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Archive for September, 2015

NY State vs Microsoft customer data disclosure update 4

September 25, 2015 1 comment

A quick followup to my blogs of May 2015 here, September 2014 here and July 2014 here, where the NY State court is trying to compel Microsoft to hand over emails from one of their servers in Ireland. The case is still ongoing, and recently went through a session with the appeals court  – you can find the rough transcript online.

In it the two sides argue the legal difference between warrants and subpoenas, and whether our emails should be considered “the business records of a company”.

This far reaching case will have ramifications for governments and service providers which way it goes – Microsoft argue that if it goes against them, that means Russia will be able to obtain records from US Mail.ru servers without the US government having a say, and the US government argue that if they loose, companies can simply offshore their customers data to block US Government inspection.

Which way do you think it will go? Comment below.

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Categories: PII Tags: , ,

Why I want all my lights to be smart…

September 22, 2015 Leave a comment

This week Theo Priestley of Forbes posted an interesting article, where he posed a couple of interesting questions:

An average home in the UK can potentially run to over 15 or so light bulbs, but how many would a consumer realistically want to be smartly enabled and connected to the internet ? And again, just what is the value they’re going to receive from controlling them remotely ?

As I sit in my office I have 9 light bulbs around me – I know I’m not in the UK, but I’m British and I don’t remember the UK being particularly starved of bulbs last time I visited. Perhaps Theo meant “light switches” in which case I only have 5 – but the first question he asks is why we want them all to be smart?

My answer is the following – when I get up at 4 am for a flight I don’t want to wake my wife up. I also don’t want to trip over on my way across the room to the light switch. Read more…

Categories: IOT, SmartHome Tags: ,

Smarthome 2015 – 80’s Computing Throwback?

September 10, 2015 Leave a comment

Image C/O Gigaom

With so many competing IOT hubs and ecosystems – how can the dream of the connected home, digital butler experience be realized?

Can you remember personal computing in the 80’s? I was a Commodore 64 kid, I thought it was the best computer ever – why would anyone use anything else?

My classmates generally disagreed though – there was the ZX Spectrum, Tandy, Acorn, Atari, Amiga, BBC Micro (A and B), Amstrad, Apple, and the one kid who’s father had a CPM 80286.

The challenge was, even though we all had much the same goal – play the best games, learn how computers work, maybe write a game of our own – everything was completely different and incompatible – even storage with tape, microdrive, 3″, 3.5″ 5″, 8″ disks – each manufacturer, assured in their own superiority forged ahead creating their own proprietary isolated world. Read more…

Categories: IOT, SmartHome Tags: ,