The First Cellular Phone, and It was Big!

DynaTAC is a series of cellular telephones manufactured by Motorola, Inc. from 1983 to 1994. The Motorola DynaTAC 8000X commercial portable cellular phone received approval from the U.S. FCC on September 21, 1983. A full charge took roughly 10 hours, and it offered 30 minutes of talk time. It also offered an LED display for dialing or recall of one of 30 phone numbers. It was priced at $3,995 in 1984, its commercial release year, equivalent to $9,831 in 2019. DynaTAC was an abbreviation of “Dynamic Adaptive Total Area Coverage.”  It weighed 1.75 lb., stood 13 in. high.

Several models followed, starting in 1985 with the 8000s, and continuing with periodic updates of increasing frequency until 1993’s Classic II. The DynaTAC was replaced in most roles by the much smaller Motorola MicroTAC when it was first introduced in 1989, and by the time of the Motorola StarTAC’s release in 1996, it was obsolete.

Martin Cooper of Motorola made the first publicized handheld mobile phone call on a prototype DynaTAC model on April 3, 1973. This is a reenactment in 2007.

The first cellular phone was the culmination of efforts begun at Bell Labs, which first proposed the idea of a cellular system in 1947, and continued to petition the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) for channels through the 1950s and 1960s, and research conducted at Motorola. In 1960, electrical engineer John F. Mitchell became Motorola’s chief engineer for its mobile communication products. Mitchell oversaw the development and marketing of the first pager to use transistors.

Motorola had long produced mobile telephones for cars that were large and heavy and consumed too much power to allow their use without the automobile’s engine running. Mitchell’s team, which included Martin Cooper, developed portable cellular telephony, and Mitchell was among the Motorola employees granted a patent for this work in 1973; the first call on the prototype was completed, reportedly, to a wrong number.

While Motorola was developing the cellular phone itself, during 1968–1983, Bell Labs worked on the system called AMPS, while others designed cell phones for that and other cellular systems. Martin Cooper, a former general manager for the systems division at Motorola, led a team that produced the DynaTAC 8000x, the first commercially available cellular phone small enough to be easily carried, and made the first phone call from it. Martin Cooper was the first person to make an analog cellular mobile phone call on a prototype in 1973.


The World’s Top Ten Supercomputers

According to a quote with several origins, science advances on the shoulders of giants. In our time, these words have taken on a special meaning thanks to a new class of giants—supercomputers—which nowadays are pushing the boundaries of science to levels that the human intellect would be incapable of reaching on its own.

In a few decades, the strength of these giants has multiplied dramatically: in 1985 the world’s most powerful supercomputer, Cray-2, could process 1.9 billion floating point operations per second (FLOPS), or 1.9 gigaflops, the parameter used to measure the power of these machines. By comparison, a current PlayStation 4 game console reaches 1.84 teraflops, almost a thousand times more. Today, there are at least 500 supercomputers in the world that can exceed a petaflop, or one billion flops, according to the TOP500 list drawn up by experts from the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory and the universities of Mannheim (Germany) and Tennessee (USA).

Below we present what are currently the ten most powerful supercomputers in the world and some of their contributions to knowledge.



The world’s most powerful supercomputer today is Summit, built by IBM for the U.S. Department of Energy’s Oak Ridge National Laboratory in Tennessee. It occupies the equivalent of two basketball courts and achieves an impressive 148.6 petaflops thanks to its 2.41 million cores.

El supercomputador Summit es el más potente del mundo en la actualidad. Credit: Carlos Jones/ORNL
The Summit is the world’s most powerful supercomputer today. Credit: Carlos Jones/ORNL

In addition to its large capacity, Summit is also the most energy-efficient machine in the top 10 of the world’s supercomputers. Its mission is civil scientific research, and since it came into operation in 2018 it has already participated in projects such as the search for genetic variants in the population related to diseases, the simulation of earthquakes in urban environments, the study of extreme climatic phenomena, the study of materials on an atomic scale and the explosion of supernovae, among others.



