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Security Android Crime Television Entertainment

Even the Dumbest Ransomware Is Almost Unremovable On Smart TVs (symantec.com) 151

An anonymous reader writes: Apparently even the easiest-to-remove ransomware is painfully hard to uninstall from smart TVs, if they're running on the Android TV platform, and many are. This didn't happen in a real-world scenario (yet), and was only a PoC test by Symantec. The researcher managed to remove the ransomware only because he enabled the Android ADB tool beforehand, knowing he would infect the TV with the ransomware. "Without this option enabled, and if I was less experienced user, I'd probably still be locked out of my smart TV, making it a large and expensive paper weight," said the researcher.
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Even the Dumbest Ransomware Is Almost Unremovable On Smart TVs

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  • by ZorinLynx ( 31751 ) on Wednesday November 25, 2015 @11:24AM (#51001327) Homepage

    Why the heck don't these devices have a "Reset to factory settings" button?

    Flash memory is cheap. Have a permanent, unmodifiable copy of the firmware the device ships with. If you power it on while holding the button, copy that firmware over as the active firmware, clear out the user data area, and restart. Boom! TV is back to normal.

    This sort of thing is ludicrously easy to implement and would save the companies money on warranty repairs.

    I have a JBL speaker that I had to ship back to the manufacturer to be replaced because of a bad firmware update. A simple reset button like the one I described would have saved me a ton of pain and saved JBL money on shipping the speaker both ways. WHY isn't this sort of thing universal?

    • by Irate Engineer ( 2814313 ) on Wednesday November 25, 2015 @11:26AM (#51001353)

      I have a JBL speaker that I had to ship back to the manufacturer to be replaced because of a bad firmware update. A simple reset button like the one I described would have saved me a ton of pain and saved JBL money on shipping the speaker both ways. WHY isn't this sort of thing universal?

      Because, for every person like you, there are 10 that would just say "Speaker not work. Must buy new speaker." Repair options do not spur new sales.

      • by ZorinLynx ( 31751 ) on Wednesday November 25, 2015 @11:28AM (#51001363) Homepage

        This is a $400 speaker. Are you saying people are such sheep that after doing a firmware update that breaks the speaker, they wouldn't bitch to the manufacturer? I find it hard to believe anyone would give up on a $400 speaker that quickly, unless they are rich and $400 is nothing to them.

        • by gstoddart ( 321705 ) on Wednesday November 25, 2015 @11:40AM (#51001443) Homepage

          I find it hard to believe anyone would give up on a $400 speaker that quickly, unless they are rich and $400 is nothing to them.

          I find it hard to believe a damned speaker needs firmware upgrades.

          Oh, but wait, it's controllable by an app, has Bluetooth and wifi, and connects to the internet, right?

          Yeah ... me, I don't want speakers which do that stuff. Precisely because time and time again companies demonstrate they're terrible at it, and you end up with a product with a MUCH shorter lifecycle -- because it's focused on 10 things besides being a good speaker.

          My guess, if it needs firmware updates, it's really a $100 speaker with a bunch of extra crap slapped onto it.

          These days, digital pretty much means disposable.

          • Oh, but wait, it's controllable by an app, has Bluetooth and wifi, and connects to the internet, right?

            I get that. However, it is nice not to have to string up wires all over the place (or to crawl through the crawlspace above my ceiling to hide wires.)

            • by Noah Haders ( 3621429 ) on Wednesday November 25, 2015 @12:09PM (#51001685)

              i had to upgrade the firmware on my wireless powered speakers, and it was a pain. next time, i'm getting a pair of passive speakers and an integrated amp.

            • It's a trade off you'll have to decide for yourself.

              For me, if there was a $400 JBL speaker which had wireless and internet and could be controlled by an app, and a $400 JBL speaker which simply took inputs over wires from an amplifier ... I'm going to assume the one which needs the wire and the amplifier is, all things considered, a significantly better speaker.

              Because it doesn't have all that extra stuff in it.

              When the poster says it's a $400 speaker ... it's not really. It's a much cheaper speaker with

          • I find it hard to believe anyone would give up on a $400 speaker that quickly, unless they are rich and $400 is nothing to them.

