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Xia T.J.,Verizon Laboratories | Gringeri S.,Verizon Laboratories | Tomizawa M.,NTT
IEEE Communications Magazine | Year: 2012

Network traffic demands are forecast to increase for the foreseeable future, with the challenge being to meet the demand while maintaining or lowering network costs. Simply increasing capacity will not be sufficient; overall bandwidth utilization also needs to improve. A combination of improved transport capacity through increased spectral efficiency and bit rate along with better network utilization by integrating subchannel electrical grooming into the transmission system will be required. Smarter ways to utilize optical capacity are key since transmission costs have been decreasing slower than grooming and switching costs. Integrated transport and switching can improve the efficiency of the client network using techniques such as port virtualization and transit traffic reduction. The baseline for transport networks will be 100 Gb/s PM-QPSK using 50 GHz channel spacing. Moving from a fixed DWDM channel arrangement to support flexible grid and super channels will allow tighter channel (carrier) spacing and should increase capacity by 30 to 50 percent. For shorter distances higher-order modulation such as 16-QAM can double network capacity. To better optimize network efficiency, an architecture that flexibly combines lower rate (sub-100 Gb/s) clients to form channels (carriers) and then superchannels will be required. © 2012 IEEE.

As a fan of clothing I find custom shirt services to be quite exciting. No longer must we be held back by societal rules about what color your collar must be or whether or not blue goes with orange plaid. That’s why Original Stitch is so cool and that’s why they raised $1.1 million from Inspire Ventures, NTT Docomo, and private investor Bill Lohse. No longer are we bound by the laws of fashion! The SF-based company works with Japanese tailors and factories to make custom shirts for about $75 each. You can measure yourself and simply send in the details and the shirt is made to order in about a week. Founder Jin Koh is aiming at adding a little transparency to the fashion world. “90% of our team are engineers. Our operation is extremely efficient and our software platform is extremely scalable, so we can reinvest our profit back into building better products and passing more savings onto our customers,” said founder Jin Koh. “We are a big believer in knowing the true cost of fashion. We all need to be more aware of where our clothing comes from. Original Stitch believes that custom apparel can help lead the change to sustainable fashion. Fashion is a sign of prosperity and happiness, and we want to bring fashion to everyone in the world. But it’s not just to be enjoyed by fashion consumers – we believe that prosperity and happiness are also owed to the people who make the fashion.” The company now has 130,000 users and 50% are repeat customers. The average order is $80 although, as evidenced by the shirt above, it can get a little higher if you become a bit more extravagant. The team wants to expand into body scanning for customer orders and improve their ability to create custom shirts that unburden us all from the shackles of the prêt-à-porter hegemony.

By increasing the distance at which data can be securely communicated using quantum key distribution from 400 km to 800 km, the all-photonic protocol could connect most of the major cities in Japan. Credit: NTT (Phys.org)—Quantum key distribution (QKD) may one day allow for nearly perfectly secure data communication on a large scale, but before this can happen, QKD networks must extend across distances that are large enough to connect cities and even span continents. Currently, QKD links are limited to about 400 km due to optical fiber losses, and these links can be extended using quantum repeaters, which are, however, challenging to implement at the moment. In a new paper published in Nature Communications, Dr. Koji Azuma et al., from Nippon Telegraph and Telephone Corporation (NTT) Basic Research Laboratories in Atsugi, Kanagawa, Japan, have proposed an alternative method of expanding QKD networks that is entirely based on light and doesn't require quantum repeaters. "Currently, the only known way to securely extend the achievable distance of the QKD links is to use quantum repeaters," Azuma told Phys.org. "While quantum repeaters are certainly necessary for intercontinental backbone links, they are likely to be an overkill in terms of their enormous communication resources for the intercity communication ranges. Our new QKD protocol presents an alternative for users by connecting places within an 800 km radius in a cost-effective and high-speed manner." The new protocol relies solely on manipulating and measuring the quantum properties of light. As the researchers explain, the advantages of the new protocol arise from the fact that it is entirely optical and doesn't require the complexities that quantum repeaters do, such as matter-based quantum memories, large numbers of qubits, and quantum error correction techniques. "In contrast to quantum repeaters, our protocol uses just a single intermediate node equipped only with optical devices," Azuma said. "Nonetheless, it could outperform even quantum repeaters for the communication range. This is remarkable in the sense that our protocol occupies an essential position to bridge gaps between the current QKD links and future quantum repeaters in terms of the required technological levels as well as the effective communication distances." The researchers have theoretically shown that the current version of the new protocol can extend a QKD link from 400 km to about 800 km, and this distance could likely be increased with future modifications. Beyond this distance, quantum repeaters would still be needed. But overall, the researchers expect the new protocol to cut the number of repeater nodes in half, while keeping the communication efficiency the same. Because some quantum repeaters will still be needed for long-distance QKD links such as intercontinental links, the researchers have also been working on improving quantum repeaters. In an earlier paper in collaboration with Prof. Hoi-Kwong Lo at the University of Toronto, they designed all-optical quantum repeaters that don't require matter-based quantum memories. The researchers predict that, when combined with the new all-optical protocol, the all-optical quantum repeaters could pave the way toward the all-optical realization of a global QKD network. "The advantages of an all-optical worldwide QKD network are many," Azuma said. "For instance, the all-optical network serves the 'highest' communication rate that is determined only by the repetition rate of the optical devices, irrespectively of the communication distance. This is in striking contrast to usual schemes necessitating a memory function of matter, whose communication rate is, at least, bounded by the (inverse of) memory time. In addition, the absence of matter systems makes a challenging interface between matter and light completely unnecessary. Moreover, our protocol could work at room temperature in principle, thanks to its all-photonic nature. Therefore, the all-optical approach is a promising solution for realizing a high-speed and cost-effective worldwide QKD network." In the near future, the researchers plan to perform proof-of-principle experiments for these new all-photonic schemes. "This is an interesting challenge, not only for the community of quantum information science, but also for the conventional communications (like our company NTT) where the all-optical approach has already played an important role," Azuma said.

