Technology News For Those Summer Time Blues

Nokia unveils bicycle-powered charger for mobile phone

The world’s largest mobile phone maker Nokia has unveiled a bicycle-powered charger for mobile phone, according to a statement released by the Finnish company on Thursday.

The bicycle charger kit consists of a charger and dynamo, as well as a holder to secure the phone to the bike. When the kit is installed, the dynamo — a small electrical generator — uses the movement of the wheels to charge the handset through the standard 2mm charging jack used in most Nokia mobile phones.

The kit will charge the phone when bicycle speed is between 6 kilometers and 50 kilometers per hour. A 10-minute journey at 10 kilometers per hour produces around 28 minutes of talk time or 37 hours of standby time.

According to Nokia, the bicycle-powered charger kit, to be priced at about $18.00, has been specially designed for markets in developing countries, where electricity supply is not stable while bicycle use is really widespread. However, it would be launched in European markets as well considering its environmental friendliness. No word yet if Steve Jobs will be hopping on board.


For educators and parents here in the states worried about the Internet providing new means for cheating, perhaps, we can learn some lessons from our pals in China

Police bust rings selling cheating devices

Source: Global Times
By Ji Beibei

Police in various cities have arrested multiple suspects for selling tiny but sophisticated electronic devices that could be used by students to cheat on this year’s national college entrance examination which begins Monday.

Police in Huachi, Gansu Province detained six people and confiscated 30 devices, including receivers and earpieces, the Xinhua News Agency said Sunday, quoting a spokesman with the local public security bureau.

The devices were sold for between 20,000 yuan to 30,000 yuan ($2,941 to $4,412). However, some reports in other cities said they were sold for up to 50,000 yuan ($7,321).

The suspects were detained on June 1 after they received 28,600 yuan ($4,187) in down payment from 11 students, the report said.

Authorities in Fujian Province also arrested 58 people from six groups for allegedly selling the devices. They launched the operation after receiving tips from the public, Xinhua reported.

The suspects have received 7,900 yuan ($1,156) from 10 students since April.

Police in Changchun, Liaoning Province, also smashed a group who raked in more than 600,000 yuan ($96,551) from selling 400 cheating sets.

The sets include a pinhole camera that transmits the questions to a computer monitored by crooks that provided the equipment. Students could use earphones or a watch to receive answers, the New Culture View newspaper reported earlier.

Authorities in Xi’an, Shaanxi Province plan to take steps to stop students from sneaking in high-tech devices, the Xi’an Evening News reported Sunday.

Workers in the radio management office of the province recently held a drill on how to detect the presence of cheating devices.

In Sichuan Province, an inspection department set up a special team to investigate the problem.


Lies, more lies and Statistics and from those wonderful folks around the world

Govt data to be investigated

By Li Qiaoyi

Three government departments including the National Bureau of Statistics jointly rolled out a massive, nationwide investigation of statistical figures Tuesday.

The investigation mainly targets key figures including GDP, industrial production, and urban and suburban residents’ income by examining the data collection processes, methods applied to the data and data quality.

Violations of rules on statistics found during the investigation will be dealt with toughly, preventing false statistics, an unnamed official in charge of the program told Xinhuanet.com Wednesday.

The program started with self-checks this month. Random inspections will be launched in July and August, and rectification will be carried out in September.

The country has recently been stricter with violations of regulations on statistics.

As statistical figures released by different government departments and at different levels collide, more questions on the authenticity of statistical data are being voiced.

A new regulation on statistics, aimed at stamping out false data, came into effect May 1, 2009, mandating that violators including leading officials of local government departments, administrative institutions and individuals responsible for statistical work would receive major penalties if their actions had serious results.

An amended Statistics Law took effect January 1, consisting of seven chapters and 50 articles. For the first time, the law stipulated that any legal violation must be investigated.

"It is not easy to say what the effect of the new rules will be, given that they have been in place for only a short period of time," Ye Qing, deputy director of the Hubei Provincial Bureau of Statistics and a professor at Zhongnan University of Economics and Law, told the Global Times Thursday.

"Unlike in the past few years, people have become more concerned about statistical data, which is partly due to some problems existing in the statistical system itself," Ye said.

Combined provincial GDP figures are always higher than the national GDP figure.

Ye said that is due to local officials hoping to advance their careers by posting more impressive growth figures.

There are some fundamental problems underlying current economic growth, such as increasing disparities between the rich and the poor, that make people suspect sta-tistical figures show exaggerated results, he said.


On the Broadband front

Verizon, Time Warner Cable Fight Over The Definition Of Fiber

NAD rules again in Verizon’s favor in continuing ad dispute
by Karl Bode

Last month we noted how Time Warner Cable, Cox, Cablevision and Comcast have all been slapped on the wrist by the the National Advertising Division of the Better Business Bureau. Why? They continually run ads that try to confuse customers into thinking that having core network fiber is the same thing as running fiber to the home. Verizon — given they actually do run fiber to the home — has filed complaints against these ads with the NAD and has repeatedly seen NAD rule in their favor.

In response, Time Warner Cable recently filed their own complaint with the NAD. According to the complaint, the cable company argued that Verizon was being misleading about offering "100% fiber" — given that Verizon does use existing coaxial cable with MOCA for networking inside the home. Apparently the NAD wasn’t convinced by Time Warner Cable’s argument, and has dismissed Time Warner Cable’s complaint. From a NAD statement:

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