Fiber optic cable

Maybe not cheap, exactly, but certainly much less expensive than telecommunications technology would be if the fiber optic cable was not so widely, and reliably, used.

Fiber optic cable is a very, very long strand, or tube, of optically pure glass that sends electronic signals from one remote location to another. The signal, or transmission, is passed through the fiber optic cable in much the same fashion that a flashlight transmits a beam of light down a long, dark hallway.

If the long, dark hallway had a bend or two (or many) in it, mirrors would need to be placed at appropriate locations in order for the flashlight’s beam of light to be seen at the opposite end of the winding hallway. The extraordinarily reflective inner surface of the fiber optic cable works like the mirrors do to relay the data signal through the flexible fiber optic cable.

The telecommunications industry relies upon the use of fiber optic cable networks for telephone systems, cable TV broadcasting, and internet access. Fiber optic cable technology is also widely used in digital cameras where bending is necessary, such as with medical imaging equipment (endoscopes, bronchoscopes), mechanical imaging (inspection of pipe and engine components), and inspection of plumbing and sewage lines.

Fiber optic cable technology has taken over the job once reserved for copper wiring. Fiber optic cable is less expensive to make and requires less power to transmit data than copper wiring. The reduced cost of manufacturing fiber optic cable allows the service provider to sell their services at lower rates, making these services more readily available to a broader market.

Another highly desirable advantage of fiber optic cable versus copper wiring is the absence of fire hazard inherent in metal wiring when it becomes super heated from the rapid rate of signal transmission

Fiber optic cable is more lightweight than traditional wiring and can be manufactured into fibers of much smaller dimension than copper, meaning more fiber optic cables (and more phone lines) can be bundled into a smaller space.

There is less signal degradation and no crosstalk when using fiber optic cable so internet access is faster, cable TV programs are more clear, and conversations have no distracting echoes or other background noise, even when you’re talking to a loved one or business associate on the other side of the world.

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High Speed Internet Service

Recent innovations in high speed internet service has made working with data going to and from the world wide web much less frustrating than it used to be. These innovations are so well incorporated into the internet’s transmission system that most people don’t even know they exist except for the remarkably quicker speed at which information is transferred.

High speed internet service is often referred to as broadband access because the technology required for higher speed of data transmission over pre-existing telephone lines is achieved by using the bandwidth of these phone lines in a more advanced manner than is required when using the telephone line as just a telephone.

Filters in the transmission system that gets web information from cyberspace to your computer electronically “split” your phone line into one part that is reserved for telephone use only. This takes up a very small portion of the phone line’s capacity. The remainder of the line’s bandwidth is dedicated to high speed internet service without interfering or interrupting telephone conversations.

Acceleration servers placed along the route between your computer and the internet further enhance the increased bandwidth. The acceleration servers work to minimize the delay time (latency) caused when an internet document contains so much information that it becomes bottlenecked once it reaches your modem. Alleviating the bottleneck speeds data transfer to you.

File compression is the key element involved with getting the fastest high speed internet service possible. When a file, such as this document, is sent over the internet, a file compression program reduces it to the smallest possible size by using each word just once and placing markers in other appropriate places throughout the document.

For example, the term “high speed internet service” is read repeatedly but will be compressed so it is fully transmitted only once, with markers throughout the document pointing to the six places (thus far) the phrase should be reinserted once the document is uncompressed when it reaches your computer.

Many users consider filtering a high speed internet service blessing. It’s the filtering process that blocks those annoying pop-up ads that are often colorful, loud, and frenzied, all qualities that use lots of bandwidth to transmit.

Caching saves time, thereby speeding up high speed internet service, by keeping in memory the parts of an internet page that don’t change, such as the company logo, header, and the navigation and search bars. These bits of redundant information are transmitted to your computer only once and then they are stored in the acceleration server’s hard drive. This is called server-side caching.

Client-side caching further accelerates your high speed internet service. Internet browser programs, such as Explorer or Netscape, employ the same basic concept within their programming to even further eliminate the time it takes to download a web site or document.

These are some speedy innovations widely used today. It will be amazing to see where technology takes us tomorrow as the internet increases in complexity and continues to evolve.

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Phone Number Search

Once upon a time, back in the good old days (or the dark ages, depending upon your own personal perspective), conducting a successful phone number search was as simple as opening up the ever-handy telephone directory, finding a person’s alphabetically listed name, and voila! Behold, their phone number.

