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Category: Tech Stuff (page 1 of 12)

Can the Wi-Fi chip in your phone help feed the world?

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.


Think Smartwatches Are Dumb? They Saved These Peoples’ Lives

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.


GDPR notifications and a chance to review.

With the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation (“GDPR”) coming into force on May 25th, I like many of you have been getting lots of emails from companies telling you about updates to their security policies.

This is a good opportunity to decide if you still want to receive communications from these companies and services.  As well it’s a good time to decide if you still want to use the service.  I’ve gotten emails over the last few weeks from companies I had forgotten about. In many cases, I had signed up to take look at the product or service and then promptly forgotten about.    I have been taking the time to unsubscribe and delete my data from these services I am no longer using,

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