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2019-03-04 15:50 by Karl Denninger
in Small Business , 85 references
[Comments enabled]  

HomeDaemon-MCP's "freeware" versions available at http://homedaemon.net have been updated to FreeBSD 12-Stable.

This is a pretty-serious OS update, and brings the Pi3 code in particular out of the "unsupported" OS stage.  There are also a number of significant efficiency enhancements in this code.

The HomeDaemon-MCP executable itself has also been updated to v4.6.0; among enhancements visible in the "freeware" version are automatic detection of HVAC system failures for thermostat devices, much-faster convergence on a cold start in acquisition of required data from Zwave units and device-specific configuration commands that can be automatically sent when a specific device make and model is detected.

The freeware version, as with previous freeware releases, does not support any encryption of any sort and as such it is not suitable for deployment in production use including in personal homes, since with no encryption of any kind picking off passwords and similar in transit is trivial.  It also does not support the Android app as the app requires a secure TLS connection to function.

For those interested in acquisition of the package this is the current "state of the code"; FreeBSD-12 integration is a fairly major step forward, especially for the Pi3 since -CURRENT, which it used to be compiled under, was not described by the FreeBSD project itself as "production ready."

As a reminder: HomeDaemon-MCP neither requires nor does it support anything "cloud", does not use any outside connectivity to anyone except you other than to verify licensing in the full version (or if you choose to store some data, such as video streams, on an offsite server of your choice), and runs on a literal $35 computer with a power-fail-safe software design.  Unlike all of those "competing offerings" no company gets your data, nobody gets access to your cameras, no creeps are going to be able to watch your child in their room at 3:00 AM and nobody -- but you -- has access to what's going on in your residence or business at any point in time because you are the only one with access to the system.  Period.

Enjoy!

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2019-02-01 10:12 by Karl Denninger
in Small Business , 209 references
[Comments enabled]  

Those who sell their souls to the Devil have little to complain about when he shows up without a jar of KY to go with what he intends to do to you.

Arjun Sud was standing outside his son Oliver’s Door Sunday when he heard that voice. He burst in. The voice stopped. He and his wife chalked it up to baby monitor interference. But once downstairs, they heard the voice again.

It was an unseen intruder talking to them through their Nest security camera, using obscenities including the ‘N’ word.

“Asking me, you know, why I’m looking at him because he saw obviously that I was looking back and continuing to taunt me,” he said.

“It was terrifying,” Sud’s wife Jessica said.

Sud says once his shock subsided he composed himself enough to record part of the ominous exchange.

Sud believes the hacker also turned their upstairs thermostat to 90 degrees. He noticed that potential danger to their baby the same night.

“And then they messed with our thermostat,” Jessica said. “Who does that?”

Uh, you are the idiot that connected your house to a "cloud" -- that is, a computer owned by someone else.

It's not like you didn't know in advance that these companies make their money using your data to screw you in one form or another -- even if it's just 'selling advertising.'

smiley

Of course the companies always claim it's the customer's fault -- they didn't use a good password, they didn't use 2-factor authentication, etc.  This ignores the reality of the situation, which is both simpler and more-complex.

The simple side is this: These firms make their money off selling data they accumulate on you.  Security is not their first thought or they wouldn't connect such things as your thermostat to the "cloud" at all; they'd design them to be very secure and talk only to your specific devices such as your phone.

But then they wouldn't be able to use that data themselves.

You can bet they intend to -- and are.  Just read this:

We should recognize this pattern: Tech that seems like an obvious good can develop darker dimensions as capabilities improve and data shifts into new hands. A terms-of-service update, a face-recognition upgrade or a hack could turn your doorbell into a privacy invasion you didn’t see coming.

Last month, Ring got caught allowing its team in Ukraine to view and annotate certain user videos; the company says it only looks at publicly shared videos and those from Ring owners who provide consent. Just last week, a California family’s Nest camera let a hacker take over and broadcast fake audio warnings about a missile attack, not to mention peer in on them, when they used a weak password.

Why do you think these folks all design their software and "products" to have a business model that costs them money on an ongoing, perpetual basis?  Computers are not free and neither is storage.  What possible purpose does imposing a cost model on themselves on a perpetual forward basis for said "cloud connections" have unless they are going to use it to screw you in some form or fashion?

