Become a fan of Slashdot on Facebook

 



Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
Check out the new SourceForge HTML5 internet speed test! No Flash necessary and runs on all devices. ×
Privacy

Green Light Or No, Nest Cam Never Stops Watching (securityledger.com) 199

chicksdaddy writes: How do you know when the Nest Cam monitoring your house is "on" or "off"? It's simple: just look at the little power indicator light on the front of the device — and totally disregard what it is telling you. The truth is: the Nest Cam is never "off" despite an effort by Nest and its parent Google to make it appear otherwise. That, according to an analysis of the Nest Cam by the firm ABI Research, which found that turning the Nest Cam "off" using the associated mobile application only turns off the LED power indicator light on the front of the device. Under the hood, the camera continues to operate and, according to ABI researcher Jim Mielke, to monitor its surroundings: noting movement, sound and other activity when users are led to believe it has powered down.

Mielke reached that conclusion after analyzing Nest Cam's power consumption. Typically a shutdown or standby mode would reduce current by as much as 10 to 100 times, Mielke said. But the Google Nest Cam's power consumption was almost identical in "shutdown" mode and when fully operational, dropping from 370 milliamps (mA) to around 340mA. The slight reduction in power consumption for the Nest Cam when it was turned "off" correlates with the disabling of the LED power light, given that LEDs typically draw 10-20mA.

In a statement to The Security Ledger, Nest Labs spokesperson Zoz Cuccias acknowledged that the Nest Cam does not fully power down when the camera is turned off from the user interface (UI). "When Nest Cam is turned off from the user interface (UI), it does not fully power down, as we expect the camera to be turned on again at any point in time," Cuccias wrote in an e-mail. "With that said, when Nest Cam is turned off, it completely stops transmitting video to the cloud, meaning it no longer observes its surroundings." The privacy and security implications are serious. "This means that even when a consumer thinks that he or she is successfully turning off this camera, the device is still running, which could potentially unleash a tidal wave of privacy concerns," Mielke wrote.

This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

Green Light Or No, Nest Cam Never Stops Watching

Comments Filter:
  • video transmission (Score:5, Insightful)

    by NostalgiaForInfinity ( 4001831 ) on Tuesday November 24, 2015 @07:27PM (#50998177)

    With that said, when Nest Cam is turned off, it completely stops transmitting video to the cloud, meaning it no longer observes its surroundings

    That should be easy enough to check, shouldn't it?

    • by Lumpy ( 12016 ) on Tuesday November 24, 2015 @08:19PM (#50998419) Homepage

      Yep, yet these morons did not even try to look for that. Honestly the whole "story" is a bunch of speculation from people that dont know anything at all about the technology they are looking at.

      • by serbanp ( 139486 )

        Or they really couldn't believe that the engineers at Nest did such a shitty job w.r.t. the device's power management...

        • by Lumpy ( 12016 )

          Reality check, ALL network video cameras stay powered up, how do you think you re-enable it over the network? by keeping the processor running, and you might as well keep the camera module powered as well because whiney people wont pay $500 for a full features camera.

          • by serbanp ( 139486 )

            Sorry Lumpy, but if the design draws almost as much in standby as in fully-on mode, its power design is crappy. All bits that are not used for keeping the network connection alive can be disabled; the network portion should be responsible only for a reasonable percentage of the power being burned - 91% is not reasonable.

            • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

              by Anonymous Coward

              There was a set-top box here where the power usage increased when put into standby. Apparently it had no standby feature and some new law required it. They hacked an implementation in by starting an extra process that overwrites all pixels with black and all audio samples with zero, increasing the CPU load to almost 100% (as it was not done by the hardware video decoder). There was a lawsuit over this, but the device was found compliant, as the standby mode was there as asked for in the law.

              Current versions

            • I don't think you quite understand how incredibly efficient it can be to just dump a frame of data from a small CCD. Based on the numbers in the article it makes me think they are already powering down everything they could. This is after all an always network connected device. That will use the majority of the power.

            • Sorry Lumpy, but if the design draws almost as much in standby as in fully-on mode, its power design is crappy.

