Slashdot is powered by your submissions, so send in your scoop

 



Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
Cellphones IOS Technology

When Everything Works Like Your Cell Phone 175

The Atlantic is running an article about how "smart" devices are starting to see everyday use in many people's home. The authors say this will fundamentally change the concept of what it means to own and control your possessions. Using smartphones as an example, they extrapolate this out to a future where many household items are dependent on software. Quoting: These phones come with all kinds of restrictions on their possible physical capabilities. You may not take them apart. Depending on the plan, not all software can be downloaded onto them, not every device can be tethered to them, and not every cell phone network can be tapped. "Owning" a phone is much more complex than owning a plunger. And if the big tech players building the wearable future, the Internet of things, self-driving cars, and anything else that links physical stuff to the network get their way, our relationship to ownership is about to undergo a wild transformation. They also suggest that planned obsolescence will become much more common. For example, take watches: a quality dumbwatch can last decades, but a smartwatch will be obsolete in a few years.
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

When Everything Works Like Your Cell Phone

Comments Filter:
  • by zoffdino ( 848658 ) on Sunday September 28, 2014 @10:45AM (#48013737)
    You can now own a fridge for only $40 / months (on a 2-year plan with select providers)
    Your stove has no more credit left. Do you want to purchase a $2.99 "Heat Pack" to continue cooking?
    Get a free car! Want to drive? $19.99 in-app purchase for 100 miles. Want to unlock door? $0.99 for a 10-pack. Or $9.99 for a mega-pack with AC.
    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward

      You forgot to mention that all the while, the gadgets report your habits.
      Drive a long time? Cook very little or mostly fried (unhealthy) dishes? Oooh, health risk, insurance companies would love to know that.
      Filling up the tank only by halves instead of full? Potential cash inflow on the horizon, let loose the repo-man!.

    • That sounds like the airline of things. Each peanut in the bag costs a dollar. 50 cents for each 10ml of water to wash them down. Wanna use the john? HA! You can't afford it..

  • Hobsons choice (Score:4, Interesting)

    by irq-1 ( 3817029 ) on Sunday September 28, 2014 @10:50AM (#48013751)

    Do you want a crockpot that has to be replaced at every few years—or at least that will be forever upgrading itself? Would apps change your mind?

    When enough others decide to buy an app-able crockpot, you won't have any choice but too buy one as well. The market does not provide what people want -- it provides what is profitable.

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      Nope.

      You buy phones like others do, because it's a symbol that's always visible. You aren't going to be lugging pots around or inviting every friend/acquaintance/colleague/boss in your kitchen to see them. Same for washing machines, fridges and whatever.

      Also ... they'll have to be REAL moneymakers to relieve the research and marketing costs. You can do that by reducing quality & maintaining prices, maintaining quality & increasing prices or ... make a giant leap of faith and risk millions by subsidi

      • don't know why you have not mod points. This is an insightful post..
      • by pepty ( 1976012 )

        Nope.

        You buy phones like others do, because it's a symbol that's always visible. You aren't going to be lugging pots around or inviting every friend/acquaintance/colleague/boss in your kitchen to see them.

        But the only way for something to be always visible is to instagram/pinterist/facebook it ... which is what people would do with these appliances. And when they are actually physically in the same room as their friends they would be conspicuously on their phones and talking about the sous vide rig they are adjusting the temperature on or what groceries their refrigerator has just ordered to be delivered by drone. Did anyone who bought a Nest thermostat not saturate the web with their experiences with it?

    • Re:Hobsons choice (Score:4, Interesting)

      by mcgrew ( 92797 ) * on Sunday September 28, 2014 @11:22AM (#48013883) Homepage Journal

      When enough others decide to buy an app-able crockpot, you won't have any choice but too buy one as well.

      Yes, for normal people, but we're nerds. We'll simply hack them, just like we jailbreak iPhones.

      This story reminds me of something that happened in a bar a year or so ago. A fellow had a strange looking contraption that looked like it had something to do with a furnace. I asked him what it was, and he said it was an "obsolete" analog part that cost him twenty bucks new that he was installing in a friend's furnace to replace a burned up digital board that cost $200 used.

