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Graphic showing Internet of Things news  - iot news week - IoT news of the week for August 2, 2019 – Stacey on IoT

A whole lot of math is involved in robots’ movements: When it comes to robots, whether it’s a Roomba or a warehouse picker, there’s a lot that goes into figuring out where it is in space. GPS doesn’t always work indoors, plus the constant back-and-forth between satellites takes too long. So for real-time location-tracking, robots have to use dozens of sensors and complex math in something called simultaneous location and mapping, or SLAM. SLAM will be needed in the home, office, and industry and it’s going to require some serious compute power to process all that data. This post gives you a good understanding of the workload and why it matters. (Nvidia)

The end of 3G is nigh: Anyone worried about their 3G-based Verizon service going down (me, since I live in a place where 3G is common), can rest a bit easier since the operator confirmed it will delay the shutdown of its 3G network by a year. It will now sunset at the end of 2020 as opposed to the end of this year. Verizon stopped selling 3G devices in 2018, but there are plenty of hubs and enterprise gear that have 3G connections. Those devices will have to be replaced. Verizon is an early sunsetter, but AT&T has said it will shut down its 3G network in early 2222, which means I should be shopping for a new modem for my car, which uses an AT&T 3G modem for nav and updates. Viva 4G, or at least for the next 15-20 years. (Light Reading)

Should companies implement a security-aware procurement strategy? This story about the Department of Defense buying gear with known security vulnerabilities, even gear that it’s forbidden to purchase, had me wondering if it needs a security-aware procurement strategy. And frankly, all enterprise companies could do with something like this. At a minimum, purchases should be checked against a list of vulnerable devices and ideally, companies will start issuing edicts on “safe supplies.” Not only would these devices be free of vulnerabilities at the time of purchase, but they’d also come with a commitment to upgrade devices when vulnerabilities are discovered. Even better would be if the patches associated with the devices were actually deployed. These sorts of efforts would go a long way in places like schools, municipalities, hospitals, and other industries where IT teams are decentralized across departments and as such, often overwhelmed. (Fedscoop)

Today security is the IT department’s problem: In related news, Deloitte and security firm Dragos conducted a survey on how firms currently handle device security. Most (81%) rely on their IT departments to implement anything, and just 31% are either only somewhat confident or not at all confident that their devices are secure. In other words, most companies think their security practices are working. As more devices are connected (both to the internet and to each other), this confidence will likely take a hit. (Deloitte)

What’s up with GE Digital? GE reported earnings this and I was waiting for an update on the proposed sale of the GE Digital software business (including Predix). Back in December, GE said it planned to offer an update in the first quarter of , which didn’t happen. GE appointed a new CEO for GE Digital in July who has experience in implementing digital transformation projects at a number of companies, and who previously served as a CTO under GE CEO Larry Culp. So hopefully I won’t be waiting much longer. (Seeking Alpha)

Microsoft acquires BlueTalon: I think everyone should be paying attention to Microsoft’s work around data sharing. I’ve long said that IoT is just cheaper access to more data from more places combined with cheaper computing. The goal isn’t to put sensors on everything, it’s to take information from those sensors and turn it into insights that can help achieve business or social goals. Right now we’re focused on the hardware, but eventually, we’ll start looking at how to share that data within and outside organizations. Microsoft is starting to show a strategy here and I like it. Last week on the podcast I talked about Microsoft’s data-sharing contracts and this week the company said it had purchased BlueTalon, which provides data monitoring, auditing, and access functions across different locations. This solves some of the technical challenges that are driven by legal needs. A company can’t just share all of its data willy-nilly, so it needs to ensure that partners are playing by the rules and limits are placed on what they can access. Too bad Facebook didn’t think like this. (Microsoft)

Calling all HomeKit fans: Apple has not forgotten you. Several new devices are getting HomeKit compatibility or new features, with my being tied to the Smarter coffee maker, which now lets you tell Siri to “make me a pot of coffee.” For all of the devices and features, click on through. (CNET)

Deep fake worries aside, this is cool: Amazon’s Polly text-to-speech service sounds almost human — provided the humans you’re used to listening to speak in the stylized voices reserved for newscasters. That said, it is exciting to hear more natural-sounding speech coming from Amazon’s services, and helps the company catch up to Google, which has provided some very natural-sounding computer voices. (They can even offer the “ums” and “ahs” that people typically make when they speak.) Google is using the technology to make robots get restaurant reservations on behalf of diners. Amazon is likely trying to do something similar. After all, “Alexa, make me a doctor’s appointment” only works if everyone’s using similar APIs or Alexa gets good enough to call on a human. (Amazon)

Ultra-wideband is back from the dead: ASSA ABLOY, NXP Semiconductors, Samsung Electronics, and Bosch have teamed up to create the FiRa Consortium. It’s not just an unwieldy assortment of capped and uncapitalized letters; rather, it stands for Fine Ranging, which refers to the technology’s ability to ascertain the location of a device. Ultra-wideband (UWB) may be familiar to anyone who covered technology in the 2000s, when it was positioned as a way to transmit large amounts of data wirelessly at close range. It failed for a variety of reasons, the biggest one being a lack of a compelling use case. But now there is one. The companies sponsoring the organization see a chance for UWB to provide secure access control (instead of Bluetooth), secure device-to-device communication, asset tracking, and more. I’ll get someone from the organization to chat more about it in the near future. (EETimes)

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