#382 Oct 6, 2014 – LTE Direct – Cell Phones without Cell Towers

This week’s headline story: LTE Direct Cell Phones without Cell Towers

Qualcomm CEO Steve Mollenkopf

A new wireless technology from Qualcomm may do away with the need for cell towers. Known as LTE Direct, the wireless technology has a range of up to 500 meters, far more than either Wi-Fi or Bluetooth. LTE Direct handsets are able to “talk” directly to other mobile devices and to beacons located in shops and other businesses. LTE Direct provides a way for smartphones to automatically discover nearby people, businesses, and other information. Some see the technology as a potential new channel for targeted promotions or advertising. Despite its long range, LTE Direct uses relatively little power, so a phone could be constantly looking for nearby devices without significantly draining its battery life. In theory, LTE Direct could be used to create communication apps that route all data from device to device. “You can think of LTE Direct as a sixth sense that is always aware of the environment around you,” said Mahesh Makhijani, technical marketing director at Qualcomm. “The world around you is full of information, and the phone can use that to predict and to help you in your everyday life.” LTE Direct is included in update to the LTE standard slated for approval this year, and devices capable of LTE Direct could appear as soon as late 2015.

Future Smartphones Won’t Need Cell Towers to Connect
[Technology Review]


in other tech news…

  • Exclusive: Facebook plots first steps into healthcare [Reuters]

    Facebook already knows who your friends are and the kind of things that grab your attention. Soon, it could also know the state of your health. The company is exploring creating online “support communities” that would connect Facebook users suffering from various ailments. A small team is also considering new “preventative care” applications that would help people improve their lifestyles.

and in Information Security news this week..

  • Nearly 1 Billion Attacks Targeting Shellshock Vulnerability [NewsFactor]

    The number of Shellshock attacks over the past week surpassed 1 billion.Enterprise IT vendors like Cisco and Oracle are working hard to plug Shellshock vulnerabilities in their products. Pegged as a bigger threat than the infamous Heartbleed bug that affected two-thirds of the Internet, Shellshock threatens to wreak havoc on Unix and Linux systems.

  • JPMorgan Chase Hacking Affects 76 Million Households [NYTimes]

    The cyberattack this summer on JPMorgan Chase compromised the accounts of 76 million households and seven million small businesses, a tally that dwarfs previous estimates by the bank and puts the intrusion among the largest ever. This follows on the heals of two other huge data breaches. Last year, the information of 40 million cardholders and 70 million others were compromised at Target, while an attack at Home Depot in September affected 56 million cards. But unlike Target and Home Depot, JPMorgan, as the largest bank in the nation, has financial information in its computer systems that goes beyond customers’ credit card details and potentially includes more sensitive data.

and in Tech Industry news…

  • Windows 10 Tries Blending New with Familiar [NewsFactor]
    10 Things To Know about Windows 10

    Well, it’s not Windows 9 afterall. It seems that Microsoft is so anxious to distance itself from Windows 8 that it has skipped 9 and named its next operating system Windows 10. “Windows 10 represents the first step in a whole new generation of Windows,” said Terry Myerson, executive vice president of Microsoft’s operating systems group. The new system will be a blend of the old and the new. For instance, it will have various controls that are familiar to users of older Windows systems, such as a start menu to quickly access apps. But this start button will also open a series of tiles that resemble what’s found in Windows 8. “We’re designing the experience so that as you use it, the things you already know are familiar and present, but new value is presented to you at a rate that’s easier for you to ingest,” he said. “This is what Windows 8 should have been,” said Carolina Milanesi, a veteran tech analyst at the research firm Kantar Worldpanel. “Here they are doing the right thing.”

  • Microsoft Previews ‘Sway’ Presentation App for Office [NewsFactor]

    Microsoft Office has a new App! It’s called Sway, and Microsoft is billing it as a “way to re-imagine how your ideas come to life.” Sway allows a user to draw all kinds of data and media from a variety of locations to quickly create and share polished, interactive content. For example, a marketing professional could use Sway to craft a corporate brochure, or a do-it-yourselfer could share his woodworking expertise, complete with step-by-step video instructions.

  • AT&T, Verizon and Sprint Battle Over Data Plans [NewsFactor]

    AT&T, Sprint and Verizon are locked in a battle to offer the biggest data plans at the lowest rates. Many of the deals being offered, doubled the amount of data on your plan for the same amount. Check with your carrier to see if you can get a piece of the action!

  • eBay Spins Off PayPal: Does Showdown with Apple Pay Await? [NewsFactor]

    Online auction giant eBay has announced that it will spin off PayPal, its online payments system, beginning in 2015.

and finally…

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