      Look at cars, my last car had a digital circuit to control climate. If it had gone out, the replacement was $300. $300 for something that surely cost the automaker less than $5 to manufacture.

      If I'm forced to buy an internet-connected toaster, you can bet its antennas will be the first parts to be removed.

    • Do you want a crockpot that has to be replaced at every few years—or at least that will be forever upgrading itself? Would apps change your mind?

      When enough others decide to buy an app-able crockpot, you won't have any choice but too buy one as well. The market does not provide what people want -- it provides what is profitable.

      Yea, not so much. I can still buy a "dumb" cellphone, that won't do much besides voice and SMS, and they are easy to find and significantly less expensive, despite the fact that "most" people buy smart phones. I can also find solid keyboards without "Windows" keys, wood-burning stoves, stove-top percolating coffee makers, and while everyone makes fun of buggy-whip manufacturers losing jobs, the producers of buggy whips and horse-drawn carriages are still meeting the demand for those products, even though

  • by khchung ( 462899 ) on Sunday September 28, 2014 @10:56AM (#48013775) Journal

    These phones come with all kinds of restrictions on their possible physical capabilities. You may not take them apart. Depending on the plan, not all software can be downloaded onto them,

    You mean, just like basically every electric appliance ever made for the past, what?, 40 years?

    My washing machine, fridge, rice cooker, air conditioner, TV, HiFi, radio, electronic alarm clock, etc, ALL comes with "all kinds of restrictions on their possible physical capabilities" and I can't take them apart without voiding their warranty. Most of them have logic circuits, or even CPU, running inside, which I have no way to download ANY software into them.

    I have no way of knowing if I am able to utilize EVERY bit of their physical capabilities. Can I, say, tell my rice cooker to heat up beyond its preset safety limit? I would think its heating element should be capable of reaching temperatures way more than cooker normally allows it to before shutting it off. Hey, that's a "restrictions on its possible physical capabilities"! Can I download software into my of PAL TV so it can accept NTSC signal? Can I change the software of my electronic alarm clock to do more?

    Gee, so now instead of every lazy journalist just rerunning old stories by add "... on the Internet!", now they rerun old stories by add "... on the smartphone!"?

    • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday September 28, 2014 @11:38AM (#48013977)

      > You mean, just like basically every electric appliance ever made for the past, what?, 40 years?

      No not even close.

      None of those devices were deliberately restricted. The difference is that before phones (and other manifestations like tivoization) the cases were the manufacture actively interfered with the owner's ability to tinker were few and far between.

      In fact, congress thought that the right of owners to tinker with their property was so important that they passed the Magnuson–Moss Warranty Act [wikipedia.org] which forbid manufacturers from denying warranty claims just because the owner had tinkered with the device in ways unrelated to the failure.

      • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

        by Anonymous Coward

        None of those devices were deliberately restricted.

        Are you f*cking kidding me? My washing machine has a controller board with the numbers erased off the embedded CPU. My car requires proprietary tools to fix. And on and on.

        People have been deliberately restricting technology for just about as long as there has been technology. Most people are just too stupid to notice because they stopped fixing things themselves and just call the manufacturer's service center.

        • My washing machine has a controller board with the numbers erased off the embedded CPU.

          My washing machine has a corroded useless controller board with a rotary switch whose spring loaded contacts failed, then fused. A burnt out hot water solenoid valve and a broken load weight sensor.

          That is why my washing machine has a hole drilled in the panel in which I have mounted a double pole double throw center off toggle switch. Click it down to wash, up to spin. Click to center and it turns off. It's just a DC motor that agitates or spins based on direction. There is a garden hose hooked to the h

    • The old devices are not deliberately restricted. I usually buy an older device that suits my needs instead of a new one for this reason and because if is easier to repair when it does fail.

      Let's say I have an old tape deck. It is what it is, the sound quality or functions are not artificially restricted. If I want to I can improve it beyond the original specifications, but that requires modifying it. Same with my car - if it does not have some part then it doesn't, if I want to I can install it and use the

      • Compare that to, say, modern phones. Android is very similar to Linux, but I cannot get a root shell on my own phone (without modifying it) even though it is physically capable of this, but that feature is restricted by the manufacturer.

