Fredric Paul

Author Archives: Fredric Paul

Right-to-repair smartphone ruling loosens restrictions on industrial, farm IoT

Last week, the tech press made a big deal out of a ruling by the Librarian of Congress and the U.S. Copyright Office to allow consumers to break vendors’ digital rights management (DRM) schemes in order to fix their own smartphones and digital voice assistants. According to The Washington Post, for example, the ruling — which goes into effect Oct. 28 — was a big win for consumer right-to-repair advocates. To read this article in full, please click here

Right-to-repair smartphone ruling loosens restrictions on industrial, farm IoT

Last week, the tech press made a big deal out of a ruling by the Librarian of Congress and the U.S. Copyright Office to allow consumers to break vendors’ digital rights management (DRM) schemes in order to fix their own smartphones and digital voice assistants. According to The Washington Post, for example, the ruling — which goes into effect Oct. 28 — was a big win for consumer right-to-repair advocates. To read this article in full, please click here

The recent right-to-repair smartphone ruling will also affect farm and industrial equipment

Last week, the tech press made a big deal out of a ruling by the Librarian of Congress and the U.S. Copyright Office to allow consumers to break vendors’ digital rights management (DRM) schemes in order to fix their own smartphones and digital voice assistants. According to The Washington Post, for example, the ruling — which goes into effect Oct. 28 — was a big win for consumer right-to-repair advocates. To read this article in full, please click here

Is the IoT in space about to take off?

Space may not be the final frontier for the Internet of Things, but evidence is mounting that it could be the technology’s next golden opportunity. While we’re still a ways away from the IoT in space becoming a commercially viable mainstream technology, a variety of companies are pushing the envelope in two significant ways.First, companies are working to realize the promise of satellite-powered networks that would bring the Internet of Things everywhere on earth. Second, vendors — and NASA — are exploring actual IoT applications and use cases beyond Earth’s atmosphere, in satellites and rockets.To read this article in full, please click here

Is the IoT in space about to take off?

Space may not be the final frontier for the Internet of Things, but evidence is mounting that it could be the technology’s next golden opportunity. While we’re still a ways away from the IoT in space becoming a commercially viable mainstream technology, a variety of companies are pushing the envelope in two significant ways.First, companies are working to realize the promise of satellite-powered networks that would bring the Internet of Things everywhere on earth. Second, vendors — and NASA — are exploring actual IoT applications and use cases beyond Earth’s atmosphere, in satellites and rockets.To read this article in full, please click here

How industrial predictive maintenance can prevent equipment failure

Entropy sucks. But industrial predictive maintenance can help it suck a little less for factories, oil rigs, aircraft engines, and even data centers. The key is to leverage the Internet of Things (IoT) and machine learning to help companies “accurately determine when a manufacturing plant, machine, component, or part is likely to fail, and thus needs to be replaced.”That, in a nutshell, is the point behind a fascinating new Google Cloud blog post by Prashant Dhingra, Machine Learning Lead, Advanced Solutions Lab, laying out “A strategy for implementing industrial predictive maintenance.”To read this article in full, please click here

Retail IoT: Walmart’s IoT patent filing might be the creepiest ever

At this point, most people are aware that cameras may be watching them wherever they go in public — especially in retail establishments. But if a recent Walmart patent application becomes reality, watching your every move is far from the most intrusive way shoppers will be monitored.According to the patent, the idea is to put biometric sensors in shopping-cart handles. These sensors would track the shoppers’ heart rates, temperatures, grip strength, and stress levels, not to mention the cart’s weight, speed and idle time. Next, that info would be sent to a server where the data could be analyzed and compared against baselines obtained when the customer first grabbed the cart.To read this article in full, please click here

Drone defense — powered by IoT — is now a thing

The Internet of Things (IoT) didn’t just create smart houses and enable predictive analytics for industrial applications. It’s also creating a wide variety of new business opportunities and spawning new threats and challenges. Sometimes, all those things happen at once.At least, that’s my takeaway from a new partnership between AT&T and Dedrone, a drone detection technology startup based in San Francisco. (De-drone, get it?)Using IoT sensor data to detect drone threats According an AT&T spokesperson, “AT&T and Dedrone are teaming up to deploy IoT sensor technology to protect against malicious drones. Powered exclusively by AT&T, and using sensor data like radio frequency, visual, and radar, Dedrone detects and classifies approaching drones, pinpointing their locations and triggering alarms to alert security.”To read this article in full, please click here

