[extropy-chat] FWD (SK) Re: Why so little real interest in Intelligent Homes?
Terry W. Colvin
fortean1 at mindspring.com
Fri Oct 21 17:46:18 UTC 2005
>INTELLIGENT homes where curtains can be drawn at the push of a button,
>ovens switched on by phone and the housework done by robotic vacuum
>cleaners are not that far off in the future, research claimed today.
Quite a few of the ideas put forth in the smart home concept are just
asinine, you have to wonder what these people are huffing.
Take the above-mentioned remote-control oven. Please. This is often
imagined as an oven you can control over the net. OK, even if we pretend
that the security issues have magically gone away, we're left with one
question: why would ANYone want such a thing?
The people who talk about such things with wide-eyed wonder seem to assume
that people are gonna throw dinner in the smart oven before they leave for
work in the morning, and then ping the oven in the afternoon to turn it on
so a nice hot dinner is waiting when they get home. On the surface, this
sounds really keen. But how many things are there you can have for dinner
that would survive such an experience? Lotsa things would go bad sitting
out all day, other recipes would be dramatically altered by sitting around
so long before cooking. And how many non-morons out there are REALLY
comfortable with the notion of having their oven roaring away with nobody
in the house to watch it?
I'm currently working on a development tool for DLNA, the new gee-whiz
standard that's gonna make all the electronics in your house live in
harmony and communicate seamlessly. It's bullshit, of course. Different
interpretations of the "standard" by different manufacturers--and even by
different divisions within a single company---will ensure that getting any
two random devices to even acknowledge each other's existence, let alone
communicate, will be every bit as easy as writing a custom device driver
and getting it to work on a modified Linux installation running on a
home-built bitslice PDA (and let's not even MENTION what
increasingly-greedy and fascist DRM is gonna do to this pie-in-the-sky).
But hey, as long as they keep paying me....
"Only a zit on the wart on the heinie of progress." Copyright 1992, Frank Rice
Terry W. Colvin, Sierra Vista, Arizona (USA) < fortean1 at mindspring.com >
Alternate: < fortean1 at msn.com >
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