The man who helped create Quicktime, sold Web TV to Microsoft, and made a run at streaming video games with the ill-fated OnLive says that he has developed a cell phone technology that is 1000 times faster than current phones.
Steve Perlman, a real inventor’s inventor, calls the tech pCell because it generates a personal cell phone signal that users don’t have to share. He hopes to get wireless carriers to jump on the new standard. That would involve upgrading the antenna infrastructure, which Perlman says could start as early as this year. Of course, the carriers would have to be willing, and therein lies the rub as Wired’s Cade Metz points out:
“In business, there is money in scarcity,” says Richard Doherty, director of a technology consulting firm called Envisioneering, who has closely followed Perlman’s project. “The wireless business models of today are based on scarcity. Opening up the floodgates for any service, for any carrier, has tremendous implications. In our experiences working with carriers…they like to have everything defined on their terms, to have breakthroughs arrive when they want them to.”
Upgrading infrastructure is no small task, so don’t expect a non-carrier to come in and make bid to become a player.
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Mat Honan, the tech reporter whose digital life was all but wiped out thanks to a hack, has been diving deeper into the world of hackers since they invaded his life. It may come to pass that the Mat hack– which was all over a coveted Twitter handle (@mat)– may prove to be more trouble than it was worth. Because Honan is documenting the world of hackers like a bloodhound.
Today a meaty post at Wired about a famed 15 year old hacker nicknamed Cosmo The God is all kinds of fascinating terrifying. Cosmo is an expert at “social engineering” and its shocking just how easy some of these security manipulations turn out to be. Even more shocking: the ideas you’ll come up with for dealing with these problems will seem so bloody obvious (say, an employee passphrase of the day?) that you may never trust an online company with your sensitive information ever again.
It’s a must read: Cosmo, the Hacker ‘God’ Who Fell to Earth [Wired]
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I’m a big fan of Wired co-founder Kevin Kelly’s “1000 True Fan” hypothesis. It has influenced a lot of my thinking in the past few years about what is possible and what is sustainable with creative endeavors. So it is heartening– and maybe a little scary– to see Kelly put his money where his mouth is.
He’s released the first book in his graphic novel series The Silver Cord– a sic-fi tale about androids and the afterlife– as a free read online. At a whopping 210 pages it’s a substantial piece of work. Yet if readers want to see the conclusion of the story, Kelly is asking them to contribute to a Kickstarter fund to produce the second half. The perks include physical copies of both books, digital editions and the like.
To run the math: if Kelly can get 1000 fans to kick down $40 a piece he’ll reach the projects goal of $40K. That works out to $20 a book for the two 210 page tomes. Not a bad margin even by current digital comic standards.
So far he’s only got 152 backers in play for this passion project, running in at just shy of $10K. Which means a lot of drama: can the godfather of arts crowdfunding drum up a community on the strength of free goods?
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