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Google may boost ARM in server space >> Evaluation Engineering

Google may boost ARM in server space >> Evaluation Engineering | Internet of Things - Technology focus | Scoop.it
Evaluation Engineering Google may design its own ARM-based server processors, a step that makes sense to Ovum.
Richard Platt's insight:

" Julie Kunstler, principal analyst for optical components at Ovum, commented, “In Ovum’s view, Google’s move is an extension of its data centre infrastructure strategy, driving the requirements and if it makes sense, building in-house. While it is too early to know Google’s plans, at a minimum, Google is researching server processor technologies and is likely to establish a new set of requirements for processor vendors.”

Ovum emphasized the following points:

Google has been designing its own data centers, driving hardware requirements from vendors such as Cisco.Designing its own server processors would provide Google with further control of its data centers.Possibly Google is digging deeper into understanding the component level in order to drive server processor requirements. We saw this move at the hardware equipment level.While processor design takes time, money and skills, Google has shown its ability to recruit talent and it has the resources to license technologies."
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SpaceX launches mysterious Air Force space plane ahead of Irma's arrival

SpaceX launches mysterious Air Force space plane ahead of Irma's arrival | Internet of Things - Technology focus | Scoop.it
SpaceX completes launch of Air Force space plane ahead of Irma's arrival.
Richard Platt's insight:

Yeah Baby - keep in mind the whole North Korea thing is going in the same time frame as Hurricane Irma ....So....It's part of the Department of Defense's Rapid Capabilities Office, which works on technology to combat urgent national security threats. The plane is carrying "experimental payloads," according to the Air Force.  Specifically, it is has equipment to test "experimental electronics and oscillating heat pipes" during long trips in space. Heat pipes can be used on satellites to help regulate their temperature in space.

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Semiconductor industry records best second quarter in three years | Solid State Technology

Semiconductor industry records best second quarter in three years | Solid State Technology | Internet of Things - Technology focus | Scoop.it
Despite a slightly down first quarter, the semiconductor industry achieved near record growth in the second quarter of 2017, posting a 6.1 percent growth from the previous quarter, according to IHS Markit.
Richard Platt's insight:

The semiconductor industry achieved near record growth in the second quarter of 2017, posting a 6.1 percent growth from the previous quarter, according to IHS Markit . Global revenue came in at $101.4 billion, up from $95.6 billion in the first quarter of 2017. This is the highest growth the industry has seen in the second quarter since 2014.  The memory chip market set records in the second quarter, growing 10.7 percent to a new high of $30.2 billion with DRAM and NOR flash memory leading the charge, growing 14 percent and 12.3 percent quarter-on-quarter, respectively.  “The DRAM market had another quarter of record revenues on the strength of higher prices and growth in shipments,” said Mike Howard, director for DRAM memory and storage at IHS Markit. “Anxiety about product availability in the previous third and fourth quarters weighed on the industry. This led many DRAM buyers to build inventory — putting additional pressure on the already tight market. This year is shaping up to smash all DRAM revenue records and will easily pass the $60 billion mark.”  “For NOR, the supply-demand balance has tightened raising average selling prices and revenue,” said Clifford Leimbach, senior analyst for memory and storage at IHS Markit. “This mature memory technology has been in a steady decline for many years, but some market suppliers are reducing supply or leaving the market, which has tightened supply recently, resulting in the increase of revenue.”  In terms of application, consumer electronics and data processing saw the most growth, increasing in revenue by 7.9 percent and 6.8 percent, respectively, quarter-on-quarter. A lot of this growth can be attributed to the continual growth in memory pricing, as supply still remains tight.

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Driven by TV size migration, large TFT display market continues to grow 6% by area in 2017 

Driven by TV size migration, large TFT display market continues to grow 6% by area in 2017  | Internet of Things - Technology focus | Scoop.it
The large thin film transistor (TFT) display market is expected to continue to expand in 2017 despite slower end-market demand, according to IHS Markit.
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The large thin film transistor (TFT) display market is expected to continue to expand in 2017 despite slower end-market demand, according to IHS Markit .  While unit shipments are expected to be up 1 percent in 2017 to 688 million units, compared to the previous year, area shipment forecasts show growth of 6 percent in the same period, to 180 million square meters. 