              It uses a negligible amount of power either way. The Nest Cam is plug-in, not battery powered. So keeping it powered may cost a penny or two per month. Consumers care far more about the instant-on capability. I have a Nest Cam, and it is integrated with my Wink Z-Wave home automation system, so it turns on automatically if motion or a loud sound occurs, or if a door or window sensor is triggered. If that happens, I don't want any delay in recording. I am happy to pay an extra 2 cents for this capabili

        • by jrumney ( 197329 )
          Presumably the device can be reactivated through the smartphone app as well as deactivated. So the WiFi needs to stay active. And since they cannot control the customer routers to ensure that Wake-on-LAN functionality is present, the main processor needs to stay active to continually monitor the WiFi. About all they could have done better is to deactivate the camera CCD and maybe put the main processor into a lower power state. But such things have a tendancy to introduce hard to debug problems around the
      • by fche ( 36607 )

        It's the slashdot poster's erroneous paraphrasing that made this "problem" seem worse:

        "ABI Research, [...] found that turning the Nest Cam "off" using the associated mobile application only turns off the LED power indicator light on the front of the device" ... which exaggerates what the report said. They didn't say the power-off ONLY turned the LED off.

      • by quenda ( 644621 )

        Submission is a beat-up, but TFA has some significance.
        I believe any indicator on a webcam should be hardware. Unhackable. It should be fed from the power supply to the sensor, which is not difficult to do.
        Otherwise, privacy is compromised. And trust. I use a webcam with a physical slide-down lens cover, because I don't trust the indicator LED, and this story has validated that.

        Also, there is the issue of unnecessary standby power consuming gigawatts 24/7. You'd think a branch of "don't be evil" would be

        • by ZipK ( 1051658 )

          You'd think a branch of "don't be evil" would be working to reduce that.

          They're actually a branch of "Do the Right Thing [wsj.com]."

        • I believe any indicator on a webcam should be hardware.

          Then it can only serve one purpose. If it under software control, it can be "on" when the sensor is on, but it can also blink to indicate a lost network connection, or pulse in different sequences to indicate different internal errors. With proper programming, a single LED can serve more purposes than a Swiss Army knife.

    • Not if it does some local processing, and stores some manner of activity signature for upload at a later time.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday November 24, 2015 @07:32PM (#50998205)

    Here's a list of reasons why I don't like the Internet of Things:

    1) Internet of Things devices could watch me while I sleep.

    2) Internet of Things devices could watch me while I pee.

    3) Internet of Things devices could watch me while I make kaka.

    4) Internet of Things devices could watch me while I pleasure myself.

    5) Internet of Things devices could watch me while I wash my body in the shower.

    6) Internet of Things devices could watch me while I relax in the tub.

    7) Internet of Things devices could watch me while I brush my teeth.

    8) Internet of Things devices could watch me while I make passionate love to my wife.

    9) Internet of Things devices could watch me while I brush my hair.

    10) Internet of Things devices could watch me while I read a book.

    11) Internet of Things devices could watch me while I read Slashdot.

    12) Internet of Things devices could watch me while I bake cake.

    13) Internet of Things devices could watch me while I put in my contact lenses.

    14) Internet of Things devices could watch me while I get ready to play golf.

    15) Internet of Things devices could watch me while I do my laundry.

    16) Internet of Things devices could watch me while I think about rugby.

    17) Internet of Things devices could watch me while I tie my shoes.

    18) Internet of Things devices could watch me while I celebrate the 4th of July.

    19) Internet of Things devices could watch me while I water my flowers.

    20) Internet of Things devices could watch me while I eat ham.

    21) Internet of Things devices could watch me while I use my stapler to staple documents.

    22) Internet of Things devices could watch me while I chew bubble gum.

    23) Internet of Things devices could watch me while I check the oil in my car.

    24) Internet of Things devices could watch me while I look for my TV remote.

    25) Internet of Things devices could watch me while I blow my nose.

    26) Internet of Things devices could watch me while I rearrange my stamp collection.

