networking

Latest

  • Verizon FiOS field trial introduces XG-PON2 to the lexicon, shows 10Gbps capabilities

    by 
    Darren Murph
    Darren Murph
    10.28.2010

    Verizon's FiOS footprint may be on an expansion hiatus, but that's not to say the company's abandoning existing users. Nearly 3.5 years after boosting FiOS internet speeds with G-PON, the company is now out testing XG-PON2 -- a newfangled iteration that somehow enables 10Gbps upstream and downstream from its existing fiber network. If you'll recall, we heard just a few weeks back that the outfit was close to being able to serve GigE on its existing platform, and now that this field trial has been successful, we'd say the boundaries are stretched even further. In the test, technicians were able to suck down a 2.3GB movie in four ticks of the second hand, and if you're hoping to see the nerdiest video of the day, a highlight reel of the trial awaits you just past the break. [Thanks, David]

  • The Game Archaeologist and the Asheron Recall: Player sagas

    by 
    Justin Olivetti
    Justin Olivetti
    10.12.2010

    It's an odd thing to realize how far MMOs have come right in front of our eyes in a relatively short span of time. After all, 1999 wasn't that long ago, despite what Prince and Y2K would have you believe. One day we'll be telling our children -- if we aren't already -- about the primitive MMOs that didn't feature RealGore™, motion sensor-linked emotes, and mostly nude elves dancing for tips on mailboxes. They may gasp and sputter in disbelief, but you'll assert that it is true: You experienced an era when polygons were blockier than LEGO pieces, people logged in over dial-up connections, and the community was small enough for GMs to host personal live events. There's been a lot of love flowing into my email inbox and Twitter since posting the first Game Archaeologist on Asheron's Call, enough to tell me that this title is a dear old friend to many a seasoned gamer out there (including a few on the Massively staff who won't stop writing epic haikus about AC in its honor this month). As a result, I got in touch with two die-hard fans of the game, and they agreed to scribe their memories of this MMO for future generations to discover, generations who will undoubtedly marvel at the hardship and perserverence that such scrappy gamers showed in being part of the first wave of MMO players. Without further ado, please give a warm round of applause to Amanda and Jon. No, nobody can hear you clap over the internet, but it's the thought that counts.

  • EPFL develops Linux-based swarming micro air vehicles

    by 
    Joseph L. Flatley
    Joseph L. Flatley
    09.27.2010

    The kids at Ecole Polytechnique Federale de Lausanne (or EPFL) have been cooking up quite a bit lately, as this video demonstrates. Not only have they put together a scalable system that will let any flying robot perch in a tree or similar structure, but now they've gone and developed a platform for swarming air vehicles (with Linux, nonetheless). Said to be the largest network of its kind, the ten SMAVNET swarm members control their own altitude, airspeed, and turn rate based on input from the onboard gyroscope and pressure sensors. The goal is to develop low cost devices that can be deployed in disaster areas to creat ad hoc communications networks, although we can't help but think this would make the best Christmas present ever. See for yourself after the break.

  • Huawei breaks DSL speed barrier with 700Mbps prototype

    by 
    Vlad Savov
    Vlad Savov
    09.24.2010

    DSL cables might not really be the sexiest thing in networking anymore, but what they are is ubiquitous, so let's not begrudge Huawei its feat here. The Chinese telecoms facilitator has shown off a new prototype that can pump 700Mbps of data across a 400-meter expanse. This is done by bundling four twisted pairs of copper wire together and sprinkling in some fairy dust to make them communicate at 175Mbps each. The clever bit here is in how crosstalk and interference are minimized, and Huawei claims a 75 percent improvement in bandwidth as a result. An immediate opportunity for these new cables will be, ironically, with fiber rollouts, as they could serve as the last connection between fiber hubs and your home. Then again, with Google and Chattanooga already looking at 1Gbps lanes, maybe the day of the copper wire has already passed?

