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.

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".

Continue reading: Bell Labs achieves over 10Gbps using traditional copper phone lines (full post)

TSMC invests heavily into 10nm process, wants to fight off Samsung

Anthony Garreffa | CPU, APU & Chipsets | Jul 10, 2014 1:35 AM CDT

TSMC is reportedly increasing the development of its upcoming 10nm process so that it can better prepare itself against Samsung, which has reportedly received an order from Qualcomm to build 14nm FinFET chips, reports DigiTimes.

DigiTimes writes: "TSMC and Samsung are currently competing fiercely in the development of FinFET process, with the Korea-based foundry house utilizing a 14nm process and TSMC a 16nm node. Both the 14nm and 16nm processes are scheduled to enter volume production in early 2015". TSMC has been at the forefront of FinFET development, with plans to begin producing 16nm FinFET chips in Q4 2014.

DigiTimes' sources have said that TSMC has rescheduled its commercial production for the 16nm FinFET process, pushing forward with the more advanced 16nm FinFET Plus process. This process will consume less power, and shrink die sizes even more. TSMC is running scared at the moment, as it didn't anticipate Samsung to develop its 14nm process so quickly, so now the Taiwanese company is accelerating its development of the 10nm process, to continue staying out ahead of its competitors.

Continue reading: TSMC invests heavily into 10nm process, wants to fight off Samsung (full post)

Chinese couple sells their kids to buy in-game weapons and armor

Anthony Garreffa | Gaming | Jul 9, 2014 8:39 PM CDT

A young Chinese couple has sold their two sons to child traffickers, all so they could fund their gaming habits. The couple sold their two sons on two separate occasions, to fund the purchase of in-game items such as armor, and weapons.

During an interview with Guangdong TV from a local detention center, the couple said that their first child wasn't planned. The father, A Hui, said that he had no intention of financially supporting the child, so they sold him to Fujian-based child traffickers. His partner, A Mei, fell pregnant again, where he explained: "[A Hui] likes buying items in online games, and he likes staying out all night at internet cafes".

This meant that most of their finances were being funneled into A Hui's gaming life, so it meant the second child couldn't be supported. They then sold him to traffickers. The traffickers in China sell children to couples who want to be parents, street gangs and street peddlers, and even to orphanages where they put them up for adoption overseas. A Hui's father was aware of what was going on, and in the end reported the couple to the police. The two were arrested, and are now awaiting trial and sentencing for the crime of selling children.

Continue reading: Chinese couple sells their kids to buy in-game weapons and armor (full post)

HGST launches the world's largest 10K RPM HDD, a 2.5-inch 1.8TB drive

Anthony Garreffa | Storage | Jul 9, 2014 7:57 PM CDT

HGST has just unveiled its latest Ultrastar C10K1800, something the company is pegging as the world's highest capacity, highest performing 10K RPM HDD. The new drive is a 2.5-inch 1.8TB drive, that cranks along at 10,000 RPM.

The drive uses HGST's media cache architecture, which uses a portion of the platter as drive cache. This allows a massive 2.5X increase in random write performance, and a 23% improvement in sequential performance over previous generations of 2.5-inch 10K RPM HDDs. According to the company, this new Ultrastar C10K1800 is also more power efficient, with up to a 7% improvement in active and idle power savings.

HGST's new Ultrastar C10K1800 ships with the fast 12Gbps SAS interface, but even with 10K RPM under its belt, it won't make great use of that like an SSD or four will. It has a maximum sustained transfer rate of 247MB/sec on its 12Gbps bus.

Continue reading: HGST launches the world's largest 10K RPM HDD, a 2.5-inch 1.8TB drive (full post)

Rats use whiskers like humans use hands, research says

Rats actually use their whiskers in a similar way that humans use their hands and fingers, particularly when exploring the dark, according to a revelatory new piece of research on the rodents.

Although it's long been known that mammals tend to use their whiskers to navigate dark patches, the full extent of control over the facial features was not known until now. Academics at Sheffield University set about using high speed videography to keep an eye on animals, each of which had been trained to run circuits for treats. Undergoing different scenarios, such as putting obstacles in their way or taking away visual cues, showed that the animals used their whiskers in a "purposeful" way to complete the track.

As the rats got quicker at running circuits, they also tended to change their whisker movements accordingly - whether that was to sweep surfaces or pushing their whiskers forward to detect objects that could be in their way. In the scenarios where they were likely to run into objects, the animals were more cautious and deliberately felt their way around using their whiskers. "All mammals except humans use facial whiskers as touch sensors. In humans we seem to have replaced this sense, in part, by being able to use our hand and fingers to feel our way," said Professor Tony Prescott. "The rat puts its whiskers where it thinks it will get the most useful information, just as we do with our fingertips."

Continue reading: Rats use whiskers like humans use hands, research says (full post)

Panzura thumbs nose at competitors by giving product away for free

Kalen Kimm | IT/Datacenter & Super Computing | Jul 9, 2014 2:37 PM CDT

In what may eventually prove to be a very shrewd move, Panzura announced today that it will provide a free virtual appliance version of its cloud gateway. Further, they have partnered with Google so that customers users of the free gateway also get 2TB of free storage via the Google Cloud Platform for one year.

