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Froggy the Great

Randomness XVI: Brains versus Bleach - an Epic Rap Battle in Iambic Pentameter.

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31 minutes ago, Sylverthorne said:

 

At some point, I have a suspicion that there will be a market for in-house, personal servers, for the specific purpose of keeping all the IoT stuff under control.

Mr. Thorne (who works in IT, he tends to specialise in infrastructure), is equally convinced that no one will want their own personal server closet. He may be right, but I am unconvinced that 'want' is going to have anything to do with it ...

 

We've largely managed to avoid IoT; I don't trust anything cloud-based (it's still on a piece of hardware somewhere! [email protected]$!$!!!!!), and Mr. Thorne... well. Mr. Thorne deals with enough computer-based stupidity right now. Anybody in the Seattle area need an infrastructure guy? Mr. Thorne is grumpy, but he's really good at making computers do things... 

 

I want you to be right.

 

Unfortunately, the modern model is that (almost) no software runs entirely locally. I actually got into a pretty deep debate about this with a company that was Kickstarting some cool smart sensors for the home. At the end of the day, they had no interest in offering an "offline" version that did not talk to their cloud servers.

 

Once upon a time, I thought there might be a consumer market for smart backup devices for the home (Music! Photos! Videos! Don't lose your life's data!) Unfortunately, Google Drive, Instagram, Microsoft OneDrive, DropBox, Carbonite, BackBlaze, etc. all say that I was massively wrong. Services are convenient, and people seem to like pay-as-you-go.

 

So far, the consumer public seems much happier with hands-free, cloud-based products and software services over locally installed software. (Heck, we use Google Gsuite and Gmail at our company because it is so much easier to manage than local services at our scale, in spite of all the asterisks.) Until something major happens to break the public's will to hand data over to large service vendors, I am reluctantly forced to agree with Mr. Thorne.
 

I'm Sorry I can't offer Mr. Thorne a job. We don't have any technical positions open at the moment, and we don't have any IT infrastructure of our own to manage. :unsure:

(We're also not in Seattle, but the other two issues seem like the real deal breakers here.)

 

 

Edited by klarg1
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9 minutes ago, klarg1 said:

 

I want you to be right.

 

Unfortunately, the modern model is that (almost) no software runs entirely locally. I actually got into a pretty deep debate about this with a company that was Kickstarting some cool smart sensors for the home. At the end of the day, they had no interest in offering an "offline" version that did not talk to their cloud servers.

 

Once upon a time, I thought there might be a consumer market for smart backup devices for the home (Music! Photos! Videos! Don't lose your life's data!) Unfortunately, Google Drive, Instagram, Microsoft OneDrive, DropBox, Carbonite, BackBlaze, etc. all say that I was massively wrong. Services are convenient, and people seem to like pay-as-you-go.

 

So far, the consumer public seems much happier with hands-free, cloud-based products and software services over locally installed software. (Heck, we use Google Gsuite and Gmail at our company because it is so much easier to manage than local services at our scale, in spite of all the asterisks.) Until something major happens to break the public's will to hand data over to large service vendors, I am reluctantly forced to agree with Mr. Thorne.
 

I'm Sorry I can't offer Mr. Thorne a job. We don't have any technical positions open at the moment, and we don't have any IT infrastructure of our own to manage. :unsure:

(We're also not in Seattle, but the other two issues seem like the real deal breakers here.)

 

 

Yeah, I've pretty well given up on local services for consumers. There is no way to compete with the convenience of "the Cloud", and the risks to personal data be damned. The risks are just friction losses in that space. Unless there is an enormous breach, I don't see that changing any time soon.

Having no idea what scale you are working on, I can't comment on whether the Google utilities are the best choice; I work in a branch office (~30 people) of a global company with around 800 employees worldwide. and I am discovering that in terms of useability, for us, the Google stuff is just so much easier than Sharepoint or some other locally-installed collaboration suite. At the same time, though, we are in the business of operating electronic fare collection systems for /our/ customers, so I have often found that you can put your app in the cloud - but you still need infrastructure guys to operate it. This realization, sadly, seems to be lacking in our management. :(

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1 hour ago, aturriff said:

Having no idea what scale you are working on...

 

Quite small.

 

We have 6 employees going on 7.

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Yeah, I wouldn't even start with locally hosted services for that. Maybe a Windows SBS install, and I think Microsoft discontinued that - couldn't compete with the Google stuff. Still rubs me wrong to entrust my data to a cloud entity, though...

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1 hour ago, aturriff said:

At the same time, though, we are in the business of operating electronic fare collection systems for /our/ customers, so I have often found that you can put your app in the cloud - but you still need infrastructure guys to operate it. This realization, sadly, seems to be lacking in our management. :(

Even with the movement to the "serverless" application development method, applications should still have someone with an operations background on their development team.  I've found developers are good at implementing new shiny features but aren't very good at things like security, performance, or resilience, which is where the input from operations folks is needed.  (Disclaimer: I'm in IT operations with a hobbyist development background, so I kinda straddle the lines.)

