What are You Looking At? ‘Virtual’ Communication in the Age of Social Distancing

When discussions occur face-to-face, people know where their conversational partner is looking and vice versa. With “virtual” communication due to COVID-19 and the expansive use of mobile and video devices, now more than ever, it’s important to understand how these technologies impact communication. Where do people focus their attention? The eyes, mouth, the whole face? And how do they encode conversation? A first-of-its-kind study set out to determine whether being observed affects people’s behavior during online communication.

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Social Media While Social Distancing: A How-To Guide

With calls from elected and health officials to self-isolate to prevent the spread of coronavirus, more and more people are turning to social media as their primary means of entertainment and connection with friends and the outside world. But can too much social media while social distancing take a toll on your mental and even physical health? We checked in with Natalie Pennington — a UNLV communication studies professor who researches the benefits and harms of social media — to get her take on the best ways to make your online experience work for you.

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DHS S&T Selects Georgia Tech Group to Improve Info Sharing & Safeguarding for Public Safety Comms

DHS S&T awarded a $704,000 research-and-development (R&D) contract to Atlanta-based Georgia Tech Applied Research Center (GTARC) to address a crucial gap in the trustmark framework for the public safety community’s information sharing and safeguarding (IS&S) capabilities.

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Communications Device Offers Huge Bandwidth Potential

Several countries are building futuristic communication systems using higher frequency electromagnetic waves to transfer more data at faster rates, but they have lacked network components to handle these higher bandwidths. Researcher J. Gary Eden proved his new device can rapidly switch functionality to perform the varied tasks needed to support a network with carrier frequencies of over 100 gigahertz. The miniscule-scale architecture concealed within the sugar cube blocks is described in Applied Physics Reviews.

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