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Coddled, Surveilled, and Monetized: How Modern Houses Can Watch You 150

Posted by timothy
from the eye-oh-tee dept.
Presto Vivace (882157) links to a critical look in Time Magazine at the creepy side of connected household technology. An excerpt: A modern surveillance state isn't so much being forced on us, as it is sold to us device by device, with the idea that it is for our benefit. ... ... Nest sucks up data on how warm your home is. As Mocana CEO James Isaacs explained to me in early May, a detailed footprint of your comings and goings can be inferred from this information. Nest just bought Dropcam, a company that markets itself as a security tool allowing you to put cameras in your home and view them remotely, but brings with it a raft of disquieting implications about surveillance. Automatic wants you to monitor how far you drive and do things for you like talk to your your house when you're on your way home from work and turn on lights when you pull into your garage. Tied into the new SmartThings platform, a Jawbone UP band becomes a tool for remotely monitoring someone else's activity. The SmartThings hubs and sensors themselves put any switch or door in play. Companies like AT&T want to build a digital home that monitors your security and energy use. ... ... Withings Smart Body Analyzer monitors your weight and pulse. Teddy the Guardian is a soft toy for children that spies on their vital signs. Parrot Flower Power looks at the moisture in your home under the guise of helping you grow plants. The Beam Brush checks up on your teeth-brushing technique. Presto Vivaci adds, "Enough to make the Stasi blush. What I cannot understand is how politicians fail to understand what a future Kenneth Starr is going to do with data like this."

Comment: Re:why would I want to hang with a buncha cunts (Score 1) 561

by Slime-dogg (#47324749) Attached to:, Mensa Create Dating Site For Geniuses

I agree, One time in line at a grocery store one man remarked about how it was stupid they had "retards"[sic] working there. I told him "You can learn from anybody, even this so-called 'retard.' for example, notice he is treating everybody with respect. You know, come to think of it, I never met anyone with Down's syndrome who is a nasty and judgmental prick like you. Maybe we can all take a lesson and learn to treat others nicely."


Comment: Re:We already have one... (Score 1) 333

by Slime-dogg (#46902089) Attached to: Figuring Out the iPad's Place

I'll third this.

When I first saw the news, a week ago or so, and Wall Street and Forbes were getting antsy over iPad sales, I thought "why wouldn't sales drop?" The product line is very mature, and there is plenty of competition available as well. The devices last forever - even phones do, though we constantly seek upgrades. Tablets fill a specific need, and there are very few "new" apps that demand a complete overhaul of the hardware in order to function.

Comment: Re:It already found its place. (Score 1, Insightful) 333

by Slime-dogg (#46901935) Attached to: Figuring Out the iPad's Place

a) it *has* an external port

Whose licensing is controlled with an iron fist, compared to a lot of 1980s PCs that used standard (or at least unpatented) external interfaces.

Logically speaking, you are persisting a fallacy, specifically a straw man argument. That the interconnect is licensed and controlled is irrelevant to the fact that it exists and functions as an interconnect.

The original statement, here:

But it's not a general purpose computer. The small screen, no keyboard and no external ports make it useless for doing any real work. Except for niche applications, it's strictly a content consumption device.

has been refuted, regardless of your views on the port itself.

Comment: I've been through that, almost 8 years ago. (Score 2) 533

by Slime-dogg (#46122847) Attached to: The Moderately Enthusiastic Programmer

I interviewed, scored well technically and got along with everyone in both interviews. I interested them. I didn't get the job. The reasoning? They wanted someone that spent their off-hours doing development work.

At the time, I was disappointed. They were doing interesting stuff, like streaming video over satellites using the .NET framework. I was a budding mid-level then. I would have been a cheap developer for them. I would have learned quite a bit as well. What I understand now, however, is that they probably wanted to know if they could overload me with work. They were likely looking for someone who was willing to work evenings and weekends, without the extra pay.

Looking back, I'm glad that I did not get hired. I value my free time, and I do not spend it in complete passionate pursuit of development. I read about stuff every now and then, and do some home projects, but I find that I'm far more useful at work when I haven't been focusing on the same stuff at home.

Comment: Re:Jobs must be rolling in his grave... (Score 4, Informative) 773

by Slime-dogg (#44812415) Attached to: Apple Unveils iPhone 5C, iPhone 5S
Apple has usually shipped the prior version of the iphone alongside their new version. When the 4S came out, the 3GS was the super cheap phone, and the 4 was discounted. When the 5 came out, it was the 4 that was super cheap (free with contract) and the 4S was discounted.

The difference now is that the iPhone 5 has been recast as the 5C, and is not shipped alongside the 5S. Instead, it is still a higher priced product, although not nearly as pricey as the 5S, and the 4S is free with contract.

TLDR: Apple has always shipped a "discounted" iPhone except for the original.
Hardware Hacking

Ask Slashdot: Projects For a Heap of Tech Junk? 210

Posted by Soulskill
from the build-a-robot-army-and-send-it-to-texas dept.
yenrabbit writes "A friend has just told me he has 80 CRT TVs, a stack of DVD players and hundreds of VCR machines, all broken and all mine free of charge. I can already think of a few awesome components I can extract (flyback transformers for high voltage contraptions and so on) and have a few ideas, such as DVD lasers, that I can build. But what else can be made from such a treasure-trove of components, and how would one go about processing such a large volume of stuff with the least amount of effort? Also, I don't have access to online shopping so I'd also like a pain free way of salvaging many simpler parts such as resistors as well." Another reader sent in a similar question: "The other day I went down to my University's property disposition center for the first time. In addition to mundane things like chairs and desks, it also had a wealth of technological devices, from old PCs and monitors to obscure medical and chemistry equipment. Honestly, I was a bit overwhelmed. I just don't know what I'd do with a old gene sequencing machine or a broken oscilloscope. Any ideas for fun projects? Or better yet, suggestions on how I can figure out which machines (or their components) are worth playing with?"

Comment: Re:Allah Akbar, Han Solo? (Score 1) 514

by Slime-dogg (#42693261) Attached to: Lego Accused of Racism With Star Wars Set

And here I was thinking that Jabba was a caricature of American politicians - fat, stupid, lazy, ready to kill on a whim, and unable to speak anything but nonsensical gibberish.

I would take it differently. Jabba was incredibly intelligent, fat, lazy and ruthless. You don't come to control a major criminal element without being intelligent.

Genius is ten percent inspiration and fifty percent capital gains.