 

If you have a vast cloud-y app, you still need someone to tie together all of the pieces.  You don't need as many as you used to but you still need operations people.

 

Do you remember what I said about resilience?  People who talk about cloud computing tend to forget something about clouds: They rain.  When your cloud platform rains (i.e. fails), you really want someone on staff who can go out there with a raincoat and galoshes and get everything right again.

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3 hours ago, klarg1 said:

 

I can't deny having a number of "edge" devices in our home, including a couple of dedicated, always-on spy microphones. (Amazon Echos).

 

My TV has been a "smart" edge device for a decade. Same with the old BluRay player DVR, other DVR, car, smart phones, Lady Klarg's fitbit, etc.. This is only going to get worse over time.

 

I have been fighting tooth and nail to avoid smart thermostats, additional voice devices, video-linked smart door locks etc., but it is a losing battle in the long term.

 

I say this as someone with > 20 years of software experience, and whose current focus is data management & privacy.

 

In the long run there will be no escape.

 

Edit: Just to be clear, I am not endorsing this trend. I just don't think we are going to escape it in the near future.

There is an escape.

It's done by physically disabling the IOT function.  This is most easily accomplished by identifying the antenna and the transmit/receive portion of the control circuitry and then "modifying" it in a suitable fashion so that it is incapable of performing its intended factory designed function.

Of course, this requires a lot of technical knowledge or the right You Tube Videos.

Alternatively, find out what ports on your router it wants to access and then blacklist those ports.

GEM

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57 minutes ago, aturriff said:

Yeah, I wouldn't even start with locally hosted services for that. Maybe a Windows SBS install, and I think Microsoft discontinued that - couldn't compete with the Google stuff. Still rubs me wrong to entrust my data to a cloud entity, though...

 

To be fair, my previous employer had in excess of 10,000 employees, and lots of self-hosted infrastructure.

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7 minutes ago, Green Eyed Monster said:

There is an escape.

It's done by physically disabling the IOT function.  This is most easily accomplished by identifying the antenna and the transmit/receive portion of the control circuitry and then "modifying" it in a suitable fashion so that it is incapable of performing its intended factory designed function.

Of course, this requires a lot of technical knowledge or the right You Tube Videos.

Alternatively, find out what ports on your router it wants to access and then blacklist those ports.

GEM

 

Hooray for voiding the warranty ::P:

 

Nah, is expected. I void warranties all the time :ph34r:

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4 minutes ago, NebulousMissy said:

 

Hooray for voiding the warranty ::P:

 

Nah, is expected. I void warranties all the time :ph34r:

Some of us do it with acetone and dry ice, plus an unhealthy amount of voltage..... It's a fun way to void the warranty. 

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43 minutes ago, Green Eyed Monster said:

There is an escape.

It's done by physically disabling the IOT function.  This is most easily accomplished by identifying the antenna and the transmit/receive portion of the control circuitry and then "modifying" it in a suitable fashion so that it is incapable of performing its intended factory designed function.

Of course, this requires a lot of technical knowledge or the right You Tube Videos.

Alternatively, find out what ports on your router it wants to access and then blacklist those ports.

GEM

 

Meh, tinfoil hats work both ways. Plus a hat on your toaster is a fine house accessory.

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33 minutes ago, Doug Sundseth said:

Plus a hat on your toaster is a fine house accessory.

But how else will I install NetBSD on it?

 

(This is an old, old joke in some of the circles I'm in.)

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3 minutes ago, PaganMegan said:

Holy carp!

 

The polls are PACKED!

 

For an OFF YEAR ELECTION! ::o:

 

I used to skip off year elections. ::(:

Vote for Cthulhu.

GEM

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5 hours ago, Pingo said:

 

 

Our eldest has a degree in math / computer science with a year spent on cybersecurity.

 

We avoid IoT devices.

In general I dont have anything or do anything that would make anyone interested on spying on me.  and since most of the things i find truly precious are minis and games, i am not overly concerned with robbery or tracking my location.  I also believe in the current and future quantity of data to overwhelm most data tracking on both a human and machine level.  We have made multiple attempts to pull useful data out of our operations historians and, unless we know exactly what we are looking for which requires data outside of the data pool, it is very hit or miss as to whether that data has any useful input.

 

That said, if you are worth tracking, having these devices in localized areas or appropriately contained in your household can actually be used to direct suspicion away from your activities or allow you to hide in plain site by feeding the limited devices false or limited information.  its not there yet but very soon the house without any IOT will stand out in a data map like a fox in a chicken contest.  With the technology of laser microphones and cannon mikes as well as video surveillance devices the size of a pill, anything you say or do can be tracked if someone has actual reason to do so.

 

but whether you use them or not is up to the person who has to live with them.  I do not feel they should be forced and i do find it really annoying when my only way to interact with a device is a 'smart' connection.  Sometimes i just want to push a button!

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