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Microsoft Open Source Linux Technology

Microsoft Backs Open Source For the Internet of Things 136

Posted by samzenpus
from the free-and-open dept.
dcblogs writes Microsoft has joined a Linux Foundation effort to create an open platform for the Internet of Things. The AllSeen Alliance is an effort to standardize device communications. The code that it champions, called AllJoyn, was initially developed by Qualcomm but was subsequently made open source. Big vendors have been recruited to support it, and the AllSeen Alliance now includes LG, Panasonic, Sharp and Haier, among others. Its Xbox gaming platform is seen as a potential hub or control center for home devices. Microsoft's leadership in computing "and its significant Xbox business make it a potentially important contributor to the AllSeen ecosystem," said said Andy Castonguay, an analyst at Machina Research, a Reading, England-based research firm focusing on machine-to-machine (M2M) communications and the Internet of Things.
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Microsoft Backs Open Source For the Internet of Things

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  • Trust (Score:1, Interesting)

    by rtb61 (674572)

    Can M$ be trusted with this http://www.computerworld.com/s... [computerworld.com] . M$ and insurance companies partner to make insurance cheaper? The whole system is sounding way, way to invasive. The internet of things with cameras, microphones, security systems (motion and heat detectors, monitoring all access and egress points), computers, modem and mobile phone. Everything you ever say or do can be monitored, recorded, filtered (make nothing look bad whilst hiding the good) and used against you by anyone with access, both

    • Re:Trust (Score:4, Insightful)

      by geekoid (135745) <dadinportland AT yahoo DOT com> on Wednesday July 02, 2014 @06:45PM (#47372955) Homepage Journal

      "M$" makes you sound like some sort of drooling loon.

      • Re:Trust (Score:4, Insightful)

        by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday July 02, 2014 @07:48PM (#47373237)

        "M$" makes you sound like some sort of drooling loon.

        Complaining about a common nickname for a despised organisation makes you seem like a paid social media management sockpuppet trying to change public perceptions.

        • Re:Trust (Score:5, Funny)

          by Nemyst (1383049) on Wednesday July 02, 2014 @10:24PM (#47373781) Homepage
          Why is this modded insightful? Using "M$" and other such derogatory acronyms was fine when you were 12, but people come to Slashdot for (hopefully) enlightening discussion. Using "M$" is like swearing in a debate, it makes you completely out of place.
          • Why is this modded insightful? Using "M$" and other such derogatory acronyms was fine when you were 12, but people come to Slashdot for (hopefully) enlightening discussion.

            Personally, I always preferred Micros~1. Plus that took a quite reasonable dig at the awful FAT-32 filing system which was entirely justified.

            Actually, I'm kidding. I used them all. Micros~1, Micro$oft, M$, Micro$shaft, and of course Losedos.

      • by rtb61 (674572)
        As Always I use MS specifically for http://www.msaustralia.org.au/ [msaustralia.org.au], http://www.msnz.org.nz/ [msnz.org.nz], https://beta.mssociety.ca/ [mssociety.ca], http://www.mssociety.org.uk/ [mssociety.org.uk], http://www.mymsaa.org/ [mymsaa.org] (Ohh Look M$ scared them off). Of course also if you had any history going you would know when it comes to coding M$ was big on the $ not to do with making money. Of course the M$ first use came with stories about the creation of rental models and advertising in application way back in the nineties.

        So all of your don't ignore MS and d

      • by ArsonSmith (13997)

        I don't think the spell check and grammar check in M$ Word are "that" bad.

    • Re: (Score:1, Insightful)

      by tapi0 (2805569)
      You lost me at M$
      Anyone wanting a serious discussion about MSFT automatically deducts credibility points from people using the outdated "M$", "Micro$oft" or "Microshaft" (amongst others)
      • by lannocc (568669)
        Chill. "M$" is close enough to "MS" that I bet many people don't interpret it in a derogatory fashion. In fact, I think it's a rather cool re-branding. Anyways, I don't whine when people call Linux linux, linus, lennox, GNU/Linux, whatever. Besides, you're the first to be throwing out the term "Microshaft" on this story's forum here; perhaps you're just here to feed the trolls!
        • What about the ever-popular 'Lunix?'
        • by tapi0 (2805569)
          Perhaps you're right, maybe it's just moved on to an accepted alias
          It does just seem to indicate an unwillingness to move on though, and potentially hurts any point trying to make as the first thought is that whoever's using it is clinging to (potentially) outdated grievances, and allegiances, rather than wanting open discourse.
          But I think I was being a little OTT there, it was late and I responded quickly.
    • by TapeCutter (624760) on Wednesday July 02, 2014 @08:24PM (#47373399) Journal
      Fax machines were invented in the 1930's, they didn't really take off until the 1980's. The reason being that before the 1980's there was no comms standard for fax machines, if you wanted to send a fax the other person had to have the same brand of machine for it to work. This meant business could have an internal fax system but it was useless for interfacing with any external entity.

