Secure IoT Connectivity with NodeMCU ESP8266 Board, ATECC508A Crypto Chip, Mongoose OS, and AWS IoT

There are many examples of Internet of Things projects, but more often than not the implementation is not secure, either because the device is exposed to the Internet with minimum or no security (worst case), or a gateway (hopefully) provides secure connection to the Internet, but the communication between sensor nodes and the gateway in the local network is not secure, due to memory limitation of the nodes, for example it might be challenging to implement security on ESP8266. Mongoose OS is an open source operating system for the Internet of Things developed by Cesanta working on ESP32, ESP8266, STM32, and TI CC3200, and the developers have demonstrated a secure solution with Mongoose OS running on ESP8266 connecting over a TLS connection to AWS IoT (Amazon Web Service IoT) and using TLS credentials stored in Microchip ATECC508A CryptoAuthentication Device. The addition of ATECC508 chip either using “XplainedPro extension board for crypto products” (ATCRYPTOAUTH-XPRO) or ATECC508A chip itself, is to avoid …

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Netgem SoundBox is a Speaker with Built-in Set-Top Box Features

Netgem, a company specializing in Connected TV & Home, has sent a press release about profit growth, and two new “innovations int its smart home roadmap” with voice control with Amazon, and SoundBox, a connected speaker which embeds set-top box technology. Netgem does not sell directly to consumers, but instead sell its products and solutions to service providers, and they have not provided a great deal of technical details. But we still know the company has improved Netgem Home Platform, a cloud service allowing the deployment and management of multi-screen features, content discoverability, with support for multi-room, multi-source music service through technology from Voxtok. SoundBox will then offer both video and audio service, and be controlled by voice using Amazon Alexa. The SoundBox will be customized for each Telco to adapt to the needs of local markets. A few more details may eventually surfaced on Netgem’s SoundBox product’s page. They’ll also demonstrate their solutions at Mobile World Congress 2017. Jean-Luc …

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Amazon EC2 F1 Instances Put Xilinx Virtex Ultrascale+ FPGA Boards into the Cloud

We’ve covered several board and modules based on Xilinx Zynq Ultrascale+ MPSoC such as the AXIOM Board and Trenz TE0808 SoM, both featuring ZU9EG MPSoC, with systems selling for several thousands dollars. But I’ve been informed you may not need to purchase a board to use Virtex UltraScale+ FPGAs, which are different from Zynq UltraScale+ since they lack the ARM CPU & GPU and normally feature a more capable FPGA, as last November, Amazon launched a developer preview of F1 instances giving access to this type of hardware from their cloud. That’s the FPGA hardware you’ll be able to access from one F1 instance: Xilinx UltraScale+ VU9P manufactured using a 16 nm process. 64 GB of ECC-protected memory on a 288-bit wide bus (four DDR4 channels). Dedicated PCIe x16 interface to the CPU. Approximately 2.5 million logic elements. Approximately 6,800 Digital Signal Processing (DSP) engines. Virtual JTAG interface for debugging. I understand those FPGA boards are PCIe card plugged into …

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Seagate Duet Portable Hard Drive Automatically Syncs with Amazon Cloud Drive

Seagate has announced the launch of Seagate Duet 1TB portable hard drive with auto-sync to Amazon Cloud Drive, so that your data is always backed in the cloud. If you use the drive to backup data, that means you’ll have a extra backup copy in the cloud, which could be useful if the drive fails just when you want to back it up (it happened to me), or somehow your house burns down… Another advantage is that if you forget to take your drive with you, the data will be accessible from anywhere with an Internet connection from Amazon Cloud service. It connects through your Mac or PC’s USB 3.0 port, and sync files to the cloud after an initial setup with your Amazon account. Once the setup is done, you can use the drive as you’d normally do, and files will automatically be backed up in the cloud. The Amazon Drive mobile app will allow people to access their …

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Marvell EZ-Connect MW302 IoT Starter Kit Supports AWS IoT Cloud Services

