• A HomeKit vulnerability in the current version of iOS 11.2 has been demonstrated to 9to5Mac that allows unauthorized control of accessories including smart locks and garage door openers. Our understanding is Apple has rolled out a server-side fix that now prevent unauthorized access from occurring while limiting some functionality, and an update to iOS 11.2 coming next week will restore that full functionality.

  • I was wondering about ML approaches to chess playing. Crazy days.

  • Cool story about the good old days in Toronto, which surprisingly were 10 years ago.

  • Another Google DIY thing, this time with a Raspberry Pi, TensorFlow, and a dedicated daughterboard called a “VisionBonnet”.

  • Notes: 1

    Tags: GoogleFunnyAIMLCool

    You want the Machine Apocalypse? This is how you get the Machine Apocalypse.

  • “Voice Experiments: Paper Signals”. 1 minute video. Cool, but awkward. Yes I know it’s trying to get people interested in Google voice applications.

    Here’s the website. Google Voice Assistant is available on iOS as well.

  • It’s a list of buzzwords with an IBM-spin: Augmented Intelligence, Blockchain, Cloud computing at the Edge AKA not actually cloud computing,.

  • Interesting. I guess for tracking expensive stuff through the supply chain, like wine and stuff, depending on the unit cost of the tag. One wonders if the ease of deployment of LoRA technology is also hurting companies like SigFox.

    The nano-tag is equipped with an ultra-thin printed battery and is designed to be integrated into products or systems that send messages to the Cloud when a simple event is detected. The LoRa-enabled reference design will work with existing LoRaWAN™ networks and enable the proliferation of completely new types of IoT applications, requiring real-time, reliable feedback including logistics/shipping applications, healthcare and pharmaceutical applications, asset tracking applications, and general-purpose compliance applications.

  • Read the comments for some for/against perspectives.

    The outlook for specialist IoT technology developer and network operator Sigfox has weakened following an exodus of senior employees this year and, according to a source close to the company, as financial difficulties mount.

    …The Toulouse-based firm, whose technology provides network connectivity for smart meters and other devices that do not require much bandwidth, is in danger of running out of funding by June and may fall dramatically short of revenue targets this year, according to that source.

  • Notes: 1

    Reblogged from awsfeed

    Tags: AWSRTOSIoT

    Announcing Amazon FreeRTOS – Enabling Billions of Devices to Securely Benefit from the Cloud


    I was recently reading an article on ReadWrite.com titled “IoT devices go forth and multiply, to increase 200% by 2021“, and while the article noted the benefit for consumers and the industry of this growth, two things in the article stuck with me. The first was the specific statement that read “researchers warned that the proliferation of IoT technology will create a new bevvy of challenges. Particularly troublesome will be IoT deployments at scale for both end-users and providers.” Not only was that sentence a mouthful, but it really addressed some of the challenges that can come building solutions and deployment of this exciting new technology area. The second sentiment in the article that stayed with me was that Security issues could grow.

    So the article got me thinking, how can we create these cool IoT solutions using low-cost efficient microcontrollers with a secure operating system that can easily connect to the cloud. Luckily the answer came to me by way of an exciting new open-source based offering coming from AWS that I am happy to announce to you all today. Let’s all welcome, Amazon FreeRTOS to the technology stage.

    Amazon FreeRTOS is an IoT microcontroller operating system that simplifies development, security, deployment, and maintenance of microcontroller-based edge devices. Amazon FreeRTOS extends the FreeRTOS kernel, a popular real-time operating system, with libraries that enable local and cloud connectivity, security, and (coming soon) over-the-air updates.