    27) Internet of Things devices could watch me while I listen to the Backstreet Boys.

    28) Internet of Things devices could watch me while I do my calisthenics.

    29) Internet of Things devices could watch me while I search for a paper clip.

    30) Internet of Things devices could send information about me to advertisers.

    31) Internet of Things devices could let advertisers use the data unsuspectingly collected about me while I sleep.

    32) Internet of Things devices could let advertisers use the data unsuspectingly collected about me while I pee.

    33) Internet of Things devices could let advertisers use the data unsuspectingly collected about me while I make kaka.

    34) Internet of Things devices could let advertisers use the data unsuspectingly collected about me while I pleasure myself.

    35) Internet of Things devices could let advertisers use the data unsuspectingly collected about me while I wash my body in the shower.

    36) Internet of Things devices could let advertisers use the data unsuspectingly collected about me while I relax in the tub.

    37) Internet of Things devices could let advertisers use the data unsuspectingly collected about me while I brush my teeth.

    38) Internet of Things devices could let advertisers use the data unsuspectingly collected about me while I make passionate love to my wife.

    39) Internet of Things devices could let advertisers use the data unsuspectingly collected about me while I brush my hair.

    40) Internet of Things devices could let advertisers use the data unsuspectingly collected about me while I read a book.

    41) Internet of Things devices could let advertisers use the data unsuspectingly collected about me while I read Slashdot.

    42) Internet of Things devices could let advertisers use the data unsuspectingly collected about me while I bake cake.

    43) Internet of Things devices could let advertisers use the data unsuspectingly coll

    • by GuB-42 ( 2483988 ) on Tuesday November 24, 2015 @08:26PM (#50998449)

      The Internet of things is not hearing the sound of thousands of scroll wheels...

    • by JaredOfEuropa ( 526365 ) on Tuesday November 24, 2015 @10:05PM (#50998801) Journal
      I'm a fan of home automation (a hobby of mine that's increasingly turning into a business). I, and many fellow HA enthusiasts, are firm proponents of the LAN of Things, or even a Separate Network - Controlled By a Hub That is Only Allowed To Connect To the Internet Under Strict Conditions - Of Things. There are plenty of useful ways to automate your home (no, nothing essential or life-changing, but sometimes very convenient), but very little of that requires data to leave the house. And when it does, it should only happen on your own terms. And cameras? The ones around my house have their power cut off externally when we're home, and show a light when they are on (a separate dumb LED on the same power supply). No use taking any chances there.
      • by Ol Olsoc ( 1175323 ) on Tuesday November 24, 2015 @10:27PM (#50998883)

        I'm a fan of home automation (a hobby of mine that's increasingly turning into a business). I, and many fellow HA enthusiasts, are firm proponents of the LAN of Things, or even a Separate Network - Controlled By a Hub That is Only Allowed To Connect To the Internet Under Strict Conditions

        Like over my cold dead body?

        Would you give a warrantee tghat my Washing machine or toaster or heating system will never ever be hacked?

        I love technology, a lot more than many slash dotters do.

        But nothing has ever been put out to be attached to the interwebz has ever been secure.

        And at the tender mercies of people like this:

        http://specialreports.dailydot... [dailydot.com]

        There are people out there who fuck with people just because they can - and I'm supposed to give them control of my furnace when I'm on vacation in the winter? Shut that sucker off, pipes break, and they have destroyed my house.

        I don't want to have daily mandatory security updates for my refrigerator, or run the risk of some misanthropic sociopath will turn it off for the Lulz. Maybe I pissed off some Slashdotter, so it's time to burst the pipes. Or do you LoT masterminds have insurance against that sort of thing?

        • If your fridge or furnace can be turned off completely by remote (or even locally), you're doing it wrong. Think for a moment what you are automating. The temperature, not the furnace. Your thermostat will be controllable, the furnace will remain just a dumb unconnected piece of equipment, but smart enough to remain operating within acceptable limits even if the thermostat is compromised. I have a fairly comprehensively automated home, but with full control or even the ability to operate devices outside
      • by AK Marc ( 707885 )

        I'm a fan of home automation (a hobby of mine that's increasingly turning into a business). I, and many fellow HA enthusiasts, are firm proponents of the LAN of Things, or even a Separate Network - Controlled By a Hub That is Only Allowed To Connect To the Internet Under Strict Conditions - Of Things.

