Techdirt: Smart Lock Vendors Under Fire For Collecting Too Much Private Data. “Like most internet of broken things products, we’ve noted how ‘smart’ door locks often aren’t all that smart. More than a few times we’ve written about smart lock consumers getting locked out of their own homes without much recourse. Other times we’ve noted how the devices simply aren’t that secure, with one study finding that 12 of 16 smart locks they tested could be relatively easily hacked thanks to flimsy security standards, something that’s the primary feature of many internet of broken things devices.”
Krebs on Security: P2P Weakness Exposes Millions of IoT Devices. “A peer-to-peer (P2P) communications technology built into millions of security cameras and other consumer electronics includes several critical security flaws that expose the devices to eavesdropping, credential theft and remote compromise, new research has found.”
TechCrunch: Spy on your smart home with this open source research tool. “In a blog about the effort the researchers write that their aim is to offer a simple tool for consumers to analyze the network traffic of their Internet connected gizmos. The basic idea is to help people see whether devices such as smart speakers or wi-fi enabled robot vacuum cleaners are sharing their data with third parties. (Or indeed how much snitching their gadgets are doing.)” Mac only for now, Windows and Linux on a wait list.
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. “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.'”
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 . “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.”