Tech Insights
Aug. 13, 2014

Top 5 fastest growing tech companies named at Fast Tech Reveal
The Metroplex Technology Business Council has named its list of the fastest-growing tech companies in North Texas, including the top five. Fast Tech honors the fastest growing technology companies in North Texas based on three-year revenue growth and is part of the MTBC's Tech Titans Awards Gala. More

Energy harvested from body, environment could power wearables, IoT devices
Low-power wearables may soon bid adieu to batteries and start drawing energy generated by body heat and movement, and ambient energy from the environment. Consumer electronic devices are getting smaller but conventional batteries are not, and it's important to start implementing new energy-harvesting techniques to keep devices powered for long periods of time, researchers said at the Hot Chips conference in Cupertino, California.More

Origami robots fold themselves and walk away
A team of researchers from Harvard and MIT have developed a new kind of robot — one that's capable of autonomously folding itself up into particular functional shapes and then going about its tasks. "Getting a robot to assemble itself autonomously and actually perform a function has been a milestone we've been chasing for many years," researcher Robert J. Wood said in a press release.More

Hackers sound alarm about Internet of Things
Al Jazeera America
A hacker with a smartphone can unlock your front door. Your refrigerator becomes infected with a virus that launches cyberattacks against activists in Bahrain. Criminals and intelligence agencies grab data from your home thermostat to plan robberies or track your movements.More

Internet of Things: Batteries not required
Batteries are the bane of mobile devices and sensors. As a power source they're sometimes unreliable. They must be charged and replaced periodically, a maintenance issue that may not mesh with the Internet of Things, the emerging global network of sensors, embedded object and other wireless devices, many of which may require an alternative energy source. University of Washington researchers have devised a battery-free way to connect low-powered devices and sensors to the Internet.More

Get ready for the Internet of Business Things
If you thought big data was already big, you haven't seen anything yet. By 2020, 50 billion devices will be connected to the Internet, says Cisco. Now, consider all the sensors embedded in each of those devices as well as sensors contained in the objects that surround those devices — think of sensor-packed smartphones, riding in net connected cars, on sensor-monitored streets and toll roads and all the analogous examples. Experts are predicting trillions of sensors in the coming years. All of them will produce data.More

UT Arlington and Arlington ISD will launch a STEM Academy in 2015
A new partnership between The University of Texas at Arlington and the Arlington Independent School District will offer high school students classroom and enrichment experiences that put them on a path to success in the fields of science, technology, engineering and math. The new STEM Academy will open in August 2015 at Martin High School, with students from across the district selected the previous spring. More

If you think big data's big now, just wait
TechCrunch via USA Today
We've been hearing a great deal about the power of big data over the last couple of years. The hype says that as we gather more data, we will be able to get better answers to business problems, but the data levels we have seen so far could pale in comparison to what happens when we start adding sensors to the world. When everything from jet engines to soft drink vending machines to car seats have sensors in them, we will see an explosion of data the likes of which we've never seen before, and everything else that came before will seem, well, small.More

How single-tasking boosts your productivity
Buffer via Fast Company (commentary)
How many browser tabs do you have open right now? While writing this post, I had 18 tabs open. I'd like to say they were all for research, although I'm pretty sure one or two slipped down a YouTube wormhole. Does this sound familiar?More

Secure your phone without passcodes
The Dallas Morning News
Passcodes are outdated. They're a pain to use, and they aren't secure when they are based on easy-to-guess digits, such as a birth date or street address. Many people don't bother using them on phones, even though that means any thief can get instant access to email, banking apps and more. Fortunately, phone-makers have started to come up with alternatives. More

Closing the skills gap between hackers and defenders: 4 steps
The bad guys are winning. Numerous companies have been in the news recently because they failed to rebuff information security attacks. Target lost its customers' credit and debit card data. Adobe lost its customers' credit card information, along with IDs and passwords. EBay lost its customers' personal information, including email addresses and physical addresses.More