            I find it hard to believe a damned speaker needs firmware upgrades.

            Oh, but wait, it's controllable by an app, has Bluetooth and wifi, and connects to the internet, right?

            Yeah ... me, I don't want speakers which do that stuff. Precisely because time and time again companies demonstrate they're terrible at it, and you end up with a product with a MUCH shorter lifecycle -- because it's focused on 10 things besides being a good speaker.

            My guess, if it needs firmware updates, it's really a $100 speaker with a bunch of extra crap slapped onto it.

            These days, digital pretty much means disposable.

            My B&W M1s don't connect to the Internet. They do, however, benefit from a factory update that I recently installed that dropped their standby power consumption down considerably.

            Incidentally it is quite literally the best sounding pair of little speakers that I have ever heard and with regard to life-cycle, I've already had them for several years and I have no reason to expect them to die any time soon.

          • Define "good speaker". If you're sitting on the couch listening to music a good speaker is one that produces the best sound at the best price while still being good looking enough that the wife doesn't complain about how it looks in the living room.

            While going camping, or pick-nicking on the beach, or hosting a little backyard party a "good speaker" is the one with the longest battery life, biggest durability and best bluetooth range. In that regard I'll take my little do everything JBL over my fantastic sounding bookshelf speakers + cables + amp + source connection any day.

            • by gstoddart ( 321705 ) on Wednesday November 25, 2015 @02:21PM (#51003027) Homepage

              Define "good speaker".

              And there's the rub ... if you ever describe the sound of your speakers as "moist, peaty, and with chocolate overtones" ... well, I have no idea what you consider to be a "good" speaker. I sure as hell can't hear what you claim to be able to.

              I currently own four of these [ihomeaudio.com], and highly recommend them.

              They still use old-fashioned head-phone jacks, can be daisy chained, have hours of battery life and can be charged from USB ... utterly compatible with everything from an original Walkman to an iPhone, because everything still uses that headphone jack. There's no app or custom software, just a little 3.5mm jack. There's also no firmware updates.

              Those little suckers have traveled with me for the last 4 years ... they've been in hotels, in tropical resorts, in my backyard, poolside ... all four of them weigh in at less than a pound and take up very little space. Two of them have traveled with me everywhere I have flown since I got them, the other two are much newer but give me a little more flexibility.

              Being small little speakers, they have the benefit that in a relatively short distance you can't hear them at all. Which means the wife and I can have music that people 30 feet away can't even hear -- which is a bonus when you're in the back yard or lounging by a pool and don't want to disturb other people.

              I have literally hundreds if not thousands of hours on the damned things. I consider them awesome speakers, mostly because of their utility and portability.

              I'm with you, for overall utility and convenience, I define "good" as "good enough". But they completely eschew any form of network or wireless technology, because they don't need it.

              • [My favorite speakers are] utterly compatible with everything from an original Walkman to an iPhone, because everything still uses that headphone jack.

                Not for long though. Apple wants to phase out 3.5 mm [slashdot.org].

                Being small little speakers, they have the benefit that in a relatively short distance you can't hear them at all. Which means the wife and I can have music that people 30 feet away can't even hear -- which is a bonus when you're in the back yard or lounging by a pool and don't want to disturb other people.

                Know what else has great sound, can't be heard from a short distance away, and sells for $50? Koss Porta Pro [koss.com].

          • Don't forget that it probably has a web browser written in-house by the manufacturing company that absolutely sucks ass and drained a massive amount of development manpower and money away from the speaker as well.
        • by mlts ( 1038732 )

          For a little bit more, I can get a pair of studio grade monitors and perhaps a subwoofer. No, they may not have Bluetooth or whatnot, but that is what a stereo receiver is for.

          Of course, monitors are supposed to have a flat response across the board, but that is what equalizers are for, if one wants boominess.

          For a decent home system, speakers should have ports for audio, and that's it. Other equipment takes care of the other items. This way, no matter what upgrades to audio receivers happen, the

      • Because, for every person like you, there are 10 that would just say "Speaker not work. Must buy new speaker."

        Perhaps they would say that, but why on earth would they then buy a speaker from a manufacturer who had screwed them over like that?

