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No cellphones on airplanes

 

Most of us experience electromagnetic interference on a fairly regular basis. For example:

 

  • If you put your cell phone down on your desk near the computer, I can hear loud static in your computer's speakers every time the phone and the tower handshake. In the same way, your car's tape player produces loud static whenever I make a call on your cell phone. Read More
  • When I dial a number on your home's wireless phone, I can hear the number being dialed through the baby monitor.
  • It is not uncommon for a truck to go by and have its CB radio overwhelm the FM station I am listening to.
  • Most of us have come across motors that cause radio or TV static.

An airplane contains a number of radios for a variety of tasks. There is a radio that the pilots use to talk to ground control and air traffic control (ATC). There is another radio that the plane uses to disclose its position to ATC computers. There are radar units used for guidance and weather detection, and so on. All of these radios are transmitting and receiving information at specific frequencies. If someone were to turn on a cell phone, the cell phone would transmit with a great deal of power (up to 3 watts). If it happens to create interference that overlaps with radio frequencies the plane is using, then messages between people or computers may be garbled. If one of the wires in the plane has damaged shielding, there is some possibility of the wire picking up the phone's signals just like your computer's speakers do. That could create faulty messages between pieces of equipment within the plane.

Many hospitals have installed wireless networks for equipment networking. For example, look at the picture of the heart monitor in How Emergency Rooms Work. The black antenna sticking out of the top of the monitor connects it back to the nursing station via a wireless network. If you use your cell phone and it creates interference, it can disrupt the transmissions between different pieces of equipment. That is true even if you simply have the cell phone turned on -- the cell phone and tower handshake with each other every couple of minutes, and your phone sends a burst of data during each handshake.
The prohibition on laptops and CD players during takeoff and landing is addressing the same issue, but the concerns here might fall into the category of "better safe than sorry." A poorly shielded laptop could transmit a fair amount of radio energy at its operating frequency, and this could, theoretically, create a problem.

iTwin USB Drive

iTwin relieves us from a pain of file sharing remotely. Gone are the days that you have to pick a file from buddy using file sharing servers or certain server at your provider. With iTwin’s brilliant innovative idea, it will be a lot easier with USB connection. iTwin takes the idea of remote connection and transfers it to hardware.

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A simple two-part USB drive allows one user to plug it in to one computer and then snap off and hand the second part to someone else with another computer. They will then have instant access to the other computer. It’s as if there was a hard line cable connecting two computers anywhere in the world, but there is no cable, just the USB drives and the Internet. As iTwin puts it, they’re the “cable-less cable.

The idea came to the team when they realized that remote access to a second computer was simply too complicated for most users. Everyone gets how to use USB drives, but those simply either don’t have enough storage to share an entire other computer’s hard drive, or are not secure enough (you could lose the drive, etc). So iTwin combines the two technologies.

This is a product totally designed for the mass market, not the techies, though they’re obviously welcome to buy and use it as well, iTwin notes. Next year, some 200 million flash drives are expected to be sold, that’s the market iTwin is looking at.

The plan is to launch iTwin in the first half of 2010 for $99. CEO Lux Anatharaman and COO Kal Takru presented the company today. They are based in Singapore.

Source: Techcrunch

 

Asus Standalone videophoneASUS today launched a Skype Certified™ touchscreen videophone dedicated to unlimited video calling over the Internet—the ASUS Videophone Touch AiGuru SV1T. Part of the videophone product family, it is the first to feature a large 7" touchscreen, greatly speeding up character input and making any video calling experience more intuitive and fun.

 

Read More The touchscreen works in tandem with the standalone device's built-in webcam, speaker, microphone and Wi-Fi capabilities to let users make unlimited video calls for free to other Skype users without the need for a computer. This latest version expands and improves upon the first generation ASUS videophone announced last year.

The ASUS Videophone Touch AiGuru SV1T's simple-to-use, icon-based touchscreen interface takes the complexity out of Internet calling—making it easy for anyone to make and receive Skype-to-Skype video and voice calls. Users can even participate in conference calls, making the ASUS Videophone Touch AiGuru SV1T an inexpensive, all-in-one voice and video conferencing solution for small businesses. Furthermore, the ASUS Videophone Touch AiGuru SV1T allows users to make calls to fixed and mobile lines at really cheap rates; users can also receive calls from any land or mobile phone line if they have an online Skype number.

"Skype goes beyond traditional voice calling and brings people closer through rich, real-time video communication," said Manrique Brenes, Skype's director of business development and product management for consumer electronics. "The device's touchscreen makes video calling an even easier and more accessible way for people to communicate. It offers the benefits of Skype video calling and exceptional audio quality—allowing friends, families, and small businesses to share their worlds face-to-face without being tied to a computer."

