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Everything is too complicated
By Thom Holwerda on 2018-01-08 22:55:11

It's the very beginning of CES 2018, and the first trickles of gadget news are starting to come out. The flood begins tomorrow as the show floor opens and keynotes and press conferences begin in earnest. It's easy to see the broad themes of the show and the tech industry at large already forming: smart assistants everywhere, sensors and radios in every device you can think of, and an eternal hope that something, anything, will be the reason people will finally upgrade their TVs.

All of that is exciting - I love gadgets and am one of the few crazy people that think CES is incredibly fun! - but I want to take a half-step back before it all begins and point out something obvious: most people have no idea how any of these things work, and are already hopelessly confused by the tech they have.

Shoving a display and garbage software on every single possible household item is simply a really, really dumb idea. Add networking into the mix, and it becomes outright dangerous. People end up with products they have no idea how to use, that quickly become outdated, aren't getting software updates, and quickly become dangerous attack vectors for all sorts of possible criminals.

The article also touches on something else - namely, that even things like smartphones are getting way, way too complicated for most people. I, too, am continuously surprised by how little people around me really know about their smartphone - be it iOS or Android - and what certain things mean or how certain functions work, or that they even have said functions at all. Tech companies are doing a terrible job of exposing users to functionality in a meaningful, understandable way.

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Agree
By gilljr on 2018-01-08 23:32:48
Manufactures are putting "Smart" technology in everything right now. The problem is that many of the devices are buggy and are not actively supported after a year (not that there is much supported to begin with). We are talking "Smart" technology being put into devices that consumers hold onto for 5 to 10 years or more. It is quite dangerous and in many cases is not that much of a convenience, at least in my view of things.

If everyone replaced devices like they replace their smart phones, then it would not be as large of a deal, but that is not the case.
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How about a NON-crappy 4K TV
By Sabon on 2018-01-08 23:46:58
By that I mean a non-smart TV that displays at 4K.

The interfaces are SLOW.
Do you —really— trust the security? Me? No!!!

I’d gladly pay $150 extra for a non-smart 4K TV. Preferably an 65” LG OED 4K TV.

In fact, I would go out and replace BOTH my TVs with two of those today right after work.

PS: I don’t need the crap “smart” part of the TVs because I use TiVo Bolts and would buy the 4K TiVo Bolts as well as Apple 4K TVs to go along with the non-smart LG OLED 4K TVs.
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RE: Agree
By Sabon on 2018-01-08 23:50:30
My opinion is that this is their way of —MAKING— you replace your TVs every year or two. Why should I do that when there is nothing better for me out there?

People think Apple purposely makes their phones stop working after a few years? Apple isn’t the company you have to worry about. It’s all these company’s with their crap smart-tvs that aren’t smart. Maybe for them but not for us.
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RE: How about a NON-crappy 4K TV
By Pro-Competition on 2018-01-09 00:17:26
I could not agree more!

Add me to the list of people who would drive to the store right now for this.
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RE: How about a NON-crappy 4K TV
By mistersoft on 2018-01-09 01:48:11
While on one hand you have a fair point with the security angle...

On another - the argument falls down when if you're very security conscious and don't want the "smart" features - you can simply never connect your webos TV (for instance) to the the internet/your home network.

I'd be that impressed by the hacker who can get in via HDMI signal - they probably deserve whatever they're after.

And since the person you sell the TV too after you upgrade may actually like the "smart" features, then it makes sense for the manufacturer not to omit these just for you. If you see my point

{edited for spelling)

Edited 2018-01-09 01:48 UTC
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RE[2]: Agree
By lancealot on 2018-01-09 01:59:20
> My opinion is that this is their way of —MAKING— you replace your TVs every year or two.


This idea is "Planned Obsolescence": https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pla...

On that page it talks about the type of planned obsolescence we are seeing today such as contrived durability (things not built to last as long such as washer and dryers: http://www.bbc.com/news/business...) and prevention of upgrade/repairs (we see this where everything is becoming soldered down in portable/small devices). These are just common business tactics to get people to buy more, and it seems adding "smart" to a otherwise "dumb" device (such as a refrigerator) just gives you another reason to upgrade and spend money to buy into a new device.

I personally think these tactics to get people to replace things more often is horrible for the environment. I doubt many people (especially in America, less so in Japan where trash is handled more efficiently by citizens) properly dispose and recycle a lot of items. Instead the mounds of planned obsolescence products, some of which are dangerous to the environment (including us humans) grow as this mentality of replacing things is normal and human population grows (or become capitalistic) to multiple the effects.

Personally I buy clothes and wear them until they have holes or I outgrow them. When I buy a computer I am willing to spend more if I think it will serve its purpose longer, which is why I still have a Mac Pro 2006 being used as a server (was originally my desktop until a couple years ago and was upgraded from Snow Leopard to Windows 7).

When I buy something "smart" I ask myself is this smart/new device making me dramatically more efficient, or just lazier? Is that smart device making things easier, or just more complex (do I need to learn its voice commands just so it can understand me)? I usually only replace something because it has completely broken (can't be fixed easily), or it can no longer serve its role in a meaningful way. It blows me away that someone would throw out a perfectly working 1080i/p capable TV, to get a new one that is a SMART 4K (could have added cheap smart/streaming device, and there is limited 4K content when it comes to TV and Games). When your 1080 TV breaks, sure buy a new one with the idea that 4k will make it more future proof. I do agree with the other posters, I would prefer a dumb TV, and have a choice of streaming devices to add that functionality (I use a FireTV on my dumb 1080p TV I bought like 10 years ago).

Edited 2018-01-09 02:07 UTC
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No kidding
By MechaShiva on 2018-01-09 03:36:54
When I get called in to do house calls these days (something I am loathe to do anymore), I usually start by telling people it's amazing that any of this stuff works in the first place. They usually laugh as if it's a joke, and I smile and carry on but a part of me dies a little. On the one hand, it's 2018 and I hate hearing "I just don't 'get' computers". On the other, I'm going to need to start using that line. Sigh.
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RE[2]: How about a NON-crappy 4K TV
By ilovebeer on 2018-01-09 05:20:10
> While on one hand you have a fair point with the security angle...

On another - the argument falls down when if you're very security conscious and don't want the "smart" features - you can simply never connect your webos TV (for instance) to the the internet/your home network.


You assume the user/owner can actually disable the tvs networking "features". We know all too well that just because you disable something in the tv gui, it doesn't mean it's actually disabled. A lot of tvs have wifi built-in now as well so it's not simply a matter of not plugging an ethernet cable in.
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Comment by ilovebeer
By ilovebeer on 2018-01-09 05:25:51
I don't want every damn electrical or item containing electronics to be turned into a wifi-capable spying tool. I don't need my washing machine to let me know the rinse+spin cycle is finished. I don't need a refrigerator that texts me when the milk is low, and that I can order things from Amazon with. I don't want a digital picture frame that will live-stream tweets or Facebook updates. I don't want any of this stupid crap. Just because you can shove networking and a screen onto/into something doesn't automatically make it a great idea.

I just need my washer & dryer to be a washer & dryer. I just need my oven to be an oven. I just need my electric toothbrush to be an electric toothbrush. And so on...
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RE[2]: How about a NON-crappy 4K TV
By smashIt on 2018-01-09 07:04:14
>
I'd be that impressed by the hacker who can get in via HDMI signal - they probably deserve whatever they're after.


there already is ethernet over HDMI...
Permalink - Score: 2

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