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Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Solar Activity Drops, Professor Wins 500k, Googles Next Nexus, and Location Privacy Laws

Today's tech news reveals to us that fading Sunspots signal a drop in solar activity, a professor wins $500k for his research in electrical components, Google's new Nexus phone is rumored over and Senators introduce a new location privacy law for the US.

Readings taken of the suns surface as well as magnetic activity near the poles seem to indicate that the sun will be undergoing a period of less activity in the coming years.  The sun goes through 11-year cycles of activity building up and then decreasing. This solar activity is seen in the form of Sunspots which are black parts of the surface indicating turbulence on the sun. Sunspots have been known to interfere with electronic devices which means this decrease in activity is a good thing.

Professor John Rogers was awarded $500,000 for his innovations in the fields of health, fiber optics, semiconductor manufacturing and solar power. Rogers is a professor at the University of Illinois and has recently completed work on eye-like cameras as well as less invasive surgical tools. The money will go towards more research on biointegrated electronics which will be able to conform around organs underneath the skin. 

Rumors going around indicate that Google may soon be coming out with it's latest and greatest android device. The device is expected to feature a dual-core Snapdragon processor, 4G LTE, a 5 megapixel back camera and a 1 megapixel front facing camera. More than likely the new phone, rumored to be called the Nexus 4G, will be the first android phone to run android 4.0 or IcecreamSandwhich. If the phone does indeed have LTE built in, that would mean it would be available on either Verizon or AT&T. Google will most likely make the phone a reference for future android 4.0 devices. The device is rumored to arrive sometime around Thanksgiving. 

Last in today's tech related news is a new location privacy law introduced to the US Senate which would require companies such as Google and Apple to receive explicit permission from users of devices running on their mobile platforms in order to collect and use location based data. Apple had recently been brought into the spotlight for tracking and storing the location of users in un-encrypted files which could be easily accessed by hackers. Location data is used by the companies in order to sell to advertising agencies as well as to collect information that can be put towards improving hardware and software.

Today also brings a new section to these blogs. A question of the day. So today's question is should there be a law requiring companies to ask for any information they collect and why?

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