Amazon Temporarily Discounts Echo from $179 to $100 – Deal Alert

By now I’m sure you’re familiar with Amazon’s Echo device. Amazon Echo comes in both white and black, and is a hands-free speaker you control with your voice. Echo connects to the Alexa Voice Service to play music, make calls, send and receive messages, provide information, news, sports scores, weather, and more. One works well, or string them around your house for Alexa in every room. Multiple Echo devices work together seamlessly. It may be one of those devices that actually does what it promises to do. Echo is discounted fairly regularly, but usually not by this much. If you’ve been thinking about picking one up, now may be a good time. Its list price has been reduced from $179 to $99.99 for a limited time. See the deal on Amazon.

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Just $9.99 Right Now For a 3-Pack of 6-foot Lightning/Micro USB Combo Cables – Deal Alert

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Is mobile killing the LAN?

I was talking with an industry CEO the other day and he offered an intriguing thought. He said that the LAN is dead — along with its associated routers and hubs and other network hardware — and that mobile has killed it. But the LAN isn’t dead, I resisted, noting that there are LANs within just about every corporate campus in the country.

And yet his argument can’t be dismissed. All of the data and security assumptions that existed when LANs came into being have gone away, courtesy of cloud and mobile. Still, I insisted, that’s an argument for why LANs should be dead, not that they are.

Let’s explore this a bit more. The CEO I was chatting with is Steven Sprague, from a cybersecurity vendor called Rivetz.

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IDG Contributor Network: Challenges in realizing the promises of the holistic edge

Cloud providers such as Amazon, Google, Facebook and Microsoft are already rolling out distributed cloud infrastructure. Whilst the central cloud is established as an integral part of current and future networks, there are key issues that make the central cloud simply not the solution to several use cases.

  • Latency, also known as the Laws of Physics: The longer the distance is between two communicating entities, the longer the time it takes to move content there. Whilst the delay of reaching out to the cloud today might be tolerable for some applications, it will not be the case for emerging applications that will require nearly instantaneous responses (e.g. in industrial IoT control, robots, machines, autonomous cars, drones, etc.).
  • Data volume: The capacity of communication networks will simply not scale with the insane amount of raw data that is anticipated will need ferrying to and from a remote cloud center.
  • Running costs: The cost of a truly massive computational and storage load in the cloud will simply not be economically sustainable over the longer term.
  • Regulatory: There are and will very likely be new constraints (privacy, security, sovereignty, etc.) which will impose restrictions on what data may or may not be transferred and processed in the cloud.

So it certainly does make sense to distribute the cloud and interconnect this distributed infrastructure together with the central cloud. This process has already begun. One good tangible example is Amazon’s launch of the AWS GreenGrass (AWS for the Edge) product and their declared intentions to use their Whole Foods Stores (in addition to the small matter of selling groceries) as locations for future edge clouds/data centers. In general, cloud providers, perhaps driven by their real estate choices, have a relatively conservative view of the edge, restricting it to a point of presence typically 10 to 50 km from the consumer.

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Microsoft Germany agrees to stop forcing Windows upgrade downloads

After 18 months of delays, Microsoft has responded to a cease-and-desist complaint filed by Munich’s Baden-Würtenberg consumer rights center (Verbraucherschutz) by vowing to never again forcibly download upgrade files onto customers’ computers, prior to obtaining their consent. Microsoft had lost in Munich courts twice and submitted this stipulation prior to the third, presumably final, round.

According to my own translation of the government’s press release, Microsoft has agreed it will no longer download Windows upgrade files before explicitly receiving permission.

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