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Communications

Google and the Bletchley Park Trust have announced a fundraising scheme aimed at restoring...

Search giant Google has teamed up with the Bletchley Park Trust to kick start a fundraising effort to rebuild the records center known as Block C. A Google-supported garden party was held within the grounds of the famous WW2 decoding center last week to start off the restoration fund, which aims to transform the now derelict building into a visitor and learning center.  Read More

Lockheed Martin's HALE-D is launched

With the use of airships for passenger transport decreasing in the early 20th century as their capabilities were eclipsed by those of airplanes – coupled with a number of disasters – they were largely resigned to serving as floating billboards or as camera platforms for covering sporting events. But the ability to hover in one place for an extended period of time also makes them ideal for intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance purposes, which is why Lockheed Martin has been developing its High Altitude Airship (HAA). The company yesterday launched the first-of-its-kind High Altitude Long Endurance-Demonstrator (HALE-D) to test a number of key technologies critical to development of unmanned airships.  Read More

The WISPER routers (top left), the WISPER dispenser (middle) and base station modules (bot...

Even though firefighting is one of the most dangerous jobs in the world, firefighters still communicate using analog radio signals, that can be blocked by concrete walls. This means that, upon venturing into a burning building, a firefighter might have no way of letting their commander know their present location – a situation that could prove deadly, if they ended up trapped or injured. In order to address the situation, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Science and Technology Directorate has created a new three-part system that lets fire crews keep track of the location and well-being of every member of their team, all the time.  Read More

The HomePlug GP standard allows EVs to communicate over the Internet via their charging po...

Electric vehicles (EVs) may be set to charge smarter following an announcement by the HomePlug Powerline Alliance at Computex 2011. The body responsible for the compliance and certification of the HomePlug powerline communications standard said that German automakers Audi, BMW, Daimler, Porsche and Volkswagen have thrown their support behind the HomePlug GP (Green PHY) standard that will allow electric vehicles to be connected via existing home electrical wiring to a home network or send and receive data over the internet via the vehicles' charging ports. This will not only allow EVs to intelligently take advantage of lower cost, off-peak electricity, but will also allow for remote checks of the vehicle's systems and battery condition.  Read More

Fraunhofer's Marc Gayer, Manfred Lutzky and Markus Schnell (L to R), developed AAC-ELD to ...

Engineers from one of the main players responsible for the development of the MP3 codec, the Fraunhofer Institute for Integrated Circuits IIS, have taken a similar approach in an effort to provide telephone calls and video conferences with sound quality approaching that of direct communication, while at the same time cutting delay times that often sees both speakers talking over each other. Their solution is a new audio coding technology called Enhanced Low Delay Advanced Audio Coding – or AAC-ELD – that they claim results in long-distance communications that appear almost as if the participants are sitting across from each other.  Read More

Black Diamond's MTS: lightweight, ultra-rugged wearable computing and communications kit

Military computer manufacturer Black Diamond Advanced Technology has released its ultra-rugged wearable PC and communications kit as a commercial-off-the-shelf (COTS) system. Adaptable to a range of specialist missions, the Modular Tactical System (MTS) system is - as the name suggests - not just a pack containing a computer. Components are split-up are and integrated into different parts of the soldier's uniform and equipment so that mobility isn't compromised, and it's designed to make the transition from computer operation to direct combat engagement in seconds.  Read More

Professor Jurg Leuthold led an experiment that achieved a data transmission rate of 26 ter...

With video content consuming ever more bandwidth, the need for faster data transmission rates has never been greater. Now a team of scientists at Germany's Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT) are claiming a world record in data transmission with the successful encoding of data at a rate of 26 terabits per second on a single laser beam and transmitting it over a distance of 50 km (31 miles). The scientists claim this is the largest data volume ever transported on a laser beam and enables the transmission of 700 DVD's worth of content in just one second.  Read More

Soldiers at the recent Fort Bragg exercise, in which they trialled tactical smartphones (P...

U.S. paratroopers from the 82nd Airborne Division recently took part in a field exercise at Fort Bragg, North Carolina, in which they experimented with a tool not normally used by the armed forces – a smartphone. And no, they weren’t playing Farmville. Instead, they were using custom phones running custom apps, to coordinate the swarming of a mock village and the capture of a high-value target. Judging by how the exercise went, smartphones could soon be showing up on battlefields everywhere.  Read More

The Elfoid P1 is a combination mobile phone and mini telepresence robot, designed to give ...

We can’t say we weren’t warned. Last August, Japan’s Eager Co. Ltd. announced that it was planning to begin sales of the Telenoid R1 telepresence robot in October. The toddler-sized ghostly-looking robot is intended to be a physical stand-in for a remote user during internet communications, mirroring that person’s movements via real-time face tracking software on their computer – their voice also comes out of the device. Well, Telenoid now has a little sibling. The Elfoid P1, as it’s called, was unveiled at a press conference yesterday in Japan, and is intended to serve as a combination mobile phone and mini telepresence robot.  Read More

IASUS Concepts' NT3 is a throat mic intended for use when talking on the phone while drivi...

It’s not often that one hears about World War I technology being used with today’s mobile communications devices, yet that’s the case with IASUS Concepts’ new NT3 throat mic headset. Throat microphones were originally developed for use by military pilots and tank drivers, as they picked up vocal vibrations directly from the wearer’s larynx, and were unaffected by extraneous sounds. IASUS still makes throat mics for military use, but the NT3 is designed for use when talking on the phone while driving a convertible ... that said, you could probably also press it into service next time you bring your Sopwith Camel out of the barn.  Read More

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