        In fact if a manufacturer did that to me, I'd tell friends not to buy that brand, and be inclined to tell future generations not to do so also. To this day I don't buy Sony audio equipment because of bad experiences in college.

        So I hardly think it likely they would pro

      • by mlts ( 1038732 )

        This, in a nutshell.

        I see this with computers. Someone has an issue with their desktop machine, they toss the old one and buy a new one. Phones? Instead of worrying about ROMs, they just toss theirs and buy a new one.

        People are conditioned to buy something new when stuff breaks. The TV goes bad? Buy a new one, and make sure to get the Geek Squad warranty so it can be exchanged if it breaks.

        Lets look at scenarios:

        Scenario 1: The TV maker puts in an "oh shit, reset all", which reloads a "1.0" OS from a

    • by gstoddart ( 321705 ) on Wednesday November 25, 2015 @11:30AM (#51001373) Homepage

      Because companies are lay, cheap, overly optimistic, and not really interested in designing robust products which can be maintained over their lifecycle.

      Extra money spent up-front cuts into profitability, adds cost and complexity, and would have to be done by an organization which is cautious and makes long-term plans.

      Do you think the marketing guys screeching to get the product out before Christmas give a crap about any of this stuff?

      Sure, lots of things can be designed robustly. But increasingly, nobody gives a damn. They just figure you'll just buy another TV.

      Consumer electronics aren't exactly being designed to the highest engineering standards known to man. They're being put out the door as cheaply as possible.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      Why the heck don't these devices have a "Reset to factory settings" button?

      Because that would just re-install the eDellRoot CA certificate and Lenovo Service Engine.

      Seriously, the only safe way anymore is to just build your own crystal radio [instructables.com] and leave it at that.

      • by TWX ( 665546 )

        Because that would just re-install the eDellRoot CA certificate and Lenovo Service Engine.

        A running platform that needs a security audit is preferable to a broken platform that's already compromised or rendered useless.

    • They do. You boot to recovery mode (or I think the bootloader can do it too?) and then wipe the /data partition, that should restore everything to defaults. Nothing should be able to write to /system (the OS) while the OS is running. I don't know exactly how Android TV is supposed to expose recovery mode functionality though, or even if it does, but it seems to me like it's essential for support.
    • by Anonymous Coward

      More importantly they wouldn't have an un-modifiable copy in flash, as it would still be possible to modify this. You would be doing it in PROM, EPROM or EEPROM. These are not as cheap as Flash, and not as easy to configure as to implement in an affordable. This is in consideration is that the size for these are in the Megabytes, not Gigabytes. The one change would be to have at least a recovery option, but this is more of an android issue, as there is no easy way to recover a bricked phone.

      • If you are using eMMC flash(not universal; but pretty common; since handling the ugly details of raw flash memory is annoying; and you pay a surprisingly tiny premium over raw flash for the controller); you can define multiple 'general purpose partitions', each with its own write protect status(including permanent write protect).

        I'd be utterly unsurprised if more than a few eMMC devices have defects of various flavors that make device-specific attacks on what are supposed to be one-time-writeable setting
    • by davidwr ( 791652 )

      This. Especially for consumer devices.

      The only reasons NOT to have a user-accessible "factory reset" button is if the customer specifically doesn't want one (such as for anti-theft firmware where the customer does not want the thief disabling it without entering a code or possessing a hardware "key") or where there is a legal requirement to not allow the person in possession of the device to reset it (such as an ankle-monitor used by some people on parole, probation, or out on bond awaiting criminal trial)

    • A simple reset button like the one I described would have saved me a ton of pain and saved JBL money on shipping the speaker both ways. WHY isn't this sort of thing universal?

      Not sure how much help a reset to factory settings button would be for either a corrupted firmware update but yes, it might help against ransomware that installed as an application and didn't infest the firmware.

