Technology

Are telecoms being overlooked in smart city deployments?

ReadWriteWeb - Mon, 05/30/2016 - 2:00pm

Communications and networking might be overlooked by smart cities, missing out on the potential capabilities of partnering with telecoms to build “heterogeneous networks” that deliver service to multiple platforms.

The Global Mobile Suppliers Association (GSA) claims — in its latest report titled “The Central Role of Telecoms in the Smart City” — that emerging technologies like the Internet of Things and big data require a new relationship between authorities, service providers, and the telecoms, which GSA is starting to see on some smart city projects.

See Also: Chinese think tank wants to improve cities using U.S. services

“It is clear that many cities — not just the largest megacities — are keen to use ICT to achieve specific aims within their smart city agendas, but that they don’t always know how best to make use of the multiple networking technologies and services that can help,” said director at Innovation Observatory, Danny Dicks, who wrote the report. “There is a role for service providers and vendors here, but all parties must recognise the impact of city procurement processes, and of the financial models that govern capital infrastructure and operations.”

The report says that smart cities look for optimal ways of funding the deployment of new technology, suggesting in a infographic (see below) public-private partnerships (PPP) or central government funding.

Cities don’t need to do all the heavy lifting themselves

As the above infographic shows, sometimes partnering with a company like IBM or Google, instead of city officers handling all the workload themselves, might cost much less and bring more inventive solutions.

“NFV, SDN and network slicing developments for 4G, LTE Advanced, 4.5G and 5G systems mean network operators are better able than before to tailor services to the multiple specific requirements of different smart city applications, including high-availability connections for critical applications,” said VP of research at GSA, Alan Hadden. “But it is likely, given that cities often consider building their own infrastructure, that vendors and operators will need to be flexible in the business models they suggest.”

An Alphabet subsidiary, Sidewalk Labs, has apparently been in talks with city leaders in the United States about rejuvenation projects. The company would supposedly handle most of the expenses, in return for lower regulations and more access to public infrastructure.

That could be a big change in the dynamic for technology and city leaders, where the company takes over most of the project, including expenses and shortfalls. The problem for city leaders is if the project fails, they will be the first to hear about it and might even lose their job.

The post Are telecoms being overlooked in smart city deployments? appeared first on ReadWrite.

Categories: Technology

Net Neutrality Is Complicated: Wikipedia Founder Jimmy Wales

Slashdot - Mon, 05/30/2016 - 1:35pm
In an interview, Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales backed the principle of Net neutrality, but added that enabling poor people to access the Internet is equally important. Wales also defended Wikipedia Zero, a project that aims to provide select services free of cost on mobile devices in developing markets. He said :Wikipedia Zero follows a very strict set of principles such as no money is ever exchanged and so on. Net neutrality is such a complicated topic, it is something that I am extremely passionate about and I think is incredibly important. And at the same time I think getting access to knowledge for poorest people of world is also very important. Sometimes those two things can be in tension and we have to be really careful about it. I think fundamental thing is that we maintain and open and free Internet.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Categories: Open Source, Technology

Microsoft adds a warning pop-up to "upgrade to Windows 10" prompt that tricked many to upgrade, but the main prompt remains deceitful (Gordon Kelly/Forbes)

TechMeme - Mon, 05/30/2016 - 1:10pm

Gordon Kelly / Forbes:
Microsoft adds a warning pop-up to “upgrade to Windows 10” prompt that tricked many to upgrade, but the main prompt remains deceitful  —  This week Microsoft finally went too far.  The company's obsession with forcing as many Windows 10 upgrades as possible saw it descend into dirty tricks more typical of malware.

Categories: Technology

Tesla To Hold Gigafactory Grand Opening on July 29

Slashdot - Mon, 05/30/2016 - 12:50pm
Tesla's mammoth 13-acre battery making Gigafactory isn't due to begin production on lithium ion cells until next year, but according to a report on Fortune, the factory's grand opening is to be held on July 29. According to a report on Bloomberg, as of earlier this month, only 14 percent of the Gigafactory has been built so far. Though, Tesla is already utilizing it to produce Powerpacks and Powerwalls. The factory will apparently cost at least $5 billion to make. (Thanks to an anonymous reader for sharing the link.)

