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Can't sign in to Google calendar on my Samsung refrigerator (productforums.google.com)
454 points by lelf on Dec 14, 2015 | hide | past | favorite | 291 comments

The problem here is not the refrigerator, or the software on it.

I repeat.

The problem here is not the refrigerator!

We're building a shitty internet, not an internet of shitty things. If integrating with an online calendar means having to have a software team at the ready at all times for the whim's of some service's API updates.. we have failed society in a deep way.

The API that Google should be releasing for Google calendar is CalDAV, because it's a standard that people can depend on. Google - by choosing to not use that standard AND to not get a different one standardized with their peers, shows they don't want to be part of an Internet.

FWIW, Google Calendar does support CalDAV:


It also supports a richer API, for features that don't fit into CalDAV:


While I tend to agree with what I think is your point, it's all well and good to say that there's a standard and one should use it (which I support, and have worked on many throughout my career), but standards aren't a panacea either, especially since many of best standards are ones that standardize a previously proprietary (but working!) design.

(No relationship with the calendar team, but I'm pretty sure they'll read this thread if you have comments for them.)

Please see my comment below about their support of CalDAV (only for specific clients, they keep changing the endpoint location).

CalDAV is a standardization of a previously proprietary but working design (apple's icalendar work) that most all other vendors support except for Google.

Even when they try to support it, they changed the endpoint location (?! I guess even Google is bad at URLs), and their CalDAV implementation only supports the calls of a popular enough client they don't have control over.

"We have not yet provided a full implementation of all of the relevant specifications, however for many clients such as Apple iCal™ the CalDAV protocol should interoperate correctly."[0]

[0]: https://developers.google.com/google-apps/calendar/caldav/v2...

We have an integration with google calendar and they seem to make endless tweaks, like date+time zone requirements. About every six months I have to go in and undo what was done the last time. Debugging is also a nightmare when it comes to validating calendar feeds.

Every time I see "google calendar" in our issue tracker, I die a little inside.

But its also unacceptable to make an Internet connected device with a static proprietary OS on it.

We have a dozen known vulnerabilities in common software packages every year, and these devices are using IP for communicating often confidential information. It can be disastrous for your toaster to be hijacked, especially if it can be remoted no and burn your house down.

This whole IoT disaster should have been predicated on free software, with some protocol support for authorized local network updates and maintenance. You know damn well that if Samsung cannot be bothered to update the OS on a four year old phone anymore, your Samsung Fridge or TV or futon is a lost cause.

I agree completely. But how likely is that to happen? Let's face it, companies that make 'smart' devices will likely want to monetize on customers whose software is outdated (in functionality, not security) and who want to upgrade because of that. I don't think they'd have a motive to do anything other than proprietary, non-maintainable software.

The only solution I could think of from a security standpoint would be to limit functionality on the device itself to such a level that there is not much need for updating, i.e., ideally the fridge becomes a dumb device that essentially offers a vnc-style connection to a central FridgeCo data center, so that the fridge itself would never deal with your passwords etc. other than sending them somewhere in an encrypted connection. This basic layer of functionality (and even that would be a lot to keep secure) would be more reasonable to maintain and keep secure than having separate apps for Google Cal etc. Of course, this would cause many more problems, be a single point of failure etc., but I think that's the way it's most likely going to go.

Ubuntu are aiming directly at this problem by providing the base OS and making it possible for vendors to then layer on the functionality they need: http://www.ubuntu.com/internet-of-things

How much vendors are willing to use something like this remains to be seen. Personally I resist buying things that I think will have a poor security update record. I'd like to see more pressure on vendors to do the right thing here, especially because there is at least one reasonable solution available.

Disclosure: I work for Canonical, but am not associated with the IoT work in Ubuntu.

I don't think sanity will prevail over profit here. Making shitty unmaintainable flashy software that sells units and hijacks your house through exploits a year later optimally keeps customers buying new fridges, when the only thing wrong with them is awful outdated proprietary code running on it. Its the same reason I feel Ubuntu TV was a flop - as long as consumers make emotional, advertising driven, uninformed, instantaneous purchase decisions, the optimal route to profit is flashy over-the-top showoff crap on the store shelf that then breaks as soon as possible so they have to buy another. As long as people do not care about the software running on their "smart" tv, or fridge, or thermostat, they will continue to be given what they ask for - nothing but crap.

> Its the same reason I feel Ubuntu TV was a flop...

I believe Canonical have a grand plan but have just focused on phones first. Since to my knowledge the Ubuntu TV hasn't happened yet, how can it be a flop?

It was announced in 2012, and it has had no development since 2011, and hasn't shipped anywhere either. It wouldn't have been a flop if there wasn't a lot of hype in the tech ecosystem about it as a result of the announcement, but if you announce something you stopped working on a year before and going on four years later haven't come back to, while proprietary smart TVs have basically taken over store shelves in the intervening years, its a flop.

There is a ongoing internal friction in the software development process. We rely on capitalized business processes to self-correct against dramatic failures like this. This is not a failure of society, it's a failure to appropriately contextualize this software with regards the business that backs it.

Rather than being built in, this "calendar" should be android/iOS tablet that's attached to the refrigerator with magnets. It should be thrown in the trash every couple years and replaced with a new one. According to the interests of Google/Apple (as evidenced by their software updates).

Yup. Just put a USB port and a recessed frame in the fridge door and say "hey, it comes with a free Galaxy Tab 4 8" device! And a box of magnets and crazy glue!

Same thing with "Smart TVs". Just put some extra powered USB ports on the back next to the HDMI port and bundle it with a TV stick.

I wish the car companies would take that attitude too. I keep my cars a long time, and I don't think it will be useful to be running a 10 year old version of Android on it. Just let me treat the car (or other appliance) like a peripheral, which would require minimal ongoing support, and let me upgrade the smarts as needed.

This is exactly why when I went to go buy a new car, I made sure it was "dumb" (no built-in GPS or control system or anything, just a stereo). Technology changes so fast, I don't want my car to be running on some processor and OS that will seem "ancient" in 10 years.

I have GPS and internet radio on my phone that I upgrade every few years, why would I want it in my car that I upgrade maybe every 10 years?

Yup, smart devices are stupid when they should be dumb.

> We're building a shitty internet, not an internet of shitty things

I think we're building a shitty internet of shitty things.

It's difficult to read these comments without thinking that all of you are being sarcastic.


By the way, do you know that you can send an email to a server running software that hasn't been updated since the 1960's?

Many (most?) emails probably make their way through decades-old infrastructure somewhere along the line.

You mean the physical cables, right?

Actually most the cables used aren't that old.

Can't agree more. We had more interoperability a decade ago than we have today. People wanted to open up their APIs and let you DO things with their services. Today it's all about the lock-in, DRM and not-invented-here feature breaks. It's horrible and backwards.