    • Even if they were too stingy for the extra flash; something like this TV is going to have at least one USB port; possibly an SD slot or the like. Something as trivial as just looking for a suitably structured flash drive as the first boot device; and booting normally if one isn't present, would make DIY recovery trivial for anyone not afraid of 'download this and write it to a flash drive'; and allow even the technophobe to be mailed a flash drive/SD card; told to plug it in, unplug the TV,and plug the TV b
    • Better question is why does a TV have anything more than basic firmware (or just an ASIC) to begin with. This "Smart TV" crap (which seems to be more and more TVs, it's harder to buy a "Dumb TV") would be much better suited for a cable box or other peripheral.
    • A way to reject software updates or uninstall updates that break the device functionality is kind of a must also. Factory reset would be ok for that. They broke my TV with an update that was forced on me and I had to wait four months for another update that fixed it. It's my fucking TV I should have a choice.

  • by The-Ixian ( 168184 ) on Wednesday November 25, 2015 @11:26AM (#51001343)

    Is there any "smart" TV that actually works well?

    I have owned a few and I always end up hooking up the Roku because it just works.

    Seems like this is another reason not to hook up your smart TV to the Internet.

    • by Colin Castro ( 2881349 ) on Wednesday November 25, 2015 @11:40AM (#51001447)
      I have a LG 3D Smart TV and the apps on it suck. They're slower than my Apple TV or my XboxOne. I had one roommate that liked to push his Netflix from his phone to the TV, but that was the only time it was used like that.
    • This is just more evidence of the pace of tech vs. the pace of security.

      All of these processes are being put in place and the security of them is an afterthought.

      It's literally wide open right now.

      • That's because the "lay people" some commenter mentioned earlier (#51001373 [slashdot.org]) don't understand that a SmartTV is just a fancy name for an all-in-one computer with a specific purpose.
    • by UnknowingFool ( 672806 ) on Wednesday November 25, 2015 @11:44AM (#51001463)
      Well there's also the other problem that the software works fine for a while. But often they get few updates if any. So the features, UI, etc remain stuck for years. Take Netflix, for example, which has changed their interface and added more features. Most likely a smart TV's Netflix app will never see them. Little changes like changing the search alphabet layout, prominently displaying what you were watching last when it opens, etc. make a big difference.
    • by TWX ( 665546 )
      Consumers don't like having to contend with making things work properly. Remember those crappy Fisher audio systems that looked a bit like a stereo stack, but were basically hollow shells? People bought them because they operated with one remote, even though they produced crap sound and would eat cassettes.

      It's not as easy to have separate discrete parts. I know, I still have a receiver/amplifier, VHS, cassette, phonograph, Laserdisc, Blu-ray, HDTV tuner, and projector, and at one point I had a stereo
    • Another poster commented that they hate their LG SMART TV. I particularly love mine and it just got updated to have Google Play Movies and TV App. (Doesn't help me since I am an Amazon Prime customer but still a feature useful to many). The magic remote is fantastic. It's MiraCast compatible (hopefully Chromecast too soon, but for now it works). I have two Rokus sitting in the garage. Having to use only one remote is really nice. I hate switching back and forth between Roku remote and TV remote for vo
    • Is there any "smart" TV that actually works well? I have owned a few and I always end up hooking up the Roku because it just works.

      Perhaps the new LG powered by Roku TV

      :)

      • Yes. I have one and I love it. It runs fast and has a ton of apps. It also gets a lot of updates.

        I just bought a google player box to replace my amazon fire tv in my bedroom. I was seriously debating getting a roku bx instead - would have if I could have gotten KODI/XBMC to run on my roku.

    • I am sure most are aware but these smart tvs are riddled with manufacturer installed spyware.

      • by sudon't ( 580652 ) on Wednesday November 25, 2015 @02:04PM (#51002849)

        Right. Here's what I worry about - the next time I need a new TV, (or any other appliance), am I gonna be able to buy a "normal" one? Really, I fear manufacturers and app developers more than I fear actual malware. As it is, my TV is basically a monitor, and that's how I like it.
        The less shit connected to the internet, the better, as far as I'm concerned, and I don't use wireless for any device except my phone.

        • Yes. It will be called a monitor.
          They all take the same cable standard these days, and depending on what's sending a signal to the display, a monitor may have better resolution & features anyway.

          • by steveg ( 55825 )

            Judging from what I see on Amazon, a "monitor" of a given size and resolution is going to cost quite a bit more than a TV of the same size and resolution. And you don't have a lot of choices.

