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How Your Phone Company Aims to Stop Robocalls

The STIR/SHAKEN protocol will stop robocallers from exploiting a caller ID loophole to spoof phone numbers

13 min read
Photo of a toy robot wearing a hat, dark sunglasses and a mustache.
Photo: Dan Saelinger

Have you ever received a phone call from your own number? If so, you’ve experienced one of the favorite techniques of phone scammers.

Scammers can “spoof” numbers, making it seem as though the phone call in question is coming from a local number—which can include your own—thereby obscuring the call’s true origin. If you answer the call, you’ll most likely be treated to the sound of a robotic voice trying to trick you into parting with some money.

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IEEE STEM Activity Kits Are In Demand at 150 U.S. Public Libraries

Kids can build robots, write code, and design video games

4 min read
Two boys and one girl standing in front of a computer monitor. On the left side of the monitor is a backpack containing a science activity kit.

These youngsters are checking out one of their local library’s IEEE-funded science activity kits.

John Zulaski

More than 150 public libraries throughout the central United States now lend out activity kits that let children explore just about any aspect of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics. The kids can check them out just like they would a book. The kits teach youngsters what engineers do, as well as how to code, build robots, design video games, and create animations.

The collections have been made possible by the IEEE Region 4 Science Kits for Public Libraries program with funding from Region 4 members and corporate sponsors. The SKPL program is the brainchild of IEEE Life Senior Member John A. Zulaski, the chair of the SKPL committee.

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Toe-tapping Test for Parkinson’s

Assesses risk of falling

2 min read
A person sits in a chair with their feet on sensing boards while looking at instructions on a computer monitor.
Rui Hua

When someone is faced with mobility challenges, the risk of falling and injuring oneself increases. This is the case for people living with Parkinson’s disease, a brain disorder that results in uncontrollable movements, such as shaking, and impaired balance and coordination.

Ya Wang, an associate professor at Texas A&M University, and her colleagues has been exploring a novel way to assess the risk of someone with Parkinson’s disease in falling. Their proposed approach involves a smart insole that’s inserted into the user’s shoes and tracks their foot movements while they tap their toes, and is described in a recent study published 5 May 2022 in IEEE Sensors Letters.

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Keysight
Keysight

As 5G evolves into 6G networks, it will be critical that it adopt the most energy-efficient technologies to reduce carbon emissions and our dependence on non-renewable resources.

In terms of increased sustainability, 6G will need to aim directly at lessening its overall environmental impact, including water consumption, raw material sourcing, and waste handling. But it is also important to consider the indirect impact of 6G networks can have on sustainability by conserving resources and minimizing waste in either existing use-cases or novel use-cases.

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