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Sonos update adds AirPlay 2 support

2 min read

On Wednesday, Sonos released support for Apple’s AirPlay 2, giving a dramatic boost in functionality to certain Sonos smart speakers via a software update. If you’ve got a Sonos One, Beam, Playbase, or second-generation Play:5, you’ll need to update your Sonos iOS app and then use the new app to install the software update.

This is a big step forward in flexibility for Sonos products—keep in mind that Sonos speakers don’t do Bluetooth or AirPlay 1, so they’ve been pretty firmly locked in their own universe unless you added a dongle or ran a software bridge. But once a Sonos speaker gets AirPlay 2, you can do a lot more than just play audio directly to that speaker from a Mac or iOS device.

a sonos speaker in iTunes AirPlay

An updated Play:5, Garage, appears in the iTunes list of audio devices.

Perhaps most impressively, all AirPlay 2 speakers can play music in perfect synchronization. If you’ve got a HomePod or two and a compatible Sonos device, you can now select all those devices and play music through them, entirely in sync. Even better, if you’ve got incompatible Sonos devices and place them in the same group as an AirPlay 2-compatible Sonos device via the Sonos app, those speakers will also play synchronously. I was able to get music to play in sync throughout my house this morning, via a paired set of HomePods, a Play:5, and the (incompatible) Play:1 in my bathroom.

Sonos AirPlay 2 speakers need to be added to the Home app, giving you access via Siri. To add a speaker, tap the plus button, then Add Accessory, then Don’t Have a Code or Can’t Scan. On the following screen, my speaker appeared as a large icon, waiting to be added.

siri sonos

With AirPlay 2, Sonos speakers gain Siri support.

Siri control is pretty great. I was able to tell my iPhone to play some music in the garage, and in a couple of seconds, music sprung from the Play:5. You can control Sonos devices via the HomePod, too: When listening to music on a paired set of HomePods in my living room, I said, “Hey Siri, also play this in the garage,” and the music immediately picked up on the Play:5 in the garage, in sync.

With all this talk about AirPlay 2, it’s worth nothing that AirPlay 2-compatible speakers also support the original AirPlay protocol. It’s not as robust—everything’s got a two-second buffering delay, for instance—but I was able to play a podcast from my iPhone using Overcast (which doesn’t support AirPlay 2) to the Play:5 and my pair of HomePods.

Just because these Sonos devices support AirPlay 2 doesn’t mean that they lose any of their other, existing features. Sonos has done some nifty engineering to bridge the gap between AirPlay and any other Sonos speakers in your home. That starts with the ability to group non-AirPlay Sonos speakers with an AirPlay-compatible one in order to create a larger playback group, but it doesn’t stop there. You can control playback from the Sonos app, so you can pause, resume, and even skip to the next track—not just on Sonos speakers, but on all the speakers that are connected together. This extends to the controls on the Sonos hardware itself. When my (non-AirPlay 2) Sonos Play:1 was playing along with the Play:5 and the HomePods in my living room, I was able to press the play/pause button in the bathroom and pause the music everywhere.

This update makes the $199 Sonos One that much more compelling. It’s not only a fraction of the price of a HomePod, but it’s now a fully AirPlay 2-compatible citizen. No, you can’t talk to it using Siri (it’s got Amazon’s Alexa assistant onboard), but you can control it using Siri on your other Apple devices.

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Data breach exposes trade secrets of carmakers GM, Ford, Tesla, Toyota – TechCrunch

1 min read

Data breach exposes trade secrets of carmakers GM, Ford, Tesla, Toyota – TechCrunch

Security researcher UpGuard Cyber Risk disclosed Friday that sensitive documents from more than 100 manufacturing companies, including GM, Fiat Chrysler, Ford, Tesla, Toyota, ThyssenKrupp, and VW were exposed on a publicly accessible server belonging to Level One Robotics.

The exposure via Level One Robotics, which provides industrial automation services, came through rsync, a common file transfer protocol that’s used to backup large data sets, according to UpGuard Cyber Risk. The data breach was first reported by the New York Times.

According to the security researchers, restrictions weren’t placed on the rsync server. This means that any rsync client that connected to the rsync port had access to download this data. UpGuard Cyber Risk published its account of how it discovered the data breach to show how a company within a supply chain can affect large companies with seemingly tight security protocols.

This means if someone knew where to look they could access trade secrets closely protected by automakers. It’s unclear if any nefarious actors actually got their hands on the data. At least one source at an affected automaker told TechCrunch it doesn’t not appear that sensitive or proprietary data was exposed.

UpGuard’s big takeaway in all of this: rsync instances should be restricted by IP address. The researchers also suggest that user access to rsync be set up so that clients have to authenticate before receiving the dataset. Without these measures, rsync is publicly accessible, the researchers said.

