Security issues are darkening the future of home automation and the Internet of things
Stories by Glenn McDonald
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If you have a single phone line and a dial-up Internet connection, you can't use your phone while you're online -- and that's that. It's like being told you can't use your fridge while your TV is on.
It's an irritant specific to Internet technology circa 1999: Dial-up users with only one phone line are forced to miss incoming calls while surfing the Web.
A new technology developed by Canadian startup InfoInteractive promises to alleviate the problem -- to a degree. Internet Call Manager provides dial-up users with on-screen notification of incoming telephone calls, and gives them the option of disconnecting from the Internet to take the call.
We've heard plenty of hype in the last year about the emerging species "Internet appliance," a group of low-cost electronic devices that bypass the PC altogether and offer direct Internet access. But the talk is vague, leaving us to wonder just what such an appliance will look like. An interactive toaster oven? A multimedia fridge?