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The high-tech thread

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#1 amor de cosmos

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Posted 11 March 2009 - 04:45 PM

well since there's a tourism thread, a real estate thread....

the word 'Victoria' doesn't appear anywhere on this page. Don't Victoria companies have aspirations?

Economic headwinds not slowing expansion aspirations of B.C. tech
Wednesday, 11 March 2009

But prolific entrepreneur tells global forum that bureacractic hurdles in Canada prevent many companies from tapping vital expansion capital

Curt Cherewayko

The global recession isn’t waylaying the expansion plans of aggressive technology developers in B.C.

Indeed, accessing the United States and other markets outside North America is, for many companies, intrinsic to growth and necessary to offset the high costs associated with the research and development of technology.


according to VIATeC the Island industry is "bullish" in January though:

#2 mat

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Posted 11 March 2009 - 06:23 PM

well done amor - a major oversight by VV mods and admin not to have a dedicated local high tech thread.

#3 spanky123

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Posted 11 March 2009 - 06:29 PM

Oh yes, MR Matthews, the "prolific entrepreneur".

You can start by asking the 40 or so ex-employees of Victoria's Newheights Software what they think of Terry and his son.

#4 Holden West

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Posted 11 March 2009 - 08:05 PM

Tidal Pool Software releases Frugal 1.0 - Find the Best Deal

General Press Releases March 10th, 2009

Victoria, British Columbia, Canada - Tidal Pool Software is pleased to announce the release of Frugal 1.0 for Apple iPhone, iPhone 3G, and iPod Touch. Frugal compares grocery prices to help find the best deal while shopping. It handles products in imperial (US and UK) and metric units to find out which actually has the best price and by how much. Sometimes buying in quantity is not always cheaper. Find out with Frugal and lower your grocery shopping bill.

Feature Highlights:
* Fast and easy grocery item entry
* Imperial (US and UK) and metric units for comparing product items, weight, volume, and length
* Compare two or more items at a time
* Converts and shows quantities in both imperial and metric units
* Shows how much more expensive products are relative to the best deal
* History for checking your past price comparisons

Supported units:
* Items - item, dozen
* Weight - ounce, pounds, milligram, gram, kilogram
* Volume - fluid ounce (US/UK), pint (US/UK), quart (US/UK), gallon (US/UK), millilitre, litre
* Length - inch, foot, yard, millimetre, centimetre, metre

* Apple iPhone OS 2.2.1 or later
* Apple iPhone, iPhone 3G, or iPod Touch

Pricing and Availability:
Frugal is now available for purchase on the Apple App Store for just $0.99 (USD).

Tidal Pool Software: http://www.tidalpool.ca/
Frugal 1.0: http://www.tidalpool.ca/frugal/
Download and Purchase: http://phobos.apple....=306344619&mt=8
Screenshot: http://www.tidalpool.../comparison.png
App Icon: http://www.tidalpool...images/icon.png

Based in Victoria, BC, Canada, Tidal Pool Software is an independent software company dedicated to writing great software for Mac OS X and iPhone. Copyright 2009 Tidal Pool Software. All Rights Reserved. Apple, the Apple logo, iPhone and iPod are registered trademarks of Apple Computer in the U.S. and/or other countries.


Adrian Baerlocher
adrian {at} tidalpool(.)ca
"Beaver, ahoy!""The bridge is like a magnet, attracting both pedestrians and over 30,000 vehicles daily who enjoy the views of Victoria's harbour. The skyline may change, but "Big Blue" as some call it, will always be there."
-City of Victoria website, 2009

#5 amor de cosmos

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Posted 14 April 2009 - 03:51 PM

Government of Canada invests in new research centre
April 09, 2009

Canada's Government is investing in industrial research and development and technology commercialization in the field of advanced manufacturing at Camosun College.

The Honourable Lynne Yelich, Minister of State for Western Economic Diversification made the announcement at Camosun College today, which will advance the college as an important centre of learning and applied research.

