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The subway system in New York City now supports Wi-Fi and mobile carrier coverage for 40 stations located in Manhattan and Queens. An estimated 47 million customers will be able to benefit from the technology boost each month system wide, with distributed antenna systems (DAS) for 3G and 4G cellular support - along with Wi-Fi hotspots - being added.
There are 76 stations that now support free Wi-Fi and additional mobile coverage for passengers, in an ongoing project. The Wi-Fi expansion is scheduled for completion by 2017, and will support all 277 subway stations, project managers noted.
"Bringing wireless service into our subway system is the latest milestone in the Metropolitan Transportation Authority's effort to use technology to improve the service we provide for our customers," said Thomas Prendergast, MTA chairman.
Google has signed an agreement to start laying down fiber optic cable connection from Florida to Brazil, with the agreement made with Brazil's telecom company Algar Telecom, along with African company Angola Cables.
The cable will be covering 6,560 miles and will have six fiber pairs which should provide a network bandwidth up to 1Tbps. The undertaking of this project is said to cost about $60 million. TE Connectivity SubCom is the one who received this contract for construction and said to complete its work by late 2016. Google Latin America head Cristian Ramos said, "As more people get access to the Internet, more capacity to the infrastructure that keeps the Internet running is needed, so that everyone can have a fast, safe and useful online experience."
It is being speculated that the reason for Google to choose Brazil is to bring more Internet connectivity that can greatly benefit from high-speed connections. Many countries in South America are deemed as emerging markets according to analyst from J. Gold Associate Jack Gold. On the other side, as expected not many companies are happy with Google's entry as an Internet service provider. The CEO of Allied Fiber Hunter Newby said that companies will want to control costs, provisioning, quality and repair. He also said, "Those that have control can impose their will."
United Airlines recently announced it will modify 200 United Express regional jets, so they will provide Wi-Fi Internet access and better personal device entertainment. United passengers can expect these added perks starting prior to the end of 2014.
The personal device entertainment pairs allows passengers to watch TV shows and movies on their Apple iOS or Google Android device - and on laptops. The expansion of Wi-Fi and entertainment, even on shorter flights, gives passengers the ability to either relax and watch a movie, or get some work done without worrying about wireless connectivity.
"United is pleased to extend our growing Wi-Fi and personal device entertainment platform to our fleet of larger regional jets," said Jeff Foland, United EVP of marketing, technology and strategy, in a press statement. "These new elements will enhance the entire in-flight experience for our customers."
Google may become the first trillion dollar company, but its dominant position as the world's most commonly used search engine has intense rivalry from Amazon.
Surprisingly, Google's competition isn't other engine engine companies. Google's CEO Eric Schmidt said, "Many people think our main competition is Bing or Yahoo. But, really, our biggest search competitor is Amazon". He continued, "People don't think of Amazon as search, but if you are looking for something to buy, you are more often than not looking for it on Amazon."
Google also feels that its position is also threatened by startups and innovators who are probably working from a garage right now. It's understandable, considering that Google's humble beginnings were from a garage. On the matter, Mr. Schmidt said, "Someone, somewhere in a garage is gunning for us. I know, because not long ago we were in that garage. Change comes from where you least expect it. The next Google won't do what Google does, just as Google didn't do what AOL did." Despite its dominant position, Google is one of many search engines that is available today.
Google has been known to hire cars, boats, hikers, mountain climbers and scuba divers, but this is the first time they mount its street view camera over a camel.
The search giant hired a camel named 'Raffia' to collect images of the desert around the Liwa oasis area in Abu Dhabi. With a help of the guide, the camel took pictures of the desert region called 'the trekker' which is usually strapped on a person for taking street view images. Najeeb Jarrar, Google's product marketing manager for the Middle East and North Africa said, "We hope this collection gives you a glimpse of what it may be like to travel the desert as caravan merchants have for the past 3,000 years."
