The Internet of Things—totally awesome or a security nightmare?

Lol. The thing is, they have a five year event horizon (or whatever time period elections have to be held by).
No one is thinking of the long term plan, or at least so it seems.


Nice topic Pullo. I have thought about it for a while and determined that it has no purpose of serving people whatsoever, rather its only aim is to dumb people down IMHO. Just think about your life right now, all of your skills, talent and competence are results of your manual work and determination. In other words, you decide to learn or improve upon something (coding, better memory, language, fit body etc…) and you go figure out the steps to make that happen. I think leading that process is one of the most valuable things you can ever do as a human being. While doing so, all the skills you gain can never be taken away from you. I don’t want get into this “deep conspiracy theory” thing but any sane & intelligent person would know that these new technologies are to serve something bigger than what people can comprehend. There is Google translate so you don’t have to learn the language, there are drag and drop website builders so you don’t have to learn how to code, there are fat burning pills and butt shaping underwear so you don’t have to work out. All the benefits are tied to OR created by the external sources and at the end, if you can’t access these items you are pretty much left useless. Increasing dependency on technology has really got me worrying. Maybe I am 30 years old and I was born into a more “manual” world where artisans were respected and human touch and intuition were considered highly valuable. To me, I can’t picture myself asking my refrigerator if I run out of milk, or checking may iWatch to determine if I should keep working out or stop my sprints because it says so (btw, there is no “i” anything that can beat good old Rolex or IWC) as @s_molinari pointed out, this process cannot be stopped but, we can surely be aware of the consequences and act accordingly.

I actually think a bit differently and I am 50 years old and was brought up in an even more “manual” world. I don’t think technology makes us dumber, it makes us more efficient. It enhances our lives. It also make us more dependent (and that could be considered dumb).

A simple example is the rise of GPS and navigation systems. Almost any new car has such a system as an option (or even standard) and its use means, we can find places much easier and faster. Does it mean we can’t read a map? I don’t think so. Reading a map is part of the navigational system. It shows us one the whole time we are driving. It’s just the “effort” to find and navigate yourself with the real map is “saved” and thus, we are more efficient. The negative thing about a navigation system is, if we don’t make the “conscious effort”, we won’t learn how to find that same place again. Does that make us dumb? Not if we never see that place again or if we don’t have the navigation system again.

The same goes for calculators, computers in general, and even now, IoT devices. They are there to enhance our lives, by making us more efficient. I say that is a good thing. But, we can become dependent on these things too. That is a possible danger, but, in some cases and devices, can also be life saving too.

It is all a matter of perspective. Is the glass half full or half empty?


I may have not explained my thoughts thoroughly. I agree with you that technology makes us efficient, I use it myself all the time. GPS is a good example, this forum is also another great example as every time I get stuck on a problem I ask for help ( @James_Hibbard knows best :smile: ) However, I still see the technology as a threat for not necessarily people like us (who can draw that fine line between life enhancement or life dependency) but for rather new generations who will be so accustomed to doing everything automatically. The number of people who will take technology as granted and refrain from learning the actual skills will always outnumber the ones who are aware of its side effects. That is just a human nature.

I see the glass half full and also willing to fill up the empty half with my hard earned skills :smile: I wish the same to everyone…


Seems my thought wasn’t an isolated one…

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I heard a horrifying discussion on the BBC the other day, where several top educationalists were talking of the need to reform education. They argued that smart devices are so ubiquitous that it made no sense to teach things like addition, subtraction, multiplication etc., as young people always have access to a smart device to do math for them. :open_mouth: And they argued that students should be able to bring the internet into their exams, because that’s what they do in real life anyway. :open_mouth:

I can’t begin to fathom how anyone could believe something so foolish. The point of education is to teach people how to think, how to use their minds in all sorts of ways. Even developing memory is an important skill. I hate to think of the useless blobs people will become if they rely on unreliable machines to do everything for them, including thinking.

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I may be biased but I’d totally recommend a fitness tracker! My Jawbone is great for keeping a good level of stats on how active i’ve been and how many hours I’ve been sleeping. They do have a few newer models coming out at some point, so I might even suggest waiting until the newer ones are released.

It’s great if you’re a fan of having lots of data on yourself!

Glad you liked my article! :smiley:

I can understand that … to a point.
I studied languages at uni and there was some amount of discussion as to whether we should be allowed to take dictionaries (no iPads in those days) into our final translation exams. The idea of sitting down to do a translation in real life without a dictionary seemed absurd, which was the case I argued. I guess the same applies to the internet.

Continuing our discussion from earlier in this thread, i also saw this today:

Now it looks like we’ll need internet connectivity to use a Windows PC in the future, which is great if you have internet connectivity.

Would you mind saying a couple of sentences about how these work?
I have zero knowledge and not very much time to research them. However, I quite like the idea of gamifying my fitness levels. If I wanted to get started tracking my activity and sleep, what would I need?

When I was in High School, calculators (and this was before “pocket” calculators) were not allowed in math class and would be confiscated for the term.

All homework problems had to be done in “long form” showing the steps involved to get the answer.

The emphasis was not in getting the desired result, but in understanding the process needed to get the desired result.

Quite a 180 where now they teach computer use in grade schools!

I have that. I call her my Wife :wink:



Yeah, that’s why I’m on the fence. I can appreciate this argument, too.
Also, one may not forget that just because you can find something online, doesn’t make it a trustworthy source.


But, is there really a problem in enhancing and simplifying the process to get to the result more efficiently or to even get a better result more often?

We had to do math “the old way” and learn it too, because there was no other way back then. It is just like the Engineer who used the “slide rule”. If you find an engineer today using one, you’d be very lucky (or maybe not). Technology has made this tool obsolete, because it does get us to the results we need much more efficiently.

