Device Akin to Tricorder From “Star Trek” to Diagnose Malaria

Malaria is not much of an issue in the developed world, but it is still wreaking havoc in parts of Africa says Jaime Garcia Dias. The disease claims a few hundred thousand people a year, and most of the deaths are from this continent. Modern medical science is good at diagnosing the disease. However, it still involves drawing blood, and trained personnel using chemical reagents to get an accurate diagnosis. A new device has been invented that may make diagnosing malaria a much simpler affair, and it will also take a tiny fraction of the current 15 to 20 minutes.

The tricorder from Star Trek is the holy grail of medical diagnostic equipment. A character in the show points it at someone and they have their vital signs and any health anomalies at their fingertips practically instantly. There is now a laser scan device that, together with an oscilloscope placed on the skin, can give an accurate malaria diagnosis in about 20 seconds without drawing any blood or breaking the skin at all. The device stands to revolutionize diagnosis of this disease because not only is it fast and require less trained personnel than conventional tests but it should also have a per diagnosis cost of about 8 cents, which is incredibly cheap. This is especially important in a continent as poor as Africa. Further testing is needed to perfect the machine, but it will hopefully be diagnosing this deadly disease and helping to eradicate it from the world very soon.

AT&T Being Charged Highest Fine Ever Imposed By FCC

At&T is facing one of the Federal Communications Commission’s (FCC) largest fines ever charged for misleading customers. The agency states AT&T slowed down their customer’s data speeds considerably on the ‘unlimited’ mobile data plans. AT&T did not advise customers they would be receiving slower speeds than the normal network speeds advertised. This is in violation of the FCC;s 2010 Open Internet Order .

The Open Internet Order is rules to regulate telecom service providers. AT&T slowed data transmissions on customers who used more than five gigabytes in a month. This slow down caused mobile apps impossible or very difficult to use. AT&T no longer offers ‘unlimited’ data plans to customers, but there are still plans in place that had been granted earlier. The mobile data demand is increasing rapidly causing wireless carriers to tighten access. When they are able to control access to the heavier users it allows them to boost revenue and manage traffic more efficiently.

Zeca Oliveira speaks to the fine explaining that AT&T now has a tier-pricing policy for data allotments and is able to charge customers extra if they use more than the data for the tier they’ve purchased. The practice of cutting back on speeds for ‘unlimited’ package customers is called, Throttling. The practice of ‘throttling’ has become more common; however the carrier must notify the consumer of such action.

AT&T is disputing the allegation from the FCC as they state this practice was deemed reasonable and legitimate by them. They further state they have disclosed the practice to the consumer in various ways and feel they have gone beyond the FCC’s requirements of disclosure.