• Tag Archives IoT
  • Christian school with fitness trackers – what could go wrong?

    File this one in your crazy bucket…..


    Can a Fitbit distinguish between cross-fit and carnal knowledge? It doesn’t matter, says Oral Roberts University (ORU) officials, because they won’t be scanning data for signs of student coitus anyway. The school now requires that all of its incoming students use (and pay for) Fitbit trackers during the spring semester. That caused some speculation that the devices could invade students’ privacy, particularly since they can be used to monitor sexual activity. However, the school says it isn’t using the devices to enforce its code of conduct forbidding pre-marital sex.

    Rather, the reasons are more prosaic, though still slightly Orwellian. ORU gives students a pass/fail grade for doing exercise during the term and will use the trackers to monitor students’ steps and heart rate.

    Ok, look, just to help you out, here is the link to an article (safe for work. Mostly) that shows a woman’s heart rate from her fitness tracker during sex (it’s a graph, but there is a side photo of a fully covered woman in bed).

    And yes, I could share my fitness tracker heart rate graph, but no… You guys are not seeing that!

    Ok, now that we have all that out of the way, can please we get back to the article.
    A christian school is putting heart rate trackers on their teenage students.
    What could possibly go wrong??

  • Car calls the cops, driver is arrested

    Technology can not lie.


    As ABC 7 reports, 57-year-old Cathy Bernstein was driving her Ford in Port St. Lucie, Florida, on Friday when she allegedly ran into a Ford truck and then a Dodge minivan.
    She allegedly left both accidents without so much as stopping. However, her car was fitted with Sync Emergency Assistance technology. This meant that it automatically contacted the emergency services to say that the car had endured some kind of traumatic event.

    In Bernstein’s case, a recording of her conversation with the 911 dispatcher has emerged.

    She is heard to say: “Ma’am, there’s no problem. Everything was fine.”

    “OK. But your car called in saying you’d been involved in an accident. It doesn’t do that for no reason,” replies the dispatcher. Then she asks a knowing question: “Did you leave the scene of an accident?”

    “No, I would never do that,” is Bernstein’s reply.

    Police appear to think differently. They reportedly went to Bernstein’s house, where they found her Ford damaged. Moreover, officials reportedly found paint from one of the vehicles Bernstein allegedly struck on it. The Ford’s airbag had also been deployed, suggesting the tech had been activated with good reason.

    So, long and short, lady hits other cars so hard the airbag goes off in her car. The IoT stuff in the car auto dials 911 (the police) and the driver tries to just say that everything is fine, but it’s not.
    Before you get all outraged about the tech in the car, you have to turn this feature on on. It is not on by default. The owner had to go through a multi step process to activate this feature at some stage after buying the car.

    Granted, they probably did not think through the fact that the time would come when that feature might revoke their ability to lie.

    Technology can not lie because it does not know what a lie is.
    It just does what it is programmed to do.

  • Things attacking…..

    Back on the topic of IoT (sorta).


    Closed-circuit security cameras are supposed to make you safer, but some malware is turning them into weapons. Researchers at Incapsula have discovered code that turned about 900 Linux-based CCTV cameras into a botnet, which promptly bombarded an unnamed “large cloud service” that serves millions of people.

    In short, people had unsecured cameras on the Internet, which, surprise, got a tiny bit of extra code added to them. When that code was activated, the camera would either Ping, or poll a specific website.
    The sum of all those cameras adds up to a whole lot of extra pointless traffic for that web site and so people who try and visit the site get a slow or down experience.
    That is called a denial of service. People who need to use the site are denied.
    (It is probably another blog for another time, but you can buy these sorts of attacks if you are so inclined).

    Bottom line, I am not surprised to read about this sort of thing going on.
    A camera is a ‘Thing’, it is connected to the Internet (all though not always), unless it is secured (and hardened) it is in a dangerous place.
    We need to take control and think about just adding IoT into the mix just because we can.