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Today Skype announced that it has recently passed a major milestone in the company's history by surpassing 2 million users. This news comes hot on the heals of Microsoft announcing that Skype Group Calling would be moving from the Skype Premium subscription plan to being completely free for all registered users to utilize for all their conferencing needs.
"We are thrilled that two million people from around the world have joined us to ask and answer questions, share stories and talk about Skype," the company said in a blog post. "In parenting people often talk about the terrible twos, but on the Community we're planning for the terrific twos because there's so much ahead to get excited about. We're already shaping the future of Skype and we have no intention of stopping any time soon."
It looks like Google is set to expand its Google Fiber service again, with Google Fiber-capable cities receiving letters stating those cities are candidates for Fiber coverage, which mentioned a Wi-Fi service.
The letter that some cities received didn't go into much detail of the Fiber Wi-Fi coverage, but it did state that it would like to talk about the topic with the related city requirements. With Google Fiber available in Provo, Utah, Kansas City and soon enough, Austin in Texas, it is an interesting move for Fiber. Google has issued the letter to some 34 additional cities asking for specific data on infrastructure, zoning information and possible locations for its networking equipment to be placed.
Last week, Quantenna Communications teased the world with something it is calling "10G Wi-Fi". This new Wi-Fi technology will have support for data transfer speeds of up to 10Gbps, and a much longer range than current Wi-Fi technology.
Stanford Professor of Electrical Engineering Andrea Goldsmith said of Quantenna's new tech: "Quantenna's 8x8 architecture with adaptive beamforming demonstrates that the 'massive MIMO' promise of significantly higher throughput, robustness, and reduced interference can be realized in practice. This architecture will also significantly enhance the capabilities of MU-MIMO, allowing it to support interference-free transmission to many more devices simultaneously. These technology advances will transform the landscape of applications and devices that Wi-Fi can support. As we move into an era of exponentially-growing video usage and the Internet of Things, the 8x8 architecture and MU-MIMO technologies will become essential in all high-performance Wi-Fi devices".
This is the kind of technology we need as 4K (and higher) starts penetrating into our homes, where we're streaming and blasting out super high-res videos and data everywhere, all at once.
It looks like Google could be making its super-fast Fiber service available in New York City if a new job listing found by Geek.com is anything to go by. They spotted a job listing for a Google Fiber Regional Sales Manager for New York.
This position would see the candidate to "manage multiple teams that evangelize Google Fiber services to MDU (multi-dwelling apartments and condos) and large SMB owners". We've seen Google Fiber be a success in other parts of the United States, so it would be good to see Google make it happen in NYC.
Intel has just shown off an incredible new way of networking between PCs at the National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) show currently going on in Las Vegas. The new technology is called Thunderbolt Networking, and will soon be made available to all PCs that feature Thunderbolt 2 controllers.
There will soon be an updated Windows driver released, that will "emulat[e] an Ethernet connection environment" which will provide a 10Gbps two-way link between computers that are connected through a Thunderbolt cable. Thunderbolt Networking will not be enabled for older PCs that feature the first-generation Thunderbolt controllers.
Windows PCs aren't the only things receiving Thunderbolt Networking, with two connected Thunderbolt-enabled Macs also capable of this new technology. It's not going to be as good as the PC version, but it will work nonetheless. We should see this new Thunderbolt Networking technology update for Windows pushed out soon.
Qualcomm recently made an announcement about Mu-Mimo (Multi-User, Multiple input and Multiple Output) technology that is considered as a breakthrough in wireless technology as its three times faster than Wi-Fi speeds.
The development of MU-Mimo took seven years for research, but in the end it turned out to be a great technology. Wi-Fi access points work by serving one user at the time, but MU-Mimo works even with multiple users.
The company explains,"Using MU-MIMO is like using the carpool lane: the Wi-Fi Highway doesn't change, but grouping up with other users lets you go much faster while de-congesting the other lanes."
The USB 3.0 promoter's group have finalized its design for the next USB connector. The USB 3.1 Type C cable and ports are designed specifically for providing easier connectivity with notebooks, tablets and even smartphones such as Samsung Galaxy Note 3 which uses micro USB 3.0 port.
Another main feature is that the connectors are reversible. This way end users shouldn't be confused with which end of the connector goes to the device and the system. The newer connector is said to be as thin as micro-USB 2.0 made to be robust enough for notebooks and tablets, and even slim enough for mobile phones. It will also eventually replace existing micro USB 3.0 connectors.
The Type-C USB 3.1 connector also doubles up to 10 Gbps transfer speed. According to a spokesperson, the specification is scheduled to be completed by July, and products with the new connector should be out by end of this year.
Google Fiber areas are rumored to get a lot better in the future, with the Mountain View-based search giant looking into offering Fiber customers a mobile phone service.
The Information has its sources, which said that Google is interested in becoming a mobile virtual network operator, or MVNO. Google could offer its mobile service through Wi-Fi access points that are built directly into the super-fast Fiber service. This means that the company would only require the traditional mobile network when its service is unavailable or insufficient.
Even if Google were to announce this, it's not going to affect much of the mobile market in the US as Fiber only reaches a small handful of US residents at the moment.
The USB implementers Forum has made an announcement today in regards to Media Agnostic specification. The forum has finalized the MA-USB details and released its V.10 specification.
The USB-IF used WiGig Serial Extension v1.2 specification as its initial foundation for the MA-USB specification. It is also compliant with SuperSpeed USB (3.0 and 3.1) and Hi-Speed USB (USB 2.0). Devices that uses MA-USB will be branded as 'Powered by MA-USB', provided the product qualifies its certification program.
Edgar Figueroa, the president and CEO of Wi-Fi Alliance said,"We share a commitment with the USB-IF to enhance wireless connectivity. The completion of MA-USB supports our efforts to deliver wireless data, display and audio applications, all while providing the best user experience."
The National Broadband Network in Australia has tested out some truly breakneck Internet speeds, where a successful trial has been completed by the NBN Co and network transport company Coraint at 1Tbps super-channel.
The trial was conducted over the company's 1066km fiber ring in Queensland on a 396GHz grid using Coraint's FlexiGrid technology. Coriant said that the trial featured a 35% improvement in spectrial efficiency, where it could eventually provide a maximum theoretical transmission capacity of 13Tbps over a distance of over 1000km.
NBN Co's Chief Technology Officer, Gary McLaren, said that the trial proved that the NBN Co's potential upgrade path for its transit network is huge. He said in a statement: "It highlights how established backbone infrastructure can be upgraded with sophisticated optical and electronic equipment to provide extra capacity for the future needs of the National Broadband Network."
13Tbps would be quite the Internet connection, let's hope this is in the pipes for the future!