The bustling graduation season is upon us. Things are slowing down perceptively in the telecom and IT space as the summer approaches, however.
Still, interesting news and commentary from the tech sector was available online this week—from Cisco’s always mind-bending numbers on Internet traffic to a good explanation of how a battery actually works.
Here are some highlights:
It would be odd to have a whole year go by without seemingly incredible numbers on Internet traffic being released by Cisco. Traffic predictions spike radically every year, and the Visual Networking Index Global Forecast and Service Adoption for 2013 to 2018 is no exception. It should be remembered that the company makes its money building equipment to transport all this data.
Cisco says that the already massive amount of traffic will increase almost by a factor of three over the period of the study. According to the press release:
Global IP traffic for fixed and mobile connections is expected to reach an annual run rate of 1.6 zettabytes* – more than one and a half trillion gigabytes per year by 2018. The projected annual IP traffic for 2018 will be greater than all IP traffic that has been generated globally from 1984 – 2013 (1.3 zettabytes).
An important milestone, according to the firm, is that this iteration of the study finds that for the first time, more than half the traffic will be generated by devices other than PCs.
The Link Between Wi-Fi and LTE Deepens
Wi-Fi and LTE are increasingly working together in carrier networks. Each has unique characteristics and, in general, complement each other well. This week, Qualcomm said that it will offer a low-cost chip that will offer both technologies.
The FSM90xx SoC is aimed at four to 16 users in homes and small to midsize businesses (SMBs). The products are expected to be available during the second half of next year.
Privacy Rights and Location Data
The United States Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit ruled this week that law enforcement can’t use location data from cell towers, which is a common practice for tracing the steps of suspects, without a warrant. That practice violates the defendant’s Fourth Amendment rights, according to the decision.
As often is the case, the ruling will help somebody who may be guilty. That doesn’t matter in the context of defining people’s rights, and Justice David Sentelle didn’t mince words about the status of location data, according to Motherboard’s Jason Koebler:
Indeed, the decision alone is a huge privacy win, but Sentelle's strong language supporting cell phone users' privacy rights is perhaps the most important part of the opinion. Sentelle pushed back against several of the federal government's arguments, including one that suggested that, because cell phone location data based on a caller's closest cell tower isn't precise, it should be readily collectable.
The Search for Better Batteries Just Keeps Going and Going
A story on batteries this week at ExtremeTech is interesting for two reasons. The first is that it details research on a new approach to battery technology that features the use of carbonized lithium-iron phosphate instead of lithium-ion. The twist is that the approach relies on nanotechnology.
New ideas on power technology come around fairly often. Writer Graham Templeton provides a detailed explanation of how a battery works. It’s basic chemistry, and he does a great job of simplifying it for the layman.
Wireless Charging Comes to Starbucks
And, finally, comes a story about something extra to get with your pricey coffee. Wireless charging has been high on the wish list of service providers, phone vendors and customers for years. The reality is, however, that the category has not taken off.
The momentum may finally be starting. Newsfactor reports that Starbucks is teaming with Duracell to roll out Powermat technology in the San Francisco Bay area. It will move to more markets in 2015. Participating stores will have Powermat Spots on tables and counters, and customers can put their devices on them to charge.