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Author Topic: The "Cloud"  (Read 246 times)

brobin

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The "Cloud"
« on: February 12, 2019, 12:59:26 PM »

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bkenobi

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Re: The "Cloud"
« Reply #1 on: February 12, 2019, 03:19:35 PM »

Apparently everybody already knows that the cloud can see everything and is ok with it. I keep wishing there was a DIY ready version that would allow for better control of said data collection.  Until then, I'll live happily with the knowledge that google is the only one that knows every...thing...wait...  B:(

EDIT:  I was meaning to search for this later today, but your post prompted me to start now.  Here's a relevant article that actually provides some options for cloudless smart home gadgets (ones that work without the internet always being available).

https://homealarmreport.com/smart-devices-work-locally/

For instance, it appears Mixtile may be a good cloudless Alexa-ish replacement for voice activation of modules and scenes.  It's not as smart, but it does seem to provide some nice features.  Too bad it's not available yet.
« Last Edit: February 12, 2019, 03:25:21 PM by bkenobi »
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racerfern

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Re: The "Cloud"
« Reply #2 on: February 12, 2019, 05:03:35 PM »

I'm surprised that Homeseer is not listed. It is cloudless except for occasionally dialing in to check for an update. It can operate with your own local speech engine, though not as elegant as cloud based and it pairs to true alarm panels, again without cloud access.

There are add-ons that require cloud access, but the basic program and a bunch of options are all local. I have mine setup so that the router is not in the loop. The router connects to a switcher like any other device. Hence if internet access goes down, my home system keeps on working sans internet of course.
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HA Dave

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Re: The "Cloud"
« Reply #3 on: February 12, 2019, 05:59:55 PM »

"It knows when you are sleeping, it knows when you're awake..."
https://www.bloombergquint.com/pursuits/your-smart-light-can-tell-amazon-and-google-when-you-go-to-bed#gs.6Y4HzYL8

This kind of digitial spying has been conducted by governments LONG before Amazon or Google got into it. I'd go as far as saying the NSA began the whole idea and infastructure.
« Last Edit: February 12, 2019, 07:29:02 PM by HA Dave »
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This is the golden age of home automation. Don't blink or hesitate.... or you will miss it.

HA Dave

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Re: The "Cloud"
« Reply #4 on: February 12, 2019, 06:39:32 PM »

Apparently everybody already knows that the cloud can see everything and is ok with it......

If I remember correctly.... there were a few random protests when the Patriot Act was passed. But people quickly accepted domestic spying as a safety measure. This all began years ago (2001). Anyone who isn't fully informed..... doesn't want to be.

Governments are using our modern technology to create the human algorithm. If you know how the masses will react they are easier to control. Period. People who sell products to other people want the keys to what sells people on what.

But.... just like Ponce de León.... (as legend has it, and as scholars have maintained for centuries) searched for the Fountain of Youth (a fabled wellspring thought to give everlasting life to whoever bathed in or drank from it). Although some modern scholars find that hard to believe. And someday.... scholars will have a hard time believing that real people feared the Internet. OR..... that governments would sink billions of dollars into an impossible human algorithm.

The vast amount of data collected on every 1st world human (even those without mobile phones or Internet)…. is stored as megadata. Even my Dad's picture if loaded on facebook asked if I want to tag him (facebook recognizes him, and knows his name) Dad, died 20+ years ago. With a full complete metadata base.... even Dad's voice could be recreated. Some of this tech stuff is awesome..... but none of it should be feared. 
« Last Edit: February 12, 2019, 07:00:13 PM by HA Dave »
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This is the golden age of home automation. Don't blink or hesitate.... or you will miss it.

HA Dave

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Re: The "Cloud"
« Reply #5 on: February 12, 2019, 07:23:20 PM »

….. There are add-ons that require cloud access, but the basic program and a bunch of options are all local......

For MANY people Home Automation is a term from the 1970's that means remote controlled lighting. And that is all Home Automation is ever going to be for them.

