back to article Got a great IoT story to tell? You have until Friday to let us know

The deadline to get your proposals in Building IoT London is just days away, on Friday October 7, so if you want to tell an audience of real world tech pros about your real world experiences developing and implementing the internet of things, don't delay. Building IoOT London, brought to you by Heise and The Register, will be …

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  1. Anonymous Coward
    Mushroom

    I've a fantasitic story....

    how about how shit IoT stuff has help create the worlds largest DDoS, destroying any measly record that Windows was able to muster up.

    1. Warm Braw Silver badge

      Re: I've a fantasitic story....

      One of the members of the programme committee, Alexandra Deschamps-Sonsino, created something called the Good Night Lamp. Scroll down that page and click on the link to their technology partner, Eseye, for an example of the seriousness with which these IoT companies take security (cached version here).

      [You may need to use Firefox]

      1. AndyS

        Re: I've a fantasitic story....

        > Scroll down that page and click on the link to their technology partner, Eseye, for an example of the seriousness with which these IoT companies take security

        I did that, and landed on a page advertising some sort of internet of things protocol / hardware. Care to elaborate, or am I expected to read through 2 or 3 pages of marketing to get the point myself?

        1. Warm Braw Silver badge

          Re: I've a fantasitic story....

          Care to elaborate

          See link to "cached version". Apparent failure to configure intermediate certificates at webserver.

  2. Nikki Radir

    IoT - the never-beginning story

    I've read hundreds of articles, posts, adverts, spec sheets, etc. about IoT 'stuff'. Not one of these would justify a fraction of their cost and effort in setting up, with the miniscule 'advantages' they offer to me. Any of them would add to the list of things to go wrong. We have many genuine problems to be solved in this world; please go away and think again. Lend your efforts to creating something worthwhile, rather than tiny increments to first-world, so-called convenience and me-too, bragging-rights trends.

    1. AndyS

      Re: IoT - the never-beginning story

      Chromecast - works well, doesn't need lots of set-up, works on existing wifi with existing phones, cheap, replaces expensive boxes / services.

      IP Webcam - Same as above, replaces multiple devices from security to baby monitor.

      Networked storage - Same as above, replaces more complex NAS solutions, allows access across the net via simple setup & app.

      I could go on, but that is 3 solid examples of good devices, which can fit into existing networks and provide real solutions, often cheaper and simpler than the alternatives (or the devices they directly replace). All can be properly secured very simply.

      Where I agree with you is when the proposal is the opposite - think "smart" lightbulbs which are more expensive, offer no measurable benefits, are harder to use and solve no existing problem. But used properly, technology and networking can and does solve many problems very nicely.

      I believe (and have said before) that the problem is in the marketing. Devices which work, fill a good role and are wanted don't need labelled with silly "IOT" style marketing. They're just called what they are - chromecast, NAS storage, etc. So anything which proudly boasts that it is an IOT thing is, probably, going to be a waste of money.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Coat

        Re: Andy S

        But those are things that need the internet. Less than "Internet of Things". Which is where the light-bulbs come in.

        I guess that's what the phrase means to me. A device is either "using the internet to do a job for a customer" or an "IoT" which is just "the internet bolted onto something that did not need it".

        Mines the one containing the catalogue of "Connected" washing machines we could not *give* away.

        1. AndyS

          Re: Andy S

          Yes, I agree - the concept of a thing connected to the internet is like the concept of a thing with a screen - very useful, lots of applications, a sign of technology advancing. But the buzzword "IoT" means, on the whole, leveraging underutilised potential while moving forward synergistically.

          It's not the concept that is wrong, it's the marketing. Products which actually do something useful don't use the label, which means it is only used by useless tat.

          1. Naselus

            Re: Andy S

            None of those are IoT devices. At all.

            The idea of IoT is that it'll take something that has previously not been networked and then network it. Network-attached storage has always been networked (clue's in the name, really); and webcams aren't really replacing actualy cameras - they're a different device and use-case. One could probably make a better argument for the cameras on phones... though those are almost entirely actually just local cameras which can be backed up to the cloud, rather than actually being IoT either really.

            IoT would be things like the internet-enabled fridge that monitors food levels for you and then, when you run low on something, orders it automatically for delivery. These exist, and barely work.

