Friday, 24 June 2016

Amazon, Google and Volvo Want to Seamlessly Integrate the Internet of Things Into Your Life

CANNES, France—The internet of things (IoT), as a topic, has had marketers buzzing for a few years now. As it slowly becomes a reality in the lives of average people, some brands are getting out in front of the space more than others.

But there's an emerging concept within IoT known as calm design, explained Haydn Sweterlitsch, chief creative officer at HackerAgency, who spoke at Cannes Lions earlier this week. Calm design is all about creating technology that blends seamlessly with regular life, where consumers don't have to necessarily focus on a device or feature while using it. A teapot is an old-world tech example, where one doesn't have to be in the same room to know that the tea is ready thanks to the whistle.

According to Sweterlitsch, Amazon, Google, Telsa and Volvo are brands leading the calm-design movement. None of the brands are his clients, to be clear. In the video below, he explains why those companies already have a competitive advantage.


What other problems could calm design solve? This is a great question. The [internet of things] is going to fundamentally change how people relate to technology, so the tectonic shifts in marketing are really only the tip of the iceberg. The world of tech follows Darwinian principles. Only the platforms, devices and products that gain traction with users or industry segments survive. And beyond survival, for successful technologies to really thrive, they must continually adapt and evolve as user needs and the ecosystem changes. With the velocity of progress we're seeing in AI, robotics and data, we're on the threshold of an absolute explosion in connected, intelligent technology, right? We can only imagine what new strains and demands this will cause on the already frayed and frantic psycho-emotional state of the average user. As Mark Weiser predicted: The scarce resource of the 21st Century won't be technology, it will be attention. Calm design is an effective, elegant and empowering way to have meaningful, useful interaction that doesn't add to the noise and toxicity of our hyper connected world. Our prime functions, as humans, should be thinking, feeling, relating, deciding and acting—not computing. With the ubiquity of connected technology that we'll be immersed within, things may fast-forward from magic to manic to toxic. Calm design and the atmospheric approach to marketing will help allow humans to remain human, in a very real way. And that, in and of itself, is huge.

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BlackBerry's Radar, Internet of things meets trucking system, critical to turnaround

BlackBerry's Radar could be compelling evidence that the company can use its mobile, embedded systems and security knowhow to grow in new industries.

BlackBerry has talked internet of things, beefed up its software business via acquisition, has an asset in QNX that is powerful in the auto industry, but hasn't created a product or service that's fresh and organic in the new era.

Could BlackBerry Radar, which is designed to track trailer assets in the trucking industry, be that product?

We all know the hardware business that made BlackBerry famous is in decline if not going to zero in the years ahead. Given that decline, BlackBerry wouldn't be crazy to eventually exit the device business entirely.


According to Chan, Radar's total addressable market is $2.1 billion in hardware and $1.7 billion in annual recurring. Should Wal-Mart be a Radar customer, other industries would follow.

In these industries, companies want an end-to-end integrated system since it doesn't make sense to cobble together one. BlackBerry's hardware is a standalone monitor that is installed on the door of a trailer. From there, the device connects to the mobile network.

The bigger picture here is that BlackBerry's Radar could be compelling evidence that the company can use its mobile, embedded systems and security knowhow to grow in new industries.

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What’s being done to improve security for the Internet-of-Things?

We’ve all heard by now that the internet of things is inherently insecure and personal data related devices handle could end up in the hands of wrongdoers. One could assume some security measures could be set in place to prevent that from happening.

While that is true to some extent, security researchers have found several common vulnerabilities in IoT devices that traditional “smart devices,” such as laptops or smart phones, would have never got away with. Connectivity between IoT devices is often exploited, especially when it involves in-transit data encryption, default (or lacking) authentication credentials, or vulnerable communication protocols.

Updates and Patches?

Besides hard-coded passwords and open remote connection ports, some smart devices can be difficult to patch by non tech savvy users. For instance, some smart thermostats may require users to manually download updates on removable drives, mount them, and then apply the necessary updates manually.


What should be done?

Following best practices already established in the industry in recent decades, any IoT device that hits the market should support a software update mechanism and enforce basic security. We’ve been educated to use strong passwords and encryption on our PCs and mobile devices for years, but we haven’t been educated to apply the same scrutiny to IoT devices as well.


Integrated Home Network Security for IoT

One way of going about the problem of security IoT devices is going at the gateway level and simply plugging in a device next to your home router that’s able to quickly and seamlessly identify all household smart devices and protect them from outside attacks.


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Thursday, 23 June 2016

How the Internet of Things can lead to cleaner, liveable cities

Across the world, governments and companies are waking up to the potential of networked technologies to improve productivity and raise standards in the waste management and cleaning industries.

You may not be able to hear or see it, but around the island, thousands of litter bins, trash cans, and neighbourhood waste compactors are silently broadcasting to cleaning crews when they are full, beckoning to be emptied.

This is just one of the many ways that the Internet of Things is having a profound impact on daily public services, where ordinary, everyday objects such as waste bins and soap dispensers are networked and connected to each other and to the information superhighway. Amid rapid urban growth, the Internet of Things can make cleaning and waste management more efficient for healthier, more liveable cities.


"Besides raising productivity, other benefits include new insights arising from the data thus collected through IoT systems, which could potentially open up new business opportunities." said Patrick Pang, chief technology officer, National Environment Agency (NEA)


“The system not only facilitates the move towards needs-based waste collection, it also optimises the deployment of resources and improve service delivery,” Pang adds.


One future trend is to integrate machines with buildings. That’s not a sinister cyborg future – a rather prosaic example Pang gives is allowing robotic floor scrubbers to ‘talk’ to a building’s lift system, so they can ride the lift and access all the building’s floors with no human operator needed.

And the IoT will deliver a mountain of data for as-yet-unforeseen uses.

Pang adds: “Besides raising productivity, other benefits include new insights arising from the data thus collected through IoT systems, which could potentially open up new business opportunities.”

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Internet of Things mushrooms in Chicago thanks to Midwestern industrial infrastructure

Raymond Hightower remembers exactly the moment he has learned the meaning of the word “Internet.” But when it comes to the phrase “Internet of Things,” the universe of IoT, he is clueless as to when and where he heard the phrase for the first time.

“The Internet of Things has just flooded into computer science,” said Hightower, a 52-years-old native of Chicago and software development entrepreneur. “Nowadays, everybody is experimenting with it, with the same excitement we were experimenting with the Web in 1993.” Hightower himself is currently exploring how to integrate the IoT with the apps for business his company WisdomGroup produces and sells. And he’s not the only one who sees potential to generate revenue by using IoT applications in the Chicago area.

The Midwest – and the Windy City in particular – is positioned to be a leader in the emerging IoT sector, according to a report released in April by the Illinois Technology Association. The inventory of the number IoT companies includes 75 headquartered in Illinois, some of them well-established or even public (such as Gogo Wireless or Motorola Solutions). But the majority are new-born.


