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Dave Smith
Worked at NewCircle, Inc.
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Dave Smith

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I am so thrilled for this to finally see the light of day. Android is such an amazing and ubiquitous platform, and now you can use it to power the next generation of IoT projects.

Please join us in the IoT Dev Community[1] as you explore this platform and its possibilities.

[1]: http://g.co/iotdev
 

Announcing updates to Google’s Internet of Things platform: Android Things and Weave

Today we are announcing a full range of solutions to make it easier to build secure smart devices and get them connected. We are releasing a Developer Preview of Android Things, an operating system for connected devices that has the support and scale of existing Android developer infrastructure. You can now develop IoT software using Android Studio and the Android SDK. We are also updating the Weave platform to provide an easy way to add cloud connectivity and management to devices, and enable access to Google services like the Google Assistant and many more over time.

Learn more about Google’s IoT platform from our blog post at https://goo.gl/eENGtu, and join our new Google+ community at https://g.co/iotdev.
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Dave Smith

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In case you hadn't discovered it yet, the #AndroidThings site has a quick guide to get you up to speed on basic electronics concepts if working with hardware is relatively new to you. Some relaxing reading while you're off for the holidays.
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Which board should one get Intel, Pico or Pi... Which is the best for Mac and which can I grow in?
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It's getting colder here in Colorado as we approach the holidays, so I built a candle to keep me warm! This is also a great example of mapping Android concepts to IoT in Android Things.

The code uses ObjectAnimator to vary the output of the PWM connected to a pair of LEDs, and BounceInterpolator to create a flickering effect as the animations run infinitely. No timers or complex logic!

Gist: https://gist.github.com/devunwired/8656c1902ec856e5f4b26f45cd21f2fd
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+Dave Smith hehehe... I've just been father (a week) so non in 2016 I'm afraid 😉
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Starting today, you can begin building your own actions for the Google Assistant! Actions on Google is a platform allowing you to integrate your services with the Google Assistant by adding new voice actions.

Conversational actions are extremely easy to build using tools like API.AI, but there is also an Actions SDK if you want to process all the data yourself. We'll also be providing Direct actions for common structured use cases very soon.
 
Actions on Google: Introduction to Conversation Actions

Starting today, you can build Conversation Actions using Actions on Google. This developer platform allows you to bring your services to the Google Assistant on Google Home. Using the Actions SDK, developers can directly parse requests and construct responses that adhere to the Conversation API. Developer tools such as API.AI make the experience even easier, and you can use a graphical user interface to define the conversation.

It is really easy to get started with Actions on Google, and you can learn more from our blog post https://goo.gl/RjhcOF and the introduction video below. Join us at our new G+ community at http://g.co/actionsdev to keep up to date and share ideas with other developers.

#ActionsOnGoogle
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Dave Smith

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Thrilled to finally announce that for my next adventure I have joined #Google as a Developer Advocate for IoT.

I'm excited about working with all of you in the community to help Google's emerging platforms in this area thrive! In return, I'll do my best to keep you all up to date on the latest surrounding Brillo, Weave, and the Google Assistant.
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Congrats!!

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Google updated its most popular Android Udacity course today, and it is now targeting those interested in preparing for the Associate Android Developer certification exam.
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Over the holidays, I decided that the time was right to finally build a proper flight simulator at home. It uses three 42" LCD displays arranged around the pilot to cover a 270 degree field of view, and has a proper yoke, pedals, and throttle for control. All the rendering is done by a single Intel i7 PC with a Nvidia GTX 660 from 2 years ago. The new X-Plane 11 beta supports multiple displays really well. With the three large displays, you get an incredibly immersive experience, and you can easily look out the left and right windows. You can "feel" the aircraft as it rolls around, it is really awesome.

I've been waiting to do something like this since 1990 as a kid, when I played Flight Simulator 4 on my 286 with a little 14" CRT monitor. But anything bigger was impossibly expensive. Around 2002, when I was a PhD student at the University of South Australia, I borrowed a bunch of expensive projectors and used a cluster of 4 synchronized PCs using FSUIPC to build an immersive experience. It was pretty nice, but the projectors made doing a full wraparound difficult, and it required too much space and equipment. Now it is 2017, 42" televisions are cheap, and a single GPU from 2 years ago can easily drive four outputs at 1920x1080. I used some shelving racks in my garage to hold the monitors, and some custom wood frames to support all the controls.

This project has been a good learning experience to see how it feels and what needs to be improved. I can use more custom wood frames to bring the monitors tighter together, but I'm pretty happy with it so far. So here are some panoramic photos and videos that try to show what it looks like ... enjoy!
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No VR? 
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I actually own an original stereoscope. It was indeed Turn-of-the-Century technology a hundred years ago. Unfortunately, despite numerous head movements while experiencing this early development of VR, the image reference point remains fixed. :-(
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It's getting colder here in Colorado as we approach the holidays, so I built a candle to keep me warm! This is also a great example of mapping Android concepts to IoT in Android Things.

The code uses ObjectAnimator to vary the output of the PWM connected to a pair of LEDs, and BounceInterpolator to create a flickering effect as the animations run infinitely. No timers or complex logic!

