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yyrkoon

RANT: Cloud of this, IoT of that . . .

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So, am I the only one who is getting tired of hearing about "the cloud of this" or "the IoT of that" ?

 

Networking has been around since when ? the 60's at least right. Then embedded devices date back to at minimum the '70's right ? So since when did this "rocket scientist" of a person decide to reinvent these ideas that have been around for tens of years. Known as "network connected storage", or network connected sensors" ?

 

It's almost as bad as someone proclaiming in public "Hey, dont use your hand, there is this new product known as toilette paper . . ."

 

Or am I worrying too much about this whole thing ? heh.
 

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Ten years ago, IoT used to be labeled M2M or machine to machine. It was a fad as well.

 

It's crazy how marketing can make me feel like my work is worthless unless I implement "that one killer feature".

 

I think it's best for me to ignore the false sense of inadequacy and just be awesome at doing and making the things that I like.

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Every new year comes with a new fad.

 

A couple of years ago, it was 3D printer. Then it was quadcopter. Now it is IoT.

 

From my perspective, IoT is a rash of technology still looking for the killing app.

 

IoT paramount? A guy checking a dashboard with a tablet on the seaside.

 

Not to forget the magic IoT is supposed to bring to every dumb things and make them smart.

 

Smart phones, smart watches, smart cars, smart cities, maybe smart guys?

 

And greenery as an extra bonus.

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It's crazy how marketing can make me feel like my work is worthless unless I implement "that one killer feature".

 

I think it's best for me to ignore the false sense of inadequacy and just be awesome at doing and making the things that I like.

This is kind of how I feel too. In the context of "the cloud" I feel useless because I do not know the technology. But then I stop, and think for a minute. Realizing that "the cloud" is more than likely just a software front end for network attached storage. For technologically challenged people. Who can not figure out how to use FTP, sshfs, NFS, etc. 

 

EDIT:

Now, if we stop and think about it even further. Technically this "front end" could possibly even be a UI for git, or something else very similar.

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Every new year comes with a new fad.

 

A couple of years ago, it was 3D printer. Then it was quadcopter. Now it is IoT.

 

From my perspective, IoT is a rash of technology still looking for the killing app.

 

IoT paramount? A guy checking a dashboard with a tablet on the seaside.

 

Not to forget the magic IoT is supposed to bring to every dumb things and make them smart.

 

Smart phones, smart watches, smart cars, smart cities, maybe smart guys?

 

And greenery as an extra bonus.

In the context of "the cloud" I would agree somewhat. Since "the cloud" is a way for technologically challenged people to get remote storage working fairly easily. But in the context of "IoT" I think "the internet of things" mantra really adds nothing useful into an already existing situation.

 

So, you could call SensorTAG peanut-butter apple sauce for all I care. But that does not add anything unique into a type of product, that makes it otherwise anything other than what it already was. A sensor, that is somehow connected to a network.

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The real problem always boils down to the ownership IMO. Cloud this, cloud that smells offensively to me of greedy entrepreneurs trying to shoehorn a rent-seeking paradigm into something that should be anything but. It's stunting the widespread adoption IMO by keeping it only within the realm of the wealthy and early-adopting type of folks. The terms themself in combination with the verbiage used around it defines the space of what people know and think about, to the marketer's advantage.

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In my humble opinion, these are like fashion of what we wear. It changes every so often, when someone with evangelistic mind and power of some sort (be it economic or established in certain field of the society) coined a term, marketing people found potential, and there we go again. Please don't get me wrong, by buzzwords I have no negative meaning to these terms (as they bear serious definitions behind and appears on academic papers), but merely describing these on perspective suitable on this topic.

 

Yes they tend to be overused with a vague definition, but on the bright side they are not necessary an evil as they arouse the interest of the public.

 

Consider this, from a scale of 0 to 10 of "awareness of an IoT technology", with buzzwords like this the score will be much higher than without it. More people may find interests in it (until they eventually landed on the TCP/IP network from last century and M2M technology last decade like we do). With buzzwords, technology can be more appealing to the general public.

 

Not all of these buzzwords will revolutionize anything. Fashion changes all the times, but how many "ties", "jackets", "cap" do we have in the past that last so long? These must have someone first do / invent / wear it the very first time, and at that time they were like buzzword. Yet they succeeded and lasted.

 

To the two terms IoT and cloud in the original topic, imho cloud is a much more successful in terms of revolutionizing computing. I tend to believe this is so because I always find myself easier to convey and explain cloud than IoT to others. The gist of it is utility computing that moves away the actual equipment from the end-user, and billed just like water and electricity. Not only is it a model change, paradigm shift, but one that actually happened that made possible many opportunities to people that are not possible in the past. E.g. I can rent some GPUs to do CUDA on xyz cloud provider for as long as I want - which also means as much as I can afford and willing to spend. It really revolutionize things.

