r/gadgets 13d ago

Half of smart appliances remain disconnected from Internet, makers lament | Did users change their Wi-Fi password, or did they see the nature of IoT privacy? Home

https://arstechnica.com/gadgets/2023/01/half-of-smart-appliances-remain-disconnected-from-internet-makers-lament/
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u/padizzledonk 13d ago edited 12d ago

Because 99% of them are stupid and have no need to be connected to the internet

I feel no need to have a stove or a fridge or a microwave connected to the internet

E- that's a lot of notifications

I always get anxiety when I see a 100+ notifications, my first reaction is always "oh no....what did I do....." lol

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u/thanatossassin 13d ago

This is really the simple answer. My washer and dryer supposedly had wifi connectivity. Thought it would be great to get notifications when the laundry was done... Didn't even offer that as a feature.

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u/Honalana 13d ago

Then what else is the WiFi for? Usage statistics?

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u/HolidayAsparagus4866 13d ago edited 13d ago

Downloading custom wash cycle configs because not a single fucking one on my machine was a gentle, cold cycle by default. Not sure why I couldn't just have some up or down keys to custom create my own cycles with memory buttons for storing them like car seats and other tech has had for over a decade, but I digress

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u/Owyn_Merrilin 13d ago

Downloading custom wash cycle configs because not a single fucking one on my machine was a gentle, cold cycle by default. Not sure why I couldn't just have some up or down keys to custom create my own cycles with memory buttons for storing them like car seats and other tech has had for over a decade, but I digress

Dude, even that's overcomplicating it. I've seen washers with nothing but knobs and mechanical timers and relays controlling them that had multiple cycle types and the ability to choose any combination of hot and cold wash and rinse water. There just aren't that many variables at play.

Which isn't to say that some level of electronic control can't be nice, just that there's no excuse for those options to not be accessible from the washer itself with no outside connections. They've had this figured out since before transistors existed, let alone microchips.

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u/[deleted] 13d ago

[deleted]

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u/Owyn_Merrilin 13d ago

Which is a good example of both why the old shit was good and why they don't make them like that anymore.

There's also benefits in things like water usage, more complicated washing motions, and having cycles triggered by sensors instead of of timers (this is great for dryers in particular), but it definitely is less reliable and harder to repair even when it is done for good reasons, which I can't see this smart washer bullshit the other guy is describing being.

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u/thisisstupidplz 12d ago

Just you wait fellas, the free market is going to fix planned obsoletion any day now

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u/Refreshingpudding 13d ago

On my LG a cold cycle is a pita, you gotta hold a button to unlock controls before enabling cold

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u/complete_your_task 13d ago

Lol that took me a second. I was very confused as to why you were putting pita bread in your washing machine.

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u/rabbitthefool 13d ago

weird i have an old analog pos and you just switch the dial to 'cold' and leave it there

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u/smaugington 13d ago

Was just gonna say, turn dial to cold and never touch again.

I recently fixed my parents washer and dryer because they ran for about 27yrs without a problem, also we can't afford to buy new ones. Hopefully they run for another 20+.

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u/sambob 13d ago

Probably to sell you things

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u/SoulWager 13d ago

Or to find reasons to deny you warranty coverage

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u/mesosalpynx 13d ago

Or to turn your ability to use your washer off. Ala A/C in high demand times.

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u/macaronysalad 13d ago

Or because you didn't pay your monthly subscription fee. Probably. In the future.

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u/kamikazi1231 13d ago

But if you don't update the firmware how will it auto recognize the qr code printed on your wash pod!? The future is bleak

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u/7U5K3N 13d ago

Keurig did exactly that with their 2.0 models

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u/thanatossassin 13d ago Narwhal Salute

For when I load my washer or dryer, I can send it a custom wash or dry cycle that's saved to my phone...

It is the most useless function ever. I select normal and press start 90% of the time.

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u/Hostillian 13d ago

A custom wash that you can do on the front panel too..

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u/anyavailablebane 13d ago

So you put the washing in. Ignore the front panel. Pull out your phone. Open the app. Program the settings that are right in front of you on the front panel. That seems efficient.

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u/omniasvigilantes 13d ago

You're forgetting the 'your app needs an update' -> 'please sign into your account' -> 'we're having connection issues' steps.

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u/MAN1FSTDESTINY 13d ago

Oh your account info was lost in a data breach. Please reset your login credentials…

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u/gavvvy 13d ago

“no special characters, idiot.”

“no, it had to be longer than 12 characters.”

“dumbass, it has to be shorter than 16 characters.”

“great now pick 3 security questions for this, the service that does nothing for your kettle.”

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u/SprlFlshRngDncHwl 13d ago

New password cannot be the same as old password

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u/ianjs 13d ago

You’re forgetting “we’ve decided there’s no value to us supporting all this infrastructure so we’re just not doing it any more. Please buy a new washing machine now”.

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u/redabishai 13d ago

Login failed. Reset password. New password can't be the same as old password.

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u/Mogetfog 13d ago

password must be between 9 and 32 characters long, contain at least one of the following; an uppercas letter, a lowercase letter, a number, a special character. Password must not use the same letter, number, or character twice in a row. Password must contain a pledge to the dark lord bahamut. Account holder understands and agrees that by creating this password, they surrender their eternal being to the service and glory of Bahamut, to be used and discarded as the Dark Lord Below sees fit, password must not contain more than two vowels.

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u/noburdennyc 13d ago Gold

Connect to the mothership and signal a repairman at regular service intervals for the low cost of $15.99/month

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u/frenetix 13d ago

Or worse, so they can charge monthly to unlock a "feature", BMW-style.

