Skip to Content
Uncategorized

New Spectrum from Old

October 27, 2010

The global switch from analog to digital television has created an unusual opportunity, opening up portions of the radio spectrum around the world that have been off limits to anyone but broadcasters for decades. These newly vacant “white spaces” can be found from 52 to 806 megahertz, and telecommunications companies hope to be able to use some of them for long-range broadband wireless connections. In the United States, the Federal Communications Commission announced rules for unlicensed use of white spaces in September, but a number of pilot systems have already been deployed. The first such public network, introduced in rural Virginia by Spectrum Bridge in October of last year, used white-space frequencies to connect Wi-Fi hot spots to the Internet.

White-space networks, such as Microsoft’s, must accommodate local TV stations.

One significant difficulty in opening up white spaces to mainstream consumer use is that the exact frequencies available vary from place to place, largely depending on the bands used by local TV stations.

Consequently, researchers are focusing on making wireless equipment smart enough to figure out which frequencies it should be using. At Microsoft Research, Ranveer Chandra (see TR35, September/October 2010) has developed a prototype system in which base stations determine their location using GPS and then check the Web to find out which radio bands are allocated to local broadcasters.

Deep Dive

Uncategorized

Five poems about the mind

DREAM VENDING MACHINE I feed it coins and watch the spring coil back,the clunk of a vacuum-packed, foil-wrappeddream dropping into the tray. It dispenses all kinds of dreams—bad dreams, good dreams,short nightmares to stave off worse ones, recurring dreams with a teacake marshmallow center.Hardboiled caramel dreams to tuck in your cheek,a bag of orange dreams…

Work reinvented: Tech will drive the office evolution

As organizations navigate a new world of hybrid work, tech innovation will be crucial for employee connection and collaboration.

lucid dreaming concept
lucid dreaming concept

I taught myself to lucid dream. You can too.

We still don’t know much about the experience of being aware that you’re dreaming—but a few researchers think it could help us find out more about how the brain works.

panpsychism concept
panpsychism concept

Is everything in the world a little bit conscious?

The idea that consciousness is widespread is attractive to many for intellectual and, perhaps, also emotional
reasons. But can it be tested? Surprisingly, perhaps it can.

Stay connected

Illustration by Rose WongIllustration by Rose Wong

Get the latest updates from
MIT Technology Review

Discover special offers, top stories, upcoming events, and more.

Thank you for submitting your email!

Explore more newsletters

It looks like something went wrong.

We’re having trouble saving your preferences. Try refreshing this page and updating them one more time. If you continue to get this message, reach out to us at customer-service@technologyreview.com with a list of newsletters you’d like to receive.