Google moving into "Hardware" as the Internet of things Era takes hold

Huffington Post - Tech news and opinion

Google's strategic move into selling own branded Mobile phones is another step in the merging of "Software plus Hardware" that Apple, Microsoft, Amazon and recently Facebook have realized at the making of the "Internet of Things" Era. This is the critical issue of not just providing the software and operating system but increasing the value in the devices that become the Interface to the Customer: the smart phone, the smart tablet/laptop of Microsoft Surface, the Smart Speaker of Amazon Echo and Alexa, and the Facebook Oculus Rift and Microsoft Hololens that are the new foundations of Natural Language speech recognition services and the VR Virtual Reality and AR Augmented Reality breaking now and into 2017 and onward. Google's long-term market is changing, the advertising revenue from search engines while still strong is now seeing new ways to search via speech or Virtual image recognition and virtual interaction Google has been late to realizing perhaps the shift to software hardware is where the Internet of Things may be shaping the market with the Connected Home, Connected Car and Connected Work through these devices. It's all about "market marking" beyond just the big cloud data centers and big data analytics to how to build out the edge of the cloud network with all these potentially billions of connected sensors and devices. If the Mobile phone is becoming the "remote control to this world" and platforms the "fabric of social networks and connected experiences" then Google like others is rushing to get into this space with stronger software and hardware offerings

WhatsApp and Facebook data sharing: Information Commissioner to investigate new terms

The Independent - Tech

Nasa has announced that it has found evidence of flowing water on Mars. Scientists have long speculated that Recurring Slope Lineae -- or dark patches -- on Mars were made up of briny water but the new findings prove that those patches are caused by liquid water, which it has established by finding hydrated salts. Several hundred camped outside the London store in Covent Garden. The 6s will have new features like a vastly improved camera and a pressure-sensitive "3D Touch" display

Big data will fix internet security ... eventually


I've always thought that improved computer security controls would "fix" the internet and stop persistent criminality -- turns out it might be big data analytics instead. I've long written that only a large-scale improvement of the internet's authentication mechanisms (that is, pervasive identity) could significantly reduce crime. If everyone on the internet had a default, assured identity, attackers would have a much harder time committing and getting away with cybercrimes. We've seen some progress over the years, such as two-factor authentication and better access controls. The days are numbered for simple logon names and passwords.

Neuroscience and big data: How to find simplicity in the brain


Scientists can now monitor and record the activity of hundreds of neurons concurrently in the brain, and ongoing technology developments promise to increase this number manyfold. However, simply recording the neural activity does not automatically lead to a clearer understanding of how the brain works. In a new review paper published in Nature Neuroscience, Carnegie Mellon University's Byron M. Yu and Columbia University's John P. Cunningham describe the scientific motivations for studying the activity of many neurons together, along with a class of machine learning algorithms--dimensionality reduction--for interpreting the activity. In recent years, dimensionality reduction has provided insight into how the brain distinguishes between different odors, makes decisions in the face of uncertainty and is able to think about moving a limb without actually moving. Yu and Cunningham contend that using dimensionality reduction as a standard analytical method will make it easier to compare activity patterns in healthy and abnormal brains, ultimately leading to improved treatments and interventions for brain injuries and disorders.

Internet down for many as huge cyber attack stops Reddit, Spotify, Twitter and other sites from working

The Independent - Tech

Much of the internet appears to be broken. A distributed denial of service (DDoS) attack has taken down systems run by Dyn, Inc, one of the largest providers of internet services in the world. And as a result it seems to be causing problems for a variety of websites – including Reddit, Spotify and Twitter. Dyn runs domain name servers or DNS. They work as a phone book or map to the internet, making sure that when someone writes an address into their computer or phone, it can be directed to the right place and show the right information.