Internet of Things - Company and Research Focus
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Best IoT devices for the connected home

Best IoT devices for the connected home | Internet of Things - Company and Research Focus | Scoop.it
11 of our favourite gadgets for the smart home
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But which are the best IoT devices out there to get your humble abode kicked into the 21st century? Here are some of their favorites

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Samsung plans to appeal Apple patent loss to Supreme Court

Samsung plans to appeal Apple patent loss to Supreme Court | Internet of Things - Company and Research Focus | Scoop.it
Samsung Electronics plans a last-ditch appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court to avoid paying hundreds of millions of dollars in fines for infringing Apple patents, but the chances of success don't appear high.
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Samsung Electronics plans a last-ditch appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court to avoid paying hundreds of millions of dollars in fines for infringing Apple patents.  The electronics giant said in a court filing on Wednesday that it plans to ask the country's highest court later this year to take up the case, in which Samsung is arguing a Silicon Valley jury erred in a 2012 verdict that left it with a hefty legal bill and massive fines.  Samsung's move comes a week after the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit rejected Samsung's latest request for a re-hearing of the case.

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BMC acquires app monitoring startup Boundary

BMC acquires app monitoring startup Boundary | Internet of Things - Company and Research Focus | Scoop.it
Enterprise software vendor BMC has acquired Boundary, a startup that has built tools that engineers can use to monitor the IT infrastructure they're using to run their applications.
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Enterprise software vendor BMC has acquired Boundary, a startup that has built tools that engineers can use to monitor the IT infrastructure they’re using to run their applications.  The deal hasn’t been announced yet. But the BMC name is currently plastered at the bottom of several pages of the Boundary website.  BMC’s TrueSight IT operations management software ships with monitoring capabilities.  Boundary started in 2011, based in Mountain View,  Its tool provides monitoring for cloud infrastructure as well as on-premises compute, storage, and network monitoring. The tool offers plugins for databases and other application components. Customers include Adobe, Beats, Gilt, Expedia, and Rackspace.

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Design in Tech Report 2015

Design has become a game changer in Silicon Valley. Last year, John Maeda joined KPCB as the firm’s first Design Partner, joining from his role as the Presiden…
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Design in Technology trends, captured by the venerable Venture Capital firm Kleiner, Perkins, Caufield, & Byers.  Very interesting and a worthwhile read.

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IBM has a new plan to boost its ancient but super profitable mainframe business

IBM has a new plan to boost its ancient but super profitable mainframe business | Internet of Things - Company and Research Focus | Scoop.it
IBM's mainframe business is decades old, but still generates a lot of profit for the company.
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For the past two quarters, IBM has been saved by one of its oldest product lines: the mainframe.   Altogether, IBM is trying to make the mainframe a more relevant computer for a broader variety of businesses, and put it in the center of trends like big data and mobile computing.  On Monday, IBM revealed a plan that will double down on the mainframe. It's been shipping mainframe computers that run the free and open-source Linux operating system for 15 years, but its upping its game there, announcing:

  • Two new Linux mainframe servers called LinuxONE, that work with some of the today's most popular open-source software: Apache Spark, Node.js, MongoDB, MariaDB, PostgreSQL, Chef and Docker.
  • A new “Open Mainframe Project,” formed with the Linux Foundation, where IBM will give away an unprecedented amount of its mainframe software for free. It is particularly giving away software that does "IT predictive analytics" — software that monitors huge IT systems for unusual system behavior. This can be freely used by other people interested in writing apps for the mainframe.
  • A free app development cloud for people who want to write new apps for the mainframe, called the LinuxONE Developer Cloud. 
  • A new partnership with Linux company Ubuntu. IBM now has three flavors of Linux available for its mainframe delivered by Red Hat, SUSE and now Ubuntu.
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U.S. Patent Office invalidates an original iPhone patent in Samsung lawsuit

U.S. Patent Office invalidates an original iPhone patent in Samsung lawsuit | Internet of Things - Company and Research Focus | Scoop.it
Earlier this month, the United States Patent Office made a non-final ruling that one of Apple's design patents for the original iPhone is invalid within Apple's long-running lawsuit against Samsung...
Richard Platt's insight:

