The Evolution of Communication Technology

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“Watson, come here. I want to see you.” Those were the first words ever spoken on a telephone, when it was invented by Alexander Graham Bell. But that was just the middle of the communications journey.

Communication started much earlier, and it’s evolved leagues ahead of that now, to develop into current technology that probably would have baffled Bell had he been able to see ahead in time.

Where It All Began

Even our earliest ancestors had a clear understanding of the importance of communication. Without it, we would be unable to make connections with other people and function in a commerce-driven arena.

It’s difficult to know exactly when or how communication started because we can’t talk to those who came first and the record isn’t clear. But there is some evidence that the earliest forms of communication occurred through hieroglyphics, or cave drawings.

Though cave drawings and human speech sufficed for people in the immediate vicinity, it didn’t take long for humans to feel the need for long-distance communication as well. After the invention of fire, the first means of communicating beyond the reach of a picture or a shout came the form of smoke signals.

Research confirms that smoke signals and fire are among the oldest forms of long-distance visual communication. The method dates back at least to 150 BC. A Greek historian by the name of Polybius developed a way to convey the alphabet by fanning torches, and this was a very popular system of communication along the Great Wall of China.

Native Americans also made major use of this medium. It was a time-consuming practice, and accuracy tended to be a problem, but it sufficed.

Smoke signals worked well if you stood on a high hill or atop the Great Wall, but if you needed to speak to someone miles away and there was no way he could see you, so a better solution was needed. That’s when the use of carrier pigeons occurred to someone.

In about the 12th century, an Egyptian sultan discovered that if you separated pigeons from their mates, they would travel hundreds of miles to find them. By attaching a note to the leg of the traveling pigeon, you could send messages far and wide.

This was a highly effective method in the world wars but of course it also had its flaws. Obviously, the messenger pigeon wouldn’t make it to the destination if it was shot down or eaten by another animal.

Communicating Over Wires

In 1844, the first telegraph message was sent. It traveled 40 miles, which seemed an impossible feat at the time. This message system sent electrical signals over wires.

A certified clerk would interpret the letters being transmitted and deliver the result to the recipient. Before long, wires were put up all over cities and across the U.S., which laid the groundwork for what experts call the communications revolution.

Based on this wire system, landline telephones were built starting in 1876 when Bell introduced the technology. Before cellular phones transmitted signals through electronic waves, wires were held on tall poles or buried under the ground, and allowed people to talk from thousands of miles away.

Though landlines have begun to phase out, many homes continue to employ this method, which was a staple in most homes as well as companies from the 1950s onward.

From Wires to Waves

As we all know, wires became an outdated tool thanks to cellular tech. In 1946, Swedish police were the first to make a call via cell phone. It was discovered that the same technology that transmitted the voice over wires could be done wirelessly via satellite waves.

The 1946 experiment was one of a kind, however. The first cell phone for the use of private citizens was not developed until 1973 by Martin Cooper. It was a brick compared to the compact hand-helds we know today: it measured 9x5x1.75 inches.

Getting a signal also required extending an antenna, or a long wire, to catch it. But there was no stopping the revolution at this point. We got dial-up Internet, an online connection established through your landline, in 1981, and email became a popular way to connect with friends, family, and between businesses.

Ten years later, homeowners started to trade in their annoying dial-up connection for WiFi. Today you’ll rarely find a house that lacks this connective ability. Not long after WiFi came in, developers began experimenting with the smart phone, and in 20 years, it would be the primary phone choice around the world.

Updates Galore

As you know, tech is now such a huge part of daily life now that we wouldn’t be willing to live with the original models. Apple is now on its seventh official version of the iPhone with plans already in the making for the eighth.

Businesses are now run with this incredible communication technology. They’re not only able to make phone calls to people on the other side of the world, but they’re also able to video conference, hold meetings with multiple people, send texts and emails on a mass scale, and more. There are even apps like Dialpad that let you do all of those things in one application, whether you’re traveling or sitting at a desk. Those in the business sector are constantly looking to improve their technology applications.

Wireless Internet is becoming faster, and easier to connect to than ever before. Homes have started talking back and running themselves through smart-home tech.

Technology is constantly updating. It’s an impressive and constant presence in our society. The ability to communicate over long distances yet face to face is a capability our cave ancestors and even the settlers of the West could never have imagined.

The future of technology is undoubtedly exciting, unpredictable, and loaded with the promise of amazing ideas to come.

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Samsung can breath easy, no more Note 7 warnings on flights

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Samsung’s had a rough 2016, with over a hundred instances of the Galaxy Note 7 exploding, and the smartphone being banned from carrying it on an aircraft which has caused catastrophic damage to the brands reputation across the globe.

However, a report by The Verge states that the Department of Transportation in the US has lifted the requirement for the airlines to notify passengers that the recalled Samsung Galaxy Note 7 is a prohibited flight risk.

This doesn’t mean that the phone is now allowed to be carried around in an aircraft, that ban on the Note 7 still exists. However, this just means that Airlines are not mandated to inform about the smartphone’s prohibition.

The FAA or the Federal Aviation Administration says the DoT has removed the pre-boarding requirement “due to the high degree of public awareness of the ban since issuance of the emergency restriction/prohibition order, as well as the extensive efforts by Samsung and U.S. wireless providers to make all Note 7 users aware the phone is recalled and banned from transport on U.S. aircraft.”