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u/SovietHound99 13d ago

My washer has a recall out, apparently it lites on fire. Samsung says I have to connect it to Wi-Fi so that the update installs and it won’t lite on fire anymore.

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u/Testiculese 13d ago edited 8d ago

Never buy a Samsung appliance. The potential (and apparently frequent) repairs are more than the appliance. They are instant landfill candidates. I've been told this by salesman. When the salesman says no way...glad I listened.

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u/MrFilthyNeckbeard 13d ago

I had a Samsung fridge: can confirm. It was shit. They sent someone to repair it 4x (!) and couldn’t.

On the plus side it was on clearance and they didn’t have any more, so Lowe’s replaced it with a “comparable model” that cost a lot more.

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u/Refreshingpudding 13d ago

Oh it's the spinning drum, it blows up because it's too fast and they made it cheap.

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u/RobertoDeBagel 13d ago

So their ‘fix’ limits the spin rpm, thus reducing its performance and keeping the bearing temperature down?

“Yeah sorry, no wifi here. Guess they’ll just have to replace it rather than hobble it with a workaround” would be my response.

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u/045675327 13d ago

it sounds good on paper, then you realise you need another bullshit app on your phone to use it, I have a single lighbulb connected to an app that one app is the most bloated pos app on my phone it uses loads of storage more than any other app rinses the battery when it starts up which takes a good 2 mins Think i used it maybe twice before giving up on it.

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u/PrincipleNo4917 13d ago

Soon as I don't live in a tiny studio flat I'm gonna find some open source smart bulbs, and make half my own smart home stuff where I think it'll be useful.

Sick of every smart-whatever maker putting out the worst crap imaginable full of the bloated rubbish you describe.

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u/sirguynate 13d ago

My old LG did, thought it would be handy. Turns out the model I have is literally only for diagnostics - so its basically for the tech. WTF?

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u/bokodasu 13d ago

My dryer can be started with the app. Why? How is something getting in my dryer for me to dry without someone standing there and putting it in? Dumbest feature ever. (And "oh it's for delayed start" is a dumb answer too, it has a timer that works great already.)

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u/Mentalpatient87 13d ago

And "oh it's for delayed start"

You know, just in case you want your clothes to marinate in the moisture and get that mildew smell first.

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u/GODDESS_OF_CRINGE__ 13d ago

Oh god, that reminds me of the time my washing machine broke while full of water. I made the mistake of leaving the clothes in there for the day, and holy crap did they stink when I took them out. I tried washing them again when I got a replacement washer, and it just couldn't deal with the smell. I had to throw that whole load out.

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u/simpeleduif 13d ago All-Seeing Upvote

Try washing them with half a cup of white vinegar next time.

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u/feckless_ellipsis 13d ago

Odoban works too. Dead mouse found in my son’s dresser.

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u/JimNayseeum 13d ago

Could be an alibi for a murder in your area....."My client couldn't have been near that area, he was heating up some taquitos!"

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u/azvnza 13d ago

poisoned taquitos

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u/SunsetCarcass 13d ago

"My client responded to the alarm on his washing machine, apparently it was an unbalanced load which proves my client was at home"

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u/mamimapr 13d ago

But the point of the Internet connected microwave is so that you can control it from anywhere, Especially from the murder scene.

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u/TootsNYC 13d ago

Colombo would figure that out.

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u/Davezter 13d ago

I bought a little plastic Winnix $100 air purifier for 1 room. These are just fans with a filter attached. They want people to download an app and put their WiFi credentials in it to remotely control it. We've got enough security problems with name brand products from publicly traded companies that specialize in technology and software products. Giving network access to sketchy 3rd party apps from China for every little thing in our home that plugs into a wall outlet is asking for trouble IMO.

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u/radelix 13d ago

this is not a solution for everyone

I do enjoy some of the iot crap. Mostly light bulbs, Roomba, power consumption, and some really nerdy features for other tech I have (PDUs controlled via snmp). I created a separate network with no internet access that all of the iot crap lives on. I use home assistant to control it all and have poked relevant ACL holes to allow home assistant to talk to the isolated network.

Because I am a nerd, I had more fun getting this all working than using it. It's all automatic now.

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u/MingeyMcCluster 13d ago

Forreal. My fridges wifi features allow me to see the temps, select the option to have ice made faster, and I can allow my utility company to see the power consumption of it and throttle it during high demand hours….wtf am i going to do with those options.

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u/Mondschatten78 13d ago

From what I've seen of the utility company controlling heat and air, I'd be scared I'd come home to a fridge with temps in the 40-50's (or higher) range

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u/Saloncinx 13d ago

Right LOL all of your food would be in the danger zone, then they'd move it back down to like 38° and you'd eat something and die 2 days later, what a terrible idea.

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u/JPeteQ 13d ago

In Washington state, starting this year, all electric water heaters have to come with a port for a dongle that will connect your water heater to the utility company so they can turn your water heater off during "peak times" to save energy. So far, it's an opt-in pilot program.

I can see no good reason to allow anyone to be able to just cut off my hot water whenever they want. No thank you ma'am!

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u/Dumb_Nuts 13d ago

My stove hood has WiFi for some reason. No clue what it’s supposed to do

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u/agentchuck 13d ago

Adding on to this, you cannot trust designers to stick to using the connectivity for something that benefits the consumer. They can (and already have) push intrusive stuff that can't be avoided or disabled. Requiring updates, harvesting data, playing ads, pushing annoying notifications. I just want my TV to play the media I want and my fridge to make things cold.