A product connected to the Web is the idea that most people have about IoT. “For example, if I left the garage door open, a sensor would send me a notification,” said Don DeLoach, 55, member of the executive committee of the Illinois Technology Association for the past five years. However, the IoT is far more than that. To explain what the IoT is, DeLoach describes a 5-step process involving an everyday object – a dishwasher.

Step One is simply a machine that washes dishes.

Step Two is a dishwasher with some programmable functions – a smart product.

Step Three is a dishwasher that the owner can control remotely, by using a smartphone – a smart connected product.

Step Four is a dishwasher that is part of a home network – a system.

Step Five is a dishwasher that can use information by accessing another system. For example, a dishwasher that is aware of its own energy utilization by tapping the energy system for a residence – a system of systems.

“The IoT is the technology from Step Three to Step Five,” says DeLoach.


“IoT requires a lot of hardware support,” said Scasny. “Do we really need to spend money in sensors? Most sensors have also batteries that needs to be replaced from time to time. How should batteries be replaced in a network that consists of, say, 10,000 sensors?”

Lakeview resident Brent Uzelac, a 32-years-old project manager for a major IoT corporation, is not concerned at all about the downsides of the IoT.

“As long as I use Internet of Things for my purposes, I don’t have any privacy concern,” said Uzelac. “Internet of Things is a sort of child of the telegraph: a tool to make lives better.”

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Wednesday, 22 June 2016

Internet of Things to reach 25 billion devices within five years

A new study from research firm Gartner suggests that there will be 25 billion connected devices in use by 2020, and that the Internet of Things (IoT) will support total services spending of $263 billion. At the moment, they are forecasting 4.9 billion devices during 2015, which will be an increase of 30 per cent from this year, and spending of $69.5 billion. It believes the IoT sector has already become a powerful force for business transformation, and its disruptive impact will be felt across all industries and all areas of society.

“The digital shift instigated by the Nexus of Forces (cloud, mobile, social and information), and boosted by IoT, threatens many existing businesses,” said Jim Tully, VP and distinguished analyst at Gartner. “They have no choice but to pursue IoT, like they’ve done with the consumerisation of IT.”


“Government will take the number three spot as it invests in smart street and area lighting for energy saving reasons,” said Tully. “Utilities will move to the number one position because of investment in smart meters.”


“The number of connected intelligent devices will continue to grow exponentially, giving smart things the ability to sense, interpret, communicate and negotiate," said Prentice. “CIOs must look for opportunities to create new services, usage scenarios and business models based on this growth.”


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5G will have a profound effect on the Internet of Things

This story was delivered to BI Intelligence IoT Briefing subscribers. To learn more and subscribe, please click here.

The next generation of cellular technology, 5G, will power networks at speeds far greater than the current 4G can handle.

BI Intelligence, Business Insider's premium research service, expects 5G, when fully deployed, to increase network capacity to handle the increase in data that will be transmitted by the more than 34 billion connected devices on the planet by 2020. And 24 billion of those will be IoT devices.

A recent Ericsson survey found that 95% of leaders at mobile network operators believe that 5G will help support the surge in data from these IoT devices.


It’s not science fiction. This “next Industrial Revolution” is happening as we speak. It’s so big that it could mean new revenue streams for your company and new opportunities for you. The only question is: Are you fully up to speed on the IoT?


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The Internet of Things is facing challenges with scale

It’s one of the core tenets of any business or technological initiative: In order to achieve mainstream success and widespread adoption, the primary concept must be able to scale. Sure, it is a great proof of concept if you can effectively deploy a technology in one location, but if you want to make a major impact, you have to be able to replicate that ability across many places.

Unfortunately, achieving scale often does not come easy — or at all.

Because of often minor (and sometimes major) differences between locations, environments, equipment, personnel, processes and many other factors, the solutions put together in one context often do not work in another.

Early adopters of Internet of Things products and technologies in business environments have started to discover that these scale challenges are very real. As a result, their IoT deployments are moving at a much slower pace than they originally hoped. In fact, many organizations are still in the POC (proof of concept) stage for IoT, even after several years of trying.


IoT in business environments is not a product or even a technology, it’s a process. That makes it extremely challenging to scal


So, does this mean all is lost when it comes to Enterprise IoT and that we’ll one day look back on it as yet another technological passing fad? Hardly. There is a reason the vision of billions of connected devices and all the potential information and capabilities they can enable is such a compelling concept. There is a real "there" there, and the prospective value IoT offers is an attractive proposition that will keep smart people and smart companies working toward bringing at least some of its potential to life for some time to come.

The timelines for when any meaningful payoffs arrive and the pace at which the technology will actually be deployed, however, are in need of some serious reexamination. Achieving scale in a process-driven business will not come quickly, and companies at all levels of the IoT value chain need to adjust their expectations accordingly.

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Tuesday, 21 June 2016

Here's how the Internet of Things will explode by 2020

The Internet of Things (IoT) has been labeled as "the next Industrial Revolution" because of the way it will change the way people live, work, entertain, and travel, as well as how governments and businesses interact with the world.

In fact, the revolution is already starting.

That brand new car that comes preloaded with a bunch of apps? Internet of Things. Those smart home devices that let you control the thermostat and play music with a few words? Internet of Things. That fitness tracker on your wrist that lets you tell your friends and family how your exercise is going? You get the point.

But this is just the beginning.

BI Intelligence, Business Insider's premium research service, has tracked the growth of the IoT for more than two years, specifically how consumers, businesses, and governments are using the IoT ecosystem. John Greenough and Jonathan Camhi of BII have compiled an exhaustive report that breaks down the entire IoT ecosystem and forecast where the burgeoning IoT market is headed. And you can learn more and purchase the report here: The Internet of Things Ecosystem Research Report.


The choice is yours. But however you decide to acquire this report, you’ve given yourself a powerful advantage in your understanding of the fast-moving world of the IoT.

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What's Next for the Internet of Things (IoT) in Personalization

More and more brands have jumped on the IoT bandwagon. We have an excess of wearables—activity trackers, smartwatches, smart glasses and sneakers, and more—that track seemingly endless datapoints.

But here's the funny thing... Most consumers don't even know what IoT is, and unless there's a compelling and meaningful benefit from it, they don't really care. "Socks that monitor my foot landing? Maybe if I was an elite runner, but I'm not. So, why should I pay extra for this irrelevant feature?"

Creating more wearables that track data shouldn't be the aim of brands; delivering meaningful, tangible relevance to their users should be.

Enhance Personalization Capabilities and Experiences

We're in a period in which the IoT pendulum is still swinging. Initially, it swung toward "smart for smart's sake," and many brands remain in that corner. But many brands are also gradually opting for more strategic approaches. They're taking a breath and stepping back to examine both existing and potential IoT experiences, asking themselves whether their products lend real value.


Where IoT Experience Transpires

I bought a connected scale at the Apple Store the other day. My expectations for this high-tech "body analyzer" were off the charts... but all the scale does is weigh me. The real activity and experience —wellness recommendations, diet plans, my home's indoor-air quality—happens in various apps it syncs with. The scale just gathers the data.


