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Comment Re:smart tvs are not smart (Score 1) 75

First off, if your $1000 smart TV is suddenly rendered useless, that's not exactly a minor inconvenience ... if I stole your TV it would have about the same effect as rendering it inoperable.

Second, why the hell would you assume malware would give a crap about what it's infecting? Do you really think think the writers of ransomware are sitting around thinking "Oh, we better put in checks to make sure we don't fuck up some poor guy's TV"?

I think the real lesson here is these 'smart' devices have such inherently bad security that they can be rendered useless fairly easily, and that fixing them can be damned near impossible.

Comment Re:"Reset to factory settings" button (Score 1) 75

It's a trade off you'll have to decide for yourself.

For me, if there was a $400 JBL speaker which had wireless and internet and could be controlled by an app, and a $400 JBL speaker which simply took inputs over wires from an amplifier ... I'm going to assume the one which needs the wire and the amplifier is, all things considered, a significantly better speaker.

Because it doesn't have all that extra stuff in it.

When the poster says it's a $400 speaker ... it's not really. It's a much cheaper speaker with electronics and other features slapped around it which cause problems down the road, and jack up the price of a cheap speaker that people think is a $400 speaker.

Comment Re:Wait what? (Score 2) 75

If I had to guess, I'd say the latter ... with the caveat that, like all consumer products, product management, marketing, and the accountants make all the decisions.

So you start off with a vanilla Android.

And then you put in all your proprietary stuff, figure out how to skin and brand it, add in the stuff so you can monetize the user experience, a little telemetry to call home .. next thing you know, you've got yet another horribly insecure piece of consumer electronics which has had a bunch of security holes installed.

Time and time again, we basically see that these kinds of products end up with these problems because of lazy/bad choices made by product managers and the marketing department.

Nobody is designing a TV and thinking they need to design a sure, robust architecture. They're trying to figure out how to keep making money off you after you buy it.

This same stuff happens on pretty much EVERY device which wants to connect to the intertubes these days. Because companies are more concerned about putting in a damned "like" button than they are anything to do with security.

I've reached the point where I assume any consumer electronics which wants to connect to the internet is inherently insecure and not worth owning.

Comment Re:"Reset to factory settings" button (Score 4, Insightful) 75

I find it hard to believe anyone would give up on a $400 speaker that quickly, unless they are rich and $400 is nothing to them.

I find it hard to believe a damned speaker needs firmware upgrades.

Oh, but wait, it's controllable by an app, has Bluetooth and wifi, and connects to the internet, right?

Yeah ... me, I don't want speakers which do that stuff. Precisely because time and time again companies demonstrate they're terrible at it, and you end up with a product with a MUCH shorter lifecycle -- because it's focused on 10 things besides being a good speaker.

My guess, if it needs firmware updates, it's really a $100 speaker with a bunch of extra crap slapped onto it.

These days, digital pretty much means disposable.

Comment Re:"Reset to factory settings" button (Score 2) 75

Because companies are lay, cheap, overly optimistic, and not really interested in designing robust products which can be maintained over their lifecycle.

Extra money spent up-front cuts into profitability, adds cost and complexity, and would have to be done by an organization which is cautious and makes long-term plans.

Do you think the marketing guys screeching to get the product out before Christmas give a crap about any of this stuff?

Sure, lots of things can be designed robustly. But increasingly, nobody gives a damn. They just figure you'll just buy another TV.

Consumer electronics aren't exactly being designed to the highest engineering standards known to man. They're being put out the door as cheaply as possible.

Comment Re:Let them lease, but not screw with sales (Score 1) 177

1) They won't lock you in a rubber room, that's s silly idea. People take home amputated body parts all the time. Usually small ones, such as teeth.

2) But they might arrest you for improper disposal of human remains. There is a difference between the government telling what you can and can not do, and a company telling you.

Comment Re:Let them lease, but not screw with sales (Score 1) 177

It's in the definition of the word SALE.

If I buy something I OWN it. That means I get to do with it what I want, barring government restrictions. The shcmuck that sold it to me does not have the right to say "HEY! You can't DO THAT!"

They gave up that right when they sold it to me.

