Patrick Nelson

Author Archives: Patrick Nelson

Microsoft launches undersea, free-cooling data center

A free supply of already-cooled deep-sea water is among the benefits to locating pre-packaged data centers underwater, believes Microsoft, which recently announced the successful launch of a submarine-like data center off the coast of the Orkney Islands in Scotland.The shipping-container-sized, self-contained server room, called Project Natick, submerged earlier this month on a rock shelf 117 feet below the water’s surface also has the benefit of potentially taking advantage of bargain-basement real estate near population centers — there’s no rent in open sea.“Project Natick is an out-of-the-box idea to accommodate exponential growth in demand for cloud computing infrastructure near population centers,” John Roach writes on Microsoft’s website.To read this article in full, please click here

Microsoft launches undersea, free-cooling data center

A free supply of already-cooled deep-sea water is among the benefits to locating pre-packaged data centers underwater, believes Microsoft, which recently announced the successful launch of a submarine-like data center off the coast of the Orkney Islands in Scotland.The shipping-container-sized, self-contained server room, called Project Natick, submerged earlier this month on a rock shelf 117 feet below the water’s surface also has the benefit of potentially taking advantage of bargain-basement real estate near population centers — there’s no rent in open sea.“Project Natick is an out-of-the-box idea to accommodate exponential growth in demand for cloud computing infrastructure near population centers,” John Roach writes on Microsoft’s website.To read this article in full, please click here

Microsoft launches undersea, free-cooling data center

A free supply of already-cooled deep-sea water is among the benefits to locating pre-packaged data centers underwater, believes Microsoft, which recently announced the successful launch of a submarine-like data center off the coast of the Orkney Islands in Scotland.The shipping-container-sized, self-contained server room, called Project Natick, submerged earlier this month on a rock shelf 117 feet below the water’s surface also has the benefit of potentially taking advantage of bargain-basement real estate near population centers — there’s no rent in open sea.“Project Natick is an out-of-the-box idea to accommodate exponential growth in demand for cloud computing infrastructure near population centers,” John Roach writes on Microsoft’s website.To read this article in full, please click here

Data freshness, not speed, most important for IoT

The age of sensor data is more important than how fast it takes that information to travel around Internet- and Location-of-Things environments, say some experts. Scientists are, in fact, rethinking the network because of it.“It’s not enough to transmit data quickly. That data also needs to be fresh,” says MIT in a news release.The university has been working on better ways to ensure that sensors, which distribute readings for analysis, provide the most salient stuff. It’s not easy because you can’t just send everything at the same time (an obvious solution) — there isn't enough bandwidth.To read this article in full, please click here

For IoT, alternative location services are better than GPS

Traditional location positioning such as GPS isn’t going to be suitable for a Location of Things world filled with Internet of Things (IoT) sensors, say experts. The centralized, anchor-like system we use now, as found in GPS, mobile network cell tower positioning services, and Wi-Fi-based location positioning, is going to be a problem. The usual suspects being bandwidth, excessive power use, and cost.The problem is IoT devices are required to communicate with positioning anchors, whether it be satellites or radio towers. That’s bandwidth-intensive; it can use a significant amount of power to cover the distances, as well as to power the multiple chips needed. The system is also conceivably susceptible to congestion as the numbers of devices increases — projections are for billions and billions of IoT things worldwide, ultimately.To read this article in full, please click here

For IoT, alternative location services are better than GPS

Traditional location positioning such as GPS isn’t going to be suitable for a Location of Things world filled with Internet of Things (IoT) sensors, say experts. The centralized, anchor-like system we use now, as found in GPS, mobile network cell tower positioning services, and Wi-Fi-based location positioning, is going to be a problem. The usual suspects being bandwidth, excessive power use, and cost.The problem is IoT devices are required to communicate with positioning anchors, whether it be satellites or radio towers. That’s bandwidth-intensive; it can use a significant amount of power to cover the distances, as well as to power the multiple chips needed. The system is also conceivably susceptible to congestion as the numbers of devices increases — projections are for billions and billions of IoT things worldwide, ultimately.To read this article in full, please click here

