[Cryptography] "push within the entire IT industry to, make everything "Web-centric"

Jerry Leichter leichter at lrw.com
Thu Oct 7 09:59:30 EDT 2021

>> Well it has to connect to the Internet somehow....
> But isn't that the problem, right there? Why does my garage door opener have to connect to the Internet at all?
My "it has to connect" was in response to a comment that doing so was undesirable.  I was pointing out that to do those undesirable things ... it would have to connect, which could be blocked.

> I don't see any functional gain that I would use or enjoy, and I do see risks that it almost inevitably entails.
The gains a seller might point out might include:
  o You can get an alert whenever someone opens the garage door;
  o You could remotely open the door for, say, a delivery.  (Amazon is actually offering a service by which *they* can open the garage door so that their delivery person can put you package inside.  This would be generic and more under your control.)

I'm sure others can, and will, come up with other uses for such a feature.  After all, at one time, a garage door opener in your car was considered an unnecessary luxury.  For that matter, so was a powered garage door.  How hard is it to get out of the car and pull the (counter-balanced, in those days) door up by yourself?  These days, however, no one wants to do that.

Now whether you yourself want such features is another question.  Personally, I would pass on them not because they don't have *some* utility, but because their utility is pretty minimal to me compared to the risks of a really immature technology.  I'm just generally avoiding all the "smart home" stuff for now.

> For there to be a marketing advantage to a garage door opener connecting to the internet somehow, it seems to me that the choice between one that does and one that does not has to be visible to the prospective purchaser. Adding it as just something this manufacturer's opener has doesn't pull me toward buying that model/brand without that. I was never offered such a choice, and was not even told in advance that my new opener would have that feature so that I could say "wait, what does that add to the cost".
That's a very different problem, and as far as I'm concerned what the guy did was at least borderline fraudulent.  You can buy a pretty good non-smart garage door opener for $138 at Home Depot.  They'll even install it for you for around $100.  So the guy rooked you into a super-high-end device you didn't ask for, want, or need.  It's late now, but you could have demanded he take it back and found someone else to fix it.

                                                        -- Jerry

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