When I sell you a house, I can't then complain and say "Now wait a second, I may have sold you that house, but it's still mine and I don't like that new garage you are building!"

Comment Re:Wonderfully surreal and out-of-the box (Score 1) 17

Well, I think it probably stems from people in highly specialized fields trying to explain really really domain specific information and getting utterly blank stares.

From the second link:

"My main aim with this video was to make people laugh," Metz says. But she's now finding that the dance helps people understand her work better. "This bridge between academia and the nonacademic world is crucial."

So, you know, have fun with it, and see if you can explain to your mom what you've been researching.

Honestly, un-clench a little.

Comment Re:Let them lease, but not screw with sales (Score 3, Interesting) 177

So the legal system needs fixing so we can fix our appliances. Gotcha.

When companies can claim copyright on screws, and use the DMCA to claim you can't refill your ink cartridges ... you're damned right the legal system needs fixing.

Companies want to undermine the right of first sale, the right to do as you please with your property, the right to repair your property ... all in the name of 'copyright' and protecting their revenue stream by saying you must buy certain things from them.

Honestly, have you not been paying attention? Because companies have been misusing the legal system to tell us what we can do with things we own for years.

They largely do this by telling us we don't actually own them. Which is odd, because they sure as hell expect us to pay full price for them.

Comment Shouldn't be surprised ... (Score 1) 169

This is a camera, designed to be connected to the internet, accessible via an app, built by companies who sell ad and analytics data, and who want access to all of your information so they can figure out how to monetize it.

Anybody who thought this kind of device was intended to guard your privacy or have any real level of security is kidding themselves.

You want it off, unplug it. Better yet, don't even own one.

At this point all of this "internet of crap" which wants to be constantly connected to the internet and accessible via an app on your phone, I just assume it's all got pathetic security, and spies on you FAR more than they let on.

When people buy this stuff and then go all "oh nos, teh security is the sux0r", I just shake my head. You should assume this up front, because it's quite likely true, and anybody who has been around tech long enough should be doing this.

Never had a webcam, and I never will. Because I have zero trust in the people who make them.

The more stuff people try to connect to the internet, the less interested I am in stuff which connects to the internet.

Comment Re:release notes should have informed users (Score 1) 216

How can you have release notes when you have a piecemeal release which now deliberately hides what a specific update is for? Or when they pull a release and say "no, bad release, use the previous one"?

Microsoft has abdicated release engineering in favor of what is essentially rolling releases.

My guess is MS themselves haven't the slightest frigging idea of what any release actually contains, and they really don't give a damn if your PC works after the update or not ... as long as a statistically "good enough" percentage is shown to work with the mandatory bullshit telemetry they've installed so they can measure how shitty of a job they're doing.

Microsoft has decided people are beta testers, and not giving them much choice in the matter.

And I'm afraid for me that means I might take security updates, and pretty much ignore all the "important" and "recommended" ones ... because Microsoft is bloody well no longer being honest about what they're installing on our machines.

I like my Windows 8.1 box -- once I turned off all the Metro crap, installed Classic Desktop, and turned it into a useful computer again.

I have no interest in being part of their beta program for WIndows 10, or for that matter even running Windows 10.

But make no mistake about it, with Windows 10 Microsoft is flailing around like a lumbering beast trying to decide what it is, having everyone be the beta testers, and making random and arbitrary decisions about what software they will permit you to keep.

Microsoft has lost the plot, jumped the shark, and shat the bed on this. And they're doing this to us without really giving a damn about our opinions of it.

Release notes would imply some coherent strategy. So far, I don't think they have one of those they can articulate other than "screw you, we're updating your computer and don't give a fuck what you think".

Comment Re:Intended? (Score 2) 216

Yes, you, /. reader, belong to the cream of the cream of the IT knowledgeable people on Earth.

LOL, you must be new here.

Slashdot is a up into the 4 million or so accounts created range, some subset of which are smart and knowledgeable.

Another significant subset are a bunch of poo-flinging monkeys screeching at one another.

You really really can't generalize about the makeup of Slashdot.

"There are things that are so serious that you can only joke about them" - Heisenberg