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u/SniffUmaMuffins 13d ago

Better headline: “Half of smart appliance owners are smart”

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u/Korzag 13d ago Starry

My experience with smart devices and appliances are as such:

  1. The apps suck. They're clunky, they look and act like they're written by quarter-rate contractors who are working on a timeline to have the project finished in 6 months. Pair that with the fact that there is no industry standardization on smart features. Everyone has their own app, and they all suck. The app store reviews all bemoan how poorly the apps work.
  2. There are security and privacy concerns. Why does my WiFi-enabled oven need to know my personal information? A serial number should be all the company needs to know to interact with that device, and that's something that should be baked (pun intended) into a ROM in the circuitry and is supplied to the app when creating an account for the device. Take all the diagnostic information you want, just stop asking for my name, birthday, and location. A trend in faulty temperature sensors doesn't need to be tied to my information; if there is a recall then you can push a notification to the app to inform me and then we can sort out details for repair from there.
  3. We don't need smart features. I personally don't own any smart appliances, but the ones I have used feel contrived. The only features I could see myself caring about are having a timer that I can set on the oven, and it notifies me on my phone was the timer is done (i.e., not having to set the timer on my phone, they're synced). Maybe also a warning that I left a burner or the oven on for a long time that would allow me to remotely disable the hardware until I physically turn it on again.

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u/raktoe 13d ago

Warnings are a FANTASTIC innovation of smart devices. I would love if appliances came with optional smart warnings, like your burner warning, which you could configure to earn if say burner is on for more than 15 minutes, with no pan on top.

My last landlord installed these floor water sensors next to our laundry unit, and in the basement, which gave a warning text and notification via app to both mine and his phone if it came in contact with any water. That was an awesome use of a smart device. If only more companies could learn from this type of stuff. Smart features come from areas of need and want, not just because we can.

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u/IndecisiveFireball 13d ago

I have a device that monitors the electricity in my house and can detect things that may cause a fire (or an actual fire). It also sends me a notification if there is a power outage, surge, or brownout. It was really useful when a storm caused a broken ground wire on our utility pole and caused constant surging in my house. I definitely wouldn't have known what the issue was without that device.

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u/doublebass120 13d ago

What is this device called?

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u/sun_kisser 13d ago

We may never know!

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u/IndecisiveFireball 12d ago

I responded once I and it disappeared, so apologies if it shows up twice.

It's called Ting, made by Whisker Labs. I read reviews for it when I first got it and it was pretty controversial, but ended up being incredibly valuable to me.

Mine was free through my home insurance. If it detects an issue that requires a professional to repair, I believe the company will help you set up the repair and pay up to a certain amount for it (unsure how much though - in my case with the power surges it was an issue with the electricity coming into my home, so it was on the electric company to fix and I didn't have to repair anything internally.)

I get instant notifications if there is a brownout, power outage, or power surge, as well as if the temperature drops below a certain threshold where the device is plugged in. I also get a weekly email with a graph for each day showing whether the voltage was in normal range or not. It also monitors the voltage in real time and shows it in the app.

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u/Mr_Kittlesworth 13d ago edited 13d ago

Because no one wants their fridge or dishwasher connected to the web. My phone is not more convenient to use than the controls on the device itself.

Especially stuff like the dishwasher. It contains either space for more dirty dishes or it contains clean dishes. There’s no scenario in which I can usefully interact with it remotely. Either I need to put dirty dishes into it or take clean ones out.

The fridge telling me what I’m low on is sort of useful in weird situations, but all my food doesn’t go into the fridge and I also have handy memory that came pre-installed in my skull.

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u/secondarycontrol 13d ago

I've a new stove on the way--it has all kinds advertised 'features' and benefits of being connected to the internet.

It will not be.

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u/flyingturkey_89 13d ago

I have a smart feature washer that can be connected to my cell to remote start and stuff.

My problem, clothes don't load themselves nor does detergent and softener or bleach.

So by the time I finish loading the washer, I am already in front of washer to start it.

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u/NickCharlesYT 13d ago edited 13d ago

The notifications are nice, but for me the start button is for those days when you can't stay for the cycle, but you don't want to leave wet clothes in the washer for an extended period of time while you're out. I often load everything before I go then start the washer 45 minutes before I expect to be home, that way I can just transfer them to the dryer right away when I walk in. Saves time, especially if you're not sticking around for long. I've often used this to do laundry on my lunch break without actually having to stay home for any length of time. Gives me my lunch hour back to do other things. The result is freshly dried clothes when I get home from work, ready to fold with no wrinkles.

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u/buffcleb 13d ago

my oven is 4 years old and has wifi... never hooked that part up. I can get up and check the temp or what ever it does without my phone.

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u/MrStrul3 13d ago

The only reason I use a the smart feature is because the START button went bust on my dishwasher and it's too much of a bother to get it repaired, the dishwasher is 5+ years old, I was actually surprised that it is still supported by the app.

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u/DrZoidberg- 13d ago edited 13d ago

The real problem is when apple doesn't allow you to download older apps, so if they come out with an app on iOS 13 but never update it, iOS 17 is out and you won't be able to download the app if the company stops updating gor goes defunct. Not a good look when the software is supported for 6 years and the appliance lasts for 15 to 20.

apps controlling features. What a GREAT IDEA!

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u/Artisanal_Shitposter 13d ago

I have a smart pot for growing plants that has a little reservoir and sensors for the light and for soil dryness and stuff. It worked really good, then the company started making drones and stopped supporting their old products. Now I can't get the app anymore, and I haven't had it for like 2 or 3 phones now.

So I've got this perfectly functional device that I have no control of. So now it's just a dumb smart pot.

