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The emergence of connected technologies, with products ranging from high-definition TVs and refrigerators to newer cars, there is huge potential possible for innovative companies. However, a lag in security of connected devices will give cyber criminals a new platform to exploit moving forward, depending how they access the compromised unit.
"Botnets are already a major security concern and the emergence of thingbots may make the situation much worse," said David Knight, Proofpoint Information Security division, in a statement. "Many of these devices are poorly protected at best and consumers have virtually no way to detect or fix infections when they do occur."
Manufacturers and security experts are working on next-generation security products aimed at helping keep connected technologies more secure. As more consumers embrace 'smart' goods at home and in the workplace, this will continue to be a struggle in the looming years.
The lure of connected cars continue to cause quite a stir in the automotive and tech industries, though there is a growing concern over possible security threats. Cyber criminal focus will remain on PCs, smartphones, tablets, and connected household devices, but security analysts warn auto threats are right around the corner.
Google Android-powered vehicles will roll out before the end of this year, and will feature Google Maps, Google Places, Google Voice, Google Earth, and the Google Play store.
"I think Google will bring in some of its elements from the automated car research it's conducting, where it's focusing heavily on cybersecurity," said Praveen Chandrasekar, Frost & Sullivan automotive and transportation researcher, in a statement. And remember, they'll be working directly with [automotive] OEMs, who will tell them what their security requirements are."
Meanwhile, Apple has found its way into connected vehicles manufactured from the likes of Acura, BMW, Mercedes-Benz, Volvo, and Toyota. Connected vehicles will become an intense battlefield in 2014, as future cars make use of connected technologies, even in cheaper vehicles.
Network hardware company Cisco Systems focused on the Internet of Everything (IoE), setting the landscape for people connected to mobile devices, smart buildings, transportation networks, data and other processes on a wide scale. The number of estimated connected devices is 15 to 25 billion by 2015, which will propel up to 50 billion by 2020.
"Cisco has led customers through every Internet transition over the last 30 years," said Blair Christie, Cisco Senior VP and chief marketing officer, in a statement. "The Internet of Everything is perhaps the most promising of these, creating unprecedented opportunities for organizations, individuals, communities and countries to realize dramatically greater value from networked connections between people, processes, data and things."
Cisco has been forced to adapt to a changing environment in which employees are largely embracing the 'bring your own device' craze. However, the IoE blows that out of the water, with service users able to benefit from long-form content, location-based and profile data, home/control/automation features, and sensor-collected data in the home and workplace.
Auto manufacturer Volvo used the 2014 Consumer Electronics Show (CES) to show off its Sensus Connect connected-car platform, which recently added the Xtime ServiceTelematics technology into its offering. The Sensus Connect system provides a mobile Wi-Fi hotspot for drivers, along with the ability to locate and pay for parking - and automated alerts if there is car trouble, with drivers able to easily schedule a tune-up.
"Technology should make your life easier, especially in the car," said David Holecek, Volvo connectivity brand manager, in a statement. "This fundamental consumer insight underpinned the development of Sensus Connect. It's not about offering a thousand apps. It's about giving you precisely what you need, before you even knew you needed it."
Connected cars were extremely popular during CES this year, and will continue to be shown at auto shows throughout the year. Following CES, auto makers immediately shifted focus to the Silicon Valley Auto Show - and will again shift gears and prepare for the start of the North American International Auto Show in Detroit, Michigan.
The City of San Francisco is one of the leading tech hubs in the world, but budget cuts and political bickering shelved numerous attempts to get public access to free Wi-Fi in well-trafficked portions of the city.
The $500,000 project to bring free public Wi-Fi to Market Street in San Francisco has been completed, with a three-mile stretch of downtown road now supporting up to 50Mbps of free service. It's a far-cry from the citywide Wi-Fi promise made in 2007, but this is at least a good step in the right direction towards coverage across the city.
Silicon Valley company Ruckus Wireless contributed hardware, while Layer 42 Networks provided 1 gigabit Internet access service to the project. Market Street is one of the major thoroughfares in downtown San Francisco, with more than 250,000 people using the street per day. Throughout San Francisco and Silicon Valley, tech companies are expanding free public Wi-Fi, as more consumers use laptops, smartphones, and tablets for personal and work activities. Similar Wi-Fi projects are currently underway in major metropolitan areas throughout the United States - and in select cities across the world - so the potential upside of these efforts could be tremendous.
I was expecting it to be my city next, but obviously Google has no love for me. The Mountain View-based everything giant is looking to install its own fiber-optic network in Kampala, Uganda.
Google has been installing the network over the last couple of months, officially unveiling the project on Wednesday. The new network will allow 10 local mobile operators and Internet Service Providers (ISPs) to boost speeds up a factor of 100 in most places in Kampala. The city itself is home to around 3 million potential Internet users.
The ISPs will receive the huge speeds, and will be able to offer its customers up to two gigabits per second, which is just insane. Why is Google pushing a network in Uganda? Well, considering only 16% of Africa's 1 billion citizens have Internet, it can be big business. Google makes money from advertising, and getting more people online will have more people seeing ads, which lets Google print its money.
Tumblr has updated its app and has been entirely redesigned for iOS 7. The new update is available to download now on the iPhone or iPad. The app looks a lot sleeker than the previous version. It now includes a auto-complete for tagging, a faster reblog, a new interface for composing and choosing post styles.
"We've completely redesigned Tumblr for iPhone and iPad! It's faster and has a beautiful new look and feel, just like iOS 7."
Sprint and Best Buy are teaming up to help out college student by giving them 12 months of free service with the purchase of a new smartphone. The promotion is called the My Way student promotion and offers unlimited calling and texting with 1GB of data. The 1GB can be upgraded to unlimited for just $10 a month.
The student must purchase a smartphone at full retail price and pay for the activation fee of $36.They must include proof that they are attending college or high school, and the promotion is even for kids in middle school. Students can also get an additional 12 months to share if they refer a friend and go on the same account. Sprint mentions this promotion can save you $70 a month. This promotion will be going until the end of this year.
In this NSA and GCHQ controlled world that mimics 1984, Internet Service Providers are now having to step in and try and stop the spy agencies of the world from prying into your private lives.
News is coming from Deutsche Telekom, who has teamed up with security firm RSA, to work on building an Internet connection that can detect attacks early on, which will be known as "clean pipe" Internet connections, which push data through hack-resistant lines. The German ISP isn't giving us all the details just yet, but these connections will be tailor-made for small- and medium-sized businesses who are willing to pay a fixed monthly fee.
We should have more details on the "clean pipe" Internet connections early next year when it begins to roll out.
The Los Angeles City Council has approved a draft of RFP (or request for proposals) which would allos businesses that are interested, to develop a citywide Wi-Fi network.
Building this free broadband network "would require fiber to be run to every residence, every business, and every government entity within the city limits of Los Angeles," according to LA's Information Technology Agency GM, Steve Reneker, who talked with Ars Technica. Better yet, LA residents would receive free fiber Internet, a speeds of between 2Mbps and 5Mbps, with plans scaling up (if they choose to pay more) to gigabit.