A lot of people see the new uses and benefits of cloud based technology as different than and separate from "Home Automation". I myself.... really enjoy that my thermostat re-sets itself when both the wife and I leave the house (we do have to remember to take our phones). That feature and others (along with rebates) paid for the thermostat. And of course... when we head home... the temperature is also automatically reset. This is the stuff home automation is made of now-a-days IMHO.

The days when electric bills were called "light bills".... predates my bill paying years. Lighting has never been much more than about 12% of my electric use. And now.... with LED bulbs... we could pretty much just let them burn. The bulbs use very little electric and last for years. 
« Last Edit: February 12, 2019, 07:26:29 PM by HA Dave »
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bkenobi

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Re: The "Cloud"
« Reply #6 on: February 12, 2019, 07:55:18 PM »

There is a difference between a gov't using covert (or not) methods to retain somewhat anonymous data that can be traced should it trigger a flag and a corporation monetizing and directly using data to market to people.  The first can be said "national security out weighs personal privacy"...I disagree, but, as you said, the Patriot Act isn't going away any time soon.  The second is a direct attempt to collect as much "anonymous user data" as possible to sell to whoever except...it's not really anonymous.  If it were, then how can someone talk around their phone/Echo/TV/etc about an obscure item/topic and almost immediately see an ad on Facebook.  Obviously this is because the anonymous data isn't at all that.  Also, the gov't doesn't sell your collected data to anyone with request and a buck.  That doesn't hold for Amazon, google, FB, etc.  There have been numerous stories about this so it should not surprise anyone.  I saw a snippet on the news a few weeks ago about a lady that was identified and tracked going from a clinic in one town to her office in another and back home simply by using the 3 anonymous points because the data is linked together.  100 disconnected points are not that interesting.  But, a single anonymous user with 100 points with time stamps tells anyone who buys the data when and where someone is.  True, there is little that can be done about it because Apple and Google both sell phone data and what are your alternatives.  But, that doesn't mean we have to buy into it wholesale if there are options.  Ok, I'm done.   >!


EDIT:
Oh, I should point out that there are things that can be done to limit this type of thing on a phone, but you have to be rooted/jail broken to do it.  With Android, you can install an app that will limit the permissions that apps actually are granted.  So, that game that you thought was free but didn't read the fine print on...well it asked for your location information so it could send you ads about things close to your location...meaning it keeps tabs on where you are when you are playing the game.  Maybe people here don't care, but it's something everyone should be aware of and have an informed opinion about in case it ever comes up to vote on...
« Last Edit: February 12, 2019, 08:00:55 PM by bkenobi »
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HA Dave

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Re: The "Cloud"
« Reply #7 on: February 13, 2019, 01:28:20 PM »

There is a difference between a gov't using covert (or not) methods to retain somewhat anonymous data that can be traced should it trigger a flag and a corporation monetizing and directly using data to market to people.

Years ago.... these people had their servers.... and those people had theirs. The cloud integrates/joins/merges/unifies whatever term you chose. I am not sure the idea of separate groups of data collection is so much a reality anymore.   

The first can be said "national security out weighs personal privacy"...I disagree, but, as you said, the Patriot Act isn't going away any time soon.

The Patriot Act was written years before 911. It has NEVER been about national security.

The second is a direct attempt to collect as much "anonymous user data" as possible to sell to whoever except...it's not really anonymous.  If it were, then how can someone talk around their phone/Echo/TV/etc about an obscure item/topic and almost immediately see an ad on Facebook.  Obviously this is because the anonymous data isn't at all that.

You can test this at home.... the "idea" that what you think or speak about shows up in a inordinate degree... is mistaken. It's not true... even though it can seem so. 

the gov't doesn't sell your collected data to anyone with request and a buck.

The government has ALWAYS been the largest seller of data on it's citizens. When you get credit card offers or retirement seminars... those are based on financial info sold.... by the government. 

There have been numerous stories about this so it should not surprise anyone.