        The feature is just not provided by the manufacturer and if you want it you can add it yourself, it's really simple and easy to do.

        For example, I have a video file that plays without sound on an Android tablet because the sound codec is not supported. Decoding sound does not take a lot of CPU power, so I should be able to just install the codec as I can do on a PC, but it is restricted.

        So just get root access then, there are a myriad of tutorials on the net showing how to do it. Yes they come somewhat restricted out of the box because - as we have seen with Windows - the vast majority of people will end up with malware-infected systems if you just allow them root access by default to install anything and everything. Then they blame the device, the OS or the ma

    • You mean, just like basically every electric appliance ever made for the past, what?, 40 years?

      That explains why my Marantz amplifier from 1980 (which I still use) came with a circuit diagram that I will consult in a near future to fix a low frequency hum that started occurring a few weeks ago after 34 years of flawless sound reproduction. oh wait...

  • by nospam007 ( 722110 ) * on Sunday September 28, 2014 @10:57AM (#48013779)

    Everything working OK, only the 'phone' part sucking?

    No thanks.

    • From what I can gather, the features of most peoples' phones are good enough that they don't want to talk to the people around them much less people who aren't around them.
  • A perfect example of why connectivity should be controlled by the PUC (and considered a public utility). I don't want providers shoving locked, altered OS's with applications they deem necessary or recommended. I don't want to be told what type of device I can use to access bandwidth running RFC spec communication protocols. I don't want your DNS servers shoved down my throat, providing compensated landing pages in lieu of the address I requested. I don't want them believing they have a right to profit off

    • by Shoten ( 260439 )

      A perfect example of why connectivity should be controlled by the PUC (and considered a public utility). I don't want providers shoving locked, altered OS's with applications they deem necessary or recommended. I don't want to be told what type of device I can use to access bandwidth running RFC spec communication protocols. I don't want your DNS servers shoved down my throat, providing compensated landing pages in lieu of the address I requested. I don't want them believing they have a right to profit off of any data I care to view.

      Venturing even further, you can take your POTS system
      separation from my bandwidth and the double income you have been earning for the past 15 years and put it where the sun doesn't shine.

      I feel better now..

      There are three problems with that:

      1, the PUC is a local...VERY local...authority, at most reaching to the borders of a state. There are hundreds of them in the US alone. Unless you want things like wireless standards adoption to be fragmented across that large a scattering, you don't want this.

      2, there's a nation-wide PUC equivalent that deals specifically in the things you just spoke about. And it's called the FCC. Which proves that the basic hopes and dreams you have are unrealistic, based on their pa

    • by silfen ( 3720385 )

      A perfect example of why connectivity should be controlled by the PUC (and considered a public utility).

      Oh, sure, because that worked so well when we had a regulated phone service! It's not like AT&T ever told you what phones you could connect to the phone line, or what you could do with your phone service. Oh, no! Never!

      Venturing even further, you can take your POTS system separation from my bandwidth and the double income you have been earning for the past 15 years and put it where the sun doesn't shi

    • by Mr.CRC ( 2330444 )

      Do you even have a fucking brain?

      So you want the government to control the performance of your internet connection, and wireless phone? Because they are going to give you a free and open platform, plus yearly doubling bandwidth, right? After all, they have so much incentive to do so.

      If you have been on this planet at any time during the past few years, you might have noticed that the first priority that any government has is making sure all your digital communications go through THEIR taps and get or st

  • by petes_PoV ( 912422 ) on Sunday September 28, 2014 @11:03AM (#48013793)

    The authors say this will fundamentally change the concept of what it means to own and control your possessions.

    So the authors are considering a future where we have to replace all our domestic appliances every 2 years, simply because someone somewhere has decided that the control software *must* have this new feature (that nobody asked for) and that it will only run on version X. You now have 3 months to toss the old fridge / cooker / vacuum cleaner / lightbulb before it gets automatically bricked. Even though it performs its primary function perfectly.

