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— Telecommunications

Vodafone Foundation unveils a backpack with a mobile network inside

Mobile phone networks are a key means of communication when humanitarian efforts need to be coordinated at times of disaster. If infrastructure has been damaged, however, using the existing mobile networks may not be an option. The Vodafone Foundation's Instant Network Mini is a highly portable mobile network in a backpack that can be deployed in just 10 minutes. Read More
— Mobile Technology

Boeing reveals new spy phone

Boeing has stepped outside the field of aeronautics to develop a security focused smartphone – the Boeing Black. The device will be unavailable to the general public, being designed from the ground up to be the go-to device for the US Defense and Security communities. It offers what Boeing describes as “trusted access to data," allowing said agencies to carry out highly sensitive missions. Read More
— Military

Q -Warrior brings head-up displays to the battlefield

"Great battles are won with artillery" – Napoleon Bonaparte. In the 21st century, he’d probably change that to information. The trick is to get that information to soldiers on the front line quickly and in a manner that won’t distract them from the job at hand. To this end, BAE Systems’ Electronic Systems has developed the Q-Warrior – a head-up display for foot soldiers that’s designed to provide a full-color, high resolution 3D display of the battlefield situation and assets. Read More
— Robotics

Researchers create robot that mimics human emotions

Scientists from the School of Computer Science, University of Lincoln, UK are using expressive robot ERWIN (Emotional Robot with Intelligent Network) to study how long-term relationships may form between robots and humans. In its current form, the robot has the ability to display five distinct emotions whilst interacting with humans via the manipulation of its mouth and eyebrows. Read More
— Science

Graphene-based nano-antennas may enable cooperating smart dust swarms

Smart dust. Utility fog. Programmable matter. Grey and blue goo. Cooperating swarms of micron-sized devices (motes) offer completely new solutions and capabilities that can hardly be imagined. However, cooperation requires communication, and conventional radio or optical networking simply isn't practical at this size. Now researchers at Georgia Tech have invented a plasmonic graphene nano-antenna that can be efficiently used at millimeter radio wavelengths, taking one more step toward smart dust. Read More
— Automotive

Volvo teams with POC for car-to-cyclist communication system

Volvo has announced a partnership with fellow Swedish company POC, which specializes in helmets and other protective sports gear. The two partners will leverage their respective safety design experience toward developing new concepts in transportation safety. The first order of business is a car-to-cyclist communication system designed to increase cooperation between two- and four-wheelers. Read More
— Space

NASA's LLCD tests confirm laser communication capabilities in space

This week, NASA released the results of its Lunar Laser Communication Demonstration’s (LLCD) 30-day test carried out by its Lunar Atmosphere and Dust Environment Explorer (LADEE) that is currently in orbit around the Moon. According to the space agency, the LLCD mission proved that laser communications are practical at a distance of a quarter of a million miles and that such a system could perform as well, if not better, than any NASA radio system. Read More
— Science

First vodka-powered text message sent

A molecular messaging system capable of transmitting data over several meters has been built using off-the-shelf materials costing around US$100 and some vodka. The system mimics chemical signalling seen in nature and has potential applications for communications in environments not compatible with conventional wireless technologies, such as underwater, in tunnels and pipelines, as well as at the nano scale and within the body. Read More
— Computers

Scientists jump the "air gap" with hidden acoustic networks

It could be assumed that the most effective way to safeguard your computer against the threat of cyber attacks would be to disconnect it from all networks: wireless, LAN, network cards or the internet. However, research from the Fraunhofer Institute for Communication, Information Processing and Ergonomics (FKIE) has demonstrated a malware prototype with the ability to jump the "air gap" – meaning even that once surefire security measure might not be enough to ensure the protection of your computer. Read More