Kaizen, a Tokyo- and San Francisco-based user interface marketplace and testing platform, plans to increase its presence in the United States after raising an $8 million Series B. Participants in the round include new investors YJ Capital, the venture arm of Yahoo Japan; NTT Docomo Ventures; Saison Ventures KK; and COLOPL, as well as returning investors Eight Roads Ventures Japan; GREE Ventures; and GMO Venture Partners. Kaizen has raised $17.8 million so far since it was co-founded in 2013 by chief executive officer Kenji Sudo. Prior to launching Kaizen, Sudo worked at Recruit Holdings, one of the largest online classifieds and human resources companies in Japan. Recruit spends heavily to place advertisements on Google, Facebook, and Yahoo and Sudo tells TechCrunch that he realized how crucial improving user interface design is while working there. He created Kaizen to help companies save money and streamline the A/B testing process. The company’s platform lets clients present a project to over 2,900 user interface designers. Clients chose several proposals from the ones submitted and experiment with them using Kaizen’s optimization testing tools to see which ones hit their most important key performance indicators. Revenue is then split between Kaizen and all the designers whose proposals were picked for the testing round. Hosting its own user interface marketplace is how Kaizen differentiates from other A/B testing services like Optimizely and Marketo. Instead, Kaizen sees its most direct competitors as digital consulting agencies like Accenture and Adly, and it positions itself as a cheaper and faster alternative. Kaizen claims that improvements to sites made using its marketplace and tools have helped its clients reap a total of $200 million in additional sales. In addition to the U.S., Kaizen is also targeting growth in the UK and Asia-Pacific markets. Kaizen currently has about 170 corporate clients, including Japan Airline, Yahoo, and Nestle, and specializes in recruiting, real estate, finance, and online classifieds sites. The company has focused mostly on enterprise customers, but plans to launch a new subscription model to make its platform available to smaller organizations, like non-profits and startups.

News Article | March 28, 2016
Site: www.fastcompany.com

Japan's NTT Data has agreed to buy Dell’s information technology consulting division for $3.05 billion, reports Reuters. The acquisition comes at a time when NTT Data, already one of the world’s largest technology services companies, looks to expand its foothold in North America. The acquisition of Dell’s IT consulting unit will give NTT Data access to customers in the health care IT, insurance, and financial services consulting industries, where Dell’s IT consulting division already has existing contracts with hospitals and government departments. Dell originally bought its IT consulting unit in 2009 from former presidential candidate Ross Perot for $3.9 billion. The sale to NTT data will allow Dell to reduce some of the $43 billion in debt it’s acquiring by funding its acquisition of data storage provider EMC, which will cost it almost $60 billion in cash and stock. Reuters reports that in light of the EMC acquisition, Dell felt some of its information technology consulting division’s capabilities were redundant. Although NTT Data has agreed to the purchase it’s not known when the sale will officially finalize. The acquisition is the most expensive ever for NTT Data.

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