Mozilla bowed out with its Firefox OS for mobile the end of the year, but now, may be positioning the platform for the Internet of Things. Techcrunch.com says we could soon have a ‘personal user agent’ that understands your preferences for all the connected devices in your home. One TechCrunch staffer remarked that it was reminiscent of the personal assistant Samantha from the movie ‘Her,’ or even a light version of IBM’s Watson. Mozilla thinks that its Project Smart Home will fill the gap between do it yourselfers and tightly controlled IOT setups using Apple HomeKit. It would be cool to tell your IOT assistant ‘please turn the lights off upstairs,’ or turn the heat up a couple degrees!
Over the weekend, the first ransomeware showed up on Macs. It’s been around for a while on PCs, but Reuters.com says researchers at Palo Alto Networks first spotted the malware late Friday. Ransomware, one of the fastest-growing types of cyber threats, encrypts data on infected machines, then typically asks users to pay ransoms in hard-to-trace digital currencies to get an electronic key so they can get their data back. This ransomware has been dubbed KeRanger, and it first showed up on the Transmission website. Transmission offers open source software that some Mac users use to download videos, music, etc via BitTorrent peer-to-peer. Transmission has since released version 2.91 of their software, and advises to stay away from 2.90, which was infected.
Apple may have to delay the larger 5.5 inch iPhone 6 until after October according to 9to5mac.com. A research note from usually reliable KGI Securities says supply problems with the in-cell touch panels is the reason.
In a major turnabout, Bittorrent is dabbling with paywalls. They will charge $10 for an 8 episode sci-fi series after a person watches the pilot episode. Engadget.com notes that this is risky, considering how set Bittorrent users are with getting things for free.
Makerbot 3D printers will be sold and demoed in 12 Home Depot stores, including some here in California. Techcrunch.com says soon you may be able to print an odd hinge or part on the spot!