""Today's investment will help students, faculty and industry access the essential infrastructure needed to research, develop and bring sophisticated new technologies to market,"" said Minister of State Yelich. ""Investments in these areas create high-quality, knowledge-intensive jobs that make our economy more competitive and productive.""

The new Vancouver Island Centre for Advanced Manufacturing and Prototyping (VICAMP) will receive federal funding of $886,500 to renovate existing facilities and install advanced manufacturing and prototyping equipment. VICAMP will help Vancouver Island companies increase productivity and remain competitive in national and international markets by providing advanced manufacturing and prototyping equipment and related applied research, industry liaison and training.

""This investment in the College and its technology development role is timely and much appreciated,"" said Camosun President Dr. Liz Ashton. ""The Centre for Advanced Manufacturing and Prototyping will expand our ability to serve the region's needs and enable us to continue to enhance the role we play in supporting applied research and economic development.""


#6 amor de cosmos

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Posted 23 May 2009 - 08:50 AM

UVic students building better hybrid
By Matthew Pearson, Times Colonist
May 23, 2009

As U.S. President Barack Obama announces tough new standards for fuel efficiency, a group of University of Victoria engineering students is working on designing and building a better hybrid car.

The vehicle, which currently exists in the form of a high-tech computer simulation, is part of a three-year competition pitting engineering faculties from across North America against each other to design fuel-efficient, low-emission vehicles. UVic is one of three Canadian schools in the competition.

Team member Jeff Waldner, 22, says the students' plug-in hybrid with a gas engine will have an electric motor driving the rear wheels in addition to the front-wheel motor, allowing the vehicle to go farther on electricity before ethanol fuel kicks in. The 65-kilometre limit on electricity is plenty, since the average vehicle is driven 40 kilometres a day, he said.

The team heads to Toronto next month to unveil the first stage of the project for judging. After that, General Motors will give each team a brand new 2009 Saturn Vue. The teams will remove the drivetrain and install the one each has been working on. In the final year of the competition, the team's car will be put through tests similar to GM's process to determine if a prototype is ready for production.

The vehicle will use 2.5 litres of gas to travel 100 kilometres, compared to the 8.3 litres of gasoline needed by the factory-issued car to travel the same distance.

"It's real-world engineering," said Waldner. "You get the opportunity to apply what we learn in school."

The mechanical-engineering graduate student is one of 20 students on the team.

In addition to applying what they've learned in the classroom, the project allows the students to network with potential employers, polish their presentation skills and boost their resumés, Waldner said.

Zuomin Dong, chairman of the mechanical-engineering department and one of two faculty advisers working with the students, said the benefits of the project are immense because the students have access to leading-edge equipment and software.

"The benefit is that it's something tangible. You're not working on a paper study," he said.

The competition is sponsored by the U.S. Department of Energy, GM and the Canadian government.


#7 amor de cosmos

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Posted 16 July 2009 - 06:12 PM

World's Most Precise Microscope Headed For UVic

Hitachi is manufacturing the one-of-a-kind instrument

A new microscope that views the subatomic universe—the first of its kind in the world—is being built for the University of Victoria in collaboration with Hitachi High-Technologies.

The new microscope—called a Scanning Transmission Electron Holography Microscope (STEHM)—will use an electron beam and holography techniques to observe the inside of materials and their surfaces to an expected resolution as small as one-fiftieth the size of an atom.

“The capabilities of this microscope are awesome—it’s really like having 100 microscopes in one,” says Dr. Rodney Herring, a UVic mechanical engineer and the lead researcher on the project. “The fact that we’ll be able to look at things clearly, from a 100 times magnification to millions of times magnification, means that researchers from many different disciplines can use this machine.”

The microscope will be used by physicists, chemists, biologists and medical researchers around the globe to investigate new materials in areas as diverse as manufacturing, electronics, biotechnology, fuel cell technology, construction and defence.

