Bits and Pieces

Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Some geek cool stuff

Hello, Jack of Random Fate here again. I've just returned to France after my trip to the US to visit family and friends over Christmas. I didn't have much time to post anything on that trip, so I wasn't able to help Daniel blog-sit for Keith. I'll try to make up for that now.

In the Geek Cool arena, I posted today on how there are devices coming out that function similar to the badge-communicators on Star Trek: The Next Generation. First, the clamshell phones imitate the communicators from the original series, now badge-communicators from the second series, I wonder what will come from the other Star Trek series.

More Geek Cool that hasn't been posted by me elsewhere (yet) is news on regulatory progress on the use of power lines as broadband data carriers. This has more implications than the obvious "internet anywhere there is a power plug," a prospect that has a large impact in and of itself. With the increasing use of voice over internet protocol, a nominal investment in equipment would make possible telephone calls from anywhere there is a power plug, bypassing the Baby Bells entirely. Given the large investment that the Baby Bells have in their networks coupled with the costs they bear satisfying FCC regulations, expect the Baby Bells to find ways to fight this technology tooth and nail. While cell phones have made it easy to make a telephone call from many more places than was possible a short decade ago, there are still dead-spots and areas too remote to be covered by transmission towers that do have electrical power which could enable voice over IP calls if powerline broadband is implemented.

Finally, in the "meanwhile on Mars" category, the rovers Spirit and Opportunity continue to soldier on in one of the most successful space missions of all time. Isn't it great to live in a country that not only can afford to explore like this, but is also willing to invest the money in the exploration?
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