Connectivity, Communications & Cloud News - Page 4
I personally signed up for SpaceX Starlink satellite internet a few weeks ago and will have my connection by the end of Q1 2022 hopefully, but as I went to check the SpaceX website I noticed something new... Starlink Premium. A quick Google search and yeah, it was just unveiled a couple of hours ago.
SpaceX's introduction of Starlink Premium offers a higher-end satellite internet service, offering faster speeds of 150Mbps through to a much faster 500Mbps -- with 20-40ms latency -- while upload speeds are bumped to 20Mbps to 40Mbps. This is compared to the 50Mbps to 250Mbps on the regular Starlink service on the download speeds, while uploads are just 10-20Mbps on the regular Starlink.
But... the regular Starlink service costs you $99 per month while Starlink Premium costs $500 per month -- 5x the cost, as well as the huge $2500 for the beefier antenna and other required hardware. You'll also need to plonk down a $500 deposit for Starlink Premium.
If you live somewhere where dinosaurs roam around, you might want to disconnect your SpaceX Starlink satellite internet service... because if a dinosaur roams too close to your house and stomps on your dish, you're not covered under warranty.
SpaceX explains in its Starlink warranty: "The warranty does not cover damage due to: Lightning, electrical surges, fires, floods, hail, windstorms, earthquakes, meteors, solar storms, dinosaurs or other forces of nature". Yes, you read that right -- meteors, solar storms, DINOSAURS, and other "forces of nature". Might as well include General Zod and Thanos, I guess.
Another thing is that Starlink is already laying the groundwork for Elon Musk and SpaceX's adventures to Mars, where Starlink won't be bound by Earth laws on the Martian surface of Mars. You can read more on that below.
T-Mobile has successfully identified or blocked over 21 billion spam calls in 2021 alone, which works out to around 700 calls every second.
The US telco giant identified 1.1 billion calls as Scam Likely in January 2021 alone, while by November 2021 those numbers had reached 2.5 billion. The reason why spam calls ramped from 2020 to 2021 was because of the on-going pandemic, with an average rate of around 425 million spam calls per week these numbers are up 116% compared to 2020.
Spam calls dropped off by 80% across the weekend, as well as slowing down during the holidays. According to a recent report from Truecaller, around 23% of Americans have fallen for the spam calls and lost money as a result. There was an average of $502 lost per person, up from $351 in 2020 -- in total, we're looking at just shy of $30 billion for 2021.
We've been walking into the world of 5G for a few years now, but it's only just now -- days before 2022 begins -- that major US air carriers begin freaking out that 5G wireless services are going to wreck havoc on the travel industry.
United Airlines Chief Executive Scott Kirby said during a U.S. Senate Commerce Committee said that US telco giants AT&T and Verizon need to delay their plans to use C-Band spectrum for 5G wireless services. Kirby said during the hearing that 5G wireless services would delay, divert, or cancel around 4% of daily flights in the US -- impacting hundreds of thousands of passengers per year, every year.
Kirby said: "It would be a catastrophic failure of government. Coming Jan. 5 -- unless something changes -- we will not be able to use radio altimeters at 40-something of the largest airports in the country. It is a certainty. This is not a debate".
Seriously, we're so close to the launch of the PCIe 5.0 standard that will launch with Intel's next-gen Alder Lake platform -- and we're hearing more concrete details about the new PCIe 6.0 standard.
PCI-SIG has announced that the next-gen PCIe 6.0 standard is close to being finalized, with the new standard offering up to 128GB/sec of bandwidth -- double that of PCIe 5.0, and quadruple PCIe 4.0 and its 32GB/sec of bandwidth that we're just using now.
PCIe 6.0 has now reached the Final Draft version (version 0.9) allows members of PCI-SIG to review the new standards for not just patents, but IP. There are no changes allowed by PCI Express, so PCIe 6.0 has effectively 'gone gold'. PCIe 6.0 has some wicked speeds that it will be capable of, especially in the beast PCIe 6.0 x16 port with up to 128GB/sec of bandwidth -- double that of PCIe 5.0 x16 which is crazy.
The official USB Type-C 2.1 specifications have been published, where it is indeed true: USB Type-C 2.1 will deliver a huge 240W of power over a tiny USB-C cable.
In order to pump 240W through that small USB-C cable you're going to need a new USB-C EPR (Extended Power Range) cable, the new EPR specification bumps up the maximum voltage to 48V. This bump to 48V is what is required to push 240W of power at 5A.
USB-C Type 2.1 devices and cables will be backward compatible, and vica versa, with USB Type-C 2.0 ports. Nothing has changed with the port at all, but there are standards on the midplate being stronger, and mandates for pins for A4-A9 and B4-B9 (power, power delivery, and legacy USB 2.0 support) must not short in order to ground during connecting mating.
Alphabet has been running projects offering next-generation internet services for many years now, with its latest Project Taara blasting 700TB of data across the Congo River in a really new way.
Project Taara is a new technology that offers fiber optic cable-type speeds, without the cables -- with the Free Space Optical Communications (FSOC) technology developed for Alphabet's Project Loon, in its new Project Taara. Where Project Loon used stratospheric helium balloons to blast wireless internet to everyone, Project Taara uses the wireless optical link technology to connect services across the Congo River.
Alphabet has its own moonshot lab called X where it well -- shoots for the moon -- with projects like this. FSOC is capable of pumping a 20Gbps+ link between two points if it has clear line of sight. The way it works is through using light to transmit high-speed data between two points. 20Gbps+ is on offer using just light to transmit information at incredibly fast speeds through the air, as a very narrow, invisible beam.
Elon Musk only just announced SpaceX had shipped out 100,000 Starlink terminals barely 24 hours ago, and now there are multiple states across the US and globally, that are experiencing outages.
Starlink users are reporting their satellite internet connections are down on Reddit and Twitter, with Reddit user "godch01" saying that his Starlink connection wouldn't work for 8 minutes and then it was alright. Most reports on Reddit state that services were down for around 90 minutes, with users reporting in from the US, Canada, the UK and Germany.
Another Reddit user "ID_John" who said his service went down, and then his Starlink terminal performed a software update out of nowhere and once it was finished, his Starlink service was operational. It could've been SpaceX making some tweaks as users are beta testers, which makes sense if the Starlink terminal software update being pumped out to a few users fixed their issues.
Inside of Starlink's user terminals is a quad-core CPU powered by ARM's Cortex-A53 cores, thanks to a new teardown by researchers working at Belgium's KU Leven University.
It's not the first teardown of a Starlink terminal, but this teardown is different as we have greater detail on the firmware and software inside of the SpaceX tech. Inside, SpaceX is using a processor that packs 4GB of embedded MultiMediaCard (eMMC) memory that loads up the firmware after bootup.
The researchers accessed the eMMC independently from the processor, finding a chip called a "secure element" that is also inside of the Apple iPhone, and part of the security infrastructure for the iPhone that has code required for secure biometric validation.
Another day, another story where the world that people believe to be so innocent, isn't.
Israeli surveillance company NSO Group has experienced a gigantic, world-changing leak. The Guardian along with 16 other media organizations have run an investigation, showing that NSO's hacking software knock as "Pegasus", crafted to be used against terrorists and criminals -- just like all that "good" "hacking software" -- has been used against the good guys.
But first... what is Pegasus? Pegasus is malware that was made by NSO Group that can infect virtually any iPhone or Android smartphone and once installed, can let the operator pull out messages, photos, emails, record and monitor calls and even secretly activate microphones on the phone.