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Carcinogenic Evidence Against Nanotubes Continues To Mount | London Calling

Carcinogenic Evidence Against Nanotubes Continues To Mount | London Calling | Internet of Things - Technology focus | Scoop.it
  Hailed as a major technological breakthrough with enormously positive implications for the future design of electronics, even to the point of perpetuating Moore’s Law, carbon nanotubes (CNTs) are now being labeled as potentially...
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Not all sunshine and sausages with carbon nanotubes

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Harvard's Michael Porter: Service Leaders Will Be Hard Hit by IoT Revolution

Harvard's Michael Porter: Service Leaders Will Be Hard Hit by IoT Revolution | Internet of Things - Technology focus | Scoop.it
The Internet of Things transformation will have a big impact on the service and maintenance industries. Here are 4 ways service leaders must adapt.
Richard Platt's insight:

Porter, along with Jim Heppelmann, president and CEO of PTC, summarized their findings from a November 2014 HBR article about how the Internet of Things (IoT) is disrupting various industries, field service included. The pair also spoke about ongoing research on the implications for company strategy and organization, which will be published in HBR later this year.

“Not only is the product changing, the product change is feeding back and changing how companies operate today,” Porter said. “How you run a company is going to change much more dramatically than in previous generations of IT.” 

1. Service businesses will shift from reactive to proactive:  There will be a transformation in the way service businesses are run and organized, as connected products allow technicians to diagnose the problem, or even perform service, remotely. Companies will be able to push updates to products in the field, and analyze product usage data to improve service efficiency and warranty management. As new IoT-enabled technologies take hold, service companies will move beyond the repair model to data-enabled advanced services that add value to customers. Ultimately, Porter said, this model will evolve to “product-as-a-service” as companies design new functionality and extend product life cycles. 

2. Big data will create an entirely new section of the value chain:    Companies will find ways to create value from the constant data stream from both internal and external factors. (Internal data could be product usage and equipment performance information, while external data could include weather conditions.)  Porter and Heppelmann said that, rather than having each division deal with its own data separately, companies need to create a “unified data group,” led by a chief data officer, that can store, aggregate and analyze the data — and work closely with other divisions to uncover insights that create customer value.

3. Product design will require a long-term, integrative approach:  Product design will become “evergreen,” said Porter, meaning products will be continuously re-designed and serviced via remote connections and services once they’re in the field. As a result, companies must find a new approach to product design that accounts for everything that happens after the sale is closed.  In addition, increased connectivity will require manufacturers to look at products within a larger, networked system. A “smart” tractor, for example, will have its own data analytics connections, but it must also interface with other smart machines on the farm.

4. Expect more consolidation and a war for talent: Porter frames the changes led by the IoT as an opportunity for companies to broaden their offerings and lead with innovative product functionality. There are two choices: cling to business as usual, or adapt. Companies that don’t react will have their products subsumed by companies that do. Porter predicts this will lead to further consolidation across industries, allowing companies to expand their market and products through data and IoT functionality. - But the biggest hurdle, Porter said, is likely to be the war for talent. There are currently too few people with the necessary mix of skills to tackle the new challenges presented by the IoT era.



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CJGraham's curator insight, May 12, 11:14 PM

EntrepreneurI'll Endeavors

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Mio Provides Heart Rate Technology to Garmin's First GPS Running Watch with Wrist-based Heart Rate

Mio Provides Heart Rate Technology to Garmin's First GPS Running Watch with Wrist-based Heart Rate | Internet of Things - Technology focus | Scoop.it
Richard Platt's insight:

How Mio Heart Rate Technology Works:  The built-in optical sensor shines light into the user's skin and measures the amount of light returned. The sensor is designed to detect slight changes as blood pumps through the wrist, using an advanced filtering process to produce a reliable and accurate heart rate.

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Gartner: Chromebook sales up 24% over 2014, still huge in education

Gartner: Chromebook sales up 24% over 2014, still huge in education | Internet of Things - Technology focus | Scoop.it
Gartner today released the results of a report finding that Chromebooks in 2015 have continued to see double-digit year-over-year growth for Google with education still as the primary market for br...
Richard Platt's insight:

Despite interest among SMBs (small and medium-sized businesses), the Chromebook’s entrance into the business market has been slow coming. Gartner believes, however, that Google’s increased investment of resources and marketing into the Chromebook for Work suite of applications – Drive, Google Apps for Business, etc – combined with many small businesses’ lack of significant resources to invest in IT, will stoke increased sales to the workplace.  -  “Chromebooks will become a valid device choice for employees as enterprises seek to provide simple, secure, low-cost and easy-to-manage access to new web applications and legacy systems, unless a specific application forces a Windows decision,” said Isabelle Durand, a principal analyst at Gartner.

