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The Internet has gotten a little bit quicker between Japan and Singapore. Not much more noticeably to your average user, but to high volume traders, the small speed bump could make all the difference in whether or not they get a trade. The cable spans 7,800km from Japan to Singapore and allows for up to 40 Gb/s.
The Asia Submarine-cable Express (ASE) doesn't just run from Japan to Singapore; it also picks up Malaysia and the Philippines and connects them to the underwater line. Interestingly, the cable runs as directly as possible in order to reduce latency down to just 65 milliseconds from end to end. Furthermore, this will allow the cable to achieve 40Gb/s.
In reality, the line is only 3 milliseconds faster than other lines available. However, those 3 milliseconds are crucial to high-volume trading. The new cable will also help replace some of the lines that were damaged during the 2011 Japan earthquake. Due to that earthquake, and one in 2006, this cable was laid in a different area that is less prone to seismic shifts.
I still remember getting a Nintendo 64 for Christmas as a young gamer, I was unbelievably excited. Gaming back in the 90s was just another thing compared to gaming now, and it seems that a brand new Nintendo 64 emulator has been developed by Paul Holden.
The video above shows off the emulator, and of course whilst not perfect, it runs. Early days yet, and you can see it runs pretty slow, but that's probably because of a software issue, as today's computers have enough horsepower to run something from the mid-90s without a problem.
Ebay has issued its category changes and updates for fall and if you like buying hexes on other people from the auction giant, you're going to have to head somewhere else. On the chopping block are Tarot readings, potions, and spells. Not only are the categories going away, but they will join hexing, curses, conjuring, blessings, psychic readings, and "magic services" on the prohibited list.
Ebay claims that these changes are due to the fact that "transactions in these categories often result in issues between the buyer and seller that are difficult to resolve." It's pretty hard to decide whether or not a magic spell or hex has worked and it's unlikely that a seller is offering any sort of guarantee.
So, if you have magic spells, potions, hexes, curses, readings, or other magic services to sell, you best get on it before Ebay institutes these changes.
This time last month, gaming webcomic Penny Arcade launched an interesting experiment on Kickstarter. The experiment involves raising funds to replace the sites advertising income with funding from you, and I, the fans.
Well, they succeeded. Kickstarter's crowdfunding campaign ended today and Penny Arcade didn't just manage to meet their initial goal of $250,000, they surpassed it and met their bigger goal of $525,000. This means that Penny Arcade will not be featuring ads on their homepage for twelve months. This goal was achieved with just six minutes left on the clock, so it was touch and go there for a while!
The campaign did have some cool donations and gifts, with one high-end donation of $9,999 which granted the donor the chance to have lunch with creators Jerry Holkins and Mike Krahulik. Another two donors spent $7,500 so that they could become Penny Arcade interns for one day. I think we're going to see much more of this type of crowdfunding for sites in the future. Awesome work, Penny Arcade!
Google's Android team have updated the Android Developers site, which keeps everyone updated with what's going on about the company's latest mobile OS, Android 4.1 Jelly Bean. The team have talked about it, too, where they said:
A new revision of the Android Design site has been launched!
It contains lots of new in-depth content, including exciting new features from Android 4.1, Jelly Bean.
New patterns cover widgets, confirming and acknowledging, help, andaccessibility. You'll find links to design sessions presented at Google I/O 2012, plus updated information on notifications and progress and activity. Our downloadable stencils and sources have been expanded to include Nexus 7 frames, and we now offer Adobe® Illustrator® Vector files for your mocks.
Retina MacBook Pro owners might not be enjoying that high-res display as much as they could. This is because if apps don't support the native 2880x1800 resolution, the apps are displayed as a blurry, pixel-doubled app. But, there are plenty of Retina-made apps right now, but they're not easy to find.
Even with Apple's Mac App Store, the apps aren't easy to find, which is why RetinaMacApps.com has stepped in, bringing a list of Retina-compatible apps. The website looks quite simple, lacking any form of search function, as it just sports a drop-down menu on the left that lets you look through the most recent submissions, category or name.