IBM is also responsible for the second most powerful supercomputer on the list, Sierra, located in California’s Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory. Based on Summit-like hardware, Sierra manages 94.6 petaflops.

The Sierra supercomputer  is dedicated to military research. Crédito: LLNL
The Sierra supercomputer is dedicated to military research. Crédito: LLNL

Unlike its older brother, Sierra is dedicated to military research, more specifically to the simulation of nuclear weapons in place of underground tests, so its studies are classified material.



Until Summit and Sierra came into service in 2018, China was at the forefront of global supercomputing with TaihuLight, a machine built by the National Centre for Engineering Research and Parallel Computing Technology and installed at the National Supercomputing Centre in Wuxi. Unlike other machines of its calibre, it lacks accelerator chips, so its 93 petaflops depend on its more than 10 million Chinese Sunway processors.

TaihuLight is installed in the National Supercomputing Center in Wuxi. Credit: Nsccwx
TaihuLight is installed in the National Supercomputing Center in Wuxi. Credit: Nsccwx

TaihuLight is in a way a product of the trade war between China and the US, since its construction has completely dispensed with US technology, in response to the restrictions imposed by the US. This supercomputer has participated in research such as the simulation of the birth and expansion of the universe using 10 billion digital particles.



China also retains fourth place in the ranking with Tianhe-2A, or Milky Way 2A, developed by the National University of Defence Technology and equipped with Intel Xeon processors that allow it to reach 61.4 petaflops. According to its operators, the machine is use for computing related to government security, among others.

Tianhe-2, in National Supercomputer Center in Guangzhou. Credit: O01326
Tianhe-2, in National Supercomputer Center in Guangzhou. Credit: O01326


The Advanced Computing Center at the University of Texas at Austin has entered the top 10 in global supercomputing thanks to Frontera, a new system built by Dell and equipped by Intel. Frontera was unveiled to the world in September 2019 as the world’s fastest supercomputer located in a university. Since June, it has been collaborating with three dozen scientific teams in research related to the physics of black holes, quantum mechanics, drug design and climate models. Its 23.5 petaflops will be available to the scientific community, which will benefit from its computational capacity especially in the areas of astrophysics, materials science, energy, genomics and the modelling of natural disasters.

The Frontera supercomputer at the Texas Advanced Computing Center. Crédit: TACC
The Frontera supercomputer at the Texas Advanced Computing Center. Credit: TACC


Europe’s most powerful system ranks sixth on the list. Piz Daint is a supercomputer named after an alpine mountain—whose image is displayed on its housing—located at the Swiss National Supercomputing Centre in Lugano. It is an upgrade of a system built by the American company Cray, founded by the father of supercomputing Seymour Cray and responsible for several of the world’s most powerful machines. Its Intel and NVIDIA processors give it a speed of 21.2 petaflops. Piz Daint is involved in extensive research in materials science, physics, geophysics, life sciences, climatology and data science.

Piz Daint is the most powerful system in Europe. Credit: CSCS
Piz Daint is the most powerful system in Europe. Credit: CSCS


Also a product of the Cray company is Trinity, the Los Alamos National Laboratory and Sandia National Laboratory system that is able to reach nearly 20.2 petaflops. This machine, which inherited its name from the first U.S. nuclear test in 1945, is mainly devoted to nuclear weapons-related calculations.

Trinity inherited its name from the first U.S. nuclear test. Credit: Los Alamos National Laboratory
Trinity inherited its name from the first U.S. nuclear test. Credit: Los Alamos National Laboratory


The 19.9 petaflops of ABCI, a system built by Fujitsu and belonging to Japan’s National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology, place this machine in eighth place in the ranking. One of its most striking features is its energy efficiency, a parameter in which it scores just below Summit. ABCI’s goal is to serve as a cloud-based Artificial Intelligence resource available to Japanese companies and research groups.

