While the public image of agriculture remains a bit antiquated, the industry is actually an increasingly sophisticated one, and farmers have been particularly enthusiastic in their embrace of the internet of things (IoT). Everything from GPS-guided precision for planting, watering and harvesting to remote soil monitoring and in-depth yield analysis is available to the modern farmer.\nWhat\u2019s more, the technology used in agriculture continues to evolve at speed; witness the recent partnership between Quantified Ag, a University of Nebraska-backed program that, among other things, can track livestock health via a system of IoT ear tags, and Cradlepoint, a vendor that makes the NetCloud Manager product.\n\nQuantified Ag\u2019s tags use LoRaWAN tech to transmit behavioral and biometric data to custom gateways installed at a farm, where the data is aggregated. Yet those gateways sometimes suffered from problems, particularly where unreliable wired connectivity and the complexities of working with an array of different rural ISPs were concerned. Enter Cradlepoint, which partnered up with an unnamed national cellular data provider to dramatically simplify the synchronization of data across a given implementation, as well as make it easier to deploy and provision new nodes.\nSimplicity is always a desirable quality in an IoT deployment, and single-pane-of-glass systems, provisioned by a single network, are a strong play for numerous IoT use cases.\n\n\n\n\n\nLoRaWAN keeping food safe\nEven after the livestock is no longer, well, alive, IoT technology plays a role. Restaurants such as Five Guys and Shake Shack are integrating low-power WAN technology to connect temperature sensors into a network. Sort of an Internet of Burgers, if you will.\nAccording to an announcement earlier this month from Semtech, who makes the LoRaWAN devices in question, the restaurant chains join up-and-comers like Hattie B\u2019s among those using IoT tech to improve food safety. The latter restaurant \u2013 a Nashville-based small chain noted for its spicy fried chicken \u2013 recently realized the benefits of such a system after a power outage. Instant notification that the refrigeration had died enabled the management to rescue tens of thousands of dollars\u2019 worth of food inventory.\nFrankly, anything that saves fried chicken and burgers from wastage \u2013 and potentially, keeps their prices fractionally lower \u2013 is a good thing in our book, and Semtech argues (as it might be expected to) that the lower-frequency LoRa-based technology is a better choice for this application, given its ability to pass through obstacles like refrigerator and freezer doors with less attenuation than, for example, Bluetooth.\nIoT tracking rental bikes\nReaders who live in urban areas will probably have noticed the rent-a-bike phenomenon spreading quickly of late. IoT connectivity provider Sigfox has, also, getting in on the action via a partnership with France-based INDIGO weel, a self-service bicycle fleet that was announced earlier this month.\nIn this application, Sigfox\u2019s proprietary wide area network technology is used to precisely track INDIGO\u2019s bikes, deterring theft and damage. Sigfox also claims that the integration of its technology into the bike fleet will reduce costs, since reusable sensors can be easily transferred from one bike to another, and help users find the vehicle they need more quickly.\nSigfox likes to talk about itself as an \u201cIoT service provider,\u201d and its large coverage footprint \u2013 the company claims to be operating in 60 countries \u2013 is a good fit for the kind of application that covers a lot of ground and might not require a great deal of bandwidth.\nVulnerability warning for IoT medical devices\nPer usual, several minor but alarming revelations about insecure, exploitable IoT devices have come to light this month. One advisory, revealed by healthcare cybersecurity firm CyberMDX, said attackers could compromise GE Aestiva and Aespire anesthesia and respiration devices \u2013 changing the mix of gases that the patient breathes, altering the date and time on the machine or silencing alarms. (GE responded by pointing out that the compromise requires access to both the hospital\u2019s network and an insufficiently secure terminal server, and urged users not to use such servers. Obviously, if devices don\u2019t need to be on the network in the first place, that\u2019s an even better solution.)\nElsewhere, an anonymous researcher at VPN Mentor posted early this month that China-based smart home product maker Orvibo had (presumably by accident) opened up an enormous database to public view. The database contained 2 billion log entries, which covered email addresses, usernames, passwords and even geographic locations, based on its footprint of smart home devices installed in residences and hotels. The company has since cut off access to the database, but, still \u2013 not a great look for them.