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Telecommunications


— Telecommunications

Periscope turns any iPhone user into a live broadcaster

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
— Telecommunications

Full-duplex radio integrated circuit could double radio frequency data capacity

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
— Telecommunications

Net neutrality win: US FCC reclassifies broadband as a public utility, bans internet "fast lanes"

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
— Telecommunications

Smart whiskey bottle talks to smartphones

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
— Telecommunications

Canary Watch tracks government requests for your information online

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
— Telecommunications

Fastest home internet access ever rolls out in US city

Some residents of Minnesota received a holiday gift this December – the fastest home internet speed available just about anywhere in the world. US Internet, based in the Minneapolis suburb of Minnetonka, announced this week that it has begun rolling out 10 gigabit per second internet access, ten times faster than Google Fiber's much-publicized gigabit connections, and similar planned networks in the UK. Read More
— Telecommunications

Uber's Android app caught reporting data back without permission

Security researcher GironSec has pulled Uber's Android app apart and discovered that it's sending a huge amount of personal data back to base – including your call logs, what apps you've got installed, whether your phone is vulnerable to certain malware, whether your phone is rooted, and your SMS and MMS logs, which it explicitly doesn't have permission to do. It's the latest in a series of big-time missteps for a company whose core business model is, frankly, illegal in most of its markets as well. Read More
— Telecommunications

Gigabit WiFi hubs to replace New York pay phones

Very few New Yorkers (other than the occasional superhero) use pay phone booths anymore due to the ubiquity of the personal cellphone. As a result, the city of New York has been left with many thousands of largely obsolete phones and phone booths along its streets. In an effort to find a use for this aging infrastructure, the city has re-imagined them as a new type of asset that will provide free 24-hour a day gigabit Wi-Fi, free phone calls to anywhere in the United States, touch-screen monitors that access city services and maps, along with a handy charging port for your cellphone. Read More
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