‘How “Smart” Are Your Light Bulbs?’ (2015)

Smarter than you, dude–if you were dumb enough to buy them in the first place.


Yeah, what a swell idea–give somebody, you don’t know who, you don’t know where, control of the lights inside your house. What could possibly go wrong?

As a general rule of thumb: “Smart” means something that will spy on you. Smart meters, smartphones, smart TV–really, you don’t need these in your life. Why anyone would ever want to collect all that mundane information about ordinary people’s lives–well, let’s just say it can’t possibly be for any good reason.

P.S. — I am sorry the Comments are disabled. At the moment, the $#$@%$ computer will not allow me to enable them. It must be a “smart” computer.

21 comments on “‘How “Smart” Are Your Light Bulbs?’ (2015)

  1. I’m already feeling the oppression of big business government. Every day there’s a new intrusion and I just want to be left alone. I dream of not paying taxes and not voting.

    1. Well, we’ve gotta vote–it’s the only worldly weapon we have against Democrats taking over and giving us even more tyranny.

  2. Pretty soon the “smart” people in charge will be able to micromanage our lives through our smart devices and decide everything from how bright the lights should be to the temperature in our homes.

  3. Connected == eavesdropping. (“==“ means “absolutely equals”, for you non programmers out there.)

    It may not be capturing voices, the Alexa has that gig, but any information, power use, lighting use, etc, is a form of espionage. Yes, I am a cyber-security professional and yes, paranoia is part of the deal. 🙂

    1. Cyber Security it a broad, broad field. A lot of encryption is used, and has to be used, but other than being familiar with the tools and protocols, I have no intimate insights into the processes of encryption itself. I use encryption every day, and likely you do too; especially if you do any financial transactions online, but I have no particular insights into how to decrypt something.

      Some cryptographic methods are easier to break than others. DES is no longer considered unbreakable and should not be used, while AES is still very secure. But even DES would be essentially impossible for a human to break and would require the services of a computer.

      Perhaps the greatest insight I gain from my current profession is that the bad guys have some powerful tools at their disposal. Part of my training includes being shown the “hacker tools” and some of these are frightening. A short password, 8 characters, no numbers, capital letters or symbols will be cracked before your finger is off the “Enter” key, and that’s using easily obtained tools, available to anyone.

      One other thing I’ll mention, as long as I’m on my soapbox, is the myth of the “computer hacker”. In the early days of computing, a hacker was someone capable of making a computer jump through hoops. Some of these folks were young and some of these played pranks on one another, but the notion of the high school kid hacking from his bedroom is misleading.

      My preferred term is Cyber Criminal. Many of the people involved in breaking into computer systems are career criminals, some may be operatives of unfriendly governments, criminals and occasionally spies. This isn’t some movie gag about a kid breaking into the school’s computer and changing his grade, these are adults trying to empty your bank account or steal your credit card number.

    2. Thank you Unknowable!
      It sounds like an exciting career!
      It’s crazy, the tools that the criminals have at their disposal. From now on I will use the term “Cyber Criminal” instead of “computer hacker”, it sounds more mysterious…

    3. Here’s how I see the difference; a person that knows how to pick a lock is a lock hacker, but if that person uses their lock picking skills to break into a building, they become a criminal. Hacker, originally was a compliment regarding one’s skills and there were, indeed, lock hackers and computer hackers. When people started breaking into computers without authorization, they became cyber criminals. BTW, as far as the law is concerned, breaking into someone’s computer is the same as breaking into their home or place of business.

      I would never even begin to try to break into a computer, because it would be a criminal act. There is “penetration testing”, where a company pays someone to try and break in, but that requires a legal document permitting the test and setting boundaries (such as prohibiting the tester from actually viewing private data).

      In my job, it is essential to have a clean criminal record and absolutely no problems with following security procedures at any prior job. I have to report it to my employer if I get a traffic ticket. I can lose my job for mismanaging my personal finances or defaulting on debt. People think cyber security is somehow related to a character played by Matthew Broderick in a movie, but it’s a lot more serious than that. Computers are quite dangerous if not operated securely and working in that aspect of the business is very demanding; and I do a simple job.

      The people at the top of the field tend to be math geniuses that don’t get out in the sunshine very often. A few years ago, I attended a lecture by one of these people and he said that they have trouble finding people to work in the field, because very few people are willing to take the advanced math courses required.

    4. Wow! It sounds like it is a high security occupation. I now know that their is a very distinct difference between a computer hacker and a Cyber Criminal.

      I have actually never watched a movie with Matthew Broderick in it, in fact, I don’t even know who he is! But, by the way you say that, I guess it’s some adventure movie, where this Matthew guy does something along the lines of stopping a network of Cyber Criminals. But the movie makes it look like it isn’t a serious job but rather a action-packed and exciting occupation. Am I anywhere close?

      I’m not surprised that hardly any people would be smart enough to hold that type of position, especially with the way that people get credit for doing basically nothing these days.

    5. Matthew Broderick was an actor that played a teenager in several ‘80s movies; War Games and Ferris Bueller’s Day Off are two examples. In both he did some prank-level computer break ins, but in War Games he nearly triggered a nuclear war when he stumbled into a defense computer.

    6. Nope, these were just secular, mainstream movies and both portrayed normal teens as using computers in creative ways. In War Games, he dials an entire area code looking for computers that answer their modems. Then he inadvertently dials into a defense system computer and causes huge problems.

      The reason I brought him up is that movies such as these left a misleading impression regarding the sorts of things cyber criminals actually do. Broderick’s character was a sympathetic character that the audience liked and it made people think that “computer hackers” were what the industry refers to as “script kiddies”; youngsters that break into computers as a hobby. It’s a dangerous misapprehension on the part of the public.

    7. I hate the way the big movie companies make the bad guys look good, when they aren’t. It twists people’s minds into thinking that crime isn’t all that bad, and thus the culture of crime. I dread to see what America will look like in 20 years.

    8. Cyber security in one easy lesson. 🙂

      It’s an immense field. My specific work is in one narrow slice of the pie, but I have to know all about the pie in order to have even a prayer of understanding what it takes to secure my little slice.

      In some areas, the security measures are exceptionally strict, but absolutely necessary. What I find most concerning is the fact that many people have no way of knowing what is needed with regard to simple, everyday things, such as accessing accounts at online merchants, etc. The measures in place are very effective and wonderfully thought out, but very few people, industry, have even a clue of how all of it works.

      If you’ve ever bought anything from Amazon, used PayPal or other ecommerce sites, you’ve already used encryption far beyond anything imaginable in the WW II era. The currently availablel standard of AES 256 is capable of generating one key combination for every 1,000 atoms in the Unverse. That doesn’t make it absolutely impossible to break, but the chances are quite good that breaking such encryption would take a very long time, quite possibly longer than a human lifespan. So, if they crack my eBay password 300 years from now, it probably won’t do them any good. 🙂

    9. The sad thing is that the global village of the Internet has brought these threats to the front door of every home connected to the ‘net.

    10. Yes, with God’s help, we need to stop the enemies’ advances. Just exactly how to stop them, I don’t have a plan worked up at this point; but we should always use our very valuable weapon… Prayer…

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