Tuesday morning at 3:44 A.M. Space X rocket, Falcon 9, blasted off from the Kennedy Space Center in Florida. Emotions were riding high prior to launch as Space X's second attempt at a launch proved successful. The Falcon 9 will be delivering a 1000 lb. payload to the International Space Station. This marks a historic event in space flight as this is the first attempt by a privately owned company to pull off a mission into near space. Space X also was the first private company to successfully launch, orbit and recover a space craft. Space X plans to continue it's close work with NASA, with the goal of launching a Martian rover in 2018, as well as some other private companies and wealthy individuals. For a hefty fee individuals will be able to catch a ride on a Space X shuttle to the ISS. Elon Husk has stated his goals for the company are to land one of the companies' spacecrafts on an asteroid as well as eventually putting Humans on Mars and further colonization establishing a future human presence on the planet.
Friday, May 18, 2012
In an effort to continually expand their market Google has developed Google Wallet, a cell phone app that turns your cellphone into a wallet. Currently the app only works only for the Sprint network and Nexus phone, however, Google seems poised to expand this, as Cnet has reported LG Optimus Elite Gains Access to the Google Wallet App. The app integrates bank and credit card accounts, namely Citi, MasterCard and Google Prepaid to be purchase items through stores offering Mastercard PayPass. It also allows savings via coupons earned through Google. Though locations and devices are currently limited, Google and other major companies in the financial, telecommunications, and retail industry seem ready to push forward with similar capabilities. Visa recently came to an agreement with the European Company Vodafone which would allow users in Europe to have similar capabilities to the Google Wallet. AT&T, T-Mobile and Verizon have also announced a joint venture with Chase, Barclays and Capitol One called Isis which will be those companies' version of the Google Wallet. The technology that makes all this possible is referred to NFC, Near Field Communication and most major phone carriers have committed to installing the chips into their cellphones in the near future. Not only would something like this permit you to use your phone at terminals accepting it, it would also allow money to be transferred from person to person via mobile devices with the built in chip set. Google pledges that the Google Wallet will be safer than a wallet by requiring passwords and never revealing any personal information on the screen and encryption to block any would be hackers. I myself would like to see this feature integrated with other financial institutions and more touch pay terminals, however, in effort to simplify finances I think the Google Wallet and others will likely complicate the market even more.
Thursday, May 17, 2012
Robert Mueller, Federal Bureau of Investigations Chief, recently appeared before Congress to lobby for expanding the FBI and other law enforcement agencies' wiretapping capabilities. Under the current law, The Communications Assistance for Law Enforcement Act or CALEA, the telecommunications industry is required to build back doors into their networks to allow law enforcement authorized interception of conversations. Yet, the FBI is still petitioning for greater power. In prepared remarks, FBI General Counsel, Valerie Caproni stated that wiretapping should include, "Web-based e-mail, social networking sites, and peer-to-peer communication technology." Currently, social networking sites like Facebook and peer-to-peer communication services like Skype or Xbox Live are not covered under the legislation. However, in the 1990's when the law was enacted proposals to use similar means to monitor the internet and similar services were rejected. Any amendment to the law would be great deviation from current practices. Spokespeople for the FBI say new legislation will be submitted in hopes that Congress grant the Bureau it's requests for greater access to such sites and applications, forcing the service providers to comply. However, some of these service providers are headquartered outside of the United States and the stretch of Justice Departments arm could be limited. Furthermore, the legislation would be extremely unpopular to the tech industry which had a hand in dismantling support for SOPA and PIPA, laws that sought to force internet providers to block certain websites in attempt to stop online piracy. Further legislation in favor of the bureau is supported by Conservative Republicans; but in an election year and with Democrats, who do not support it, having control of the Senate the law would likely be dead in the water. I myself, being a strong proponent of personal privacy, think any further legislation would be an over-stepping of boundaries by the FBI and the Department of Justice, as well as, a violation of the power allotted to the Executive Branch of the Federal Government .
Wednesday, May 16, 2012
Geeked Out Electronics is now in the early part of phase one in establishing total and complete dominance in the consumer electronics industry. That is we have finally gotten off the ground. With more products to come, my hope is that Geeked Out Electronics will become your premier provider of cutting-edge, high-end electronics at discount prices. Some of the first products we are offering now are The HP Envy 17 and The Samsung D7000 Smart TV through Ebay. The HP Envy 17 features a 3D screen and is on the cutting-edge of laptop capabilities. The one available through my Ebay actually boasts 2TB of hard drive space, 1080p resolution and clocks in at an impressive 2.3GHz using intel's 2nd generation i7 processor. The Samsung Smart TV is a 3D Smart TV, chock full of apps and allowing the complete immersion of 3D technology and measuring 55 inches so no squinting required on this bad boy. Geeks rejoice the future is here and it looks sweet.