The Samsung fridge isn't so great either https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hk2TfF1M4r8

We are ALSO building an internet of shitty things.

The basic problem is the web dev mentality "ship early, ship often", something Google is the master of.

Ubik, 1969

> “From the drawer beside the sink Joe Chip got a stainless steel knife; with it he began systematically to unscrew the bolt assembly of his apt's money-gulping door.

> "I'll sue you," the door said as the first screw fell out. Joe Chip said, "I've never been sued by a door. But I guess I can live through it.”

Step 0) Disconnect any phone or network cables and ensure RF jammers covering WiFi and cell frequencies are active before commencing home appliance repair.

As IoT becomes more ubiquitous, the people who plaster their houses in tin foil will become less ridiculous.

Not just that, but I can't wait for the day I can only rent my appliances and have to have a monthly subscription to some GE "Smart Appliance Network" for them to even work.

I feel like people would just not buy these theoretical ridiculous appliances and just stay with older ones until the appliance manufacturers started making normal appliances again.

It's already happening to John Deere, since they started claiming DCMA protections on their tractors to prevent DIY repairs.


They might. Or more likely you'd see early adopters buying these, then gradually companies would shift more and more of their models to this approach. Suddenly, only the ugly, low-end crappy models work the "traditional way."

Then -BAM-, anyone who wants a decent looking model with decent functionality is stuck paying rent.

Companies have many consumer-hostile tools to force people to do things that is against their best interest. And mark my words they are salivating at the thought of all that recurring revenue.

>a decent looking model with decent functionality

There will be tons of such appliances from the mid 20th century and onwards available on craigslist, flea markets, probably even ebay amaon et al. for quite a while.

Joe Middle-class Consumer does not want to buy their appliances from Craigslist, flea markets, etc. The mass market audience for appliances want to buy new in a store, with a warranty, etc.

I fully expect to see a gradual boiling of the frog. First it will be free features and benefits tied to an online account, then it will be new features that are only part of a subscription plan, and once they have critical mass, killing the free tier or making it near worthless.

Sure there might be a market for used devices, but again, it will be the minority. The rest of the marketplace will be screwed.

Like they don't buy e-books, or smart TVs? Like they didn't buy that cloud-connected laser cutter that'll brick itself when its makers go out of business[0]? It's been proven time and again that people buy against their best interest; that's why this business model is becoming popular.

[0] - https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=10272483

To be fair, smart TVs still work as TVs, even if the entire "smart" portion is broken. I'm entertaining buying a new TV soon, since mine is on the out after almost 10 years. I'd prefer to buy a non-smart TV, but honestly all the top models include it now, so it's pretty much unavoidable.

"To be fair, smart TVs still work as TVs, even if the entire "smart" portion is broken. I'm entertaining buying a new TV soon, since mine is on the out after almost 10 years. I'd prefer to buy a non-smart TV, but honestly all the top models include it now, so it's pretty much unavoidable."

You can opt out of using the smart features, but the presence of wifi and bluetooth stacks and cameras and microphones means that you are living with a long list of vulnerabilities and potential intrusive/abusive behavior.

The good news is, display manufacturers all make very, very high end models at relatively low prices without any smart features or gizmos at all: they are called signage displays.

Think of the screens at the airport with the tiny bezels ... you can buy those. They're awesome.

But aren't they way more expensive for given specs than regular consumer TVs? I looked one time and they were like twice the price for a given size/resolution.

I couldn't tell if that was because they are engineered to be on all the time, or if manufacturers just jack up the list price so they can maintain margin on discounted bulk pricing for 3,000 panels or whatever.

> ...the presence of wifi and bluetooth stacks and cameras and microphones means that you are living with a long list of vulnerabilities...

No, you just turn those off. I bought a TV recently and didn't have any option (for this particular model line) of getting a "non-smart" version. I simply turned off the TV's networking. The only cables attached to the TV are power and HDMI, so it's effectively a dumb TV with zero attack surface.

> You can opt out of using the smart features, but the presence of wifi and bluetooth stacks and cameras and microphones means that you are living with a long list of vulnerabilities and potential intrusive/abusive behavior.

2020's hottest new major: Archaeological Computer Security

You've just described how this scenario most likely will play out with othe appliances if producers decide to go the rental way. People may stay with their old ones... until they break, then it's time to buy a new one, but there's no non-"smart" appliance on the market anymore.

Exactly. To give a related example...look at Windows 10. I want to buy a new computer and will be in the market very soon. But I'm desperately clinging to my Windows 7 OS, and worried I won't be able to find something that ISN'T Windows 10.

In fact, I have newfound urgency around this because I'll bet very soon I won't be able to find any Windows 8 computers on the market.

> I want to buy a new computer and will be in the market very soon. But I'm desperately clinging to my Windows 7 OS, and worried I won't be able to find something that ISN'T Windows 10.

Its pretty easy to find computers that aren't Windows 10 (e.g., OS X machines are readily available, as are Chromebooks, and there are even sold-with-Linux computers); its harder to find ones that are Windows-but-not-10, but that's a different thing.

its harder to find ones that are Windows-but-not-10

But they're still readily available. I just checked a Dell Precision tower workstation and it comes by default with Win 7. The Dell Optiplex Mini Tower comes by default with Win 8.1, but Win 7 is an easily selected choice.

Still, I've been buying OS X machines exclusively for over a decade. There's not a lot that Windows offers me, except their nice Freecell game. But I'm not a FPS gamer, so that probably makes a big difference.

I'm a PC gamer, and that is honestly the only reason I am still on Windows.

Based on current observation, they'll choose to buy the "smart" tv that comes with built-in overlay advertisements because it's $X cheaper.

@Temporal - but there's no rent to use a 'smart' TV. You don't have to subscribe to Netflix or Amazon Prime just because those services are integrated with your TV.

You can just buy it, ignore what you don't want, and use it 'traditionally' (though still digitally..).

And remember to turn off the ads they layer over the broadcast.

I'm still waiting for them to stop making 3D movies so I can watch a normal movie like a normal person. Avatar was 6 years ago. The joke stopped being funny back when AirBnB was still about blow-up mattresses.

There are lots of non-3D movies made; the fact that 3D movies are also made doesn't stop you from watching a "normal movie" like a "normal person".

The fact that no theatre nearby will show a movie that has a 3D version in non-3D does.

Plenty of movies are made only in non-3D versions, so, no, that doesn't either.

If no theater around you shows non-3D movies at all, that might, but that's more a consequence of your decision to live in an area where 3D movies are apparently unusually popular (or non-3D movies unusually unpopular) than anything else.

Even if a movie was made only in 3D, you can buy or make special 3D glasses that show you 2D by having both eyes the same polarization filter.

Either that, or more ridiculous, since their luddism will be even more outwardly apparent to everyone else...

