Remember back in the day, where all the action for hackers was in the computer (the movie Tron comes to mind). Now, with more and more fully networked devices--it seems like hacking could take on a surprisingly tangible quality. Getting hit by MyDoom was a serious bummer, particularly the version that blocked anti-virus sites but hey--it's you're computer right? Somebody gets a backdoor to it, it starts participating in a Denial of Service attack, your friendly neighborhood IT department blocks your network port, you have some downtime and you move on. You're partly to blame for not keeping up to date with security patches, virus updates, and by opening an attachment, but hey--no big deal.
Now though, we've got some real potential for fun. We're getting ready to wire our cars and put them out on the grid. I'm envisioning a future world in which kids walk around with a 5.9Ghz device that can at the click of a button inform every car within 1 km that it's about to have a wreck and it needs to slam on it's breaks. Better yet--not all of those cars will either be enabled or set to respond to a pending wreck--so figure that 40% of the cars slam on their breaks and the other 60% rely on their human operators to figure out what's going on (maybe they'll get an audio warning like "you're about to crash, Dave").
And it's not just cars--how would you like to have some kid convince your fridge that it's out of milk for 30 days in a row--the same fridge that's set to automatically order milk when you run out? Or turn on your stereo full volume at 3am? Life could get really interesting soon . . .