    So what are some of the great benefits of this new exciting offering, you ask. They are as follows:

    • Easily to create solutions for Low Power Connected Devices: provides a common operating system (OS) and libraries that make the development of common IoT capabilities easy for devices. For example; over-the-air (OTA) updates (coming soon) and device configuration.
    • Secure Data and Device Connections: devices only run trusted software using the Code Signing service, Amazon FreeRTOS provides a secure connection to the AWS using TLS, as well as, the ability to securely store keys and sensitive data on the device.
    • Extensive Ecosystem: contains an extensive hardware and technology ecosystem that allows you to choose a variety of qualified chipsets, including Texas Instruments, Microchip, NXP Semiconductors, and STMicroelectronics.
    • Cloud or Local Connections:  Devices can connect directly to the AWS Cloud or via AWS Greengrass.

    What’s cool is that it is easy to get started. 

    The Amazon FreeRTOS console allows you to select and download the software that you need for your solution.

    There is a Qualification Program that helps to assure you that the microcontroller you choose will run consistently across several hardware options.

    Finally, Amazon FreeRTOS kernel is an open-source FreeRTOS operating system that is freely available on GitHub for download.

    But I couldn’t leave you without at least showing you a few snapshots of the Amazon FreeRTOS Console.

    Within the Amazon FreeRTOS Console, I can select a predefined software configuration that I would like to use.

    If I want to have a more customized software configuration, Amazon FreeRTOS allows you to customize a solution that is targeted for your use by adding or removing libraries.


    Thanks for checking out the new Amazon FreeRTOS offering. To learn more go to the Amazon FreeRTOS product page or review the information provided about this exciting IoT device targeted operating system in the AWS documentation.

    Can’t wait to see what great new IoT systems are will be enabled and created with it! Happy Coding.


  • AWS Updates Aurora and DynamoDB, Unveils Neptune Graph Database



    AWS Updates Aurora and DynamoDB, Unveils Neptune Graph Database

    Among the raft of new product announcements made by Amazon Web Services (AWS) during Wednesday morning’s re:Invent keynote were significant updates to its database portfolio.

    Amazon Aurora
    AWS CEO Andy Jassy introduced previews of two new capabilities in the Amazon Aurora relational database service, which first launched in 2014 and has become the fastest-growing service in AWS history.

    The first is Aurora Multi-Master, which Jassy described as the industry’s “first relational database service with scale-out across multiple datacenters.” Aurora Multi-Master lets users create “multiple write master nodes” of their databases across several availability zones, insulating them from failures when one availability zone is disrupted.

    Aurora Multi-Master is currently in preview with support for single-region master duplications, Jassy said. Support for multiple regions is expected in 2018.

    Also in preview is Aurora Serverless, touted by Jassy as an on-demand, auto-scaling, serverless database service. Aurora Serverless is essentially a new version of the original Aurora service that has all the same features but is able to adjust much more dynamically according to a customer’s usage rate. There’s no need to provision instances upfront, according to Jassy. Aurora Serverless automatically scales up and down as workload capacities change, and powers down resources when they’re not in use. Users are billed by the second.

    According to a blog post Wednesday by AWS evangelist Jeff Barr, Aurora Serverless is expected to become generally available with MySQL support in the first half of 2018, followed by PostgreSQL support in the second half. Those interested in accessing the Aurora Serverless preview can sign up here.

    Jassy also unveiled two new features for its DynamoDB NoSQL database service: Global Tables and Backup and Restore.

    Now generally available, the Global Tables feature makes DynamoDB “the first fully managed, multi-master, multi-region database in the world,” according to Jassy. While DynamoDB already replicates users’ tables over multiple availability zones, Global Tables extends that replication across multiple regions, boosting customers’ fault tolerance and expanding the global reach of their applications.

    According to a separate blog post by Barr, the Global Tables feature is currently available out of AWS regions in Northern Virginia, Oregon, Ohio, Ireland and Frankfurt, with more coming next year.

    Meanwhile, the new Backup and Restore feature lets users easily perform backups of hundreds of terabytes of data on demand. The backup component of this feature is now generally available in the Northern Virginia, Ohio, Oregon and Ireland regions, while restore capabilities will come in early 2018. That includes the ability to do “point-in-time” restores to any second within a 35-day window.