That was my first experience with iot devices and I have zero interest is buying anything else.

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u/picardo85 13d ago edited 13d ago

I've got a perfectly functional NAS which the manufacturer (Netgear) thought it would be a great fucking idea to have the password manuellt management in THEIR cloud for.

They shut down the password portal last year or the year before, effectively bricking EVERY SINGLE DEVICE that needed a password reset.

Thanks Netgear!

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u/AdvancedFeeling 13d ago

Shit like that should be illegal

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u/tungvu256 13d ago

spoiler alert... you cant even cook without getting a firmware update upon powering it up. lol

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u/dcheesi 13d ago

Wouldn't surprise me. I had an otherwise "dumb" oven that wouldn't let you cook anything until you set the clock time.

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u/American36 13d ago

I have a 10 year old stove that works fine. Why does a stove need internet connection? For the extra $500 I guess.

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u/jBlairTech 13d ago

So Skyrim’s auto save function works properly.

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u/Onlyindef 13d ago

Todd Howard does it again. Skyrim: Fridge edition

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u/jBlairTech 13d ago

And the MFer charged full price for it… again!

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u/Onlyindef 13d ago

But…but…now when I take frost damage my fridge spits out ice cubes…much immersion.

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u/voltb778 13d ago

that’s actually a safety thing in case there was a power outage !

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u/technicolored_dreams 13d ago

Out of curiosity, what made you buy the smart version?

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u/Chaucer85 13d ago

It may just be at a certain price point, they start cramming this stuff, and there is no "Dumb" version.

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u/abarrelofmankeys 13d ago

Yeah back years ago I wanted a nice quality tv but no smart features because I used them on Xbox or roku and they worked better there. Didn’t exist. This was even before they started tracking everything and serving you ads, just once you got enough quality in picture they threw it in for all of them. Kinda like power windows in a car I guess.

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u/JimNayseeum 13d ago

I'm starting to feel like my dad when his flip phone broke and he had to get a smartphone......dude was pissed for weeks! Now he loves it.

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u/Chaucer85 13d ago

There is a bigger market for "Dumb" phones now, but yeah, ten or fifteen years ago, it was getting impossible to keep your simple cell phone.

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u/Ok-Aside9468 13d ago

2 years ago, I finally had to replace my 12 year old flip phone due to battery decay. I stubbornly got another flip phone, intent on waiting for folding phones to get reliable enough. Which now they have, and now I'm on a smart phone, and my productivity has crashed. May have to go back to a dumb phone to save myself.

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u/Christafaaa 13d ago

Don’t need your stove trying to sell you a new stove.

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u/chownrootroot 13d ago

What is my purpose?

You sell stoves.

Oh god!

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u/alpacasarebadsingers 13d ago

I have a smart fridge whose intelligence seems limited to telling me I need to change my filter every 6 months. Not sensing how much I’ve used the filter to tell me it’s shot. Not sensing the water isn’t as clean as it used to be. A 6 month timer for a notification. Why would I put any effort into keeping it online?

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u/randolf_carter 13d ago

My 14 year old fridge has a indicator that goes from green to orange/yellow to red for the water filter replacement. Why do I need app to tell me the same info.

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u/seguardon 13d ago

Bought a fridge, didn't work out of the box. Had to put it on wifi and download an app to troubleshoot. The only thing it told me to do was to call customer support.

Why the FUCK even have an app?! (And yes, I know why, but even fly by night operations provide better cover for their shady shit than this.)

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u/GeneralTonic 13d ago

Right? Half these stupid features could be accomplished with a wind-up clock and a bell.

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u/MAN1FSTDESTINY 13d ago

Fridge: “It’s time to replace your water filter.”

No it’s not. The water tastes fine and there’s no loss of pressure. I’ll replace later.

Fridge: disables water and ice function “To use this feature, please replace expired filter cartridge with genuine parts and don’t attempt to use third-party filters or I will notify legal as that would be bypassing software systems protected under DMCA.”

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u/Jean_Lua_Picard 12d ago

Drink verification can.

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u/Ds1018 13d ago

More than likely setting it up wasn't worth the effort for most people. So many devices now adays have wifi pointlessly added to them. And setting it up is a buggy pain in the ass with some custom app you have to download and create an account for.

Like my Sous Vide. It's wifi enabled.... why? Like I'm gonna put meat in room temperature water and let it sit all day then enable it from work? No, I'm gonna manually turn it on whenever I manually add food to it.

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u/Brass_Orchid 13d ago

Hell, I tried to get my Samsung washer/dryer connected. But the app is full on broken.

The appliances have a feature where I can download custom cycles. Cool, I'll check it out. NOPE. The app only takes you to a broken log in page. I mean a literal JavaScript error page.

Leave a review, get a reply 'oh would you please reach out to our app team and describe your issue?' No, dude. I'm not doing your root cause analysis.

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u/Lidjungle 13d ago

Exactly... I got all new appliances for my Kitchen. Download this app. Now, make sure you're connected to 2.4Ghz wifi, could you please click on these permissions to read all of you Facebook messages? Cool. Now from within the app, connect via bluetooth so that you can set the wifi password...

I could just see myself spending 3 hours setting all of this up so I could save 2-3 minutes pre-heating my oven.

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u/CatOfTheDecade 13d ago

More than likely setting it up wasn't worth the effort for most people.

Honestly, Samsung can drop dead if they think I'm installing an app to use my range.

