back to article Google's Nest gobble: Soon ALL your HOME are BELONG to US

Google’s proposed $3.2bn purchase of Nest Labs, a maker of internet-connected round-the-home devices, shows that the online advertising giant considers the Internet of Things a serious proposition. A very serious proposition. It’s easy to be dismissive of the move. Nest is best known for an internet-enabled thermostat and a …

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  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    But..

    ..would things be any better if it was Microsoft or Apple who had bought them? I seriously doubt it would be given their business practices. At least Google are relatively platform agnostic and make a lot of their APIs open.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: But..

      At least its not Amazon ... otherwise we'd get bombarded with emails along the lines of

      "other people with homes at the same temperature as yours have looked at these wooly jumpers"

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: But..

        The Google version will be to bombard your device with sponsored adverts for Wooly Jumpers, live sheep versions included.

        If Google thinks that it is going to get ANY data about what is going on inside my house (apart from my use of google for searching then they are very much mistaken.

        The same goes for the likes of LG/Samsung who want me to connect my TV to the internet just so that they can see what I'm watching and sell that data to the TV companies/advertisers

        You can add to this list any other company/NCS/GCHQ/FIS that feels that it has and dibs on my personal data. I already use a number of different VM for all my financial transactions. Once used they are deleted and replaced with my baseline clean copy.

        Give these leeches my data?

        No, never, no-way, No!

        Get it?

        In order not to give them an easy target I am posting this as AC.

    2. AMBxx Silver badge

      Re: But..

      If Apple bought them, it would be really expensive, have less functionality, but be reliable & easy to use.

      If MS bought them, decent price, loads of functionality, unreliable and difficult to use.

      Google will probably get it 'just right', but who wants all their data going to Google? Not me, thanks, I'll take MS incompetence every time.

      1. Frank Bough

        Re: But..

        Decent prices from MS? When was this?

        1. Steve Davies 3 Silver badge

          Re: But..

          In some cases when compared to Oracle even the recent price hikes that MS has foisted on us can seem reasonable.

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: But..

          Unreliable from MS? When was this?

        3. IglooDude

          Re: But..

          I assumed they were referring to the Surface tablet fire sale... *snicker*

      2. Synonymous Howard
        Joke

        > I'll take MS incompetence every time.

        Ahh .. you must be IT support then as MS keep you in a job.

      3. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: But..

        You think MS doesn't use your data/sell your data/let the NSA in on your data?

        Hilarous

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: But..

      Actually, I *would* rather Microsoft or Apple.

      In both cases they may try and sell me things. In Google's case over 90% of their income is derived from selling access to me and my habits (albeit at arms length and hence 'anonymously'). Of the three, Google have by far the greatest incentive to be a privacy problem.

      As regards platform-agnostic? Well, they are when it suits them (as are all of them) - see for example Windows Phone with its second place in 24 markets and yet Google produce nothing for it save a minimal browser app. I understand why (WP is MS tech) but it isn't agnostic to ignore a platform used by tens of millions of people.

      And open? It always amazes me that people seriously praise Google for it's open nature. They are open in everything apart from the one thing that brings them their 90+% income (their ad system). In other words, they are open when (and only when) it won't actually cost them more than peanuts (I know Android costs them, but that's a trojan horse to feed the ads empire).

      Again, I understand. And it is their right to retain commercial secrets. I just despair though when openness advocates big up Google for the (for them) tiny contributions they make whilst ignoring that they retain their crown jewels. At least MS and Apple don't try and play the ecosystem-reputation game that sneakily.

      1. Stuart Castle

        Re: But..

        I would also rather trust Microsoft or Apple. Yes, you pay for the product you get but they don't harvest data on your habits which they then sell. As such, to make a profit out of you, they do not need to sell data on you to someone else.

        Google, on the other hand, offer everything for "free" then make their money by selling advertising, and also selling tracking data.they have on you So, of course, it's in their interest to track you.