 

IoT is like in infancy. I am doubtful if the spreadsheet killer app for it will ever be invented, but that's not what I'm betting on to measure its success. On specific areas / industry, the fact that wireless technology shrink and even lowered power consumption will find its potential application.

 

I think so long as we keep our self an inquisitive mind, be critical to ideas, use our brains to think and think again, and pass this message and attitudes to our peers, we can live happily with these buzzwords.

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To the two terms IoT and cloud in the original topic, imho cloud is a much more successful in terms of revolutionizing computing. I tend to believe this is so because I always find myself easier to convey and explain cloud than IoT to others. The gist of it is utility computing that moves away the actual equipment from the end-user, and billed just like water and electricity. Not only is it a model change, paradigm shift, but one that actually happened that made possible many opportunities to people that are not possible in the past. E.g. I can rent some GPUs to do CUDA on xyz cloud provider for as long as I want - which also means as much as I can afford and willing to spend. It really revolutionize things.

Again, I somewhat agree with this sentiment, but this sort of thing existed before the term "cloud" ever came along. Perhaps not GPGPU, but that's a matter of timing, and not a matter of lack of a term. Beowulf for instance, has been around a long, long time. As well as many other ways to combine processors together over a network, in order to achieve a single, or even perhaps many different goals.

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Again, I somewhat agree with this sentiment, but this sort of thing existed before the term "cloud" ever came along. Perhaps not GPGPU, but that's a matter of timing, and not a matter of lack of a term. Beowulf for instance, has been around a long, long time. As well as many other ways to combine processors together over a network, in order to achieve a single, or even perhaps many different goals.

I'm with you absolutely, Beowulf is a very solid example. Honestly, while I'm not against buzzwords as explained, I feel the same as you do when seeing cloud of this and that, all over the Internet. The choice of word "Cloud" is exceptionally bad, consider most of us prefer a sunny day over raining  :P

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Hi,

 

Nice to read your commends.

I thought I was the only one getting very tired of seeing old things being sold as new.

I am using computers since 1967. And I have seen very little new things coming along.

Ok, the systems are getting smaller and cheaper.

But there is very little real innovation going on.

Again and again thing that are already working for years are being renamed and relabeled and sold as something new.

Especially programming languages. Just put a new wrapper on some old language and you can sell it as something new.

Just glue a couple of things together and you can make a program.

Until you have to do really new things. Then nobody knows how to program at a low level.

Because they are used to  just cut and paste objects until they get something that seams to work.

it is all old wine in new sacks.

But then, I am a grumpy old electron pusher.

I even don't have a smart phone.

So what do I know about new technology.

So I go back to my old XP systems and old style solder station to build and program some more model rocket computers.

See you in the clouds.

 

Henk Siewert

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I'm with you absolutely, Beowulf is a very solid example. Honestly, while I'm not against buzzwords as explained, I feel the same as you do when seeing cloud of this and that, all over the Internet. The choice of word "Cloud" is exceptionally bad, consider most of us prefer a sunny day over raining  :P

lol . . . fair enough.

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I think the thing that bothers me the most about this whole situation is this:

 

We as computer people have spent a life time of work doing the various things we do, to improve the computer field in general. Then some idiot( poser ) comes along and starts "reinventing" things he had no hand in creating. Like the idiot politician what's his nuts who claimed to have invented the internet. Except this is a bit different.

 

EDIT:

 

Oh, and yes I do realize that we're all different and are going to have at least slightly different opinions. It is not my goal to make anyone think like me. I feel that I'm allowed to voice my opinion, so I expect others will feel the same way about their own opinions . . . hopefully.

 

Anyway, for me, this topic hits pretty close to "home" in some ways for me. So I'll probably be a bit more passionate on this topic than some others.

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So, I got this email from TI . . .

 

 
Free webinar: Design a cloud connected IoT gateway with security protection

 

 

 

Designing an IoT gateway with security protection can be a very challenging task. This webinar is designed to jump start the development of a cloud connected IoT gateway that secures the data exchanged between the gateway and the cloud. The webinar will also address the development of different low cost wireless nodes that communicate with the cloud through the gateway.

 

 

Which makes it seem as though the whole world will come to an end *UNLESS* we watch this webinar. Anyway, I'm left wondering how many people, especially those who wrote this BS email "flyer" understand how hard it is to secure *ANY* server - period. Surely that is all we're talking here. A single server that put data from sensors, or whatever onto the web. Why try and make it all magical in mysterious ? heh . . .

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That's why emails with cloud and IoT in the title usually get deleted unopened.

 

That being said, I think the webinar description is pretty clear and level-headed. It's about means for secure communication between the gateway and a node. Probably TLS and some such. Not sure where you got the end-of-the-world and ultimate-security-solution-for-everything vibe from.

