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Welcome to the new internet. 

It is very possible, after today, for the internet to be separated into tiers, like cable, forcing you to pay extra to access certain sites. The world wide web won’t be so world wide if you can’t access certain sites because you don’t want to pay an extra $50 to access it. 

Paying attention now? 

Edit: Be aware that this is what COULD happen, not what is currently happening. It’s a mock up of what could come soon in the future. 

Nature vs. The Internet: How Google Protects Its Undersea Cables from Shark Attacks

Footage from a recent survey of Google’s undersea fiber-optic cables revealed that shark bites are a very real threat to global telecommunications. Indeed, a Google spokesperson noted that the company actually coats its cables in a Kevlar-like material to protect against sharks. Interestingly, sharks seem to have more of a taste for fiber-optic cables than the old-fashioned coaxial copper wires. A report from the United Nations Environment Programme and International Cable Protection Committee Ltd. speculates that sharks may be "encouraged by electromagnetic fields from a suspended cable strumming in currents." In other words, sharks, which can sense electromagnetic fields, may mistake the cables for live prey. The phenomenon highlights the ways in which technology and nature can intersect, and the strange new interconnections between the energy of the natural world and our man-made grids. 

Quantum Entanglement With the Past

Side Note: Remember when I was going off on my ramblings about using quantum entanglement to somehow communicate with the past? Well this may not be as imaginative and hopeful about communicating with the past in our dimension as opposed to that of the quantum world but here’s an awesome article from livescience getting into this recent experiment physicists did back in April of this year, 2012. Basically they showed that in theory, it is possible to send a particle from one computer into another across vast distances long after one particle has ceased to exist, showing that quantum entanglement works both ways. A particle in the future can alter one in the past. This kind of experiment and discovery is paramount to the future of how we use our communications technology.

Entanglement is a weird state where two particles remain intimately connected, even when separated over vast distances, like two die that must always show the same numbers when rolled. For the first time, scientists have entangled particles after they’ve been measured and may no longer even exist.

If that sounds baffling, even the researchers agree it’s a bit “radical,” in a paper reporting the experiment published online April 22 in the journal Nature Physics.

"Whether these two particles are entangled or separable has been decided after they have been measured," write the researchers, led by Xiao-song Ma of the Institute for Quantum Optics and Quantum Information at the University of Vienna.

Essentially, the scientists showed that future actions may influence past events, at least when it comes to the messy, mind-bending world of quantum physics.

In the quantum world, things behave differently than they do in the real, macroscopic worldwe can see and touch around us. In fact, when quantum entanglement was first predicted by the theory of quantum mechanics, Albert Einstein expressed his distaste for the idea, calling it "spooky action at a distance."

The researchers, taking entanglement a step further than ever before, started with two sets of light particles, called photons.

The basic setup goes like this:

Both pairs of photons are entangled, so that the two particles in the first set are entangled with each other, and the two particles in the second set are entangled with each other. Then, one photon from each pair is sent to a person named Victor. Of the two particles that are left behind, one goes to Bob, and the other goes to Alice.

But now, Victor has control over Alice and Bob’s particles. If he decides to entangle the two photons he has, then Alice and Bob’s photons, each entangled with one of Victor’s, also become entangled with each other. And Victor can choose to take this action at any time, even after Bob and Alice may have measured, changed or destroyed their photons.

"The fantastic new thing is that this decision to entangle two photons can be done at a much later time," said research co-author Anton Zeilinger, also of the University of Vienna. “They may no longer exist.”

Such an experiment had first been predicted by physicist Asher Peres in 2000, but had not been realized until now.

"The way you entangle them is to send them onto a half-silvered mirror," Zeilinger told LiveScience. "It reflects half of the photons, and transmits half. If you send two photons, one to the right and one to the left, then each of the two photons have forgotten where they come from. They lose their identities and become entangled."

Zeilinger said the technique could one day be used to communicate between superfast quantum computers, which rely on entanglement to store information. Such a machine has not yet been created, but experiments like this are a step toward that goal, the researchers say.

"The idea is to create two particle pairs, send one to one computer, the other to another," Zeilinger said.”Then if these two photons are entangled, the computers could use them to exchange information.”

WiFi Drones Stand Up Network During Emergencies

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by Michael Keller

Some of the first responders to enter future disaster zones might be tiny drones equipped with transmitters designed to reestablish WiFi and cellphone communications. 

University of North Texas electrical engineers have unveiled prototypes of the multirotor aerial vehicles that they are designing to fly in pairs after the network goes down. One drone would land in the area—perhaps on a rooftop—and the second would be placed in line of sight of the first up to almost two miles away. 

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See the video and read more below.

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Microsoft appoints first female country manager in Ghana

Microsoft which is expanding its offerings in Ghana has announced the appointment of Otema Yirenkyi to head up its Ghanaian business

Microsoft has announced the appointment of Otema Yirenkyi as the company’s first country manager for Ghana.

