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Networking Communications Science Technology

"Time Telescope" Could Boost Fibre-Optic Communications 183

An anonymous reader writes "A time lens can focus a chunk of time to a point, rather like a normal lens focuses light rays. Put two time lenses together and you can create what a Cornell University team calls a 'time domain telescope' which can magnify time. They sent a 2.5 nanosecond long light pulse, encoding 24 bits of information, into their time telescope. What came out on the other side was the same 24 bit pulse, but compressed into 92 picoseconds. Squashing more information into a light pulse could help to send more information via optical fibres."
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"Time Telescope" Could Boost Fibre-Optic Communications

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  • salesman speak (Score:4, Insightful)

    by circletimessquare ( 444983 ) <{circletimessquare} {at} {gmail.com}> on Monday September 28, 2009 @04:54PM (#29572085) Homepage Journal

    "A time lens can focus a chunk of time to a point, rather like a normal lens focuses light rays."

    no, its not LIKE a normal lens, it IS a normal lens. kind of like how "cloud computing" is the same client/ server model of decades past, a "times lens" is basically, uh, gee, a lens. but made sexy by introducing scifi fantasy terminology for the sake of grabbing attention

  • by radtea ( 464814 ) on Monday September 28, 2009 @05:01PM (#29572197)

    Doesn't that mean they compressed the amount of time it took light to travel that distance, and therefore changed the speed of light? Or was this simply a compression of the distance between the photons?

    Neither. They've created a frequency upshifter (possibly one with interesting spectral properties to preserve the integrity of the encoded information, although the New Sensationalist article is so completely incoherent it's impossible to say if they have actually achieved that result) and given it the most dishonest, misleading name possible to confuse people, as posters above have noted, to grab attention.

    They've got attention, but they haven't conveyed any information.

  • by spun ( 1352 ) <loverevolutionar ... m ['oo.' in gap]> on Monday September 28, 2009 @05:12PM (#29572345) Journal

    So, a normal lens will compress a series of pulses into a shorter series? How, exactly? I didn't realize that normal lenses worked by exciting the atoms in a waveguide with an infrared laser.

  • Re:salesman speak (Score:3, Insightful)

    by maharb ( 1534501 ) on Monday September 28, 2009 @05:25PM (#29572479)

    Cloud computing is just client server model on a larger scale with new technologies to make it possible. They are exactly the same conceptually, the only difference is the specific technologies being used to complete the goal. Oh and one is a marketing buzzword used to generate interest while the other is a 'technical' description of a system.

    The only reason cloud computing is considered new is because of the scale it is being done on, the markets being targeted, and the technologies being used. So it may be "new" in that sense, but it is still 100% client server model at its core which is indeed old. Just like lenses are old but are being used in something new. Perfect analogy really. If you do indeed think they are vastly different, please explain how the concept of cloud computing does not mirror the concept of client/server model.

  • Re:salesman speak (Score:5, Insightful)

    by RightSaidFred99 ( 874576 ) on Monday September 28, 2009 @05:48PM (#29572791)

    Client/server is a communications model. Cloud computing is a business model, a management model, a deployment model, etc... You might as well say "networking" is the real concept, and that fancy "cloud computing" is just a PHB term for "networking". Let's just call cloud "computer networking!".

    Cloud computing isn't about a "client" and a "server". It's about moving more of your data and business processes off systems and software you support and letting someone else do it.

    Cloud computing will have client server components. So what? When I use my Xbox 360 to play games over the internet should I tell people I'm using a "client/server system" or that I'm playing my god damn Xbox 360?

    It's fun to mock the Latest Thing, and sometimes it deserves it, but cloud computing is not just a fancy name for Client/Server.

  • Re:salesman speak (Score:4, Insightful)

    by mevets ( 322601 ) on Monday September 28, 2009 @05:54PM (#29572861)

    Agreed, it is more like fancy name for a mainframe with RJE.

  • by harlows_monkeys ( 106428 ) on Monday September 28, 2009 @06:16PM (#29573097) Homepage
    ...and he got modded up. "News for Nerds" used to mean the kind of nerds that were like Lisa Simpson and Martin Prince. Now the typical Slashdot nerd is more likely to be the Milhouse van Houten kind of nerd.
  • Re:salesman speak (Score:4, Insightful)

    by commodore64_love ( 1445365 ) on Monday September 28, 2009 @06:30PM (#29573229) Journal

    >>>Client/server is a communications model. Cloud computing is a business model

    Whatever. It still reminds me of the hellish 1970s/80s VAX machines where you could only access your programs/data from a central source, and if that source or connection went down, you were out of luck. I was much happier when I got rid of that and exchanged it for a computer that ran its own software any time and any place I felt like it.

  • Re:salesman speak (Score:3, Insightful)

    by BlackSabbath ( 118110 ) on Monday September 28, 2009 @08:44PM (#29574711)

    > It's just yet another technology invented in a lab for academics' sake.

    Yeah, and what's that ever given us?

    http://www.physics.ucla.edu/~ianb/history/ [ucla.edu]
    http://www.research.ibm.com/about/past_history.shtml [ibm.com]
    http://www.research.ibm.com/resources/awards.shtml [ibm.com]
    http://www.parc.com/about/milestones.html [parc.com] ...

  • by Plekto ( 1018050 ) on Monday September 28, 2009 @08:46PM (#29574721)

    The other issue which nobody seems to be bringing up is that at the other end the light has to be uncompressed and corrected for errors so that it can be read properly. This takes time and essentially negates any savings. I suppose this sort of thing would be useful if vast distances were involved, but on the Earth, the distances are short enough where it's really a neat science trick rather than anything useful.

In less than a century, computers will be making substantial progress on ... the overriding problem of war and peace. -- James Slagle