Updates on Tesla, Xbox, Wearables and Other Interests

For lack of a better topic (and a continuing interest in certain things), submitted for your approval (or disapproval, as the case may be), here are updates on previous New Edge posts. Hyperlinks below are to previous posts on the subject.

Audi is working on a rival to the Tesla Model S. The Audi Technical Development Chief told press at the LA Auto Show that Audi is working on a vehicle that can compete with the 285 mile range of the Tesla Model S. The style of car has not been released, but one report from the auto show said it would seat up to five passengers.

Speaking of Tesla, this video shows a guy driving a Tesla from Santa Monica, Calif., to Phoenix, Ariz., to test the car’s reported range and, most importantly, Tesla’s supercharger station network. According to this page on their website, Tesla has 135 of them across the nation (map included in the link). It takes about 75 minutes to fully charge the Model S. Read more

Drones: Not Just for Spock Anymore

Last year Amazon’s CEO first introduced the idea of drones for same-day delivery. At the time, I thought this was a far-fetched idea, the sort of futuristic concept that exists in Star Trek episodes and YouTube videos predicting the “The Future of Package Delivery.” But drones for commercial use have gotten a lot of traction, as of late.

Gigaom draws our attention to a Dutch PhD student and his Master’s thesis research project.  Alex Momont, an engineer at the Technical University of Delft, created an airborne defibrillator-delivery system that can reach anyone within a five-square-mile area in less than one minute. The drone is faster than traditional emergency response, Alex reports, as it can travel in the air via a straight line and thereby avoid circuitous and congested vehicular routes. Alex’s university posted this video showcasing how the drone can assist with the timely delivery of a medical toolbox. Read more

What’s Your Web IQ?

Just because we’re using the Internet in record numbers doesn’t mean we fully grasp how it actually works.

A new 12-question quiz compiled by the Pew Research Internet Project shows that numerous misconceptions about the Internet are widespread.

(Take the Pew quiz for yourself, and compare your results to others in your demographic group.)

In a report released last week, Pew collected the quiz results for a sample of 1,066 adult Internet users, 18 years of age or older.

Pew found that younger Internet users fared better than their older counterparts on some, but not all, of the survey questions. Younger users were more knowledgeable on questions about social media, and common Internet usage conventions. Older users proved more skilled at visual identification of tech leaders. College graduates fared better on the quiz than those without a college education.

Pew estimates that 87% of Americans currently use the Internet on an ongoing basis, up from 79% in 2010 and 46% in 2000. But this doesn’t necessarily translate into a robust understanding of the online world: “Just because people use these gadgets a lot doesn’t necessarily mean they know everything about how they work and where they come from,” said Pew Senior Researcher Aaron Smith, author of the report.

Pew’s online survey was conducted online between September 12 and 18. The margin of error is estimated to be +/- 3.2% at the 95% confidence level.

The Internet of Sheep

Sometimes, a blog post nearly writes itself. Not this week. I did bump into the current eighth grade class of my former Ohio elementary school, here in DC for their annual Washington trip (a trip I took during the zenith of K-car era). But to have written a paean to small town experiences (I knew one of the chaperones, and during the round of introductions one of the girls revealed that she babysits for my niece’s children) would have been somewhat repetitive — I think I took that road a few months ago in another post.

There is no shortage of telecom news in DC these days — net neutrality, e-rate, the placement on the FCC’s December 11 meeting agenda a Universal Service Fund/CAF item. But, a lot of that is covered in the trade press already, and even a scan of my usual “go to” sources for tech news were dry. Maybe with Thanksgiving on the horizon, it’s a slow news week.

And then comes the Wall Street Journal to the rescue. With an article about a “socially conscious” sweater manufacturer that is sourcing wool from a 143-year old sheep and cattle ranch in Oregon. Read more

All Creatures Great and Small

Shelby, scouting for squirrels.

Shelby, scouting for squirrels.

On this, the occasion of my 100th New Edge post, I hope you’ll indulge me as I share with you a true story that happened very recently.

The furriest member of our family is Shelby, a 3-1/2 year old, 65 pound Golden doodle. She loves people and most other dogs, and is astonishingly cute. In fact, it is that very cuteness that allows her to get away with so much mischief around our house.

Shelby’s least endearing habit is her penchant for eating non-food items, mostly my youngest son’s athletic gear. The foul odor emanating from his gear is undoubtedly what draws Shelby to it. And when I say eat, I mean just that—she doesn’t chew on, or shred his smelly equipment, she swallows it on down whole.

We’ve been pretty lucky up until now in that all of the items Shelby has ingested have eventually returned. (I will spare you, kind reader, the gory details.) Though we’ve had to replace more of my son’s stuff than we otherwise would have had to, we have managed to avoid any major medical complications. Read more

The Future of Luggage?

I don’t mind airline travel, much. My airline travels are almost exclusively to see NTCA members at state association meetings – we drive on family vacations – and I enjoy getting out of the office and meeting new people and visiting with old friends and industry contacts. I also get to see a lot of rural America, something I might not otherwise get to do. But what I hate about airline travel is the increased use of carry-on luggage, caused by airlines’ increased use of checked baggage fees. Getting all the carry-ons put away takes forever, and it seems to me this is the reason for most airline delays.

So, while looking for some research data on this, I came across this article. (Yes, this is how many of my New Edge ideas are generated: accidentally.) I also came across one of the items mentioned below when browsing a “crowdsourcing” website, Indiegogo. This and sites like Kickstarter are great places to see what types of new products may be on the horizon or are just the dream of a person struggling to get financing. Read more

Wireless Symposium at CES Offers Unique Overview for Rural Carriers   

Wireless services, including those based on both licensed and unlicensed spectrum (such as Wi-Fi), have a profound effect on the telecommunications marketplace. Therefore, even carriers that do not provide traditional fixed or mobile wireless services have a stake in the wireless sector. The annual Wireless Symposium & WiExpo, jointly produced by NTCA–The Rural Broadband Association and the Rural Wireless Association, takes place January 4–6, 2015, in Las Vegas, Nev. The event explores all aspects of wireless services, offerings and technologies, and examines how they influence rural carriers’ businesses. The event is colocated with the 2015International CES®, which expects 150,000 attendees and more than 3,200 exhibitors showcasing the latest high-tech innovations coming to consumers.

The Wireless Symposium will cover topics such as the transition to an all-IP environment, the economic impacts of wireless services, upcoming spectrum auctions, and new business and technology developments—to name just a few. It will also feature TJ Kennedy, acting general manager of the First Responder Network Authority (FirstNet), who will discuss the role of small carriers in the public safety network. The symposium’s WiExpo will feature the latest products and services offered by a variety of vendors that can help carriers maximize revenue while bringing new products and services to the communities they serve.

Wireless Symposium attendees who register by December 1 will receive a complimentary CES badge. The Wireless Symposium will be held at the Tropicana Las Vegas. The room block is available until December 14. Register today to ensure that you’ll receive your complimentary CES badge.

« Previous PageNext Page »