ABCI's goal is to serve as a cloud-based Artificial Intelligence resource. Credit: ABCI
ABCI’s goal is to serve as a cloud-based Artificial Intelligence resource. Credit: ABCI


In 2018, the new generation SuperMUC supercomputer officially came into service at the Leibniz Supercomputing Centre in Garching, near Munich (Germany). Built by Lenovo with technology from the company and Intel, the most powerful supercomputer in the European Union achieves a processing speed of 19.5 petaflops.

The new generation of the SuperMUC supercomputer came into service in 2018. Credit: lrz
The new generation of the SuperMUC supercomputer came into service in 2018. Credit: lrz


The top 10 closes with Lassen, Sierra’s little brother at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, built by IBM with the same architecture. Its recent improvements have increased its speed to 18.2 petaflops. Unlike its brother, Lassen is dedicated to unclassified research.

Lassen is dedicated to unclassified research. Credit: LLN


World’s Largest Telescopes


This list of the largest optical reflecting telescopes with objective diameters of 3.0 metres (120 in) or greater is sorted by aperture, which is one limit on the light-gathering power and resolution of a reflecting telescope’s optical assembly.


The Gran Telescopio Canarias (GranTeCan or GTC), also known as the Great Canary Telescope is a 10.4 m (410 in) reflecting telescope located at the Roque de los Muchachos Observatory on the island of La Palma, in the Canaries, Spain.

Construction of the telescope, sited on a volcanic peak 2,267 metres (7,438 ft) above sea level, took seven years and cost €130 million (£112 million). Its installation had been hampered by weather conditions and the logistical difficulties of transporting equipment to such a remote location. First light was achieved in 2007 and scientific observations began in 2009.

The GTC Project is a partnership formed by several institutions from Spain and Mexico, the University of Florida, the Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México and the Instituto de Astrofísica de Canarias (IAC). Planning for the construction of the telescope, which started in 1987, involved more than 1,000 people from 100 companies.

As of 2015, it is the world’s largest single-aperture optical telescope. The distribution of the availability of time to use the telescope meets its financial structure: 90% Spain, 5% Mexico and 5% the University of Florida.




The W. M. Keck Observatory is a two-telescope astronomical observatory at an elevation of 4,145 meters (13,600 ft) near the summit of Mauna Kea in the U.S. state of Hawaii. Both telescopes feature 10 m (33 ft) primary mirrors, currently among the largest astronomical telescopes in use. The combination of an excellent site, large optics and innovative instruments has created the two most scientifically productive telescopes on Earth.





The Southern African Large Telescope (SALT) is a 10-metre class optical telescope designed mainly for spectroscopy. It consists of 91 hexagonal mirror segments each with a 1 metre inscribed diameter, resulting in a total hexagonal mirror of 11.1 m by 9.8 m. It is located close to the town of Sutherland in the semi-desert region of the Karoo, South Africa. It is a facility of the South African Astronomical Observatory, the national optical observatory of South Africa.





The Hobby–Eberly Telescope (HET) is a 9.2-meter (30-foot) aperture telescope located at the McDonald Observatory in Texas. It is one of the largest optical telescopes in the world and combines a number of features that differentiate it from most telescope designs, resulting in greatly lowered construction costs. For instance, the primary mirror is constructed from 91 hexagonal segments, which is less expensive than manufacturing a single large primary. Furthermore, the telescope’s main mirror is fixed at a 55° angle and can rotate around its base. A target is tracked by moving the instruments at the focus of the telescope; this provides access to about 70–81% of the sky at its location and allows a single target to be tracked for up to two hours.

The Hobby–Eberly Telescope is operated by The University of Texas McDonald Observatory for a consortium of institutions which includes The University of Texas at Austin, Pennsylvania State University, Stanford University, Ludwig Maximilians University of Munich, and Georg August University of Gottingen.