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When Hardware Met Software: The “Killer Advantage”

When Hardware Met Software: The “Killer Advantage” | Internet of Things - Technology focus | Scoop.it

From Amazon to Zynga, many companies glean powerful business insights from slicing, sorting and analyzing data. But GE Chairman and CEO Jeff Immelt says it is the combination of big iron and big data that gives his company “a killer competitive advantage.”

Speaking yesterday at the Electrical Products Group Conference in Florida, an annual gathering of industrial executives, Wall Street analyst and investors, Immelt said that as a maker of both machines and software like Predix, GE’s “ability to combine the knowledge of the assets, the physics and the analytics,” gave an edge to its customers and to itself...Read More....


Via ManufacturingStories
Richard Platt's insight:

Nice to see someone else make the case for the H/W and S/W combo is the best way to go strategically in the new era of the IoT.

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The Internet Of (Some) Things

The Internet Of (Some) Things | Internet of Things - Technology focus | Scoop.it
In 2015, a modern-day gold rush has taken the technology sector by storm. A recent study discovered that 75 percent of executives surveyed said that Internet..
Richard Platt's insight:

Good Op-Ed piece on the IoT, a lot of points that I definitely agree with.   Strategies are meaningless without measurable outcomes. Before embarking on a mission to garner more data and more insights just because you can, make sure what you are enabling can be explicitly linked to improved business processes or impact.  “Connect” with Care:  Contrary to popular opinion, not every device, object, or person needs to be Wi-Fi-enabled or embedded with other whiz-bang gadgetry.  Be secure, vigilant, and resilient – not just with the devices themselves, but with the seams between devices representing how they communicate, make decisions, and take action. Cyber should be a discipline considered from ideation through roll-out, helping to reach the point of acceptable risk.  Beware of the “Big Data” Effect:  IoT efforts can learn from the hype cycle surrounding big data. Both are based on advances in technology that unquestionably drive business improvements. But, because of the grandiosity of what could be in scope and the magnitude of the potential impact, progress can be stalled while trying to solve for the big picture.  


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3 Biometric Solutions That Work Across Devices

3 Biometric Solutions That Work Across Devices | Internet of Things - Technology focus | Scoop.it
Three Biometric Solutions That Work Across Devices

Via Kenneth Carnesi
Richard Platt's insight:

The IdentityX Platform offers the freedom to integrate existing security systems into an overall security scheme and includes the choice to add new technologies as they become available. You can select from a number of entirely different authentication systems and manage them as part of a holistic security approach. You can even pick and choose your preferred security factors and transition from one authentication system to another in a controlled manner. Daon’s IdentityX Mobile Framework/SDK makes it possible to integrate these biometric features across smartphones, tablets, etc.

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How Many Automation Devices Are Available for the Industrial IoT?

How Many Automation Devices Are Available for the Industrial IoT? | Internet of Things - Technology focus | Scoop.it
Richard Platt's insight:

This focus on connectable devices allows us to ground our assessments in our large database of primary research, a database that covers the range of process automation, discrete automation, and network infrastructure devices used to automate virtually all types of industrial machinery and processes. Focused specifically on connected devices used in manufacturing production, our analysis excludes connected end devices such as automobiles, jet engines, or television sets.  -  While we expected this approach to yield more conservative figures, the results generate a total available market of over 200 million devices worth over US$280 billion by 2019. These large figures were generated in spite of the relatively short five year forecast time frame, plus the inherently slow rate of change in industrial automation. Industrial manufacturers have already accepted the value proposition inherent in connected devices, so the potential to take the next step and connect these devices to the IIoT is evident. Retrofits of installed equipment as well as annual shipments of connected devices will both have a significant impact.

