CO Detector Hack – Part 8

CO Detector Hack – Part 8

“No changes are permanent, but change is” – Neil Peart Rush, Tom Sawyer

It’s been quite sometime since my last post, my apologizes. I won’t be diving right back into the CO Detector project just yet. First, I’d like to cover some developments that have occurred the past two months.

Late in April, there were updates available to my WordPress site. Updates are a constant flow and this was just another routine bit of work for maintaining the site. The update appeared to take and all seemed fine, until I actually noticed it had broken the site. The problem was a broken theme that I hadn’t used for a few years. Not to worry, I had a backup and went to work restoring my site. This unfortunately didn’t work as I had expected, mainly due to media files not importing. Other more pressing demands took my attention away from getting the site online. It became a side project for the next two months that got small portions of my time.

My sandbox environments were key in restoring the site back to its original state. I’ll cover these in detail in another post, it may prove useful to some of you running a hosted WordPress site that provides limited access.

Anyway, during this time, IFTTT made some changes to the Webhooks function the sends SMS texts. I’m guessing it’s in part to some folks getting charges for the texts they received. IFTTT may have been held accountable for this so they made changes to how this function works. Now by default, it requires that the IFTTT app be running on the phone and that notification is enabled. Of course you can opt to have it send SMS messages, but by doing so you agree to not hold IFTTT accountable for charges that accumulate on the phone use.

Policy changes will occur for any number of reasons, so as a developer it is important to understand this. Had the IFTTT function been hardcoded and dependent on, this policy change could have jeopardized the reliability of the project. Fortunately for me, this is just a demonstration project, but it is worth noting here.

The next change was the announcement of WPA3. This will at some point replace WPA2. Since the CO Detector project uses the ESP8266, a wireless network module, it is still not clear if this device will support the new security standard. It would be prudent to assume that legacy hardware will not support the new standard. This dooms the project to an end date. At present, it has two years to live.

Either way, I’ll resume with the project as is. Since this is mostly a proof of concept project that could be applied to any type of electronic device, I prefer not to get caught up with the devil in the details. If anything, this gives you the reader the comfort of a cautionary tale. Some changes that occur in the middle of a project can be the death blow. At least this project still has plenty of fight left in it.

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