* Posts by Kernel

134 posts • joined 13 Nov 2011

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Scottish MP calls for drone-busting eagles

Kernel

Re: Genetic modifications?

Give us a couple of years and enough research funding and we can probably start supplying some of these:

http://www.nzbirdsonline.org.nz/species/haasts-eagle

- although how you stop them taking out passing 747s in addition to stray drones I don't know.

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TalkTalk CuffCuffs 'ScamScam CrimCrims'

Kernel

Re: @ HmmmYes Is that where the tech support scammers got my number from?

"Only problem is if they aren't holding any call data how the F*&k do they do any billing at all? (Yes,its a big fat lie)"

Unless BT do it differently to everyone else, what they sell is blocks of terminating minutes to overseas telcos, not individual calls into the UK, so they don't necessarily know what the originating number was, just which overseas telco they got it from. Note: this is different to routing a local number to an overseas support centre, where you do send the calling number.

There's actually an on-line market where telcos can log in and buy or sell terminating minutes, which are normally at an agreed price for a certain amount of calls on a particular time and date. The fortuitous purchase of a good cheap block is why you sometimes see weekend calling specials eg., from NZ to the UK and Ireland, $5 for up to 4 hours.

Some telcos, if they have a lot of regular traffic to a particular destination, will register as a provider in the country of destination and set up a "point-of-presence" in that country - if you have the traffic volume it's cheaper to do that and hand off your traffic at in-country termination rates than to buy international termination minutes.

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Map of Tasmania to be shorn of electrical, data links to outside world

Kernel

Re: Aussie slang

"You guys do know what "map of Tasmania" is Aussie slang for, doncha?"

I'd hazard a guess that it's much the same thing as 'map of Australia" is in Kiwi slang.

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Lincolnshire council shuts down all IT after alleged 0-day breach

Kernel

Why?

Ok, admittedly I live in a country far, far away from the UK, but I'm struggling to think of why a local council would have access to anyone's medical records.

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Virginia man charged in intriguing 'suspicious bacon' case

Kernel

Re: Bacon

"A product founded on animal abuse, performed for the pursuit of human pleasure"

Yep, that's the tasty stuff we're talking about.

Good to see you're paying attention.

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Data centers dig in as monster storm strikes America's East Coast

Kernel

Re: Uh ...

"he question is, do you ensure the H2O is drained out of the bottom?"

Why would you do this - in all the installations I've seen (and that's quite a few over 40 years in the telco business) the fuel is lifted from the bulk tank to a ready tank - sometimes referred to as the day tank - and then passes through a number of water separators immediately before being allowed anywhere near an injector pump. The water separators are typically mounted beside or on the engine itself. You never, ever, assume there is no water any diesel tank.

If you're silly enough to operate a diesel - any diesel, big or small - without any form of water separator then you deserve to have it grind to an expensive halt.

You'd know all this if you'd ever owned a diesel car, or indeed ever operated any diesel at all, from a little single cylinder portable up to the largest ship's engine..

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Hey Mac users, want to be unpaid guinea pigs for Microsoft? Sure you do

Kernel

Or else!

"Office 2016 for Mac users with Office 365 consumer subscriptions will be able to opt in and receive automatic updates of the test builds of Office."

But if not enough of you do so then we'll take steps to ensure it does happen - ah, what the hell, we'll probably do that anyway in a couple of weeks.

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Boffins: There's a ninth planet out there – now we just need to find it

Kernel

Re: If Pluto is taken.

"Or, continuing the sci-fi theme, why not 'Ix'?"

Works for me - I might just catch the next Heighliner heading that way and take a quick look at it.

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Waving Microsoft's Windows 10 stick won't help Intel's Gen 6 core

Kernel

Re: Let me get this straight...?

"Windows 10 has nothing to do with it, this has been available for years in software (Kubuntu 8.10, no idea about Windows)"

Even older than that - I had an app for this on my Palm PDA many years ago. I removed it in the end because of all the practical day-to-day issues you will all think of eg., don't always have the phone on me, etc.

