CNET: Google focuses Android Things to smart speakers and smart displays

CNET: Google focuses Android Things to smart speakers and smart displays. “Google’s Android Things is an operating system platform for developers to create low-powered Internet of Things (IoT) devices. When the developers preview launched in 2016, Android Things did not initially limit the types of products developers could build and maintain. That’s now changing, however, with Google announcing Tuesday that the platform will now shift gears and focus primarily on smart speakers and smart displays.”

University of Washington Tacoma: Tree Power

University of Washington Tacoma: Tree Power. “UW Tacoma Endowed Professor in Engineering Systems Orlando Baiocchi and a group of researchers in Brazil and Portugal are working on projects involving wireless network sensors and energy harvesting. One of the projects involves using trees to power a network of sensors. ‘The buzzword nowadays is energy harvesting but this is a very old idea,’ said Baiocchi. ‘For instance, windmills utilize this concept to convert wind into mechanical or electrical energy.'”

Google at CES 2019: Everything just announced (CNET)

CNET: Google at CES 2019: Everything just announced. “CES, the world’s largest technology conference, is more important to Google than ever as it pushes devices to consumers that compete against the likes of Amazon, Apple and Samsung. At the center of Google’s strategy is the Assistant, an AI-powered digital helper that’s akin to Amazon’s Alexa and Apple’s Siri. It’s available in Android phones, Google Home smart speakers, other smart home devices, and as an app on iPhones.”

TechCrunch: GE adds a bunch of Google Assistant-friendly smart home products

TechCrunch: GE adds a bunch of Google Assistant-friendly smart home products . “At the Pixel 3 event back in October, the company announced that its C by GE bulbs were the first to carry Made by Google certification with Home functionality built-in right out of the box. At CES this year, the company will show a bunch more products, effectively tripling the size of the C by GE line. In addition to the standard bulbs announced in the fall, the company’s also releasing full color lights with millions of color options, available in a handful of configurations, including a lighting strip.”

Lifehacker: How to Keep Your Internet-Connected Device From Spying on You

Lifehacker: How to Keep Your Internet-Connected Device From Spying on You . “A typically geeky holiday might sound something like this: You wake up on the morning of December 25, run down to your Christmas tree, unwrap everything in a frenzy, plug in all your long-awaited gadgets, connect them to your wifi, and speed past the installation screens (or manuals) to start having all kinds of fun. What’s the problem? In your frenzy to try out all of your brand-new devices, you haven’t spent the time to fully understand what they’re up to. What data are they collecting? What data are they sending somewhere else? What privacy issues might you face months later?”

Mashable: Is that fancy smart gadget a privacy nightmare? A new guide has answers.

Mashable: Is that fancy smart gadget a privacy nightmare? A new guide has answers.. “As the inevitable creep of ‘smart’ features and products continues to turn everything from your refrigerator to your thermostat into a connected device, it’s worth taking a moment to consider just what you’re giving up in exchange for this wannabe Jetsons future. Thankfully, Mozilla has done a lot of that work for you with a new guide dedicated to just how insecure many smart devices are.”

New York Times: Internet Hacking Is About to Get Much Worse

In the New York Times, from Bruce Schneier: Internet Hacking Is About to Get Much Worse. “It’s no secret that computers are insecure. Stories like the recent Facebook hack, the Equifax hack and the hacking of government agencies are remarkable for how unremarkable they really are. They might make headlines for a few days, but they’re just the newsworthy tip of a very large iceberg.”