Monday, 8 June 2020

You probably knew this already, but

smart goods are a dumb choice.

What happens when the maker stops supporting your appliance? If you bought a Samsung, that could be as little as 2 years after purchase.

I grew up in a household where tech was loved and we (the male part at least) wanted to bring on the future with all its connectedness. Then I saw how it was done and didn't want a part of it more than necessary.

After support is finished, I wonder what happens? Will it be like a mobile phone, where it still kind-of works sluggishly while being increasingly vulnerable? Will the 'smart' part of the applicance simply disconnect itself (perhaps after being directed to do so by the maker or user) or will the thing simply stop working and become a true piece of junk? If you as an owner should choose to disconnect your fridge from the internet by some means, does THAT brick it, or will it keep working. If you don't disconnect, will it then be hacked to serve in a bot net?

I can see a reason for smart TVs, but general household appliances?

This wasn't really meant to be ranty, and I'm not grumpy about this in any way really. But sometimes, rather like when on holiday you see items of junk made to be bought by tourists that would be spurned by the locals, so it *feels* like these were made for techno-tourists and not for real use.

Wednesday, 3 June 2020

I'm from the government, I'm here to help you and your friends

That's the title used for a Register article warning about scammers using the UK track and trace program. If you're in the UK and get a call from someone claiming to be contacting you regarding the T&T program then it seems thetre is no way at present you can verify they are who they say they are.

Easy for me to say, but my advice would be to not believe anyone who calls up making that claim. I know of no solution to the problem right now.

So, if anyone from the UK is reading this - I hope it's been useful.

* edit *
Having considered this a little more (I know, 'shooting' from the hip is dumb, but sometimes I just get the urge to write) possibly the best approach if anyone DOES receive a call will be to ask where and when they were nearby the infected person. While far from foolproof, it will at least give an indication of whether the caller is genuine and working from real data.

And NEVER give them useful personal information such as date of birth, national health number or national insurance number etc, let alone any kind of financial information. If they have access to computer records of your phone number and address then they have access to those things too, if they need them.