In reading through the press release and blog post on their website, Panzura is clearly looking to drive home the point that there is a stark difference between simply having cloud storage for one office versus actually setting up cloud storage so that it is both high performant AND collaborative across locations. As they point out, the real value add in the Panzura technology is the file locking capabilities for distributed enterprises that have multiple locations. While the gateway may be free, this file locking feature is not.

Call it coincidence or superior planning, but this Panzura announcement comes just one day after EMC announced the acquisition of TwinStrata, another player in the cloud gateway space. It will be interesting to see what effects the commoditization from Panzura combined with the immediate entry by the giant EMC will have on the remaining companies in this market (i.e. Avere Systems, CTERA).

Continue reading: Panzura thumbs nose at competitors by giving product away for free (full post)

NASA 3D prints a model of light-year-long Eta Carinae nebula

NASA has created a full 3D model of a light-year-long nebula that was coughed out by the Eta Carinae system, 7,500 light years away from Earth, in the 19th century.

Eta Carinae can be found in the Carina constellation, and it's one of the brightest that are known out there by far - its smallest star is roughly 30 times as big as the Sun. In the 19th century, it spewed out the gassy Homonculus Nebula, and this is what the researchers have now printed off as a 3D model. NASA used the European Southern Observatory's appropriately titled Very Large Telescope and the X-Shooter spectrograph to image near-infrared, visible and ultraviolet wavelengths across the nebula to create the most complete image made to date. Researchers took this data to look at spatial and velocity information, which then enabled the creation of the very first high-res 3D model of the nebula.

The model was put together in Shape and allowed NASA staff to inspect the more unusual features of the nebula, including trenches and dust skirts, and because it was developed using an emission line of near infrared light that was created by the molecular hydrogen gas, even allows for a close-up guesstimate of the dust-covered sides facing away from our humble little planet.

Continue reading: NASA 3D prints a model of light-year-long Eta Carinae nebula (full post)

Apple opens eBay store with certified refurbished iPhone 5 smartphones

Shane McGlaun | Mobile Devices, Tablets & Phones | Jul 9, 2014 12:11 PM CDT

Apple has quietly opened a store on eBay to sell certified refurbished iPhone 5 smartphones that are unlocked. All of the smartphones on this particular store are GSM version of the iPhone 5. The smartphones include a one-year Apple warranty and are being sold at aggressive prices.

The Apple store is called the Factory Outlet eBay Store and has six devices listed in factory restored and unlocked guise. iPhone 5 model on the store sell for between $449 and $499 per device.

The phone models on the eBay store are exclusive to the store. Devices are noted to be burn-in tested and professionally repacked with a final inspection performed by Apple. It's worth noting that ahead of the official launch of the latest iPad in 2013, a similar store popped up for refurbished older iPad models and disappeared before the launch of the new tablet.

Continue reading: Apple opens eBay store with certified refurbished iPhone 5 smartphones (full post)

EMC goes on PR frenzy with acquisition news and product updates

Kalen Kimm | IT/Datacenter & Super Computing | Jul 9, 2014 10:07 AM CDT

On a very busy press day for the company, EMC announced several news items spanning across several product lines. Changes include broadening the configuration options for XtremIO and Isilon, a more open and hybrid approach to deploying VMAX, updates for ViPR, and a new Hadoop big data analytics solution.

XtremIO gets a refresh with both a new entry-level configuration of 5TB, as well as a larger scale-out cluster capable of expanding to six 20TB X-Bricks. More interesting than just the configuration expansion, XtremIO is now adding inline compression to its intelligent data handling feature set. Combined with existing snapshot and deduplication, EMC claims the product now supports petabytes of data.

On the VMAX front, EMC announced VMAX3, an open enterprise platform to bridge standard enterprise storage with cloud storage. As part of this release, EMC also announced the acquisition of TwinStrata, Inc., developer of the CloudArray management software. The new offering is engineered to give storage administrators an easy way to provision storage to either in-house storage arrays or out to public cloud storage, all based on workload requirements. According to a letter on the TwinStrata website from Nicos Vekiarides, CEO of TwinStrata, "Working together as part of EMC, we are looking to integrate CloudArray into the new VMAX3 enterprise data service platform to allow you to automatically tier workloads even more seamlessly for off-premise storage capacity expansion, data protection and disaster recovery."

Continue reading: EMC goes on PR frenzy with acquisition news and product updates (full post)

Ford issues recall on 100,610 vehicles in North America

Shane McGlaun | Business, Politics & Money | Jul 9, 2014 5:21 AM CDT

The automotive industry in the US and other parts of the world has been besieged with recalls over the last year. GM has been hit with the brunt of the recalls going so far as to tell dealers in the US that they can no longer sell the Cruze, the company's second bestselling vehicle. Ford has now issued a massive recall in North America that includes 100,610 vehicles.

The massive recall includes six different actions with about 92,000 of the vehicles having a potential issue with the front axles that may not have been installed properly. That improper installation could cause the axle to move outward and eventually disengage.

Cars covered in that axle recall include 2013-2014 Taurus, Flex, and Interceptor models along with Lincoln MKS and MKT. Also included in the axle recall are 2012-2014 Edge and 2014 Lincoln MKX models. Ford also recalled 5264 2011-2014 F59 Commercial Stripped Chassis vehicles with faulty electrical systems that could lead to a fire. 2014 Ford Escape vehicles with the panorama roof were recalled due to glass panels not glued properly during installation.

Continue reading: Ford issues recall on 100,610 vehicles in North America (full post)