Government Offers £10 Million Internet of Things Mystery Prize

The Internet of things market connected smart devices tag cloud

The government is taking its crazy obsession with buzzword of the moment, “the Internet of Things” – the mystical technological future in which everything from fridges to roads will be connected to the internet – to the next level. They’re doling out £10 million of taxpayer dough in an IoT based competition…

The £10 million pot is being offered by DCMS and the rebranded Technology Strategy Board, Innovate UK, as a prize to anyone who thinks they have a brilliant IoT based idea. As with all things IoT, the competition brief is a little vague:

“IoT is a major area of growth and will have a transformative effect on society… This competition will be instrumental in discovering new connections between city services and their users, and identifying many more advantages that the Internet of Things could offer.”

So a competition about a new and exciting thing to discover why the new and exciting thing is new and exciting. Great…

Tech Nostalgia: Lycos Sells its Patents

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Lycos, the first internet search engine to implement spidered web indexing has emerged from semi-retirement to hawk off some of its valuable patents. Lycos was sold to Telefonica at the height of the tech bubble for $5.4 billion, but was offloaded to a digital knackers yard in 2010 for just $36 million – the new owners are hoping to cash in on Internet of Things mania by selling relevant patents for connecting electronics to the internet.

The much loved search engine was kicked to the kerb by Google years ago, but has a special place in the hearts of the many tech geeks who were useing it long before Google even existed. For those feeling a bit nostalgic, you can actually still use the search engine

Transport Minister Believes Roads Will Self Heal

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Britain’s roads will soon self heal using nanotechnology, heat themselves to prevent freezing and supply electricity to battery powered cars through inductive charging. Well that’s according to Transport minister John Hayes, at least.

Speaking at an event last week, Hayes appeared to have drunk the Internet of Things kool-aid, claiming that “our roads, bridges and tunnels are joining the Internet of Things” and that “roads themselves are about to be digitalised.

Unsurprisingly, there was no mention from the minister of any actual investment in these fantastical things…

Osbone Backs “Internet of Things”

George Osborne has confirmed Techno’s long held suspicion that this government is preparing for a hypothetical technological revolution known as the Internet of Things, where everything from pacemakers to fridges will be connected to the internet. Osborne announced plans to invest in the Internet of Things during the budget, which conveniently allowed him to shoehorn a dig at “Two Kitchens Ed” into his speech.

“And we’ll invest in what is known as the Internet of Things. This is the next stage of the information revolution, connecting up everything from urban transport to medical devices to household appliances. So should – to use a ridiculous example – someone have two kitchens, they will be able to control both fridges from the same mobile phone.”

Just give us reliable broadband…

Tory MP Plans To Create Futuristic Sci-Fi Type Cities

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An outgoing Tory MP has already got his next mission lined up – he’s going to build “smart cities”. Dan Byles, the Conservative Party’s most marginal MP with a majority of just 54, has given up on Parliamentary life after just five years is claiming he will spearhead a revolution that will see Britain’s cities serviced by robots and buzzing with drones.

Speaking about his plans to Business Insider, Byles waxed lyrical about his plans for Britain’s to lead the world with initiatives ranging from installing bins that know when they’re full, to “complex systems to run a society”. However his new job at Living PlanIT sounds a bit less sexy, it’s a Machine to Machine communication company – one of a number in the UK that are lobbying hard to be recognised as an essential component of the futuristic and and quite possibly fantastical Internet of ThingsHow about a decent 3G signal first…

Update:

dan byles tweet

 

Home Office: Cyber Crims are Coming After Your Thermostat

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The Home Office is warning individuals to be wary of installing ‘smart infrastructure systems’ such as internet controlled central-heating and lighting, in case they are compromised by cyber criminals. In a paper released today called Internet of things: potential risk of crime and how to prevent it, the Home Office claim that malicious attacks on these types of ‘smart’ household technology could leave people vulnerable to fraud, theft and could even endanger their personal safety.

The warnings come as part of the government’s recent obsession with the “Internet of Things”, the much hyped theory that everyone’s electronic devices will soon be connected to and controlled over the internet.

Damn hackers, messing with the thermostat again…

 

MoD Preparing to Defend your Fridge from Cyber Attack

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The Ministry of Defence has announced that they are focusing on protecting the “Internet of Things” – a much hyped, theoretical future in which everything from mundane household objects to heart monitors are connected to the internet.

Air Vice-Marshal Mark Neal, the MoD’s director of information systems and services told this weeks TechUK conference that while the IoT isn’t yet prevalent, the MoD is listening to the tech futurists and it is “very much part of the agenda within defence.” According to the the Air Vice-Marshal, cyber-terrorists could potentially seize control of IoT devices such medical devices and could siphon off data from interconnected devices such as smart fridges.

Putin is watching your carb intake…

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