I was recently involved in the installation of "light dimmers" that cause the white LEDs in six signs to dim at night.
Each of the six "dimmers" are boxes with antenna sticking out one end, making them look a lot like access points. That's because they are access points, open access points...no wifi passwords. The passwords are set to protect the web interface only (via http).
When configuring the first "dimmer" I was told by the manufacturer to set the password to "123456". I decided to set it to something else. It turns out that the web interface that sets the password will accept a long password, but the login dialog won't, thusly I locked myself out.
Upon opening the thing up to look inside I found a Raspberry Pi connected to a daughter board that did the actual dimming. The antenna sticking out the end were connected directly to USB dongles that attached to the Pi. They were held in place with a plastic plate with strategically cut rectangular holes in it.
So I removed the micro SSD and connected it to a computer. Only one of the wifi interfaces was actually used, the other was just there for decoration. The really beautiful part was that the web interface was running WordPress. Even memcached was invited to the party. So, yeah, that's how you do embedded programming for a light dimmer, you use WordPress.
I reset the password and all was well.
Ha ha, no it wasn't.
Cycling the power on the things causes the clock to change to we-know-not-what. Not that it's an issue since the procedure by which the things dim works as follows:
1. Cron runs a WordPress module every minute.
2. The WordPress module check the dimmer schedule.
3. The WordPress module mostly ignores the dimmer schedule and decides to what to do based on magic.
4. The WordPress module runs the "pigs" command via php's system() in order to set the duty cycle on a pulse-width-multiplex pin.
And then there was the Ford that failed to pair with a bluetooth phone because there were too many text messages. It produced no useful error message, Ford tech support had no clue what was going on.
Also, the home automation and integrated entertainment system with the insanely simple wifi password.
Or stock smart phone software that just doesn't effing work in any way, shape or form. "My mail client stopped working for no reason, time for a factory reset because nobody anywhere knows what the hell is going on with the thing."
It seems like everything is like the above these days. No one knows how anything works, they just grab a bunch of off-the-shelf garbage, mush it together into a ball of shyte and shove it out the door. These are things that are connected directly to houses, cars, lights, sensitive data stores, you name it.
Now we are seeing flaky-as-hell AI installed everywhere.
Consumer technology and even a lot of non-consumer technology is going in a direction that is completely batshit-on-toast-fucked-sideways-from-wednesday insane.