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Connectivity & Communications Posts - Page 1

London mayor Boris Johnson to pledge 5G internet access by 2020

London's mayor Boris Johnson is expected to announce a super speedy 5G network for the UK capital this week.

 

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According to a report in Britain's Telegraph, the eccentric mayor will promise 5G connectivity in the capital by 2020, pledging that Londoners will have access to a super quick network capable of downloading movies in just seconds. The University of Surrey will work in partnership with the city to deliver the network. "London is earning a reputation for being the tech capital of Europe and that is why we need to ensure every Londoner is able to access the very best digital connectivity," Johnson will say. "Rapidly improving the connectivity of this great city is a key part of the Infrastructure Plan for London."

 

As part of wider plans, Johnson is also expected to commit to improving connectivity across the entire capital, as well as making sure information about this connectivity is generally available. For example, tenants moving into new houses will be able to check against a data set to see what internet speeds they will be able to get access to. Additionally, the mayor will work with telcos to use this data to pinpoint exactly where improvements need to be made across the city.

NPD: Connected TVs in U.S. growing in popularity as prices fall

There will be double the amount of connected TV devices in the United States when compared to U.S. Internet households by 2017, according to the NPD Group. There will be an estimated 204 million connected TVs using the Internet over the next three years, double the figure of estimated Internet growth.

 

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The adoption of connected TVs and streaming media players, along with lowering costs, have provided consumers with a wide selection of product choices. More consumers are using their connected living room technologies to stream Netflix, Pandora, YouTube, Hulu, and other popular entertainment services.

 

"The evolution of hardware and digital content distribution is constantly changing the TV viewing experience," said John Buffone, NPD Connected Intelligence executive director, in a press statement. "Over the coming years, the consumers' preferred device for apps on TV will be shaped by the next generation of video game consoles, Smart TVs, and a new wave of streaming media players."

Continue reading 'NPD: Connected TVs in U.S. growing in popularity as prices fall' (full post)

GoTenna portable gadget keeps you connected when signals are poor

We have all been in a situation where we need our phones for one reason or another and the area lacks enough signal for a connection. If you are in an emergency, that lack of a signal can be life threatening. A new device called the GoTenna has debuted that promises to be able to keep you in touch even in areas where cellular signal strength is weak or not available.

 

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The GoTenna is a small 2-ounce wand that can be connected to a backpack or belt loop that is able to connect to a smartphone via Bluetooth low energy. Once connected and powered on, users of GoTenna are able to send messages and GPS coordinates to other people who are also connected by a GoTenna.

 

High-resolution offline maps are offered by the company allowing users to reference transmitted location data. GoTenna isn't able to give high-speed data or voice capability, so there is no surfing the web or using Facebook with the device. It creates a low frequency radio wave network for iOS and Android devices that is good for about a mile in a dense urban area or about 9 miles in outdoor conditions. Pre-orders are underway now with a pair of the devices selling for $149 before going to $299 per pair later.

US government wants to build an experimental city for Wi-Fi testing

Two US government agencies have requested for comment on something it looks to build an experimental "model city" with the Federal Communications Commissions (FCC) and the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) behind the request.

 

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The FCC and NTIA want "one or more" cities built across the United States, where it would built a test area within these borders that would support "rapid experimentation and development of policies, underlying technologies, and system capabilities". The US government isn't exactly sure on how the experimental city would be run, where it would be in the hands of the FCC and NTIA, the city itself, or by private companies who are in communication with the local government.

 

This is why the government is opening the doors to public comments, to gauge reaction from US citizens on this new experimental city talk.

Bell Labs achieves over 10Gbps using traditional copper phone lines

Bell LAbs, which is a division of Alcatel-Lucent, is claiming to have "set a new broadband speed record of 10Gbps using traditional copper telephone lines". This was achieved in a research project that could see gigabit broadband speeds delivered to normal broadband networks with copper, by combining fiber.

 

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These 10Gbps speeds can only be achieved at 30 meters (or 100 feet), and at 70m (or 230 feet) the top speeds drop to 1Gbps. Alcatel-Lucent has said that bidirectional 1Gbps speeds can be achieved in the real-world over networks that deliver fiber to the curbside, and rely on copper for the final few feet of the connection.

 

Alcatel-Lucent said: "When it becomes commercially available in 2015, G.fast will use a frequency range for data transmission of 106MHz, giving broadband speeds up to 500Mbps over a distance of 100 meters. In contrast, XG-FAST uses an increased frequency range up to 500MHz to achieve higher speeds but over shorter distances. Bell Labs achieved 1Gbps symmetrical over 70 meters on a single copper pair. 10Gbps was achieved over a distance of 30 meters by using two pairs of lines (a technique known as 'bonding'). Both tests used standard copper cable provided by a European operator".

