New Augmented Reality App Lets You See Radio Waves

In the modern era, radio waves are everywhere, from crisscrossing Wi-Fi signals, cellular signals, GPS, Bluetooth and many others. Yet we often aren’t aware of them, with human perception limited only to the visible light spectrum of electromagnetic waves. However the new augmented reality app, Architecture of Radio, seeks to give us a glimpse into the invisible world of data around us. When you point a device running the app in a direction or move it around, it creates a view of spherical waves emanating from radio wave sources, overlapping and crossing over each other, like waves in the sea.

The app works by compiling data about radio wave sources from public databases, including 7 million cell towers, 19 million Wi-Fi routers and a number of satellites. Access to this data allows the app to provide the user with a display of the signals in their area. Unfortunately, this relegates the app to more of an artistic curiosity than a truly useful application, as the app does not gather data in real-time from nearby devices, meaning that potential uses of such an application, such as testing ranges on wireless hardware are nonexistent. However, the app is still technically impressive, as collating and visualizing the volume of data stored in its source databases is no simple feat.

The app is to be featured as a piece at the ZKM Center for Art and Media Karlsruhe in Germany, by its designer Richard Vijgen. However for those who want a little bit of invisible art for themselves, the app can be downloaded now on iOS, with a version for Android in the works.

Image credit to Architecture of Radio

Google Launches Fi, a New Way to Say Hello

Google have launched another massive project today; the American based company have announced that they are now releasing a new wireless service.

The service, called Project Fi will be will be the first wireless network to seamlessly change between wi-fi and LTE, constantly working out which is strongest and selecting that one to transfer calls and data; two of the networks that currently support this feature are T-Mobile and Sprint. To use the new service you will need a Nexus 6 device as it requires a special sim card. Don’t be worried about this though, Google have hinted that the nexus will be first of many devices.

Google posted this on their blog earlier today:

“Project Fi works to get technology out of the way so you can communicate through whichever network type and device you’re using. Wherever you’re connected to Wi-Fi—whether that’s at home, your favorite coffee shop or your Batcave—you can talk and text like you normally do. If you leave an area of Wi-Fi coverage, your call will seamlessly transition from Wifi to cell networks so your conversation doesn’t skip a beat”

Thats pretty neat eh? The company has also said that they are changing the way phone numbers work on their service. Phone numbers will be hosted in the cloud so you can talk and text with your phone number on just about any phone, tablet or laptop providing it can run Google Hangouts.

Googles new service is going to be well priced too, for $20 per month you can get all of the basics (talk, text, wifi tethering and international coverage in 120+ countries) and an additional $10 per GB of cellular data used while in the US or internationally. 1GB is $10 per month, 2GB is $20 a month and so on. The clever part of this is that you only pay for what you use. For example if you pay for 3GB with $30 and only use $1.4GB you’ll get $16 back.

Google have also released a short video about the project.

Google are currently running an early access program to invite people to sign up to the service. If you have coverage and live in the US you can request an invite at fi.google.com; to check your fi coverage you can visit here.

Thank you to The Google Blog for this information.

Images courtesy of The Google Blog.

Google Aiming at Making Wi-Fi Hotspots out of Old NYC Payphones

Bloomberg reports that a meeting in New York providing information to companies interested in offering free Wi-Fi has counted Google as one of the attendees, aside from IBM, Samsung and Cisco. However, Google is known for its ambition to offer free or affordable internet connectivity, which indicates that the corporate giant is planning to submit a big proposal to the New York department of IT.

While Google already offers free Wi-Fi around its office in Chelsea neighborhood, the company also has a number of initiatives to bring cheaper and abundant internet connectivity to the US and abroad. People asking why is Google so anxious to bring this feature to the public all over the world should ask themselves what (most) of them are using as a start page on their browser, the developer of their browser or the actual search engine used to find all their information. And yes, the answer to all questions is Google.

The plan Google has for NYC is to enable its payphone locations with Wi-Fi hotspots charged by phone services, and not ISPs, while also incorporating advertisements for actually making it ‘free’. The company has requested the plan be in effect on all 7,300 payphones, meaning that NYC will become a city covered in free Wi-Fi connectivity after the plan is approved and work is finished. Another interesting and beneficial feature mentioned is the ability to connect to every other Wi-Fi hotspot automatically once you authorized access to the Wi-Fi network.

The project would mean a new level of connectivity that does not depend on cellular data subscriptions for new yorkers, providing the project goes through. Even so, it still is a big step forward towards a new type of wide connectivity than just a few wireless routers placed in key, remote locations.