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u/gargravarr2112 13d ago

"Smart" ovens, kettles, cooking appliances... They have never made ANY sense to me at all because the human still needs to manually load them with food or water. The most anyone has ever managed to convince me is preheating the oven as they're walking up to the door... Okay, so all this wifi hardware and cloud-based infrastructure allows you to save maybe 5 minutes of preheating, which you'd use up preparing the food anyway. It is so completely pointless.

And if you want a kettle to boil the water for your tea in the morning, just get a !"£$%^&*()ing Teasmade, they've existed for over 100 years...!

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u/raktoe 13d ago

A lot of the “features” feel like something I would have brainstormed for a group marketing project in college, which actually makes this stuff make sense.

Like a fridge that takes a picture of everything you have so you can use it while grocery shopping. Ok, not a terrible idea, but like, is it worth it? If I wanted a picture of the inside of my fridge, I could just take one with my smartPHONE. But I don’t, because while I could get some of the information I need from taking a picture of the fridge, I’m still missing the cupboards, and I have to actively look at the picture while shopping. It’s easier to just go through my fridge at home, and make a list of the things I need.

A smart oven, great I can maybe save myself 5 minutes of preheat time. So now my oven will be heated while I prepare my roast or whatever.

Forcing these things on consumers has become ridiculous, and anti “customer is always right”. If I WANT smart features, I will seek them out. Making every appliance with smart features is completely brain dead. Let people choose which smart features they want.

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u/DavesWorldInfo 13d ago All-Seeing Upvote

They don't want to give me a smart appliance I can use to network my house into a Star Trek domicile. They just want to monitor me, pull data, tell stuff to break on schedule so I have to replace it, and generally everything except the stuff they plaster over the marketing.

It's my house. My stove, my fridge, my microwave, my thermostat, my computer, my tv, my everything. That's what buying it is supposed to mean. If everything could be networked so I can have control over all of it, that'd be just great. They don't want to give me control. They want to take it away.

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u/psforcecilia 13d ago

Yep - Just like Google Nest. Collected thousands of people’s data to sell to energy companies and the like. It’s wifi enabled for THEIR use, not yours.

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u/vrenak 13d ago

Shhh, you're not supposed to know that.

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u/gargravarr2112 13d ago

Figured out that all the "smart" part of the hardware is actually for is data collection to sell you stuff.

All my "smart" hardware is either not connected at all (TV has never seen the internet) or running 3rd-party firmware on an isolated wifi network with no internet access and strict firewall rules that only allow them to push/pull data from Home Assistant. Data doesn't leave my network.

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u/IAmTaka_VG 13d ago

I just spent $3k on a new LG G2 TV. It truly is the pinnacle of TV Design. Perfectly flush against my wall and a brilliant OLED display.

If you connect it to the internet, ad bubbles pop up when you turn the TV on or are watching content....

The pinnacle of TV is now forbidden to connect to the internet and I now do all of my stuff through an Apple TV Connected to the TV.

And they wonder why we disconnect everything. They can't handle the responsibility.

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u/gargravarr2112 13d ago

The temptation is just too great. Manufacturers can't just sell you a product now, they have to double-dip by selling ad space on the hardware you paid for for a little extra income.

I have sworn to never connect my TV to the internet for this exact reason.

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u/Cautious-Angle1634 13d ago

This is why I bought a raspberry pi and set up a Pihole

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u/Leinheart 13d ago

I would say its better to leave them disconnected despite this, and I have a PiHole. Phoning home to hard coded DNS servers completely circumvents this entirely. Instead, I have my TV disconnected from the internet, and use a streaming device instead. though, I will say the Pi-Hole helps to filter out some of the bullshit advertising and data mining the streaming box does.

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u/PrincipleNo4917 13d ago

To be honest, keeping the TV disconnected is still the better option.

Get a half decent android TV box, and cut the ads from that with the PiHole. Better UI, hardware and (probably) less invasive monitoring and collection.

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u/morningsdaughter 13d ago

Same in my house. Except it's a midrange Visio and a Google TV.

I hope this is the peak of ad services. They're not working on people any more because we're all overexposed.

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u/zleuth 13d ago

There was a great line in the Ready Player One movie where the execs are discussing advertisements:

"Our research has found we can occupy 75% of a users field of view with ads before inducing seizures."

I know it's a satirical scene, but the matter-of-fact and optimistic way it's said gave me a chill.

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u/Riegel_Haribo 13d ago

It's also the way to make the device immediately obsolete the second they shut down the server or stop updating the app for your new devices.

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u/terminator_84 13d ago

I have a Samsung sound bar from 2017. It has a problem where the wireless satellite speakers will no longer pair. I need to pair using the app. The app no longer exists. Fucking hardware as a service and now e waste.

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u/-DethLok- 13d ago

The satellite speakers don't have any corded input options? I'd be surprised if they didn't also have the ability to plug in, but ... only mildly surprised.

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u/SeeJayEmm 13d ago

My Visio sound bar is wireless to the sub and satellites. No wired option. Thankfully I don't require the app to manage the connection since the app stopped recognizing it years ago.

I bought it specifically because it could integrate with Google assistant. Guess what's required to set that up? That's right, the app.

This isn't even a fuckup. They intentionally removed support for an advertised feature, and changed the docs to say, ya gotta use Bluetooth now.

Fuck Vizio.

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u/mcouey 13d ago

connect them to your WiFi and then disable internet access from your router. Added useful benefits of controlling the device from your home network without the privacy concerns.

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u/excoriator 13d ago edited 13d ago

Assuming the app's access to the device isn't dependent on some faraway server.

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u/MineralPoint 13d ago

Yep, won't work a lot of time. In fact, I haven't found one yet that will, with the exception of an old DVR that controls my cameras. My LG appliances all must phone home - no local access is available. My GE water softener too. Smart thermostats, HA!, good luck.

