1912: "Thermostat"

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TV4Fun
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1912: "Thermostat"

Postby TV4Fun » Mon Nov 06, 2017 11:14 am UTC

Image
Title text: Your problem is so terrible, I worry that, if I help you, I risk drawing the attention of whatever god of technology inflicted it on you.

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Speaking of bizarre technical problems, anyone want to help me with this one? https://superuser.com/questions/1265815 ... s-machines
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Re: 1912: "Thermostat"

Postby herbstschweigen » Mon Nov 06, 2017 11:22 am UTC

Oh, that finally explains the last panel of this comic: https://www.xkcd.com/349/

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rhomboidal
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Re: 1912: "Thermostat"

Postby rhomboidal » Mon Nov 06, 2017 11:26 am UTC

I've heard that we all might be walking into the sea if something goes wrong with the planet's thermostat.

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Re: 1912: "Thermostat"

Postby rmsgrey » Mon Nov 06, 2017 12:06 pm UTC

rhomboidal wrote:I've heard that we all might be walking into the sea if something goes wrong with the planet's thermostat.


I've heard that we have a modern convenience option whereby you don't need to go anywhere and the sea will come to you...

Raidri
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Re: 1912: "Thermostat"

Postby Raidri » Mon Nov 06, 2017 12:09 pm UTC

rmsgrey wrote:
rhomboidal wrote:I've heard that we all might be walking into the sea if something goes wrong with the planet's thermostat.


I've heard that we have a modern convenience option whereby you don't need to go anywhere and the sea will come to you...


You just have to ... wait for it ...

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cellocgw
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Re: 1912: "Thermostat"

Postby cellocgw » Mon Nov 06, 2017 12:12 pm UTC

Well...
I've got a "Sensi" wifi thermostat by Emerson. It's pretty straightforward to connect it to my lAN and register it at their server (so the remote apps can connect to it). But..

Turns out the world-class developers at Emerson never considered that someone might want to un-register a device. I know because I asked, and it can only be done by providing their tech support with the MAC address so they can do things at their end.
Moral: if you move into a house with wifi devices (aka "IoT stuff"), it's probably easier to throw them out and start over with new widgets.
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Re: 1912: "Thermostat"

Postby cellocgw » Mon Nov 06, 2017 12:50 pm UTC

Raidri wrote:
rmsgrey wrote:
rhomboidal wrote:I've heard that we all might be walking into the sea if something goes wrong with the planet's thermostat.


I've heard that we have a modern convenience option whereby you don't need to go anywhere and the sea will come to you...


You just have to ... wait for it ...


I was rather hoping not to try to survive a Zanclean Flood here in New England :mrgreen: . It would be an .... Otter mess.
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Wee Red Bird
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Re: 1912: "Thermostat"

Postby Wee Red Bird » Mon Nov 06, 2017 1:15 pm UTC

cellocgw wrote:Moral: if you move into a house with wifi devices (aka "IoT stuff"), it's probably easier to throw them out and start over with new widgets.

From a security viewpoint, you probably want to do that anyway. You might never be able to tell what firmware the devices have been flashed with.

fibonacci
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Re: 1912: "Thermostat"

Postby fibonacci » Mon Nov 06, 2017 1:26 pm UTC

Wee Red Bird wrote:
cellocgw wrote:Moral: if you move into a house with wifi devices (aka "IoT stuff"), it's probably easier to throw them out and start over with new widgets.

From a security viewpoint, you probably want to do that anyway. You might never be able to tell what firmware the devices have been flashed with.


From a security viewpoint, there exist useful versions of devices that require neither firmware nor internet connectivity. As an added bonus, many of them continue to function after 2 years of use, or if a malfunction does happen the instruction manual along with the spare parts it came with are enough to address 90% of issues.

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Re: 1912: "Thermostat"

Postby qvxb » Mon Nov 06, 2017 1:38 pm UTC

Thermostats containing mercury don't have these problems.

