Smart lightbulbs could be exporting your personal data to China

first_img 5 Share your voice Now playing: Watch this: 3:16 7 ways smart home devices can help you sleep better Tags Comments Smart lightbulb at CES 2019. David Becker / Getty Images Today, you can operate almost everything in your house from your phone. But, like most technology, nothing is perfect. While smart lightbulbs themselves aren’t dangerous, the apps and platforms that control them might be. Last month, Dark Cubed, an American cybersecurity company, released its State of IoT Security report and detailed potential security threats in smart home devices. Dark Cubed said it purchased several in-home smart devices that can be found at Walmart, Amazon, Best Buy or other stores and tested their security. While the company said that it wasn’t surprising that most of the apps weren’t secure, the IoT (Internet of Things) lightbulbs were even worse. According to Dark Cubed, simply dimming your smart lightbulb could be enabling real-time location sharing. “What was surprising was the fact that some of these devices, such as the IoT lightbulb, were so insecure that it is beyond what could be considered a mistake,” Dark Cubed reported. “We found that the extent to which the manufacturers and infrastructure associated with these devices communicate with, or is related to, China is shocking and has significant national security implications.”The company also noted that while most IoT devices are manufactured in China, some of the tested devices and their companion apps were secure and didn’t share data.”Unfortunately, consumers have no ability to differentiate between the safe and the dangerous devices given the lack of focus on security by retailers,” Dark Cubed said in its report. Mobile Securitylast_img read more

Indian smartphone market to see 37 growth in 2016

first_imgIndian smartphone shipments are projected to grow at 37% in 2016ReutersThe Indian smartphone industry is pegged to expand steadily in 2016. According to Cybermedia Research (CMR), a market research consulting company, smartphones will continue to be the engine for the market’s growth and it predicted a 37% growth in the current year over a 32% average growth for past three years.This growth in smartphones is likely to be fuelled by 4G expansion and its reach to smaller cities and other rural areas that constitute a huge market.The market research firm noted in its report that though featurephones have not yet died out, the future trend is towards “smartphones-only market.” Featurephone shipments to India have reportedly witnessed a decline of 17% on an annual average basis.Key takeaways from the CMR report for 2016 are as follows:The focus will be on 4G mobile handsets, with predicted shipments of 50 million 4G-enabled units in 2016The acquisition and enhancement of design capabilities for OEMs and brands in IndiaImproving the software capabilitiesCamera has taken a central place in content creation and hence OEMs will be seen investing in this endeavour. Moreover, thanks to 4G, we are likely to see exponential growth of content creation and consumption via pictures and videosOEMs will continue concentrating on specifications like battery backup, RAM, number of cores, mega pixels, etc.There will be no “broad structural” changes in the Rs.10,000 segment mobile handsets, even as there could be widening of the portfolio for this segment and also for other price market segmentsConcern over rupee depreciation even as companies contribute to ‘Make in India’There is a likelihood of the decline in “element of exclusivity”. Though “Brands and models will use online sales as a channel to rapidly amplify the pitch,” it will also concentrate on “strengthening the physical channels of distribution.” The latter will be important specifically in Tier 2 and Tier3 towns, besides rural markets.last_img read more

Stranger author Omair Tarique says passion is contagious

first_imgOmair TariquePR HandoutThe age of Internet dawned on us with the promise of liberation, connecting millions together and providing a platform for each. Artists all around the world found a place to showcase their work thus every hidden dairy found a safe space, and Omair Tarique was not hesitant to join this sudden salvation of a generation.The twenty-two-year-old writer, who hails from the city of Kolkata, is currently pursuing English Honours from Calcutta University, found the love for written word in his early teens. Not only did Tarique believe in the power of language and the various repercussions it can have on people, but for him writing is a doorway to another world, a break from reality. He made his publication debut on May 10 2017 with Stranger a collection of short stories. Right now, he is working on his next book.It was not a surprise when Tarique co-founded The Scribbled Stories with Mohit Kumar on July 2, 2015. Today, India’s largest storytelling platform has become a hideaway for most of the millennials, with the following of almost 2 million on Facebook and Instagram. In the writing community, having a FanPost with your name on The Scribbled Stories is akin to a pilgrimage completed.If Omair found a haven in writing, he found peace in reading. The young author is widely known for his fondness of books: from organizing monthly Readathons, having his own online book club to reviewing books and just encouraging people to start reading, this man is full of passion.Some people know him as a ‘Book Fairy’ — if he adores a book, he will leave a copy of the same in cafés for others to find. On most days, Tarique survives on coffee, good movies and music whilst drowning in work. However, now on weekends he hosts an AMA for his readers, largely trying to help teenagers in angst and every person who thinks they are alone.He manages a team of twenty-seven writers at The Scribbled Stories, who come from different countries and walks of life. Tarique also curates stories submitted at the organisation’s submission portal. With his team, he has conducted various workshops in colleges across the country — from IITs to Liberal Arts Colleges.They say if the people you work with respect you, you cannot ask for anything else, and Tarique’s team carries nothing but admiration for him. Ansab Amir, Curator at The Scribbled Stories considers Omair as his supportive mentor and a well-balanced team member while Harshpreet, the Community Manager said, “Omair is more empathetic than you would ever imagine, the kind where he has observed you enough to know what will make you feel better when you are not okay. I doubt I will find a better colleague.”During his TEDx Talk at KL University, Tarique said, “Passion is contagious. I am passionate about reading, about writing, about stories. If you are passionate about something, like music, go back home after this event, pick up your instrument and record yourself playing something. Upload it even if it is bad. The way I see it, you either improve with criticism or get more confident with support… Each of you sitting in this room is an idea. And ideas can change the world.”He encourages every person to unabashedly just be themselves, the only way one can live their truth. Despite having marked numerous milestones just at the age of twenty-two, Omair Tarique is extremely grounded and keeps striving for more. Perhaps the reason behind his accumulating pile of successes. His journey stands as epitome of inspiration to many every day saying you do not need to speak in order to leave a mark.last_img read more