Equilibrium With IoT Pendulum

Eventually, the pendulum will swing back in the other direction, and we'll reach an IoT equilibrium.

Consumers will expect devices they use and items they wear to be connected and add value to their lives. We'll expect scales to weigh us, assess our body fat, and sync with our mobile device for personalized recommendations. Connected devices will be just another touchpoint in our increasingly digital lives.


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Fulfilling the Promise of the Internet of Things

Like much of my writing these days, I started drafting this article while I was on a flight for my business trip. The roaring of the massive turbo engines just about 10 feet away reminded me about the nuggets Jason Mulvin, Chief Data Architect at GE Aviation, shared at Gartner EIM Summit in Dallas earlier this year.

These engines generate massive amount of data from each flight, in the range of 2TB per two-hour trip. This is huge data. And at the same time, very important for the aviation industry so they can make sense of this sensor data to identify how tens of thousands of these engines are performing and determine their next best step.

Data is the lifeblood of every organization today. The emergence of new types of transactions, interactions, and Internet of Things (IoT) data means organizations are dealing with data flowing at breakneck speed. However, the struggle for organizations is not in collecting this data, but how they can make that data actionable.


In my recent ComputerWorld article, I shared a story about GE Aviation. GE connects Owner, Operator, and Monitor information in MDM to real-time streaming data generated from the engines that are powering flights around the world. Since the engine’s performance data is identified by the aircraft tail number and engine position, MDM can relate the tail and position of the plane to the Engine Serial Number (ESN). This allows GE to link all the constituents together and get a complete picture.

An early repair of the engine may make it expensive for GE to operate, while a delay may cause flights to break down potentially causing life-threatening situations. Given there is a flight taking off every two minutes somewhere in the world, it is critical for GE Aviation to understand the location, the operators, and the performance of the engine, so they can make the best decision based on the insights their data provides.

Similarly, there are a number of industries that can benefit from IoT and MDM. - Wellheads are the most valuable assets of oil & gas companies that are at the brink of IoT revolution. Every wellhead today is geared with sensors that analyze different aspects of its performance and connecting this streaming data to core information about wellhead and its position managed in MDM is critical to derive insights. - For utility companies, smart meters come to the rescue by measuring customers’ consumption more accurately and at more frequent intervals. By connecting customers, the meters they have installed, and the data generated from those meters can provide better visibility to customers’ monthly consumption patterns. - Logistics and delivery firms track traffic and weather patterns to develop more efficient delivery routes that get packages to customers’ doors more quickly.


The value and impact of the Internet of Things (IoT) on business are huge…and extend far beyond this article! But one thing remains constant with all the case studies I’ve observed: Master Data Management provides context, an absolute necessity that ensures companies get actionable insights and maximum value from IoT data.

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Samsung Shows Dedication to IoT with $1.2 Billion Investment and R&D

World’s largest manufacturer of consumer electronics pledges to work collaboratively with industry and government to bring IoT to scale and improve quality of life for people everywhere

Samsung Electronics Vice Chairman & CEO Dr. Oh-Hyun Kwon unveiled today Samsung’s vision for ‘Human-Centered IoT,’ including a strategy to spend $1.2 billion over 4 years for U.S.-based Internet of Things (IoT) R&D and investments. This will be led by the Samsung Strategy and Innovation Center, Global Innovation Center and Samsung Research America, part of Samsung’s U.S. footprint of more than 15,000 employees across the country.

Vice Chairman Kwon delivered this news in a speech as part of a Samsung-hosted forum in Washington, D.C. The event, entitled Internet of Things: Transforming the Future, brought together technology industry leaders with policymakers and influencers to discuss the many ways IoT can benefit society, and how to tackle the challenges that remain in bringing it to scale.


“I am excited to show how we are moving IoT to the center of our strategy and am delighted to announce that Samsung is planning to spend $1.2 Billion in U.S.-centered IoT investments and R&D over the next 4 years,” said Vice Chairman Kwon.

“At Samsung, putting people at the center of everything we do is our highest value,” said Kwon. “The same must be true for IoT if we want to realize its full transformative power. Today, IoT is changing individual lives – helping people to age in their own homes. But tomorrow, using IoT, we can give the same independence to millions of Americans. We can keep people out of hospitals and nursing homes. As our populations live longer, these benefits and cost savings for society cannot be ignored.”


This announcement, Vice Chairman Kwon reinforced, “is not about the first steps – that’s because IoT is already happening all around us. It’s time to imagine the transformative potential of IoT for our societies – and learn how to achieve its human, social benefits at scale.”

The event is part of Vision for Tomorrow, Samsung’s recently launched public affairs platform for cross-sector collaboration around issues affecting the policy dialogue in the U.S. and around the world.

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Here's A Whiff of the Future for the Internet of Thing

My air freshener is connected to the internet. Now I know what the internet of things smells like: floral notes covering up overpriced hardware and overcomplicated software that provide a marginal benefit.

When the Febreze Home internet-connected plug-in air freshener arrived in the mail this month, I opened the box and beheld yet another questionable impulse buy. I ordered it during this year's Consumer Electronics Show in January just after Procter and Gamble announced it. If this was a typical Kickstarter project, it would have arrived in time for the 2017 holiday season after several competitive products already hit the market. P&G actually stuck to its promised ship date, which is the most remarkable aspect of this product's debut.

This harbinger of the connected home offers a whiff of what's ahead for marketers, manufacturers and consumers. Here is how Febreze Home holds up on some key attributes:


What's next? Someone, somewhere at P&G is probably trying to figure out which other brands' products will connect to the internet. Dawn? Gillette? Charmin? Pampers? It all sounds crazy now, but give it time. How long before a 25-cent diaper automatically tracks a baby's output and flags caretakers when something seems amiss?

There are limits, of course. Few companies will have the resolve to launch and iterate these products until they become viable for the mass market. Kudos to P&G for getting this in market, adhering to its schedule, and offering a whiff of the future. The current odor doesn't smell right, but it will be replaced soon enough.

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Samsung Electronics says to invest $1.2 billion in U.S. for 'internet of things'

Samsung Electronics Co Ltd (005930.KS), the world's top smartphone maker, said on Tuesday it plans to invest about $1.2 billion in the United States over the next four years on so-called internet of things (IoT) technologies.

In a statement, Samsung said it will make the investments through its Silicon Valley arms such as the Samsung Global Innovation Center in order to develop relevant technologies and strengthen cooperation with startup companies. The firm did not elaborate on its plans.


The South Korean firm said separately it and Intel Corp (INTC.O) have partnered to form the National IoT Strategy Dialogue, an organization composed of industry and academic members that will discuss IoT-related issues such as privacy protection and advise U.S. policymakers on IoT-related regulation.

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Internet of things: 4 free platforms to build IoT project

Easy to use comparing IoT Platforms table. Building IoT project is a process that could involve the step of finding free platforms. As you may know, Internet of things is a set of physical objects that use network support to exchange data. These objects can be sensors, software, boards and so on. This is an interesting ecosystem where the software can be connected directly to real hardware or devices. The most known board for building internet of things project are Arduino (with its several versions) and Raspberry.

