This is a ridiculous conclusion. Even if we make the generous assumption that people want internet connected toasters, we're likely not getting rid of WiFi. And even if we did ban hypothetical 5G toasters, manufacturers in China wouldn't shut down their factories, they would simply make different toasters.
It is hard to take this article seriously as legitimate analysis after reading things like this.
I don't see this happening unless a large company boostraps the funding for a distro like this, similar to how Microsoft boostrapped an open source election machine standard. "Over the air updates" requires the ability to pay for the bandwidth.
I do think there's an interesting synergy with your IoT gateway idea and Bit Torrent distribution of the Over the air updates.
So that they could listen to YOU through the said toaster, because whatever shit you said near the toaster is obviously very important to the Chinese.
Is there a more moronic idea? If someone were to listen to you, wouldn't it be easier to say... do it through the phone?
Amazon and google think it important enough. The line between comercial utility and national security is blurry at best. Whould the chinese be interested in how many people were chatting about a paticular presidential candidate during breakfast? Whould that candidiate be interested?
And yes, some normaly everyday people do say things that are more direct\ly interesting to China. Anyone here in the military? Anyone here with family in the military? Anyone here work for a company that does work for the military? Big-net intelligence collection is a real thing.
The reason we only think about state security in the context of "geopolitics and military operations" is because that's all we hear about and that's probably all that nation-states used to be able to resource.
But with cloud + machine learning + sufficient sensors, the old assumptions about resource scarcity for security intelligence collection is flipped. It used to take a few "James Bond" agents, a few "Q" engineers, and a large support staff to work one case at a time. That scarcity calculus is completely different now. Instead of "1 civilian to every 300 police officers", new data collection feels more like "300 police officers to every 1 civilian".
The only thing that stops any sufficiently large organization from collecting dossiers on every person on Earth is "complexity versus competence".
The kitchen is a natural gathering place, and spot for conversations.
And if I thought someone was spying on me, I would check the inside of my toaster last.
I assume that organizations that spy for a living learn from their previous mistakes and the natural selection effect means that the obvious places to plant bugs are skipped.
Sure. But maybe they'd care a lot about some tiny percentage of toaster talkers. And they likely know how to find it.
Adding a microphone to a toaster would also be easy to recognize if the device were torn down. Maybe people won't do that to every toaster, but if this were widespread, a few toasters from different brands would eventually be torn down, and finding a microphone repeatedly would raise alarm.... I doubt this would work for very long before Chinese goods faced restrictions.
I could see use for this. A microphone is essentially a vibration sensor, a useful generic item in many connected home appliances. For toasters specifically, a microphone listening for a smoke alarm (code in most kitchens) would be very interesting. A toaster could hear when it was burning the toast turn itself off.
Using a microphone to listen to other devices is more of a hack that hobbyists would do to monitor some dumb devices in their custom home automation network. I'd be surprised to ever see it in an IoT device; I think it's too unreliable.
(Not to mention, a toaster listening to a fire alarm is a bit absurdish as systems architecture. But then again, I've given up on expecting the market to deliver intelligent solutions to actual problems.)
It's not just a matter of surveillance, but also a matter of further enabling shitty, user-hostile business models, where the physical hardware is only a proxy for a service.
As a real aside, networking everything does definitely have upsides and downsides.
Upsides: seamless monitoring, remote control via api, integration across a house/car/phone, remote presence (never worry that door was open, or coffee pot is on, or garage door up).
Downsides: DRM at every level, unupdated devices, non-service things are now shorehorned into a service model, you no longer own your possessions, hacking, pay for a plan per device?
There's also spectrum discussions with 10-100x devices chattering. That's going to raise noise floors even higher.
Relevant edit of where I see IoT going towards:
“The door refused to open. It said, “Five cents, please.”
He searched his pockets. No more coins; nothing. “I’ll pay you tomorrow,” he told the door. Again he tried the knob. Again it remained locked tight. “What I pay you,” he informed it, “is in the nature of a gratuity; I don’t have to pay you.”
“I think otherwise,” the door said. “Look in the purchase contract you signed when you bought this conapt.”
In his desk drawer he found the contract; since signing it he had found it necessary to refer to the document many times. Sure enough; payment to his door for opening and shutting constituted a mandatory fee. Not a tip.
“You discover I’m right,” the door said. It sounded smug.
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.”
--- Phllip K Dick, "Ubik".
There is very little you can do with a toaster, microwave, or coffee machine while you are not physically present. You can't send toast, coffee, or leftovers over a network. The 'internet of things' isn't useful in and of itself. There has to first be a practical use-case that justifies it.