        It's also worth noting that Apple are actually quite open about what they do use personal data for. Something which, in my experience, cannot be said about Google.

        It's actually quite scary how much data google does apparently have on it's users. Thanks to Android, they have access to where you are at any given time. They also have access to your contacts, as well as what apps you use/games you play. Thanks to Gmail, they have access to a lot of your emails. They also operate email services for a lot of companies and other organisations but in the spirit of fairness, I am assuming that these have privacy clauses that Google honours.

        If you sign in to Google, they also track what types of pages you view (the Google ads code sends back some details of the page it is running on) as well as any search terms you use.

        Now, with Nest, they'll probably know what temperature you like to have your home at at any given time.

        Add in Google + and you might as well forget about privacy all together.

    4. Frank Bough

      Re: But..

      Apple's business model is rather more traditional - they expect payment for their products and services in cash money rather than by sucking every scintilla of your personal data so it can be auctioned off to all and sundry.

    5. ex RBS employee

      Re: But..

      OK,

      It might not be any better.

      But could it be ANY WORSE ? !!!

    6. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Missing the point

      You don't get it.

      It does not matter WHO owns or controls these devices, the point is, it's collecting and selling data on us; turning us, our habbits, our lifestyle, our activities, into a product for them to sell as they see fit. I OWN ALL OF THAT!

      As far as I and many others are concerned, it's no different than if somebody came over and raided your refrigerator, or stole electricity from you, or took gas out of your car.

      People will use whatever means they have to in order to protect their own domain.

      There is an old saying: "Stay out of people's bedroom". And to be clear, it means stay out of their personal space and domain.

  2. jai

    people's reaction unexpected?

    Interesting article at theVerge... not so much on the purchase, as on everyone's reaction to it. A few years ago, most people who have had a positive response to it. Google seem to have lost a lot of people's trust.

    Instead, there’s a chorus of concern — some sincere, some contrived, but all of it grounded in fear of an unchecked Google.

    http://www.theverge.com/2014/1/14/5307530/why-is-everyone-disappointed-by-google-buying-nest

    1. sorry, what?
      Stop

      Re: people's reaction unexpected?

      Google definitely have lost my trust (they aren't the only ones but they are a primary one).

      Whilst I like Android as a phone and tablet platform, from a user experience point of view, and like that the devices are sophisticated whilst being relatively well priced, I'm getting really twitchy about all the data they are gathering. Especially since there doesn't really seem any limit on how and to what purpose they use the data. Privacy policy regardless.

      The more connected the world the less secure I'm feeling. Sad but true.

      1. P. Lee Silver badge

        Re: people's reaction unexpected?

        > Google definitely have lost my trust

        All of them have lost mine, especially when it comes to mobile devices. The prevailing attitude appears to be, if its on a phone, I'm allowed to give you a free game and slurp all your data.

        On a desktop, we call that malware. Actually we call it malware on a phone too.

        What I want is companies to give cast-iron guarantees that their software only does what you expect. That means I don't want your cloud, I want my device to do the processing itself. I want a hardware off switch for the GPS and wireless. I'm happy to pay for mapping, download it to my phone and run all the processing there with no live uplink to anywhere.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      @jai

      "A few years ago, most people who have had a positive response to it. Google seem to have lost a lot of people's trust."

      While that maybe true; it doesn't automatically mean those people will stop using their services. So in the end I think Google will most likely care less what people think. An attitude which seems to slowly, but steadily, manifest itself as of late (at least that's my impression of it).

      Think YouTube. Many people cried out when Google demanded usage of their social media site (Google Rings or Circles or such (I can't be bothered to look it up)), and they even started protesting in the comment sections on many movie. But by doing so automatically also making it very clear that while they claim not to like the whole thing they still went along with it. I didn't want to get linked to social media either, but I stuck with my principles and thus I can't comment on Youtube videos for quite a while now. Can't say I get the feeling to be missing out on something though.

