IoT news of the week for Sept. 28, 2018

IoT news of the week for Sept. 28, 2018

Amazon wants a voice in homebuilding: Typically, Amazon’s Alexa Fund invests in voice technology startups, but now Amazon has a foot in the door of home construction. The Alexa Fund joined Obvious Ventures in a $6.7 million funding round for Plant Prefab, a startup that uses sustainable materials to build prefabricated homes. You might think this is to add Alexa devices to the homes — which might happen — but instead, Plant Prefab sought funding to automate home construction to help reduce costs and speed up the process. Maybe someday you’ll ask Alexa to buy your new home through Amazon? (CNBC-Kevin Tofel

ARM’s new chip should make self-driving cars safer: As cars become smarter and do more of the driving, more processing power will be needed to evaluate large amounts of data for the safest ride possible. ARM’s answer is the new Cortex-A76AE. The “AE” stands for “automotive enhanced” because the CPU cores can be dynamically configured to work independently or in clusters when needed. The approach also allows for core redundancy checks, because the last thing we need in an autonomous car is for the safety systems to have fewer CPU resources to turn to when needed. (SlashGear-KT

Microsoft continues to bet big on AI and Azure: Microsoft held its yearly Ignite event this week and the company thinks it has an advantage over rivals Amazon and Google: a large, on-premise footprint in the enterprise. That’s true, although Google could infringe with its on-premise Kubernetes product. But until that happens, unlike its peers, Microsoft is pushing Azure and AI in a hybrid of on-premise and cloud environments, according to this solid summary of Ignite. We also discussed this on the IoT Podcast this week. (ZDNet-KT

Should the average consumer worry about IoT security? The short answer is obviously a resounding “yes,” but the longer answer explains why and in what ways. We’ve discussed all of these attack vectors and data considerations at one time or another on the IoT Podcast, so there may not be much new here for some. This article does, however, provide a nice overview by cohesively pulling all of the different security worries together and as such, is worth the read. (ReadWrite) –KT

NB-IoT could be the big network winner in the long run: This report along with accompanying data charts from CounterPoint suggests that NB-IoT network usage will be more prevalent than Cat-M networks by 2025. The firm thinks that 45% of IoT devices will use NB-IoT connections by then, compared to just 6% of devices it predicts will be using a Cat-M connection. This makes sense since NB-IoT is more efficient for pushing around smaller amounts of data. Cat-M networks can move larger amounts of data, making them a bit more like today’s 4G networks, which Counterpoint thinks will be used for 39% of IoT connections in 2025. (Telecoms-KT

How to handle IoT APIs: Application Programming Interfaces, or APIs, are the links between connected services and a cornerstone of the development of the internet of things. This article attempts to explain how we should design our products and software to handle constant exchanges of information. It suggests that software designers use RESTful APIs, along with explaining what those are and why software designers should use them. I’d like a second article in this series talking about how to embed and handle security in this architecture, as well as ways to think about data rights and compliance with data policies. But this is a good start. (DZone) –Stacey Higginbotham

Cloudflare is on a roll: This is the birthday week for Cloudflare, a company that I used to think of as a security provider, since you pointed your DNS at its servers and it swallowed DDoS attacks so your site could stay up. But over the years it has expanded tremendously, and this week the company detailed a new way to think about directing traffic over the internet to help applications keep performance high even as messy network-hopping was happening underneath. The underlying architecture requires a shift from TCP (the current packet-forwarding scheme used on the internet) to UDP, plus other protocols. Cloudflare is technically very forward-looking, so I’m curious to see the response to this suggestion. (Cloudflare) -SH

The UK has issued its first formal GDPR complaint: While the U.S. Congress convened hearings this week to discuss data privacy laws, the UK’s data watchdog organization filed its first accusation under the EU’s General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR) that came into effect in May. The UK Information Commissioner’s Office filed the complaint against a Canadian firm that was advising politicians on a Brexit campaign. Keep an eye on this, because even now it’s unclear how the UK will prosecute GDPR violations and what defenses might work. (BBC-SH

Alibaba now has a chip company: Chinese retail and cloud provider Alibaba is following in the footsteps of other internet giants by making its own chips. What is interesting is that it plans to license those chips to other firms, especially companies  that might want to build connectivity into appliances and home products. This is like Google or Amazon deciding to take on Qualcomm or Intel, or Apple deciding to let other companies use its chip designs in their own products. But the closest analog might be Samsung, which designs, manufactures, and sells its chips while also using them in its own products. (MIT Technology Review-SH

The post IoT news of the week for Sept. 28, 2018 appeared first on Stacey on IoT | Internet of Things news and analysis.