      It's also somewhat paradoxical that without the "bad idea" of TCP-IP we wouldn't be having this conversation. I really don't understand the slashdot paranoia, nobody is forcing you to put these gimmicks in your home, and governments/corporations can already crush you like a grape today if they so desired. So even if your every movement was forcibly broadcast live around the planet, I can't see how you have anything to lose other than your dignity.
      • Fax machines only really took off in the UK when our Royal Mail went on strike and businesses discovered they could fax documents to each other and the signatures on them could be considered valid...
      • by rastos1 (601318)

        I can't see how you have anything to lose other than your dignity

        I do care about my dignity, you insensitive clod.

      • I can't see how you have anything to lose other than your dignity.

        That it no small thing to lose. In fact it's probably the worst of the lot to lose.

  • ...so we can steal it from you in the future and sell the resulting data to governments. You have our permission to be geniuses for exactly as long as it takes to innovate this IoT stuff. Have you heard about our Partner Program? You'll love it! Don't worry, we won't suddenly start competing with you instead of partnering with you while you're busy working your job. Let's get some standards drafted! Love, MS

    • by bug1 (96678)

      Yep, big linnup of corporate freeloaders trying to get in early in the exploitation of others.

      We need to abandon freedom 0 (The freedom to run the program, for any purpose),
      The Free software movement should not demand that software be allowed to be used to make society less free. We cant just concern ourselves with software, we are not an island,
      We need a non-commercial licence

  • as opposed to internet of ideas? Or internet of energy?

    • by geekoid (135745)

      It's using the internet to control the devices around you. lights, thermostats, that sort of thing. The idea and term is over 20 years old.

    • by Darinbob (1142669)

      An IP address on lots of things not typically on the network today. Although practically it's a lot like "The Cloud" in that it's more of a high concept marketing idea than what it really is. Networked smart meters could be considered internet of things, and those silly Nest things, or refrigerators that send you tweets when the yogurt goes bad. It may be normal high bandwidth stuff (refrigerator talks wifi) or very low bandwidth but long distance like smart meters or sensors. Overall though it just get

    • It's a wonderful place where I can operate all kinds of devices with my smartphone from wherever I happen to be. All kinds things like toasters, security systems, cars, nuclear power plants... oh wait.

      Steve

    • by creimer (824291)
      An IP-enabled toilet will analyze your poop, send the results to your doctor, and schedule an appointment to have your doctor inform you that you only have six months to live. That's only the beginning of Big Brother, Skynet or whatever else.
    • by plover (150551)

      I realize you're trying to make a joke in that all things are "things", but there's value in having a phrase that narrows the topic a bit. It's basically a catch-all term, like referring to the Internet's plumbing as "the cloud." The "things" in the Internet of Things are devices that aren't primarily information devices by design. A refrigerator may have a microcontroller to maintain temperature, but it wouldn't be called a computer. Adding internet connectivity to it still doesn't make it an informatio

  • by BUL2294 (1081735) on Wednesday July 02, 2014 @06:48PM (#47372965)
    Everything about the IoT is a bad idea, especially when it comes to security on old devices. Now there's a consortium to open-source some of the code? Even better--for those who want to cause harm.

    Right now, most household appliances (refrigerators, stoves, thermostats, home automation, home security, etc.) are devices that are closed off. So, even though my stove may have a security hole, I might not be able to exploit it without using a JTAG. Ultimately, there's no easy way to exploit them unless you have physical access to the internals of the appliance. But the IoT changes that--and not for the better. To add, many of the devices you'd want to connect to the IoT have lifespans of decades. So, unless we get government action saying that "if you want to make an IoT device, you have to provide security support for 20+ years", we'll end up with pwned thermostats that we can't change, the fridge that now sends spam & doesn't have enough available processing power to turn on the compressor, or that my TV now shows popup ads for hookers, offshore pharmacies selling Viagra, and other ads in front of the kids & I can't shut it off. And all the better when the pwned IoT fridge wants to talk to my non-pwned IoT Smart TV. On top of that, it won't help that the Linux kernel (or Apache, PHP, MySQL, drivers, etc.) it's running on is 20 years old & nobody--except malware authors--has looked at that version for over a decade...

    What an obvious clusterfuck waiting to happen... I'm just waiting for a group of early Smart TVs to get bricked because some malware does something to them--and the manufacturer says "not our problem--it's old!" Then people might realize what a Pandora's Box this is...
    • by Anonymous Coward

      > What an obvious clusterfuck waiting to happen... I'm just waiting for a group of early Smart TVs to get bricked because some malware does something to them--and the manufacturer says "not our problem--it's old!"

      What does manufacturer abandonment have to do with open-sourcing the software inside the devices? (Nothing, I suspect.)
      Closed source doesn't do much to slow down 'sploit writers. Moreover, opening the source code gives nerds a fighting chance to update abandoned devices. Don't believe me? Look a

      • by BUL2294 (1081735)

        Closed source doesn't do much to slow down 'sploit writers. Moreover, opening the source code gives nerds a fighting chance to update abandoned devices. Don't believe me? Look at Cyanogenmod.