Integrating these devices with cloud platforms is possible to collect and analyze data, create “smart” object that can be controlled remotely.

One way to control such devices is using smartphones like Android and iOS devices. Dev Boards like Arduino or Raspberry are cheap and everyone can experiment IoT projects.

Cloud IoT platforms help developers and maker to build IoT project and test them fast and easily. It is useful to compare IoT Platforms so that it is possible to select the right one according to our needs.


The table above summarizes some aspects of these platforms, that i think they are important. The aim of this comparison is to provides some high-level information about existing IoT platforms and i invite the readers to read carefully each platform features directly on the respective website, before using it.

The are other platforms that can be mentioned here like Xively or Sensorcloud that provide interesting services even if I still haven’t time to use them.

As you can notice, there are several type of platforms with different services, every platform has its unique aspects and it is up to developers and makers to choose the right one according to the project needs.

This list comparing IoT platforms wants to help other developers when starting with an IoT project.

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Salem-based company builds connectivity for the Internet of Things

The team behind Rigado, a company that specializes in development of low-energy Bluetooth modules for Internet of Things applications, got off to a youthful start.

While growing up together in Ohio, founders Ben Corrado and Justin Rigling were both fascinated by low-power radio frequency technologies. In high school they decided to enter a competition to create the longest distance 802.11b Wi-Fi network. The two journeyed to Las Vegas, where — after building a fleet of custom antennas and drawing on their deep understanding of low-power radio networks — they managed to send a Wi-Fi signal 124.9 miles across the Nevada desert, breaking the then world record.


“We knew how to build projects together and how to overcome pretty complex obstacles,” said Rigado co-founder and CEO Ben Corrado. “Even back in high school Justin and I were talking about forming a business together based on radio frequency connectivity.”


“We’re also seeing a lot of interest from developers in the IoT space for wearable, smart home and connected health and fitness applications,” said Corrado, adding that the company is an official partner in a developer program by camera-maker GoPro. “Some of the biggest fitness companies in the world are using our Bluetooth products to connect treadmills and elliptical trainers to smartphones to enable a variety of health and fitness apps.”

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Internet of Things Vulnerable in a Connected World

Last year, hackers took over a Jeep Cherokee travelling on a highway in the United States. They breached the vehicle’s Uconnect system from some 15 kilometers away with a single laptop, controlling everything from the car’s air conditioning system to the windshield wipers.

The age of the Internet of Things, or IoT, is just ahead of us, but security systems remain a significant cause for concern. The bigger problem, however, is that the more ‘things’ are connected, the bigger the consequences.

IoT is fast-expanding to a multitude of areas, from connected cars to smart homes. IC Insights, a market research institute, predicts the emergence of up to 3 billion new IoT devices every year from 2016 to 2019. Another tech research firm, Gartner, even predicted that some 500 devices in an average home will be connected to each other by the year 2022.

Despite excitement for a utopia-like lifestyle, these devices, all connected via communications networks, will become more and more vulnerable to cyberattacks.


According to a survey conducted by the Korea Internet & Security Agency last September, 24.6 percent of 3,000 respondents said ‘guaranteed stability against malfunctions’ when asked what they thought was the priority task in boosting the smart home market, while 20.5 percent chose ‘information security’.

During an interview with Yonhap News Agency, Katherine Gagnon, an information security officer at the UN, said, “The industry is most active in trying to implement IoT solutions. Therefore, the best solution is for the industry to step forward in providing security solutions for these devices, as well as strengthening their systems.”

More specifically, experts claim that manufacturers should reinforce cross-authentication methods between devices and servers, and increase their efforts in malignant code detection and prevention.

“There needs to be a more professional security standard specifically for IoT,” said Lee Gi-taek, president of HARU (Hackers Reunion). “They need to improve the security levels of the devices’ operating systems, and upgrade their specifications.”

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Four Areas of Security Vulnerabilities Presented By IoT

The developments in technology and the dawn of the Internet have completely revolutionized every industry on this planet. The evolution of Smartphones coupled with smart applications has introduced new venues of innovation for our society. But that was only a start to the age of connectivity that we've yet experienced, with promise of a lot more to come.

The world is projected to experience another technological revolution in the coming months and years. It is referred to as the Internet of Things (IoT) by IT specialists. The IoT is basically a network of physical objects accessed through the internet that can use embedded technology to identify themselves to other devices and interact with internal states or external conditions. The IoT is an environment where an object that can represent itself becomes greater by connecting to the surrounding objects and to the extensive data flowing around it.


Since the internet gave birth to most of these problems, one way to eliminate them is to secure the internet from such threats. For this, you need to have a powerful and secure VPN to eliminate all these threats. A VPN encrypts all the communications being released from your devices, thus restricting hackers from reading it or getting access to it. Those who subscribe to a dedicated IP, provided by these VPN services, can further secure their accounts by restricting access to only that particular IP address.

PureVPN provides its users with all of the above services. There are plenty of other security features present too, and it's the fastest VPN service on the planet! Risks in the form of cybercrime vulnerabilities will undoubtedly increase in the near future. Subscribe to PureVPN now and get protection against these vulnerabilities.

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IBM Launches New Initiatives to Advance Developer Skills for the Cognitive Era

IBM launched new global programs and tools designed to propel developers’ skills and advance their careers around cloud and emerging technologies, such as cognitive and IoT. These initiatives include collaborations with Coursera and GitHub, which aim to reach millions of developers globally.

The announcements were unveiled in Bangalore at IBM DeveloperConnect to more than 10,000 developers across India, who attended in person or virtually via Livestream. Key highlights of the news include:
- A collaboration with Coursera to strengthen developers’ skills in India with new courses focused on cloud and IoT
- developerWorks Career Concierge, a cognitive learning tool that delivers personalized resources to advance developers’ skills
- The general availability of GitHub Enterprise on Bluemix Dedicated, the first collaborative coding platform delivered as a managed service
- New cloud tools for Swift and Watson designed for mobile development and cognitive apps


To provide an easy entry point into cognitive and help developers infuse Watson capabilities into their apps more seamlessly, IBM has launched the Watson Developer Cloud Application Starter Kits, which provides code examples based on common use cases. Developers can leverage Business Intelligence (combining AlchemyLanguage, AlchemyData News and Tone Analyzer) to analyze news and social media, the Conversational Agent (combining Dialog and Natural Language Classifier) to guide users through a series of tasks in natural language rather than long form, and Audio Analysis (combining Speech to Text and Concept Insights) to extract concepts from a stream of audio and make recommendations based on those concepts.

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Monday, 20 June 2016

Make sure the Internet of Things isn’t a route for hackers to get into your home or workplace

As more and more Internet-connected devices find their way into our homes and businesses, it’s important to remember that they represent a security risk. The Internet of Things (IoT) is growing rapidly, and in the rush for convenience, our privacy and safety is often an afterthought. Leaving them unsecured is the digital equivalent of leaving the back door unlocked.