Hitachi High-Technologies is building the microscope in Japan. When installed in late 2010, it will occupy a specially adapted room of its own in one of UVic’s science buildings. It is expected to be operational by early 2011.

“Hitachi is proud to be part of this opportunity,” says John S. Wilding Cole, president of Hitachi High-Technologies Canada. “Our strong belief is that, with the unique research environment provided at the university and the long-term experience in the manufacturing of instrumentation at Hitachi Naka Works in Japan, we will be opening a new chapter in the development of state-of-the-art instrumentation.

“This joint project will become the focal point for new discoveries at the atomic level and provide a platform for innovation for many years. We hope that this project will herald a new era of joint development and innovation between the University of Victoria and our company, and between Canada and Japan.”

“We are extremely grateful to Hitachi High-Technologies for its generous contribution to the advancement of nanotechnology in BC and Canada,” says UVic President Dr. David Turpin. “This infrastructure will help Canadian researchers—including those at UVic—to answer some of the fundamental questions of science and allow Canada to compete in the global field of nanoscience.”

The STEHM purchase is being funded by a pre-existing $8 million award—$4 million from the Canada Foundation for Innovation and $4 million from the British Columbia Knowledge Development Fund.

Building on UVic’s research and development, Hitachi High-Technologies International hopes to produce this microscope for use by educational institutes, governments and industry around the globe.


#8 jklymak

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Posted 16 July 2009 - 06:21 PM

^ Its going in the basement of the new Bob Wright Centre. The great thing was, the basement was unfinished when the rest of the building took occupancy. This facility came up, so they decided to put it down there. However, the microscope needed 14' of clearance and there was substantially less than that, so they had to excavate some more. The method? They dug it out by hand and had a chain of guys carrying 10 gallon buckets of dirt and clay up the stairwell, down the external stairs, and into a dumpster. 8-h a day, for a couple of months. I couldn't believe it.

#9 Holden West

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Posted 16 July 2009 - 08:43 PM

Great, now we can finally see [insert name of annoying public figure]'s [brain/male genitalia {choose one}]
"Beaver, ahoy!""The bridge is like a magnet, attracting both pedestrians and over 30,000 vehicles daily who enjoy the views of Victoria's harbour. The skyline may change, but "Big Blue" as some call it, will always be there."
-City of Victoria website, 2009

#10 VicDuck



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Posted 16 July 2009 - 08:57 PM


#11 amor de cosmos

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Posted 17 July 2009 - 02:57 PM

^ Its going in the basement of the new Bob Wright Centre. The great thing was, the basement was unfinished when the rest of the building took occupancy. This facility came up, so they decided to put it down there. However, the microscope needed 14' of clearance and there was substantially less than that, so they had to excavate some more. The method? They dug it out by hand and had a chain of guys carrying 10 gallon buckets of dirt and clay up the stairwell, down the external stairs, and into a dumpster. 8-h a day, for a couple of months. I couldn't believe it.

what a waste of time. i would have thought saanich rentals or whoever would have some kind of conveyor belt setup for stuff like that? i guess it was because the building is already finished.

looks like UVic is going to have competition in the microscope department:

Hitachi brings its expertise and next-generation electron microscopes to the new centre
July 17, 2009, Edmonton, Alberta

Alberta will be home to a new research and product development centre and state-of-the-art Hitachi microscopes thanks to support provided through the Western Economic Partnership Agreement (WEPA) between the Governments of Canada and Alberta and to contributions from Hitachi High-Technologies.

The Hitachi Electron Microscopy Products Development Centre (HEMiC) at the National Institute for Nanotechnology (NINT) is made possible by a wider collaboration of the Alberta Ingenuity Fund's nanoWorks program (AIF), the National Institute for Nanotechnology of the National Research Council (NINT), the University of Alberta (U of A) and Hitachi High Technologies Canada Inc.

"Alberta's strength in nanotechnologies, and the province's coordinated strategy for nanotechnology made our decision to seek a partnership here easy," said John Cole, President of Hitachi High-Technologies Canada, Inc. "This initiative engages Hitachi with Alberta's nanotechnology community at the leading edge of research while contributing to commercial opportunities."

