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Telecommunications

A newly-developed optical amplifier is said to allow fiber optic signals to travel four ti...

As the amount of information being electronically shuttled around the planet continues to grow, so does the need for effective means of relaying it. The use of optical fibers has definitely helped in that regard, although thanks to a recent breakthrough at Sweden’s Chalmers University of Technology, optical fiber signals may soon be able to travel four times farther than they are presently able to. Researchers there have created an optical amplifier, capable of amplifying light while maintaining a relatively noise-free signal.  Read More

The WISPER routers (top left), the WISPER dispenser (middle) and base station modules (bot...

Even though firefighting is one of the most dangerous jobs in the world, firefighters still communicate using analog radio signals, that can be blocked by concrete walls. This means that, upon venturing into a burning building, a firefighter might have no way of letting their commander know their present location – a situation that could prove deadly, if they ended up trapped or injured. In order to address the situation, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Science and Technology Directorate has created a new three-part system that lets fire crews keep track of the location and well-being of every member of their team, all the time.  Read More

Eutelsat has announced that its new KA-SAT broadband satellite has now gone into service, ...

Happily, the days of painfully slow dial-up internet speeds are now but a distant memory to many city and town dwelling broadband users throughout Europe. But for the estimated 13 million households living beyond the reach of ADSL or the even greater number who suffer from slow broadband connection speeds, waiting a good while for web pages and media to load into a browser is still the source of daily angst. One solution for surfers eager to grab more bandwidth is to install a satellite service and Eutelsat has just announced that its new KA-SAT high throughput broadband satellite launched in December of last year has just gone into service.  Read More

Google developer preview of WebRTC: making real-time communication free to implement

Less than a month after Microsoft bought Skype for US$8.5 billion, Google has released a developer preview of WebRTC - an open framework enabling implementation of voice and video Real Time Communications in the browser with the use of HTML 5 and JavaScript APIs.  Read More

Fraunhofer's Marc Gayer, Manfred Lutzky and Markus Schnell (L to R), developed AAC-ELD to ...

Engineers from one of the main players responsible for the development of the MP3 codec, the Fraunhofer Institute for Integrated Circuits IIS, have taken a similar approach in an effort to provide telephone calls and video conferences with sound quality approaching that of direct communication, while at the same time cutting delay times that often sees both speakers talking over each other. Their solution is a new audio coding technology called Enhanced Low Delay Advanced Audio Coding – or AAC-ELD – that they claim results in long-distance communications that appear almost as if the participants are sitting across from each other.  Read More

Professor Jurg Leuthold led an experiment that achieved a data transmission rate of 26 ter...

With video content consuming ever more bandwidth, the need for faster data transmission rates has never been greater. Now a team of scientists at Germany's Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT) are claiming a world record in data transmission with the successful encoding of data at a rate of 26 terabits per second on a single laser beam and transmitting it over a distance of 50 km (31 miles). The scientists claim this is the largest data volume ever transported on a laser beam and enables the transmission of 700 DVD's worth of content in just one second.  Read More

NCR's new interactive ATM lets users talk live with a remote teller

Since their introduction in the 1960's, automated teller machines (ATMs) have provided bank customers with a convenient way to access their cash 24 hours a day seven days a week without having to wait until banking hours and queue to see a teller. Now the world's biggest ATM provider is putting the "teller" back in the automated teller machine with the unveiling of an ATM with integrated two-way video conferencing that lets users talk live with a remote teller.  Read More

The Sixty retro cordless phone

While most phones are getting smaller and being crammed with non-phone functionality, the "Sixty" cordless phone from French company Sagemcom harks back to an earlier age of domestic communications ... with an injection of 21st Century design and technology.  Read More

Fujitsu plans to rollout a 1Gbps fiber optic broadband network to service rural areas in B...

Economies of scale mean that densely populated cities have generally been the ones to benefit from the roll out of superfast broadband networks, while those in rural areas have missed out. Following Google's recent announcement that it will build and test 1Gbps fiber-to-the-home (FTTH) networks in selected cities with between 50,000 to 500,000 residents in the U.S. starting with Kansas City, Kansas, Fujitsu has unveiled plans to create a similar superfast FTTH broadband network for five million homes and businesses in rural Britain to bridge the digital divide between city and country.  Read More

Digital tracking: it might come as a shock to see just how much of a footprint we leave as...

While most of us know it is theoretically possible for our movements to be tracked by detecting which tower our mobile phone is connected too, it might come as a shock to see just how much of a digital footprint we leave as we go about our daily lives. German Green Party politician Malte Spitz and German newspaper Die Zeit have provided a frightening insight into just how much information can be gleaned from the digital breadcrumbs we drop every day by creating an interactive map showing Spitz's movements and activities over a five month period based on mobile phone data and information freely available on the internet.  Read More

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