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Network

Wearables

Body-to-body networks could be the future of mobile communications

At a major sporting event I attended recently, it proved impossible to get a connection on a mobile network that was swamped as many of the 100,000 strong crowd attempted to contact friends and family. While the influx of calls was the result of a thrilling draw, it highlighted the weakness of overloaded communications networks that would struggle in the event of a disaster in a heavily populated area. A new system being developed by researchers at Queen’s University Belfast could turn this weakness into a strength by allowing members of the public carrying wearable sensors to form the backbone of new mobile Internet networks. Read More

Mobile Technology

Wi-Fi Direct device-to-device wireless product certification begins

Searching for a Wi-Fi hotspot on those increasing number of occasions when the need to update a Facebook profile while out and about outweighs all other concerns is much easier than it used to be, but can still be a trial. But now that the Wi-Fi Alliance has started certifying products capable of communicating with each other without the need to join up to a home, office or hotspot network, that tiresome search may soon be a thing of the past. Read More

Mobile Technology

Sun, dust, music, desert and a free solar powered cellular network

Burning Man, the popular desert music festival, is this year featuring a free, solar powered cellular network for the duration of the festival which winds up on Monday. The open source software, OpenBTS (Open Base Transceiver Station) is a low-cost replacement for traditional cell networks. It allows mobile phones to connect to each other if they're all within range of the transceiver, or to connect with any other phones with Internet connection. It utilizes a Universal Software Radio Peripheral (USRP) to create a GSM air interface on any standard GSM mobile phone. The founders of Burning Man, which began this week in Black Rock City, Nevada, have decided to trial the system by allowing the 50,000 or so attendees free access to the network. Read More

Digital Cameras

Cerevo's live-to-Ustream camera is now live at Akihabara, 24/7

Japan camera-maker Cerevo has started a 24-hour live Ustream feed from Akihabara, in cooperation with a company in the area, Aisan Electronic. Recently Cerevo has been capitalizing on the growing popularity of Ustream live-streaming in Japan since Softbank's investment in the web service. By creating their 'networked camera', the Cerevo Camera Live, which is especially tailored for live-streaming, the company rides the coattails of a public increasingly interested in broadcasting on the web. Read More

Urban Transport

Sensor system alerts drivers to free parking spots

It’s a frustrating situation. You’re aimlessly circling the blocks, hoping to stumble across a free parking space, but with no clue as to where such a space might be. Well, as we so often like to say here at Gizmag, “A new invention could change that.” Researchers from Spain’s Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona (UAB) have helped develop a system that detects free parking spots, then guides drivers to the closest ones using a process that’s reportedly better than GPS.Read More

Computers

New software lets PCs work while they sleep

A particularly troubling aspect of enterprise computer deployment is the need for end user machines to remain switched on day and night. Fully on mind you, not in low power sleep mode. Computer scientists from the University of California, San Diego have developed a software solution which allows PCs to remain on the network even when placed in sleep mode at the end of a working day. The software creates a virtual representation of the computer on the server to handle many of the common overnight tasks, only waking up the physical machine at pre-programmed commands or when it encounters something that it can't deal with itself.Read More

Science

Wonder why we don't crash like computers? Yale explains

Whether right or for wrong, the human brain is often compared to a computer, and vice-versa. They both receive data, process it, store it, and output new data. Unlike computers, however, the human brain doesn’t crash. Yes, people have nervous breakdowns, but that has more to do with psychological stress than with data management. Now, researchers from Yale University have figured out why our brains succeed where computers fail.Read More

Telecommunications

Transmission speeds of 100Mbps over 1km on existing copper networks

In an ideal world we would all access the Internet over fiber optic cables that reach right up to the front door to deliver blisteringly fast transmission speeds. Unfortunately, we don’t live in an ideal world and many of us are forced to rely on aging copper network infrastructure. Now, Alcatel-Lucent’s Bell Labs has demonstrated technology that boosts the transmission speeds over two copper pairs to 100Mbps over a distance of 1km. This could see such infrastructure given a new lease of life, satisfying consumer’s need for speed for some time to come.Read More

Computers

Belkin includes apps with new 802.11n wireless routers

The world is going app crazy and it's not restricted to the domain of mobile phones. Routers too, it seems, are not being left out. As well as embracing the 802.11n wireless protocol and simple three step setup, Belkin's latest router offerings also break into the world of applications with software that automatically detects and resolves network issues, a playlist music generator and an automated data backup program all leading the charge.Read More

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