"Our Government is proud to support this project that will continue to position Alberta as a leader in the nanotechnology sector," said the Honourable Rona Ambrose, Minister of Labour, on behalf of the Honourable Lynne Yelich, Minister of State for Western Economic Diversification. "Together, we're building a more competitive and innovative Canada that will create new opportunities and new jobs."

The Centre will house three new electron microscopes valued at $7 million, including the first-ever Hitachi environmental transmission electron microscope Model H-9500 in operation outside of Japan.

"This new and advanced equipment will make NINT's electron microscope capabilities among the best in the world," said the Honourable Doug Horner, Minister of Advanced Education and Technology. "Our strategies and programs for nanotechnology are spurring exciting research and business opportunities. It's got the attention of Hitachi, another international company that sees the benefits of investing in Alberta."

One of the centre's first projects will evaluate and test the world's sharpest electron emitter, developed by the Molecular Scale Devices group at NINT for use as an electron source in electron microscopes.

The $14 million HEMiC project includes $6.8 million in joint Canada - Alberta support through the WEPA, with the remainder provided by the collaborating public and private organizations.


#12 amor de cosmos

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Posted 19 July 2009 - 04:55 PM

Saanich News on UVic's new microscope

Saanich News
UVic getting world's most powerful microscope
By Keith Vass - Saanich News
Published: July 19, 2009 11:00 AM
Updated: July 19, 2009 11:46 AM

Sub-atomic particles of the world, get ready for your close up.

University of Victoria researchers will soon be able to see the smallest things in the universe in a way no one has before.

The university is acquiring an $8-million scanning transmission electron holography microscope, and it will have the most powerful resolution of any microscope ever built, explained lab manager Elaine Humphrey.

"If you think of a milimetre and divide by 1,000, you have have a micrometre. Divide each micrometre by 1,000 and you have a nanometre. Divide each nanometre by 1,000 and you have a picometre."

"And if you think of a hydrogen atom being about 200 picometres, we're looking at less than 50 picometres. So it can look at sub-atomic particles."

It's also unlike conventional scanning electron microscopes in that it can see inside cells and other structures, she said.

"Whenever you see an electron microscope picture that (looks) very cool, it's usually done on a scanning electron microscope ... you can see it's a virus or it's a pollen grain or a zoolarva that's going to grow up to be a plankton or a bacterium. Whereas with a transmission electron microscope, you're looking inside at parts of it."

While the new microscope, being built in Japan by Hitachi High-Technologies, won't be delivered until 2011, Humphrey said it will be open to UVic researchers, hospitals and private companies.

"You can use it for nuclear physics, you can use it for fuel cell (research), you can use it for medicine, viruses, bacteria."

To give one example, she said researchers could use the tool to map the protein structure of viruses, possibly leading to drugs that better block them from binding to human cells.

And while the world-beating microscope is still three years from being ready, Humphrey's lab has just acquired one of the highest-resolution microscopes in Canada, a one-nanometer scanning electron microscope worth more than $500,000.


#13 Caramia

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Posted 22 July 2009 - 10:37 PM

Check this out: http://www.outsidein...m/stumblesafely

It uses urban gps data, twitter feeds, crime stats, etc to help people find the best route to stumble home safely drunk.
Nowadays most people die of a sort of creeping common sense, and discover when it is too late that the only things one never regrets are one's mistakes.
Oscar Wilde (1854 - 1900), The Picture of Dorian Gray, 1891

#14 amor de cosmos

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Posted 21 August 2009 - 08:42 PM

Hydro Ottawa invests in B.C. street light software developer
Friday, 21 August 2009

Victoria-based Streetlight Intelligence Inc. (TSX-V:SLQ) has received an initial $500,000 strategic investment from Hydro Ottawa, a power utility providing electricity to the nation's capital.