Not being on Facebook is conspicuous enough already. :/

Nah. Pop open the cover and install an aftermarket control board that runs Free software. Eventually, this will be more user-friendly (better interface one doesn't have to relearn every monthly update), convenient (better software features), and economical (how many appliances are thrown out due to software malfunctions).

You're being sarcastic, right?

> Pop open the cover and install an aftermarket control board that runs Free software.

Appliances will get redesigned so that it's hard to do it. If they really want to drive the message home, then like 'maxerickson said, it's epoxy time.

> Eventually, this will be more user-friendly (better interface one doesn't have to relearn every monthly update)

See mobile.

> convenient (better software features)

See all software.

> and economical (how many appliances are thrown out due to software malfunctions).

Again, see mobile.

Actually, I'm not being sarcastic at all.

I haven't opened too many post-infopocalypse appliances but the ones I've seen have been dead simple, apart from their over-"engineered" control boards. These things used to run off mechanical timers, and that is still the underlying philosophy, with new "smart" features mostly UI-based.

It seems to me that one could design a general sequencing board to run many models. Some types would be harder than others (washing machines with brushless motors), and moreso if manufacturers start to add digitally-communicating sensors, but these don't seem insurmountable to handle pretty generally. So a total end-user installed cost of say $400? That seems within the price differential between "low end" and "high end" models that differ in software.

It just takes will since it requires not just picking from what the advertising says, like anything Free. But IMHO this is a social momentum issue and the disadvantages of proprietary trash-land will only be more and more pronounced as there are ever-more features for manufacturers to fuck up.

And as far as epoxy? Manufacturers don't really care if you mod things they've made, they just don't want to be on the hook for supporting this. The protectiveness is rooted in thinking their shoddy software is some kind of "competitive advantage". Completely replacing the control board sidesteps this.

I've had Ubuntu running on my old desktop for a few years now. It's literally a 50% chance as to whether I'll be able to get the GUI login screen to come up, and be able to log in successfully on my first try, without having to ssh in from another machine and fiddle around with things.

This isn't an exaggeration. 50%.

Are you running the nouveau driver? If you are, know that it's notoriously unstable and crashy, especially older versions of it.

I've installed and run Linux on many computers over the past $WAY_TOO_LONG. Anecdotes aren't data, but your experience is an outlier these days.

Regardless. I gather that you're trying to slyly imply that your bad experience with Ubuntu means that Free Software is synonymous with low quality or something.

That's a silly thing to do.

You're right, FS is not an indicator of quality one way or the other, no more than paid software is.

There are many Ubuntu installs that "just work". If this is your "old desktop", then it sounds like you probably didn't set out to purchase hardware known to work well with Linux.

One broken machine isn't an indicator of much of anything.

I remember my first experience with running LXDE.

Turns out drag-and-drop between folders had been implemented, but no one had decided to code drag-from-folder-to-desktop as a feature.

... I wish I was kidding.

I actually hope for that. My parents' washing machine blew some motor driver IGBTs along with the MCU and its proprietary firmware. It's basically scrap metal now as replacement boards are sold barely cheaper than a new machine.

Since this has to be reverse-engineered for each model, it's not going to be very prevalent. Are there any examples of this already?

Pinball machines, but I'd hardly call one-size-fits-all pinball central controllers a harbinger of a brave new world of DIY control board installs. There's significant economic incentive to tinkering with a pinball machine until it works.

Ironically, the all-in-one controllers also tend to be missing some of the more popular pinball machine models, as the IP owners for those machines had the legal muscle to boss around the companies that make the all-in-one boards. As a result, some of the more popular pinball machines are dying as their control boards wear out and they cannot be replaced, because even the popular manufacturers either rotated what they make or went out of business / got bought. :-p

And then epoxy.

I was reading recently that there's a special type of paint you can use on the walls of your house to block wifi signals, essentially keeping your wifi contained within your walls and keeping the noise level down by blocking your neighbours' wifi.

One of (Ubik author) Phil Dick's great insights was that our relationship with machines would be intrusive and passive aggressive.

Flying advert drones projecting adverts onto pedestrian's retinas; home appliances like fridges that refuse to open until sufficient coinage is inserted - a prescient vision.

I love PKD, I can't get enough, but I feel like you only get to qualify a prediction as prescient once it comes to pass.

Ubik reverses cultural causality: a product, UBIK, travels back in time affecting the aesthetics of the present by altering the past.

Or rather, advertising makes you feel it has always been this way.

Ubik is a Madison Avenue version of Orwell's 1984, rebranding the past. In this everyday dystopia, we've never had it so good despite having so little.

But Dick was not just prescient, he was writing what it was like where he was, when he was. All the dystopian elements of his Sci-Fi were his contemporary struggles.

Paraphrasing Gibson: Dystopia is already here, it just hasn't hit home yet.

Dick's protagonist argues with his fridge, he wants the milk but the fridge is demanding money it claims he owes the refrigeration company.

I remember seeing a commercial for those things where they drafted the Top Chef brothers, and even in the commercial it looked extremely awkward to use. "Oh, let's just look up something...(walk over...bend down...glance at screen...slowly punch things in...)."

Even if it were the best thing ever, I know technology and I know that fridges last years longer than any gadget ever has. Any choice of touchscreen, OS or even network connection technology would probably be a "bad idea" in 5-10 years.

I was recently in the market for a newer SUV and the thing that struck me about every single touchscreen jammed into them was how obsolete they would seem in the near future. Even now, they're clunky and unappealing visually.

My microwave has a MyPlate.gov button on it. May have seemed like a good idea when our home's previous owner renovated back in 2011, but it's silly now.

My "smart" TV has an app called WebVideos on it, which does nothing but apologize for being shut down.

This trend of timely design rather than timeless design in appliances is not great for the consumer. It reminds me of bundling crapware OS-extensions onto budget PC laptops. Design that respects the orthogonal-nature of connectedness to a device's primary purpose should be praised.

One counterexample that comes to mind is my Nest thermometer. It's super convenient, works great. And if Nest ever goes under and turns out the lights on their API, or if wifi becomes an irrelevant network connection technology, it reverts to being a thermostat with a really nice UI.

Last winter I walked into a Subaru dealership, ready to plunk down for a brand new Impreza. I live in Minnesota. I wanted AWD and I know how hard it is to find used Subarus, especially when you insist on a stick shift. So I figured I'd just give in and buy new.

They didn't have any of the 2015 models at the time, so we test drove a 2014 model. Except for the inadequate number of pedals, it seemed fine. I was ready to place an order. Then the dealer, who was riding with us, said "and the new 2015s will all have the new infotainment stuff!" "Oh," I said, knowing he meant a shitty touch screen. "Can you show me?"

We get back to the dealership and he walks me over to some other, larger model with the new infotainment system. He sits down, turns the key, and what do I see on the infotainment system?

A loading bar.

I walked out and bought a 2011 Mazda3.

buying a mazda for not liking the infotainment when living in MN is like cutting off your nose to spite your face.. or something.. You could have bought an older version of Subie ...

