57 Replies to “I, For One, Welcome Our New Self-Driving Overlords”

    1. I still have no idea what possible benefit there can be for me in having my hair dryer talk to my vacuum, light bulb, coffee machine, or dildo. Yet they will.

      BTW, they finally admitted last week in the UK that smart meters will be used to ration electricity possibly as early as this winter.

      1. There is a huge benefit from making as sure as you can that your home and your cell is NOT being invaded, as best possible. I do not use many apps. Even the Canadian Revenue Agency can not keep your info safe anymore. The Internet was once a useful tool, but is being used as a weapon.

    1. Me too, with expresso beans and a grinder. My daughter in law prefers Italian stove-top, with equally good results.

      Beware of strata/condo boards, now run by tech-obsessed genx/y’s … I was required to install Flo by Moen, a device that measures water pressure. Being an original owner, my place has never had water pressure problems, but this “dumb AI” device will give me feedback on my water use to my portable phone, which varies greatly during a year. My logical brain says, “this is going to be a PITA, as I do normally leave the country each year. Opps, my WIFI connection is not strong enough to connect my PRIVATE portable phone to the concrete garage. I guess buying a booster for the garage will not be on the to-do list.

      I hope all my “dumb” appliances work for a long time.

      Remember the days when defrosters in cars worked …. and you could decide by yourself whether you wanted car doors locked?

      1. I hope all my “dumb” appliances work for a long time.

        I’ve owned only one toaster in my entire adult life. It still works after more than 43 years.

          1. I first heard that term while I was finishing my first master’s degree. I shared an office with a number of grad students, one of whom was an Aussie and it was through him that I learned what it meant.

            As for the toaster, I think it was built in North America.

  1. That and that the government can monitor your use of power, etc. I laughed at the Telus rep when she asked why I didn’t want to tour their model smart home with all its “smart” gadgets.

    1. Yes, I was one of those who refused installation of BC Hydro “smart” power meters, but they probably installed one anyway, without my knowledge. The writing was on the wall in Ontario and other jurisdictions. All that I know is that minimally heating my place in urban Vancouver is ridiculously expensive.

  2. Like a Keurig, it probably makes crappy coffee when things are optimal. Who needs stuff like this, anyway? Simple coffee maker or just a kettle, pot and a filter cone!

  3. I don’t want my auto insurance company knowing how fast I drive (occasionally) … nor how much coffe I drink, or how strong I brew it … call me a ‘private’ citizen

  4. I made cowboy coffee until 6 months ago. I bought good beans and ground them fresh every pot. Sure you had some grounds in your cup but that’s what your teeth are for – to act as a filter….

    One day I discovered a coffee press and cowboy bob coffee is no more. Now I’m hand grinding, weighing, measuring checking temperature. It took awhile but I figured it out. Best coffee ever.

    1. We occasionally buy green coffee beans and roast them ourselves. In a frying pan. Its easy. Then grind and through a simple coffee maker.

  5. And people wonder why I drink tea….. and not using those dad-blasted bags, either. I mean real tea made from loose leaves put into a metal ball and steeped for several minutes. Real black Indian tea, not leftover lawn clippings!

          1. Ah, but I rarely serve my homebrew until I’ve ensured it’s of suitable quality, and I need to sample it frequently to make sure…..

            Actually, homebrewing isn’t all that complicated. Start by reading up on it. (Charlie Papazian’s book on it is an excellent one and it has lots of recipes as well.) One can start brewing with a kit which has all the ingredients except for dextrose.

            The major expense is in getting started as one needs to buy all the equipment, but after that the cost goes down. A kit can produce just over 5 cases with the cost being about 20% of what one would pay for a case of 12 bottles in a liquor store. It’s rather hard to beat that.

            One should be prepared, however, to give up two afternoons: one to get the brew started and one for bottling it. Racking to remove sediment takes about an hour and one has to do that at least once and that’s when the brew is siphoned from the fermenter into the carboy.

            After that, it’s fair game. One can make it from scratch and, after the 4 basic ingredients (malt extract, hops, yeast, and water), one can add whatever one likes to get the colour or taste one wants.

          2. When I started home brewing I was given this advice –

            ” have a very strong batch on hand for “people who think because you are home brewing that they can drink a lot” “

          3. Ian:

            I think Russian Imperial stout would nicely serve that purpose. Mind you, after one bottle, they may be legally impaired…..

        1. I have yet to have a good batch of homemade beer. But go through a wine kit (or rather, it goes through me) about every month. I usually stick to the German whites, mild flavours and I’m not supposed to age it. Because I wouldn’t.