The Large Binocular Telescope (LBT) is an optical telescope for astronomy located on Mount Graham (10,700-foot (3,300 m) in the Pinaleno Mountains of southeastern Arizona, and is a part of the Mount Graham International Observatory. The LBT is currently one of the world’s most advanced optical telescopes; using two 8.4 m (27 ft) wide mirrors, with a 14.4 m center-center separation, it has the same light gathering ability as an 11.8 m (39 ft) wide single circular telescope and detail of a 22.8 m (75 ft) wide one. Either of its mirrors would be the second-largest optical telescope in continental North America, behind the Hobby–Eberly Telescope in West Texas; as of summer 2014, it would still be the largest monolithic, or non-segmented mirror, in an optical telescope. Optical performance of the telescope is excellent, and Strehl ratios of 60–90% in the infrared H band and 95% in the infrared M band have been achieved by the LBT.

The LBT was originally named the “Columbus Project”. It is a joint project of these members: the Italian astronomical community represented by the Istituto Nazionale di Astrofisica, the University of Arizona; University of Minnesota, University of Notre Dame, University of Virginia, the LBT Beteiligungsgesellschaft in Germany (Max Planck Institute for Astronomy in Heidelberg, Landessternwarte in Heidelberg, Leibniz Institute for Astrophysics Potsdam (AIP), Max Planck Institute for Extraterrestrial Physics in Munich and Max Planck Institute for Radio Astronomy in Bonn); The Ohio State University; Research Corporation in Tucson.





Subaru Telescope is the 8.2 metre flagship telescope of the National Astronomical Observatory of Japan, located at the Mauna Kea Observatory on Hawaii. It is named after the open star cluster known in English as the Pleiades. It had the largest monolithic primary mirror in the world from its commission until 2005.

In 1984, the University of Tokyo formed an engineering working group to study the concept of a 7.5-metre telescope. In 1985, the astronomy committee of Japan’s science council gave top priority to the development of a “Japan National Large Telescope” (JNLT), and in 1986, the University of Tokyo signed an agreement with the University of Hawaii to build the telescope in Hawaii. In 1988, the National Astronomical Observatory of Japan was formed through a reorganization of the University’s Tokyo Astronomical Observatory, to oversee the JNLT and other large national astronomy projects.





The Very Large Telescope (VLT) is a telescope operated by the European Southern Observatory on Cerro Paranal in the Atacama Desert of northern Chile. The VLT consists of four individual telescopes, each with a primary mirror 8.2 m across, which are generally used separately but can be used together to achieve very high angular resolution. The four separate optical telescopes are known as AntuKueyenMelipal and Yepun, which are all words for astronomical objects in the Mapuche language. The telescopes form an array which is complemented by four movable Auxiliary Telescopes (ATs) of 1.8 m aperture.

The VLT operates at visible and infrared wavelengths. Each individual telescope can detect objects roughly four billion times fainter than can be detected with the naked eye, and when all the telescopes are combined, the facility can achieve an angular resolution of about 0.001 arc-second (This is equivalent to roughly 2 meters resolution at the distance of the Moon). In single telescope mode of operation angular resolution is about 0.05 arc-second.

The VLT is the most productive ground-based facility for astronomy, with only the Hubble Space Telescope generating more scientific papers among facilities operating at visible wavelengths. Among the pioneering observations carried out using the VLT are the first direct image of an exoplanet, the tracking of individual stars moving around the supermassive black hole at the centre of the Milky Way, and observations of the afterglow of the furthest known gamma-ray burst.





The Gemini Observatory is an astronomical observatory consisting of two 8.19-metre (26.9 ft) telescopes, the Gemini North and Gemini South at different sites in Hawaii and Chile, respectively. Together, the twin Gemini telescopes provide almost complete coverage of both the northern and southern skies. They are currently among the largest and most advanced optical/infrared telescopes available to astronomers.

The Gemini telescopes were built and are operated by a consortium consisting of the United States, Canada, Chile, Brazil, Argentina, and Australia. This partnership is managed by the Association of Universities for Research in Astronomy (AURA). The United Kingdom dropped out of the partnership at the end of 2012 and the Gemini Observatory has responded to this by significantly reducing its operating costs, so that no new partners are required beginning in 2013.