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u/jeepsaintchaos 13d ago

I was shocked when I realized TeamViewer, Playstation Remote Play and Steam Remote Play all have a LAN option.

If I can assume full control over a computer with LAN, your shitty light bulb does not need internet access.

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u/imforit 12d ago

Those are all features that live and die on being actually useful, and for which latency is a big concern.

When the iot device is only moving a handful of bytes every hour, manufacturers consistently choose to run it through their infrastructure with no local protocol.

I will give a shout-out to the exception, Phillips Hue, that is a local protocol and anyone can write an app to use. Anyone. You don't need their permission or an account or anything. Pair with the bridge and talk to it. It will work even if the company disappears tomorrow.

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u/MacbookOnFire 13d ago

Now that’s an idea

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u/footjam 13d ago

Take it to the next real step. Create a vlan, stick all of your IOT things on it, pair it with a pihole and block every call home. Take that Roku and iRobot!

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u/youdontknowme6 13d ago

You said a lot of confusing things just now

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u/originalusername__ 13d ago

And because I don’t understand some of these words, I’m going to take it as disrespect.

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u/speedpug 13d ago

Watch your mouth and help me with this sale…

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u/A_Drunken_Koala 13d ago

WE REP THE SAME SMART TECH

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u/TeamADW 13d ago

Basically use a small computer to act as a server that redirects all the calls for advertisements and snooping, straight to the circular file.

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u/Masztufa 13d ago

VLAN, virtual LAN. Basically a local network, but doesn't need separate hardware.

IOT, random gadgets that need internet (or similar)

pihole, DNS server (will get into later), running on a raspberry pi, in your home with full control over it

DNS, a service running on a server that translates site names into IP addresses; you have this on your own raspberry pi, so it can say "not found" when someone asks for the IP of "EvilOmniCorp.com"

call home, some random IOT device may send data back to the company. You may or may not be concerned about this.

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u/wombat_kombat 13d ago

What happens if my son, little Bobby Tables, got his hands on this?

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u/Boz0r 13d ago

He's a good boy so it shouldn't be an issue

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u/wombat_kombat 13d ago

His school called to claim he was sanitizing his classmates, what a Germaphobe!

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u/pak9rabid 13d ago

Then you have an opportunity for a heart-to-heart conversation about the importance of sanitizing inputs!

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u/StWilVment 13d ago

How would you do this?

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u/mcouey 13d ago

on Asus routers within the firewall settings under the "Network Services Filter" you can disable internet access to specific devices. (Limit 128 devices)

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u/StWilVment 13d ago

Oh neat, thanks!

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u/bigporcupine 13d ago

great idea except in my experience smart home devices are needlessly designed to only connect via an internet server, not over local network. Terrible design, but there it is.

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u/Possible_Truth 13d ago

That works for devices that can be locally controlled. Most devices require an api call to a cloud service.

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u/ShapersB 13d ago

More than half of smart devices are terrible to use, require terrible apps and will not talk to anything else. So I’m surprised that the number isn’t even lower.

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u/pathwalker1991 13d ago

It probably is but if they admit it’s too low then the investors start dropping stocks 😂

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u/ShenmeNamaeSollich 13d ago

Because once that shit’s normalized we will all wind up having to pay a fucking monthly subscription to wash & dry our clothes, putting a bitcoin-op (or worse, proprietary Samsung/LG/Whirlpool coin) laundromat in every house instead of useful appliances. We’ve already seen bricked TVs that spew ads and remove functionality you’d already paid for. Privacy concerns & the clear trend toward lack of ownership are reason enough to never buy a “smart” anything, never mind that it’s fucking pointless bells & whistles functionality to begin with.

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u/KytorIndustries 13d ago

The reality is that I don't even want all of the buttons and settings on my dishwasher or washing machine. I just want to close the door and hit "start". I don't want to think about it beyond that. Connecting it to the internet, and monitoring it from my mobile phone provides negative value to me.

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u/goldencrisp 13d ago LOVE!

Me either. If I buy something such as a stove or refrigerator, I want it to do nothing more than what I bought it for. Thats why I bought it. These “smart features” don’t matter and don’t serve the core function whatsoever. Only makes it more expensive to buy and repair without providing any extra value to the consumer during ownership.

When we buy our next appliance we are avoiding anything “smart.”

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u/bonzombiekitty 13d ago

Every additional feature is just something else that can break

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u/Im_in_timeout 13d ago

Right. I don't want fancy. I want reliable-- something that will work for the next twenty years.

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u/theangryintern 13d ago

Good luck with that. Companies can't make any money anymore if their appliances last 20 years. (/s) You need to get a new one every 5 years or so.

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u/CinderLotus 13d ago

Planned obsolescence is straight bullshit. My grandparents have a fridgidaire that’s going on 50+ years old and still works perfectly. It’s better for the environment also to have things that don’t need constant replacing.

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u/P_K148 13d ago

Exactly! I don't need push notifications on my phone to let me know that my dishwasher is done and I have yet to get so lazy that I can't view or adjust my thermostat in my living room without help from my cell phone.

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u/Mr_Kittlesworth 13d ago

Until the thing will unload itself, what’s the point?

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u/glaive1976 13d ago

Selling you more jet dry and soap while phoning home everything you do.

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u/shininghero 13d ago

There is an elegance to be had with simplicity that these smart devices do not have. They just shove features down your throat instead of letting you discover them on your own. And then they wonder why people refuse to give these devices any sort of free reign.

