Ncell, a subsidiary of the Swedish telecom company TeliaSonera, has installed a 3G data network in a Nepalese town that should reach the summit of Mount Everest. This high up, high-tech improvement will allow summit-ers to communicate with friends, family, and organizers from the top of the world.
A phone base station was set up near the town of Gorakshep at 17,000 feet above sea level, and the signal should reach to the peak about 12,000 feet above that, telecom officials said–but it hasn’t been tested yet. The service should be fast enough to allow adventurers to make video calls and surf the Internet from their phones.
Lars Nyberg, CEO of TeliaSonera, told the Associated Foreign Press how excited they were to take the mountain into the wireless internet age:
“This is a great milestone for mobile communications as the 3G high speed internet will bring faster, more affordable telecommunication services from the world’s tallest mountain,” said Lars Nyberg.
A new smart phone app aims to get you communicating with the drivers around you, and we don’t mean yelling choice obscenities through the window or shaking your fist of rage when someone cuts you off.
By photographing, typing, or saying a license plate number and state you’ll be able to message the driver–if they’re also signed up for the service, named Bump. The message recipient can choose how they get their messages, through text or the Bump.com website. Bump launches today on iPhones, and an Android app will soon be ready as well.
Venture Beat talked to Bump’s CEO, Mitch Thrower about the idea:
Thrower says his social network for cars brings to mind a classic scene in the film American Graffiti…. Actor Richard Dreyfuss sees a beautiful blonde played by Suzanne Somers in a white T-Bird. She blows a kiss at him. He tries to follow her but can’t catch up. Maddeningly, he never sees her again. Oh, if he had only gotten her license plate.
That grease trail you’ve smeared on your smart phone’s touchscreen could give away more than your lightsaber skills or virtual girlfriend’s whims: Would-be smudge attackers, a recent paper argues, could follow your finger oils as a clue to your passcode.
In the paper “Smudge Attacks on Smartphone Touchscreens,” which we first saw on Gizmodo, a team in the computer science department at the University of Pennsylvania tried to pick out grease patterns from Android phones by photographing the phones and enhancing the patterns with photo-editing software. From the paper’s introduction:
“We believe smudge attacks are a threat for three reasons. First, smudges are surprisingly persistent in time. Second, it is surprisingly difficult to incidentally obscure smudges through wiping or pocketing the device. Third and finally, collecting and analyzing oil residue smudges can be done with readily-available equipment such as a camera and a computer.”
On a midday stroll through Park City, Utah, you decide to turn onto the quaint-sounding Deer Valley Drive. You see this:
If you think you should turn back, you are not the intrepid Lauren Rosenberg. Armed with a Blackberry and Google Maps, she marched on, and could not believe when Patrick Harwood struck her with his car. According to Search Engine Land, which first broke the story, Rosenberg is now suing both Harwood and Google.
To our graduate student readers: As if constant emails from your boss weren’t enough, soon you’ll have no excuse to avoid the “got any data?” question—even when you’re out in the field. A new mobile app now lets researchers collect and analyze data from anywhere in the world, using their cell phones.
It’s not all bad: The software could help you unload some of your work by allowing citizen scientists to snap pictures from their own backyards, and contribute them to research projects.
The software, called EpiCollect, is especially useful for researchers performing field work because they can use their phones to capture images, plot their location with the phone’s GPS, and send the results of their work to a database that anyone can access in real-time. BBC News reports:
The EpiCollect software collates data from certain mobiles—on topics such as disease spread or the occurrence of rare species—in a web-based database.
The data is statistically analyzed and plotted on maps that are instantly available to those same phones.
A current project is using the software to track the occurrence of the amphibian fungal infection chytridiomycosis.
The software only runs on Google’s Android open-source operating system, but an iPhone app is on the way in the near future, say the developers from Imperial College London.
Discoblog: Technology Is a Gas; “Pull My Finger” Takes iFart to Court
Discoblog: Why Your Grandma Needs The Internet
Discoblog: Worst Science Article of the Week: Use a Cell Phone, Damage Your Baby
Image: Imperial College London