Houston Officials Criticize Federal Restraining Order Say Cleanup Coming To Encampment

first_img“It’s absolutely a disingenuous comment,” said American Civil Liberties Union attorney Trisha Trigilio, regarding Turner’s remarks that the restraining order prevents the city from properly ensuring health and safety in the camps. “The truth is that all the injunction said is that officers can’t ticket or arrest homeless people for living in tents, the city has every other policy option available,” she said. Trigilio said the city should install portable toilets and hand-washing stations to combat the spread of disease.The ACLU maintains that the city’s restrictions are a form of cruel punishment against the homeless. The ACLU is representing three homeless Houstonians in a lawsuit responsible for the restraining order.  A federal judge has asked for expedited briefs on the case which the city attorney said leads him to think the case will be decided quickly.   X To embed this piece of audio in your site, please use this code: Sharecenter_img Listen Davis LandMayor Sylvester Turner and other Houston officials call for the cleanup of encampments within the city.A man was killed Tuesday near an encampment under 1-69 on Caroline Street, a fact Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner is using to highlight what he said are increasingly dangerous conditions for Houston’s unsheltered.During a press conference at the site, Turner and other city officials called on a federal judge to undo a temporary restraining order that prevents the city from enforcing its restrictions on encampments. City officials also raised concerns of a public health problem. They say human waste in the camps is contaminating soil and spreading disease. Turner said a “deep cleansing” of the Caroline Street camp will begin next week, a process that involves clearing out anyone camped at the site, removing trash and human waste. “It’s a public space where everyone has the right to go,” Turner said, “but it’s a place where no one has the right to go and setup and take over a public space with tents, stoves furniture, and other property.”Davis LandA homeless encampment under I-69 where a man was shot and killed Tuesday.The ordinances blocked by the court aimed to limit the size and scope of what items people could bring onto public property, an effort to get people to choose city housing over encampments. With the restraining order in effect and the city’s ability to regulate the camps limited, Turner said sanitation and crime within the encampments has gotten worse.MORE: Addressing Houston’s Homeless Encampments 00:00 /10:25last_img read more

Pope Apologizes For Serious Mistakes In Handling Of Chiles Sex Abuse Scandal

first_img Share Andrew Medichini/APPope Francis arrives in St. Peter’s Square at the Vatican for his weekly general audience on Wednesday.Updated at 3:10 a.m. ETPope Francis has acknowledged “serious mistakes” in his handling of Chile’s sex abuse scandal and summoned the country’s bishops to an emergency meeting in Rome to discuss the matter.Francis blamed a lack of “truthful and balanced information” for misjudging the situation concerning Bishop Juan Barros, who he appointed to the small diocese of Osorno in 2015 despite allegations that he had helped cover up abuse by his mentor, the Rev. Fernando Karadima.Karadima was dismissed in 2011 after being found guilty by the church of abusing dozens of minors dating back to the 1980s. Following a canonical investigation, he was sentenced to a “life of prayer and penance” for his crimes.In the extraordinary three-page letter, Francis also apologized for accusing abuse victims of slandering Barros.“I ask forgiveness of all those I have offended and I hope to be able to do it personally in the coming weeks,” the pope said in the letter released by the Vatican on Wednesday.Francis said the bishops need to “re-establish confidence in the church, confidence that was broken by our errors and sins, and heal the wounds that continue to bleed in Chilean society.”Catholic News Service says, “Several [abuse] survivors apparently have been invited to the Vatican to meet the pope.”However, there was no indication whether or not Barros would stay on in his post.As NPR’s Bill Chappell reported during the pope’s visit to Chile in January:“Pope Francis has accused victims of sexual abuse in Chile of slander, saying their attacks on a bishop who’s accused of covering up the abuse amount to ‘calumny.’ The remarks triggered anger and demonstrations in Chile, where several churches have been firebombed in the past week.On the last day of his visit to Chile, Francis set the simmering resentment some hold against the Catholic Church to a full boil with his defense of Bishop Juan Barros.”“I am convinced he is innocent,” the pope insisted at the time.The remarks in Chile highlighted concerns about the pope’s commitment to combating sexual abuse by members of the Catholic clergy — an issue that has undermined the Church’s moral authority in much of the world.The following month, however, Francis dispatched Archbishop Charles Scicluna to lead an investigation in Chile that interviewed dozens of witnesses. The pope said when his envoys handed him the report, they were “overwhelmed with the sorrow of so many victims of grave abuses of conscience and power and, in particular, of sexual abuse committed by several consecrated persons against minors.”Francis said he feels “pain and shame” for the “crucified lives” of abuse victims.The National Catholic Register writes:“The Chilean bishops are meeting this week for a plenary assembly. Francis says he wanted to write to them now to ‘humbly request’ their help ‘in discerning the short, medium and long term measures to be taken to reestablish ecclesial communion in Chile, with the objective to repair the scandal as much as possible and restore justice.’He then says he plans to call them to Rome to discuss his ‘conclusions’ after reading the report Scicluna prepared following his February visit to the country.”The issue of the church’s handling of sex abuse is expected to be high on the agenda of the pope’s visit to Ireland in August.Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.last_img read more