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Mobile Phones Are Booming in North Korea, of All Places

April 26, 2013 North Korea’s only mobile operator, Koryolink, is about to hit 2 million subscribers, its CEO Ezzeldin Heikal told diplomats and NGO workers in Pyongyang this week. Koryolink launched services in North Korea in 2008 and took more than three years to sign up its millionth subscriber. It doubled that number...

3D Printing Chocolate Is a Cool Idea, and Someone Is Trying to Patent It

April 24, 2013 If there is one thing the patent wars in the mobile industry have taught us, it is that the price of innovation can be ruinously expensive. By one estimate, there are over 250,000 active patents affecting smartphones, or about 16% of all patents presently in force in America. One reason...

From Boston to Sichuan, Messaging Apps Come to the Rescue When Cellphone Networks Fail

April 23, 2013 Both in last week’s Boston bombings and last weekend’s earthquake in China’s Sichuan province, mobile-phone networks were quickly overwhelmed as people rushed to call family and friends. In both cases, users took to services that use bandwidth more efficiently, like text messaging, microblogging and instant-messaging apps. Voice calls consume about...

Chinese Messaging App Heads to India But “Has No Business Plan”

April 22, 2013 Tencent, China’s biggest internet company, is about to launch a huge marketing push in India for it instant messaging app, WeChat, says a source close to the company’s marketing team. According to the source, the WeChat India blitz will entail front-page advertorials in the city supplements of the Times of...

And the Award for Best Design Goes to… the British Government’s Website

April 17, 2013 The London Design Museum’s annual awards took place last night and for the first time, the winner of the best design of the year was a website. What’s more, it was a government website: Britain’s gov.uk. Visiting gov.uk with the knowledge that it is an award-winner is a distinctly underwhelming...

What Exactly is a Cyberweapon Anyway?

April 10, 2013 Reuters reports today that the US Air Force has decreed six “cyber tools” as weapons. From the report: [Lieutenant General John] Hyten said the recent decision by Air Force Chief of Staff General Mark Welsh to designate certain cyber tools as weapons would help ensure funding. “It’s very, very hard...

Forget Bitcoin, This Virtual Currency Doubles Your Money Every Month

April 8, 2013 To produce bitcoins, processors must hum away solving mathematical problems. But mavros, another virtual currency, are simpler. They exist because Sergey Mavrodi, their creator, says they do. And while the recent spike in bitcoin value is the result of speculation on the open market, the rate for mavros is “established...

Forget About the Cyberbunker Attack—Here’s How to Take an Entire Continent Offline

March 28, 2013 At its peak, Cyberbunker clogged up a mind-boggling 300 gigabits per second of the Internet in what’s being called the biggest cyber-attack in history. But what if you could switch off 1.28 terabits—four times as much bandwidth—with nothing more high-tech than an axe? That’s what three men tried to do...

Drones Will Track Rhino Poachers in India

March 26, 2013 Deep in the heart of Assam, a remote northeastern province of India, a group of 150 guards watch for poachers in Kaziranga National Park, home to three-quarters of the world’s one-horned rhinoceroses. But with an area of 330 square miles to cover, the guards can’t be everywhere. Last year poachers...