  • LaCie Wireless Space takes on Time Capsule, doubles as NAS and WLAN router

    by 
    Darren Murph
    Darren Murph
    09.16.2010

    And here you were thinking the upcoming Photokina trade show was all about cameras. Not so, vaquero. Granted, LaCie's probably taking advantage of this here event to reveal its latest and greatest media storage device, but we digress. The newly announced Wireless Space is perhaps the most interested and multifaceted device to emerge from the company in quite some time, and to say it's taking on Apple's Time Capsule would be understating things tremendously. In essence, what we have here is a NAS backup drive and an 802.11b/g/n Wi-Fi access point / router, all bundled into one delicious black box. Available in 1TB and 2TB flavors, the Space enables both Mac and PC users both to backup their files wirelessly (or via cabling, should you so choose), and it also acts as a network hard drive for accessing files remotely, a UPnP / DLNA media streamer and a full-on router should you need one. It's fully compatible with Time Machine, and you'll also find a trio of Ethernet sockets and a pair of USB jacks on the rear. It's shipping today for $229.99 and $349.99, respectively, leaving Apple the loser once again in the price department. Is that a war we smell brewin'? %Gallery-102434%

  • Auto-tune nabs new lease on life, kills phase noise in long-haul fiber transmissions

    by 
    Darren Murph
    Darren Murph
    09.14.2010

    (function() { var s = document.createElement('SCRIPT'), s1 = document.getElementsByTagName('SCRIPT')[0]; s.type = 'text/javascript'; s.async = true; s.src = 'http://widgets.digg.com/buttons.js'; s1.parentNode.insertBefore(s, s1); })(); Digg It's probably advisable to not mention this to T-Pain or anyone even closely related to him, but it looks as if auto-tune may have finally found a legitimate use. You know -- aside from crafting one of the most hilarious Bud Light commercials in the history of Bud Light commercials. An EU-funded team has crafted a prototype device that uses a technology similar to auto-tune in order to nix cross-talk on signals that travel down fiber optic cabling. Currently, the clean up process on phase noise ends up decimating the total capacity available to travel, so far less information actually gets through the end than what you started with. Now, this here device is claiming to spit shine the noisy signals and "re-transmit them with fuller capacity." Periklis Petropoulos, a researcher on the project from the University of Southampton's Optoelectronics Research Centre, summed it up as such: "With this demonstration we've shown that it is possible to use the capabilities of the optical fiber to the full without being restricted by the capabilities of the electronics; you could say that in its final functionality, it is like auto-tune." Obligatory video demonstration is after the break.

  • New HP e-All-in-One printers make it easy to print from anywhere

    by 
    Steve Sande
    Steve Sande
    09.13.2010

    HP recently announced two new wireless, Web-connected All-in-One printers that provide features that are sure to make Apple owners happy. The printers, the HP Officejet Pro 8500A e-All-in-One series (above at left, starting at US$299, currently available with a rebate for just $229) and Officejet 7500A Wide-Format e-All-in-One (above at right, starting at $299, not currently shown on the US HP website) feature connectivity to the Web, which allows them to print from various services without needing to fire up a computer to do the printing. Here's a quick look at some of the unique (and some not-so-unique) features: HP ePrint -- sometime this fall, you'll be able to download the HP ePrint iOS app and print documents on your device directly to your HP Officejet Pro 8500A or Officejet 7500A from literally anywhere you have an internet connection. Until then, or when you're on any internet-connected device, you can attach your document to an email and send it to your printer. ePrint supports PDF, Word, PowerPoint, text, JPEG, TIFF, BMP, PNG, and GIF files, and you'll receive feedback from the printer if the print job is successful or if there's an issue. Borderless printing -- If you want to print anything from a 3" x 5" card up to a 13" x 19" brochure, you can do it on the 7500A Wide-Format printer, and you can print to the edge of the paper. That's useful for doing printing of business documents on-demand, rather than sending them to a printer. Wireless and Wired networking -- Both printers have built-in 802.11n Wi-Fi and 10/100Base-T Ethernet networking capabilities. The LCD display on the printers makes setup easy with on-screen instructions. (Correction: Wi-Fi is an option available at additional cost on the 8500A.)