    No thank you.

    • One of the main reasons while I only have three internet and/or networked devices in my home, not including my router. My phone, laptop and Roku.

    • by BarbaraHudson ( 3785311 ) <<moc.liamg> <ta> <nosduharabrab>> on Sunday September 28, 2014 @11:13AM (#48013839) Journal

      The article is bogus. While there are restrictions if you "buy" your phone on a contract where you're paying it off at so much a month, it's the same as any other lease. Until you've completely paid for it, you don't own it. Don't like that? Then buy the phone outright. Then you're free to unlock it (heck, the big-box stores here sell the same phone locked with a plan and unlocked without at a higher price), take it apart, blend it, bend it, mod it, replace the OS, whatever.

      Contrary to the article, owning a phone is not complex. Leasing one - same business practices as leasing a car.

      • Until you've completely paid for it, you don't own it. Don't like that? Then buy the phone outright. Then you're free to unlock it

        That works in countries where all carriers use GSM/UMTS. But in North America, how do you use a phone that you bought outright if you happen to live where Verizon has a good signal and T-Mobile doesn't? Verizon and Sprint use CDMA2000 and won't activate service on any phone not purchased from them.

        • Sounds to me like the restrictions come from living in "the land of the free". Woody Guthrie would be strumming in his grave!
      • by AK Marc ( 707885 )
        There's no restriction on moding a leased car. The restriction is against returning it at the end of the term worth less because of them.
        • Leases can have restrictions on the use of the vehicle (non-commercial use only,. so forget delivering pizza or doing the Uber thing), or on leaving the country -- or even the state (vacation? visiting relatives? better check first). Also you're required to maintain the vehicle properly. Even if it's just going to sit parked for the next 12 months because you suddenly lucked into a job that provides a car, you still have to insure and plate it.

          Big accident? It's not up to you whether to just accept t

          • by AK Marc ( 707885 )

            Lose your job? If you own the car, you can sell it. A lease? You're probably upside-down.

            If you own the car you are likely as much or more upside down than if you have it leased. Selling a leased car is allowed, as is turning it in early. You have *more* options with a lease, not fewer. You can sell it by transferring the lease, or by buying out the lease then selling the 100% owned car, options you don't get if you buy it.

            So you can't really just do what you want when you lease a car as opposed to owning one.

            You obviously have been told that leasing is a bad idea, and never tried it. I leased a car once. The manufacturer inventives made it much cheaper to lease (then buy out

            • Lose your job? If you own the car, you can sell it. A lease? You're probably upside-down.

              If you own the car you are likely as much or more upside down than if you have it leased. Selling a leased car is allowed, as is turning it in early. You have *more* options with a lease, not fewer. You can sell it by transferring the lease, or by buying out the lease then selling the 100% owned car, options you don't get if you buy it.

              If you own your car, you own it. Debt-free. If you owe the bank, you don't own it outright - there's a lien on it. It's the same as the cell phone contracts - you don't own the phone outright - you've financed it via the phone company, and will always be upside down on it.

              Financing something means you don't own it. Ask all those people who "bought" houses that were then repo'd.

  • Dumb watch (Score:4, Insightful)

    by pauljlucas ( 529435 ) on Sunday September 28, 2014 @11:10AM (#48013825) Homepage Journal

    ... a quality dumbwatch can last decades ...

    Very true. I have a cheap Casio watch that I've had since the 1980s. The band long-ago broke, but I replaced it with a belt-loop hook. I can only recall changing the battery twice. It runs a tiny bit fast (several seconds a month), but until it completely dies, I see no reason to replace it for telling time at a glance (something that can't be done with a smartphone). Plus, if I lose it, I don't care (I've gotten more than my money's worth out of it) and nobody wants to steal it.

    • It runs a tiny bit fast (several seconds a month), but until it completely dies, I see no reason to replace it for telling time at a glance (something that can't be done with a smartphone).

      Which is exactly why those devices remain useful. And there are times when that is valuable. I sometimes carry a (dumb) watch when I'm hiking or doing some competitive distance running. Also useful if you are flying a plane or navigating a boat.

