Scientists Use Fibre Optic Cable to Transmit 57Gbps

How fast is your internet? 1Mbps? 10Mbps? Are you lucky enough to get a 1Gbps? With governments all over the world now racing to deliver the best internet to everyone, the speed of your internet is quickly becoming a topic of hot debate. For those with speed hate, I am sorry. It would now seem that it is possible to transmit 57Gbps down a fibre optic cable. Sorry.

I apologise because like many I am someone who has been promised great speeds, but more often than not you find those speeds don’t seem to exist and you can almost hear that digital bleeping from dial-up coming to haunt you as you call it a night, letting your movie buff or your game download.

Researchers from the University of Illinois have pushed fibre optic technology to a new level by transmitting 57 gigabytes of data per second through a fibre optic cable, a whole 17 Gbps extra compared to those reported last year. What’s better about this you ask? The speed was achieved with no errors and then to prove the point they went and send 50Gbps while at temperatures of 85 degrees celsius.

The reason the temperature is important is because electrical components get warm over time (like the bottom of the laptop you’ve had resting on your lap while watching Netflix in bed), which can lead to reduced performance and damaged components. The team behind the idea hope that by showing that these speeds are available from room temperature to 85 degrees, companies will have no reason to push these systems out to the public.

You can read the paper that’s been published on the experiments here and begin to imagine how many games you could delete and download at 50 Gbps. So many games.

Nest Being Turned Off By Glitch From 2015

Nest is a name that flies around these days, settling in homes all over the world. The little piece of hardware is designed to allow you remote and smart control of your heating, from detecting when you’re nearly home, to turning the temperature down while at work, the device is there to make your life easier and you feel more in control. That was until people were hit by a glitch from 2015 that resulted in Nest being turned off!

People stormed online, like they often do these days when things go wrong, saying they were waking up in the dead of a night to a cold house. Finding that it is a known problem, but there was no fix in place for it yet.

Matt Rogers, the founder and vice president of engineering at Nest, stated that the bug came from a software update in December. “We had a bug that was introduced in the software update that didn’t show up for about two weeks”, in his statement apologizing for the issue. While Nest state that the issue has been fixed for 99.5% of their customers, the fix that is recommended features everything from turning it off and back on again to charging it for several hours.

While only a small problem for some, Nest is often seen as an option for those who are unable to move around a lot, such as the elderly, letting their friends and family check in and ensure that their heating is at a suitable level during the cold winters. A small problem for some can be a serious matters for others, and I’m certain that Nest will be looking into how this software update caused this problem.

New Form of Carbon Creates Diamonds at Room Temperature

Diamonds. Known for being priceless stones and hard to scratch, they’ve been at the centre of jewellery for years due to their shine, price and resilience. This could all change soon though, thanks to Scientists from North Carolina State University who have just announced their newly created form of carbon, Q-Carbon.

Previously carbon could exist in two other forms, graphite and diamond. Q-carbon is unique in that it is ferromagnetic, meaning not only is it harder than diamonds, but when exposed to energy it begins to glow.

Q-Carbon has also been used to construct diamond structures at room temperature, a feat that was only ever possible in extreme heats (e.g. specialised furnaces and volcanos) and under immense pressure. While still requiring a temperature of 3,726 °C, a feat achieved by a single laser pulse, the heat is only needed for 200 nanoseconds before being cooled down.

With current films of Q-Carbon measuring between 20 and 500 nanometers thick the researchers have been able to adjust the created structures by changing the laser pulse’s properties or the substrate, a material where the reactions take place.

Jay Narayan, the lead author of several papers described the process and continued to say, “And it is all done at room temperature and at ambient atmosphere – we’re basically using a laser like the ones used for laser eye surgery. So, not only does this allow us to develop new applications, but the process itself is relatively inexpensive.”

With its strength and luminescent properties, imagine a phone screen made of Q-Carbon?

You can find the latest update into their research here.

Quantum Entanglement Is Real And At Room Temperature

Quantum Entanglement may sound like a term straight out of a science-fiction film, but it is real. Quantum entanglement is a term used to describe when you link two particles, this means that when you affect one particle, the linked particle displays the same change in behaviour no matter how far apart they are. Imagine it is almost like a particle walkie-talkie system, you say something on one end and the other end hears it as if you had said it there. While this was possible before, you had to go near absolute zero to achieve it, meaning that while an amazing piece of science and technology, the practical uses were slim. That is no longer the case as a research paper has appeared announcing they have managed to complete the action at room temperature.

