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Power Outages Limit Tech’s Ability to Help People Connect After Quake

April 27, 2015 10:06 am | by Associated Press, Foster Klug | News | Comments

Power outages and communications problems have made life agonizing for the nearly 6 million Nepalese who live abroad— or about 22 percent of the population. They try desperately to reach loved ones through cellphones and global messaging apps, only to be met with silence or fleeting connections. The impoverished country’s communications have been shaken back to a different era.

MIT launches new institute for data, systems, and society

April 10, 2015 1:00 pm | by MIT News Office | News | Comments

MIT is creating a new institute that will bring together researchers working in the mathematical...

World record in data transmission with smart circuits

October 21, 2014 7:39 am | News | Comments

Fewer cords, smaller antennas and quicker video transmission. This may be the result of a new...

Millions of voiceprints quietly being harvested

October 13, 2014 8:44 am | by Raphael Satter, Associated Press | News | Comments

Over the...

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NIST releases final version of Smart Grid Framework, update 3.0

October 3, 2014 11:51 am | News | Comments

The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) has published its NIST Framework and Roadmap for Smart Grid Interoperability Standards, Release 3.0, a document that reflects advances in smart grid technologies and developments from NIST’s collaborative work with industry stakeholders. Revisions to its guidelines for smart grid cybersecurity are available as well.

Untangling how cables coil

October 3, 2014 10:48 am | by Jennifer Chu, MIT News Office | Videos | Comments

A rip or tangle in any part of world’s 550,000-mile fiber-optic network can significantly slow telecommunications around the world. Now engineers have developed a method that predicts the pattern of coils and tangles that a cable may form when deployed onto a rigid surface. The research combined laboratory experiments with custom-designed cables, computer-graphics technology used to animate hair in movies, and theoretical analyses.

NIST awards contract to MITRE to support cybersecurity center

September 26, 2014 9:26 am | News | Comments

In support of the National Cybersecurity Center of Excellence, NIST has awarded a contract its first Federally Funded Research and Development Center (FFRDC). The contract, which includes three initial tasks totaling about $29 million, was awarded to The MITRE Corporation, a not-for-profit organization that operates six other FFRDCs.

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Wireless experts tap unused TV spectrum

September 10, 2014 8:30 am | News | Comments

Rice Univ. wireless researchers have found a way to make the most of the unused UHF TV spectrum by serving up fat streams of data over wireless hotspots that could stretch for miles. In a presentation today at the Association for Computing Machinery's MobiCom 2014 conference, researchers will unveil a multiuser, multiantenna transmission scheme for UHF, a portion of the radio spectrum that is usually reserved for television broadcasts.

DARPA collaboration launches breakthrough elastic cloud-to-cloud networking

July 29, 2014 9:06 am | News | Comments

In 2006, DARPA launched a long-term project called CORONET, which sought to develop a cloud-based technology that could enable affordable, fast bandwidth and ensure the survival of cloud networks in the event of system-wide failures. After years of work, scientists from AT&T, IBM and Applied Communication Sciences have announced a proof-of-concept technology that reduces setup times for cloud-to-cloud connectivity from days to seconds.

A transistor-like amplifier for single photons

July 28, 2014 11:19 am | by Olivia Meyer-Streng, Max Planck Institute | News | Comments

With the help of ultracold quantum gas, physicists have achieved a 20-fold amplification of single-photon signals, a step that could aid all-optical data processing efforts. The breakthrough was made with the invention of a new type of optical transistor build from a cloud of rubidium atoms, held just above absolute zero, that is transparent to certain wavelengths of light.

Graphene surfaces on photonic racetracks

July 28, 2014 11:12 am | News | Comments

Scientists in the U.K. recently published work that describes how graphene can be wrapped around a silicon wire, or waveguide, and modify the transmission of light through it.  These waveguide loops, called “racetrack resonators” because of their shape, could help form a device architecture that would make graphene biochemical sensors a reality.

Combs of light accelerate communication

April 14, 2014 11:39 am | News | Comments

In a recent demonstration by researchers in Europe, miniaturized optical frequency comb sources allow for transmission of data streams of several terabits per second over hundreds of kilometers. The results, which showed a data rate of 1.44 TB/sec over 300 km, may contribute to accelerating data transmission in large computing centers and worldwide communication networks.

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New record set for data-transfer speeds

February 25, 2014 1:31 pm | News | Comments

Researchers at IBM have set a new record for data transmission over a multimode optical fiber, a type of cable that is typically used to connect nearby computers within a single building or on a campus. The data was sent at a rate of 64 Gb/s over a cable 57-m long using a type of laser called a vertical-cavity surface-emitting laser. This rate is 2.5 times faster than the capabilities of today's typical commercial technology.

World temperature records available via Google Earth

February 5, 2014 1:04 pm | News | Comments

Climate researchers in the U.K. have made the world's temperature records available via Google Earth. The new format allows users to scroll around the world, zoom in on 6,000 weather stations, and view monthly, seasonal and annual temperature data more easily than ever before. Users can drill down to see some 20,000 graphs—some of which show temperature records dating back to 1850.

Researchers reveal phrases that pay on Kickstarter

January 15, 2014 7:43 am | News | Comments

Researchers at Georgia Institute of Technology studying the burgeoning phenomenon of crowdfunding have learned that the language used in online fundraising hold surprisingly predictive power about the success of such campaigns. While offering donors a gift may improve a campaign’s success, the study found the language project creators used to express the reward made the difference.

