People wanted an iPhone 5. A top-secret new phone to deliver previously unknown pleasures, and to cast the 16-month-old iPhone 4 into the rubbish heap of planned obsolescence.
But the news on October 4, coming just a day before Steve Jobs's death, was a reminder that not every Apple announcement blows off the roof. So here's the 4S--faster, Sprint-ier, with a better camera to see the world, and Siri, the voice-recognition assistant to better listen to it. And the proverbial question: is it worth an upgrade?
It's safe to say that most of us have come to accept, if not embrace, the abundance of wireless technology in our everyday lives. Not so for certain Americans who believe they suffer from Electromagnetic Hypersensitivity, or EHS. According to the BBC, five percent of Americans think that exposure to electromagnetic fields created by Wi-Fi and mobile phones are causing them to suffer headaches, muscle spasms, burning skin and chronic pain. And some of these people are seeking refuge in the secluded mountains of Appalachia.
Shopping on the go just got easier in South Korea. A new virtual store developed by Euro grocery giant Tesco for its line of South Korean Home Plus supermarkets lets customers browse store shelves for the products they want just as if they were in a physical store. But they’re not. They’re on a subway platform.
A team of computer scientists at MIT may have just solved one of the digital age's most annoying occurrences, one that somehow has not been addressed in any real way by major device manufacturers. It's the I-have-something-on-my-computer-screen-that-I-need-to-transfer-to-my-phone problem, and it plagues everyone. Now, a small software solution has come to our aid, allowing users to throw applications--in their same states--between computers and mobile devices using the smartphone's camera.
The United States is developing what the New York Times is calling “shadow internet” – a prototype network that can fit into a suitcase and be carried across state borders to provide political dissidents with access to the web in the event that their repressive governments shut down communications. This project is part of the Obama administration’s effort to undermine government censorship.
UC San Diego researchers have struck upon a novel idea that could make Android phones 11 times more efficient than they are currently: a custom-tailored processor that is optimized to run the most widely used apps on a given phone. Their GreenDroid chip might not only lead to better battery life in Android smartphones, but could help circumvent a fundamental problem in chip design that would otherwise soon become a major problem for chip efficiency in mobile devices.
Los Alamos National Labs is often associated with bombs, and the one it dropped today is no less likely to stir up a firestorm. Figuratively speaking, of course. That simmering controversy surrounding cell phone signals’ effect on biological tissue surfaced again today via a Los Alamos researcher who says the microwaves emitted by cell phones can interact with human tissues in an entirely new way that has yet to be taken into account.
The need for more consistent cell reception has led to some major, expensive efforts from wireless carriers--they might spend hundreds of millions of dollars on a new 4G network, or billions to acquire a competing carrier.
The HTC Thunderbolt is important for one reason: 4G. But that one reason promises to change the way mobile phones are used, the same way that the move from dial-up to broadband at home led to a completely revolutionized computing experience. The Thunderbolt is, on the whole, a really nice phone: it takes proven hardware and taps it into Verizon's ludicrously fast LTE 4G network. But should this be your next smartphone? Well…maybe not.
Larvabot is baaack ... and now it’s in your pocket, giving a whole new meaning to the vibrate setting on your cell phone. The new Elfoid telepresence telephone tickles its owner when it gets a call, wriggling to transmit your head and face movements, along with your voice, to the person on the other end of the line.