Tagged With Networks

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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?

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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.