New approach to vertex connectivity could maximize networks’ bandwidth

December 30, 2013 1:21 pm | by Helen Knight, MIT News correspondent | News | Comments

A fundamental concept in graph theory is connectivity, which describes how many lines or nodes would have to be removed from a given graph to disconnect it. Progress has been made in “edge connectivity”, or the connections between nodes or vertices. But “vertex connectivity”, which looks at the nodes themselves, is less understood. It has been reexamined recently and the findings could help coax as much bandwidth as possible from networks.

Fifty meters of optical fiber shrunk to size of microchip

December 3, 2013 2:19 pm | News | Comments

DARPA-funded researchers have recently developed new methods to integrate long 50-m coils of waveguides with low signal loss onto microchips. This new class of photonic waveguides, with losses approaching that of optical fiber, is smaller and more precise than any previous light delay device.

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Self-correcting crystal may unleash next generation of advanced communications

November 6, 2013 11:17 am | News | Comments

Researchers from the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) have joined with an international team to engineer and measure a potentially important new class of nanostructured materials for microwave and advanced communication devices.

Google invests $608 million in Finnish data center

November 4, 2013 7:43 am | News | Comments

Google says it is investing 450 million euros to expand a data center in southern Finland as part of Europe-wide development plans totaling hundreds of millions of euros. The investment comes on top of the 350 million euros Google Inc. has spent converting an old paper mill, which started operations as a data center in 2011.

World record: Wireless data transmission at 100 gigabits per second

October 14, 2013 12:50 pm | News | Comments

In a record-setting experiment, researchers with the Millilink project in Germany transmitted 100 Gbits/sec of data at a frequency of 237.5 GHz over a distance of 20 m in the laboratory. The scientists applied a photonic method to generate the radio signals at the transmitter. After radio transmission, fully integrated electronic circuits were used in the receiver.

New technology can prevent cellular overload, dropped calls

October 14, 2013 9:02 am | News | Comments

When a natural disaster strikes and too many people take to their mobile phones at once, cellular networks easily overload. But a graduate student in Canada has found a way to opportunistically use television and radio channels to transmit cellular signals when systems are pushed beyond capacity.

BOLD idea for big data

September 23, 2013 7:48 am | News | Comments

Computer networking researchers at Rice Univ. have a new idea for how to handle the mountains of data piling up in the labs of their fellow scientists around campus: Create a customized, energy-efficient optical network that can feed rivers of data to Rice’s supercomputers. The new network is called BOLD and is about to become a reality, thanks to a new grant from the National Science Foundation.

Data: a resource more valuable than gold?

September 13, 2013 11:54 am | News | Comments

From Sept. 16 to 18, 2013, top leaders from the White House and U.S. science agencies and their international colleagues will gather for three days in Washington, D.C., for a major meeting of the Research Data Alliance (RDA). More than 850 researchers and data experts belong to the RDA, which focuses on the development and adoption of common tools, harmonized standards and infrastructure needed for data sharing by researchers.

Reliable communication, unreliable networks

August 6, 2013 4:12 pm | by Larry Hardesty, MIT News Office | News | Comments

Now that the Internet’s basic protocols are more than 30 years old, network scientists are increasingly turning their attention to ad hoc networks where unsolved problems still abound. Most theoretical analyses of ad hoc networks have assumed that the communications links within the network are stable. But that often isn’t the case with real-world wireless devices.

Developers achieve world record in optical coupling efficiency

July 3, 2013 3:27 pm | News | Comments

Researchers of the Univ. of Stuttgart have achieved a new world record in coupling efficiency between optical fibers and integrated silicon waveguides. The breakthrough, which resulted in a coupling efficiency of 87%, was based on newly developed aperiodic grating coupler structures optimized at the nanoscale.

School’s “Drone Lab” reimagines possibilities for UAVs

April 17, 2013 9:17 am | News | Comments

Say the word “drone” and the image most often conjured is a flying object that is spying on an enemy, or delivering a weapon to a target. Students at University of California, Berkeley’s Drone Lab are developing open-source software that helps put drones to more socially beneficent use. Their efforts require little more than a consumer-grade drone, a smartphone, and a new JavaScript-based software platform.

Fiber optic duplex jumper

April 5, 2013 6:23 pm | Product Releases | Comments

Siemon, a global network infrastructure specialist, has introduced the new LC BladePatch fiber optic duplex jumper, which offers high-density fiber patching with easy access. With its intuitive, ergonomic action, the LC BladePatch completely eliminates the need to access a latch during installation and removal, avoiding any disruption or damage to adjacent fiber connectors.

Stampede opens supercomputing gates to research teams

March 28, 2013 12:37 am | News | Comments

A world-class supercomputer called Stampede—which has already enabled research teams to predict where and when earthquakes may strike, how much sea levels could rise and how fast brain tumors grow—was officially dedicated this week at the University of Texas at Austin's Texas Advanced Computing Center. The new research tool will be utilized by thousands of research groups.

Steganography is no laughing matter

March 12, 2013 3:47 pm | News | Comments

Encrypting a message with a strong code is the only safe way to keep your communications secret, but it will be obvious to anyone seeing such a message that the sender is hiding something. Steganography, on the other hand, can hide a secret message in plain sight, using binary numbers, for example. Researchers, however, now suggest that instead of using a humdrum text document and modifying it in a codified way to embed a secret message, correspondents could use a joke to hide their true meaning.

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