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ragingloli's avatar

What does it say about technology and the times we live in, when your light bulbs have to download updates from the internet?

Asked by ragingloli (45314points) 2 weeks ago

Which I just had to do in order to make them turn on and off automatically when I get home or leave.

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13 Answers

Demosthenes's avatar

As much as I may be a tech-savvy millennial, I draw the line at home automation. I want to retain some control over my appliances and electrical devices; I don’t need everything to be “smart” with additional electronic parts that can fail and render it useless. Those washing machines that can order detergent for you…it’s interesting in a sci-fi kind of way, but it’s nothing I’d ever want. It’s the same reason I don’t like digital assistants; I want to minimize the amount of thinking computers are doing for me.

Brian1946's avatar

Most intriguing.

Does one need:

A computer with a light-bulb socket for the update?
An adapter cord with a socket on one end and a USB plug on the other?
Light bulb fixtures with USB jacks and/or a home electronic control panel with USB jacks and/or WiFi receivers?

If one bought a home that was built before 2010, how much will it cost them to convert to a “smart” house?

ragingloli's avatar

You will need a WLAN router, a smartphone, proprietary lightbulbs, and the proprietary control station. The smart control functions are built into the bulbs, so you can put them in any lamp you want.

Zaku's avatar

It says to me:

* too much technology is being deployed just because it’s a new idea
* too much technology is being deployed just because it’s a trendy idea
* too much technology is being deployed just because it’s an idea that can be over-hyped to investors etc
* too much technology is being deployed just to increase profits
* too much technology is being deployed that is needlessly complex for little good reason
* too much technology is being computerized rather than being simpler in function
* wasteful amounts of technology is being put into disposable things for little good reason
* too much technology is being wifi networked with no regard to wifi noise / pollution
* too much technology is being designed to be dependent on updates
* too much technology is being designed with needless dependencies
* too much technology is being designed with excessive built-in obsolescence
* too much technology is being network enabled without consideration of hacking & other problems
* too much human effort is being put into needless technologies
* more effort should be put into actually beneficial technologies, instead of trivial annoying crap

ARE_you_kidding_me's avatar

@Zaku luddite.

I had some things automated in the old house but I have only retained my outdoor cameras when I got a different one. Understanding the tech is important but you don’t have to use it. The level of participation is up to you. I don’t know too many people who have this stuff. I don’t care that much. However, if I want to…. I can set up my smart bridge and several smart switches to actuate a solenoid and turn on the water sprinkler when a motion sensor senses squirrels in my garden. Better than killing them with rat traps that my dog may get into. Among countless other applications… Sometimes it’s handy.

Zaku's avatar

Well it’s not a binary issue, or it shouldn’t be.

I think there’s way too much unwanted needless overcomplicated over-obsoleting wasteless crap tech out there.

But that doesn’t mean I don’t think it’s not cool to use some neat tech when it’s actually wanted, serves a purpose and isn’t overly wasteful or problematic.

SQUEEKY2's avatar

All this tech shit is great, but are you controlling it,or is it controlling you?
I am old school and choose to remain old school THANK GOD.

LuckyGuy's avatar

@ragingloli Why are you allowing this leak of privacy and loss of your data? Do you have any idea what other information is being sent where and to whom?
Are you sure you are not opening up your wifi to manipulation?
Is that minor convenience really worth the cost?

Remember those clever electronic picture frames sold a few years ago? They came from China preloaded with 4 different types of spyware: keylogger, backdoor, (I forget the other 2 but you can find it easily).

LuckyGuy's avatar

@ARE_you_kidding_me For ~$50 you can buy the Scarecrow Lawn Sprinkler deterrent. It works great and it does not connect to wifi.

ARE_you_kidding_me's avatar

@LuckyGuy I’m not worried about the devices I connect. I’m not going to use things like smart door locks or cameras inside my house. I may automate some lights and stuff.

LuckyGuy's avatar

One of the weak links is the necessity to “update” or program the unit by downloadeing software onto our home laptops or whatever. We have no idea what the software is really doing nor do we know whether or not if it is pre-loaded with a hidden inert payload that passes our virus checker but is woken up and modified by the next update.

We buy products from China that are sold at low cost. Some are priced so low they are obviously subsidized by the chinese government so their use can be as widespread as possible. Then we have to let them into our computers so we can use the items.

The surveillance video camera debacle now taking place is a good case in point. Video cameras that were supposedly password protected actually had backdoors so they could be accessed by certain entities. These are slowly being removed from government facilities now.

ARE_you_kidding_me's avatar

I’m wary of chinese electronics. My wife bought a cheap smart watch and it had a qr code for the app that went with it…. Not in the play store so… Nope.. not loading that one. The “smart” electronics I automate with are actually pretty dumb. Not something you connect and update. It’s more like SCADA for your house using basic contact closures. I don’t put cameras in my house, just outside.

LuckyGuy's avatar

@ARE_you_kidding_me I’m glad you have an understanding of security issues. You are by far in the minority. I’m guessing 95% (98%?) of buyers just flash at the QR code, and let the unit do its thing. They do not give it a thought.

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