          Well, except for the annual batch of dandelion. That usually needs about 3-4 years before it becomes a brandy.

          1. In all time of homebrewing, I’ve thrown out only 2 batches and those were my fault. The last one was nearly 20 years ago.

          2. I made beer for years and had some interesting taste experiences. There was one German type that I found pleasing so I made that one for about 5 years, then I got lazy.

        2. My young, hipster, next door neighbor is a highly skilled brewer. He makes a killer version of Pliny the Elder … and he is very generous with his brew on Friday night street/driveway gatherings.

  6. Par for the course. As I’ve mentioned before, nobody making consumer electronics gives two shits about security and if they did they’d be disciplined for wasting time and resources implementing it.

    1. if they did they’d be disciplined for wasting time and resources implementing it

      Not necessarily. It’s more likely that they’re too cheap to bother with it.

      That’s something that hams sometimes encounter. Someone files a complaint about, say, a station’s signals being received by their stereo set. Much of that can be avoided if that stereo was properly shielded against spurious interference. It’s not all that expensive to add to the design. But we’re talking about manufacturers who would spend enormous amounts of time and money configuring their product in order to eliminate a few dollars worth of threaded fasteners so that the junk they make will have a cheaper retail price and, often, a correspondingly reduced lifetime.

  7. Damned good reason to hang on to your old Pre 2005 or so VEHICLE….No.??

    Forget one payment and the engine wont start or the doors wont unlock (where have I heard THAT before.??), …or if some domestic Silicon Valley TERRORIST decides you’re a RACIST & runs your Privileged White (_i_) right off a cliff.

    Seriously, would you consider “upgrading” a horse’s brain so it could argue with you…?? Of course not…can’t have your ride deciding whether you go anywhere.

    There’s plenty of electric product out there that has ZERO reason to be “connected”. For that matter if we were REALLY serious about this, then we’d all be using our BB Bold 9000’s…RIGHT.?? Anyways – Just in case, I have 2 BB Z30’s in perfect working order…and one day I may go over the edge after finally losing my shit with the inherent SPYING by every 2 bit dick on the planet and toss my droid phone in a deep well….after I remove the sim card of course.

    1. The truck I inherited from my father’s scary enough as it is. I’ve opened the hood a few times and I got lost quite quickly trying to figure out what was there.

      Every time I drive it, I don’t have to deal with idiot lights. Nope. The dashboard’s all lit up like a pinball machine whenever I turn the key and I’ve got to figure out what’s going on.

      Last year, one of those lights suddenly came on while I was driving and I couldn’t figure out why. I took it into the shop, which I needed to do anyway as I had 2 outstanding recall notices that had to be dealt with, and, some $600 later, I find out that the problem was a software bug. Aaaaaarrrrrggggghhh!

      I still drive my ’91 VW Golf. It’s a lot more straightforward under the hood, though it does have electronic ignition, which my ’77 Rabbit didn’t. Unfortunately, being that old, spare parts are sometimes hard to come by now.

      1. A friend’s comment after being taken for a look at a new Komatsu dozer –

        “You turn the key and a screen lights up and goes through a check list. There were 7 screens.

        Just imagine what it will be like when it gets old enough that we can afford it”

  8. I have made it a policy to not have any so called smart devices. One salesperson emplained all about how my garage door can send me an email message if I forget to close it. It will only cost me $2.99/month. I told her I didn’t want my garage sending me emails. I get enough spam as it is. I could see by her expression she was thinking “luddite”.

    I bought the dumb one for $89 less and then simply set the timer thingie to close automatically in five minutes if left open.

    I also have a stupid fridge, a idiot dryer, a dummy washer and my water softener is as smart as a brick.

  9. Only a person with a devious mind would create a coffee machine like that. Why, why, it’s enough to ruin the whole day!

    If I had a what’s it, I’d use it like Elvis did when he wrecked his TV.
    *☆° BAM
    BAM ☆°*

      1. Right! I ♡ tea too.

        If I may ask, where can I buy loose Indian tea and what brand?
        I have a small ceramic Japanese teapot and Japanese tea here sent from that Country.

        1. I get a nice black Ceylon tea at Save-On Foods. It’s the only one I’ve found there.

          SuperStore has two varieties of Indian tea. I believe they’re produced by Brooke Bond, and they go by the name of Red Label and Yellow Label.

          I used to drink Twinings, but it’s become rather hard to find nowadays. As well, it’s become rather pricy.

