Why Locating 911 Calls Is So Hard—And How To Make It Better

You've heard the cautionary tales about dialing 911 on your cell phone. A call about missing children in Illinois gets routed to Canada. A stroke victim in New York is only located after a grueling eight-hour search. Locating 911 calls in 2014 is a byzantine process that involves generating a fake phone number—but a… » 4/02/14 10:00am 4/02/14 10:00am

The Promising (But Problematic) Future of Ultra-Fast Internet

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. » 2/28/14 10:00am 2/28/14 10:00am

Federal Court Strikes Down Net Neutrality Rules, Sides with Big Telecom

A U.S. Appeals Court just invalidated the FCC's net neutrality rules that would've made it illegal for telecom companies to favor certain types of traffic over others. The court ruled that the commission lacked the authority to implement and enforce such rules which were embedded in a complicated legal framework. » 1/14/14 10:32am 1/14/14 10:32am

Facebook and Google Are Buying Up the Cables That Carry the Internet

It can get a little bit annoying when people ramble on about how Facebook and Google are taking over the world. They're just websites! But when those websites start to buy up other things, say, the very cables that connect the people of the world—well that's actually pretty alarming. » 12/17/13 12:07pm 12/17/13 12:07pm

Is the 'Bandwidth Hog' a Myth?

Every ISP's discussions of pricing plans, net neutrality or piracy invoke the same faceless villains: the bandwidth hogs. Benoît Felten, analyst and blogger, has been working in telecom for over a decade, and he wants proof these monsters even exist. » 12/04/09 3:20pm 12/04/09 3:20pm

Text Messaging Is Saving Kenyan Elephants From Themselves

Elephants are text messaging themselves out of trouble, thanks to an SMS system implemented in a Kenyan nature reserve. The gentle-ish giants are outfitted with SIM cards in their collars, which automatically alert wildlife rangers if they get too close to nearby farms. Rangers can then shoo them away before they do… » 10/14/08 10:05pm 10/14/08 10:05pm

Perpetrators of Cut Undersea Cable Discovered, Not Godzilla BTW

Over two months after The Mystery of Godzilla and the Undersea Cables, a mini-series starring Tom Selleck and Dyan Cannon, at last we have closure. Two ships, one Korean and one Iraqi—typing fingers at the ready, conspiracy theorists—were impounded by the authorities in Dubai a couple of months ago and, following… » 4/14/08 7:32am 4/14/08 7:32am

How To Fix a Mysteriously Ruptured Undersea Cable

Not a week after two massive undersea telecom cables were snapped—according to BBC News, most likely due not to Godzilla but a single tanker "dragging its anchor along the sea bed"—and the repairs are well underway. But how in the hell do you repair a nine-layer steel-reinforced cable located deep beneath the surface of… » 2/06/08 10:10am 2/06/08 10:10am

Undersea Telecom Cables Mysteriously Cut, Digitally Stranding India…

One of today's biggest stories is the fact that India and the Middle East had about 75% of their digital connection to Europe cut off when two cables on the floor of the Mediterranean snapped under mysterious circumstances. Cables get damaged all the time, but never have two gone out simultaneously. It will take days,… » 1/31/08 10:57am 1/31/08 10:57am