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Germany nearly turned into Australia there for a minute, with Deutsche Telekom attempting to introduce Internet throttling, where users' Internet speeds would be capped once they downloaded a certain amount of data.
But the Cologne Regional Court ruled that this would not happen, strengthening the rights of consumers. Deutsche Telekom has enforced users downloading over 75GB be throttled, something which will take place in 2016. The industry thinks Deutsche Telekom could split its customers into two groups: those who don't mind the capping, and those who consume digital data in many forms, especially the growing web form - YouTube, streaming services (music, TV, movies), and next-generation gaming.
The problem here is that the term Deutsche Telekom is using, is 'flat rate' where consumers connect to an Internet service through the fixed network, with a fixed price, for a pre-defined surfing speed, and 'do not expect restrictions' which is where the Civil Chamber of the Court will base its decision. At the moment, the judgment is not yet final.
While I potter around on my 8mbps connection, a team of researchers from the universities of Oxford, Cambridge, Edinburgh, St Andrews and Strathclyde working on the Ultra-Parallel Visible Light Communications Project are claiming to have reached some epic speeds on Li-Fi: 10.5Gbit/s.
Yeah - that's fast. How does Li-Fi work? Well, it works by utilizing specialized LED bulbs to transmit data through parallel streams of light that are completely undetectable to the human eye. Harald Haas, a German physicist, and one of the project leaders at the University of Edinburgh said: "If you think of a shower head separating water out into parallel streams, that's how we can make light behave."
In order to reach the dizzying heights of 10.5Gbit/s, the researchers used a micro-LED bulb which was developed over at the University of Strathclyde, which transmitted 3.5Gbit/s through three primary colors - red, green and blue.
This is all being done while I'm on a piddly 8Mbit ADSL connection in Australia, which costs me $149.95 per month. LTE Advanced is being tested in Hong Kong, with 300Mbps LTE Cat 6 radio network being tested throughout Hong Kong by Hong Kong's CSL.
The network achieved 300Mbps by aggregating their 20MHz carriers at both its 1800MHz and 2600MHz LTE bands. At the moment, there are no smartphones that feature LTE Cat 6 radios, so CSL partnered up with ZTE to create an oversized device that was used for demonstration purposes. You can see in the shot above, they used four very, very thick antennas for the MIMO 2x2 implementation.
An FTP download speed of 172Mbps was achieved, which is a heck of download speed. If you're based in Hong Kong and wondering when you'd be able to jump on the 300Mbps service, you'll be waiting until early next year.
IDF 2013 - If there was a company who could make 4K streaming over USB 2.0, it would be DisplayLink. Back at Computex 2013 in June, we gave DisplayLink our Best of Technology award for its USB 3.0 SuperSpeed Dual Video Adapter by DisplayLink and Targus.
At IDF this year, DisplayLink were showing off a new adapter that was capable of sending 4K video through a tiny USB adapter. In an ideal situation, the system would shoot video over USB 3.0, while giving users full connectivity options for any compatible DisplayLink device. This still works over USB 2.0, with the dynamically compensating data compression might skip a beat here and there.
DisplayLink's Director of Marketing, Andy Davis, said that the DisplayLink tech has no issue driving multiple displays, even at Ultra HD resolutions, the issue will come down to graphics drivers and video decoding capabilities of the PC it is connected to.
Today, the USB Implementers Forum (USB-IF) announced that development has started on the new Media Agnostic USB Specification. This new spec will allow wireless storage solutions to communicate over the USB protocol without the need for a physical connection. More importantly, the goal of the specification is to allow wireless gigabit transfer rates leveraging existing USB infrastructure.
The WiGig Serial Extension v1.2 specification will provide the initial foundation for this new spec. This WSE specification will be formally transferred to the USB-IF from the Wi-Fi Alliance.
"We are pleased to see the USB-IF use the WiGig Serial Extension in its development of the Media Agnostic USB specification," said Edgar Figueroa, president and CEO of Wi-Fi Alliance. "Advanced wireless usages of serial bus technology have the potential to deliver great benefit to users."
Additionally, wireless devices implementing the MA USB specification will retain compliance with the SuperSpeed (USB 3.0) and Hi-Speed (USB 2.0) protocols.
HDMI 2.0 has finally been officially announced, arriving at a perfect time to be baked inside of the 4K TVs flowing out of manufacturers' factories. HDMI Licensing took some time of out of its day to announce the new standard, which is quite powerful.
We'er looking at a bandwidth capacity of 18Gbps, which has enough room to squeeze 3840x1260 at 60fps, which is quite nice. HDMI 2.0 also has support for up to 32 audio channels, "dynamic auto lipsync" and additional CEC extensions. The connector itself remains unchanged, which means we should be all systems go for backwards compatibility.
The cables themselves also won't change, which is refreshing, with the HDMI Licensing group claiming that current high-speed Category 2 cables can handle the increased bandwidth.
This is something I didn't expect to read on the weekend, but US retail giant Amazon is rumored to be testing Globalstar's wireless satellite network to see if it could build a wireless service of its own.
If they did, the timing couldn't be better, as Amazon's video viewing audience is continuing to balloon, reaching 38 million unique views last month. On top of that, the amount of time that consumers are spending watching videos on Amazon has doubled over the last six months. What is helping fuel this? The company's Kindle and Kindle Fire range of tablets.
If Amazon built its own wireless network, it would give them total and utter control over its content distribution, which is the same as printing money essentially. Amazon could soon be running its own wireless network, blasting out content to Kindle and Kindle fire devices, to anyone across the United States.
Google are slowly rolling out its uber-fast Fiber service across the United States, but did you know that around 3% of Americans are still stuck on dial-up? You know, the old Internet that wasn't always-on and had your modem make weird sounds when it connected to the Internet.
The news comes from the Pew Research Center's report, that states that 3% of American Internet users are still using dial-up services for their Internet needs, with that 3% number not changing since 2011. This obviously means that there are 3% of Internet users who might not know better, maybe older Internet users without computer-savvy young children or friends, or Internet "black spots" where DSL or cable aren't available.
Intel has teased its latest MXC format, which will combine silicon photonics and a new form of Corning fiber, which will see servers linked at an incredible 1.6Tbps.
The chipmaker is using connectors that are very small, but Intel won't talk about MXC anymore until the Intel Developer Forum in San Francisco next month. We can expect supercomputer operators to be on the floor, with huge smiles on their faces. We will be posting all sorts of news during IDF, so be sure to check back soon!
Google has finally started the testing of its Project Loon Wi-Fi balloons in California's Central Valley, where they are "to research various approaches for improving the technology, like the power systems (solar panel orientation and batteries), envelope design, and radio configuration."
The Wi-Fi balloons have previously been tested in New Zealand and various parts of Africa, but there's no concrete date when we could expect them to float across other skies just yet.