How Apple is trying to reduce e-waste with its new iPhones

After completing a switch to 100% green energy earlier this year, Apple is trying to pack more renewable materials into its latest i Phones.

The new iPhone Xs and iPhone Xr will used recycled tin in their logic boards, preventing 10,000 tons of tin ore from being mined per year. The phones will also use 35% post-consumer recycled plastic in their speaker enclosures, and 32% bio-based plastic for the frame around the cover glass.

“We hope to one day eliminate our need to mine new materials from the earth,” Lisa Jackson, Apple’s vice president of environment, policy, and social initiatives, said during a press event on Wednesday.

Jackson also said that Apple wants users to own their devices for longer, perhaps alluding to the “batterygate” scandal that arose late last year when Apple admitted that it slows down users’ phones over time. Although Apple said this throttling is supposed to prolong the life of i Phones by making their batteries last longer, the company introduced a way to disable the throttling and launched a low-cost battery replacement program that runs through the end of this year. Optimizations in iOS 12, which launches next week, are supposed to make older phones run faster as well.

When users do decide to replace their i Phones, Apple will recycle them for free and offer trade-in credit if the phone has any value.

BY JARED NEWMAN   1 MINUTE READ

ATS Celebrates 37 Years in Business

Today we celebrate our 37th year in business.

When my partner, Bob Heuer and I started the business back in 1981, our goal was to provide the finest electronics repair service in the industry.

While our customers and product mix has changed over the years, I am extremely proud to say that our employees have continued to provide the same high quality electronics repair services that our company was founded upon 37 years ago.

A BIG THANK YOU to all of the customers, vendors, employees, supervisor and managers that have helped us achieve this major milestone.

Dave and Bob

5G Speeds Can’t Match DOCSIS 3.1, Charter CFO Says

Fixed 5G is being billed as an alternative and potentially significant threat to wired broadband services, but this emerging wireless option won't be able to catch up to the capabilities of cable's fixed-line platform, a top exec at Charter Communications said.

"I don't see anything about 5G that ever makes it comparable to DOCSIS 3.1 or DOCSIS 3.1 Full Duplex or any of the capabilities we have through a fixed-line service," Chris Winfrey, CFO at Charter Communications Inc. , said Thursday at the Bank of America Merrill Lynch 2018 Media, Communications & Entertainment Conference.

Charter has been ramping up its deployment of DOCSIS 3.1 to deliver 1-Gig downstream speeds and has been eyeing a newer Full Duplex annex of D3.1 that will support multi-gigabit symmetrical speeds on cable's widely deployed HFC networks.

Still, 5G could present "some edge use cases where it's easier to have a wireless drop than it is to have a physical drop," Winfrey added. But he believes that those instances, at least in Charter's case, will be "rare."

He also believes that cable is well positioned to support 5G networks as a partner, given the industry's access to fiber (for backhaul), rights-of-way and power.

Winfrey offered more detail on Charter's strategy with Spectrum Mobile, a service launched across its footprint earlier this week that is powered in part by the MSO's MVNO deal with Verizon Wireless .

Charter is using Spectrum Mobile, launched across the MSO's footprint earlier this week, to drive incremental sales of in-home broadband and other cable services.

A big part of that strategy is to help Charter further penetrate its fixed-line, in-home broadband service (that penetration is at about 50% today) by bundling it with the new mobile offering at an attractive price. In addition to driving broadband subs, the blending of in- and out-of-home connectivity will help Charter add broadband customers and reduce churn, he said.

"We'll be using this as a tool to sell mobile into the existing customer base but also into our new sales every day, and we'll be using mobile to drive incremental sales to cable," Winfrey said. But Charter's mobile strategy will come with some associated startup costs for "at least a couple of years," he conceded, noting that the impact there will be almost entirely dictated by the pace of growth. Still, Charter believes that its mobile business will ultimately become profitable on a stand-alone basis.

Winfrey said Charter's MVNO deal with Verizon is "attractive," though it believes that Charter could be more competitive and disruptive if it had more control.

He estimated that only about 20% of the traffic for Charter customers rides over the macro cell network, while the rest is offloaded on Charter's network (usually via WiFi).