The Magellan Telescopes are a pair of 6.5 m (21.3 ft) diameter optical telescopes located at Las Campanas Observatory in Chile. The two telescopes are named after the astronomer Walter Baade and the philanthropist Landon T. Clay.

First light for the telescopes was on September 15, 2000 for the Baade, and September 7, 2002 for the Clay.

A collaboration between Carnegie Institution for Science, University of Arizona, Harvard University, The University of Michigan and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology built and operate the twin telescopes.

It was named after the sixteenth-century Portuguese explorer Ferdinand Magellan.





The BTA-6 is a 6-metre (20 ft) aperture optical telescope at the Special Astrophysical Observatory located in the Zelenchuksky District on the north side of the Caucasus Mountains in southern Russia.

The BTA-6 achieved first light in late 1975, making it the largest telescope in the world until 1990, when it was surpassed by the partially constructed Keck 1. It pioneered the technique, now standard in large astronomical telescopes, of using an altazimuth mount with a computer-controlled derotator.

For a variety of reasons, BTA-6 was never able to operate near its theoretical limits. Early problems with poorly fabricated mirror glass were addressed in 1978, fixing the most serious issue. But due to its location down-wind of numerous large mountain peaks, astronomical seeing is rarely good. The telescope also suffers from serious thermal expansion problems due to the large thermal mass of the mirror, and the dome as a whole which is much larger than necessary. Upgrades have taken place throughout the system’s history and are ongoing to this day.




New device puts music in your head — no headphones required

LONDON (AP) — Imagine a world where you move around in your own personal sound bubble. You listen to your favorite tunes, play loud computer games, watch a movie or get navigation directions in your car — all without disturbing those around you.

That’s the possibility presented by “sound beaming,” a new futuristic audio technology from Noveto Systems, an Israeli company. On Friday it will debut a desktop device that beams sound directly to a listener without the need for headphones.

The company provided The Associated Press with an exclusive demo of the desktop prototype of its SoundBeamer 1.0 before its launch Friday.

The listening sensation is straight out of a sci-fi movie. The 3-D sound is so close it feels like it’s inside your ears while also in front, above and behind them.

Noveto expects the device will have plenty of practical uses, from allowing office workers to listen to music or conference calls without interrupting colleagues to letting someone play a game, movie or music without disturbing their significant others.

The lack of headphones means it’s possible to hear other sounds in the room clearly.

The technology uses a 3-D sensing module and locates and tracks the ear position sending audio via ultrasonic waves to create sound pockets by the user’s ears. Sound can be heard in stereo or a spatial 3-D mode that creates 360 degree sound around the listener, the company said.

The demo includes nature video clips of swans on a lake, bees buzzing and a babbling brook, where the listener feels completely transported into the scene.

But even CEO Christophe Ramstein finds it hard to put the concept into words. “The brain doesn’t understand what it doesn’t know,” he said.

In a Noveto demonstration conducted via Zoom from Tel Aviv, SoundBeamer Product Manager Ayana Wallwater was unable to hear the sound of gunshots on a gaming demo.

That’s the point. But she does get to enjoy the reactions of people trying the software for the first time.

“Most people just say, ‘Wow, I really don’t believe it,’” she said.

“You don’t believe it because it sounds like a speaker, but no one else can hear it…it’s supporting you and you’re in the middle of everything. It’s happening around you.”

By changing a setting, the sound can follow a listener around when they move their head. It’s also possible to move out of the beam’s path and hear nothing at all, which creates a surreal experience.

“You don’t need to tell the device where you are. It’s not streaming to one exact place,” Wallwater said.

“It follows you wherever you go. So it’s personally for you — follows you, plays what you want inside your head.”

“This is what we dream of,” she adds. “A world where we get the sound you want. You don’t need to disturb others and others don’t get disturbed by your sound. But you can still interact with them.”

After his first listening experience Ramstein asked himself how it was different from other audio devices.

“I was thinking, ‘Yeah, but is it the same with headphones?’ No, because I have the freedom and it’s like I have the freedom of doing what I want to do. And I have these sounds playing in my head as there would be something happening here, which is difficult to explain because we have no reference for that.”