It's not necessary for anything more than a licensing check or similar, and that contains nothing of value to a hacker provided the payment information for said license is secured properly (or not even present on that system, which it doesn't have to be.)  There's simply no reason at all to have that data and a back-channel to connect to your house in the "cloud" in terms of access for you; your phone or laptop can simply connect directly back to your house via a secured, SSL-enabled connection and if it was designed that way the only place the data would be is in your house and on your phone.

Instead these "cloud folks" try to sell you "convenience" that isn't really any more convenient at all!

HomeDaemon-MCP provides you remote access to everything in your home that you wish to look at and control along with alarms and similar in real time without any "cloud" involvement.  Yet if you want real-time video from your camera(s), you can see it.  If you want to grab a segment to your phone (directly, not to a cloud computer) you can do that on command.  If you want to adjust your thermostat, you can.  See when someone was last in a room, sure.

But nobody has that data except you, because it's not stored anywhere except on the little credit-card size computer in your house and is only transmitted to your device(s), such as your phone, when they are connected -- and nowhere else.  No cloud, no company mining your data looking for patterns it can sell things to you based on and nobody spying on you either.

I just closed on my late mother's estate (house.)  Her place was built almost-literally on a swamp (along with many others in the neighborhood) and had a full basement, which means a sump pump that had better not, ever, quit working.  Then there's the usual issues when you're not there all the time -- especially in the winter, where loss of heating (e.g. something as simple as a burned-out igniter in the furnace) means frozen pipes and a god-awful amount of damage.

HomeDaemon-MCP took care of all of that, in addition to my home here in Florida.  The sump pump was checked with a plug module that reported power usage.  It thus became trivially simple to know how often it was cycling, for starters.  In addition setting alarm points for the pump being on for too long (a sump pump should never actually run for more than a few seconds per cycle) or excessive power consumption (indicating either a blocked -- like frozen -- outlet or a locked rotor, that is, a failed pump) raised immediate and very loud alarms on my phone.  Finally, a water sensor probe down the volute above the normal level was there -- just in case everything else looked ok but the water wasn't actually being pumped.

Then in the main living space a CO/Fire detector that also talked to the system was put up (battery powered), covering that possibility, and finally a thermostat.  The latter not only made for a big reduction in power consumption when nobody was there but also allowed for trivial monitoring for the situation where it's winter and the furnace breaks, in that too-low temperature would cause an immediate alarm too.

Icing on the cake was the ability to have and look at 24x7 video feeds if desired, and knowing when motion was last detected, so if someone broke a window, well, that was covered too.

I've been living there about half the time since September; the same issue of course arises for anyone else who has a vacation or second home -- or if you just go to work 8 hours a day.  You're not there all the time and it's nice to know that all is well -- and be immediately told if it isn't.

No cloud, no bullcrap, nobody gets in except me -- and notification is effectively immediate (60 seconds or less) if something happens.  In addition should I want to let someone in (e.g. a Realtor) I can -- remotely, with the push of a button, and know if/when someone does come in, even using a key.

Want to disrupt this space?  The marketing material writes itself with stories like this cited one above, of which there are plenty already and will be more.

Email me -- contact info is to the right.

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2018-11-29 12:27 by Karl Denninger
in Small Business , 116 references
[Comments enabled]  

Folks, this is why it matters and someone should snap up the entire codebase and app (in source of course) for HomeDaemon-MCP and put it on the market.

Yes, I know, I can.  I have the capital to roll it out.  I have good personal reasons to not want to though, especially given where I live now and what I think is going to happen to the political environment there.  Further, any business that deals in any sort of physical product (even coffee mugs) is ridiculously burdened in Florida.  I knew this when I moved to the State and never intended to start another business that might sell same in the future.  Anyway, that's the short side of the story and there is of course more, but for this coming year it is what it is.

On to the reasons: You now are seeing the media pick up on the business model question -- and especially recommend eschewing cloud anything.  And not just any media -- the GRAY LADY herself.  You want to know why you should do it now?  Because opportunity is best when its hot, and it's hot right now.

