Monthly Archives: June 2017
Many of us scoff at the thought of internet connected Refrigerators and other “IoT” kitchen appliances but it looks like we’ll be seeing them sooner that we think
Consider the following: Refrigerators that shop for you. Samsung wants your fridge to be more than just mere cold storage. Samsung’s Family Hub (at a paltry $4,788 at BestBuy so watch for advertised sales) aims to make it easier to order groceries. The Family Hub can order from a grocery store through the Groceries by Mastercard app. https://news.samsung.com/global/samsung-electronics-unveils-family-hub-2-0-and-smart-built-in-appliances-at-ces-2017
But you don’t need to buy an Internet connected fridge to get some of the benefits of a smart appliance. The Smarter FridgeCam (currently available for pre-order at $99.99) is a wireless camera that allows you to see the contents of your fridge and track expiration dates from a smart phone app. https://smarter.am/fridgecam/
Or, how about a “Magic” button for ordering groceries? Amazon wants to make replenishing family staple items as simple as pressing a button. Amazon’s DASH button might be the answer. You can reorder specific items that are available via Amazon’s Prime service with one button press. This service is exclusively available to PRIME members at this time. The option intrigued me so I logged into my Amazon Prime account and was very surprised to see just how many Buttons I had.
Most every food type item I’ve ever ordered as well as many other items I’ve ordered and re-ordered had a button assigned to them. All I had to do was enable 1-click ordering and simply click the desired button. Can’t get much easier than that…
Finally – many people are put off by all this technology so, if you like the old fashioned way of doing things, check out this Amazon.com item. It’s a 2 pack (100 sheets per pack) of pre-printed paper shopping lists that magnetically sticks to your fridge… cheap and effective – now where did I leave my pen? J
Amazon’s intended purchase of Whole Foods for $13.7 BILLION seems to push them towards their goal of opening a “massive chain” of 2,000 grocery stores. Jeff Bezos is plotting his takeover of our brick and mortar retail industry.
In December 2016, Amazon unveiled a grocery store without lines or checkout counters. Amazon Go, a 1800-square-foot retail space located in the company’s hometown of Seattle, lets shoppers just grab the items they want and leave; the order gets charged to their Amazon account afterwards.
Amazon Go works by using computer vision and sensors to detect what items you’re taking out of the store. You start by scanning an app as you enter the Amazon Go shop. You do your normal shopping, and the sensors throughout the store identify the items in your cart and charge them to your account when you walk out the door. It’ll feel like shoplifting, except you’re actually being watched by more cameras than you can imagine.
The shop will stock most items you’d find in a local convenience store: snacks, drinks, premade food like salads and sandwiches, and grocery essentials like bread and milk. It’ll also sell Blue Apron-like meal kits that let you cook your own dinners for two.
On the consumer level, the benefits are obvious — no waiting in line or fussing around with self-checking machines. But for Amazon, the company could potentially track you and your phone as you browse the store to track items you buy. By looking at your movements in the store as you shop, Amazon could analyze items you may have noticed or were potentially interested in buying (i.e., picking something up off a shelf and putting it back down.) Combine this with your Amazon.com browsing activities and the company could gear up to serve even more recommended products wherever you’re online.
This is all part of Amazon’s grand plan to become the logistics backbone of retail, both online and offline. More brick-and-mortar locations make it easier for the company to conduct grocery delivery through its Amazon Fresh brand. And as more customers begin turning to Amazon for groceries and everyday supplies, the lower Amazon can bring its prices as it scales upward and purchases inventory in larger amounts. The deeper these layers intertwine, the more likely a consumer is to subscribe to Amazon Prime, which will surely begin incorporating offline benefits to complement its free shipping and video freebies.
At the end of the day, Amazon wants to sell consumers any and every product it can, while having the network to move that product into a person’s home that very same day. With planned physical locations that cater to every style of shopping, the company is well on its way to realizing that vision.
Wall Street Journal report: https://www.wsj.com/articles/amazon-grocery-store-concept-to-open-in-seattle-in-early-2017-1480959119
It seems that lately we’re always talking about different ways to protect ourselves and computers from hackers, and phishing schemes. Wouldn’t it be nice if there was a way to automatically protect every device in your home?
Fortunately, there is just such a product – one that will automatically protect your laptops, desktops, smartphones, tablets, DVR’s game consoles, TV’s, literally anything that connects to the internet.
Let’s talk about OpenDNS.
OpenDNS is a company and service which extends the Domain Name System (DNS) by adding features such as phishing protection and optional content filtering in addition to DNS lookup, if its DNS servers are used.
The company hosts a cloud computing security product suite designed to protect customers from malware, botnets, phishing, and targeted online attacks. The OpenDNS Global Network processes an estimated 100 billion DNS queries daily from 85 million users through 25 data centers worldwide.
Today we’ll concentrate on Family Shield from OpenDNS. FamilyShield is different from the majority of parental controls software choices parents are faced with. For starters, Family Shield is free to use. And when set up on your wireless router, FamilyShield does more than block adult content on computers; it blocks it on Wi-Fi devices like the iPod Touch or the Nintendo DS and on video game consoles like Xbox and Wii. In addition to blocking adult content, FamilyShield also blocks proxies and anonymizers, which are how enterprising/tech-savvy kids often get around parental blocks. Because FamilyShield leverages the OpenDNS content filtering system, the list of sites being blocked is constantly updated, 24/7. These updates happen automatically, in the cloud, without requiring any changes on the user’s end. Last but not least, because it runs on the global OpenDNS network, it will make your household Internet faster and overall more reliable. With the OpenDNS perfect 100 percent uptime record, you won’t have to tolerate annoying, intermittent Internet outages anymore. This, of course, is in stark contrast to parental controls software that is often known for slowing down your Internet experience. On August 27, 2015, Cisco acquired OpenDNS for $635 million in an all-cash transaction, plus retention-based incentives for OpenDNS. Cisco said that it intended to continue development of OpenDNS with its other cloud-based security products, and that it would continue its existing services. OpenDNS’ business services were renamed as Cisco Umbrella; while the home products retained the OpenDNS name.
For additional information as well as instructions for setting this up in your home go to: https://www.opendns.com/home-internet-security/
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