The encryption methods used to secure today's internet communications won't be impenetrable forever. More powerful "quantum computers" on the horizon could very well crack them. That's why Google is testing out new cryptography that computers in the future might not be able to break. The processing power offered by "hypothetical, future" quantum computers could be enough to "decrypt any internet communication that was recorded today," wrote Matt Braithwaite, a Google software engineer in a company blog post on Thursday. This could affect the Transport Layer Security (TLS) protocol used when visiting websites.
Do you envision coming to a home that anticipates your needs and effortlessly creates the perfect environment for your maximum comfort? Then you'd better be ready to pay, because IoT gadgets are not cheap. For instance, smart lighting costs between 20 for a single bulb and 160 for a 3-bulb starter kit that lets you adjust intensity, set custom colors, color combinations and schedule lighting to welcome you home or fend off intruders while you're on vacation. A smart socket can cost up to 50. It gives you the nifty power to turn off any plugged-in device from a mobile application on the smartphone.
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.
In the future, everything will be connected -- even your grandparents. That's what Samsung Electronics is counting on as it draws up a four-year plan to invest US 1.2 billion in U.S. IoT startups and research. The company sees the Internet of things as a way to provide dementia care and to help millions of elderly people live independently, using a range of devices including some akin to fitness trackers. "We can keep people out of hospitals and nursing homes," Samsung CEO Oh-Hyun Kwon said at a company event in Washington, D.C., on Tuesday. "As our populations live longer, these benefits and cost savings for society cannot be ignored."
For roughly 75 years, the utility industry in the U.S. has been set in its ways: big, centralized power plants and high-voltage transmission lines that send power to substations which then distribute that power to homes and businesses. But the times are changing. And that means CIOs at utilities are feeling the pressure to bring about digital transformation that can deliver greater efficiencies and enable the integration of new, innovative technologies. Those big power plants and high-voltage transmission lines are still part of the equation, but so are community solar power, wind farms, microgrids, battery storage and more. Connecting these technologies to the existing grid -- handling settlements in an enclosed market, linking up transactions between energy producers and buyers (perhaps via blockchain technology) -- requires a serious IT overhaul.