Thank you Techcrunch for providing us with this information
Image courtesy of Techcrunch

Wi-Fi Calling Software Makes Its Way Into Two Sprint Handsets, More To Come

When smartphones and Wi-Fi found themselves packed in the same handset, Wi-Fi calling has been the most impressive thing which made T-Mobile stand out of the crowd in the US. That was back in 2007, however it looks like Sprint has its eyes on the same thing and started offering convenient perks to subscribers around the US.

Wi-Fi calling and text messaging is completely free of charge and can be used on any Wi-Fi network the handset connects to. This could be very useful when you are indoors, where your phone’s reception is not adequate for making any calls. However, the downside is the range of devices, having only two options at the moment.

The Samsung Galaxy S4 Mini and the Galaxy Mega are said to be the first two handsets to support the feature at first, followed by other handsets in the future. It’s not that great compared to T-Mobile which has a wide array of handsets, however T-Mobile also has 7 years of experience in this domain. It is interesting to see the outcome in the future though.

For owners of the latter Sprint handsets, a software update needs to be downloaded before using the Wi-Fi service. Once downloaded, owners need to go to the handset’s Apps folder and select ‘Wi-Fi Calling’ to switch to the service from cellular network. Sprint has also mentioned to look forward to new handsets being added to the list by the end of this year.

Thank you The Verge for providing us with this information
Image courtesy of The Verge

Experiment By High School Students Prove That Plants Don’t Grow Near Wi-Fi Routers

Wireless routers and Wi-Fi is deemed necessary by many people all around the world, but it appears that the impact on health is severe. There have been multiple studies in the past suggesting the negative impact they may have on humans but the latest research could be the most compelling yet. And it comes from a group of high school students.

Five students came to the conclusion that sleeping near their cell phones at night caused them to have problems concentrating during school the next day. Intrigued, the students asked if they could study the effects of cell phone radiation on humans but the school simply didn’t have the resources to make it happen.

Instead, the students opted to perform testing on a Wi-Fi router which is comparable to the radiation levels put out by cell phones. They placed six trays of lepidium sativum seeds, a garden cress grown commercially throughout Europe, in a room with two Wi-Fi routers. In another room, the same number of seeds were placed without routers.

Over the next 12 days, the students examined an interesting phenomenon. The seeds in the room without the routers had blossomed into healthy plans while those in the room with the routers were either dead or hadn’t grown at all.

The students received top honors in a regional science fair but more importantly, a professor of neuroscience at the Karolinska Institute in Sweden was so impressed that he wants to repeat the experiment in a controlled scientific environment.

Thank you Tech Spot for providing us with this information

Severe SMS Vulnerability In Nexus Phones Revealed



Details were revealed about a potentially serious SMS vulnerability found in all current Nexus phones at the DefCamp Security Conference in Bucharest, Romania. The person responsible for the discovery is Bogdan Alecu, a system administrator at Levi9 and independent security researcher in Romania. When exploited, the attack can force the phone to reboot or destabilize certain services.

The method of attack simply relies on sending a series of Class 0 “Flash” messages to the target phone. Flash messages are typically used for emergency or security purposes, appearing on the screen immediately instead of going to the default SMS application. When such a message arrives, no sounds are made but the background is dimmed and a single dialog box appears on top. Once 20-30 messages pile up, assuming the user isn’t clearing them, it overloads the system and leads to a few potential side-effects. Most commonly, the result is an unresponsive device or an immediate reboot, but the Messages app or cellular radio may occasionally crash or freeze up in some instances.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FwfIZBM-UGM[/youtube]

In the event that the cellular radio crashes, it may have some more serious consequences. If a target has their SIM locked with a PIN code, the phone will not be able to reconnect until the code is entered. From time to time, it’s also possible for the cellular radio to seize up, which can only be fixed by restarting the device. This is problematic because there are no audible prompts and the malfunction won’t be seen until the owner unlocks their screen, leaving them without service for potentially several hours.

Alecu first notified The Android Security Team to the issue over a year ago, but initially received only automated responses. Continued efforts were mostly unsuccessful, leading to the decision to disclose the vulnerability publicly. To mitigate potential threats, he collaborated with Michael Mueller, a Technical IT-Sec Auditor, to develop Class0Firewall, an app designed to protect the smartphone from Class 0 messages if they reach the threshold of becoming a denial-of-service attack.

