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Posts tagged ‘technology’

Outernet’s solar-powered content downloader, Lantern

In the age of the Internet of Things, it is interesting to see a non-Internet device that uses Web technologies in a new way. Outernet is a project started earlier this year by the nonprofit Media Development Investment Fund that buys bandwidth on communications satellites to do one-way broadcast of news, education and other critical content worldwide.

Already available to anyone willing to do a little work with off-the-shelf hardware like Raspbery Pi, Outernet now have an integrated, solar-powered receiver called Lantern that doubles as a charger, theoretically enabling offline, anonymous read-only access to Web content anywhere in the world. more …

Filed under: Technology.  Tagged: , , .

Firefox 4 for PowerPC Macs: TenFourFox

Mozilla hit me with a double whammy of “your hardware sucks” last week, when they released major new versions of Firefox 4 and mobile Firefox 4 for Android (the first!) … but left me out of both parties.

My Android phone, the LG Optimus S, is only a few months old, but its ARMv6 processor isn’t supported. There’s a faint glimmer of hope there, but with the ARMv6 test builds already pulled, I’m not holding my breath. In the meantime, the stock Android browser and Opera Mobile are both great (Opera’s font rendering needs work in the hinting/character spacing department, but that’s it).

Meanwhile, my Powerbook G4 is still running happily along on OS X 10.4 Tiger, so I was happy to find the answer to my Firefox 4 woes in TenFourFox, a Firefox fork with builds optimized for various G5, G4 and G3 processors. Here’s a mini-review of my impressions after a week, and a look at what’s coming up in browser-land for those of us clinging proudly to the last generation of PowerPC Macintosh computers. more …

Filed under: Reviews.  Tagged: , , .

I love my Android, but Android Market security is another story

Yesterday, Google revealed that it had used its “security of last resort” remote removal feature this week to wipe 58 malicious applications from user’s devices.

Google also removed the bad apps from the Android Market, contacted law enforcement, and is pushing a security update to protect devices’ identification codes. Needless to say, these are all good moves, and unlike some privacy advocates I’m not going to quibble with Google’s remote app removal power as long as it’s being used conservatively, in a security context, as in this case. Analogous to public health or combatting botnets, Google must be able to wipe malware from people’s phones to protect everyone, not just the infected.

What does bother me about this news is that these applications appeared in the Android Market at all, where they were available for some time before being reported to the Android security team. I’ve owned an Android phone for a couple of months now, so I thought I’d weigh in on one of the sad realities of the experience: I find myself increasingly worried about security, certainly more so than I have been about any personal computing device since the last time I ran a Windows PC 10 years ago. more …

Filed under: Technology.  Tagged: , , .

FCC opens up spectrum for public use

We all won a huge victory yesterday when the FCC allocated a huge swath of radio spectrum for public use, which means that after analog TV goes away, any company or hobbyist will be able to use these frequencies. It’s a much wider range of spectrum than what’s available for public use today (the narrow frequencies things like your cordless phone and 802.11 wifi use), so a whole new class of high-bandwidth applications is going to become possible.

What does that mean exactly? Well, the most awesome part is that we don’t even know yet. But don’t be surprised to see, say, 1-gigabit wifi that makes 802.11 look like dial-up or wireless HDMI so that the video game or Hulu video you were about to see on your laptop screen shows up on your flat screen TV, too. Imagine the data connection and streaming video on your mobile phone 100 times faster, and imagine not having to go through one of the big 4 wireless carriers to get it! more …

Filed under: Technology.  Tagged: , .