Hurricane WiFi

Editorial Attribution - Anton Oparin / Shutterstock.com

As Hurricane Sandy battered the Northeast, power outages wreaked havoc on telecommunications networks, knocking out cell phone usage by the millions. If a future hurricane triggers similar failures, regulators say they have a potential solution with floating wireless antennas from balloons or drones. The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) is exploring the use of such airborne technology to restore communications after disasters. Beaming 3G or Wi-Fi signals from the sky may be especially useful to emergency responders in the immediate aftermath of a hurricane. Though not as severe as Hurricane Katrina, the damage to telecommunications networks after Hurricane Sandy was significant. After… read more

Data Furnaces

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There are many ways to hide from the winter but I recently read a paper presented in “Usenix Workshop on Hot Topics in Cloud Computing” that proposes the idea of using cloud server generated heat to warm up houses instead of a furnace or room heaters . This paper titled “The Data Furnace: Heating Up with Cloud Computing “ was co-authored by Jie Liu, Michel Goraczko, Christian Belady and Sean James from Microsoft Research and Jiakang Lu and Kamin Whitehouse, from the Computer Science Department at the University of Virginia. The paper puts forward the idea of dispersing the cloud servers amongst homes instead of having a… read more

The Google Nexus Family

The Google line of tablets and smartphones

Google recently announced their full line of Nexus tablets and smartphones, coinciding the same time as Apple shared their new iPad mini with the world. Google’s new family has arrived for the holiday season, and we at Blackle Mag have prepared a quick review of the devices to help prepare your holiday shopping. Android manufactures typically place their own modified versions of the software into devices they sell, which has created something of a fractured Android experience. However, Google Nexus products run pure Android OS, which also means that Nexus products will receive operating software updates before any other Android… read more

Easy Ways to Conserve

Conserving energy in daily life

Being energy conservative doesn’t have to be hard. The following are a few simple and practical ways to save throughout the week. Did you know that many email accounts can be accessed even when not online?  You can set yours up to allow message checking without the internet. To see if your email can work while your connection isn’t, open your account and then click on the “Settings” tab. Look for an “Offline” selection. Click on this and follow prompts to begin an install to add a work offline option. This feature is best on your own personal computer and… read more

Doorless Refrigerator

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Refrigerators are one of the best inventions of all time. Ever since their creation, refrigerators have found their vital place in both the rich and middle-class homes to preserve food and to provide cooled food. The basic principle of cooling the box has never changed but the body, colour and structure are the factors which differentiate modern refrigerators from the older ones. A Massey University (in New Zealand) third year undergraduate student, Ben de la Roche, has come up with the idea of a new refrigeration “wall” which has absolutely no door and displays all the food so that you… read more

Post Sandy Bike Generator

Bike Generator

The Museum of Reclaimed Urban Space, also known as MoRUS, has put an OWS bike generator to work which is now getting battery-depleted phone-owners back online. Morus along with C-Squat were able to save the OWS Bike generator from the flooded basement due to Hurricane Sandy. MoRUS has the bike generators placed at Avenue C between 9th and 10th Streets. These bike generators have helped to let people charge their phones and enable contact with their families. Some of these individuals have been without power for days. Meanwhile the residents of C-Squat have set up two grills and are receiving… read more

Blackberry Mobile Revival

Blackberry revival

The other day, I went to the Alltel store in my town and purchased a new Blackberry Curve 3g. To many, this decision would seem downright ridiculous if there wasn’t a reason behind my madness. RIM’s devices have been around since 1998, and it’s unfortunate that they have not aged well. When iOS and Android debuted, Blackberry failed to adapt in several ways which ultimately cost them the market they’d owned before this new competition. I’ve never used a Blackberry prior to this purchase, though I’d always wanted one as a kid. Owning this prestigious device meant something back then,… read more

Google Glass

Google's Glass

Google, the massive search engine company, smartphone operating system creator, and laptop maker, unveiled their newest plans to take over the world during the Google I/O event last year. It was called “Project Glass”, and recently we’ve been given a glimpse into the proposed uses of Glass. Basically, Project Glass consisted of a thin and lightweight pair of clear glasses with a computer built into them. The device would tether to a smartphone via Bluetooth connection, and stream your text messages, phone calls, pictures and videos, etc to your eyes. It’s called “Augmented Reality”, and it’s going to be the… read more

Solar Fish

Solar Fish

The oceans and seas of our planet are still a mystery for humans, and yet contain millions of creatures. New species are regularly being discovered under the waves and scientists are curious to explore the deepest and furthest reaches of this frontier to better understand our planet and to gain inspiration for our future. The Sunfish, is an enormous, flat looking fish. It is become the inspiration for the designers at AeroVironment to craft an ocean swimming robot, Mola, which is driven only by solar energy. The locomotion of this robot is similar to the sunfish which periodically comes to the surface… read more

Tablet vs Computer

A tech debate for the ages.

There are many great arguments supporting the purchase of a tablet to cover all your computing needs. Likewise, one could be convinced that owning a PC is the be-all-and-end-all of technological devices. Nonetheless, as a tech enthusiast and owner of multiple gadgets, I would like to go into further detail the importance of utilizing both. First off, we will analyze the Pros and Cons of these machines. Tablet Pros: Portable Lightweight Long battery life Touchscreen Apps Front & Rear camera Multitasking machine Fast HDMI (most new tablets) USB Hub Tablet Cons: Smaller screen Limited computing ability Easier to break (i.e…. read more