The Internet of (bricked) Things

Brick: (v); to render an electronic device useless, or as useless as a brick, which is not very useful for things like checking your facebook status.

The Internet of Things is a concept which is coming on like the tides, and it has been a long time coming. It is coming whether you want it or not. The EPA is proposing new Energy Star rating standards which mandate your refrigerator will have to talk to the power company to see if it is the right time of day to run the cooling system, to reduce peak demand energy use. Nevermind your spoiled meat.

Already you can buy a thermostat and security systems for your house that you can control from your phone. Or someone else can. A malicious individual could run up your a/c bill or set your heat on Incinerate to drive you out of the house in the summer. If you can unlock your door with WiFi from your phone, a hacker can do it as well. Some “things” should just NEVER be on the Internet.

Well, here are two more examples to run chills up your spine:

A new type of lightbulb can be controlled from your phone. Love light, but hate all that pesky getting up to switch it on? Well that’s all fine and dandy, but then you realize that a hacker can tell your light bulb to go dark. Forever. Excuse me for thinking this risk is not worth taking.

Then again we have the government proposing standard ways for your car to talk to the car next door, as well as to the roadway.  Excuse me for not being a great big fan of a capability which allows a hacker to make my car get into a crash all by itself.  Speaking of crashes, who does the updates?  Raise your hand if you remember a Windows Update that broke everybody’s computers; I sure do.  But never fear, citizen!  The Government will ensure it is all mandated to work properly!

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