iRobot CEO Has Bigger Plans for the Roomba Manufacturer...

The commercial success of the Roomba has revolutionized the way the world vacuums. CEO Colin Angle co-founded iRobot, the company that manufactures the Roomba, in 1990 at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and has served as a director since 1992. In 2002, iRobot released its first model of the Roomba. In a recent interview, Angle said that he’d never imagined the product’s immense commercial success. Since then, the company has developed the Braava, a mopping robot; the Mirra, for pool cleaning; and the Looj, for gutter cleaning. iRobot has become a global brand, bringing self-operating vacuums, mops, and outdoor cleaning equipment to millions of households worldwide. However, Angle wants to emphasize that iRobot is not just a vacuum cleaner company, nor is it just a cleaning company in general. With a large aging population, the company wants to create products that make all household maintenance and tasks more manageable. “What iRobot is going to be most appreciated for is not going to be vacuums,” said Angle. “It’s going to be allowing people to live independently longer so that we can maintain our standard of living as a society.” One of iRobot’s most recent projects is a product that will aid in mowing the lawn. Among Americans who have yards, 90% of them believe that lawn care is important. The U.S. population of senior citizens is growing rapidly, and with old age comes a decline in mobility. Not all of these individuals receive geriatric care or even have family members to come help them. Common mobility problems among the elderly include fibromyalgia, arthritis, and multiple sclerosis, as well as decreased bone density and overall weakness. These issues make simple tasks like lawn care and lawn mowing, cleaning, and heavy lifting difficult, if not impossible. Many...

Auto and Technology Industries Clash Over Talking Car Technology...

Approximately 27 million cars are recycled annually, but soon those recycled parts may be going towards a new age of cars that can communicate with one another. Cars that can speak to each other wirelessly are finally ready to take on the roads. Not only can these vehicles talk to each other, but their communication could be key in preventing countless accidents on the road in the future. However, the auto industry faces some issues before being able to roll their project out. Cable television and high-tech industries are planning to take away a significant portion of radio airwaves dedicated to automobiles back in 1999. Their hope is to use these airwaves to create super high-speed WiFi networks, but the auto industry likely needs these airwaves to ensure its technology works. The government and auto industry have spent upwards of $1 billion researching and developing vehicle-to-vehicle (V2V) technology, which means all that time and money are at stake. However, V2V technology isn’t the only area of automobile technology that’s struggling. Electric vehicles are seemingly on the rise, but once the wild success of Tesla is laid aside, it’s evident that electric vehicle sales are actually declining. <br. Electric vehicles were once the pinnacle of automobile technology, but even newer technologies are threatening to push them out of the market. The fiercest competitor at the moment is the self-driving vehicle. Uber is rolling out a small fleet of autonomous vehicles in Pittsburgh; Ford has committed to a fully autonomous test fleet by 2021; GM has hinted at setting up a self-driving fleet in big cities; and Google’s work on its driverless Google Car speeds ahead, uninhibited. It’s unclear as of right now whether or not consumers will actually want self-driving cars to be a part...

Overheated Electronics Are Causing Chaos Across the States...

Overheated electronics can be a serious problem, as they have the potential to cause fires and extreme home damage. Many companies often manufacture their electronics to be heat-resistant. Some add extreme cooling components to the computers, while others will add temperature market materials, which will liquefy when they reach 413 °F. One man in Dania Beach Florida is living to tell his tale about exploding electronics after his son’s overheated hoverboard caught on fire in his sister’s bedroom. Lawrence Gaalswyk was working from home when he heard sudden popping noises from the next room over. Getting up to check, he noticed a frightening orange glow coming from his son’s room. His hoverboard had overheated and exploded and shot its batteries out like projectiles into his 12-year-old sister’s bedroom. The hoverboard, which is a skateboard that runs on mechanized energy, had been plugged into its charger for a couple weeks. The fire damage caused by these specific boards cost Gaalswyk between $25,000 and $50,000 as the fire ransacked two bedrooms. Gaalswyk bought the secondhand hoverboards online. Broward Sheriff Fire Rescue Spokesman Mike Jachles warns about the risks that come with buying electronics that have not been properly tested and checked for security. He tells theSun Sentinel, “If you’re buying electronics, first of all, make sure you’re buying reliable electronics that are certified and tested by an approved laboratory, like Underwriters Laboratories.It’s not worth it to buy electronics that don’t have any quality control or testing for safety.” However, electronic aficionados have come up with a way to stop the overheating of computers in order to prevent dangerous house fires. The method is a little unconventional, and it uses copper pennies. All you have to do is take a few copper pennies — made before the...

More Than Half of Organizations Facing Security Issues in the Cloud...

There are approximately 26.5 million businesses in the United States, and a good portion of them utilize the cloud for various aspects of their companies. However, over half of those businesses utilizing the cloud are experiencing security issues. Approximately 59% of organizations surveyed reported cloud security incidents related to unsolicited external sharing, and 47% reported incidents regarding access from unauthorized devices, according to the Mitigating Risks For Cloud Applications, a survey of 176 information security professionals conducted by the Cloud Security Alliance and Bitglass. In addition, the report also details that survey respondents reported that cloud data synced to lost/stolen devices, employees credential compromise, and malicious insiders were problems. However, those issues received less than a third of votes. The report honed in on the software-as-a-service segment of the cloud market, which continues to steadily grow. This comes as a result of companies realizing that SaaS apps can be more secure than on premise-based business and office productivity apps. Despite all of the security issues, though, the cloud still topped SurePayroll’s third annual favorite tech tools survey. While last year’s winner was Dropbox, the cloud beat out all of the competition by a fairly large margin for 2016. One company, however, has been claimed the title of king of cloud computing: Amazon. Amazon delivers “many times the aggregate size of all other providers in the market,” said research firm Gartner. It also dominates when it comes to holding corporate customer data, according to another report by Gartner. Fortunately, Amazon’s size has nothing to do with the security issues cloud users have been facing lately. Users are more concerned with a lack of regulation and insurance that cloud users will obey and enforce said regulations. “If you only have visibility into one application, you don’t...

Millions of Volkswagen Cars Can be Unlocked by Hackers, Researchers Say...

An estimated 15 million cars are sold over the Internet each year, but buyers should be wary of purchasing any kind of Volkswagen vehicle, as researchers have just found that hackers could unlock millions of the vehicles remotely. A homemade radio is the only hardware an attacker requires to unlock one of the many millions of vehicles that could be affected. The problem affects a range of vehicles manufactured between 1995 and 2016 — including Volkswagens and various models from Audi, Seat, and Skoda. Two separate methods of attack were tested on different models and described in a paper by researchers from the University of Birmingham and German security firm Kasper & Oswald. In both cases, it was revealed that relatively cheap, homemade equipment allows hackers to listen in on the frequency of key fobs when unlocking their cars. Those signals can then be replicated using the same equipment — meaning that it can successfully pretend to be a specific key and then unlock the hacker’s car of choice. The team of researchers recently presented their findings at a security conference in Texas. Fortunately, their research also found that it’s not possible to start a car with the crude hacking technology. However, they’re not the only ones making advances in automobile science. In 2011, President Obama announced an agreement made between 13 different vehicle manufacturers to increase the average fuel economy of cars built in 2025 to 54.5 miles per gallon, but certain factors in the economy are making that claim look like a rather ambitious one. A pair of recent government reports suggested that fuel economy could possibly have a best-case scenario of 50 miles per gallon, but no more. One way to potentially reach Obama’s lofty goal may be to reduce the...