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Telecommunications


— Telecommunications

Pointy pulses improve optical fiber throughput by a factor of 10

As the volume of data carried around the world via optical fibers continues to increase, researchers at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Lausanne (EPFL) have found a way to increase data throughput capacity by ten times. Because it is based on changing the shape of light pulses to reduce the space between, the breakthrough would work on existing optical fiber infrastructure. Read More

Australia Post stamps presents with a video message

Email may have decimated snail mail, but luckily for postal services and couriers, packages aren't as easy to send as bits and bytes. This Christmas is likely to be another bumper year for presents being sent in the mail and Australia Post is providing gift-givers with the ability to attach a video message to their parcels. Read More
— Telecommunications

Strike a light: Amazon's ebook-matching service goes live

In what is potentially exciting news for anyone with a library split between the digital and physical realms, Amazon has launched the Kindle MatchBook service, which aims to provide Kindle ebook copies of your old, pre-digital manuscripts (or books, as some may remember them) bought from Amazon. However, the service will not be available for all books, and in many cases, matched ebooks will cost a few dollars. Read More
— Telecommunications

Free service blocks robocalls

You're relaxing after a hard day at work, or just getting ready to cut into a juicy steak at dinner. All seems right with the world, just for a moment. Then the phone rings, disturbing your bliss with yet another recorded spiel for some shady deal. You slam the phone off, and return to your life while muttering vague obscenities. Nomorobo now offers a transparent system for reliably blocking such robocalls, that is far more effective than Do-Not-Call lists. Best of all, the service is free. Read More

Postcard on the Run uses your smartphone to make and send physical postcards

As technology progresses, we're seeing more and more tangible objects being replaced by digital alternatives. Letters have given way to e-mails, paperbacks have become e-books, and postcards have become trip photos on Facebook. The fact is, though, people still like getting stuff. Postcard on the Run builds on that idea, allowing users to create and mail their own custom physical postcards, from anywhere. Read More
— Telecommunications

Software brings eye contact to Skype, with a little help from Kinect

Skype has been around for ten years now. Once a science fiction dream, the video calling service has 300 million users making two billion minutes of video calls a day. The only problem is, most of them can't look each other in the eye. Claudia Kuster, a doctoral student at the Computer Graphics Laboratory ETH Zurich, and her team are developing a way to bring eye contact to Skype and similar video services with software that alters the caller's on-screen image to give the illusion that they’re looking straight at the camera. Read More
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