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Telecommunications

iMessage makes it easy and cheap to send text messages between iOS 5 devices

With around two trillion text messages sent in America alone every year, SMS text messaging is the most widely used data application in the world and the number two use of mobile phones - the first being to check the time. It's also a cash cow for telecommunications companies with the average charge worldwide of around US$0.10 per message for data that essentially costs the telco nothing to transmit because it is sent on the control channel - a small part of radio bandwidth that is used to send information between the tower and phone about call setups. Apple's iOS 5 update - if you can get it installed - sees the addition of a new iMessage app that could have telcos nervous as it allows text messages to be sent for next to nothing.  Read More

Internet service providers were recently exposed for grossly exaggerating the cost of prov...

A recent study shows that ISPs – which long maintained that data was their biggest expense – are grossly overcharging for data. The price increases to our mobile or land-based internet appear to be based on greed, not need.  Read More

Telstra has launched a USB 4G mobile broadband modem in Australia

Australians are getting their first taste of LTE (long-term evolution) mobile network speed. Telecommunications provider Telstra launched its USB 4G mobile broadband modem today with the promise of coverage in capital city CBDs and 30 regional and metropolitan centers with download speeds ranging from 2Mbps to 40Mbps and upload speeds of 1Mbps to 10Mbps.  Read More

Rice University graduate student Melissa Duarte with a 'full-duplex' test device, which us...

Earlier this year, Stanford University researchers created a full-duplex radio that allowed wireless signals to be sent and received simultaneously, thereby doubling the speed of existing networks. Using the same approach, researchers at Rice University have now developed similar full-duplex technology that would effectively double the throughput on mobile networks without the addition of any extra towers.  Read More

Telex could allow blocked sites such as YouTube to be accessed in censoring countries like...

Chinese citizens could once again enjoy LOL Cats on YouTube - as well as content critical of the communist government - if a new system developed by researchers at the University of Michigan (U-M) and the University of Waterloo (UW) in Canada were implemented. The researchers claim the system, called Telex, would thwart Internet censorship and make it virtually impossible for a censoring government to block individual sites by essentially turning the entire web into a proxy server.  Read More

A fundamental property of metamaterials is the ability to produce negative refraction

Duke University is on a roll, showing off yet another potentially game-changing property of the exotic man-made substances known as metamaterials. This time the property could have deep consequences for the transmission of information via light. Maybe the most important potential use of all.  Read More

The IEEE has announced the completion of the IEEE 802.22 wireless network standard, which ...

The IEEE (Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers) has announced the completion of the IEEE 802.22 wireless network standard, which has been in the works since 2004. Utilizing unused white spaces between channels in the TV frequency spectrum, the 802.22 standard will serve Wireless Regional Area Networks (WRANs), which are meant to bring broadband access to sparsely populated rural areas, as well as to developing countries.  Read More

Akamai's State of the Internet report provides a global snapshot of global Internet use

Akamai might not be a household name but between 15 to 30 percent of the world’s Web traffic is carried on the Cambridge, Massachusetts-based company’s Internet platform at any given time. Using data gathered by software constantly monitoring Internet conditions via the company’s nearly 100,000 servers deployed in 72 countries and spanning most of the networks within the Internet, Akamai creates its quarterly State of the Internet report. The report provides some interesting Internet-related facts and figures, such as regions with the slowest and fastest connection speeds, broadband adoption rates and the origins of attack traffic.  Read More

A new augmented reality system allows engineers to provide visual instructions to remote t...

It can be very frustrating trying to fix something, when the person instructing you isn’t there in person, but is instead communicating with you over a phone line – “Whaddaya mean, ‘The silver cap’? Which silver cap?!” This is why engineers sometimes need to be flown in to factories or other places that use complex machines, to make repairs that simply can’t be explained verbally. Researchers from the Fraunhofer Institute for Communication, Information Processing and Ergonomics, however, have developed an augmented reality system that lets those engineers provide real-time visual instructions to distant on-site technicians ... and it can be done without internet access.  Read More

Wi-Fi hotspots may be proliferating, but so are the devices that access them (Image: Flori...

Although the number of Wi-Fi hotspots has increased dramatically in most places over the past few years, the explosion in the number of smartphones and laptops attempting to make use of such connections means that getting decent download speeds is as difficult as it always was. Not only is this frustrating, it can also be a major drain on the batteries of mobile devices. In an effort to address one of these problems, a Duke University graduate student has developed software called SleepWell that allows mobile devices to take a nap to save power while they wait for their turn to download.  Read More

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