Amazon Sidewalk - beware

If you have any Amazon devices (Alexa, Echo, Ring) in your home you should read the article.

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Surprised Meme GIF

/sarcasm

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…and this is why I don’t have any IOT devices in my home, period.

When I automate the house later, I’ll do it use open-source tools and devices on a LAN with no external connection. Like most of my comp sci/ IT buddies have started doing.

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The S in IOT stands for security :slight_smile:. I have a few devices for lights etc. but use them on a separate subnet VLAN. If you have a spare router then it can be done that way too.

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new wireless mesh service will share a small slice of your Internet bandwidth with nearby neighbors who don’t have connectivity

The sheep will be overjoyed. :sheep:

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I’ve thought about going that route, but I want to rewire all the lighting anyway with color-changing LEDs (and possibly distributed DC, since that’ll be hitting the general market soonish), so I’m holding off for a bit.

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From the Amazon site:

What is Amazon Sidewalk?

Amazon Sidewalk is a shared network that helps devices work better. Operated by Amazon at no charge to customers, Sidewalk can help simplify new device setup, extend the low-bandwidth working range of devices to help find pets or valuables with Tile trackers, and help devices stay online even if they are outside the range of their home wifi. In the future, Sidewalk will support a range of experiences from using Sidewalk-enabled devices, such as smart security and lighting and diagnostics for appliances and tools.

I hate this writing, at so many levels. A dissection:

that helps devices work better

A bland blanket statement to start off, with no new information given. Sort of reminds me of a weak form of brain-washing using ‘affirmation’, I say it, so it’s true. ‘It is better because we say it is better’.

Operated by Amazon at no charge to customers

Vague threat of future charges. Nice division into a hero and sheep narrative - ‘Why can’t you customers just be more grateful? It’s free; for now’.

Sidewalk can help simplify new device setup

‘Our current set-up is too complicated for you idiots’.

working range of devices to help find pets or valuables

So the kitten gets it if you don’t do this? ‘Why do you hate pets? You want fluffy to be lost, is that it?’. Nice hedge for late-stage capitalism on the valuables bit as well, just to get the ‘hates pets, loves money’ segment.

help devices stay online even if they are outside the range of their home wifi

I bought a home device and the problem is it doesn’t work away from my home?

In the future, Sidewalk will support a range of experiences

‘We are going to use this in ways you don’t expect, but we’ll refer back to this bit saying you knew the plan already’. Also, why does my doorbell even want to support a ‘range of experiences’ - it makes a bell noise when pressed, it’s not experimental avant garde theatre.

such as smart security and lighting and diagnostics for appliances and tools.

‘Diagnostics’ that in no way involve advertising?

Bah…

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If you’re not paying for it, you are not the customer. Period. Even when you are paying for it, you may not actually be the customer.

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Agreed. You are the product. 100 percent

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Right but it uses the customer’s network so in essence it is at charge to customer, by the ISP, if applicable. Negligible traffic sure - just wait for the DOS botnet attacks and see how that goes. But of course they are secure!

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Heard about Google turning off their free picture storage? I feel like i’m in that Futurama episode about the softdrink, slurm.

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So Amazon intends of letting 3rd party apps reside on their (your) network as well.
Thought this would be illegal…

From Amazon’s Q&A at end of white paper on sidewalk:

10. How do you hold application (endpoint) developers accountable to ensure customers stay protected in the Sidewalk ecosystem?

At launch we won’t have any third-party applications running on Sidewalk. We’ll have terms of service for third-party Sidewalk device developers. If the developers violate those terms, we’ll respond appropriately, including terminating their access, if necessary. Third-party devices that won’t honor our terms won’t be allowed on Sidewalk.

11. What data will application developers get from Amazon Sidewalk?

Amazon Sidewalk won’t support third-party devices immediately at launch, but we will make careful choices about the information they receive from Sidewalk. We’ll have more details in the future.

So, I don’t know nothing about computers.

But, as soon as they started putting water in bottles and charging you for it, I pretty much figured we had taken our first step down this path.

image

I’ve seen nothing since that has altered that opinion. :joy:

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Amazon, probably:

liveblogging sylvester stallone GIF

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So I get to relive my first year of college?

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I’m gonna move to the Bronx and let the neighborhood do some crypto mining for me.

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I spent an hour today watching people (attempt) to back boat trailers down a boat ramp in Miami. It was better than any network television show I’ve seen in years. Just saying there are parts of this dystopia that I really enjoy…

:rofl:

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Saturday, I asked my wife to help me launch the johnboat. Usually, one of my brothers is around, but we were solo this time. I backed the boat down the ramp, asking her to tell me when the rear tires were about a foot from the water, which is usually the point when the boat is beginning to float. All I wanted her to do was drive the car up the ramp and pull it straight into our yard two houses away. Since she had never done this, she became very loud and animated at everything that I was doing. She began asking me the same questions over and over, “Do you know that the motor is still up, and are you supposed to be in the boat while I am standing here by the winch?” And “Honey, the current looks way to strong and I hope that you remembered to buy fuel and what if I can’t drive the car up the ramp? What if I damage the car, and why are you reaching into that cooler? You’re not going to open a beer here on the ramp? Are you?” To all of these I tried to remain extremely chill, but it was getting embarrassing.

There was a guy flounder fishing next to the boat ramp and either he was trying to relax my wife or perhaps he began feeling a bit sorry for me. He said to my wife, but loud enough that I could hear, “Aren’t there YouTube channels for situations like this?” Regardless, it did help. I started the motor and backed the boat off of the trailer. She drove the car up the ramp like a champ and all was good. The beer was cold.

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