Doesn't mean anything if they can't keep the network up....
Interesting, but typically, with higher frequency (which also means shorter wave lengths) you lose a lot of ability to get around obstacles.
1) Sound has low frequency / long wavelength - You can shout and hear someone around corners or in another room
2) Light has high frequency - it won't pass through solid objects (unless it's really intense light)
3) Wifi 5ghz is known to have more trouble in large buildings or across different floors.
It's a well known principle in electromagnetics and communication. I'm not an expert, but from what I understand, typically the only way to compensate is to amplify the signal. I'd be concerned about that. People are already complaining of cell phones causing cancer :P
Our issue isn't technology it is economics (something techies, and I guess folks generally, prefer not to discuss out of fear of being branded a commie or worse).
It's this country. The tech can be available, but if sufficient profit can't be eeked out of it (enough to satisfy the venture capitalists and other investors) then the tech will likely never move beyond the publicly funded university setting in which it was birthed.
We've had the technology but not the political will to have faster and cheaper internet for some time now. Our economic model is in the way and has been for a long time. When I was taking classes, we would always have this really disingenuous discussion about how South Korea advanced so quickly and became a tech leader in the world, competing against industrialized countries which had such a huge headstart, like the US, UK, Germany, France, Japan, Australia, etc. The people of South Korea understood that true computer literacy for the entire population was key to having a thriving tech sector. Faster connections for everyone would mean more learning, faster innovation, etc. So they formed public private partnerships and ran T1 lines to every house in the country. This was ten years ago now. They now have turned that nationwide T1 network into wifi everywhere. South Koreans are always more than a little blown away when they come here and see so many people on slow connections. Here in the US!
I understand of course that this country is larger and that wiring EVERY house would have been an economically different scale of task than a country like South Korea with a much smaller land mass. But our economics and capacities are bigger as well and we could have done major cities without a hitch. But it wasn't politically possible because big corporations like AOL-Time Warner, Comcast, AT&T and Verizon wouldn't have it.
So while it's fun to discuss the possibilities of revolutionizing tech we need to understand (or accept rather) the practical limitations of this society which are political not technical. Capitalism inspires incredible technologies but in the end it also suppresses those same technologies for the sake of continued and expanded profits through existing technologies. Ever wonder why we've gone to the moon, can chat in real time with someone in Beijing but still get 25 to 30 miles per gallon fuel economy just like the first cars invented did over a hundred years ago? Hint: it's not a technical limitation.
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This isn't strictly relevant to the actual subject of this string, but just to comment on another comment:
Light and communication carrier waves are on a contiguous energy spectrum. An energy wave's ability to pass through or bend around objects is described by a very different physics than that of a compressional air pressure wave (sound) bending around objects. The math that describes propagation of sound waves and energy waves do have parallels, but sound is a compressional wave, not an oscillating wave like energy. It is the oscillation at cell-sized energy wavelengths (tissue and brain cells, not cell phones), I believe, that cause the concerns about cancer because it doesn't take a great leap of imagination to see those little energy waves screwing with our microscopic building blocks. They're not sure if there is a real concern because the energy is low - so far. My earlier comment was referring to the increase in energy levels in those tiny waves that I perceived coming into the technology (I hope I'm wrong about that).
By the way, the comment was correct regarding lower frequency (longer wave length). The longer it is, the more easily it bends around objects, but the objects a wave navigates around is related directly to the length of one wave cycle. The sound wavelength of 'middle C' is about 4 feet. The sound wavelength of 1,000 Hz (in the middle of our speaking voice range) is about 1 foot. The wavelengths of cell carrier signals are measured in fractions of millimeters - similar enough to the sizes of our own cells.
Dgphotog, you are absolutely right. I'm still curious, if a factor of 2 makes a noticeable detriment to bending, how will such LARGE factors affect it?
Ah. Got it. Well, if you go back to the original post they're talking about THz and even PHz carrier waves - 3 and 6 orders of magnitude smaller than GHz. The scary part to me is the talk about fuzzing the wave/matter boundary of light. Scary-interesting AND scary-scary.
Also, reading the article... it says nothing about wireless, at all. In fact, it's talking about LIGHT, as in fiber-optics. I'm not sure where "wireless" came from. I don't think it would work for phones