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Cellphone

  1. City of Chongqing Gets a Cellphone Sidewalk Lane to Remind People Not to Be Obnoxious

    Can we institute a single file-only policy for groups next?

    Navigating crowded city streets was already annoying before cellphones came around with a whole host of slow people and large groups to navigate around or those annoying, rushing people who insist on squeezing around you—whichever side you happen to be on (you know how you are). Cellphone use while walking can often make them completely intolerable, so now Chongqing, China has a dedicated cellphone walking lane.

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  2. Gulp: The World's Largest Stop Motion Animation [Video]

    Friends, not only are you looking at the world's largest stop motion animated short film produced, but it was also shot entirely on three Nokia N8 cell phones. The film was truly massive in scale, with the largest scene sprawling over 11,000 square feet -- netting it the world record for largest animation set. Moreover, the sand-animated short was brought to life by Aardman animation, the same minds that brought you Wallace and Grommit and Shaun the Sheep. Expectations should be high with a production crew of such pedigree, and they don't disappoint. As much fun as the short film is, the making of might be even better. Read on below for a look at how this monumental animation was made.

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  3. Old School Candlestick Phone Goes Wireless

    There's a certain allure to the physicality of older phones. There's something to be said for the feeling of tugging on that old fashioned rotary dial, and on top of having that draw, candlestick phones are just awesome in a dignified "I am wearing a monocle" sort of way. Apparently Adam Ben-Dror agrees, because he took it upon himself to bring the candlestick phone into the digital age by giving it an organ transplant.

    The finished device consists of 3 major parts. First, you've got the geniune, 90-year-old candlestick casing. Second, you've got a mechanism that can convert the receiver's position on or off the hook into a digital medium. Basically, when the reciever is picked up off the hook, the mechanism presses the green call button (or what used to be the green call button) and when the reciever is placed back down, it presses the red end button. Lastly, there's a little device that translates the rotary dial into a standard, digital DTMF single. Put them all together and you get a working cellular phone that looks like it's straight out of the early 1900's. Some real Wild Wild West stuff right there.

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  4. Wi-Fi, Phone Hacking Plane is Terrifying, Inspiring

    There are some people for whom being told that something is impossible is all the motivation they need. That seems to be the case for Richard Perkins and Mike Tassey, who were told that an in-flight hacking platform was impossible. In response, the pair plan on showing off their off their Wi-Fi hacking, phone-snooping, home-made UAV at the Black Hat and Defcon hackerfests in Las Vegas. They call their creation the Wireless Aerial Surveillance Platform, or WASP. Built from an old Air Force target drone, the WASP packs a lot of technological power into a flying high-endurance package. A tiny on-board computer (Linux powered, natch) is bristling with hacking tools, along with a custom-built 340 million word dictionary for brute-forcing passwords, the BackTrack suite, a 4G T-Mobile card, an HD camera, and 32 GB onboard storage. Just what does WASP do with those gigabytes?

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  5. AT&T’s Mobile Cell Tower Fits in a Suitcase, Could Help First Responders

    Communication is vitally important in the wake of a disaster, especially for the first responders that arrive on the scene. But in cases of widespread destruction like the recent earthquakes in Japan, using the ubiquitous cellphone can be nearly impossible when cell towers are inoperable. AT&T's recently announced Remote Mobility Zone portable cell towers aim to solve that problem by providing cell coverage with a device that fits inside of a suitcase. The device is comprised of the suitcase which contains a "picocell" communication system, and a separate satellite dish. As the name implies, the picocell can't handle huge volumes, only about 14 simultaneous calls. It can also supply limited data access, though far less than a full-size tower would. The device can function anywhere AT&T is licensed to operate, giving them a large area of operations. But because of its small size, it has no internal power supply and must be connected to an external generator.

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  6. Dialing Your Cellphone With Your Thoughts Alone

    Researchers from the University of California in San Diego have developed a Bluetooth device that allows the wearer to dial a ten-digit number using their thoughts alone. Their experimental device was the subject of a recent study, published in the Journal of Neural Engineering. In their study, volunteers wore special electrode-laden headgear and were shown a screen with the numbers zero through nine, similar to a phone's touch-tone dialing pad. The difference was that each number flashed at a slightly different speed. By concentrating on the number they wished to dial, the device detected the speed of the flashing number by observing the user's brain activity. It's a bit tedious, but the researchers found users could control the system with 70-85% accuracy.

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  7. How Much Does Your Cellphone Carrier Know About Your Life?

    The German government is currently debating an issue not many in the U.S. may have thought of: how long cellphone providers should retain your personal information. After all, cellphones histories are a veritable treasure trove of information on our movements and habits, not to mention a meticulous log of whom we contacted. In order to demonstrate how much just six months worth of cellphone data reveals, German politician Malte Spitz released six months of his own cell phone data. With this information publicly available, The Zeit online took the massive Excel spreadsheet and created an amazing visualization of Spitz's movements from August 2009 to February 2010. The data was augmented with Spitz's tweets and blog entries. While numbers just look like numbers, watching the little dot zip around Germany is very unsettling. During those six months, Spitz was trackable 78% of the time. You can even see how he liked to spend Christmas.

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  8. The Most Average Human on the Planet [Video]

    Does this guy look familiar? Did you go to highschool with him, or maybe you saw him on the street with one of those yappy little dogs. No, wait, he works with your dad; you've totally seen him there. Odds are that you've probably seen someone like this man. With the revelation that the Earth now houses 7 billion human beings, National Geographic set out to determine the most typical person on the planet. According to their research, the most typical person is (among other things) a 28-year-old, right-handed, Han Chinese man, with a cellphone, and no bank account. Armed with the knowledge of world's most average man, NatGeo wanted to give him a face. Researchers took 190,000 images and created a composite image that should, more or less, represent most of the human population. Think of it this way, if aliens picked a point on the Earth and landed there, odds are this is the first person they'd see. Was that the sound of your paradigm shifting? Don't be too surprised. We all live in our own little worlds, based off our past experiences, or families, our friends, upbringing, and geographical area. We're a myopic species. Maybe this guy isn't what you think of when you imagine a composite human, but it probably should be. However, that will be changing. NatGeo goes on to say that by 2030, the most typical human will be from India. The good folks at NatGeo have compressed their research into a fun video with some catchy music, embedded below. Take a look. and change your view on humanity.

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  9. Cellphone Brain Study Yields Results No One Understands

    Another day, another researcher trying to determine whether your cellphone is slowly killing you. This time it's the National Institute of Health's neuroscientist Dr. Nora Volkow who tracked glucose consumption in the brain during prolonged periods of cellphone use. Volkow points out that her approach attempted to be more comprehensive than previous cellphone studies by using a larger test group, 47 people, and longer rates  of cellphone exposure. In her study, Volkow introduced radioactively marked glucose into the test subjects, and then observed how that glucose was used in the brain via PET scan. Her report indicates that the brain did indeed absorb more glucose on the side of the head where the phone was active, a 7% increase in one area. Now, before you encase your phone in lead, or reject society and flee to the woods, let's let another neuroscientist give us some perspective.

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  10. What Happens When You Take a Cellphone Video of a Plane’s Propellers?

    You get this: It looks like the plane is shedding propeller blade after propeller blade. (Hopefully, it isn't.) The rolling shutter effect in action.

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