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[forwarded from elsewhere]
> [From Data Communications, January 1993]
> An inventor working from a garden shed in the U.K. has come up with a device
> that enables PCs and other LAN equipment to send and receive data through
> the plastic outer jacket of copper LAN cabling-- without piercing the
> cabling.  Called the Watsonlinc Cable Coupling Transformer, the device
> allows users to attach LAN equipment at any point in a network without going
> through time-consuming and costly cable attachment procedures.  The
> Watsonlinc, which must be placed directly next to a cable's outer jacket,
> uses a proprietary technique to reduce noise interference while picking up
> and transmitting data signals.  Watsonlinc-equipped network interface cards
> (NICs) will appear in the next 12 months, according to inventor Mike Watson
> (Walton-on-Thames, U.K.), who says the device's production cost of about $5
> per unit will not significantly increase NIC sticker prices.  The Watsonlinc
> works with both shielded and unshielded twisted-pair copper cabling, is
> small enough to fit on laptop PC internal adapters, and is capable of
> handling all common LAN speeds, Watson says.  The internationally patented
> invention works just as well with voice signals.  Predictably, it already
> has been licensed for use in telephone surveillance equipment.