Networks

The Plan To Build An Undersea Cable Around The US -- And Why We Need It

There’s a new undersea cable in the works, unlike any system that’s been built before. It is almost 10,000 miles long. It winds under the Arctic Ocean, from the United Kingdom, over Canada, and down to Japan, offering the fastest possible route between London and Tokyo. It stops on icy Canadian shores along the way, providing internet access to small communities entirely dependent on spotty satellite connection. And what’s really new: the cable is made possible only by climate change. Melting Arctic ice is making way for giant cable ships.


5 Sad Facts About America's Ridiculously Slow Internet

Anyone who’s ever stared glass-eyed at a Netflix video that won’t load or stuttered through a glitchy Skype call knows that the United States leaves its citizens starving for bandwidth. But the latest data in Akamai’s annual “State of the Internet” report presents some pretty depressing statistics about American’s slow, shitty internet.


Why You Should Set Up Your Own Community Fibre Network

Between the net neutrality debate and the Comcast/TWC merger, high-speed Internet access is getting more attention than ever. A lot of that attention is negative, and rightly so: Internet access providers, especially certain very large ones, have done a pretty good job of divvying up the nation to leave most Americans with only one or two choices for decent high-speed Internet access. Many of us don’t like those options.


NASA Uses A Shadow Network That's 1000 Times Faster Than Your Internet

When it comes to truly humongous amounts of data, it can be faster to just drop a hard drive in the mail — unless you have access to the Energy Sciences Network, a blazing shadow network that is 100 times faster than even the much-ballyhooed Google Fiber.


A Little Fancy Maths Could Make Mobile Networks Five Times Faster

LTE might be fast, but it sure ain’t fast enough. Enter new research from MIT and Caltech, which suggests that a little fancy maths could boost mobile data transmission rates — by as much as 400 per cent.


This Network-In-A-Backpack Will Connect People In Disaster Areas

This backpack may not look much, but it has impressive hidden depths: it contains all the kit you need to establish an ad hoc mobile network in just 10 minutes — perfect for those working in disaster areas.


The Voice-Activated House Of Locks, Patterns And Networks

The networked home is something of an emerging zeitgeist, offering today’s consumers a domestic dreamworld in which every object in your house can be remotely controlled, synced together and activated according to preset patterns, from heating systems and coffee makers to alarms and personalised lighting.


Barbed Wire Fences Were An Early DIY Telephone Network

Before Ma Bell came to town, and long before DSL, it was barbed wire, of all things, that brought rural communities together. A Sears telephone hooked up to barbed wire — miles of which were already conveniently strung along fences — connected far-flung ranches in the recently settled American west. Thus an ingenious and unregulated telephone system sprung up a hundred years ago.


Your Next Soft Drink Could Come With Internet Access

Looks like the way we drink soda is about to get a whole lot smarter — or, at the very least, more connected. OpenStack Engineering Manager Alavaro Lopez Ortega stumbled across the fact that The Coca Cola Company recently registered no less than 16 million MAC (media access control) addresses. The question is: What exactly is Coke planning on doing with that much networked hardware?


FCC's New Chairman Wants To Rewrite How Phones Work

Tom Wheeler, the newly crowned chairman of the Federal Communications Commission in the US, has ambitious plans. He’s already on a crusade to get carriers to allow mobile phone unlocking, and now he plans to rewrite the technology that supports America’s ageing landline phone network.