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Hackathon inspires health monitoring tech for paraplegic children

Hackathon inspires health monitoring tech for paraplegic children | Internet of Things - Technology focus | Scoop.it
An IBM "Hackathon" has led to technology that could potentially improve the quality of life for very young children with paraplegia and their parents.
Richard Platt's insight:

The technology solutions were developed during a ‘hackathon’ – a competitive event that gives developers a chance to build innovative applications, usually based on a particular theme. In this case, the event  – which took place at the firm’s facility in Hursley near Winchester – was organised in response to Spinal Cord Awareness month, with three-year old Emerson Grant providing the test case for participating teams.  --  One solution from team I-Spinal was developed in response to a scenario that would let Emerson attend nursery and give his carers the information they’d need to ensure his wellbeing. It combines a mobile app and wearable technology to create a system that performs predictive analysis.  With an iPad attached to his wheelchair, the wearables and other sensors collect real-time data on ambient temperature, outside temperature (provided by a third party), sweat levels, hear-trate, and oxygen saturation levels .   According to team member Richard Betteridge, an NHS employee on an eight-week secondment at IBM, the system also uses reactive data, so that if Emerson experiences a sudden deterioration, warnings can be given to his carers.   A scheduler lets Emerson’s carers know about actions that need to be performed on any given day, and future iterations could include accelerometers that sense sudden movements that could trigger AD. According to Betteridge, the addition of more sensors would increase the amount of data that can be collected to better manage Emerson’s condition. These could include systems that monitor posture in the wheelchair or activity levels to help feed into a predictive threshold. Further modifications could include fans mounted on the chair to turn on automatically when the temperature is too high.

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European Researchers seeking to manage mental health issues with Wearable and Mobile Tech

European Researchers seeking to manage mental health issues with Wearable and Mobile Tech | Internet of Things - Technology focus | Scoop.it
Researchers in Europe will soon wearable technology that aims to help people better manage their mental health.
Richard Platt's insight:

Researchers in Europe are currently working to revolutionize mental healthcare by creating a new digital self-help platform, known as the AffecTech project. This research consortium, filled with an international collection of scientists, is working to design mobile, wearable and personalized health technologies that will help combat mental health disorders, such as bipolar disorder, anxiety and depression. This should help raise awareness of mental health issues as well as shine a light on the stigma surrounding it.  “Affective disorders, such as stress, depression and bipolar conditions, are estimated to be among the highest ranking causes of disease by 2020,” according to Lancaster University’s Professor Corina Sas. “The potential social impact of wearable health devices for these disorders is vast because emotional awareness and regulation are invaluable for daily functioning.”  More than 33 million people are diagnosed with either anxiety, depression or bipolar disorder, with annual healthcare costs going well beyond 100 billion Euros. To take on this social challenge, 15 early stage researchers will be working to develop low-cost wearable technologies that will help millions keep an eye on their mental health on a daily basis — without the need of health professionals.

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Tiny sensor with huge range is a 'game-changer' for wearable technology

Tiny sensor with huge range is a 'game-changer' for wearable technology | Internet of Things - Technology focus | Scoop.it
Richard Platt's insight:

Devices running on “almost zero power” communicated over 2.8km in a major data transmission breakthrough, researchers have said.  The technique could enable “vast arrays” of interconnected sensors for everything from farming to wearables, said the engineers from the University of Washington (UW) in the US.  The team said it used reflected radio signals to transmit data at extremely low power and low cost. The almost-3km range is far wider than for sensors with similar power levels, said the team. Equivalent devices would need 1,000 times as much power to hit the same range, the researchers added.  The system is “an important and necessary breakthrough toward embedding connectivity into billions of everyday objects,” said the researchers. Ultra-low power devices are a "growing area" in sensor technology, said Peter Harrop, chairman of analysts IDTechEx, to Professional Engineering. “They only need to wake up to do a job sometimes, so you only need little amounts of energy,” he said. The low power demand means the devices could run on cheap, thin and flexible printed batteries or harvest energy from ambient sources, said the UW team. The sensors’ compact and low-cost ($0.10-20) nature means they could be “injected” into any number of everyday devices, added the researchers.

