An anonymous reader writes to mention a story going across the wires about an old-fashioned way to fix a modern convenience. Taiwanese boaters are using simple hooks to fish up the fiber-optic cables damaged in an earthquake late last year. The outage that resulted kept millions of users offline in half a dozen countries around the Pacific rim. From the article: "They work 24 hours a day but the weather can hinder their progress. Walters said one ship is waiting for 30 to 40 mile-an-hour winds (48 to 64 kilometres- an-hour) to die down in the Bashi Channel. The winds have stirred up 10 to 12 metre waves ... After arriving at the scene they survey the ocean bottom to assess whether the contour has changed, and the degree of sediment movement. Then the traditional tools are brought out. A rope with a grapnel on the end is played out, down into the depths, and towed over the sea floor until tension registers on a graph on the ship, indicating contact has been made with the cable. Today's fibre optic cables are just 21 millimetres in diameter."
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