      Here's the thing though. How often to you *really* need to know the time at a glance and do not have several clocks within eye shot these days? I spend most of my day working near a computer that has the time right on the menu bars. My car has a clock. I have

      • Why would I wear a relatively uncomfortable piece of jewelry with no other purpose just so I can know to the second what time it is throughout the day?

        I have no idea -- which is why I gave up wearing a watch on my wrist and now wear it on my belt-loop (as I originally mentioned). Even if I were to buy a new watch, I'd get one that either came on a belt-loop from the vendor or one that I could easily replace the band with one (as I did with my Casio).

        The watch-on-a-belt-loop also allows me to stealthily

  • by hodet ( 620484 ) on Sunday September 28, 2014 @11:24AM (#48013891)

    If I really need to connect my toaster to the internet then I deserve to buy a new one every 2 years.

  • So? (Score:4, Interesting)

    by fermion ( 181285 ) on Sunday September 28, 2014 @11:29AM (#48013925) Homepage Journal
    A good hammer, a good manual drill, a good screwdriver, will last a lifetime. Many people, however, invest in pneumatic hammers, electric drills, and bit sets even though they know it will break. There is myth of how we own records, but I am old enough to own LPs and CDs, and let me tell you that the lifetime was limited, and they were difficult for mobile devices. Transferring them to tape was a significant loss of quality.

    Comparing a phone to a plunger is silly, and makes me question the cognitive abilities of the person making the analogy.

    Everything is a trade off. My car is so complex I can't begin to figure out how to fix it, but I do have a diagnostic tool on my iPad that I could not possible afford 10 years ago. My watch, and iPod Mini, is obsolete but it still tells me the time. As long as that is all I want it do it is fine. I used my 3GS over the summer as a roaming phone. Slip a sim card in it and I was good to go. As long as I wanted it as a phone, I was good to go.

    Yes, you can't take stuff apart. OTOH I was one of the few people I knew that actually soldered computers to repair them, rather than just plug and play with a new board. Yes, some phones are not upgradable to current software, but many consumers seen to happy to make that choice to have a cheaper phone or a phone with other features. I can even see the current situation where you pay per page for ink is an option that many people would prefer.

    Certainly there is a loss when we do not have a choice, but I think in many cases we still have a choice, it is just that we do not want to pay the real or opportunity costs for that choice.

    • There are jobs the electric tools can do that human muscle can not. Try boring a quarter inch dia. hole through an inch of case hardened 4140 chromemoly hand drill and get back to us.

      • There are jobs the electric tools can do that human muscle can not. Try boring a quarter inch dia. hole through an inch of case hardened 4140 chromemoly hand drill and get back to us.

        Or just will do massively better and faster - I just had to drill through 3 layers of masonry to run new lines at work. I'm sure I *could* have done it manually, but the hammer drill I had did it with a nice clean inch wide circular hole in only a few mins. The best tool for a job is the one that lets you get it done right, get it done fast, and move on. It's nice to make sure you have a manual backup around, but electric tools get the job done for most people.

    • You're old enough to own LPs and Cds?? Wow, you must be ancient!! ;) I have records that go back to pre-1920, many having reached the century milestone, (I have one from 1908) and they still play fine. I transferred them to digital, and with a little tweaking, they sound even better than they did on my wind-up Victrola! Oh, yeah, my wind up Victrola dates from the 1920's and it still plays fine. Can't say the same for my many cassette decks, DAT decks, CDs, CD Players, DVD Players, MP3 players or comput
      • by n1ywb ( 555767 )
        Your victrola is probably an exceptional outlyer. It's remarkable because it's so old and still works. Nevermind the million other busted victrolas in the landfill. I've gone through plenty of old stuff that was busted and not worth fixing for any practical reason. Old does not necessarily equal good. Sure manufacturing quality of consumer goods is hit or miss but that's nothing new either. You think nobody sold junk 100 years ago? Yeah right.
    • A good hammer, a good manual drill, a good screwdriver, will last a lifetime.