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How to Stop Hackers From Ransoming Your Mac or iPhone

How to Stop Hackers From Ransoming Your Mac or iPhone | Internet of Things - Technology focus | Scoop.it
Hackers are using Apple’s “Find My” service to remotely hold devices for ransom, reports MacRumors. Multiple people have tweeted about stolen accounts in the past week. Two-factor authentication does not prevent the hack.
Richard Platt's insight:

Hackers are using Apple’s “Find My” service to remotely hold devices for ransom, reports MacRumors. Multiple people have tweeted about stolen accounts in the past week. Two-factor authentication does not prevent the hack.   The “Find My” service is meant to help you recover your phone or computer if it’s lost or stolen. It also lets you remotely lock your device. This is supposed to deter theft, since it makes the stolen phone useless. It also lets you send a custom message to your lost device, like “$50 reward if found” or “Please return to 55 Pine St.”   But because it’s activated remotely, “Find My Device” is also a great way for someone to lock your device, from anywhere, while you still have it. All they need is your username and password. (Two-factor authentication doesn’t prevent this; Apple doesn’t require two-factor for “Find My Device” because the whole point is that you don’t have your device handy.)    But how did hackers get these people’s passwords? As MacRumors reports, it’s likely that the hacked users had been using the same password for their Mac and for other sites. So when some third-party site was breached and passwords were exposed, hackers pored through the list, trying the same login info on iCloud accounts. And they found the poor suckers who re-use passwords.

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Is blockchain tech the missing link for the success of IoT?

Is blockchain tech the missing link for the success of IoT? | Internet of Things - Technology focus | Scoop.it
Blockchains are still a fringe technology in many ways, but it’s slowly making its way into the mainstream. While blockchain technology aspires to change the world, its potential is still unknown to most. And while developers are busy studying its nuances, businesspeople are hard at work figuring out how to harness it to power their …
Richard Platt's insight:

Blockchains are still a fringe technology in many ways, but it’s slowly making its way into the mainstream.  While blockchain technology aspires to change the world, its potential is still unknown to most. And while developers are busy studying its nuances, businesspeople are hard at work figuring out how to harness it to power their latest, greatest ideas.  There have been some unique concepts produced from a melding of blockchain with voting systemscommodities trading and even real estate, but the candidate most likely to push mass adoption of blockchain is the Internet-of-Things (IoT).  This view might be controversial among some readers, but as someone who is closely watching the blockchain space and its many applications, I believe IoT stands out due to its potential and its malleability, thus making it ideally compatible with the emerging blockchain technology.

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Disaster Response In The 21st Century: Big Data And IoT Save Lives

Disaster Response In The 21st Century: Big Data And IoT Save Lives | Internet of Things - Technology focus | Scoop.it
Analyst Chris Wilder was in Houston working with a team helping to find, recover, and relocate individuals affected by Hurricane Harvey. Even before it hit, organizations were using Internet of Things (IoT) data to predict where the storm path and to coordinate volunteers and first responders.
Richard Platt's insight:

Crowdsourcing emergency and resource dispatch:  In my opinion, one of the main life-saving factors is social media applications—especially Zello (a push-to-talk walkie-talkie application for smartphones and other devices). This application became the de facto standard on how dispatchers and volunteers communicated (one-to-many) in real time to send search and rescue assets throughout the entire region. We witnessed citizens responding to wellness checks for families, grandparents, dogs, cats, fish, hamsters, and even a Bearded Dragon. Using Zello, volunteers could pinpoint their efforts and deploy teams, boats, and supplies where they were needed the most, thereby reducing the demand and pressure put on first responders. Moreover, Zello warned my team and other volunteers about imminent danger, such as a chemical plant explosion, levees breaking, and shootings due to looting—all in real time.    Leveraging Big Data to predict, prepare, and prevent:  Even before Harvey made landfall, organizations such as NASA, NOAA, and municipalities were using sensor data, surveillance and satellite imagery to predict not just where the storm was likely to impact, but also coordinate with first responders and law enforcement. This allowed them to identify staging locations, evacuation routes, likely flooding areas, etc., and to be prepared for the worst. Data collected from sensors and meters located throughout the region were mined and machine learning algorithms applied, in order to predict patterns and outcomes. For example, clustering algorithms helped to determine the probability of where flooding would occur, and allowed agencies to devise a set of recommendations for evacuation routes, resource staging, and the identification of locations for shelters along these routes. The more data collected from past incidents, the more insight these agencies are forecast future behavior, using operations such as regression algorithms.  

Technology and other firms stepping-up to make a difference

Big storms affect everyone, and big technology has stepped up to help those in need. Firms like Dell EMC, Apple Inc., Google Inc., Hewlett Packard Enterprise and Microsoft Inc. have made significant contributions to relief efforts. However, Michael and Susan Dell personally have set the bar by committing $36 million to help their fellow Houstonians. Although this philanthropy is fantastic, one of the biggest contributions these tech companies can make is to commit to innovation and technologies that directly save lives during natural disasters. IoT and Big Data technologies will continue to help prepare first responders for major storms, enable volunteers to become more effective, and drive a faster, more efficient response to future natural disasters.