The Liwa desert is a popular tourism spot in Abu Dhabi. Company spokeswoman Joyce Baz also said that undertaking such projects helps to boost tourism in the region. She said, "In the case of Liwa we fashioned it in a way so that it goes on a camel so that it can capture imagery in the best, most authentic and least damaging way."
As the battle against the Islamic State (IS) rages on in Iraq and Syria, government officials hope to begin battling the extremist group where they have excelled: the Internet. Unlike the Taliban and Al Qaida before it, IS has successfully used social media outlets to spread its message, while also reaching curious observers. Twitter and other social media networks are working to remove official IS accounts, but many other accounts have popped up.
"This is the most socially-mediated conflict in history," said Shiraz Maher, from the Kings College London. "You literally have thousands of foreign fighters from all over the world using social media in order to convey the message about the jihad that they are fighting."
In addition to spreading messages of jihad, the Islamic State has successfully recruited new members - and spread propaganda - largely catching intelligence officers unaware of the Internet strategy.
Music and movie copyright groups tried to fight Internet piracy by suing individual file sharers, shutting down peer-to-peer networks, and creating new anti-piracy legislation. However, as Internet piracy continued to evolve, the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA), tasked with movie copyright issues of the top six Hollywood studios, wants to adjust its tactics.
"The world is changing at warp speed," noted Chris Dodd, MPAA CEO. "We are not going to legislate or litigate our way out of it. We are going to innovate our way by educating people about the hard work of people."
Although it's refreshing to hear the MPAA isn't interested in creating new legislation or potential court litigation - many Internet users are weary that any new efforts could still end poorly for the community. But hearing that copyright groups understand there are new ways to provide content in a legitimate manner proves a shifting focus towards the future.
Internet piracy is helping boost gangs, drug dealers and terrorists, according to a major media conglomerate and the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department. Police officers in Los Angeles County say piracy is a priority and want to clamp down on Internet pirates in neighborhoods they oversee.
"[Piracy is] supporting their ability to buy drugs and guns and engage in violence," said Todd Rogers, Los Angeles County Assistant Sheriff, in a statement to the media. "And then, the support of global terrorism, which is a threat to everybody. To identify bad guys that we need to take out of the community so the rest of the folks can enjoy their neighborhood and their families."
If in doubt, saying there is a link to terrorism and street violence - whether or not accurate - is a good way to gain headlines and try to intimidate casual users away from copyright infringement. However, without offering hard evidence of this reported link, most people will just shrug it off and keep downloading and sharing files.
Twitter and social media services are struggling to address how to block images and videos of photojournalist James Foley being beheaded by Islamic State militants. In the five-minute video, titled "A Message to America," a suspected British militant said Foley's execution is in response to recent U.S. airstrikes against IS insurgents protecting a previously seized dam in Mosul. Twitter is purging users that are sharing images and videos of the barbaric execution of the photojournalist captured in Syria.
Twitter "is actively suspending accounts as we discover them related to this graphic imagery," noted Dick Costolo, Twitter CEO, in a recent tweet.
In the UK, simply viewing, downloading or sharing the video could lead to charges under the UK's terrorism legislation.
Access to fast broadband Internet may not be dumbing younger generations down after all, with faster Web access is more conductive to learning, according to the "States with Faster Internet Access Have Smarter People" report published by High Speed Internet. The top five states with the fastest Internet service, Virginia, Delaware, Massachusetts, Rhode Island and Washington, had students with ACT scores in the top 15.
Meanwhile, the five states with the slowest Internet had average ACT scores towards the lower-end of the rankings: Alaska, Montana, Kentucky, Arkansas, and West Virginia. There were a few states that had the fastest Internet service but were in the bottom 20 average ACT scores: Michigan, North Dakota, and Utah.
A few states bucked the trend, such as Maine, which was 37th overall in Internet speed, but had the fourth best ACT average. Technology is a great asset for students, but still isn't a magic tool that will automatically make students more intelligent or learn better than students in other parts of the country - but can be utilized to make a major impact long-term.