    A new managed graph database service called Neptune is now in limited preview from AWS, addressing the challenges inherent in building apps with highly connected data.

    “The core of Amazon Neptune is a purpose-built, high-performance graph database engine optimized for storing billions of relationships and querying the graph with milliseconds of latency,” said Randall Hunt, senior technical evangelist at AWS, in a blog post Wednesday detailing the new product.

    Neptune supports the Property Graph and the Resource Description Framework (RDF) graph models, as well as the Apache TinkerPop Gremlin and RDF SPARQL query languages. It’s also fully manged, with AWS doing the back-end maintenance, management and patching tasks for customers.

    More from AWS re:Invent 2017:

    About the Author

    Gladys Rama is the senior site producer for RCPmag.com and senior editor of AWSInsider.net.

  • Notes: 3

    Reblogged from awsfeed

    Tags: AWSTimeLinux

    Keeping Time With Amazon Time Sync Service


    Today we’re launching Amazon Time Sync Service, a time synchronization service delivered over Network Time Protocol (NTP) which uses a fleet of redundant satellite-connected and atomic clocks in each region to deliver a highly accurate reference clock. This service is provided at no additional charge and is immediately available in all public AWS regions to all instances running in a VPC.

    You can access the service via the link local IP address. This means you don’t need to configure external internet access and the service can be securely accessed from within your private subnets.


    Chrony is a different implementation of NTP than what ntpd uses and it’s able to synchronize the system clock faster and with better accuracy than ntpd. I’d recommend using Chrony unless you have a legacy reason to use ntpd.

    Installing and configuring chrony on Amazon Linux is as simple as:

    sudo sudo yum erase ntp*
    sudo yum -y install chrony
    sudo service chronyd start

    Alternatively, just modify your existing NTP config by adding the line server prefer iburst.

    On Windows you can run the following commands in PowerShell or a command prompt:

    net stop w32time
    w32tm /config /syncfromflags:manual /manualpeerlist:""
    w32tm /config /reliable:yess
    net start w32time

    Leap Seconds

    Time is hard. Science, and society, measure time with respect to the International Celestial Reference Frame (ICRF), which is computed using long baseline interferometry of distant quasars, GPS satellite orbits, and laser ranging of the moon (cool!). Irregularities in Earth’s rate of rotation cause UTC to drift from time with respect to the ICRF. To address this clock drift the International Earth Rotation and Reference Systems (IERS) occasionally introduce an extra second into UTC to keep it within 0.9 seconds of real time.

    Leap seconds are known to cause application errors and this can be a concern for many savvy developers and systems administrators. The clock smooths out leap seconds some period of time (commonly called leap smearing) which makes it easy for your applications to deal with leap seconds.

    This timely update should provide immediate benefits to anyone previously relying on an external time synchronization service.


  • My apologies for the Plethora of AWS posts upcoming.

  • I love this. BTW if you want to do something similar for phone spam, just say “I’m very interested” and lay down the phone. Their spam phonecall model depends on people hanging up quickly.

    Introducing Re:scam – an artificially intelligent email bot made to reply to scam emails. Re:scam wastes scammers time with a never-ending series of questions and anecdotes so that scammers have less time to pursue real people.

    If you think you’ve received a scam email, forward it to me@rescam.org and we’ll take it from there. We’ll even send you a transcript of the conversations Re:scam has had with the scammer – sometimes they can be quite funny! Please note, this can take a while as the bot is designed to reply to the scammer at varying times to appear natural – it may take anywhere from a few seconds to a few days to reply to the scammer each time.

  • …is dead. Too many other free or good options out there I guess.

    Phant is no longer in operation

    Unfortunately Phant, our data-streaming service, is no longer in service. The system has reached capacity and, like a less-adventurous Cassini, has plunged conclusively into a fiery and permanent retirement. We know this is frustrating to current and potential users, and we absolutely understand your disappointment.