Microsoft plans to invest $5 billion into the IoT

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Microsoft has announced it will be investing $ 5 billion into the IoT over the span of the next four years.

The goal of the investment, according to the firm, is “to give every customer the ability to transform their businesses, and the world at large, with connected solutions.”

If you’re reading this, you’ll know the IoT will have a huge impact on almost every facet of our lives — much like computers have. Microsoft’s goal for the IoT even harks some resemblance to company founder Bill Gates’ mission statement to put "a computer on every desk and in every home."

Global management consulting firm A.T. Kearney predicts the IoT will lead to a $ 1.9 trillion productivity increase and $ 177 billion in reduced costs by 2020. This will be driven by connected improvements to cities, homes, vehicles, utilities, manufacturing, and just about every other aspect of our lives you can think of.

The $ 5 billion investment announced today will help to ensure Microsoft continues to deliver for its customers’ needs.

Microsoft already has a range of IoT solutions available including, of course, a dedicated version of its operating system for use on low-powered devices — aptly called Windows 10 IoT.

Along with its operating system, Microsoft also has a cloud offering to control, secure, and manage IoT devices. To complete the end-to-end solution, Microsoft also offers analytics and specific applications for businesses looking to take intelligent actions based on IoT data.

Julia White, CVP of Microsoft Azure, wrote in a blog post:

"We are committed to helping customers bring their vision to life across every industry. Today’s announcement is big—for us and for the future of IoT and the intelligent edge. It positions us to support customers as they develop new and increasingly sophisticated IoT solutions, which few could have imagined just a few years ago. We can’t wait to see what comes from our customers and partners next, and we’ll have more to share throughout the year."

Companies like Steelcase, Kohler, Chevron, United Technologies, and Johnson Controls currently make use of Microsoft’s IoT platform.

What are your thoughts on Microsoft’s IoT investment? Let us know in the comments.

iottechnews.com: Latest from the homepage

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Apple reportedly plans iPhones with curved screens and non-touch gesture controls

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Apple is actively working on curved screens and touchless gesture controls for iPhones, according to a new Bloomberg report this morning. The features are expected to help Apple differentiate its devices in an increasingly crowded market, but both are said to be years away from appearing in finished products. On the curved screen front, Apple is sa…Read More
Apple – VentureBeat
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Apple reportedly plans to ditch Intel’s processors entirely by 2020

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Apple has been developing specialized chips for handling certain functions in its phones and computers for the past couple of years, and it’s now planning to take things up a notch: Bloomberg reports that the company is gearing up to make all its processors in-house by 2020, and ditch its long-time supplier Intel in the bargain. That could be huge for Apple – and maybe not the end of the world for Intel, which has been supplying the Cupertino-based firm with processor tech since 2005. Apple’s business accounts for just 5 percent of Intel’s revenue, so it wouldn’t be a…

This story continues at The Next Web

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Apple – The Next Web

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Apple Plans to Ditch Intel to Create First-Party Mac CPUs By 2020

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Apple is planning on producing and using its own first-party chips for Macs, starting as early as 2020. The initiative is codenamed Kalamata, but is still in the early stages of development, sources familiar with the matter told Bloomberg. Project Kalamata is reportedly part of a larger push to make all of Apple’s devices work […]
Read More…
iDrop News
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Military documents reveal how the US Army plans to deploy AI in future wars

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Tomorrow’s wars will be fought with a lethal combination of soldiers, drones, and AI-powered systems. The Internet of Battle Things, as it’s being called, is a vast battlefield network of machines and humans — and the US Army is working to make it a reality. In what reads like a list of kill-streak perks in a Call of Duty game, the Army described what the “things” in its “Internet of Battle Things” would be in a just-released white paper: Most of such intelligent things will not be too dissimilar from the systems we see on today’s battlefield, such as unattended ground sensors,…

This story continues at The Next Web
The Next Web

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Apple plans to ditch Intel processors on the Mac

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The next Mac you buy may not have Intel inside. Apple is pushing forward with plans to ditch Intel’s processors in favor of its own chips, according to a new report that claims the transition away from Intel CPUs will likely take multiple steps. Bloomberg claims that Apple executives have already approved the project to […]

(via Cult of Mac – Tech and culture through an Apple lens)

Cult of Mac

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Facebook plans crackdown on ad targeting by email without consent

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Facebook is scrambling to add safeguards against abuse of user data as it reels from backlash over the Cambridge Analytica scandal. Now TechCrunch has learned Facebook will launch a certification tool that demands that marketers guarantee email addresses used for ad targeting were rightfully attained. This new Custom Audiences certification tool was described by Facebook representatives to their marketing clients, according to two sources. Facebook will also prevent the sharing of Custom Audience data across Business accounts.

This snippet of a message sent by a Facebook rep to a client notes that “for any Custom Audiences data imported into Facebook, Advertisers will be required to represent and warrant that proper user content has been obtained.”

Once shown the message, Facebook spokesperson Elisabeth Diana told TechCrunch “I can confirm there is a permissions tool that we’re building.” It will require that advertisers and the agencies representing them pledge that “I certify that I have permission to use this data”, she said.

