Recommended Reading: The Internet of (insecure) Things and the fight for wearable disruption

Recommended Reading highlights the best long-form writing on technology in print and on the web. Some weeks, you'll also find short reviews of books dealing with the subject of technology that we think are worth your time. We hope you enjoy the read.

The Internet of Things Is Wildly Insecure - And Often Unpatchable
(1,218 words)
by Bruce Schneier, Wired


The race for the connected home has been on for sometime now, and with each passing month, it seems a new arsenal of gadgets pops up. Recently, issues surrounding the security of those internet-enabled devices have come to light -- including the ability to hack those units to shoot out a crop of spam emails. As Bruce Schneier writes, locking down that new washer or smart fridge is a lot easier said than done thanks to the lack of patching options for the exploited vulnerabilities. As you might expect, Schneier begins to lay out a worst-case scenario that he says is inevitable unless we force "embedded system vendors to design their systems better."

Why Wearable Devices Will Never Be As Disruptive As Smartphones
(1,082 words)
by Kevin McCullagh, Fast Company

Each time we get cozy with a new wearable device, we're reminded of the uphill climb that these gadgets face before they'll become mainstream tech. Here, four key roadblocks are discussed that face that particular sector -- including the fact that those interested in the self-quantified movement don't accurately represent the mindset of the masses.


Is This Thing On?
(5,662 words)
by Stan Alcorn, Digg

Ever wonder why crappy smartphone videos blow up on the internet, but a really insightful podcast goes overlooked? Well, on the whole, those broadcasts are difficult to find and most folks still aren't familiar with the term. Stan Alcorn dives into the plight of sharing audio and how places like SoundCloud are lending a hand to make sharing files of the listening sort a bit easier.


The iPod of Prison
(1,327 words)
by Joshua Hunt, The New Yorker

Believe it or not, MP3 players have yet to completely replace analog radios for inmates. In this article for The New Yorker, Joshua Hunt profiles the Sony SRF-39FP pocket radio: the "gold standard" for older listening devices that runs about 40 hours on a single AA battery. There's quite the backstory here, including the fact that the SRF-39FP was one of the first radios to use the then revolutionary CXA1129N integrated-circuit chip.


How the NSA Almost Killed the Internet
(7,273 words)
by Steven Levy, Wired

Wired's Steven Levy takes an in-depth look at the battle that Google, Facebook and other major tech outfits faced from the US government during 2013. The quest to prevent disasters dove headlong into company data over the last year, and as Levy puts it, "even if it turns the US into the number one adversary of American tech companies and their privacy-seeking customers."