Those restrictions began in the 1950s, when the Federal Communications Commission created the National Radio Quiet Zone, a 13,000-square-mile swath of sparsely populated countryside that straddles the borders of West Virginia, Virginia, and Maryland. Use of the airwaves inside the zone is strictly regulated to ensure that the high-tech telescopes at Green Bank and nearby Sugar Grove can operate with minimal disturbance.
Visitors to these mountain communities might assume that local residents resent the lifestyle adjustments they have to make for the sake of scientific research. But complaints are rarely voiced, and the area even attracts people who are hypersensitive to electromagnetic energy.
Still in “Early Access” (invite only) Google’s foray into a wireless service is interesting for several reasons. From the Google blog
“We developed new technology that gives you better coverage by intelligently connecting you to the fastest available network at your location whether it's Wi-Fi or one of our two partner LTE networks. As you go about your day, Project Fi automatically connects you to more than a million free, open Wi-Fi hotspots we've verified as fast and reliable. Once you're connected, we help secure your data through encryption. When you're not on Wi-Fi, we move you between whichever of our partner networks is delivering the fastest speed, so you get 4G LTE in more places.”
“…for $20 a month you get all the basics (talk, text, Wi-Fi tethering, and international coverage in 120+ countries), and then it's a flat $10 per GB for cellular data while in the U.S. and abroad. 1GB is $10/month, 2GB is $20/month, 3GB is $30/month, and so on. Since it's hard to predict your data usage, you'll get credit for the full value of your unused data. Let's say you go with 3GB for $30 and only use 1.4GB one month. You'll get $16 back, so you only pay for what you use.”
Other than the mandatory headphone jack, there's just one port available on the MacBook: a USB Type-C connection that takes care of power, data transfers, and display output.
There was once a time when Apple saw the connected future built around a pair of boldly titled interconnects: Thunderbolt for laptops and desktop computers, and Lightning for its mobile iOS devices. But the company's pursuit of a completely wireless laptop now bodes poorly for the future of Thunderbolt and even casts some doubt over the long-term prospects of Lightning.
In an on-stage interview with Bloomberg Businessweek, Sundar Pichai, Google’s senior vice president of products, laid out new details of Project Loon, the company’s outlandish-sounding plan to provide wireless connectivity via hot-air balloons. Each helium-filled balloon will carry a solar-powered LTE antenna and is designed to hover at the edge of the atmosphere, beaming down wireless signals. The balloons are each designed to provide Internet access to an area about the size of Rhode Island, so with enough of them working in tandem, the company will be able to eliminate the need for costly cell towers in the developing world, says Pichai.
Zuckerberg said Facebook’s primary attempt to expand online access is Internet.org, an initiative to establish basic standards for Internet service around the world. In practical terms, that means Facebook has assembled a collection of low-bandwidth apps—such as Wikipedia, health-research tools, and Facebook itself—that it can package and give away to regional carriers for use on the phones they sell. Zuckerberg said he has spent much of the past year traveling to evangelize for the program and to persuade people who have never gone online “why they would ever want to be on the Internet.”
The centerpiece of their work is a smartphone- and tablet-based diagnostic tool called Cellscope, which has been customized to identify a range of problems. One group is using it to diagnose tuberculosis in respiratory tract sputum and malaria in blood. Another is diagnosing eye injuries and diseases. Others are developing Cellscope applications to detect parasites, cancers and diseases that impact agriculture.
Their innovation turns a phone into the image capture and analysis component of a system that uses bright-field and fluorescence microscopy to identify disease-causing organisms in patient fluid samples. They have created another phone attachment with a lens and LED bulbs to scan the eye for signs of injury or disease.
Combining the hardware and software with cellular connectivity also opens up the possibility of telemedicine to bring the diagnostic power once cloistered in hospital labs to regions lacking doctors, clinics and infrastructure. “With these platforms, you can test a patient in one place, transmit the data to another place and get a diagnosis from a distant expert,” says Fletcher.
Every enterprise vendor talks about making their UX more attractive, especially to Millennial workers.
At HCM World this week in Washington, DC I was pleased to see how Oracle has been leveraging social networks, personal health trackers and other consumer technologies to “digitally transform” the talent management life cycle – in the location, engagement, retention and education of talent.
In a keynote, Chris Leone, Senior Vice President of Development for HCM and in breakouts with analysts, Gretchen Alarcon, in charge of HCM Strategy and Mark Bennett who focuses on Collaboration technologies at Oracle provided details.
They include “work/life” apps focused on reputation management – which provides a clearer picture of how a candidate or employee is viewed by peers and the communities he / she works across enhancing the “social” glimpses LinkedIn and other networks provide.
Another focuses on wellness and competition with peers, leveraging growing “quantified self” data that FitBit, Apple Watch and other personal technology is generating.
More are coming in the “work/life” category including one on “My career development” which allows employees to benchmark themselves against career paths and even their fit for roles in other parts of their enterprises.
Oracle Learning Cloud, highlighted at the event, sources content from both internal and external sources, including YouTube and Massive Open Online Courses (MooCs) and personalizes recommendations.
When I asked Gretchen the risk of leveraging technologies also available to competitors, she pointed out few could match the role of Oracle’s technology infrastructure. That includes its global network of cloud data centers and its investments to support transcoding and bit-rate adaptive video streams which remove latency issues as users publish and consume whether they are on slow 3g cellular or speedier WiFi networks.
The “consumery” vibe for the event was introduced and constantly reinforced by the host, Oracle’s Cara Capretta. She goaded the audience to tweet and had a couple of artists capture the key themes on the “social listening wall” that she projected early and often throughout the event.
Fortune on China phone makers as they grow beyond their Chinese market focus
“In 2011 just two of the top 10 smartphone makers in China were Chinese, according to market researcher Canalys: Huawei and Lenovo. In 2014 eight of the top 10 were Chinese; Samsung and Apple were the only foreign holdouts. In just three years the cast of leaders completely reshuffled as China’s smartphone market more than quadrupled. Today six of the top 10 smartphone brands worldwide are Chinese, according to Strategy Analytics, even though many of them sell only in China—proof of the enormousness of that market relative to the rest of the world.”
he device, the Broadcaster mini, works with any camera that has an HDMI port, and connects via Wi-Fi to send live 1080p videos to your Livestream account.
The Broadcaster mini is designed as a sequel to the original Broadcaster video encoder launched three years ago. The mini version measures in at about 2.8 by 2 inches – roughly 1/3 the size of its predecessor. It also bumps streaming speed from 2.3 Mbps to 4 Mbps, and runs on an internal rechargeable Li-ion battery instead of AA batteries. The company estimates battery life to last about two to three hours, and is rechargeable via micro USB.
One of the most impressive demos during Convergence last week was one during the opening keynote where Julia White, GM for Office, showed a vision of next-gen selling using an opportunity for a 3D printer proposal and presentation.
It was a showcase for CRM, Office365, Skype for Business, Cortana personal assistant, Surface Hub display, Delve, Apple and Microsoft mobile hardware and predictive pipeline analytics from Insidesales.com
It was fitting that on Monday my hyperactive friend, Ray Wang live streamed portions of the keynote from the Microsoft Convergence event using his Meerkat app and then raved about it at dinner. Over the weekend he was in Austin and described three use cases for the app. It was a huge hit at this year’s SXSW