      So I think that's what's to be expected. People may complain, but I bet there will be very few who will stick with their principles and most will just go along with it all.

      And 50 years from now many will wonder how it ever happened that a company could become so influential and powerful, even though we learned a lot from Microsoft's actions. Yeah right! :P

      1. solo

        Re: @jai

        "... many will wonder how it ever happened that a company could become so influential and powerful ...".

        Because tech media is not spreading this message to non-techie in proper context.

        Proof?

        How many reviewers mention why the Moto G (or Nexus) is so cheap, in the same article? They mention subsidy, but not linked to your privacy. They think it is about keeping the article to the point, but the context misses to reach the consumer who only goes to CNET for phone reviews.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: people's reaction unexpected?

      Can't you see how powerful Google are getting at the expensive of everyone else?

      People wanted to see the end to big tech monopolies like Microsoft and they've now created another one.

    4. Turtle

      Re: people's reaction unexpected?

      From the Verge article: "Google clarified that a controversial plan to let Google+ users easily email nearly anyone on Gmail would be more private for "high-profile" users.

      Evidently the world will be divided into two classes: common trash, and "high profile users" whom Google will allow a bit more privacy. (Of course I am omitting the much smaller third class: top Google employees and stockholders, who will be permitted to opt out of Google's data collection completely.)

      1. Captain Hogwash Silver badge

        Re: Of course I am omitting the much smaller third class

        Also the fourth: Google refuseniks. Yes, we're out there.

    5. Charles Manning

      Re: people's reaction unexpected? Not at all

      Rewind tape to the 1950s and you can see this all over again.

      In the 1950s everyone looked forward to a bright new technology-enabled future. Science could do no wrong and everyone wanted to be in on the game. Then in the 1960s technology started to lose its bloom and the anti-techs started to rise. We had Silent Spring and all that building up a picture that technology/science are evil.

      Then in 2000 the whole internet revolution really hit its straps. The internet could do no wrong. Internet everything. Web everything whether it makes sense or not. Google is the ultimate part of the web - being able to find stuff. Then the surveillance concerns (always there) became mainstream and people start to worry more about the potential downsides. Now people don't want to be found.

      These cycles are just part of human nature. They will continue forever.

  3. VinceH Silver badge

    "Google’s ownership of the Internet of Things starts here."

    ...and won't reach to here. I'll stick with the Internot of Things, thanks.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Nor here ...

      Because I will stick with 'My Internet of Things' (tm) .. aka Arduino powered sensor cubes built and programmed by myself .. all data kept in my-cloud, secured with keys from my PKI, controlled by my code built upon the shoulders of Open Source giants.

      + RasPi based in-car PC with 3G, wifi router, ODB-II interface and GPS - v1.0 in use securely passing telemetry back home

      + Weather Station - in use for last 4 years

      + Central Heating controller - in use with bluetooth interface, RTC and remote control API

      + Alarm status monitor - almost built

      + Room monitor cubes (PIR / occupancy + humidity + temp + mains relay) - initial prototype design

      + RasPi based network hub - initial prototype built

      Network hub will collate inside and outside sensor information and uses calendar events, weather trends and car telemetry to allow heuristic heating / lighting / alerting home automation functions.

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I don't even begin to understand how a thermostat (albeit a rather cool thermostat) manufacturer is worth $3.2. what am I missing?

    Do they have a patent that Google /really/ want?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Perhaps reading the article would help you understand?

    2. Sporkinum

      Just based on income alone (not profit), it would take 26 years to cover the cost of acquiring the company. Obviously the patents and potential data acquisition is worth a lot to google.

  5. jai

    privacy

    >“Our privacy policy clearly limits the use of customer information to providing and improving Nest’s products and services,” says Rogers. “We’ve always taken privacy seriously and this will not change.”

    So a good thing that they weren't bought by Facebook then.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: privacy

      Don't worry, I am sure they will integrate Facebook and twitter for the idiots out there who want people to know exactly what temperature their house is at...

