Open-source Home Automation?

David Wolverton david.wolverton at
Fri Jan 14 00:39:45 CST 2005

>> No system is totally secure; and I don't want my
>> monitored alarm system to be accesable to
>> anyone/thing except its mounted keypad and/or
>> the alarm company that monitors the system.
> What about voice recognition?
> "My voice is my password.  Verify me."
I dunno... Perhaps I'm being paranoid and/or paethetic (I'm sure *someone* 
will be kind enough to point this out to me/the list if I am)  *Grins* but I 
can think of plenty of ways of compromising such a 'security' system.

For example, parking outisde your house with a directional microphone would 
be a great start. (Wait for you to return home, park accross the street on 
an optimal angle to your voice input, point mike, hit record - wait for you 
to say the magic words and then after...  Click) "Nooooooo... You're voice 
is *my* password!"  *LOL*

Or (even easier with better recording results) Tapping telephone's is 
relativly low tech these days, not to mention particularly low risk. (Who 
notices a lineman up a stobie pole where your works phone cables run 
into/out of your building for goodness sake; particularly when they're just 
up there long enough to patch in and then leave)

Ahhhh the list goes on and on and on...  No, the best security (imo) is the 
kind where you can place your back to the world, cup your hand over the 
keypad and enter in your digits -- with the whole system segregated from the 
outside world.

>> I also don't want people using my own security
>> against me by 'tuning in' to my cameras and/or
>> turning on/off my lights raising/dropping the room temperature or any 
>> other interaction
>> whatsoever with anything other than my
>> front doorbell.
> Your choice. I wouldn't mind deing able to notify
> a neighbour to have a quick look at the house
> should the alarm go off, and reset it if required. (I
> get on quite well with neighbours.)
Wait a minute... Notifying your neighbour isn't part of what we're talking 
about; Is it?  (Unless your neighbour is part of your automated system of 
course - and if *that's* the case, this system is becoming less apealing by 
the second...)

If you want your neighbour notified of problems then get a monitored alarm 
system (monitoring is REAL cheap in today's competitve market) and specify 
that on alarm the police/fire (whichever is appropriate to the alarm) be 
notified first, followed by them ringing your neighbour.

If it's simply a matter of re-setting, these days alarms are so 
'sophisticated' that they can re-set themselves *LOL*  (Quite an old 
'feature' actually) after a set time frame...  If you REALLY want to get 
George Orwell you can always have camera sensors instead of standard Passive 
InfraRed's that the monitoring company can 'see' the room that's reporting 
the alarm and can accordingly determine whether it's your cat chasing its 
tail, or an un-invited 'guest'


David Wolverton
david.wolverton at
// "I want to know how God created this world.  I
am not interested in this or that phenomenon, in the
spectrum of this or that element.  I want to know
His thoughts; the rest are details." -Albert Einstein
if ( $life( $me ) == $null ) { getLife( $me ) || halt } 

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