DTNS 2243 – The Coming Home Automation wars

Logo by Mustafa Anabtawi thepolarcat.comShannon Morse is on the show to talk about the new LG G3 and Apple and Google’s assault on the smart home space.


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Show Notes

Today’s guests: Shannon Morse of hak5.org


LG announced its new G3 smartphone so no more leaks, just facts. The Android 4.4.2 Kit Kat phone has a 5.5-inch 2560×1440 display with 538 ppi. The 13.1 mpxl rear camera features laser autofocus and optical image stabilization. LG really pitched simplification with features like squeeze to take selfie, an adaptive keyboard that improves accuracy over time, and knock to unlock which uses a pattern of taps as your unlock code. Inside is a Snapdragon 801 2.5GHz Quadcore, 2 or 3 GB of RAM and 16 or 32 GB storage. LG will start selling the G3 in South Korea Wednesday with additional regions to follow. Pricing varies by market.

The Verge notes The Information reports its sources say Google’s Nest Division has considered acquiring Dropcam as part of a larger decision to move into Home Automation. Nest makes a Thermostat and a smoke alarm called Protect. Dropcam makes a connected camera with a cloud DVR service and smart sensors that can detect things like open doors. This follows on the report yesterday from The Financial Times that Apple may announce its own smart home platform at WWDC next week.

Bloomberg BusinessWeek reports Intel signed an agreement with China’s FGuzhou Rockchip Electronics Co. to jointly offer a quad-core processor and integrated modem called Sofia in the first half of 2015. Rockchip will market the processor to Chinese customers. Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. will make the chip until the end of 2015 when it will shift into Intel plants. Getting a seller of chips based on ARM to make Intel mobile chips is an important step in Intel’s plan to get more competitive in the mobile chip space.

The Sydney Morning Herald reports  that an attacker in Australia has used the Find My iPhone feature to lock users out of their own iPhones, iPads and Macs. Those with lock codes could regain access. Others received requests for payments of 50 to 100 dollars in order to regain access to their devices.

CNET reports the China Academy of Cyberspace issued a new report called “America’s Global Surveillance Record” accusing the US of targeting Chinese leaders, Chinese companies, scientific research institutes, and ordinary citizens with cybersurveillance. In addition Bloomberg reports Government agencies in China are asking banks to replace IBM servers with machines from local companies as part of a test program.

Reuters reports a court in the southern Iranian province of Fars has opened a case against Facebook-owned Whats App and Instagram after receiving complaints of privacy violations. The court ordered the director of Facebook or his official attorney to defend himself in court and pay for possible losses.

Engadget reports Hector Xavier Monsegur aka Sabu of LulzSec has been sentenced to time served by a US Federal Court, letting him walk free. Prosectors said Monsegur was a very “productive cooperator” providing information that helped the FBI take down LulzSec and stop a string of cyberattacks.

Ars Technica reports the US FCC chief of staff Ruth Milkman spoke today at a Progressive Policy Institute event titled “Should the FCC Serve as Internet Traffic Cop?”. Milkman said the agency does not know the answer to whether peering, transit, and other interconnection issues need further regulation or can be handled in the marketplace. The FCC is seeking comment on whether the scope of its current net neutrality rulemaking discussions should include these issues.

News From You

Our top story on the subreddit came from metalfreak who posted the IT World story that a bug in an e-voting application halted the release of European federal and regional election results in Belgium. Some older voting machines got different results for preferential votes depending on the way they counted them. That should not happen. A fix to the problem was developed halfway through the night and voting resumed. The machines in question are PCs with two serial ports, a parallel port, 1 megabyte of RAM and a 3.5-inch disk drive used to load the voting software from a bootable DOS disk.

spsheridan submitted the Ars Technica story by Cyrus Farivar about his experience requesting his travel records from the US Customs And Border Protection agency under a Freedom of Information Act request. He received 72 pages of information, much of it redacted to protect the subject’s privacy, even though he was both the requester and the subject. Most of the records showed when he had left or re-enetered the country as well as whether he was subject to inspection. One entry noted him as a journalist. Farivar had been interested in receiving a Passenger Name Record which often times record IP addresses used to book travel. He did not receive that record although he asked for it directly in his original request.

Discussion Section Links: 






Pick of the day:   Calibre E Book manager via Jeremiah McCoy

Jeremiah writes, “I am a big consumer of ebooks, like a lot of people today, but I often get better deals on books in different stores. You can buy books from places other than the Kindle store, after all. Not to mention free versions of ebooks put online by the author, or the Gutenberg Project, and in different formats. Also, as much as Amazon would like to say different, there are a bunch different ereaders available out there. There are a lot of things to work out, if you decide to go outside just one store experience. I have found Calibre to be super useful in those problems. It is an ebook management software. It can track your library of files, convert them to different formats, and manage which device you have loaded them on. It can even edit your ebooks. It is great software for ebooks in general.”

Wednesday’s guest:  Patrick Norton of Tekzilla