As the company shifts its global focus to a devices and services offering, Ghana remains one of Microsoft’s critical investment markets in Africa.

Yirenkyi, a native Ghanaian with over 14 years of ICT experience, will take the helm of its increasing investment in the country. 

Yirenkyi is Microsoft’s first female country manager on the African continent and holds a BSc degree in Industrial and Labour Relations, as well as an MA in Development Studies.

“We have seen tremendous growth in broadband availability and internet penetration in Ghana, as well as the introduction of newer devices such as tablets and smartphones, which have fundamentally changed how consumers experience and use technology,” said Yirenkyi.

Ghana’s current mobile penetration rate is at an estimated 112 percent, after the country hit the 100 percent mark at the end of 2012.

Stanford researchers demonstrate the first step in a scalable quantum cryptography system that could lead to uncrackable telecommunications.

Quantum mechanics offers the potential to create absolutely secure telecommunications networks by harnessing a fundamental phenomenon of quantum particles. Now, a team of Stanford University physicists has demonstrated a crucial first step in creating a quantum telecommunications device that could be built and implemented using existing infrastructure.

Quantum cryptography relies on the curious aspect of quantum mechanics by which pairs of electrons can become “entangled.” Electrons have a property called “spin”: Just as a bar magnet can point up or down, so too can the spin of an electron. When electrons become entangled, their spins mirror each other.

If the spin of electron A is found to be pointing “up,” then electron B’s spin will also point up. If electron A’s spin measures “down,” so too would electron B’s. An amazing feature of entangled electrons is that this pairing persists no matter the distance between electron A and electron B.

(via Physicists and Engineers Take First Step Toward Quantum Cryptography | Lab Manager Magazine®)

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The laying of an undersea telegraph cable, courtesy of a silent 1927 movie called “A Film Lesson in General Science: Communication.” 

The first working undersea telegraph cables were laid across the English Channel in 1851. The first successful transatlantic cable was laid from 1854 to 1858. When it was complete it lowered the time to send a message from Europe to North America from a typical ship’s crossing of 10 days to a matter of minutes. Though one of the first messages sent, which contained 99 words, took almost 18 hours to send. The initial transmission speed across the wire was about two minutes per character.

From the Prelinger Archives.

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Telecommunications advance allows signals to send and receive on the same band at the same time

Researchers at the Cockrell School of Engineering at The University of Texas at Austin have achieved a milestone in modern wireless and cellular telecommunications, creating a radically smaller, more efficient radio wave circulator that could be used in cellphones and other wireless devices, as reported in the latest issue of Nature Physics.

The new circulator has the potential to double the useful bandwidth in wireless communications by enabling full-duplex functionality, meaning devices can transmit and receive signals on the same frequency band at the same time.

READ MORE ON THE UNIVERSITY OF TEXAS AUSTIN

President Obama today urged the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to reclassify broadband service as a utility and to impose rules that prevent Internet service providers from blocking and throttling traffic or prioritizing Web services in exchange for payment. Obama also said utility rules should apply both to home Internet service and mobile broadband.

In short, Obama is siding with consumer advocates who have lobbied for months in favor of reclassification while the telecommunications industry lobbied against it.

In a plan released today, Obama said, “The time has come for the FCC to recognize that broadband service is of the same importance [as the traditional telephone system] and must carry the same obligations as so many of the other vital services do. To do that, I believe the FCC should reclassify consumer broadband service under Title II of the Telecommunications Act—while at the same time forbearing from rate regulation and other provisions less relevant to broadband services. This is a basic acknowledgment of the services ISPs provide to American homes and businesses, and the straightforward obligations necessary to ensure the network works for everyone—not just one or two companies.”

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Obama: Treat broadband—including mobile—as a utility | Ars Technica

His proposed rules are as follows:

  • No blocking. If a consumer requests access to a website or service, and the content is legal, your ISP should not be permitted to block it. That way, every player—not just those commercially affiliated with an ISP—gets a fair shot at your business.
  • No throttling. Nor should ISPs be able to intentionally slow down some content or speed up others — through a process often called “throttling” — based on the type of service or your ISP’s preferences.
  • Increased transparency. The connection between consumers and ISPs — the so-called “last mile” — is not the only place some sites might get special treatment. So, I am also asking the FCC to make full use of the transparency authorities the court recently upheld, and if necessary to apply net neutrality rules to points of interconnection between the ISP and the rest of the Internet.
  • No paid prioritization. Simply put: No service should be stuck in a “slow lane” because it does not pay a fee. That kind of gatekeeping would undermine the level playing field essential to the Internet’s growth. So, as I have before, I am asking for an explicit ban on paid prioritization and any other restriction that has a similar effect.