      Next will be the fridge, so your midnight snack is tweeted.

      Then the TV, just imagine the tweets... 'john bloggs is watching television X'

      Soon your toilet, "John Bloggs has taken a big dump!"

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: privacy

      "So a good thing that they weren't bought by Facebook then.!"

      Or Google...Oh wait.....

  6. Irongut

    "That server technology can undoubtedly scale far beyond the traffic Nest currently handles"

    And you undoubtedly know this because? Just because a company / service has low traffic atm does not mean they are capable of handling more. A poor architecture and bad programming may not show at low traffic levels but they undoubtedly will with more traffic.

    Maybe report facts rather than your bad assumptions?

    "forcing anyone using a product based on Nest technology to adopt Google as a service provider (again as Android users must)."

    I'd like to introduce you to this little thing called the Kindle Fire. You've probably never heard of it because they aren't very popular and are only sold by a very small niche company but it runs Android and does not require or even have Google as a service provider.

  7. Stoneshop Silver badge
    Headmaster

    (albeit willingly given).

    That's a definition of 'willing' which I wasn't aware of previously.

    The amount of data Google collects through all kinds of hooks in all kinds of widely used scripts in just about everybody's websites is staggering, and only those that know about how to block those scripts without fubaring the website involved (if the latter bit is sufficiently important) and on the other hand not care enough to do so could be said to willingly hand over that data.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: (albeit willingly given).

      Indeed.

      Visit any site using any of the following and Google know you (and be aware your browser string alone has enough ancillary info to make you virtually unique without cookies):

      AdWords

      Google Analytics

      Google Web Fonts

      Google CDN and script servers

      Google+ button (even if you don't click it)

      And probably more ...

      1. adnim Silver badge

        Re: (albeit willingly given).

        The only thing that breaks websites if blocked are Google script servers.

        I know this because I block everything else.

        I am hoping, as they are easily downloaded and analysed, that if there is nefarious spying code in Google scripts someone would have noticed and reported it by now. My Javascript skill and is not nearly good enough and I don't posses the patience/time required to do such a thing anyway.

      2. Synonymous Howard

        Re: (albeit willingly given).

        All those are on my proxy's block list in addition to blocking on AdBlock.

  8. jnffarrell1

    Accurate statistics on environment are the basis for design

    Dumbo design, that fails to cope with the noise, stresses, and human factors that users experience cause product failures that could be uncovered by beta testing in accurate simulations of the users world. Smart-use of annonomous statistical data about the environment on the road, in the store and at home are at the heart of successfully Google services. Lazy lab rats should get out of their labs to make sure that their field tests represent the users' world. Search Plus Users World is about personal service. Nest is an opportunity to encrypt home data everywhere it persists and use it only consistent with user service.

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I don't need

    (nor want) a shiny blue disc-shaped spy on the wall. As far as I'm concerned, they can spend 200 billion on this purchse, who cares? The only thing that concerns me is that, by being a global "trend-setter" (yuk!), and because their devices will become a de facto "standard", they will force the "connectiveness" into being a legal requirement. Or, simply by squeezing non-connected devices out of production.

  10. MonkeyScrabble

    Where's the off switch?

    All I care about on the great google data slurp is, that if I buy a washing machine with this trash installed, will there be a network card I can easily remove to ensure my stuff isn't being sent to the overlord in Cali or do I have to get a screwdriver and pliers out to take the machine apart and then put it through a shredder?

    When they start paying me hard cash for my data then they can have it, until then telling me how to save energy is a waste of time. Many free websites already exist which do that for free and don't ask for anything in return. Hell I could write one, turn down the thermostat and switch the lights off. Easy. Sorted.

    This is just another data land grab dressed up as a "service" to mine data and flog it to anyone that wants it.

    Buy 'n' Large here we come.

    Also why is this spying allowed in any way, shape or form?

    Government agencies require a judge issued warrant to look at anything an internet user searches for, phone calls etc. Why can these companies do the same thing with a few shady lines in their T&Cs?