1. Don’t connect your devices unless you need to.

2. Create a separate network.

3. Pick good passwords and a different password for every device.

4. Turn off Universal Plug and Play (UPnP).

5. Make sure you have the latest firmware.

6. Be wary of cloud services.

7. Keep personal devices out of the workplace.

8. Track and assess devices.


If you’re dealing with sensitive data or you’re concerned about privacy, then make sure you have a long hard look at the IoT devices you’re considering. What security protocols do they support? How easy are they to patch? Do the providers have a proper privacy policy? It’s not safe to assume they’re secure because all too often they simply aren’t.

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Let’s make Ireland the world’s internet of things island

The internet of things revolution has washed ashore in Ireland, but to unlock the potential for thousands of new jobs, local heroes in the form of county council leaders and entrepreneurs need to step into the breach, writes John Kennedy.

Ireland is full of unexpected surprises. For a country that has had no choice but to have a world view just to survive over the centuries and recent decades, sometimes our politics and policies can come across as twee, insular, suffocatingly local and with a lot of tunnel vision thrown in. You could apply this across a plethora of issues from water charges and domestic waste charges to health and education.

And then, out of the blue, you discover amazing people doing amazing things that are extraordinarily visionary and ahead of their time.


“Irish businesses and farmers have been quick to understand the benefits that the Sigfox dedicated IoT network provides,” said Mark Bannon, CEO of VT Networks last week.

The IoT revolution can have a host of benefits for dealing with health-related issues and especially chronic health issues that clog up resources in Irish hospitals. Among the projects being tested using technology as a bedrock is a project by North-East Doctor on Call (NEDOC) to enable paramedics to visit patients and facilitate a remote diagnosis by GPs and consultants, as well as the use of internet of things (IoT) sensors in the home to monitor patients’ welfare.


We need more towns like Crossmolina to experiment with smart technologies like street lighting.

We need more county councils like those of Cavan and Mayo to open the doors to innovation and remove unnecessary infrastructural roadblocks.

All we need is imagination and innovation in the most unexpected places. The jobs will follow.

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US Department of Homeland Security awards Factom funding for blockchain IoT project

The US Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has awarded blockchain application developer Factom $199,000 to advance the security of digital identity for Internet of Things (IoT) devices.

DHS Science and Technology Directorate awarded the funds for a project titled "Blockchain Software to Prove Integrity of Captured Data From Border Devices"; proposals for Securing the Internet of Things (IoT), were submitted under the Silicon Valley Innovation Program (SVIP), said a press release.

The program was launched in December 2015 to encourage non-traditional performers to offer solutions to some of the toughest threats facing DHS and the homeland security mission, it said.

"IoT devices are embedded within our daily lives – from the vehicle we drive to devices we wear – it's critical to safeguard these devices from adversaries, said DHS Under Secretary for Science and Technology Dr. Reginald Brothers. "S&T is excited to engage our nation's innovators, helping us to develop novel solutions for the Homeland Security Enterprise."


The goal is to limit would-be hackers' abilities to corrupt the past records for a device, making it more difficult to spoof.

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Thursday, 16 June 2016

List of Books on Internet of Things

Not just your car, what if your refrigerator, AC, microwave and all other digital devices become your every day companion? Such is the world, we humans have promised ourselves in near future. Undoubtedly, there is a long road to achieve this end state, but the work has already begun.

The massive upsurge in the availability of data in last few years have fueled this passion for breakthrough innovation. The idea of making human life faster and comfortable is the essence of discovering “Internet of Things”.

This concept is fairly easy to understand. Let me explain it in one line: “Internet of things means connecting things (digital devices) with internet”. IoT is majorly driven by data, sensors and actuators. With basic programming skills, anyone can build variety of useful products.

If you are curious to know more about it (I’m sure you would), reading books is the best way to nourish one’s curiosity. Therefore, I’ve listed some of the best books to make you familiar with complete picture of Internet of Things (IOT).

1. The Second Machine Age: Work, Progress and Prosperity in a Time of Brilliant Technologies
2. Getting started with Internet of Things
3. The Silent Intelligence
4. IoT Disruptions: The Internet of Things – Innovation & Jobs
5. Meta Products: Building the Internet of Things
6. Everyware: The dawning age of ubiquitous computing
7. Trillions
8. Designing Connected Products
9. Learning Internet of Things
10. Big Data and The Internet of Things
11. The Design of Everyday Things


After reading these books, you’ll realize that the real impact of data revolution is yet to be seen. Using data for building predictive models is just the tip of the iceberg. The real usage of personal data will be seen once connected devices get the life some of these books describe. That will be a world where humans will be busy engaged with personal devices and would have no time enjoy the natural scenery. Well, everything has a cost. Right ?

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10 Predictions for the Future of IoT

A Google search for “Internet of Things” term reveals over 280,000,000 results, thanks to the media making the connection between the smart home wearable devices, and the connected automobile, IoT has begun to become part of the popular parlance. But that’s not the complete picture, according to Gartner’s Nick Jones, vice president and distinguished analyst “The IoT demands an extensive range of new technologies and skills that many organizations have yet to master,” he added “A recurring theme in the IoT space is the immaturity of technologies and services and of the vendors providing them. Architecting for this immaturity and managing the risk it creates will be a key challenge for organizations exploiting the IoT. In many technology areas, lack of skills will also pose significant challenges.”

In the coming years, IoT will look completely different than it does today. IoT is a greenfield market. New players, with new business models, approaches, and solutions, can appear out of nowhere and overtake incumbents. But business is the key market. While there is talk about wearables and connected homes, the real value and immediate market for IoT is with businesses and enterprises. The adoption of IoT will be much more similar to the traditional IT diffusion model (from businesses to consumers) than the consumer-led adoption of social media and personal mobility.


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Combatting the evil Internet of Things

A recent survey of over 400 global IT security pros revealed that fears over the security of connected devices has risen sharply since last year. 86% of respondents to security analysts Pwnie Express' survey said they were worried about device threats - with 50% either 'very' or 'extremely' concerned. Many had even witnessed attacks first-hand.


To combat the threat of the 'evil Internet of Things', much needs to be done, at both an individual or company level, and at a broader industry level.

• Hard-wiring security into every device: IoT manufacturers and vendors need to consider the evolving nature of security in their product development from the outset. Achieving IoT security from the ground up involves ensuring the rigorous encryption is ‘baked’ into the devices themselves.

• Taking responsibility: Organisations embedding and allowing connected devices onto their networks must develop strong controls to ensure no weak links in the chain. This could include ‘bring your own device’ policies to manage mobile devices and wearables in the workplace, thorough analysis and testing of any IoT vendor they’re using, and information security policies to manage the protection of sensitive data.

• Achieving standardisation: Many current machine-to-machine protocols were designed to be fast and efficient on local closed-loop networks. Now that we’re connecting many of these devices to the open-loop IP standard, their vulnerabilities are becoming clear. In the modern, connected world, the devices need to comply with the established security protocols to ensure they can be safely patched into the global internet.

