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Broadband Direct

Daily news and top headlines for broadband communications engineering and design professionals

First Gas-Powered Automobile Patented

January 29, 2015 2:20 pm | by Kaylie Duffy, Associate Editor, PD&D, @kaylieannduffy | Comments

On this day in 1886, Karl Benz applied for a patent for his “vehicle powered by a gas engine.” The patent – number 37435 – is regarded by some to be the origin of the gas powered automobile. Later that year, in July, newspapers reported on the first public excursion of the three-wheeled Benz Patent Motor Car, model no. 1.

Today in Engineering History: Molasses Tanker Explodes, Kills 21

January 15, 2015 1:59 pm | by Kaylie Duffy, Associate Editor, PD&D, @kaylieannduffy | Comments

In 1919, scorching hot molasses flooded Boston, killing 21 people and injuring 150. A large molasses storage tanker burst in the North End neighborhood of Boston. In 1976, NASA launched the Helios probe on a journey that would take it a relatively short distance to the Sun.

House 'Regulatory Accountability Act' Could Hobble FCC

January 14, 2015 1:46 pm | by Andrew Berg, Wireless Week, @andrewberg32 | Comments

The House Tuesday voted in favor of legislation that if passed by the Senate would limit the power of nearly all regulatory agencies, including the FCC. The White House said the President would ultimately veto the bill if it makes it through the Senate.

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Today in Engineering History: NY Times Claims Rockets Can’t Fly

January 13, 2015 2:02 pm | by Kaylie Duffy, Associate Editor, PD&D | Comments

In 1920, an unsigned New York Times editorial, titled “A Severe Strain on Credulity,” falsely claimed that a lack of air would provide the rocket with nothing to react against, thus making acceleration impossible. In 1993, NASA's Endeavor was sent into space on her third mission.

Today in Engineering History: Ford Sets Speed Record

January 12, 2015 12:42 pm | by Melissa Fassbender, Editor, PD&D | Comments

On this day in history, 1904, Henry Ford set the land-speed record driving 91.37 mpg on the frozen Lake St. Clair in Michigan, racing one mile in 39.4 seconds. In 2005, the Deep Impact spacecraft was launched aboard a Boeing Delta II rocket from the Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida.

Today in Engineering History: Jobs Debuts iPhone

January 9, 2015 1:37 pm | by Melissa Fassbender, Editor, PD&D | Comments

On this day in history, 2007, Apple CEO Steve Jobs unveiled the iPhone. In November of the same year, Time magazine named the phone its invention of the year. In 1968, the Surveyor 7, the fifth and final spacecraft of the Surveyor series, the Surveyor 7, landed on the moon.

Today in Engineering History: U.S. Development of Hydrogen Bomb

January 7, 2015 2:04 pm | by Kaylie Duffy, Associate Editor, PD&D | Comments

On this day in history, 1953, President Harry S. Truman announced in his final State of the Union address that the United States had developed a hydrogen bomb. About three years prior on January 31, 1950, President Truman publically stated that he had requested the Atomic Energy Commission to begin the development of the hydrogen bomb.

Today in Engineering History: Morse Demonstrates Telegraph

January 6, 2015 2:08 pm | by Kaylie Duffy, Associate Editor, PD&D | Comments

On this day in history, 1838, Samuel Morse demonstrated his telegraph system at the Speedwell Iron Works in Morristown, New Jersey for the first time. The device used electric impulses to transmit encoded messages through a wire. In 1998, the Lunar Prospector launched from the Kennedy Space Center.

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Today in Engineering History: Nixon Launches Space Shuttle Program

January 5, 2015 2:24 pm | by Melissa Fassbender, Editor, PD&D | Comments

In 1972, Nixon signed a bill authorizing $5.5 million in funding to develop a more cost-efficient space shuttle that could be reused on multiple missions. In 1933, construction started on the Golden Gate Bridge. With a 4,200 foot long suspension span, the bridge was the world’s longest suspension bridge at the time, until 1964.

Internet of Things to thrive on business applications

December 29, 2014 7:47 pm | by Brian Santo | Comments

IoT Special Report: The first experience many communications service providers have with the Internet of Things (IoT) is in home monitoring and automation services, but it’s the business market, not the residential market, that represents some of the biggest opportunities.

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Service providers have big role to play in IoT market

December 29, 2014 7:22 pm | by Brian Santo | Comments

IoT Special Report: The Internet of Things (IoT) is going to be in sore need of management. Cycle30 specializes in back office systems that service providers can deploy to manage any connected device – mobile handsets, sensors, anything, and then manage how to make money from the systems.

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The State of the IoT Union

December 29, 2014 6:15 pm | by Mike Robuck | Comments

IoT Special Report: The IoT worldwide market could be worth as much as $19 trillion over the next decade. If cable operators want a slice, they are going to have to prepared to process vast amounts of data in real time, and they'll have to help consumers comprehend the value of having everything connected.

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Regulating online video distributors: Capital Currents

December 22, 2014 4:47 pm | by Jeffrey Krauss, President of Telecommunications and Technology Policy | Comments

Now that the NPRM has been published, we can see the legal and policy problems that it will face. There are many. If OVDs are determined by the FCC to qualify as MVPDs, then it might give them certain program access rights. But MVPDs also face certain obligations. Will these same obligations apply to OVDs?

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Today in Engineering History: Last Lunar-Landing Mission

December 19, 2014 1:42 pm | by Kaylie Duffy, Associate Editor, PD&D | Comments

On this day in history 1972, the final three astronauts to travel to the moon arrived back to Earth, successfully completing the Apollo 17 mission. Astronauts Eugene A. Cernan and Harrison H. Schmitt stayed on the surface of the moon for a record 75 hours.

Review: Connecting the Home for the Holidays

December 18, 2014 1:53 pm | by The Associated Press | Comments

To give you a feel for what that connectivity brings, here's a closer look at a few "smart" products for the home. There are plenty more if you look around. As I tried these out, I kept thinking to myself whether these products really needed that connectivity. You'll need to decide whether the benefits are worth the higher prices.

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