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12 Important Facts About the Internet of Things (IoT)

The Internet of Things (IoT), is the internetworking of physical devices, vehicles (also referred to as “connected devices” and “smart devices“), buildings and other items—embedded with electronics, software, sensors, actuators, and network connectivity that enable these objects to collect and exchange data. In 2013 the Global Standards Initiative on Internet of Things (IoT-GSI) defined the IoT as “the infrastructure of the information society.”  The IoT allows objects to be sensed and/or controlled remotely across existing network infrastructure, creating opportunities for more direct integration of the physical world into computer-based systems, and resulting in improved efficiency, accuracy and economic benefit. When IoT is augmented with sensors and actuators, the technology becomes an instance of the more general class of cyber-physical systems, which also encompasses technologies such as smart grids,smart homes, intelligent transportation and smart cities. Each thing is uniquely identifiable through its embedded computing system but is able to interoperate within the existing Internet infrastructure. Experts estimate that the IoT will consist of almost 50 billion objects by 2020.

12 Facts IoT

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Internet of things – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The internet of things ( IoT), is the internetworking of physical devices, vehicles (also referred to as ” connected devices” and ” smart devices”), buildings and other items- embedded with electronics, software, sensors, actuators, and network connectivity that enable these objects to collect and exchange data.

AT&T Labs’ Project AirGig Nears First Field Trials for Ultra-Fast Wireless Broadband Over Power Lines

Source: Yahoo! Finance

AT&T says it has developed a new technology it calls AirGig, which links up to standard power lines and uses a special transmitter to deliver super-fast gigabit internet wirelessly.

The project is only in its early test phases for now, and AT&T hasn’t announced where and when it’ll deploy it publicly. But based on the company’s blog post announcing AirGig, it sounds like AT&T will likely target rural areas at first.

Gigabit internet is several times faster than the standard broadband most people get in their home. The AirGig project attaches antennas to existing power lines and uses a millimeter wave frequency to broadcast gigabit internet to devices.

AT&T wouldn’t describe exactly how the technology works, but would only say it’s not tapping into the power of the power line.

AT&T says AirGig is several times cheaper than standard wireless internet because it’s cheaper for the company to deploy and deliver. It can also be used over open wireless spectrum.

AT&T isn’t the only company exploring wireless gigabit internet. Google, Facebook, and the startup Starry are all experimenting with ways to bathe the world in super-fast wireless internet access.

AT&T Labs’ Project AirGig Nears First Field Trials for Ultra-Fast Wireless Broadband Over Power Lines

AT&T* unveiled today Project AirGig, a transformative technology from AT&T Labs that could one day deliver low-cost, multi-gigabit wireless internet speeds using power lines. We’re deep in the experimentation phase. This technology will be easier to deploy than fiber, can run over license-free spectrum and can deliver ultra-fast wireless connectivity to any home or handheld wireless device.

12 Not-So-Great Realities About Nonprofits and Social Media

Nonprofits have spent years promoting Facebook and get rewarded with a 3% organic reach.

Is Social Media still worth the effort?

Millions of nonprofits worldwide have been asking supporters and donors to “Follow Us on Facebook!” or “Like Our Facebook Page!” for nearly a decade. We’ve emailed, we’ve tweeted, we’ve given shout outs at events, and prominently placed calls-to-follow in our print materials. Our sector has provided billions of dollars of free advertising for Facebook. Our reward? An approximate 3% organic reach (and still no Google Adwords-like advertising program for nonprofits). Facebook’s organic reach is equivalent to sending 100 donors a fundraising email and having 97 of them classified spam and consequently blocked.  That’s a wasted use of time and resources and that’s how many nonprofits are feeling these days about Facebook. Yes, Facebook’s new donation tools could be awesome, but only if we promote the donation tools to our supporters and donors which many nonprofits are unwilling to do at this point. With reason, nonprofits are skeptical of Facebook’s motives and long-term objectives.

It is important to step back occasionally and take a critical look at how social media is impacting nonprofit technology at your organization as well as your digital staff. Beyond the power and promise, nonprofit technology needs to produce results that can be quantified and that’s becoming harder to do in respect to social media.

12 Not-So-Great Realities About Nonprofits and Social Media

For more than a decade the blogosphere has touted the power and promise of social media (this blog included), but there is also a downside to using social media for your nonprofit.

Someone Is Learning How to Take Down the Internet

First, a little background. If you want to take a network off the Internet, the easiest way to do it is with a distributed denial-of-service attack (DDoS). Like the name says, this is an attack designed to prevent legitimate users from getting to the site. There are subtleties, but basically it means blasting so much data at the site that it’s overwhelmed. These attacks are not new: hackers do this to sites they don’t like, and criminals have done it as a method of extortion. There is an entire industry, with an arsenal of technologies, devoted to DDoS defense. But largely it’s a matter of bandwidth. If the attacker has a bigger fire hose of data than the defender has, the attacker wins.