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How to Check If You're Exposed to Those Scary BlueBorne Bluetooth Flaws

How to Check If You're Exposed to Those Scary BlueBorne Bluetooth Flaws | Internet of Things - Technology focus | Scoop.it
Android, iOS, Windows and Linux devices with Bluetooth have serious security vulnerabilities known as "BlueBorne." Here's who's patching.
Richard Platt's insight:

The security research firm Armis identified massive vulnerabilities in the Bluetooth wireless technology that can allow attackers to take over people's devices, whether they be smartphones, PCs or even Internet of Things devices such as smart TVs and watches.

The "BlueBorne" flaws would allow a virus to leap from device to device, regardless of the operating system being used.  They can even allow attackers to access so-called "air-gapped" computer networks that aren't connected to the Internet, Armis warned Tuesday. Bluetooth-equipped devices do not need to be in discoverable mode, or paired with the attacker's device, in order to be vulnerable.  "These silent attacks are invisible to traditional security controls and procedures. Companies don't monitor these types of device-to-device connections in their environment, so they can't see these attacks or stop them," Armis CEO Yevgeny Dibrov said in a statement. "The research illustrates the types of threats facing us in this new connected age."  So, are your Bluetooth-equipped devices vulnerable? Armis told many of the affected tech companies about the flaws well before informing the public—an approach known in the industry as responsible disclosure—so they've had a chance to push out patches.

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73% Of Broadband Consumers Want To Tightly Control Their Personal Data

73% Of Broadband Consumers Want To Tightly Control Their Personal Data | Internet of Things - Technology focus | Scoop.it
73% Of Broadband Consumers Want To Tightly Control Their Personal Data - 09/14/2017
Richard Platt's insight:

A large majority (73%) of U.S. broadband consumers express a desire to keep tight control over access to their personal data, with nearly half being very concerned that someone will access the data without their permission, according to a new report by Parks Associates.  In terms of trust, only 5% of broadband consumers ranked pay-TV providers as trustworthy. Here’s how they rank as the most trustworthy companies:

  • 62% -- Home insurance provider
  • 59% -- Security monitoring service provider
  • 58% -- Electricity provider
  • 5% -- Pay-TV provider

Internet service providers, mobile phone operators and device manufacturers also come in as more trusted than pay television providers.  Despite the lack of trust, many consumers agree to share some of their personal data.  Almost a quarter (24%) of consumers say they receive a lot in return for sharing access to their data, though the majority does not feel that way.

The increasing number of smart products also is of some concern, as unwanted access to those devices becomes more of a risk.

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Forget batteries, Cambridge start-up 8Power is harvesting energy from vibrations

Forget batteries, Cambridge start-up 8Power is harvesting energy from vibrations | Internet of Things - Technology focus | Scoop.it
As the Internet of Things takes off, 8Power is driving the sensor revolution.
Richard Platt's insight:

“We’re going to get data from lots of sensor networks – some will be wireless, some will be wired. We’ve seen the cost of sensors getting lower, data becoming richer and, with the new generation of wireless networks we’re getting, such as LoRaWAN and narrowband IoT, we’re finally able to address the cost and coverage problems of getting data from devices, which is fantastic.

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Bored With Your Fitbit? These Cancer Researchers Aren't

Bored With Your Fitbit? These Cancer Researchers Aren't | Internet of Things - Technology focus | Scoop.it
Scientists are publishing more studies and enrolling more clinical trials using Fitbit devices than any other wearable fitness tracker out there.
Richard Platt's insight:

University of California San Diego, researchers, like Sheri Hartman, a psychologist, gravitate toward Fitbit devices because they deliver information without being burdensome for her patients—breast cancer survivors struggling with brain fogginess and other cognitive declines following treatment. They just have to keep it charged and wear it, that’s it. Fitbit, and its data-crunching research facilitation partner, Fitabase, do the rest. Fitabase, if you haven’t heard of it, is like Fitbit’s personal digital plumber. The company has built a connection to Fitbit’s API that allows it to pipe out user data to scientists. Since it launched in 2012, Fitabase has collected over 3.5 billion minutes of Fitbit data on behalf of research customers at places like John Hopkins, MD Anderson Cancer Center, and the Dana Farber Cancer Institute.

