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Today Verizon launched its fastest Internet package ever on its FiOS Cable and ISP service. FiOS' new Quantum Tier is capable of 500Mbs downstream and 100Mbs upstream, which is blazingly fast when compared to any other Internet connection package offered by Verizon. In true form the company has placed a premium on the new service which will set you back $369 per month. When combined with a residential cable package the new Quantum service will only cost you $309.99.
The new uber fast service would not be from Verizon if it didn't include a two-year service agreement although the company does say that users can purchase the service in a month-to-month basis without an annual service agreement but they failed to provide any pricing structure for that plan. Verizon says that the new Quantum tier will be available in all markets where FiOS is installed but not everyone will have the service until sometime next year.
As far as Internet-based corporations go, Google is about as big as they get, and rightfully so as the company offers up so many useful tools that many of us use in our daily lives. Today, we learned just how big Google actually is; a new report from Deepfield that was recently released says that based on the numbers Google represents 25 percent of all North American Internet traffic. This means that it is bigger than Facebook, Netflix, and Instagram combined in terms of bandwidth served.
"What's really interesting is, over just the past year, how pervasive Google has become, not just in Google data centers, but throughout the North American internet," says Craig Labovitz, founder of Deepfield, the monitoring company that did the study. Just three years ago, traffic to Google only accounted for about 6 percent of all Internet traffic.
Over the past year, Google has had to add tens of thousands of servers to its ranks to handle this massive growth and has built data centers on four continents within the last few years. Google has even gone as far as adding thousands of servers to ISPs around the world, called Google Global Cache Servers, that store the most popular content from Google's network such as a YouTube video that might be going viral, popular apps on the Google Play Store, or even a trending topic on Google+. These allow this content to be served to you faster than it would if it was all stored in a central location.
ICANN, the governing body behind all the domain names on the Internet, has released today the very first new generic top-level domain names (gTLDs). Those added to the list include: the Arabic word for web (.شبكة), the word for game in Chinese (.游戏), as well as the Russian word for online (.онлайн). More importantly, these are the first TLD's that do not use Latin-characters, a process that has been the standard since the Internet's inception.
The announcement was made today at the 47th ICANN Meeting in which a committee meets to approve or deny top-level domain name requests. Unfortunately for Amazon, this meeting marked the end of their quest for the .Amazon domain. ICANN struck down this request as it is likely to cause confusion with the Amazon region and South America. This means that Amazon washed over $185,000 down the drain which accounted for their application fee.
Hot on the heels of Google's public beta of its refreshed maps, the company has now updated its Street View service to include views from atop the Eiffel Tower. Google says that they worked with the Eiffel Tower Operating Company to gather a fairly large stack of panoramic imagery from all three of the Eiffel Tower's viewing platforms. Additionally, Google has built an online exhibit that depicts the story of the Eiffel Tower through 50 archival images, plans, engravings, and photographs.
"In order to capture the imagery, the Street View team followed in the footsteps of 7 million annual visitors and ascended multiple floors of the Tower," Mark Yoshitake of the Google Cultural Institute wrote in a blog post introducing the new material. "Using the Street View Trolley (designed especially for monuments and museums) they filmed 360-degree views of the monument's architecture and its views over Paris."
The Eiffel Tower is 324 meters tall and held the title of tallest construction in the world for 40 years after it was built in 1889 until it was dethroned by the Chrysler building in New York City. It is comprised of over 18,000 separately made pieces and is one of the most photographed structures in the world.
In case you haven't heard, Google has been completely overhauling its web-based map service and unveiled the first beta edition just two months ago at the company's I/O conference. Up until now, you needed to be invited by Google to participate in the beta program but as of today, Google has opened the doors and allow everyone to experience the new Google Maps.
Obtaining access to Google Maps Beta is a simple as visiting maps.Google.com. Once there, you'll be prompted to try out the newly refreshed maps via a box in the left sidebar. The new Maps provides a fullscreen experience and appears to be much quicker at loading than its previous iteration. The zooming is fast and smooth and Google has integrated a new, much smarter search box that is able to display your recent searches, directions, transit, traffic, and bicycling info.