Nah, it's not that bad. Pop some snow tires on there and it's fine. The vast majority of vehicles on the road are FWD. I would've preferred AWD, but there were none for sale with my requirements (stick shift, physical HVAC/radio controls, non-garbage HVAC/radio experience).

So why was the 2014 you were test driving no longer an option?

It was out of production at that point and there were no used manuals in the neighboring-state-area.

Wait, what happened to the 2014?

It'd be great if more startups entered the car-board computing field. Mounting an Android tablet, rasberry pi or arduino in the dash isn't very complex, and simpler to update. I wouldn't mind seeing a brief boot screen if it was linux and the stereo was a separate unit with aux input.

The thing I want most when driving a vehicle is the joy of having to look over at a touchpad to remember exactly where the controls are, and if they've moved significantly since my last software update.

I don't care how fancy your software is, I require PHYSICAL KNOBS AND BUTTONS. No exceptions.

> My "smart" TV has an app called WebVideos on it, which does nothing but apologize for being shut down.

I wonder if the app was prepared for that or if some poor fellows are maintaining servers whose sole purpose is responding to you with this apology.

Forget 5-10 years, the choice of ARM SoC will be a bad idea in 3 years.

You know this Moore Law thing, about software getting twice slower every two years to compensate for increasing transistor density... except that already deployed hardware doesn't grow these extra transistors in the meantime.

That already deployed hardware is now slow with the latest shiny firmware...time to buy more hardware like a good little consumer.

Agreed. So far, the best feature is a convenient dock for a tablet or phone. Same goes for cars.

Also agreed - I found the best solution for me was a cheap Amazon Fire tablet and three large strips of velcro. It stays firmly attached to the side of the fridge with the cable running straight down beneath the cupboard routed over to the plug. It looks a lot better than expected and handles calendar/metric<->imperial conversions with ease.

Anybody who has ever had a TV/VCR combo knows to avoid multi-function appliances.

I have a 13 inch color TV with VCR combo for sale. The VCR can no longer play VCR tapes - only rewind. Great for rewinding tapes before you return them to the rental store! Msg me for details.

I have one of those, works OK, but it has a Y2K bug that makes it hard to program to record shows. I don't use it very often though.

This is why I love my Chromecast so much. In the past I had a bulky media PC or a game console. I'd dig around for remotes, turn on the box, make sure everything was charged, etc. Now I just fire up whatever I want to watch on my phone, press cast, and off I go.

I think centralizing smartdevices on your phone makes a lot of sense. I don't need yet another remote or config to worry about. If IoT happens correctly, it'll be mostly headless. The head end will be your phone or smartwatch.

As a side note, the Amazon reviews for this thing are pretty terrible in regards to loud buzzing, ice maker issues, etc. We bought a new place three years ago and I was really tempted by the shiny Samsung fridges (LED lighting, little smart display, etc), but ended up going with a more conservative and pricier GE which has been rock-solid. Feels like I dodged a bullet here.

Same reason why GPS feature in a car is useless. I'm using google maps on my phone anyway due to the better interface and constant updates.

I use the Navigation on my 2015 Mazda 3 everyday. It's the most functional car GPS I've ever used and has way better directions for me as a new driver than Google Maps.

For example, a mile before a left turn it'll tell me to bear left instead of the way google suddenly springs it on me half a mile before a turn on a super busy road during a traffic jam.

Instead of having to glance at my phone every little bit it displays the directions on my heads up display along with the lanes that I should be on to make the turn. It also knows how to deal with music already playing on the car speakers by muting the driver side of the music while reading directions so my passengers can keep listening.

Along with all of this, even though it's quite fiddly to view it, if I connect my phone to the car and have internet on it can grab traffic data to overlay onto the map, so I get the best of both worlds. <3 Mazda

The concern isn't a current model-year vehicle, it's the replacement time of cars (and appliances in general) vs technology. Presumably, a 2015 car should be good for at least 10-15 years. How will your car's navigation system stack up in 2020 (just 5 years away)? Will it still be your go-to choice? I think the claim is that mobile technology improves much faster than the replacement/upgrade cycle for cars, so a car's internal navigation becomes amusingly obsolete much sooner than the car itself.

Maybe if the navigation system were designed to be replaceable, like the radio.

My wife uses her phone in cars with built in GPS because the mfgr assumes cars can only carry one person at a time, so for "safety" they lock out GPS access unless the car is in park, even if the operator is sitting in the passenger seat. So I drive and she navigates with her phone, or her phone talks to me, or whatever.

Another thing I've noticed is take anything fast, implement it in software, and latency becomes a killer. Software is so terrifyingly slow compared to hardware. Its hard to believe that people who write disgustingly slow UIs are in the same industry as people who write anti-lock brake code or real time fuel injection code.

    > I'm using google maps on my phone anyway due to the
    > better interface and constant updates.
And live traffic without paying a subscription (except for data)!

Though I generally use Waze for plotting a course to an unfamiliar destination, I still heavily use my car's GPS nav system.

Rather than relying on it for guidance, I use it as a reference for routing around small inconveniences (road work/construction, accidents, etc.) on familiar routes. I've found it quite useful in this regard, and the large screen size definitely comes in handy for at-a-glance usage.

What kind of navunit do you have? I wouldn't count on mine for anything helpful and it requires a sat radio subscription to get traffic updates.

Ford Sync. Whatever generation they were selling in 2013.

I don't really rely on it for traffic information or anything, just maps. If I'm driving on local 'main' roads and visually pick up on indicators that there's something inconvenient ahead, I'll use the nav unit to identify appropriate sidestreets to take instead.

I do appreciate my car GPS for when I'm outside of cell range though (which is frequently--mountains and radios don't work well together).

A mistake I'll make only once: driving to Montreal only to realize my phone was useless once I got to the city limits and needed to figure out how to get to my hotel.

If you start the navigation ahead of time it'll keep going even if you're offline. It caches the route and gps waypoints. Worked great on my trip from NYC to Quebec City.

Ah, that's good to know. I didn't do that since I know how to get to Montreal itself easily. From my front door: left, left, right, straight * 3 hours.

A one time mistake, for sure, though!

They have these things called maps, sold at gas stations.

Which aren't much good for finding most POIs.

If you know the address or cross-streets it is very easy. You can also ask for directions. Believe it or not people managed to travel to and around unfamiliar cities just fine before the widespread use of GPS.

Believe it or not "I got lost when I realized my GPS was useless" does not imply "I starved to death in the cold Canadian woods after wandering aimlessly for 4 days."

I found the hotel just fine! It was just a bit of a "should've seen that coming" type of moment, is all.

OsmAnd (http://osmand.net/) downloads OpenStreetMap data to your phone for offline navigation on Android (there is also an iOS version that has maps but not driving directions yet). IMO the OsmAnd navigation UI is better than Google Maps, the search far worse.