But Charter is already eyeing ways, incrementally, to offload portions of that 20% through other uses of unlicensed and licensed spectrum.

Charter, for instance, is running tests on the shared CBRS 3.5GHz band, which will support both licensed and unlicensed use cases, as well as in the millimeter wave bands. Charter's been looking into buying bits of licensed spectrum.

"We're actively looking at that and have expressed our interest to the FCC and others," Winfrey said. "We like what we see in the mid-band so far… We'll build a business case around it and evaluate it as we go."

— Jeff Baumgartner, Senior Editor, Light Reading

Volvo Calls for Global Driverless-to-Human Communication Standard

05 Sep 2018

Volvo is calling for a global standard for driverless vehicle communications as it launch its 360c autonomous concept.

The concept’s aim is to tackle one of the main challenges around the introduction of autonomous technology – how robots can communicate with humans on the road as other manufacturers including Jaguar are working on.

In a statement Volvo said: “Autonomous drive and safety are closely linked, and the technology has the potential to deliver the most significant improvement in traffic safety since Volvo Cars invented the three-point safety belt in 1959. However, autonomous technology will be introduced gradually rather than overnight. As a result, fully autonomous cars will be introduced in a mixed traffic situation where driverless cars without a human driver will share the road with other road users. In such a traffic situation, it will no longer be possible to make eye contact with and learn about another driver’s intentions, a central element of today’s everyday traffic interaction.”

So its engineers have created the 360c as one way to establish a safe means of communication between fully autonomous cars and other road users. Also, their focus was to create a universal standard “so that other road users do not have to consider the make or brand of individual autonomous cars”.

Volvo’s methodology is to apply a system of external sounds, colors, visuals and movements to communicate the vehicle’s intentions making it clear that, at all times, what the car will do next. However, the carmaker says the vehicle it will never issue directions or instructions to other road users.

“We strongly believe this communication method should be a universal standard, so all road users can communicate easily with any autonomous car, regardless of which maker built it,” said Malin Ekholm, vice-president at the Volvo Cars Safety Center in a statement. “But it is also important that we do not instruct others what to do next, in order to avoid potential confusion. Our research shows this is the safest way for fully autonomous cars to communicate with other road users.”

The basis of the 360c is a fully autonomous, fully electric car without a human driver. Volvo claims the concept “capitalizes on the freedom in design afforded by the absence of a steering wheel and a combustion engine, providing the ability to re-imagine the traditional placement of passengers in rows of two or three”.

It claims to offer four potential mobility functions as a sleeping environment, mobile office, living room and entertainment space. Inside the sleeping environment, safety engineers have also looked at the possible future of safety technology and how a different passenger positioning could influence safety. A safety blanket included in the sleeping area incorporates a restraining system that works like a three-point safety belt but adjusted to people lying down while traveling.

— Paul Myles is a seasoned automotive journalist based in London. Follow him on Twitter @Paulmyles_

Apple to utilize RapidSOS to deliver 911 caller-location information to PSAPs

Donny Jackson | Urgent Communications

Apple this week announced that its devices will utilize RapidSOS technology to share location data with public safety when emergency calls are made using iOS 12, an upgrade to the Apple operating-system platform that is scheduled to be released later this year.

“Obviously, it’s very exciting for us,” Reinhard Ekl, vice president of product development for public safety at RapidSOS, said during an interview with IWCE’s Urgent Communications. “We’ve been working with the 911 community for many years, and at the center of our mission as a company is to provide faster, more accurate and more comprehensive data to 911. Getting location from millions of smartphones in a way that is robust, secure, fast and reliable is going to be a game changer.

“It obviously elevates our platform and makes it possible to reach a whole other audience and get it out to every 911 center in the country.”

Apple launched HELO (Hybridized Emergency Location) technology in 2015 that leverages GPS, network-based location information and the location of Wi-Fi access points to estimate a caller’s location, according to an Apple press release.

“Communities rely on 911 centers in an emergency, and we believe they should have the best available technology at their disposal,” Apple CEO Tim Cook said in a prepared statement. “When every moment counts, these tools will help first responders reach our customers when they most need assistance.”

RapidSOS CEO, Michael Martin echoed this sentiment.

