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re:Invent :: AWS gives IoT an edge with 4 new services

AWS IoT Events, unveiled in Las Vegas this week, gives customers the ability to detect and respond to events from large numbers of IoT sensors and applications, quickly and easily.

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At re:Invent in Las Vegas this week, Amazon Web Services, announced four significant services and capabilities that make it easier to ingest data from edge devices and build rich Internet of Things (IoT) applications.
* AWS IoT SiteWise is a new managed service that collects, structures, and searches IoT data from industrial facility devices and uses it to analyze equipment and process performance data.
* AWS IoT Events is a managed IoT service that makes it easy to detect and respond to changes indicated by IoT sensors and applications, such as malfunctioning equipment or a stuck conveyor belt, and automatically trigger actions or alerts.
* AWS IoT Things Graph is a new service that makes it easy to build IoT applications with little or no code by connecting different devices and cloud services, such as linking humidity sensors to sprinklers to weather data services to create an agricultural application, through a visual drag-and-drop interface.
 * AWS IoT Greengrass Connectors gives developers the ability to connect third-party applications like ServiceNow for service management, on-premises software like Splunk for log analytics, and AWS services like Amazon Kinesis for data ingest via common cloud Application Programming Interfaces (APIs). With this ability, developers can easily add more features like location-based services, replenishment, industrial data processing, alarm and messaging, repair and maintenance, logistics, and more, without writing code. To get started, visit: https://aws.amazon.com/iot.
“Customers tell us they want to spend less time on the undifferentiated heavy lifting of getting different devices and services to work together and more time innovating on full-featured IoT applications,” said Dirk Didascalou, Vice President IoT, AWS. “We are giving customers tools that remove the cost and complexity of building applications at the edge with rich data sources to drive better business decision-making. This frees them up to spend time innovating in their core business, instead of writing code to connect devices and applications and to ingest actionable sensor data.”
Industrial companies such as manufacturers, energy utilities, and food processors want to be able to utilise their device data to drive faster and better-informed decisions, but much of this data cannot be easily collected, processed, or monitored. Extracting data from thousands of sensors across different locations is time consuming and expensive and device data is often stored on-site in specialised servers. To help customers realise the value of their industrial data, AWS is announcing:
AWS IoT SiteWise (available in preview) is a managed service that collects data from the plant floor, structures and labels the data, and generates real time key performance indicators (KPIs) and metrics to help customers make better, data-driven decisions. Customers can use AWS IoT SiteWise to monitor operations across facilities, quickly compute common industrial performance metrics, build applications that analyse industrial equipment data to prevent costly equipment issues, and reduce gaps in production. Customers will be able to collect data consistently from devices, identify issues with remote monitoring more quickly, and improve cross-site processes with centralised data. To learn more about IoT SiteWise, visit: https://aws.amazon.com/iot/iot-sitewise.
AWS IoT Events (available in preview) is a managed service that makes it easy for industrial, consumer, and commercial customers to detect and respond to events from many different IoT sensors and applications. Events are patterns of data that identify changes in equipment like a conveyor belt becoming stuck or a motion sensor detecting movement after hours. Using IoT Events, customers can easily detect events like this at massive scale by analysing data across thousands of IoT sensors and hundreds of equipment management applications in real time. For example, when temperature changes indicate that a freezer door is not sealing properly, business logic can be used through AWS IoT Events to send a text message to a service technician. To get started with AWS IoT Events, visit https://aws.amazon.com/iot-events.
Bayer is a global enterprise with a core focus in the life sciences fields of health care and agriculture. “At Bayer, we constantly strive for the highest operational equipment effectiveness (OEE) within our manufacturing facilities by capturing, monitoring, and analyzing equipment metrics,” said Peri Subrahmanya, Product Manager, IoT, Bayer U.S. Crop Science. “AWS IoT SiteWise allows for a seamless data capture of relevant open platform communications (OPC) data streams via a gateway device and modeling of our shelling, treating, and chopping equipment in the cloud in order to help build analytical dashboards. We can then use these dashboards to identify inefficiencies and take corrective action.”
New capabilities make it easier to build IoT applications
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Samsung unfolds the future

At the #Unpacked launch, Samsung delivered the world’s first foldable phone from a major brand. ARTHUR GOLDSTUCK tried it out.

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Everything that could be known about the new Samsung Galaxy S10 range, launched on Wednesday in San Francisco, seems to have been known before the event.

Most predictions were spot-on, including those in Gadget (see our preview here), thanks to a series of leaks so large, they competed with the hole an iceberg made in the Titanic.

The big surprise was that there was a big surprise. While it was widely expected that Samsung would announce a foldable phone, few predicted what would emerge from that announcement. About the only thing that was guessed right was the name: Galaxy Fold.

The real surprise was the versatility of the foldable phone, and the fact that units were available at the launch. During the Johannesburg event, at which the San Francisco launch was streamed live, small groups of media took turns to enter a private Fold viewing area where photos were banned, personal phones had to be handed in, and the Fold could be tried out under close supervision.

The first impression is of a compact smartphone with a relatively small screen on the front – it measures 4.6-inches – and a second layer of phone at the back. With a click of a button, the phone folds out to reveal a 7.3-inch inside screen – the equivalent of a mini tablet.

The fold itself is based on a sophisticated hinge design that probably took more engineering than the foldable display. The result is a large screen with no visible seam.

The device introduces the concept of “app continuity”, which means an app can be opened on the front and, in mid-use, if the handset is folded open, continue on the inside from where the user left off on the front. The difference is that the app will the have far more space for viewing or other activity.

Click here to read about the app experience on the inside of the Fold.

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Password managers don’t protect you from hackers

Using a password manager to protect yourself online? Research reveals serious weaknesses…

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Top password manager products have fundamental flaws that expose the data they are designed to protect, rendering them no more secure than saving passwords in a text file, according to a new study by researchers at Independent Security Evaluators (ISE).

“100 percent of the products that ISE analyzed failed to provide the security to safeguard a user’s passwords as advertised,” says ISE CEO Stephen Bono. “Although password managers provide some utility for storing login/passwords and limit password reuse, these applications are a vulnerable target for the mass collection of this data through malicious hacking campaigns.”

In the new report titled “Under the Hood of Secrets Management,” ISE researchers revealed serious weaknesses with top password managers: 1Password, Dashlane, KeePass and LastPass.  ISE examined the underlying functionality of these products on Windows 10 to understand how users’ secrets are stored even when the password manager is locked. More than 60 million individuals 93,000 businesses worldwide rely on password managers. Click here for a copy of the report.

Password managers are marketed as a solution to eliminate the security risks of storing passwords or secrets for applications and browsers in plain text documents. Having previously examined these and other password managers, ISE researchers expected an improved level of security standards preventing malicious credential extraction. Instead ISE found just the opposite. 

Click here to read the findings from the report.

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