Blockchain, service-centric networking key to IoT success

Connecting and securing the Internet of Things (IoT) should be achieved with a combination of service-centric networking (SCN) along with blockchain, researchers say. `A multi-university, multiple-discipline group led by Zhongxing Ming, a visiting scholar at Princeton University, say IoT’s adoption will face an uphill battle due in part to bottlenecks between potentially billions of devices, along with the mobile nature of much of it.The scientists, who call their IoT architecture Blockcloud, presented their ideas at GENESIS C.A.T., an innovation-in-blockchain technology event recently in Tokyo.To read this article in full, please click here

Magnetic smart fabrics will store data in clothes

High-density data could one day be stored in fabric patches embedded in people’s clothing, say scientists at the University of Washington. Importantly, it wouldn’t require electricity, so the smart-fabric could be washed or ironed just like regular clothing. That could make it more convenient than other forms of memory.Off-the-shelf conductive thread, which the scientists say they recently discovered can be magnetized, is being used in trials. The data is read using a simple magnometer. The conductive thread is used commercially now in gloves for operating touch screens, for example.“You can think of the fabric as a hard disk,” said Shyam Gollakota, associate professor in the Paul G. Allen School of Computer Science & Engineering at the University of Washington, announcing the breakthrough on the school’s website at the end of last year. “You’re actually doing this data storage on the clothes you’re wearing.”To read this article in full, please click here

Solar power costs half what coal costs

New solar installs are contributing the same amount of electricity as building one new coal-fueled power station annually in Australia, according to the head of the Australian Energy Market Operator (AEMO).“We are essentially seeing the [equivalent] of a new power plant being built every season,” AEMO chief Audrey Zibelman told the Sydney Morning Herald.One reason rooftop adoption in Australia is exploding, the paper wrote, is because of government subsidies. However, there’s another financial driver of alternative power globally, which is the full-lifecycle cost of building and operating — it’s now lower.To read this article in full, please click here

Solar power costs half what coal costs

New solar installs are contributing the same amount of electricity as building one new coal-fueled power station annually in Australia, according to the head of the Australian Energy Market Operator (AEMO).“We are essentially seeing the [equivalent] of a new power plant being built every season,” AEMO chief Audrey Zibelman told the Sydney Morning Herald.One reason rooftop adoption in Australia is exploding, the paper wrote, is because of government subsidies. However, there’s another financial driver of alternative power globally, which is the full-lifecycle cost of building and operating — it’s now lower.To read this article in full, please click here

Mobile data usage overtakes Wi-Fi, and CBRS threatens

Wi-Fi use has dropped in the United States. The reason: Consumers are shifting to cellular mobile networks that are providing new, unlimited data bundles. That’s according to mobile network performance analyst OpenSignal.The testing-firm, which publishes an annual Wi-Fi-versus-mobile crowdsourced study, says consumers are taking advantage of unlimited data plans being offered by the major mobile network operators (MNOs) in the U.S. No longer are folks worrying about generating large bills using mobile data for media or having to work around limited, included-data buckets.“Users are likely becoming more confident about consuming data over cellular networks,” writes Peter Boyland in a blog post on OpenSignal’s website.To read this article in full, please click here

To improve network throughput, scrap the ones-and-zeros system

Abandoning a signal’s traditional binary ones and zeroes will improve throughput in fiber, a Dutch PhD researcher says. By increasing the number of bit states from the traditional two — the one and zero — to four or eight, adding more light colors, and changing clock rates for each wavelength, throughput will be significantly increased, he claims.“A higher number of levels implies more information per symbol, so four levels contain two bits of information, and eight levels contain three bits,” says Robbert van der Linden in an article on the Eindhoven University of Technology Department of Electrical Engineering website.To read this article in full, please click here

To improve network throughput, scrap the ones-and-zeros system

Abandoning a signal’s traditional binary ones and zeroes will improve throughput in fiber, a Dutch PhD researcher says. By increasing the number of bit states from the traditional two — the one and zero — to four or eight, adding more light colors, and changing clock rates for each wavelength, throughput will be significantly increased, he claims.“A higher number of levels implies more information per symbol, so four levels contain two bits of information, and eight levels contain three bits,” says Robbert van der Linden in an article on the Eindhoven University of Technology Department of Electrical Engineering website.To read this article in full, please click here