          1. Got it!
            I get my favourite VanHoutte Dark Columbian coffee beans at Save-On Foods. My trip will now have another purpose.

            Thanks a million B!

        2. WalMart. Not with the tea, coffee, but in the international foods aisle. Brooke Bond’s Red Label, Lipton’s Yellow Label.

      2. Teapots might not need training, but the humans using them do. I prefer green or yellow teas. First steeping 1 minute. Second steeping 2-3 minutes. Third steeping 5+ minutes. And it never tastes like a rusty spoon the way some of the black teas do.

        There’s grocery store in the dragon mall in Calgary that sells them by the brick, 3-4 months worth of tea (2-3 pots per day) for $50-70 depending on the type you want.

    1. Nancy – my comment below was a response to yours above relating to Elvis and his TV.
      Sometimes the comments are a bit late arriving. I still say there would be bullet holes in my floor as there were behind Elvis’ TV.
      Have a good one.

      1. CRB–
        Haha! People who pay that kind of money, $250, or $350 CDN with exchange and GST, should ‘off’ themselves.


  10. The only reason to build in an easily hackable Internet connection to every household appliance is to make it easier for Deep State intelligence to monitor or murder troublemakers.

    Good news. Your HVAC is connected to the Internet so you can monitor your energy consumption while you’re on holiday.

    Bad news. If you comment on SDA too much, the Deep State can match your house to the IP, send a message to the HVAC, and before you can say Bill Gates there’s nothing left of your house but a smoking crater—and precious little left of you.

  11. Anybody buying a new TV, beware – and do your research first. Just like everything else, the TV market is extremely cutthroat; and several makers offer lower prices by signing offside deals with data companies by which whatever you’re watching is logged by the TV and sold back to advertisers. All without telling you they’re doing this, of course – and no, they couldn’t care less about either your privacy or whether you want them to share your personal data. I imagine the courts will get around to addressing the matter, one of these centuries…

    I remember back when I used goof-gle, getting a survey from them at one point – “Please take the time to do our survey; help us tailor your ad choices to better suit your preferences!” Well I looked through their survey, but there didn’t seem to be a preference selection for “none” – fancy that. Brave and Duckduckgo for the win!

    1. Y.Knott, yeah, I know there are not any “none” selections. They all annoy, but the one you x out that asks why you want it gone, has a short list of choices for replies, but none of them allow a reply of, “its in the frigging way of me being able to read the damn article”. It does not EVER, occur to them that “None” is for most, the preferred choice. So yep, we are the product these days.

      1. Strategypage is swamped with goofle ads. I used to go through them and click them all out – then like you say, “Please tell us why you do not want to see this ad anymore?” I tried every answer they provided, from “I already have this product” to “It’s offensive or sexually explicit” – none of them stopped the ad from coming right back, just as often as it had before.

        It’s almost as if they don’t really care whether we want to see their stupid ads or not. I wonder if they’ve ever cottoned-on that I not only never click on them, I do my best to avoid anything they advertise? It’s like buying a coffee at McDonald’s with your credit card because “well they give us air miles!” – yeah, why do you suppose they do that, and who is REALLY interested in how often you buy coffee at McDonald’s?

  12. A in-law of mine let Hydro Ottawa control his thermostat. Stupid bastard. His brother said to him: never let the government into your house.
    I just have a drip maker. Set it up at night and when I come down in the morning it’s just finished the brew so its smart enough to tell time but basically as dumb as TimG.

    1. I’m old enough to remember when one could buy clock radios did much the same thing. They had an electrical outlet which would power up at a set time, so one could plug in an electric percolator and the coffee would be ready soon after one woke up.

      1. Yeah BA, I’m kind of a luddite, but not by choice, Tech just drives me nuts so I avoid as much as I can. I bought fancy alarm clock a couple of years back, that had all the bells and whistles. Even reading the friggin instructions, I could never figure out how to program the damn thing, so now it sits on a shelf unplugged. I think it was in use for two days.

        1. Technology has its place.

          For example, most amateur radio transceivers nowadays come with features such as programmable memories. It makes using those rigs a lot easier and saves a lot of hassle of looking up frequencies and settings for certain repeaters.

          And then there’s software-defined radios. With a program and a dongle, one can turn a computer into a radio, which can do some rather interesting things.

          Still, none of that is of any use if there’s no antenna. There’s not a lot that’s fancy-schmancy about them and they should be tuned in order to be effective. If they don’t work properly, you’re talking to yourself.

  13. My last post on this thread. Every keystroke I make is recorded. For those who actually think we have privacy, HA HA.