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How the 'IoT' Is Transforming the Meaning of Product

How the 'IoT' Is Transforming the Meaning of Product | Internet of Things - Technology focus | Scoop.it
This week, I attended the PTC Global Live conference. I learned that the transformation of the word “product” continues to accelerate as the already fast-paced evolution of product development technology has been put on steroids by the Internet of Things (IoT). The result is that almost every manufacturer has had to rethink what they are making and selling. Now product can mean a device, a service such as Dropbox powered by software or other technology, a service provided by people, a flow of da
Richard Platt's insight:

The research defined five stages of increasing service models that Oxford Economics called the service continuum:

1. Product Model: Selling the product is the focus. (Lagging.)
2. Service Parts: Parts are sold but maintenance is done by the customer. (Formative.)
3. Field/Service: The manufacturer takes responsibility for break/fix and maintenance when service is required. (Moderate.)
4. Service Contracts: The manufacturer maintains products to meet a specific SLA. (Advanced.)
5. Outcomes-Based Services Model: The manufacturer provides the outcome such as air at 72 degrees or working jet engines. (Best in Class.)

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5 Digital Disruptions from the IoE

5 Digital Disruptions from the IoE | Internet of Things - Technology focus | Scoop.it
TORONTO - When Joseph Bradley is asked if the Internet of Everything is real or if some of the astonishing infrastructure solutions
Richard Platt's insight:

Joseph Bradley, Cisco’s Internet of Everything chief, said this phenomenon is happening today and has led to five core implications on the digital disruption market trend.  They are:

  1. Innovation is more than ideation;
  2. Context is king;
  3. If it doesn’t work on mobile, it doesn’t work;
  4. Real time is too late; and
  5. Data is everywhere, insights are scarce.

“Data is everywhere and I can’t wait for the fence to talks to me. The grass needs to be cut; or the fridge to tell me how low I am on something. Isn’t life going to be grand,” Bradley said jokingly.

The speed of innovation and the agility of solution providers to bring meaningful go-to-market solutions that are Internet of Everything specific will be an on-going challenge. Bradley told the story of how he purchased a used Chrysler PT Cruiser for his daughter. It was his child’s first car. She takes it on the freeway and the oil-light comes on in real time, he says. Then the car blows its engine.   -  “Real time is too late. That oil-light came on in real time, but it’s too late. Today it’s about predictability,” he added.

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Tracing Some of Big Data’s Big Paradoxes

Tracing Some of Big Data’s Big Paradoxes | Internet of Things - Technology focus | Scoop.it
Just as Big Data has the ability to make the world transparent, the data collection itself often is invisible, executed by tools and techniques shrouded in layers of privacy, Guest Contributor Randy Bean writes.
Richard Platt's insight:

Professor Richards identifies the three paradoxes:

1. The Transparency Paradox. Prof. Richards cites our movement past the Internet of Things to the “Internet of Everything”. Cisco Systems Inc. projects that 39 billion intelligent devices will connect to the Internet by 2020. So, to quote Prof. Richards, “Big Data promises to use this data to make the world transparent, buts its collection is invisible, and its tools and techniques are opaque, shrouded by layers of physical, legal, and technical privacy by design.” Wow!
2. The Identity Paradox. Prof. Richards observes that while Big Data seeks to identify, it also threatens identity, by removing anonymity and our “right to be left alone.” He cautions that the power of Big Data can also be the power to use information to “nudge, to persuade, to influence, and even to restrict our identities.” Hmm.
3. The Power Paradox. Prof. Richards reflects on how Big Data enables us to develop a more informed picture of the world, and cites the Arab Spring as a positive example of the power of information. He cautions though that “Big Data will create winners and losers, and it is likely to benefit the institutions who wield its tools over the individuals being mined, analyzed, and sorted.” OK. Maybe I need a drink now.

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Cisco Tests ‘Internet of Things’ in its Supply Chain

Cisco Tests ‘Internet of Things’ in its Supply Chain | Internet of Things - Technology focus | Scoop.it
As it preaches the ‘Internet of Things,’ technology giant Cisco is looking at its own supply chain as it seeks energy savings in manufacturing.
Richard Platt's insight:

Cisco following Intel's similar move to install IoT devices in it's factories to provide proof of concept this time with its own supply chain fully wired, Cisco has been installing thousands of sensors in a plant in Malaysia to monitor and reduce energy consumption. The team leading the project believes that implementing the system throughout Cisco’s worldwide production sites will help reduce energy consumption by 20% to 30%, translating into tens of millions of dollars in cost savings.  “In 60 to 90 days we’re hoping to prove it,” Cisco has been looking at broader supply chains as a part of its efforts to spread the idea of Internet of Things, the term for the web-enabled connections that can allow devices to transmit information about such things as energy consumption or productivity. Cisco’s Consulting Services group, for instance, is working with logistics provider DHL on a project to send real-time data on warehouse operations, for instance. 

