Sunday, December 10, 2017

Can We Use Sound Waves To Transmit Computer Data?

Although office modems from the 1980s use one to send computer data to telephone’s handset microphone, is sound still a viable way to wirelessly send computer data? 

By: Ringo Bones 

At least it is wireless, but whether it is a brand spanking new way to send data wirelessly is another question entirely. Chirp is a UK based tech firm founded in 2011 with Moran Lerner as the current chief executive officer has developed a technology that uses sound waves – as in sonically - to send computer data instead of the gigahertz frequency radio waves used by a typical WiFi. According to Chirp, this wireless computer data transmitting system was not meant to compete with Bluetooth and Wi Fi, but was meant to complement it. 

Using the principle of “sonic barcode”, any device with a built-in loudspeaker can transmit data via Chirp – though only within earshot of the devices. Despite its limited range, Chirp could prove useful in areas where there are restrictions in radio frequency emissions – i.e. in mining operations especially during blasting, etc. Chirp could also prove useful to areas declared as “safe-zones” for persons with RF sensitivity where sonic data transmission is the only way to stay connected.

Sunday, July 31, 2016

Who Really Invented Radio?

Even though Nikola Tesla and Guglielmo Marconi are the “prime suspects” but did you know that there are other people too who might have truly invented the radio?

By: Ringo Bones 

Majority of baby-boomers and generation-x schoolbooks usually ascribe the invention of the radio to Italian Guglielmo Marconi and it wasn’t until the tail end of the 1980s that the US Supreme Court declaration that Nikola Tesla was the true inventor of radio became more or less general knowledge. Although as for Tesla’s celebrated US Supreme Court victory over Marconi, the decision plainly states that Marconi’s original 1897 wireless patent stands unchallenged, there are other people who might have independently invented their version of radio around the same time as Marconi and Tesla. 

Back in 1892, a Kentucky farmer named Nathan B. Stubblefield invented the Induction Coil System which is a type of a primitive radio transmitter. Though largely forgotten, there are a few landmarks in the town of Murray, Kentucky today that points to where Stubblefield conducted his prototype radio transmitter.
At around the same time, Dr. Mahlon Loomis from Virginia experimented with a kite mounted tuned antenna circuit which he hoped would gain funding from Congress. But sadly, grant money from Capitol Hill never came. Although a research conducted back in 1992 uncovered that Dr. Loomis’ notes on the radio experiments he conducted during the 1890s were at least a decade ahead of the radio research done by both Marconi and Tesla. 

Back in 1886, a version of the wireless telephone was patented by a physics professor named Amos Emerson Dolbear based on a device that he publicly demonstrated in various fairs the United States, Canada and Europe at the time. Although, Dolbear’s device was later revealed to be just an RF system that lacked a suitable detector.

During the late 1880s, John Trowbridge was doing extensive experiments in both induction and earth-or-water-conduction wireless apparatus at Harvard. And so did Thomas Edison (who later became Nikola Tesla's arch-rival during the "War of the Currents"), Lucius Phelps were developing their various systems of wireless telegraph / telephone systems to communicate with moving trains since the beginning of the 1880s.

Even though they anticipated Marconi’s patents, two inventors were often conveniently left out by Tesla advocates – like Oliver Lodge who in 1898 and John S. Stone who a month earlier than Tesla in 1900 – had working RF devices that would cast doubt the US Supreme Court’s decision in its proclamation that Tesla was the true inventor of radio. Could this drag the “great radio controversy” even further? 

When the then Soviet Union successfully navigated their lunar space probe Lunik III to the far side of the moon back in 1959, they named one of the hitherto undiscovered craters in honor of Aleksandr Popov, who they claim invented radio. Though Aleksandr Popov’s RF experiment is largely unknown in the West, only a handful of people even know the name of Aleksander Popov. 

Despite the controversy behind radio true inventor largely revolves around Marconi and Tesla, there might still be others who, between the years of 1880 to 1900, could have independently created a working device that could truly be called a radio transmitter. Maybe they are just too engrossed in their work or lacking a working knowledge of existing patent laws of the time, might have missed out to be declared as the true inventor of radio.

Thursday, May 14, 2015

Did The Great Radio Controversy Changed Everyone’s Perception of Radio?

Given that it clarified the fact that Guglielmo Marconi wasn’t the real inventor of radio, it the “Great Radio Controversy” changed everyone’s perception of radio?

By: Ringo Bones

Even though there are still a lot of people who believed that the Italian named Guglielmo Marconi is the real inventor of radio, it is still a disappointing fraction of the world’s populace who know that Nikola Tesla is radio’s true inventor. Maybe the U.S. Supreme Court should still be constantly reassuring everyone that they’ve already reached a decision that granted Tesla as radio’s true inventor in the so-called “Great Radio Controversy” for almost 73 years.