If you're on Android, Nokia's Here application has fantastic offline navigation maps.

I believe those maps are what my car uses.

My car connects to Google for POI lookups over GPRS. However, it can't retrieve traffic data nor update it's maps. Android Auto is a nice alternative, but I'm an iOS user. ::Shakes Fist:: C'mon automakers.

There is Apple CarPlay as well: http://www.apple.com/ios/carplay/

I love my built-in GPS in the car. For one, it displays directions in between the gauges, for another, it does a better job of unobtrusively providing audible directions without interfering with music.

> Any choice of touchscreen, OS or even network connection technology would probably be a "bad idea" in 5-10 years.

Ethernet via RJ45 has really good staying power; IEEE standard in 1990. A refrigerator at 10Mbps is probably sufficient, but if not, 10GBase-T is approaching affordability, and a standard for 40GBase-T is expected next year, although you may need to pull new wires.

802.11a/b (1999) are looking pretty good, too.

Everything I've ever seen with a 2GHz radio supports b, [0] and with a 5GHz radio supports a.

[0] Even though some AP admins deactivate 802.11b support for entirely valid throughput raisins. AIUI, 802.11a doesn't suffer from those issues.

Problem with 802.11 isn't the radio layer, it's the security. Early 802.11 didn't do security right at all, then we had WEP and that got broken, then WPA, then WPA2...

Example: I created wifi drivers for a handheld platform back in the 90's (Magic Cap), including support for the earliest 802.11 PC cards. Fans of the platform (both of them) encouraged me to update the drivers so they could continue using their handhelds over wireless, but it's simply not possible to get a 1999 wifi card on a modern wifi network in any half-secure fashion.

> Problem with 802.11 isn't the radio layer, it's the security.

True. It's a damn shame about WEP, and WPA2 didn't happen until 2004. But, 2004 is eleven years ago. Disgregarding the shitfest that is WPS-PIN, WPA2 with CCMP is looking rather good.

Are you aware of breaks in WPA2 with CCMP-only crypto and either a well-chosen passphrase, or WPA2-Enterprise with a proper client authorization scheme?

> ...it's simply not possible to get a 1999 wifi card on a modern wifi network in any half-secure fashion.

Not saying that there are any WiFi cards that behave in this manner, [0] but would a hypothetical WiFi card that only knows how to how to establish and pass around -er- frames(?) on a 802.11a/g link and relies on the client PC to use the frames passed back and forth to do link crypto & etc be

* Possible

* Reasonably sufficiently fast, given enough CPU power on the client

* Able to cope with any likely enhancements (such as the addition of WPA2 back in 2004) with a driver update, rather than a firmware update


[0] Even though I thought that pre 802.11ac Atheros cards had open firmware and open drivers, so one got pretty close to this.

> ... would probably be a "bad idea" in 5-10 years.

This is what I don't think people quite understand.

Same with (Android|Apple)Auto that's coming out. By the time you've paid it off, who is going to buy it?! You'll HAVE to trade it in at the dealership. That limits you in so many ways.

Android Auto and CarPlay don't completely replace the head-unit functionality. Most units have standard functions built in, with the additional option of Android Auto/CarPlay features.

In fact, the Android Auto/Carplay functionality is largely driven by the software on the phone, the headunit really just acts a dumb terminal when entering that mode.

If anything, this is a WAY more future proof design than the current in-car entertainment and navigation functions which rarely see updates. It is likely that Android/Apple will be around in a few years with regular updates you can take advantage of in your car, vs a navigation system that will never see a change, even a security update.

If the fridge for example, used "Android Fridge" or "Apple Chillplay" it is likely this problem wouldn't exist. An OTA on the phone which pushes the calendar to the fridge would solve this. This is how Android Auto and Apple Carplay work.

Both systems require somewhat dedicated connections to the phone. Android Auto uses remote display and doesn't really want you to interact with the device while running, for instance. For a fridge, a Chromecast style box that gets direct OTAs from Google would probably work best.

I thought that was the whole point of going with Android|Apple Auto vs the manufacturer's homebrew: at least you'd get updates for a few years.

Good point, but I just don't see it ending well either way.


My car has CarPlay/Android Auto/Mirrorlink.

First of all, it's in addition to the built-in systems which have AM, FM, SD card reader, HD radio, Sirius XM, navigation, Sirius NavTraffic, local gas prices, sports scores.

Secondly, why would nobody buy older tech?

Third, if the car was worthless because of outdated tech, why would a dealership buy it?

Fourth, even in this day and age, people still upgrade/replace the factory electronics.

I long for a world where my byo device (ipad,nexus tablet,whatever) can be slid into a cradle. We all agree that technology is bad when paired with long tail devices (tv's, fridges, even watches) So why not allow a universal cradle that fits the device dejour. After that an app and the appropriate hardware could be exposed via the cradle to cover all this and when the tablet is old hat, get a new one. Its not perfect but it is far better than the options we are getting now.

> fridges last years longer than any gadget

You are clearly holding^W using it wrong. You are supposed to buy new fridges way more often, duh...</sarcasm>

appliances and the like should have no more hardware that go gather and display information which is sent and received from one central point in the home. you should be able to ask about anything you want from anywhere and get the information you want where you are.

home, do I have milk? home, turn off the stove

or whatever control word is used to indicate you want to talk to your system.

Top Chef brothers? Or do you mean HGTV brothers?

The commercial featured the Voltaggio brothers, who were both on the 6th season of "Top Chef".

I guess we know our place socially don't we?

"The upper-class kitchen, designed to be entered only by servants, is identifiable at once: it's beat-up, inconvenient, and out-of-date, with lots of wood, no Formica whatever, and a minimum of accessories and labor-saving appliances like dishwashers and garbage disposals. Why tolerate these noisy things when you can have a silent servant do precisely what they do? The upper-class kitchen does have a refrigerator, but so antique that it has rounded corners and a big white coil on top. Neatness and modernity enter as we move down toward the middle class, and the more your kitchen resembles a lab, the worse for you socially." -- Class, a Guide to the American Status System

This book is an American treasure.

I started reading Class over the weekend. I feel depressed because it described all of my middle class insecurities. I earn almost as much money as my doctor friends, but I'm desperate to prove that I am an equal.

By the way, you can really actually still buy the refrigerators with rounded corners, if you want: http://www.smeg.com/refrigerators/double-door-refrigerators/

If you like this, you should check out http://twitter.com/internetofshit (I am not the author)

Thanks, I just successfully wasted 15 minutes on it. 10/10, would procrastinate again.

This is... amazing. Thanks for sharing.

"Samsung support only advised to restart the refrigerator and check timezone..."

What a time to be alive.

At first I thought it wouldn't be so bad to pull over for a software update, but then I remembered I'd forgotten to charge my book and cigarette.