  • Network Archaeology used to 'excavate' the past structure of networks

    by 
    Joseph L. Flatley
    Joseph L. Flatley
    09.07.2010

    Predicting the future configuration of a network is pretty straightforward. Whether you're talking about social networks like Last.fm or biological networks like those associated with protein interaction within cells (you know the type), many of them share common growth patterns, making it possible to predict the future of a network being studied. Unfortunately, you can't really work backwards using the same process, so until recently it wasn't really possible to determine a past state. That's why a paper recently published on arXiv.org is so promising. According to a light beach read called Network Archaeology: Uncovering Ancient Networks from Present-day Interactions, researchers Saket Navlakha and Carl Kingsford have been able to do things like "decompose" actual observed networks to correctly guesstimate when Last.fm users signed up, and determine the age of proteins and how they evolved by looking at how they duplicated and mutated in the past. Rumor has it that Mark Zuckerberg has a keen interest in developing this technology, if only to spare current social networks the fate of Friendster.

  • Intel acquires TI's cable modem unit, might be sneaking into your AV rack

    by 
    Darren Murph
    Darren Murph
    08.17.2010

    Intel's been trying to break into the home entertainment market for years, and while it's made some inroads, it's also looking at a notable list of ho hum attempts that never managed to gain traction. Take the CE3100 processor, for instance -- a couple of years ago, the outfit seemed certain that this here chip would be powering every last living room box for the rest of eternity, and nowadays it's hardly a household name. But this week, Intel has picked up Texas Instruments' cable modem unit, which gives it a direct link into the very area it's been trying to exploit. The goal of the acquisition -- which is scheduled to close in the fourth quarter of this year -- is to combine TI's Puma product lines with DOCSIS and Intel SoCs. Once that magical marriage takes place, Chipzilla intends to push out complex set-top boxes, residential gateways and modem products, possibly even going for the OEM artery. Details beyond that are few and far betwixt, but we doubt it'll be too long before the pickup begins to bear fruit.

  • OkCupid: iPhone users have more sex

    by 
    Mike Schramm
    Mike Schramm
    08.11.2010

    I've been a huge fan of social dating site OkCupid's OkTrends blog for a while now. They're constantly sharing data (anonymized, of course) from their social site about what people find attractive and interesting in each other. The latest post has some fun information about cameras -- specifically, the perceived link between what type of camera OkCupid's patrons use and successful relationships. All of the data is fascinating (as usual), but there's one little note of potential interest to iPhone fans. Apparently, when compared to users who post pictures from other smartphone brands, users who reported using iPhones for their profile pictures tend to identify more sexual partners over all. As you can see in the chart above, male and female iPhone users (at age 30) report higher numbers of sexual partners to OkCupid. In fact, across all ages, iPhone users reported having more sexual partners than those who used Android or Blackberry smartphones to take their profile pictures. Of course, OkCupid is just having fun here. Maybe iPhone users are actually more inclined to lie about their amorous conquests, or maybe there's a higher likelihood that Android or Blackberry users have reason to report a lower number. But then again, we already know that iPhone owners tend to be rich, engage in vigorous activity, and like to be outspoken about their buying choices and preferences. And aren't those the kind of people who end up going home with the girl (or guy) from the bar anyway?

  • Fiber optics get political in Australia as opposition party vows to scale down national broadband plan

    by 
    Sean Hollister
    Sean Hollister
    08.10.2010

    When Australia goes to the polls on August 21st, citizens will vote for more than men and the traditional issues they represent -- the ballots cast will directly impact the country's national broadband plan. Where Australia's ruling Labor party had pledged A$43 billion for an up-to-100Mbps fiber optic network fed directly to 90 99 percent of homes (and agreed to pay A$11 billion to Telstra) over the next seven to eight years, the opposing Liberal-National coalition says if elected, it will scrap that notion in favor of a cheaper A$6.3 billion plan. That money would create a fiber-optic backbone by 2017 but actually connects homes with hybrid fiber-coaxial connections, DSL and about A$2 billion worth of wireless, with a minimum promised speed of 12Mbps. The coalition says these services would cover 97 percent of Australians, with satellite coverage for the final 3 percent, and that those networks receiving funds from the project and connecting to the backbone would have to compete based on pricing (set by the country's Competition and Consumer Commission) and pledge open access. Having never lived in Australia ourselves, we don't know what's best, but we're pretty sure we wouldn't be satisfied with the 12Mbps end of the Liberal-National stick. Update: Labor plan is to bring 100Mbps to 99 percent of the population, not 90 percent as originally stated.

