It was a week that featured an early cold snap on the east coast, a terrible typhoon in the Philippines and a long list of problems for the new health care law. It also featured the usual amount of interesting news and insightful commentary.
Verizon Slows in Three Big Cities
In the early days of iPhone, circa 2007, AT&T enjoyed so much success that its networks experienced great slowdowns in San Francisco and New York City. History seems to be repeating itself: CNET reports that Verizon Wireless is finding the traffic to be tough in several cities—San Francisco, New York and Chicago are the only ones mentioned—due to the popularity of its LTE service. The story says that executives expect the situation to be rectified by year’s end.
The site says that CFO Fran Shammo acknowledged the problems and said that when trouble pops up, the network defaults to 3G. The story added that LTE customers comprise one-third of the carrier’s subscribers but generate 64 percent of the traffic.
Making Old Fashioned (Face-to-Face) Meetings Work
The past decade has reinvented and reimagined collaboration. PCWorld offers insight into tools that can make the old fashion way of sharing information and data—face to face meetings—more efficient.
In is an interesting piece. Writer Christopher Null suggests taking good notes and not using a laptop due to its noise and the barrier it creates with the group. Those notes later can be transferred to electronic form, he writes, via Livescribe 3 and, to a mobile device, via the Livescribe+ app. For those who must take notes electronically, he writes, a tablet is better.
The piece has a nice list of other suggestions, such as recording the meetings and ordering a transcript. He also points to apps and platforms that can help do these things.
Health Care Interoperability
The IEEE Standards Association and Continua Health Alliance have entered into a strategic agreement on standards for health care devices. The story at Healthcare IT News says that Continua is “dedicated to enabling end-to-end, plug-and-play interoperability for personal connected health.”
The idea is to create a bigger and more efficient market by pushing standards on such devices into the home by expanding and implementing the IEEE 11073 family of standards for personal health devices, the story says.
AVG: SMBs Give Mixed Messages on Data Loss and Backup
An AVG Technologies survey of small to midsize businesses (SMBs) that focused on data loss and backups in the United States and the United Kingdom produced some interesting results. For instance, respondents said that personnel spend more time doing such things as cleaning their desks and ordering business cards than backing up data. Companies, the survey revealed, spend more time changing passwords than backing up data.
The eWeek story is full of numbers from the survey. Some bottom lines: The thought that the first impact of data loss is on productivity is more common in the U.S. (50 percent of respondents) than the U.K. (39 percent). Sixty-four percent of respondents said that security is their top concern about cloud backup.
There seems to be a disconnect on how to protect data on mobile devices:
While many (75 percent) do rely on automated backup systems, around a quarter (24 percent) do not insist that employees back up at least once a week, despite the fact that 30 percent believe more than half of their data is sensitive.
Power From Thin Air
Finally, comes a story about a unique power play. BBC reports that a team at Duke University is working on a system that can pluck enough energy from the air to charge a mobile phone. The story says that the system, which is as efficient as solar panels, uses “metamaterials” to capture some of the wave energy that permeates the air. The story gave some detail:
Using fibreglass and copper conductors on a circuit board, the researchers converted microwaves into 7.3 volts of electricity. A USB charger, which is often used to recharge mobile phone batteries and cameras, provides about five volts.
The story describes metamaterials as materials that have properties not found in nature.