      And will sit in a drawer for any but the most basic or simple of tasks. I have each of those tools and use them but 9 times out of 10 I find myself reaching for the cordless hammer-drill or the pneumatic nail gun because I value my time and don't believe in pointless effort. Plus a good part of the reason those hand tools last is because you are somewhat limited in the amount of work you can do with them. I can generate FAR more torque with my hammer-drill than with any manual screwdriver or hand drill.

    • by hodet ( 620484 )

      I believe myself to be practical man who doesn't easily succumb to the latest in gadgetry. But a manual drill? That's pushing it. I will get off your lawn now. ;-)

    • Everything is a trade off. My car is so complex I can't begin to figure out how to fix it, but I do have a diagnostic tool on my iPad that I could not possible afford 10 years ago.

      I assume you mean you couldn't afford the $400 ipad ten years ago and not that you couldn't afford the $50 diagnostic tool 10 years ago.

    • by n1ywb ( 555767 )
      If you haven't broken a hundred screwdrivers you haven't done any real work.
  • by jenningsthecat ( 1525947 ) on Sunday September 28, 2014 @11:32AM (#48013937)

    Just as Digital Restrictions Management and various schemes for 'protecting' 'intellectual property' have not been unqualified successes, this trend also will be undercut, to some extent, by people who hack, make, reverse engineer, re-purpose, and repair hardware, firmware, and software. It just remains to be seen how the legislative and enforcement aspects play out. And that depends largely on Joe and Jane Average's opposition to A) basically renting or leasing most of the stuff in their lives, and B) paying to be spied upon, advertised to, and held hostage by corporate interests.

    If even a large minority of citizens refuse to put up with this crap and instead have old stuff fixed and new stuff modified or boutique-built, then it will be hard for governments to justify what will otherwise be a very heavy hand in favour of laws enforcing corporate control. I'm not optimistic that people who have been lulled into thinking there is no alternative, (or that planned obsolescence and corporate nosiness are somehow right and inevitable), will do anything other than cave and roll over. But there is some hope.

    I volunteer as a fixer for an organisation called Repair Cafe - we run events wherein once a month people bring items in to be fixed for free. Not just computers, printers, phones, earbuds, and the like, but also household appliances, clothing, books, etc. Many of these people aren't bringing things in because they can't afford replacements; rather, they recognize the quality is better in their older items, and they hate the wasteful and controlling aspects of planned obsolescence. So we may yet see large numbers of average citizens who reject the dystopian plans of those who call their greed-driven view of the future 'Utopia'.

    In the category of 'not likely', but still worth considering, is the possibility of simplifying our lives. All of these technological innovations are cool, and they drive our economies, and some of them are significant. But really, how many new shinies contribute to our fundamental sense of worth, fulfillment, happiness, and meaning? I would argue that they tend to undermine those values - and many sociologists and psychologists would agree with me. It's probably too late to try stuffing that genie back in the bottle though...

  • Richard Stallman is playing the world's tiniest violin somewhere right now.

  • by kheldan ( 1460303 ) on Sunday September 28, 2014 @11:34AM (#48013955) Journal
    Sounds to me more like your 'things' own you, instead of you owning them -- or should I look at it as corporations owning us?

    To be blunt about it: Fuck that shit. It's already bad enough that for too many people, their 'phone' is more like a 'lifestyle' instead of just being a communications tool; is it serving them, or are they serving it? Will so-called self-driving cars (something else I have less than zero interest in having anything to do with) be a tool for us to use? Or will it be just another way to control us? When every goddamned thing in your house, right down to your lightbulbs and your toilet, are connected to the Internet, is it really your home anymore, or is it a prison, and all these things are just there to facilitate the monitoring of you by corporations and governments? For fuck's sake, you can't even ride your bike somewhere anymore without some corporation trying to convince you that you should take a GPS tracker with you, and voluntarily upload the tracking data to them (Strava).

    No thanks. I don't live to serve things, it's the other way around.
  • No thanks. Even the basic functionality of what a 'phone' should do has decreased in quality. Greatly
    We've gone from "So clear you can hear a pin drop" to "Can you hear me now?!?"
    • by Animats ( 122034 )

      We've gone from "So clear you can hear a pin drop" to "Can you hear me now?!?"

