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News Round-up – Google Android Things

AT&T and Verizon Respond to FCC

Both AT&T and Verizon have responded this week to letters from the FCC that argued that their sponsored data plans are detrimental to consumers and net neutrality. Both company’s plans offer free data use for access to certain services, like DirecTV or Verizon’s Go90 – thus giving an advantage to those programs/services over the rest of the internet.

AT&T and Verizon have both responded arguing that both of these sponsored data plans provide significant benefit to the consumer, and that the FCC is ignoring the perks that customers can enjoy. Verizon stated that “FreeBee data provides tangible benefits to consumers by increasing the amount of what they can do and watch online, at no cost to them”. The outcome of these letters will likely wait until a new FCC head takes office after January 20th, and the future regulatory landscape becomes clearer.

See our 3-part series on net neutrality for more

Android Things

Google have just launched Android Things, an Android-based device OS for the Internet of Things. Well when I say launched, I mean they rebranded their Brillo OS from last year and gave it a few updates. Android Things is designed to run on IoT smart devices like connected speakers, security cameras, and routers – helping them to connect and integrate with other devices and the internet.

Google have also stated their plans to build an infrastructure around Android Things to allow developers to push regular patches and security updates, as well as receiving updates directly from Google. The technology will work in conjunction with Google Weave platform to make it easier for all types of devices to connect to the cloud and interact with services like Google Assistant. Google are vying to become to go-to platform for IoT smart devices and smart homes – whether they succeed is another thing entirely.

For more on IoT security check out our interview with Steve Groban from Intel Security

Cisco’s Intercloud Is Dead

Just 2 years after launching in 2014, Cisco confirmed last week that they will be terminating their “Intercloud” project even though there was discussion of this possibility back in September. The $1 billion public cloud infrastructure project that was launched to compete with Amazon, will be winding down it’s services for March 2017. Intercloud was originally designed as a platform that allows customers to shift workloads between data centres, in an attempt to help connect and integrate isolated and disparate clouds.

Amazon has increasingly consolidated their control, sucking up apps, data, and generally out manoeuvring competitors for control of cloud based services, and Cisco is just the latest in a long line of beaten competitors. Cisco have previously played down Intercloud in favour of hybrid services, and has noted that this is a strategic decision, so perhaps they will be putting their efforts into a new venture.

Britain Urged To Increase Financial Services Cyber Security

According to Andrew Tyrie, head of the Treasury Committee, Britain’s intelligence agencies need to be more active in helping regulators to protect the financial services industry from cyber-attacks. He warned of the focus of intelligence agencies on state-sponsored cyber-crime and terrorism at the expense of financial cyber-crime.

The report comes well timed given that last month Tesco Bank reported that $3 million had been stolen from 9,000 customers in the first mass hacking of a western bank. Moving into 2017 cyber-security needs to be the top priority for intelligence and regulatory agencies across all areas of cyber-crime, not simply state-sponsored attacks.

Check out our piece on cyber-security trends for 2017 for more…

By Josh Hamilton

About Josh Hamilton

​Josh Hamilton ​is an aspiring journalist and writer who has written for a number of publications​ involving Cloud computing, Fintech and Legaltech​. ​Josh has a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Law​ from ​Queen's University in Belfast​​.
Studies included, Politics of Sustainable Development, European Law, Modern Political Theory and Law of Ethics​.

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