The Internet of Things or IoT* - a euphemistic and misleading name for the global conspiracy of sentient home appliances, which is underway full steam, with full cooperation of some information and smartphone behemoths like Google, Samsung, Microsoft and others. You have heard recently about the first (tentative and relatively humble) attempt of the appliances to flex some muscles.
Somebody that calls himself Cory Doctorow published a calming article Your refrigerator probably hasn't joined a botnet, but I am not at all sure it was written by the real Cory Doctorow the writer. The article is so peppered by links (some of which are broken) that I can't reject the worst possibility: that the real Cory Doctorow is either murdered or incarcerated by his own coffeemaker or dishwasher, his sentient keyboard having written and sent in the article. It would be interesting whether there were large withdrawals from Doctorow's account recently that went to Radio Shack and other providers of electronic equipment, the purchases to be delivered to the home address.
So: can you be sure these days that you are safe in your own castle? Nope. And here is a page from your first home survival manual.
- You must have with you at least the following tools: a hammer with a wooden handle, a torch, a stick, gloves and a rope.
- You must study the manual of your fridge in advance, checking the precise location of its control center.
- Make sure that the kitchen light switch is located outside the kitchen. Otherwise you will be better with a glass of water from your bathroom tap.
- On the way to your kitchen try to be as quiet as possible.
- Switch on the light, but don't enter the kitchen immediately. If the light doesn't work - go back to your bedroom and have that glass of water from your bathroom tap.
- Push the kitchen door with your leg (I hope you have your hiking shoes on, it may protect you from an electric surge in case your appliances booby trapped the door).
- If the door doesn't open, it must be pulled instead of being pushed. Use the rope, but put on your gloves first.
- After opening the door, don't march in immediately. Wave the stick inside the door frame. Your coffeemaker may have been prepared to squirt some boiling coffee in your face.
- Unplug the fridge. If the plug and the wall socket are behind the body of the fridge, do not put your hand between the wall and the fridge - use the stick!
- Now to opening the fridge: if your fridge has two doors, never stand in a position that may allow the second door to swat you.
- Have the hammer ready and open the door slowly.
- If, in spite of being disconnected from the socket, the fridge lights up - run like a rabbit!
- If so far nothing untoward happened - tie the open door of the fridge to some heavy object (table, sink, etc) and, using your torch, carefully check the innards of the fridge for live wires and moving parts (foodstuff that had gone off and is moving because of your housekeeping habits could be ignored).
- Remember, you purchased a fridge with wheels. It is entirely your fault that you haven't broken the wheels off after placing the fridge in its corner. But you must be aware of the fridge's smallest movement while examining its innards. If it starts encroaching on you, use your hammer on its control center immediately. Of course, it is entirely possible that your fridge, not being a slouch, relocated the said center elsewhere. Then, I am afraid, your goose is cooked.
- If the door you have tied up in step 13 succeeds to break its tether and starts pushing you into the fridge: use your hammer on the freaking control center and pray. See step 14 again.
- If you got the milk out - let your dog/cat have a few spoons and wait for some time before drinking it yourself.
- Make friends with a good handyman who possesses some basic electronic skills and have him rip out all electronics from all your kitchen and other home appliances. If you can't use your fridge, your coffeemaker and your dishwasher without them being sentient, you probably deserve to be offed by them.
According to Gartner there will be nearly 26 billion devices on the Internet of Things by 2020.Do you think this leaves any room for humans? Uhu... me too.
(*) Why the obvious and catchy acronym wasn't chosen - beats me.
(**) A filthy habit, if you ask me. But what do I know?