Tech Tok: Satellite connectivity to the rescue in distress

Qualcomm and Iridium, a satellite phone firm, have struck a deal to bring satellite connectivity to Android smartphones.

Published Date – 12:15 AM, Wed – 11 January 23

Tech Tok: Satellite connectivity to the rescue in distress

Remember when everybody roamed around holding big and bulky satphones? Wired headphones, matching frequencies, and ‘over and out’ were all a fad. Then as technology became more sophisticated, we hooked onto phones the size of our palms. But guess what; the very satellite tech we left far behind is what will help us in distress.

Qualcomm, a company that manufactures chips that are found in almost every Android phone, and Iridium, a satellite phone firm, have struck a deal to bring satellite connectivity to Android smartphones.

So here’s how that will work. When you have no mobile coverage and are not able to send or receive messages, the feature will allow you to communicate using passing satellites.

Unlike our mobile towers that cover only a specific location, satellites cover the entire globe. According to reports, the satellites expected to be in use here will fly in low orbit, around 780 km above the Earth. And when you send a message, groups of these satellites that can communicate with each other will pass over your messages.

Although when Apple announced a similar satellite feature for the iPhone 14 in September last year, it was restricted only to select iPhone users. When the Qualcomm feature goes live, it will be accessible to millions of others.

It is expected that the feature called ‘Snapdragon Satellite’ will first be made available to select devices and will later be rolled out to all Android phones. However, it will be up to the phone manufactures to enable the feature and the governments of countries to permit it.

Microsoft engages ChatGPT:

Amidst reports that suggest the use of ChatGPT in creating malware, the OpenAI project received what can be called its biggest endorsement from Microsoft.

The tech giant is contemplating the integration of ChatGPT’s tech into its search engine Bing, Word, Excel, and PowerPoint. Apart from that, reports suggest that Microsoft is also holding talks to invest $10 million in OpenAI. ChatGPT, the interactive chatbot created by OpenAI was made available for public testing in November last year.

WhatsApp without internet:

From as early as the internet became an important tool in our daily lives, authorities in regions, especially those war-torn, have tried to either control or restrict its availability.

In an attempt to give some relief, the widely used messaging app WhatsApp is letting its users connect via a proxy server when the internet is blocked or disrupted because of a shutdown. The level of privacy and security will be maintained even on the proxy server, it said in their blog post. The Meta-owned app also condemned the blackout in Iran and offered to help anyone who would like to set up a volunteer proxy that would help people communicate freely.

Musk breaks Guinness Record:

Tesla CEO Elon Musk broke a Guinness World Record for having the largest-ever loss of personal fortune. He has lost around $180 billion since November 2021.

According to the Guinness world record, the figure is just an approximate figure. The previous record was held by Japanese tech investor Masayoshi Son who lost $58.6 billion in 2000.

– Epsita Gunti with agency inputs

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