• Focus on the information that’s being secured: As individuals, we’re generally comfortable with vast amounts of personal data stored with ecosystems managed by the likes of Apple, Google and Facebook. As businesses, we need to adopt the same diligence as these digital leaders, in focusing on the protection of personal data from employees, customers, partners, and other stakeholders.

• Threat detection and early response: The threat landscape is in a never-ceasing state of evolution. So with all these other practices in place, attacks are still possible. It’s essential for organisations to develop the instrumentation to quickly spot any attacks, and minimise the damage.


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Product or Service? Making wise decisions with the Internet of Things

The technology that lets us control our smart thermostats and wireless door cameras is a part of the Internet of Things (IoT) ecosystem. In order to make everyday objects “smart,” we equip these “things” with sensors, processors and wireless communication capabilities. The IoT sounds like a consumer fantasy or a science fiction come true.

The convenience of turning off the home lights from miles away or leaving the grocery purchase to the refrigerator when milk needs to be replenished sounds technologically interesting. However, there is more to the IoT than the technological lifestyle enhancement by using smart devices. The actual potential of IoT lies on the corporate side, enabling organizations to collect and analyze data from sensors on equipment, pipelines, weather stations, meters, delivery trucks, traffic lights, automobiles, healthcare devices and other types of machinery.


Choosing IoT analytics solution wisely. Building analytics solutions that can handle the scale of IoT solutions isn’t easy, but the right technology stack makes the challenge less time consuming. These data storage, management and analytic solutions need to be chosen wisely [6]. Basic steps of IoT analytics include:
- Number protocols enable the receipt of events (or transactions) from IoT devices. It doesn’t matter whether a device connects to the network using Beacon, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, cellular or a hardwire connection, only that it can send a message to a broker using a defined protocol (e.g., Message Queue Telemetry Transport, Constrained Application Protocol, XMPP).
- Once a message is received by a broker such as Mosquito, you can hand that message to the data hosting and analytics system. A best practice is to store the original source data before performing any transformations.
- This unstructured message data can be stored in Hadoop, Hive or Couchbase-type NoSQL document databases, or it can be stored in big SQL databases after transformation. Most of the time, data from devices in their raw form are not directly suited for analytics. Quality and transformation steps need to be followed to clean the data and complete the missing data.
- After transformation, this data needs to be stored in a NoSQL or SQL database for analysis. Apache Storm is explicitly designed for handling continuous streams of unstructured data in a scalable fashion, performing any calculation that you can code over a boundless stream of messages. There is an ongoing debate about using Hadoop type of framework to analyze unstructured data or using Big SQL databases for large relational structured data.
- After data storage and in-memory metric development, analytic tools like Tableau, BIRT, Pentaho, JasperReports or similar tools can be utilized to create any required reports or visualization.


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Internet Of Things: Where Is All The Data Going?

The Internet of Things (IoT) is no longer happening in a galaxy far, far away. It’s happening right here, right now. It may be in your pocket, on your wrist, in your clothes – heck, it might even be helping you drive your car.

In fact, IoT is moving so fast, we’re actually on the third wave , according to a panel of experts who weighed in on the topic during a recent episode of Internet of Things with Game-Changers, presented by SAP. However, a nagging question arises when it comes to this third IoT wave: What’s going to happen to all the data that’s being collected?


Gray Scott, futurist and founder/CEO of believes questions remain around IoT data collection because technology is moving faster than we can cope with.

“The main thing I’m concerned with right now, is getting people to understand that the Internet of Things is already in their lives,” said Scott. “So if you look around your house, either your television, refrigerator, or some of your appliances – they are probably already connected.”


While the general populace may not want to admit it, we are living in a post-privacy world. Anything put online is made public and everything that can be hacked, will. The question is what do we do with all of that data? Can we rise to a higher state of humanity and not just use data for advertising purposes, but to make our lives more convenient?

“I think we don’t mind giving up some of our personal information if it benefits us,” said JR Fuller. “It makes for a very interesting time, especially companies that can add value to bridge the gap and help enterprises achieve the benefit that we know are possible with IoT.”

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Tuesday, 14 June 2016

The Consumer Internet of Things is About to Explode

In industrial manufacturing, machine-to-machine communications allows sensors in one place to communicate with control systems for an automated response.

For example, if the temperature in a commercial food processor reached a critical high, a sensor could send that information through a supervisory control and data acquisition system. In response, the control system could trigger a cooling system to bring the temperature down. No human interaction was necessary and plant operations sailed along without any downtime.

To allow these communications, devices had to be connected to each other and to larger systems using standard protocols like wifi, Bluetooth and Zigbee. These systems are referred to as the industrial Internet of Things (IoT).

While the industrial IoT got an earlier start, the consumer IoT is not far behind and it is going to be big. Really big.


More and more consumer devices are being connected. The IoT gives marketers a whole new perception of what ‘place’ even means in the multi-channel universe. Think about how your products might fulfill customer wishes to make their lives easier. Then build that service right into your products.

With the right underlying back-end commerce platform, adding new channels is easy, so the only limitation is your imagination and your ability to conceive of your products in a booming consumer IoT.

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5 challenges to Internet of Things

It's a bright Saturday morning and I wake up to heavy metal music blasting out from my Smart Alarm clock which I recently got from Kick starter.

Even before I manage to get myself out of slumber, the alarm system at my house suddenly spurns up an alert about somebody breaking into my house. While amidst this hara-kiri, my Nest alarm notifies me about the alarming levels of Carbon Monoxide inside my house.

But I was alive and kicking and no one had entered my house. What had transpired was a classic case of hacking of some of the home automation devices. While this was a hypothetical situation, it's pretty close to becoming the reality if certain measures are not taken.


While IoT brings about new opportunities; at the same time, it adds multiple layers of complexity. Such a new environment of devices will add a new dimension for policy makers in emerging economies who will need to chalk out a new blueprint for IoT related regulatory concerns.

The future lies in interconnected devices but how we manage them will decide how our Digital future is shaped.

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The Internet of Things Is Too Confusing

Apple ’s annual bash for its loyal software developers takes place this week in San Francisco, and hopefully the company can rally those programmers around a problem threatening to engulf the mobile-computing world.

It isn’t a problem with Apple (ticker: AAPL), and it isn’t limited to the world of Apple phones and computers. It’s a problem affecting the entire mobile industry, with the proliferation of gadgets that connect to apps on smartphones and tablets.

That expanding constellation of devices, often referred to as the Internet of Things, or IoT, is so beset with complexity that it just doesn’t work for the average consumer.

THE PROBLEM WILL BE FAMILIAR to anyone who has purchased a digital camera, or any of hundreds of other “connected” electronics: You take your spiffy new device out of its packaging and turn it on, and an arcane process begins to connect that gadget to an app on your smartphone or tablet.

Once you’ve got it all working the first time, the next several days, weeks, or months of owning the thing will be spent just trying to make sure it keeps working. Frequent “timeouts,” when your phone loses track of the new device, mean you will waste your time trying to nurse back to health that connection between the device and the phone, over and over again.