Beats me! Really. I have no idea how or why people react to these modern truths as they do.
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This is the golden age of home automation. Don't blink or hesitate.... or you will miss it.

dhouston

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Re: The "Cloud"
« Reply #8 on: February 13, 2019, 01:47:55 PM »

The Patriot Act was written years before 911. It has NEVER been about national security.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Patriot_Act
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bkenobi

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Re: The "Cloud"
« Reply #9 on: February 13, 2019, 05:12:10 PM »

I'll just leave this here since google put it in my feed.

https://www.engadget.com/amp/2019/02/13/amazon-and-google-continuous-smart-home-data/
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dhouston

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Re: The "Cloud"
« Reply #10 on: February 13, 2019, 06:08:03 PM »

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HA Dave

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Re: The "Cloud"
« Reply #11 on: February 14, 2019, 12:22:03 AM »

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Patriot_Act

OMG. You know how to do a google search. However.... like every 14 year old child that amasses tremendous knowledge in a 5 minute search.... that is what you did also. If you don't KNOW the history..... you can't learn it "on-the-fly". Knowledge is learned.... NOT discovered via a Wikipedia volunteer input.

Try reading about:   The Omnibus Counterterrorism Act of 1995, or US Senate bills S.390 and S.761. were two bills introduced by Senator Joe Biden and Senator Tom Daschle on behalf of the Clinton Administration on February 10, 1995.
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This is the golden age of home automation. Don't blink or hesitate.... or you will miss it.

HA Dave

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Re: The "Cloud"
« Reply #12 on: February 14, 2019, 12:53:20 AM »

I'll just leave this here since google put it in my feed.
https://www.engadget.com/amp/2019/02/13/amazon-and-google-continuous-smart-home-data/

Yes I know. Even our modern refrigerators are spying on us (using cameras to read bar codes and monitor our food consumption.... and WASTE) . It might be possible that the newest domestic "cloud" devices can even gather enough data from electrical impulses of our brains..... to interpret our very thoughts:'

I've considered offering (for free) a PDF pattern that could be laid on aluminum fold.... and cut out to then used to neatly line a baseball cap. Much cheaper than the Ebay tinfoil hats

I am NOT making fun of anyone. I am not a fan of the digital intrusion that effects us all. I am also not a fan of income taxes, bad drivers, and bitter winters. But the GREATEST exposure of a persons privacy is by posting on Internet forums. Reading these complaints... HERE...  seems to me like a man complaining about the trouble with keeping his pants clean..... as he turns into the wind to urinate.

Not every lanuage even has an equilent word for privacy. And many who do use the word... may not realize its defination.

Either way..... we stand at a crossroad. We can move forward... or resist.... in a futual attempt to die in place. I am just a little too young to lay down and die.  >!

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This is the golden age of home automation. Don't blink or hesitate.... or you will miss it.

bkenobi

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Re: The "Cloud"
« Reply #13 on: February 14, 2019, 12:04:50 PM »

We choose how we interact with certain technology.  When the technology says it does one thing and does something else in the background, it seems fair to point out what else is going on for those that aren't aware.  If the technology is a convenience and not a need, then it's something we have a choice about.  Apps should always provide details about what they are doing in a way a common person would see and comprehend it.  If it's buried in a 1000 page EULA, that's not really all that helpful for true disclosure.

IOW, in modern life, we don't have much of a choice about our phones (as an example).  You could choose not to carry one, but that's not all that viable.  Or, you could opt for a flip phone...which are actually still available at my local mobile phone stores.  Or, we can pick one of the two OS manufacturers and attempt limit our exposure (though both Google and Apple have been known to have very similar outlooks on what they consider data privacy).

There have been applications intruding on our devices for years (I'm going back to the Packard Bell days of bloatware laden PC's) and people provided instructions (magazines, BBS, usenet) on how to clean the garbage out (usually format and install a bare OS).  With a phone, most can't format and install clean because the vendor (Verizon, AT&T, Sprint, etc) control how the device is configured (it is possible with Android but it's beyond what most people would consider a viable option).  But, that doesn't mean we have to accept the garbage on there draining the battery, eating our expensive data, and recording our daily lives (location, phone usage, conversations (depending on who you believe)) for the benefit of whoever the data is being sent.  Root/JailBreak and you have many options.

