Ericsson showed off a prototype of a transparent antenna built into the glass of a window, part of an exhibit featuring different kinds of “smart windows.” [Read more]
Tag Archives: cell
New network software from Ericsson is designed to make sure mobile users get the best possible connection when there is both a Wi-Fi and a cellular network available.
A new device invented by Eesha Khare of Saratoga, Calif., can fit inside a cell phone’s battery and recharge it fully in less than half a minute. And the inventor of the gizmo is just 18 years old.
Researchers use phone records to build a mobility model of the Los Angeles and New York City regions with new privacy guarantees.
Researchers at AT&T, Rutgers University, Princeton, and Loyola University have devised a way to mine cell-phone data without revealing your identity, potentially showing a route to avoiding privacy pitfalls that have so far confined global cell-phone data-mining work to research labs.
Biologists have used “squeezed light” to create the first images of a living cell that beat the diffraction limit
At conference starting Wednesday, huge trove of research papers point to enormous possibilities, but privacy issues remain.
Cell phones generate tremendous amounts of human mobility and other data that can be particularly useful in the developing world to redesign transportation networks (see “African Bus Routes Redrawn Using Cell-Phone Data”) and provide a boon to epidemiology (see “Big Data from Cheap Phones”).
Berkeley Labs spin-off Points Source Power develops fuel-cell charger for Kenya powered by cookstove fires.
In trying to create a power source for off-grid villagers in Kenya, entrepreneur and scientist Craig Jacobson has picked a seemingly improbable technology–a fuel cell.
Browsing your email or chatting on the phone will soon be possible at more subway stations in New York City, with the MTA announcing today that the city will be expanding cell phone and WiFi service to 36 new locations. Such a change will affect the more than 8.5 million commuters who use the subways
hessian writes with a story at Wired (excerpt below) about a project from Drew Endy of the International Open Facility Advancing Biotechnology, or BIOFAB, to standardize a programming language connecting genetic information from DNA to the cell components that DNA can create. “The BIOFAB project is still in the early stages. Endy and the team are creating the most basic of building blocks — the ‘grammar’ for the language. Their latest achievement, recently reported in the journal Science, has been to create a way of controlling and amplifying the signals sent from the genome to the cell. Endy compares this process to an old fashioned telegraph. ‘If you want to send a telegraph from San Francisco to Los Angeles, the signals would get degraded along the wire,’ he says. “At some point, you have to have a relay system that would detect the signals before they completely went to noise and then amplify them back up to keep sending them along their way.”"
Read more of this story at Slashdot.
Over at the Bunnie Studios blog, a $ 12 cell phone purchased from the Mingtong Digital Mall was given a complete (and relatively simple) teardown to see what exactly goes into making such an inexpensive cell phone. Unlike the ultra-cheap handsets that are available through various carriers, such as prepaid’s Net10 and Tracfone staples, the $ 12
An anonymous reader writes with this excerpt from Motherboard about the immediate aftermath of yesterday’s bomb attack in Boston, which attempts to explain the (unsurprisingly) poor accessibility of the cellular network after the blasts: “Gut instinct suggests that the network must’ve been overloaded with people trying to find loved ones. At first, the Associated Press said it was a concerted effort to prevent any remote detonators from being used, citing a law enforcement official. After some disputed that report, the AP reversed its report, citing officials from Verizon and Sprint who said they’d never had a request to shut down the network, and who blamed slowdowns on heavy load. (Motherboard’s Derek Mead was able to send text messages to both his sister and her boyfriend, who were very near the finish line, shortly after the bombing, which suggests that networks were never totally shut down. Still, shutting down cell phone networks to prevent remote detonation wouldn’t be without precedent: It is a common tactic in Pakistan, where bombings happen with regularity.)”
Read more of this story at Slashdot.
Cellular networks in Boston were still operating on Monday evening following the explosions near the finish line of the Boston Marathon, contrary to earlier reports that they had been shut down to prevent remote bomb detonations.