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Viglen staff mark CEO Tkachuk's passing with a royal tribute

Kernel

Re: Umm. news?

So, if all toilets are identical and individual, exactly why are they marked Mens and Ladies?

Seems a very old-fashioned approach. Our office has two identical toilets, but they are both labelled for both genders.

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Test burn on recycled SpaceX rocket shows almost all systems are go

Kernel

They've got to be getting outside help with this.....

"the good ship 'Just read the Instructions' will be heading out to sea"

The name of the landing platform is a dead giveaway.

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Engineer's bosses gave him printout of his Yahoo IMs. Euro court says it's OK

Kernel

Re: Separate work from private life!

" off the record warnings to several staff that browsing porn and using the internal email system to share what many would call offensive imagery was a bad move. "

Yes, well here in NZ that would count as no warning at all - if you dismissed someone because they carried on doing whatever you objected to it would be you that ended up on the wrong side of the ensuing dispute.

An 'off the record' warning does not cut much ice with the employment tribunals here and you would end up being fined for unjustified dismissal, lost wages and emotional hurt because you didn't follow proper procedure - you could even be directed to take the person back into your employ.

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NASA photos: Dawn's December deep-dive haul arrives on Earth

Kernel

Hmmmm

Is that really Dantu crater - or the ancient remains of a city built at the junction of a couple of major rivers?

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Windows 10 makes big gains at home, lags at work

Kernel

Actually

Win 10 has turned out nowhere near as bad as I had been lead to believe by all the comments I've seen in various places.

Knowing that in due course SWMBO would insist I updated her laptop I decided to upgrade mine (dual boot Win 8.1 Pro and Mint Cinnamon) over Xmas and see how it all went.

I made images using Clonezilla at each key point in the process (including the fully patched and up-to-date Win 8.1 and Mint installs, before even starting), expecting from what I'd read to have to at the very least go to some trouble to get the dual boot working again - and that's assuming Win 10 hadn't gratuitously destroyed Mint while installing itself.

Win 10 was eventually installed and behold! - the dual boot was totally unaffected. Next step, install various means of killing Cortana, Bing and telemetry - and make another disk image.

After some updates, including "important' security updates, check everything; no, none of the settings I had made have been changed and CBS (Cortana, Bing and Slurp) are still all firmly disabled. The next step - activate Bitlocker. Part way through this I realized it was going to take forever to finish because I'd set encryption for the full Windows partition, so I powered down the machine and restored from the previous disk image - once again, all fine and as I'd left it, including the dual boot.

Second attempt at Bitlocker - sectors in use only this time. Much quicker, but after a couple of days I decided I didn't want encryption at the moment, so once again load the Win 10 + Mint image - still no problems.

So far the only complaint I've got with Win 10 is that it doesn't tell me when it's updating - but I can easily kill the auto updates anyway by disabling an extension in Chrome that allows it to intercept search requests headed for Bing - for with Bing blocked and nothing else intercepting and acting on search requests directed at it, Win 10 doesn't seem to be able to determine if there are any updates available - in fact, it reports that it is unable to contact the update server.

At this stage Win 10 will be staying on my laptop, along side Mint - although just in case I've got images going back to Win 7, which is what the machine originally came with - a large beer for the person who invented the high capacity USB 3 portable hard drive.

Now, if only I could get Mint to work with Sky TV!

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Boffins switch on pinchfist incandescent bulb

Kernel

Re: TCO?

"My kitchen is now lit entirely by 7.5W (50W equivalent) 480 lumen GU10 LEDs fitted with diffusers, replacing 50W 900 lumen halogens. "

So is mine now - after one of the (originally) 12 halogen decided to fail by blowing a shard of hard and sharp plastic out of the front lens.

Halogen GU10s are now banned from our house as being too dangerous to have around a food prep area.

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Live-streaming paper plane drone takes to the skies

Kernel

Re: Legal loophole?

