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The City of San Francisco is one of the leading tech hubs in the world, but budget cuts and political bickering shelved numerous attempts to get public access to free Wi-Fi in well-trafficked portions of the city.
The $500,000 project to bring free public Wi-Fi to Market Street in San Francisco has been completed, with a three-mile stretch of downtown road now supporting up to 50Mbps of free service. It's a far-cry from the citywide Wi-Fi promise made in 2007, but this is at least a good step in the right direction towards coverage across the city.
Silicon Valley company Ruckus Wireless contributed hardware, while Layer 42 Networks provided 1 gigabit Internet access service to the project. Market Street is one of the major thoroughfares in downtown San Francisco, with more than 250,000 people using the street per day. Throughout San Francisco and Silicon Valley, tech companies are expanding free public Wi-Fi, as more consumers use laptops, smartphones, and tablets for personal and work activities. Similar Wi-Fi projects are currently underway in major metropolitan areas throughout the United States - and in select cities across the world - so the potential upside of these efforts could be tremendous.
I was expecting it to be my city next, but obviously Google has no love for me. The Mountain View-based everything giant is looking to install its own fiber-optic network in Kampala, Uganda.
Google has been installing the network over the last couple of months, officially unveiling the project on Wednesday. The new network will allow 10 local mobile operators and Internet Service Providers (ISPs) to boost speeds up a factor of 100 in most places in Kampala. The city itself is home to around 3 million potential Internet users.
The ISPs will receive the huge speeds, and will be able to offer its customers up to two gigabits per second, which is just insane. Why is Google pushing a network in Uganda? Well, considering only 16% of Africa's 1 billion citizens have Internet, it can be big business. Google makes money from advertising, and getting more people online will have more people seeing ads, which lets Google print its money.
Tumblr has updated its app and has been entirely redesigned for iOS 7. The new update is available to download now on the iPhone or iPad. The app looks a lot sleeker than the previous version. It now includes a auto-complete for tagging, a faster reblog, a new interface for composing and choosing post styles.
"We've completely redesigned Tumblr for iPhone and iPad! It's faster and has a beautiful new look and feel, just like iOS 7."
Sprint and Best Buy are teaming up to help out college student by giving them 12 months of free service with the purchase of a new smartphone. The promotion is called the My Way student promotion and offers unlimited calling and texting with 1GB of data. The 1GB can be upgraded to unlimited for just $10 a month.
The student must purchase a smartphone at full retail price and pay for the activation fee of $36.They must include proof that they are attending college or high school, and the promotion is even for kids in middle school. Students can also get an additional 12 months to share if they refer a friend and go on the same account. Sprint mentions this promotion can save you $70 a month. This promotion will be going until the end of this year.
In this NSA and GCHQ controlled world that mimics 1984, Internet Service Providers are now having to step in and try and stop the spy agencies of the world from prying into your private lives.
News is coming from Deutsche Telekom, who has teamed up with security firm RSA, to work on building an Internet connection that can detect attacks early on, which will be known as "clean pipe" Internet connections, which push data through hack-resistant lines. The German ISP isn't giving us all the details just yet, but these connections will be tailor-made for small- and medium-sized businesses who are willing to pay a fixed monthly fee.
We should have more details on the "clean pipe" Internet connections early next year when it begins to roll out.
The Los Angeles City Council has approved a draft of RFP (or request for proposals) which would allos businesses that are interested, to develop a citywide Wi-Fi network.
Building this free broadband network "would require fiber to be run to every residence, every business, and every government entity within the city limits of Los Angeles," according to LA's Information Technology Agency GM, Steve Reneker, who talked with Ars Technica. Better yet, LA residents would receive free fiber Internet, a speeds of between 2Mbps and 5Mbps, with plans scaling up (if they choose to pay more) to gigabit.
Germany nearly turned into Australia there for a minute, with Deutsche Telekom attempting to introduce Internet throttling, where users' Internet speeds would be capped once they downloaded a certain amount of data.
But the Cologne Regional Court ruled that this would not happen, strengthening the rights of consumers. Deutsche Telekom has enforced users downloading over 75GB be throttled, something which will take place in 2016. The industry thinks Deutsche Telekom could split its customers into two groups: those who don't mind the capping, and those who consume digital data in many forms, especially the growing web form - YouTube, streaming services (music, TV, movies), and next-generation gaming.
The problem here is that the term Deutsche Telekom is using, is 'flat rate' where consumers connect to an Internet service through the fixed network, with a fixed price, for a pre-defined surfing speed, and 'do not expect restrictions' which is where the Civil Chamber of the Court will base its decision. At the moment, the judgment is not yet final.
While I potter around on my 8mbps connection, a team of researchers from the universities of Oxford, Cambridge, Edinburgh, St Andrews and Strathclyde working on the Ultra-Parallel Visible Light Communications Project are claiming to have reached some epic speeds on Li-Fi: 10.5Gbit/s.
Yeah - that's fast. How does Li-Fi work? Well, it works by utilizing specialized LED bulbs to transmit data through parallel streams of light that are completely undetectable to the human eye. Harald Haas, a German physicist, and one of the project leaders at the University of Edinburgh said: "If you think of a shower head separating water out into parallel streams, that's how we can make light behave."
In order to reach the dizzying heights of 10.5Gbit/s, the researchers used a micro-LED bulb which was developed over at the University of Strathclyde, which transmitted 3.5Gbit/s through three primary colors - red, green and blue.
This is all being done while I'm on a piddly 8Mbit ADSL connection in Australia, which costs me $149.95 per month. LTE Advanced is being tested in Hong Kong, with 300Mbps LTE Cat 6 radio network being tested throughout Hong Kong by Hong Kong's CSL.
The network achieved 300Mbps by aggregating their 20MHz carriers at both its 1800MHz and 2600MHz LTE bands. At the moment, there are no smartphones that feature LTE Cat 6 radios, so CSL partnered up with ZTE to create an oversized device that was used for demonstration purposes. You can see in the shot above, they used four very, very thick antennas for the MIMO 2x2 implementation.
An FTP download speed of 172Mbps was achieved, which is a heck of download speed. If you're based in Hong Kong and wondering when you'd be able to jump on the 300Mbps service, you'll be waiting until early next year.
IDF 2013 - If there was a company who could make 4K streaming over USB 2.0, it would be DisplayLink. Back at Computex 2013 in June, we gave DisplayLink our Best of Technology award for its USB 3.0 SuperSpeed Dual Video Adapter by DisplayLink and Targus.
At IDF this year, DisplayLink were showing off a new adapter that was capable of sending 4K video through a tiny USB adapter. In an ideal situation, the system would shoot video over USB 3.0, while giving users full connectivity options for any compatible DisplayLink device. This still works over USB 2.0, with the dynamically compensating data compression might skip a beat here and there.
DisplayLink's Director of Marketing, Andy Davis, said that the DisplayLink tech has no issue driving multiple displays, even at Ultra HD resolutions, the issue will come down to graphics drivers and video decoding capabilities of the PC it is connected to.