Moreover, following FAA’s statement, Samsung states that around 96 percent from the total Note 7’s sold have been recalled as of now.

This is definitely a breath of relief for the South Korean smartphone maker which was getting its reputation smashed every time the Note 7 announcement was being made on an aircraft. The airlines have yet to comment on when they’d execute the notification by the Department of Transport.

Samsung also stated during CES 2017, that it’ll soon lift the veil upon the detailed report which will tell us what actually went wrong with Samsung’s flagship phablet.

Leaked: Galaxy X1 and X1 Plus are Samsung’s new Android flip phones

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Samsung is known to be working on its foldable phones, as the company had patented this technology not too long ago. There is no news on how the phone would look like, but there have been several rumours that pointed to the phones being developed under the Project Valley codename. Now new reports suggest that Samsung might launch the phone under the Galaxy X series.

Two new smartphones named Galaxy X1 and Galaxy X1 Plus have allegedly leaked online, which indicate that these devices would be the new foldable smartphones, from Samsung.

Weibo, the Chinese social platform, known for its leaks, have posted the phones, which also reveal the model numbers of the devices, which are ‘Sm-X9000’ and ‘SM-X9050’. Both handsets are tipped to run on Android operating system.

Another report from AndroidSoul have pointed that both the phones already are under test in China. Rumours also point that the Galaxy X1 would be running on Android v6.0.1 Marshmallow and the Galaxy X1 Plus would come with Android Nougat operating system.

The patent filed by Samsung, suggests that Galaxy X might feature a flexible or secondary display that would turn on when the smartphone is folded. Other hearsay suggest that Samsung might feature the new smartphones with a 4K display and host a lot many other features like iris scan, fingerprint scan, face scan, biometric authentication as well as palm pattern.

Other information suggests that Samsung might announce these new Galaxy X branded phones in Q3 and Q4 of 2017. Both will have dual screen with flat screen on each side and Samsung might also launch another foldable model with a single flexible OLED screen that is likely to come next year in 2018.

Build A Better Brain: 4 Apps For Improved Brain Health

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At a time of rapid medical processes, basic research is developing innovative treatments. The 21st Century Cures Act was recently signed into law, creating new pathways for drug approval, and tech devices are revolutionizing weight loss, diabetes management, and even aiding in the treatment of conditions like Parkinson’s through the use of deep brain stimulation. Still, in many cases, brain-based issues remain among the most intractable and difficult to treat.

From headaches to memory and mental health, app developers aim to improve our current approaches to brain health. We can feel better and function better with the help of technological advances.

A Headache Helper

Some days, you get a headache that no amount of Tylenol will get rid of – you need something more. But what? Targeted sound waves may be the answer.

Low-frequency sound waves can help relax the mind and relieve headaches, and the Brain Wave Headache Relief app puts these specifically engineered sound waves at your fingertips. The app offers daytime and evening specific programs as well as additional background sound for your enjoyment. While your conscious mind enjoys the soundtrack, the underlying sound waves can relieve headaches by altering alpha, theta, and delta waves in your brain.

Memory Masters

One of the most devastating neurological conditions today is Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia – conditions that rob people of themselves, of the memories and personalities that make us who we are. It comes as no surprise, then, that many of us spend our younger years seeking out memory preservation strategies, including taking fish oil and choline supplements, doing puzzles, and remaining active. Still, this is rarely enough.

In response to our cultural concern with memory and mental agility, many app makers have stepped up with potential solutions, including widely publicized (and controversial) programs like Lumosity. Lumosity hardly has a hold on the market, however. Other popular memory training apps include Elevate and Peak, with Peak featuring mini-games meant to boost attention span, potentially helping users beat out multitasking and distraction in daily life.

Memory Monitoring

Though brain training activities have the potential to keep users stimulated and build neural connections, they can’t beat disease alone, which is why it’s important to be aware of signs of memory loss. Unfortunately, when your memory starts to slip, it can be hard to notice the signs and take them seriously – we all want to discount forgetfulness as normal aging or distraction. Sometimes we need to be pushed to address the issue. That’s what makes the Neurotrack app so useful.

Neurotrack uses eye-tracking technology to spot signs of Alzheimer’s in users. It’s a simple 5-minute process that can be done at home via smartphone and the science behind it is much stronger than anything supporting brain training apps. This program can be a real lifeline for concerned family members hoping to keep tabs on potential problems among older relatives.

Anxiety Awareness

Though we’ve become more aware of mental health as a nation in recent years, appropriate treatment for conditions like depression and anxiety can still be hard to access, particularly for low-income individuals and those living in rural areas. Apps, however, are a low-cost way to help circumvent some of the most challenging symptoms.

If you struggle with anxiety, which is an adaptive and necessary trait, but one that can get out of control, an app like Headspace can help. For a monthly fee of $8, you can access daily guidance packs that help you check your mood and connect with your emotions. You can also choose the life issues you wish to address, helping you to cope with specific concerns, such as job stress or social anxiety. While not the same as seeing a mental health professional, apps make a great stopgap between sessions and can help those without access to treatment make steps towards psychological health.

Apps are never a replacement for medical professionals, but they can be a great way to manage day-to-day and subclinical issues and monitor ongoing problems. And if you can knock out that horrid headache by plugging in your headphones or playing a brain stimulating game instead of Pokemon Go, why not give it a shot?