Biomimetic nanoparticles could be an effective treatment against antibiotic-resistant bacteria.
A nanoparticle wrapped in a red blood cell membrane can remove toxins from the body and could be used to fight bacterial infections, according to research published today in Nature Nanotechnology.
While there’s still no foolproof way to protect your phone (or you) from a mugging, there is a growing trend toward better solutions that one day may mean the end of smartphone thefts.
Sol Voltaics plans to make a nanowire-laden ink to boost solar panel efficiency using a rapid manufacturing process.
Ink filled with microscopic semiconductors called nanowires could make solar power cheaper by boosting the efficiency of solar panels by 25 percent, without adding much cost to manufacturing, says Sol Voltaics, a startup that has raised $ 11 million, and which this week announced its intention to commercialize the ink.
Hydrogen fuel cell cars have any number of hurdles to overcome, whether it’s widespread adoption or the basic matter of locating a place to fill up. If a Virginia Tech discovery pans out, getting the fuel itself won’t be one of those challenges. The new combination of a polyphosphate with a special blend of enzymes lets researchers extract meaningful quantities of hydrogen from any biological element that includes xylose — in other words, the sugar that’s present in every plant to at least some degree. The process is potentially more eco-friendly than most, as well. While you’d expect it to be renewable given the main ingredients, it also reduces the need for metals and cuts back sharply on the volume of necessary greenhouse gases. Most importantly, the findings could reach the commercial world as soon as three years from now. If they do, they could lower the price of hydrogen fuel by making it more accessible, all the while avoiding much of the guilt trip that comes with using polluting technology to generate clean energy.
Via: The Verge
Forty years ago today, Motorola created the first introduced the world’s first commercial portable cellular phone, ushering in an era of mobile freedom.
An anonymous reader writes “It’s been more than a decade and a half since the FCC adopted a set of standards for radiation exposure from cell phones. The guidelines set in 1996 (and based on studies from the ’80s) have applied to all cell phones released in the U.S. since then. Now, the FCC has decided that modern devices are just a tiny bit different than models from the ’90s (where did those suitcase phones go?), so they’re going to review and update the standard. ‘Even though the FCC hasn’t changed its standards for evaluating the safety of cell phones, it has provided consumers with information about how to minimize the risk of exposure to cell phone radiation. For example, the FCC recommends people use the speakerphone feature or an earpiece when talking on the phone, since increasing the distance the device is held from the body greatly reduces exposure. But the agency has not advocated for stricter warnings nor has it even endorsed these safety measures as necessary. The current review of the standards could change that as the agency will look at its testing procedures as well as the educational information it provides to the public about cell phone safety.’”
Read more of this story at Slashdot.
Our cell phones go with us just about everywhere: at school, work, in our pocket, in bed. Those who have been around long enough will have heard ever-changing stances on the health safety of the handsets, with some claiming that the radiation causes brain tumors and others claiming that there are no health problems associated
Genetic logic gates will enable biologists to program cells for chemical production and disease detection.
If biologists could put computational controls inside living cells, they could program them to sense and report on the presence of cancer, create drugs on site as they’re needed, or dynamically adjust their activities in fermentation tanks used to make drugs and other chemicals. Now researchers at Stanford University have developed a way to make genetic parts that can perform the logic calculations that might someday control such activities.
Via the EFF comes news that, during a case involving the use of a Stingray device, the DOJ revealed that it was standard practice to use the devices without explicitly requesting permission in warrants. “When Rigmaiden filed a motion to suppress the Stingray evidence as a warrantless search in violation of the Fourth Amendment, the government responded that this order was a search warrant that authorized the government to use the Stingray. Together with the ACLU of Northern California and the ACLU, we filed an amicus brief in support of Rigmaiden, noting that this ‘order’ wasn’t a search warrant because it was directed towards Verizon, made no mention of an IMSI catcher or Stingray and didn’t authorize the government — rather than Verizon — to do anything. Plus to the extent it captured loads of information from other people not suspected of criminal activity it was a ‘general warrant,’ the precise evil the Fourth Amendment was designed to prevent. … The emails make clear that U.S. Attorneys in the Northern California were using Stingrays but not informing magistrates of what exactly they were doing. And once the judges got wind of what was actually going on, they were none too pleased:”
Read more of this story at Slashdot.
