An anonymous reader writes: Network providers face a never-ending battle to keep up with demand from users for bandwidth while at the same time increasing the speed of their overall networks. One of the major limiting factors is that many networks still rely on copper wire rather than the superior fiber optic cabling. The networks therefore have to choose when to make the very expensive upgrade to fiber optic, and where those upgrades should happen first.
Thanks to some new technological breakthroughs, however, copper wire may be making a comeback. Current download speeds offered to end users range from 2Mbps-50Mbps, but we are all looking towards 100Mbps as the next milestone. While you may think fiber optic would be required for that, Nokia Siemens Networks has managed to employ phantom circuits to boost data-carrying capacity over copper wire to as much as 825Mbps over short distances of around 400 meters.
While the tech that achieved such high speeds may be a few years away, Ikanos has unveiled its NodeScale Vectoring technology allowing a minimum of 100Mbps data speeds over the same wires. It works by eliminating crosstalk on existing cabling allowing for much higher performance.
An anonymous reader writes: The Vatican has written an encyclical warning that 'excessive zeal' for IP rights is harmful. They're not against IP per se, but they are concerned with the problems caused by things like drug patents, which leave the citizens of poor countries unable to afford medicine. In essence, they're arguing that a 'fair regime of intellectual property rights should aim toward the good of all' and that current regimes fall short.
Algorithmnast writes "The Economist has a short article on using big, slow-moving airships to move large objects without the need to dismantle them. The company mentioned, Skylifter, refers to the lifting ship as an 'aerial crane,' not a Thor weapon. It could easily help move research labs to new parts of the Antarctic, or allow a Solar Tower to be inserted into an area that's difficult to drive to, such as a mesa in New Mexico."
destinyland writes: Saturday is the last day of "Banned Books Week," the annual celebration of the right to read which publicizes struggles against book censorship. The American Library Association released their new list of the most-frequently challenged books, including the young-adult novel "ttyl," the first novel structured entirely as a series of text messages. Stephenie Meyer's "Twilight" series also made the list, along with "Catcher in the Rye" and "To Kill a Mockingbird," popular targets over the event's 29-year history . But ironically, today 7 of the 10 most-frequently challenged books aren't available on the Kindle anyways, simply because publishers and Amazon haven't agreed on acceptable distribution terms.
Barence writes: Motion-sensing golf game controllers that appeared 20 years before the Nintendo Wii, and the 1980s handheld console that operated on solar power are just two of the gems unearthed in PC Pro's retro gaming secrets. Davey Winder has delved into his extensive personal collection of retro hardware — all beautifully photographed — to unveil the first handheld console to play "3D games" from 1983, the "the most realistic 'gun' game controller ever produced" from way back in 1972, and the device that offered multiplayer computerised Scrabble almost 30 years before the iPad.