Not so easy anymore, however. That telephone directory of old held all numbers for all telephone service subscribers because there was only one phone company in town. All service coming from only one source made it easy to compile and maintain an accurate database of all working telephone numbers.

Nowadays there is any number of telephone service options offered by a myriad of providers. A simple phone number search is only successful when searching through the database of a particular company’s customers. These days, too, a phone service customer often has the option of having their phone number unlisted, making a phone number search useless.

Conducting a phone number search by the book isn’t so simple anymore, either, since there are so many phone directories published. The time-tested yellow-and-white directory has competition from other directory publishers who glean numbers from multiple sources and others list numbers of only those people or businesses that have paid to have their numbers listed.

The internet is an increasingly popular tool to use when conducting a phone number search but it can be a little confusing. There are many websites that offer phone number searches but, again, the databases scanned usually don’t include numbers for every single business or individual with a telephone. Some of these websites allow a phone number search at no cost while others charge fees per search.

Cell phone numbers are almost never found during a phone number search but there is a growing number of websites that do offer search capabilities for cell phones.

With so many options out there for conducting a phone number search, it may seem odd that most searches end up with no usable result. Unlisted numbers are becoming increasingly popular for both cell phone and landline customers. Many people feel the internet has allowed a lack of privacy into our daily lives and choose unlisted numbers as a means of maintaining privacy and protecting the safety of their household.

It seems that the best way to get a phone number these days is to simply ask for it.

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Reverse Phone Number

Almost anyone who knows the alphabet can find a telephone number in a telephone directory. It’s as simple as looking through the alphabetized list of customers’ names to pinpoint a number.

Those phone directories are becoming less useful over time, though, as more phone customers opt out of published numbers and choose unlisted numbers instead. Cell phone numbers are never listed in directories, either. Since today we have so many companies providing phone service, we also have many directories and databases to search before maybe finding the number needed.

This increasing unavailability of phone numbers could pose a problem for people like firemen and policemen who need to respond quickly to emergency calls if it weren’t for reverse phone number databases. This kind of directory lists the number first, with the customer’s name and address following. The reverse phone number databases used by law enforcement and other emergency services operators include both listed and unlisted numbers but use of these databases is severely restricted and never shared with outsiders

Market research companies have published reverse phone number directories for years. They sell these directories to libraries and businesses for very hefty fees of hundreds, even thousands, of dollars per year. These directories are too expensive for widespread use and the internet is proving to be fierce competition for them.

The internet is often accused as being a reason for the lack of privacy felt by so many in today’s world. Perhaps the reverse phone number search capabilities of many websites is one reason. There is a growing number of websites that offer reverse phone number searches at little or no charge.

One potentially sinister application of the online reverse phone number searches is that, for the right price, much more personal information is available along with that phone number. This array of information may be legitimately valuable in some instances but it has been used as a means of stalking and identity theft, too.

By contrast, a reverse take on an online reverse phone number database is that it is easy to look up callers who don’t leave informative messages. Their numbers can be searched to identify the caller, be it a friend, family member, telemarketer, stalker, or pervert making (illegal) obscene calls to your phone.

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S Video Cable

S video cable is the short name for separate video cable, a specially designed cable that creates very sharp, clear images on a television screen. A computer monitor is designed differently than a television so it requires a different technology to present the best quality picture.

S video cable is also known as Y/C video cable. In television lingo, the Y stands for luminance and the C is for chrominance. Luminance becomes apparent on your television screen as the brightness of the picture. Chrominance is the color.

Because the S video cable transmits the luminance and chrominance as two separate components, the resulting picture is much brighter and clearer than it would be if the two components were sent as just one signal.

The use of an S video cable eliminates electronic interference between the luminance and chrominance frequencies, known as crosstalk.

Devices that support S video cable technology relay signals using connectors that have either 4 or 7 pins in the connector heads. While there is a degree of interchangeability with these connectors (i.e., the connectors with 4 pins will fit a device made for 7 pins and vice versa), quality is lost and the fragile pins are easily broken when forced connections are made.

Many consumer electronics in the United States use S video cable for televisions, DVD and DVR players, game consoles, Digital TV receivers, and upper-end video cassette recorders (VCRs). These same devices sold in Japan, Australia, and Canada use the S video cable technology, too.

The S video cable can also be used to link a computer to a TV with the addition of a filter capacitor. The simpler, less expensive VCRs don’t emit a resolution high enough to work with S video cable but higher grade VCRs do. High definition video devices do not readily support the use of S video cable technology.

