Samsung is securing its smart TVs before they control your house

Samsung has announced a new “three-layer security solution” named GAIA for its range of smart TVs, with the aim of securing information stored on the devices themselves (e.g. account passwords and…

Sourced through Scoop.it from: www.theverge.com

Samsung has announced a new “three-layer security solution” named GAIA for its range of smart TVs, with the aim of securing information stored on the devices themselves (e.g. account passwords and credit card information) as well as data transmitted “between the TV and [Internet of Things] service servers.”  This last point is particularly important given the company’s recently-announced plans to turn its smart TVs into hubs for IoT devices around your home. Yesterday, Samsung said its range of premium SUHD TVs will work with any SmartThings compatible devices from 2016, meaning that in the future, your Samsung TV could control everything from security cameras to lighting and motion sensors. This makes securing the TV itself even more important — in a network of connected devices, the whole chain is only as secure as the weakest link.  In many ways, making the TV into a sort of central control panel for your super-smart home makes a lot of sense. It (probably) occupies a central position in one of your rooms at home, it’s got a big screen, and you’re not going to misplace it. However, smart TVs including Samsung’s have already been criticized for their ability to spy on users, so security systems like GAIA have quite a lot to prove before they’ll be fully trusted.

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How the Internet of Things Limits Consumer Choice

A recent dustup over smart light bulbs illuminates a larger problem.

Sourced through Scoop.it from: www.theatlantic.com

As the Internet of Things becomes more prevalent, so too will this kind of anti-competitive behavior (Specifically, the DMCA includes an anti-circumvention provision, which prohibits companies from circumventing “technological protection measures” that “effectively control access” to copyrighted works. That means it’s illegal for someone to create a Hue-compatible lightbulb without Philips’ permission, a K-cup-compatible coffee pod without Keurigs’, or an HP-printer compatible cartridge without HP’s.  By now, we’re used to this in the computer world. In the 1990s, Microsoft used a strategy it called “embrace, extend, extinguish,” in which it gradually added proprietary capabilities to products that already adhered to widely used standards. Some more recent examples: Amazon’s e-book format doesn’t work on other companies’ readers, music purchased from Apple’s iTunes store doesn’t work with other music players, and every game console has its own proprietary game cartridge format.)  which undercuts the purpose of having smart objects in the first place. We’ll want our light bulbs to communicate with a central controller, regardless of manufacturer. We’ll want our clothes to communicate with our dishwasher and our cars to communicate with traffic signs.

We can’t have this when companies can cut off compatible products, or use the law to prevent competitors from reverse-engineering their products to ensure compatibility across brands. For the Internet of Things to provide any value, what we need is a world that looks like the automotive industry, where you can go to a store and buy replacement parts made by a wide variety of different manufacturers. Instead, the Internet of Things is on track to become a battleground of competing standards, as companies try to build monopolies by locking each other out.

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Scientists create world’s first biologically powered computer chip

The dream of melding biological and man-made machinery is now a little more real with the announcement that Columbia Engineering researchers have successfully harnessed a chemical energy-producing biological process to power a solid state CMOS…

Sourced through Scoop.it from: www.gizmag.stfi.re

According to study lead professor Ken Shepard, this is the world’s first successful effort to isolate a biological process and use it to power an integrated circuit, much like the ones we use in phones and computers.  The researchers developed the system by using an artificially created lipid bilayer membrane containing naturally occurring ion pumps, which are powered by the biological world’s “energy currency molecule,” ATP (adenosine triphosphate). ATP is the coenzyme that transfers chemical energy between living cells. It is an end product of processes such as photosynthesis and cellular respiration, and it powers the mechanical work of living systems such as cell division and muscle contraction.   The scientists connected the lipid membrane to a conventional solid-state complementary metal-oxide-semiconductor (CMOS) integrated circuit, and the ion pumps powered the circuit.  “Ion pumps basically act very similarly to transistors,” Shepard tells Gizmag. “The one we used is the same kind of pump that is used to maintain the resting potential in neurons. The pump produces an actual potential across an artificial lipid membrane. We packaged that with the IC and we used the energy across that membrane due to those pumped ions to power the integrated circuit.”

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Google and Ford to build self-driving car company, report claims

Google is planning to announce a partnership with Ford to create an independent company that will build self-driving cars, according to a report.

Sourced through Scoop.it from: www.computerworld.com

Google and Ford plan to announce at CES that they will partner to create an independent company to build autonomous vehicles.  According to three sources “familiar with the plans” believe Ford will announce the partnership in January at the Consumer Electronics Show. Neither Ford nor Google would confirm the partnership plans.  Jeremy Carlson, a senior analyst with IHS Automotive, said during a webcast last week that Google is serious about spinning off a separate autonomous car company. Carlson said sources believed Google would develop service-only vehicles and not a traditional car manufacturing business.

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Patent shows Google plans a ‘needle-free blood draw’ system

The design (illustrated), filed with the USPTO in Virginia, describes a machine that sends a pulse of gas into a barrel that contains a ‘micro-particle’ capable of puncturing the skin.

Sourced through Scoop.it from: www.dailymail.co.uk

Google has filed a patent for a ‘needle-free blood draw’ system that could be built into a wearable attached to someone’s wrist, or a hand-held device. The filing describes a machine that sends a pulse of gas into a barrel containing a ‘micro-particle’ capable of puncturing the skin and drawing a small drop of blood.  Google suggests the device could even replace glucose testers used by diabetics entirely. 

The patent said: ‘Such an application might be used to draw a small amount of blood, for example, for a glucose test.’  It points out that the smallest possible puncture is desirable to cause as little pain as possible, but very small diameter needles can fail to pierce the skin or snap because they’re not strong enough.  However, the use of a ‘micro particle’ propelled by gas at a high speed could solve this problem.  Google is already working on smart contact lenses and a cloud-connected sensors to help diabetics monitor their glucose levels.   A wearable or handheld device would therefor fit neatly into this initiative.  However, as with all patents, there is no guarantee the idea will ever become a reality.   Google is not the only tech giant taking steps into the healthcare market.  Health data has become the next big battleground among tech companies as a new generation of wearable gadgets allow users to measure heart rates, sleep patterns and exercise activities.

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Schneider Electric Brings IoT to Agriculture with Network of 4,000 Weather Stations

New Platform Creates First Comprehensive Rural Weather Record, Helping the Agriculture Industry Increase Effienciency and Sustainability. Schneider Electric, the global specialist in energy management and automation, today announced it is connecting more than 4,000 disparate rural area Weather Stations to provide a more holistic view of rural weather patterns across the US. Leveraging its big …

Sourced through Scoop.it from: m2mworldnews.com

The IoT expanding into agriculture via weather stations

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