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Dialog Semiconductor buys Creative Chips for industrial IoT: Dialog has purchased Creative Chips for $80 million to expand its industrial IoT options. Creative Chips makes silicon for rugged ethernet. Even as factories go wireless, we’re still going to have to plug things in, especially given how conservative most plant managers are. (Dialog Semiconductor— Stacey Higginbotham

The return of the Quirky Egg Minder: This is a blast from the past, but it’s a wonderful teardown anyway. The site breaks down the Quirky Egg Minder, a tool that sold for more than $50 and was used to count and rank your eggs by freshness. That’s it. Originally it was supposed to cost around $20, which put it close to novelty gift territory. But as this teardown discovers, the engineering was so good it pushed the costs way up, dooming the product to become a punchline. (Hackaday— Stacey Higginbotham

Siri, forget everything I said: Months after Amazon, Apple, Facebook, Google, and Microsoft were all caught red-handed playing fast and loose with users’ voice command conversations, some of them are getting around to securing your words. New in the iOS 13.2 beta is a setting to toggle off or opt out of improving Siri, which means you can expressly disable Apple’s ability to store and listen to your chats with its Siri voice assistant. Even better: There’s an option in the iOS Privacy settings to delete all previously stored Siri conversations. (MacRumors— Kevin C. Tofel 

Device makers have a new Bluetooth range estimator tool: I have to hand it to the Bluetooth SIG, it’s pushing hard for Bluetooth location-based services and advanced device communications. As the Bluetooth standard continues to mature, it’s important for both developers and hardware companies to better understand the improved range of Bluetooth devices. To that end, there’s a simple, new Bluetooth Range Estimator tool that’s quite handy. Heck, I tinkered with it just to test some thoughts about adding new Bluetooth devices in my home to see how far new devices could be from my current ones and I was surprised to see that outdoors, Bluetooth signals can span over an entire kilometer, or about five-eighths of a mile! (Bluetooth SIG— Kevin C. Tofel 

Sweepr raises $9M for voice-assisted smart home support: I hadn’t heard of this company before, but I’m glad I know about it now. Sweepr this week raised $9 million in Series A funding to bring on new hires and expand its business. And it’s an interesting business. The company offers voice assistant support for when something in your smart home is on the fritz, providing potential solutions based on the state of your home network and diagnostics from the smart devices you have. (VentureBeat— Kevin C. Tofel 

Renesas wants to securely power your IoT devices: Sometimes the smallest chips can make the most powerful IoT solutions. To that end, Renesas this week announced a range of 32 microcontrollers (MCUs) ranging from 60 MHz to 200 MHz. More importantly than having additional CPU choices, however, is that these 32-Bit Arm Cortex-M microcontrollers are Level 1 PSA-Certified, meaning that an independent body verified the security of the chips and added a PSA Root of Trust between the firmware and hardware. (Renesas— Kevin C. Tofel 

Speaking of chip security for IoT…: This article on why hardware security is preferred for IoT solutions makes total sense to me, although I did learn some things. I’m sure Stacey has heard about the ISA-62443-4-2 standard, Security for Industrial Automation and Control Systems: Technical Security Requirements for IACS Components, but I had not. This is a pretty good overview of security aspects that only hardware can provide, including ones we’ve often discussed on the podcast, such as products that are secure by design, not just designed with security as an afterthought. (EE Times— Kevin C. Tofel 

Hey, Google, it’s showtime! Google hasn’t really done as much with smart home routines as the competition (read: Amazon), but that appears to be changing. A new “showtime” routine is coming soon and it will “dim the lights, draw the curtains, and start a thriller,” according to Google. Of course, specific actions can be customized to your needs and home. And although I’m likely one of the few folks that actually use Android TV, Google Assistant routines are coming to that platform, too. Hey Google, what took you so long? (9to5 Google— Kevin C. Tofel 

IFTTT gains 19 new channels but….: If you’re using IFTTT’s service for making your smart home products work together, you may want to check out this list of 19 new channel additions. Some I’ve never heard of, but others, such as D-Link routers, Phyn, and HALO Home, I have. Unfortunately, what the smart home ecosystem gives, the smart home ecosystem also takes away. Thirty-three channels were also recently removed from IFTTT support. (Android Police— Kevin C. Tofel 

Tune in to a podcast all about vehicle technology: With the 2020 Consumer Electronics Show fast approaching, a bevy of preview news and interviews are starting to flow. The latest is this recent podcast featuring smart vehicle technology thoughts from executives at John Deere and Brunswick Corporation. I learned quite a bit in this 30-minute segment, including the fact that John Deere brought its first self-driving technology to market in 2002. (CES— Kevin C. Tofel