Ng: Speeds and cheating

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Thursday, June 19, 2014


I AM brimming with excitement. I hope that in the next few days, there will finally be 4G or LTE service in our area and I was sort of hoping I could finally get decent Internet speeds through my cellphone. Although there are various speeds of LTE, and some can go as high as 80 mbps, our local providers have said that theirs would run from five, 10, 20, or even up to 40 mbps, depending on what your plan is and how much you are willing to pay. Heck, any of these speeds is better than what I mostly get now.

But my excitement somewhat turned the other way when I saw on the news that SK Telecom of South Korea is now rolling out a new broadband LTE advanced service that can do speeds of up to 225 mbps. What?!!! That’s a hundred times what I’m getting now.

At that speed, you could download a gigabyte movie in less than a minute. This is reportedly made possible because it utilizes carrier aggregation technology, which combines two bandwidths to get higher transfer speeds.

It is said that within six months, there will soon be tri-band and quadband technology available that would exceed 300 mbps. Wow!

There was also something quite interesting in the news. I remembered when I was small, one of the most entertaining movies I saw was about a bunch of college kids who created innovative ways to cheat on the exams. They would hide notes in their pens, in their bras, in their socks, shoes and even inside their underwear, hats or headband.

Now people are more high tech and recently, just ahead of China’s massive college entrance exam, there have been photos all over the web of cheating devices that the police have confiscated.

Over 40 students have reportedly been caught already, and some included miniature cameras installed inside a pen and a set of glasses with wireless earphones resembling small earplugs. There were also cameras in fake teeth, and one installed as buttons.

There was even one which is a wireless connected coin that reportedly is able to turn on a camera that is in the eyeglass.

Obviously, it is easier now to get cameras as small as pennies and transmitters or screens that are even smaller. I have tried using the Snapchat application in the phone and you can really take pictures and send it without a trace of evidence.

The stuff of legends in a 1990s James Bond movie is now even put to shame, as these devices can be bought or created even by students who can’t pass an exam without cheating.

(wilson@ngkhai.com)

Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on June 20, 2014.

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