In his latest Gates Note, Bill Gates talks about new technology that can help farmers know more about their soil to help them grow more crops.
The main innovation is in how FarmBeats sensors transmit data. Most farms have poor or no access to the Internet. In the United States, 20 percent of people living in rural areas don’t have access to even the slowest broadband speeds. Most farm data systems require expensive transmitters to connect, but FarmBeats relies on a clever workaround: it uses TV white space.
White spaces are unused TV broadcast spectrum. If you’ve ever watched an old TV, you’ve seen white spaces before. They’re the “snow” you’ll sometimes see while flipping through channels. These gaps in spectrum are plentiful in the remote areas where most farms are located, so data can be sent over them the same way that data gets transmitted via broadband.
A very good example of how thinking out of the box can solve a problem.
Happy Canada Day
I’m writing this in a Canadian institution, Tim Horton’s while my wife is making use of another Canadian institution, namely free healthcare at the local hospital. (She is fine, just a routine appointment).
As we celebrate Canada’s birthday, let us also think about all the things that Canada and Canadians do for ourselves and the world.
Let us think about indigenous people on whose land we are on. In London, Ontario where I am writing this, it is the traditional territory of the Anishinaabeg, Haudenosaunee, Attawandaron (Neutral), and Wendat peoples. This territory is covered by the Upper Canada Treaties.
Let us also think about those in our armed forces both serving and who have paid the ultimate price.
Let us think about those in critical and not so critical services who are working today.
Let us think about those who are suffering, whether the death or sickness of a loved one to just trying to get through the day.
Canada is a great country but we also have challenges still to overcome. If we take the energy and enthusiasm we have on this day and apply it to tomorrow, the next day and into the future, there is nothing we can’t solve.
Whatever side of the political spectrum we all unite in this day. Let’s take this forward and solve things like homelessness, universal health care and clean water for all Canadians. There are solutions to all of these problems. Us and our appointed representatives simply have to have the will to do it.
When people ask “Why should we do these things?” We respond “Because we are Canadian and it’s the right thing to do.”
Happy Canada Day.
Caitlin McGarry writing in Tom’s Hardware brings us some examples of a very important aspect of smartwatches. – Health Monitoring.
Currently, smartwatches from Apple, Fitbit and others can tell you your heart rate and track your workouts. Some can even analyze your sleep. But these companies want to go beyond the basics by developing ways to tell you when something is wrong. A smartwatch could even diagnose your condition all on its own.
In fact, it’s already happening.
As each generation of smartwatch comes out it’s another example of mass market driving product size and prices down to help people. The article also goes into detail about some other advances going on in both research and regulation.