- that Vodafone New Zealand are embarking on trials of a
new technology called General Packet Radio Service. This technology will
allow mobile phones to communicate at a rate of 300Kb per second, over 30
times the current speed, allowing for high speed internet connections via
mobile phone and multimedia content such as videophone.
- that Britain is expected to approve the cloning of
human embryos for medical research, which could allow scientists to create
spare parts for the body. A panel of experts has decided the potential
benefits outweigh ethical objections.
- that Applied Digital Solutions, patent holder of the
Digital Angel (see page 12), is America's 5th fastest growing
technology company. Although Internet companies represent only 9% of the
1999 Fast 500 list, three of the top five revenue-earners, Excite@Home,
Netscape and EarthLink Networks, are leading Internet players. Siebel
Systems and Applied Digital Solutions, the other two companies
rounding out the top five, consider the Internet to be a central factor in
their future growth.
- that U.K. chemists have taken a step closer to building
a supercomputer that might pack the power of a million silicon chips into
a wrist-watch sized device and work a hundred times faster. Prasanna de
Silva and Nathan McClenaghan at Queen's University Belfast report linking
many molecules that switch on and off, giving out tiny bursts of light
that can be used to do addition. De Silva's molecules act as logic gates,
the fundamental building blocks of computers that make all the decisions
on each bit of information that passes through them.
- that Japan has slapped export controls on Sony's new
video game console, Playstation2, because the machine is so sophisticated
it could be used for military purposes. The game console has been
designated as "general-purpose products related to conventional
weapons'', because it contains components that could be used for military
devices such as missile guidance systems.
- that governments in Tokyo and Japan are planning to
test a device that allows tracking of old people unable to take care of
themselves. The transmitter is attached to the body and makes use of
satellite-based global positioning systems and cellular phone networks.
Concerned relatives need only send a request by a portable terminal and up
pops the runaway's location on a computerised map.