Deep-sea Internet to detect tsunamis, spy on smugglers, and discover oil

Publication: NBC News   Date: October 15, 2013   View Article

The Internet may soon reach into the depths of the world’s oceans and relay real-time information to smartphones everywhere — about everything from drug-smuggling submarines and the location of untapped oil reserves to the approach of a deadly tsunami.

Arrays of scientific instruments already bob on ocean buoys, hitch rides on sea turtles and lay bolted to seafloors. But they communicate with each other and scientists in myriad and often inefficient ways, explained Tommaso Melodia, an electrical engineer at the University of Buffalo in New York who is leading the development of the deep-sea Internet.

‘Invisibility cloak’ science to bring broadband Internet to everyone, everywhere

Publication: NBC News   Date: August 22, 2012   View Article

A lightweight, compact antenna made with an exotic “metamaterial” will soon bring broadband satellite Internet connections to anyone, anywhere with a portable laptop-sized hotspot.

The hotspot is the first product to be offered by Kymeta, a startup launched Tuesday by Intellectual Ventures, a Bellevue, Wash.,- based patent and research company led by former Microsoft chief technology officer Nathan Myhrvold.

Robots show randomness in evolution of language

Publication:   Date: January 4, 2012   View Article

Even if everything about different groups of animals is identical down to the level of their genes and physical surroundings, they can develop unique ways to communicate, according to an experiment done with robots that use flashing lights to “talk.”

The Swiss researchers used the robots to get handle on why there is such diversity in communication systems within and between species, something that is difficult to do in living animals.

Glowing bacteria encrypt codes

Publication:   Date: September 28, 2011   View Article

Scientists are tweaking bacteria to send encrypted messages that can be shipped via snail mail on sheets of paper-like material called nitrocellulose.

The recipient grows the bacteria with a select cocktail of nutrients and other chemicals. Once grown, each microbe glows one of seven colors when exposed to the right kind of light. Different colored microbes are arranged to represent different letters and symbols. If you know the nutrient and chemical cocktail as well as the keys to the code, you can decipher the message.

Tiny circuit big boost for electronics

Publication:   Date: June 9, 2011   View Article

Wireless communications took a small leap forward today with the announcement that researchers have created a functional integrated circuit smaller than a grain of salt.

The circuit is a broadband frequency mixer, which is “one of the most fundamental and important circuits in essentially all wireless communication devices and equipment,” Yu-Ming Lin, an IBM researcher who led the effort, told me today.

Smart phone ‘grip of death’ proved

Publication:   Date: March 1, 2011   View Article

How users of some smart phones grip their gadgets can indeed lead to dropped calls — and, at least in a lab setting, placing an Apple-style plastic bumper between the antenna and thumb failed to fix the problem, according to new research on the so-called “grip of death” and potential fixes.

The antenna problem was widely reported among users of Apple’s iPhone 4 last June, which prompted Mark Beach and colleagues at the University of Bristol’s Center for Communications Research to revisit and update data collected in 2005 using a personal digital assistant with a new round of tests on a smart phone prototype.

You’ve Got Mail. Is it Full of Lies?

Publication: MSN Tech & Gadgets   Date: December 27, 2008   View Article

E-mail was a novelty when Kathleen Kelly (Meg Ryan) logged on to her laptop in the opening scene of the 1998 hit romantic comedy “You’ve Got Mail.” A mere decade later, e-mail is a cornerstone of modern communications. But a growing body of research suggests we’ve yet to adapt our social behaviors to fit with an era where every message we send is next to impossible to digitally erase.

© 2008-2010 Collected Writings By John Roach