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Could your next iPhone have an 'invisible' display? Apple patents a hidden transmission of data

Could your next iPhone have an 'invisible' display? Apple patents a hidden transmission of data | Internet of Things - Technology focus | Scoop.it
The Cupertino-based company said the 'invisible' data could be in the form of machine readable information, such as barcodes, security details or QR codes that is meaningless to the user.

Via Kenneth Carnesi
Richard Platt's insight:

The idea is that iPhones will someday have two displays; one that a user can see, and another display embedded beneath to transmit hidden data.  This could be in the form of machine readable information, such as barcodes, security details or QR codes that is meaningless to the user.  -  The concept, titled 'Invisible Light Transmission via a Display Assembly,' was discovered in a patent application this week by Apple Insider.  -  The multi-display concept could work using a single display that has pixels that quickly switch between visible and invisible information, according to the patent documents.  -  Apple claims this would allow an app to present visible information that is relevant to the user, while hidden code could be given to machines such as a check-out scanner.


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Merce Colom's curator insight, May 12, 4:28 AM

Interesante, dos tipo de informaciones en un solo dispositivo

Sieg Holle's curator insight, May 12, 11:59 AM

Food for thought  should you allow "smart " intrusions into your life ? Do you value your privacy? 

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Wondering how to hack a Military Drone? It's all on Google

Wondering how to hack a Military Drone? It's all on Google | Internet of Things - Technology focus | Scoop.it
Israeli security experts have warned the US that drone hacking research is freely available online.

Via TechinBiz
Richard Platt's insight:

Israeli security experts have warned the US that drone hacking research is freely available online.

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Russell R. Roberts, Jr.'s curator insight, May 9, 1:12 AM

We've been warned.  The time is coming when our weapons will be used against us. Hopefully, someone in the defense establishment is listening.  Especially vulnerable are the video downlinks from a drone to its ground station.  Aloha, Russ.

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This is what consumers want from their connected car — and how they want to pay

This is what consumers want from their connected car — and how they want to pay | Internet of Things - Technology focus | Scoop.it
Connected-car services could generate $152 billion in revenue in 2020.
Richard Platt's insight:

Business Insider selling their analysis services via a report, some interesting points though: Key takeaways from the report:


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Revealed: The NSA's plan to 'hijack' Android app stores

Revealed: The NSA's plan to 'hijack' Android app stores | Internet of Things - Technology focus | Scoop.it
The goal was to exploit the connection between smartphones and app stores to allow the NSA to inject malware into phones, according to the documents.
Richard Platt's insight:

It's not clear whether the plan was ever carried out; the documents are apparently from internal workshops. But they highlight the security agencies' interest in finding new ways to hack into individual smartphones.  The agencies were also interested in exploiting the app stores for purposes other than data collection.

But the agencies wanted to do more than just use app stores as a launching pad to infect phones with spyware. They were also keen to find ways to hijack them as a way of sending “selective misinformation to the targets’ handsets” as part of so-called “effects” operations that are used to spread propaganda or confuse adversaries. Moreover, the agencies wanted to gain access to companies’ app store servers so they could secretly use them for “harvesting” information about phone users.  The documents also suggest that the agencies uncovered security vulnerabilities within UC Browser, an Android browser extremely popular in Asia.

UC Browser apparently makes large amounts of user data accessible, which the documents describe as creating "opportunity where potentially none may have existed before.”

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Samsung licenses SRI's Iris Biometric-Embedded Products for Mobile B2B Applications

Samsung licenses SRI's Iris Biometric-Embedded Products for Mobile B2B Applications | Internet of Things - Technology focus | Scoop.it
SRI International today announced an exclusive license of Iris on the Move® (IOM) technologies to Samsung for use in Samsung mobile products.

Via Kenneth Carnesi
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This Glass Toaster Can Cook Shrimp & Steak

Italian appliance company Bugatti showed off a new glass toaster that uses semiconductors inside glass to heat everything from toast to meat.

Via ManufacturingStories
Richard Platt's insight:

The functional advantage is that instead of the air around your toast heating the toast, now Bugatti is doing it with glass in direct contact with the food being heated.  Less burning of the food than other kinds of ovens or burners, at least that is the promise of this technology.