“911 telecommunicators do extraordinary work managing millions of emergencies with little more than a voice connection,” Martin said in a prepared statement. “We are excited to work with Apple to provide first responders a new path for accurate, device-based caller location using transformative Next Generation 911 technology.”

Amid growing privacy concerns, Apple announced that the location information would not be used for commercial purposes and that only the responding public-safety answering point (PSAP) would have access to the caller’s location information during the emergency call.

Ekl said that this week’s Apple announcement is a reflection of RapidSOS’s philosophy to partner an integrate with all aspects of the 911 ecosystem.

“In the case of Apple, we receive the location information from Apple—it’s really their location technology that comes to play,” Ekl said. “What we contribute is the modern mechanism to deliver it to the PSAP.

“In other cases, we might be getting information from other sources. If you look at our partnership with Uber, it’s Uber that calculates the location, and we are the conveyance mechanism for the data to reach 911. Really, our core expertise is how to integrate new data sources and supplemental data with existing 911 systems.”

Under FCC rules passed in 2014, wireless carriers are required to provide PSAPs with caller-location information that is accurate within 50 meters 80% of the time by 2021. RapidSOS this year received the results from its participation in Stage 2 testing in the FCC-mandated location testbed that was conducted in late last year, Ekl said.

“It was very encouraging, because it just proved on standardized mechanisms what we had already known from our own field testing—devices with hybrid location from smartphone location services far exceeds what location-accuracy requirements are today and actually exceeds the location-accuracy requirements for 2021,” Ekl said. “The results of our testbed showed that more than 90% of calls were within 50 meters.

“That just shows that it’s time to act. It’s not a viable approach for public safety just to wait until 2021. If there’s location [technology] that’s available today that’s much better and much more accurate, then we just have to do everything we can to get it in front of the call-takers who need it the most.”

The RapidSOS clearinghouse platform also will support vertical—or Z-axis—information when that is available, Ekl said.

“When we get altitude readings from the device, from the application or from any provider or partner that sends us data, we can pass it on to public safety,” Ekl said. “It’s been very interesting to see that evolve. Public safety is still debating how to think about elevation data—there’s all of these ideas about barometric pressure, and nobody really knows what to do with that.

“At the same time, smartphone location services are starting to return an altitude reading in meters. In the near future, it’s been announced by Google that they’re working on floor-level accuracy. That’s just amazing. We have to take advantage of that and give call-takers the best possible data that’s available from the smartphones.

In addition to this week’s iOS 12 announcement with Apple, RapidSOS has conducted pilot programs with devices using the Android operating system that currently are being evaluated by Google, Ekl said.

with caller-location information that is accurate within 50 meters 80% of the time by 2021. RapidSOS this year received the results from its participation in Stage 2 testing in the FCC-mandated location testbed that was conducted in late last year, Ekl said.

“It was very encouraging, because it just proved on standardized mechanisms what we had already known from our own field testing—devices with hybrid location from smartphone location services far exceeds what location-accuracy requirements are today and actually exceeds the location-accuracy requirements for 2021,” Ekl said. “The results of our testbed showed that more than 90% of calls were within 50 meters.

“That just shows that it’s time to act. It’s not a viable approach for public safety just to wait until 2021. If there’s location [technology] that’s available today that’s much better and much more accurate, then we just have to do everything we can to get it in front of the call-takers who need it the most.”

The RapidSOS clearinghouse platform also will support vertical—or Z-axis—information when that is available, Ekl said.

“When we get altitude readings from the device, from the application or from any provider or partner that sends us data, we can pass it on to public safety,” Ekl said. “It’s been very interesting to see that evolve. Public safety is still debating how to think about elevation data—there’s all of these ideas about barometric pressure, and nobody really knows what to do with that.

“At the same time, smartphone location services are starting to return an altitude reading in meters. In the near future, it’s been announced by Google that they’re working on floor-level accuracy. That’s just amazing. We have to take advantage of that and give call-takers the best possible data that’s available from the smartphones.

In addition to this week’s iOS 12 announcement with Apple, RapidSOS has conducted pilot programs with devices using the Android operating system that currently are being evaluated by Google, Ekl said.

