Widgets Magazine

The Friday Five: October 30, 2015

US Government says it’s now ok to jailbreak your tablet and smart TV
Consumer tinkerers get a win, at least temporarily as the US Library of Congress added jail breaking smart devices, tablets and Smart TVs to name a few, to the list of exemptions to the Digital Media Copyright Act (DMCA). This exemption will at least be in effect for three years, until they meet again to discuss. Previously, they okay-ed jail breaking phones but not tablets.
Read more at the Verge
Senate approves major cybersecurity bill; critics say it won’t prevent hacks
The U.S. Senate passed a bill that is a good start, but also leaves a number of issues to be reconciled as far as cybersecurity goes. This advances the first serious attempt of-*Congress combating costly computer hacks that have hit a number of businesses/government agencies. It expands liability protections for companies choosing to share cyber-threat data with the government. The Cybersecurity Information Sharing Act (CISA) has been around for a few years but has been dormant due to concerns over privacy/government data collections by the NSA, among other agencies. This makes it another bill the government likes but private groups of experts aren’t happy about. A half-measure, if you will.
Read more at Venture Beat
InfoComm Urges Members to Stay Exceptional
InfoComm, the trade organization for the audiovisual industry, is in the process of developing their next strategic plan. One key factor will likely be a holdover from the 2013 strategic plan: creating exceptional experiences. There’s a significant amount of strategic ambiguity in that classification, something that is not uncommon to InfoComm. In fact, InfoComm hired a consulting firm (Gravity Tank) to aide them in defining and explaining exactly what makes exceptional experiences. It will focus on multiple components aimed at several vertical markets. InfoComm has developed the APEx (Audiovisual Providers of Excellence) program in the past which places heavy emphasis on InfoComm certifications as well as conformance to InfoComm-developed standards. InfoComm also can and will allow you to pay offer-*InfoComm training, as an integrator.
Read more at Commercial Integrator
How People Are Actually Using the Internet of Things
Many articles are focusing on the what of IoT (products and what they can do) or the-*how of IoT (how sensors/data provide improved info, etc). This article focuses on the why. Harvard Business Review recently completed a in-depth study of what people are really looking for from the Internet of Things. They break out their findings into four key factors. The four factors are more or less what you’d expect (at least I think so), but it adds to the conversation, as does this article on big data in factories.
Read more at Harvard Business Review
Service Stories
“Don’t even try to sell me a service contract,” I said, many times, to integrators whom I was working with to-*buy audiovisual equipment and installation services. I bought one contract, once, and it was the biggest let down ever. I figured, “Hey, the company that installs the product-*could service it and that-*will save me some time.” Wrong, the person who serviced it knew nothing about the installation; the as-builts the integrator created weren’t accurate, and at one point they even removed the wrong piece of gear for an RMA (this was an InfoComm APEx company, for what it’s worth). Seems I’m not the only one, as Lindsey Adler notes.
Read more at AVNetwork.com
Don’t forget to set your clocks back this weekend, and happy-*Halloween!

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