If I want to do math as an Engineer, do I need to learn how to use a slide rule anymore? Nope.

The ability to memorize things is also simply a matter of practice. If you do something enough and are interested in it, you’ll memorize it automatically. It is in our nature to do this. No training necessary. The issue with schools and memorization is, you have to memorize things you really weren’t interested in (or weren’t motivated properly to be interested in it). It wasn’t memorizing that was being taught, but rather the discipline to go through the practice of memorizing things you really didn’t want to.

And what is better, to take the time to memorize everything you think you might need in work or in life or to know how to find it quickly? I say, you will memorize what you need automatically and the rest you should learn how to find. This is why Google has been a huge success. They help us find those things quickly.


My few sentences on how these work (sorry for the delay, been a crazy two weeks!):

Basically, the Jawbone UP24 is the one I have now. You connect it up to your phone via Bluetooth, create an account, wear it on your wrist and it tracks your steps, syncing it to your account every so often. That’s the step tracking and it’s really easy to get started. If it notices you’ve done a crazier amount of steps in a short period, chances are you were running or doing some form of exercise, so it asks you if you were and lets you give it more info. If you know you’re about to do sport, gym… etc, you can also manually put it in to keep a record of it.

Sleeping habits are my favourite bit for tracking, when you go to bed, you hold a button on the wristband and set it to sleep mode. It estimates your sleeping patterns as you sleep. Once you wake up, you press the button again and tell it you’re awake. If you forget to press that button, you can put in the time you went to bed and the time you woke up manually and it then displays your sleep pattern info for that time period. Overall, it’s a really simple process and shows some helpful info!

I think there’s a newer Jawbone coming out which has a heart rate monitor, making its sleep pattern info even more accurate. I’d consider waiting till that if you’re especially keen on that sort of thing. I’m considering replacing mine once the new one comes out!

There’s also the Fitbit and a few others that do similar things. I personally preferred the Jawbone as its sleep pattern data is a bit more comprehensive and Jawbone does a lot more analysis and suggestions (e.g. if it sees you’ve been sleeping irregularly, it will suggest you get a more regular pattern and recommend a time to go to sleep that night as a challenge, if you’ve been inactive it challenges you to get back to your old habits… etc).

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Thanks Patrick.That was very helpful.

I guess that’d be the JawBone3?
That seems to have a heart rate monitor.
I’m going to give some serious consideration to getting one.

I sit on the side of the fence that thinks it should stock pile guns, ammo and some corned beef and wait for it all to come crashing down… well not quite but i do think their is a need to be concerned. There are a lot of people who can’t/don’t even understand basic computer security on their home PC’s so how can they be expected to secure their toaster… (hacked) omg there is toast everywhere!

We seem to be in a consumer spiral, we crave the next thing so much but when we have it we need the next thing. The time frame between the things seem to be getting shorter. We don’t really know why we need it it but we do. I get sad when the advert for the google tab comes on and the father is with his kid outdoors camping … and watching the tablet! seriously!

Of course this type of debate has gone on for generations. When the threshing machine was invented the labour force destroyed them as the machine took their jobs.

The thing i worry about the most is how to keep everyone in line when there are less and less jobs. Sure mechanize everything and connect it to the internet but the 100 people who used to do the job are now 10 people and a load of robots, 9 of which are now just standing and doing 1 repetitive mind numbing routine. I’ve heard computers were going to mean everyone has more time to relax as they would need to work less. It seems to me some people now do double the work and the others do none.


The way I see it going is a huge gap opening up between rich and poor propogated by technology.
This article sums it up quite well:

The way I see it going is a huge gap opening up between rich and poor propogated by technology.
This article sums it up quite well:

I think that if we don’t break away from (really, modify) our current trends of technological progress, workforce automation, income disparities, etc. then we won’t have the same society in 200 years (there will have been some form of collapse) and this type of theorizing will be moot. Good news is I’m sure we have the capability to do so.

If anyone ever watches CGP Grey videos ever he did a nifty video on automation and its end path.“Humans Need Not Apply

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Awesome video, thanks for sharing Jeff!


In reality this is a discussion about progress. People have always moved forward, this is true for more than the internet of things.

Go back in history and you would most likely find a discussion about weather a person was pampered because he wanted a comfortable saddle to sit in while doing his ranching. Some surly called the man smart and others would have called him pampered and not a real man.

Now in todays world anyone born in the past 20 years does not know a world without the modern things we have because of the internet, which has always existed to them. Since this is all routine they want something new just like the first rancher to have a saddle.

Do I embrace all new technology, well no. I for one have never used a gps system. I have, looked up directions on Google Maps but do not care to have a little voice tell me when it is time to turn.

Other technologies I do use but not all of them. I guess what I am saying is there will always be new things, some we like and others we don’t. Some will have security issues. Unless forced upon us we just need to decide what we want to use and what we do not.

That “Humans need not apply” video is an eye opener. And whether or not we will catch ourselves going in fatal directions is questionable, because the time it takes to develop these automations keep us in the “cooked frog” frame of mind. It is the same frame of mind, which allowed the global economy crash of 2008. If you put a frog in hot boiling water, it will instantly try to jump out of it. Put a frog in cold water and cook it slowly, it will keep living with the heat, thinking it isn’t all that bad, until it is dead.


But surely this is a Luddite Attitude.

Reminds me of taxi company with a fleet of over 100 cars. Third day of the month, admin’ staff said they would start the trip docket reconciliation and invoicing…which usually took another three weeks. The taxi driver who used my Dos Clipper program in his spare time, while not driving said that he had already posted all the invoices!!!

Admin’ staff could then be employed chasing outstanding invoices to help their cash flow.