MAKING THE SITUATION WORSE is that IoT crosses the boundaries of different vendors, including chip makers such as Qorvo; the smartphone makers they serve, such as Apple; other operating-system makers such as Alphabet ’s (GOOGL) Google, whose Android software dominates smartphone unit sales; and then the individual device makers. “Computing systems are getting so complex that the value to be extracted from them requires all these systems to work together,” says Links.

Some of the companies involved, like Apple and Google, are enemies, and they aren’t keen on standards in the industry that could threaten their fiefdoms.


AN ANALOGY CAN BE MADE to WiFi wireless networking, which was birthed in 1991 but didn’t take off broadly until Steve Jobs put it into Apple’s iBook laptops in 1999, says Links.

Looking at the current mess of IoT, and understanding how badly it needs to be simplified and how the industry ignores the plight of the average individual, it’s hard not to pine for a Jobs-like epiphany.

“Steve was a brilliant person,” says Links. “Not so much for being an inventor, but rather his genius was in seeing that the market was ready for a new technology, and making sure it all worked flawlessly.”

But, says Mathias with a sigh, “we don’t have too many people like Jobs in the industry these days.”

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NSA Looking to Exploit Internet of Things, Including Biomedical Devices, Official Says

THE NATIONAL SECURITY AGENCY is researching opportunities to collect foreign intelligence — including the possibility of exploiting internet-connected biomedical devices like pacemakers, according to a senior official.

“We’re looking at it sort of theoretically from a research point of view right now,” Richard Ledgett, the NSA’s deputy director, said at a conference on military technology at Washington’s Newseum on Friday.

Biomedical devices could be a new source of information for the NSA’s data hoards — “maybe a niche kind of thing … a tool in the toolbox,” he said, though he added that there are easier ways to keep track of overseas terrorists and foreign intelligence agents.

When asked if the entire scope of the Internet of Things — billions of interconnected devices — would be “a security nightmare or a signals intelligence bonanza,” he replied, “Both.”


But NSA can’t ignore the potential that biomedical devices might be hacked by outsiders, too. Ledgett said no NSA employee has needed an internet-connected biomedical device yet — but that when it does happen, it will be a concern for an agency that doesn’t allow for cellphones.

“We haven’t figured that out yet,” Ledgett said.

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Protecting Trade Secrets in the New Industrial Age of the Internet of Things

While the rapid emergence of the Internet of Things has been well publicized in the area of consumer products, less attention has been given to one of the Internet of Things’ largest areas of growth—devices designed for businesses. These interconnected business devices, sometimes referred to as the “Industrial Internet of Things,” are revolutionizing the way businesses collect and use data. With all the promise of these new technologies come new risks to businesses—particularly in the area of protecting valuable trade secrets.

This article provides an overview of the Industrial Internet of Things, demonstrates how trade secrets can be put at risk by the Internet of Things, and provides practical guidance on how a business can protect trade secrets in this new industrial age of the Internet of Things.

What Is the Industrial Internet of Things?

Although consumer-facing devices—like wearable computers, personal health trackers, connected home security systems—have received the bulk of the Internet of Things hype[1], industry experts contend that “the vast majority of new uses of devices are by enterprises, not consumers.”[2] Indeed, in its 55-page Staff Report on the Internet of Things, the Federal Trade Commission devoted only a couple of sentences to the industrial use of the Internet of Things, recognizing that the Internet of Things “can include the type of Radio Frequency Identification (‘RFID’) tags that businesses place on products in stores to monitor inventory; sensor networks to monitor electricity use in hotels, and Internet-connected jet engines and drills on oil rigs.”


How Does the Internet of Things Put Trade Secrets At Risk?

In a recent study at the University of California, Irvine, researchers were able to reverse engineer a 3D printed object just by listening to the sounds emitted by the 3D printer.[8] While this does not necessarily implicate the Internet of Things, this anecdote illustrates that with new technologies come new ways to steal intellectual property. Among intellectual property theft, trade secret theft is a large concern. One study estimates that economic loss attributable to trade secret theft is between 1% to 3% of U.S. Gross Domestic Product, representing hundreds of billions of dollars.[9] Moreover, several of the technologies most at risk for trade secret theft—information and communications technology, advanced materials and manufacturing, medical devices and pharmaceutical technology, and agricultural technology — are developed by the same companies leading the push into the Industrial Internet of Things. Reports of actual incidents of trade secret theft from U.S. companies have confirmed these fears.



The business-to-business application of the Internet of Things presents new and exciting opportunities to improve efficiencies and generate revenue across industries. As the use of these technologies expands, the need to legally protect trade secrets is an important consideration that should be taken into account when contracting with other parties, classifying data, and implementing security controls.

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Nokia : Smart Home solution connects residential customers to the Internet of Things

Espoo, Finland - Nokia today announced a new Smart Home solution that lets network operators quickly offer new services to residential customers seeking a digital home solution for the Internet of Things. The solution supports an array of sensors, plugs and other connected devices essential for the delivery of home security, automation and smart metering services, providing customers with a fully integrated, simple, plug-and-play experience.

With the number of IoT connected devices expected to grow from 1.6 billion in 2014 to between 20 and 46 billion by 2020, network operators are seeking new ways to help subscribers leverage the Internet of Things in all aspects of their lives. Providing operators with a single box solution, Nokia's smart home gateway lets subscribers easily monitor and control everything inside the home with a smartphone or a tablet, including temperature and motion sensors, door and window sensors, smoke detectors, light switches and security cameras.

Jonathan Collins, Research Director for Smart Home at ABI Research said: 'The broad Smart Home market is still fairly young. As a leading IoT segment there is clear potential for rapid growth and with that new revenue opportunities for network operators. However, critical to growth will be providing interoperability between myriad devices. Increasingly operators must ensure that the residential smart home device they deploy can support multiple protocols in a single device, including Wi-Fi, ZigBee and Z-Wave.'


Federico Guillén, president of Fixed Networks, Nokia, said: 'With the rapid growth of IoT and increasing number of smart devices in the home, residential customers are seeking a single solution that is simple to install and easy to manage. In a very fragmented market, network operators have a unique opportunity to stand out from other OTT players and position themselves as the smart home providers of the future. The Nokia Smart Home solution offers operators the chance to get ahead of the IoT trend and provide customers with a simple plug-and-play solution that is fully interoperable with the leading Wi-Fi technologies and standards needed to manage smart devices and applications. It will also help operators provide new smart home security and automation services that can generate additional revenue opportunities and further enhance customer loyalty.'

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U.S. Gov't: The Internet of Things Is A Security Disaster Waiting To Happen

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) is aware we live in a connected world. Americans wear Fitbits, have Nest thermostats, use automated light systems from companies like Belkin and Philips, even have televisions that predict what they want to watch. But in a new report, the FTC has a warning: Existing privacy regulations don’t really cover the Internet of Things, and the Commission doesn’t really trust device manufacturers to do the right thing—or even be aware of the risks of collecting all that data.

