This week on WDD’s HotSpot,

  • The Vodafone Foundation has announced the Instant Network Mini, a 25-pound mobile network in a backpack that can be deployed in just 10 minutes, enabling aid workers to carry out life-saving work in disaster situations. The Instant Network Mini can provide up to five concurrent calls within a radius of 328 feet and enable text messages to be sent to thousands of people to provide crucial information following a disaster.
  • Researchers at the University of Liverpool simulated an attack on Belfast and London in a laboratory setting to demonstrate how WiFi networks can be infected with a virus. The virus, Chameleon, spread quickly between homes and businesses, avoiding detection and identifying points in which WiFi access is least protected by encryption and passwords.
  • SGP Technologies has introduced the Blackphone at this year’s Mobile World Congress. The Blackphone places privacy and control directly in the hands of its users. Blackphone’s PrivatOS, built on Android, and combined with a full suite of privacy-enabled applications, allows users to regain control over their communications activities. No longer will the use of a smartphone demand acceptance of unauthorized surveillance, commercial exploitation of activity data, and the loss of privacy, security and fundamental human rights.
  • The Intelligent Robotics Group at NASA’s Ames Research Center, with funding from the Technology Demonstration Missions Program in the Space Technology Mission Directorate, is working to upgrade the smartphones currently equipped on a trio of volleyball-sized free-flying satellites on the space station called Synchronized Position Hold, Engage, Reorient, Experimental Satellites (SPHERES). According to NASA, each SPHERE satellite is self-contained with power, propulsion, computing and navigation equipment as well as expansion ports for additional sensors and appendages, such as cameras and wireless power transfer systems. By connecting a smartphone, the SPHERES become Smart SPHERES. They now are more intelligent because they have built-in cameras to take pictures and video, sensors to help conduct inspections, powerful computing units to make calculations and Wi-Fi connections to transfer data in real time to the computers aboard the space station and at mission control.

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