Networked devices

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Name Networked devices

Computer logic and Internet connections are no longer limited to traditional computers or cell phones; all sorts of things from pedometers to door locks are now computer/Internet-enabled. Some, unfortunately, depend on remote servers and could become expensive paperweights if the server goes dead, unless somebody can figure out how to hack/jailbreak them. You might also want to find out just how much information about your activity the devices are sending to the remote server and what the company that runs that server is doing with it, and also whether there's any way to download a copy of your own data that's being stored remotely (hopefully as part of the basic account included with the device purchase, not a "Super Duper Enhanced Pro Account" they make you pay extra for). And it would be really nice if they fully documented all the file formats and data transfer protocols used by the devices so that they can be made interoperable with third-party hardware and software, but the makers often prefer a more proprietary, secretive route. But anybody who succeeds in reverse-engineering any of this stuff is free to report on their findings in the appropriate articles here.

Many devices of this sort get initially funded through campaigns of the Kickstarter / Indiegogo variety, where people send money while the thing is still "vaporware". Some just take pre-orders without taking money until the gadget is ready to ship.


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