Posts Tagged ‘telecommunications’

Naughty or Nice? Santa’s Tracking System.

December 24, 2014

Naughty or Nice? Santa’s Tracking System.

It is no overstatement to say that Santa knows when children have been bad or good. He knows much else besides. The information stems from a personal pipeline Santa has to children’s thoughts via a listening antenna that combines technologies currently used in cell phones and EKGs. A sophisticated signal processing system filters the data, giving Santa clues on who wants what, where children live, and even who has been bad or good. Effectively, it gives him advanced neuroimaging capabilities that tell him that Mary in Miami hopes for a surfboard, Michael from Minneapolis wants a snowboard, etc. Later, all this information is processed in an onboard sleigh guidance system, which provides Santa with the most efficient delivery route.

The system serves as a fail-safe backstop to the letters Santa receives via snail mail from around the globe.

– Dr. Larry Silverberg, NC State University scientist and 2010 Visiting Scholar at Santa’s Workshop-North Pole Labs (NPL).

More:

“Dispatches From The North Pole: The Science of Santa’s List,” Matt Shipman, The Abstract

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Image by Mike Licht. Download a copy here. Creative Commons license; credit Mike Licht, NotionsCapital.com

Comments are welcome if they are on-topic, substantive, concise, and not boring or obscene. Comments may be edited for clarity and length.

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Congress Chooses Vacation Over NSA Hearings

June 17, 2013

Congress Chooses Vacation Over NSA Hearings

The U.S. Senate was shocked – shocked! – to learn that the NSA is conducting activities Congress had approved and promptly scheduled hearings about them. Senators then went on vacation instead of attending the hearing.

Members of Congress hold fast to one sacred principle: A three-day workweek. Nothing must interfere with that.

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Image by Mike Licht. Download a copy here. Creative Commons license; credit Mike Licht, NotionsCapital.com

 Comments are welcome if they are on-topic, substantive, concise, and not boring or obscene. Comments may be edited for clarity and length.

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Earphones

March 26, 2013

Earphones

“In the 1890s, a British company called Electrophone created a system allowing their customers to connect into live feeds of performances at theaters and opera houses across London. Subscribers to the service could listen to the performance through a pair of massive earphones that connected below the chin, held by a long rod. The form and craftsmanship of these early headphones make them a sort of remote, audio equivalent of opera glasses. It was revolutionary, and even offered a sort of primitive stereo sound. However, the earliest headphones had nothing to do with music, but were used for radio communication and telephone operators in the late 19th century.”

–“A Partial History of Headphones,” Jimmy Stamp, Smithsonian blog [link added]

Budapest’s long-running Telefon Hírmondó (“Telephone Herald”) phone newspaper preceded Electrophone. It often featured live opera performances, and seems to have used stock telephone ear speakers.

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Image (“iPod Society”) by Mike Licht. Download a copy here. Creative Commons license; credit Mike Licht, NotionsCapital.com

Comments are welcome if they are on-topic, substantive, concise, and not boring or obscene. Comments may be edited for clarity and length

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Japan: True Fax

February 22, 2013

Japan: True Fax

“Japan is renowned for its robots and bullet trains, and has some of the world’s fastest broadband networks. But it also remains firmly wedded to a pre-Internet technology — the fax machine — that in most other developed nations has joined answering machines, eight-tracks and cassette tapes in the dustbin of outmoded technologies.

Last year alone, Japanese households bought 1.7 million of the old-style fax machines, which print documents on slick, glossy paper spooled in the back. In the United States, the device has become such an artifact that the Smithsonian is adding two machines to its collection, technology historians said.”

“The Japanese government’s Cabinet Office said that almost 100 percent of business offices and 45 percent of private homes had a fax machine as of 2011.”

“’There is still something in Japanese culture that demands the warm, personal feelings that you get with a handwritten fax….'”

