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Is there an unsecured wireless network near you?
 
Let's replace Ethernet with infrared light bouncing off mirrors!
Wednesday, 01 February 2017 13:58
Penn State's micro-electro-mechanical mirror chips

Penn State and Microsoft hope these transmitters could cut cords in data centres

Microsoft-supported boffins hope to eliminate cables in the data centre entirely.

They're not, however, deluded enough to think that Wi-Fi is the answer. With thousands of switch ports in a decent data hall, connections have to be uncontested and point-to-point, so the Penn State University researchers have been working on free space optical (FSO) communications over infrared wavelengths.

FSO isn't itself a new idea, but the university's added a little special sauce by creating kit that automates the business of aiming the transmitter at the receiver.

Shown

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AT T ready to trial latest attempt at pumping internet over power lines
Wednesday, 01 February 2017 13:28

AT&T says it is set to begin public trials of a project to backhaul high-speed mobile internet over power lines.

These power lines will carry internet traffic to and from cell towers so the masts can beam 4G/LTE and 5G coverage to nearby phones. That's particularly useful for people out in the countryside, and more convenient than ripping up sidewalks and tunnels to lay fiber to antennas. Network traffic follows the lines of electricity.

The US telco behemoth says it will run two trials of test networks (one in the US and one outside) later this year: specifically, they will

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NHS reply-all meltdown swamped system with half a billion emails
Tuesday, 31 January 2017 23:27

The NHS reply-all email fail last year involved 500 million emails being sent across the health service's network in just 75 minutes.

A test message sent on 14 November to what an unfortunate "senior associate ICT delivery facilitator" thought was a local distribution list she had created instead went to all 850,000 people with an NHSmail email account.

The blank message, sent early in the morning with a subject line that simply read "test", was sent to a distribution list called "CroydonPractices". Around 80 irritated folk promptly hit "reply" to demand they be removed from the list – which was

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MEEELLIONs of Brits stick with current broadband provider rather than risk no Netflix
Tuesday, 31 January 2017 20:34

Millions of Brits would rather pay through the nose for services via their existing broadband provider than switch suppliers and risk a prolonged period without access to the web, a poll has found.

Some 35 per cent of customers said the fear of broadband blackout would deter them off signing up to another provider, according to a survey of more than 2,000 customers by comparison site uSwitch.

The average saving just for switching provider is £9.80 per month, said uSwitch. It found Brits could be missing out on up to £327m savings per year, if the results were extrapolated across

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Final 25G/50G Ethernet spec finally lands
Tuesday, 31 January 2017 17:02

There's already product a-plenty on the market, but it still matters that the Google-led 25G Ethernet consortium has formalised the release of its technical specification.

It follows the publication of the final report from last August's 25G/50G Ethernet plugfest.

The plugfest demonstrated an impressive 882 25G link configurations (843 of which passed the test), and 360 50G link configurations (341 passed).

Similarly, most configurations passed the plugfest's packet error ratio tests – 712 out of 760 configs at 25G, and 311 of 323 configs at 50G.

Arista, Dell, DNI, Hitachi, HPE, Intel, Ixia, Marvell, Mellanox, Microsoft, Netronome, Qlogic, Spirent, Teledyne

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Please come back! TalkTalk woos customers with broadband offers
Tuesday, 31 January 2017 00:50

TalkTalk has spotted an opportunity to win back customers following its mega data breach in October 2015 with a flash sale broadband promotion.

Most broadband providers are hiking prices this year, with BT the latest to announce an inflation-busting increase. Virgin Media's broadband and TV packages also went up by up to £3.49 a month.

And in November 2016 TalkTalk raised prices for broadband, phone and TV packages by up to an extra £33 a year.

But in its latest offer, the provider is knocking £3 per month off its 17Mbps Fast Broadband package and £1.50 off its 38Mpbs Faster

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