Amazon Is Really Serious About Making Healthcare a Part of Its Future

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Unlike some other Twitter-loving tech CEOs we know, Amazon founder Jeff Bezos likes to keep his company’s plans fairly quiet. Some even call Amazon “secretive.”

Bezos disagrees with that label, though. In 2014, he told shareholders he thinks “quiet” is more accurate: “Our primary approach is, we talk when we have something to say.”

As recent whisperings about Amazon’s involvement in the healthcare industry have risen to a crescendo, Amazon may be just about there.

Bezos first alluded to Amazon’s healthcare plans at the Vanity Fair New Establishment Summit in October 2016. “I think healthcare is going to be one of those industries that is elevated and made better by machine learning and artificial intelligence. And I actually think Echo and Alexa do have a role to play in that,” he told attendees.

Clearly, he wasn’t just riffing. Amazon has spent the last year slowing inching its way deeper into the healthcare industry.

In July 2017, Amazon set up 1492, a secret lab dedicated to healthcare innovation. Since then, they’ve hired a number of healthcare experts to join the project, including Seattle doctor Martin Levine and Taha Kass-Hout, former chief health informatics officer for the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

In February, the company even teamed up with JPMorgan Chase and Berkshire Hathaway to form a company dedicated to reducing healthcare costs for employees.

It’s not yet clear how these pieces will come together, or how Amazon will stake its claim in the healthcare industry as a whole. But there are more signs that when the company’s efforts come to the fore, they could be in a position to dominate the industry.

The latest sign that Amazon is really serious about getting into healthcare is the sheer number of healthcare experts on the guest list for Bezos’ third annual MARS conference, an invite-only event that draws its name from the topics under discussion: machine learning, home automation, robotics, and space exploration.

At the meeting, Sonde Health presented its technology: AI that can diagnose mental and physical conditions based on recordings of a patient’s voice. Rich Mahoney, head of clothing startup Seismic, demonstrated his company’s “powered” garments, which could help the elderly and disabled people cope with mobility issue. And neuroscientist David Eagleman showed off his company’s vest that uses “sensory substitution” to help the deaf communicate.

It’s still anyone’s guess how these technologies could tie in with Amazon’s healthcare plans. But it’s worth noting this was the first year Bezos invited reporters to join in on his “summer camp for geeks.” For someone who typically likes to keep Amazon’s future plans under wraps and carefully controlled, that fact alone could be a sign the company’s healthcare ambitions won’t be a secret much longer.

The post Amazon Is Really Serious About Making Healthcare a Part of Its Future appeared first on Futurism.


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Apple Watch can detect serious heart problem

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Apple Watch can accurately detect atrial fibrillation, a serious heart condition that is a leading cause of stroke. This advanced feature remains in testing. However, a new medical study offers proof that wearables can do far more than simply track fitness. In fact, they could actually keep the wearer alive. The Health eHeart Study, coordinated […]

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

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Security camera “riddled” with 13 serious security flaws

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Unlucky for some users: Korean manufacturer races to patch vulnerabilities.

Researchers have uncovered serious security holes in a popular security camera range. The flaws could enable hackers to infiltrate networks and launch attacks on connected infrastructures.

Thirteen bugs have been found in the SmartCam range made by South Korean company, Hanwha Techwin. The cameras are sold to European SMEs and consumers.

Via the flaws, attackers could gain access to a camera, send voice messages to its onboard speaker, or use its resources for cryptocurrency mining, said Vladimir Dashchenko, head of the ICS CERT Vulnerability Research Team at security vendor Kaspersky Lab.

Among the vulnerabilities are the use of insecure HTTP, root privilege remote command execution, and zero protection from brute force attacks for the camera’s admin password. Any one of these flaws could enable hackers to launch attacks from within a connected network.

The worst flaw is in a misconfigured Hanwha communications protocol used to link the cameras with Cisco Jabber, said researchers.

Read more: Tenable unveils cybersecurity benchmarking tool

According to reports from Threatpost, Kaspersky Lab has shared its findings with Hanwha Techwin, leading the manufacturer to issue firmware patches for the SNH-V6410PN/PNW SmartCam. Other flaws are expected to be patched soon.

Threatpost described the camera as being “riddled” with security holes.

Researchers said that 2,000 of the cameras have publicly accessible IP addresses, but the number of vulnerable devices could be far higher than that. Other cameras from the same vendor are thought to be at risk too.

“We believe there are even more of these cameras in use, but inside protected networks,” said Dashchenko.

“A remote attacker can also put a camera out of service so it can no longer be restored. We were able to prove this hypothesis three times,” he added.

For attacks to be successful, a hacker must know the serial number of the camera, but this is easy to find. “The way in which serial numbers are generated is relatively easy to find out through simple brute-force attacks: the camera registering system doesn’t have brute force protection,” explained Kaspersky Lab.

Internet of Business says

Hanwha Techwin was founded in 1977 as Samsung Techwin, but has been part of the Hanwha Group since 2015. It makes surveillance, aeronautics, and weapons systems.

So the fact that such basic security vulnerabilities have been found in a product made by a surveillance and weapons system specialist, whose technology has 41 years of heritage behind it, is a major cause for concern.

The reports come in the wake of security and privacy flaws being found in a range of popular smart home devices, including Amazon’s Alexa-powered range, and other reports suggesting that poor IoT security is a growing problem as vendors and users rush to deploy connected solutions.

