Cell Phone Deals April 2018 Digest

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The month of March has introduced us to new smartphone models. During MWC 2018, we were given a look into the Samsung Galaxy S9 and Galaxy S9+, Xperia XZ2, Asus Zenfone 5, and many others. But while we wait for these phones to be released, let’s take a look at some of the devices currently available on sale.

Smartphones

Sprint

Ending Soon:

Ongoing:

 

Straight Talk

Ending:

Ongoing:

 

TracFone

Ending:

 

Verizon Wireless

Ending Soon:

 

Tablets

Ending Soon:

Ongoing:

 

Accessories

 

It looks like Verizon’s deals are worth checking out, especially if you’re on the hunt for a new smartphone to purchase. Most of their promos are available throughout April so you’ll be able to save on a newer smartphone model with them.

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T-Mobile deploys mid-band LTE upgrades to hundreds of cell sites

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Days after T-Mobile CTO Neville Ray confirmed that T-Mo has recently rollout out low-band LTE network upgrades across the country, he has announced that more upgrades have gone live. Ray just revealed that T-Mobile has upgraded hundreds of cell sites with more mid-band capacity in the last two weeks. T-Mo has confirmed to me that these are PCS and AWS upgrades. 100s of sites were upgraded with more midband capacity in just the last two … [read full article]

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T-Mobile rolls out low-band LTE to hundreds more cell sites

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In what is becoming a regular occurrence, T-Mobile CTO Neville Ray revealed today that T-Mo has added low-band LTE to hundreds of cell sites across the U.S. in the past two weeks. His tweet announcing the news can be found below. Our network team added lowband LTE to 100s of sites in just two weeks, which means more and better coverage. And #WeWontStop!! @TMobile @MetroPCS #AcrossTheGrid pic.twitter.com/bO8RSNSDxg — Neville (@NevilleRay) March … [read full article]

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A Stem Cell Patch Could Heal Hearts Damaged By Cardiac Arrest

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The Beat Goes On

The human body has an extraordinary capacity to heal itself: livers can regenerate when damaged, one kidney can learn to do the job of two, and our skin is constantly working to protect us from scratches and cuts that could expose us to harmful pathogens.

One of our most vital organs, however, can’t heal quite so well. When our hearts are damaged — by disease or injury — the tissue can’t regenerate very well, or very fast. After a major heart attack, for instance, billions of heart muscle cells may be lost forever. This loss weakens the heart and often ends up leading to conditions like congestive heart failure, or scar tissue build-up, which can be fatal.

Currently, the only option for a patient with a damaged or diseased heart is receiving a heart transplant. Donor hearts have to come from people who had healthy hearts before they died — which usually means patients who were fairly young and died in accidents, or from injuries or illnesses that didn’t affect their heart. Patients who are waiting for a donor match to receive a transplant can be waiting a very long time.

At the time of publication, there were nearly 4,000 people in the U.S. waiting for a heart, according to the Organ Procurement and Transplantation Network. Some of them will die on the waitlist before a match can be found.

Mend a Broken Heart

But a team of researchers at the University of Cambridge’s Stem Cell Institute in the U.K. is developing an innovative way to repair heart tissue. The team’s solution doesn’t require a donor heart at all — instead, they’ve used stem cells to grow live patches of heart muscle in the lab. These patches are just 2.5 square centimeters (0.5 square inches) but could potentially be a powerful tool to treat patients with heart failure.

“We believe that these patches will stand a much greater chance of being naturally assimilated into a patient’s heart,” says  Sanjay Sinha, a cardiologist at Addenbrooke’s Hospital in Cambridge, “[…] we’re creating fully functional tissue which already beats and contracts through combining all these different cell types which communicate with each other.”

While researchers have tried to inject stem cells directly into damaged heart tissue in the past, the technique didn’t prove particularly effective — mostly because the stem cells wind up getting lost in the bloodstream instead of staying in the heart muscle, where they’re needed.

These patches, on the other hand, are live, beating heart tissue that can be affixed to the organ like a scaffold. And, unlike a donor heart, a patient in need wouldn’t have to wait for a match to be found. Instead, the patches could be grown as-needed, and on-demand.

The scaffolding tissue will also be grown from the patient’s own cells — eliminating the need for a lifetime of immunosuppressants drugs and lowering the risk of organ rejection, two problems that transplant patients typically face.

Eventually, the University of Cambridge team hopes that the custom-made heart patch could be 3D-printed to perfectly fit the area of damaged muscle, then sewn onto the organ by a surgeon — while still an invasive procedure, one that much less involved than a total heart transplant. The biggest obstacle to that procedure will be ensuring that the electrical impulses that make the heart beat can be fully integrated with the patch.