Gist: https://gist.github.com/devunwired/8656c1902ec856e5f4b26f45cd21f2fd
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Good use of ObjectAnimator! After all, it is an animated UI. :-)
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Web Technologies #GoogleDevExpert +Uri Shaked demonstrates the Physical Web and Web Bluetooth by creating a 3d-printed dancing robot, "Purple Eye". Go and make one yourself! https://goo.gl/nRygDH
Demonstrating Web Bluetooth and the Physical Web with a Dancing Purple Robot
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Are you an aspiring #AndroidDeveloper? Would you like to prove your Android skills through certification by Google? Then definitely take a look at the new Associate Android Developer Fast Track from Google and Udacity!
The Associate Android Developer Fast Track is your complete path to Google certification. Enroll today, and prepare yourself for success!
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The fight against Ghost Push continues

Since 2014, the Android security team has been tracking a family of malware called 'Ghost Push,' a vast collection of 'Potentially Harmful Apps' (PHAs) that generally fall into the category of 'hostile downloaders.' These apps are most often downloaded outside of Google Play and after they are installed, Ghost Push apps try to download other apps. For over two years, we’ve used Verify Apps to notify users before they install one of these PHAs and let them know if they’ve been affected by this family of malware.

Ghost Push has continued to evolve since we began to track it. As we explained in last year's Android Security report [https://goo.gl/yrSqAG], in 2015 alone, we found more than 40,000 apps associated with Ghost Push. Our actions have continued at this increasingly large scale: our systems now detect and prevent installation of over 150,000 variants of Ghost Push.

Several Ghost Push variants use publicly known vulnerabilities that are unpatched on older devices to gain privileges that allow them to install applications without user consent. In the last few weeks, we've worked closely with Check Point [https://www.checkpoint.com/], a cyber security company, to investigate and protect users from one of these variants. Nicknamed ‘Gooligan’, this variant used Google credentials on older versions of Android to generate fraudulent installs of other apps. This morning, Check Point detailed those findings on their blog.

As always, we take these investigations very seriously and we wanted to share details about our findings and the actions we've taken so far.

Findings

- No evidence of user data access: In addition to rolling back the application installs created by Ghost Push, we used automated tools to look for signs of other fraudulent activity within the affected Google accounts. None were found. The motivation behind Ghost Push is to promote apps, not steal information, and that held true for this variant.
- No evidence of targeting: We used automated tools to evaluate whether specific users or groups of users were targeted. We found no evidence of targeting of specific users or enterprises, and less than 0.1% of affected accounts were GSuite customers. Ghost Push is opportunistically installing apps on older devices.
- Device integrity-checks can help: We’ve taken multiple steps to protect devices and user accounts, and to disrupt the behavior of the malware as well. Verified Boot [https://source.android.com/security/verifiedboot/], which is enabled on newer devices including those that are compatible with Android 6.0, prevents modification of the system partition. Adopted from ChromeOS, Verified Boot makes it easy to remove Ghost Push.
- Device updates can help: Because Ghost Push only uses publicly known vulnerabilities, devices with up-to-date security patches have not been affected. Also, if a system image is available (such as those we provide for Nexus and Pixel devices[https://developers.google.com/android/images]) a reinstall of the system software can completely remove the malware.

Actions

- Strengthening Android ecosystem security: We’ve deployed Verify Apps [https://goo.gl/9rqdiH] improvements to protect users from these apps in the future. Even if a user tries to install an offending app from outside of Play, Verify Apps has been updated to notify them and stop these installations.
- Removing apps from Play: We’ve removed apps associated with the Ghost Push family from Google Play. We also removed apps that benefited from installs delivered by Ghost Push to reduce the incentive for this type of abuse in the future. Downloading apps from Google Play, rather than from unknown sources [https://goo.gl/9rqdiH], is a good practice and will help reduce the threat of installing one of these malicious apps in the future.
- Protecting Google Accounts: We revoked affected users’ Google Account tokens and provided simple instructions so they can sign back in securely. We have already contacted all users that we know are affected.
- Teaming-up with Internet service providers: We are working with the Shadowserver Foundation and multiple major ISPs that provided infrastructure used to host and control the malware. Taking down this infrastructure has disrupted the existing malware, and will slow the future efforts.

Recap

We’ve taken many actions to protect our users and improve the security of the Android ecosystem overall. These include: revoking affected users’ Google Account tokens, providing them with clear instructions to sign back in securely, removing apps related to this issue from affected devices, deploying enduring Verify Apps improvements to protect users from these apps in the future and collaborating with ISPs to eliminate this malware altogether.

This was a team effort within Google, across the Android security, Google Accounts, and the Counter-Abuse Technology teams. It also required close coordination with research firms, OEMs, and hosting companies. We want to thank those teams for their assistance and commitment during our ongoing efforts to fight Ghost Push and keep users safe.
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Dave's Collections
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Android + Embedded
Employment
  • NewCircle, Inc.
    Android Practice Lead, 2015 - 2016
    Building top-notch Android training courses and materials.
  • POSSIBLE Mobile
    Senior Bit Twiddler, 2014 - 2014
  • Double Encore, Inc.
    Senior Bit Twiddler, 2013 - 2014
  • Xcellent Creations
    King of Engineering, 2010 - 2013
  • Google
    Developer Advocate, 2016 - present
    Helping developers succeed with Google technology.
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I'm a sucker for bits.
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Android+Embedded. IoT @ Google. Every once in a while I even spin a PCB. Author of Android Recipes from Apress.
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Author of Android Recipes from +Apress. Google Developer Expert for Android.
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