Bogdan notes that the current attack is only capable of destabilizing a phone, but theorizes that it might be possible to force remote code execution. Based on limited testing with devices from various vendors, the vulnerability appears to only affect the Nexus line running on all versions of stock Android through to the current release of KitKat. None of the OEM variants checked were susceptible to the attack.

Hopefully the publicity will prompt Google to release a patch to block the issue as quickly as possible. Even if a fix is rolled out, it’s not entirely clear if the Galaxy Nexus will receive it now that it is no longer getting OS updates. A security update should be issues to all Galaxy Nexus device though in oder to patch the severity of this issue.

Thank you Android Police for providing us with this information
Video courtesy of mdforum.ru

Nokia Introduces Asha 210 Mobile Phone

Earlier this week I showed you Nokia’s teaser, showing us just a small portion of a device that appeared to be a QWERTY style keyboard and a screen. With little to no information we naturally assumed it would be a new mobile device. I was not really surprised when I read the press release from Nokia this morning.

Nokia Asha 210 is available in 5 fantastic colors Black, Cyan, Magenta, White, and Yellow! With an estimated MSRP of $72 USD.

Nokia tells us that their new Asha 210 is their “Most social Asha yet”. This might be true, considering it has the world’s first WhatsApp button. WhatsApp is an app designed for social butterflies to contact all of their friends, either individually or in a group, and send as many images, video and audio messages as your heart might desire. There are a few other apps out there that allow you to do the same for free, WhatsApp is $1 USD per year of use.

WiFi, the only way to have a phone that allows you to get on the internet, allowing you to get faster than network speeds, and not limited or slowing down your internet capabilities if you use over the designated amount.

Nokia tells us that we can take great images with the 2 megapixel camera, giving you dedicated hardkey for quick and easy use! It also has built-in voice guides so you wont need to stand in-front of the bathroom mirror to take your self-portraits! You can also edit images quickly for uploading that important photo to your social media pages. Don’t forget Nokia’s SLAM feature, using Bluetooth it will allowing you to share images, contacts, and more to other phones without the need to pair devices!

Other key features for Nokia Asha 210 include:
– Social phonebook integration with the ability to launch WhatsApp direct from contact cards in the Phonebook
– Preloaded YouTube launcher for direct video streaming
– Chat screen notifications that keep users up-to-date on new conversations
– Single-SIM and Dual-SIM models featuring Nokia’s exclusive EasySwap technology that enables consumers to change SIM cards without having to turn off the device
– WiFi On/Off control button
– Nokia’s renowned long battery life: up to 46 days with Single-SIM and up to 24 days with Dual-SIM

If you are interested in this NEW Nokia Asha 210, you will be able to find it on Nokia’s Official Website . You can also find the Full Specifications as well.

Source

 

$15 Million iPhone? Smartphone Bling Doesn’t Come Cheap!

Diamonds and Gold, great for rings, perhaps even a tennis bracelet. Perhaps even your smart phone, really?

Stuart Hughes designs “Ultimate luxury tailored in the UK”. Designing beautiful mobile phones, iPads, Laptops, Cars, Yachts, and the list goes on.

Recently Stuart Hughes designed a new a new chassis for the new iPhone 5, that’s right, I said chassis. This wasn’t just a bulky case to put your new iPhone in, it is the iPhone itself. The chassis is solid gold coming out to 135 grams (nearly 5 ounces), the home button was replaced with a 26 carat black diamond, around the edge of the phone there are about 600 white diamonds, and the Apple logo on the back of the phone has 53 diamonds. Really a stunning piece of art. You might ask how much this new iPhone would set you back, and the answer is 15 million dollars US or 10 million pounds, either way that is a lot of money!

Some people are more interested in luxury than to worry about protecting their devices.

The Apple iPhone 5 currently retails from $199 for a 16GB to $399 for a 64GB. Either way I wouldn’t mind having one, though I might be worried about losing it or it getting stolen. Thieves become smarter, realizing that they could make a few bucks by stealing your cellular phone and selling it to an EcoATM kiosk. Thieves are able to turn your valuable phone into a quick and easy $250. Showing off some bling like this might make a thief try to steal your phone, or perhaps you for a nice little ransom.

According to Lookout Mobile Security over 2.5 Billon dollars worth of phones were lost or stolen worldwide in 2011 alone, that is roughly 1.5 billion pounds. People will sit their mobile device down, and forget it, or perhaps even drop it accidentally. A lot of people decide to purchase cases to protect their investment, with most people treating their cellular telephones as a lifeline, it is important that you keep it safe from unwanted damage.

 

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