Earlier this month, the United States Patent Office made a non-final ruling that one of Apple’s design patents for the original iPhone is invalid within Apple’s long-running lawsuit against Samsung, according to a report from FOSS Patents. This particular patent, as seen in the drawings above, references the overall design of the original iPhone launched in 2007.   -  One reason for the invalidation at this point in the proceedings is that this particular patent was not disclosed by Apple in earlier patent applications, according to FOSS Patents. Additionally, as the report notes, this patent was already deemed by the USPTO to not be valid on four occasions due to comparisons with patents from LG and Sharp.  -  As Apple initially won the lawsuit in late 2014 against Samsung for iPhone design patents, and as Samsung’s latest appeal in the case was actually rejected just last week, it does not appear that this new patent invalidation will affect Apple’s odds of collecting over half a billion dollars from Samsung in patent infringement penalties. According to today’s report, it invalidation could only come into play if the “Supreme Court [becomes] interested in looking into this issue now and [overrules] the Federal Circuit.”

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The NSA is funding a 'safer' Internet of Things

The NSA is funding a 'safer' Internet of Things | Internet of Things - Company and Research Focus | Scoop.it
A university project aims to build a lightweight virtualization architecture that can be used to bake cybersecurity into connected systems from the design phase.
Richard Platt's insight:

The National Security Agency (NSA) is paying to build backdoors security into the Internet of Things (IoT).  (Granted, it's not like we can presume that the NSA wouldn't build in backdoors, given the history of backdoors in iPhones, iPads, and routers, et al. But as Naked Security's Mark Stockley pointed out at the time, why would the NSA bother to build in back doors when so many IoT devices are wide open anyway?)  The NSA is backing The University of Alabama in Huntsville (UAH) with a one-year, $299,622 grant, the aim of which is to build a lightweight virtualization architecture that can be used to build cybersecurity into IoT systems.  And oh, what a dizzying array of systems that's growing to encompass, given that just about anything can be made "smart" by connecting it to the internet.  Some of the smart things that, if appearances don't deceive, well may have had security tacked on as an afterthought instead of baked in from the design phase:

*  Cars that have been remotely hacked;
*  Planes found to be vulnerable to remote takeover;
*  Industrial control systems (ICS/SCADA), including one car insurance company's dongle that tracks drivers' locations and driving habits and also, whenever possible, collects, transmits and stores the places drivers have been;
*  Connected-home gadgets; and even
*  Vending machines.

The architecture, which UAH will begin to work on in a few days, is called Dielectric.  Dr. David Coe, the principal investigator and an electrical and computer engineering researcher, said that the aim is to incorporate cybersecurity into the product design phase.

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Lenovo does it again as LSE component removed after security fears

Lenovo does it again as LSE component removed after security fears | Internet of Things - Company and Research Focus | Scoop.it
Chinese company releases firmware update after fears new problem software could, as with Superfish, be used to let hackers access vulnerable computers
Richard Platt's insight:

Six months after apologising to users for pre-installing security-busting malware Superfish on its consumer laptops, Chinese PC manufacturer Lenovo has again had to remove another pre-installed component from its laptops over security fears.  But this time, the problem software, called the “Lenovo Service Engine (LSE)”, is built into the firmware of the laptops themselves, in a low-level operating system called the BIOS, invisible even to Windows. (The BIOS is what is running the screens of white-on-black text seen on many computers as they start up). It launches when the computer is turned on, before Windows loads, and then replaces Microsoft’s start-up diagnostics program (which ensures that the system was shut down properly, that the disk isn’t corrupted, and that it’s safe to launch Windows) with its own.  -  Lenovo’s version does all the same things as Microsoft’s, but two more: it ensures that Lenovo’s own software update tools are still installed on the computer, and if they aren’t, it re-installs them.  Those tools then run to download and install drivers, keeping the computer up to date; but they also install and update the various other programs that come preinstalled on Lenovo computers, the so-called “crapware”.

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Tim Cook and Eric Schmidt have invested in a startup that makes shower heads

Tim Cook and Eric Schmidt have invested in a startup that makes shower heads | Internet of Things - Company and Research Focus | Scoop.it
The Nebia shower heads atomise water into droplets to reduce consumption by 70%.
Richard Platt's insight:

The New York Times reports that Nebia has designed a new kind of shower head that it says can reduce the amount of water used by up to 70%. Average showers take around 20 gallons of water, but Nebia says that showers using its shower heads only use about six gallons.

