Daily Archives: March 5, 2012

Views from the Solar System (31)


                                                                                                                                        
SPACE WATCH

Jupiter From the Ground
NASA – This image of Jupiter and its moons Io and Ganymede was acquired by amateur astronomer Damian Peach on Sept. 12, 2010, when Jupiter was close to opposition. South is up and the “Great Red Spot” is visible in the image.

Ground-based astronomy will play a vital role in the success of NASA’s Juno mission. Because Jupiter has such a dynamic atmosphere, images from amateur astronomers will assist the JunoCam instrument team predict what features will be visible when the camera’s images are taken.

With its suite of science instruments, the Juno spacecraft will investigate the existence of a solid planetary core, map the planet’s intense magnetic field, measure the amount of water and ammonia in the deep atmosphere and observe the planet’s auroras. Image Credit: NASA/Damian Peach

Ciena Widens Leadership in High Speed Optics


English: A fiber optic splice lab being used t...

Image @Wikipedia

Ciena – Ciena® Corporation (NASDAQ: CIEN), the network specialist, today (Mar 1, 2012) announced WaveLogic™ 3, the industry’s first software-programmable coherent technology that scales to 400 Gb/s. This new generation of the company’s family of silicon chips will enable service providers to accelerate the move to dynamic, software-defined Terabit networking while improving network economics. Beyond scaling bandwidth and lowering costs, WaveLogic-powered networks can be programmed to quickly respond and adapt to changing requirements for capacity, reach and latency. The new technology that underpins Ciena’s WaveLogic 3 changes the game in optical networking by making the optical layer more intelligent and responsive to application needs—an increasingly critical requirement in today’s dynamic and cloud-centric networks.

Ciena’s new coherent optical processors help service providers extract more capacity out of existing fiber optic cables to facilitate transport of today’s increasingly bandwidth-hungry applications, improving network economics. WaveLogic 3 can carry multiple 100G payloads in metro and regional environments, doubling the capacity of current 100G networks. more> http://tinyurl.com/82ljgp7

Out of intensive care, Europe risks chronic illness


By Paul Taylor – Last week’s European Union summit was the first in two years that was not totally dominated by fire-fighting in the currency bloc’s sovereign debt crisis. The relief was audible.

European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso said, “It was a meeting focused on growth.”

European leaders have signed a German-driven fiscal compact treaty giving sharper teeth to their oft disregarded budget discipline rules, and key states such as Italy and Spain are implementing tough spending cuts and pension and labor reforms.

Greece has averted a catastrophic default, at least for now. more> http://tinyurl.com/8yhkt9e

The Economy and the Election


By George L. Perry – In the postwar period, incumbent presidents have run for reelection 10 times, winning 7 and losing 3. The winners all had strong job markets going for them.

How does today’s election year economy compare with these 10 earlier ones involving incumbents? There is no inflation on the horizon. But the excesses that led to the Great Recession also held back the expansion that followed. The overbuilding during the housing boom was so great that the typical cyclical recovery in housing could not take hold.

But over the past several months, the drag from some of these sources has eased and the expansion is now quickening on several fronts. more> http://tinyurl.com/87tm2bj

AT&T sets new limits for ‘unlimited’ data plans


By Gregg Keizer – AT&T yesterday (Mar 1, 2012) clarified when and how it will slow down the connection speed of smartphone users who still have an unlimited data plan.

AT&T first began throttling unlimited users’ data speeds last year, but had dropped those plans for new customers in June 2010. People who had already signed up for unlimited data, however, have been allowed to retain those plans, even when they purchased a new device.

“I’m with AT&T on this one,” said Jack Gold, principal analyst with J. Gold Associates. “Cellular data is a limited commodity.”

The problem AT&T finds itself in is the fault of both the company and customers, Gold added. “Users have unrealistic expectations, but it’s also the carrier’s fault,” he said. “They offered unlimited data because they wanted people to use it.” And now, with the spectrum crowded — more so in some markets than others — AT&T finds itself, as Gold put it, “Damned if they do, damned if they don’t.” more> http://tinyurl.com/6lsh8a8