I haven't had to worry about the coffee pot being on for decades. My $20 coffee pot has a positive temperature coefficient heating element, thermal fuse, and automatic shutoff.
The use case is additional revenue streams for appliance makers from selling surveillance derived data. Every smart tv is a revenue stream for the manufacturer. That's why you can't buy dumb tvs anymore.
Soon your coffee maker, your toothbrush, your car, your refrigerator, and everything else that plugs in or has a battery will be "smart" in the same way.
Here's the Vizio exec explaining why they would have to charge a premium for "dumb" tvs:
1. The consumer wants to hook their TV up to the internet to get content
2. TVs ads have a well established market of buyers who will pay for that data
3. TVs are expensive and consumers often buy primarily on price
By comparison, there is no market for the data from my coffee pot, and little to no incentive for a consumer to choose a model that collects data over one that doesn't.
As the cost of 5G iot chips fall it won't matter what the consumer wants.
> 2. TVs ads have a well established market of buyers who will pay for that data
The data collected from Smart TVs is much more than ads. They track and report everything you watch, including dvds and blurays, with media fingerprinting techniques.
> By comparison, there is no market for the data from my coffee pot
Oh but there will be. Soon some data scientist at your health insurer will notice that people who drink more than 3.5 cups of Folgers a day are 5% more likely to suffer heatstroke or whatever. Then they can adjust premiums and deny claims more effectively. Not allowed to use this information due to regulations? Apply parallel construction and use it to focus limited investigation resources.
I really hope you're right and this doesn't happen.
If the consumer doesn't want that connectivity as a feature, you'll need to find a buyer for the data who is willing to subsidize >= 100% of the price of the additional hardware and service to have a viable product. Alternative data from other sources is probably still going to be a lot cheaper for most things... because a lot of competing data sources have way less overhead, approaching zero in some cases.
> The data collected from Smart TVs is much more than ads. They track and report everything you watch, including dvds and blurays, with media fingerprinting techniques.
I was referring to the purchasers of the data, not the subject of the data.
> Soon some data scientist at your health insurer will notice that people who drink more than 3.5 cups of Folgers a day are 5% more likely to suffer heatstroke or whatever. Then they can adjust premiums and deny claims more effectively.
If they wanted to do this, they could have done it any time over the past 20+ years ago by purchasing transaction data. But insurers have already found better ways to collect even better quality data: Just ask for it directly and offer a discount.
But regardless, if the coffee made itself at 8am sharp, I would feel pressure to get out of bed immediately, ruining the chillness of the morning. I want to be able to lounge around, scroll the feeds, and then tap the button to make the coffee when Im feeling somewhat ready to make the step out of bed, but need a bit of extra motivation.
specifically toaster porn needs to be networked.
ugh, the future is awful.
While this sounds absolutely lovely on paper, here's the thing: I do not trust the free market to deliver on that. What will happen is just a bunch of silos where things sorta work together as long as you stick to a single vendor, but half of the things are garbage, as there's no point in making them good when the users are already captive due to buying into the one expensive thing that's best-in-class.
What a genius visionary...
PKD gets IoT,EULAs, and contact law in one shot.
It's similar to when that engineer was investigating his purchased Tesla, and Tesla called and threatened him to not 'tamper with their car'.
At least I hope that's scaremongering. Given that everyone is doing their best to return to normal, I feel like running out of unemployment may not be as big of an issue as stated.
The quick action by Congress in boosting unemployment payments has been the only thing keeping the economy from going belly up. If that stops, we’re in for a lot of hurt.
My pessimism says we're also going to be dancing from one stimulus to another without addressing the long term
I would agree, but in an election year maybe they won't play it that way. The party in power has more incentive to keep voters mollified than they do in preserving their ideological purity.
> we're also going to be dancing from one stimulus to another without addressing the long term
100% agree. This is the classical American response, we have mastered the art of kicking the can down the road.
Social safety nets in the US are mostly handled at the state level, and that doesn't look like it's showing any signs of changing.
I don't mean to argue over any details, just pointing out that our federal government has had an axe taken to it for the last few years and it might not be able to do very obvious things right now.
Will Florida really wait for the federal government when Jacksonville is full of rioters, or will they setup food banks far in advance of that situation?
I predict the later. Especially since States can do debt financing for their operations.