For Hartman, Fitabase collected three months’ worth of data on a randomly-selected group of 43 women who had recently received chemotherapy or surgery for breast cancer. They, along with a control group which received health-related emails, were given the goal of exercising 150 minutes per week. Both groups were asked to wear a clinical-grade accelerometer for a week before and after the study to see how much their baseline activity had improved in three months' time. But only half of them received fitness trackers and access to a UCSD researcher to track their goals. Sticking with new lifestyle changes is hard, and Hartman’s team was testing how well the wearables helped keep subjects accountable to their plans.   By the end of the study, published Tuesday in Cancer, they found that women who wore Fitbits were exercising for about 14 more minutes per day than those in the control group. And importantly, the more-active Fitbitters scored higher on an objective measure of cognitive processing speed. While it was the only one of nine examined areas of brain function that showed significant improvement, Hartman says the results are promising. “Breast cancer survivors have the highest rate of cognitive decline after treatments than any other types of cancer patients,” she says. “We haven’t had a lot of good recommendations for them. But now we can say exercise looks like it works.” It was a small study, but Hartman has a larger one planned to see if the results hold up.

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Hackers Breached the SEC, Gained Private Company Data...a Year Ago

Hackers Breached the SEC, Gained Private Company Data...a Year Ago | Internet of Things - Technology focus | Scoop.it
An SEC hack, a Russian dark web takedown, and more security news this week.
Richard Platt's insight:

In the world of finance, where knowledge of even the slightest secret data point about a company's fortunes can give traders an edge, it comes as no surprise that the Securities and Exchange Commission has come into hackers' crosshairs. On Wednesday, feds revealed that hackers had taken advantage of a security vulnerability in the SEC's software, called EDGAR, that it uses to publish companies' financial filings. The breach, according to the Commission's analysis, revealed financial documents that weren't available to the public, giving hackers a potential illegal advantage in any market trading—insider trading from the outside. It's not the first time that EDGAR has had data-control issues. In 2014, EDGAR was shown to be revealing news to some users faster than others, creating an imbalance in trading information for automated high frequency trading systems. And a year later, hackers inserted fake information on the site about a takeover of the company Avon, likely exploiting the shift in the stock's price that news caused.

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Semiconductor CAPEX (Fab equipment) spending breaking industry records 

Semiconductor CAPEX (Fab equipment) spending breaking industry records  | Internet of Things - Technology focus | Scoop.it
2017 fab equipment spending (new and refurbished) is expected to increase by 37 percent, reaching a new annual spending record of about US$55 billion.
Richard Platt's insight:

The latest update to the World Fab Forecast report, published on September 5, 2017 by SEMI, again reveals record spending for fab equipment. Out of the 296 Front End facilities and lines tracked by SEMI, the report shows 30 facilities and lines with over $500 million in fab equipment spending.  2017 fab equipment spending (new and refurbished) is expected to increase by 37 percent, reaching a new annual spending record of about US$55 billion. The SEMI World Fab Forecast also forecasts that in 2018, fab equipment spending will increase even more, another 5 percent, for another record high of about $58 billion. The last record spending was in 2011 with about $40 billion. The spending in 2017 is now expected to top that by about $15 billion.

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IoT Ecosystems, Not Just Devices, Need Security

IoT Ecosystems, Not Just Devices, Need Security | Internet of Things - Technology focus | Scoop.it
Enterprises need to look deeper into full ecosystem security and not just device protection.
Richard Platt's insight:

“The lack of secured integrated system for cross industry applicability is hindering the adoption of (IoT),” said Frost & Sullivan’s Swapnadeep Nayak. “The future Internet of Everything is expected to leverage a common secure cloud infrastructure with a unified application programming interface (API) for all application sectors.”  On the solution provider side of the discussion, IoT security assets and the companies who create them are beginning to generate steam and gain traction. Case in point goes to a recent announcement that ZingBox raised $22 million in a funding series to move its solution forward. ZingBox isn’t alone, of course, as market predictions show a 34.4% CAGR between 2017 and 2022, topping a $29 billion market value in the next half decade.  The reason behind that growth comes down to increasing ransomware attacks on IoT systems, securing the “ubiquitous environment,” and an increasing need for data-centric security. Much of that growth is expected to take place in the North America region.