        That's not IOT, that's IOC - Internet of Controllers. Those pushing the IoT want every home device on a unique IPv6 address and able to talk to anything. The only IoT I've seen sold is by shitty wireless companies trying to sell private networks over their mobile systems. Even those selling IoT don't actually want IoT. Because if you don't control it in a single secure central server, you can't extract payment for every use. And it's all about extracting money from people.

    • By my records, you only did 38 of those things.

    • 4) Internet of Things devices could watch me while I pleasure myself.

      Does the internet of things pay by the hour?

    • by AmiMoJo ( 196126 )

      4) Internet of Things devices could watch me while I pleasure myself.

      I recently submitted a story about how PronHub noticed a significant drop in traffic after the launch of Fallout 4. In the modern age, it seems that many people know when onanists are pleasuring themselves.

    • I love this!
    • You'll only find your remote when you're searching for a paper clip.

  • Idiots (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday November 24, 2015 @07:33PM (#50998207)

    So, when faced with the question of 'does this device stop transmitting to the cloud' the "researcher" decided to monitor the power consumption of the device as opposed to, you know, seeing it if is actually transmitting video to the cloud?

    How does stuff like this make it to the front page?

    • by Lumpy ( 12016 )

      the same way they get to be called "researcher" crap like this sullys the word.

    • by swb ( 14022 )

      It's not really what you'd call comprehensive, but monitoring power consumption is a reasonable way to guess at how active a device is, especially if the vendor says it's doing nothing.

    • by mikael ( 484 )

      Because there might be a hardware MPEG compressor and a flash memory chip somewhere in the circuitry. An HD webcam has the MPEG compressor, so isn't not too difficult to add a flash memory card.

  • that's what duct tape is for.
  • by samantha ( 68231 ) * on Tuesday November 24, 2015 @07:41PM (#50998243) Homepage

    From the piece: "With that said, when Nest Cam is turned off, it completely stops transmitting video to the cloud, meaning it no longer observes its surroundings." .
    So whether its camera is all the way off or in warm standby isn't very relevant to privacy if no information is being sent out. For instance if I wanted a unit to act only as a movement tracker this would be a good thing to have a camera for but no sending information out. Now the question is why does it need to send video from in my home to the cloud at all? Why can't I just store video locally if I am interested in that or see out of its camera live? I am not sure I understand the use cases of this device.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by vivaoporto ( 1064484 )
      Not FUD at all. There is an expectation when you turn of a camera / motion detector that it will stop performing its main function (filming, detecting motion) and just do nothing instead.

      imagine a faucet that, when turned off, instead of stopping the flow of water it simply closed the loop in the sink, storing the water somewhere locally for further reuse.

      People would not appreciate the fact that it is not letting the water go away because they want the faucet to stop running water when off.
      • It likely does stop filming completely. They just don't add circuitry to remove power from the camera module.
        That costs money and wouldn't save an awful lot of power.

        • It likely does stop filming completely.

          There's no film.

          Does it hold images? Does it have a buffer? Is any data moving from the camera to the cloud when the camera is off?

          • Likely not. The camera module is probably still sending image data and the SoC is just ignoring it.

            That's simplest to implement.

      • It's a poor analogy. If the processor stops running, you will no longer be able to control the device using the UI.
      • by EvilSS ( 557649 )

        imagine a faucet that, when turned off, instead of stopping the flow of water it simply closed the loop in the sink, storing the water somewhere locally for further reuse. People would not appreciate the fact that it is not letting the water go away because they want the faucet to stop running water when off.

        People pay a premium for faucets like that. Google hot water recirculating facet.

    • by Daetrin ( 576516 ) on Tuesday November 24, 2015 @08:07PM (#50998371)
      #1 It's a spokesman for Nest saying that it isn't transmitting when you think you've turned it off.

