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Connectivity & Communications Posts - Page 8

Google Fiber registration has arrived for residents in Provo, Utah

If you're a resident of Provo, Utah, then this news is right up your alley: Google is now accepting registrations for its gigabit Internet service, known as Google Fiber.

 

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The high-speed broadband will include any customers sitting on the former iProvo network, a fiber-optic backbone that was installed, and later sold to Google. Google did note: "We can't install fiber to everyone in Provo all at once, so we're going to work in waves, starting with the North Park area next month and finishing in the Foothills area hopefully by the end of this year".

 

Provo residents can choose from three different service plans, with the minimum offering 5/1Mbps, which will cost you a $30 one-time fee for installation. Higher tiers are available, with Gigabit Internet on offer for $70 per month, or a Gigabit Internet + TV offer for $120 per month.

Alcatel-Lucent, BT tease 1.4Tbps 'Flexigrid' broadband connection

Alcatel-Lucent and BT have teamed up to work on a new research project: 1.4Tbps broadband. The new technology using commercial-grade hardware, spun with a new protocol which pushes for these insane, next-gen speeds.

 

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The new protocol has been dubbed Flexigrid, which allows multiple signals to be laid over the top of one another within the same cable. During testing, the researchers were able to layer seven 200Gbps channels, which created something they called an "Alien Super Channel", which was capable of driving 1.4Tbps across 255 miles of fiber.

 

The two connections were the bases of a BT research facility in Suffolk, to another BT Tower, in London. 1.4Tbps is... well, fast, very fast. How fast in real-world terms? Well, someone with this connection could stream some 64 hours of HD through Netflix, 38 hours of 4K through Netflix, or an insane 36,409 songs... all within a single second.

Continue reading 'Alcatel-Lucent, BT tease 1.4Tbps 'Flexigrid' broadband connection' (full post)

Ford partners with universities to develop autonomous car research

Automaker Ford will team up with researchers from Stanford University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), hoping to overcome the "technical challenges" currently facing autonomous vehicles.

 

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"To deliver on our vision for the future of mobility, we need to work with many new partners across the public and private sectors, and we need to start today," said Paul Mascarenas, Ford Chief Technical Officer, in a statement. "Working with university partners like MIT and Stanford enables us to address some of the longer-term challenges surrounding automated driving while exploring more near-term solutions for delivering an even safer and more efficient driving experience."

 

Automated driving research is a major initiative among auto manufacturers, and partnering with two of the top universities in the country will help Ford. Specifically, the company will work with Stanford to develop sensor able to accurately see around obstacles, in an effort to try and develop a vehicle with "common sense."

 

During CES 2014, autonomous vehicles continued to receive a warm welcome from attendees, as each year autonomous technologies are spotlighted.

South Korea's SK Telecom to roll out 300Mbps mobile Internet

As it stands today, South Korea's largest mobile network, SK Telecom, has 'regular' 75Mbps LTE mobile broadband. The South Korea-based company has just announced plans to push out some insane mobile Internet speeds.

 

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SK Telecom's upcoming '3band LTE-Advanced' will offer speeds of up to 300Mbps, or LTE-Advanced (LTE-A) by aggregating "more than two frequency bands". The service will roll out toward the end of the year. New Agency, Yonhap, reports that users can download an 800MB file in 22 seconds, which is just insane.

 

The company will be showing off its new blistering fast Internet at Mobile World Congress next month, in Barcelona.

Connected technologies open up many different security problems

The emergence of connected technologies, with products ranging from high-definition TVs and refrigerators to newer cars, there is huge potential possible for innovative companies. However, a lag in security of connected devices will give cyber criminals a new platform to exploit moving forward, depending how they access the compromised unit.

 

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"Botnets are already a major security concern and the emergence of thingbots may make the situation much worse," said David Knight, Proofpoint Information Security division, in a statement. "Many of these devices are poorly protected at best and consumers have virtually no way to detect or fix infections when they do occur."

 

Manufacturers and security experts are working on next-generation security products aimed at helping keep connected technologies more secure. As more consumers embrace 'smart' goods at home and in the workplace, this will continue to be a struggle in the looming years.

Connected car cyber security threats possible for Google Android

The lure of connected cars continue to cause quite a stir in the automotive and tech industries, though there is a growing concern over possible security threats. Cyber criminal focus will remain on PCs, smartphones, tablets, and connected household devices, but security analysts warn auto threats are right around the corner.