The shower head reduces the amount of water used through nozzles that break water down into droplets. That means that more water comes into contact with your body. Tim Cook, the CEO of Apple, has joined forces with Eric Schmidt, the executive chairman of Google, to invest in a Silicon Valley startup which makes fancy shower heads.

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MSFT drops a slimmed down Windows 10 for the IoT

MSFT drops a slimmed down Windows 10 for the IoT | Internet of Things - Company and Research Focus | Scoop.it
Microsoft wants to avoid making the same mistakes it did with mobile.
Richard Platt's insight:

The goal is to make sure Microsoft software makes it into the growing community of companies and people building for the Internet of things. Success will keep the software giant relevant, allowing it to learn from its past failure to cultivate a developer base in mobile, which led to another failure to win in the market for consumer apps.

And while some people may take the newly released, slimmed down version of Windows 10 to mean you can build a $35 Windows PC using the Windows 10 IoT Core OS and Raspberry Pi computers, that’s not exactly true. The Windows 10 IoT Core operating system is about building applications for embedded devices such as connected appliances, toys or anything you might think up using the Windows ecosystem.

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Google's Project Ara won't debut in Puerto Rico after all

Google's modular smartphone Project Ara, which lets you swap out every important hardware component so you can upgrade your device piecemeal, is taking a detour. Google announced in January that...
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Google's modular smartphone Project Ara, which lets you swap out every important hardware component so you can upgrade your device piecemeal, is taking a detour. Google announced in January that Ara would debut in Puerto Rico, but after about three months of silence, the Project Ara team announced over Twitter yesterday that they were rerouting their market pilot.  They haven’t revealed what the alternative will be — only that they’ll be ready to announce further details sometime next week. The team also hinted that Ara would come to Puerto Rico eventually.

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Semiconductor Engineering .:. Intel Acquires Docea Power

Semiconductor Engineering .:. Intel Acquires Docea Power | Internet of Things - Company and Research Focus | Scoop.it
Intel Acquires Docea Power Intel has acquired another EDA company, although both companies are currently keeping quiet about the future
Richard Platt's insight:

Intel has quietly done another EDA acquisition, this time buying Docea Power, a small company based in Moirans, France. Docea had high-level power and thermal estimation tools. Docea Power was founded by two brothers, Ghislain and Sylvian Kaiser. Ghislain had spent 10 years at ST Microelectronics as a power expert and was dissatisfied with the tools available on the market at that time. With ST’s blessing he started his own company in 2006 and developed tools to perform high-level estimation of the power and thermal profile. While originally targeting the hardware side of things, the tool also enables software engineers to develop and debug power and thermal management policies before any silicon is available.  In the past Docea has been hampered by the lack of standards in the ESL space and virtual prototyping has not become mainstream. While SystemC and TLM have been around for a number of years, model portability has been a problem and that has slowed adoption. Power standards are also in their formative stages with several efforts going on within the IEEE. Docea was in some respects reliant on both of these and so had an uphill battle on their hands.

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Comcast video service will take aim at YouTube and Facebook

Comcast video service will take aim at YouTube and Facebook | Internet of Things - Company and Research Focus | Scoop.it
The cable provider is reportedly close to launching a YouTube-style video service with content from partners such as Vox and VICE.
Richard Platt's insight:

Bloomberg quotes an anonymous source saying that Comcast has already signed deals with the comedy site The Onion and with a teen channel called AwesomenessTV, owned by DreamWorks Animation. It is also negotiating to do the same with BuzzFeed and other publishers. Business Insider said those others include sites like Refinery29 and Mic News.  -  The subscription-only news site The Information first mentioned Comcast’s plans for a video service in April, saying the company was pouring resources into the plan after giving up on a proposed takeover of Time Warner Cable. And there have been rumors about such a service even before that, based on documents that were part of the merger review, but the assumption was that it would more of a competitor for Netflix.

