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Telecommunications

Visit an area outside of your cell network, take a vacation in a different country, or play a certain augmented reality game requiring you to have a constant high speed data connection, and congratulations, you’ll have an instant reminder of the current limitations of cellular networks. The Russian company Yaliny ambitiously hopes to help consumers circumvent traditional providers with Yaliny’s own network of satellites and an intermediary device called the Yaliny Point which will work with most smartphones, all for a promised US$150 for the hardware and $10 monthly thereafter. Read More
Hemingway is a simple web app designed to help writers write simpler copy. You can't save documents, share them, organize them or comment on them. You just paste in your text, follow its advice, and copy it to get it out again. But it's very effective. Read More
The rise of smartphones and subsequent explosion in mobile data usage has put a strain on mobile networks, slowing them down when congested and requiring more and more radio spectrum space to accommodate the demand. Artemis Networks hopes to solve this problem with a new technology called pCell, which promises full speed mobile data regardless of the number of users. Read More
Titan Aerospace's Solara, a solar-powered unmanned aerial vehicle designed to cruise at an altitude of 20 km (12.42 miles) for five years at a time, certainly got our attention back in August, and it appears to have not gone unnoticed by some of tech's bigger players either. Facebook is reportedly in talks to acquire the company with a view to using the drones as a means of providing internet access to the world's under-served regions. Read More
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
Nickolay Lamm is a self-identified artist and researcher, who is making a career of transforming ordinary images into extraordinary visual displays of quantitative information, to borrow from Ed Tufte. We take a look at his transformation of New York, Chicago, Hollywood, and Washington D.C. through converting cellular network transmissions into visual overlays. Read More
As the volume of data carried around the world via optical fibers continues to increase, researchers at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Lausanne (EPFL) have found a way to increase data throughput capacity by ten times. Because it is based on changing the shape of light pulses to reduce the space between, the breakthrough would work on existing optical fiber infrastructure. Read More

Email may have decimated snail mail, but luckily for postal services and couriers, packages aren't as easy to send as bits and bytes. This Christmas is likely to be another bumper year for presents being sent in the mail and Australia Post is providing gift-givers with the ability to attach a video message to their parcels. Read More

In what is potentially exciting news for anyone with a library split between the digital and physical realms, Amazon has launched the Kindle MatchBook service, which aims to provide Kindle ebook copies of your old, pre-digital manuscripts (or books, as some may remember them) bought from Amazon. However, the service will not be available for all books, and in many cases, matched ebooks will cost a few dollars. Read More
At its Ideas Summit in New York, Google has announced that it is working on developing a browser extension that will act as an easy-to-use way to bypass country-specific Internet censorship and make connections safer and more private. Read More
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