            The thing is, while there's maybe half a dozen things around the house that would indeed benefit from being IoT'd (central heating or air conditioning are the best example), there's many others which might benefit from being intelligent, but won't benefit from being networked. A robot vacuum cleaner benefits from being just about bright enough to work it's way round my house at 1pm every day... but there's no further benefit to it connecting to the internet so I can issue commands from my smartphone while I'm in the office. A timer suffices to achieve the same thing with less hassle. It has no need of a cloud-based command and control platform.

            My lightbulbs, likewise, have little benefit from being controlled via a server in New Zealand. At best I can see an argument for being able to control them from my phone via my own router. But not much benefit from telling Google every time I switch the lights on. Maybe re-ordering when they're dying... but even there it's a pretty questionable benefit.

            In all, maybe 90% of the consumer-facing IoT stuff is solutions looking for problems, much like wearable tech is. There's a LOT of useful industrial applications for it, but in the home? No. The justification is a lot more about companies harvesting data rather than improving quality of life for consumers.

  3. Scott Broukell
    Meh

    Well I for one . . .

    Am eagerly looking forward to every green lane, hamlet, town and city being bang up to date, on message and IoT-hipster friendly. Just like last year, when it was announced that every household in the land has at least two 3D-Printers chuntering away in the background (doing something wow!). /s

    1. Robert Moore
      Thumb Up

      Re: Well I for one . . .

      But what is you made an IoT 3D printer.

      Off to find some VC cash.

    2. Roq D. Kasba

      Re: Well I for one . . .

      I got two 3D printers, they mated, knee deep in the fuckers now.

      1. LaeMing
        Go

        Re: Well I for one . . .

        You have to fly really close to a star and heat up the cargo hold if you want to get rid of them.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Well I for one . . .

        @ Roq D. Kasba

        Did you get them wet or feed them after midnight?

  4. bombastic bob Silver badge
    Meh

    IoT a bit overrated

    I think the IoT thing is a bit overrated - like "the cloud"

    IoT still has potential, but I don't need to know on a smartphone reminder application whether my fridge has enough beer in it [I can just look myself], or if my dog is outside in the yard relieving himself while I'm gone [or doing it on the rug to spite me]. But knowing if the server closet is too hot - THAT might be important enough to IoT and notify me on the a smartphone.

    Then there are those wireless home security systems you can buy. They're kinda *like* IoT, from what I've heard about them [or COULD be, anyway]. And those front door cameras with doorbell alarms. Answer your doorbell with a smartphone, see who it is, scare away potential intruders. Not a bad idea.

    So yeah, SOME good IoT things going on out there. But whenever I think about it, my mind chirps rhythmically like a bunch of crickets...

    1. Prst. V.Jeltz Silver badge

      Re: IoT a bit overrated

      good examples Bob

      IOT is over buzzworded . It has one of the most stupid buzzwordy titles ever - and its up against some stiff compettion ranging from "multimedia" to "cloud"

      Certainly for everyone on the register the phrase "IOT" has become synonomous with bullshit fridges.

      But the theory of a device sending a message over the internet is fundamentally a good idea - and probably widely in use already.

      Just as "The Cloud" was widely in use before some dick decided to call it that.

      1. Chris G Silver badge

        Re: IoT a bit overrated

        About 16 years ago some lads I knew in California came up with a connected pool controller, your swimming pool could phone, page or email you to tell you the free chlorine level or TDS was out and from the other end of an internet connection you could change parameters. The kit could be set in I think, 11 languages, was simple to install and adaptable to industrial use on boilers, AC towers and other water control systems, I had some interest from some single malt distilleries but the Cali's let me down twice so I dropped them. However, they were the first people I know of to have an IoT idea and it was genuinely useful, I'm still waiting for the second 'Thing'.

        Thought I should add this from one today's other Reg items : "Security blogger Hacker Fantastic, who has put together an informative early analysis of the malware, summed up the feelings of several security researchers who have looked at the code. “If all it took to create biggest recorded DDoS attack in history was a telnet scanner and 36 weak credentials the net has a huge IoT problem,” he said on Twitter."

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: IoT a bit overrated

      >whether my fridge has enough beer in it [I can just look myself],

      If you can see whether your fridge has enough beer or not then you are either not drinking enough or have run out. Either way order more.

      1. BongoJoe

        Re: IoT a bit overrated

        No-one has managed to explain how my fridge knows when my locally sourced bacon has run out or that the veg in the bottom needs replacing or even that I need more eggs.

        Moreover, what does it do if it can? Tell the local farmer, smallholder or chap with a box full of eggs for sale down the lane?

        How does that all work? How does it know which apiarist to contact for more honey or chap with own still for the gin?