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Convergence of IoT Applications Can Untangle Cybersecurity Challenges, says Frost & Sullivan

Convergence of IoT Applications Can Untangle Cybersecurity Challenges, says Frost & Sullivan | Internet of Things - Technology focus | Scoop.it
SANTA CLARA, Calif., Sept. 18, 2017 /PRNewswire/ -- The convergence of Internet of Things (IoT) applications with emerging technologies such as artificia
Richard Platt's insight:

Frost & Sullivan's TechVision research, Cybersecurity Innovations in the Connected World, identifies the key technology development areas within cybersecurity ecosystems and highlights security and technology innovations, challenges, primary attack surfaces, major standardization activities, and alliances enhancing security.  "Despite fingerprint technology's higher growth and significant revenue contribution in the past, new technologies such as iris, face, and vein recognition are witnessing strong adoption across industries. These new forms of biometric authentication are primarily focused toward improving the accuracy and flexibility of usage for end-users," said Frost & Sullivan TechVision Sr. Industry Analyst Swapnadeep Nayak. "In addition, advanced analytics is playing a vital role in empowering businesses to draw fast, actionable insights from connected ecosystems while delivering granular segmentation for more accurate analysis."

Key cybersecurity findings in the connected world include:

  • Innovations across the various network layers for enhanced protection covering the network from specific types of attacks;
  • New identity and access management technologies due to growing compliance demands among organizations across industries working on IoT platforms, and
  • Spurt in intrusive prevention and risk analysis solutions tailored for specific sectors to identify unique issues for the ecosystem and prevent cyber-attacks at inception.

Confidentiality and integrity of data and systems can be compromised at any point of time by hackers attacking the connected ecosystem. These security breaches could lead to significant costs for enterprises by disrupting services thereby reducing satisfaction for customers and hampering brand image. Security challenges often faced by organizations include, lack of security standards, lack of comprehensive security solution to mitigate threats, and lack of cross platform security technology.

"The lack of secured integrated system for cross industry applicability is hindering the adoption of Internet of Things. 

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Review: CUJO Smart Internet Firewall

Review: CUJO Smart Internet Firewall | Internet of Things - Technology focus | Scoop.it
CUJO is a smart firewall for the connected home, designed to bring business-level security to the home network.
Richard Platt's insight:

According to a previous report from CNBC, “Experts expect the number of attacks on the Internet of Things (IoT) will likely increase in 2017. IoT includes devices like webcams, DVRs and connected thermostats that make life easier for homeowners, but are susceptible to cyber-intrusions.”  Luckily, there are devices like CUJO. Essentially, you plug the device into your router, and from there it protects all of your devices that are connected to your Wi-Fi network by thwarting malware and hacking attempts.    CUJO detects and blocks malicious sites, viruses, and hacks. Think of it like antivirus for your network. It even lets you control what your kids see online and keep them safe.  It keeps all your sensitive data like credit card information, private photos, and any other sensitive data you don’t want to be exposed from prying eyes.  Previously, if you wanted this sort of protection, you would need some a router like this one (the Asus RT-AC5300) or something like the Norton Core. But if you don’t want to spend that sort of cash, CUJO comes in at just $219. While it’s still a little on the higher side in terms of price, it’s still remarkably less than the options mentioned above. 

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Distrustful U.S. allies force spy agency to back down in encryption fight

Distrustful U.S. allies force spy agency to back down in encryption fight | Internet of Things - Technology focus | Scoop.it
An international group of cryptography experts has forced the U.S. National Security Agency to back down over two data encryption techniques it wanted set as global industry standards, reflecting deep mistrust among close U.S. allies.
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An international group of cryptography experts has forced the U.S. National Security Agency to back down over two data encryption techniques it wanted set as global industry standards, reflecting deep mistrust among close U.S. allies.  In interviews and emails seen by Reuters, academic and industry experts from countries including Germany, Japan and Israel worried that the U.S. electronic spy agency was pushing the new techniques not because they were good encryption tools, but because it knew how to break them.  The NSA has now agreed to drop all but the most powerful versions of the techniques - those least likely to be vulnerable to hacks - to address the concerns.  The dispute, which has played out in a series of closed-door meetings around the world over the past three years and has not been previously reported, turns on whether the International Organization of Standards should approve two NSA data encryption techniques, known as Simon and Speck.  The U.S. delegation to the ISO on encryption issues includes a handful of NSA officials, though it is controlled by an American standards body, the American National Standards Institute (ANSI).