Sinha’s team is close to getting their stem cell patches approved for animal trials. If the patches pass with flying colors, they could be ready for human clinical trials within five years.

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T-Mobile rolls out mid-band upgrades to hundreds of cell sites

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After announcing last month that T-Mobile had added more low-band LTE to hundreds of cell sites, T-Mo CTO Neville Ray today revealed more network improvements. Ray has confirmed that hundreds of cell sites have been upgraded with additional mid-band capacity in the past two weeks. As with the last upgrade announced by Ray, a GIF is attached to the tweet that lists all the cities that’ve received upgrades. You can find a list of the … [read full article]

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Bacon? Cell Phones? It’s Rarely Just One Thing That Causes Cancer

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If experts are to be believed, beer causes cancer. So does bacon. Cellular phones could cause cancer, but no one is really sure. So could the fluoride added to the water supply. Oh, and not exercising? Definitely causes cancer.

Fortunately, other things prevent it. Fruits and vegetables do a pretty good job. And so do nuts, according to Yale research published last week. Then there are the things that are murkier — beer could prevent cancer, but then again it could also cause it.

Headlines have been similarly contradictory. “Scientists have linked X to cancer.” We’ve seen it over and over and over. It’s an endless refrain, repeated more or less daily. Take a look at some of the highlights from just the last seven days:

Find this confusing? You’re not alone. And that’s all the more reason not to act on the advice of the latest headline.

Cancer is the second leading cause of death in America. If most headlines are to be believed, there is generally a single entity of a person’s lifestyle that, if altered in a specific way, can stave off the onset of the disease. However, decades of science have indicated that most cancers are complex diseases, caused by a combination of genetic and environmental factors — it’s rarely just one thing in a person’s life that can be blamed as the cause. 

Putting too much stock in these headlines means that you’re probably paying too much attention to an element of your lifestyle that ultimately doesn’t make much of a difference — and neglecting holistic advice that is actually proven to work.

In short: Anyone who says they have the answer — an answer — is lying.

At face value, the science doesn’t appear to offer much clarity. According to the American Cancer Society, there are more than 300 activities and substances that could cause cancer, and nearly the same number that could prevent it. It is virtually impossible to keep track of all these things, and frankly, it’s not even worth the effort, since so much of that advice is contradictory anyway.

Here’s the thing that scientists know about these studies that the average reader does not: Each study is a very small part of a much larger picture. Scientists come to a conclusion bound by a specific set of parameters that open the door to further experimentation. Maybe an initial study was done in mice — its conclusion could be interesting, but that doesn’t mean it’s ready to be applied to humans. Or perhaps scientists found that two entities have a relationship, but they don’t yet know what that relationship is (does one thing cause another? or is there a third thing that causes both?).

If research is going to change the advice that doctors give to patients, the studies need to be validated and their conclusions proven over and over. So ultimately, true scientific progress can be found in the summary of dozens, hundreds, or thousands of studies. The nuanced recommendations that doctors give take all this into account, and are determined by panels of medical professionals.

You know what’s not nuanced, and usually not written by a doctor? A headline.

When it comes to preventing your own death, you shouldn’t put your faith — and definitely not your fate — in the latest thing to pop up on your news feed that you half-read while riding the train.

So, which kinds of simplistic advice should you incorporate into a healthy lifestyle? Probably just the stuff you learned in elementary school: eat lots of fruits and vegetables, exercise, and listen to your doctor.

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Cell Phone Deals March 2018 Digest

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Cell Phone Deals March 2018 Digest

March is here and right now, the Mobile World Congress (MWC) 2018 is wrapping up the event in Barcelona. So far, we’ve seen a few devices to be excited about this year such as the Galaxy S9 and S9+, LG V30S ThinQ, Nokia 8110 4G, Nokia 8 Sirocco, Sony Xperia XZ2 and XZ2 Compact, SikurPhone, Asus ZenFone 5, and many more.

But while those devices are still being manufactured, wireless carriers are freeing up their inventory to make way for these. So if you are in the market for a new phone, here are some devices worth checking out:

Smartphones

 

Sprint

Ending Soon:

  • Moto e4 – $ 0/month (Ends March 8, 2018)

Ongoing:

 

Straight Talk

Ending:

Ongoing:

 

TracFone

Ending:

 

Verizon Wireless

Ending Soon:

 

Tablets

Ongoing:

 

There’s not too many options available right now but if you are interested in the latest Samsung Galaxy S9, Verizon’s deal seems to be a pretty solid offer.

