Tag Archives: Internet

Sharing WIFI password with guests is breeze on iOS11

Yesterday I had to share my wifi password with one of my friend when he came over to visit. I am one of the guys who have really long passwords which are very hard to remember. So I went to see the wifi password in my 1Password app and there it was. iOS’ another subtle feature that Apple never advertised it. My iPhone which was also connected to wifi asked me if I wanted to share that password with my friend. That was cool!

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Here is how you do it;

  1. Ask your friend to tap on your wifi SSID in ‘Settings’ app on his iPhone
  2. Unlock your phone which is already connected to the same wifi.
  3. Just tap on ‘Share Password’ button.

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If you want to see it in action. Just hit forget password on wifi on a phone in your home and try sharing it. I do not believe this works with iPhone to Android.

Connecting the world

Ever wondered how easily you get online and punch a few keys to visit that website half way around the world or send messages to your loved ones instantly? Ever thought about how you can do live video chatting with people several thousand miles away? If you are thinking about those communication satellites hovering around the globe make this possible then your information is marginally correct.

Underwater communication lines: Before humans even thought about satellites, we knew a better way to send electric signals between two places kilometers apart. Human communication has been relying on cables for decades before first satellite launch. Engineers just took that thought to the extreme by deploying long and huge communication lines on our ocean beds. Fascinating, isn’t it?

Submarine cable with repeater showing in the picture

Submarine cables have Multi-terabyte bandwidths making them an ideal solution for future of communication. Today our satellites only count for 1% of international communication. Growing network of these submarine cables provides really high reliability incase of a cable break. Engineers can deploy these cables with help of specially designed ships. However, these submarine cables have limitations. Signal through these cables weakens over long distances so manufacturers have to incorporate these cables with repeaters every 6 to 9 km. Another disadvantage is that, in case of a cable break the repair crew has to deep dive to replace whole affected segment and that makes repair work very risky. Advancements in the filed are now allowing robots to do any hazardous underwater work.

Submarine cable deploying ship
Fiber optic submarine cable design

Submarine cable vs. Satellite
Why does most of our data still travel via submarine cables instead of satellites?
Data traffic through undersea optical fiber cables offer advantages in terms of reliability, security, capacity and cost.
Microwave satellite signals take about 0.2 seconds to travel roundtrip from the ground to an orbiting satellite, while optical submarine cables can send data across the Atlantic in 1/20th of that time, resulting in lower latency.
The microwave spectrum available to satellites is limited, while the spectrum available for optical communications has more room for increasing IP traffic.
Wavelength division multiplexing technology increases the capacity carried by single fibers and thereby reduces the number of cables required; deploying fewer and smaller cables is then more cost efficient for the amount of capacity versus the high cost of deploying and maintaining satellites. [osa-open.org]

If you are curious, check the map below to get some idea of how the world is connected or click here to view an interactive updated map.

Submarine cables map, 2009

Internet: Use it wisely

In·ter·net[in-ter-net] noun
A vast computer network linking smaller computer networks worldwide (usually preceded by the ; ). The Internet includes commercial, educational, governmental, and other networks, all of which use the same set of communications protocols. [dictionary.com]

It is a very powerful tool and yet very easy to access. Internet started as an expensive accessory only used as a status symbol in 90s. It was not very easy to get online like we do today with only a swipe on your smartphone or just a click on your computer. Only major cities like New York, London, Munich, etc. had a telephone network that could support this new traffic of data. Wait a second! Did I just say telephone?? Yes, I did. In the beginning telephone companies used to provide special connection to your home which then connected your personal computer.

We started with emails, commercial websites (the .com boom), blogs and now social network websites. We have evolved from using internet only for sending private messages to expressing our views out loud in public over this world wide web. This change in behavior is not new, this is just like old times, whenever people felt the need of expressing themselves to the public they started meeting at city or town halls, public places like schools, libraries and shared their views in front of their audience. In early 1900s the only way to spread news was public announcements from town hall balconies and newspapers. Then came radio and television. But, even today we know that the news on TV and radio is mostly filtered and controlled by governments and that in a way is Good and Bad just like a coin it has it’s two sides.

Similarly there are incidences where Internet and social sites have been used wisely and wrongly. The medium is so easily accessible now that practically anyone in the world can type anything that they want. Because of Internet many people around the world could tack their loved ones and their situations during Japanese Tsunami crisis even if they were half the way around the globe. Many disastrous recovery organizations created a crisis database of emergency camps to track survivors and made it available to general public. Also, many people used social networks like Twitter and Facebook to convert messages to people around the world. But, as we speak about benefits of Internet there is a downside. It was Internet that enabled coordinated riots of London in last decade. It was On Internet where people shared fake picture of rape victim in India.

Internet is a big pool of information and if people don’t take it seriously, it might aid to our destruction one day. It is a source of truthful information as well as it’s a message board for individuals and companies who make profit by deceiving the community. What to believe and what not to is individual’s decision.

Internet is very powerful, USE IT WISELY!