As part of the agreement, Hydro Ottawa has acquired the option to acquire up to five million shares of Streetlight at an exercise price of $0.11 per share exercisable on or before August 19.

If the purchase option is exercised, Streetlight will receive a further $500,000 for a total investment of $1 million.

The purchase option includes the right where Hydro Ottawa may require Streetlight to repurchase and cancel the purchase option for $500,000 plus 10%.

Hydro Ottawa and Streetlight are also in discussions regarding a broader strategic investment that could include a further financial investment, the establishment of a distribution agreement between Streetlight and Hydro Ottawa for the province of Ontario and a potential purchase of Streetlight's products and services.

Streetlight's share price range during the past week: between $0.125 and $0.20; 52-week high: $0.32; 52-week low: $0.05.


#15 spanky123

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Posted 22 August 2009 - 07:13 AM

So they can invest money but then demand it back plus interest? Doesn't sound like an investment to me rather a demand loan!

#16 Ms. B. Havin

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Posted 10 September 2009 - 09:08 PM

I came across GoWorkBC.com last week, by accident - and wondered why I hadn't known about the site before. Turns out it's brand new, as per Darron Kloster's T-C article, yesterday: New and speedy way to hunt online for jobs in B.C. - City accountant's new website a Google for employment in B.C.

The story behind the site is interesting. From Kloster's article:

A Victoria chartered accountant frustrated in his attempts to find a job online has developed a website that dodges the clutter of the web, bypasses employment agencies and links directly to companies looking for workers across B.C.

Wilson Wong's GoWorkBC.com was launched this week as the ranks of employment insurance recipients continue to swell and amid concerns that cutbacks by the provincial government and other big employers are trickling down to affect other businesses in an economy recovering from a recession.

"It's the equivalent of being a Google for jobs in B.C.," said Wong, an assistant controller at Custom House Currency Exchange who developed the site in his free time with partners Al Leung and Jenny Wang.

"It gives job seekers the ability to search many employers all at once instead of searching individual employers' websites, regardless of what they're looking for." (more)

What I found really amusing, though, was the following bit (and I wondered whether it shouldn't go into a specific thread about "Victoria, the amazing shrinking (and expanding) city..." To whit, from the same article:

In Victoria, EI beneficiaries rose 178.5 per cent in June from the same month a year ago -- the fourth-highest increase among large Canadian cities.

You know, we have a serious identity crisis in this town.

Are we too big? Are we too small? We're certainly never "just right." It's about time we got eaten by some angry bears, and have done with it.
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#17 aastra

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Posted 11 September 2009 - 11:45 AM

In the actual stats the differentiation is between census metropolitan areas and census agglomerations. So Victoria is 4th among CMAs after Calgary, Edmonton, and Windsor, but there are a bunch of smaller non-CMAs (CAs) that have done worse (Cranbrook, Penticton, Grande Prairie, Red Deer, Lethbridge, and so forth).

I guess they figured the average reader wouldn't know what a CMA was so they used "large Canadian cities" instead?

I've noticed that Victoria tends to be large when we're talking about negatives but small when we're talking about positives (or potentials).

#18 Ms. B. Havin

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Posted 21 September 2009 - 10:52 AM

From the Wall Street Journal, today:

SEPTEMBER 21, 2009

Nortel's Demise Adds to Worries That Canada Lags in High Tech


Canadian courts and government have approved the dismantling of one of Canada's last technology champions, underscoring fears that the country is falling behind in high-tech.

Canadian and U.S. courts last week cleared the sale of Nortel Networks Corp.'s giant business-phone unit to U.S. telecom-equipment maker Avaya Inc.

Meanwhile, Canada's industry minister said the government wouldn't challenge the sale of Nortel's other big unit, with its wireless operations, to Sweden's Telefon AB L.M.Ericsson. BlackBerry maker Research in Motion Ltd., based in Waterloo, Ontario, had demanded the Canadian government block that sale on the grounds that it would harm national security.

