Highlights from the 2014 LA Auto Show

Internet

Researchers claim to have increased the data capacity of optical networks to the point tha...

A team of researchers working through Australia’s Centre for Ultrahigh Bandwidth Devices for Optical Systems (CUDOS) has developed data encoding technology that increases the efficiency of existing fiber optic cable networks. The researchers claim their invention increases the data capacity of optical networks to the point that all of the world’s internet traffic could be transmitted via a single fiber.  Read More

A sketch of the final design for the Amazing Jellybean

When the internet goes down, the first thing anyone should do is power cycle their modem and router – it seems like almost every internet problem can be fixed by simply turning everything on and off in the right order (as long as the problem is not on the ISP's end, of course). The process takes a good five minutes, between waiting and timing everything right. The Amazing Jellybean aims to make it simpler by allowing users to simply push one button, and have everything power cycled for them in the correct order.  Read More

The Map of the Internet app's Global view shows the state of the internet, past, present a...

Maps of the internet have been around in one form or another since the late 1990s, but most of these tend to be static, two-dimensional affairs. PEER 1 Hosting of Vancouver, British Columbia, is adding bit of depth to internet charting with its Map of the Internet app for iOS and Android devices that provides an interactive 3D representation of the online world. It’s purpose is to act as an educational tool showing the evolution of the internet from 1994 to the present, with projections going forward to 2020.  Read More

The Big Internet Museum finishes up with Gangnam Style – currently anyway

The internet only became commercialized in 1995, but its genesis goes back to the late 1960s, more precisely October 29, 1969. That was the date when Robert William Tayor, a former NASA researcher working for the Pentagon’s Advanced Research Projects Agency (ARPA), launched the ARPAnet operational network, which is recognized as the precursor to what became the internet. ARPAnet provides the starting point for visitors to the recently launched The Big Internet Museum, a virtual venue for all things great and downright silly about the internet.  Read More

The Meteron Operations and Communications Prototype, or Mocup (Photo: ESA)

The internet has changed a great deal of modern society, and now it promises to change space exploration as well. In late October, International Space Station (ISS) Expedition 33 commander Sunita Williams used a NASA-developed laptop aboard the station to control a LEGO Mindstorm robot, located at the European Space Agency (ESA) European Space Operations Centre in Darmstadt, Germany. Using a “space internet,” she was able to control the robot in real time despite being in orbit at an altitude of 230 miles (370 km).  Read More

AdTrap banishes adverts from computers, tablets, and any other devices connected to the lo...

Most of us are bombarded by advertisements in one form or another throughout the day. While there’s not a lot we can do about the ads in the subway, or placed up on billboards, the internet is another matter. AdTrap is a new low-power, zero configuration device which promises to banish adverts from computers, tablets, and anything else connected to the local network.  Read More

The Civil Rights Captcha employs questions concerning civil and political rights to ward o...

Loathe it as we do, the captcha goes a long way to preventing websites from being inundated with spam comments produced by nefarious software. However, there’s room for improvement, and rather than tasking a user with a series of random words which must be entered in order to be allowed to comment on a website, the Civil Rights Captcha employs an empathy test to measure whether you pass muster.  Read More

Like-A-Hug was created by Melissa Kit Chow, in collaboration with Andy Payne and Phil Seat...

The internet allows us to communicate more easily than ever, but however many Facebook friends you have, there’s no substitute for a real hug – or at least there wasn’t until recently. Like-A-Hug is a concept social media vest which reacts to Facebook "likes" and posts on your wall, inflating to give you a “hug” on every such interaction. Wearers of the vest can embrace themselves in order to cause another person sporting a Like-A-Hug vest to get a hug, too.  Read More

According to the European PUFFIN project, uniquely identifiable computer hardware, such as...

The anonymity of the internet is both a blessing and a curse. Not only does it make it easy to pretend you’re someone else and live out a harmless fantasy online, it also makes it relatively easy for someone else to pretend they’re you and run up a hefty credit card bill or the like with nothing but a few key pieces of personally identifiable information. European researchers propose a more secure form of online user authentication that uses common computer hardware to identify specific users.  Read More

Close up of a red harvester ant (Photo: Sandstein)

Ask who invented the Internet and you’ll spark off an argument with everyone championed from DARPA to Nikola Tesla. However, two Stanford scientists claim that the inventor may have had six legs, antennae and a taste for disrupting picnics. Professor of biology Deborah Gordon and professor of computer science Balaji Prabhakar say that red harvester ants (Pogonomyrmex barbatus) use the same Transmission Control Protocol (TCP) in foraging that the internet uses to manage data transmissions – making a sort of “Anternet.”  Read More

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