So You Want to be Connected….

In today’s world, one of the main buzzwords is “smart”.  This word usually refers to a device that has the intelligence to identify your next request and act to provide the information almost instantaneously.  In order to do so, the device has to be connected to the internet.  Right now, “smart” devices are limited mainly to cell phones and computers.  I just watched a webinar that talked about the “home ecosystem” needed to form a “smart home”.  However, almost nothing was said about security.  Imagine connecting your kitchen appliances to the internet.  From any remote location, you could start a load of laundry, do a load of dishes, or cook dinner and have it ready by the time you get home.  Similarly, you could adjust the temperature of your thermostat so that your home will be cooled or heated when your family gets home.  It all sounds great. But, there is a downside.  No matter how far technology advances and no matter how secure networks become, hackers (as they are known today) will ALWAYS be around to try and break the system.  As long as people are connected, hackers will try to steal information.  With that information, imagine someone taking control of your home, whether it’s listening in, watching you, or controlling your devices.  It’s up to you to decide whether you want such devices in your home.  If you don’t mind somebody spying on you, that’s fine.  Remember, those ads that pop up on your phone or computer just when you happen to be thinking of buying the same item, didn’t just pop up by coincidence.  They popped up because someone has captured information about something that interests you.

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Carbon Monoxide Poisoning Linked to Keyless Ignition Fobs

It seems that the driving public now has another problem to worry about. You know those cars that don’t have a key anymore and all you have to do is push a button to start the  engines?  Well, those same cars that have keyless ignitions are now being blamed for at least 3 deaths due to carbon monoxide poisoning.  If you’ve come across the story, you know that one of the deaths occurred in New York and the other two in Florida.  In each case the  drivers did not shut off their engines after arriving home and parking their cars in their garages. Now, how in the world does this  happen?  Apparently, the keyless ignition (called a fob) is  supposed  to shut  off the engines after a specified time period of inactivity.  But, the engines did not shut down and the homes filled with carbon monoxide killing three people and seriously injuring a fourth person. Should the drivers have been responsible for shutting down their engines? Are these deaths the direct result of negligence on the part of the drivers?  Certainly, drivers are responsible for the operation of their vehicles.  But what happens when that responsibility is taken away from them?  What happens when you’re supposed to rely on some gadget to do what it’s supposed to do in order to keep you safe?  Think about it for a minute.  The auto makers want us to believe that their cars are safe.  Their ads tell us that for the sake of convenience, safety, or whatever reason, we should trust what we are told and place our lives in their hands.  So, how does someone forget to shut down their engine?  Answer: they depend on their keyless fob to do its job.

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