open source... appliance?

Samsung embraces open source for upscale appliances

What an interesting time this is in the consumer tech world! Samsung has started using open source software in some of their more upscale washing machines. Here is what I found this spring on a laundry machine control panel in a local appliance store:

2014 Vintage Samsung Washing Machine
Open Source Laundry Disclaimer

What I really want is for appliances to be hackable, but this is certainly a good start, makes me feel oddly at home in the wholesale appliance showroom. Now, this raises some interesting questions, though:

  • what version of OpenSSL is it running?
  • how do you apply critical security updates?

The sales associate does not have answers to these questions. If I was a poet, I would now have to write a haiku. But I am not a poet, so I quote from the README of the gst-plugins-bad lurking within:


--- "That an accusation?"

No perfectly groomed moustache or any amount of fine clothing is going to
cover up the truth - these plug-ins are Bad with a capital B.
They look fine on the outside, and might even appear to get the job done, but
at the end of the day they're a black sheep. Without a golden-haired angel
to watch over them, they'll probably land in an unmarked grave at the final