 

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Google Android-powered vehicles will roll out before the end of this year, and will feature Google Maps, Google Places, Google Voice, Google Earth, and the Google Play store.

 

"I think Google will bring in some of its elements from the automated car research it's conducting, where it's focusing heavily on cybersecurity," said Praveen Chandrasekar, Frost & Sullivan automotive and transportation researcher, in a statement. And remember, they'll be working directly with [automotive] OEMs, who will tell them what their security requirements are."

 

Meanwhile, Apple has found its way into connected vehicles manufactured from the likes of Acura, BMW, Mercedes-Benz, Volvo, and Toyota. Connected vehicles will become an intense battlefield in 2014, as future cars make use of connected technologies, even in cheaper vehicles.

Cisco sets its sights on the 'Internet of Everything' craze

Network hardware company Cisco Systems focused on the Internet of Everything (IoE), setting the landscape for people connected to mobile devices, smart buildings, transportation networks, data and other processes on a wide scale. The number of estimated connected devices is 15 to 25 billion by 2015, which will propel up to 50 billion by 2020.

 

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"Cisco has led customers through every Internet transition over the last 30 years," said Blair Christie, Cisco Senior VP and chief marketing officer, in a statement. "The Internet of Everything is perhaps the most promising of these, creating unprecedented opportunities for organizations, individuals, communities and countries to realize dramatically greater value from networked connections between people, processes, data and things."

 

Cisco has been forced to adapt to a changing environment in which employees are largely embracing the 'bring your own device' craze. However, the IoE blows that out of the water, with service users able to benefit from long-form content, location-based and profile data, home/control/automation features, and sensor-collected data in the home and workplace.

Volvo bringing car owners into connected world, via Wi-Fi hotspot

Auto manufacturer Volvo used the 2014 Consumer Electronics Show (CES) to show off its Sensus Connect connected-car platform, which recently added the Xtime ServiceTelematics technology into its offering. The Sensus Connect system provides a mobile Wi-Fi hotspot for drivers, along with the ability to locate and pay for parking - and automated alerts if there is car trouble, with drivers able to easily schedule a tune-up.

 

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"Technology should make your life easier, especially in the car," said David Holecek, Volvo connectivity brand manager, in a statement. "This fundamental consumer insight underpinned the development of Sensus Connect. It's not about offering a thousand apps. It's about giving you precisely what you need, before you even knew you needed it."

 

Connected cars were extremely popular during CES this year, and will continue to be shown at auto shows throughout the year. Following CES, auto makers immediately shifted focus to the Silicon Valley Auto Show - and will again shift gears and prepare for the start of the North American International Auto Show in Detroit, Michigan.

San Francisco sees free Wi-Fi rolled out on Market Street

The City of San Francisco is one of the leading tech hubs in the world, but budget cuts and political bickering shelved numerous attempts to get public access to free Wi-Fi in well-trafficked portions of the city.

 

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The $500,000 project to bring free public Wi-Fi to Market Street in San Francisco has been completed, with a three-mile stretch of downtown road now supporting up to 50Mbps of free service. It's a far-cry from the citywide Wi-Fi promise made in 2007, but this is at least a good step in the right direction towards coverage across the city.

 

Silicon Valley company Ruckus Wireless contributed hardware, while Layer 42 Networks provided 1 gigabit Internet access service to the project. Market Street is one of the major thoroughfares in downtown San Francisco, with more than 250,000 people using the street per day. Throughout San Francisco and Silicon Valley, tech companies are expanding free public Wi-Fi, as more consumers use laptops, smartphones, and tablets for personal and work activities. Similar Wi-Fi projects are currently underway in major metropolitan areas throughout the United States - and in select cities across the world - so the potential upside of these efforts could be tremendous.

Google is giving Uganda some of that Google Fiber lovin'

I was expecting it to be my city next, but obviously Google has no love for me. The Mountain View-based everything giant is looking to install its own fiber-optic network in Kampala, Uganda.

 

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Google has been installing the network over the last couple of months, officially unveiling the project on Wednesday. The new network will allow 10 local mobile operators and Internet Service Providers (ISPs) to boost speeds up a factor of 100 in most places in Kampala. The city itself is home to around 3 million potential Internet users.

 

The ISPs will receive the huge speeds, and will be able to offer its customers up to two gigabits per second, which is just insane. Why is Google pushing a network in Uganda? Well, considering only 16% of Africa's 1 billion citizens have Internet, it can be big business. Google makes money from advertising, and getting more people online will have more people seeing ads, which lets Google print its money.

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