  • Seagate's FreeAgent GoFlex Home adds flexibility to your next NAS setup

    by 
    Darren Murph
    Darren Murph
    07.19.2010

    Looks like Seagate's not content with giving users a choice of connector -- the outfit's latest GoFlex apparatus utilizes a docking system to give users an easier way to upgrade their NAS. 'Course, those that really plan ahead will go ahead and grab a multi-bay device like Data Robotics' Drobo FS, but for the money, it's hard to argue with the FreeAgent GoFlex Home. Designed to work seamlessly with Windows-based PCs and Apple's Time Machine, the 1TB and 2TB devices provide a NAS dock for the drive to sit in, and the dock itself also boasts a USB port for adding external storage to the mix or sharing a printer over the network. Seagate's also tossing in its Share Pro service, which enables families to access content stored on the drive from mobile devices such as an iPhone, iPad or BlackBerry. Best of all, the $159.99 (1TB) / $229.99 (2TB) asking prices won't totally crush the bank, so it seems like you've just about run out of excuses for backing up those childhood memories. %Gallery-97737%

  • Lockheed Martin, Navy team up to deploy communications buoys for submarines

    by 
    Joseph L. Flatley
    Joseph L. Flatley
    07.12.2010

    Lockheed Martin has announced that it's completed a critical design review for a system that enables submarine communication while below periscope depth. Part of the US Navy's Communications at Speed and Depth Program, buoys are launched by the sub, which can then connect nearby to military networks or satellites. The 40-inch long buoys can either be launched from the sub itself, shuttling data back and forth via miles-long cables, or dropped from aircraft. If the latter, communications is established using an acoustic messaging system similar to SONAR. Now that the review is complete, the team will begin producing hardware with an eye toward delivering engineering design models early next year. PR after the break.

  • Google Me to be the Googlish answer to Facebook?

    by 
    Vlad Savov
    Vlad Savov
    06.29.2010

    Kevin Rose, the dude who started Digg, got the Twitterverse all aflutter yesterday by suggesting that Google is working on a bona fide Facebook competitor -- to be called Google Me, according to his "very credible source." All such rumors ought to be treated with a healthy dose of skepticism, but today there's been some corroboration from one Adam D'Angelo, Facebook's former CTO. Adam, again citing reliable sources, tells us Google Me is a real project, with significant resources invested in it, and an indication that "Buzz wasn't enough" to counter the social site's growing presence. Another former Facebook exec, Richard Cooperstein, makes the astute observation that what Google's really trying to do is reclaim time that the ''book has stolen away; he notes that time spent on Facebook relative to Google search and YouTube continues to grow, and the Mountain View outfit has to retaliate to keep itself ahead. You'll find the K-Rose tweet after the break -- he deleted the original, but Google Cache can be a cruel mistress.

  • Australia to pay Telstra A$11 billion for entire copper network

    by 
    Sean Hollister
    Sean Hollister
    06.20.2010

    The Australian government just found the infrastructure for its A$43 billion national broadband project and eliminated its largest competitor in one fell swoop -- pending shareholder and regulator approval, Telstra will receive A$11 billion of that money in exchange for its entire landline network. Telstra will decommission its monopoly of copper cables to make room for the government's fiber and migrate its customers to the resulting 100Mbps National Broadband Network (NBN) as those light-bearing threads roll out. While Telstra might become a smaller player in the internet and cable business without a land network of its own, it may get even larger in the wireless space -- the company says it's received "written confirmation from the Prime Minister" that it can bid on a chunk of precious LTE spectrum should the deal go through. Press release after the break.