            The trend of most manufacturers seems to be to add smart features. That adds around $100-150 to the price. Take away the tuner, speakers and the smart features? Well, that's going to add another couple of hundred.

    • What is there to ransom in a smart TV? Is it like a PC where a cyber-criminal can scramble your spreadsheets until you pay up? A more feasible threat would be the installation of password sniffers and the like, malware types which don't fall under the category of ransomware anymore since the information is in itself valuable to the cyber-criminals. On the other hand, simply getting locked out of your smart TV doesn't seem that catastrophic to me.
      • First off, if your $1000 smart TV is suddenly rendered useless, that's not exactly a minor inconvenience ... if I stole your TV it would have about the same effect as rendering it inoperable.

        Second, why the hell would you assume malware would give a crap about what it's infecting? Do you really think think the writers of ransomware are sitting around thinking "Oh, we better put in checks to make sure we don't fuck up some poor guy's TV"?

        I think the real lesson here is these 'smart' devices have such inhere

      • SmartTVs are so vulnerable right now that crackers can infect them in bulk and profit from small payments.
    • Is there any "smart" TV that actually works well?

      Short answer: no.
      Long answer: analyse this release: http://www.extremetech.com/com... [extremetech.com]
      Samsung's new Quad Core TV is fast enough to be smart. Now let that sink in a bit. These systems are so incredibly poorly coded that they actually *require* a quad core processor to be usable.

      Disregarding the absurdity of reading a news article on the TV from the couch, or typing in characters into a Youtube search using a TV remote, the Smart TVs on the market are outright slow and painful to use. Really painful. Like scre

      • Admiral Grace Hopper would use a microsecond to strangle most of todays programmers

        Of course she might be able to do the job with 3-5 nanoseconds

    • Seems like this is another reason not to hook up your smart TV to the Internet.

      Seems to me this is another reason to never bother with so-called 'smart TV' in the first place. It should be just a monitor. You want network connectivity? Hook a computer up to it, then.

      • by steveg ( 55825 )

        Good luck finding one. There may be some used ones still around.

        • You mean a non-smart TV? Bought a brand new one last year, a Samsung. At the very least, if I had no choice, there's no way I'd ever connect ethernet to it anyway. All it needs to be is a monitor for my DVR.
          • by steveg ( 55825 )

            There were some available last year. There *may* be some available this year (although if you find a non-smart Samsung this year it's probably old stock.)

            I just bought a new Samsung myself. It has an ethernet port *and* built-in wifi. My solution is to not allow either to connect, but it's annoying.

    • by Pieroxy ( 222434 )

      My Smart TV works very well. I use it as a dumb TV and everything works fine. It's not even connected to the internet.

    • by AmiMoJo ( 196126 )

      I have a Panasonic smart TV and it's pretty good. Runs a custom OpenBSD. Reasonable app support, everything works as you would expect. The best part is that it supports screencasting, so you can just beam stuff from your phone or tablet to it. No need to reply on Panasonic for apps or support or even updates. You can firewall the TV from the net if you want, and just stream stuff from apps on your phone.

  • by The MAZZTer ( 911996 ) <megazzt@gmai l . c om> on Wednesday November 25, 2015 @11:36AM (#51001407) Homepage
    Sounds to me like the researcher sideloaded a package, which of course carries the risk of malware, MitM attack or not. I imagine Google Play Store has protections against MitM attacks, at least I hope it would.
    • I imagine Google Play Store has protections against MitM attacks, at least I hope it would.

      FTA: "Infection of his device was made possible due to the lack of SSL encryption for sensitive communications between the TV and remote servers".

      SSL would be the main defence against MitM attacks. If the TV manufacturers aren't even checking for a valid SSL cert on the server they're downloading from, they fail.

  • So are you telling me that user apps can modify the OS and run as root? Are Google developers complete morons or are the TV developers complete morons?

    • So are you telling me that user apps can modify the OS and run as root? Are Google developers complete morons or are the TV developers complete morons?

      3rd option, anyone who manages to install ransomware on their TV is a complete moron. This isn't something that just happens, you have to work at it.

