Reply to post: Re: I can handle this one

Nest thermostat owners out in the cold after software update cockup


Re: I can handle this one

@AC - well aye, but the point is that it's a hugely borkable solution to a problem that barely exists in reality.

For instance, my favoured breakfast, when I bother with one, involves 1-3 'Biscuits of Wheat', depending on some hidden algorithm that some part of my brain I'm not generally very aware of decides upon and pushes into my forebrain. I then put said BoW's into bowl, add what seems a sufficiency of milk, and nom the lot.

Given the problems I had with overeating and a too sedentary lifestyle until just a few months ago, the above process had little to do with my actual nutritional needs - I just like eating BoW's. So, can technology help? Sure, it can! I can buy umpty gadgets that will tell me how many calories I'm burning, and I just bet that there are also umpty smartphone apps (not owning a smartphone I have no direct experience) that can offer suggested diets and workout schemes that, if I follow them to the letter can help make me fitter and more healthy. Problem solved? Welll... (looks around me) anecdotal evidence suggests that the success rate above previous methods is little different to any other solution. And I don't doubt a smart larder could take a guess at what I really need in the way of noms, but what it wouldn't be able to do (because I won't allow ANYTHING to get in the way of me and my noms if I'm truly hungry) is prevent me from overeating should I choose to do so.

However, I have managed to lose about 6kg/1 stone (apologies, I stupidly forgot to bookmark or copy the official El Reg units) in just a few weeks, and whilst my fitness on an absolute scale is still poor, it's immensely better than it was and rapidly getting better by the week. How? I suddenly developed the willpower to stop overeating and exercise sufficiently to shed weight, and the combination of adrenalin and serotonin thus generated has made me feel happier and is keeping me at it. Even better, I then fell in love with a sport I hadn't heard of until recently, and as a result am about to buy membership of a gym. Had anyone suggested I'd ever do that even five months ago, I would have laughed and wondered what they were on.

TL;DR version - the crucial ingredient was willpower - once I somehow mustered sufficient of it, the problem started getting solved, no geeky engineering (and the expense and failure modes thereof) required.

It's the same with house heating - the crucial component is a thermostat, and a manually adjustable one can do a decent job. A manually adjustable one with a timer can do a better job. An IoT one is way more technology than the majority of use cases warrant, and I'd venture to suggest that only those with rare medical conditions could truly benefit from them, assuming they worked OK all the time - but to such people, system failures would be even more of a problem than to the rest of us.

IoT is simply a way to add more failure modes to things in the vast majority of cases, so far as I can see.

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