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Categories: Open Source, Technology

Project Soli 2.0 is a tiny radar for wearables

ReadWriteWeb - Mon, 05/30/2016 - 12:00pm

Smartwatches have really hit their stride in the past couple years with popular products from brands like Samsung, Apple, FitBit, Motorola, and more each promising their own set of features to make them worth putting on your wrist.

Unfortunately, one of the biggest problems with smartwatches is that their size limits the wearer’s ability to navigate and control it. Tiny touchscreens, buttons, and dials offer only a limited amount of control over what could be a much more powerful communication device.

Enter Google’s Project Soli 2.0, the latest iteration of Google’s ongoing effort to add sensors to wearables and other IoT devices that use radar to track and interpret gestures. This technology, if implemented properly, could vastly expand the level of control users have over these smaller devices.

Google’s Project Soli started over a year ago, with its initial version being announced at 2015’s Google I/O conference. Challenges of the project were many, including creating a radar-enabled chip that was small enough to fit inside the smallest devices, efficient enough not to drain the device’s battery too quickly, and powerful enough to interpret gestures down to the most subtle of movements.

Google’s been hard at work for a year on Soli

Over the past year, Google has been working to improve on its Soli project concept. During its Google I/O keynote, Google ATAP team Director Dan Kaufman revealed that Project Soli 2.0 included an improved chip with a 5% reduction in power usage, including a reduction in required computational power.

This increased efficiency is critical in making it applicable in consumer devices where time between charges is as critical as the product’s design.

Project Soli isn’t just for smartwatches. It could improve how we interact with cars, phones, tablets and even desktop computers. The possibilities for a product like this are virtually limitless.

While there are currently no consumer-ready products featuring the Soli chip, Google is expected to open the project to accept applications from developers interested in receiving development kits as early as this Fall.

The post Project Soli 2.0 is a tiny radar for wearables appeared first on ReadWrite.

Categories: Technology

A Lot of Weird Stuff Has Been Happening in the Oceans

Wired - Top Stories - Mon, 05/30/2016 - 12:00pm
Whether the causes are El Nino or the “Blob” or ultimately climate change, The post A Lot of Weird Stuff Has Been Happening in the Oceans appeared first on WIRED.
Categories: Open Source, Technology

The White House Is Finally Prepping for an AI-Powered Future

Wired - Top Stories - Mon, 05/30/2016 - 12:00pm
The Obama administration is trying to get a handle on AI before the technology starts to think for itself. The post The White House Is Finally Prepping for an AI-Powered Future appeared first on WIRED.
Categories: Open Source, Technology

Review: Yuneec Typhoon H

Wired - Top Stories - Mon, 05/30/2016 - 12:00pm
How do you beat DJI at the quadcopter game? You build a hexacopter. The post Review: Yuneec Typhoon H appeared first on WIRED.
Categories: Open Source, Technology

Game of Thrones Recap: The Power of Swords—and Sanctimony

Wired - Top Stories - Mon, 05/30/2016 - 11:21am
The final confrontation might be many episodes away, but the major players vying for the the throne are starting to arm themselves for battle. The post Game of Thrones Recap: The Power of Swords—and Sanctimony appeared first on WIRED.
Categories: Open Source, Technology

Will the U.S. military enlist Amazon’s Alexa?

ReadWriteWeb - Mon, 05/30/2016 - 10:00am

On this Memorial Day, let’s not forget the hackers and tinkerers toiling in the shadows, who help protect those men and women who keep America safe.

As we enter a world of connected everything, U.S. defense research agency DARPA is trying to stay on top of this IoT thing — ensuring that “off-the-shelf” products cannot be used by criminals or terrorists to attack the country.

In order to do this, earlier this year DARPA launched Improv, a new project calling for hackers to create weapons from everyday products. Hackers must use products that use commercial software or open source code and readily available materials, and turn them into a device that might create a national security scare.