No joke, I occasionally get a (barely noticeable) nagging feeling to check the battery level while reading a book now.

I've seen people and have caught myself too, trying to swipe and enlarge stuff on paper, and also to click and tap. And when writing with pen 'n paper, I often want to undo and look for the C-\ for a moment.

I'm not an old fart by far, but even I have never imagined rebooting a refrigerator. I'm floored. It sounds like some obscure IT insider joke except that this time it's for real. I don't know what to expect next.

"The trial period for your Freezer™©® has expired."

"Your ice maker comes free with licenses for up to 1,000 cubes a year! For only $8.99 a month, you can enjoy up to 5,000 cubes. Add crushed ice for an additional $2.95. Cancel anytime."

Don't give them any ideas.

I think there's an episode in a Ray Bradbury short story where a character argues with his door because it won't let him in because he hasn't paid the subscription for his door lock.

The take away is that IoT under capitalism is going to suck.

I think that somewhere deep in some R&D department someone has already been paid for this exact idea and few others of this kind.

Maybe even Intellectual Ventures has a patent on it.

Your refrigerator has been infected by fridgilocker. Send $5 in bitcoin to this address or your food will rot.

That'll happen for sure. Oh yes it will!

For the protection of your food, Miniplenty requires the installation of a new security certificate in your refrigerator. Your fridge has been locked for your safety. Thank you.

Thanks, Chrome

"Please stand by for message from our sponsors who help keep your food fresh."




If it means the fridge is free, I'd be happy to add some firewall rules upstream :)

If you're not paying for it, you are the product. Now, please get back into the fridge.

"Our partner advertisements could not be loaded. Please contact customer support before using your refridgerator."

Many PR departments can ward off an angry mob. But an angry, hungry mob...

> I'm not an old fart by far, but even I have never imagined rebooting a refrigerator.

I have a mini fridge in my shop that is usually unplugged and has some weird problem with the temperature sensor relay jamming closed the first time after it is plugged in after a period of being off. "Rebooting" it seems to work.

"They put computers into everything, refrigerators, telephones Toothbrushes, damn it, why can't they leave 'em alone I'm tellin' you now, I don't care how when or why The day my television crashes someone's going to die!" -- Reign of Error by Sudden Death

That's a good one, thanks. Reminds me of Leech Axxs :)

Now it just needs *coin mining malware. Cooling included.

"I bought the fridge so my wife could keep up with my calendar. I hope this gets fixed soon. That is a lot of wasted money if no one can use this anymore."

If only there were other ways of checking or sharing an electronic calendar! The future is now.

Yeah, you WOULD kind of be better off (both financially and feature-wise) just gluing an iPad Mini to the front of the fridge...

No need to even glue. They sell things like "FridgePad - Magnetic Refrigerator Mount for iPad" that is what it says. Magnets that hold an iPad (Mini or full) to a standard fridge. You can also get 3M mounted ones which allow you to slip in an iPad.

Typically it is cheaper to buy a regular fridge and add an iPad than a smart fridge.

Also it is cheaper to buy four(!) iPads and back-seat tablet holder for a minivan than an integrated DVD player. Easier to replace when it dies too. Those DVD players can easily run $1500+.

Most high-end fridges these days are stainless steel, which is non-magnetic. So you'd need to glue it on (or find some other way).

It turns out that the high-end stainless steel fridges actually have ferrous metal components that enable the use of magnets. It's only the mid-tier stainless steel ones that are non-magnetic. (Source: research for a product launched last year which includes a fridge-mountable magnetic remote)

With what I paid for my fridge I would hate to see what a high end fridge costs. . .

Mounting strips. $1 at the store.

Those don't fit an iPad, and if you try to make it fit, you'll invalidate the warranty. You'll have to buy the special ones that fit iPads, at the Apple store. 50 dollars. Per strip.

Sorry, we are not talking about the same product. I am talking about rolls of strong double-sided foam tape.

It's sarcasm/hyperbole.

And also a pop at Apple; equally unpopular!

No, you would be better off financially to not waste your money on the iPad.

iPad mini: $399

kindle fire: $49.99

I'm thinking that if you're in the market for a $3600 Internet-connected fridge, you can afford and would just rather have the iPad.

I don't know enough about the Fire to say whether it's a piece of garbage or not; all I know is that I have a bunch of iPad apps that I've paid for and Apple's ecosystem makes it easy to add another iPad and transfer my settings over.

I have a 2013 Nexus 7, and we just got the $50 Fire for the kids while it was on sale. The Nexus 7, even for the "2013", is still a perfectly credible Android tablet, with "full HD". The $50 Fire is 720P, so the display is noticeably worse, but, that probably actually helps with its performance. Otherwise, that $50 Fire is really only slightly slower than the Nexus 7. I even played some MinecraftPE on the Fire, and it was just fine. I didn't have an FPS meter but it was at least 20-30. (I wouldn't be surprised for battery reasons that the game is capped at 30 anyhow. Given the nature of the game and the input I can't tell if the FPS is going much higher on any of those two devices or my last-year's Moto X, the most powerful Android device I own; not enough action.)

It may not meet a techy's high-end needs, but the $50 is perfectly credible now. Not like a $50 tablet two years ago, which was slow, had an immediately-noticeably-crappy touchscreen, and was latent in everything it did. I suspect Amazon's still subsidizing it a bit even at that price, but probably not that much. Those SoCs are really pushing things along. (Pity they're so proprietary.)

Humans are pretty funny!

Going off the usual price for apps ($2.99?), and a 'bunch' is probably about 25 apps, then replacing all your paid iOS apps with paid Fire apps would probably cost you $75.

So ignoring anything else, a lot of people would actually value their $75 sunk app costs greater than the $350 difference between that iPad and the Fire. It's a pretty interesting lesson in humanity.

Except that it takes some time and effort to look up substitutes and install and configure them again.

And there is always this one little app whose substitute would be perfect if only it didn't miss this one little feature.

App store availability aside (many apps are available on iOS that are not available on Fire's outdated Android derivative), Android tablet apps are kind of crappy. Apple wouldn't be able to get away with their premium pricing if the experience on Android were better.

Every review of an Android tablet complains about how the software is buggy and the ecosystem isn't there yet. Still. Again, I was never convinced there was a larger market for tablets; just a market for iPads.

>>>then replacing all your paid iOS apps with paid Fire apps would probably cost you $75.

In my experience, it's very difficult to find the same apps in the Fire store.

You can just install android on the Kindle Fire and be happy, though.

I actually looked up the price of this fridge thinking that maybe it wouldn't be that much more than a mini... $3,600 for the current revision of that model, haha.


"What do you mean it can also keep my food cold? I don't need all these useless features, I only bought it for the calendar", he didn't add.

I have a feeling that internet of things is going to be a disaster...

I can guarantee it will be.