  11. Alan Bourke

    This internet of things

    Maybe don't plug the fridge into the ethernet/don't put in the WiFi password? That's what I'd do.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: don't plug in /wifi

      But then they will put in a minimal (mobile) phone instead.

      1. BongoJoe

        Re: don't plug in /wifi

        I'd be fine here then.

        There's no signal because someone has put a mountain between my cottage and the rather inaccurately named "Everything Everywhere" mast.

      2. sorry, what?
        Trollface

        Re: don't plug in /wifi

        @AC from 15:00, move into a Faraday cage then ;-)

    2. Darryl

      Re: This internet of things

      C'mon Alan. Quit offering up simple solutions to people's over-the-top rants. This is El Reg, and we demand the right to gnash our teeth and wail

    3. Dan 55 Silver badge

      Re: This internet of things

      You'll need a net connection to Get Genuine within 30 days.

      1. P. Lee Silver badge

        Re: This internet of things

        > You'll need a net connection to Get Genuine within 30 days.

        I'm sorry, your fridge is counterfeit.

    4. MonkeyScrabble

      Re: This internet of things

      Some of the new cards power themselves of errant radio signals in your house, WiFi, TV or radio waves etc so don't need to be powered.

      These can run a radio transmitter that can send it's own signal, all low powered of course so not much range however, what are the chances it will connect to your Android run phone or the streetview car cruising past your house and send the data on that way whether you agree or not?

      For google plugging the fridge in will be accepting the lack of privacy T&Cs

      Unless the tracking chip can be physically removed they'll find a way to take the data whether you want to give it to them or not.

      1. Stuart Castle

        Re: This internet of things

        Unfortunately, it's relatively easy for them to make the tracking chip very difficult to remove. Just integrate it (or it's functionality) with one of the other chips that modern fridges inexplicably need to keep something cold.

        *wishes for a return to the days of fridges just having a pump, some piping and the minimal circuitry required to control the pump..

  12. Joe Harrison

    You can't not get this

    “Our privacy policy clearly limits the use of customer information to providing and improving Nest’s products and services”

    That's right folks - we use your information to provide an improved service to our, eh, "special" customer. Available soon our new thermostat with FREE webcam!

  13. BongoJoe

    Thermostats

    I am looking forward to these Internet of Thing or Cloud Controlled Thermostats.

    My wife would welcome the day that when the termperature drops it would then either stoke up the fire or put another log onto the burner. I just can't see how these clever people at the Chocolate Factory are going to manage this but I will certainly buy one (on a trial basis, of course) to see how it's done.

    Well, we do have a form of Cloud Controlled Thermostat here in North Wales; when the cloud comes I light the fire.

    1. DropBear Silver badge
      Joke

      Re: Thermostats

      "I just can't see how these clever people at the Chocolate Factory are going to manage this" - oh, but you're missing a critical piece of the puzzle. Just wait until the Housekeeping GBot comes out (with built-in blue/red LED lighting to appropriately indicate current degree of evilness at all times). I'm sure it will be happy to light the fire for you logs and all, whether or not you want it lit, in the burner or otherwise...

      1. BongoJoe

        Re: Thermostats

        Is this device of yours developed by Google or the Sons of Glyndŵr? I fear from the description that it may be the latter...

  14. Sander van der Wal
    Facepalm

    What problem I have worth paying good money for is T.I.O.T going to solve?

    Haven't heard a single one of them. Running out of milk isn't one of them as I don't drink that vile stuff.

    1. Jason Bloomberg Silver badge

      Re: What problem I have worth paying good money for is T.I.O.T going to solve?

      If I were selling the technology I would probably argue cost savings -

      When the time comes that leccy companies have variable charging you will have to micro-manage your consumption to ensure you maximise your cost savings. That is only going to be fully achievable if you have it done by a computer. There are savings to be had today with careful management and an automated, integrated approach to energy use which you are likely already missing out on.

