IoT Device Management: Back to Basics

IoT device control is essential for a solid IoT solution. As a matter of fact, most cloud providers use this system for their platforms. In fact, many giant companies including Google, Microsoft and Amazon use them. In this article, we are going to talk about this system and why it’s so important.

1. Authentication and Provisioning

Before you install an IoT device, make sure it’s trusted and secure. In other words, the device should be genuine, and run trusted software. Basically, provisioning is the enrollment process of a device and authentication is the verification process.

2. Control and Configuration

All types of device need to be configured and controlled when they are installed for the first time. For instance, if you install a tracker on your vehicle, you will need to configure it first.

Therefore, the ability to control and configure a device after deployment is quite important to ensure proper performance, functionality and protection. Aside from this, you should be able to reset the devices to their default configuration.

3. Monitoring and Diagnostics

Apart from configuration, you should also be able to fix operational issues and other software bugs. However, you should be able to identify the bugs first. And for this purpose, it’s important that you monitor the system on a regular basis. This is a must for proper diagnosis. Almost all device management programs feature program logs for diagnosis.

4. Software Updates and Maintenance

If you can identify bugs or security flaws in a device, make sure you update the device software or firmware. Since there can be thousands of devices, making updates manually may not be feasible. Therefore, your device management software should be able to update automatically.

The Beginning of IoT Device Management

Many IoT solution providers didn’t prefer IoT device management first. However, as these functionalities became more important, almost all big cloud providers, such as Amazon, Microsoft and Google started using primary IoT Device management. However, it’s important to keep in mind that basic IoT device management can’t meet all business needs.

Why we need more than the Basics

In IT departments, device management started as the management of computing resources in the organizations. However, it progressed with the advent of smartphones that stressed the importance of mobile device management. Today, you can find tons of devices in just one IoT solution.

In the past, device management approaches revolved around the presumption that device connectivity must be stable and persistent. For instance, the diagnosis and monitoring section in a system may point to downloaded program logs and CPU usage. However, in case of IoT, these solutions involve a lot of devices for high bandwidth and persistent connectivity.

Based on the application, IoT solutions vary considerably. Some of the solutions require persistent connectivity and high bandwidth, while others don’t have this requirement. For instance, agricultural IoT applications use tons of sensors like equipment asset, sunlight, soil moisture, and temperature trackers. For these sensors, long battery life is of paramount importance.

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Philosophy, Machines, and AI

Is philosophy undergoing a radical transformation? In recent times, this question has been very popular especially after the radical development that has been taking place in machine learning and artificial intelligence. Whether this radical development and application of such knowledge in machine learning and artificial intelligence is setting off a radical transformation of traditional philosophy?

What is philosophy?

The discipline concerned with questions of how one should live (ethics); what sorts of things exist and what are their essential natures (metaphysics); what counts as genuine knowledge (epistemology); and what are correct principles of reasoning (logic)?Wikipedia

Some definitions:

Investigation of the nature, causes, or principles of reality, knowledge, or values, based on logical reasoning rather than empirical methods (American Heritage Dictionary).

The study of the ultimate nature of existence, reality, knowledge and goodness, as discoverable by human reasoning (Penguin English Dictionary).

The rational investigation of questions about existence and knowledge and ethics (WordNet).

The search for knowledge and truth, especially about the nature of man and his behavior and beliefs (Kernerman English Multilingual Dictionary).

The rational and critical inquiry into basic principles (Microsoft Encarta Encyclopedia).

The study of the most general and abstract features of the world, the grounds for human knowledge, and the evaluation of human conduct (The Philosophy Pages).

If we look at the definitions we can find the most underlying principle of philosophy is questioning. The questioning of what is life? How one should live? What sort of things do exist and what are their natures? What are correct principles of reasoning? What are the principles of reality, knowledge, or values?

Finding the answers or solutions to questions or problems through the application of the principles of reasoning is the aim of philosophy. In short, search for knowledge and truth. The search does not necessarily result in finding the truth. However, the process employed in finding the truth is more important. History tells us that wisdom of humans (the body of knowledge and experience that develops within a specified society or period) changed and has been changing continuously. Humans are in pursuit of wisdom (the ability to think and act using knowledge, experience, understanding, common sense, and insight)

Blind beliefs are the biggest obstacles that arrest our thinking process. Philosophers question these blind beliefs or rather question every belief. They are skeptical on everything. In fact, it is one of the philosophical methods (Methodic doubt) they employ in order to find the truth. Philosophizing begins with some simple doubt about accepted beliefs. They apply methodic doubt and knowledge to test the functional, dysfunctional, or destructive nature of an accepted and prevailing belief in a society. Wait a moment! We have a problem that is to be addressed first. When we say ‘ knowledge’, it does not necessarily lead us to the truthfulness of the conclusion they arrive at. The existing knowledge is not complete. Therefore, there is a possibility of fallacy of conclusion. A conclusion may be valid but it need not be a truth. With the introduction of an additional premise or deletion of an existing premise, the nature of the conclusion will undergo a change.

