#359 April 28, 2014 – Wireless Charging Breakthrough

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This week’s headline story: Wireless Charging Breakthrough

wireless_chargingImagine your life without concern for charging batteries. That day is one big step closer now after amazing research conducted by the Korean Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST) and a company called WiTricity. Utilizing magnetic resonance wireless charging – a technique developed by WiTricity, these Korean researchers are able to wirelessly charge 40 smartphones simultaneously from 16 feet away. Using this technology wireless charging could eventually be as common as Wi-Fi in homes and public places, with phones being charged without even removing them from your pocket. WiTricity, a creator of wireless charging systems, has an intellectual property (IP) license agreement with Toyota. Under the agreement, Toyota is expected to offer wireless charging on future rechargeable electric vehicles.

It’s now possible to wirelessly charge 40 smartphones from 16 feet away [Computerworld]

and elsewhere in Tech News.

  • Russia’s Putin Calls the Internet a ‘CIA Project’ [NewsFactor]Speaking at a media forum in St. Petersburg, Russian President Vladimir Putin said that the Internet originated as a “CIA project” and “is still developing as such.” Russia’s parliament this week passed a law requiring social media websites to keep their servers in Russia and save all information about their users for at least half a year.
  • High Court To Hear Dispute About TV Over Internet [NewsFactor]The Supreme Court will ponder the future of television when it hears arguments about the legality of Aereo, a startup business that uses Internet-based technology to give subscribers the ability to watch programs anywhere they can take portable devices. Broadcasters have sued Aereo for copyright infringement of their material.

and in Information Security news this week..

  • Tech Giants Fund Initiative To Prevent Future Heartbleeds [NewsFactor]The Internet is struggling to recover from a serious blow to security from the Heartbleed vulnerability found in software from the OpenSSL project. Some believe that the vulnerability in due in part to the limited funding the project received – around $2,000 per year in donations according to the Linux Foundation. A new Core Infrastructure Initiative at the Linux Foundation is attempting to address the issues with better funding provided by more than a dozen major technology companies. Participating firms will contribute $100,000 each per year for three years to the foundation. At launch, supporters include Google, Microsoft, Amazon, IBM, Facebook, Dell, Cisco, Intel, Rackspace and Fujitsu. A total of $4 million has reportedly been raised so far.

and in Tech Industry news…

  • AT&T Expanding Its Gigabit Broadband to 100 Cities [NewsFactor]I’ve often commented on this program about the benefits of competition in the market place. Here’s yet another example. AT&T is expanding the rollout of its gigabit broadband fiber service to as many as 100 cities and towns including Chicago, Los Angeles and San Francisco. Why is AT&T investing so much in its network? Many of the targeted areas are also covered by competitors Comcast and Time Warner Cable – two companies that are in the process of securing a $45 billion merger. Subscribers in these markets are estimated to be worth at least $17 billion in business – so the stakes are high. Combine that with competition from Google which is also looking at dramatically expand the rollout of fiber-based Internet service, and you have vastly increased Internet access speeds across the country!
  • AT&T Investing $500M in Internet Video with Chernin Group [NewsFactor]It’s not just bandwidth that AT&T needs as a tool for competition, it also needs media. The company has announced a partnership with media holding company The Chernin Group. The partnership will work exclusively in the Internet video services industry by investing $500 million into the sector. By investing, managing, and launching new online services, the partnership intends to compete against Netflix, Comcast, and Time-Warner.
  • Facebook Rolls Out Opt-In Friend Tracker [NewsFactor]Facebook is rolling out a new feature called “Nearby Friends” that will tell users how close they are to people on their friends list. The feature will not only provide useful info to users, but will also enable advertisers to target their ads based on location. The big advantage for Facebook and concern for privacy advocates, is that the feature will provide Facebook and its advertising partners with abundant and detailed information about user whereabouts, information that many users want to keep private. Facebook is being cautious with the new feature and adding it to accounts in disabled mode, requiring users to opt-in by manually switching it on.
  • APX Labs Nets $10 Million To Bring Google Glass to Business [NewsFactor]While Google Glass may cause privacy concerns when used in public places, especially in bars and restrooms, it is gradually gaining traction in industry. APX Labs LLC has announced that it has raised $10 million to back its software for enhanced reality headsets in business environments. APX is looking to target its software, Skylight 2.0, toward Google Glass for employees, such as a supervisor in a factory, a field technician for a utility company, or a mechanic working on an airplane. The company believes that privacy concerns are null and void when Glass is used by certain technical professionals. For example patients aren’t likely to be concerned by a physician wearing Glass as just one more medical instrument. Similarly, a supervisor in a factory or a technician in lab would not be hindered by the social hesitancy that might accompany, say, someone wearing Glass and going into a bar.
  • Netflix Poised To Raise Prices After Strong Q1 [NewsFactor]Netflix has announced a pending price increase to cover the rising costs of licensing and delivering compelling video. The increase, to take place sometime before July, will hike prices by $1 or $2 per month for new customers. The company’s nearly 36 million current subscribers will continue to pay $8 per month for at least the next year.
  • Microsoft Closes Nokia Phone Deal, Pays More Than Expected $7.2B [NewsFactor]It’s official. Microsoft is now the proud owner of Nokia’s phone business. The acquisition cost Microsoft more than $7.2 billion. Now that the deal is done, Redmond, Washington is most likely bracing for the influx of around 30,000 Nokia employees being transferred to Microsoft’s headquarters. The deal also includes Nokia’s design team, its manufacturing and assembly facilities and operations, and sales and marketing support.

and finally…

  • Google Maps, Now with Time Travel [NewsFactor]Having tackled the world’s information and mapped much of the world’s spatial dimensions, Google is now tackling time. Beginning Wednesday, Google Street View offers a view back in time. In a post on the Google Maps blog, Street View Product Manager Vinay Shet announced that users can now “travel to the past to see how a place has changed over the years by exploring Street View imagery in Google Maps for desktop.” The visual time travel is enabled through historical imagery from the Street View archives going back to 2007.

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