Bob: you really don't expect a farmer in India or China to work on Internet do you? The migration to cities is a well known fact but applies to population worldwide, high-tech workers in US is a very small sliver of that...Kris
Bert's point about the disadvantages of public trans, and also, it's basic inconvenience, are well made. When I had to work in New York City, I appreciated the fact that the subways were there, but I hardly enjoyed using them. (Granted--other cities have far nicer subway systems, but you get the point.) Bert's points on advances in technology, that the changes are made to a partially-resisting public, are also cogent. But as far as the fact public trans will become more necessary as the population shifts into cities goes, what ever happened to work across the Internet? Just why do people flock into cities if they really don't have to? Far more people can do their work at home than do so right now. Much wear and tear on the infrastructure could be saved. But it doesn't happen as much as it could. Think about the fuel savings if businesses really de-centrified. They don't; it's too bad, but suspect I know why...
My original point, though, was that EVEN in networked control systems, the trend has been to migrate from legacy protocols to Internet Protocols. And this is not a recent trend. It has been going on for at least the past 15-18 years.
So this Internet of Things (as opposed to just people) is nothing new. You might even argue, the original ARPAnet was between academic and miltary computers, located in computing centers. If individuals accessed the Internet, they did it across non-IP links to their PCs or computer terminals.
I agree completely that the security aspects are real. My only point was, the IoT is nothing new. It is a progression of trends that have been there from the start. The new buzzword seems unnecessary, although I'm sure it will generate lots of scholarly papers, conventions, grants for schools, and all manner of other revenue for what are undoubteldy worthy causes.
There is a point that may be being missed here. As was stated earlier in this thread, we have been doing networked control systems for quite a while now. The difference here is the use of open interfaces and discovery mechanisms rather than proprietary closed communication protocols and hard-coded links (Box A is built to communicate with Box B using this message set on this wire). Just as the open interfaces of the Internet opened a tremendous Pandora's Box of creativity, a true IoT would allow devices to discover and utilize a data ecosystem (I know, this is a very feel-good description, but it is actually very close to being literal). This non-deterministic environment should both excite us and scare the crap out of us.
To a degree, I agree. But even in Europe, public transportation isn't always convenient, and if anything, since WWII, more and more people have been using private transportation. Even with the high price of gasoline. Public transportation will always be limited in terms of where it goes and how frequently it runs. And even in cities like Rome, a lot more people now commute from neighboring towns to go to work, than in the old days. So it's not all that different from the US.
But here's another example of automation in automobiles that we could never go back from. Back in the 1930s, I'm sure a lot of people would feel leary about foregoing the manual crank starter, at the very least as a backup mechanism. They probably sounded then just like those who oppose some of the autmatic new features today.
And yet, those hand cranks are not only dangerous, but totally useless when the compression ratio gets above about 5:1 or so. I doubt anyone would advocate lowering compression ratios today, just so we can have those hand cranks back.
Ditto with steam ships. The first ones had masts and sails as well as steam engines, just in case. And so on, and so on.
I agree Bob, smart homes currently make little sense...one of the problems is very low cost of electricity...I spend $40 a month on it, even if I achieve 10% reduction by showering at 3am that will be buy only one latte...Kris
sharps_eng, I've seen all sorts of studies on so-called smart homes; there are one or two built by UVA here in Charlottesville. What I haven't seen is a convincing description of just how external scheduling of my washing machine was going to help anyone. Since I do at least 8 loads a week in my home, I presume that I would have to be up all night reloading the damned thing... and I want my coffee when a lot of other people do: first thing in the morning. That's probably not what is intended, saving a watt or two, but it is symptomatic of external scheduling control. Ok, so instead we concentrate on the long poles in the tent: heating and A/C... I'd like to see some real numbers, or simulation, that shows much more than minor reductions in peak demand from the elaborate infrastructure that will arise if the local power company gets to turn my HVAC system on and off. I suspect that all that will happen is that I'll pay twice as much for electricity when I need it as when I don't. Eat dinner at 11:00 PM, get up and shower at 3:00 AM... I just don't see how externally-scheduled events in my home are going to help anyone, let alone me...
Bert, what you write is perhaps true in US because your gas is so cheap...the picture in others parts of the world is quite different, Europe in particular...worldwide most people live in big cities now, soon it will be 2/3 of us, public transportation is the only way to go, gas prices have to go higher...Kris