See also: Can ISIS hack the Internet of Things? (Uh, no.)

The goal for DARPA is to neutralize any product that could pose a threat before potential adversaries weaponize it.

DARPA isn’t just looking for pipe bombs and makeshift surveillance. It wants hackers to look into emerging technologies like drones, 3D printers, and small IoT sensors. Anything that can be easily purchased and customized to be a threat is applicable.

“DARPA’s in the surprise business and part of our goal is to prevent surprise. This particular space is one that is difficult to analyze and we’re trying a different approach to gathering information that will help us understand it,” says Dr. John Main, head of project Improv. “It really is more about being proactive than reactive.”

He points out that for decades, America’s pretty much complete monopoly on access to the most advanced technologies.

But as more commercially available equipment across all sectors – from agriculture to transportation – began to feature complex and sophisticated components and systems, he says there’s a growing risk that a clever enemy might use these devices to threaten military operations.

DARPA looking for DIY Bournes or McGyvers?

Project Improv charges the brave and curious across many sectors and technologies to look at today’s booming tech bazaar and go full Jason Bourne on that Google Home.

“(We want you) to imagine how easily purchased, relatively benign technologies might be converted or combined into threats to military operations, equipment, or personnel,” says Main. “Candidate ideas will be assessed and varying levels of support will be offered to develop and test selected proposals.”

Or maybe it’s less Bourne than McGyver — the emphasis will be on fast and cheap, with the goal of the best ideas being able to leap from concept to prototype within 100 days.

Hackers will be rewarded for their efforts. DARPA is offering $40,000 in funding to complete a study on threatening technologies, followed by $70,000 to complete a prototype. These will then be moved to military labs for testing and neutralization.

DARPA will decide which products receive funding on a case-by-case basis. Hackers have until the end of the year to submit their projects.

Governments have been slow to understand threats online and some have used the tension between people and technology to impose mass surveillance or ban certain apps and technologies. Thankfully, DARPA has a more reasonable approach to tackling the growing number of tech threats.

The post Will the U.S. military enlist Amazon’s Alexa? appeared first on ReadWrite.

Categories: Technology

How Overwatch Became a Rarity: The Troll-Free Online Shooter

Wired - Top Stories - Mon, 05/30/2016 - 9:00am
Overwatch's lead designer opens up on how Blizzard crafted Overwatch not only to appeal to families, but create a happier player community. The post How Overwatch Became a Rarity: The Troll-Free Online Shooter appeared first on WIRED.
Categories: Open Source, Technology

Check Out the New Lava Flows From Kilauea and Piton de la Fournaise

Wired - Top Stories - Mon, 05/30/2016 - 7:00am
Two island volcanoes in the middle of the Pacific and Indian oceans had new lava flows last week. The post Check Out the New Lava Flows From Kilauea and Piton de la Fournaise appeared first on WIRED.
Categories: Open Source, Technology

Food Has Eaten the Internet and It Tastes Like a Vampire Taco

Wired - Top Stories - Mon, 05/30/2016 - 7:00am
People compulsively watch and share videos of food they'll never cook or eat. The reasons why may hold the secret to the future of media on the Internet. The post Food Has Eaten the Internet and It Tastes Like a Vampire Taco appeared first on WIRED.
Categories: Open Source, Technology

Fantastic Photos of Terrible Junk Food Around the World

Wired - Top Stories - Mon, 05/30/2016 - 7:00am
Martin Parr puts your Instagram food porn to shame. The post Fantastic Photos of Terrible Junk Food Around the World appeared first on WIRED.
Categories: Open Source, Technology

Bruges Built an Underground Beer Pipeline to Improve Traffic

Wired - Top Stories - Mon, 05/30/2016 - 7:00am
A challenging task in a city that's designated a UNESCO World Heritage site. The post Bruges Built an Underground Beer Pipeline to Improve Traffic appeared first on WIRED.
Categories: Open Source, Technology