Smart home technology, except it all runs on a local server and doesn't need to connect to the Internet unless I explicitly want it to do so (for things like getting the weather and playing music, I guess).

My impression (mostly from reading free software bloggers), is that it's probably best to stay away completely from #SmartHome technology for the next decade or so. Terrible security and privacy risks, lack of standards, etc.

I would like to speak to my house and have it dim the lights; but I've lived without that so far. For you, @ink_slinger, what do you see as the most desirable smart home feature?


@mpjgregoire I mostly don't really need or even want most home automation stuff (though I do have a Nest thermostat), but being able to have voice control for music and lights would be convenient. But, like you, I've lived fine without and it's honestly a fairly minor convenience that's not worth the privacy/security trade-off.

Similarly, I would never buy a baby monitor that needs to connect to the internet, as convenient as it might be to check in on my phone.

@ink_slinger @mpjgregoire Personally I have a bunch of Google Home Minis around my house to provide music everywhere (although I have better speakers in the major rooms) but I have them all currently with their mics toggled off. I also do have some smart lights, the Philips Hue ones, but it's not a matter of controlling them with my voice; I have them due to the simple fact of then being able to dim or color-shift any of those lights.

@keithzg @mpjgregoire I used to have some "smart" lights that worked via bluetooth, so I didn't need to have my fucking lightbulbs connected to the internet. But the functionality was necessarily more limited (basically, they could be dimmed and used in rooms that didn't already have dimmer switches).

@ink_slinger @keithzg FWIW, that blogger I linked to earlier, mjg, wrote that the Philips Hue light bulbs are the best smart bulbs available.

@mpjgregoire @ink_slinger @keithzg That is literally why I bought those as my "smart" (ie. for my purposes dimmable and color-tunable) bulbs when I bought them late last year! From his analysis of the options out there they seemed like the least questionable option both practically and security-wise.

Lot of interesting stuff on Garrett's blog; is a classic tale, if you haven't read it.

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