Via: Asus

Extreme® Pro™ CompactFlash® memory card

 

SanDisk Power Core Controller That Optimizes Card Endurance and Boosts Read/Write Speed to up to 90MB/s

 

The global leader in flash memory cards,SanDisk Corporation  today introduced a new line of SanDisk Extreme® Pro™ CompactFlash® memory cards, setting a new standard for fast, reliable, high-capacity memory cards designed for professional photographers. SanDisk Extreme Pro CompactFlash cards feature a new SanDisk® Power Core Controller™, an advanced memory controller that enables lightning-fast read and write speeds of up to 90MB/s1, doubling the performance from previous SanDisk high-end camera memory cards. The cards are shipping worldwide now with capacities ranging from 16 gigabytes (GB)2 to 64GB.

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"The new SanDisk Extreme Pro CompactFlash line is the direct result of SanDisk's passion, commitment, and break-through engineering innovation to provide best-in-class flash memory cards for professional photography," said Eric Bone, vice president, retail product marketing, SanDisk. "The SanDisk Power Core Controller delivers unmatched write speed and reliability, providing photographers with a spectacular combination of performance, capacity and peace of mind that images are safely stored."

SanDisk develops its flash controllers and memory chips together, allowing the company to perfectly match and fine-tune the two technologies throughout the testing process, resulting in high-performance products with industry-leading endurance. The SanDisk Power Core Controller brings numerous benefits to the SanDisk Extreme Pro CompactFlash cards, including:

* High-Performance: The SanDisk® Power Core™ Controller's dual-lane architecture and software algorithms double card performance, enabling the SanDisk Extreme Pro CompactFlash cards' read/write speeds of up to 90MB/s over a UDMA-6 bus.
* Increased-Reliability: The SanDisk Power Core Controller's firmware algorithms and 42-bit ECC engine maintain data integrity and extended card endurance through optimized wear leveling.
* Simplified Design:To further increase overall card durability, the SanDisk Power Core Controller features an integrated design that requires fewer individual components on the card's printed circuit board.

Professional-Grade Memory:
Faster read and write speeds mean more opportunities to capture the winning shot and less time spent offloading gigabytes of images afterwards. Large storage capacity enables photographers to capture RAW images and high-definition video clips in a single session without running out of space.

"Professional-grade memory cards play an important role in producing optimal results from Nikon's high performance Digital SLR cameras," said Mr. Sasagaki, general manager, marketing department, Nikon Corporation. "The SanDisk Extreme Pro CompactFlash card's 90MB/s read and write speeds will boost overall DSLR performance and help photographers get the most out of our cameras."

The SanDisk Extreme Pro CompactFlash cards' 16 to 64GB capacity range offers the storage space needed to allow extended shooting sessions without having to reload, while the cards' 90MB/s read/write speeds ensure that professionals can transfer their data quickly. This unique combination of speed and capacity makes the new line of cards well suited for professional usage models involving large amounts of data and tight deadlines.

Guglielmo Marconi Guglielmo Marconi born April 25, 1874 in Bologna son of wealthy Italian father and Irish mother.
Known to be very clever, Marconi was educated in Bologna in the lab of Augusto Righi, in Florence at the Istituto Cavallero, and, later, in Livorno.
Marconi had an interest in science and electricity. One of the scientific developments during this era came from Heinrich Hertz, who, beginning in 1888, demonstrated that one could produce and detect electromagnetic radiation—now generally known as "radio waves", at the time more commonly called "Hertzian waves" or "aetheric waves".

Read More Hertz's death in 1894 brought published reviews of his earlier discoveries, and a renewed interest on the part of Marconi. He was permitted to briefly study the subject under Augusto Righi, a University of Bologna physicist and neighbour of Marconi who had done research on Hertz's work.
He repeated Heinrich Hertz's experiments and rapidly extended the range of detection. He mostly used his own self-built equipment in the attic of his home at the Villa Griffone in Pontecchio, Italy. His goal was to use radio waves to create a practical system of "wireless telegraphy" i.e. the transmission of telegraph messages without connecting wires as used by the electric telegraph.

