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Telecommunications

The world's largest social network has today added free video calls to its Messenger mobile app. The move pits Facebook against already established video chat services, such as Apple Facetime, Microsoft's Skype and Google Hangouts, affording users yet another way to get some remote face-to-face time with the tap of a button. Read More
With Google Voice all but dead, it makes sense that the company was busy behind the scenes, cooking up a new angle for taking on the telecom industry. Today we have it, in the form of Project Fi: Google's long-rumored Mobile Virtual Network Operator (MVNO) service. Read More
Not all that long ago, to call yourself a broadcaster you needed the blessing of station executives and a pretty smile. But communications technology is advancing so quickly that anybody with an internet connection can now share their perspective with the world. Twitter and Facebook brought this idea into the mainstream with text, photos and emails and now new players are arriving to take things in almost-scary new directions. Launched today, the Periscope live video app can turn anybody with an iPhone into a citizen journalist, whether they be streaming the scene of a disaster-zone or coming at you live from the breakfast table. Read More
Full-duplex radio communication usually involves transmitters and receivers operating at different frequencies. Simultaneous transmission and reception on the same frequency is the Holy Grail for researchers, but has proved difficult to achieve. Those that have been built have proven complex and bulky, but to be commercially useful in the ever-shrinking world of communications technology, miniaturization is key. To this end, engineers at Columbia University (CU) claim to have created a world-first, full-duplex radio transceiver, all on one miniature integrated circuit. Read More
The United States Federal Communications Commission (FCC) today voted 3-2 to uphold the principles of network neutrality – that is, to force Internet Service Providers (ISPs) to treat all web traffic as equal. This prevents ISPs from being able to throttle or block users' connections to certain websites, or to offer "Internet fast lanes" whereby large websites could pay for their content to be delivered at a higher speed. Open Internet advocates see this as a huge step to protect the internet's current status as a free and open platform that offers equal opportunities to small and large content providers. Read More
Diageo, the alcohol giant behind popular poisons like Smirnoff and Baileys, has teamed up with electronics company Thinfilm Electronics to develop a Johnnie Walker Blue Label smart whiskey bottle. The prototype connected bottle promises to enable distributors to better track stock as well as connect with user's smartphones and detect when someone has cracked it open prematurely. Read More
People diss Twitter for its triviality, but give me lunch tweets and lighthearted nonsense over pitchforks, death threats and endless opinions any day, says Gizmag's James Holloway. Read More
The idea of a warrant canary in information privacy is the story of one clever workaround and one small paradox, a paradox the newly-launched Canary Watch database aims to track. If an ISP or content provider were required by American national security programs to turn over user data, such as Verizon being forced to release ongoing batches of phone call data under the Patriot Act in 2013 (and furthermore being gagged from warning its users) how would anyone know? Read More
Logitech is aiming to make it easier for businesses to have teleconferences, with the introduction of its new ConferenceCam Connect. In offices where conference rooms are not equipped with teleconferencing equipment, Logitech's new portable offering should come in handy. Read More
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