      Right. Cellular telephony just barely works now. There's lag as long as a second, even when the call supposedly isn't going over VoIP. (Sprint seems to have that problem.) There's occasional echo when the lag exceeds what the echo suppressors can handle. Background noise kills the cellular compression algorithm.

      Why don't we have CD-quality audio on phones?

  • This sounds like what Ted Kaczynski thought things might come to. I don't agree with his methods, but it looks like some of the things he ranted about might be the way things are going.
  • My hand-built mechanical watch may be less than 100% accurate, provide only basic functions and may indeed only last decades.

    It's also far from dumb. It's intricate, complex and beautiful.

    • It's also far from dumb. It's intricate, complex and beautiful.

      I think no sane person would argue that a good mechanical watch isn't beautiful as well as an amazing piece of engineering. (I cannot say the same for crappy digital watches however) That doesn't change the fact though that they are a single purpose device that generally speaking is seldom necessary these days. I don't really need to carry around an extra gadget whose sole purpose is to tell me the time 99.99999% of the time. There are occasions when that is useful/necessary but they are rare these days

      • by Cederic ( 9623 )

        Just recognize that you are wearing a piece of functional jewelry rather than making a practical choice.

        I like the convenience of "time on wrist" - it's definitely functional jewellery but when it's not practical to wear an expensive delicate watch I put on a far cheaper one instead; it's a practical choice.

  • In my opinion, there is no reason why a crockpot that also has an app interface or a smart interface cannot run for decades (short of the built-in MBTF of the electronics). After all, some basic standalone functionality has to be provided. Granted, it might be harder to find the apps to run it 10 years down the line, but that doesn't mean that it will stop working.

    Like anything else, if it is a popular model, the apps will be archived on the internet. As an example, most manufacturers keep drivers for di

  • Then you will truly be little brother.
  • My cast iron frying pan has worked for nearly a century and will likely last several more centuries without any upgrades, fees, etc.

    Personally I'm not all that interested in having a microprocessor in every device. Most things don't need them. However, virtually everything I own I can take apart, fix, hack and rebuild - yes, even "Smart" devices.

    The original poster's comments say more about them than they do about technology. There have always been people who didn't know how to do more than turn the switch

  • I am seeing serious addiction of young females to smart phones. Crippiling, life absorbing, non stop use of smart phones is becomming all too common. From what I can see commitment to a mental health facility might actually be required for some young women to break the addiction. They are creating a virtual life of sorts and avoiding all aspects of normal life andin some cases not leaving a bedroom for days or weeks at a time. I've never seen anything like it.
    • I have discovered through experimentation that if you don't give your preteen girl a cell phone, she won't spend all day obsessing about her cell phone.
  • I can't believe anyone is still paying attention to the drumbeats of marketeers as they masturbate about the future of their dreams.

    Dream what you want, think the world is full of clueless suckers all you want... When your shit provides no value, stops working as soon as its pitiful warranty expires or becomes obsolete as it is leaving the store or otherwise annoys the customer for selfish reasons (cloud BS, ads, spying, unnecessary restrictions..etc) people will remember past experiences they had with your

  • Another hyperventilating article about things I have no desire or intention to possess.

  • You mean everything: Doesn't have good coverage in the small town I'm in? Or, the batteries don't last long enough? Or gets roaming charges when in the wrong place?

    Yeah... Big win...

  • Foresaw all of this.

    I can remember readind here on /. an excerpt of a novel in which a man was fighting with his door that wouldn't let him go out anymore due to licensing problems.

    More knowledgeable fans are welcome to input more details on that particular novel.

  • It wasn't very long ago that; guess what? NOBODY owned their telephone! That's right, you RENTED it from the phone company! In fact it was ILLEGAL to third party phone. In fact some people STILL RENT their phone. Their ROTARY land line phone.

    http://usatoday30.usatoday.com/news/offbeat/2006-09-14-phone_x.htm

    Funny how quickly people forget. As they say in china, there's nothing new under the sun.

Evolution is a million line computer program falling into place by accident.

Working...