— “In High-Tech Japan, the Fax Machines Roll On,”  Martin Fackler, New York Times

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Image (“Faxing Wishes for the Star Festival, after Toshikata”) by Mike Licht. Download a copy here. Creative Commons license; credit Mike Licht, NotionsCapital.com

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Syria Shuts Off the Internet

November 29, 2012

Syria Shuts Off the Internet

“Syria: Internet and mobile communication ‘cut off,'” BBC News

“Syria Has Disappeared From the Internet,” Arik Hesseldahl, AllThingsD

“Internet down nationwide in Syria,” AP via USA Today

UPDATE:

“How Syria Shut Down the Internet,” Ben Weitzenkorn, TechNewsDaily via Discovery News

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Image by Mike Licht. Download a copy here. Creative Commons license; credit Mike Licht, NotionsCapital.com

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7 Billion People, 6 Billion Cell Phones

October 14, 2012

7 Billion People, 6 Billion Cell Phones

“There are seven billion people on earth, and six billion cell phone contracts …. China and India each have about one billion cell phone subscriptions. Twice as many people have access to the Internet via cell phones, as those with fixed connections.”

“Six Billion Cell Phones In World Of Seven Billion,” Worldcrunch

The figures are from the annual report of the International Telecommunication Union (ITU), the United Nations agency for information and communication technologies.

More:

“ITU releases latest global technology development figures,” ITU press release

Measuring the Information Society 2012 — download it from this webpage.

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Image (“Young Beauty With iPhone, after Kikugawa Eizan”) by Mike Licht. Download a copy here. Creative Commons license; credit Mike Licht, NotionsCapital.com

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Adieu, Minitel

June 29, 2012

Adieu, Minitel
On June 30th, its 30th birthday, France Télécom is hanging up on the Minitel videotexting system, whose monitors have been a fixture in French homes, offices, and post offices since 1982. The “France-Wide  Web” text-over-phoneline system replaced phone directories, displayed online news and information, and allowed electronic bill payments and other transactions (even virtual sex). Cellphone MSM texting and e-commerce on the Web now serve many of the same functions. Still, there is some mélancolie as the French say “Adieu Minitel, ami fidèle.”

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Naughty or Nice? Santa’s Tracking System.

December 11, 2011

Naughty or Nice? Santa's Tracking System.

“It is no overstatement to say that Santa knows when children have been bad or good. He knows much else besides. The information stems from a personal pipeline Santa has to children’s thoughts via a listening antenna that combines technologies currently used in cell phones and EKGs. A sophisticated signal processing system filters the data, giving Santa clues on who wants what, where children live, and even who has been bad or good. Effectively, it gives him advanced neuroimaging capabilities that tell him that Mary in Miami hopes for a surfboard, Michael from Minneapolis wants a snowboard, etc. Later, all this information is processed in an onboard sleigh guidance system, which provides Santa with the most efficient delivery route.

The system serves as a fail-safe backstop to the letters Santa receives via snail mail from around the globe.”

— Dr. Larry Silverberg, NC State University scientist and 2010 Visiting Scholar at Santa’s Workshop-North Pole Labs (NPL).

More: “Dispatches From The North Pole: The Science of Santa’s List,” Matt Shipman, The Abstract

___________________

Short Link: http://wp.me/p6sb6-bOn

Image by Mike Licht. Download a copy here. Creative Commons license; credit Mike Licht, NotionsCapital.com

Comments are welcome if they are on-topic, substantive, concise, and not boring or obscene. Comments may be edited for clarity and length.

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Cell Phone Robocalls?

December 10, 2011

Cell Phone Robocalls?

Wouldn’t it be nice if telemarketers could call you day or night, at your own expense, on your cell phone? Big business thinks it would be lovely, and is behind a Congressional bill that would make cell phone robocalls legal.

If you enjoy intrusive and unwanted robocalls to your cell phone, do nothing. If not, tell the House Energy and Commerce Committee not to refer the bill for a full House vote by signing the petition here and sending this link to your friends — http://bit.ly/twzZZk

More:

“Telemarketers, Collectors Could Target Cells Under “Mobile Information Call Act”: Chuck Schumer,” NY Daily News

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Short Link: http://wp.me/p6sb6-bO9

Image by Mike Licht. Download a copy here. Creative Commons license; credit Mike Licht, NotionsCapital.com

Comments are welcome if they are on-topic, substantive, concise, and not boring or obscene. Comments may be edited for clarity and length.

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