Here’s a smart-home spin on a familiar philosophical question: If an alarm goes off in an empty house where there’s no one to hear it, does it make a sound?
If you want your smart home system to also provide home security, having a third party that can contact emergency responders on your behalf is an essential feature. If a burglar breaks in or a fire breaks out while you’re away from home, a local siren will provide little protection. If it’s loud enough, it might convince the thief to beat a hasty retreat, but it will do nothing to prevent your house from burning down.Lowe's
The second-generation Lowe's by Iris smart home hub.
Harman Kardon’s Invoke speaker, the Microsoft Cortana-powered answer to the Google Home and Amazon Echo, will ship this fall according to a preview page with the first official images of the tabletop device.
Though pricing hasn’t yet been revealed, Harman Kardon said that the Invoke will perform three major tasks: make and receive calls with Skype, control popular music services like Microsoft Groove, and “get things done” with Cortana, Microsoft’s digital assistant.
Microsoft said it would team up last year with Harman Kardon as part of a new Internet of Things initiative powered by Cortana. Though the initial partnership was expected inside connected cars, it appears both companies will leap into homes first. Harman was showing off the new Invoke on a preview page on its website that's since be unpublished, inviting potential buyers to sign up. Thurrott.com first noted the page earlier.
After announcing its first revenue from sales, HP Inc. today said it is now focused on scaling up its Multi Jet Fusion 3D printing business that it believes will rival standard manufacturing technologies, such as injection molding.
While HP is planning some direct sales of its new Jet Fusion printer lineup, the vast majority of the machines will be sold through about 30 resellers in North America and Europe, where the company is focusing its attention.HP
What's interesting "is 80% of these channel partners are new for HP," Steven Nigro, president of HP's 3D Printing business, said during a press and analyst briefing on Friday.
As my company continues to move enterprise applications to the cloud, the latest development presents a security opportunity. We are giving up our on-premises Microsoft Exchange email in favor of the Microsoft Office 365 service. With the transition, we might be able to curtail the common employee practice of communicating and storing sensitive business-related data in email.Trouble Ticket
At issue: The company email system is moving to the cloud.
Action plan: Work with IT to make sure information is better secured after the change than it is now.
I am encouraging the IT organization to tighten security by implementing controls that were either not available in our on-premises deployment or never implemented. The first order of business is a cleanup of accounts and distribution lists. We have hundreds of email-enabled distribution lists, and too many of them are available to the world. We should be able to cut down the number of lists and set rules about who can use them.
The boss gets tipped off that an employee might be leaving the company and in so doing is trying to grab as many clients as possible to take with him to his new job. The company brings in computer forensic specialists to look through the employee’s actions online to find the evidence before confronting the employee.
Alfred Demirjian, president and CEO of computer forensic company TechFusion, has seen that and many other scenarios in the 30 years he has been in the business--anything from an employee sabotaging a former company through hijacking an email account to misusing the internet on company time. Commercial software allows his company to dig deep into an employee’s social media postings and texts, or to track them by GPS if they have a company-owned smartphone.
If you hate waiting for your smartphone to charge, relief is coming soon.
After some hiccups, Qualcomm's superfast charging technology, called Quick Charge 4, will be in smartphones around the middle of this year.
Qualcomm says Quick Charge 4 is one of the fastest smartphone battery technologies. It can charge a smartphone up to 50 percent in less than 15 minutes, or give enough juice for five hours of talk time in five minutes, the chip maker claims.
The new charging technology is about 20 percent faster than its predecessor, Quick Charge 3, which is in many smartphones from Sony, LG, HTC and Motorola.
It was also the year tire-making giant Bridgestone Corp. opened a data center in Akron, Ohio. If walls could talk, this data center could tell the story of IT.
That center opened on Oct. 9, 1968, with racks and racks of tapes and a water-cooled mainframe. Today, it is the home of systems supporting an almost completely virtualized environment.
At its Build 2017 developer conference in Seattle this week, Microsoft will put its Azure cloud and Windows 10 front and center with sessions ranging from cloud services to artificial intelligence to programming languages.
There is a current global surge in popularity of the use of “wearables” for various health and fitness applications. The beeping of fitness watches and devices is the ever-present soundtrack to gyms and tarmac these days as people embrace the information age.
Recently, intensive research has examined the use of biometric data in prediction models for human interactions.
Potentially, you could wear a device on your wrist that could warn you that you were about to have a fight, and consequently suggest appropriate responses. Problems arise in most marriages usually due to some form of miscommunication.
These wearable devices alert the individual of rising emotional responses using physiological data and thus can provide a point of intervention by either party. For example, as your temper rises because your spouse has left his socks on the floor, your device vibrates in response to your rising heart rate and issues a message to take a deep breath. This could essentially stop arguments before they occur and remove the pressure of conflict resolution.
"The phone is already dead."
That's what Microsoft visionary and HoloLens honcho Alex Kipman said this week.
The "phone call is making a comeback."
Could both be true?
The answer is yes. Phones are definitely dead. Phone calls are forever. But the reasons why may surprise you.
Another political campaign has been hit by an email dump. This time, the target is French presidential candidate Emmanuel Macron.
On Friday, his campaign said a massive and coordinated hack had breached the email inboxes of several staffers. This came after a mysterious user named “EMLEAKS” apparently dumped the stolen data through torrent files on text storage site Pastebin.
