Goto

Collaborating Authors

Networks


Best of CES 2021: The smart home and home entertainment products that captured our attention

PCWorld

If you think judging a product based on what you can see and hear in a jampacked and noisy convention center is hard, imagine doing it over a Zoom connection. That being said, these smart home and home entertainment products impressed us despite the limitations of the venue. The products below are presented in alphabetical order. If you'd like to see everything we checked out at CES 2021, just click here. Wait, three thousand bucks for a doggie door?


TP-Link adds voice control to its newest mesh WiFi router

Engadget

TP-Link has today announced an updated version of its Deco mesh networking gear that now has voice control, through Amazon Alexa. The Deco Voice X20 packs in a smart speaker in every satellite point that enables users to control the smart parts of their home without buying more Echo Dots. The two pack you can buy at retail is said to cover 4,000 square feet in WiFi 6, with truly "seamless roaming." The hardware is pretty interesting to look at, too, with a white cylinder floating on a hot-rod red base. Mesh networks rely upon gadgets being strewn around your home in prominent places, not hidden behind cupboards. In order to encourage this, device makers have both made their gear look better, but also do more to ensure that they find a place in your heart.


TP-Link adds security cams and a video doorbell to its Kasa smart home line

Engadget

TP-Link has made smart home devices before, but it's going all-out for 2021. The router maker has introduced several Kasa-branded gadgets at CES, including a Kasa Smart Doorbell (aka the KD110). The device helps you greet couriers (and spot intruders) with a 1080p camera that uses AI-based person detection. You can subscribe to Kasa Care if you want a rolling 30 days of cloud storage for footage, but you can also use microSD cards up to 128GB if you'd rather store video locally. Security cameras play a large role as well.


Cisco Systems Pulls Back From Smart City Push

WSJ.com: WSJD - Technology

Cisco Systems Inc. is pulling the plug on a flagship effort to help digitize the modern city, the latest example of a big tech company struggling to enter a new market. The setback comes as the pandemic has weighed on Cisco's core business of supplying networking equipment and has limited the ability of local governments to finance such projects. City planners and local governments for years have been preparing for a future where technology remakes the urban landscape, with features such as self-driving cars, smart lighting and connected alarms to help safeguard residents. Communications using 5G technology blanketing the city would allow widespread adoption of smart devices. For Cisco, best known for providing routers and other networking gear to corporate customers, that vision promised a budding new market.


Ring Alarm (2nd Gen) review: Still the best DIY home security system

PCWorld

Ring Alarm has been our favorite home-security-focused smart home system since its launch, and the second-generation system is even better. That said, Ring hasn't yet delivered on its implied promise to make the Ring Alarm the unifying core of a complete smart home system. Fulfilling that promise--which Ring Solutions president Mike Harris spoke of in 2018--would have bumped up our bottom-line score by a half point. I'll assume, however, that your primary interest in reading this review is to learn about Ring Alarm as a home security system. So, I'll focus on that aspect first and summarize its shortcomings as a smart home system later. This is an in-depth review of a complex system, written after living with the product for a couple of months with the professional monitoring option enabled.


SkyCore

Communications of the ACM

Evolved packet core (EPC, Figure 5) is a distributed system of different nodes, each consisting of diverse network functions (NFs) that are required to manage the LTE network. The EPC consists of data and control data planes: the data plane enforces operator policies (e.g., DPI, QoS classes, and accounting) on data traffic to/from the user equipment (UE), whereas the control plane provides key control and management functions such as access control, mobility, and security management.


Future of work: Five new features of your remote workplace in 2021

ZDNet

COVID-19 has turned the world of work on its head, with many of us having spent most of 2020 separated from our colleagues and logging-in to greet each other every day from our bedrooms, living spaces, and other cobbled-together places of work. It's a year that has asked a lot of us all, and with 2021 now – somehow – on the horizon, many will be wondering what the next 12 months has in store. One thing seems certain: the new remote-working landscape hastily hammered out by 2020 won't be disappearing any time soon. In fact, working from home at least part of the time looks set to be the new way of doing things for the foreseeable future. And while organizations might have a better grasp on the technical challenges than they did at the start of the year, there is still a litany of issues to overcome if we want to make this "new normal" truly work.


This training bundle could kickstart a career in software engineering

Mashable

TL;DR: The Super Software Engineer Bundle is on sale for £28.88 as of Dec. 22, saving you 98% on list price. Software engineers can wear many hats. They write software, create applications, and work to make sure those products function well. If you're interested in pursuing a career in software engineering, you can use the Super Software Engineer Bundle as your springboard. It's a great resource to make sure you actually like the field before you really invest. Developed by online learning platform Certs School, this seven-course bundle is designed to equip you with the skills to build applications, develop computer games, and run network control systems.


2021 outlook: Here are the technologies, questions that'll matter

ZDNet

In 2020, businesses had to be digital or die. Digital transformation drove technology projects, remote work and education became the norm due to the COVID-19 pandemic and building block technologies such as cloud computing, artificial intelligence, and machine learning accelerated. Bret Taylor, president and chief operating officer of Salesforce, summed the current state of business clearly: "Your business is digital or you don't have a business." While 2021 holds promise for business technology there will be multiple unknowns ahead. We don't have all the answers, but certainly have a few working theories to test via our editorial leaders around the world.


Brazilian government rolls out remote workforce management system

ZDNet

After saving millions of dollars by enabling public servants to operate remotely, the Brazilian government has developed a system to enable planning, monitoring and control of work carried out in that format. Developed in-house, the system is now available to bodies under the Ministry of Economy, however the intention is that the system is rolled out more broadly across government. The release of the system follows the framework for remote working published by the Brazilian government in October, which sets out basic guidance but also enables the Ministry's organisations to develop their own management programs in relation to remote work. Beyond the Ministry of Economy, various other government bodies are implementing other remote working management systems made available through the Brazilian Public Software Portal. The process that has been occurring through a collaborative effort aimed at providing mutual support across the various public sector bodies that are implementing such systems, as well as the continuous improvement of these platforms.