23 November 2013

20 November 2013

Building a High-Capacity, Faster Mobile Internet for Everyone

CORDIS News (11/14/13)

Europe has made mobile broadband expansion a top priority, as users seek access to the Internet, email, and workplaces from any location.  The European Union's Beyond Next Generation Mobile Broadband (BUNGEE) project, completed in June 2012, came close to achieving its ambitious goal of increasing the capacity of the mobile network from the current 100 Mbps to 1 Gbps, or 1000 Mbps per square kilometer.  Emerging technologies LTE and WiMAX only support 100 Mbps per square kilometer for regular cellular deployment, which is especially inadequate in dense urban areas with the greatest demand for wireless broadband access.  BUNGEE researchers created a heterogeneous broadband architecture that merges licensed and open radio spectra.  The effort produced a mobile radio system architecture, a high-capacity antenna system, and a deployment strategy based on below-rooftop access base stations.  The BUNGEE researchers say the approach greatly reduces the cost per bit of data transmitted.  The system was tested in a real-life mobile environment, and project partners say the resulting technologies have been promulgated as the new standard for high-capacity, radio-access broadband networks.

17 November 2013

International Reach of MOOCs Is Limited by Users' Preferences

Chronicle of Higher Education (11/13/13) Hannah Winston 

Speakers at Transatlantic Science Week, sponsored by the Norwegian Ministry of Education and Research, note that massive open online courses (MOOCs) might democratize higher education globally, but significant progress would be required to reach such a point. Norway's minister of education and research Torbjorn Roe Isaksen says MOOCs could "give people all over the world access to education," but he is not aware of MOOCs focusing on developing countries in South America and Africa. In addition, Isaksen says MOOC provider data show that most students already have degrees and are looking to further their learning, indicating that the courses might not draw people who have not had access to higher education. "If MOOCs are going to contribute to the democratization of society, they need to reach new learners," says University of Bergen professor Dag Rune Olsen. Even China, where college overcrowding forces students to go abroad, is not fully embracing MOOCs, says Institute of International Education president Allan Goodman. Students at a recent education exposition in China told Goodman they were aware of MOOCs, but still wanted the on-campus college experience. MOOCs need to understand what students are seeking with on-campus learning if they are to flourish, says Harvard University professor Chris Dede.

14 November 2013

Google Wants Tattoo to Act as Smartphone Microphone

Computerworld (11/11/13) Matt Hamblen

Google is developing an electronic skin tattoo for the throat that can act as a microphone for a smartphone, tablet, or other device.  The tattoo would communicate over near-field communication, Bluetooth, Infrared, or another short-range wireless technology to a nearby mobile device.  The tattoo could include an embedded microphone in addition to a transceiver for enabling wireless communications with a nearby smartphone.  The tattoo also could have a power supply to receive energy from another place on the user's body.  In addition, Google says the system could help reduce street noise and other nearby sounds that often enter microphones and distort communications.  The skin tattoo could even include a galvanic skin response detector to act as a lie detector.  "It is contemplated that a user that may be nervous or engaging in speaking falsehoods may exhibit different galvanic skin response than a more confident, truth-telling individual," according to a patent application for the device.  The application also suggests the wearable device could be used as a user interface to a display, in which specific throat movements cause the display to light up.

13 November 2013

As part of a Russian campaign to make citizens healthier

As part of a Russian campaign to make citizens healthier, Moscow subway riders have the option of paying for their tickets in 30 squats: http://cnet.co/1gEmSik

10 November 2013

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Léa Fares

09 November 2013

Should Google Be Forced To Filter Search Results?

There are a lot of people out there with things in their past that they're not proud of. Sometimes those things make there way to the Internet and do a great deal of damage to their reputation. This stuff comes up when people search on Google, and Google traditionally has not removed such content unless required to do so by law.

One man is currently trying to get his damaging content out of Google, and not just removed, but filtered as it's created. A French court has sided with him, and ordered Google to comply.

Do you think Google should be forced to filter results?