ENTRIES TAGGED "sensors"
Password (in)security, sensors and ant-sized computers, and big data skeptics are called out.
Companies, developers need to do more to increase password security
Google urged users this week to take more care in creating passwords. In a post on the Google Blog, Google Software Engineer Diana Smetters offered some guidelines, including using a different password for each online account, keeping them in a safe place, creating a recovery option and making them hard to guess. Smetters suggests using a mix of letters and numbers and avoiding basing passwords on common phrases.
Though industry experts generally applauded Google’s efforts to increase consumer awareness, most agreed the company could do more. Seth Rosenblatt reports at CNET that industry experts Alex Salazar and Mary Landesman feel Google should be pressuring developers and companies to improve their security practices.
Landesman noted, for instance, that using spaces in passwords makes them stronger, but most sites don’t let you do that. Salazar outlined three steps Google could take to make the web safer for consumers: pressure companies to require consumers to choose passwords that are easy to remember but hard to break; be a stronger two-factor authentication advocate; and to publish guidelines for developers — and to do a better job of stressing the importance of protecting your customers. Landesman pointed out that often, blame for password breaches is misplaced on users. “[Password security] is tilted against the user,” she said.
Data brokers, workplace sensor studies, unreported drug side effects revealed in search data, and the dark side of big data.
The lowdown on data brokers, and the use of sensor data in the workplace
ProPublica’s Lois Beckett takes a look this week at data brokers. She says that though Congress is making moves to make such companies give consumers more control over their data and what happens to it, many people not only don’t know these data brokers exist, but they also don’t know the extent of the data gathered and how it’s used.
Fujitsu provides the Sprout device to collect and analyze sensor data in real time
Veterans Affairs is collaborating with Fujitsu on a complex and interesting use of sensor data to help rehabilitate veterans suffering from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). I recently talked about this initiative with Dr. Steven Woodward, Principal Investigator of the study at the VA Palo Alto Health Care System, and with Dr. Ajay Chander, Senior Researcher in Data Driven Health Care at Fujitsu Laboratories of America (FLA).
The study is focused on evaluating strategies for driving rehabilitation. During deployments, veterans adapt their driving behavior to survive in dangerous war zones that are laced with combat fire, ambushes, and the threat of improvised explosive devices. Among veterans suffering from PTSD, these behaviors are hard to unlearn upon their return from such deployments. For example, some veterans veer instinctively into the middle of the road, reacting to deep-seated fears of improvised explosive devices. Others refuse to stop at stop signs for fear of attack. Other risky behaviors range from road rage to scanning the sides of the road instead of focusing on the road ahead. At-fault accident rates are significantly higher for veterans upon return from a deployment than before it.
The VA’s research objective is to understand the triggers for PTSD and discover remedies that will enable veterans to return to normal life. For the study, the VA instrumented a car as well as its veteran driver with a variety of sensors that collect data on how the car is being driven and the driver’s physiology while driving it. These sensors included wireless accelerometers on the brake and accelerator pedals and on the steering wheel, a GPS system, and an EKG monitor placed on the driver and wired to an in-car laptop for real-time viewing of cardiological signals, as well as manual recording of the driver’s state and environmental cues by an in-car psychotherapist. With such a system, the VA’s goal was to record and analyze driving trails of veterans and assess the efficacy of driving rehabilitation techniques.
As Dr. Woodward explained, the VA had been assessing veterans’ driving habits for quite a while before getting introduced to Fujitsu’s real-time monitoring technology. ASsessments had been a significant challenge for multiple reasons. On the data collection and visualization front, the disparate sensors, the laptop, and the power supplies added up to a significant in-car IT footprint. More importantly, since all sensor systems were manufactured by different vendors and didn’t share data with each other, the data streams were not synchronized. This made it difficult for the VA researchers to get an accurate understanding of how the driver’s physiology coupled with the car’s drive and location data. Read more…
How a sensor glove can benefit the patient-doctor relationship.
Recently a group of three young entrepreneurs showed off a prototype of a glove that contained sensors useful for medical examinations. Their goals were not merely to make diagnosis easier, but to save the doctor/patient relationship from the alienation of modern technology. Medical student Andrew Bishara came into O’Reilly’s Cambridge studio to discuss the glove’s capabilities, how the creators were inspired to design it, and how they plan to productize it.
Here’s the full video from our discussion:
Highlights from the conversation include:
- Introduction to the glove and its purpose in bringing touch back into medicine. [Discussed at the 0:31 mark]
- Some of the purposes of the sensors. [Discussed at the 2:00 mark]
- Software on the device and in the cloud. [Discussed at the 7:58 mark]
- Creating a marketable product from the glove. [Discussed at the 9:54 mark]
- Open hardware. [Discussed at the 13:39 mark]
- How the developers were inspired by Singularity University. [Discussed at the 15:03 mark]
Karen Tanenbaum uses wearable tech and sensors to explore the boundaries of storytelling.
What if you mashed up a non-linear narrative, a tangible computing environment and a hint of a haunted house experience? You might get the Reading Glove, a novel way to experience a story.
A mobile mapping app lets users capture and visualize their movements.
The DIY mapping tool AntiMap lets users capture their movements via their mobile devices, then visualize and analyze their movements.
GreenGoose looks to unlock the data in everyday activities.
Put a GreenGoose sticker on an object, and just like that, you'll have an Internet-connected sensor. In this interview, GreenGoose founder Brian Krejcarek discusses stickers as sensors and the data that can be gathered from everyday activities.
A visualization shows running data from three major cities.
A year's worth of Nike+ running data from the streets of New York, London and Tokyo was collected and visualized.
Why smart metering is just the first wave of the power grid's data revolution.
The smart grid is an information revolution for utilities, and the first line of the information the grid uses will come from smart meters. EMeter's Aaron DeYonker discusses meter use and data applications in this interview.
Network-connected sensors track your fitness
Small data matters as much as big, and none more than data about ourselves. Fitness and health tracking is going wireless and personal.