TweakTown publishes a large amount of security and hacking stories largely focused in the cyber world, but there also is a need for physical security. Both businesses and a growing number of private residences use closed-circuit television (CCTV) security systems, which can be found for as low as $100.
CCTV technology continues to develop and vigilant store security staff are able to monitor and sometimes prevent a potential theft. Footage proves valuable to police, potentially making it easier to identify suspects, vehicles, and additional circumstances that might otherwise be overlooked.
"Armed robberies can be a terrifying experience for members of staff and the unpredictable nature of the crime means it's important to have CCTV security systems in place to protect customers and members of staff," said an AlertSystems company official.
Computer scientists in the University of Washington have made a prototype of a low-cost gesture control system that requires no battery to power it up. The control system even allows the users to control their devices that are out of sight using TV signals.
This research project is funded by a Google faculty research award and Washington Research Foundation. The prototype called 'AllSee' uses TV signals as a source of power and its way to detect any gesture command from the user. The assistant professor computer science and engineering at the University of Washington said,"This is the first gesture recognition system that can be implemented for less than a dollar and doesn't require a battery. You can leverage TV signals both as a source of power and as a source of gesture recognition."
The hybrid memory cube consortium (HMCC) is an organization comprising of memory providers such as Micron Technology, Samsung Electronics, and SK Hynix, is dedicated to developing and establishing an industry-standard interface specification for the hybrid memory cube (HMC) technology.
This week, the consortium unveiled HMC 2.0, which is capable of some truly crazy speeds. HMC 2.0 is capable of supporting bandwidth of 480GB/sec per one memory device. HMC can do this by using advanced through-silicon vias (TSVs) - which are vertical conduits that electrically connect a stack of individual chips - in order to combine high-performance logic with dynamic random access memory (DRAM) die.
HMC 1.0 was capable of 160GB/sec of bandwidth, in 2GB density while running 10Gb/s per late data-rate, using up to 70% less energy per bit than existing technologies. The new HMC 2.0 specification supports increased data rate speeds advancing short-reach (SR) performance from 10Gb/s, 12.5Gb/s, 15Gb/s and up to 30Gb/s, allowing the peak bandwidth of a single memory cube to bounce all the way up to 480GB/sec.
Santa Clara-based PureWave is working with Artemis Networks, which is company behind the impressive pCell Technology that we reported on a few days back now. The two companies are working together on the design and development of base stations for Artemis' pCell technology.
Artemis Networks chose PureWave to supply pWave radios for its upcoming trial deployments, with the test involving the companies using various bands and power levels to wireless carriers who will be using pCell. Dan Picker, PureWave Networks' CEO, said: "PureWave is excited to have partnered with Artemis Networks in helping to realize this promising new pCell technology. It has long been clear to industry veterans that a completely new approach is required to keep up with the exponentially increasing mobile broadband capacity demands of today's users".
He continued: "PureWave has focused on Smart-Antenna and Small Cell Base Station technologies to improve the efficiency in which valuable spectral resources are consumed. For this reason, we quickly understood the potential of pCell technology, since it effectively exploits a combination of these techniques. We also knew that our latest generation base station platform would be the perfect complement to realizing the technology in a real-world setting".
Ericsson and Philips have announced that they are teaming up on a new project that brings green LED lighting to streetlights and helps mobile providers to expand mobile broadband within a city. Ericsson calls the system Zero Site and the idea is to help cities reduce clutter while offering expanded access to broadband around the city.
Philips is providing the green LED streetlights for the plan and the poles used have space inside to support Ericsson cellular networking hardware. Philips says that the city can help offset the costs of installing green LED streetlights by selling or renting the space for networking gear to a wireless provider.
The streetlights will help the city reduce electricity usage significantly with a large rollout. Philips says that the lights can provide a power savings of 50 to 70%. Power savings of up to 80% is possible with smart controls according to Philips.
