Sir Holo (531007) writes "Superinsulation may sound like a marketing gimmick for a drafty attic or winter coat. But it is actually a newly discovered fundamental state of matter created by scientists at the U.S. Department of Energy's Argonne National Laboratory in collaboration with several European institutions. This discovery opens new directions of inquiry in condensed matter physics and breaks ground for a new generation of microelectronics.
When they tried to pass a current through the material, the researchers noticed that its resistance suddenly increased by a factor of 100,000 once the temperature dropped below a certain threshold.
Superinsulators could eventually find their way into a number of products, including circuits, sensors and battery shields.
Sir Holo (531007) writes "Is Time-Warner Cable intentionally degrading the internet service of customers who own cable modems, in order to force them to install a TWC-owned and throttled modem? Is this legal?
I have Time-Warner Cable service in the Los Angeles area, who inherited me from Adelphia through Comcast, and I own my own cable modem, a Motorola SURFboard. This week, my connection suddenly began exhibiting an odd behavior. A normal connection will exist, and if I use it initially (load a web page), it works fine. But then, any further usage will result in a failed connection. The connection stays off for several minutes, and eventually the modem will re-establish the connection as the line of idiot lights comes on in series. The result is a repeated, "Ah-ha, it's back on!..... Awww, it's back out."
Upon calling Time Warner Cable tech support, I'm given a story that my modem "is on its last legs," and that I "probably have a bad modem." This is first suggested before the rep knows my account number! After "running some tests," I learn that a replacement modem is available for pickup and install from TWC office, as they don't offer a discount for customer-owned equipment. The rep does admit that it will have throttling, etc.. His pitch sounds very practiced.
Here's the odd part. Now, immediately after the call, with no "resetting the system" on TWC's end, and my same old modem installed, the connection is solid. The problem has evaporated.
As a scientist, I know that solid state electronics hardware doesn't generally "go bad" or "wear out." And non-cutting edge hardware doesn't have performance that degrades and fails over time, either.
I don't feel very good about having lost most of a day of work due to this issue. Even worse, that it might have been done on purpose.
Is TWC intentionally dropping the connection to coerce me into getting one of their modems? Wouldn't that be illegal? Will they do this intermittently until I give in? Will I notice any difference once I do? Or, is there indeed something about cable modems which can "wear out?""