technology

Thu
25
Jul
John Lister's picture

Robocall Bill Passes House

The House of Representatives has overwhelmingly backed a bill to crack down on unwanted robocalls. The bipartisan measure would increase regulatory power and make use of technology to tackle the problem. The proposed Stopping Bad Robocalls Act ... passed by 429 votes to 3. It follows a 97 to 1 vote in the Senate on a similar bill in May. It's now highly likely one of the bills will pass through both houses and become law. (Source: appleinsider.com ) Robocalls are automatically dialed phone calls. Because there's no need for a human to dial the number, both legitimate marketers and scammers can ... (view more)

Tue
22
Jan
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Roll Away TV, Smart Sockets Among New Gadgets at CES

CES (also known as the Consumer Electronics Show) is the biggest annual gadget show in the United States and is the place where top manufacturers show off their new devices for the first time. Many of the offerings seem implausible or unnecessary - ... this year saw virtual reality shoes and a notepad that works underwater - but others catch on and are genuinely useful. Here are some of the highlights from 2019: A "smart socket" power outlet detects the charge level in a plugged-in device and then cuts out once it's fully charged to reduce energy use. For now it's designed for mobile devices such ... (view more)

Thu
18
Oct
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New 'LiFi' Gets 8 Gigabit Speed; Faster than WiFi, 5G

Light could be the key to solving one of the big problems of faster mobile Internet. But the technology, which uses spotlights to send out signals, has some limited range of uses. The technology developed by pureLiFi works on a simple principle: ... rather than using radio waves to transmit data (as does WiFi), it uses light waves. A demo of the system uses ceiling spotlights which blast out light in a cone shape. To the human eye it looks like an ordinary constant light supply. In fact it's actually flickering at incredibly high speeds to create a pattern. 5G Signals Hurt By Walls A plug-in ' ... (view more)

Tue
05
Jun
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Browsers to Support Fingerprint Logins to Websites

Google's Chrome browser may soon support biometric logins to websites such as fingerprints. It follows on from Firefox becoming the first major browser to support biometric logins just a few weeks ago. Both browsers are supporting "WebAuthn," a web ... standard for authenticating logins without passwords. While it's a big step, it's only half the journey as the standard also has to be supported by the websites in question. (Source: digitaltrends.com ) The standard has been jointly developed by two key groups. The World Wide Web Consortium is the main body that develops standards for ... (view more)

Tue
20
Mar
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Uber Self-Driving Car Kills Pedestrian Crossing Street

A pedestrian has died after being hit by a self-driving vehicle in Tempa, Arizona. It's the first time an autonomous car has collided with a person on foot, resulting in a fatality. The car was part of a test program offered by taxi-alternative ... company Uber. It's now suspended its testing which was taking place on public streets in several states. The Washington Post says the crash took place at a busy intersection of public streets. Police said the vehicle was driving northbound and hit 49-year-old pedestrian Elaine Herzberg, who was crossing the street. They added that she was not within ... (view more)

Thu
25
Jan
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New Cars Could Measure Tired and Stressed Drivers

Ford is working on a car that can sense the driver's mood. For now it's a marketing tool, but the company says it could make new safety features possible. The company is working with tech firm Sensum on what is something of a gimmick to promote ... sports cars, but could theoretically be used to tell when a driver is stressed or distracted. In the test versions at least, the driver needs to wear fitness trackers (similar to the watches or wristbands people use to track their daily steps and heart rate) and skin sensors, which can measure changes in breathing rate and even perspiration from stress ... (view more)

Thu
19
Oct
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Toronto Bayfront to Become 'Smart City' using Google Tech

Google's sister company is to build a mini-city in Toronto that includes a range of technologies built into the infrastructure. It's designed partly to help locals and partly as a test bed for new technology. The 68-acre project on the Lake Toronto ... waterfront is led by Sidewalk Labs - a spin-off company that's owned by Google's parent company Alphabet. It's a partnership with the city and won't involve Google owning any land or acting as a landlord, though Google will move its Canadian headquarters to the area. It'll be part of a wider regeneration project covering 800 acres. Free Public WiFi ... (view more)

Wed
16
Aug
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Apple Urged to Enable Emergency Call Location Tool

Apple stands accused of failing to enable a potentially life-saving iPhone technology. Advanced Mobile Location (AML), already used in Android handsets, lets emergency services staff know precisely where a caller is located. The accusation comes ... from the European Emergency Number Association (EENA), which coordinates the European equivalent of 911 call technology. It already works with Google on AML, which is credited with saving multiple lives. The idea of AML is that it doesn't require any special action on behalf of the user: there's no need to change settings or install dedicated ... (view more)

Wed
12
Jul
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Microsoft to use TV Airwaves for Internet 'Super WiFi'

Microsoft wants to use unused TV frequencies to provide Internet service in rural areas. It believes its size could help bring down the costs of the technology. The system is known as white-spaces technology and uses wireless frequencies that are in ... the band reserved for over-the-air TV broadcasts but aren't currently being used. While Microsoft plans to use some of these frequencies, it wants the government to reserve at least three frequencies in each local area for use with the technology. (Source: nytimes.com ) Tech Works Like WiFi In principle, wireless Internet signals can be sent ... (view more)

Tue
22
Nov
John Lister's picture

Smartphones Could Replace Cards at ATMs

A British bank is testing ATMs that let customers take out money using their phone rather than a bank card. It says the technology could be safer than using a card because there's less room for hackers to steal details. Withdrawing money without a ... card isn't a completely new idea. One rival bank already allows users to get cash out using a smartphone app that generates a unique code that they can then type in to the phone to get money. The idea is to remove the need to carry a card, for example on a night out. The new system from Barclays would be even quicker to use however, and ... (view more)

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