MWC 2014 - The MHL Consortium took the time during Mobile World Congress 2014 to announce it has updated the MHL connectivity specifications. MHL 2.0 has moved to MHL 3.0, which is now capable of streaming 4K content.
MHL 3.0 is also capable of charging devices that run on 5V right up to 2000mA, which means we now have the capability of 10W charging. 10W charging will see tablets and smartphones charging faster than ever, which should put smiles on digital dials. We should see MHL 3.0 being baked into devices as we shift deeper into 2014.
Analogix has just announced the availability of its super-slick new SlimPort-4K line, which provides the ability to share 4K content to external displays and TVs.
The company has leveraged its high-end, ultra-low power SlimPort-4K transmitter, the ANX7816, which is currently in mass production. The SlimPort-4K receiver, the ANX7738, is currently sampling. Andre Bouwer, Vice President of Marketing for Analogix, said: "With SlimPort-4K the video output capabilities of smartphones and tablets surpass that of most mainstream Blu-ray video players. This gives smartphone owners the flexibility to watch movies on their small screen when on the go, or on the big screen when at home and recharging their batteries without compromising video quality".
At a time when every major business agreement is a victory, smartphone maker BlackBerry will team up with automaker Ford for its next-generation Sync platform. Ford is working with Microsoft to help provide technology to Sync, but Ford reportedly wants to shake things up a bit.
The BlackBerry QNX platform will be cheaper for Ford to license than Microsoft's technology, and will benefit from increased QNX flexibility. The platform is available in Audi and BMW car models, with QNX used for U.S. military and critical infrastructure efforts.
There is a fight to bring technologies into vehicles, with Google partnering with General Motors, Hyundai, Honda and others - and GPU manufacturer NVIDIA also is partnering to offer Android in vehicles. Ford officials not surprisingly didn't confirm the news when contacted by Bloomberg, though shows how serious the auto maker is to improve Sync.
The "Internet of Everything" is still nowhere near its full potential, but Europe will embrace the trend with an estimated 5.7 million small businesses and home alarm systems connected to European cellular networks in 2018.
The recent findings were released by Berg Insight in an effort to show how technology is increasing - many automated security services currently make use of self-monitoring, though as more devices are connected, it provides great opportunity for professional monitoring services to be included.
"There is considerable growth potential," said Andre Malm, Berg Insight analyst, in a press release.
It's not just home- and business-based security alarms that are receiving a strong boost from technological developments that are emerging. There is a great effort to bring connected features into vehicles on the roadway, including enhanced security measures, which can be used to quickly identify - and track - stolen vehicles.
According to OpenSignal's State of LTE report for Q1 2014, Australia leads the pack in terms of the fastest LTE/4G speeds in the world. Australia's leading ISP, Telstra, is helping to drive that back home for the country.
The OpenSignal report looks at countries all across the globe, analyzing their 4G networks to see who has the best coverage, speeds and carriers. 17 countries in total were compared, with Italy coming in second place, and in second-to-last, the United States. The average download speed experienced in Australia was 24.5Mbps, while the US trailed behind with just 6.5Mbps.
If we compare the speeds with the last report taken, the US was sitting at 9.6Mbps, and is now reaching an average download speed of 6.5Mbps. Australia on the other hand, has increased from 17.3Mbps to 24.5Mbps.
Steve Perlman, has something that could truly solve some of the problems we have with mobile data congestion, dead zones and more, with his new 'pCell' device.
Current cellular networks use a tower to transmit a radio signal, forming a large cell that provides wireless signal to all mobile devices within that area. This umbrella of signal will feed out whatever you need in terms of data or calls. Cell tower capacity is then shared through mobile devices, taking turns to avoid interfering with each other, and once more people enter the area, speeds can drop.
Companies simply can't just add more antennas in order to prepare for the increased demand, as their signals would be disrupted if they're placed too close together. This is where Artemis Networks' pCell technology comes into play, as it enhances the signal itself, with multiple waves combining to form stronger waves.