      Rather than having your heating system, fridge, washing machine, dishwasher, backup server, battery and electric car chargers, etc, each working out if it's cheaper to start-up now, hold off for a while, or start earlier than scheduled, it is easier and cheaper to have a single server crunch the numbers and tell the devices what to do and when.

      And you don't need a personal server when we already have one in the cloud ready to go. Our system which integrates everything and even caters for any self-sufficiency generation you have will be far easier to use and set-up than anything you can create yourself or find elsewhere.

      Bottom line; if it saves you money then why wouldn't you want it? If wasting money isn't a problem for you then fair enough.

      Not everyone will want it or see the benefit in having it but I imagine a lot would. The current hurdle is selling the idea to people and achieving initial take-up. It fits in with government desires and would probably also have environmentalist backing and, above all, saving money is a good motivation.

      1. Sander van der Wal

        Re: What problem I have worth paying good money for is T.I.O.T going to solve?

        "Rather than having your heating system, "

        Runs on natural gas, during late autumn, winter and early spring only

        "fridge, washing machine, "

        runs all the time, or just once a week

        "dishwasher, backup server, battery and electric car chargers, etc,"

        don't have 'm, apart from the backup server.

        So, how much is it going to save me then? And why won't the backup server be capable enough to do the math?

  15. DropBear Silver badge
    WTF?

    Beg pardon?

    "forcing anyone using a product based on Nest technology to adopt Google as a service provider (again as Android users must)." - sorry, what now...? Which Google service can I as an Android user not avoid to use, exactly? I sync calendar and tasks with my own server, not Google. I use Gmail because I find it convenient; then again I also use Ymail on the same phone, I could stop using Gmail if I wished. Most stuff I search for I do from a (mobile) browser, and those can be configured to use any engine. Google Now is useless to me (literally not a single feature I could find a use for in my daily life) and so is Google Maps (I use a different, free app with turn-by-turn that incidentally has half of Europe downloaded for offline use - were you trying to say something, Gmaps...?) How much information exactly does Google get off the device nobody can say, but I sure do keep all the boxes unchecked. So which service did you say I must be using...?

    Oh, and regarding the IoT thingie - I strongly suspect Google just apes Samsung on this, who just announced they'd really like to network you fridge and washing machine. Or the other way around. Who cares - they are both wrong. I mean, 2014 will clearly be the year of the Internet of Things, right...? Just like every year for half a century now has been the year of the Smart Home, surely?

    1. frank ly

      @DropBear Re: Beg pardon?

      " I sync calendar and tasks with my own server, not Google."

      Can you tell me how you do that please. A couple of links would be nice. I've been wondering about syncing to a private ftp server using .ics files to hold different calendars. If i could get my Android calendar away from Google that would be nice.

      1. djack

        Re: @DropBear Beg pardon?

        "Can you tell me how you do that please."

        Install owncloud (http://www.owncloud.org/) on a server.

        Install a CalDAV and CardDAV client on your phone (I use two separate apps, but people have reported good results with DAVdroid).

        I have calendar and contacts synced between my phone, tablet, laptop and desktop.

  16. Thomas Allen
    Big Brother

    I don't want Google to be pinged every time I enter my front door, cook an egg or flush the toilet. I don't want my family to be logged as they enter and leave, gather in the dining room or go to bed. My thermostat, refrigerator and smoke alarm function perfectly as dumb devices. My mundane private life is mine and private.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      So don't buy any connected devices.

      1. T. F. M. Reader Silver badge

        @AC: "So don't buy any connected devices."

        Easy to say. I predict that pretty soon dumb light bulbs and thermostats will either cost 10 times more than internet-connected ones or will be forced out of the market altogether because there will not be enough demand.

  17. Ralph B

    Internet of American Things

    Since the Nest thermostat only works in USA and Canada residents of the Rest of the World can sleep easy.