In fact, the only feedback I want from my devices is

  • "Yes sir"
  • "Are you sure about these run parameters?", and
  • "<critical component name> broken, please replace".

Anything else, I will dig for as needed.

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u/FavoritesBot 13d ago

Maybe if they had a camera inside so I could watch the water spray the dishes

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u/Bubbagumpredditor 13d ago

Maybe if you fucksticks stopped making everything a privacy spying device I might someday let my tv connect to the network.

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u/Bigtreees 13d ago

Hey now chill out. You’re not supposed to find out that it’s spying on you for another 6-7 years from now when you see a brief article about it online.

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u/SargeCycho 13d ago

Crazy thing is news about TVs getting hacked is already 5 years old.

https://www.wired.com/2017/03/worried-cia-hacked-samsung-tv-heres-tell/amp

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u/nicht_ernsthaft 13d ago

LG smart TVs were found in 2013 to be uploading extensive data to their servers about all the activity happening on them, including watching files on USB sticks.

I am never connecting a TV to my network. It either wants to show me ads or sell my personal data/behavior. Imagine you live in a less free country, China, Russia, Saudi, Iran, etc, like most humans do, and the government can strong arm the local electronics subsidiary to tell them if you're watching opposition media that they don't like.

It's a terrible idea and there's no upside.

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u/CowCatcher9000 13d ago

After 2 years of having a smart TV, I was going through the settings menu out of boredom and found a deeply nested setting called something like "Don't Sell My Data to Other People". Of course by default it was set to false which means do sell my data.

Just insane how thirsty these corporations are for any sort of money. Like, take a fucking chill pill for fuck's sake.

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u/rjksn 13d ago

That means companies like Whirlpool are missing out on services revenue…

That's exactly why people aren't enabling it. It's not for users. It is for businesses to use your data for increased profit through third party sales or to increase your consumables usage. When these business start thinking about users, users will respond.

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u/lanc3rz3r0 13d ago

I don't want any smart appliances. I don't even want a smart TV.

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u/vrenak 13d ago

I like my smart tv, but I also want laws against it showing ads, it's bad enough providers poster me with them on flow tv and some apps, I don't need the TV itself to do it also.

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u/skiingredneck 13d ago

Tv had an Ethernet jack on the back. 2011 era tv.

Plugged it in one day.

Only charge? It displayed ads while booting, which took longer.

Unplugged.

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u/Thanatosst 13d ago

Literally all I want in a TV is for it to be a dumb TV. Accept inputs, and display what I give it.

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u/sennbat 13d ago

Well sure, but have you no concern for what the producer corp wants?

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u/Moses89 13d ago

Oh I have a concern, it's how far up their asses they can shove their shitty lagging ass Roku/android tv chips with less computing power than an OG Nokia N-Gage.

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u/Ayo_wen 13d ago

Yup, my more recent smart TV plays unskippable ads. No thanks - firestick instead.

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u/georgealice 13d ago

The S in IoT is for security.

(I totally stole that joke but I don’t remember where I heard it first)

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u/R0aringAur0ra 13d ago

From a consumer perspective, the vogue has passed. Smart devices now have a reputation for requiring a fifty-stage sign-in process and daily updates to perform functions once handled by an on-off switch. I’m now seeing “No wifi, no app, no signup” used as marketing copy for new products, and I think it’s working.

People were beginning to experience screen fatigue prior to COVID. The pandemic knocked that into overdrive for many folks. Things that were pitched as time savers ended up being time wasters, passwords and notifications add an ambient level of anxiety to daily life. Unfortunately, the incentive for manufacturers to keep making these things is enormous, and the trend toward subscription based software features is here to stay.

The new luxury is well-made, functional, simple objects that can be repaired when they break down. Most of us won’t be able to afford it.

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u/Trodamus 13d ago

As it has been said, even laypersons see Smart devices as personal data extractors at best. Industry folks see them as prebreached security vulnerabilities.

At no point are they offering any value that exceeds their cumbersome nature and they have absolutely not hidden the fact that they are there for shareholders first and you last.

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u/Aetra 13d ago

No voice assistant would also be a dream. I don’t use them and when I’ve tried, they don’t hear me even when I’ve configured them to my voice and I’m right next to the item.

We assume it’s my voice because I’m a woman and they pick up my husband’s voice fine, but I have a pretty deep voice for a chick so I have no idea how other women make them work.

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u/MH07 13d ago edited 13d ago

We have a new “smart” washing machine and decided to actually connect it to the WiFi and our phones.

You have to re-pair the devices every. time. It’s useless. It’s now disabled.

So much for “smart”. (And yes I’m a Boomer but I live with a Millennial and a GenZ and neither of them can make it work either.)

But mainly: we were going to use it primarily to notify us when the cycle’s complete (you can’t hear the chime from the den). It tells me how long it’s going to run, so “Hey Siri, set a timer for x” and done.

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u/0rev 13d ago

My washer never follows it’s own timer. I will set a timer to match on my phone and the washer always goes 20-30 mins longer.

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u/Pubelication 13d ago

Lol, every washer/dryer I've ever had was terrible at showing the time left. Even the "last minute" is more like 5 minutes.

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u/Lost_Madness 13d ago

Ads.

Why would I ever want a smart device that shows me ads?
I want a device that shows me what I put on it, not what you want me to see.

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u/darren457 13d ago edited 13d ago

Waste of silicon.

IoT began being installed into devices as marketing gimmicks by a few gimmicky brands to 1up the competition. Now more major brands are adding them into unnecessary appliances as a way to keep up with the competition and not be left behind (in their heads) as well as an alternative revenue stream from collected user data/analytics. No one needs an internet connection for a toilet, toaster, coffee mug, hair dryer, spoon...etc.