In a staff report issued this week, the FTC warned that makers of connected health, home, and transportation devices could potentially leave their users vulnerable to data hacks. Most of all, the FTC is concerned that private information will be used to jack up users' insurance rates or deny them access to loans.


The FTC also chided device manufacturers for poor security, and specifically expressed worries that companies won’t pay attention to security for the entire life cycle of a product. They noted that manufacturers have a propensity to "orphan" connected devices as newer, shinier models come along.

In related news, the United Kingdom's telecommunications regulator Ofcom today announced regulatory plans for connected devices.

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Thursday, 9 June 2016

Internet of things: Closing security gaps in internet-connected household

IT security experts from Bochum, headed by Prof Dr Thorsten Holz, are developing a new method for detecting and fixing vulnerabilities in the applications run on different devices -- regardless of the processor integrated in the respective device.

In future, many everyday items will be connected to the Internet and, consequently, become targets of attackers. As all devices run different types of software, supplying protection mechanisms that work for all poses a significant challenge.

This is the objective pursued by the Bochum-based project "Leveraging Binary Analysis to Secure the Internet of Things," short Bastion, funded by the European Research Council.


Helping faster than the manufacturers

"Sometimes, it can take a while until security gaps in a device are noticed and fixed by the manufacturers," says Thorsten Holz. This is where the methods developed by his group can help. They protect users from attacks even if security gaps had not yet been officially closed.

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The Internet of Things that Really Matter

Early examples of the “potential” of the Internet of Things (IoT) patently failed to inspire enthusiasm worthy of (what has been rightly termed) the fourth industrial revolution. Prefixing everyday items with “smart” quickly became ubiquitous, with “smart” toasters and kettles negating the apparently now unacceptable effort of journeying far into one’s kitchen and manually flicking a switch. This ill‑considered trend of labelling everything and anything as “smart”, for me, clouds the true potential of IoT. Today in an attempt to clear the fog, u‑blox positions that proper, valuable potential as the Internet of Things…that Really Matter. So what really matters? What applications of the IoT will genuinely benefit our lives? The list grows longer by the day though the majority can be categorized neatly into the connected vehicles, connected city and connected industry.

Connected Vehicles

To many, their first thought when hearing “connected vehicles” is naturally their own car, where infotainment has led the way in inspiring consumers to the possibilities of their vehicle itself connecting to the Internet. In addition to music and videos, Internet connectivity enables integrated satellite navigation systems to maintain live traffic information and to guide drivers. This is but a small step relative to the revolution that new V2X architectures offer.

V2I (vehicle to infrastructure) allows two‑way communication between the vehicle and its surroundings. In the short term V2I is tasked with improving traffic flow, fuel consumption, parking availability and locality of electric vehicle charging points; in the longer term it is paving the way for widespread fully autonomous driving.

V2V (vehicle to vehicle) creates a world where our vehicles communicate with one another, each employing the collective pool of data gathered by a daisy‑chain or mesh of vehicles to autonomously make decisions to improve our safety, whether that’s maintaining safe speeds, distances, or reacting to an accident instantly a mere few vehicles ahead.

V2P (vehicle to pedestrian) will protect those without the luxury of a metal shield, our pedestrians. Our vehicles will gain an awareness of pedestrians within close proximity of its travelling path and alert the driver, or take control from the driver altogether, to avoid a collision. With an increase in incidents of phone‑obsessed pedestrians walking into traffic, concepts to alert pedestrians via their smart phone are being explored. Though how that message is conveyed if it must enable a pedestrian to take evasive action instantly, must be carefully considered.

Connected City

So many opportunities exist within our cities to improve the efficiency of the vast background infrastructure that today we take for granted. Migrating that infrastructure to rely on connected and increasingly autonomous devices carries significant risk, so necessitates unparalleled security requirements alongside flawless quality of data, in both accuracy and reliability.


Connected Industry

Increasingly labelled Industrial IoT (IIoT) or Industrie 4.0, the connected industry is already revolutionizing the way we work, wherever that may be. In heavy industry, connected machinery enabled to organize its own preventative maintenance averts catastrophic failure, while gathering real‑time data on the manufacturing floor drives plant efficiency improvements that reduce operational costs and environmental impact.


u‑blox has been connecting fundamentally scalable devices both robustly and reliably since 1997, nearly two decades before “IoT” or the more prosaic term “M2M” hit the headlines.

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Copyright, the Internet of Things, and the End of Ownership

People don’t want to own anything anymore. They much prefer licenses that let them use it.

At least that’s what lawyers from The Software Alliance—a trade group representing the likes of Microsoft and Adobe—and the Motion Picture Association of America told the Copyright Office.

Through an unlikely sequence of events, I found myself sitting across the table from them late last month at a series of “roundtables”—hosted by the Copyright Office—on copyright law. Unlikely, because I’m a repairman. Copyright law should have nothing to do with me. But it does. Why? Because over the last 20 years, manufacturers and entertainment lawyers have warped copyright law to screw consumers, undermine property rights, and create huge amounts of unnecessary legal work for people who want to repair their cars or back up their DVDs.

The public has been asking Congress to address the problem of copyright law for years. So, last year, lawmakers directed the Copyright Office to conduct a handful of studies to figure out (a) what’s wrong with Copyright law and (b) if it’s fixable. Hence the roundtables. Eventually, the Copyright Office will turn the information they glean here (and elsewhere) into a set of findings.


Kit Walsh of the EFF told the Copyright Office that some of these licenses, often tacked onto the end of manuals or click-through screens, assert outrageous restrictions upon users. Nest’s licensing agreement prohibits owners from discussing performance evaluations of software with third-parties, which—as Walsh pointed out—curtails free speech. Most people don’t know, because they don’t read the fine print. At 3,000 words, Nest’s pages-long agreement, filled with esoteric language, is painful to read. Every piece of software in your life has an agreement like this. It’s not impossible to read every single agreement—but it’s incredibly impractical. A reporter from The Guardian tried, and he spent eight hours of his week reading licenses before giving up entirely. People mostly just click “I AGREE” never realizing these agreements often prohibit reverse-engineering, aftermarket modifications, and even “unauthorized” repair.


“Letting those devices trump the autonomy of the people who are using them is a very dangerous thing,” Walsh warned the Copyright Office last week.


“That’s where this yellow brick road leads,” Andrew Shore, Executive Director of the Owner’s Rights Initiative, told the Copyright Office. “The more you have licenses, the less you have ownership.”

The funniest thing about Congress’s request for a policy study is that members of Congress have already proposed solutions to this problem. Representative Blake Farenthold already introduced YODA, the You Own Devices Act—which asserts that the software in a device belongs to the person who bought it. And Rep. Zoe Lofgren already introduced the Unlocking Technology Act, which would let owners unlock devices for uses that do not infringe on copyright—like repair, modification, and research. Both fixes stalled in committee. But I’m hoping these studies provide Congress with the proof they need to patch the bugs in the DMCA. And to find solutions that work for the rest of us, instead of just entertainment companies.

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