L.L. Bean To Link Boots, Coats to a Blockchain

I will say, this is maybe 2 years earlier than I thought this would happen. But no doubt that it would, or that eventually this will be commonplace (except of course for Designer Brands that sell privacy as a service).

In a test due to begin this year, L.L. Bean plans to ship a line of coats and boots with sewn-in sensors that send data to the public Ethereum blockchain platform. The retailer is building a data tracking and analytics system to use customer data stored on Ethereum. Loomia, a Brooklyn-based technology company, plans to provide sheets of flexible circuitry to embed in the apparel, along with a small hardware device that uses near-field communication signals to collect data from the circuits while the custome

Source: L.L. Bean To Link Boots, Coats to a Blockchain – CIO Journal. – WSJ

Paper Signals: A Voice Experiment from Google

Super interesting maker/prototyping experiment from Google…use a few pieces of cheap hardware and paper construction to build a device that listens to your voice, and acts as an ambient information sensor. Potentially really useful for maker programs in libraries (if you don’t mind the creepy Google factor).

Paper Signals are build-it-yourself objects that you control with your voice.

Source: Paper Signals: A Voice Experiment

Amazon releases new Echo/Alexa devices

Amazon announced a ton of new connected devices today for their Alexa ecosystem, including the first serious revision of the basic Echo (now $99) and the Echo Plus, an Echo with smart home hub built in. Also announced is the Echo Spot, a new form factor for a screen-bearing Echo with camera. The somewhat odd ones are the Echo Connect, a VOIP box that connects a landline to an existing Echo device in the home. The Connect then allows the Echo to act as a smart speakerphone, enabling voice-controlled dialing and the like. Potentially huge for accessibility, it’s an unusual product for the Echo ecosystem.


But not quite as odd as the Echo Buttons, which are 2-for-$20 accessories for playing games with an existing Echo. The idea is to use them like buzz-in buttons on game shows, with the Echo acting as a gamemaster for trivia games and the like.

I suppose the Buttons + Echo might make for a fun library trivia night activity? Let me know if you plan to try it out at your library.

Source: Amazon debuts redesigned $99 Echo, plus a slew of new Echo devices, too | Ars Technica

The Internet of Cows

Yep. IoT for Cows. I can’t wait for this to be hacked somehow, and used a a distributed cownet.

Tie the cowlar on the cow’s neck. The Cowlar simply consists of a strap designed to comfortably fit around your cow and a small magic box that measure temperature, activity and cow behaviour, i.e. whether it’s eating, sleeping, ruminating or showing lameness.

Source: Cowlar – How It Works

Google and Levi’s connected smart jacket 

The connected denim smart jacket made in partnership between Levi’s and Google’s ATAP division now has a price tag, but its release date has been pushed from this spring to the fall. The jacket, which will cost around $350 when it goes on sale, is the first commercial product containing ATAP’s Project Jacquard technology, which uses conductive fabric to turn a standard article of clothing into a connected device of sorts that can send instructions to your smartphone, like pausing or skipping a song that’s playing by double tapping your wrist.

Source: Google and Levi’s connected smart jacket will come out this fall and cost around $350 – The Verge

The Internet of Snack Bags?

Created in partnership with creative agency Goodby Silverstein & Partners, the Tostitos Party Bag is outfitted with sensors to detect alcohol on a person’s breath. If you’re in the clear, the bag turns green and you’re free to go about your night. If alcohol is detected, the bag turns red with the message, “Don’t drink and drive,” and offers a $10 Uber credit for a discounted ride home. It’s even got near-field communication technology that lets you tap your phone to the bag to hail the ride, if you’re that blasted.

Source: Tostitos made a bag that can tell you’ve been drinking and call you an Uber – The Verge

Google Jamboard

Google (GOOGL, Tech30) unveiled a new 55-inch digital whiteboard on wheels that is intended to “redefine meetings,” or at least help Google gain footing in the workplace.The product, called Jamboard, lets teams pull up documents and presentations on screen from Google’s suite of productivity tools like Docs and Drive. Likewise, whatever you write or draw on the giant touchscreen can then be backed up online.

Source: Google is making a high-tech whiteboard – Oct. 25, 2016

Source Code for IoT Botnet ‘Mirai’ Released

The source code that powers the “Internet of Things” (IoT) botnet responsible for launching the historically large distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attack against KrebsOnSecurity last month has been publicly released, virtually guaranteeing that the Internet will soon be flooded with attacks from many new botnets powered by insecure routers, IP cameras, digital video recorders and other easily hackable devices.

Source: Source Code for IoT Botnet ‘Mirai’ Released — Krebs on Security

Largest DDoS attack ever delivered by botnet of hijacked IoT devices


Get used to this, because here’s the future of computer security….

A giant botnet made up of hijacked internet-connected things like cameras, lightbulbs, and thermostats has launched the largest DDoS attack ever against a top security blogger, an attack so big Akamai had to cancel his account because defending it ate up too many resources.

Source: Largest DDoS attack ever delivered by botnet of hijacked IoT devices | Network World