Wasted smart device energy could power UK and Norway for a year

Enough energy to power the entirety of the United Kingdom and Norway is wasted every single year as smart devices are left on standby mode, according to a report.

 

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The International Energy Agency claims that wasted electricity from these devices makes up over 400 terawatt hours (TWh) every year - or about as much power produced yearly by over 100 coal plants. Crunching the numbers, the IEA points out that just last year over 14 billion devices were network enabled and it's set to shoot up to 50 billion by 2025 - and the required energy could make up a stonking 6 percent of global consumption.

 

"The proliferation of connected devices brings many benefits to the world, but right now the cost is far higher than it should be," the IEA's executive director, Maria van der Hoeven, said. "Consumers are losing money in the form of wasted energy, which is leading to more costly power stations and more distribution infrastructure being built than we would otherwise need, not to mention the extra greenhouse gases."

Continue reading 'Wasted smart device energy could power UK and Norway for a year' (full post)

This router makes your kid complete chores to gain internet access

A new router has appeared on Kickstarter that only allows for internet access once a certain amount of chores have been completed.

 

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The Kudoso router is aimed primarily at parents trying to regulate their kids' internet access - but it could equally be useful for procrastinating adults too. Kudoso sets a series of tasks that must be finished in order to unlock minutes that can be used online.

 

"Parents today are faced with a dilemma about how to manage the amount of time their kids spend on the internet and the content they are exposed to," developer Rob Irizarry writes on the Kickstarter page. "Kudoso lets your children earn points that allow them to access the internet sites you approve for blocks of time that you define." Admins decide how much access to each individual website costs, while access to social networks and services like Netflix are also available. At the moment, the Kickstarter has 77 backers and $7,541 of a $50,000, with 23 days to go.

Continue reading 'This router makes your kid complete chores to gain internet access' (full post)

91Gbps Internet tested, 100x faster than Google Fiber

If you thought the 1Gbps on offer from Google Fiber was impressive, well, that would feel like dial-up compared to what the private pipeline the US Department of Energy recently tested - bursting out an incredible 91 gigabits per second between Denver and Maryland.

 

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The reason behind the uber-fast Internet access is that the Energy Sciences Network (ESnet) and NASA officials having to deal with copious amounts of data, but with access to this 91Gbps connection, that is a thing of the past. Even faster transfers have been benchmarked, but these were done over direct connections.

 

We reported earlier in the year that Alcatel-Lucent and BT smashed a huge 1.4 terabit connection, but this was a direct connection between London and Ipswich. ESnet does have a goal in mind, where it hopes to see transfer speeds increased to as high as 1Tbps, where it has already started work on a 400 gigabit network. Where do I sign up?

PCIe 4.0 should see throughput increased to 64GB/sec from 32GB/sec

I don't know why I'm just reading about, and thus reporting about it just now, but more details are leaking out on next iteration of the PCI Express specification - PCIe 4.0.

 

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As it stands, PCIe 3.0 has a maximum throughput bandwidth of 32GB/sec, but PCIe 4.0 will ramp things up to 64GB/sec - as it will have a base speed of 16Gbps per data link. At the moment, GPUs won't make much more use of this, but with SSDs moving toward PCIe - we are seeing a huge increase in the required bandwidth - with OCZ showing off 3.8GB/sec with PCIe-based SSDs in RAID 0 at Computex this year as an example.

 

When will we see PCIe 4.0 rolled out? We should expect it to come baked into Intel's upcoming Skylake platform, with its 100-series chipset.

Analogix show off SlimPort 4K, microUSB pushing out 4K video, and more

Computex 2014 - During our visit to the suite that Analogix was in, we had a peak at SlimPort 4K - a technology that uses the microUSB port on your compatible device, and pushing out 4K - or Ultra HD, or 3840x2160.

 

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This is an insane achievement, something that has taken years for Analogix to reach, but now that it is there, the future is looking bright - or even higher res. Not only is SlimPort 4K capable of pushing 3840x2160 out through microUSB, but it is capable of delivering 8-channel audio over the same cable.

 

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Analogix's SlimPort 4K technology is only on some system-on-chips (SoCs) - such as Qualcomm's MSM8074, which has SlimPort 4K. Using this little cable, you can output your smartphone or tablet to a 4K monitor or TV, as you can see in the shot above.

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