      #2 If the device is already hardwired to allow it to shut down the LED without shutting down the camera then it's only one software update/hack away from transmitting while it appears to be off. (Assuming that such a "feature" hasn't already been included and is just waiting for a signal to activate.)

      I don't think i tend towards excessive paranoia, but having a camera attached to the internet with a power switch which doesn't actually power it down seems a bit sketchy to me. Even if Nest/Google the corporation has fully honorable intentions the situation still seems liable to potential abuse.
      • by Luthair ( 847766 ) on Tuesday November 24, 2015 @08:47PM (#50998549)

        I don't think i tend towards excessive paranoia, but having a camera attached to the internet with a power switch which doesn't actually power it down seems a bit sketchy to me. Even if Nest/Google the corporation has fully honorable intentions the situation still seems liable to potential abuse.

        Note its an off button in an app. In order for the user to be able to turn it back 'on' from an app the camera cannot power down. Personally I wouldn't use a cloud connected camera for a variety of reasons but this sounds as if its working exactly as one would expect.

        • by aXis100 ( 690904 )

          It is good engineering practice that when you "soft" power something down, all unnecessary circuits get switched into low power/standby modes, and you only retain just enough functionality to detect the "power on" signal. It takes some effort to do well but it's not rocket science.

          • by Luthair ( 847766 )
            Sounds like they decided their customers would rather have instant on /shrug
            • It is good engineering practice that when you "soft" power something down, all unnecessary circuits get switched into low power/standby modes, and you only retain just enough functionality to detect the "power on" signal. It takes some effort to do well but it's not rocket science.

              Sounds like they decided their customers would rather have instant on /shrug

              Sounds like you don't know what you're talking about. This is not about removing power from the camera. This is about using the functionality built into basically every camera-control IC to turn on a LED when the camera is recording, and turn it off when it isn't. Unless there is something drastically wrong with the camera driver, and that would be their fault since they chose the camera module, that doesn't take any appreciable time. If their customers would like instant on, they can have that and a LED wh

        • Personally I wouldn't use a cloud connected camera for a variety of reasons

          Just curious, isn't every smartphone these days a cloud connected camera? Granted, it's usually not in a position where it can see very much.

      • #2 If the device is already hardwired to allow it to shut down the LED without shutting down the camera then it's only one software update/hack away from transmitting while it appears to be off. (Assuming that such a "feature" hasn't already been included and is just waiting for a signal to activate.)

        So? Even if the camera was being powered off, it would only be one software update/hack away from being able to transmit while turning off the LED.

      • by misosoup7 ( 1673306 ) on Tuesday November 24, 2015 @09:00PM (#50998597)
        But if you are worried about it transmitting when off, it's actually very easy to check with packet sniffers. This really shouldn't even be a he said she said argument. There is a really clear and simple way to test this:

        1. Turn Nest Camera to "off" mode, ie the Green LED is off. 2. Start up wireshark and see if the Nest Camera is transmitting to the anything and where it's transmitting to.

        Now, repeat the above with the Nest fully turned on. Compare the packets captured. Is the camera talking to the same servers and transmitting similar amount of data?

        You can tell much more objectively this way then speculating what is or isn't doing based on power usage.
      • by ljw1004 ( 764174 )

        Even if Nest/Google the corporation has fully honorable intentions the situation still seems liable to potential abuse.

        And you can't get much more honorable intentions than "data-mine your every activity to sell it to advertisers to serve you more advertising".

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      So whether its camera is all the way off or in warm standby isn't very relevant to privacy if no information is being sent out.

      How do we know it's not storing images to transmit once the go-button is pushed again?

    • by Comen ( 321331 )

      I have posted something like this before, but I think there need to be a company that certifies devices like home microphones and cameras and stamps them with approval if they follow certain ways of engineering these devices. For instance I would like to see these devices basically tie a external LED to com on or off via a electronic relay that is tied directly to the power of the mic and the camera. So if I wanted to install cameras inside my house that only come on when my alarm is going off, I would know

  • Yep (Score:5, Insightful)

    by markdavis ( 642305 ) on Tuesday November 24, 2015 @07:55PM (#50998295)

    >"The truth is: the Nest Cam is never "off" despite an effort by Nest and its parent Google to make it appear otherwise."