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T-Mobile adds low-band LTE to hundreds of cell sites across the US

T-Mobile CTO Neville Ray decided to drop a little network news on us before the weekend gets underway. Ray tweeted today that T-Mobile has added low-band LTE to hundreds of cell sites in two weeks’ time. When asked for more info, T-Mobile told me that this expansion includes a mixture of 600MHz and 700MHz coverage. Our network team added lowband LTE to 100s of sites in just two weeks, which means more and better coverage. … [read full article]

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MWC 2018: World’s first streetlight powered smart cell lights up

Lighting up the IoT: Connected technology firm Ubicquia has shown off what it claims is the world’s first streetlight-powered smart cell, ahead of MWC 2018 in Barcelona.

The device, called Ubimetro, allows streetlights to become integrated components within a variety of IoT networks, using them both as power sources and transmission towers. It forms part of the company’s strategy to bring smart-city technology to the masses. 

Ubimetro consists of an omni-directional antenna and NEMA socket plug. Ubicquia said the device can work with an estimated 300 million streetlights across the globe.

Revolutionary tech

Using the new system, technology companies and city officials alike will be able to expand their IoT infrastructures using street furniture that is already integrated into the built environment worldwide. It can also improve the overall capacity and efficiency of these networks, claimed the company, and be used in a number of vertical applications.

Under the hood is an FSM-based architecture developed by American chipmaker, Qualcomm. This can support mobile broadband, fibre, ethernet, broadband power line, and wireless backhaul.

The Florida-based tech firm said the device also comes with LAA and V-RAN technologies. These will be paramount in the development of 5G networks, they said.

In the US last year, AT&T struck a deal with GE to begin installing Current CityIQ sensors in streetlights around the US. Its aim was not just to provide smart lighting, but also to monitor traffic, parking, air quality, and extreme weather, and even listen for gunshots.

Transforming smart cities

Ubicquia CEO, Ian Aaron, said the firm is on a mission to revolutionise networking technology. “Our goal was to bring Ubimetro to market at a price point that would make it more attractive for operators, utilities, municipalities, and tower companies to create ultra-dense small cell networks,” he said.

“By leveraging the streetlight infrastructure and our plug-and-play installation, Ubimetro is able to give mobile operators a dedicated host and self-managed network with one of the industry’s lowest total cost of ownership and fastest times to market.”

Tre Zimmerman, chief technology officer of Ubicquia, added that the company wants the device to become a core part of smart city developments all over the world. “We have overcome numerous design challenges to bring to market the first NEMA-socket-powered small cell that plugs into the top of a streetlight,” he said.

Zimmerman added: “Integrating fibre, ethernet, PLC, and wireless backhaul into Ubimetro means operators can deploy more quickly by leveraging a municipality’s or utility’s existing infrastructure.

“Ubimetro incorporates HeMS (HeNB Management System) software that provides operational, administration, maintenance, and provisioning [OAM & P] for the distributed HeNB devices.”

• Ubicquia will demonstrate the device at Mobile World Congress, which takes place from 26 February 26th to 1 March, in Barcelona.

Internet of Business says

The race to turn existing infrastructure assets into components of a variety of different IoT networks is on. Streetlights no longer just light up our cities and road networks, but may soon also provide illuminating data. By seeing them as powered towers that are located in every town across the globe, Ubicquia and others are helping to make our cities smarter and more efficient. Plus, the plug-and-play aspect of this new technology means that new types of network can be created on demand.

Read more: Rotterdam and IBM plan to create world’s smartest port with IBM


IoTBuild is coming to San Francisco, CA on March 27 & 28, 2018 – Sign up to learn all you need to know about building an IoT ecosystem.IoT Build

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911 Wasn’t Set Up With Cell Phones In Mind. Google Could Change that.

When the 911 emergency number was set up in 1968, there was no way to know how cellphones would change the way people use the service. Today, it’s still difficult for operators to pinpoint the exact location of callers to send out help – but Google could change all that.

The search giant has been testing out a way to use the technology that identifies the user’s location in Google Maps to help out the emergency services. As reported by the Wall Street Journal, a sample of 911 calls made using Android phones over the course of December 2017 and January 2018 saw geolocation data sent directly to the operator.

Currently, carriers can detect the location of a device by triangulating their distance from several cell phone towers, but this isn’t particularly accurate.  The study found that Google’s data gave an average location estimate radius of 121 feet, whereas carrier data averaged out at 522 feet.

At present, it falls to the operator to find out the exact location emergency responders need to be sent to from the caller. Given that they might be flustered, or potentially in a place they’re not familiar with, this can be a difficult prospect.

In this kind of situation, a slight improvement on the response time can be life-saving. Research published by the Federal Communications Commission suggests that as many as 10,000 lives could be saved annually if emergency response times were improved by just one minute.

Google has had the technology to provide this service for some time – it was rolled out in the U.K. and Estonia in July 2016, according to a report from Ars Technica. Many feel uncomfortable with the idea of allowing their smartphone to track their location, but in emergency circumstances, it’s easy to see the benefits.

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