    • If I had to guess, I'd say the latter ... with the caveat that, like all consumer products, product management, marketing, and the accountants make all the decisions.

      So you start off with a vanilla Android.

      And then you put in all your proprietary stuff, figure out how to skin and brand it, add in the stuff so you can monetize the user experience, a little telemetry to call home .. next thing you know, you've got yet another horribly insecure piece of consumer electronics which has had a bunch of security ho

  • Showing clips of lady products, detergent and chocolate, every 10 minutes or so
  • by Noah Haders ( 3621429 ) on Wednesday November 25, 2015 @11:45AM (#51001485)

    Even the Dumbest Ransomware Is Almost Unremovable On Smart TVs

    sometimes they bungle the headline, but you have to admit that this time they nailed it. kudos!

  • by Fire_Wraith ( 1460385 ) on Wednesday November 25, 2015 @11:45AM (#51001499)
    Is there really any reason to buy a "Smart" TV, versus a standalone display?

    Even things like this aside, it seems like the TV equivalent of having an "all in one" model for your desktop, where you're pretty much stuck with replacing the whole thing if you want to do anything more than swap a hard drive or such. It also seems like buying a separate device, whether you're using a Roku or AppleTV or XBoxOne/PS4, and then hooking it to a giant monitor, is by far the better option.
    • It is but it is getting harder to find dumb TVs. I usually try to find those because a TV + a roku box or a google play/amazon fire box is usually cheaper. But nowadays, you almost have to order one online to find one.

    • Is there really any reason to buy a "Smart" TV, versus a standalone display?

      Yes there is a reason. Smart TVs exist. Standalone ones don't.

      Okay maybe that's not 100% accurate but go down to your local electronics shop and watch the people collectively scratch their heads when you ask for a TV specifically without the smart features. In the world of thrown together displays manufactured by one or two companies for all TVs around the world about the only thing that vendors really have to differentiate themselves on is the "value added" features they put in. I.e. number of ports, displ

      • by jafiwam ( 310805 )

        Is there really any reason to buy a "Smart" TV, versus a standalone display?

        There are good "dumb" TVs out there. I picked up a "hisense" which is apparently a very popular brand in south east asia, it's a dumb TV with HDMI input, component input and that's it. The remote is simple and it looks great. The speakers are even surprisingly good, much of the time for regular sitcom TV I just use those rather than my Onkyo reciever and surround system.

        These things are out there, just be willing to go to a different brand than the usual line up. (BTW Hisense is available at Costco. N

    • The only real reason(aside from a pathological hatred of having your ATSC/DVT-B tuner not be inside your display) is that 'big monitor' becomes increasingly hard to find if you want something fairly low resolution but physically large enough to suit a biggish living room, signage application, or the like.

      You can get 'normal' monitors up to ~32 inches, with 1920x1080 being fairly cheap, even at that size, '2k' and '4k' rather more; but offerings thin considerably, and what is available gets very pricey, i
  • by Anonymous Coward

    You have to be pretty dumb to buy one.

    • You can be pretty sure that any consumer product with 'smart' on it, isn't. Like those minivans that say 'sport' on the side.

      • I had to laugh at the "sport" reference. So true.

        I also don't particularly like the new(ish) "smart" labeling trend and eagerly await its decline in popularity.

        About 10 years ago, everything had an "e" label... which, while annoying, was at least more-or-less accurate as it stood for "electronic".

        I mean, where to do we go from here? What happens when we truly do have smart electronic devices (AI)? What do we call those?

  • by avandesande ( 143899 ) on Wednesday November 25, 2015 @12:04PM (#51001659) Journal

    Wouldn't your rather spend the money used for 'smart' features on better screen or electronics?

    • by Anonymous Coward

      My experience has been that the better the television screen the more "smart" features they add to it. I don't see the options being buy a 65" TV with "smart" features or a 70" TV without "smart" features.

    • The ushering in of the LCD screen has pretty much made every TV the same. I think manufacturers are partly counting on the 'smart' functions to draw people into the more expensive level.
  • Smart TVs are a Dumb Idea. Don't buy one.

    If you don't mind something smaller, get a dumb computer monitor.