Yes, if it weighs less than the weight at which the law says it has to be registered then it doesn't have to be registered.

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Activist investors want tepid Yahoo! to reboot crashed Marissa Mayer

Kernel

Re: Typical vulture* capitalists...

It's not that those of us that choose to invest some of our hard-earned in companies think we're the only ones that should get paid, but more that we think we are entitled to a good return on our money - otherwise why take the risk of investing in a company at all?

Do I need to point out what happens to those same employees if no-one invests - I thought not.

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GCHQ mass spying will 'cost lives in Britain,' warns ex-NSA tech chief

Kernel

Re: The man is absolutely right!

"Burn all the hay, sweep the ash with a giant magnet. Not sure what that analogy translates to in the real world."

I am not a metallurgist, but I suspect that a needle is one of those tools that once exposed to a haystack sized fire is no longer particularly fit for purpose.

A bit like the current level of spook agency performance with regard to terror attacks really, so it is quite an appropriate analogy in this case.

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Dutch govt says no to backdoors, slides $540k into OpenSSL without breaking eye contact

Kernel

"Cue all the comments suggesting that the Dutch government might have a different view once they suffer a major terror attack of their own."

I seem to remember from pre-internet days that the Netherlands is quite familiar with the process of hosting terror attacks - some of their ex-colonies used to be a source of more than a little grief.

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Brit cuffed for Kyrgyz 'horse penis' sausage quip

Kernel

Dire punishment

My son once made a similar comment about "horse's willies" when he was conscripted to operate a BBQ for his mother's horsey group - I understand that in his case the punishment was a total ban on any form of interaction with said horsey set for the rest of his life.

It is also my understanding that he was heart-broken about this and required professional counseling to recover from the disappointment.

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Oracle ordered to admit on its website that it lost the plot on Java security

Kernel

It should be obvious, really

"Why would you have multiple versions on one machine?"

Because the people writing Java updates have never heard of backwards compatibility, that's why!

I've had more than one case where a Java update has killed an otherwise working system.

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Skilled workers, not cost, lured Apple to China says Tim Cook

Kernel

Re: Utter horsefeathers

"However, that doesn't go down well at home; so of course, the CEO has to maintain this fiction of "better workers" elsewhere, to keep the shareholders happy."

You're missing something quite important here - most shareholders, US and others, generally don't care too much how a company goes about its business, so long as they get a good return for investing their hard-earned in Apple (or anyone else's) shares - and once they're no longer happy real live people can lose their jobs - ask someone who works at Toshiba..

Apple's board, along with that of any other publicly owned company, have a legal duty to maximize returns to shareholders, not propping up the US (or any other) economy on the larger scale - it is you, the consumer, that holds the accountability for doing that ie., next time you want consumer electronics, buy locally made, regardless of quality, price or features. If you can't find such an item, then go without and jump up and down until someone does start making what you want locally.

It is not big business that has driven off-shoring and out-sourcing - it's end consumers who demand the latest shiny-shiny with more features and a lower price than last month's model, combined with investors who want ever bigger returns on their money - and very often they're the same person.

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Volkswagen blames emissions cheating on 'chain of errors'

Kernel

We reserve the right

to change the specifications at any time without notification.

There - job done.

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Australia's smut-shocked senators seek net censorship (again)

Kernel

Re: Citations

"I know that many men in IT regard p0rn as a sacred right "

No, you're wrong there - what many people (not just men) in IT and else where regard as a near to scared right is access to the internet without censorship of information that some politician happens to disagree with/is embarrassed by.

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Brits leave 138,000 gadgets in the pub

Kernel

". My wife, in contrast, just doesn't lose things. It's clearly an issue of a defective personality."

I'm not sure it's a defective personality so much as a male/female thing - many years of eating my lunch in the park on sunny days has lead me to observe that most women, when leaving a park bench (or any other place they've been sitting) will take a few steps and then turn around to have a good look at where they've just left, presumably to check they've left nothing behind.