The fall of the soviet union saw unemployment at 40% and widespread food rationing/limitations. I don't believe there is historic precedent for unemployment growing beyond 20-25% without widespread economic and societal restructuring, the great depression in the US saw the change from a government spending .3% of the economy to >30%.
In the case of the US: the economy was hollowed out by the 08 recession and Republicans prevented economic stimulus packages that would help in speedy recovery from passing. All the gains of the past 10 years were wiped out in a few months. At some point you have to ask how much pain people are willing to accept before casting aside a system which does not work.
There is no perfect system to avoid catastrophe. Not yours, not mine. Humanity progresses. It will continue to do so.
Sometimes the best way to fix something is to riot in the streets. I hope it doesn't come to that, but often it does.
Every couple hundred years or so a fraction of humanity dies due to disaster and/or strife, and we collectively continue to thrive and improve. This has been the pattern for all of recorded history. Why do you think it will be any different now?
It's a nice sentiment to have when you aren't the one counting your formula stock and worrying how you'll take care of your 1 y.o. if shit hits the fan and there's no longer food to be found in the foreseeable future.
Taking things from perspective isn't as fun if there's a real possibility you'll end in the middle of it. Catastrophes and collapses are part of humanity's growth, but that's not going to be a consolation if your society starts disintegrating about you. Some people will survive such an event. Neither you nor me will likely be among those.
You can stockpile against the next disaster to the best of your ability, if you want. Collectively we can prepare for disasters, to the extant we agree on how to do so. And the world keeps going on, some are lucky, some are not, kind of like every other creature in nature. We are no different.
The "anti-rich" topic has been going on for so long without a real conclusion, I definitely would not discredit the possibility of riots in certain US cities.
> Can we riot on the internet?
And I think that hits the core issue. There's a lot of "eat the rich" on reddit and imgur and undoubtedly other platforms, but that's like #kony2012: clicktivism and online LARPing as revolutionaries.
Riots are always a possibility, a sports event can be the cause, and so may be severe economic issues, but I doubt that they will be widespread and large. If they happen, I expect swift and violent suppression, and since they won't be bi-partisan, that suppression will find a lot of support in the population.
Occupy Wall Street.
Now, what happens when that expands to 1/10 of citizens due to lack of food, people getting evicted, no work, and more? Covid-19 is only accelerating the road we're currently on, in a very quick fashion.
And there's a reason why police departments were buying military surplus. They view us citizens as the enemy. There's nary a reason why you need APCs with 50cal's mounted for the local police force, or armed with a variety of grenades, or microwave cannons, or acoustic weapons.
Whatever it is that's forming and coming to a head, it doesn't look peaceful. At. All.
> Given that everyone is doing their best to return to normal, I feel like running out of unemployment may not be as big of an issue as stated.
The bigger test may be once the PPP funds are exhausted in about a month.
I think there's enough slack in the system we won't see food shortage. The lines at food banks are a different problem entirely. That's because people don't have jobs, and are afraid to spend what they do have in savings and unemployment.
And....no, people aren't lining up at food banks because they are "afraid to spend what they have". They mostly don't have anything to spend. Free food means they can afford the electricity bill, not that they can leave savings untouched.
> improving your skills for unexpected job loss is a good idea
This is the one I struggle with when I see it - if your industry collapses what skills are the ones you should have been working on? Software is our own special beast, but I don't know what skills in a lesser paid profession should work on that will keep them employable. I suppose they could dabble in something like code, but that's not relevant to their current profession and if the economy goes all topsy turvy it'll be hard to get a job with little skill and no experience in your plan b.
These economic and global dislocations resulting in events we have not seen Post-WW2.
In spite of all these, US/North America is where you would rather be than say, Europe, Africa or even Asia.
I'm interpreting your response as an assertion around the USA doing better in the case of major climate shift. I don't perceive the US to be making significant effort towards more sustainable agriculture (compared to say the Netherlands) or keeping pace in proportion of energy generated from renewables or implementing meaningful social policy to address the disproportionate impact a climate crisis has on the poor.
The US has a lot to recommend it, but I find your argument to be a bit lacking in convincing me it'll have and easier time in the coming decades.
5G in toasters? Come on. Is 5G really such a ground breaking technology that will change everything?
Automating car manufacturing? Tesla tried and it failed them - https://www.theverge.com/2018/4/13/17234296/tesla-model-3-ro...
No way Hyundai can do it tomorrow.
Replacing janitors with Roombas?? What the hell is he talking about.
Lots of promises about AI, but so far, it has underdelivered.
