Mozilla’s Internet Health Report is out: There are fewer news stories this week because I got sucked into this mammoth report that covers everything from security and openness to privacy and AI. I’ll be pulling some of the insights into a larger story next week, but that’s no reason you guys shouldn’t know that it is out and it’s worth a chunk of your time. The authors in the report’s articles offer individual recommendations for those who want a better internet, as well as public policy suggestions. It’s grim reading with a soupcon of hope. (Mozilla)
How to compete against Amazon and Google in the smart home: This is one of those articles I wish I had written. It’s a good collection of stories that most smart home nerds can intuit, but it’s nice to see it all together with a clear thesis. Basically, it covers how August, Netatmo, Wyze, and Simplisafe plan to compete against security offerings from Amazon and Google. Plus, if we really do want to keep Amazon and Google concerned about improving privacy features and other consumer-friendly elements of their products, it’s important to have competition. (Fast Company)
MIT kindly labels our AI fears: MIT researchers have created a field of study dedicated to how AI develops and interacts with humans and call it machine behavior. This field will evaluate how AI algorithms affect people and our environs, I suppose it’s too hard to ask people to optimize for the world around them as opposed to greater profits or efficiency. (ZDnet)
Now there’s a dedicated gateway for building automation: Right now, the tech industry is adapting to the reality when it comes to IoT. After a few years of throwing parts at customers and hoping they’d assemble those parts themselves, the tech world realized pre-packaged solutions were the way to go. In this vein, Adesto has released a machine-automation system in a box for customers who want a gateway to talk to their building automation systems. The new SmartServer IoT server and software will handle the messy business of translating building protocols and provide a web interface for clients to manage their newly connected operational technology system. (New Electronics)
This is a deep dive on IT security in hospitals: This report from security firm Vectra takes a look at the expanding attack surface in hospitals, but it also pulls in a lot of charts and data about attacks and the types of threats facing other industries as the embed more technology into their operations, and as more of them become targets for ransomware or hacks. (Vectra)
Look! A RISC-V processor designed for speech recognition: It’s time to follow me into the nerdy world of chip architectures. RISC-V, which I’ve written about before, is a new, open-source architecture that will compete with ARM or Intel’s x86 architecture. The key benefit of RISC-V is that it makes it much cheaper to build new chips. SiFive, a company that provides tools for designing RISC-V chips and chipmaker QuickLogic are using RISC-V to build a series of systems on a chip for the IoT including one that will provide always-on listening. Making such processors cheaper will allow new use cases for voice-activated devices. (SiFive)
This is a must-read for computer architecture fans: This week Clear Ventures said it raised $180 million for a second fund dedicated to Industry 4.0. Chris Rust, a founding partner at Clear Ventures spoke with me at length about his view on what needs to change for a world where IoT creates a distributed computing system for AI. I talk about that a bit on the podcast. But he also spoke about the future infrastructure needs for apps and services in that world and pointed me to a blog post he wrote. It provides a clear synopsis of how a lot of tech nerds I speak with are rethinking their infrastructure. If you’d like to understand what’s brewing check it out. (LinkedIn)
Updated: This post was updated on May 6, 2019, to correct the product name of Adesto’s new server. It is SmartServer IoT, not OpenEdge.