Dean Anthony Gratton
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5G: ET Phone Home
Technically Speaking, March 2018

   “It seems that my so-called cellular "shortcoming" actually isn't my shortcoming! What was I thinking?”

Excerpt …
“As I tackle this month's column, the tail end of the Mobile World Congress (MWC) is in sight and, over the last five or so days, I have been privy to several headlines vying for our attention, all of which surround the overwhelming promise of 5G.

ET, phone home …
Yes, I have mentioned this in numerous columns across various periodicals: What about 4G? I ask this question regularly, since large parts of the UK and Europe are yet to receive a reliable and consistent 4G connection. However, if you're passing the moon at some point, you'll be pleased to learn that Vodafone Germany, along with Nokia, plan to launch a lunar network in 2019. In a privately-funded mission, moon vehicles, known as "rovers," will be connected to a central base station allowing high-quality video to be shared. I can only imagine that this news has frustrated those consumers who are lacking connectivity in remote areas of the country - after all, if a new 4G infrastructure can be launched on the moon, then why can't mobile network companies expand our infrastructure here on earth? It really is a cliché so please forgive me, but it gives a whole new meaning to "ET phone home" - there I've said it!”

Read more …

The End of the Internet
Technically Speaking, February 2018

   “the internet should remain an open and free platform - it's there for all and, despite the plethora of unsavoury content, the unscrupulous few and the potential for digital theft, we should not forget it's predominately a resourceful tool and should remain so.”

Excerpt …
“The internet: an open and immersive platform where you can find everything and anything, at any time. Well, that's the premise, but some countries, in fact, inhibit selected media and content - you know, for political gain or just nothing more than sheer bullying - that dictatorship thing; however, generally, it's open to all! Naturally, with impressionable children and whatnot, we need to have the ability to restrict access to certain content, which seems to be a more moderate and reasonable sense of "censorship," if you like.

The Bill of Rights, Amendment 1
Freedom of access isn't only limited by restrictions from parental control or dictatorships either: You see, I have access to many sites that offer me the opportunity to download copyrighted content such as music, movies, applications and digital books! My internet service provider (ISP) does its best to restrict my access to such content yet, much to my dismay, I can still locate and download several of my books in digital format! Eesh, that's depressing! Anyway, if you're here in the UK and you do attempt to access a site offering such content, you're invariably prompted with a notice informing you that the site has been blocked "pursuant to orders of the high court." …”

Read more …

NFC Forum 2018 NFC Innovation
Award Judges Announced

NFC Forum, Fenruary 2018

   “…15 Near Field Communication Leaders and Luminaries to Judge Global Award Competition”

Excerpt …
WAKEFIELD, Mass., USA – Feb. 1, 2018 – The NFC Forum unveiled today a slate of 15 judges for its 2018 NFC Innovation Awards representing a prestigious list of Near Field Communication technology (NFC) experts, business leaders, journalists and analysts. The awards recognize innovative NFC products, services and experiences worldwide. Nearly 100 entries were submitted to the annual award competition last year. The selected judges represent a wide array of market disciplines and technical expertise from Asia, Europe and North America. The NFC Forum is the world’s leading standards and advocacy association for NFC technology. Thinfilm is the 2018 NFC Innovation Awards Platinum Level Sponsor.

We are fortunate to have such a prestigious and enthusiastic list of judges for the 2018 NFC Innovation Awards. They represent some of the technology industry’s leading lights and brightest minds involved in NFC,” said Paula Hunter, executive director, NFC Forum. “NFC Innovation Awards will be presented in three categories: Best In-Market Implementation; Best Emerging Concept and NFC for Good. The awards ceremony is scheduled to be held during the NFC Members Meeting at the Barbican Centre, London, UK on June 26, 2018.”

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Introducing the holographic virtual assistant
Technically Speaking, January 2018

   “You see, Cortana, Siri, Alexa and, Google, for that matter, are all guilty – they are not yet brilliant with accommodating our language nuances.”

Excerpt …
“Happy New Year!

I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas and a spectacular start to the New Year! Yes, 2017 should have received a speeding ticket, since it went by too fast! And, I’m sure, 2018 will similarly speed along at an unsuitable pace – apparently time flies when you’re having fun, or is it just old age? Never mind.

What do we do now?
So, it’s 2018, and I thought in this month’s column I would steer away from the traditional diet of “Here are my predictions for 2018.” To be honest, I simply couldn’t swallow writing a piece of this ilk, as I’m sure plenty of others will have their own unique perspective. Does anyone actually look back at the predictions that were made at the start of the year? Anyway, it’s January and we typically kick off with CES soon followed by the ever-popular Mobile World Congress – they have become, if you like, a default factory reset to the New Year for the tech world – we just couldn’t be without them!”

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