Back in October 1942, the United States Supreme Court entered into the “Great Radio Controversy”. Though the invention of the radio had long been attributed to Guglielmo Marconi – as evident in schoolbooks still in current use in the United States and the rest of the world – the U.S. Supreme Court justices were intrigued by patent records and scientific publications which pointed to Nikola Tesla as radio’s true creator.

In June of 1943, the U.S. Supreme Court decided that Nikola Tesla had, in fact, invented modern radio technology. Ruling that Marconi’s patents were invalid and had been “anticipated”, Tesla was vindicated though far from victorious. Some five months earlier, alone and destitute in a New York hotel room, the great inventor had died. His papers and notes were seized by the United States Alien Property Office and are now housed in the Nikola Tesla Museum in Belgrade, Yugoslavia.

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

South Korea: World’s Fastest Internet Connection?

Given that in recent poll results show that South Korean has the most online connectivity of any country in the world, do they also have the fastest internet connection? 

By: Ringo Bones 

Back in October 2010, South Korea’s broadband internet was voted to be the fastest one in the world with an average speed of 1,000-megabits per second. Given that since after World War II, if you asked the average person of the street on which is the most technologically advanced country in the world, the United States and Japan are typically the two countries that top the list. But in the beginning of the second decade of the 21st Century, it seems that South Korea has a faster broadband internet connection than either the United States or Japan. 

On average, broadband internet speeds that prevail in the world’s other most technologically advanced countries hover between a “lowly” 2-megabits per second – only twice as fast as the digital PCM audio output stream that comes out of the coaxial digital output of a CD player – to 10-megabits per second. These speeds are 100 or more times slower than your typical South Korean broadband.
 But what aspects of a 1,000-megabit per second broadband internet can do that is useful to the average internet surfer? Well, a 1000-megabit per second broadband internet connection allows you to download a two-hour long Hollywood movie recorded at HD DVD / Blu Ray DVD quality in a little over 10 seconds! Movie pirates will probably be moving to South Korea to avail of such broadband internet capabilities. 

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Did The Wireless Intercom Used By NASA During The Moon Landings Garbled Armstrong’s Speech?

Though state of the art at the time, did the wireless intercom used by NASA to talk to the Apollo 11 team during the historic Moon landing garbled Neil Armstrong’s iconic speech? 

By: Ringo Bones 

“Its one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind.” The iconic speech made by Neil Armstrong when he set foot on the Moon was not what it supposed to be. Even though the audio quality might not be on par with the iconic Abbey Road Studios circa 1969, does the inherent distortion of the wireless intercom used by NASA to communicate between their Houston base and the Apollo 11 astronauts on the Moon was distorted enough to “garble” Neil Armstrong’s now iconic speech? 

During the Moon landing back in July 20, 1969, Neil Armstrong claims that his “one small step…” speech via wireless intercom has a word missing. Modern analysis of the recordings of the wireless intercom of that historic event by John Ollson, a forensic linguist, has shown that there’s no room for the missing “a” in Armstrong’s iconic speech back in 1969. So is it now Armstrong’s garbled speech that is known to posterity? While it is no secret that several years before the wireless intercom chosen by NASA  sometimes has audibility problems even when talking to astronauts on the launch pad minutes before being launched into space. 

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

The Titanic Tragedy: Birth Of Our Modern Wireless World?

The April 14, 1912 sinking of the Titanic may have resulted in the tragic loss of life on a mass scale, but did it also initiate the birth of our modern wireless world? 

By: Ringo Bones 

The tragic sinking of the cruise liner titanic back in April 14, 1912 had placed the single side band wireless telegraphy onto the center stage where previously it has been seen as a mere scientific curiosity hastily pressed into service due to “telecommunications necessity”. Before the establishment of our modern day social networks like Facebook and Twitter, back before microphones with fidelity that allows the un-garbled human voice to be transmitted wirelessly, single side band wireless using Morse Code messages was the only way to go back in the tail end of the 19th Century. 

Due to the “confusion” by amateur wireless enthusiasts relaying Morse Code messages that all of the Titanic’s passengers were safely rescued hours after the Titanic tragedy and adding that the liner Titanic suffered only minor damage after a collision with an iceberg, amateur radio / wireless enthusiasts were relegated to the short wave and short-ranged amateur radio band, while the longer wavelengths capable of longer range transmission were reserved to “professionals”. This very incident thus established the amateur CB radio band of the electromagnetic spectrum. 

Morse Code and International Morse Code may not be as articulate in comparison to modern day Facebook, Twitter and other photo sharing social media sites, but it did get the intended job done. And by the way, it eventually paved the way to our modern wireless world of the internet that’s easy to use even by “civilians” with only their Humanities Courses to fall back on when things get a tad “too technical” for them.