Fallacies

The other common obstacles to logical and critical thinking are a) Confirmation bias, b) Framing effects, c) Heuristics, and d) Common fallacies such as fallacies of relevance, the Red Herring fallacy, the Strawman fallacy, the Ad Hominem fallacy, fallacious appeal (to authority), the fallacy of composition, the fallacy of division, equivocation, appeal to popularity, appeal to tradition, appeal to ignorance, appeal to emotion, begging the question, false dilemma, decision point fallacy, the slippery slope fallacy, hasty generalizations, faulty analogies, and the fallacy of fallacy. And we can add the two formal fallacies a) affirming the consequent, b) denying the antecedent.

We humans make mistakes. It’s often said that to err is human nature. Having known the myriad fallacies of logical arguments, we have been developing certain methods or models to avoid such errors. The philosophical methods are our tool kit that when employed reduces our mistakes.

Apart from these obstacles, we have certain other human limitations such as limitation of long-term & short-term memory capacity and limitation of our sensory capacity. All these limitations are obstacles to our philosophizing. Therefore, we make mistakes knowingly and unknowingly. However, we have never stopped our endeavor to become the finest species on earth.

On the other hand, machines though not the perfect species can avoid certain human limitations while performing the philosophizing. If they are given two logically supporting propositions they can deduce a perfect conclusion. However, if they are given randomly selected propositions will they be able to pick the right propositions that are logically supporting the conclusion? It depends upon the algorithm that we feed to the machine. But then, we are not perfect. We have not yet completely understood how the human brain functions. The main purpose of using a machine for philosophizing is to avoid errors. The machine might imitate the human errors, a humiliating human characteristic that we fervently wanted to avoid.

One approach is to allow the machine to learn thinking and take decisions on its own. In the process, the machine may be able to develop its own brain that can surpass the ability and capacity of human brain. That could be a possibility. This approach is already in trial.

Human wisdom is the ability to think and act using knowledge, collective experience, understanding, common sense, and insight. Will the machine be able to attain and surpass the human wisdom?

The machine can be fed the knowledge accumulated by humans. However, the challenge is how the machine will pick up the right knowledge for a right claim. The machine does not have experience of human life. That is actually a blessing in disguise. If we feed all our experiences to the machine it will be a mere cocktail of beliefs and ideas that are different and mostly diagonally opposite to one another. The best thing is to feed information as little as possible and leave the rest to the machine to have the first-hand experience with humans. That means the machine will live with human beings and interact with humans so that they develop knowledge of human behavior and hopefully the other human characteristics such as emotional understanding, common sense, etc.

Most probably, the philosophical methods which include the rules of reasoning to make right conclusions will be greatly useful to the machine. It can take decisions minus the logical fallacies that we commit knowingly and unknowingly. Such a machine could really immensely be helpful to humans especially as a guide or guard that can work without succumbing to emotions and biases.

Apart from philosophical methods, the machine can also be fed with super sensory powers without which human intelligence is limited. Humans might take a longer time to develop such built-in extra sensory powers. Such a machine would be a marvelous piece of art.

Therefore, the philosophical methods will transform the nature of machines rather than the machines setting off radical transformation of philosophizing. The machines would assist humans to take right conclusions. The machines would pick up the right propositions from the enormous data and provide us a valid conclusion which is a tiresome, time-consuming task of humans. The machines can work continuously without boredom unless they develop their own human-like emotions. Hope, the machines understand human emotions and at the same time do not have emotions.

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How to Recover Android Data After Factory Reset?

There are many times when people factory reset their android smartphone. Mostly they do it when their memory gets full, the performance of the device becomes slow due to a lot of applications, there is some malware related issue with the phone, or when people are selling it or giving it away to someone.

The process of factory reset is designed to be such that whenever user does a reset, every data and setting gets deleted from one’s phone, which takes the phone back to the same condition in which it was when it came out of the factory, thus giving existence to the term ‘factory’ reset.

How to Do a Factory Reset?

To do a reset, all one needs to do is go to their Android smartphone’s Settings section. From there, go to the System settings, where you will find the Advanced option. In the section, the is an option called reset, which you need to choose so as to do a factory reset. Remember, always back up your important data such as contacts, music and other things you find important before doing a factory reset.

Is Data Recoverable After a Factory Reset?

Yes, it must be known that Android data is recoverable even after one does a reset. This is a very important thing, because it might be of help to the people who lost something important, and it might be harmful for those who did a factory reset to protect their data.

There are various tools and softwares that are available with which you can extract your mobile phone’s deleted data. All one needs to do is look for them on the internet, download them and use them for extracting deleted data from a mobile phone. It is a very simple process indeed.

Now the question is, can we still protect our data? The answer to that is also yes. You can still protect your data.

Let us look as to how that can be done-

Built-in Encryption of Android Devices-

Before Android released their operating system Marshmallow 6.0, the Android phones did not come with default encryption. One needed to put it up before doing a factory reset so that their recovered data cannot be directly.

But since the Marshmallow 6.0 update, the phone comes with encryption that has been already enabled, meaning that even if you recover your phone’s data, you would not be able to access directly without going through the encryption.

Cloud Backup-

Cloud backup is another thing you need to look at. Most phones these days sync some important data on Google Drive from where you can recover it on a new device or even your older one even after a factory reset just by accessing your Google account.

However, there’s no guarantee that cloud backups such as Google Drive is completely safe. In fact, it’s the exact opposite of safe. There have been many cases of cloud storages of people being hacked and their data being stolen, so always remember to keep only unimportant data on your Google cloud storage.

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