Verizon Looking to Switch Everyone From Copper to Fiber

Internet speeds are going up and up, but the US still lags behind the rest of the world leaving many upset. Some companies charge for the bigger internet, but internet provider Verizon looks to be one of the first to encourage users to switch to fiber optic cables.

Fiber is the only fix” was revealed by a document that seems to suggest that those who request fixes to any copper line will be told that the only way to fix the problem is by taking up the fiber optic lines. This will fall in line with the companies new official stance is to refuse repairs on any copper lines with the document stating that their official response when asked to fix a copper line “do not fix trouble with copper lines”.

If you don’t have a problem with copper lines, but someone near you has, then Verizon is making steps to improve and upgrade other people’s lines, perhaps in a move to help defer and delay future problems.

Some have felt like Verizon has been rather hostile in their actions to upgrade users from copper to fiber cables, with this being but the latest in a slew of moves to force users to upgrade to the latest technology. While people are happy for faster internet and connections, being forced to do anything is often seen with reluctance and anger.

Artist Creates Jaw-Dropping Steampunk Nintendo Game Boy

Artist, Elise Siegwald has created a magnificent steampunk-inspired Nintendo Game Boy which can only be describe as a visual masterpiece. Throughout the Game Boy’s history, I’ve encountered a number of intriguing modifications but nothing comes close to technical wizardry, and unbelievable styling of this creation. As you can see, Elise incorporated rusty copper cogs and fittings to make the custom model look like an antique.

The screen is covered by a striking magnifying glass which resembles a copper mask for deep-sea divers or perhaps an ancient compass. Furthermore, the supporting, worn rope adds a sense of age and history.

The handheld’s rusty, brown colour is sublime and utilizes a rough and ready look. As a result, it almost makes the Game Boy appear like a 50-year-old object cast into the ocean and discovered by archaeologists.

Even the headphone jack has been replaced by naval-type components which help accentuate the steampunk feel.

Here is the project’s very humble beginning showing a Purple Game Boy Colour in fairly awful condition. It’s difficult to imagine how something so dilapidated became a fine piece of unique artwork. 

I particularly enjoy this picture which emphasizes the huge amount of parts required and time invested to create the final piece. Its design is beautiful, extremely striking and a marvel of human creativity. Honestly, I have to commend Elise for creating something which defies belief and illustrates how old pieces of technology can be refurbished in new and exciting ways. From my own personal viewpoint, this is the best console modification I’ve ever seen and would love to own one!

FCC Wants Copper Networks Turned Off in Favour of Fibre Upgrade

The US Federal Communications Commission (FCC) is introducing new rules designed to encourage internet service providers (ISPs) to shut down the internet copper network in favour of superfast fibre. Previous legislation required ISPs to seek approval from the FCC before switching off a copper network, but new a new ruling leaves that at the discretion of the ISP, provided that customers see no drop in service.

ISPs still need to notify the FCC if their switch from copper to fibre will affect users, “However, carriers will retain the flexibility to retire their copper networks in favor of fiber without prior Commission approval—as long as no service is discontinued, reduced, or impaired,” the FCC said in its official statement.

“Changing technology does not change responsibility,” Tom Wheeler, Chairman of the FCC, said. “Fiber brings great cost savings, great efficiencies, and great opportunities for new services. But it does not bring the opportunity to walk away from the responsibilities that govern the relationship between those who build and those who use the facilities.”

Though the move is great news for internet users, it could have potential downsides for landline telephone users. A copper network does not require power from the grid to facilitate phonecalls, while a fibre network does. In the event of a power cut, a copper network keeps the phones working, while a fibre network would shut down all phonecalls. A separate FCC ruling will require telecoms providers to provide an 8-hour power backup in the event of a power outage. While that may suffice during a temporary outage, a storm, flood, or hurricane could put phonelines out of action for days.

Thank you Ars Technica for providing us with this information.

Gigabyte Launches Tiny GeForce GTX 960 ITX Windforce

Gigabyte has just announced its low-end GTX 960 model, the GeForce GTX 960 ITX, boasting a Windforce 2x cooling solution. This looks to be dedicated to people who use their PCs mostly for office and multimedia activities, though the card can also be used for some casual games that don’t require a powerhouses rig just start it.

The card features a reasonable 2GB of GDDR5, a 128-bit memory interface and a core base clock of 1127 MHz, going to up to 1178 MHz in boost mode. By the looks of it, Gigabyte plans on rolling out a OC version of the card with a base clock of 1152 MHz and boost clock of 1203 MHz. Taking into account the latter and the GeForce GTX 960 ITX already on the market, I’m fairly certain that Gigabyte will roll out a 4GB model soon enough, should 2GB be not enough for what you have in mind.

Taking a look at the Windforce 2x, the cooling solution looks to be promising in keeping the ‘little monster’ cool under full load. The blades are specially designed with triangle shapes at the edge and special 3D stripe curves to efficiently enhance and keep the card cool. In addition to that, the pure copper heat pipe direct touch (HDT) helps in keeping the card cool at an extremely low noise level, so you don’t have to worry about it buzzing your ears off when you put it to the ultimate test.

There is no official confirmation of any price for it, but EXPReview puts it at ¥1499, which is roughly £155.

