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So last week we aired our podcast about updates. While we did definitely address “bad updates” and how they cause anxiety and annoyance, the general gist of the podcast was why updates should be good and why they are so often necessary.
We got a comment from a volunteer taking us to task. Toshi wrote
“If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” [Only if] a security update applies to broke, you should do it.
We are not as default anti-upgrade as Toshi. But there is wisdom in his caution.
Increasingly everything in our lives is powered by software – much of it designed and owned by manufacturers. From cars to coffee machines. This week a couple of stories came to light that had us considering more deeply the age we live in, and how software can be used to “kill” hardware or enforce obsolescence at scale.
This week, with Restarter Dave Lukes we went into a “journey” into a possible age of “the remote kill switch”. If that sounds too sci-fi or too obscure, we started with the examples that came to our attention in recent weeks.
Links of stuff we discussed:
- HP printers stop accepting third party ink en masse and the resulting petition
- Rumours Samsung was considering “killing” the recalled Note 7 remotely – it created an update for Korean models reducing their max battery charge to 60%
- Mr Robot’s “smart home” hack scene
- Security man Krebs’ website DDoS was powered by hacked Internet of Things botnet
- iFixit “John Deere Responds to Copyright Mess It Made“