Lost Packets – May 13

The man with a chip in his brain

Meet Matthew Nagle, a quadriplegic left paralyzed after a knife attack in 2001. The 25-year-old from Weymouth, Mass. is able to turn on and off his TV, read his e-mail and play video games just by thinking about it. Nagle is able to do all this thanks to a device embedded in his brain called BrainGate, produced by Foxborough, Mass-based Cyberkinetics. The chip was placed in Nagle’s motor cortex (the part of the brain that controls movement) where it allows him to control everyday object with his brain. Hundreds of electrodes in the chip sends Nagle’s thoughts or brain waves to a computer to decipher. As well, Nagle has been able to move candy from one person’s hand to another by controlling a prosthetic arm. The developers of the chip hope the device will one day give those living with paralysis the ability to regain use of their limbs through limb-moving devices.

Television on your cellphone now a reality

It may be a 200-channel universe out there in TV-land but on your cellphone it is just an eight-channel one. Rogers Wireless and Berkeley, Calif.-based MobiTV have teamed up to give Canadian subscribers of Rogers Wireless access to Rogers Mobile Television. The Toronto-based cellphone carrier announced last month it will offer live television programs on its wireless devices from Nokia, Motorola and Sony Ericsson. Programs to be offered include Toronto Blue Jays game highlights, the Weather Channel and shows from MSNBC and the Discovery Channel. Rogers Wireless Television is available now and can be purchased directly from the handsets. The cost to subscribe is at the promotional price of $9/month plus data transport costs of up to $15. For more information, visit

Generating heat at the North Pole

In an experiment to show how mobile technology allows users to work anywhere, two employees from Intel Corp.’s Russia offices have installed a Wi-Fi hotspot 130 kilometres from the North Pole. The hotspot was built in the Arctic region at the Barneo ice camp, a complex used by researchers, scientists and rescue crews during the month of April when ice conditions are safe. Facing numerous weather challenges, like temperatures of -30 degrees Celsius that are not exactly ideal for computer devices, the employees managed to install a 802.11b/g access points at the site. They were also able to establish a WLAN using four laptops with Intel’s Centrino mobile technology. Outside the complex, another computer was connected to a satellite phone so the network could get Internet access and anyone with a cellphone or pocket PC was able to use the hotspot. The hotspot has since been taken down.

Sharpen your network skills with Cisco game

Three games were released by Cisco Systems last month to help network professionals hone their skills and challenge others. Its Learning Game Trilogy is a combination of three online technology games: Rockin’ Retailer (where users learn the benefits of IP communications solutions), Network Defenders (players have their networking knowledge put to the test and also learn how to defend against security attacks), and SAN Rover (gamers build a storage area network). These games are part of the Cisco Career Certifications program and are free from its Web site. Visit

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