    1. Wensleydale Cheese
      FAIL

      Re: Internet of American Things

      "Since the Nest thermostat only works in USA and Canada residents of the Rest of the World can sleep easy."

      Oops.

      "Use of the thermostat outside the United States and Canada is complicated by the software setting time and other functions based on the ZIP code."

      When and if they eventually fix that, you will have to enter dates and times in US format,

      And probably decide the interface language by your IP address.

      What could possibly go wrong?

      1. BongoJoe

        Re: Internet of American Things

        And probably decide the interface language by your IP address.

        Gogledd Cymraeg?

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Internet of American Things

      I find it funny how many of these comments seem to imply that representatives from your local police will be arriving at everyone's door and forcing you to install a Nest thermostat.

      You. Don't. Have. To. Buy. One.

      1. MonkeyScrabble

        Re: Internet of American Things

        Yeah but every home appliance or device from every manufacturer will have a chip in the near future.

        Almost everything at CES was either iRubbish or Internet of things.

        It started with Smart phones and TVs. Smart kettles and nosehair trimmers are just down the road.

        You won't be able to buy anything without one soon.

        (Where's my tinfoil hat?)

      2. Aaron 10
        Facepalm

        Re: Internet of American Things

        But what about those who already purchased one?

  18. Captain Hogwash Silver badge

    Now I get it

    http://forums.theregister.co.uk/forum/1/2012/03/23/google_mobile_ads_patent/

  19. MrXavia

    internet of things... sounds great, except the cloud factor...

    I would be perfectly happy with my home being fully automated, but I want the server in my home, behind my router & firewalls, with only ME being able to access it...

    As soon as you grant anyone else access, you are giving up your security....

    What if a hacker breaks into their servers and shuts down your heating, turns off all the lights for everyone, or even in the middle of the night rapidly cycling the lights until they blow!

    I don't trust public cloud for my private data, now a private cloud at home, that is what I want!

    1. Synonymous Howard

      DIY

      You can build your own home cloud yourself today, very cheaply and using open source software.

      You could start with NAS4Free (www.nas4free.org) on a HP Microserver and add on WebDAV and other software elements if required by specific apps.

  20. ItsNotMe
    Mushroom

    Much ado about nothing

    You do realize kids, that no one is forcing anyone to buy this Nest thing...don't you? Or any of the other crap that connects my home & its belongings to the Internet. There isn't a snowball's chance in Hell I would ever buy one of these...or any other device that connects the appliances in my home to the Internet. What for?

    It's bad enough that there are PFYs around the globe (and yes...the NSA also) trying to gain access to my computers...the longer they all stay the f*ck out of the rest of my life...the better.

    1. Captain Hogwash Silver badge

      Re: Much ado about nothing

      And then one day something breaks beyond repair and needs to be replaced and only connected ones are made and sold. It might be a long way off but that's a plausible scenario in the future. If it comes to that I hope I'm long gone already.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Much ado about nothing

      you are very naive, if you really think that "no one's forcing you". No one was forcing mandatory seat belts (never mind their benefit for now), until they became mandatory. Likewise, no one's forcing it - at least legally YET, to install a black box in your car. But the incentives are already there (a discount). At some point the discount will outweigh the non-discounted option by 10: 1 or more. At some other point (and not in the "far away future, nosir), it will be coupled with a regulatory, i.e. legal requirement. Or, to pre-empt the usual way: they will be pre-installed, and you won't be able to remove it, which will be coupled with hefty penalties (soon to be upgraded to "criminal offense"), if you dare remove it. Likewise, this shitty thermostat and other devices. At some point in the not-too-distant future, they'll be pedaled as the best thing since the electronic meter reader (which they will push upon us too). After some pedaling, it will be proven (and if no proof exists), it will be claimed, that those thermostats are "essential" to keep the energy prices down (lol, I love this argument every time the prices are hiked up even more). And since it's essential, it will also become a legal requirement to have one. You don't want one? Sure, you won't have one forced upon you. Until the next moment, when you're found out that you have a wife. And kids. And then - bingo! - you either instal it, so that kids are not subject to unhuman changes to room temperature, or they suggest, that they might de-instal your kids (yeah, I know, it would be useful at times).