An anonymous reader writes “We recently discussed what appeared to be a positive response from the Obama administration on the legality of cell phone unlocking. Unfortunately, the Obama administration may not be able to do anything about it. It has already signed away our rights under a trade agreement with South Korea. Lawyer Jonathan Band, who works for the Association of Research Libraries, wrote, ‘The White House position, however, may be inconsistent with the U.S. proposal in the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPP) and existing obligations in the Korea-U.S. Free Trade Agreement (KORUS) and other free trade agreements to which the United States is a party. This demonstrates the danger of including in international agreements rigid provisions that do not accommodate technological development.’You can read more about this issue in a short eight page legal primer by Jonathan Band (PDF). An interesting, related note that the U.S.-KOREA FTA is possibly inconsistent with our domestic patent/drug law in the Hatch-Waxman Act as well. The trade agreement requires us to grant injunctions until the patent is invalidated as opposed to thirty months under current domestic law.”
Read more of this story at Slashdot.
Each week our friends at Inhabitat recap the week’s most interesting green developments and clean tech news for us — it’s the Week in Green.
Silicon Valley dominated this week’s news cycle, beginning with Yahoo’s announcement that it will no longer allow employees to work from home. Some are crying foul, however, pointing out that Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer recently installed a nursery in her office, and that unlike most mothers, she’s allowed to bring her child to work. But while Yahoo’s announcement may have ruffled some feathers, Google gave greenies reason to smile, as it announced plans to build a jumbo, green-roofed expansion at the tech giant’s Mountain View headquarters. Not to be outdone, Samsung unveiled plans to build a garden-filled, eco-friendly Silicon Valley headquarters of its own.
Following an online uproar over a law banning the unlocking of cell phones, the Federal Communication Commission will investigate whether the ban is harmful to economic competitiveness and if the executive branch has any authority to change the law. The “ban raises competition concerns, it raises innovation concerns,” FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski told me, last night at TechCrunch CrunchGov event at our headquarters in San Francisco.
Many of us have plug-in external batteries of one sort to recharge our smart phones when we’re away from power outlets. Or we have gigantic aftermarket batteries that make our phones so fat they barely fit in our pockets. So there is this company, Lilliputian Power Systems, that is just starting to market a tiny, butane-powered fuel cell they call the Nectar that plugs into your cell phone (or whatever) through a USB port and supposedly charges it for up to two weeks. That’s a lot better than an add-on battery. It looks expensive, although the power “pods” aren’t too pricey at $ 19.99 for two. But wait a minute: Why aren’t fuel cells, not internal combustion engines, the “range extenders” in plug-in hybrid cars? A decade back, fuel cells were going to revolutionize our power delivery and consumption systems. A cell phone charger is cute, but is that really all we can get fuel cells to do?
Read more of this story at Slashdot.
The next time a child is abducted near you, your cellphone may shriek to life with an alert message.
A torture scene in which the player plunges a knife into an enemy’s body and twists it back and forth to extract information — “move and hold to interrogate,” the game advises — has been cut, following widespread complaints from gamers and fellow designers.
FCC tweaks Broadband Acceleration Initiative to expedite network expansion, temporary cell tower deployment
Waiting for LTE to roll out to your neighborhood? FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski understands, and he’s trying to speed up the process. The commission’s head honcho recently announced new actions to the Broadband Acceleration Initiative, clarifying technical provisions within the Middle Class Tax Relief and Job Creation Act of 2012 that should make mobile broadband deployment a little easier. The crux of the change focuses on how requests to modify existing base stations and wireless towers are reviewed, and is designed to give providers less pause when investing in building out their infrastructure.