    And this surprises anyone? I work on the EXPECTATION that equipment that uses cloud services outside my control, and is not open source, and always connected to the Internet is just that.... uncontrolled.

    Even if it were "off", there is nothing to prevent it from being turned on remotely or being changed to do so with an automatic update. Promises made by companies mean almost nothing to me... if you can even understand them when it is followed by 10 pages of incomprehensible legal jargon.

    And then there are the security risks that have nothing to do with the manufacturer. If it is connected, it can be compromised by someone.

    There is a reason I don't have certain devices in my home. This stuff is going to get worse and worse. People should probably reflect on why one wants or needs everything to be connected to a third-party service or always connected to the Internet. Just because it seems "cool" doesn't mean it is a great idea or that there is no potential hidden cost.

    • You say "cool", I say useful.

      I used my Dropcam (back when it was still called that) to catch my landlord entering my apartment illegally. I complained to the management company and got $500 back, more than the cost of the camera. It was ridiculously easy, given that I had an e-mail with a picture of the guy's face walking into my apartment.

      There might well be a cheaper solution, but I've found this to work well.

      And I don't agree that it's going to get worse, the first versions of these devices will have fla
      • >"You say "cool", I say useful. I used my Dropcam (back when it was still called that) to catch my landlord entering my apartment illegally."

        And why couldn't you do that with a camera that uses your OWN web services or your own private software? And why did it have to be on the Internet in order to record? Those are exactly my points. Not everything has to have some third-party service or connectivity to be useful. The third-party service might, indeed, be convenient... buy security and privacy are b

        • It wasn't recording. I had it configured to send me an e-mail when it detected motion (requiring an internet connection) but it wasn't saving anything to the "cloud". (Aside from the still image included in the e-mail).

          As for using homegrown solutions, I used to have time for that, I don't anymore. It's just not a fun or valuable use of my time. That doesn't mean I don't protect my privacy, Nest cam allows you to control whether it stores data in the cloud.

          Given that the camera can be turned on from the iOS
  • Fuck IOT (Score:5, Insightful)

    by GerryGilmore ( 663905 ) on Tuesday November 24, 2015 @08:03PM (#50998343)
    Look, I'm not a Luddite by any means (got started with Data General back in 1976 but am currently in development of a web-based app using Laravel, so - welcome to my lawn!), but the current trend of "internet-ize everything and we'll figure out security, basic expectations, etc. later" is ridiculous! I love my flat-panel TV but, when it comes time to buy my next one, it will NOT be a "smart" TV. A TV is a fucking receiver - period. I'm OK with having it (STV) as an option on models clearly marked as such, and I know that some of the FB/Twitter-oriented crowd will just love the idea of sharing what they're currently watching, commenting on it, etc. But.....count me TF out!
    • "I love my flat-panel TV but, when it comes time to buy my next one, it will NOT be a "smart" TV."

      You will NOT own a "next flat-panel" then, because you won't find "non-smart" TVs at all.

  • flawed "research" (Score:5, Insightful)

    by lophophore ( 4087 ) on Tuesday November 24, 2015 @08:13PM (#50998393) Homepage

    30 mA will light most modern LEDs screaming bright. Or very bright, at least.

    Deciding that the camera is not uploading images to the cloud based on power consumption is like deciding that water is wet by looking at clouds... I did not see any mention of ethernet packet capture in TFA. You want to see if the thing is uploading? show me some captured packets.

    The argument is specious at best. It is a wireless camera, administered over an internet connection. In "power down" mode it still needs a way to be powered back on -- so it needs to keep its microprocessor and wifi radio on.

    The researcher says that power down mode should reduce current by 10-100 times. Let's see. 1/10 of the 322 mA cited for 360p "video record -- no motion" would be 32 mA. I'm gonna go out on a limb here and say you cannot run a microprocessor and wifi radio at that power level. And the 1/100th? 3.2 mA? NFW.

