Technical University of Denmark (DTU) researchers achieve 43Tbps using a single laser
Between 2009 and 2011, the Technical University of Denmark (DTU) was on a record-breaking binge. It all began with DTU breaking the 1Tbps (terabits per second) fiber-optic data transmission barrier using a single laser in March 2009, only for researchers at the Danish institute to outdo themselves over the next two years with yet more impressive efforts of 5.1Tbps and 9.5Tbps, respectively. Their dominance ended in 2011, though, when Germany’s Karlsruhe Institute of Technology took the record away from them.
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You’ve bought the game, you’ve mastered the basics – or failed horribly – and you’re ready to show off your exploits to the rest of the gaming world. That, or you’ve officially thrown in the towel on your Starcraft II career and are ready to become a broadcaster instead of a Baneling rusher. As Bronze Leaguers ourselves, we understand; multiplayer isn’t for everyone. Sometimes it can be more fun to watch than participate, especially if you catch a fellow Starcraft enthusiast throwing down the fabled Protoss Mothership as a last-ditch effort to snatch victory from the jaws of defeat.
Think your USB 3.0 or Thunderbolt port delivers blazing fast transfer rates? You must not be a high-energy physicist. While the rest of the world was patiently waiting for Intel to drag Thunderbolt ports from Macs to PCs, a group of the aforementioned scientists and network engineers decided to get a little more proactive and develop a technology that transfers two-way data at a rate of 186 friggin’ Gbps per second – a new world record that makes the 10 Gbps offered by Thunderbolt absolutely sluggish.
Haters been hating on Google+. Sure, maybe it's just the Goog's attempt to draw advertisee eyeballs from Facebook, and okay, the invite system kinda sucks, and yeah, sometimes it feels like you're talking to yourself in a big, empty room. Those are all perfectly valid complaints. But G+ brings a lot of new things to the table, and despite the naysayers, an unprecedented number of people have been lining up to give the service a whirl. We're only one month in to the Google+ experience and 25 million visitors have already tested the waters.
Still wondering if there is any money to be made on the Internet? Well according to NPR the U.S. online advertising hit a record $26 billion in 2010. The meteoric rise has been mostly attributed to online video and social media, an area which is expected to continue growing considerably in 2011. According to PricewaterhouseCoopers, the year-over-year growth in 2009 was close to 15 percent, a considerable spike over the previous record of 23.4 billion which was hit in 2008.
How lucky is Nicholas Sze, a researcher who works for Yahoo? The dude just calculated the 2,000,000,000,000,000th digit of Pi (and then some), and will never again have to worry about coming up with a pick-up line to land the ladies. Well, that's assuming the girl he's hitting on has a serious hankering for math.
In case you're keeping track, not only did Sze break the previous record, he utterly destroyed it by more than doubling the calculation. Using Yahoo's Hadoop cloud computing technology, it took Sze 23 days on 1,000 of Yahoo's computers to set the new record. That much computing power is equivalent to over 500 years of a single computer's capability.
Sze's calculation made use of a method called MapReduce. What this Google-developed method entails is dividing up big problems into smaller sub-problems and then combining the answer to solve intractable mathematical equations.
"Interestingly, by some algebraic manipulations, [our] formula can compute Pi with some bits skipped; in other words, it allows computing specific bits of Pi," Sze explains.
Imagine it. Here’s a diamond stylus racing through a vinyl groove, somehow turning all those little bumps and ridges into beautiful, stunning music.
First, consider the vinyl. If the vinyl is virgin—never used before, not recycled—it’s a pure surface. If it is recycled, it will have impurities, little lumps of dirt and dust and maybe some bits of shredded label too, and that will show up as a granular surface in the groove which will slightly degrade the overall quality of the sound.
Now think about the stylus, a precisely shaped triangle of diamond mounted on a precision cantilever made of aluminum, boron, ruby, diamond, beryllium, or even carbon fiber for stiffness—each with its own physical characteristics that will influence the quality of the sound.
I’ll say it again. There is genuine magic in a vinyl record.
The grooves pressed into the vinyl are direct analogs of the sound waves that struck the microphone. Because they’r analogs, the physical medium becomes part of the process of sonic reconstruction. Every single factor in the signal chain—the physical characteristics of the stylus, the cantilever, the coils, the magnets, the tonearm, the turntable motor, the connecting wires, the preamplifier components, the equalization curve—everything affects the signal quality. Every single component votes on the overall sound.
That decades of engineering brilliance have made it possible for such stunning sound to come out of such an obstinate signal path is the triumph of passionate will power over the inordinate obstinacy of the physical universe. During the seventies and eighties, I invested a small fortune into high-end stereo gear and a much larger fortune into an admirable collection of rock and classical and electronic music.
Playing a vinyl record is an act of devotion for an audiophile. You handle it lovingly, you use a special blower to bow excess dust off it, you give it a wipe with a clean micro-fiber cloth or maybe you run it through an expensive record-cleaning machine, you install a special brush on the end of the tonearm to remove errant dust from the grooves before the stylus gets there, you lower a dust cover over the whole affair so that dust doesn’t land on the record while it’s playing. And you make sure you have the whole thing sonically isolated on so that even an errant foostep won’t be felt by the stylus and produce an audible thump in the music.
IBM isn't the only one setting records this week. Quanta Computer, the biggest contract laptop maker in the galaxy, set the record for both shipments and revenue in June, Infoworld.com reports.
"We expect July to slow down a little bit from June, but [shipments] should come back in August," a Quanta representative said.
What makes these record highs even more impressive is the ongoing bond crisis in Europe, which has negatively affected demand in the tech sector. Even still, Quanta managed to ship 4.8 million laptops in June and take in NT$100.2 billion (US$3.12 billion) in revenue, the company said. The record before then was 4.5 million units and NT$97.0 billion (US$3.02 billion).