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.
“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.
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Read more of this story at Slashdot.
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)
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.
Read more of this story at Slashdot.
Asus debuts Transformer 3 Pro, Transformer 3 with new Kaby Lake chips, from $799, to challenge Surface Pro 4, launch date unknown, also debuts ZenFone 3 line (TrustedReviews)
Asus debuts Transformer 3 Pro, Transformer 3 with new Kaby Lake chips, from $799, to challenge Surface Pro 4, launch date unknown, also debuts ZenFone 3 line — Asus has bombarded the world with several new Zen-branded products, with three new phones, a new laptop and two new tablet/laptop hybrids.
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.
Asus unveils Zenbo, a $599 home robot with voice command recognition, touchscreen, smart-home integrations, more; dev program in works; launch date undisclosed (David Meyer/Fortune)
David Meyer / Fortune:
Asus unveils Zenbo, a $599 home robot with voice command recognition, touchscreen, smart-home integrations, more; dev program in works; launch date undisclosed — Asus asuuy may be best known as the maker of laptops and phones, but on Monday it unveiled a fairly low-cost robot that can help …
Defense argues Bitcoin isn't actually money under Florida law, in what is believed to be the first money-laundering case against someone for dealing in bitcoins (David Ovalle/Miami Herald)
David Ovalle / Miami Herald:
Defense argues Bitcoin isn't actually money under Florida law, in what is believed to be the first money-laundering case against someone for dealing in bitcoins — Michell Espinoza is asking a judge to throw out criminal charges against him — He argues that the virtual currency is not actual money under Florida law
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.
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.
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.
Report: in Q1 2016, 69% of new cellular accounts in the US came from cars, tablets, and IoT; cars accounted for 32% of new accounts versus 31% for phones (Ina Fried/Recode)
Ina Fried / Recode:
Report: in Q1 2016, 69% of new cellular accounts in the US came from cars, tablets, and IoT; cars accounted for 32% of new accounts versus 31% for phones — Most smartphones go to existing customers, with the real growth coming from tablets and other devices.