S video cable is sometimes referred to as Super Video cable but this translation is considered inappropriate by many electronics technicians.

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SBC Yahoo DSL

Thanks to a merger between AT&T, Inc., and Yahoo! Inc., your telephone has the capabilities of bringing the world wide web into your home or business using existing telephone lines. This union formally operates under the name AT&T Yahoo! as a result of a recent AT&T merger with SBC. Before the name was changed to reflect the addition of AT&T on January 1, 2006, the internet service provider (ISP) was known as SBC Yahoo!

Internet service using telephone lines comes in two forms – dial-up and DSL. Dial-up service is becoming a thing of the past due to its technological limitations. It is impossible to use both your telephone and your internet service at the same time with a dial-up connection. The inconvenience of this technology is being replaced by the much more flexible DSL service.

For use in this article, we will refer to this more advanced telephone / internet technology as SBC Yahoo DSL. The term DSL was once used to designate a digital subscriber loop but the terminology has been changed to digital subscriber line. Basic operation happens when digital information is passed along a telephone line to the end-user, who is a subscriber to the SBC Yahoo DSL service.

The SBC Yahoo DSL technology theoretically splits the telephone line into two separated bands of frequency. The voice communications, which take place at a low level of frequency, measured in Herz units (Hz) is filtered away from the higher frequencies used for internet access.

The filters employed in SBC Yahoo DSL transmissions allow digital transmission of information to and from the internet without interference with telephone operations. This allows the user to be using the internet at the same time he or she is having a telephone conversation, an impossibility with original dial-up service.

The filters required for SBC Yahoo DSL service are usually included at no extra cost when the service is installed, or initiated. The DSL service has traditionally relied upon the availability of co-existing telephone service and the pre-existing telephone lines for transmission.

The reliance on traditional landline telephone service is losing ground, however, to the more convenient cellular telephone services now available. In order to tap into the cellular phone market without losing business to the diminishing demand for landline phones, SBC Yahoo DSL is now available in a form known as dry-loop DSL, often called “naked DSL” because it doesn’t need the telephone lines to transmit data.

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Time Warner Cable

Time Warner Cable was founded 1n 1989 and is headquartered in Stamford, Connecticut. It is a cable television company serving 27 states by providing digital cable television and telephone services and high speed internet access.

Other Time Warner Cable products include cable TV advertising services and local television stations that feature news, weather, and sports broadcasting. Time Warner Cable is listed as an investing interest in Si TV, an English-language television network featuring programs aimed at young Latinos. Embracing the rapidly expanding Latino American culture, the network’s slogan is “Speak English. Live Latin.”

Time Warner Cable got its start when Time Inc. merged its cable television company, American Television and Communications Corp., with Warner Cable, the television operations of Warner Communications. In 1995, Time Warner Cable launched its cable modem service, which is now known as Road Runner.

The ever-expanding scope of Time Warner Cable now includes acquisition of Adelphia, partnership with Advance/Newhouse Communications (Time Warner Entertainment – Advance/Newhouse Partnership, referred to as TWEAN), and a joint venture with Sprint Nextel. These holdings allow Time Warner Cable to offer a suite of products that links in-home and out-of-home entertainment, communications, and information services.

There was a time when Time Warner was associated with AOL but that partnership has been dissolved.

March 1, 2007, marks the company’s debut on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE). Time Warner, Time Warner Cable’s parent company, holds the majority of the voting shares of stock. The company’s performance on the NYSE can be tracked by monitoring its stock symbol, TWX.

Latest revenue figures for Time Warner Cable are available for the fiscal year 2005, indicating $43.6 billion in annual earnings, up 4 percentage points (almost $9.5 billion) from the previous year. Also growing is Time Warner Cable’s labor force. Employment records for the 2005 fiscal year list 87,850 employees, up by almost 3,000 positions from the previous year.

At the time of this writing, Time Warner Cable does not operate in the state of Oregon.

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Component Video Cable

Even though component video cables and S video cables both split elements of the on-screen picture (output), they aren’t exactly the same. The component video cable technology produces much greater clarity, providing a much clearer and brighter image on screen, than the S video technology, because it uses three elements of signal data while the S video uses only two.

Most consumers have electronics devices that have connecting cables with a red, green, and blue cap at the connecting point. These red, green, and blue caps are component video cable and are referred to as RGB (red green blue) signals. Each color-coded cable transmits a separate signal without interference from the other two, which is where the cleaner, sharper picture is created. Component video cable technology provides only visual imaging. Audio output comes from other cables designed for sound only.