 

Source: http://urgentcomm.com/ng-911/apple-utilize-rapidsos-deliver-911-caller-location-information-psaps?page=1

 

Judge Grants Approval For Time Warner/AT&T Merger

By Jim Fryer, Managing Editor, Inside Towers

A U.S. court under Judge Richard Leon ruled late Tuesday, that AT&T could buy Time Warner Inc for $85 billion, without conditions, according to Reuters. The ruling opens the door for AT&T to compete with internet companies and grab the bottomless revenue stream associated with digital advertising, while providing new sources of revenue as carriers search for new income outlets in a stagnating market.

The deal also opens the way for additional mergers, such as Comcast Corp’s bid for some of Twenty-First Century Fox’s assets.

“I conclude that the government has failed to meet its burden of proof,” Judge Leon told the court. He called one of the government’s arguments against the deal “gossamer thin” and said any attempt to obtain a stay of his ruling would not only be unsuccessful but “manifestly unjust.”
Reuters said shares of AT&T were about flat in after-hours trade following the decision, while Time Warner rose more than five percent. Afterwards, AT&T praised the decision and said it hopes to close the deal by June 20.

Published June 13, 2018

Source: insidetowers.com

AT&T’s extreme-weather drone provides new LTE coverage option in difficult environments

AT&T announces a tethered drone that is designed to operate as a cell on wings (COW) that can provide broadband coverage in extreme weather conditions—a capability that promises to be valuable to AT&T, enterprise customers and first responders, according to an AT&T official.

AT&T recently announced a tethered drone that is designed to operate as a cell on wings (COW) that can provide broadband coverage in extreme weather conditions—a capability that promises to be valuable to AT&T, enterprise customers and first responders, according to an AT&T official.

Art Pregler, AT&T’s unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) program director, said that AT&T previously has used drones to provide surveillance video of cell tower and deliver LTE coverage to remote areas, but the new drone has been designed to operate in rain, snow and winds up to 50 miles per hour.

“With most drones, the manufacturer designs the drone and then—kind of as an afterthought—they figure out how it can fly in various weather conditions,” Pregler said during an interview with IWCE’s Urgent Communications. “Whereas, with this drone, from its initial concept, it was designed for harsh weather.

“For example, the motors are pointed down instead of up. The arms are hollow tubes that channels air through the tubes to cool the engines while it’s running. We put a cybersecurity system on our drone, as well, so that if anyone tries to hack it, jam it or spoof it, the drone autonomously detects what’s going on and will switch frequencies, and it will mitigate the threat. We’ve done quite a few things to it to ensure that it’s robust, so it can operate not only in harsh environments but in threatening environments, as well.”

AT&T’s all-weather drone has a 550-tether that provides power and two strands of fiber-optic connectivity—one to support data transmission and one for drone telemetry—from the LTE equipment on the drone to a ground station, where myriad backhaul options can be employed, Pregler said.

“If there’s no backhaul at all, then we’ll default to satellite,” he said. “But, if there’s Ethernet available, we’ll tap into that. If there’s microwave, we’ll go with that. We can also go with free-space optical, we can tie into aerostats, and we can even tie into AirGig, which is an AT&T technology using power lines. So, there are a lot of options for backhaul.”

From a power standpoint, the AT&T all-weather drone can use power from the commercial grid, generators, batteries or even a solar-panel array, Pregler said. As long as power is available, the new drone can remain in flight “theoretically forever,” but AT&T is still conducting tests to determine limits. Currently, AT&T is not using a drone for more than 24 hours at a time without maintenance, although manufacturers have stated that they believe the drone can remain operational for several weeks at a time.

Such power versatility and the 550-foot tether let the new AT&T drone provide LTE coverage for a significant area—potentially much more range that AT&T realized via LTE coverage during disaster-recovery efforts in Puerto Rico during the aftermath of Hurricane Maria, Pregler said.

“The value of the drone with LTE technology is that LTE is line of sight, so the higher you go in altitude, the wider the coverage area,” Pregler said. “If you fly the drone at 550 feet, that’s taller than any tower in our network, so we’re able to put out a very large coverage area.

“In Puerto Rico, we only flew it at 200 feet, and even there, we had a 14-square-mile coverage area for each drone. And the real value there is that we’re able to get over trees, ridges and rough terrain, over buildings and over other structures, so it has a lot of value in the coverage capability.”

