And it just sits there mutely

One problem with relying on a digital assistant occurs when the digits don’t add up anymore:

An afternoon storm caused a power outage. The outage corresponded to a very loud pop from the next room, the room where all the Internet hardware is located. When the power came back on, the Internet didn’t.

Now, losing Internet for a bit isn’t really that big of a deal. It’s even softened a good bit when the phone still can connect, so I wasn’t completely cut off. But, home Internet is more of a big deal now that I’ve added some smart devices around the house.

“Hey Google, turn on the air conditioner.”

“OK Google, turn off the kitchen light.”

“Hey Google, what’s the weather?”

That doesn’t sound like much, but when you get used to it, it’s kinda jarring when it’s gone. And Google was gone.

One could argue, I suppose, that avoiding such devices in the first place neatly averts the possibility of suddenly having to do without them, but there’s a practical limit to how far the clock can be turned back without propelling oneself into the Preceding Century, or even farther. (Blessed be the name of Willis Carrier.)

3 comments

  1. McGehee »

    13 June 2019 · 11:20 am

    The most shocking thing about this story, to me, is how “And Google was gone” turns out not to be a happy ending.

  2. fillyjonk »

    13 June 2019 · 3:41 pm

    Oh, wow, yipes. And here I was mainly concerned about IoT devices nagging at me (“You’ve got it *awfully* cool in here for midsummer; don’t you care about the environment”) or some jerk turning my thermostat up to 90 “for the lulz” but yeah, a sudden Google outage, that’s another reason why dumb appliances are actually smarter (IMHO)

  3. CGHill »

    13 June 2019 · 5:40 pm

    Trade-offs in all directions. Such is the world in which we live.

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