Forget ‘smart homes,’ the new goal is ‘autonomous buildings’

In 2018, the concept of a smart building is no longer surprising. With the rise of the Internet of Things (IoT), so-called smart buildings and homes are everywhere, providing various degrees of intelligent management and control of various building systems, including lighting, HVAC, communications, and security. In most cases, however, those “smart” capabilities are still relatively limited, don’t always work together, and require a significant amount of human attention to function.Dwight Stewart, founder and CTO of 5-year-old Power-over-Ethernet (PoE) vendor Igor, dreams of something much bigger and better. He sees the firm’s new Nexos smart building platform as the first step toward his vision of truly autonomous buildings.To read this article in full, please click here

Is predictive maintenance the ‘gateway drug’ to the Industrial IoT?

I’ve said it before, but it bears repeating: When it comes to the Internet of Things (IoT), the consumer market gets all the attention, but the real action may be in industrial applications, the so-called Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT).The IIoT is a huge market, and it’s based more on clearly defined cost savings than the always-fickle consumer preferences that seem to rule the consumer market. It also requires highly available infrastructure to connect everything and avoid expensive downtime — one reason why investment in IIoT firms has been hot this summer, with investments in companies such as Seeq, Element Analytics, Trendminer, Falkonry, and Toumetis.To read this article in full, please click here

Apple Watch 4 represents an epic fail for smartwatches in business

Remember when we thought smartwatches and wearable technology were going to change the world — and the enterprise? That doesn't seem to be happening quite yet.According to much of the consumer tech press, the new Apple Watch Series 4 stole the show from the iPhones announced in Apple’s big fall press event. Reviews were generally positive for the new wearable device, and along with the new edge-to-edge display and other improvements, much of the love centered around new heart-health monitoring features, including an electrocardiogram (ECG), low heart rate detection, and atrial fibrillation (AFib) detection. There’s also a new fall-detection feature designed to automatically summon help if needed.To read this article in full, please click here

The new Apple Watch 4 represents an epic fail for smartwatches

Remember when we thought smartwatches and wearable technology were going to change the world?According to much of the consumer tech press, the new Apple Watch Series 4 stole the show from the iPhones announced in Apple’s big fall press event. Reviews were generally positive for the new wearable device, and along with the new edge-to-edge display and other improvements, much of the love centered around new heart-health monitoring features, including an electrocardiogram (ECG), low heart rate detection, and atrial fibrillation (AFib) detection. There’s also a new fall-detection feature designed to automatically summon help if needed.To read this article in full, please click here

Ideas this bad could kill the Internet of Things

What’s the silliest, dumbest, most ridiculous Internet of Things (IoT) application you can think of? Smart toothbrushes? Internet-connected toilets? Digital notepads in the shower?Well, forget all that. Heck, you can even forget the "smart" Air Dresser wardrobe that Samsung announced earlier this month. (If you’re wondering, this digital closet is said to automatically "air" — whatever that means — steam, dry, and purify clothes so they don’t, you know, stink.)IBM has just patented an IoT device concept so incredibly inane that it makes all those earlier attempts to trivialize the IoT seem like cures for cancer. What could possibly be so ill-conceived as to make a smart hairbrush look, well, smart?To read this article in full, please click here

Excess data center heat is no longer a bug — it’s a feature!

Every data center admin knows that dealing with excess heat is one of the biggest, most expensive factors involved in running a modern data center.For decades, engineers have been looking for new ways to mitigate the issue, and now Norway is building a brand-new town designed to turn the problem into an opportunity to lower costs, reduce energy usage, and fight climate change.[ Read also: Data center cooling market set to explode in the coming years | Get regularly scheduled insights: Sign up for Network World newsletters ] Hug your servers ... to stay warm According to Fast Company, the town of Lyseparken, now under construction near Bergen, Norway, is being built to use the excess heat generated by a new data center in the heart of the community to keep a nearly 6.5 million square feet of nearby planned business and office space—and eventually up to 5,000 homes—warm. It works like this:To read this article in full, please click here

Excess data center heat is no longer a bug — it’s a feature!

