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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.

What happened when a parent fought for his kid’s privacy at an all-Chromebook school

ChromebookKatherine W was seven when her third-grade teacher issued Chromebooks to her class. Her dad, Jeff, is a serious techie, but the school’s tech choices didn’t sit well with him. He was able to get Katherine an exception that let her use a more private, non-cloud computer for the year, but the next year, Katherine’s school said she would have to switch to a laptop that would exfiltrate everything she did to Google’s data-centers.

The rules around data-collection and kids are complicated and full of loopholes. Though they seem, on the surface, to forbid Google from creating an advertising profile of kids using school-issued laptops, the reality is that kids are profiled as soon as they click outside of the Google education suite — so when a kid watches a Youtube video, her choice is added to an advertising profile that’s attached to her school ID.

Jeff worked with the Electronic Frontier Foundation to negotiate Katherine’s right to keep using non-cloud computers in school, with better privacy protections for her.

EFF has published a guide for students to improving Chromebook privacy settings, too — so if your school makes you (or your kids) use Chromebooks, you can make good choices about keeping your data private.

Netskope Report Reveals High Frequency of Compromised Credentials in Enterprise Cloud Apps

Recent research has identified that only one in ten cloud apps are secure enough for enterprise use. According to a report from cloud experts Netskope, organizations are employing an average of over 600 business cloud apps, despite the majority of software posing a high risk of data leak. The company showed that 15% of logins for business apps used by organizations had been breached by hackers. Over 20% of businesses in the Netskope cloud actively used more than 1,000 cloud apps, and over 8% of files in corporate-sanctioned cloud storage apps were in violation of DLP policies, source code, and other policies surrounding confidential and sensitive data. Google Drive, Facebook, Youtube, Twitter and Gmail were among the apps investigated in the Netskope research.


Apple Copies Your Files Without Your Knowledge or Consent

iCloud Drive

After security researcher Jeffrey Paul upgraded the operating system on his MacBook Pro last week, he discovered that several of his personal files had found a new home – on the cloud. The computer had saved the files, which Paul thought resided only on his own encrypted hard drive, to a remote server Apple controlled.

“This is unacceptable,” thundered Paul, an American based in Berlin, on his personal blog a few days later. “Apple has taken local files on my computer not stored in iCloud and silently and without my permission uploaded them to their servers – across all applications, Apple and otherwise.”

“If you take 100 people and sit them down in front of a factory-new machine running Yosemite with iCloud Drive and have them open TextEdit, create a new window, type their darkest secrets into that window, and power the machine off without saving it anywhere – how many of those 100 would believe that the data hadn’t left the room?”

He was not alone in either his frustration or surprise. Johns Hopkins University cryptographer Matthew D. Green tweeted his dismay after realizing that some private notes had found their way to iCloud. Bruce Schneier, another prominent cryptography expert, wrote a blog post calling the automatic saving function “both dangerous and poorly documented” by Apple.

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iCloud’s Two-Factor Authentication Doesn’t Secure Your Photos, Backups

By Eric Ravenscraft

iCloud hasn’t exactly had the best week. You’ve probably heard that you should enable two-factor authentication on your Apple account (among others) to protect yourself from hackers, but be forewarned: two-factor authentication doesn’t protect your iCloud backups or photos.

As TechCrunch points out, Apple’s official support documentation states that two-factor authentication only protects My Apple ID sign-ins and support, as well as purchases from iTunes, the App Store, and iBooks Store. There is no guarantee that anything else on an Apple account is protected by using two-factor authentication anymore than it would be with a regular password…which is a little absurd.

That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t use two-factor authentication, of course. It still protects you to a certain degree. But, contrary to certain rumors, two-factor authentication is not the solution to any iCloud-related photo hacks you may be hearing about.


Why you shouldn’t trust your data to “the cloud”

By David Pogue

At one point, the phrase “in the cloud” probably meant something useful and specific. These days, though, it has just become a buzzy marketing term for “the Internet.” “Your files are safely stored in the cloud!” “You can send video messages through the cloud!” “You can order books from the cloud!”

You mean the Internet? Oh.

Internet services such as these have become essential elements in the Apple, Google and Microsoft ecosystems. Have an iPhone? Then you have a big incentive to get a Mac and an iPad, too—because Apple’s free iCloud service will make sure that your calendar, address book, e-mail, to-do list, notes and passwords are magically synced with all your Apple gadgets.

Have an Android phone? You’ll want to stick with Google’s Web browser, tablets and laptops for the same reason. Microsoft, too, has automatic syncing among Windows computers and phones and the Web.

If you take the bait and marry into one company’s ecosystem, great! You enjoy astonishing convenience—free. And if this “in the cloud” stuff makes you a little nervous, no problem! You can opt out and confine your data’s location to your own zip code.

At least that’s the way it used to be.

Lately, the big tech companies have been quietly removing the option for you to keep your data to yourself.

Chat With Friends Across All Networks

What do you get when you cross Facebook, Google Hangouts and Skype? IMO.IM, that’s what!


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On Monday, IMO launched a newly designed interface that takes its former multiprotocol instant messenger app and completely overhauls it – now adding both video and voice calling functionality. On top of this, IMO has transformed its user interface from the grey and white to a newly designed platform that looks like a cross between Google Plus and Facebook.

The new web-based interface offers a status update stream called a “broadcast”, as well as all of your imported contacts on the far right, and live chats filling the center of the screen. The service clearly hasn’t departed from its core purpose of serving as a multi-protocol IM platform, but now it is seeking to compete with the likes of Google Hangouts and Skype by providing the option to have an audio chat or a video chat with any of your contacts.

How to Send Confirmation Emails with Google Forms

How to Send Confirmation Emails with Google Forms

Learn how to send automatic confirmation emails to the user’s email address after they submit a Google form. You may also CC a copy of the form to yourself.


Google Sheets Gets Faster, Offers Offline Use and Tons of New Features


Meet the new Google Sheets

Google Sheets has been rebuilt from the ground up. It’s faster, supports larger spreadsheets, has a number of new features, and works offline. Try it out at g.co/newsheets or learn more at http://goo.gl/tA7XQB.

Google has rebuilt its spreadsheet app from the ground up to be snappier, support millions of cells, and make working on spreadsheets much easier.

social_google_box_blueThe video above showcases many of the improvements, such as faster scrolling and calculations, as well as features like a function guidance and highlighting. One unique addition is filter views, which lets you save different views of your information—so you can sort a spreadsheet while leaving the view untouched for others collaborating on it. I especially like the automatic flow of text into adjacent cells if they’re empty—so you don’t have to manually merge the cells.

This is all available offline, just like Docs and Slides.

Head to Google Drive and select the “Try the new Google Sheets” box to give it a whirl or read more about it in the link below.

New Google Sheets: faster, more powerful, and works offline | Google Official Blog

Which Sites Properly Encypt Your Data

via Lifehacker

No company out there wants to admit it, but the fact is, there’s always a reasonable chance they’ll get hacked. If they don’t encrypt your data, those hacks reveal all kinds of information about you very easily. So, to see who’s doing encryption well, the Electronic Frontier Foundation decided to come up with a chart that looks at a number of the big companies. P

The EFF looked at major companies like Apple, Amazon, Dropbox, and Google. They then looked at what type of encryption options they offered users and what they use to keep your data out of the hands of hackers. The results are pretty surprising, with some companies, like Comcast and Microsoft not doing very much at all to keep your data safe.

Encryption Comparison

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