“Just as is the case for our nation’s roads and bridges, we must continue to invest in improvements to cell towers and transmission equipment, in order to ensure ubiquitous, high-speed Internet for all Americans,” Genachowski said in an official statement. “To keep pace with technological advances, such as the advent of small cells, and to lay the groundwork for new developments, our policies must continue to adapt.” Speaking of adaptation, the Chairman’s announcement also noted FCC efforts to expedite the installation of temporary cell towers, used to bolster network capacity for events like the Super Bowl or Olympics. You wouldn’t want to miss tweeting about the half time show, would you? Read on for the Chairman’s official announcement.
FCC CHAIRMAN JULIUS GENACHOWSKI ANNOUNCES NEW BROADBAND ACCELERATION INITIATIVE ACTIONS; CLARIFIES RULES TO SPEED WIRELESS INFRASTRUCTURE DEPLOYMENT; MOVES TO EXPEDITE TEMPORARY CELL TOWERS
Actions would provide more certainty to providers and spur private investment and deployment of critical high-speed Internet equipment
(Washington, D.C.) – FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski today announced new actions as part of the Broadband Acceleration Initiative, a comprehensive effort to remove barriers to broadband build-out, including streamlining the deployment of mobile broadband infrastructure, such as towers, distributed antenna systems (DAS) and small cells.
The Commission defined and clarified a technical provision in the Middle Class Tax Relief and Job Creation Act of 2012 regarding local review of requests to modify an existing wireless tower or base station. This provision will accelerate deployment and delivery of high-speed mobile broadband to communities across the nation. This action will create greater certainty and predictability for providers that today invest more than $ 25 billion per year in mobile infrastructure, one of the largest U.S. sectors for private investment.
The Commission today also launched a proceeding to expedite placement of temporary cell towers – cells on wheels (COWs) and cells on light trucks (COLTs) – that are used to expand capacity during special events, such as the Inauguration or the Super Bowl.
Chairman Genachowski also announced actions in the coming months to further streamline DAS and small cell deployment; examine whether current application of the tower siting shot clock offers sufficient clarity to industry and municipalities; and begin developing model facility siting rules for localities. Each of these actions would contribute to faster, more efficient deployment of wireless infrastructure.
Chairman Genachowski said, “Providing more certainty to industry and municipalities, and more flexibility to carriers to meet extraordinary, short-term service needs will accelerate private and public investment to strengthen our nation’s communications networks. Just as is the case for our nation’s roads and bridges, we must continue to invest in improvements to cell towers and transmission equipment, in order to ensure ubiquitous, high-speed Internet for all Americans. To keep pace with technological advances, such as the advent of small cells, and to lay the groundwork for new developments, our policies must continue to adapt.”
A small cell network over the company’s HQ could herald new competition for established carriers.
Filings made with the U.S. Federal Communications Commission reveal that Google wants to start operating its own, very small cell phone network on its Mountain View campus. It’s the latest in a series of hints in recent years that Google is unsatisfied with the way that mobile networks control the mobile Internet.
Trapping light on the surface of solar cells can significantly boost their efficiency, say physicists
Breathe in, breathe out. Dial and repeat.
Today, a deep sigh at your smartphone could reveal a well-developed emotional connection with your gadget. But one day those sighs could tip off your doctor to a latent or worsening lung condition.
Apple doubles the size of the fuel cell at its new data center, a potential new energy model for the cloud computing.
Apple is doubling the size its fuel cell installation at its new North Carolina data center, making it a proving ground for large-scale on-site energy at data centers.
A nanogenerator made from inexpensive materials harvests mechanical energy and produces enough power to charge personal electronics.
The phenomenon that causes a painful shock when you touch metal after dragging your shoes on the carpet could someday be harnessed to charge personal electronics.
Researchers at Georgia Tech have created a device that takes advantage of static electricity to convert movement—like a phone bouncing around in your pocket—into enough power to charge a cell phone battery. It is the first demonstration that these kinds of materials have enough oomph to power personal electronics.