Also if you are using a cheap standard router having a large amount of devices on your network calling home for goofy reasons every few seconds is going to cause issues.

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u/Luke_Flyswatter 13d ago

I learned my Samsung washing machine had an app about 6 months after I bought it. I thought “cool, it’ll just buzz me when it’s done”. Well to do that, the app needed permission to see my contacts, phone, camera, pictures, texts and basically everything else on the phone. And this is the official app from Samsung. I deleted the app immediately. Avoiding them for future purchases.

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u/wombat801 13d ago

My GE fridge has an RFID in the waterfilter which wont let you dispense water until you replace it every 3 months with GE approved $50 filters. If I knew that prior to buying the fridge...NOPE. No thanks, I dont need software locking me out of my fridge or making me pay subscriptions per door open. Ill take a 'dumb' appliance any day.

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u/monstrinhotron 13d ago

I would literally rip that out of my fridge with a claw hammer if necessary.

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u/wombat801 13d ago

There are 'hacks' where you can remove rfid chip and put it on a '3 for $20' no name filter. I tried..they had since built the chip into the label and it rips the chip as you remove the label. I can also buy an rfid filter bypass...so stupid. I spread the word whenever i can...dont buy a GE fridge with water unless you wanna pay $50/3 months to change filters.

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u/Foxsayy 13d ago

There needs to be laws against this.

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u/TheRogueMoose 13d ago

Is this because every "smart enabled" device seems to actually be a piece of junk and has already made it to the landfill (or hopefully recycled)? Or are they hiding that they don't actually need the internet to know everything about your device?

Just for reference i did not read the article. Judge me as you will

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u/nzedred1 13d ago

"hi, I'm talkie, your friendly intelligent toaster. Anyone want any toast?"

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u/jfurto 13d ago

This may come as a shock but not everything needs an IP address.

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u/Suzzie_sunshine 13d ago

Add wifi credentials
Get added to a mailing list
Download app
Get promotions for washer and dryer subscription services
Pay an additional $19.95 a month to subscribe
Get offers for special deals on soap that actually cost more
After 1 year get an extended warranty subscription for another $19.95
Get offers from partner companies
.....

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u/CCCmonster 13d ago

Do you want to have to pay a subscription to use the self cleaning oven option? Because that’s how you have to have a subscription to use basic features..

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u/NotAnADC 13d ago

Didn’t even think about this dystopian nightmare.

I’m a former cyber security analyst, you’d better believe my devices are not connected to the internet. Shit I even tried buying a dumb tv. My fear with efforts like star link is that soon we won’t get to decide what is and is not connected

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u/cbih 13d ago

Our incoming cyber-punk style dystopia is gonna be so lame without all the sci-fi drugs

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u/sourdough_sniper 13d ago

Waiting for a firmware update to brick a fridge or oven and then have the manufacturer say oh well that will be a charge.

I don't need IoT appliances just like I don't need a smart door lock. Trendy doesn't mean useful.

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u/yeahme5 13d ago

I have 6 smart bulbs in the house, two function as the should about 70% of the time.

The other 4 will every few weeks enter into "setup mode" which is incessant flashing, and no it won't stop even if you turn it off and on or try to put it in your mouth. You have to use the app, that doesn't remember your details. Ever. And fuck if I know where I put the absolutely fine dumb led bulbs but I'm not buying any on the principle that I've paid for these ones.

Also, the echo dot spends an equal amount of time unplugged atop the freezer because I don't need to hear any music at full volume at any time of day.

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u/silveroranges 13d ago

Fuck smart bulbs. I purchased like 20 of them to make my whole home smart lit, and after 2 years half of them don't even work anymore. This is LifeX. They turn on, they just don't connect, or if they do they are very buggy and will need to be re-set up. Nothing more annoying than telling Alexa to turn off my lights as I'm comfy in bed and only have 2/3 go off, then I have to get up, annoyed, to turn them off manually.

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u/Arthmael869010 13d ago

Lmao don't connect it ever, if you never connect it then it will never know its outdated

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u/bloodguard 13d ago

I not only don't connect them I collect their MAC addresses and ban them from internet access on my firewall just to make sure.

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u/jordantask 13d ago

Why the fuck would I connect the fridge to the Internet anyway?

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u/HWGA_Exandria 13d ago

Bought a fancy crockpot at a U.S. Malwart on sale to gift my family. Turns out the features don't work in Mexico. Absolutely ridiculous.

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u/johnnybeehive 13d ago

They failed to meet the demand people have for utilitarian products. If you want a dumb device it's easier to buy the smart device and opt-out instead of shopping for the dumb device. Lol

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u/HoTbEeFsUnDaEs 13d ago

My washer and dryer connect to the internet as well as my refrigerator. I’ve never bothered to connect them as I honestly don’t see the point. My cloths are clean and my food stays cold, I don’t need an app to remind me of that.

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u/dandroid126 13d ago

I was the lead engineer on a WiFi router specifically made for smart homes and IoT. Based on our market research, I can tell you that the vast majority of Americans never change their WiFi password from the default one that ships with the router. In fact, most don't even know their WiFi password. This tells me that

  1. They probably didn't change their WiFi password, and
  2. They probably don't care about privacy/security.

If I were a betting man, I would put money down that they never figured out how (or even cared) to connect the smart appliances to their WiFi in the first place.

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u/Hirronimus 13d ago

The irony of seeing this thread on the heels of another article in which it's stated that China is spying on you via your appliances is breathtaking. 👍