Too much is proprietary. We need open and free protocols. I don't want to live in a world where I have to buy all my appliances and devices from the same manufacturer.

The issue is that gear supporting open and free protocols is (a) more complicated and/or expensive to install & (b) not visibly better until sometime in the future.

I think the market has proved that it doesn't particularly think about anything past "Does it work right now?" And proprietary-in-a-box formats satisfy that just fine (usually at a cheaper price point).

We'll no doubt eventually get integration, as there's too much opportunity not to. But yes, the near future is probably going to be an ugly period for interoperability. Good time to start selling IoT bridges though...

selling IoT bridges

In the connectivity sense, or the "I have a bridge to sell you" sense? :)

I suppose I meant IoT gateways on further thought. It's been a while since low-level networking hardware was pushed into my head.

But generally my perception is that the evolution of the network before surplus CPU power made wonderboxes efficient (a "home router" that does everything!) is that network hardware evolved from simpler pieces into more capable but complicated (save on routers by using switches, save on switches by using hubs, save on hubs by using repeaters, etc etc).

So the original intent of my comment was that if we're faced with a network incompatibility issue (e.g. AppleTalk vs TCP/IP), then it'd be good to be in the business of making translation hardware.

>Good time to start selling IoT bridges though...

Heh. Yeah.

The first gen IoT stuff is going to be a walled garden, compuserve/aol mess. Some lessons seem to need to be learned the hard way every damn time.

I'm a bit under the weather and so my mind isn't really serving up any good examples of what I'm guessing would be the opposite, a standard prepared ahead of testing the market for suitability via the "hard way." Do you know of any? Most of what comes to mind are stillborn messes like XHTML.

Broadcast TV? No hardware lock-in, accessible from range of equipment, only update was from B&W to colour.

Also the digital transition, which was a significant effort:


Standards that power Internet per se (not WWW) would be a good example.

It's hard to tell how much of the internet protocol suite could be said to be prepared ahead of time. There was a decades-long practical experimentation process during which several iterations were developed and in use in research settings, and this was coincident in time with many other implementations of networking protocols that powered what was done in the "real world" in commercial settings.

Now I'll grant it's possible that the IP suite was developed as an isolated set of standards divorced from those outside networking practices, but the timeline makes me feel like it's at least possible that there was some lesson-learning incorporated.

Of course, I wasn't involved and I don't know offhand. I'll have to do a bit of reading later for self-edification.

Or these are the inevitable situations that will (hopefully) lead to the standards and software/product being raised so this sort of thing happens less frequently.

At some point IOT products will emerge with well designed features that solve important problems (i.e. electric water heaters that cycle on to absorb intermittent renewable electricity when it is available).

Depends on what the things are. For things which you want to, or have a need to, interface with remotely, I can see a positive. The home automation aspect, HVAC, lights, security, locks, those all have value. If the "thing" accesses the internet to allow you to interface to it, that's pretty good. The opposite, when the thing becomes a browser, that's clearly proving to not be needed or even wanted.

I think the biggest problem will be security and if you have "things" on the internet they'll start getting hacked hard.

Welcome to the internet of things that don't work.

My apartment's fridge looks to be at least a decade old - somehow, it's not clear to me that spotty integration with AltaVista Calendars, or whatever it is we used back in the dark days of 2005 would be any kind of value add.

My old colleague who used to break bootloaders and such stuff for a living, called it the 'Internet of broken crap'. Never have truer words been spoken.

I believe we need to measure ourselves on how close we are to the imaginings of the The Jetsons[1].

Do we need to create a universal standard to measure how close/far we are to/from The Jetsons?

[1]. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Jetsons

The fact that you have to explain a reference to The Jetsons with a Wikipedia link makes me feel old.

The Jetsons is that old show where they're yellow and live in Springfield, right? /insult-to-injury

I always thought Futurama was the next logical step after the Jetsons.

I thought this standard always existed.

Coincidentally I just saw this on twitter: https://www.techdirt.com/articles/20151214/07452133070/light...

"The lights are going out all over Europe; we shall not see them go on again in our lifetime. Or until we jailbreak the firmware."

I was impressed and a little amazed by how deadpan and serious the messages in the discussion are… nobody stops to reflect on the sheer insanity that we’re all giggling at over here.

I assume, anyway, eventually my attention wandered and I skipped to the end, where a charming young lad does indeed go unhinged over “samsucks” and heroin-addicted mothers.

I'm more amazed by how everyone on HN is so shocked by a computer on a fridge. We live in an age where powerful computers with touchscreens can be had for tens of dollars... what's so shocking about an underpowered computer on a fridge? What's so shocking about wanting it to function as advertised?

Mostly the expectation that it would function as advertised, I assume. I imagine that flies in the face of the experience of a lot of people on HN. ;)

It's also a little funny that the report ends up on the Google product forums, given that Google doesn't make refrigerators. Such is life in the Internet of Things world though; when the network breaks, everyone and no-one is to blame.

From 2000-2003 I worked for a product strategy consultant; we helped computer companies (what today we would call tech companies) decide what hardware products to build ~5 years out.

The Internet-connected refrigerator was predicted and/or introduced, in some form, at least once a year even back then. It became our punchline when talking about poorly conceived converged devices. Reality continues to bear out that opinion.

The problem was never the cost of the computer part--people will pay ridiculous amounts of money for "high end" appliances. The problem was always: how will the manufacturer meet consumer expectations, and then keep meeting them over the typical lifespan of a refrigerator?

People even today have a hard enough time managing the computer they know they have--how will they manage a computer buried in a fridge? Answer: they can't, as illustrated by that Google support thread.

And worse, appliance manufacturers are no better at managing computers than consumers, again as illustrated in that thread. Samsung did not plan to support their fridge computer, and now that they are being asked to do so, they can't find their ass with both hands. Every appliance company is this bad or worse with software and networking.

So, an underpowered embedded computer that doesn't function as advertised is not shocking at all. That doesn't mean it's not amusing how stupid/terrible it is.

If you're of just the right age you'll remember coming home from a night out to flip on the TV (remember those?) and watch infomercials about $50 pieces of junk that somehow combine a folding fishing pole with a fly swatter and a flashlight and the miracle is its possible, although the result is it does nothing well at all. Not one thing. Total across the board laugh out loud fail. AKA the IoT.

Nobody is shocked, quite the opposite. People that work in software have at some point felt that proprietary software almost always makes their life hard (but makes more money). Because of that there are low expectations for the internet of things, because you can bet all the things will be running proprietary software.

This is confirmation of that, and people love confirmation.

Having a connected calendar on the fridge is an awesome thing for families though.

Thanks for mentioning that. Although, nowadays, most kids that are old enough to worry about what's on the calendar, are also equipped with a phone or computer on which they could easily look up what's on the family agenda for the day.

