Everything in the Secret Lair is connected.

But not to the Internet. That would be stupid.

Click to Embiggen

Click to Embiggen

Hee…I have trouble enough keeping the damn laptop connected. This new tablet a generous reader sent me never would connect at all. Can’t imagine what I’d have to do to connect my toilet or coffee maker. Or why I’d want to.

Have I told you the story of the first “connected” house I ever saw? There was this guy, he was definitely not in my usual social circle but I knew him through this rocket club I was in at the time. He had a place in the Mojave not far from Lucerne Dry Lake where we used to – and as far as I know where they still – launch big entertaining rockets.

He was some sort of effects technician in Hollywood during the week, made good money, and was a long-time computer geek. So when he built this new house it was the most logical thing in the world to include a server room and connect all his household appliances and infrastructure to an internal network.

Then, the story goes, he picked up a computer virus somehow and his expensive new house became uninhabitable. This was almost 20 years ago, around the turn of the century, and I never heard if he ever got it fixed. I would have been inclined against the “Internet of Things” for obvious reasons anyway, but that guy taught me all I’ve ever needed to know about the concept. There’s nothing wrong with a “dumb” thermostat, and if I had a toaster it wouldn’t need a computer.

A morning bit o’wisdom from ol’ Luddite Joel.


About Joel

You shouldn't ask these questions of a paranoid recluse, you know.
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5 Responses to Everything in the Secret Lair is connected.

  1. Tierlieb says:

    The mistake the writer of this comic makes is implying that the owner chose to have IoT-capable things.

    It’s just the default, because the additional cost for companies is minimal (well, the initial hardware costs are, and since they never update them, there are no running software costs either) and the gain for them is moderate.

    As Mikko Hypponen likes to say “The S in IoT stands for security”.

  2. Paul Joat says:

    The P in IoT stands for Privacy.

  3. MJR says:

    Great cartoon, very funny and so true for the limited amount of folks who will not take any precautions to protect themselves.

    The (very) limited experience I have with the IoT’s is my TV and it is soooo locked down… When I bough it the first question I had for the sales guy was how do I lock this puppy down to which he had no concrete answer. In front of him I went online with the trusty cell and looked on the manufactures web site at the FAQ’s. The process was very easy so i bought the TV. Tierlieb is absolutely right. The IoT shouldn’t be something to be afraid of, it should be something that, with the proper precautions, is a useful tool.

  4. Ben says:

    You know, it takes a while for the market to sort these things out. Do you remember 30 years ago when digital clock chips first became dirt cheap? Suddenly everything had a clock built into it, pens, necklaces, cameras, and all sorts of other gadgets that had nothing to do with the time of day. Pretty soon, folks figured out keeping all of these unnecessary.clocks set was more trouble than it was worth.

    Pretty soon, the market will figure out that we don’t need interconnected toasters. At least, that’s my prediction.

  5. MamaLiberty says:

    I used to live in Lucerne Valley, CA. 20 years ago. I remember meeting that Hollywood guy, I think. Can’t recall if I ever knew his house was “connected.” Probably not, as that would not have been of interest to me. But he was quite a guy anyway.

    Sure don’t want anything but this computer connected to the ‘net. Almost getting to the point where I’m not interested a whole lot even in that. Can’t imagine why anyone would want to talk to their refrigerator from their mobile phone… even if the gov goons were not listening – or using the connection to mess with the temperature of the box. Just because people CAN do something, doesn’t mean it should be done.

To the stake with the heretic!