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The FCC has issued a new report that looked at the broadband industry in the United States. According to the report, internet providers in the country are for the most part delivering on the speeds that they promise users, and in some cases, they are delivering better speed than promised.
The report did find that all across the US network congestion is a big issue for many users on different providers. To get the data for the report the FCC had 10,000 volunteers install off-the-shelf routers into their networks that ran special monitoring software inside designed to peek at broadband speeds.
Routers using the special software were in place for about a year, but the official measurements of speeds around the country took place last September as part of the Measuring Broadband America Fixed Broadband report. After all the measuring was over, the report concluded that most big ISPs deliver at least the performance they advertise, especially if the ISP has fiber in the network infrastructure, with some delivering 120% faster speed than advertised. Interestingly, DSL subscribers were found to get only about 64% of their promised speed and Verizon was found to be the worst performer.
T-Mobile is putting a lot of pressure on other mobile carriers in the US with a number of offerings that make the smallest of the major carriers look very appealing to customers. T-Mobile in the past made it much cheaper for people to get a new device on its network with cheaper service plans. The carrier has also been paying a large portion of the early termination fee for users to leave their current provider and swap to its service.
At the T-Mobile Un-carrier 5.0 event held this week, T-Mobile unveiled a new music offering that is different from what other carriers offer. You can stream unlimited music on unRadio just as you would on the music services offered elsewhere, the big difference here is that the streaming music doesn't count against your data allowance.
That means you can stream all you want and your data allowance stays the same, which is a big deal for heavy music streamers. This isn't T-Mobiles own music streaming service, rather it works with existing apps like Pandora, Rhapsody, iTunes Radio and others. T-Mobile doesn't count data used while streaming music from these apps against the user's data allowance. All T-Mobile users on Simple Choice plans get unRadio and the service is available now.
BitPay is the new sponsor of the St. Petersburg Bowl, the annual NCAA football postseason bowl game, in a three-year deal. Tickets for the game start at $40 and interested football fans will be able to purchase game tickets in bitcoin.
Retailers and companies are accepting bitcoin payments, willing to test the cryptocurrency waters. Bitcoin wallets and storage security still cause concern for security specialists, but technology is evolving.
"This will be a fantastic opportunity to raise bitcoin awareness to millions of new users," BitPay said in a blog post. "Our goal is to make it the largest and most exciting bitcoin event ever produced. The date of the first Bitcoin St. Petersburg Bowl will be Friday, December 26 at 8:00 PM at Tropicana Field."
If you pre-ordered one of the MakerBot Replicator Z18 3D printers, you'll be getting the notification that it shipped soon. The printer is the largest 3D printer that the company has ever offered. If you didn't pre-order, but want to get your hands-on one of the printers, you can order today.
The biggest catch is that the printers ordered today won't arrive for 6-8 weeks. MakerBot is shipping the printers on a first come, first served basis. The new Z18 printer sells for $6499 and can print items as large as 12" x 18".
T-Mobile is the smallest of the four major carriers, but it is making big waves in the industry against rivals in the last year. T-mobile is reportedly looking to purchase more bandwidth to expand services for its customers in the event that the purchase deal with Sprint fails.
If regulators block the sale of T-Mobile to Sprint, a source familiar with negotiations says that T-Mobile will begin trying to buy spectrum from smaller rivals in the industry. Plans to buy the spectrum are already in motion as a backup if the Sprint deal falls through.
Defunct bitcoin exchange Mt. Gox has been granted Chapter 15 bankruptcy in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court in the Northern District of Texas (Dallas). During its prime, Mt. Gox was the largest and best known bitcoin exchange, but closed after a whopping 850,000 bitcoins magically disappeared.
The successful bankruptcy ruling allows Mt. Gox's Japanese trustees to analyze evidence and oversee the company's remaining assets. Mt. Gox was sued in a class-action lawsuit filed by its users, with U.S. and Canadian customers prepared to split the remaining 200,000 bitcoins that the company still holds.
Earlier in the year, Mt. Gox supporters hoped to revive the company and received credit blessing, but that doesn't seem likely any longer. Company officials already threw in the towel on trying to rebuild Mt. Gox, and just want to get through the bankruptcy as fast as possible.
In the US, self-driving and autonomous vehicles are something that is being worked on in the military and private sectors. Google is one of the largest firms working in the autonomous vehicle market, but many automakers are working on the tech as well. We are still likely several years away from autonomous vehicles on the roads in the US.
In the Netherlands, a trucking company is pushing hard for self-driving trucks to cruise the streets between Rotterdam and other Dutch cities. Rotterdam is the largest shipping port in Europe. The trucking firm wants these self-driving trucks to be cruising the streets in the next five years.
A report has surfaced that claims the speech recognition firm Nuance is currently talking with suitors about a potential sell off. The report claims that among the suitors looking to buy Nuance are Samsung and several private equity firms.
Nuance is a company that is behind some of the more popular speech recognition tech on the market today. Nuance tech is being used in a number of Samsung products including smartphones and tablets. Nuance is also the behind the scenes source of Siri's power on Apple devices.
For a number of years the US government has limited the resolution of satellite images that could be used by commercial firms. The restrictions on images meant that anything smaller than 50cm had to be pixilated. Those restrictions have now been lifted.
Under the new rules objects as small as 50cm are now allowed to be used commercially. This decision means that Google and others can now use significantly higher resolution images. One company has said that it plans to use images with features as small as 31cm.
Google announced Project Loon about a year ago and to many it sounded like something farfetched that would never come to reality. As it turns out Google was very serious about Project Loon. The project uses high altitude balloons to provide internet connectivity to an area at broadband speeds.
Google has been testing and tweaking Project Loon in Brazil using the high-flying balloons to provide internet connectivity to a small rural town called Campo Maior, which didn't have web access before. Google has also had one of its balloons circle the globe in 22 days and has units in its network designed to stay in the air for over 100 days.