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NTT DoCoMo unveils smartphone with iris scan security

NTT DoCoMo unveils smartphone with iris scan security | Internet of Things - Technology focus | Scoop.it
Move over Knock Codes and fingerprint scanners, Japan’s NTT DoCoMo has unveiled its new Arrows NX F-04G smartphone that uses iris scanning as its security method of choice.

Via Kenneth Carnesi
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Iris scanning now on mobile

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Cops scan social media to help assess your ‘threat rating’

Cops scan social media to help assess your ‘threat rating’ | Internet of Things - Technology focus | Scoop.it
Failure to update who lives at a particular residence, for example, could transform a green rating into a red rating -- turning a midday knock on the front door into a nighttime SWAT raid.
Richard Platt's insight:

Perhaps the most serious issue is that such systems may be used as pretext in unconstitutional investigations. John Shiffman and Kristina Cooke reported for Reuters last year that a secretive Drug Enforcement Administration unit regularly funnels information to other law enforcement agencies in order to launch criminal investigations. This information is frequently acquired via intelligence intercepts, wiretaps and informants. As the FirstNet national wireless network rolls out, federal-state coordination will likely increase opportunities for police to receive sensitive information from powerful federal agencies.  -  Data-mining gives police significantly more information to create reasonable suspicion for suspects that federal agencies flag. Officers could receive a search or arrest warrant with the help of information gleaned from Beware and other databases, like those tracking license plates. If an arrest follows, data-mining helps provide the police with the legal pretext to engage in these fishing expeditions. Defendants will likely have no opportunity to challenge the legality of the original surveillance that led to their arrest.  -  As predictive policing investment ramps up, and local police and federal agencies increasingly coordinate, more secrecy becomes more valuable. Local police and prosecutors often refuse to disclose how they gain information about defendants because federal agencies prohibit them from discussing these technologies. In Baltimore, for example, police recently dropped evidence against a defendant rather than reveal information about cellphone tracking that the FBI did not want disclosed in court.

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IoT M&A activity surges

IoT M&A activity surges | Internet of Things - Technology focus | Scoop.it
Companies have already spent more on mergers and acquisitions related to the Internet of Things in 2015 than was spent in all of 2014.
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"While the Internet of Things is still in its infancy in terms of industry adoption, the deal-making accelerates unabated, and we see no end in sight. The IT service and infrastructure leaders of the future will require broad and deep competencies in IoT, and those bets are being made now," said Brian Partridge, VP of the 451 Research mobility team. "The 2015 numbers left little time to even question our prediction that market forces would accelerate deal activity beyond 2014."   -  Semiconductor-related acquisitions have accounted for the bulk of movement so far. ARM, Intel and NXP have eached announced two or more deals driven by IoT position taking. The biggest deal was NXP's $11.8 billion acquisition of Freescale Semiconductor that will increase the firm's reach in key IoT markets, with connected cars at the forefront.  -  Other companies making deals related to IoT in 2015 include Amazon, ARM, Brocade, PTC, Silver Spring Networks and British Gas.

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Apple's In-Depth Fingerprint Related Patent Describes new Functionality for Security, Gaming, Scrolling & Beyond

Apple's In-Depth Fingerprint Related Patent Describes new Functionality for Security, Gaming, Scrolling & Beyond | Internet of Things - Technology focus | Scoop.it
Our first patent report this morning was titled "Apple Advances their OS X "Quick Look" Feature for iOS iDevices using an Intense Touch Gesture." In this second report, we see Apple extending their thinking from the first patent that we covered. In this patent filing Apple delivers a mind boggling overview of where fingerprint technology may go as Touch ID was just the tip of the iceberg.
Richard Platt's insight:

Apple notes that in some other embodiments, the Home Button could be a virtual button and a specific gesture detected by fingerprint sensor causes activation of the button.  Whether Apple will choose to start with the design above and then evolve the Home Button to becoming a pop-up gaming joystick as Apple revealed in a patent in January is unknown at this time.