The experiment resulted in thousands of electrons and nucleons being linked, roughly equating to the size of a blood cell; around 40 micrometer’s cubed. By using infrared laser light to align the magnetic states and then MRI imaging to entangle them, the group hopes that this can be the first step towards using quantum technology in an everyday environment.

The technology could create sensors which are more sensitive to changes or even to create systems where it is scientifically impossible to intercept a message between two devices (simply because the message would only exist at the start and end point). A whole host of possible uses have appeared and this technology can only continue to grow.

Your Smart Home Appliances Are Not as Safe as You Think

Are you a proud owner of smart lock? How about motion sensors, temperature sensors, bulbs or other Internet of Things gadgets? Well, if they’re made by ZigBee, chances are your house is vulnerable to hacking, according to a paper revealed at the Black Hat conference in Las Vegas.

ZigBee, a company that specializes in IoT smart appliances that supplies big name companies such as Samsung, Philips, Motorola and Texas Instruments, is said to have implemented just enough security measures to pass the requirements to ship, which means that security measures are almost non-existent. Hackers are said to easily be able to sniff out exchange network keys, gaining access to the entire network and all smart appliances.

The security experts say that the main cause for the lack of security is due to the companies, who want to quickly ship out the latest tech, make it communicate and interact with everything, all while keeping prices down to a minimum. As a consumer, I get the bit to keep prices down, but if I have to pay a bit extra to prevent someone opening my door or fiddling with my lights, I think that would be an option all of us may opt for. In the end, security is more important than cheap product, don’t you think?

Thank you TechCrunch for providing us with this information

Image courtesy of Architect’s Toy Box

SSDs Can Lose Data After a Week Without Power

The advent of solid state drives (SSDs) has been a boon for PC users. They are faster, more hardy, and with greater storage-per-inch capacity than their mechanical HHD counterparts. However, years of testing have shown that SSDs suffer when storing information long-term, and a recent report from the Joint Electron Device Engineering Council (JEDEC) suggests the situation could be even more dire than initially suspected.

When unpowered, consumer SSDs can retain data for up to two years, with the enterprise equivalent only managing around four months. But JEDEC say that, under less than optimal conditions, it could be as little as a week before an SSD loses data.

The JEDEC report, as summarised by KoreLogic, says that “for every 5 degrees C (9 degrees F) rise in temperature where the SSD is stored, the retention period is approximately halved. For example, if a client application SSD is stored at 25 degrees C (77 degrees F) it should last about 2 years on the shelf under optimal conditions. If that temperature goes up 5 degrees C, the storage standard drops to 1 year.”

Therefore, an unpowered SSD stored in a humid environment – a hot country without cooling, or a poorly ventilated server farm – could conceivably have a data retention period of as little as a few days. Until that problem is fixed, stick with mechanical drives for your long-term data storage.

Thank you KoreLogic for providing us with this information.

You Can Now Control Your Thermostat With Your Voice

The Nest thermostat has received an update which allows it to be controlled via your voice. You can simply ask for a particular temperature and your thermostat will get to work on it.

On an Android device or in the Google app on iOS, you can ask “OK Google, change temperature to,” “set Nest to,” “turn the thermostat to,” to take complete control over the temperature of your home. Nest was founded by the “father of the iPod” Tony Fadell. Tony was Steve Jobs’ right hand man for many years, obviously having a great level of involvement in the conception of the iPod and also with the iPhone. Fadell left the company not long after the iPhone’s debut and set up Nest.

Nest has grown rapidly to become one of the biggest names in the emerging home automation market and was recently purchased by Google, meaning it’s no surprise that Google is interested in using its voice technology to help Nest grow.

Source: The Verge

Two New World Records Broken With The ASRock Z97 OC Formula

It seems that ASRock’s latest motherboard, the ASRock Z97 OC Formula, was designed to break one world record after another. John Lam, a professional overclocker from HKEPC OC, has apparently used the motherboard and achieved what has been previously dubbed as ‘impossible’.

John has used the ASRock Z97 OC Formula along with the Intel Core i7-4770K CPU and overclocked the processor to an astonishing 7181.23 MHz, thus ranking as the world’s number #1 at HWBOT.org. However, John apparently was not satisfied with the world record. Having the same motherboard and processor combination, he also managed to achieve another world record, scoring 1601 marks in Intel XTU, giving a new definition of CPU overclocking.

