Articles about communications


Twilio packages code boilerplate to woo devs

Cloud communications service Twilio believes software development doesn't have to play out like Groundhog Day, a film in which a man relives the same day over and over. For developers, that sense of déjà vu is a common experience. In an interview with The Register on Tuesday, Pat Malatack, VP and general manager of messaging …
Thomas Claburn, 24 May 2017
Twisted light image - University of Rochester

Boffins shrink light-twister to silicon scale, multiply bandwidth 10x

We've known for some time that the orbital angular momentum (OAM) of light (colloquially known as “twisted light”) can be modulated to carry information, but until now, it's only been demonstrated on large-scale laboratory lasers. That's changed with work from the State University of New York at Buffalo and the Polytechnic …
Generic OAM

Boffins build laser that can twist its own light

The world has known that information can be encoded on “twisted light” for some time, but only with complex equipment. Now, boffins from South Africa have demonstrated a laser that can add the twist at its output. The Register will resist the temptation to call this some kind of game-changer, but it's a useful development, …

Baikonur hosts satellite laser comms node launch

The first orbiting component of the European Data Relay System (EDRS) is due to blast off at 22:20 GMT tonight from Baikonur Cosmodrome atop a Russian Proton rocket. Also dubbed the "SpaceDataHighway", EDRS is described as the "the most sophisticated laser communication network ever designed", which when fully operational will …
Lester Haines, 29 Jan 2016

Europe's satellite laser comms system set to shine

The European Space Agency (ESA) and Airbus Defence and Space are poised to launch the first orbiting component of the European Data Relay System (EDRS), aka the "SpaceDataHighway", described as "the most sophisticated laser communication network ever designed". On 27 January, the EDRS-A node will lift off from Baikonur …
Lester Haines, 20 Jan 2016

Boffins could tune telescopes to listen to lasers on Mars

Months after its July fly-by, New Horizons is still squeezing its images down pipe measured in bits-per-second – and that's a problem space boffins would like to solve in the future. As we know from NASA's successful LADEE test, lasers are a viable and truly broadband space comms medium – but firing a laser from (say) Mars and …
Microsoft's telepresence teaser

Microsoft points at Skype, Lync: You two, in my office – right now

Microsoft has confirmed it will roll out Skype for Business – the service formerly known as Microsoft Lync – across its subscription-based Office 365 cloud this month. "Skype for Business Online is now rolling out to Office 365 customers worldwide, and we expect the roll out to be complete by the end of May," said the Skype …
Iain Thomson, 15 Apr 2015

El Reg lays claws on RockBLOCK Mk2 Iridium sat comms unit

Heads up Our chums at Rock Seven – supplier of Iridium satellite comms units to our audacious spaceplane ballocket mission – have announced the release of the RockBLOCK Mk2. The RockBLOCK MK2 In common with its predecessor, the new kit can "send messages of 340 bytes and receive messages of 270 bytes using Iridium Short Burst Data ( …
Lester Haines, 31 Mar 2015
Williams Mercedes FW37

BT inks deal with Williams F1 for go-faster cloudy goodness

The Williams Formula 1 racing team has sealed a cloud services deal with one-time state telco monopoly BT. This will give the racing team fixed and mobile comms in what they have called a “a multi-year strategic technology partnership”. The deal means BT gets its logos on the headrests of this year's Williams Mercedes FW37 car …
Simon Rockman, 11 Mar 2015

Kim Dotcom vows to KILL SKYPE with encrypted MegaChat

Megaupload maestro Kim Dotcom says he will soon unveil an encrypted video calling and chat service that he claims will mark "the end of NSA mass surveillance." In a series of tweets, Dotcom said the service, to be called MegaChat, will also doom Skype, the current king of online calling, which is thought to have been …
Neil McAllister, 30 Dec 2014

GIANT sunspot returns, bigger and belchier than ever before

Sunspot AR12192, which thrilled astronomers and caused a little concern among technologists in October with its size and an X-class flare, is about to come back into view of Earth, bigger than ever. The sunspot has spent some time on the far side of the Sun, but that hasn't stopped scientists from analysing its activity and …
Angry woman on mobile

Marriott fined $600k for deliberate JAMMING of guests' Wi-Fi hotspots

The Marriott has been fined $600,000 by the FCC for paralyzing guests' personal Wi-Fi hotspots, forcing them to use the hotel giant's expensive network instead. The US watchdog today said the Marriott Gaylord Opryland in Nashville, Tennessee, used monitoring equipment to illegally boot hotel and convention center guests off …
Shaun Nichols, 3 Oct 2014
Windsurfer mid-flight (3CX logo in sail)

3CX WebMeeting reviewed: Youthful, but full of promise

3CX has released its newest WebMeeting videoconferencing solution. As I still had the virtual machines from my testing of its software PBX rattling around my lab, trying this latest offering seemed like a good plan. After some fits and starts it tested out well, better than I had expect from a 1.0 product. Unified …
Trevor Pott, 25 Jun 2014
SuperTim's bacon bounty sarnie

Pricey buys bring home bacon for Alternative Networks...sort of

Hauling in a heavy duty sales director and forking out millions for acquisitions has finally got the revenue dial moving in the right direction for AIM-listed Alternative Networks. It's not done the same for profits, though. The top line had stagnated and operating profits dipped in the previous fiscal year, so the comms- …
Paul Kunert, 5 Jun 2014
Citizen Smith

FAT PIPE for ALL: Britain’s new tech firms take it from the telcos

Something for the Weekend, Sir? Reeling under the influence of half a bottle of wine and six tots of exclusive Scotch, I’m introduced to a young woman who produces award-winning reality TV programmes involving the over-elaborate and inconceivably incompetent preparation of food by members of the public alongside celebrity chefs who one assumes must no longer …
Alistair Dabbs, 22 Nov 2013
ABL doing its bit in the Missile Defence Agency's vision of tomorrow

Boffins use lasers to detect radio waves

The universe is a noisy place, if you're a radio signal: travelling through space, there's everything from the cosmic background radiation to the screaming noise of stars and galaxies; travelling through copper wires, there's the random noise that makes weak signals hard to detect. Researchers from the University of Copenhagen …

OECD: Don't bank on wireless for comms futures

The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) has published its bi-ennial Communications Outlook and suggested the communications industry – and governments that regulate it – still have plenty of work to do in order to secure growth and serve customers. China, India and Russia are absent from the OECD's 34 …
Simon Sharwood, 18 Jul 2013

NASA sends Mona Lisa into space by LASER

NASA has fired a greyscale image of the Mona Lisa to its Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter, as part of an experiment using optics instead of radio for deep-space communications. Any space-watcher knows the frustration at the delays imposed by skinny radio channels in anything involving a deep-space mission. NASA is intensely …

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