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Telecommunications

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
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
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
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
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
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
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
Last year Google announced plans to build and test ultra high-speed broadband networks in a small number of trial locations across the U.S. that will deliver Internet speeds of one gigabit per second (1 Gbps) via a fiber-to-the-home (FTTH) service. After receiving submissions from nearly 1,100 cities, the Internet giant has now revealed it will build its first ultra high-speed network in Kansas City, Kansas. Read More
Chances are that if you're calling 9-1-1 (or 9-9-9, or whatever it is where you are), you're not likely to tell the operator that your case isn't all that urgent, and that it can wait. The problem is, sometimes emergency dispatch centers are so overloaded with callers – all of them stating that they need assistance right now – that some sort of system is required in order to determine who should get help first. Dutch researchers claim to have developed just such a system, which analyzes callers' voices to determine how stressed-out they are. Read More
There might be many harmless reasons for sending anonymous emails – confessing your undying love for someone, seeking anonymous advice, or simply playing a joke on a friend – but there are also plenty of harmful reasons – making threats against someone, distributing child pornography or sending viruses, just to name a few. While police can often use the IP address to locate where an email originated, it may be harder to nail down exactly who sent it. A team of researchers claims to have developed an effective new technique to determine the authorship of anonymous emails that can provide presentable evidence in courts of law. Read More
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