Geekly Update - 25 April 2013

Category: Tech-News

Did Alexander Graham Bell predict the future of fiber optic telecommunications 130 years ago? Can you recharge your mobile phone using water and a campfire? And what smartphone is the world's largest? Get answers to these burning questions, and the scoop on the latest tech news, in this edition of the Geekly Update. It's guaranteed to make you 146% smarter, read on...

The AskBobRankin Geekly Update

"We can hear you now." Researchers have decoded the only known recording of Alexander Graham Bell's voice. A recording device that Bell constructed in 1885, using wax and cardboard, had remained in the Smithsonian for over a century, but was previously thought to be unplayable.

A revolutionary lithium-ion battery that can extend smartphone range up to 30 times, jumpstart a car, and recharge 1000 times faster than current batteries is now possible, thanks to researchers at the University of Illinois. Other recent advances in technology let you charge your mobile phone in the wilderness using water. The PowerTrekk charger uses water-powered fuel cells, while the Powerpot needs a little help from a campfire.

Verizon smartphone contract customers must wait 24 months instead of 20 to upgrade their phones, according to a new policy that starts with contracts expiring in January, 2014. Heh, remember the "New Every Two" program, and those $100 discounts you used to get?

Geekly Update 04-25-2013

So-net, a Japanese ISP owned by Sony, is rolling out the world's fastest fiber optic Internet service. The 2 Gb/sec service in Tokyo will cost $51/month. In the USA, Google Fiber and Sonic are offering 1Gb fiber connections for $70/month, which is now officially slow and expensive.

Remember when mobile phones were as big as a shoe box? It looks like we're heading back in that direction. Samsung will roll out a record-breaking 6.3-inch smartphone in May. The Galaxy Mega supports 720p video, leaving South Korea’s Pantech’s 5.9-inch Vega No. 6 with the honors for “biggest full HD phone” and “most awkward product name ever.”

Eric Schmidt, CEO of Google, thinks private drone aircraft should be tightly regulated to protect privacy and deter violence. But driverless cars and Google Glasses that secretly record you are OK.

An alternative to Google Glass is coming from Japan in about a year. Looking more like headphones than spectacles, Telephony One promises to be less in-your-face and more affordable.

Reading, writing, and rogue Web sites. Someone in Colorado’s Boulder Valley School District, unhappy with the administration’s failure to give them a “snow day” off on April 16, created a fake district Web page declaring their own. (In fairness, it did snow nearly 14 inches that day.) The district countered the hoax on its Facebook and Twitter accounts. No word on which Web site most students believed.

PhoneSat is a series of nanosatellites powered by Nexus smartphone technology. They transmit data on amateur radio frequencies so ham operators worldwide can track them. NASA launched three of them on April 17.

Are you smarter than a VP of computer network security? Duane Amity, while employed by Mellon Investment Services in that capacity, was busted on possession of child porn charges after making nearly every mistake he could. How many can you spot?

A man called 911 to report that he had just shot his wife. But when emergency crews responded, they found the call came from 1,900 miles away. The caller had moved from New Mexico to Virginia but forgot to update the emergency response address of his VoIP phone account.

Your thoughts on these topics are welcome! Post your comment or question below...

 
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Most recent comments on "Geekly Update - 25 April 2013"

Posted by:

Mark
26 Apr 2013

It's Telepathy One Bob, not Tele"phony" One, though there may have been a purposeful and amusing play on words here... well done!


Posted by:

Steve Maxwell
26 Apr 2013

That's amazing they were able to play that recording of Alexander Graham Bell's voice, Bob. How long do you think it'll be before we have that 2GB/sec. ISP too? I wish I had one of those water-rechargeable cell phones! Very interesting article, Bob.
Sincerely,
Steve Maxwell


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