judgecorp writes: "Fuel, a keyring-sized battery designed to charge a phone for an extra 30 minutes talk-time, has passed its $20,000 funding goal on kickstarter. The creator, Devotec, describes the device — styled like a fuel can — as the "world's smallest cellphone charger" and says it will hold a charge for at least a month, and deliver it over micro-USB. It will cost $25 when it goes on sale, but Kickstarter funders can get one for $18, Other crowd funders can get their name down for the planned iPhone version."
judgecorp writes: "White space radio, which uses unused capacity in the TV broadcast spectrum, is being used by Google to connect schools in South Africa. The experimental project gives ten schools a wireless link to the Internet — while most white space applications are for low-speed "machine to machine" comms, this one is full speed (well, 2.5Mbps) broadband."
judgecorp writes: "The European Union has successfully tested eLoran, a land-based system to be used as a backup for satellite GPS. As shipping and other transport rely more heavily on GPS, a backup is needed, since cheap GPS jammers are emerging. They are currrently used by moonlighting truck drivers, but could be used by terrorists in future. The proposed backup system, eLoran, uses long-wave radio, and is based on the now-obsolete US LORAN (long range navigation) system, which in turn was developed from RAF technology used in World War II."
judgecorp writes: "The UK's auction of spectrum for 4G mobile services raised only £2.3 billion, about two thirds of the amount which the Government was counting on to reduce the budget deficit. The amount is only one-tenth what the last big spectrum auction made (3G spectrum raised £22bn in 2000). The reason is that there are now many other routes to provide data services, and buying spectrum is not a "do or die" decision as it seemed to be last time. And since the last spectrum auction crippled British mobile operators for years, the low value is probably good news for mobile phone providers and subscribers."
judgecorp writes: "Britain is considering switching off air traffic control radar systems and using "passive radar" instead. A two year feasibility study will consider using a network of ground stations which monitor broadcast TV signals and measure echoes from aircraft to determine their location and velocity. The system is not a new idea — early radar experiments used BBC shortwave transmitters as a signal source before antenna technology produced a transceiver suitable for radar — but could now be better than conventional radar thanks to new antenna designs and signal processing techniques. It will also save money and energy by eliminating transmitters — and release spectrum for 5G services."
judgecorp writes: "Cambridge-based Neul has delivered the first transceiver chip for white space radio to meet the Weightless standard. The chip uses low power, and can be tuned to any band in the UHF TV spectrum, that is unoccupied in a given location. White space radio is intended for machine to machine (M2M) applications for smart meters and other "Internet of Things" applications. Analysts (admittedly analysts with a vested interest) have predicted billions of low cost white space chips will be used per year in a few years' time."
judgecorp writes: "Fears that mobile phones cause cancer have never had strong backing from scientific research, but Israeli startup Tawkon is using those fears for an interesting business model. Its free app (banned from Apple's App Store, but on Android, BlackBerry and unlocked iPhones) tracks how much radiation your phone is emitting. This lets concerned users hold their phones away form their heads or whatever — but it also gives Tawkon a useful map of cellphone coverage around the world, which is the real asset it is monetising — for the benefit of everyone, it says"
judgecorp writes: "Some years after the death of the "Metro Wi-Fi" idea, UK cities Leeds and Bradford plan to offer free Wi-Fi to their citizens, funded by a contract with fibre provider Virgin Media Business, which allows Virgin to site small cell base stations on the cities' lamp-posts. Virgin will make its money back through advertising, and also siting 4G small cells on the poles. Small cells are likely to be the only way 4G networks will be able to meet the ramp in data demand from 4G. The unanswered question is how the cities, and Virgin, will manage the conflict of interest between free Wi-Fi and paid-for cellular services."
judgecorp writes: "The Weightless Special Interest Group has launched, proposing a technology as the standard for White Space radio. Version 0.9 of the spec will be on the Weightless site later today, and the group promises to offer it royalty-free, as a basis for machine-to-machine communications over the licence-exempt white space spectrum not used by radio and TV broadcast services. Backers include Cambrdige UK technology companies ARM and CSR, as well as Neul, the creator of the Whitespace technology."
judgecorp writes: "Microsoft is reported to be testing its own Windows Phone 8 design with Asian component suppliers. The move might be unpopular with phone makers, just as its decision to make its own Surface tablet has alienated hardware makers."
judgecorp writes: "Britain doesn't even have 4G networks yet, but by the end of 2013, it will have a trial of the next generation, 200Mbps ''5G'. The University of Surrey has a £35 million grant and will use it to set up a 5km square 5g "playground" including the city of Guildford. The researchers expect to hit 10Gbps per cell, but the actual technology in question is still in development, and no commercial roll-out of 5G is expected until about 2030. Just as well, as it will probably take that long to get 4G implemented."