Tag Archives: telecoms

There’s Nothing that a Wompom Cannot Do!

Flanders and Swann used to sing an amusing song about the Wompom – an imaginary animal / vegetable hybrid with an amazing range of properties. This song, which is still available on iTunes, often comes to mind when I’m reading … Continue reading

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Time for Unconventional Thinking

I recently published a white paper describing some unconventional threats to utility infrastructure. In addition to rather unusual (but potentially devastating) threats such as coronal mass ejections from the sun, electromagnetic pulses and space debris, the paper also talks about … Continue reading

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Is Anybody Out There?

I’ve recently been reading a book by John Gribbin about the possibility of life in other parts of our galaxy. The title – Alone in the Universe – makes it pretty clear what the answer is going to be, but … Continue reading

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Concerns about Copper

The high price of copper on world markets has led to a spate of cable thefts, and this has provided telephone companies with a strong incentive to find cost-effective ways of replacing copper telephone wire with optical fibre. However, this is … Continue reading

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The Strange Story of Phone Phreaking

During the 1960’s, the use of analogue signalling tones between telephone exchanges gave rise to a new phenomenon called “Phone Phreaking”. The word “phreak” is apparently a combination of “phone”, “free” and “freak”, so it’s rather a good name. Phone … Continue reading

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Are Radio Waves Bad for Your Health?

The health risks associated with radioactivity have been recognized for many years. Alpha, beta and gamma emissions from radioactive sources can ionize atoms or molecules that they encounter by detaching electrons from them. People exposed to high levels of ionizing … Continue reading

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Let’s Hear It for the Bad Boys of Physics!

Surprising as it may seem, there are still some major barriers that are holding back the march of telecommunications. One of these barriers is Einstein’s universal speed limit – the speed of light – which applies to electrical currents in … Continue reading

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Portrait Gallery

As soon as a decision is made to include pictures in a book, difficult choices have to be made about which pictures to include and which to leave out. In some cases, the decision was taken out of my hands. … Continue reading

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Synopsis

Here’s a brief summary of each chapter. Chapter 1:  The Birth of an Industry This chapter chronicles the early years of the electric telegraph. It starts with the chaotic scenes in the US congress when – after many setbacks – Samuel … Continue reading

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Interview

    What are your favourite sports and hobbies? My work involves spending far too much time sitting in meetings or working on a computer, so I like leisure pursuits that involve fresh air and exercise. I’m keen on backpacking … Continue reading

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