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Dee McVicker

Dee McVicker has written about technology and trends for MIT Technology Review, Billboard, and CIO, among others.
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Recent Posts

Happy 50th, Fiber Communications!

We couldn’t let 2016 slip into history without recognizing a milestone anniversary. Fifty years ago, research engineer Sir Charles Kao published his findings on fiber optic communications in a paper read by his peers.

Copper cabling was the transport medium of the day and what Sir Kao proposed was quite remarkable. His 1966 paper detailed experiments involving laser beams traveling down strands of optical glass fiber, which eventually earned him a place in history as the ‘Godfather of Broadband’.

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Outsmarting SCADA Hackers

SCADA hacking is on the rise. We just learned of another attack on a water treatment plant in which hacktivists were able to change chemical levels through the SCADA system. 

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How Fiber Brings Live Production Home, Part II

In Part 1 of Fiber Brings Live Production Home, we discussed the complicated logistics – and costs - of taking a video production on the road. A viable and highly affordable alternative to taking all of your equipment and personnel with you on the road is to use a high-bandwidth transportation system such as leased or dedicated fiber optic links. This allows your editors to work in their own suites, where they are the most efficient, and keeps your valuable anchor talent in the main studio.

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Fiber Brings Live Video Production Home

Taking a video production on the road is a complicated process – cameras, operators, sound people, remote producers, portable editing suites and miles of cable. Taking the show overseas further complicates the process, requiring shipments of large containers well in advance of the event, along with piles of paperwork and customs declaration forms. Adding to the cost are the transportation, lodging and meal requirements for the staff at the remote site.

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Fiber in the Cockpit!

There’s a tactical reason why fighter pilots need good vision. He who sees first, strikes first. But anymore, that kind of vigilance takes more than good eyesight.

 Today’s next-generation avionics include thermal and infrared imaging, better radar systems and enhanced surveillance systems that require the transference of huge amounts of data in real-time. 

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Uncompressed Video Surveillance. Detail is King.


Security surveillance has become a modern necessity. It lets us monitor activities without actually being there and offers a fixed physical record, unlike the memories of eyewitnesses. One well-trained operator can monitor more area and in greater detail, which is why remote surveillance has proven to be a force multiplier in the world of physical installation security. 

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Shining Light on Dark Fiber

 

Dark fiber would make a great name for a cereal brand.

At least then we’d know what to expect, unlike the leased dark fiber options companies are faced with these days.

Just because fiber optical cabling is labeled “dark fiber,” it doesn’t necessarily mean that it is so. Not in the true sense of the term, anyway. 

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Active Multiplexers, Footwear and Fiber Communications

I tend to think of footwear when someone mentions active wavelength division multiplexing (WDM) for fiber communications. My mind automatically wanders to the differences between active footwear and, say, a dress shoe with a small heel and an adjustable strap.

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Adding Fiber Connectivity: When Microtrenching is Overkill

We’ve all done it. Missed the obvious. Just this weekend I was running late to a mutual friend's barbecue and figured I’d leave the navigating to my iPhone in order to make up the time.

Siri hardly ever lets me down.

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Microtrenching and Fiber Connectivity. Crazy Like a Fox.

The more one learns about microtrenching, the crazier the old way of bringing in optical cable seems.

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