Men, on the other hand, mostly seem to 'grab and go' and don't pause to do a quick scan of the recently vacated spot from a short distance, thus tending to miss whatever it is that they failed to pick up.

I don't know why there's a difference in behavior - it would seem to be of equal benefit to both species - maybe it's part of living with handbags.

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Putin's Russia outlaws ECHR judgments after mass surveillance case

Kernel

""If Russians want us to regard them as civilized people why don't they speak the language of civilized world?" - William Somerset Maugham."

I believe that is in violation of Article 29, Paragraph 2, as quoted above - please report for punishment.

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Cyber-terror: How real is the threat? Squirrels are more of a danger

Kernel

What's the money to be spent on?

"I'd like to know exactly what the government plans to spend this money on."

It should be obvious what the money is to be spent on - they have to buy a whole stack of those extra wide keyboards that two people can frantically bash away on at once in order to crack the $evil_person's password - and those keyboards don't come cheap!

You obviously haven't been watching your quota of CSI or NCIS episodes and are therefor a dangerously independent thinker with little knowledge of how to investigate a computing problem - you are hereby sentenced to watch every episode of CSI Cyber - repeatedly - until such time as you know how 'real' cyber-sleuthing is done.

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Fingers crossed tomorrow morning for Telecity's third repair shot

Kernel

RE: Have they tried

Living at the other end of the world I haven't been following the saga in detail, but I get the impression they've got the turning it off bit sorted - it's the next stage they need to work on now.

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Boffins' twisted enlightenment embiggens fibre

Kernel

Re:Immediate use?

"If you amplify, you amplify everything. That means that given enough distance and amplification stages you end up recieving a signal at a perfect level but with no discernible information - the SNR will deteriorate inexorably."

Yes, but with current technology "enough distance" tends to be in the region of 3000km or more - and that's for kit you can buy off the shelf, not lab concepts. You only put regenerators (not repeaters) where you have to and where you can get at them easily - if an in-line amplifier will do the job, that's what you use, especially if it's going to be under the sea. Amplifiers, as noted, amplify everything and are therefore protocol and bit rate agnostic, so increasing the capacity of a fibre cable (submarine or terrestrial) just requires changes in terminal equipment - if any regnerators are involved, you don't want them to be under several km of water!

The limitation for this new technology is the short range, the very low capacity demonstrated so far and the need for laying multimode fibre to replace the millions of km of single mode already in place.

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Ireland moves to scrap 1 and 2 cent coins

Kernel

That explains it

"Sweden was doing that in 1978. The total was rounded appropriately to the nearest 5 ore. In a year I never saw a bronze coin."

In NZ the smallest coin is the 10 cent, although prices are still shown with random numbers of cents at the end - if paying by card you pay the exact price, if paying by cash it's rounded up or down using "Swedish Rounding". I've often wondered why it is called that.

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Man goes to collect stolen-car court docs found in stolen car in stolen car

Kernel

Re: "a Nissan Infiniti"

""Infiniti" is supposed to be a high-end 'Mark' / 'Badge' brand identity, and Datsun Nissan would prefer that it not be prefaced with their low-rent econobox corporate identity."

If you're going to get all technical with this sort of thing, the word you're looking for is 'Marque', not 'Mark'.

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Playmobil cops broadside for 'racist' pirate slave

Kernel

It would be more to the point

if the lady put her efforts into fighting modern slavery.

I read a National Geographic article a few years ago that covered a world wide survey on the level of slavery - the conclusion was that by far the biggest slave-holding is still in the southern part of the US, where illegal migrant workers get a very raw deal - and investigating law enforcement agencies seem to regularly raid the wrong farm, or forget to file some crucial piece of paper, ensuring the evidence gathered is inadmissible in court.

