Entries with tag hardware devices.

Amazon Continues New Hardware Releases

Amazon is preparing to release six new or upgraded devices, including new e-readers and tablets. The basic Kindle e-reader now includes a touch screen. New tablets in the Fire line include a device for children. Amazon has been focusing on hardware—including smartphones and set-top boxes—as of late. Market analysts observe the hardware is specifically designed to drive more traffic to Amazon’s online shopping sites. Some industry observers say Amazon is out of its element in the hardware market against established vendors such as Apple and Samsung. Gene Munster, an analyst with Piper Jaffray, an investment bank and asset-management firm, said Amazon should focus on app distribution and working with other firms’ hardware. However, wrote Will Oremus, senior technology writer with the Slate online magazine, “What makes Amazon so dangerous as a hardware company is that it doesn’t have to make money on its hardware.” He said that the company uses its hardware to get people to shop with Amazon but that now, consumers are finding the hardware itself attractive. (Reuters)(Barron’s)(Slate)

Company Markets “USB Condom”

A security and hardware specialist has invented and released a new product—called the USB condom—that prevents outsiders from compromising USB devices. Stephen A. Ridley’s USB Condom blocks data pins in a USB device, which keeps data from potentially being stolen from the USB device, while leaving the power pins free. This is designed to help people who plug their USB devices into, for example, a public charging kiosk or a coworker’s computer. Ridley’s int3.cc (http://int3.cc) website says the product, which it is distributing, is now out of stock but will be available again soon. (SlashDot)(Hot Hardware)(int3.cc)

Microsoft Debuts Lab of Things

The Lab of Things is a new framework from Microsoft that  lets researchers  access data from connected devices around the world then share that data with others. It works with the company’s HomeOS software, which runs on a dedicated computer and enables researchers to monitor sensors or hardware/devices in the home. The data collected is stored on Windows Azure and can be accessed by other researchers. Microsoft is reportedly promoting HomeOS and the Lab of Things for researchers interested in topics such as healthcare, energy management, and home automation. The site states researchers from the United States, United Kingdom, and Pakistan are now using The Lab of Things for current projects. (Engadget)(CNET)(Microsoft Lab of Things) 

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