In today’s Bulldog wrapup of technology news:

  • Some baby monitors are not secure, report says
  • Two companies offering wearable health monitors for pets
  • SAS adds forecasting tool to University Edition
  • Hulu offers an ad-free service

The details:

  • Report: Some top baby monitors lack basic security features

Several of the most popular Internet-connected baby monitors lack basic security features, making them vulnerable to even the mostbasic hacking attempts, according to a new report from a cybersecurity firm.

The possibility of an unknown person watching their baby’s every move is a frightening thought for many parents who have come to rely on the devices to keep an eye on their little ones. In addition, a hacked camera could provide access to other Wi-Fi-enabled devices in a person’s home, such as a personal computer or security system.

The research released Wednesday by Boston-based Rapid7 Inc. looks at nine baby monitors made by eight different companies. They range in price from $55 to $260.

The cameras are often mounted over a baby’s crib or another place where they spend a large amount of time. They work by filming the child, then sending that video stream to a personal website or an app on a smartphone or tablet. Some of the cameras alsofeature noise or motion detectors and alert parents when the baby makes a sound or moves.

“There’s a certain leap of faith you’re taking with your child when you use one of these,” says Mark Stanislav, a senior security consultant at Rapid7 and one of the report’s authors.

  • New collars monitor pets for pain, problems

You can use wearables with GPS to keep track of wandering dogs. Others help you track animals’ physical activity.

Now, two companies have the latest in wearable pet technology: collars that can check for a fever, monitor pulse and respiration, and even indicate if your pet is in pain.

PetPace, based in Burlington, Massachusetts, has a medical collar that can measure a dog’s vital signs and other information to look for signs of pain. Irregularities trigger a notice by phone, text or email. Voyce, created by I4C Innovations Inc., and based in Chantilly, Virginia, has a consumer version that tracks similar information. It also has a Voyce Pro that is available to veterinarians to prescribe for pets recovering from surgery or long-term illness.

Both smart collars can be programmed to monitor for a pet’s specific illness. Dogs and cats over 8 pounds can use them.

  • SAS adds forecasting tool to University Edition

More than 350,000 professors and learners of all ages are already gaining valuable SAS skills through the free SAS University Edition,  and they can now add forecasting to their arsenal,  the Cary-based company announced Wednesday.

SAS University Edition now includes a range of forecasting technologies critical to business, economics, manufacturing and other disciplines, SAS says.

“The new forecasting capabilities in SAS University Edition help students develop skills they can immediately apply in the workforce,” said Emily Baranello, Senior Director of the SAS Education Practice. “Many MBA students take a course in supply chain planning and logistics. For them and others, forecasting experience with SAS will broaden their marketability upon graduation.”

Find out more at:

http://www.sas.com/en_us/news/press-releases/2015/september/sas-university-edition-forecasting1.html

  • Hulu launches $12 ad-free streaming service

Video-streaming company Hulu is introducing an ad-free version of its subscription service for $4 extra a month as competition for streaming customers heats up.

The service with ads costs $8 and the ad-free version costs $12. The company said customers asked for an ad-free option.

Competition is getting tougher among video-streaming services as providers seek to add more offerings to attract viewers.

On Tuesday, Amazon said subscribers of its $99 annual Prime membership program will be able to download some shows and movies to watch offline. Users will now be able to download shows like “Downton Abbey” and “The Good Wife,” HBO shows including “Girls” and “Veep” and movies including “The Hunger Games: Catching Fire” and “The Wolf of Wall Street.” Previously, that capability was available only on Amazon’s own Fire devices.

Netflix and Hulu offer streaming content only.

Netflix is the largest streaming service, with 65.6 million subscribers worldwide. Huluhas about 9 million and Amazon doesn’t disclose the number of Prime subscribers it has.

Hulu has been working to expand its content lineup. It recently signed a deal with Epix to stream films from Lionsgate, MGM and Paramount. And it lets subscribers streamShowtime content for an additional $9 a month.