While the concept of sound beaming is not new, Noveto was the first to launch the technology and their SoundBeamer 1.0 desktop device will be the first branded consumer product.

Ramstein said a “smaller, sexier” version of the prototype will be ready for consumer release in time for Christmas 2021.

“You know, I was trying to think how we compare sound beaming with any other inventions in history. And I think the only one that came to mind is… the first time I tried the iPod I was like, ‘Oh, my God. What’s that?’ I think sound beaming is something that is as disruptive as that. There’s something to be said about it doesn’t exist before. There’s the freedom of using it. And it’s really amazing.”

Amazing Drone Magical Holographic Light Shows in China and the USA

Back in America. Intel dazzled its Folsom audience on July 15, 2018 with a spectacular light show designed to feature 1,500 drones, in an effort to outdo its previous world record of 1,218 Intel Shooting Star drones. The performance displayed multicolored choreography including bright, fireworks-like orbs. A single pilot mans the entire fleet of light-emitting remotely controlled machines.

Historical Entertainment Technology Leap

“Video Killed The Radio Star”

I heard you on the wireless back in ’52
Lying awake intently tuning in on you
If I was young it didn’t stop you coming through

They took the credit for your second symphony
Rewritten by machine on new technology
And now I understand the problems you can see

I met your children
What did you tell them?

Video killed the radio star
Video killed the radio star
Pictures came and broke your heart
Oh-a-a-a oh

And now we meet in an abandoned studio
We hear the playback and it seems so long ago
And you remember the jingles used to go:

You were the first one
You were the last one

Video killed the radio star
Video killed the radio star
In my mind and in my car
We can’t rewind, we’ve gone too far
Oh-a-a-a oh
Oh-a-a-a oh

Video killed the radio star
Video killed the radio star
In my mind and in my car
We can’t rewind, we’ve gone too far
Pictures came and broke your heart
Put the blame on VTR…

You are the radio star
You are the radio star
Video killed the radio star
Video killed the radio star
Video killed the radio star
Video killed the radio star
You are the radio star
Video killed the radio star
Video killed the radio star
You are the radio star
Video killed the radio star
Video killed the radio star
You are the radio star
Video killed the radio star
Video killed the radio star
You are the radio star

Oh-a-oh, oh-a-oh…

The future is cyborg: Kaspersky study finds support for human augmentation

LONDON (Reuters) – Nearly two thirds of people in leading Western European countries would consider augmenting the human body with technology to improve their lives, mostly to improve health, according to research commissioned by Kaspersky.

As humanity journeys further into a technological revolution that its leaders say will change every aspect of our lives, opportunities abound to transform the ways our bodies operate from guarding against cancer to turbo-charging the brain.

The Opinium Research survey of 14,500 people in 16 countries including Britain, Germany, France, Italy and Spain showed that 63% of people would consider augmenting their bodies to improve them, though the results varied across Europe.

In Britain, France and Switzerland, support for augmentation was low – at just 25%, 32% and 36% respectively – while in Portugal and Spain it was much higher – at 60% in both.

“Human augmentation is one of the most significant technology trends today,” said Marco Preuss, European director of global research and analysis at Kaspersky, a Moscow-based cybersecurity firm.

“Augmentation enthusiasts are already testing the limits of what’s possible, but we need commonly agreed standards to ensure augmentation reaches its full potential while minimising the risks,” Preuss said.

Billionaire entrepreneur Elon Musk’s neuroscience startup Neuralink last month unveiled a pig named Gertrude that has had a coin-sized computer chip in its brain for two months, showing off an early step toward the goal of curing human diseases with the same type of implant.

The survey found that most people wanted any human augmentation to work for the good of humanity, though there were concerns that it would be dangerous for society and open to exploitation by hackers.

The survey showed the majority of people felt that only the rich would be able to get access to human augmentation technology.

A person spends tens of thousands of dollars on technological augmentation for their body then gets hit by a car and dies.