Every data center admin knows that dealing with excess heat is one of the biggest, most expensive factors involved in running a modern data center.For decades, engineers have been looking for new ways to mitigate the issue, and now Norway is building a brand-new town designed to turn the problem into an opportunity to lower costs, reduce energy usage, and fight climate change.[ Read also: Data center cooling market set to explode in the coming years | Get regularly scheduled insights: Sign up for Network World newsletters ] Hug your servers ... to stay warm According to Fast Company, the town of Lyseparken, now under construction near Bergen, Norway, is being built to use the excess heat generated by a new data center in the heart of the community to keep a nearly 6.5 million square feet of nearby planned business and office space—and eventually up to 5,000 homes—warm. It works like this:To read this article in full, please click here

Are microservices about to revolutionize the Internet of Things?

Along with the rise of cloud computing, Agile, and DevOps, the increasing use of microservices has profoundly affected how enterprises develop software. Now, at least one Silicon Valley startup hopes the combination of microservices and edge computing is going to drive a similar re-think of the Internet of Things (IoT) and create a whole new software ecosystem.Frankly, that seems like a stretch to me, but you can’t argue with the importance of microservices to modern software development. To learn more, I traded emails with Said Ouissal, founder and CEO of ZEDEDA, which is all about “deploying and running real-time edge apps at hyperscale” using IoT devices.To read this article in full, please click here

Finally, a smart way for insurers to leverage IoT in smart homes

Like many consumers, I tend to be automatically suspicious of insurance companies’ plans to track my behavior. And like many tech journalists, I’m also skeptical of clever new smart home automation schemes. But painful personal experience has me all excited about a new pilot program involving Travelers insurance and Notion smart home sensors.According to a post in Coverager: “Travelers has tapped Notion, the home awareness solution and smart home sensor, to offer smart home monitoring systems to Travelers customers in California. Travelers is working with Notion to provide data-driven insights to customers through Notion’s home monitoring system in order to prevent and mitigate threats such as water leaks, fire damage, and thefts.To read this article in full, please click here

Why IoT for seniors is a lot tougher than it looks

We’ve all heard the promises about how the Internet of Things (IoT) is perfectly positioned to provide healthcare, entertainment, and a wide variety of other services to the aging populations of many industrialized nations. The need is real because the population of countries like Japan, Italy, Greece, and Germany are getting older fast, resulting in a dearth of youngsters able (and willing, of course) to take care of their parents’ generation.The idea — bolstered by a European Commission on the topic — is that autonomous devices, robots, built-in sensors, medical and fitness wearables, voice-activated assistants, specially tuned smart homes, and other IoT innovations will fill in the gaps, helping meet the needs of seniors without requiring legions of younger workers. But when I saw a recent CNBC story about Google’s Nest home automation unit exploring the senior citizen market, it made me laugh out loud.To read this article in full, please click here

Which two companies will lead the enterprise Internet of Things?

As the enterprise Interent of Things (eIoT) becomes an increasingly big deal, everyone is starting to wonder which companies have the inside track to dominate this hot new market.It’s not just a pie-in-the-sky question. A July 2018 study from Market Research Future predicted 26 percent annual growth in the eIoT market, hitting $58 billion in 2023.[ Now read: The future of enterprise IoT ] And last year, a McKinsey & Company survey noted, “Although enterprise IoT is a relatively new development, 98 percent of survey respondents reported that most companies within their industry include enterprise IoT initiatives in their strategic road maps, including those related to improving service operations, increasing visibility into operations, enabling new business models, and creating new product and service offerings.”To read this article in full, please click here

Cloud computing just had another kick-ass quarter

If you’ve been around the tech industry long enough, recent market events held an eerie familiarity.When Facebook badly missed its numbers for the quarter ended June 30, 2018, the company’s stock took an unprecedented pummeling, losing 20 percent of its value and tanking many other tech stock along with it. Watching the carnage, it was hard not to think back to the spring of 2000 when Microsoft lost its antitrust case, losing 15 percent of its value in a single day and signaling the end of the dot.com boom and the beginning of a historic bust.But something is different this time.To read this article in full, please click here

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