Marconi is known to have improved wireless-telegraph system “kind of revolutioned it” He assembled and improved an array of facts, unified and adapted them to his system. Marconi's system had the following components:
•    A relatively simple oscillator, or spark producing radio transmitter, which was closely modeled after one designed by Righi, in turn similar to what Hertz had used;
•    A wire or capacity area placed at a height above the ground;
•    A coherer receiver, which was a modification of Edouard Branly's original device, with refinements to increase sensitivity and reliability;
•    A telegraph key to operate the transmitter to send short and long pulses, corresponding to the dots-and-dashes of Morse code; and
•    A telegraph register, activated by the coherer, which recorded the received Morse code dots and dashes onto a roll of paper tape.

Moving out of doors in 1895, he introduced a transmitter sparking between an elevated aerial and earth. After increasing the length of the transmitter and receiver antennas, and arranging them vertically, and positioning the antenna so that it touched the ground, the range increased significantly. Soon he was able to transmit signals over a hill, a distance of approximately 1.5 kilometres (0.93 miles). By this point he concluded that with additional funding and research, a device could become capable of spanning greater distances and would prove valuable both commercially and militarily.

Marconi was unable to interest the Italian government in wireless, so in 1896 he went to England, where he aroused official interest and received support from the British Post Office.  While there, he gained the interest and support of William Preece, the Chief Electrical Engineer of the British Post Office.
A series of demonstrations for the British government followed—by March 1897, Marconi had transmitted Morse code signals over a distance of about 6 kilometres (3.7 miles) across the Salisbury Plain. On 13 May 1897, Marconi sent the first ever wireless communication over open sea. It transversed the Bristol Channel from Lavernock Point (South Wales) to Flat Holm Island, a distance of 6 kilometres (3.7 miles). The message read "Are you ready".  The receiving equipment was almost immediately relocated to Brean Down Fort on the Somerset coast, stretching the range to 16 kilometres (9.9 miles).
Impressed by these and other demonstrations, Preece introduced Marconi's ongoing work to the general public at two important London lectures: "Telegraphy without Wires", at the Toynbee Hall on 11 December 1896; and "Signaling through Space without Wires", given to the Royal Institution on 4 June 1897.
Marconi’s instrument helped him to demonstrate quickly, to 8 miles and then 25 miles and more. In 1899 signals across the English Channel, between Boulogne and Dover, caused a sensation, though the distance was less than that covered by other transmissions.

In 1900 Marconi determined to try sending wireless signals across the Atlantic, despite the theoretical conflict between rectilinear propagation of Hertz radiation and the curvature of the earth. He had, however, already received signals at 250-mile range. Using the Poldhu transmitter, an established station in southwestern England, and a temporary aerial supported by a kite on Signal Hill, St. John's, Newfoundland, nearly 1,800 miles away, he received the first transatlantic wireless signals on Dec. 12, 1901.

Also in 1901 Marconi patented his "four-circuit" tuning system. Thus multiplex wireless telegraphy became possible, and the interference of one signal with another was minimized. In 1902 Marconi patented a sensitive magnetic radiodetector to replace the coherer and, in 1905, the horizontal directional aerial, which at once brought improvements in signal strengths and allowed the development of long-distance commercial wireless.

After 1905 Marconi spent much of his time as an entrepreneur, surrounded by a talented staff of engineers and administrators, developing wireless telegraphy. Attempts to introduce a transatlantic wireless press service in 1903 had been premature, but in 1907 commercial communication was established between Marconi stations at Clifden in western Ireland and Glace Bay, Nova Scotia.
In 1914 Marconi was made a Senator in the Italian Senate and appointed Honorary Knight Grand Cross of the Royal Victorian Order in the UK. During World War I, Italy joined the Allied side of the conflict, and Marconi was placed in charge of the Italian military's radio service. He attained the rank of lieutenant in the Italian Army and of commander in the Italian Navy.

During World War I Marconi began experiments on shortwave radio and on aerials designed to transmit along narrow beams to minimize detection by an enemy. The year 1917 saw him as a member of the Italian mission to the United States on its entry into the war, and in 1919 he was a signatory to the Paris Treaty for Italy. He spent much of the next decade continuing the shortwave investigations begun in wartime, making useful discoveries, but none to compete with the great postwar expansion of the radio networks consequent on the development of radiotelephony and voice radio. He was hailed as the father of radio, but, especially in the United States, the real progress was made by a new generation.
Marconi joined the Italian Fascist party in 1923. In 1930, Italian dictator Benito Mussolini appointed him President of the Royal Academy of Italy, which made Marconi a member of the Fascist Grand Council.

Marconi died in Rome in 1937 at age 63 following a series of heart attacks, and Italy held a state funeral for him. As a tribute, all radio stations throughout the world observed two minutes of silence. His remains are housed in the Villa Griffone at Sasso Marconi, Emilia-Romagna, which assumed that name in his honour in 1938.

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