Diana noted that “We’ve always had terms in place to ensure that advertisers have consent for data they use but we’re going to make that much more prominent and educate advertisers on the way they can use the data.” The change isn’t in response to a specific incident, but Facebook does plan to re-review the way it works with third-party data measurement firms to ensure everything is responsibly used. This is a way to safeguard data” Diana concluded.The company declined to specify whether it’s ever blocked usage of a Custom Audience because it suspected the owner didn’t have user consent. ”

The social network is hoping to prevent further misuse of ill-gotten data after Dr. Aleksandr Kogan’s app that pulled data on 50 million Facebook users was passed to Cambridge Analytica in violation of Facebook policy. That sordid data is suspected to have been used by Cambridge Analytica to support the Trump and Brexit campaigns, which employed Custom Audiences to reach voters.

Facebook launched Custom Audiences back in 2012 to let businesses upload hashed lists of their customers email addresses or phone numbers, allowing advertisers to target specific people instead of broad demographics. Custom Audiences quickly became one of Facebook’s most powerful advertising options because businesses could easily reach existing customers to drive repeat sales. The Custom Audiences terms of service require that businesses have “provided appropriate notice to and secured any necessary consent from the data subjects” to attain and use these people’s contact info.

But just like Facebook’s policy told app developers like Kogan not to sell, share, or misuse data they collected from Facebook users, the company didn’t go further to enforce this rule. It essentially trusted that the fear of legal repercussions or suspension on Facebook would deter violations of both its app data privacy and Custom Audiences consent policies. With clear financial incentives to bend or break those rules and limited effort spent investigating to ensure compliance, Facebook left itself and its users open to exploitation.

Last week Facebook banned the use of third-party data brokers like Experian and Acxiom for ad targeting, closing a marketing featured called Partner Categories. Facebook is believed to have been trying to prevent any ill-gotten data from being laundered through these data brokers and then directly imported to Facebook to target users. But that left open the option for businesses to compile illicit data sets or pull them from data brokers, then upload them to Facebook as Custom Audiences by themselves.

The Custom Audiences certification tool could close that loophole. It’s still being built, so Facebook wouldn’t say exactly how it will work. I asked if Facebook would scan uploaded user lists and try to match them against a database of suspicious data, but for now it sounds more like Facebook will merely require a written promise.

Meanwhile, barring the sharing of Custom Audiences between Business Accounts might prevent those with access to email lists from using them to promote companies unrelated to the one to which users gave their email address. Facebook declined to comment on how the new ban on Custom Audience sharing would work.

Now Facebook must find ways to thwart misuse of its targeting tools and audit anyone it suspects may have already violated its policies. Otherwise it may receive the ire of privacy-conscious users and critics, and strengthen the case for substantial regulation of its ads (though regulation could end up protecting Facebook from competitors who can’t afford compliance). Still the question remains why it took such a massive data privacy scandal for Facebook to take a tougher stance on requiring user consent for ad targeting. And given that written promises didn’t stop Kogan or Cambridge Analytica from misusing data, why would they stop advertisers bent on boosting profits?

For more on Facebook’s recent scandals, check out TechCrunch’s coverage:

 

Mobile – TechCrunch

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FCC approves SpaceX’s ambitious satellite internet plans

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The Federal Communications Commission today granted SpaceX a license to operate an array of broadband internet satellites, marking the first time the government agency has given the green light for a US-licensed low-Earth orbit broadband service. SpaceX co-founder and CEO Elon Musk has been discussing a micro-satellite constellation for providing broadband internet for years, and in 2017 the company began accelerating its efforts by meeting regularly with the FCC and applying for a license that would allow it to operate in an unused portion of the FCC-regulated broadband spectrum. The company plans to call the service Starlink.

Earlier this year, SpaceX launched the first two of its planned 12,000-satellite constellation. It appears…

Continue reading…

The Verge – All Posts

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Verizon plans to resurrect Palm smartphones

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Chinese manufacturer TCL, responsible for bringing back BlackBerry to life, bought the brand Palm back in 2015. Last summer we heard rumors about a comeback and now we have some details about it. Apparently, Verizon is expected to introduce a Palm smartphone in the second half of 2018. Blast from the past – Palm Pre Information about specs is non-existent. All we know for now is the device will run Android OS, instead of webOS that powered the Palm Pre2 back in 2010. Nostalgia is something that HMD Global skillfully exploits with its Nokia 3310 (2017) and the revived banana…

GSMArena.com – Latest articles

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[Not 2009] Verizon plans to launch a Palm smartphone later this year

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Last August, a TCL executive confirmed that the company was gearing up to launch Palm-branded smartphones in 2018. Speaking to a trusted source, we’ve learned that one such device will be launching on Verizon in the second half of the year; at least, that’s the plan for now. Sadly, we don’t know anything about the phone itself at this time (well, we know it runs Android), but the fact that TCL is working with Verizon is telling.

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[Not 2009] Verizon plans to launch a Palm smartphone later this year was written by the awesome team at Android Police.

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