Coldstreams Internet of Things Blog

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Mercenary botnets for hire

Creators of botnets want to rent them out for attacking targets: When anyone can make use of a burgeoning army of rogue connected devices for a fee, the threat of a crippled Internet is more real than ever. Source: IoT Botnets Are Growing—and Up for Hire The online world is out of control. Botnets for hire. Android malware that takes control of your phone – until you write a number of favorable online reviews of...

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Materials science engineers develop “metallic glass” gears for #robots

Materials science engineers have developed a “metallic glass” gear system that operates at very low temperatures, without lubrication, and provides high strength. “Metallic glass” has the strength of a metal but sigh the amorphous structure of a glass. Further, parts made from the materials can be injected molded, similar to how plastic parts are made. Applications include many kinds of robotics, and especially space systems that must operate in extreme temperature conditions. Source: Metallic glass...

checkout, cash register, store, retail

Some Albertson’s stores eliminating self service checkouts

Our local Albertson’s, in Oregon, removed self service checkouts during the summer. Self service checkouts have been seen as a semi-automated way of reducing labor costs, and for some customers, a faster checkout experience. However, Albertson’s grocery is now removing self service checkouts from additional (but not all) stores in Southern California. “Still, self-service is growing beyond supermarkets as time-strapped consumers demand more convenience. Reduced labor costs, as one employee is typically assigned to multiple...

bricks, mine, el dorado, california

Will automation lead to better jobs, rather than fewer? Some say yes.

“…fear has been replaced by a belief that automation not only holds the key to long-term survival but it can create better jobs than those replaced. More to the point, he says there is simply no choice – businesses like his can embrace automation or disappear. “I believe that automation will be the cornerstone of our business within the next five years,” he says. “Manual fabrication will become the exception rather than the rule.”’ Source:...

Automobile factor production line. Manufacturing.

Automation to improve quality, rather than reduce labor costs

“Automation is not something we do simply to reduce labor. It’s a more a factor of consistency,” Burton said. “In fact, I treat (human) labor as a fixed cost. When things get slow, that’s the time to put people on something you always say you need or want to do but haven’t had time to do.” Source: Automation grows at local manufacturers | GazetteXtra Automated systems – and new tooling – as illustrated in this...

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Retailers using automation to reduce labor costs

Source: Retailers looking to save on labor costs turn to automation $15 per hour minimum wage, $4 to 5$ hour in benefits adds up while the costs of automation fall dramatically. The former is a variable cost while automation is mostly a one time fixed cost. Labor intensive service businesses have advanced beyond experiments with automation and are now rolling out various solutions. The “featured image” attached to this article is a pair of self...

CCTV surveillance monitoring

UK to log all web site access from everyone

In a move taken by few other nations, it [new law] requires telecommunications companies to store for a year the web histories known as internet connection records — a list of websites each person has visited and the apps and messaging services they used, though not the individual pages they looked at or the messages they sent. Source: Sweeping UK spy bill dubbed ‘snoopers’ charter’ becomes law – SFGate No warrant is required to access...

woman, VR, headset, virtual reality, oculus

Majority of Americans may not be able to use VR headsets

Most (nearly all?) virtual reality viewers available online can not be used by those who need to wear eyeglasses, which is a majority of Americans. The Problem VR viewers lack space on the face side to accommodate the wearing of eye glasses. VR viewers lack diopter adjustments. VR viewers lack inter pupil distance (IPD) adjustments. Who Does This Impact? 75% of Americans use some form of corrective eye lenses, split as 64% wear glasses and 11%...

robot, robotics, hand, mechanical

MIT researchers create synthetic “muscle fiber” using nylon cord for #robotics applications 

‘Some polymer fiber materials, including highly oriented nylon, have an unusual property: When heated, “they shrink in length but expand in diameter,” Mirvakili says, and this property has been harnessed to make some linear actuator devices. But to turn that linear shrinking motion into bending typically requires a mechanism such as a pulley and a takeup reel, adding extra size, complexity, and expense. The MIT team’s advance was to directly harness the motion without requiring...

Seattle photo from University of Washington web site at http://www.washington.edu/about/

University of Washington: upcoming Internet accessible lecture on #IoT #Wearables Technology

Next Thursday at UW CSE or view remotely: http://www.cs.washington.edu/events/colloq_info UNIVERSITY OF WASHINGTON Computer Science and Engineering COLLOQUIUM SPEAKER:   David Kotz, Dartmouth College TITLE:     Amulet: An Energy-Efficient, Multi-Application Wearable Platform DATE:      Thursday, December 1, 2016 TIME:      3:30pm PLACE:     EEB-105 HOST:      Tadayoshi Kohno ABSTRACT: Wearable technology enables a range of exciting new applications in health, commerce, and beyond. For many important applications, wearables must have battery life measured in...

sensors, pipes, temperature, gauge

“Enabling High-level Application Development for the Internet of Things” (2015)

Patel, P., & Cassou, D. (2015). Enabling high-level application development for the Internet of Things. Journal of Systems and Software, 103, 62-84. Retrieved from: http://arxiv.org/pdf/1501.05080 File: 1501.05080.pdf Paper proposes a software engineering methodology for IoT applications, noting that IoT devices may span a wide area of issues from sensors, wireless connectivity, design techniques, to much more – requiring domain expertise in various phases of the life cycle. The paper then proposes an approach (a model or...

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