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- iot news week - IoT news of the week for Feb. 22, 2019 – Stacey on IoT

IoT for civil justice: Turning down the heat to below legally prescribed levels is apparently one way unscrupulous landlords try to force tenants out of NYC apartments. By law, a landlord has to keep the heat at 68 degrees Fahrenheit during the day and 62 at night, but trying to prove that a landlord is breaking the law can be tough. This article profiles an organization installing sensors to prove such violations, and in the process, helping tenants keep their apartments and their comfort. Of course, in this example — and in most examples of using sensors to prove wrongdoing in anything that might make it through the court system — reliability, a way to prove the accuracy of the sensor and the data collection methods, and the fact that no one has tampered with the data, is required. There are plenty of people that will say blockchain is the answer, but I’m not sold. I think there’s an opportunity here, and not just for social justice. (The New Yorker)

More spectrum for Wi-Fi? This , comments were due on an FCC proposal to make more spectrum available for Wi-Fi. This spectrum would be in the 6 GHz band (Wi-Fi currently operates in the 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz bands), and several industries have thoughts about how to make the plan work. The most interesting comment might be from the Leading Builders of America, which notes that inside homes, Wi-Fi has become a basic utility, and it may become even more important because many of the building materials that promote energy efficiency also make it tough for radio waves to pass through homes. With that in mind, it wants the FCC to make sure that the power standards applied to Wi-Fi in the 6GHz band work with existing building materials so that home buyers can get their Wi-Fi sans interference. (Fierce Wireless)

How a liquor company does digital transformation: I hate the lack of specificity in the term “digital transformation.” But I love practical case studies about how a company turned their IT organization into a group that helps make business decisions and bring the benefits of to all aspects of their organization. This interview with the CIO of the company that makes Jack Daniels whiskey explores how to make such a thing happen, and also how it can lead to new products, such as Old Forrester Rye. The CIO clearly articulates how a shift from thinking about software products to focusing on how can smooth out business processes has changed his job and the company. (WSJ)

Nokia’s IoT platform is adding four services: While Samsung has shut down its Artik IoT platform and Google has backtracked from Android Things, Nokia is still pushing forward with WING, its Worldwide IoT Network Grid, which provides IoT connectivity and services support. The new solutions include agriculture-as-a-service, livestock management-as-a-service, logistics-as-a-service, and asset management-as-a-service. (Nokia)

Want to read a paper on making noise analysis better? So many features use noise analysis. They include Amazon’s new Guard feature, which listens for glass breaking in a home as a security measure, and industrial sensors that can detect when a machine is about to fail based on the sound of the parts. So why not click through to read research on improving the algorithms that ultimately decide when noises cross the line from normal to abnormal? The researchers argue that to improve those algorithms, data scientists have to add more randomness to the samples. (Arxiv)

I always feel like somebody’s watching me: And at six Walgreens locations around the country, they are. Or rather, connected fridges are watching people to categorize them into rough demographic profiles so they can sell them more cold beverages. A Slate reporter took a trip to the store and found that the fridges didn’t seem to help consumers, the environment or even store employees very much. But they certainly might influence people to buy more cold drinks. That’s a pretty manipulative use of IoT and analytics. (Slate)

Amazon creates a dev kit for Alexa + mesh Wi-Fi: Hot on the heels of announcing the deal to buy mesh Wi-Fi maker Eero, Amazon has teamed up with Qualcomm (which provides the Wi-Fi chips inside the Eero router) to create a reference design that lets folks build a Wi-Fi access point that has Alexa inside. Which leads me to think that Amazon’s purchase of Eero wasn’t about engineering expertise, but about the services on offer and the existing customer base. Based on the examples used in Amazon’s blog post, the integration into a router also gives Alexa the ability to help with tough networking tasks in a more user-friendly way. That will only help Alexa cement her place in homes. (Amazon)

Good data on cellular and IoT: My favorite telecom analyst, Chetan Sharma, has released his quarterly update on the world, which I follow primarily for the IoT angle. The latest report includes a number of useful tidbits, such as AT&T adding the most number of connected devices of all four U.S. carriers, partly due to cars. AT&T provides connectivity for almost 29 million connected vehicles, and the carrier is adding more than 2 million cars to its network each quarter. This is important, because smartphone penetration in the U.S. is at 95%, so if carriers want to grow their business, they need to find new things to connect. The bad news is that in most cases the average revenue per user will be pretty low. But cars may have a chance at driving some decent monthly revenue for carriers, which is why AT&T’s dominance here matters. (Chetan Sharma)

You still need to learn how to tie your shoes: Nike’s self-lacing shoes are having a bit of trouble pairing to the company’s Android , leaving owners of the connected shoes with what is basically a brick. The shoes have laces that can be loosened, tightened, and customized through the , but if the shoe can’t connect to the it’s possible that the laces won’t work. I want to point out how silly it is to make a connected product that can’t function when it’s not connected, but in this case, the self-lacing shoe was the point of the product and it could only happen with tech. Looks like the tech isn’t there yet. (Ars Technica)



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