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Google’s Nest launches network technology for connected home

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Google Inc’s Nest Labs on Tuesday unveiled an industry group to encourage makers of smart home gadgets like locks and light bulbs to use Thread, a new standard for devices to communicate on a network.

The attempt by Nest, a smart thermostat maker that Google bought in January for $3.2 billion, to lead the way on how future household devices to speak to each other, underscores the importance Google puts on areas like cars and the home.

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It follows similar initiatives by Qualcomm Inc, Intel Corp and other technology companies.

The new Thread Group includes Samsung Electronics and chip companies ARM Holdings, Freescale Semiconductor and Silicon Labs. Big Ass Fans and lock maker Yale are also members of the group, which will certify Thread-compatible products.

Thread is a networking protocol with security and low-power features that make it more suitable for connecting household device than others, such as Wifi, NFC, Bluetooth or ZigBee, said Chris Boross, a Nest product manager who heads the new group. Nest’s products already use a version of Thread, he said.

The radio chips used for Thread-compatible smart devices are already in many existing connected home products that use ZigBee, like Philips Hue smart light bulbs.

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Those Zigbee devices could potentially be updated with software from their manufacturers to work with Thread after a product certification program starts next year, Boross said.

“Around that time I imagine that Thread-compliant products will start hitting the market, but people can start building Thread today,” he said.

Companies including Silicon Labs, Freescale, NXP and Atmel make chips that could be used in Thread-compatible products, which Boross said will be easy to interconnect and offer improved security.

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In June, Nest said it partnered with Mercedes-Benz, Whirlpool Corp and light bulb maker LIFX to integrate their products with its thermostats and smoke detectors.

Its Thread Group goes even further and adds to a growing field of companies and industry consortia trying standardize how household connected devices from different manufacturers interact. Last week, Thread Group member Samsung Electronics also joined Intel and Dell Inc to form a new consortium.

Earlier in July, Microsoft Corp became the 51st member of a competing group called AllSeen Alliance, which is led by Qualcomm and also includes Sharp Corp and other consumer electronics manufacturers.

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Apple Inc, known for strictly controlling how other companies’ products interact with its own, in June announced plans for HomeKit, its own framework for connecting household gadgets.


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Millennials are moving to Trump-backing states — and the GOP should be terrified: columnist

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Millennial voters are substantively more progressive than older generations of voters, but their political power has been diluted by the fact that many of them have been concentrated in cities in deep-blue states.

However, The Atlantic's Derek Thompson argues that this is about to change because more millennials are leaving the big blue-state cities to move out to metro areas in key states such as Arizona, Georgia and Texas.

"The five fastest-growing metros of the past few years -- Dallas, Phoenix, Houston, Atlanta, and Orlando, Florida -- are in states won by Trump," he writes. "The other metro areas with a population of at least 1 million that grew by at least 1.5 percent last year were Las Vegas; Austin, Texas; Orlando, Florida; Raleigh, North Carolina; Jacksonville, Florida; Charlotte, North Carolina; San Antonio; Tampa, Florida; and Nashville, Tennessee. All of those metros are in red or purple states."

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‘The man who sold America’: Mitch McConnell’s mountain of political sins catalogued in devastating new profile

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Mitch McConnell finally has the power he's longed for since he was a 22-year-old intern for Sen. John Sherman, but his ruthless march to become Senate majority leader has seen him abandon almost all of his stated principles -- and earned him a lot of enemies.

The Kentucky Republican has been unpopular in his home state for years, but this summer has seen his approval rating plunge to 18 percent after MSNBC's Joe Scarborough tarred and feathered him with the nickname "Moscow Mitch," and he's increasingly seen as "the man who sold America," reported Rolling Stone.

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Sarah Sanders rages on Fox News that the ‘out-of-control’ media is ‘making stuff up’ about Trump

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In her new gig as a Fox News contributor, former White House spokesperson Sarah Huckabee Sanders complained to host Sean Hannity that the "out-of-control" media makes "stuff up" about Donald Trump because they hate him for winning in 2016.

Sanders, who once told reporters that "countless" FBI agents had lost confidence in James Comey only to later tell investigators from special counsel Robert Mueller's office that she made it up, complained to the Fox host about the press being untrustworthy.

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