If you don't want to check through the whole site, you can just hook yourself up to a weekly e-mail that will be sent out to you with a list of submitted apps from the week just gone. Retina-powered apps won't automatically appear in this listing, though, as developers will need to submit their apps manually, which means there'll only be a few apps out there that meet these requirements, but won't jump up onto the listing.
Microsoft's new Outlook.com looks to be a success. In the first 24 hours of it being live, Outlook.com saw 1 million users sign up for the newest webmail service on the block. Now, Microsoft is reporting that the service has seen 10 million users sign up and starting using Outlook.com since its launch just two weeks ago.
This stat was released alongside an announcement about the updated SkyDrive updates. The number could be slightly inflated by users grabbing vanity e-mails, but even still it is an impressive feat. In other news, SkyDrive has been revamped by Microsoft to feature a new, modern design and will soon be getting an Android app:
Since we launched the Outlook.com preview two weeks ago, we have been truly humbled by the reception. We've received hundreds of great comments, participated in thousands of threads on @reddit, @gizmodo, @neowin and are excited to share that, as of today, more than 10 million people have signed up and started using Outlook.com.
Today, we're updating SkyDrive with a new, more modern web design, refined SkyDrive apps for PCs and Macs, a new SkyDrive app for Android devices, and improved developer offerings. While there's always more to do to improve our products, these updates bring SkyDrive out of preview and ready for a billion users - in time for the upcoming releases of Windows 8, the new Outlook.com, and the new Office.
Google introduces new text input tool for Google Docs, allows you to type Russian, Chinese and Hindi
Multi-lingual users will like this news, with Google announcing that they've introduced a new text input tool that lets you type in Russian, Chinese and Hindi within their Google Docs product.
Normally other languages require special characters which aren't available on US keyboard configurations, but here is what the Google Drive team had to say about it:
Depending on the language you're typing in, the tool will allow you to input text using the phonetic spelling of a word or using a virtual keyboard that mirrors your physical keyboard.
Learn more about the new text input tool here: http://support.google.com/docs/bin/answer.py?answer=2720937
Try it now: To get started, change your document's language setting to the language you'd like to type in by going to File > Language...Then click the text input tool icon in your document toolbar or use a keyboard shortcut (Cmd + Shift + K on a Mac or Ctrl + Shift + K on a PC)
Google has been extremely active over the past few weeks launching update after update. Today, the latest update is for Google+, more specifically Google+ Hangouts On Air. Since its inception, bands have used Google+ Hangouts On Air to "perform live for global audiences, and jam with fans face-to-face."
Right now, Hangouts On Air has pretty bad sound quality that is optimized for speed and voice, not high-quality live music. However, Studio Mode aims to turn the sound feed into a seemingly CD-quality stream that has full stereo and a higher bit-rate. As of right now, the update has only been pushed out to 25% of users.
Google has produced a YouTube video demonstrating the difference between the audio. Take a listen for yourself, using a pair of high quality headphones for the best effect. With the new audio quality, it's hard to go back to the original. But don't take my word for it--watch the video below:
Google's search results now take into account the number of valid copyright removal notices received
It would appear that Google has partially caved to the music and movie industry. An update to the way search results are ranked will see pirate sites and other illegitimate content sources showing up lower in the results. As you may or may not know, Google looks at around 200 different signals to rank pages and the newest one is directly tied to piracy.
The latest signal to be used in ranking pages will be directly related to "the number of valid copyright removal notices" received for a given site. This means that sites which receive a large number of valid removal notices may appear lower in Google's search results. Google explains why this is a good thing:
This ranking change should help users find legitimate, quality sources of content more easily-whether it's a song previewed on NPR's music website, a TV show on Hulu or new music streamed from Spotify.
As Google points out, only copyright holders know whether or not something is authorized and only the courts are capable of deciding whether it infringes a copyright. This means that they will not be removing links unless a valid removal notice is received; instead, they will just appear lower in the results.
Google has promised to continue to be transparent about removal requests and to provide "counter-notice" tools that will aid people to reinstate their content if it has been wrongly removed.