New solar panel creates power from rain, as well as sunlight

With an upcoming data tsunami expected to absorb up to 20 percent of global electricity by 2025, according to some experts, data center energy sources are a hot talking point — the photovoltaic solar panel being one of the hottest and most viable fossil fuel alternatives.However, there’s an obvious problem with the solar panel as electricity source: When sunlight drops off on cloudy or rainy days, so does power output.Chinese scientists, though, think they have a solution, and that’s to develop a generalized hybrid panel that also harnesses the power of rain. It compensates for lack of sun on iffy days and at night.To read this article in full, please click here

New solar panel creates power from rain, as well as sunlight

With an upcoming data tsunami expected to absorb up to 20 percent of global electricity by 2025, according to some experts, data center energy sources are a hot talking point — the photovoltaic solar panel being one of the hottest and most viable fossil fuel alternatives.However, there’s an obvious problem with the solar panel as electricity source: When sunlight drops off on cloudy or rainy days, so does power output.Chinese scientists, though, think they have a solution, and that’s to develop a generalized hybrid panel that also harnesses the power of rain. It compensates for lack of sun on iffy days and at night.To read this article in full, please click here

DNA data storage closer to becoming reality

Hundreds of megabytes of data have been encoded using DNA in the last few years by scientists. But more recently, not only has the media been stored perfectly in the synthetic variant of the genetic instructions that make up all organic life, but archived data files have been individually retrieved with zero errors, too.It appears that Microsoft Research’s target of a DNA storage system actually functioning within a data center by the turn of the decade, as reported by MIT’s Technological Review a year ago, might be becoming increasingly viable.To read this article in full, please click here

Lasers could power computers wirelessly

A thin beam of invisible laser light has been used to safely charge a smartphone across a room. The experiment by researchers at the Univeristy of Washington lends credence to the futuristic idea that one day all computers could operate without any plugs or wires — that’s both for data and power.The revolutionary smartphone-charging laser system, which functions from up to 40 feet away, detects devices through inaudible acoustic chirps, according to its desginers at the university. It then zaps a couple watts of power at them using laser beams. Importantly, it does it safely and is potentially scalable to computers.To read this article in full, please click here

To understand big data, convert it to sound

Humans are far better at identifying data pattern changes audibly than they are graphically in two dimensions, researchers exploring a radical concept say. They think that servers full of big data would be far more understandable if the numbers were all moved off the computer screens or hardcopies and sonified, or converted into sound.That's because when listening to music, nuances, can jump out at you — a bad note, for example. And researchers at Virginia Tech say the same thing may apply with number crunching. Data-set anomaly spotting, or comprehension overall, could be enhanced.Also read: How tech giants are putting big data to work | Sign up: Receive daily Network World news updates The team behind a project to prove this is testing the theory with a recently built 129-loudspeaker array installed in a giant immersive cube in Virginia Tech’s performance space/science lab, the school's Moss Arts Center.To read this article in full, please click here

To understand big data, convert it to sound

Humans are far better at identifying data pattern changes audibly than they are graphically in two dimensions, researchers exploring a radical concept say. They think that servers full of big data would be far more understandable if the numbers were all moved off the computer screens or hardcopies and sonified, or converted into sound.That's because when listening to music, nuances, can jump out at you — a bad note, for example. And researchers at Virginia Tech say the same thing may apply with number crunching. Data-set anomaly spotting, or comprehension overall, could be enhanced.Also read: How tech giants are putting big data to work | Sign up: Receive daily Network World news updates The team behind a project to prove this is testing the theory with a recently built 129-loudspeaker array installed in a giant immersive cube in Virginia Tech’s performance space/science lab, the school's Moss Arts Center.To read this article in full, please click here

Li-Fi gets office-install at Philips lighting

Broadband data-over-light, sent through lighting fixtures commonly seen in commercial buildings, moves a step closer to possible mass adoption through an apparently functioning smart-office installation in Paris.Li-Fi uses light waves for data communications, as opposed to Wi-Fi, which uses microwave radio. Li-Fi has 10,000 times Wi-Fi radio’s RF spectrum, experts say. The pilot installation by Philips is at a French real-estate company’s office.Philips Lighting, the giant lighting-system maker, says it is now offering Li-Fi modems installed within its existing LED luminaires, such as its downlighters. A luminaire is the building-industry term for a complete lighting fixture.To read this article in full, please click here

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