Recently, some of the major companies that provide the basic infrastructure that makes the Internet work have seen an increase in DDoS attacks against them. Moreover, they have seen a certain profile of attacks. These attacks are significantly larger than the ones they’re used to seeing. They last longer. They’re more sophisticated. And they look like probing. One week, the attack would start at a particular level of attack and slowly ramp up before stopping. The next week, it would start at that higher point and continue. And so on, along those lines, as if the attacker were looking for the exact point of failure.

The attacks are also configured in such a way as to see what the company’s total defenses are. There are many different ways to launch a DDoS attacks. The more attack vectors you employ simultaneously, the more different defenses the defender has to counter with. These companies are seeing more attacks using three or four different vectors. This means that the companies have to use everything they’ve got to defend themselves. They can’t hold anything back. They’re forced to demonstrate their defense capabilities for the attacker.

Someone Is Learning How to Take Down the Internet

Over the past year or two, someone has been probing the defenses of the companies that run critical pieces of the Internet. These probes take the form of precisely calibrated attacks designed to determine exactly how well these companies can defend themselves, and what would be required to take them down.

Every move you make, every step you take, Google is watching you

Amid complaints that Google Play is always switching on GPS, it appears Google has made it impossible to prevent the app store from tracking your whereabouts unless you completely kill off location tracking for all applications.

If you’re not keen on this, the options are not great: you can either delete Google Maps and/or Google Play, or you have to repeatedly turn your phone’s location services on and off as required throughout the day, which is extremely irritating.

“Kind of defeats the purpose of fine-grained privacy controls,” Al-Bassam noted, adding: “Google is encouraging developers to use the Play location API instead of the native Android API, making an open OS dependent on proprietary software.”

Google was not available for comment.

Delete Google Maps? Go ahead, says Google, we’ll still track you

Google, it seems, is very, very interested in knowing where you are at all times. Users have reported battery life issues with the latest Android build, with many pointing the finger at Google Play – Google’s app store – and its persistent, almost obsessive need to check where you are.

Microsoft keeps making news on the privacy front, and not in a good way.

The company keeps defending data-gathering features that some people don’t want instead of just making them optional.

Microsoft has been called to task for the practice by privacy advocate the Electronic Frontier Foundation. A blog post by EFF staffer Amul Kalia criticizes the company not just for collecting information for Cortana, but also for collecting telemetry data. Kalia writes: “A significant issue is the telemetry data the company receives. While Microsoft insists that it aggregates and anonymizes this data, it hasn’t explained just how it does so. Microsoft also won’t say how long this data is retained, instead providing only general timeframes. Worse yet, unless you’re an enterprise user, no matter what, you have to share at least some of this telemetry data with Microsoft and there’s no way to opt-out of it.”

Microsoft’s tin ear for privacy

Microsoft keeps making news on the privacy front, and not in a good way. Much has been made of the way Cortana in Windows 10 may invade your privacy by collecting data such as the words you speak and the keys you strike.

iOS 10 Coming Tuesday

Apple will release iOS 9 on September 13, which means that you have a few days to get your hardware ready for the big upgrade.

Here’s what you need to do to make sure that things go smoothly for you.

How to get your iPhone or iPad ready for iOS 10 | ZDNet

Apple will release iOS 9 on September 13, which means that you have a few days to get your hardware ready for the big upgrade. Here’s what you need to do to make sure that things go smoothly for you. See also: How to securely wipe your iPhone for resale First things first – will you get iOS 10?

USB Kill 2.0

The lesson here is simple enough. If a device has an exposed USB port — such as a copy machine or even an airline entertainment system — it can be used and abused, not just by a hacker or malicious actor, but also electrical attacks.

“Any public facing USB port should be considered an attack vector,” says the company. “In data security, these ports are often locked down to prevent exfiltration of data, or infiltration of malware, but are very often unprotected against electrical attack.”

Good news! Now you can buy a laptop-destroying USB stick

For just a few bucks, you can pick up a USB stick that destroys almost anything that it’s plugged into. Laptops, PCs, televisions, photo booths — you name it. Once a proof-of-concept, the pocket-sized USB stick now fits in any security tester’s repertoire of tools and hacks, says the Hong Kong-based company that developed it.

Hey there, Slack. This won’t be easy, but it’s for the best.

While it’s true that email was (and, despite your valiant efforts, still very much is) a barely-manageable firehose of to-do list items controlled by strangers, one of the few things that it did have going for it was that at least everything was in one place.

Trying to keep up with the manifold follow-up tasks from the manifold conversations in your manifold teams and channels requires a Skynet-like metapresence that is simply beyond me.

With you, the firehose problem has become a hydra-headed monster.

https://medium.com/better-people/slack-i-m-breaking-up-with-you-54600ace03ea#.hzf7d6n7x

Get People to Stay on Your Website Longer — Jetpack for WordPress

Check out these two Jetpack features to help people stay on your website longer and help more people discover the content you’ve already created.

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