The breach exposed 157 gigabytes of data—a treasure trove of 10 years of assembly line schematics, factory floor plans and layouts, robotic configurations and documentation, ID badge request forms, VPN access request forms. The breach even included sensitive non-disclose agreements, including one from Tesla.

Personal details of some Level One employees, including scans of driver’s licenses and passports, and Level One business data, including invoices, contracts, and bank account details.

The security team discovered the breach July 1. The company successfully reached Level One by July 9 and the exposure was closed by the following day.

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Pitch your startup to snag €3 million in TV advertising

2 min read

Presented by SevenVentures


Taking your product to market is the easy part. Building a leading brand separates the weak from the strong.

SevenVentures, a TV media investor and an investment arm of Europe’s largest broadcaster, ProSiebenSat.1 Group, is devoted to creating the next generation of market leaders by helping growth companies scale quickly using TV advertising.

And now the company is announcing that applications are open for their eighth annual SevenVentures Pitch Day (7VPD). They’re looking for the most innovative B2C startups, ready to establish themselves and grow in Germany. They’ll be pitching for the chance to win €3 million in TV advertising in this fast-growing market.

The 7VPD prize

7VPD will take place at the DMEXCO conference in Cologne, Germany on September 12, 2018, where four finalists who want to grow their brands in Germany will present their concepts to a jury of industry experts and entrepreneurs. One lucky winning startup will scoop €3 million in German TV advertising, €200k in online advertising, €30k for the creation of their own TV spot, and a mentoring program from Proctor and Gamble. According to Forbes Magazine, it’s one of the most valuable venture capital prizes in the world.

The hot German market

Germany is a hot and growing market for international companies. With more than 40 million financially solvent households and a gross domestic product (GDP) worth more than €3.7 billion, Germany is the leading EU economy, accounting for over a fifth (21.1 percent) of EU GDP.

From a launchpad in Germany, companies can also easily expand into Austria, Switzerland, and beyond. A local partner like SevenVentures can help international companies navigate these new waters.

Who can apply?

The competition is aimed at the most innovative and creative companies in the B2C space who have a unique physical or digital product, want to scale quickly, and are at the right stage of development to benefit from TV advertising power. Both German companies and international companies that are not yet active in the German market are eligible to participate.

Want to leave the competition behind? Then apply for 7VPD by August 22nd, 2018 for a chance to win over €3 million in advertising budget. 

2018 7VPD jury

The 7VPD offers a jury of industry experts:

  • Michael Stich is an entrepreneur, founder, and a former professional tennis player who counts the Wimbledon Men’s Single and Doubles titles and Olympic Men’s Doubles among his many sporting achievements.
  • Astrid Teckentrup has been vice president of sales at Proctor & Gamble DACH, one of the largest markets for P&G worldwide, since 2015. On a global level, she is responsible for a major global customer.
  • Florian Pauthner & Eun-Kyung Park will team up for the third jury spot: Eun-Kyung is managing director of SevenVentures, and since 2009 has held many executive positions at the ProSiebenSat.1 Group, including for ProSiebenSat.1 Digital (Video), TV channel six, and managing director of SevenOne Adfactory. Florian is managing director of SevenVentures and previously enjoyed a longstanding career as an investment expert as former SevenVentures’ CFO, and in M&A for one of the biggest financial institutions in Northern Europe and at a leading management consultancy.

Presenter Steven Gätjen will accompany the participants, jury, and audience through the hour-long program.

Apply for 7VPD by August 22nd, 2018 for the chance to win over €3 million in advertising spend.

DMEXCO: for key players in digital, marketing, and innovation: Bringing together 40,000 visitors, 1,100 exhibitors, and 500 speakers from around the world for a one-of-a-kind event each year in Cologne, DMEXCO (Digital Marketing and Expo Conference) has set the standard as the place for business minds to learn and inspire, build connections, and for ideas to become actions.


Sponsored posts are content produced by a company that is either paying for the post or has a business relationship with VentureBeat, and they’re always clearly marked. Content produced by our editorial team is never influenced by advertisers or sponsors in any way. For more information, contact [email protected].

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Open sourcing quantum: Get ready to help build a new future

0 min read

Jay Gambetta is a fellow at IBM, where he has contributed to the work on quantum validation techniques, quantum codes, improved gates and coherence, near-term applications of quantum computing, the IBM Quantum Experience, and the Qiskit open source framework and leads IBM’s quantum theory, software, and applications group. Previously, he worked at the Institute for Quantum Computing in Canada and was a postdoctoral fellow at Yale University. A quantum information scientist researching in the field of quantum information and computation, Jay h…

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