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A Chinese B2B e-marketplace focuses on the IoT

A Chinese B2B e-marketplace focuses on the IoT | Internet of Things - Company and Research Focus | Scoop.it
A Chinese B2B e-marketplace focuses on the Internet of Things - Cogobuy.com is working with China’s leading search engine, Baidu.com, to jointly extend both companies’ Internet of Things offerings, an executive says.
Richard Platt's insight:

Cogobuy Group, a Chinese business-to-business e-marketplace for electronics products, recently joined with China’s leading search engine, Baidu Inc., to extend both companies’ Internet of Things offerings.  The two companies will offer Chinese small and medium-sized manufacturers funding and consumer feedback through Ingdan.com, a site operated by Cogobuy that connects start-up companies with suppliers based in the United States and other countries, as well as China.  “The strategic collaboration between Cogobuy and Baidu hits a sweet spot,” Cogobuy CEO Jeffrey Kang says. “Together we will consolidate our advantages, industry resources, explore prospects, and promote and develop the vertical health care, education and cloud computing solution industries that are involved with the Internet of Things. The future will be the Internet of Things era, and entrepreneurs cannot make any achievements without support from supply chain services.”

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Ed Crowley's curator insight, August 20, 2015 11:24 AM

More developments in the IoT space- the ecommerce focus on IoT is interesting.

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Forget Pizza, Domino's is a Technology Company

Forget Pizza, Domino's is a Technology Company | Internet of Things - Company and Research Focus | Scoop.it
Domino's profit result should remind us that it isn't so much a food company but one of our top technology companies. But with a tech company halo comes tech company expectations.
Richard Platt's insight:

First came online ordering, then mobile ordering and now Domino's is pushing four-click ordering. And no matter who actually dreamt up the technology, Domino's has also just launched a feature that allows a hungry customer to track the progress of their pizza via GPS, as it tries to push into the area of wearable technologies.  

40 NEW DIGITAL PRODUCTS:  The company says it is working on 40 new digital projects and this is clearly much more than just a cool thing to say – this innovation is making the difference for shareholders in that it continues to push same-store sales higher.

Have any other Australian chief executives ridden the rise of the smartphone as well as Domino's chief executive Don Meij?

While he'd never call pizzas a commodity, Meij clearly recognised that the industry is incredibly competitive and that while Domino's was unlikely to stand out on gastronomical grounds, it could certainly shine by getting its products to customers in new and better ways.

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Samsung goes Old-School with its latest dual-screen clamshell

Samsung goes Old-School with its latest dual-screen clamshell | Internet of Things - Company and Research Focus | Scoop.it
If you looked at the image above and checked your calendar to see if we've gone back in time, you're not alone. Samsung went full retro in developing its l
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Samsung went full retro in developing its latest clamshell handset for the Chinese market, packing two screens into a compact Android device.  The 4G-capable dual-SIM phone has a 3.9-inch 720p Super AMOLED screen on the front, and you’ll find an identical screen when you flip it open. There’s a full physical keypad for old-school users too.

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MSFT finds another sneaky way to steal Android away from Google

MSFT finds another sneaky way to steal Android away from Google | Internet of Things - Company and Research Focus | Scoop.it
Microsoft has been making some killer Android apps lately and now it seems the company has come up with another way to have its software replace standard Google apps on Android phones.
Richard Platt's insight:

Microsoft has been making some killer Android apps lately and now it seems the company has come up with another way to have its software replace standard Google apps on Android phones.  MSFT’s virtual assistant Cortana, currently available on Windows Phone 8 and Windows 10, also has an Android beta application that has received a major update. As Android Central reports, Android users can now use Microsoft Cortana to replace Google Now on Android devices.  The move to replace Google Now is certainly daring, as Google’s rival is apparently trying to replace a core functionality of Android, which could turn out to be beneficial for the company.  Using Cortana on an Android device and a Windows 10 computer might make some sense to some smartphone owners, and could help Microsoft generate more revenue from both hardware and ad sales in the future.

