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Telecommunications

You're relaxing after a hard day at work, or just getting ready to cut into a juicy steak at dinner. All seems right with the world, just for a moment. Then the phone rings, disturbing your bliss with yet another recorded spiel for some shady deal. You slam the phone off, and return to your life while muttering vague obscenities. Nomorobo now offers a transparent system for reliably blocking such robocalls, that is far more effective than Do-Not-Call lists. Best of all, the service is free. Read More

Ghost, a free blogging platform billed as the first to put writers before developers, has been made available to the public. The software was developed and is managed by the non-profit Ghost Foundation, conceived to make the software unobtainable for corporate takeover. Read More

As technology progresses, we're seeing more and more tangible objects being replaced by digital alternatives. Letters have given way to e-mails, paperbacks have become e-books, and postcards have become trip photos on Facebook. The fact is, though, people still like getting stuff. Postcard on the Run builds on that idea, allowing users to create and mail their own custom physical postcards, from anywhere. Read More

A team of international researchers has developed artificial crystals with unique optical properties that could lead to advances in quantum computing and telecommunications. Their inspiration? The glorious green wings of the Callophyrs Rubi butterfly. Read More

While just about any webcam will work for Skyping, your best bet would presumably be to use one that’s actually designed for – and licensed by – Skype. Well, that's just what Amaryllo’s iCam HD is. More specifically, it’s the world’s first HD wireless video-streaming camera to be licensed by the company. Read More
Skype has been around for ten years now. Once a science fiction dream, the video calling service has 300 million users making two billion minutes of video calls a day. The only problem is, most of them can't look each other in the eye. Claudia Kuster, a doctoral student at the Computer Graphics Laboratory ETH Zurich, and her team are developing a way to bring eye contact to Skype and similar video services with software that alters the caller's on-screen image to give the illusion that they’re looking straight at the camera. Read More
If you thought Facebook was only good for spamming you with Farmville updates and showing you what your high school classmates ate for lunch, think again. The social network just teamed up with a consortium of other tech big-wigs to form Internet.org, an organization dedicated to bringing the internet to the two-thirds of the world that is still without it. Read More
Touted as a simpler, subscription-free alternative to the Delorme inReach, the Text Anywhere is a portable, satellite-powered hot spot that adds virtually unlimited text-messaging range to your phone. If your work or play takes you to remote regions of the world out of mobile phone range, this device can keep you in touch with the folks back in civilization. Read More
We first reported on Renew's recycling bins with integrated display screens back in February, 2012. Though at the time these were spun as benevolent information-imparting godsends, as Gizmag readers noted it was always on the cards that they would be used for advertising – reportedly 95 percent of the time, it turns out. However, in recent days it has emerged that Renew has kitted out 12 of its bins with technology that allows it to detect the smartphones of passers by, and potentially target ads accordingly. Today the City of London asked Renew to stop using the tracking technology. Read More
The cyber security convention DefCon and its corporate counterpart, Black Hat, that are held annually in Las Vegas present a unique tableau where the traditional (and traditionally overstated) conflict between underground hacking culture and corporate and government security professionals is suspended with the goal of openness and education. If you enjoy and own technology and gadgets of any kind, the conferences highlight a looming security crossroads that affects every layperson. Gizmag takes a look at some of the more important hacks from this year. Read More
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