This latest security story reveals that the latter must now be seen as a serious challenge for IoT professionals.

This is why recent government moves to put security testing front and centre of any IoT purchase are welcome, and it is also why IoT security needs to be regarded as a strategic business issue in far more organisations.

Read more: Vendors, users ignoring IoT security in rush to market – report

Read more: IoT ramps up cyber security risk, says in-depth report

The post Security camera “riddled” with 13 serious security flaws appeared first on Internet of Business.

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Electric car boom prompts Apple to get serious about securing cobalt

Enlarge / Cobalt chips (credit: Alchemist-hp)

Apple may cut out the cobalt middlemen by obtaining supplies for its batteries on its own. According to a Bloomberg report, Apple is in talks with miners to buy long-term supplies of cobalt, a key ingredient in the lithium-ion batteries used in Apple’s iPhones and iPads. Apple has reportedly been in discussions to secure contracts for “several thousand metric tons” of cobalt each year for at least five years.

If a deal comes to fruition, it would be the first time Apple has secured its own supplies of cobalt for batteries. The tech giant currently leaves cobalt buying to battery manufacturers, but now the company wants to ensure it can lock down enough of the metal to maintain a sufficient supply.

The growth of the electric car industry has prompted fears of a cobalt shortage—electric car batteries use much more cobalt than those of consumer electronics, and car manufacturers are already seeking contracts with cobalt miners to get the amounts they need for their vehicles. BMW is reportedly close to securing a 10-year supply deal, and Volkswagen Group tried but failed to secure a long-term cobalt supply deal at the end of last year. Cobalt prices are rising, and VW’s plans failed partly because the company wanted to set a fixed price for the metal for the entirety of the contract.

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apple – Ars Technica

New macOS bug can cause serious data loss

A new flaw has been discovered in macOS High Sierra that can cause data to be lost when writing to disk images. It affects those formatted using the Apple File System (APFS) specifically, but it shouldn’t be a problem for your primary SSD. Apple’s latest software releases have been plagued by pesky bugs. The company has worked […]

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

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PicoBrew Z series is a modular all-in-one setup for serious homebrewers

After introducing Keurig-like pods for brewing beer at home, PicoBrew is back with a more traditional all-grain setup. The new Z Series allows brewers to use their own loose grains and hops instead of the company's own pre-packed ingredients. There a…
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T-Mobile gets serious for Super Bowl LII ad

After tapping stars like Justin Bieber, Martha Stewart, Snoop Dogg, and Kristen Schaal for humorous ads during last year’s Super Bowl, T-Mobile changed things up this year and went with a more serious ad. T-Mobile’s Super Bow LII ad is titled “#LittleOnes” and features actress Kerry Washington speaking over a lullaby-style cover of Nirvana’s “All Apologies”. The video pans over several babies with showing different emotions as Washington recites the following: “Welcome to the … [read full article]

The post T-Mobile gets serious for Super Bowl LII ad appeared first on TmoNews.


Opinion: HomePod’s hi-fi focus is Apple’s first serious dive into pro audio — and that’s smart

While some may argue that HomePod will fail in the market due to Siri’s performance compared to other voice assistants, many seem to discount the value of a smart speaker focused on high end sound quality. From the start, Apple has positioned HomePod as audio fidelity first, everything else second.

Based on a recent Reddit thread from r/audiophile, Apple has delivered on its hi-fi promise. Just like Apple has been praised for its displays on iPhones, iPads and Macs for being best-in-class and tuned to look true-to-life, the HomePod appears to be Apple showing off how it can use its audio engineering expertise to push the best performance out of a small music speaker…



Apple’s new TV project with ‘La La Land’ creator proves that it’s dead serious about competing with Netflix and HBO

Apple TV

With a reported $ 1 billion at its discretion to develop and acquire original content, Apple’s TV chiefs —  Zack Van Amburg and Jamie Erlicht — have been making a number of high-profile and intriguing moves over the past few months.  Most recently, Apple managed to secure an original series from acclaimed La La Land writer and director Damien Chazelle.

Originally reported by The New York Times, Chazelle’s new vehicle at Apple is said to be a drama. While specific details about the series remain scarce, word is that Chzaelle is on board to write and direct every single episode.

“For the mysterious new assignment,” the Times notes, “Mr. Chazelle will reunite with the producers Jordan Horowitz and Fred Berger, both of whom worked on ‘La La Land.’ MRC, which produced ‘House of Cards,’ is the studio behind the show.”

Without question, Apple landing a new series from Chazelle is a huge score for the company’s somewhat fledgling TV streaming division, especially as it seeks to compete more ably with established services like Netflix and HBO. In addition to being the mastermind behind La La Land, Chazelle was also the creative genius behind Whiplash, the 2014 film about an overbearing jazz instructor that saw J.K. Simmons win an award for Best Supporting Actor.

Slowly but surely, Apple seems to be building up an impressive stable of original content with some big Hollywood stars attached to a number of projects. Aside from the aforementioned series, Apple last week inked a deal with Saturday Night Live alum Kristen Wiig for a new comedy series. Before that, Apple managed to strike a deal with Steven Spielberg to bring back the award-winning 80s show Amazing Stories.

Apple – BGR