Yes, this means that Google can now show you real-time traffic data right from your desktop at any point in the day. To use this feature, users can simply type a search string similar to "Traffic Near Las Vegas, NV" and the map will pop up and highlight roots with green for fast-moving areas and red for very slow congested areas. Users can use similar search strings to find restaurants, shopping venues, and even entertainment in areas anywhere in the world.
aEdward Snowden is probably the most wanted man in the world right now to the United States, with every single slither of information he releases has huge repercussions for every citizen. Today's revelation? Outlook.com has a backdoor, and Microsoft built it for the NSA.
When Microsoft starting testing Outlook.com, the NSA asked for access. Microsoft were forced to work, asking the FBI for some assistance, which took five month of collaboration to build a workaround that gives the NSA full access to encrypted chats on Outlook.com. The backdoor access began two months before Outlook.com went live.
There is a workaround, supposedly, where enabling encryption on Outlook will stop the NSA and probably half the governments of the world from looking at your private data. An NSA newsletter states: "For Prism collection against Hotmail, Live, and Outlook.com emails will be unaffected because Prism collects this data prior to encryption."
I've been loving the refreshed Google Play Store on my various Android-based devices, but now the web enjoys the same thing. The refreshed, card interface design is now on the web.
Videos can continue to be rented and purchased, with the same going for books and devices. Subscriptions to magazines and Android app installations to your Android-based devices can all be done with the click of your mouse. The benefits of the refreshed look of the Google Play Store on the web include larger screenshots for Android apps and content, and it's all done on Google's webP format which loads much quicker than the previous site.
The menu sidebar is also identical to the usual Google apps on Android, which is a nice touch from Google.
Last month, I reported that Yahoo would begin resetting inactive user accounts today, July 15. As expected, the company has started following through with this plan. This morning, Yahoo announced that it has launched its username wish list notification page (Source #2) where users can go and list up to five usernames they have always wanted associated with their Yahoo account. If and when these names become available, and after the reset process is complete, Yahoo will notify you of which names you were granted.
Some of you may be wondering how Yahoo plans on determining which accounts get deleted and which accounts stay. The answer is quite simple: if your Yahoo account has been inactive for at least twelve months, your name, account, and all emails will be deleted. More than likely this has already taken place, but reports say that the process could take a few weeks.
Yahoo says that those first in line for a username will be emailed a link which allows them to claim them sometime in mid-August 2013. After that, Yahoo will allow you to add usernames to a watchlist so you the first to know when they become available. This leads us to believe that the inactive account deletion process will be an ongoing thing, and accounts will be deleted as they pass the 12 months of inactivity milestone.
Google's Latitude service is about to enter the way of its now-defunct brother Google Reader. Today, Google announced that it would be canceling its Latitude service effective August 9 as a result of a Google Maps for mobile update.
Google Latitude is a location-aware application that allows users to share where they are with others. This has long been a major feature of Android and allows the friends to share their locations with each other. Google says that any third-party application that made use of the Latitude API will cease to function on August 9 as well.
This morning, Google announced that it will once again allow users to make phone calls from within Gmail through the use of Google Hangouts. The company says that it doesn't matter whether its users are on Gmail or on the web; all users will be able to call the US and Canada for free.
Google says that it heard the cries from many users who were disappointed that they could no longer make calls from within Gmail and this was the major factor in their decision to return the service. Calls can be made to anyone in the US and Canada for free from any country in the world where Hangouts are available. Calls can also be placed outside of North America through the use of Google Voice. A call to India will cost users $0.02 per minute while a call to Mexico will run users $0.15 per minute.
Users do not need to make calls through Gmail alone as Google+ and Chrome extensions also support the feature. The company tells us that with Hangout calls up to 10 people can converse through the video chat while up to five people can participate in voice only. This gives the ability for 15 people to be on the same call it one time.