I don't think they can solve the first problem you described. Launching satellites is still expensive, and there's only a small market for satellite phones. Cell coverage is even better than during the first Iridium, except maybe uninhabited areas or outside of cities in some third world countries.
Exactly, here the users that are using less than average bandwidth are subsidizing others, so the pricing can't be considered fair or economically efficient. So this is just a way for ISP's to generate more profits compared to flat rate. Despite pure flat rate never being economically efficient, it's usually very profitable for ISP's because core network capacity (at least used to be) 1/100th of the price of access capacity. When the access part is already installed and paid for, the operators don't have any other reason for bandwidth caps than greed. However, in expensive bottleneck links like radio this is different than in wired access.
The article does seem to confuse strategic mistakes with technical mistakes. The history is full of well engineered products that failed because of strategic or marketing reasons.
Alcatel-Lucent surely isn't the first one to implement bonding, and it has also been used with ADSL2+. And they are not the first ones to come up with vectoring, that is used to reduce crosstalk. The article makes it seem like Alcatel-Lucent has done something incredible, even though there will be ITU-T standard and equipment from at least Ericsson.
Yes, I think that some kind of innovation culture is required in the universities so that the system works effectively. Maybe financial incentives for scientists, such as money for patent applications. And scientists should be somehow encouraged to start up companies to commercialize their inventions. Funding shouldn't be automatical for projects of course, and some degree of supervision would be degree. But too much control and pressure can hinder innovation.
I think it's more about the death of basic research than private versus public funding. Companies nowadays don't want to invest in basic research because they are risky and long term investments. In my opinion, companies in general are rather investing in marketing and short-term projects that only rarely result in radical innovations, but are marketed as "innovative" despite not offering significant benefits compared to old products.
I can confirm this, visited there last summer. Truly a place worth visiting. There are several hundred people working on shifts there all the time, two weeks at a time. There's even a mobile phone network there nowadays. Ukraine government also plans to open large part of the exclusion zone during the next 5 to 10 years, so some of the stories are kind of exaggerated.
Sabre Runner writes to mention that a new British start-up, Aesir, has acquired the assets of a defunct drone company and is working on evolving a working model from several prototypes of "flying saucer" drones. "Aesir's first prototype, named 'Embler' [...] demonstrates the so-called 'Coanda effect,' where air speeds up as it 'sticks' to a curved surface. Aesir's drones take advantage of the Coanda effect to direct air down, away from the drone, boosting lift. Aesir doesn't appear to have any paying customers yet — and is reportedly bankrolled by a single investor."
Hugh Pickens writes "PC World reports that at the Black Hat security conference this week, security researchers say that it is pretty easy for a technically savvy hacker to make a fake payment card that gives them unlimited free parking on San Francisco's smart parking meter system. 'It wasn't technically complicated and the fact that I can do it in three days means that other people are probably already doing it and probably taking advantage of it,' says Joe Grand. 'It seems like the system wasn't analyzed at all.' To figure out how the payment system worked, Grand hooked up an oscilloscope to a parking meter and monitored what happened when he used a genuine payment card. Grand discovered the cards aren't digitally signed, and the only authentication between the meter and card is a password sent from the former to the latter. Examining the meters themselves could yield additional vulnerabilities that might allow someone to conduct other kinds of attacks, such as propagating a virus from meter to meter via the smart cards or a meter minder's PDA."
Ssquared22 writes "'Frankly ... I'm ashamed. I have made myself a Twitter page and officially joined the world of technology. Perhaps Luke may help me update.' With those words on June 28, 2009, what had been just a fictional character in a Nintendo DS game became a fixture on Twitter. Over the coming days and weeks, the TopHatProfessor account would post dozens of riddles and brainteasers of the type found in 2008's Professor Layton and the Curious Village and the upcoming Professor Layton and the Diabolical Box, soliciting answers from his slowly growing cadre of followers. Along the way, the professor happily answered questions about the upcoming title and shared little slices of life from his day, all without ever breaking character. Many followers were bemused and intrigued by what they assumed was a clever new viral marketing campaign put on by Nintendo ahead of Diabolical Box's August release. In reality, though, the TopHatProfessor account was the work of a lone college student and amateur game journalist, trying to get attention for a game he felt was being sorely neglected by publisher Nintendo and the media at large."
judgecorp writes "Femtocells have been on the horizon for a while, but the UK just got the first 3G femtocell launch in Europe, by Vodafone. The device connects to handsets in the room and links them to the cellular network over broadband. It's a classic win-win, because it gives the user better coverage and takes traffic off the service provider's network. The only complaint might be from the broadband provider, who could be carrying traffic for a rival. Vodafone isn't pushing the data angle, but since it has HSPA, the product could work just fine with laptops and dongles. Femtos have been in limbo waiting for serious launches, but judging from the list of speakers at the World Femtocell Summit in London, Vodafone might not be the only one."
smurphmeister writes "My wife and I recently moved up to the world of cell phones, after taking our sweet time to make sure this whole newfangled technology was going to stick around. We moved the old landline phone number to her phone, so we're disconnected from the pole. Now the question is, what to do with the copper already in our house? My first thought was an intercom system, but that just seems so old school! So what ideas do you all have for what to do with the 4 little wires running to every room of my house?"
Some psychiatrists are trying to get excessive bitterness identified as a mental illness named post-traumatic embitterment disorder. Of course this has some people who live perfect little lives, and always get what they want, questioning the new classification. The so called "disorder" is modeled after post-traumatic stress disorder because it too is a response to a trauma that endures. "They feel the world has treated them unfairly. It's one step more complex than anger. They're angry plus helpless," says Dr. Michael Linden, the psychiatrist who put a name to how the world works.
An anonymous reader notes Ars Technica's report from the Ubuntu Developer Summit in Barcelona, where Canonical has unveiled a prototype Android execution environment that will allow Android applications to run on Ubuntu and "potentially other conventional Linux distributions." "Android uses the Linux kernel, but it isn't really a Linux platform. It offers its own totally unique environment that is built on Google's custom Java runtime. There is no glide path for porting conventional desktop Linux applications to Android. Similarly, Java applications that are written for Android can't run in regular Java virtual machine implementations or in standard Java ME environments. This makes Android a somewhat insular platform. Canonical is creating a specialized Android execution environment that could make it possible for Android applications to run on Ubuntu desktops in Xorg alongside regular Linux applications. The execution environment would function like a simulator, providing the infrastructure that is needed to make the applications run. Some technical details about the Android execution environment were presented by Canonical developer Michael Casadevall... They successfully compiled it against Ubuntu's libc instead of Android's custom libc and they are running it on a regular Ubuntu kernel."
CNETNate writes "The Japanese Odin 99 handset isn't a regular video-enabled phone. It's geared, perhaps somewhat ironically, towards the Buddhist geek. Aside from regular cell phone features, a dedicated button loads a private, customizable, animated altar on the phone's screen. The idea is to allow Buddhists to perform their dedications conveniently on-the-go. You can simulate incense burning, purification rites and play music to help you meditate wherever you happen to be. The question is, does such a device somewhat negate the values a Buddhist would stand for?"