Cables made out of nanowires could be just as efficient as the copper cables we’ve been using for more than a century, but at a fraction of the weight, according to a new paper. Braiding billions of carbon nanotubes into a nanowire cable can efficiently replace copper in a light bulb circuit.
Boosting anemic broadband speeds and wireless networks stuck in
the 20th century
By Adam M. BrightPosted 02.02.2010 at 10:34 am 11 Comments
The U.S. ranks 17th worldwide in broadband access, but not for long—last year's stimulus package allotted $7.2 billion for upgrading our underperforming broadband infrastructure. Our legacy copper wiring just can't carry the data to support HD-video streaming, for instance, and next-gen wireless networks are slower to roll out than in, say, Japan, because of the sheer size of this country. But advances in fiber-optic cables and broadband blimps could bring serious speed increases to homes and smartphones.
Despite the fact that optical cables transmit data far faster than copper wire, wire is still the primary medium for communication on computer chips, and between computers and devices through USB cables. But Intel hopes to change all that soon with their new Light Peak connection system.
That Universal Serial Bus port in your computer is about to get an upgrade. You know, the one where you plug in all your external hard drives, digital cameras, MP3 players, thumb drives, and USB heated-slippers? If you bought your computer any time after the year 2000, it probably came equipped with a USB 2.0 port. However, later this year computers will start shipping that include USB 3.0 ports, which can transmit data up to ten times as fast. Here's what to expect.
Listen in as Popular Science editors and writers discuss how the internet requires, surprisingly, constant physical maintenance
By Popular Science StaffPosted 03.18.2009 at 12:00 pm 1 Comment
While we may connect to the 'net wirelessly and painlessly, maintaining the thousands of miles of undersea and buried cable -- and the rest of the net's physical infrastructure -- is a huge task. In this episode of Cocktail Party Science, host Chuck Cage sits down with Deputy Editor Jake Ward and Who Protects the Internet? author James Geary to discuss the protection of the internet in its physical form.
Download the episode here, or subscribe to the iTunes feed.
For the past five years, John Rennie has braved the towering waves of the North Atlantic Ocean to keep your e-mail coming to you. As chief submersible engineer aboard the Wave Sentinel, part of the fleet operated by U.K.-based undersea installation and maintenance firm Global Marine Systems, Rennie--a congenial, 6'4", 57-year-old Scotsman--patrols the seas, dispatching a remotely operated submarine deep below the surface to repair undersea cables. The cables, thick as fire hoses and packed with fiber optics, run everywhere along the seafloor, ferrying phone and Web traffic from continent to continent at the speed of light.
The cables regularly fail. On any given day, somewhere in the world there is the nautical equivalent of a hit and run when a cable is torn by fishing nets or sliced by dragging anchors. If the mishap occurs in the Irish Sea, the North Sea or the North Atlantic, Rennie comes in to splice the break together.
Like perfect cellphone reception, wireless HDMI is a radio technology that’s long been promised and has shown little sign of materializing. But finally, it’s here. Gefen’s HDMI UWB Extender is not the first high-def A/V streamer to hit the US. (Sony’s Bravia Wireless Link has that distinction). But it’s the first that can fully replace an HDMI cable by offering up to 1080 progressive HD video.
A remotely-operated undersea robot that clears trenches to bury pipelines and cables
By Gregory MonePosted 04.03.2008 at 10:18 am 0 Comments
One of the world's biggest underwater robots, the new UT-1 Ultra Trencher weighs 60 tons on land, stands 18 feet tall, and measures nearly 26 feet wide. The remote-controlled Ultra Trencher can also rumble along at 2 to 3 knots, but its main job is cutting trenches for oil pipelines or telecommunications cables.
For the vast majority of us, few are the occasions when our opinions matter in any meaningful way. Say what you will about the importance of teaching your children, or being in charge of your office budget or participating in the voting process, but the sad reality is that your wisdom is an underutilized asset… except when it comes to your tech savvy. If youre reading this, its your responsibility to go out in the world and evangelize against the temptations of bad tech gear.