Category Archives: Wireless Communications
Amazon has just announced a new music service – Amazon Cloud Player. It works like this:
- Using your Amazon account, buy music from Amazon MP3 and save it to your Amazon Cloud Drive. No cap on the amount of music stored if you purchase it from the Amazon MP3 service.
- Download and install the Amazon Cloud Player (for Android or web); play your music using this app.
- Add any music you already have to the Cloud Drive. First 5 GB of storage are free; 20 GB are free if you purchase an album from the MP3 service.
Sounds great, right? It’s your music and you are storing it in the cloud instead of a hard drive. If you have an Android device, you have access to it pretty much wherever your are; have access to the web, same thing.
Unfortunately, the music industry thinks that Amazon needs licenses for the music before they can launch this type of service and they have none.
Cloud Player is an application that lets customers manage and play their own music. It’s like any number of existing media management applications. We do not need a license to make Cloud Player available.
Makes sense to me, but I’m sure we’ll see more on this.
Although the author of this article doesn’t see that going “mouseless” is very helpful, I’d love it! The interactions would be the same, e.g., right-click and left-click, but you’d do it without the mouse itself. You’d need an infrared laser and an infrared camera and, I’m assuming, the software, to make it work. They say $20 — I’m in!
The video is a pretty good explanation and, yes, it starts with Tom and Jerry.
Changes to the E-Rate program will go into effect as of January 3, 2011 and will be implemented in the July 2011-June 2012 year. The changes fall into 3 conceptual categories (from Federal Register):
- Providing more flexibility to select and make available the most cost-effective broadband and other communications services;
- Ability to lease dark or lit fiber from the most cost-effective provider;
- Schools can now allow their communities to use E-rate-funded services outside of school hours;
- Supports eligible services to the residential portion of schools that serve students with special circumstances;
- Indexing the funding cap to inflation;
- Seeking proposals for a limited pilot to establish best practices to support off-campus wireless for portable learning devices outside of regular school/library operating hours.
- Simplifying and streamlining the E-rate application process;
- Reduce administrative burden on applicants;
- Remove technology plan requirement for priority one services;
- Facilitate disposal and recycling of obsolete equipment that received E-rate support.
- Improving safeguards against waste, fraud, and abuse.
- Codify requirement that competitive bidding processes be fair and open.
- Includes eligible services list for funding year 2011.
Much of this supports the priorities of the National Broadband Plan.
Nielsen data for June 2009 – June 2010 shows how Americans spend our time online:
There is nothing surprising here — social networking (22.7%) and online gaming (10.2%) at the top of the list, with email coming in at 8.3%. However, they’ve also done a study of what Americans do on their mobile phones:
On the mobile side, email is the definite winner at 41%, with portals at 11.6% and social networks at 10.5%. Quite a difference from the previous statistics.
This is all in the midst of change, of course. You might think that, although email is prominent on mobile devices, that it’s share is probably declining; actually, that isn’t true. From the previous year’s statistics, email actually increased its share from 37% – 41%.
I find it interesting that the advertising for mobile devices is primarily geared toward the younger generation, who focus on social networking when the most popular application – email – is probably due to the working crowd.
The focus of the Wireless Broadband Alliance is to promote interoperability between WiFi networks and hotspots. They have created a standard for WiFi roaming that is global. That is, if you are on one of the member’s networks, you should be able to move to another member’s transparently.
This summer, both AT&T and Verizon joined this group. They are hoping to offload some of the traffic running over their 3G and 4G networks, moving it to nearby WiFi networks, if they are available. So, if you are an AT&T customer using their 3G network, and if you are within distance of a T-Mobile hotspot, you should be able to use T-Mobile’s wireless with your AT&T login/password. Since most WiFi networks are faster than 3G, this should also provide users with a faster connection.
I really don’t think there is anything to say about this . . .
You are probably very familiar with this symbol for a library:
There is now a similar image for Internet access in libraries:
It’s in the research stages now. Rice University in Houston and Sunchon National University in South Korea are working together to create RFID tags that can be printed directly onto the item. The key is in the ink – carbon nanotubes are mixed in. It costs about 3 cents per tag now, but they are hoping to get it down to 1 cent or less.
But . . . right now, they can only print one character in the space the size of a business card. Ultimately, they are looking at 96 bits in a 3cm area. Research continues . . .