Pregler said AT&T’s experience in Puerto Rico using drone technology to provide temporary LTE coverage was valuable.

“We took our program from something that we believed could be done to putting it into practice and proved that is something that is viable, it does provide value, and it works,” he said. “It validated a lot of assumptions for us. We feel much more confident. Not that we weren’t confident to begin with, but having proven it in the field, we know our solution works.”

Source: http://urgentcomm.com/long-term-evolution/att-s-extreme-weather-drone-provides-new-lte-coverage-option-difficult-environme?eid=forward

ATS Successfully Completes Annual ISO Audit

Advanced Technical Services has successfully completed a re-certification audit by NSF in May of 2018.

The certification verifies that the Quality Management System implemented and maintained by ATS meets the requirements of the ISO 9001-2015 standard for our repair processes.

ATS has been ISO certified since 2007 and is proud of the ongoing commitment from our entire team.

M&A: Comcast eyes Fox buy

May 23, 2018    By BTR Staff

Comcast  is considering an all-cash offer to acquire portions of Fox. Disney has already made an all-stock offer for those same assets. Comcast issued the following statement:

"In view of the recent filings with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission by The Walt Disney Company ('Disney') and Twenty-First Century Fox, Inc. ('Fox') in preparation for their upcoming shareholder meetings to consider the acquisition of Fox by Disney, Comcast Corporation ('Comcast') confirms that it is considering, and is in advanced stages of preparing, an offer for the businesses that Fox has agreed to sell to Disney (which do not include the Fox News Channel, Fox Business Network, Fox Broadcasting Company and certain other assets). Any offer for Fox would be all-cash and at a premium to the value of the current all-share offer from Disney. The structure and terms of any offer by Comcast, including with respect to both the spin-off of 'New Fox' and the regulatory risk provisions and the related termination fee, would be at least as favorable to Fox shareholders as the Disney offer."

"While no final decision has been made, at this point the work to finance the all-cash offer and make the key regulatory filings is well advanced."

In February, Comcast announced a proposed cash offer for UK-based Sky. Comcast bought NBCUniversal in 2011.

Source: https://www.broadbandtechreport.com/articles/2018/05/m-a-comcast-eyes-fox-buy.html?cmpid=enl_btr_weekly_network_technology_2018-05-24&pwhid=66f81cc62bcbde81149dfab4493bdade22d0d8e60bc12173d3ace81fc1fd6b5480c74d12322ed74d82139006a117d59f609e5fc7200cf0ad99d81e78e78ff649

Drones May Need ‘License Plates’ in the Near Future

May 24, 2018 | FAA
By Michael Pehel

A new rule proposed will require drones registered with the FAA to display a unique identifier assigned externally on the craft. Currently, owners are required to enclose the ID on the inside of the drone with the suggestion of utilizing the battery department. The precise method or form this external ID would take was not stated in the initial rule proposal, but would be determined through the rule making process.

The change was recently listed as part of the semiannual Unified Agenda of Federal Regulatory and Deregulatory Actions, but the actual proposal happened over a month ago. The increase of small UAVs within the NAS has drawn the concern of regulators for years with the registration requirement for non-commercial drones going back and forth between the FAA and the courts. In May of last year, the U.S. Court of Appeals ruled the requirement was no longer necessary for hobbyist drones. By December, that ruling was rendered null by the National Defense Authorization Act, which required every drone weighing more than .55 pounds to go through the registration process.

In a recent forum hosted by Bloomberg, Acting Administrator of the FAA Daniel K. Elwell stressed the importance of tracking drones in the United States.“We need assurances that any drone, any unmanned aircraft, operating in controlled airspace is identifiable and trackable,” Elwell said. “It’s as simple as that.”

Calls for IDs on all drones are coming from both the defense and security side of things as well as the commercial market, whose vendors see digital IDs as a path to safe beyond visual line of sight operations.

Source: https://www.interdrone.com/news/drones-may-need-license-plates-in-the-near-future/?utm_source=SilverpopMailing&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=InterDrone%20News%20-%20The%20FAA%20is%20Looking%20to%20Put%20License%20Plates%20on%20All%20Drones%2005-24-18%20(1)&utm_content=