The analog technology behind the component video cable can be used for many electronic devices. A computer’s monitor, video game systems, DVD, VHS, and LaserDisc players all process video signals differently. The separated elements used in the component video cable allow each device to use the signals as need be to achieve optimum visual quality. It’s this adaptability that makes component video cable so desirable.

The component video cable is actually three separate cables bundled together as one cord with three plugs on the end. Each of these three color-coded plugs needs to be inserted in a matching color-coded receptacle. Loose cables or mismatched connections will likely produce poor quality or off-color images.

Many of the more technologically advanced electronic appliances have a hardware or software toggle switch that allows the user to select the type of input / output signal (RGB or component) being used. The wrong signal setting is a common complaint made by users of the PlayStation2 game system but the switch is also common on many DVD players and television sets.

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Cat 5 Cable

High signal integrity, which is imperative when connecting two or more computers together or connecting one computer to the internet, is best achieved by using category 5 cable, often shortened to cat 5 cable.

Cat 5 cable consists of four pairs of cable where each pair is twisted together three times for each inch of cable. Each cable is made of 24-gauge copper wire and all eight cables (four pairs) are bundled together within one sheath.

This twisting process allows for a balance which preserves a high signal-to-noise ratio that is emitted by external sources and from other pairs of cable. The interference generated by other cable is called crosstalk.

Most commonly used for networks operating at speeds of 100 megabits per second (Mbps), cat 5 cable performance and specifications are defined in ANSI / TIA / EIA-568-A, which requires testing of frequencies as high as 100 megahertz (MHz).

Cat 5 cable is used to link one computer to another by way of Ethernet technology but it has other applications as well. Many signals, such as basic voice services, asynchronous transfer mode, and token ring signals require use of cat 5 cable.

Some cat 5 cable is shielded but this isn’t always the case. Shielding limits the flow of electromagnetic fields between two locations. In home use, cat 5 cable is used from the computer to a wall electrical socket. Shielding minimizes interference from sources outside the home.

As a rule, cat 5 cable length should never exceed 328 feet. Communications between longer distances are best achieved when shorter cat 5 cables are linked together at regular intervals.

An enhanced version of cat 5 cable technology is referred to as cat 5e. This enhanced version was officially defined in 1973 in the ANSI / TIA / EIA-568-B standards. Length of cable, even in the enhanced cables, is still an issue and distances covered did not change with the enhancements.

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High Speed Internet

High speed internet access means pretty much just that – using the internet at a fast pace. There are a number of factors that come into play when determining speed, including bandwidth and latency.

First things first, though. The internet doesn’t travel, function, or perform at any rate of speed. It’s just there and the term high speed internet actually refers to the rate of speed your individual computer is capable of sending and receiving data from internet sources, such as websites.

The rate of data transmission is determined by the methods your internet service provider (ISP) uses to provide you with high speed internet service. Some service options include dial-up, mobile broadband, high speed dial-up, broadband, wireless, and satellite. Straightforward dial-up service is the oldest and the slowest. Other factors must be taken into consideration to determine the speediness of the other types of high speed internet access services.

Bandwidth is the basis for determining the rate of high speed internet transmissions. Bandwidth is measured in bytes per second (bps) although kbps (kilobytes per second) is a more commonly used term these days, with one kilobyte equal to 1,000 bytes.

Whether your means of transmission is the old-fashioned dial-up service or high speed internet service, all the data on the internet page you access must be electronically transferred from the host site’s server to your computer. The larger the number of bps your computer is capable of receiving, the faster your internet access. The number of bps you can receive is determined by the methods your ISP uses to connect you to the world wide web.

Latency is the delay, or lag time, you notice when surfing from page to page on the internet. Different types of internet connectivity methods produce different opportunities for latency.

When your high speed internet service comes to you via satellite, latency occurs during the time the signal travels from the home network, to the satellite(s), and then to you. These messages travel at the speed of light but delays are inherent in the process due to the vast distances traveled.

Transmission delays dictated by the type of equipment used to convey high speed internet service to your computer cause latency issues, as do processing delays, which occur as your message, or web page, is bounced from different (proxy) servers to get to you.

High speed internet service is also delayed, and latency experienced, when the bandwidth upon which your internet service relies is overloaded with signal data, resulting in a bottleneck of data transmission.

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