        Really? There's enough encryption, licensing, hardware, etc., that prevents most users from rooting their Android & iOS devices. I have an Android phone and I am a nerd. But I'm still afraid to put Cyanogenmod (or another distro) on my phone for fear that it'd be an expensive one-way trip. Manufacturers have come a long way since the simple hardware that Rockbox [rockbox.org] could be used on... (Notice how Rockbox hasn't added any devices lately--and that the project is receiving less submissions...)

        And just b

      • by tlhIngan (30335)

        Moreover, opening the source code gives nerds a fighting chance to update abandoned devices. Don't believe me? Look at Cyanogenmod.

        Only if your device is "popular" enough. Given there are dozens of new Android phones being released daily (Samsung alone just released 4 "budget phones" yesterday), I don't see how Cyanogen can support them. In fact, I'm pretty much going to say Cyanogen only supports phones the nerds want - the high end high spec phones.

        Meanwhile, if you're one of the people owning the 90% of

        • Cyanogen supports some of the more popular mid-spec devices, like the Moto G, as well. But you are right, they won't support, say, a random DoCoMo Android-based fliphone made for the Japanese market.
    • by jkrise (535370)

      and the manufacturer says "not our problem--it's old!" Then people might realize what a Pandora's Box this is...

      This is exactly what Microsoft is saying about Windows XP. For IOT devices lasting dozens of years, it is better to stay as far away from Microsoft as possible.

    • Lol wut?

      Right now, most household appliances (refrigerators, stoves, thermostats, home automation, home security, etc.) are devices that are closed off. So, even though my stove may have a security hole, I might not be able to exploit it without using a JTAG.

      Making something accessible on the internet is not the same as open sourcing the code. Open sourcing seems to not cause problems with security. Sticking things on the internet, closed or open has problems with security.

      You can happily have OSS stuff ac

    • by AmiMoJo (196126) *

      Not every device manufacturer is incompetent. Panasonic use NetBSD in their smart TVs and appear to have take steps to secure it. I'm sure there will be mistakes, just like there were with computers and mobile phones (remember the SMS of death?) and every other type of technology in the world.

      If you don't want to be an early adopter that's fine. The concept is useful to a lot of people though. Existing consumer law, at least in the UK, already covers software defects. A typical home appliance is expected to

    • by gshegosh (1587463)

      Two things.

      One - shit obviously happens in closed source world, Windows has a looong security history for instance. Security by obscurity is not something that will work.

      Two - if you are so much afraid of IoT, just don't plug your toaster to your WiFi. If someone does that, they open themselves to sliced bread attacks on their own peril. You are not forced to do so.

      • I like your comment because it jostled a thought:

        What if the manufacturers start selling connected devices and insist that we hook them up or we have no warranty, or any support, or we just can't use it?

        Wow.

    • Yep, and the backbone these things have to hit in order to get out of the house ain't been patched yet.

  • ...Its Xbox gaming platform is seen as a potential hub or control center for home devices....

    At some point, the XBox will have "special" protocols and interfaces so that Microsoft will be able to push its own incompatible version of any infrastructure. History has shown that to be the manner in which Microsoft operates.

    Microsoft does not know how to work in a marketspace where the playing field is level, so Microsoft will always strive to tilt the playing field in its favor.

  • Is there anybody here that misreads Microsoft's motives?
    MS wants their foot in your Windows, your door and your fire escape.

  • that a company whose proprietary phone OS's and tablet OS's are having a hard time gaining traction in the market place are now pushing for nonproprietary OS's to control small devices?

  • History! (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Altrag (195300) on Wednesday July 02, 2014 @10:22PM (#47373779)

    1. Embrace <-- you are here
    2. Extend
    3. Extinguish

  • Is it just me or or is anyone else noticing a lot of flamebait and troll mods being applied to any comment reminding people of Microsoft's standard operational practice when faced with a potential new market?

    Embrace, Extend and Extinguish [http] was a real thing, and this sort of behaviour might make people suspect that the lepoard has not changed his shorts.
    • by exomondo (1725132)

      I would suspect because things like "EEE" were from nearly 2 decades ago in a time when the company was run by Bill Gates, who has since been succeeded by Steve Ballmer who has since been succeeded by Satya Nadella. It's the same as when Google introduces a new product and we get those same posts polluting the story "reminding" us of how many products they have killed off or their StreetView wifi case. The same as how in just about every Apple story we get "reminded" of issues like the iPhone 4's antenna or

  • by advocate_one (662832) on Thursday July 03, 2014 @01:42AM (#47374275)

    What's happening with any patents that Microsoft raises on this tech? Will they be truly open patents free to implement in open source products that are freely redistributable? The article makes no mention of this.

    how many bleepin' minutes do you have to wait between posting these days?

  • And Microsoft's appointee to the board is Mr. M. Bracex Tinguish.
  • Embrace, extend, extinguish!
  • ...then it - Internet of things - would be a good thing. I do hope that it accelerates the demise of IPv4, which has overstayed its welcome

FORTRAN is a good example of a language which is easier to parse using ad hoc techniques. -- D. Gries [What's good about it? Ed.]

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