Science: The Pause That Refreshes

When a person talks on the telephone, he is silent more than half the time, either listening to the other party, collecting his thoughts, or perhaps just catching his breath. The Long Lines Department of the American Telephone &. Telegraph Co. last week told how it craftily takes advantage of such conversational pauses to double the carrying capacity of its U.S.Britain cable.

At each end of the transatlantic cable is a rank of 17 cabinets, containing 10,000 transistors and 106,000 other components. This electronic eavesdropper listens simultaneously to the talk on the cable's 48 channels, sampling each of them 8,000 times per...

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