Images courtesy of Gigabyte

SilentPower PC Comes With New Cooling Solution, a Copper Foam Layer

The new Silent Power PC seems to be coming with a revolutionary cooling solution, distancing itself from the traditional heatpipe and heatsink coolers. The PC is said to come with a copper foam, which helps cool the system, making it one of the best silent cooling solutions available in a rig.

The foam is said to be placed on top of the chassis and transfers heat from internal components with the help of its “micro-circulation” feature. The cooling solution works by having the air present inside it heat up to extreme temperatures, which in turn makes the foam expand and move to the extremities. This is said to create an effective air circulation inside the case, without having any fans present in it.

There are three system variations currently available as a crowdfunding pre-order option, having the target funding for the project set at €45,000. Once the targeted fund has been raised, the systems are said to enter in the production phase.

The systems differ in RAM and hard drive capacity, having them with either 8 or 16 GB of ram or with a 500/1000 GB solid state drive. Other than the latter variations, all systems are said to boast an Intel Quad-Core i7-4785T clocked at 2.2 GHz and a NVIDIA GeForce GTX 780 graphics card.

An interesting feature present in the system’s configuration is a movement sensor that can power it automatically when you sit at your desk. Other than that, the base model is said to be priced at €699 / $930 coming with 8GB RAM and 500GB SSD. Other higher-end versions are said to be priced at €769 / $1,030 and €1,159 / $1,550, coming with more RAM and/or disk space.

Thank you TechSpot for providing us with this information
Image courtesy of TechSpot

NoFan CR-80EH Fanless Copper CPU Cooler Review

Introduction


On the cooling test bench today we have something pretty special, the NoFan CR-80EH. The latest cooler from NoFan, a completely passive CPU cooler that obviously promises silent performance for your computer, but it’s also the newer, more budget friendly model of their previous fan-less CPU cooler, the CR-95C which we reviewed two years ago. We were really impressed by the performance of the previous model, it kept our CPU well within the safe zone for your average user and of course it didn’t without making so much as a whisper of noise.

When it comes to building a HTPC, a silent build can be an incredible tool at your disposal, but it’s hard to get the components right. Passive components still need airflow to get the heat out of the chassis and keep the system from overheating, but with careful consideration you can have a rig that won’t be humming away in the corner while your watching your favourite movies, leaving you to enjoy the show, not the ambient noises.

Prices at just under £40 the CR-80EH is far from expensive, but while I’m certain that I would be able to find many coolers in this price range that offer much better cooling performance, I doubt there are any that will be as quiet. Cooling performance is still important of course, no one wants to cook their CPU in a hurry, but not everyone is trying to overclock the brains out of their system. So long as the CR-80EH can keep a stock i5 within the safe zone, I’ll be happy, but I would be foolish to think this will be enough to cool a heavily overclocked chip… but we’ll find out about that shortly.

As you can see from the specifications, the cooler is quite large, but no so much that it shouldn’t find in most PC cases. It can handle up to 80W, which should be ok for newer high-end or older midrange chips, but keep in mind that some of the older AMD hardware for example can require 125W coolers.

The packaging is really nicely designed, giving a great view of the cooler thanks to a plastic window, just look at all that lovely copper!

Around the back we have another window panel, this time giving us a sneak peek at the CPU block. There are some features listen on the box too, such as the zero noise and dust free design.

In the box you’ll find an easy to follow product manual, some mounting screws, so AMD / Intel compatible brackets and a small bottle of thermal compound.

USB 3.Optical Cables By Corning Now Available

Corning, the same people who make the popular Gorilla Glass front to many of today’s mobile handsets, have today announced the availability of their latest USB 3.Optical cables which allow USB devices to be connected at far greater distances than with a traditional copper based alternative.

Using the latest fibre optic technology the 3.Optical cable connects just as normal via a standard USB2.0 or 3.0 port, but instead of having copper wire running between the two terminals, an optical cable is used instead and this means that the standard limitation of 3 metres from point-to-point is nor longer a worry nor a restriction with distances of up to 30m easily achievable.

Since their introduction in the early stages of last year, Corning have been developing the cables with thinner and lighter designs being introduced and thanks to the of their ClearCurve VSDN fibre, they are able to withstands a “zero-bend” radius which allows the to withstand a lot of punishment such as being squeezed and tangled with out damage or loss of connectivity.

“With longer, thinner, and lighter cables, USB 3.Optical Cables by Corning give users the freedom to max out data connection speeds for a more enjoyable creative workflow,” said Bernhard Deutsch, vice president, product line management, Optical Connectivity Solutions for Corning Optical Communications. “Imagine having your computer at your workstation and the whir of back-up hard drives, printers, and other noisy peripherals in an entirely different room – and still benefiting from unbelievable transmission speeds.”

With many of todays external devices utilising the humble USB connection, the USB 3.Optical cables are ideal for a whole multitude of operations and scenarios, whether it be in the home, or in a commercial setting such as an office or bar.

“For example, restaurants can connect order-entry stations to USB-equipped printers located in both the bar and kitchen areas. The system then splits out the orders, printing food tickets in the kitchen and drink orders at the bar, resulting in faster service and happier customers.”

Currently the cables are only available in 10m lengths with “A-to-receptacle-A” terminals on either end (in other words they are just like a USB extension cable, but this means that they will work with any form of USB terminal when a short connecting cable is used. Priced at around $129, stock is available through the US Amazon store and Accu-Tech with more suppliers appearing in the future, along with 15 and 30m lengths also appearing on the shelves later this year.

Source: Press Release