Nest's recent software bug calls the problematic side of the Internet of Things into question

By dkpope
Jan 15, 2016
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  1. We’re used to software bugs by now. They’re annoying, then they're fixed and we move on. But what happens when the bug causes you to wake up to a cold house? That’s what The New York Times writer Nick Bilton wrote about recently after his Nest thermostat turned off in the middle of the night.

    Matt Rogers, Nest’s co-founder, confirmed to NYT that the problem came from a software glitch that didn’t show itself until January. Look through Twitter and Nest’s support forum and you’ll find many complaints that support that statement.

    The biggest problem with this glitch is that customers affected by it couldn’t fix it remotely via the app. They had to plug in a USB cable to charge it and then physically push the restart button (and charge it some more.) That’s a big deal if the homeowners were gone on a vacation or other extended trip. The glitch could have lead to problems such as pipes freezing over and bursting.

    Bilton’s article points out that seemingly small glitches can turn into a bigger issue for smart devices. It’s a point that sometimes gets lost in the eagerness around making our homes and devices smarter.

    Image Credit: Shutterstock

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  2. yRaz

    yRaz TS Evangelist Posts: 1,824   +875

    Nothing I have seen out of the Internet of Things has given me a reason to call any of these things "smart". It's just marketing to sell use things we don't really need. They pose a security risk on top of whatever gimmick they offer.
    wontolla and cliffordcooley like this.
  3. Hexic

    Hexic TS Addict Posts: 271   +127

    Exactly. Although, those security risks will keep me a job forever. So I suppose I should be thanking IoT before anything else.
  4. Uncle Al

    Uncle Al TS Evangelist Posts: 1,498   +673

    If you can't detach it from the internet and run it self standing it is not only a high risk, but just another intrusion into your privacy. Sadly, with the current state of the internet, not to mention the electrical grids around the US, the old mercury switch T-stats are still the most dependable despite their age.
  5. Skidmarksdeluxe

    Skidmarksdeluxe TS Evangelist Posts: 6,335   +1,937

    Why would you want to work forever? Nothing in life is guaranteed apart from death and taxes (and being taxed to death)
  6. Skidmarksdeluxe

    Skidmarksdeluxe TS Evangelist Posts: 6,335   +1,937

    Smart homes? Phooey! It's nothing more than a thinly veiled money spinning racket.
  7. Theinsanegamer

    Theinsanegamer TS Guru Posts: 318   +253

    Just another reason to avoid IoT appliances. What is wrong with a conventional thermostat? Do you really need your thermostat to be hooked to the internet, or do anything other than change the temperature?
  8. cliffordcooley

    cliffordcooley TS Guardian Fighter Posts: 8,430   +2,822

    The reason these devices don't seem to be smarter is because, they remove the basic functionality of how they currently work. You make them smarter by adding to the basic functionality not replacing it. Basic functionality should be a fail safe fall back in case of bugs such as this.

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