Broadband Comes Wirelessly To The Bush

A major CSIRO breakthrough in wireless technology designed to bring broadband to people living beyond the optical fibre network has been unveiled in Sydney.

The first half of CSIRO’s Ngara technology will enable multiple users to upload information at the same time, without reducing their individual systems’ data transfer rate of 12 Mbps.

“Someone who doesn’t live near the fibre network could get to it using our new wireless system,” CSIRO ICT Centre Director Dr Ian Oppermann said.

“They’d be able to upload a clip to YouTube in real-time and their data rate wouldn’t change even if five of their neighbours also started uploading videos.

“But the really impressive part is the spectral efficiency our team has achieved.”

The radio spectrum is a finite and highly valuable, natural resource.

CSIRO’s spectral efficiency is three times that of the closest comparable technology and the data rate is more than 10 times the industry’s recently declared minimum standard.

Spectral efficiency is about packing as many bits of information as possible into the channel (frequency range) allocated for its transmission. CSIRO’s 12 Mbps, six-user system works in the space of one television channel, which is seven megahertz (MHz) wide.

CSIRO is achieving spectral efficiency of 20 bits per second per Hertz (20 b/s/Hz).

“Even with just half of our system completed, CSIRO is already helping define the future of wireless technology,” Dr Oppermann said.

Wireless Research Director for Gartner, Robin Simpson, said the most promising aspect of CSIRO’s Ngara technology is that it aims to re-use old analog TV channels.

“This means any rural property or business that can currently receive TV signals could in future connect to high-speed internet just by using a new set-top box,” Mr Simpson said.

CSIRO is currently completing the research and testing of the downlink part of the system, which will also run at 12 Mbps per user.

Ngara is a word of the Darug people meaning to listen, hear and think.The Darug people are the traditional owners of the land on which the ICT Centre’s Sydney lab sits. This project is supported by the Science and Industry Endowment Fund.

Nic Svenson @ CSIRO Australia

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Windows XP Bug May Compromise Your PC Using Free Public Wi-Fi

Who doesn’t love the word ‘free’. So when we see the term ‘free public wi-fi’ at the airport, coffee shop or where-ever, who can resist the temptation to connect. But if you are using an older copy of Windows XP, that hasn’t been updated to SP3, you should be aware of this bug that may open your computer for the public to scrutinize. Microsoft is aware of the problem and fixed the problem for those using Windows XP with SP3. But some folks have not updated to the latest service pack.

Here is how the bug works:

When a computer running an older version of XP can’t find any of its “favorite” wireless networks, it will automatically create an ad hoc network with the same name as the last one it connected to -– in this case, “Free Public WiFi.” Other computers within range of that new ad hoc network can see it, luring other users to connect. And who can resist the word “free?”

Not a lot of people, judging from the spread of Free Public WiFi. Computers with the XP bug that try to connect to the Internet will remember the name, create their own ad hoc networks and entice other users wherever they go.

It’s not the only zombie network out there, either. Others you may have seen go by such alluring names as “linksys,” “hpsetup,” “tmobile” or “default.”

Unintentionally creating or connecting to the ad hoc network isn’t inherently harmful, despite its virus-like spread. It does, however, provide an access point for hackers to come in and check out the user’s files.

To me it sounds as simple as upgrading to SP3 if you are using Windows XP. Or is it that simple? The unfortunate thing is that many people who have tried the upgrade to SP3 have experienced problems with their computers. Problems exhibited are a slow down of the computer, unable to gain Internet access and other issues. So for those who haven’t upgraded or who can’t upgraded, take heed. You may wish to steer clear from public wi-fi hot spots.

Comments welcome.

Source – npr

Which Countries Hold The Top Spots For Internet Usage?

No Surprise That China Holds The Top Spot

It is now estimated that some 1.8 billion people from around the world now have access to the Internet. The importance of the Internet has over shadowed any other medium including that of television. TV is limited to a one way presentation, whereas the Internet provides the user with a way to communicate with others from around the world. In a recent article it also stated that:

Here are some standout facts and observations that give additional perspective to the Internet usage of the top countries on the Internet.

  • There are a total of 1.8 billion Internet users in the world.
  • There are 32 countries with more than 10 million Internet users.
  • The top 10 countries on the Internet together have 1.17 billion Internet users. That’s 65% of all Internet users in the world.
  • The top 20 countries on the Internet together have 1.47 billion Internet users. That’s just under 82% of all Internet users.
  • India is the fourth largest country in terms of Internet users in spite of having an Internet penetration of a measly 6.9%. This thanks to its huge population.
  • China takes the top spot both in terms of population and Internet users. China has almost twice (1.8x) as many Internet users as the United States.
  • China together with the United States, the top two countries, make up half of the Internet users in the top 15.
  • Out of the top 20 countries, the five with the highest Internet penetration (not users) are: United Kingdom (82.5%), South Korea (81.1%), Germany (79.1%), Japan (78.2%), United States (76.3%).

By Internet penetration, we mean the share of the population made up of Internet users.

If one looks at China with a population of 1.3 billion people, it is easy to see that there is a large potential for future expansion of Internet users in that country. Whereas others countries like the U.S. may not see limited growth when it comes to Internet users. We can call China the new frontier.

Comments welcome.

Source – pingdom