The demise of Nortel, which with RIM long anchored Canada's technology industry, is symbolic of a bigger problem, critics say.

Canada lags behind many other developed nations in technology and innovation, by measures ranging from the amount of money businesses invest in information technology to the rate at which innovative ideas are commercialized. It creates few tech giants, and budding stars tend to be gobbled up by companies from other countries.

Not everyone thinks there's cause for alarm. Technology companies account for roughly the same percentage of economic output in Canada as they do in the U.S., economists say. And Canada remains one of the world's wealthiest and best-educated countries.

The problem is that much of Canada's wealth is based on natural resources and manufacturing -- both of which could falter in the future as resources are depleted and global competition in manufacturing gets fiercer, says Marc Garneau, the opposition Liberal Party's policy expert on science and technology. Canada has to invest more in areas like technology "if we don't want our standard of living to drop," he says.

Mr. Garneau and other opposition politicians took the government of Prime Minister Stephen Harper to task in Parliament on Thursday for allowing the sale of Nortel's wireless network technology to Ericsson.

"Canada's prosperity depends on the knowledge-based economy," argued Mr. Garneau.

Industry Minister Tony Clement responded that stopping the sale would have constituted unwarranted protectionism.

Canada doesn't have many flagship tech companies. There's RIM, with $11 billion in revenue and a market capitalization of $47 billion; the market capitalizations for other Canadian technology firms are less than $3 billion.

The lack of bigger companies hurts Canada, as they tend to bear the lion's share of research and development. Nortel alone accounted for 12% of private-sector R&D spending in 2007, Canada's Venture Capital and Private Equity Association estimates.

In the broader Canadian economy, spending on technology and innovation is lackluster as well. Canadian firms consistently spend less on R&D than the average among their counterparts in developed countries, and that spending is dropping, research think tank Council of Canadian Academies found in an April report.

The most successful Canadian tech companies have often been snapped up by foreign firms. France's Alcatel-Lucent bought telecom-equipment maker Newbridge Networks Corp. in 2000;International Business Machines Corp. acquired software-maker Cognos Inc. last year.

"Canada in the tech sector is becoming a branch office for the U.S.," says Simon Gwatkin, vice president of strategic marketing at Wesley Clover, one of Canada's most prominent technology incubators.

Write to Phred Dvorak at phred.dvorak@wsj.com and Ben Dummett atBen.Dummett@dowjones.com
(source - behind paywall/subscription, though)
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#19 VicDuck



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Posted 21 September 2009 - 11:13 AM

This is bad news.

#20 amor de cosmos

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Posted 27 October 2009 - 03:27 PM

A team of scientists and marine engineers have completed the construction and installation of the world's largest and most advanced cabled ocean observatory off the west coast of Vancouver Island.

"We have just granted provisional acceptance to Alcatel-Lucent, which is a contractual milestone that gives UVic (The University of Victoria) title to the network," said Peter Phibbs, associate director engineering and operations with Neptune Canada.

"The installation is complete with Alcatel-Lucent, but there is a little more work to do next summer. The system is operational and UVic will be able to use it."

Alcatel-Lucent is a European company that lays advanced submarine cable networks to connect continents and remote areas of the world. Phibbs said the concept of using submarine network technology for an ocean observatory was first developed by the University of Washington.

UVic and Alcatel-Lucent took this concept one step further when they signed a contract with the UVic in 2005 to build the infrastructure for Neptune Canada, which is the first regional-scale ocean observatory in the world.

"The Neptune Canada network is an 800 km ring structure or a complete loop that begins and ends in Port Alberni," said Arnaud De Panafieu, vice-president terminals and system operations for Alcatel-Lucent's submarine network activity. "The network amplifies and regenerates signals every 60 to100 kilometres, so it can transmit over very long distances. Since the network is only 800 km, it will have only a few repeaters."

Neptune Canada will equip several areas of scientific interest in the Juan de Fuca tectonic plate with science nodes to bring power and broadband connection to science instruments.


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