Why does every IP video camera have the worst embedded software possible? Why do they insist on shipping devices with web UIs that need windows only plugins or janky java applets to do things modern browsers have been capable of doing for years? Why are they just!tty? there a law requiring them to install garbage software in their cameras? Hasn't the industry figured out that maybe if their cameras didn't have garbage software they'd take over the market?

@msh Yup. There should be an xkcd cartoon showing a h/w team inventing new ways to annoy people with their s/w.

@cognish or, maybe Matt Inman can make a follow-up to his printer comic about IP cameras.

If you fail at software you are sent away to write printer software.

If you fail at printer software you are sent away to write IP camera software.

@msh I know what you mean. I’ve tried a few Foscam IP cams and their embedded software is majorly lacking. I was pleasantly surprised by an Amcrest IP cam recently, though. It had a decent layout and good amount of options accessible through the web UI without requiring any plugins. I can look up the model number if it’ll be useful to you.

@shahaan majorly lacking is being charitable. Try logging into the web interface of a foSCAM on any mobile or Linux device.

Spoiled alert: You can't.

It tries to download a binary browser plugin from the interwebs right on the login page. You cannot even log in much less do any config without this nasty plugin.

So what does this plugin do? It installed a socket server on your computer on port 50000 to do who knows what kind of shenanigans?

Makes the browser UI pointless. Garbage.

@shahaan the Amcrest option intrigues me with the plugin-free experience. I shall have to look them up.

@msh just...

fucking use MJPEG and web standards

it's not hard

@msh I can only imagine that it must be software that was designed back when the web was less standardized. They paid some company to develop it back in 2003, when Shockwave Flash and embedded Java applications were king if you wanted to get any heavy lifting done. Companies don't want to have to pay some outsourced company to do it all over again when they still have a "perfectly good" peice of software.


These cameras were manufactured in April.

Of 2019.

FoSCAM product should get out more. Like, more than once in 15+ years. The world has changed and they should see it for themselves.

@msh Even so, imagine trying to explain to an out of touch project manager who only cares about making a new thing every so often that paying some other company to rewrite the software is a worthy investment. Especially if they're paranoid about intellectual property.

This is why IP cameras are so severely vulnerable and people get spied on through their own devices. The same thing is going to happen with our IoT devices, though I personally believe IP cameras fall under the IoT umbrella.

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