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April, 2012


The notion of robots as an integral part of hospital staff may seem like something from science fiction, but new generations of high-tech robots specifically designed for the health care field are already receiving accolades from several American medical institutions. From completing menial tasks to providing video-conferencing and other Internet-backed services, robots may play an increasingly important role in our modern health care system.


Government agencies maintain a treasure trove of digital data, but searching through massive amounts of information to use that data takes commitment and resources. Now, a $200 million investment from the White House seeks to put data to better use – backing agency projects that will aid everything from health and education to national defense and the environment.


Online shopping is becoming a global phenomenom.  A recent study conducted by Ipsos for Reuters finds that 48% of Internet-connected citizens in the 24 countries surveyed have made online purchases in the past three months. 61% search the Internet for more information regarding potential purchases. U.S. consumers ranked among the top in the world for seizing the benefits of e-commerce, with 65% of online Americans saying they shop online. 


Broadband-supported technology could help public health officials in Southern California and Mexico successfully treat patients afflicted with some of the world’s toughest cases of tuberculosis (TB).


Much like the laws that prohibit selling stolen cars, the major cellular carriers and the FCC have agreed to establish a database of identification numbers that are unique to each and every cell phone. If a cell phone is reported stolen, the carriers will then be able to permanently disable those stolen cell phones. Until recently, cellular carriers have not tracked stolen phones and only limited the re-activation of SIM memory cards.


A recent story in The Atlantic titled, ‘“How the Internet (Yes, the Internet) Can Solve the Housing Crisis,” features a few Internet-driven ideas, such as connecting roommates to renting homes and apartments as office space while residents are at work.  Just another indication that Internet innovators have already developed impressive broadband-backed options to help connect consumers


Around the holidays a flurry of news stories reported surging e-reader sales. Consumers are enjoying a greater variety of devices to choose from, and more competitive prices, too. So how have these sales influenced our reading habits? This and other questions are the focus of the new Pew Internet and American Life Project study, “The rise of e-reading.”

Key findings of the study include:


From over 100 locations around the world, over 200 scientists and doctors collaborated and shared brain imaging data to make new discoveries about how the human brain functions. Given the expensive nature of brain imaging, there are too few brain imaging samples in any one given location to conduct a comprehensive study. However, by pooling together brain images and data into one large database from approximately 21,000 people, researchers were able to determine that size does matter when it comes to brain function.


USTelecom is among 26 industry associations that sent a letter April 17 to House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, and Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., highlighting five core principles to be considered in cybersecurity legislation. The industry groups included telecom, energy, railroad, chemical, manufacturing, banking, financial services, real estate and high-tech industries.


From ancient civilizations to international art museums, many Americans would love to travel and experience some of the world’s educational wonders.  For those who may not have the time or resources to jump on a plane, the Internet now connects us to a variety of exciting virtual visits.