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Worlds Largest Aircraft conducts 1st tests of Stratolaunch's massive engines

Worlds Largest Aircraft conducts 1st tests of Stratolaunch's massive engines | Internet of Things - Technology focus | Scoop.it
Stratolaunch completed testing of the aircraft’s six Pratt & Whitney turbofan engines at the company’s facility at the Mojave Air and Space Port in California on Tuesday, September 19.
Richard Platt's insight:

Named Stratolaunch, the colossal aircraft successfully fired all six of its Pratt and Whitney turbofan engines - each weighing 8,940lbs (4,000kg) - for the first time this week.   The plane is the vision of Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen who wants it to act as a giant air pad in the sky, allowing payloads to reach space faster and at a lower cost than existing technologies.   The aircraft is so huge if it sat in the centre of a football field, it would be wide enough for its wings to reach 12.5 feet (3.8 metres) beyond each goalpost.

Instead of a satellite, the Stratolaunch airplane could launch a Dream Chaser spaceship. This could act as a mini-shuttle to reach low Earth orbit destinations and return astronauts or payloads to a runway within 24 hours.  Test flights were expected for 2016 and 2017, but project delays have pushed back the date to sometime in 2019.

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Your Internet Provider Has Already Hacked Your Smart Home

Your Internet Provider Has Already Hacked Your Smart Home | Internet of Things - Technology focus | Scoop.it
The internet of things has breathed new life into our mundane households and made our homes better, more secure and convenient. But, as this recent study finds, these things come at a steep new cost.
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Welcome, dear user, to the 21st century. Your house is a computer made of bricks and mortar. Your car can drive itself. Everything from the television set in your living room to the juicer in your kitchen, is connected to the internet. Welcome, indeed, to the age of information and data. Where your internet providers can snoop in on your sleeping habits, spy on your security cameras, tell from afar every time you heat water or turn on the microwave. I know it all sounds a little bit paranoid, perhaps even make-belief. But don’t be fooled into thinking that corporations as large as your network service provider don’t already have access to the ins and outs of your home. Especially now, that the new administration has decided to give them even greater autonomy on accessing your private data.

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Why manufacturers should experiment more - the innovations that became a hit

Why manufacturers should experiment more - the innovations that became a hit | Internet of Things - Technology focus | Scoop.it
Smartphone manufacturers over the years have tried a little bit of everything in their attempts to innovate - so we're celebrating breaking the mold.
Richard Platt's insight:

One of the longest sequences of fails has been modular phones, which have been consistently attempted over the years without much luck. The LG G5 with its hot-swap modular approach was probably the best attempt, and it fell flat.  The much more ambitious Project Ara from Google teased us for three years and never saw the light of day.  At Google I/O, Paul Eremenko introduced Project Ara with the somewhat unfortunate words, “there are lots of challenges … so much so that many said it couldn’t be done at all. But we decided to give it a shot and in ATAP fashion we started by turning statements like ‘it’s impossible’ into numbers.” Sadly, those numbers ended up just becoming a negative on a balance sheet somewhere in Google.

But in the failures there are breakthroughs as well. The Moto Z series has breathed some fresh life into modular bits that can bolt on to a base device. Although it must be admitted that Moto Mods and the single camera accessory for the Essential Phone remain somewhat expensive. More to the point, while modular is clearly still a thing, we are still waiting on that “must have” modular accessory.  Samsung Edge display:   The Edge was a risk for Samsung – it wasn’t immediately obvious as to how having one side of sloped glass might improve your experience. In our review, we said the Edge was a mixed bag: the first of its kind (good), but weird-looking and not well-utilised (bad), with plenty of potential (great), but didn’t always work (very bad).  

 

Other honorable mentions: LG V Series and OnePlus X; HTC Edge Sense; Motorola gestures

 

Winner:  Winner: Samsung S Pen

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These routers encrypt everything and anything you do online

These routers encrypt everything and anything you do online | Internet of Things - Technology focus | Scoop.it
Invizbox's routers are intended to stop people from installing a VPN on every device connecting to their network
Richard Platt's insight:

This year both Norton and Asus have released new, privacy-focussed routers. In an age where attacks on data are on the rise, upgrading router hardware is pretty much a no-brainer.

Underlying these big-name launches has been spike in the number of startups developing similar products. One of these, Invizbox, has revealed two new devices.  The Ireland-based startup, which will be speaking at WIRED Security later this month, claims its two new routers will secure all internet traffic. The InvizBox 2 and InvizBox 2 Pro work by being plugged into an existing router via an Ethernet cable. From here, wireless devices connect to the box over Wi-Fi.  Both devices are well-designed (well, for a router) and the InvizBox 2 has a quad-core ARM processor, dual band Wi-Fi, 256MB of RAM and the ability to handle gigabit internet. The higher-end product has a faster processor and more RAM. "While most of us have nothing to hide, InvizBox 2 encrypts all your internet traffic, protecting it from prying eyes," the company says in a statement. Invizbox is running a crowdfunding campaign for both the new devices.

