Alarm bells ring for Internet of Things after smart TV hack >> SC Magazine UK
Yossef Oren and Angelos Keromytis from the Network Security Lab at Columbia University have found that the so-called Smart TV could be hacked using a cheap antenna and broadcast messages, and relies on an insecurity in the Hybrid Broadcast-Broadband Television Standard (HbbTV), which now features on millions of internet-connected TVs after being introduced two years ago.
HbbTV has been adopted by more than 90% of TV set producers, according to research outfit GFK, and allows the approximate 60 broadcasters using the standard in Europe to add interactive HTML content to DVB cable, satellite or terrestrial signals. This means that viewers can use their favourite web services via TV apps, and allows advertisers to serve up relevant ads.
But writing in a new research paper published this week, Oren and Keromytis have detailed that the standard is vulnerable to a “large-scale exploitation technique” that is “remarkably difficult to detect”. It is low entry too – as a budget of just $270 would be enough to target around 20,000 devices.
How big is smartphone platform churn? >> Twitter
Carl Howe of Yankee Group with data from a March 2014 survey in the US, showing 14% of Android users intended to get an iPhone next, while 7% of iPhone users planned to get an Android phone.
Android has a larger user base, so the 14% figure will be a larger absolute number. The figures for BlackBerry and Windows Phone loyalty are telling.
Note that this doesn’t include featurephone users – who are increasing the total pool of smartphone users by about 1m per month in the US.
For Apple, marketing is a whole new game >> Advertising Age
Apparently it’s looking to hire a thousand staff for an internal agency (certainly puts Mad Men to shame). But:
in what once would have been seen as a sacrilegious breach of the Apple-Media Arts Lab bond, it’s been inviting some of the ad industry’s top shops to pitch on major projects.
But Apple’s grand ambitions so far appear to be just that. The company that only a decade ago was the creative standard is finding a frosty reception in some creative corners. “I don’t feel that energy from Apple,” said one top agency exec who was approached for a post. “The revolution has come and gone, and I’m not sure a job at Apple would be a creative opportunity. If I were going to go brand-side, there are a lot more interesting companies I’d rather work for, like Coke or Pepsi.”
As Jay Yarow put it, it’s like Steve Jobs’s proposition to John Sculley – “would you rather change the world, or just sell sugar water?” Except now the answer is “sell sugar water.”
China’s ZTE taking staff from BlackBerry, Motorola Mobility >> WSJ
Amid uncertainties surrounding the prospects for BlackBerry and Motorola Mobility — the cellphone maker that Google is in the process of selling to China’s Lenovo Group — over the past year, ZTE has found rare opportunities to cherry-pick talent from those established global competitors.
Inside ZTE’s human resources department, a special team is tasked with recruiting talent from BlackBerry. While the team has so far recruited fewer than 20 people, it plans to hire more, a person familiar with the situation said. Most of the new hires from BlackBerry, which include senior engineers, are currently based in Canada, but they may later move to the U.S. or China to play greater roles for ZTE, the person added.
“We hope the talent from BlackBerry can enhance our product security and design capability,” said Adam Zeng, who became the head of ZTE’s mobile device business in January
Why are people leaving Motorola to join ZTE rather than Lenovo?
Acer CEO weighs in on smartwatches at Computex 2014 >> Androidheadlines.com
Acer’s CEO Jason Chen understands that smartwatches are the future. The company announced a new smartwatch/fitness band at Computex in Taiwan on Monday. The Liquid Leap aims to handle the fitness tracker piece by tracking your steps, distance, how many calories you burn and your sleep patterns. The Leap does some smartwatch things too, by sending and receiving texts and email messages. The device only works with Acer’s Liquid Jade smartphone for now, although further Android and iOS availability is coming soon.
Chen says that he doesn’t know how the Liquid Leap is going to stand out from the crowded smartwatch market, though. “We believe over time the market will prove itself,” he said in an interview with Engadget. “What we have to do is get the product [out] and see how it goes.
Acer’s 2014 revenues to the end of April are down 33% year-on-year and its operating margin is 1%. Might need better than “see how it goes”.
Honeywell’s Lyric thermostat has the looks and smarts to take on Nest >> Engadget
The screen automatically turns on as you approach, and stays off the rest of the time, so it doesn’t constantly bathe your living room in orange light. You can physically turn the body to change temperatures obviously, but the selling point here is clearly the connectivity. The Lyric app (for iOS or Android) lets you adjust your furnace on the go and can be programmed to automatically boost or drop the temperature based on your GPS location. But, more than that, it can alert you to when you need to change the filter or have your furnace serviced. It will even direct you to a trusted Honeywell professional.
Looks and smarts maybe, but not price: it’s $279. Seems aimed at the business buyer, but who wants an individually-controlled device there? It lacks space for showing adverts too.
Marginal cost of transportation: robotaxis and sprawl repair >> Strong Towns Blog – Strong Towns
Neil Salmond (no relation to Alex?):
Apart from the occasional highway convoy, the vision of nose-to-tail robocars is many decades out, if it ever happens at all. This new technology is not cheap, and so the asset will be sweated: robotaxis will not make just two commuting trips per day, and lie idle the rest of the time. They will not make rapid transit redundant either, for simple reasons of geometry and predictability: why wait ten minutes for a more expensive personal taxi, when you can walk to the transit stop and get the next train in two.
Instead robotaxis will be offered as a fleet service. The availability of robotaxis in a community will provide two great boosts to sprawl repairers. Firstly, the cost of insurance for human-driven vehicles within city limits will rise hugely. Secondly, parking lots and travel lanes will far more easily be removed as ownership declines. As the boomers die off, their car consumption will not be replaced.
What do doctors think of HealthKit? >> Quora
Jae Won Joh (who has upvotes from doctors, oncologists and others):
It has tremendous potential…
Imagine if with just your phone, you could travel with all of your former imaging studies (e.g. chest X-rays, CT scans). Your verified vaccination records. Your biopsy results. Your list of allergies. Your lab tests from the last 10, 15, 20 years. All the medications and doses you’ve ever been on, for what time period, and why. Your heart rate and blood pressure measurements from every clinic visit you’ve ever made.
What if all of this was kept in the cloud, with instant access through your phone?