Silk Road founder Ross Ulbricht is now serving life in prison without the possibility of parole, but the floodgates have opened: consumers want to purchase narcotics, and the Internet has provided great new opportunities. Ulbricht's legal team tried to argue that purchasing online helped reduces street-level crime - and while the argument didn't work to reduce his prison sentence - it looks like there is some truth to that.
In a paper published last year, researchers from the University of Montreal and University of Manchester said the wholesale/broker market is safer and should help reduce violence, intimidation and other issues related with street-level narcotics sales.
In a similar fashion to eBay, Amazon and others, these online drug websites allow sellers to rate the goods they purchased - and that could help prevent contamination of weird substances being used to cut drugs.
If you thought your PC or Internet connection couldn't handle that 8K video we reported on last week, what do you think will happen with this new 360-degree, 8K video that Dubai360 has just posted to YouTube? Your PC will melt in its own flames, that's what.
The world's first 360-degree 8K video is a beautiful one, with a 24-hour timelapse of the Dubai airport. The 8K video was achieved using 88,000 individual shots that created many four-hour videos, that were then stitched together. It's an incredible video, and is sure to test out both your PC, and your Internet connection. Just don't try it with dial up.
Twitch has just very quietly rolled out a private messaging system dubbed Whisper, which allows you to talk between friends, you know - like you do everywhere else.
Whisper works by typing "/w" into the Twitch chat box, where you just add the username of the person you want to talk to. Once you've done this, it will create a message to your friend, that only the two of you can see. Whisper messages populate in the standard Twitch chat window, but we're sure that this will change soon.
The company has said that it is working on pop-out private messages, as well as offline delivery. You can also block Whisper messages from abusive users, as well as change privacy preferences in Settings.
Sure, YouTube has technically supported 8K videos since 2010, but the video sharing site only started labeling them this year. 8K has a resolution of 7680x4320, which is just insanely massive.
The first 8K video to hit YouTube is called "Ghost Towns" which was filmed using a RED Epic Dragon 6K camera in portrait orientation, reports TechSpot. In order to achieve full 8K, some of the scenes were upscaled or stitched together using Adobe After Effects. Since there aren't many native 8K cameras on the market, this is something that consumers won't get until sometime next year.
So now that there's an 8K video on YouTube, you can see if your Internet connection and PC are capable of handling 7680x4320, which they probably aren't. I'm running an 8-core AMD processor, 16GB RAM and a 34-inch ultrawide 3440x1440 monitor from LG - so the hardware is fine, along with a 100Mbps fiber connection and I get a jittery video, but it's a deliciously gorgeous jittery video.
Streaming TV shows and movies on-demand using Popcorn Time is something millions of users around the world loved, so we shouldn't be surprised to learn of Porn Time, which is a Popcorn Time-like service, but for porn.
Porn Time functions very similar to Popcorn Time, as it even runs the Popcorn Time API. Porn Time has a similar UI, as well as having support for Chromecast and Airplay baked into it. It's not legal, as Porn Time pulls down porn torrents from popular porn torrent websites, downloading them, and then playing them wherever you like.
The service is currently available as an app for Windows, Mac OS X, and Linux with Android and iOS versions currently in development.
Netflix CEO Reed Hastings says his company is prepared to expand to Spain, and that Internet piracy - while a concern - helped create the opportunity for Netflix.
It may have taken longer than expected, but Netflix is expected to publicly launch in Spain before the end of 2015. The company will introduce a video catalog that mimics what happened in Germany and France, where it took time to evolve into the 'full fat' version that users in the United States can enjoy.
"Well, you can call it a problem, but the truth is that [piracy] has also created a public that is now used to viewing content on the Internet," Hastings reportedly said while speaking to El Mundo. "We offer a simpler and more immediate alternative to finding a torrent."
Don't count Pink Floyd founding members Roger Waters and Nick Mason as fans of the current shift towards streaming music! There is a current battle between users and streaming services trying to work with record labels and artists to figure out how everyone can be happy.
"I think one is angry just as everybody else should be. All of those bi***** in Silicon Valley who are stealing not just our work but all the work that all the musicians all over the world are doing," said Waters, founding member of Pink Floyd, in a statement published by Sky News. "They are spreading it across the Internet and then people believe it's free and that it should be free. And it shouldn't be free."
"Being a musician is just like any other job. It's perfectly reasonable that people are required to pay for the fruits of your labor."
The Google Gmail email service now has 900 million users across the world, a drastic increase over the 425 million monthly active users the company reported in 2012.
At least 75 percent of Gmail users access their accounts on a mobile device, and now is a good time for Google to launch Inbox. The service, which is available on Google Play or from the Apple Store, allows users to better organize their mobile Gmail inboxes. Inbox is available to anyone interested in downloading it and giving a shot, which features "Highlights" so information is more easily viewable in the email feed.
Outlook.com has at least 400 million active accounts, while Yahoo Mail has 225 million monthly active users - with many users owning multiple email addresses, sometimes spread across different email providers.
Even with more people using their smartphones and tablets to browse the Internet, there is plenty of life left for the desktop market. Desktop traffic remains strong during weekdays, while mobile browsing is increasingly in the morning and evening, according to the comScore research group.
More users are browsing the Internet from mobile devices, but desktop Web usage isn't actually decreasing - and has been stable over the past two years. This is a strong sign for advertisers, as it looks like mobile browsing might actually help boost desktop traffic.
"The key to remember is that percentages are not zero-sum," said Tony Haile, CEO of the Chartbeat online analytics, in a statement to the Wall Street Journal. "You can have mobile growing to 50% of your traffic and desktop traffic remaining healthy."
Around 3.2 billion people across the world will be able to use the Internet, with a global population nearing 7.2 billion total, according to the International Telecommunication Union (ITU). The ITU also says around 2 billion Internet users will be from developing nations.
Previously, the United Nations predicted more than 3 billion Internet users by the end of 2014, and that goal has been accomplished.
Not surprisingly, Europe (77.6 percent) and the Americas (66 percent) greatly lead in Internet saturation over Africa (20.7 percent) and Asia & Pacific (36.9 percent). Things are looking up as reliable broadband Internet is now affordable in 111 countries, with additional support to drive Internet penetration in emerging nations.