    TFA is a troll, perhaps by a shill. it is a crock of shit, and it stinks.

    • by TCM ( 130219 )

      The point is, when that thing is still running, what prevents the Internet service you're using from switchting it into recording state remotely? Just because it doesn't transmit data "right now", doesn't mean it can't be made to, remotely.

      However, that's exactly the reason why I wouldn't use anything "cloud" in the first place. Give me a cam that can upload to my server. I don't care if it's really off or not, if I can firewall it to only talk to my services.

      As such, this "problem" is only a problem becaus

    • TFA is a troll, perhaps by a shill. it is a crock of shit, and it stinks.

      That's what I would have said before Nest legitimized the assertion by having a PR flack say "when Nest Cam is turned off, it completely stops transmitting video to the cloud, meaning it no longer observes its surroundings". But this is a lie which was spoken in response to this complaint, which tells me that the complaint is dead-nuts accurate.

  • So, to have an IOT thermostat I have to give it around 350 ma @ 5 v (over 1.5 watts) 24 hours a day, 7 days a week? That's roughly 13 kWh over the space of a year.

    It must be nice to design devices where someone else has to pay for the sloppy engineering.

    /frank

    • by Nkwe ( 604125 )

      So, to have an IOT thermostat I have to give it around 350 ma @ 5 v (over 1.5 watts) 24 hours a day, 7 days a week? That's roughly 13 kWh over the space of a year.

      It must be nice to design devices where someone else has to pay for the sloppy engineering.

      Presumably the reason you would have an IOT thermostat instead of a regular (non-IOT) thermostat is that you want to be able to remote control it and have it collect performance data about the heating and cooling of your house. Being able to remotely turn something on when it is "off" requires it not to truly be off. 1.5 watts is not an unreasonable amount of power for this, especially if you include over time monitoring of temperature and that that the device needs to maintain a network connection. Where I

    • You are bitching about $20 a year for a $200 device that does 24/7 monitoring of a million dollar asset?

      I'm curious: do you turn off your water heater between showers? Do you power your phone down at night? Do you unplug your TV and microwave between uses? Do you manually power down your wifi router and modem when you're not actively on the internet? Do you unplug all the ac/dc converters when you're not using them? Do you disconnect the positive terminal of your car battery when you're not driving?

      All thes

      • by fnj ( 64210 )

        You are bitching about $20 a year

        $20? Are you crazy? 13 kWh is about $2.60 where I am, and we have some of the highest electric rates in the US.

  • All I can think of is the EFF's NSA spy eagle playing in its "nest" with its baby spy eagles perched atop some poor souls roof.

  • Trust (Score:5, Insightful)

    by gurps_npc ( 621217 ) on Tuesday November 24, 2015 @08:58PM (#50998589) Homepage
    We all know we can trust google (owner of Nest) to:

    1) Respect our privacy

    2) Ignore/Fight NSA warrants to let them use the Nest to look into your home with the light turned off.

    3) Write perfect code so that crackers/hackers will never get in and play with it.

    On second thought, these things should be sold with camera covers.

  • > Cuccias wrote in an e-mail. "With that said, when Nest Cam is turned off, it completely stops
    > transmitting video to the cloud, meaning it no longer observes its surroundings."

    Ha ha ha ha, of course it does. A spokesperson from Nest Labs would never lie to you!

  • ABI researcher Jim Mielke

    any relation to Erich Mielke? [wikipedia.org] The old man would have loved a Nest in every house.

  • This is a camera, designed to be connected to the internet, accessible via an app, built by companies who sell ad and analytics data, and who want access to all of your information so they can figure out how to monetize it.

    Anybody who thought this kind of device was intended to guard your privacy or have any real level of security is kidding themselves.

    You want it off, unplug it. Better yet, don't even own one.

    At this point all of this "internet of crap" which wants to be constantly connected to the intern

  • You're the idiot who decided it would be a good thing to not only install cameras inside your house, but you actually paid for them too.

    Shut up and deal with the consequences.

Quark! Quark! Beware the quantum duck!

Working...