  • iPhone 4 has 802.11n, but not the "awesome" 802.11n

    by 
    TJ Luoma
    TJ Luoma
    06.14.2010

    I suspect many people were very happy to see that the iPhone 4 was listed as having 802.11n. I know that I was. I have a dual-band network at home which separates 802.11n from 802.11b/g, and that's made a huge difference in transfer times. But there's also another benefit of 802.11n: it can use the 5GHz frequency band instead of the 2.4Ghz. Without going into too much detail, most (but certainly not all) of the benefit of 802.11n comes if you use 5Ghz, because it isn't cluttered with other devices like 2.4Ghz is. So imagine my dismay when I went to the iPhone 4 technical specifications page and saw "802.11b/g/n Wi-Fi (802.11n 2.4GHz only)" listed there. I wanted to double check my suspicion that this was bad news for people who want to avoid the interference issues that come with 802.11b/g. When you have a question about Wi-Fi, especially in the Mac world, the guy to ask is TidBITS & Seattle Times columnist Glenn Fleishman. If you've ever read a great, informed (and informative) article on Wi-Fi that even a mere mortal could understand, chances are pretty good that Glenn wrote it. He wrote the most thorough analysis of the Wi-Fi woes at the iPhone 4 demo that I have seen anywhere. I asked Glenn about this on Twitter, and he confirmed my fears that 802.11n in 2.4Ghz will suffer from the same interference that b/g devices do. This makes "802.11n" partly just a marketing bullet point for iPhone 4 instead of a truly beneficial feature. If you're currently running a 5GHz-only N network, your iPhone won't take advantage. For 2.4GHz N networks, you will probably get some speed boost over G (Glenn estimated perhaps 1.5x when using an 802.11n base station). When copying a 940MB file over my home Wi-Fi network between a Mac desktop and laptop, 802.11n took 2 minutes, 14 seconds compared to 15 minutes 45 seconds on 802.11g. Then again, most people won't be doing large wireless file copies to/from their iPhones until/unless wireless synchronization comes along. So yes, Apple can boast that the iPhone 4 has 802.11n and they're telling the truth, but don't expect much practical difference day-to-day. Glenn suspects that given the newer chip and more efficient use of the radio spectrum, we might get better battery life on N than on G -- but we won't know for sure until the iPhones arrive.

  • What really happened with Wi-Fi on the iPhone 4

    by 
    Mike Schramm
    Mike Schramm
    06.11.2010

    WWDC is wrapping up here in San Francisco today, and after a week of having most of the best Apple developers in the world all in one place, we're hearing some speculation and solutions for what happened to Steve Jobs on stage Monday. He had Wi-Fi issues while accessing the New York Times website during a demo with iPhone 4, and of course it led to the awkward pause where he asked the over 500 Wi-Fi users in the room to please unplug their computers and stop liveblogging (of course, not everybody complied). But were those users the problem? NPR cornered Glenn Fleishman for an explanation, and he says while that many Wi-Fi users might not have caused problems, many of the people in the room were using MiFis, the personal wireless network devices that aren't necessarily designed to be used so closely together. It wasn't a bandwidth problem then, Fleishman suggests, but an interference problem, with local Wi-Fi likely giving way to the vast noise from other devices. Fleishman also says over at Ars Technica that there might have been another issue: the iPhone 4's pre-release network drivers. If you look at how the iPhone actually behaved, it's apparent that the software might not have been ready to deal with everything happening during the keynote. Of course, that doesn't mean that iPhone 4 will have issues at release -- Apple tests these devices thoroughly, and we couldn't imagine Steve releasing subpar drivers on the iPhone. Even if the drivers were the issue, obviously we'd never heard that from Apple. But Steve's irritation at Monday's keynote may have been slightly misplaced -- there were probably a few different factors going into the reason he couldn't load a page in Mobile Safari.

