Recording conversations around you from your mobile? Now you can

August 20, 2010 Technology No Commenti

If in Italy a great controversy arose from environmental recordings made by a call girl during her encounters with the Prime Minister, which Berlusconi’s press firepower immediately deemed as illegal, in the US, and more specifically in New York State, a Court of Appeal has just ruled that recording private conversations using a mobile phone is legal, if this is done for a legitimate reason.

During a lawsuit concerning a disputed will, in which an old deceased lady’s sons were arguing over her properties, one of them brought into court the hidden recording of a conversation among several family members, including the deceased mother, during which the latter was giving instructions on what to do with her estate properties after her death, which happened a few days later.

To make his position stronger and make sure that her mother’s will was respected, the son brought this recording, taken with a simple 1-dollar off-the-shelf iPhone app. His stepfather disputed usage of such evidence, suing the son for using a illegal recording, but the court accepted it as the conversation had not been recorded with a malicious intent or worse, but simply to make sure that his mother’s last instructions were followed according to her will.

This ruling might open new possibilities as far as usage of recordings before a court of law is concerned, when recordings are taken without all involved parties’ consent, stating that what matters is the intention behind this recording. Sure enough, Prime Minister Berlusconi should be very careful if he happens to find himself somewhere in NY State and use his Italian Stallion antics with local call girls…

An almost invisible Bluetooth hearing aid

When you need to resort to a hearing aid to improve your hearing conditions, often the biggest problem for those who use it is of a psychological nature, as it may be revealing its wearer’s conditions to the people around them, with unpleasant consequences.

To provide assistance to people with hearing loss problems wishing to keep their condition as confidential as possible, Beltone has created True, a hearing aid of an extremely small size which, aside from working just like any other similar device, also features some technologically advanced interesting capabilities.

In fact, True sports a Bluetooth connectivity, which makes it possible to connect it automatically to any other Bluetooth devices around it, and to carry out a conversation without stress, simply by clipping its microphone on your clothes; at this point, true’s wearer will be able, for example, to talk through a cellphone while listening to his counterpart’s voice directly inside the ear, even if the phone is physically a few meters away.

Along with this, thanks to its 2.4 GHz wireless capabilities, it can pick up sounds from electronic devices such as a TV set or stereo, and have them transmitted directly into the ear canal. By adjusting the volume as you please, you will be able, for example, to listen to music in background while talking to your friends, with no problem caused by loud music disturbing the conversation. Volume and sound quality can be adjusted via a handy remote control.

All this is made possible by a circuit which is two times faster than other normal hearing aids, with a four times larger memory capacity, which is able of maintaining a high speed wireless connection, allowing to carry on a conversation without any transmission gaps.

An almost human prosthesis for those who lost a leg

According to a report recently published on the New York Times, war veterans who have lost a limb due to wounds, or patients who suffered an amputation after an illness such as diabetes, might soon be able to come back to an almost normal life.

This would happen thanks to a prosthetic knee, called X2, which is equipped with an array of high profile technology, which allows for more realistic movements, and most of all allows the bionic leg to react properly when it encounters obstacles, such as stairs, uneven terrain or stones, all things that have always posed a serious threat to those who are forced to walk with an artificial leg.

In fact, the X2 prosthetic knee is equipped with an array of motion sensors, gyroscopes and micro processors, which give the patient the opportunity of enjoying a wider variety of movements, helping him to distribute his weight more evenly between the artificial leg and the real one, which for obvious sensitivity reasons tends to be overloaded. Thanks to X2 it will then be easier to walk down a slope, up a flight of stairs and, in general, enjoy a higher precision of movement.

Compared to similar models, X2 is lighter and smaller in size, and the battery that powers it is capable of a longer life. The cost that the Department of Defense should cover is of approximately 30000 dollars for each item; they are planning to supply some 200 pieces within the next year to veteran in need.

This figure is just a drop in the sea if compared to the 5000 new cases of people finding themselves in this situation every year, and to the 45000 who are already suffering, but certainly it is a first step forward, most of all under the point of view of morale.

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