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Telecommunications

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

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

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

Software brings eye contact to Skype, with a little help from Kinect

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

Text Anywhere off-the-grid satellite messaging lets you text ... anywhere

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

City of London clamps down on snooping recycle bins

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

Feature

False sense of security: Your TV, car, neighborhood may be hackable

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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