  • Bigfoot Networks reveal GPU / NIC combo card, talks up motherboard integration and WiFi

    by 
    Darren Murph
    Darren Murph
    06.03.2010

    What do you get when you combine a gaming-centric NIC with a GPU? Truthfully, the world's still trying to figure that out, but Bigfoot Networks and TLU (responsible for the PowerColor brand) are jonesing to see what exactly will happen here at Computex. The two have joined forces on Bigfoot's first-ever integration effort -- the heretofore unnamed network card / graphics card hybrid combines a Killer 2100 with an ATI Radeon HD 5000 series GPU, and the prototype board on hand here in Taipei boasted a pair of DVI ports, an HDMI output and a gigabit Ethernet jack. The company's hoping that gamers will be eager to upgrade their GPU with one that also helps lower ping times and give them more control over which programs get priority when sharing bandwidth, and while pricing remains up in the air, the outfit's CEO told us that buying the combo card would obviously be cheaper than buying each one on its own. If all goes well, the first PowerColor / Bigfoot Networks card will be out and about in a few months, which led us to pry a little deeper into the outfit's plans. We asked if it had any other integration tactics coming up, and they didn't hesitate to mention that mainboards are next on the mishmash block. Convincing motherboard makers to swap out the tried-and-true NIC for one of Killer's modules would obviously be a boon for a company that still describes itself as a "startup," and it's yet another avenue to get into a gamer's home that wouldn't traditionally buy a standalone network card. When we asked how long it would take for Killer cards to start showing up within gaming laptops, he seemed rather confident that it would happen in the not-too-distant future, and given their existing relationship with Alienware, we wouldn't be shocked in the least to hear of the M15x and M17x nabbing it first. Furthermore, Bigfoot's intently looking into getting its name on the wireless side sometime "next year," essentially providing WiFi users the same ping lowering, network controlling tactics that it currently does over Ethernet. Finally, we were told that there's nothing at all stopping the Killer 2100 from being integrated into more cards from more vendors, and if the right offer came along, you could definitely see a combo NIC / GPU with an NVIDIA core rather than ATI. Needless to say, the little-networking-company-that-could looks to be ramping things up in a big way, and while we never were much on buying standalone add-ins, we're duly intrigued by these integrated solutions. %Gallery-94244%

  • Chinese scientists demonstrate 2Mbps internet connection over LED

    by 
    Sean Hollister
    Sean Hollister
    05.17.2010

    LED data transmission used to be all the rage -- we fondly remember beaming Palm Pilot contacts via IrDA. Then we got omni-directional Bluetooth and building-penetrating WiFi, and put all that caveman stuff behind us. But now, scientists the world over are looking to bring back line-of-sight networking, and the latest demonstration has Chinese researchers streaming video to a laptop with naught but ceiling-mounted blue LEDs. The Chinese Academy of Sciences claims to have realized a 2Mbit per second internet connection that transmits data simply by modulating the flicker of the little diodes, and imperceptibly enough to have them serve as room lighting as well. Like Boston University before them, the Chinese scholars see short-range LED networks controlling smart appliances. It's not quite the gigabit speed you'd get from laser diodes, but this way you'll get more mileage out of those expensive new bulbs, eh?

  • Bigfoot Networks trounces ping times with Killer 2100 network card

    by 
    Darren Murph
    Darren Murph
    05.12.2010

    We haven't been this worked up about a product since we realized that someone actually made a Hello Kitty warming blanket, and if we can convince our sound card to slide down a slot, we'll probably be kicking our integrated Ethernet port to the curb in favor of the Killer 2100. All jesting aside, Bigfoot Networks has returned after 14 months of silence in order to debut the "world's fastest online gaming card." According to the company, this here NIC is equipped with a dedicated network processor, Windows stack bypass, Visual Bandwidth Control and "other optimizations" designed to provide the most optimal online gaming experience ever. For those drinking the Kool-Aid, it'll be available for £86 ($127) in the coming weeks -- we'd caution you to wait for benchmarks first, though. Or just buy a faster internet connection.