        Note that all of the above items will have no barcodes nor RFI chips and the producers, as I like my food local and fresh, will be on grid.

        So how will this work for me?

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I have an idea for a blue tooth ink filed pen. When you move your smartphone near it and press down on the pen the ink gets onto the paper enabling you to write words. The pen also doesn't need to be charged as the signal is detected by the special ink. The app also detects the pens presence and helpfully lets you know it's time to write.

    Real world solutions for real world problems on a postcard please written with a blue tooth pen.

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    @ Prst. V.Jeltz

    IOT - a concept favored by people who use the word "leverage" as a verb. 'Nuff said

  7. tr1ck5t3r

    Yeah I caught GCHQ hacking my systems so I phoned them up and described their software to them so they covered it up by claiming TalkTalk was hacked. what makes me laugh is theres only 1 of me and how many of them? LOL. Still they can make up anything they like when they control the media, just like they control the phone system, so next time you call a call centre are you talking to a spook who has hacked the call centre companies computer systems or a genuine call centre operator? How do you prove it? For a clue, in maths its possible to calculate unknowns is a starting point....

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Unsecure IOT Mess

    The most useful IOT devices (wireless CCTV) are the most notorious at creating security holes. You enter your username password into the device (CCTV) and it is free to send the credentials anywhere it wants. Fantastic.. Who needs hacking.. You can build an entire database of usernames and passwords being automatically filled with these so call IOT devices. Not just your house is at risk (no SSL in CCTVs) but your email and everything it holds are at risk. Faucking pile of shite this IOT stuff..

  9. David_H
    Meh

    Old IOT systems

    @Chris G

    18 years ago I worked for a very small company; CPSL, Leicestershire, UK and we had our offices linked up with every bit of IOT we could think of at the time.

    I could use a button keyfob to unlock the door. I would get a personalised verbal greeting, the lights (if required) would turn on up to my office and the voice system would tell me of any calendar items I had for that day (using the speakers along my route). By the time I reached my office, my PC would have booted up (usually!), and if required my curtains would have opened.

    Remote control via SMS was clunky, but we could receive photo's from the camera's in the rooms if we used a PC. Heating, coffee machine, etc. were all controlled via PC and the light fittings would report their efficiency. We even had a system for dimming the lights via voice control (very Star Trek).

    Could we sell it to anyone? Not a chance! It was way to early in the curve, and I'm sure that the current equipment is still not mature enough (especially when it comes to security).

    The only systems I can remember selling were 'walking' lights in the skirting boards of hotel corridors to show the routes appropriate emergency exits, wireless connected fluorescent lights in underground carparks that would tell the maintenance people when a light was about to fail, and a system for automatically monitoring the well being of cats and dogs via fresh urine chemistry (think shower trays, not catheters).

    1. Rich 11 Silver badge

      Re: Old IOT systems

      (think shower trays, not catheters).

      Just as well. Can you imagine trying to catheterise a cat? It'd make worming the little fucker look like a walk in the park.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Old IOT systems

        Oh dear God. Why is my head now filled with the expression "Mrs Slocombe's Pussy"??

        1. Alistair Silver badge
          Joke

          Re: Old IOT systems

          STOP THAT!

          Its tuesday not friday!

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Joke

    Got milk??

    My IOT Fridge has been infected with Cryptowall, and all the dairy products were encrypted before I could switch it off.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Got milk??

      Obligatory Not XKCD: http://www.geekculture.com/joyoftech/joyarchives/2340.html

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up

    I've got a great IOT story to tell...

    See here: http://www.theregister.co.uk/2016/10/05/animas_diabetes_pump_flaw/

  12. Big_Boomer Silver badge

    Identity?

    Add WiFi to your passport, driving licence or ID card. IDIot :D

    IoT,... sounds to me like yet another pointless marketing ploy to sell useless tat to gullible morons, much like the StupidWatch craze and many more before that.

  13. TRT Silver badge

    The only IoT thing that would be of interest...

    would be a camera that was pointed at the coffee jug in the rest area.

    Except I don't drink coffee now.

    1. Robert Carnegie Silver badge

      Precedent

      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Trojan_Room_coffee_pot camera was in service between 1991-2001, if you worked in that university computer centre. Or you could visit the web site - still preserved - but only look obviously.

      I think before that there was an American college where a soda (beverage) can vending machine was networked to return its stock status in unencrypted text, but I forget where and when. I think I remember that the watched coffee pot was a leap forward in technology at the time.

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