I have a Samsung refrigerator that is supposed to be Internet-connectible. I wasted about 5 minutes on it before giving up. The shoddy quality of the software combined with the low marginal utility of having my refrigerator connected to the Internet just didn't make it worth more than 5 minutes of my time.

The marginal utility of having a refrigerator connected to the Internet is not something I ever thought someone would have to estimate.

Yeah, it was kind of like "Eh, I'm bored, I think I'll connect my fridge to the Internet. Oh, the software is shitty? Eh, don't think I'll bother."

If someone as geeky about this stuff as me thinks like this, there's no hope for connected appliances actually catching on anywhere.

I have a "smart" washer and dryer. I booted the companion app up, briefly considered what I was actually trying to do, and abandoned the whole thing. At least the things work just fine in an unconnected state.

Not to be all "get off my lawn", but some things don't need to be smart.

This is why I go out of my way to be appliances that have no "smart" capability whatsoever. They're useless and I'll probably never use it. I got my 55" TV for hundreds of dollars cheaper than the comparable "smart" varieties, simply because it only did the one thing it was any good at anyway: displaying video output.

The problem is, you'll likely get "smart" features thrown in "for free" (read priced into model) if you want a decent screen in the future.

In the future, yeah, that seems it will become unavoidable. Luckily for now I was totally able to avoid it, even though I did have to actively seek a new, dumb TV.

Yep, the best thing is when you can compose things.

Like stream Netflix with your laptop, or play games with your Xbox.

Rather than have the thing that does everything poorly.

Actually a "smart" washer and dryer would be nice -- I wouldn't mind getting notifications that my laundry is done (because it's on a different floor and I don't always hear the little song it plays). But really that's all I would want - basic alerting.

The problem starts with "companion app". If your IoT device has its own apps, it's most likely something you want to avoid like fire. IoT won't take off until people stop being greedy about it and try to lock everyone in, forcing them to use their (usually completely shitty) apps.

You can find out how long it takes and set a timer on your phone, since it probably takes the same amount of time every time.

All my different devices have shoddy software. From every smart phone I've bought to smart televisions and not so smart satellite decoders and bluray players. None of them have source code available to fix the problems, and the firmware is more often than not encrypted.

There has to be some solution to the problem of low quality and ill-maintained vendor software - but to them it's not a problem so much as a push for the user to do a device upgrade.

Because Samsung, like all hardware companies except Apple, suck at software.

I take it your iTunes account wasn't one of the breached ones.

Refurbished/used home appliances -- yet another way to leak credentials.

I look forward to a day when the internal components of home appliances are salvaged on the off-chance that a user's credentials could be found in them.

You can bet that off-brand devices will ask for a username/password and store it locally in plaintext.

While the big name brands store all your credentials as an easy to read JSON encoded string at


This is already happening with used/refurbished copiers (not a home appliance usually, but still.)

With many copiers, all scans are kept in memory. So copies of things with SSN's or other confidential information are just sitting there in the copier's memory, waiting to be retrieved by the next owner.

And sadly, you often don't even need to buy the copier to do this.

These things are sitting out in public with little attention and it's frequently trivial to pull this stuff down via network...

I once got lots of nice warez on a second-hand HDD :)

We really are living the dream of first world problems.

That said, integration with calendaring software in particular is way harder than it should be.

This is why I hate proprietary systems like this, too many options for failure, you're at the whim of the manufacturer.

I am surprised Samsung don't point them at their own service. Said service can then redirect to google and act as an anti-corruption layer. No doubt they could also find out how many devices are online and wether people are updating.

What's sort of funny is that the only people who could raise a real stink in the right place, the technologically literate, would probably never buy such a fridge. Meanwhile, purchasing this looks like a good idea to the technologically illiterate, and when it doesn't work they complain to Google instead of Samsung. Winning strategy for Samsung!

This highlights my biggest concern about the Internet of Things: security. If you can't update it, you can't patch it in the event of security holes. Most of these companies can't even be bothered to patch their routers. How am I possibly going to trust a company to patch their refrigerator?

"bickerdyke Top Contributor250 Best Answers

Sounds like your fridge needs a software update to use the new API version."

> Samsung

> software update

Seems someone needs a new fridge.

This is actually a very good example to have around every time we go into the IoT discussions. We need new interaction models and new platforms that solve the issue with updating several things in the house. I have 6 or 7 devices that I now update frequently (computer, tablet, phone, set top box, watch,..) and it's starting to be a really annoying and time consuming process. Soon I'll have to add my car and who knows what else.

"Very anxious to get this fixed as this is how my young daughter knows her daily schedule."

This comment terrifies me. It sounds like that I kind of future I've read about in dystopian literature.

There could be a very good reason for this: children on the autistic spectrum often rely on (A) their next few steps being clearly and explicitly defined, and (B) things not changing. (However, this is a good reason to use a low technology solution that won't break, eg, paper.)

Thank you for this comment.

When the machines take over, they'll go for our fridges first, so we won't know what to do.

I'm shocked -shocked, I tell you- to hear that Samsung is absolute trash. Yet people fall for their bullshit over and over again, despite them openly not giving a fuck about customers, laws, competition, or common sense and basic decency. Yet try to argue with the average user who will keep praising their new Crapsung phone, while in the same sentence telling you how it was being repaired for 3 weeks because of a random hardware failure* . It's hard to contain my frustration towards people who buy Samsung (and thus "encouraging" them) when they should know better. I draw some consolation from their eventual inevitable fall into irrelevance (despite their ties to the corrupt SK government) - the shared fate of most inane, incompetent, and evil behemoths.

TL;DR fuck Samsung; stop keeping those assholes in business

* admittedly a bad example, but whatever you choose it will fail to convey their true awfulness anyway

And this is, why there sits a Linux PC next to my "smart tv" in my living room. The thing about "smart tvs" and I imagine freezers is, that the friendly easy to use interface creates problems that were solved in the early 80ies for computers, and it interfaces with a ridiculously underpowered processor.

This is it too. We use Netflix on the SmartTv, but everything else runs through Kodi on a little HTPC I built. It's updated automatically, has plugins to access internet content, and works nicely with my HDHomeRun for Comcrap cable. I want my TV to just be a dumb monitor, I want my car's stereo system to just be an amp with speakers, and I want my fridge to keep food cold. I'll supply the hardware and software for internet/content/whatever so I can update and control it myself.

IoT problems... I fear that some hacker groups from communist states DDoS smart thermostats. We’ll call it Cold War 2.0

I bought a Samsung fridge last year. The documentation referenced internet features that my fridge did not have.

As I posted on Facebook at the time: "I'm not sure if I'm more appalled that there are fridges with WiFi, or upset that mine doesn't have it."

Welcome to the Internet of Things

20 November 2014 - problem reported on fridges costing in excess of $2,000


23 Feb 2015 - problem on some models resolved


4 June 2014 - original poster from 20 Nov has working fridge


Dec 2015 - still not fixed for all fridges

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