Excess energy produced when you walk, fidget, or even breathe can, in theory, be scavenged to power medical implants and other electronics. However, taking advantage of the energy in these small motions is challenging.
Zhong Lin Wang, a professor of materials science at Georgia Tech, has been working on the problem for several years, mostly focusing on piezoelectric materials that generate an electrical voltage under mechanical stress (see “Harnessing Hamster Power with a Nanogenerator”). Wang and others have amplified the piezoelectric effect by making materials structured at the nanoscale. So far, though, piezoelectric nanogenerators have not had very impressive power output.
Now Wang’s group has demonstrated that a different approach may be more promising: static electricity and friction. This is the effect at work when you run a plastic comb through your hair on a dry day, and it stands on end. The Georgia Tech researchers demonstrated that this static charge phenomenon, called the triboelectric effect, can be harnessed to produce power using a type of plastic, polyethylene terephthalate, and a metal. When thin films of these materials come into contact with one another, they become charged. And when the two films are flexed, a current flows between them, which can be harnessed to charge a battery. When the two surfaces are patterned with nanoscale structures, their surface area is much greater, and so is the friction between the materials—and the power they can produce.
The Georgia Tech nanogenerator can convert 10 to 15 percent of the energy in mechanical motions into electricity, and thinner materials should be able to convert as much as 40 percent, Wang says. A fingernail-sized square of the triboelectric nanomaterial can produce eight milliwatts when flexed, enough power to run a pacemaker. A patch that’s five by five centimeters can light up 600 LEDs at once, or charge a lithium-ion battery that can then power a commercial cell phone. Wang’s group described these results online in the journal Nano Letters.
“The choice of materials is wide, and fabricating the device is easy,” says Wang. Any of about 50 common plastics, metals, and other materials can be paired to make this type of device.
“I’m impressed with the power density here,” says Shashank Priya, director of the Center for Energy Harvesting Materials and Systems at Virginia Tech. Other smart materials haven’t produced enough power for practical applications, he says.
Whether the new nanogenerator will work outside the lab remains to be seen. “They need to demonstrate that this can generate power from mechanical vibrations in real life,” says Jiangyu Li, professor of mechanical engineering at the University of Washington in Seattle. To work in the real world, an energy scavenger will have to be able to pick up on vibrational frequencies that provide the most energy. A nanogenerator that can only pick up on low-energy mechanical vibrations would take way too long to charge a cell phone, Priya notes. Wang says he is in talks with companies about developing the energy scavenger for particular applications, and envisions it being worn on an armband.
About 19 percent of cell sites in the area hardest hit by Hurricane Sandy were still out of service on Thursday morning as recovery was slowed by other network failures and power shortages, according to the U.S. Federal Communications Commission.
Harnessing the awesome power of the Sun isn’t just dependent on the efficiency of solar cells, but also on making them affordable. Current techniques aren’t exactly cheap, but researchers from
The carbon amalgam can be applied from solution using simple methods, meaning the flexible cells could be used to coat surfaces, although you won’t be seeing it smeared over anything too soon. The prototype only touts a “laboratory efficiency of less than 1 percent,” so it can’t compete with traditional solar cells just yet. Also, it only absorbs a slither of the light spectrum, but the researchers are looking to other forms of the wonder element which could increase that range. They are hoping that improving the structure of the cells will help to boost their efficiency, too. They might never generate the most energy, but the all-carbon cells can remain stable under extreme conditions, meaning they could find their calling in harsh environments where brawn is a little more important than status, or looks.
In this tech-savvy city teeming with commuters and tourists, the cell phone has become a top target of robbers who use stealth, force and sometimes guns.
Toyota Motor Sales USA has announced that it has installed and activated a new and very large hydrogen fuel-cell generator on the campus at its Torrance, California headquarters. The new fuel cell was activated yesterday and can produce 1.1-megawatts of electricity using hydrogen as the fuel. The gigantic fuel cell will be able to produce