Digital

Iowa starts testing smartphone-based digital driver’s licenses

Iowa starts testing smartphone-based digital driver’s licenses

Over a year ago, we heard about the state of Iowa's initiative to develop digital driver’s licenses that could eventually replace the plastic cards used through the US. The digital licenses would feature the same information as the physical versions — photo, address, date of birth, etc. — but be stored on a user's smartphone. Well, Iowa has now announced that it's beginning a test program, known as the Mobile Driver License (mDL), for a number of different situations, but limited to employees of the states' Department of Transportation.

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Push for Apple to unlock iPhone’s FM receiver chip access

Push for Apple to unlock iPhone’s FM receiver chip access

The National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) has brought a previously hidden iPhone feature to light. Almost all smartphones have an FM receiver chip built into their hardware. It's actually the same chip that is used for WiFi and Bluetooth functionality. In the iPhone 6, it's the Murata 339S0228, and the FM utility is completely switched off. According to the NAB, the FM chip could be an invaluable feature for the public to utilize in an emergency situation, especially considering how cellular and data networks can become overloaded in the case of an emergency.

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Norway to cease FM radio broadcasts in 2017

Norway to cease FM radio broadcasts in 2017

FM radio has been around for decades and it has always been the type of broadcast you wanted for the highest quality music. Many countries are now working on switching from FM broadcasts over to digital radio. The first country in the world to cease all broadcasting of FM radio signals will be Norway.

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Xiaomi unveils low-priced Yi action camera at MWC 2015

Xiaomi unveils low-priced Yi action camera at MWC 2015

If you've ever wanted a GoPro but couldn't part with the cash, then this may be your chance. Chinese company Xiaomi just unveiled their newest action-ready camera at MWC2015. Xiaomi's Yi camera will retail for only $64 USD, which is less than half the price of GoPro's basic Hero model which sells for $130 USD. It offers better technical specs than the GoPro Hero, but it is lacking in other respects. We'll take a look at they compare, and if we can even get our hands on a Yi cam stateside.

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Ecuadorian government adopts virtual money

Ecuadorian government adopts virtual money

To get things straight immediately, Ecuador isn't making Bitcoin its official currency. In fact, the cryptocurrency, which is just one form of such digital currency, is banned in the country. Instead, Ecuador will be implementing its own electronic money system, formally known as "Sistema de Dinero Electrónico". The digital payment system, according to government officials, will simply be an addition to its own US dollar-based physical money system, but some experts seem to think that the move might have other motives as well.

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Iowa’s digital ID app sounds great, but there are big problems

Iowa’s digital ID app sounds great, but there are big problems

Today, Iowa announced that digital ID “cards” would be officially allowed for use. An “official” app housing your driver’s license is being released by the Department of Transportation in Iowa, and protected with a PIN. The move is lauded by many as our first official move into a digital realm, where we can finally shed ourselves of those pesky wallets we’ve dreaded for decades. Digital ID cards are fun, but major glaring issues persist. When you weigh the benefits against the potential problems, digital isn’t (yet) all it’s cracked up to be.

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Future of Iowa digital driver’s license unclear

Future of Iowa digital driver’s license unclear

State officials in Iowa have a plan that will allow drivers to have a digital version of their driver's license rather than having to keep up with a physical card as states have now. These digital licenses would be on the driver's smartphone as an app. The logistics of the plan are now in question as state officials wonder if these digital licenses are something that motorists want.

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Popular Science and the self-destruction of print media

Popular Science and the self-destruction of print media

One of the most surprising gifts I received this Christmas was a subscription to National Geographic. I didn't expect to get signed up for a printed publication, but I did - and I'm really excited to get the magazine in the mail each month. But when I see a story like the one Wil Weaton published today on how his name was sold to junkmail dealers by the likes of Popular Science, I become suspicious of the whole media once again.

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Beyoncé surprises the world with digital-first self-titled album

Beyoncé surprises the world with digital-first self-titled album

There might be yet another entertainment industry paradigm shift afoot, and Beyoncé is going to be there. Just as Kickstarter paved the way for games and even films to be made sans traditional publishers, Beyoncé has just made something almost impossible, or at least unforeseeable, happen. She has just released a complete album, in digital format first, without the usual pre-release marketing stunts, and, more surprisingly, without anyone even hearing about it until it launched.

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