This week on AI: Apple bows to pressure on iPhone batteries, iMac Pro ships, Amazon Echo wins Christmas & more

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It might nominally be the holidays, but perhaps not for many people at Apple, as the company scrambled to deal with an ever-growing scandal over its decision to slow down iPhones with weak batteries.
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IoT news of the week for Dec. 29, 2017

Get ready for the telco edge: I’ve been seeing the phrase Multi-access Edge Computing, or MEC, pop up often in the last month or two. This is a telco edge computing concept that steals from a developing technology architecture and tries to wrap a bunch of services and SLAs around it in hopes of charging big companies a pretty penny. Carriers will use it to offload massive traffic from their networks as described in the article. They will also sell it to others. Unfortunately for telcos, the big IT companies are already pushing edge computing and have lower-cost services. So will MEC succeed outside of the carriers? I don’t know, but keep an eye on it. (Vodafone)

No safe Haven here: It was a slow news week which is the only reason I can see that Edward Snowden’s Haven security app got so much play. The app turns an old Android phone into a security sensor by using the phone’s microphones, accelerometers and camera to track what’s happening in the surrounding environment. People Power and a few other apps have been touting the use of cameras and mics in an old smartphone as a way to jerry-rig a security camera for a while, but the Snowden name really got people excited about this one. As far as use cases it’s pretty limited. If you are really worried about computer tampering maybe place a hair across your computer latch and see if it’s later broken like they do in old spy movies. (Wired)

An always-on thermometer: TempTraq is a battery-powered patch that sticks to your skin and can take temperature readings every 10 seconds and send them to your smart phone. Getting a reading every 10 seconds seems like overkill but the cool part of the invention is that it was built to showcase paper-thin battery technology. The battery must be pretty good to grab those readings and transmit the temp every 10 seconds. It lasts for 24 hours and then you toss it. I do hope that the tech also includes a smart way to recycle both the electronics and battery. (Cleveland.com)

Aura security is not for smart homes? Two weeks ago I mentioned that Qualcomm has licensed technology from the company that makes the Aura alarm system. Aura extrapolates images based on the disruption caused by people passing through wireless networks. It’s an intriguing concept and could lead to cool gesture-based interfaces in the smart home. However, it apparently caused some problems for one reviewer who saw his Wi-Fi network disrupted and many of his connected devices stop working. Because Qualcomm plans to license the tech for inside Wi-Fi routers, my hope is that such interference can be handled by manufacturers who will have control of both systems. Otherwise it feels like the tech will be a dud. (Techhive)

A solution for unnecessary passwords? How many times have you tried to buy a product or purchased a smart home device and found that you need to create an account with a password and then log in? If you’re security aware you know that you’re supposed to create a new password for each site, but barring a notebook full of options for esoteric sites you have visited once, it’s impossible to remember them. And frankly, it shouldn’t be necessary. As a consumer, each time I see these unnecessary logins I view them as just another chance for my information to get hacked. So I was intrigued to read about the SQRL effort. The idea is that using SQRL to log in provides you with a login and the web site with a bunch of gibberish, while it tracks the information for you. It’s not yet ready for prime time, but go check it out if you want a glimpse of the possible future. (SQRL)

Hackers are never gonna give you up: If I were going to hack a bunch of smart speakers you can bet that I would use them to Rickroll the unlucky owners of said devices. Unfortunately, hackers could also use the discovered vulnerable speakers to locate a person’s home, convince them to download malware and more. (Wired)

Thoughts on Noon lighting: A few weeks back, I covered the launch of noon and it’s approach to smart lighting, and now I can report that they apparently work. Adrian Cockcroft has installed the high-end lighting system that’s supposed to make designer lighting DIY, and he posted a very complete overview of the process and install. I’d like to see how he likes them after living with them a bit longer.  (Medium)

Is Sweden our future? This profile of Sweden looks at how its citizens view the emergence of robots that can take over people’s jobs. Unsurprisingly they are not very worried, having faith that the government and companies will retrain workers for new jobs and they won’t starve to death. The underlying idea is that a safety net makes it easier to take risks. Additionally workers are excited to help companies become more efficient and competitive because they feel like the benefits will accrue back to them. I would pay higher taxes to see America embrace this concept. (NYT)

What is IOTA? This is a good article on the pros and cons of the IOTA cryptocurrency. (Medium)

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Stacey on IoT | Internet of Things news and analysis

T-Mobile Tuesdays will include free online course, Shell discount, and more next week

Next week will bring the first T-Mobile Tuesday of 2018, and T-Mo will have a variety of gifts for its customers to celebrate the new year. For the January 2nd edition of T-Mobile Tuesdays, T-Mo subscribers can score a $ 20 dining credit to Dining Advantage, a site with deals for restaurants, entertainment, shopping, and services. Also available to T-Mobile customers next week is a free online course from Shaw Academy. T-Mobile Tuesdays regular [read full article]

The post T-Mobile Tuesdays will include free online course, Shell discount, and more next week appeared first on TmoNews.

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Samsung to unveil new Exynos SoC next week; Galaxy S9/S9+ clear FCC

Earlier this month, Qualcomm announced the Snapdragon 845, the SoC that’ll likely power Samsung’s next-gen S series smartphones in the US and China. The rest of the world, no points for guessing, will get Exynos-powered Galaxy S9 and S9+. Well, the next-gen Exynos SoC that’ll power these flagships will be made official next week on January 4. A recent tweet from the South Korean company effectively confirmed this. Discover #TheNextExynos that goes beyond a component. Stay tuned. pic.twitter.com/542sWnQ7EZ— Samsung Exynos (@SamsungExynos) December 28, 2017 No official…

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The best deals on the App Store this week – December 27

The holiday season may be drawing to a close, but there’s still plenty to celebrate. You’ll find many popular games at incredible discounts on the App Store right now. We’ve gone and rounded up the best deals on iOS games this week.

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