The Coming Internet-Of-Things Horror Show

in internet on (#1NNSC)
Like many others, Bruce Schneier is sounding the alarm that the Internet of Things security nightmare isn't just about things like poor or non-existent security for thermostats: rather, that "software control" of an ever-widening pool of interconnected devices and systems designed to act without human intervention creates an urgent threat the likes of which we've never seen.

Schneier says, "A recent Princeton survey found 500,000 insecure devices on the internet. That number is about to explode. Autonomy. Increasingly, our computer systems are autonomous. They buy and sell stocks, turn the furnace on and off, regulate electricity flow through the grid, and—in the case of driverless cars—automatically pilot multi-ton vehicles to their destinations. Autonomy is great for all sorts of reasons, but from a security perspective it means that the effects of attacks can take effect immediately, automatically, and ubiquitously."

Re: Looked into connected thermostat... (Score: 1)

by on 2016-07-29 13:22 (#1NW4D)

My preference is only to keep a house as minimally warm/cool as mechanical concerns allow... i.e. Heating is always set at 50F (10C) so that pipes don't freeze, and cooling is always set at 85F (30C) so that electronic equipment doesn't overheat (goes for pets, too). With that methodology, there's no benefit to even basic programmable thermostats.

I don't see the benefit in maintaining a temperature closer to 70F (21C) for human comfort, as it's necessary to dress appropriately for outside temperatures, anyhow. Going inside/outside repeatedly, with a huge temperature differential, is very uncomfortable. Instead such a "comfortable temperature" tends to just cause headaches, hot flashes, etc., and causes a more time-consuming burden of dressing/undressing when entering/exiting.

Now, if I had the opportunity to design my own home, I'd spec it with insulated pipes (among many other things) so that they wouldn't freeze even in very low interior temperatures. Then maybe I'd have incentives and a practical case study to find the lower limits of human comfort and this concept. But until that time, those high/low temperatures are the limits whether the building is occupied or not, eliminating the need for any changes throughout the day (or week).

I am sympathetic to the wife/girlfriend factor, as well as the need to manage humidity (condensation, mildew and mold) in some areas, and with some (usually, poorly-insulated) homes, but I can still usually make this concept work well-enough.
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