The Big Apple will soon have 24/7 access to free gigabit-speed Wi-Fi.
To the elation of New Yorkers everywhere, New York City is already starting to install its massive five borough Wi-Fi array which will provide free access to high-speed internet connections.
The Wi-Fi hubs--also called LinkNYC access points--will replace traditional payphone booths throughout the city. Apart from free broadband Wi-Fi on tap, the hubs will also feature USB charging stations, touchscreen panels for web browsing, devices to make free phone calls to anywhere in the U.S., a touchscreen tablet to access city services, and two 55-inch advertisement displays. The city plans to rake in more than $500 million a year in advertising revenue alone using those huge panel screens, which will cycle different adverts.
For those looking to kill some hours while they wait for the holiday season to kick off in just a few days time, this series of images made by Hungarian artists Gergely Dudas will both occupy and infuriate you.
Something similar to the 'Where's Wally' of old, this series of pictures prompts you to look for a panda within snowmen or a cat amongst the owls. We're not going to spoil what's happening here, but what we can say is that this has done wonders for the artist's social media platforms, seeing the snowman picture receive over 122k shares and the cat/owl drawing gathering 2.4k shares at the time of writing this article. In addition, his Facebook is sitting at 26k likes and is growing by the minute.
Can you belive it has been 25 years since the very first website went online? Tim Berners-Lee's World Wide Web went online 25 years ago today.
The website went online at CERN on December 20, 1990 - but the public didn't see it until August 1991. It was an explanation of how the hypertext-based project worked, which was the foundation for the Internet as we know it today. Berners-Lee himself is still around, directing the World Wide Web Consortium that he helped create.
So much so, that Berners-Lee wants to protect the open web against government censorship, and telecoms' desire to crush net neutrality. CERN has shifted its priorities in the last 25 years, where it is now smashing particles together with the Large Hadron Collider.
We all know the strain of using Netflix on anything less than a fiber connection, so you'll be happy to hear that Netflix's design team have been working for quite a while on a new algorithm that will not only increase the quality of its streaming content but reduce the bandwidth required to stream said content.
Netflix has been tweaking its algorithm since 2011 when it hit a road block and realized it had been going about the process entirely wrong. Instead of attempting to encode video specifically for the type of bandwidth a subscriber used, Netflix realized that they should be encoding each individual title to best suit that movie, or TV show's needs. This means that shows like Barbie: Life in the Dreamhouse would use less kilobits while streaming, compared to something like Man of Steel. Barbie won't require that much visual fidelity, but the big Hollywood movies do.
The streaming giant has begun re-encoding its entire library with the new algorithm, with Netflix ever so slowly rolling out the newly encoded content to see if subscribers would be able to tell the difference. The next question is why? Why would Netflix go through all of this hassle. Well, considering Netflix streaming chews up a huge 37% of all the Internet traffic in the United States, but with the new algorithm, Netflix could see this drop to only 20%, according to Anne Aaron, Netflix's Video Algorithms Manager.
Asking you to thumbs-up songs that you enjoy or terminate those you dislike, Pandora has been operating for quite some time as a discovery radio station, enabling users to start with a specific song or artist they enjoy and walk a path through a whole genre of tunes.
In its latest advancement, Pandora has released an addition to its services, offering what it calls 'Thumbprint Radio'. This new service will play you music depending on your positive correlation with previous music, displaying tracks similar to ones that you have given a thumbs-up to in the past. Functioning as something remotely similar to Spotify and its Discover Weekly service, this new Pandora service has been explained by Gizmodo as literally displaying songs that you've given a thumbs up to in the past, compared to Spotify's pledge to find you new music based around what you listen to.
It will be interested to see if this attempt by Pandora to widen its service will have a positive impact as it continues to feel the tightening grip of Spotify and Apple Music.
The Outlook team recently sent out an e-mail to some users indicating Windows Live 2012 will no longer work soon unless you install this update (which some users report breaks things, so probably hold off).
The interruption in service is due to changes being made to Microsoft email services in a few weeks; the email doesn't specify what the changes are, but Slipstick reports the plan is to move everything over to the Office 365 infrastructure.
Set up as an independent ranking platform, this website will list all close by emergency departments to you when an address is submitted, telling you information on various factors including waiting times, quality of service and travel timings.
Currently available solely to US residents, this website should generally be used by people before emergencies happen - it's no real use to you if you're waiting until you've been stabbed in the chest to quickly search up what direction to start driving.
"Just as with every other thing in your life, if you drive 100,000 miles or 1,000 miles you buy more gasoline. If you turn on the air conditioning to 60 vs. 72 you consume more electricity," explained Comcast CEO, Brian Roberts, addressing why Comcast continues to place data caps on its customers, trying to liken it to 'real-world' ideals.
Roberts continued, "The same is true for [wired internet] usage", concluding "the more bits you use, the more you pay." As explained in a report by Ars Technica, Roberts ignored questions about Netflix data usage but addressed his services data caps as a whole.
While Comcast isn't completely disconnecting client internet when they reach the contract-agreed amount, customers are often charged an extra $10 for additional 50GB increments - being something that's unlikely to change, it seems. If you're interested in seeing the full interview, a video is available here.
Head here to try it out for yourself.
With Provo, Utah and Austin, Texas currently under its belt, Google is now looking to hit its first major city, announcing Los Angeles and Chicago as possibly locations for its next Google Fiber rollout.
While these places have not yet been confirmed by Google, a a blog post recently discussed how this company is exploring the idea of rolling out services in these large areas, explained by the engineers as housing a cool "combined 6+ million people."
The blog post continued "As we've explored bringing Fiber to other metros across the U.S., we've worked to refine our checklist and prepare for building our network in different places," with the Google Fiber team confidently stating that they are ready to take on the challenge of such a big city. While not confirmed, this announced investigation is welcome news for many residents.