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Some interesting links I have found on my travels around the internet.

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16 April 2014, 7:44 pm
For more than half a decade Spotify has relied on P2P technology to quickly deliver songs to its millions of subscribers. This will be over soon. The music streaming service has started to phase out P2P technology to rely fully on central servers instead.


11 April 2014, 10:13 am
Last september Amazon opened a smart home section on their American site.  Now Amazon UK have just launched their own Home Automation store too. Split into sections like Energy & Lighting, Monitoring & Security, Entertainment and Appliances, this pulls all Amazon’s home gadgetry into one easy-to-browse place. So if you’re looking for anything from an LED light bulb to a robot lawn mower then give it a try


31 March 2014, 6:48 pm
Fibaro have officially announced the latest addition to its line-up of products today, the new Z-Wave FGM-001 Motion Sensor. The device detects motion and can be used as part of a security system to monitor your home when you’re out.  But it can also be actively used as part of a sophisticated home automation system too.


29 March 2014, 11:58 pm
The microcontroller, which turns nine today, has helped make working with electronics accessible to everyone, including artists, hobbyists and children. Last year, Michael Shiloh, an engineer, tinkerer and lecturer at Bay Area colleges, co-taught an advanced architecture class at California College of the Arts that posed an unusual challenge to students: build a non-standard 3D printer in just one semester. The class, which was by no means composed of traditional engineering students, came up with some interesting answers. One extruded clay, while another dripped solvent onto foam to create shapes. Another was affixed to the back of a hexapod robot:


28 March 2014, 7:36 pm
As TorrentFreak is noting, the UK is finally modernizing basic user rights concerning copyright (what they call "fair dealing") to officially make it "legal" to make personal copies of legally acquired copies of digital content. In short, due to restrictive copyright law, it has always been technically infringement in the UK to rip a CD or DVD, but as of June that will change. This was one of the key suggestions in the Hargreaves report from three years ago, so it's good to see it finally being put into action.


15 March 2014, 11:30 am
IBM's Node-RED visual coding tools are simplifying the job of wiring up today's world of computers, sensors and online services. Hacking the world around you to bend it to your will is getting easier and easier. Whether it's setting up a lamp to flash when someone retweets you or a system to text you when the washing's done, work is taking place to make it simpler for machine to speak unto machine. Hooking up the wealth of computers, sensors and online services in the modern world can lead to weird and wonderful creations, for example this whistle-controlled drone.


12 March 2014, 11:00 am
Renowned British technology engineer Andy Stanford-Clark has told PCR that home automation is set to become ubiquitous in the near future. An IBM Master Inventor and Distinguished Engineer, Stanford-Clark is also known for his home-made automated systems, on which he has given many talks. “The main attraction [of automated home technology] for me is the home monitoring side,” Stanford-Clark said of his passion for the sector.


11 March 2014, 9:54 pm
Here’s a segment from KOMO 4, a Seattle news station. Last week’s news about the collapse of Mt Gox, one of the largest Bitcoin exchanges, has meant that there’s been lots media interest in Bitcoin, and this video talks about what it is…and, in doing so, visits one of the US’s biggest Bitcoin farms. We were struck dumb (really – jaws resting on chests, drooling slightly) when we saw the footage of how they’re mining: that’s an awful lot of Pis, and even more ASIC miners. We don’t think we’ve seen so many Raspberry Pis in one place outside the factory in Wales where they’re made. Fast forward to 3:08 for a detailed look.


10 March 2014, 7:06 pm
Distributed Denial of Service (DDOS) attacks are becoming a common trend on our blog lately, and that’s OK because it’s a very serious issue for every website owner. Today I want to talk about a large DDOS attack that leveraged thousands of unsuspecting WordPress websites as indirect amplification vectors. Any WordPress site with XML-RPC enabled (which is on by default) can be used in DDOS attacks against other sites. Also note though that this feature is what facilitates the built-in commenting system, remote access via mobile devices, and many other features you’re likely very fond of.


9 March 2014, 10:24 pm
The UK government will spend an extra £45m on developing so-called "internet of things" technology, David Cameron has announced. The pledge more than doubles the funds available to UK technology firms working on everyday devices that can communicate over the internet. The prime minister was speaking at the CeBIT technology trade fair in Germany.