DDoS attack on Finnish automated buildings disabled heating controls

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When the heat goes out during Finnish winter, it's a matter of life and death, so when two automated buildings controlled by Valtia systems suffered DDoS attacks that shut off the heat, Finns were understandably alarmed about the new threat. Read the rest

Buy a Dash button for $1, get a $5 credit

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I just bought another Amazon Dash Button for my growing collection of wireless one-push product ordering buttons. (This time, I got the button for Amazon Basic Batteries.) Dash Buttons are usually $5, but you can get one for $1 if you use the promo code CYBERDASH. You'll also get a $5 Amazon credit after your first press. Read the rest

China electronics maker will recall some devices sold in U.S. after massive IoT hack

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A China-based maker of surveillance cameras said Monday it will recall some products sold in the United States after a massive "Internet of Things" malware attack took down a major DNS provider in a massive DDOS attack. The stunningly broad attack brought much internet activity to a halt last Friday.

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St. Jude heart implant devices can be hacked, security researchers say

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Security experts hired by the short-selling firm Muddy Waters said in a legal brief filed today that cardiac implants made by St. Jude Medical can be hacked. If hackers can pwn your heart device, the researchers say, they can kill you--from as far away as 100 feet.

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English man spends 11 hours trying to make cup of tea with Wi-Fi kettle

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The iKettle is advertised as “the world’s first Wi-Fi kettle.” Mark Rittman got one and said it took 11-hours to make a cup of tea.

From The Guardian:

A key problem seemed to be that Rittman’s kettle didn’t come with software that would easily allow integration with other devices in his home, including Amazon Echo, which, like Apple’s Siri, allows users to tell connected smart devices what to do. So Rittman was trying to build the integration functionality himself.

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Pornhub on a refrigerator in Home Depot

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John McAfee observed something unusual running on a fridge at the local Home Depot: porn.

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Design fiction, the Internet of Women's things, and futurism

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Jasmina Tesanovic (previously) and Bruce Sterling did a residency at The Arthur C. Clarke Center for Human Imagination at UCSD, working with the students on design fiction and futurism. Read the rest

"Smart" sex toy company sued for tracking users’ habits

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A woman has filed a lawsuit against the manufacturer of a sex toy that sends data back to the company.

From Vocativ:

In the suit, N.P. says she bought a We-Vibe in May and used it “several times” until she realized that it was sending data about her usage practices back to Standard Innovation’s servers, including when she used it, which vibration settings she used, and her email address.

The company that makes the We-Vibe, Standard Innovation, says it will do a better job of letting its customers know that the device can transmit data, which is “mostly anonymized” and used only for “market research.” Read the rest

A cellular-connected Pokéball for finding rare Pokémon

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Particle is a company makes low-cost Wi-Fi and cellular connected microcontrollers for prototyping the Internet of Things stuff. TJ Hunter used a Particle Electron and a GPS chip to make a Pokéball that wiggles when a rare Pokémon is nearby.

Here are Hunter's build instructions.

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The U.S. Navy now has an unmanned drone warship. Could it be hacked at sea?

The U.S. 'Sea Hunter' unmanned ship, a DARPA project.

The U.S. Navy and the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) are now testing a new unmanned drone warship.

The first Navy drone ship is a 132-foot ACTUV (Antisubmarine warfare Continuous Trail Unmanned Vessel) known as Sea Hunter, which cost around $120 million to build. The military says more can now be produced for $20 million or so each. But some are concerned that with no humans at the controls, these “robot ships” could be hacked, pwned remotely, and used by America's enemies to attack the United States.

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Near-future Ikea catalog: the Internet of Things' flat-pack as a service

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Julian Bleecker and his Near Future Laboratory have followed up on their amazing Skymall-of-the-future catalog with an imaginary near-future Ikea catalog that jam an insane amount of witty futuristic speculation into elegantly presented, arresting images.

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An Internet of Things that act like red-light cameras

Charlie Stross is preparing for five more years of Tory rule in the UK by thinking up business-models that monopolize mandatory activities and extract rent from them. Read the rest

Build your own open source hardware Nest-style smart thermostat

Alan sez, "Spark.io provides instructions for making your own Nest-like 'smart' thermostat. Of course it's entirely open source, with files on github." Read the rest

Your refrigerator probably hasn't joined a botnet

A mediagenic press-release from Proofpoint, a security firm, announced that its researchers had discovered a 100,000-device-strong botnet made up of hacked "Internet of Things" appliances, such as refrigerators. The story's very interesting, but also wildly implausible as Ars Technica's Dan Goodin explains.

The report is light on technical details, and the details that the company supplied to Goodin later just don't add up. Nevertheless, the idea of embedded systems being recruited to botnets isn't inherently implausible, and some of the attacks that Ang Cui has demonstrated scare the heck out of me.

For more speculation, see my story The Brave Little Toaster, from MIT's TRSF. Read the rest

Cubli: motorized reaction-wheel cube that can balance and walk on its edges and corners

A clever combination of motorized reaction wheels, sensors, processors and software allow the 15cm^3 Cubli to balance on its corner or edge, and to stabilize itself in the face of disturbances, or spin on its corner. It can also ramp up its wheel speed, brake them suddenly and use the angular momentum to leap up onto its corner from a flat rest, then fall onto a proscribed side, and leap up -- walking, in other words. Read the rest

Internet of Things Bill of Rights

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The New York Times asked Adafruit's founder and engineer, Limor 'Ladyada' Fried to contribute to an article series called ROOM for DEBATE. We believe Internet of Things devices should all come with a well established expectation of what they will and will not do with consumer's data. In the article we put together the start of what we hope will help this effort: Minimizing Risk Is Easy: Adopt a Bill of Rights

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By His Things Will You Know Him (podcast)

(art by Daniel Martin Diaz)

Earlier today, we published my story "By His Things Will You Know Him," which is from the forthcoming Institute for the Future anthology "An Aura of Familiarity: Visions from the Coming Age of Networked Matter." I've read the story aloud for my podcast, if that's how you prefer your fiction.

MP3 Link

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