BALTIMORE—At USENIX Security Symposium here on Wednesday, Saleh Soltan from Princeton University's Department of Electrical Engineering presented research that showed that if Wi-Fi-based high-wattage appliances become common, they could conceivably be used to manipulate electrical demand over a wide area—potentially causing local blackouts and even cascading failures of regional electrical grids. The research by Soltan, Prateek Mittal, and H. Vincent Poor used models of real-world power grids to simulate the effects of a "MaDIoT" (Manipulation of Demand Internet of Things) attack. It found that even swings in power usage that would be within the normal range of appliances such as air conditioners, ovens, and electric heating systems connected to "smart home" systems would be enough to cause fluctuations in demand that could trigger grid failures. These kinds of attacks—focused on home-automation hubs and stand-alone connected appliances—have not yet been … [Read more...] about Just say no: Wi-Fi-enabled appliance botnet could bring power grid to its knees
Remanufactured appliance parts
A German appliance company called Miele will work with a startup to deliver ready-to-cook meals designed specifically for you to cook in the company's Dialog Oven. Miele announced the partnership ahead of IFA, a consumer electronics trade show that begins Aug. 31 in Berlin.A startup called MChef, which Miele supports, will begin to deliver the meals beginning in September to customers in the North Rhine-Westphalia area of Germany before expanding to the rest of the country next year, according to a news release from Miele. Here's how it will work: You order your meals online by 12:30 p.m., and MChef will send them to your home the next day with the ingredients already arranged on porcelain plates. You'll launch the cooking program for the specific meal from the MChef app, put your plates in the oven, and let them cook. Manufacturers are increasingly pairing prepackaged meals in the vein of Blue Apron or Hello Fresh with cooking appliances to create sophisticated versions of the TV … [Read more...] about Will appliance companies reinvent the TV dinner?
Nobody ever dismantles a working motorcycle. About ten years ago [Andy Pugh] took possession of a large box of rusty parts that formed most of what had once been a 1921 Ner-a-Car motorcycle. They languished for several years, until in 2014 he was spurred into action and returned to the bike. What followed was a two-year odyssey of rebuilding, restoration, and parts remanufacture, and since [Andy] is an engineer par excellence and an active member of the LinuxCNC community his blog posts on the subject should be a fascinating read for any hardware hacker with an interest in metalwork. Ner-a-Car represents one of those eccentric dead-ends in automotive history. Designed in 1918 by an American, [Carl Neracher], its name is a play on both its designer and its construction and it is unique in that its design is closer to the cars of the era than that of a motorcycle. It has a car-style chassis, an in-line engine, and it was the first motorcycle to be produced with … [Read more...] about 1921 Ner-A-Car Motorcycle Reborn With Epic Parts Remanufacture
There was a time when refrigerators, stoves, even washers and dryers had real pizzazz. That era was the late 1950s through the 1960s. These machines came in eye-popping colors and cut sharp, elegant silhouettes in the home. They conveyed a sense of permanence, pride and optimism in construction rivaling that of classic autos.Sadly, times have changed. Go to any large appliance showroom now, and you'll find a sea of forgettable stainless steel. This shift to featureless, industrial design happened at the turn of the millennium, as a rejection of the drab earth tones of the 1970s and the washed-out pastels, beige hues and cheap plastics of the 1980s and 1990s.Today's stark designs have gone way too far away from the colorful, creative designs of mid-century appliances. Antiseptic and anonymous, contemporary appliances play an industrial game of copycat. Frankly, I'm sick of it. Appliance makers should wipe the slate clean and return to their roots. Here are five qualities from midcentury … [Read more...] about Midcentury appliances looked way better than what we have today
Big home appliances definitely aren’t cheap, but they can last for a really long time if you take care of them and perform the proper maintenance at regular intervals. It’s really easy to forget about the things you use every day. Your refrigerator, dishwasher, laundry machines, and other appliances are such common parts of day-to-day life that many homeowners have this false sense of thinking where these appliances will just keep working all by themselves. But in reality, they need our help every now and then. Here are some of the biggest and most important appliances in your home, and some information on taking care of each of them so that they last as long as possible. Refrigerator Cleaning off your refrigerator’s condensor coils is perhaps one of the most important things you should do. These coils make it possible to remove the heat from inside of the fridge, which is what keeps your food cold (believe it or not, refrigerators don’t … [Read more...] about How to Take Care of Your Home’s Appliances So They Last Longer