So, that Internet apocalypse that’s going to befall us when our fiber optic cables max out? Maybe not so much. On Thursday, engineers reported in Science that they’d broken the “capacity limit” for fiber optic transmission, opening the door to future networks that carry more data further at lower costs.
Earlier this week, we heard reports that we’re on the verge of running out of internet, specifically, out of IPv4 addresses. Now, it seems, we may be hitting another, more serious internet wall: The cables.
Currently, the fastest commercially available fiber optic line tops out at 100 Gbps. That's super fast, sure, but isn't nearly a wide enough pipeline for our increasingly interconnected systems. That's why this new, multi-modal, fiber line is so exciting—it can pack 2,550 times as much data into the same glass strand.
Forget about all the company's work on its incredibly durable Gorilla Glass. No one's going to care if their smartphone's screen gets scratched when Corning's other major innovation hits consumers. Because when their device is covered in Fibrance, a fiber-optic thread-like material that glows in any color and looks…
Laying fiber optic cables down on the ocean floor is a massive undertaking in its own right. But now, Google actually has to go back and reinforce some of its thousands of miles of undersea cable—because hungry sharks keep mistaking the world's data lines for lunch.
Pulses of light are the absolute fastest way to transfer data (because nothing's faster than light), but old school fiber optic cables can only go so many places. Scientists have a new idea: use high-powered lasers to make a column of low-density air that can carry a light signal just as well as a normal cable. Yes,…
While you weren't looking, the internet got super fast. I'm not talking Google Fiber fast. I'm talking Star Trek fast. Today, it's not just possible to download a movie in seconds. New technology makes it easy to download dozens of movies in fractions of a second. Fast is almost too slow a word to describe such speed.
We transmit almost a thousand petabytes of data over the ‘nets every month—an amount that’s growing exponentially, thanks to your narcissistic obsession with Snapchat. In fact, we’re quickly closing in on the limits of how much data optical fiber can transmit. Luckily, scientists at Boston University recently…
Sandia National Laboratories is the nation's premiere nuclear weapons research facility, and for more than 60 years, its researchers have poked and prodded the interiors of atoms to suss out their secrets—a task that has produced mountains of data that the facility's copper network struggles to contain. But now, even…
Lady Gaga's latest costume is a very cool wig made out of real human hair and "the finest fiber optics in existence." She and her wig maker drew their inspiration for these glowing blonde locks from the idea of a "Disney Princess going to a rave." Of course.
The visionary fashion designers at LumiGram have done it again. Their new safety vests are a modern spin on the gear crossing guards wear as they protect street-crossing children on the way to school. The battery-powered fabrics are made of super-thin optical fibers woven in with other synthetics. The fibers are…
You know that cable channels make content and beam it to a satellite, but what happens then? This video is a quick look behind the curtain with one of Time Warner's chief engineers. Who knew porn had to go through all that? [TWCable Untangled]
Earlier this month an underground fire knocked out cable for a big chunk of the East Village in NYC. Remember that whole #fixcable thing from this summer? Well this is what it looks like when they literally fix cable.
Level 3 Communications, a major ISP, has a serious beef with squirrels. It turns out the little rodents have a penchant for chewing through their fiber optic lines. They actually account for 17% of the damages to their 84,000 mile network this year.
For people with serious cuts—think surgery patients—making sure that gash is clean is tricky and critical. Chronic wounds can spiral out of control if infections aren't caught early. So how about a bandage that monitors your skin?
MIT scientist Ed Boyden invented a way to implant optical fibers into your brain and activate them on command using light. As neurons are turned on and off, the researchers can see what the circuits do.
Stealthy radar systems and the ability to transmit large amounts of data over long distances are a step closer thanks to a technique that could improve the efficiency of modern optics by a factor of 1000.