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That's why emails with cloud and IoT in the title usually get deleted unopened.

 

That being said, I think the webinar description is pretty clear and level-headed. It's about means for secure communication between the gateway and a node. Probably TLS and some such. Not sure where you got the end-of-the-world and ultimate-security-solution-for-everything vibe from.

Dramatization . . . from "Designing an IoT gateway with security protection can be a very challenging task"

 

This has nothing to do with an IoT gateway, and everything to do with internet facing. Which as I stated above is true for *anything* internet facing, especially servers. As far as being "level headed" I somehow do not get that statement. Since again this has nothing to do with IoT gateways, and everything to do with being internet facing( positive meaning this time ).

 

See my point yet ? "The cloud", and "IoT" are irrelevant.  I'm sure any one here who maintains servers for their companies can see my point.

 

example:

 

So, I have an msp430 launchpad v1.5 connected to a PC. I take temperature readings from it at regular intervals and shoot that data to a server we have online. That server then puts that data onto a webpage for the whole world to see. No magical cloud pixie dust, or magical IoT incantations. Just plain old networking, servers, and clients.

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Truthfully speaking. I will *maybe* watch that video seminar, but probably after it's been recorded( not live ). Just to see whats up. But I suspect that it will be like many other video seminars that I've watched, and possibly wish I had the time spent watching said video back. To do something actually meaningful with my life . . .

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So, yeah: "Designing an internet-facing server with security protection can be a very challenging task" is fair enough. It's not so much that the original title implies the world will end if you don't attend, more that it implies the content is somehow specific to IoT when it's not.

 

What would be nice is if someone came up with a way to deal with the security holes left in the many internet "things" abandoned by their manufacturers without ongoing firmware updates...

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Well am I the only one who does not relay see this purported threat ? One has an internal network, zigbee, low power RF, whatever, to a Linux, BSD, or something else NOT windows server. Which deals with all the security details as we already know them. By this of course, I mean as we already know how to deal with them the best we can. Because nothing is ever perfect . . . if someone wants into a remote system badly enough chances are pretty good they'll find a way in. *If* they're smart.

 

Anyway, maybe I'll watch this: https://app.pluralsight.com/library/courses/breaking-down-cloud-security/table-of-contents it definitely can't hurt.

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Also, for those of you who do care. I was reading embedded monthly last month, or perhaps the month before that. And read an announcement by Dell that they'll be building, and selling IoT gateways . . . So as far as someone who does not have the time, or know how. . .  Well now you can buy one from a big OEM . . .

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WTF is an of-the-shelf IoT gateway anyway? Just an rebranded ordinary router? An edge router for every protocol they thought of - Zigbee, 6LoWPAN over various frequencies, etc.? Sounds like a scary idea.

 

By the way, there's now an OWASP for IoT. Not great but better than nothing. Not sure where I heard about it. Apologies if it was here!

https://www.owasp.org/index.php/OWASP_Internet_of_Things_Project

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Well am I the only one who does not relay see this purported threat ? One has an internal network, zigbee, low power RF, whatever, to a Linux, BSD, or something else NOT windows server. Which deals with all the security details as we already know them. By this of course, I mean as we already know how to deal with them the best we can. Because nothing is ever perfect . . . if someone wants into a remote system badly enough chances are pretty good they'll find a way in. *If* they're smart.

 

That works against remote attacks, but the linux/BSD/non-windows server protecting the wireless device can be bypassed if you're in the vicinity. Then the unsecure wireless device can be exploited to leak your wireless key (for example).

 

The scale of that approach is greatly limited by the need to be near the target, but it means you can't assume a secure router will protect you if the devices are unsecure.

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That works against remote attacks, but the linux/BSD/non-windows server protecting the wireless device can be bypassed if you're in the vicinity. Then the unsecure wireless device can be exploited to leak your wireless key (for example).

 

The scale of that approach is greatly limited by the need to be near the target, but it means you can't assume a secure router will protect you if the devices are unsecure.

Nah, not really. wifi and bluetooth are extremely hackable. bluetooth in particular can very easily be spoofed. However, with wifi there is the WDS protocol where only a specific MAC address can connect to the router, and it's a point to point protocol. Problem with that, in Linux MAC addresses can also be spoofed, but I'm not exactly sure how easy it would be to find the MAC addresses of authorized devices . . .

 

But my feelings are that if anyone is within close proximity, that you'll be in trouble no matter what. *IF* they know what they're doing.

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But my feelings are that if anyone is within close proximity, that you'll be in trouble no matter what. *IF* they know what they're doing.

 

Or the person making the IoT device *DOESN'T* ;)

 

(Yes, this has since been patched out)

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