  • Don't buy things with internet connection that don't need to have internet connection. Appliance companies specialize in appliances, not networking, not internet security, and not privacy. On any modern appliance, the thing that is going to break down first is the electronics. Washing machines used to last for decades, now they last for years, but require costly board replacements because the mechanical dials and switches have been replaced with software and firmware, and the boards don't last very long in
  • It's pretty dumb to buy a smart TV. What is going to happen when all the software on it is obsolete but the screen still works? People are going to be throwing out perfectly good TVs just to replace the software! Terrible for the environment.
  • A: Because when it's smart, it's dumb.

    Q: How many robots does it take to screw in a light-bulb?

    A: Wow! I didn't know there were little robots in my light-bulbs.

    Thank-you. I'll be here all week.

  • Again: Big Dumb Co (Score:5, Interesting)

    by ThatsNotPudding ( 1045640 ) on Wednesday November 25, 2015 @02:38PM (#51003151)
    After I win All The Lotteries, I will form Big Dumb Company, with the principal division being Big Dumb Appliances, such as clothes and dish washers that are so well built, they can be handed down at least two generations, stupidly fixable with decades-long part availability, and that are designed to accomplish one task: WASH THINGS.

    Same with TVs - or should I say monitors - with the best display possible, replaceable power supplies, interface ports (sans wireless nor Ethernet) out the kazoo, AND DUMB AS A BAG OF HAMMERS. Tuner? game console? Roku? Fantastic: PLUG THEM IN. What will the TVs do? DISPLAY THINGS, PERIOD.

    Now, onto phone / Internet service: BIG DUMB PIPE.
    • by rsborg ( 111459 )

      After I win All The Lotteries, I will form Big Dumb Company, with the principal division being Big Dumb Appliances, such as clothes and dish washers that are so well built, they can be handed down at least two generations, stupidly fixable with decades-long part availability, and that are designed to accomplish one task: WASH THINGS.

      Same with TVs - or should I say monitors - with the best display possible, replaceable power supplies, interface ports (sans wireless nor Ethernet) out the kazoo, AND DUMB AS A BAG OF HAMMERS. Tuner? game console? Roku? Fantastic: PLUG THEM IN. What will the TVs do? DISPLAY THINGS, PERIOD.

      Now, onto phone / Internet service: BIG DUMB PIPE.

      Sadly you will likely go out of business - profit margins to sustain a business that doesn't sell out its customer base must be pretty big unless accompanied by a cult-like early adopter crowd.

    • You would go out of business FAST as people would have not incentive to buy something if it is not broken.

      Hacked TVS are GREAT for manufactors and retailers. More money :-)

    • by sootman ( 158191 )

      It might surprise you to know I've wanted to do the EXACT SAME THING -- start a company to make dead-simple appliances. I can't tell you how many 20-30 year old appliances from the 80s I've replaced in the last 2 decades, and the replacements are good for 5-10 years. I'd pay $1,000 for a washing machine TOMORROW if it had quality components (switches, motors, hinges, etc.), user-serviceable parts, and if it would last 50-100 years. No reason it couldn't. I don't care if it's a bit heavier and has thicker pa

  • Facebook is the most annoying and dumbest app my devices refuse to remove. They all come with my recent mobile phones, but they refuse to remove the facebook apps from my phones.
  • What I don't get is why is the original OS/settings not stored in some read only memory where say the OS gets a virus the user would then be given an option to restore the software to factory and then fix it from there. Sure it is not the most ideal of soultions, but it is still a good one that a virus would not likely be able to destroy.

    its 2015 FFS why is that not a thing for any piece of tech with an OS?

  • Another good reason to never, ever, under any circumstances, directly connect a smart TV, or any IoT appliance to any computer network whatsoever.

    This is information Security 101

  • I have a LG Smart-TV - non android. Just browsing the web trying to see videos in sites, you are covered by a rain of pop-up adds that make it impossible to navigate. One can't even remove a cookie from the built-in TV browser. It is just a matter of time before smart TVs stuck bloated by adware, unless the TV vendors offer more control to the TV owners - android platform or not.

It is not every question that deserves an answer. -- Publilius Syrus

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