Beyond what we don't have control over, you are correct in that many people freely post their specifics to FB etc.  If someone wants to claim invasion of privacy then they probably shouldn't have a constant feed of information being sent to FB etc.  FWIW, I don't and have never used any social media platform for this reason, but everyone is free to make their own decisions.


To get back to HA, there are trade offs for the use of different systems.

If you opt for X10 and no internet connectivity, you know that you have a secure system that nobody can track.  Except someone who knows you use it could walk up to your home and attach a controller to an outside outlet and control everything.  So, it's not really all that secure.

If you opt for Z-wave or Zigbee you can have a secure system so long as someone doesn't have a way to utilize the radio transmission to control your system (eg your door locks).  This is not all that likely, but there have been articles written about hacks that do work in the lab.

If you opt for ESP8266 based devices, you can work with them locally or over the internet at your discretion and they are as secure as you have the capability to make them.  That is, unless you choose to buy ready made modules which are not open source.  Then you are limited to whatever the software architect chose to provide.  And since most people aren't likely to make their own HA modules, that's pretty much everyone using ESP8266.

If you opt for cloud based devices, then everything (for the most part) will work together and your phone can control it relatively easily.  You can use your voice to control it without the need to code anything.  But, you also expose yourself to whatever the various software architects chose to do.  Maybe they did everything right and are up and up.  But, from what's been published about it, different vendors from different countries handle privacy and security very differently.  And, if you have shoddy internet, then you may be limited on what the devices can do at any given time.  Everyone doesn't live in downtown so fast, cheap, and reliable internet are not an option just like the power does go out periodically.



TL;DR:  Buy what makes you happy and accept that there is no privacy or security in the world.  But, do so with open eyes to what the exposure is.  Don't go around with the opinion that "the gov't is tracking us so I don't care if Amazon does too" or "I'm not doing anything wrong so I don't care if anyone sees what I'm doing" and force others into the same opinion.  I have nothing to hide but that doesn't mean that I want my specifics monetized without my knowledge and consent.  And it's not all or nothing with HA.  There are ways to get HA that are similar to what's offered by the cloud in a local, self managed system that the user can control his/her privacy exposure.  Just because someone opts for a local HA system (which, btw, we all used just a few years ago), doesn't mean that we are not capable of attaining our personal HA goals.  Amazon/Google are not required just because they are the new cool kid in school.
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HA Dave

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Re: The "Cloud"
« Reply #14 on: February 14, 2019, 01:50:02 PM »

We choose how we interact with certain technology.......
...Buy what makes you happy and accept that there is no privacy or security in the world.

We interact with the world... partly by choice and partly by happenstance. But you are absolutely correct.... at no time do we ever have privacy or security. Those things are more like the illusions we create for ourselves.

... Just because someone opts for a local HA system (which, btw, we all used just a few years ago), doesn't mean that we are not capable of attaining our personal HA goals.  Amazon/Google are not required just because they are the new cool kid in school.

IMHO..... if you own a Clapper you have some degree of Home Automation. And... although it isn't in service right now.... I own a [the last generation] clapper myself. But.... some years ago... when X10 pedaled their CM11A... they sold me (and the world at large) on the idea of a "Smart Home". And then (13 years ago?) when X10 released the CM15A.... Internet connected smart homes became the standard.

Cloud connectivity has expanded the Smart Home technology to the point of adding AI. Yesterdays dream of an AI smart home... isn't a dream anymore. Almost....anyone who wants that can have it. To present X10 as to used in a somewhat less-than AI compacity.... is a dis-service to X10. I know for a fact.... by using X10 in my own setup... that X10 is fully capable of AI control. And I know of no reason for anyone to aspire to a lesser-than cutting edge home automation setup. It isn't a choice between a modern setup.... OR an X10 setup. We can have both.... we can have it all. And for the life of me I don't understand why anyone would chose to have less.
« Last Edit: February 14, 2019, 01:53:00 PM by HA Dave »
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This is the golden age of home automation. Don't blink or hesitate.... or you will miss it.
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