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Watch out VW – French prosecutors are pulling on the rubber gloves

Kernel

Re: Farfegnsmogen

I wouldn't be waiting that long - if I owned a VW of any model or age I'd be getting shot of it right now - because the way countries are jumping on the punishment bandwagon you'll be very soon the proud owner of a car with no manufacturer support.

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Telstra iPhone customers RISE UP as download speeds collapse

Kernel

They mightn't be saying

but it's likely the segment between Perth and the branching unit out from Jakarta - if it was from Jakarta to Tuas I'd expect more than just Telstra customers screaming.

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Ex-BT boffin Cochrane blasts telco's 'wholly inadequate' broadband vision

Kernel

The real problem

The real problem (and bar to major investment in fibre) is quite simple - why would any company spend millions, if not billions, of $currency burying glass, just so their competitors can immediately go whining to the local regulator demanding access to it at some randomly determined cost?

If you want serious investment in fibre-to-the-hovel then the investment has to be protected to the extent of being profitable for the investor rather than made available to competitors at an uneconomic price - alternatively it has to be a government funded investment with equal access at the same price to all providers.

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3D printer blueprints for TSA luggage-unlocking master keys leak online

Kernel

On the plus side

It now gives you a perfectly plausible explanation for those 2 or 3 kgs of heroin that were found in your case - literally anyone could have opened the bag with a key they copied off the internet and inserted the offending article.

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Amazon, GoDaddy get sueball for hosting Ashley Madison data

Kernel

Comments still enabled?

Shouldn't comments be locked for this story too, as they are for the Doug Richard story?

After all, no verdict yet in this case either, and in the interests of journalistic integrity and consistency etc., etc.

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Ex top judge admits he's incapable of reading email, doesn't own a PC

Kernel

But don't try that story in his court

What's the chances that he'd reject such an explanation as totally unbelievable had anyone tried it when he was sitting on the bench.

You made a cock-up sunshine, now at least be man enough to admit it.

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James Woods demands $10m from Twitter troll for 'coke addict' claim

Kernel

Re: He should be ashamed

You do realize that starring in a movie is just a short-term contract job, not a lifetime commitment to actually be whatever character you've been paid to portray on screen for 2 to 3 hours?

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Boffins get the inside dope, craft white laser

Kernel

RE: Sounds like a functionally graded material at the nanoscale.

"Potentially very clever as a way of getting more bandwidth up a fibre."

Not really - multiple wavelengths in a single fibre (using tuneable lasers) is ancient history now days.

The trick is not in getting the multiple wavelengths into a single fibre - that's comparatively simple simple and can be done with passive devices - the real trick is the electronics needed to encode and modulate the lasers then decode and error correct at the far end.

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Oh, Obama's responded to the petition to pardon Snowden. What'll it be?

Kernel

But here's the problem

"We continue to face grave security threats like terrorism, cyber-attacks, and nuclear proliferation that our intelligence community must have all the lawful tools it needs to address," Monaco offered."

Yes, but the issue is that they don't confine themselves to "the lawful tools", do they.

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Blessed are the cheesemakers, for they have defined the smidge

Kernel

Re: Smidgeon as a unit of length

A Gnat's Cock doesn't qualify as precision engineering - it only truly qualifies as precision when working to tolerances of 1/2 and 1/4 Gnat's Cocks.

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Alca-Lu clocks 300 Gbps over 10,000 km submarine cable

Kernel

Re: Fibers are very thin, undersea cables are thick

Six or eight fibres in a long distance cable would be a typical number.

The problem with spatially distributing amplifiers to work "dozens" of fibres is that you would end up with a very lumpy, expensive and hard to handle (both lay and repair) cable - I seem to remember being told 60km as typical amplifier spacing, so if you distribute amplifiers along this spacing to accommodate dozens of fibres you would not have much of a gap between amp enclosures.

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Kernel

Re: 300 Gbps ... That's 18,750 grumble flicks

You're not wrong - you don't know what vapourware is.