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Licensing firm Rambus moves up the food chain to make its own chips for the 1st time

Licensing firm Rambus moves up the food chain to make its own chips for the 1st time | Internet of Things - Company and Research Focus | Scoop.it
Altering its longtime strategy of being an intellectual property licensing company, Rambus is announcing today that it is making its own chips and directly selling them to hardware makers for the first time.
Richard Platt's insight:

Altering its longtime strategy of being an intellectual property licensing company, Rambus is announcing today that it is making its own chips and directly selling them to hardware makers for the first time.  The move will enable Rambus to move into advanced chip markets more quickly than it could in the past through deals with its partners, but it also carries some risks, as it means that Rambus could potentially compete with its own customers.  Rambus is making an advanced server memory interface chipset, dubbed the RB26 for R+DDR4 memory modules.  The new chip set is essential for today’s cloud computing technology. Large in-memory databases power cloud services and advanced analytics tools. But the progress of chip making technology — codified for years as Moore’s Law after a 1965 prediction by Intel chairman emeritus Gordon Moore — is starting to slow down. To keep up, Rambus concluded that it had to make bigger advances in the design of the core elements of servers. So it came up with a new kind of high-speed server memory interface chip set, which enables better speed without compromising on memory capacity. The chips are like the wheels on Ferraris. They enable memory to keep up with high-speed data processors in enterprise and data center server markets. This new family of chips will enable applications such as data-intensive processing, real-time analytics, virtualization, and in-memory computing with increased speed, reliability, and power efficiency.  Rambus will still do licensing, but it will have a blended business model going forward

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Samsung Wants To Blanket The Earth In Satellite Internet

Samsung Wants To Blanket The Earth In Satellite Internet | Internet of Things - Company and Research Focus | Scoop.it
Data for all
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A paper published by Farooq Khan, president of Samsung Research America in Dallas, details an interconnected net of 4,600 low-orbit satellites that could bring each of the world’s 5 billion people 200 gigabytes of internet per month. Samsung expects global internet traffic to reach one zettabyte per month by 2028.  “Our goal here is to design a Space Internet with similar capacity,“ Khan writes, in reference to the one-zettabyte figure.  This also brings Samsung into a race with the likes of Elon Musk and Richard Branson, who are actively working on or investing in similar satellite ventures.  The Branson-backed OneWeb offers a similar approach to Samsung’s: a net of 648 satellites (compared to Samsung’s 4,600) that orbit and transmit to ground stations that in turn relay the signal to users.  And let's not forget there is also the plan in place by Mark Zuckerberg of Facebook.  It seems as if there are a lot of players in this new frontier of satellite internet connectivity that is heating up, and now Samsung is joining the fray.

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'World's biggest hard drive' will store more than two years of video

'World's biggest hard drive' will store more than two years of video | Internet of Things - Company and Research Focus | Scoop.it
Samsung's solid state 16TB PM1633a is billed as the world's largest - but will cost you
Richard Platt's insight:

More on Samsung's latest Super Solid State Hard Drive.   With 16TB of hard drive space you could get for HD video, around 4.5GB for two hours, 15.36TB equates to 3,413 movies, or 284 days of footage. A 4K movie - the type we'll probably all be watching by the time 16TB disks become commonplace - can be over 100GB in size, however.

You could also store 3.8 million 4MB songs.  These numbers would be unlikely to translate completely faithfully in practice, because of the different capacity conventions used between hard drive manufacturers and operating systems, and because space is always taken up for other software.  Samsung managed to fit so much memory on the hard drive by stacking lots of flash cells on top of each other, which makes the drive slightly taller than others. Its solid-state nature also means that it will be many times more expensive than other multi-terabyte hard disk drives.   -  In all likelihood, the hard drive will be out of the reach of most consumers, aimed at the enterprise market and likely to cost thousands of dollars. But as with all forms of storage, the only way is down.

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J.C. Penney’s plan to catch up in the e-commerce wars

J.C. Penney’s plan to catch up in the e-commerce wars | Internet of Things - Company and Research Focus | Scoop.it
J.C. Penney reported strong quarterly results, and it laid out its plans to keep that momentum going.
Richard Platt's insight:

That continued momentum is the result of Penney’s enormous efforts to undo the damage wrought by former CEO Ron Johnson’s failed attempt at turning the department stores into a hip retailer in 2012 and 2013. In the two years since Johnson left, Penney has begun to recover from a 30% revenue drop by bringing back popular house brands like St. John’s Bay, reconfiguring its home goods sections and assortment, and re-integrating its stores and e-commerce teams.

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TSMC and Dolphin Integration team together for IoT Subsystems

TSMC and Dolphin Integration team together for IoT Subsystems | Internet of Things - Company and Research Focus | Scoop.it
The goal is to reduce design methodology complexity while decreasing time-to-market
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Under the deal, Dolphin is introducing SoC designs using TSMCs ultra-low power technology with integrated low power panoply (LoPan), dynamic management of power regulators, consistent clock and voltage domains and configurable synchronous control networks.