If it enables cheap enough connectivity - i.e. being able to place a 5G chip with a prepaid SIM card in a low-cost device - then absolutely, companies will jump at the opportunity to do everything from inventing bullshit "smart" "value-add" features, to selling surveillance to marketers.
Going back to the article and economics, if you follow David Graber (Debt The First 5,000 Years and Bullshit Jobs), he talks in his books about how every great civilization needs to have debt resets. Going back to the Babylonians, the Sumerians, and tons of others, there were always leaders or kings or emperors who would rise to power on the promise of debt relief. Israel had the year of Jubilee, where ever 50 years debts would be forgiven and slaves set free.
Continue inflationary debt is never sustainable. At some point, the world bank will lose its influence, smaller autocratic States will pull out of the "debt" they "owe" to their "liberators" and larger States will no longer be able to extract resources without force, that they're going to have a harder time paying for.
Debt reset needs to happen. Ever American student loan, loans with ballooning interest, medical debt, debt that's normally written off, debt that's never written off ... at some point we need less tracking and a bigger reset for each human being to start fresh.
Even as someone who's still paying off student loans, it's hard to want blanket forgiveness unless there is a system put in place to help minimize the number of people taking out loans for degrees that have a low chance of being able to make enough to make the cost worth it.
IOW, if a degreeholder in Underwater basket weaving on average makes only 5k/year more than someone who doesn't, we probably should limit the number of loans given to people pursuing those degrees.
Yes, this means many universities will have to trim down or eliminate programs. Perhaps it doesn't make sense for more than one or two colleges in a state (especially in smaller states) to have underwater basket weaving degrees.
There's also the psychological aspect to keep in mind; I recall my time in college and the first few years of what I was doing with my career, versus many of the people I know who are now complaining about student loans.
I graduated close enough to the 2008 crash that I couldn't get a job in my field after college. Building my career was years of long hours, cost me my marriage, and left me without a social life. Most of my associates who now complain about their student loans constantly were waiting for the next job to 'drop in their lap' (I even helped one get a job. They eventually got fired because they were incapable of even showing up to work less than an hour late for 6 months straight. No, they didn't think to save any of the extra money they made.)
That really there is the biggest rift: What's the solution that doesn't make people who sacrificed other parts of themselves to pay their bills feel like they got ripped off for doing the right thing?
On the one hand I worry about the moral hazard, the devaluing of the currency, and the debt being passed to future generations. On the other hand I recognize that it is almost criminal how we pressured 18 year olds into this situation.
What will not change -- US will still have the most powerful navy in a economically declining world. What would that mean?
If there is one country that can go from free trade to mercantile on a dime.. its Murica!
In a world full of zero sum games -- Hard Power matters.
I think stupid is the wrong word to use here. "Flawed" would have worked just as well without having potential for misunderstandings. Attempts of predicting the future is _essential_ for our society to work. The reason we move forward at the pace we currently do is because we use assumptions and approximations of reality to plan ahead.
How would this work? Wouldn't people just not enter into contracts near that 50 year mark? Is it randomized?
That probably also means that for larger purchases, more cash up-front is required the closer it is to the Jubilee year.
Edit: Wikipedia link https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Prozbul
Author claims that the stock market is up because people are sitting at home day-trading driving up prices. Then a few paragraphs later claims that cash is king and people are unlikely to spend.
Author claims that 2009 Fed spending made sense because it was an aggregate demand issue. That was not very clear then as it was unclear that many of the mortgage-backed securities actually had a positive value. Coronavirus in comparison is much more clearly a demand issue (people are effectively being ordered not to go out and spend).
The author has zero credibility. Never listen to this dangerous moron ever again. He doesn't deserve a conversation thread.
In recent history, he was a bit late to the coronavirus party, not really being on-board until late February. Preppers were all over it in January.
However, in 2008 there was a giant amount of poor mortgage debt, it was a real thing. We've had near 0% interest rates in much of the western world, more in europe, wasteful debt increases and tax cuts in the us that didn't go to long term useful infrastructure. And our economy hasn't been growing that much. China has a giant debt bomb, how will that work out?
So when you read about "the Chinese" (who in China?) listening to you through your toaster, there's really no reason to care or pay attention to that absurdly nationalist sentence, just as there's no reason for anyone in China specifically to listen, unless you're the owner of a significant portion of a technology company and are hiding that company's tech knowledge from the rest of the world in order to profit from it. And that's against all of the rest of our interests.
Trade makes people better off in general, but it doesn't make every person better off.
Always look up and down the continuum.