Corning announced today that it has overcome a major roadblock in the proliferation of fiber optic lines around the world (or at least where Verizon wants to pay to put them in). For years, providers have been struggling against a deficiency in fiber optic cable which causes the pipe to vent light when bent or curved, or lose it entirely if twisted too far. Now, however, researchers at Corning have developed a new variant to keep data moving: tiny, nanostructure "guardrails" that surround the fiber's core. The "rails" keep light from seeping out, yet are flexible enough to be wound around a pencil while delivering a signal at full strength. Corning hasn't put the piping into production yet, but when it does, Verizon says it's ready to use it -- which means pretty soon we're all going to be talking like that annoying kid from the FiOS commercials.

[Thanks, Larence M]

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Corning develops bendable fiber optic cable