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Archive for the ‘mobile phones’ category

Feb 2, 2023

How ‘modern-day slavery’ in the Congo powers the rechargeable battery economy

Posted by in categories: economics, mobile phones, sustainability, transportation

Phone and electric car batteries are made with cobalt mined in the Democratic Republic of Congo. Cobalt Red author Siddharth Kara describes the conditions for workers as a “horror show.”

Feb 2, 2023

Pioneering Transhumanism: a conversation with Natasha Vita-More

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, evolution, mobile phones, neuroscience, transhumanism

Transhumanism is the idea that technology and evidence-based science can and should be used to augment and improve humans in order to overcome the limitations that evolution has left us with. As the name suggests, it stems from humanism, but it adds an optimism that cognitive and physical improvement is both possible and desirable.

On the face of it, the idea that humans should be permitted to use technology to live healthier and happier lives does not sound dangerous, or even contentious. But it does provoke strong opposition: in 2004, Francis Fukuyama called transhumanism “the world’s most dangerous idea”. The force of that claim is somewhat undermined when you consider how wildly wrong his previous big idea turned out to be: in 1992 he declared that because the Cold War ended with the collapse of the Soviet Union, history had come to an end. Nevertheless, Fukuyama is not alone in fearing transhumanism.

Some people object to transhumanism because they think we should strive to be “natural”, and to be content with what evolution – or their god — have given us. But of course the definition of what is “natural” changes over time. Nature didn’t endow us with spectacles, and few people now argue they should be banned. Now we have cochlear implants, and many people feel that their smartphones are extensions of themselves. In the future we will have the option of raising our IQ with smart drugs or with gene therapy, and these will be hotly debated.

Continue reading “Pioneering Transhumanism: a conversation with Natasha Vita-More” »

Feb 1, 2023

Waverly Labs launches a translation app called Forum with support for 20 languages

Posted by in categories: mobile phones, wearables

Waverly Labs, the company behind wearables focused on translation, has launched an app called Forum that helps users translate and transcribe audio in real time. The company says the solution is useful for lecturers, auditoriums and theaters. What’s more, it is also compatible with video calling apps like Zoom, Microsoft Teams and Google Meet.

Forum is available on iOS and accessible through a browser. The app’s Android version will launch by the end of this quarter. It supports 20 languages and 42 dialects, including Arabic, Dutch, English, Hindi, German, Japanese, Korean, Portuguese and Spanish. Users can join an existing session or create one and share a QR code with others.

Users have the option to switch to a new language in the middle of the session to get text and audio translation. There is also a profanity filter to block words that users don’t want to see in a chat. Forum also has hold-to-talk and pause-to-translate modes for a conversation that doesn’t need instantaneous conversation.

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Jan 31, 2023

SpaceX announces Nigerian operation, first in Africa

Posted by in categories: mobile phones, satellites

The Space Exploration Technologies Corporation, SpaceX, on Monday announced that it has commenced the operation of Starlink services in Nigeria, the first African country to receive such.

Starlink is a satellite internet constellation operated by SpaceX launched in 2019. It provides satellite internet access coverage to about 46 countries, which is also targeting the global mobile phone service after 2023.

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Jan 31, 2023

Canadian team discovers power-draining flaw in most laptop and phone batteries

Posted by in categories: computing, mobile phones

The phone, tablet or laptop you’re reading this on is likely having its battery slowly drained because of a surprising and widespread manufacturing flaw, according to researchers in Halifax.

“This is something that is totally unexpected and something that probably no one thought of,” said Michael Metzger, an assistant professor at Dalhousie University.

The problem? Tiny pieces of tape that hold the battery components together are made from the wrong type of plastic.

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Jan 27, 2023

Apple says it will allow iCloud backups to be fully encrypted

Posted by in categories: encryption, government, law enforcement, mobile phones

After years of delay under government pressure, Apple said Wednesday that it will offer fully encrypted backups of photos, chat histories and most other sensitive user data in its cloud storage system worldwide, putting them out of reach of most hackers, spies and law enforcement.

Maybe a New iPhone is a good idea for a second phone.


The one service Apple offered that could not be encrypted was iCloud. Now that will change.

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Jan 26, 2023

Roaming Mantis Spreading Mobile Malware That Hijacks Wi-Fi Routers’ DNS Settings

Posted by in categories: cybercrime/malcode, mobile phones

Threat actors associated with the Roaming Mantis attack campaign have been observed delivering an updated variant of their patent mobile malware known as Wroba to infiltrate Wi-Fi routers and undertake Domain Name System (DNS) hijacking.

Kaspersky, which carried out an analysis of the malicious artifact, said the feature is designed to target specific Wi-Fi routers located in South Korea.

Roaming Mantis, also known as Shaoye, is a long-running financially motivated operation that singles out Android smartphone users with malware capable of stealing bank account credentials as well as harvesting other kinds of sensitive information.

Jan 26, 2023

AI lawyer cancels court date after threats of jail time surface

Posted by in categories: mobile phones, robotics/AI

Earlier this month, we reported how a program trained with the help of artificial intelligence (AI) was set to help a defendant contest his case in a U.S. court next month. Instead of addressing the court, the program, which will run on a smartphone, would supply appropriate responses through an earpiece to the defendant, who can then use them in the courtroom.

Jan 25, 2023

Recyclable mobile phone batteries are a step closer with rust-busting invention

Posted by in categories: innovation, mobile phones

Mobile phone batteries with a lifetime up to three times longer than today’s technology could be a reality thanks to an innovation led by engineers at RMIT University.

Rather than disposing of batteries after two or three years, we could have recyclable batteries that last for up to nine years, the team says, by using high-frequency to remove rust that inhibits battery performance.

The research is published in Nature Communications.

Jan 24, 2023

Metaverse will be as important as smartphones, says Meta executive

Posted by in category: mobile phones

How soon will that day arrive is the real question.

Meta’s chief product officer, Chris Cox, has said that the company believes that the metaverse will become as essential as today’s smartphone, Business Insider.

Meta is the new avatar of Mark Zuckerberg founded Facebook that is looking to build the next generation of the internet. In October 2021, Zuckerberg announced, with much fanfare, the company’s vision to build a new digital world where people will log in for work, communication, and entertainment.

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