      None of it is really fanciful, and I'm not suggesting that Google have masterminded such a plan for a world domination. They just realize that if they put their fingers in many pies, they might reap benefits, sooner or later. Be it by peddling information about your habits to advertisers, or to the government. Purely for statistical purposes, of course, nothing personal. Unless legally bound, of course.

  21. jackrr

    int it soon all your home WILL belong to us????

    1. Darryl
  22. mrbofus

    "Soon ALL your HOMES are BELONG to US"

    Assuming this is a take on "All your base are belong to us" from Zero Wing, should the headline be, "Soon ALL your HOME are BELONG to US"?

  23. DougS Silver badge

    How is Google not able to build this "platform" itself

    Nest hasn't built anything that Google couldn't easily replicate themselves. The only feasible reason they weren't willing to wait the year (at most) it would take them to build an identical platform themselves (using a mere 1% of that money, or $32 million, would be major overkill for this effort) is because they felt they couldn't afford to wait that year.

    That implies they believe someone else (maybe Apple, maybe companies like Honeywell getting together an industry effort) will be making a big splash in 2014 and Google had to pay through the nose to catch up. People have suggested patents, but with few products Nest can have few patents, unless they were working on something totally outside of the market they'd previously been operating in.

    Even these seem like flimsy reasoning, because people aren't going to replace their thermostats, smoke alarms, door locks, and whatnot in any large numbers no matter how cool of products someone comes out with.

    If I was a Google shareholder, I'd be pretty unhappy now. This is why shareholders want to see companies paying dividends rather than holding onto large amounts of cash. Having the cash available makes it easier to make stupid decisions like this.

    1. Steve Davies 3 Silver badge

      Re: How is Google not able to build this "platform" itself

      Whilst you might be right about people not replacing stuff around their homes en-masse but how long will it be before some corporation bribes enough lawmakers to put through changes in building regs/codes so that the ONLY devices you are allowed to replace the old stuff with is this 'connected shite'?

    2. solo

      Re: How is Google not able to build this "platform" itself

      Because in spite of all the intelligence, a robot can not make it cool (Sphere speakers anyone?). So they bought the coolness.

  24. Bigpatc

    Ads on my nest dial

    Perhaps I could live with ads for sweaters and insulation contractors on my thermostat dial, but the day I see an ad for a divorce attorney, I'll know what's been going on in my house...

  25. bikeboatski

    "Google's Nest gobble: Soon ALL your HOMES are BELONG to US"

    Only happens if people WRONGLY persist in resting all their hopes and confidences on computer technology.

    1. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge

      Get with the program, gramps.

  26. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge
    Go

    THE NEST: THERMOSTATIC OVERLORDS!

    I, for one, welcome them!

  27. Tom 13

    Re: Imagine Google allowing anyone access to Nest’s core hardware

    Don't have to. My second real job was working for a company that had just that dream many, many years ago. They went bankrupt and for good reason. The idea sounds good until you start working through the details. Granted Google won't go bankrupt, but it isn't the utopia you think it is. Truth is, the system I worked on I'd trust more than Nest because I could have built it without the smart phone/internet access. I can easily see 4chan hacking access to the home owner systems and turning off the heat so the pipes freeze just for the LOLs. And that's before believing Google won't change the service to mine the data, or worse, get at it another way.

  28. Andus McCoatover
    Joke

    Google buys a smoke alarm company?

    Next thing they'll be patenting a snooze button for it....

  29. Charles Manning

    Please think of the children

    IoT is going to be used in a lot of interesting cases...

    "I wasn't searching for kiddy porn. It must have been my fridge. I notice it sometimes gets warm and makes wierd noises..."

  30. Paul Hovnanian Silver badge

    It's inevitable ....

    The Nest 9000

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