At least 60 percent of households in the United States with broadband Internet access also have at least one connected television, according to information released from The Diffusion Group (TDG) Research. Broadband adoption is slowing due to a mature, stable market, but connected TVs are on the rise, with that trend expected to continue moving forward.
In broadband households with at least one Internet-enabled TV, average ownership totaled 1.6 units, and it's possible that number will increase in 2014.
"Whether net-to-TV video will somehow topple traditional pay-TV service models has been a red herring from the beginning," said Michael Greeson, TDG president and director of research, in a press statement. "The real debate is the extent to which the growing availability and expanding use of 'OTT TV' services will have on the time viewers spend watching traditional pay-TV given the growing array of sources at their disposal."
The majority of new HDTVs have some type of connected features - so it might not necessarily be consumers showing great interest - as opposed to simply purchasing a new TV that allows Internet access.
When Google first unveiled its Fiber service, most thought its 1 gigabit speeds were out-of-this-world... well, not so much now that the Mountain View-based giant is working on 10 gigabit connections.
Yes, 10 gigabit: 10 times the speed of its already-blazingly-fast 1 gigabit service. Google CFO, Patrick Pichette, has said: "That's where the world is going. It's going to happen. That's what we're working on. There's no need to wait". The technology for 10 gigabit connections isn't quite ready, with Google still in the research phase of things.
Pichette has made it very clear that it could be years before we see connections laid into the ground at the consumer scale, but also said that Google has no intention of stopping the 1 gigabit speeds that are being offered up by Google Fiber. With the FCC requesting gigabit connections in all 50 states across the US by the end of next year, it will be interesting times ahead for US residents.
A software glitch has forced Toyota to recall 1.9 million vehicles sold worldwide from 2010 to 2014, trying to fix an error that causes the car to stall. The recall hits 1 million cars in Japan, 700,000 in the United States and the remaining 200,000 from Europe and other select markets.
Specifically, Toyota will have car dealerships install updated software to fix a bug that leads to heat buildup in the car's circuit transistors, which obviously caused damage. Engine warning lights would trigger an alert, but the vehicle would also occasionally stall while driven.
No reports have been submitted to Toyota regarding accidents or injuries from the unexpected error.
Toyota has helped usher in hybrid vehicles to mainstream auto buyers, and the Prius currently has three generations. The issue is limited to the latest generation Prius, and will take time before the Japanese automaker can remove the egg from its face.
Comcast subscribers are now recommended to change their passwords after the NullCrew FTS hacker group successfully hacked at least 34 Comcast servers. The hack took place earlier in February, but didn't receive much attention, and many Comcast users were still unaware they faced any type of security exploit.
All 34 Comcast mail servers fell victim to the same exploit.
Much to the delight of the hacker group, when originally targeting Comcast, a Comcast Twitter support team member naively asked "Hello, how can I help?", in which the group said, "Fix the vulnerabilities in your mail servers before we pwn them?, taunting the oblivious customer service rep.
Comcast is the biggest U.S. ISP and appears to have neglected closing a security hole in which the NullCrew FTS team was able to collect information - and didn't share customer data in a public pastebin - specifically targeting e-mail accounts.
Manufacturers have finally figured out how to attract consumers to connected high-definition TVs (HDTVs), using third-party Web-based apps to draw in users. Smart TVs will capture the "majority of television shipments" this year, and more U.S. consumers will have smart TVs than connected TVs by 2015, according to Business Insider.
Original Web TVs initially seemed appealing, but were wrongly predicted TV viewers would want to use the TV to browse the Internet in a traditional manner. Some companies embrace open platforms, such as LG, Roku and Google Chromecast supporting open source, while Apple, Samsung and other companies rely on closed infrastructures.
Apple TV and Roku set-top boxes lead the market for streaming devices, though Google Chromecast also sold a large number of units. Apple TV racked up 8 million units shipped during all of 2013, while Roku shipped 4.5 million units.