TSMC says IoT designs require ultra-low power with a shortened time-to-market as well as a need to reduce design methodology complexity to simply silicon intellectual property component integration. The deal with Dolphin will allow designers to meet these demands in an ever-expanding IoT and consumer device market, the company says.  -  TSMC and Dolphin will be providing an ultra-low power demo chip using TSMC 55nm process technology as well as subsystem reference designs and packaging options for engineers to begin early work on SoC subsystems for future IoT applications.

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Wargaming & Innovation - DoD memo expresses concerns and opportunities

Wargaming & Innovation - DoD memo expresses concerns and opportunities | Internet of Things - Company and Research Focus | Scoop.it
MEMORANDUM: Deputy Secretary of Defense [Pentagon].DATE: Feb 09 2015SUBJECT: Wargaming & Innovation"I am concerned that the Department's ability to test concepts, capabilities, and plans using simulation and other techniques - otherwise known as wargaming - has atrophied...we need to reinvigorate, institutionalize, and systematize wargamimg across the Department...""Innovation can be highly disruptive and creates relative winners and losers. It thrives in a culture that embraces experimentation and tolerates dissent and risk-taking. We must generate an environment that enco
Richard Platt's insight:

If the DoD is recognizing that innovation and strategy must be integrated, you'd think that many more companies would be seeing the same thing.  Great memorandum, as far as that kind of thing goes, specifically "Wargaming, in concert with operational analysis, and experimentation, cannot stand apart from the budget process, rather it should feed into other dimensions of strategy development, as well as Planning, Programming, Budgeting and Execution (PPBE) process"

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With Dell's help, Google pushes Chrome-based laptops beyond budget buyers

With Dell's help, Google pushes Chrome-based laptops beyond budget buyers | Internet of Things - Company and Research Focus | Scoop.it
Google's challenger to Microsoft Windows has found a successful niche in schools. With the Dell Chromebook 13, Google hopes to lure business buyers and others who want a premium product.
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"In the early days of Chromebooks, most were low-priced plasticky devices. There's charm to that, but there are also premium users who want to have a better device," Sheth said. "The Pixel is the best Chromebook out there. This Dell is going to be easily the second best and at a much more affordable price."  -  The Dell Chromebook 13 starts at $399 for a laptop with a metal exterior, carbon fiber cover, 13-inch 1,920x1,080 screen, Intel Celeron processor, 2 gigabytes of memory and 16GB of storage. Prices range up to $899 for models with touch screens and more powerful brains. For full details, check out my colleague Dan Ackerman's look at the Dell Chromebook 13.

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Bad Day for Volkswagen - suppressed a paper about car hacking for 2 years

Bad Day for Volkswagen - suppressed a paper about car hacking for 2 years | Internet of Things - Company and Research Focus | Scoop.it
The recent trend of car hacking research has created quite a culture clash between hackers and large automakers.
Richard Platt's insight:

Volkswagen, which owns Porsche, Audi, Lamborghini, Bentley and others, tried to suppress the release of a paper which detailed the security vulnerabilities in many cars, reports Bloomberg. The paper is being presented at the USENIX Security Symposium in Washington DC this weekend.  For its part, Volkswagen doesn't think consumers should be worried.   -    The paper was published this week with just one sentence redacted.   In the paper, white-hat hackers Roel Verdult and Baris Eg, from Radboud University, and Flavio Garcia from the University of Birmingham, detail a flaw with the Megamos Crypto transponder. The Crypto is a radio-frequency identification (RFID) transponder placed in car keys and key fobs which prevents an engine from starting without the transponder within range.  The hackers were able to exploit vulnerabilities in the Crypto that allowed them to unlock and start a variety of cars within half an hour. By decoding two transmissions between the key and transponder, the team gained access to the transponder's 96-bit secret key. With the secret key, the team then ran through all 196,607 possible key options until they found the one that allowed them to start the car.  The hackers research — conducted in 2012 — notes that a variety of cars, including many from Volkswagen, used the Megamos Crypto and are thus vulnerable, though they aren't specific about which model years are affected.

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