It’s unclear if the information in the dump is genuine. Allegedly, the dump contains a 9GB trove of emails and photos. The torrent files, which were hosted on Archive.org, are no longer available there.
But Macron’s campaign said the leaked files have been spreading over social media as the country prepares to vote for a new president on Sunday.
Next week, PC vendors will start rolling out patches that fix a severe vulnerability found in certain Intel-based business systems, including laptops, making them easier to hack.
Intel on Friday released a new notice urging clients to take steps to secure their systems.
The chipmaker has also released a downloadable tool that can help IT administrators and users discover whether a machine they own has the vulnerability.
Alexa is poised for a major breakout. Over the past few months, Amazon’s AI assistant has expanded to the iPhone in the Amazon app, Android with the Huawei Mate 9, and gotten a camera upgrade with the fashion-minded Echo Look. But a new leak suggests Amazon has even bigger plans for Alexa.
Amidst a budding controversy surrounding the module system planned for Java, Oracle’s chief Java architect, Mark Reinhold, lashed out today at Red Hat and IBM’s opposition, saying the companies are just guarding their own self interests.
In an open letter to the Java Community Process (JCP) Executive Commitee published Friday morning, Reinhold was highly critical of the two rival vendors. The current disagreement centers on Java Specification Request 376, which focuses on the module system featured as part of Project Jigsaw. Red Hat Middleware initially agreed to the goals and requirements of the JSR, but then worked consistently to undermine them, Reinhold said.
In a slowing PC market, Chromebooks siphoned market share away from Windows PCs in 2016 as their popularity grew outside the education market.
Chromebook shipments grew by a stunning 38 percent in 2016 compared to 2015. Gartner estimated 9.4 million Chromebooks shipped, compared to 6.8 million units in 2015.
The number is just a fraction of overall PC shipments, but growth came in an otherwise down PC market. Overall PC shipments in 2016 were about 270 million units, a decline of about 6.2 percent, according to Gartner.
Looking forward, 2016 may go down as the best year ever for Chromebook shipment growth. Gartner is estimating shipments to continue growing in the coming years but at a slower pace.
The few Galaxy S8 and S8+ models that were seeing red shouldn’t do so for much longer. T-Mobile is the first to push out a fix for the strange tint that appeared on some users’ new phones.
It was a busy week for updates on other fronts, with the monthly patch out for Google’s devices and Nougat hitting a few more Samsung phones.
Each week, we round up all the major software updates to hit the Android ecosystem, including phones and tablets on U.S. carriers, unlocked phones, smartwatches, and Android TV devices. Make sure your device is running the latest available software so you can enjoy new features—and fewer bugs and security holes.T-Mobile
Galaxy S8, S8+: Samsung has no room to play with fire (it never gets old) when it comes to a problem with its smartphones. So when some users reported a strange, red tint on the screen the company went into overdrive on a fix. After first rolling out in Korea, it’s now hitting stateside. T-Mobile has detailed an update for the S8 and S8+ that adds in two options to tweak the display color. Samsung says this should fix the issue, otherwise you may be able to get a replacement phone if you’re still unsatisfied.
Unsurprisingly, the Android tablet market on the decline. You don’t have to be an analyst to see that usage is dramatically down, and a new report confirms that very fact. But that’s not stopping Motorola from trying to resuscitate it.
According to Android Police, Motorola is working on a new Moto tablet, it’s first in a number of years. And according to a screenshot it received from a source, the tablet isn’t just another run-of-the-mill 10-inch affair with a metal-and-glass build. It might include a cool new feature that could actually make you want to buy one.
Microsoft's hardware partners will flood the market with Windows Mixed Reality headsets by the holiday season this year, offering up a new way to enjoy Windows 10.
A Windows Mixed Reality headset from Acer is already being seeded to select developers by Microsoft, but isn't available to consumers yet.
So far three PC makers -- Lenovo and HP as well as Acer -- said they would ship headsets later this year. Dell is still mulling a release date. The headsets will start at $299, the rough minimum price suggested by Microsoft.
The headsets need to be wired to Windows 10 PCs. Once on, they will transport you to a virtual world where you can, for example, roam, Skype-chat and play Xbox games. It's like computing in a 3D world, without the use of a mouse or keyboard.
As we watch what is shaping up to be a failed presidency, one historic problem becomes clear. Time and again we witness how CEOs who have been advanced to leadership roles without first building a breadth of competencies cannot succeed. It all comes down to the need to ensure an adequate foundation for success, something that often separates successful firms from those that fail. Other than being defined by irony, the Trump presidency is, so far, as much a showcase of what not to do when you have a relatively inexperienced leader running the effort.
[ Related: How a CEO can kill a company in 5 easy steps ]
It could put an end to end-to-end encryption in services such as WhatsApp: The U.K. government wants telecommunications providers to help it tap their customers' communications, removing any encryption the provider applied.
The government's desires are set out in a draft of the regulations obtained by Open Rights Group (ORG), which campaigns for digital civil rights.
"These powers could be directed at companies like WhatsApp to limit their encryption. The regulations would make the demands that [Home Secretary] Amber Rudd made to attack end-to-end encryption a reality. But if the powers are exercised, this will be done in secret," said ORG executive director Jim Killock.