of things” devices. But I think we’re in for a few years of zero-days on refrigerators, big invasions of privacy, and maybe some injuries and deaths before this happens.
There’s a reason they call it the Internet of Things Targets. We’ve already felt this with consumer routers.
Interestingly enough, around here we have progressed to the point where you don’t buy your home router….. You get a “FREE ROUTER” with your fibre connection.
Actually, the reason it’s free, is if you watch carefully, every now and then it quietly updates itself and reboots….
ie. The ISP’s have worked out it’s cheaper to bundle a router they can control and update, than to handle the service complaints due to hacked routers.
Alas, what worries me more about this story is the implications of it when put together with Snowden’s information.
ie. The spooks can easily move one very large step beyond just listening….
Another reason for that shift is that ISPs have started realizing it might be valuable in its own right to own & control a distributed network of access points. For example all newer Comcast routers are dual-SSID routers. One of the SSIDs is configurable by the customer as their usual home wifi network, and the other one is locked to SSID ‘xfinity’, serving as part of Comcast’s national wifi network.
I’d like to see entertainment systems standardized and shared between car manufacturers. Why can’t I just get a double/triple/quad din entertainment drop in replacement at my local electronics shop and have it control exactly the same things the previous one did?
In my 1999 car I replaced the single din tape player with a 3rd party one, but had to give up volume buttons. It was worth it.
In my 2003 car I replaced the double din stereo with a 3rd party one, but kept all functionality by getting Pioneer -> ISO -> ISO -> Holden.
Newer cars than that seem to have an all in one “iDrive” style system that controls entertainment and gps (Which is fine) but also air conditioning, electric seats, car internetting, performance mode/suspension, lap timing. I can do without some of those things, but not being able to control the air conditioning at a minimum is an absolute deal breaker. If you can live with the lose of the other things it is still going to cripple your resale value. Why do they have to tie everything in together? My friend has a Z4M. The stereo isn’t great, but there is no way he is going to throw out this sort of functionality for a better one.
I just want them to either use standards so a replacement 3rd party unit doesn’t downgrade functionality (I know car companies aren’t going to do this) or at least split up system so that I could just replace the “entertainment system” (Which would basically be the screen + stereo tuner) and the air conditioning could still be controlled through it because the “entertainment system” and the air conditioner talk to each other over a standard interface (USB/ethernet/wifi with a standard open source “car communications” protocol).
Part of the problems with replacements (in the UK at least) is that they’re easy to steal. One of the large drops in the UK crime rate is because car stereos are now integrated and difficult / impossible to casually take.
A nice(?) side effect is that when considering which car to buy next, you’re more likely to go to the same manufacturer so you don’t have to re-learn a new system for changing radio stations.
I always imagined it was because an average $100 3rd party stereo is fine for most people and will only resale for say $30, so it is only worth stealing a $1000+ 3rd party stereo. If you are stealing an original stereo it is only worth stealing it if is actually good, is usable in your car and you have/can crack the code that locks it to the car/ecu.
Depending on how you look at it, a problem on top of this is that technologies keep on removing the ability to control which version of software they run. On my Android phone, if it decides to upgrade a piece of software and I say yes, I cannot downgrade it even if there is a huge security hole in it. I expect to see IoT being even worse about this.
One of the reasons I loved OS X so much was because it had a user friendly interface that was pretty good but I could dive below it and be a power user. The mobile platforms are not catering to this at all. The counter argument is that it is better because a centralized authority is making sure everyone is up to date. IMO, there is no reason to believe that is true.
engineer salaries having grown like they have
Could you cite? I find maybe a 10% increase (relative to inflation) since 1985.
I hope not connecting stuff that shouldn’t be connected to the net will help in the meantime. Unless they carry their own gsm modules…