Google chairman (and former CEO) Eric Schmidt thinks that his company’s Android mobile operating system is “more secure than the iPhone,” according to a ZDNet reporter attending this year’s Gartner Symposium/ITxpo. Apple would probably take…
Every human culture has a fascination with superheroes. Sure, some culture’s superheroes may take on forms that are quite dissimilar to Superman, Batman, and Iron Man. Still, the idea of having someone to look up to for one reason or another is not unique to any group of people.
There might be a new breed of superheroes coming up, though, if the guys at Unisys are to be taken seriously. Unisys ((Unisys)) is an information technology company offering its services worldwide. They “specialize in helping clients secure their operations, increase the efficiency and utilization of their data centers, enhance support to their end users and constituents, and modernize their enterprise applications.”
Can you imagine life without Wi-Fi? I am pretty sure that for many of us, life was just fine without wireless connection as recent as five years ago. With the sudden deluge of Wi-Fi compatible devices, though, life without Wi-Fi (the Internet) could very well be unimaginable for a lot of people today.
Think about it – when you go to a restaurant or a coffee shop, what is one of the first things you consider? When you book a hotel for a vacation, what is on the top of your list? I am willing to bet that Wi-Fi somewhere in there.
So technology has given us so much convenience, but we could all use faster Wi-Fi, right? If the guys at Stanford are successful, we just might enjoy Wi-Fi at double the speed. They have developed a technology that will allow the use of a single Wi-Fi channel to receive and transmit signals simultaneously. The technology is called antenna cancellation, and basically, it deals with the self-interference that occurs when transmitting and receiving on a single channel. The result? Possibly full duplex communication.
The implications of this technology are huge, especially for wireless providers. Even better, the technology is not limited to Wi-Fi – all radio communications can benefit from it.
At the moment, the technology still needs some work, especially with regard to making it commercially viable. The researchers mention the need for antenna separation, but also say that there is no theoretical limit as to the applications of the technology.
As for us consumers, we just need to wait till they get it out in the market, and we just might enjoy much faster wireless connections in the near future.
I have had a Last.fm account for a long time, but unfortunately have used it only very sparingly due to the fact that the service is not available for free where I am based. For those in the US and the UK, though, Last.fm is probably the best thing to have ever happened to music lovers. And, with the popularity of mobile devices, Last.fm’s mobile application has also caught the attention of those who just can’t get enough of their music.
Just like many other free web services, Last.fm has been able to get along without charging users a fee due to advertising. However, starting next week, things are going to change big time – at least for the mobile users. Instead of seeing ads and not paying anything, mobile users will have to pay 3GBP a month and enjoy ad-free service. The paid service will then allow users to listen to personalized radio stations but will still not offer the option of picking out individual songs.
While it is understandable that some people will react negatively to the move, the price is not that bad. It is already close to what Last.fm charges for its web service in other locations. More so, using Last.fm via the computer will remain free in the UK.
Last.fm’s official stance is that they believe that this is the right move for the company. They also say that they are NOT losing money, but that this is just the logical thing to do. Of course, the move will only bring in more revenue for the company, but I think the fee is reasonable, don’t you?
We all have our little quirks, and if yours is to try to mimic how other people speak, here’s something that will tickle your fancy. Some time last month, NTT Communications announced a pretty cool mobile phone service. Dubbed Mane-1GP (available in Japan only), the service works this way:
- Mobile phone subscribers call a number.
- They have the following choices:
- Popular comedians
- Lines from movies
- Animal sounds
- Various dialect accents
- Other sounds
- They can listen to the particular sound/line they want to mimic, and they can record their own rendition.
- The users’ recordings are compared to the original sound bytes, and a score is given.
How does the system analyze the recordings? The concept is simple: an algorithm was developed specifically for the analysis of recordings, to compare the original and the user-inputted recording. The analysis is based on the following factors:
- Sound pressure
- Voice quality
Knowing just how good the Japanese are with technology, you can bet that these analyses are technologically sound! The service is compatible with most mobile phones available in Japan via the major phone companies: NTT DOCOMO, au, and SoftBank Mobile; and each call will cost a person about 10 to 20 yen. Oh, and to make things more interesting, users can invite friends to join a “competition” wherein the person who gets the highest score wins!
NTT Communications is also known for its other services such as international data service centers, but this piece of news just goes to show that the telecommunications giant is not averse to offering fun and quirky services to their clients!
It may not be for everyone, but hey, each to his own, right?