People might be wondering how this was possible. The answer seems to lie in the motherboard itself, having it be designed and tuned by legendary overclocker Nick Shih. This is why the ASRock Z97 OC Formula comes with “Super Alloy Technology”, which includes XXL Aluminium Alloy heatsink for fast heat dissipation, Premium Alloy Choke used to largely lower working temperature, Dual-Stack MOSFET contributing to a more efficient CPU Vcore power and NexFET MOSFET, providing DRAM power more efficiently and resistance against electrostatic discharge of up to 15 KV.

Besides the Super Alloy Technology, the ASRock Z97 OC Formula also contains 4 Phase Memory Power design, Multiple FIlter Cap, Hi-Density Power Connectors, 12 Phase CPU Power design, 8 Layer PCB, four 2oz copper, and the list just goes on and on. In addition to the latter, the BIOS also features Jumbo V technology, allowing overclockers to select the most optimal settings for extreme overclocking.


Summing it all up, ASRock has just proved that the company has a beast amongst motherboards, specially designed by overclockers and dedicated to overclockers and overclocking. Therefore, if anyone would like to test his or her overclocking skills to the limit and does not know what motherboard to use, the ASRock Z97 OC Formula could be the answer.

Thank you TechPowerUp for providing us with this information
Images courtesy of TechPowerUp

Prototype MIT Project ‘Sensory Fiction’ Lets You Feel a Book’s Emotion

The movie theaters have seen all effects get enhanced, from audio and video, to 3D and special effects, but the plain old book has only seen its years weigh heavy on their pages as they get passed on from one hand to another. But researchers from MIT’s Media Lab have found a way to develop a new experience for the reader of printed words, having a project named “Sensory Fiction” in the works.

The concept involves wearing a vest covered in sensors and actuators that uses vibration to simulate shivering or an increased heart rate, local heating to change your skin temperature and pressure from airbags to convey tightness and loosening. This vest is paired with a book, which also has LEDs to create ambient lighting which will show specific lights and colors altogether with each page and feeling it is supposed to express.

[vimeo]http://vimeo.com/84412874[/vimeo]

No ordinary book, this version of the award-winning sci-fi novel ‘The Girl Who Was Plugged In’ can sense what page you’re currently reading, and feed that information to a control unit mounted on the back of the vest to create vibration, pressure, or heat in sync with story beats. It is said that just by reading ‘The Girl Who Was Plugged’ should be enough to provoke an emotional response from most, but the researchers hope the vest-and-book combo can enhance a reader’s experience through external stimuli.

As Sensory Fiction is only in prototype stages, there’s no telling if the team has achieved its lofty goal yet, however the concept at least poses some interesting questions as to the future of immersive storytelling.

Thank you The Verge for providing us with this information
Image and video courtesy of The Verge

AMD Rolls Out Catalyst 13.11 Beta9.2 Driver

AMD has released another version for the Catalyst 13.11, entitled Beta9.2 . The driver contain fixes for the fan speed issues with the R9 290 and R9 290X graphics cards which resulted in varied performance among different cards that led some consumers and media outlets in believing that AMD has provided media with golden samples which are better than the retail cards. It seems AMD quickly came forward with the Catalyst 13.11 Beta9.2 which addresses this issue.

AMD has basically changed how you control fan speed in CCC. Prior to this, fan speed was set using a percentage but now you can directly set RPM. Furthermore, AMD has also slightly raised the fan speeds to 2200 RPM for the R9 290X and 2650 RPM for the R9 290. As much as this increases the performance of the card, it also increases the overall noise output.

Thee new drivers appear to improve the anti-aliasing performance in Call of Duty: Ghosts along with some other improvements. A list of the driver’s features is listed below.

Feature Highlights of The AMD Catalyst 13.11 Beta9.2 Driver for Windows

    ​​
  • Call of Duty®: Ghost – Improves anti-aliasing performance, and updates the AMD CrossFire profile
  • AMD Radeon R9 290 Series – PowerTune update to reduce variance of fan speed / RPM
  • Resolves intermittent crashes seen in legacy DirectX®​ 9 applications
  • DirectX 11.2 – Tier 1 Tiled Resources now supported on the following products:
    • ​AMD Radeon R9 280X
    • AMD Rad​eon R9 270X
    • AMD Radeon R7 250
    • AMD Radeon R7 240
    • AMD Radeon HD 7900 Series
    • AMD Radeon HD 7800 Series
    • AMD Radeon HD 7700 Series

Thank you Chip Loco for providing us with this information