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Telecommunications

Vodafone Foundation unveils a backpack with a mobile network inside

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

Cities reimagined as cellular dreamscapes

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

Pointy pulses improve optical fiber throughput by a factor of 10

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

Australia Post stamps presents with a video message

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

Strike a light: Amazon's ebook-matching service goes live

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

Google's uProxy could help fight Internet censorship

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

Free blogging platform Ghost opens to the public

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

Free service blocks robocalls

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

Postcard on the Run uses your smartphone to make and send physical postcards

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

Optical computing gets a lift on butterfly wings

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

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