Then there's this, which made me spit my coffee:

Hackers ‘can detect your butt plug from outside your house – and turn it on’

They call the new technique screwdriving which seems entirely appropriate... but added massively to the coffee explosion out my nose.  Now I need a new keyboard, which is somewhat of a bummer but definitely worth it.

Look to the right and email me folks -- because I've decided that I just don't want to do it here in Florida, and I'm unsettled on where I'd rather live (in no small part due to the political shifts around the nation) the opportunity is now to buy this out at a quite-polite price all things considered.

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2018-11-07 06:57 by Karl Denninger
in Small Business , 52 references
[Comments enabled]  

So about those locks.....

 

One of the challenges I've had with allowing the manipulation of lock state (other than lock/unlock, or setting the keypad on or off) is the risk of someone picking off a code from your phone -- and then being able to break into your house.  For obvious reasons that would be bad.

I've decided to leverage the notification system built into the software for this purpose.  This has several advantages, chief among them being that neither the phone or the base software has to store a code from a lock in any case.

If you select "Get Code in Slot" and enter the slot number when you click Execute HomeDaemon-MCP retrieves the code in real time over the AES-encrypted channel from the lock and sends it back to your device via the encrypted notification system.  It never touches anything else (like the cloud) and is not stored anywhere other than in RAM on the device when displayed in the notification pane, which can be dismissed.  In addition there is no storage off-site, anywhere, of the event itself either so Mr. Subpoena (or "Mr. NSL") can pound sand since nobody can produce what they don't have.

If you set a code it is transmitted to the lock.  Ditto for deleting a code.

Codes on most common locks (they're all using the same basic board) can be 4 to 8 numeric digits.  8 is quite secure; 4, not so much, although after a few (wrong) attempts the lock will raise an alarm exception.  In all cases when the change "takes" an exception is raised back to the phone, so you know it went through, exactly as is the case for an asynchronous event (e.g. someone uses the code to open the lock.)

Disabling the keypad locks out all the codes, instantly (very useful if you're not at home, don't expect to be home, and don't want anyone to be able to open the door.)  The state of the lock in the background is currently set this way ("Prohibited" .vs. "Accessible.")  Oh, and the manual operation of the lock (e.g. with a key or the inside knob) is also instantly reported.

Again -- no cloud, no BeeEss, no stealing.

HomeDaemon-MCP is available to the firm, large or small, that wants to disrupt the model of "smart home" systems.  All rights, source and all, to both the base code running on a $35 piece of hardware and the Android app are included.  Look to the right and email me today!

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2018-10-16 15:34 by Karl Denninger
in Small Business , 120 references
[Comments enabled]  

HomeDaemon-MCP's Android App now knows how to handle multiple locations at once -- with always-on 24x7 monitoring and control from anywhere, without any cloud involvement.

 

Got a rental house plus your own residence?  Vacation home?  Three properties?  Five?  Need to be able to open the front door for a property manager in real-time to show a rental -- and know if someone uses a 
key to lock or unlock the front door in real-time as well?  No problem.

In addition the license server now populates the HomeDaemon.Org domain automatically when a license registers or renews, and as a result for those who don't have a convenient "dynamic dns" provider, or don't wish to set one up you no longer need to -- the software does it for when the license is validated.  While this is not instant response if your IP number changes but connectivity does not go down or the unit resets (e.g. power goes off) it is convenient and "no setup required."

You may suspend monitoring on any declared host if you wish at any time, and then turn it back on without altering the others, or having to re-enter a password.  As has been the case thus far in the app's development cycle no passwords are saved, ever in the app itself or in the app's data store.

Power consumption with full-time monitoring enabled and your phone sleeping continues to be negligible -- and yet no cloud management or storage tools are used anywhere in the application.  Nobody gets your data but you -- ever -- on your house. Not your coming and going, not the motion, your thermostat or camera data.

It's yours, and only yours.

Again HomeDaemon-MCP is for sale as a complete, ready-to-go package needing only to have the customer front-end set up to meet your desired licensing scheme.  All rights are available at a very reasonable price -- contact me today if you're interested (and of course can fund the acquisition) and we'll move forward!

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