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In Brief

Ofcom spectrum map long bar

The U.K. telecommunications regulator Ofcom has just released an interactive “map” of the country’s radio spectrum, showing which frequencies are assigned to which use types – all the way from the 8.3-11.3 kHz band (weather stations) to the 250-275 GHz band (radio astronomy). For fans of such things, it’s a delightfully presented and highly useful resource, though it stops short of naming specific companies that own chunks of spectrum, like mobile carriers. For newbies, it’s at the least a great visual representation of the finite and invisible spectrum resources on which much of our technology relies. Ofcom’s U.S. equivalent, the FCC, also provides a spectrum dashboard with similar functionality.

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In Brief

Older people are increasingly going online, in part thanks to tablets, according to the U.K. telecommunications regulator. In one of its periodical media use reports, Ofcom noted on Tuesday that 42 percent of those aged over 65 accessed the web in 2013, up from 33 percent in 2012. The regulator linked this with an increase in tablet usage within the 65-74 demographic from 5 percent to 17 percent — I would assume that those older users who are less tech-friendly find tablets simpler to use and easier to maintain than full-blown PCs. More generally, the proportion of adults accessing the internet through a tablet jumped from 16 percent to 30 percent between 2012 and 2013.

In Brief

LG G Watch

Wondering if the new Android Wear smartwatches will cost an arm and a leg? It doesn’t appear so based on the U.K. price of £180 for LG’s G Watch. The company confirmed the cost to Pocket Lint, saying it would be available in July. This bodes well for other Android Wear devices as I’d anticipate the Moto 360 to cost about the same, although it could have a premium price due to the unique circular touchscreen. Regardless, the ability to bring voice-activated Google Now features to your wrist won’t likely cost more than the smartphone you’ll pair them with.

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