Category: amsterdam

June 6, 2019 Off

A backdoor in Optergy tech could remotely shut down a smart building ‘with one click’

By Jill T Frey

Homeland Security has given the maximum severity score for a vulnerability in a popular smart building automation system.

Optergy’s Proton allows building owners and managers to remotely monitor energy consumption and manage who can access the premises. The box is web-connected, and connects to other devices — like air conditioning and heating — in the building for real-time monitoring through a web interface.

CISA, the government’s dedicated cybersecurity unit, said the device had serious vulnerabilities.

An advisory said an attacker could gain “full system access” through an “undocumented backdoor script.” This, the advisory said, could allow the attacker to run commands on a vulnerable device with the highest privileges. Backdoors typically grant hidden or undocumented access to a system, and can be used for tech support to remotely login and troubleshoot issues. But if found by an attacker, backdoors can also be used maliciously.

The vulnerability required a “low level” … Read the rest

June 5, 2019 Off

Google offers new treasure trove of air quality data to researchers

By Jill T Frey

Google has employed its network of street-view vehicles to also measure street-level air quality in recent years, through an initiative it calls “Project Air View.” Today, it’s making available to scientists and researcher organizations more of the resulting data from that ongoing initiative. The company is releasing an updated version of its air quality data set that includes information collected with partner Aclima’s environmental sensors gathered between 2017 and 2018.

The combined data cache includes info from the SF Bay and San Joaquin Valley area, originally starting in 2016, along with the additional two years’ worth of data for those areas as well as for other parts of California, and other major cities, including Houston, Salt Lake City, Copenhagen, London and Amsterdam.

All told, Google’s mapping data set for air quality now includes info covering more than 140,000 miles and 7,000 hours of combined driving time spanning 2016 through 2018. … Read the rest

June 5, 2019 Off

MIT’s robot boats can self-assemble to build bridges, stages or even markets

By Jill T Frey

MIT researchers have created a new autonomous robot boat prototype — which they have named “roboats” to my everlasting glee — that can target and combine with one another Voltron-style to create new structures. Said structures could be bigger boats, but MIT is thinking a bit more creatively — it envisions a fleet of these being able to join up to form on-demand urban infrastructure, including stages for concerts, walking bridges or even entire outdoor markets.

The roboats would of course be able to act as autonomous water taxis and ferries, which could be particularly useful in a setting like Amsterdam, which is why MIT teamed up with Amsterdam’s Institute for Advanced Metropolitan Solutions on this. Equipped with sensors, sub-aquatic thrusters, GPS, cameras and tiny computer brains, the roboats can currently follow a pre-determined path, but testing on newer 3D-printed prototypes introduced a level of autonomy that can accomplish a … Read the rest