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Re: 1912: "Thermostat"

Postby commodorejohn » Mon Nov 06, 2017 2:32 pm UTC

fibonacci wrote:From a security viewpoint, there exist useful versions of devices that require neither firmware nor internet connectivity. As an added bonus, many of them continue to function after 2 years of use, or if a malfunction does happen the instruction manual along with the spare parts it came with are enough to address 90% of issues.

Well now you're just talking crazy.
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Re: 1912: "Thermostat"

Postby Mikeski » Mon Nov 06, 2017 3:48 pm UTC

cellocgw wrote:Well...
I've got a "Sensi" wifi thermostat by Emerson. It's pretty straightforward to connect it to my lAN and register it at their server (so the remote apps can connect to it). But..

Turns out the world-class developers at Emerson never considered that someone might want to un-register a device. I know because I asked, and it can only be done by providing their tech support with the MAC address so they can do things at their end.
Moral: if you move into a house with wifi devices (aka "IoT stuff"), it's probably easier to throw them out and start over with new widgets.

Your second paragraph, as they say, assumes facts not in evidence. Your third explains the real engineering decisions that were made. Selling the same widgets over and over is how the modern economy works. My grandmother had an International Harvester brand refrigerator until 2010 or so. IH only made fridges from 1946-1955, so it was 55-65 years old. And it still worked, she just needed something that was easier to open, since she was 30 years older than the fridge. No "planned obsolescence" there!

And, if you buy a previously-owned house, you change all the locks because you don't know who might have a key, right? Now, you have houses that have "keys" to the thermostat, lights, security cameras, doorbell, fridge, stove, stereo system, ...

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Re: 1912: "Thermostat"

Postby eviloatmeal » Mon Nov 06, 2017 8:03 pm UTC

TV4Fun wrote:Speaking of bizarre technical problems, anyone want to help me with this one?

Have you tried turning Google off and on again?

Oh, no, don't worry about the rest of us, we can just use Yahoo! Search while you're fiddling around with it.

Unless... I wonder if my DNS is 8.8.8.8... Maybe you shouldn't unplug Google...
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Re: 1912: "Thermostat"

Postby Eternal Density » Tue Nov 07, 2017 3:47 am UTC

The phrase "Get in the sea!" is pretty commonly heard from LoadingReadyRun, so it's funny for xkcd to follow a similar track.
(They even took it literally once.)
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niauropsaka
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Re: 1912: "Thermostat"

Postby niauropsaka » Tue Nov 07, 2017 9:02 am UTC

The strip really only made sense to me once I read the title-text. That seems unusual for xkcd, no?

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Murderbot
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Re: 1912: "Thermostat"

Postby Murderbot » Tue Nov 07, 2017 4:32 pm UTC

TV4Fun wrote:Image
Title text: Your problem is so terrible, I worry that, if I help you, I risk drawing the attention of whatever god of technology inflicted it on you.

GOOMHR
Speaking of bizarre technical problems, anyone want to help me with this one? https://superuser.com/questions/1265815 ... s-machines

Did the tech support guy throw away his keyboard under his exasperation?

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somitomi
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Re: 1912: "Thermostat"

Postby somitomi » Tue Nov 07, 2017 5:28 pm UTC

Murderbot wrote:Did the tech support guy throw away his keyboard under his exasperation?

Maybe it's too late, tech support guy has already drawn the attention of that one vengeful god.
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StClair
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Re: 1912: "Thermostat"

Postby StClair » Tue Nov 07, 2017 10:15 pm UTC

My thought was that the "smart" thermostat is probably spouting these errors because someone has hacked into it with the latest IoT exploit, and the support guy should already have a script, supplied by the company, for dealing with such cases and arranging for the device to be reset or replaced.

But of course, he doesn't, because they don't.

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Re: 1912: "Thermostat"

Postby Hremsfeld » Tue Nov 07, 2017 11:45 pm UTC

Tech Support Guy's got the right idea with the alt-text. Don't anger the Omnissiah, try lighting some incense and praying to the machine-spirits instead.


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