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Making Sense of the 'IoT': Connectivity doesn't inherently make something better

Making Sense of the 'IoT': Connectivity doesn't inherently make something better | Internet of Things - Technology focus | Scoop.it
Trying to think about one of the hottest trends sweeping the tech industry—IOT, or the Internet of Things—has me a bit befuddled, to be honest. On the one hand, I understand the conceptual potential of a world where everything is…
Richard Platt's insight:

An Op-Ed piece not with merit:  "Another problem is that there’s a tendency to overanalyze and over-complicate what IOT applications actually are or should be. At this point, I’d argue that many people perceive IOT as being an extraordinarily complex combination of devices, services, business models, value equations, etc. In fact, the big IOT visions that many vendors and analyst firms are touting seem dependent on creating this vague sense of something that, I’d argue, doesn’t necessarily amount to anything.  -  The big IOT visions that many vendors and analyst firms are touting seem dependent on creating this vague sense of something that, I’d argue, doesn’t necessarily amount to anything.

In some cases, these visions are also based on false presumptions around the inherent value of data and connectivity. I believe we need to think about some of these key premises in a different way. Specifically:

  • Data does not equal information
  • Not all information is actually useful
  • Connectivity doesn’t inherently make something better

On their own, most of these statements are fairly obvious, yet it seems like many early efforts to create products that fit into the Internet of Things or Internet of Everything world seem to ignore at least one (if not all) of these precepts. How many different “smart objects” have we heard or read about lately that just make you scratch your head wondering what they’re really good for or who would actually use them?

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Hacking vulnerabilities with the IoT: Risks and security loopholes

The Internet of Things opens up a world of possibilities for our connected lives. But what if a hacker could gain control of the things that mean the most to us. Here we investigate some possible hacking scenarios that could just happen.
Richard Platt's insight:

Great list of examples of why and how the vulnerabilities have been created - more work for designers to make sure that they don't make the same mistakes.

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Samsung Set To Unveil New Chips To Power IoT

Samsung Set To Unveil New Chips To Power IoT | Internet of Things - Technology focus | Scoop.it
The Artik system-on-a-chip series will make it easier for even small-fry developers to power the next wave of smart gadgets.

Via Ensil
Richard Platt's insight:

Samsung has officially said that Chief Strategy Officer Young Sohn will “reveal a major company milestone that will enable the new wave of groundbreaking Internet of Things devices and services.”  -  A system on a chip (or SoC) integrates all the key components of a mobile computer onto a single chip, including memory, sensors, accelerometer and gyroscope, and crucially, radio frequency functions.  -  Samsung’s best-known system-on-a-chip is the Exynos, a powerful ARM-based chip found primarily in Samsung’s Galaxy line of smartphones. An earlier SoC from Samsung also powered Apple’s first iPhone in 2007.  -  The Artik SoC is different because it’s aimed at a range of hardware developers both large and small, not just big clients like Apple or Samsung’s own mobile division.  -  Samsung has previously pledged to make all of its electronic gadgets and appliances connected by 2020, and the Artik system on a chip series will play a key role in making that happen.

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Ensil's curator insight, May 12, 11:34 AM

Samsung continues to make bold tech and R&D moves as its smartphone profits fluctuate, moving further now into the Internet of Things space.

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Study finds Gamers have greater Cognitive Function & more Grey Matter

Study finds Gamers have greater Cognitive Function & more Grey Matter | Internet of Things - Technology focus | Scoop.it
Gamers everywhere rejoice!  It turns out that gaming prowess is an indication of a better connected brain.  This latest conclusion was drawn from research which looked at the cognitive function of Action Video Gamers (AVGs) of different levels of proficiency. For the ‘noobs’ out there, action video games subject the gamer to physical challenges, including hand–eye coordination and reaction-time games. This could be racing or fighting for example.

Via TechinBiz
Richard Platt's insight:

Gamers are smarter than than the average person

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chris's curator insight, May 8, 1:38 PM

Yes! I thought I was getting smarter having played Borderlands the last two years. Now there's proof.

Russell R. Roberts, Jr.'s curator insight, May 9, 12:55 AM

A peek into our intellectual future. Most of my students can run circles around me when it comes to computers and math and science games.  But, what happens when the power goes out or an EMP strikes the Earth courtesy of man or an X-class flare?  All of our intricate digital electronics will suffer and fail.  Recent X-class flares have torn up HF (high frequency or shortwave) propagation recently. Another "Carrington Event" could put all of us back in the 19th century real quickly.  It pays to have a backup plan.  The Internet of things is highly susceptible to failure, either by fanatics dedicated to spreading human misery or by the power of our nearest star. Remember, these digital devices are magnificent tools, but, as with all tools, breakage is possible.  How many cell phone companies and ISPs have redundant systems in place in the event of an emergency? Our brain is the best tool we have, and it may have to function in a totally analog world once again.  Aloha, Russ.