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Get Ready For In-Mold Electronics

Get Ready For In-Mold Electronics | Internet of Things - Technology focus | Scoop.it
Get Ready For In-Mold Electronics Changes in packaging under development for new applications and price points.
Richard Platt's insight:

Imagine inserting the electronics into a product without using a printed circuit board, a module, or even a system-in-package. That’s the promise of in-mold electronics (IME), a technology that has been around for years, but which is just beginning to see wider adoption.  The technology is related to conductive inks and transparent conductive films. The IME manufacturing process is said to produce less waste than using PCBs or flexible printed cables, making it very friendly to the environment and less costly in the long run.  The electronics are fabricated on a “smart skin” that is flexible, formable, and stretchable. The electronics are then combined with plastic through injection molding or standard thermoforming processes. The “smart plastic” then can be used to make lighter and smaller products, such as human-machine interfaces for automotive electronics or consumer appliances.  Holst Centre, the European research and development organization, worked with DuPont and other industry vendors to develop an IME demonstrator that could serve as a center console in vehicles. The project used DuPont’s thermoformable electronic inks and pastes to produce a 3D plastic surface measuring only 1.5 millimeters in thickness.

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This AI engine can detect when people text and drive

This AI engine can detect when people text and drive | Internet of Things - Technology focus | Scoop.it
Imagine, every time a driver gets distracted or starts texting while driving, an artificial intelligence (AI) system detects and warns the driver. Scientists have made such an invention. This system
Richard Platt's insight:

AI uses deep learning and sensor fusion, which builds a complete 3-D map of everything happening around the vehicle to "make better decisions than a human driver ever could".

Infotainment, automation, IoT (Internet of Things) are important aspects of the AI driven revolution.  AI will change everything about road and car safety, reducing the number of accidents on roads.

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How to Stop Pirate Bay and Other Sites From Hijacking Your CPU to Mine Cryptocoins

How to Stop Pirate Bay and Other Sites From Hijacking Your CPU to Mine Cryptocoins | Internet of Things - Technology focus | Scoop.it
This past weekend, the popular torrenting site The Pirate Bay caught some flack for testing out a new system that used visitors’ CPU power to generate cryptocurrency profits for itself. This tactic has been around for years, but the high profile implementation signals that it’s probably time to start blocking this crap. Here’s how it’s done.
Richard Platt's insight:

This past weekend, the popular torrenting site The Pirate Bay caught some flack for testing out a new system that used visitors’ CPU power to generate cryptocurrency profits for itself. This tactic has been around for years, but the high profile implementation signals that it’s probably time to start blocking this crap. Here’s how it’s done.  First of all, you need to determine if you even want to block sites from using cryptocurrency miners in your browser. You probably do, but maybe you’re feeling open-minded about it. The administrators of The Pirate Bay (TPB) wrote a blog post explaining their reasons for doing it after people freaked out. They explained that they were testing out a new service called Coin Hive on the site that would allow them to mine the cryptocurrency called Monero while users have TPB open in a browser tab. “We really want to get rid of all the ads,” the admins wrote. “But we also need enough money to keep the site running.   TPB has some notoriously awful advertisements, and due to the site’s illicit nature, those kinds of ads are all it can attract. Some people might be open to allowing a little bit of their CPU power to be used while they browse in exchange for an ad-free experience. But TPB screwed up in two ways: They didn’t tell users about the test in a prominent way, and apparently due to a “typo” in the miner setup, the miner was using almost all of the user’s CPU power instead of the intended 20-30 percent.  Miners work like a botnet. A user visits a webpage and you might be asked to give permission for the site to use your CPU, or you might not. Cryptocurrencies use a lot of processing power to run a complex hashing algorithm to find a unique string of letters and numbers. Those who do the processing are rewarded for successfully cracking the code. Typically, the older the currency the more time and processing power is necessary to find that unique hash. Mining Bitcoin with a botnet at this point isn’t considered to be worth it. But newer currencies like Monero offer an opportunity for sites as popular as The Pirate Bay to possibly turn a crypto-profit off of its millions of users.

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