The 300Gbps is for a single wavelength (lamda) - the exact number of lamda you can run on a single fibre pair depends on distance, number of amplifiers and quality of fibre, but the ITU 50Ghz grid allows for up to 96 lamda/fibre pair within the flat(ish) gain pass band of an EDFA.

ALu are (by your own calculation) only talking about using 50 of these, so they more or less have 100Ghz bandwidth to play with for each 300Gbps lamda on each fibre pair.

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Boffins set networking record with marathon 12,000 km fiber data run

Kernel

Re: So....how was it really tested?

How have they cheated - the standard supply voltage to an in-line amplifier (ILA) is 50 volts, the only reason high voltage is used in submarine cables is because the ILAs are connected in series on the power conductor.

Our office lab has quite a few spools of fibre mounted up in the ceiling space, a mixture of 50, 100 and 200km spools - they are not very big, about 2/3rds the size of a box of cat5. The size difference between a production cable can be handled, laid on the ocean floor up to 10km down, left there to work for 20 years or more, and a spool of fibre designed to be installed in a lab is, strangely enough, hugely different. The naked fibre wound on to a lab spool is thin, so thin it can be hard to see when looking at a single strand. You could, literally, fit millions of km of naked fibre into a single cable tank on a ship.

Building up a set of spools to 12,000km is going to cost a bit, will weigh a lot and will take up a good sized corner of your office, but if you have the budget it's a trivial thing to do. How the DC power gets to any ILAs is irrelevant - you design the production cable insulation to meet the power feed voltage needed for the span at 50 volts/ILA, but that has nothing to do with its optical characteristics.

It's normal practice when testing a system in the factory to rack up the ILAs and terminals side by side and interconnect them with spools connected in series to provide however many km of fibre each span is designed for - no cheating and a lot more convenient than having a factory hundreds of km long and spending half the day driving between racks. (I've spent more than enough time driving up and down a system, taking two weeks to resolve a supervisory channel problem that could have been sorted in the factory in a day or so with everything side by side).

THEREFORE - based on many years of working with long haul high capacity fibre systems and quite a few years of working for a manufacturer of both terrestrial and submarine systems (including time at the factory observing pre-delivery tests on behalf of a customer), I'm going to call no BS on this one.

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Kernel

Re: I thought that was already solved...

No, the non-linear effects still occur - either that or my customers are wasting money installing Raman pumps to improve the signal to noise ratio on some of their longer fibre spans.

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Kernel

Re: I thought that was already solved...

What you're referring to is Chromatic Disperation due to the fact that different wavelengths of light travel a slightly different speeds and yes, the effect can be compensated for by spools of negative dispersion fibre or, if using coherent modulation techniques, ignored completely.

But CD is a linear effect, it occurs regardless of what power level is launched into the fibre. The Kerr effect, along with other effects such as Raman Scattering, Stimulated Brillouin Scattering, Phase Mixing, and probably a number of other effects, are what are referred to as non-linear effects and become worse as the launch power increases - you can even get a situation where the optical power can loosen the bonds between the glass molecules and allow acoustic noise (eg., the vibrations from passing traffic) to be coupled into the optical signal.

The Kerr effect is just one of a number of non-linear effects that need to be overcome.

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Is that a FAT PIPE or are you just pleased to stream me? TERABIT fibre tested

Kernel

Not that advanced

"Proximus/Huawei's transmission speed was conducted over a 1,040km fiber link using an advanced "Flexgrid" infrastructure with Huawei's Optical Switch Node OSN 9800 platform."

There's nothing new about Flexgrid - it's an ITU standard and some of ALu's, and probably other vendors, optical products already support it.

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Belgian telco prepares to tear out last of nation's phone boxes

Kernel

Re: I am upset

"There is a clear opportunity to turn these into WiFi hotspots. Remove the phone, just have a mast and you'll provide the current generation of users with what they actually want"

Been there, done that! - there's been WiFi hotspots on many phone boxes in New Zealand for at least a couple of years now - and you get 1GB/day for free if you're with the carrier that owns the phone boxes.

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