Google may have opened up the Chromecast SDK for developers, but don't expect to see any porn through the $35 product - banning any content that contains nudity, graphic sex acts, and sexually-explicit material.
Google also warned child porn supporters that the authorities will be notified whenever discovered. From the Google fine print:
"We don't allow content that contains nudity, graphic sex acts, or sexually explicit material. Google has a zero-tolerance policy against child sexual abuse imagery. If we become aware of content with child sexual abusive imagery, we will report it to the appropriate authorities and delete the Google Accounts of those involved with the distribution."
This isn't a big surprise, as Google decided to turn down porn-related apps from its Glass product, with the company trying to get its product supported for all audiences. Gambling apps also are banned from Chromecast, including online casinos and sports betting apps that reward gamers with cash or other currency.
Less than one year after the public launch of its Chromecast HDTV dongle, Google has finally opened up the software development kit for developers trying to get in on the fun. The Cast SDK was previously available, but was in a restricted form as Google worked with exclusive partners to give them earlier access to create Chromecast apps.
"With the Chromecast, we're resetting consumer applications," noted Rishi Chandra, Google Chromecast director of product management.
App developers now have the ability to integrate Chromecast apps with Google Android, Apple iOS, or Web-based apps - and Google developers believe the potential for Cast-enabled apps is huge - joining Netflix, YouTube, Chrome, and a small number of apps Google immediately included support for from launch.
Cable provider Time Warner Cable suffered through another turbulent year, losing 831,000 paid subscribers in 2013. The No. 2 broadcaster in the United States lost 119,000 during Q1, 191,000 in Q2, 306,000 in Q3, and 215,000 subscribers in Q4 - but still has 11.5 million video subscribers in the United States, though that number is expected to decline further.
Several companies have shown interest in trying to acquire Time Warner Cable, with Charter Communications expected to raise its bid for the struggling cable provider. As Time Warner Cable continues to lose subscribers, both Charter and Comcast are likely to show great interest in picking up the company.
Although there are disputing reports of cord cutting, in which subscribers go to Netflix and other online-based services, cable and satellite providers are clearly struggling. Premium subscription channels such as HBO and Starz are increasingly opening up content through connected TVs, tablets and smartphones, which will continue to increase.
AT&T has recently filed for a patent that would institute a credits-based system. The new system is designed to allow AT&T to lower the bandwidth allotment for file-sharers, but the implications of the patent go much further than that. The new patent could have a chilling effect on content distribution networks, including Steam, Origin, and Netflix.
The patent, titled "Prevention Of Bandwidth Abuse Of A Communications System", would theoretically allow AT&T to create Internet plans that would only allow access to certain sites or protocols. The patent has a brief description:
The user is provided an initial number of credits. As the user consumes the credits, the data being downloaded is checked to determine if it is permissible or non-permissible. Non-permissible data includes file-sharing files and movie downloads if user subscription does not permit such activity. If the data is permissible, the user is provided another allotment of credits equal to the initial allotment. If the data is non-permissible, the user is provided an allotment of credits less than the initial allotment
The wide adoption of connected high-definition TVs opened the door to great potential for consumers accessing apps, streaming video, and other dynamic content. Software maker Opera recently shared several web trends that consumers can expect to see from connected TVs and other entertainment devices in the living room.
Opera believes Internet video will explode on TV in 2014, as the amount content also drastically catches up. Next, TV apps are going to become more relevant and viewers will become more comfortable using these types of apps as the overall experience improves. Due to new connected technology apps available, TV ads also are going to become interactive, providing a more targeted, entertaining experience.
Moving forward, smart TVs will become even more affordable, so casual consumers will be able to explore different options available. As more people begin to upgrade their TVs and purchase newer models, the amount of content will also increase - on-demand, Netflix, Hulu, and pay operators are expanding their streaming offerings.