Amazon has just launched AWS (Amazon Web Services) IoT (Beta), a cloud platform that lets connected devices securely interact with cloud applications and other IoT devices. As pasrt of the announcement, they also released AWS IoT SDK that comes in three flavors: Embedded C SDK for C-based platforms such as Linux, RTOS, with variants for OpenSSL and mbed TLS. JavaScript SDK in Node.js Arduino Yún SDK. Ten started kits are currently officially supported by AWT IoT, many of them being existing platforms such as LinkIt One, BeagleBone Green, Intel Edison, or TI LaunchPad CC3200,  with several of these kits including SeeedStudio’s Grove modules. One of the kits that’s completely new, at least to me, is Marvell EZ-Connect MW302 IoT Starter Kit which include a mini USB to USB cable, and Marvell 88MW302 development board with the following (preliminary) specifications: SoC – Marvell EZ-Connect MW302 ARM Cortex-M4 WiSoC with 512KB SRAM Storage – No info Connectivity – 2.4Ghz b/g/n Wi-Fi (built-in …

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Amazon Fire TV 2015 Features Mediatek MT8173 Cortex A72 & A53 Processor

Last year, Amazon launched the Amazon Fire TV box based on a Qualcomm Snapdragon processor for $100. The company has recently introduced an upgraded model powered by Mediatek MT8173 quad core processor (2x Cortex A72, 2x Cortex A53), and with support for 4K videos, while keeping the same price tag. Fire TV 2015 specifications: SoC – Mediatek MT8173 quad core processor with 2x ARM Cortex A72 cores @ 2.0 GHz and two ARM Cortex A53 cores @ 1.6 Ghz, and a PowerVR GX6250 GPU System Memory – 2GB Storage – 8GB internal storage + micro SD slot up to 128GB Video Output – HDMI up to 2160p30, 108060, 720p60. HDMI CEC and HDCP 2.2 support Video Codecs – H.265, H.264 Audio Support Codecs – AAC-LC, AC3, eAC3 (Dolby Digital Plus), FLAC, MP3, PCM/Wave, Vorbis, Dolby Atmos (EC3_JOC) Dolby Audio, 5.1 surround sound, 2ch stereo, and HDMI audio pass through up to 7.1 Connectivity – 10/100M Ethernet, dual-band Wi-Fi 802.11a/b/g/n/ac, Bluetooth 4.1 …

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Nvidia Shield Android TV vs Apple TV vs Roku 3 vs Fire TV vs Nexus Player – Video Capabilities and Features Comparison

Since Nvidia released the Shield Android TV box, I’ve heard several people saying Nvidia raised the bar and even disrupted the TV box market by bringing a powerful HTPC and gaming console to the market for just $199. The company has now released OTA 2.0 firmware that improves HTPC capabilities, including under Kodi and Plex, and the box supports for 10-bit HEVC, H.264, and VP9 @ 4K, and audio pass-through for HD audio codecs such as Dolby TrueHD and DTS-HD Master. As part of the release announcement, Nvidia also compared the Shield TV media capabilities to the ones of other US centric media players, namely Apple TV (2015), Roku 3, Amazon Fire TV (2015), and Nexus Player. Since it comes from Nvidia, it was also going to show the Shield TV in a good light, but I’m very surprised to see that Apple, Amazon, Google, and Roku would ship a device without MPEG-2 support… Maybe most people just stream videos …

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$5 Amazon Dash Buttons Can Be Hacked as WiFi Logging Buttons

Amazon launched Dash buttons earlier this year in order to allow Amazon Prime customers to order products by simply pressing them. The small WiFi enabled buttons only cost $5, and looked like a nice thing to hack. And that’s exactly what Ted Benson did, and managed to use them to log his baby’s patterns like the number of time he poos, or wakes up at night by pressing some buttons, and storing the results in a spreadsheet. The hack does not involve any firmware or hardware modifications, and instead he noticed that the Dash was disconnected and sleeping, except when the button was pressed. So all he does is to detect ARP requests from the Dash using some Python code relying on Scapy library, and when the MAC address matches one of the dash MAC addresses (hard coded in the Python program), data is sent to a Google Spreadsheet using a tools called Magic-Form. Here’s a quick demo. Just one …

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