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German ISP manages incredible new speed over cable

Think your home internet connection is fast? How about your work connection? How about you try 4700Mbps on for size. That's the new speed that has been reached by a German ISP using existing cable network infrastructure. This speed is incredible considering that most PCs only feature Gigabit Ethernet and this would manage to flood that.

 

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Kabel Deutschland, a German cable operator, is claiming to have created a real-world download speed of 4,700Mbps. This ins't theoretical either as they are claiming this speed in a real-world test. Let's see just how fast that is. Four Gigabit connected computers would be unable to max the bandwidth available.

 

More incredibly, a connection of that speed, if you were able to use it all, could download a full 4.7GB DVD in just a mere 8 seconds. This title isn't the fastest real-world connection, as someone already provided a 40Gbps fiber connection to a residence, but this does use the existing cable networks. The test was carried out to test an upgraded network using the 862MHz spectrum, channel bonding, and the EuroDocsis 3.0 standard.

Continue reading 'German ISP manages incredible new speed over cable' (full post)

Google promises to unveil "next dimension of Google Maps" next week

Not only are the browser wars heating up again, but apparently a new mapping war is heating up. The mapping world used to be just a few key players: Microsoft, Google, and a few other smaller ones. But with Apple now rumored to release its own solution at WWDC, the market is about to become a lot more complex.

 

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It would appear that Google would like to steal some of Apple's thunder before its rumored release of a new mapping service. Google is hosting an invite-only press event in San Francisco to unveil "the next dimension of Google Maps." Considering Apple's new mapping service is expected to be 3D, does the mention of "dimension" in the invitation indicate Google is going to be adding more 3D features?

 

Google will also offer attendees "a behind-the-scenes look at Google Maps and share our vision. We'll also demo some of the newest technology and provide a sneak peek at upcoming features that will help people get where they want to go - both physically and virtually." Of course, Google already has the 3D Earth, but it requires a plug-in. Could this event be releasing one that runs without a plug-in?

 

We're not sure, and we haven't received an invitation yet, but we will be sure to find out everything that we can to report to you, our reader.

Verizon ups FiOS speeds, top tier now hits 300Mb/s

Thought your FiOS fiber connection wasn't fast enough? Well, you won't have to worry any more as Verizon has just announced speed upgrades to all of the FiOS tiers except for the base 15Mb/s connection. The increase in speed across the board is at least double, and in some cases triple, so there will be no more waiting for downloads.

 

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Even the uploads have seen a boost in speed, though not quite as much as the downloads. Verizon is touting that both a 2-hour HD movie download and a 10GB backup will finish in 22 minutes or less on the faster connection. Verizon is saying that they are increasing the speed because of people needing it for uses like previously described.

 

There is no announcement regarding pricing. It's possible that there could be a price drop, although I don't see that in the cards. There also could be a price increase, although I don't see that as very likely either. We'll just have to wait until the speed rolls out this coming June. Verizon just needs to get the availability increased as I would love to get this to my house.

Twitter improves performance, lowers page load times to 20% of what they were before

Twitter has announced updates to its website which they claim has decreased page load times down to 20% of what they were previously. The old system used the browser to render JavaScript which was groundbreaking at the time. It does have a disadvantage, however, in that it misses out on optimizations only available to the server.

 

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As such, Twitter is bringing some of the front-end grunt work back onto the servers in order to speed up load times. As Twitter says, "To connect you to information in real time, it's important for Twitter to be fast." Part of the change is not using # (hashbang) in the permalink URLs to improve initial load times.

 

Another update is to decrease the "time to first Tweet." This is where Twitter has managed to decrease page load times to 1/5 of what they were previously. The general, watered down version of how this works is to take the JavaScript out of the equation and render the content on the server. This removes the slowdown from old browsers or slow machines.

 

There are many other improvements discussed in the post on Twitter's engineering blog, so I encourage you to check it out for yourself if you are interested. The Twitter blog post can be found on Twitter's engineering blog here.

Continue reading 'Twitter improves performance, lowers page load times to 20% of what they were before' (full post)

Reddit's Alexis Ohanian, activists want to make 'Bat-Signal for the internet'

With the SOPA and PIPA protests becoming distant memories, the attacks on internet freedoms have been renewed by Congress in the form of CISPA. There have been no protests like there were against PIPA and SOPA and that has Reddit's Alexis Ohanian concerned. An entrepreneurial group now wants to create the internet equivalent of the Bat-Signal.

 

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The idea is that SOPA-like mass protests could be started at the push of a button when internet freedoms were deemed in danger. Website owners can sign up on the group's website and add a piece of code to their website that can be activated when a political crisis like SOPA rears its ugly head. Owners can also receive the code by e-mail when the signal is turned on.

 

"People who wish to be tapped can see, oh look, the Bat-Signal is up. Time to do something," says Ohanian. "Whatever website you own, this is a way for you to be notified if something comes up and take some basic actionsÂ…If we aggregate everyone that's doing it, the numbers start exploding."

 

The code can do more than just display a banner. Tiffiny Cheng, co-director of Internet-focused political advocacy group Fight for the Future, explains how it could implement a SOPA-style blackout: "We'll invent something at the time, and it will be some really unified and shocking action. We're creating the tools and the forms of protest that allow for viral organizing. That's how the SOPA protests were able to get started and grow to the level they did."

Continue reading 'Reddit's Alexis Ohanian, activists want to make 'Bat-Signal for the internet'' (full post)

Facebook adds feature to allow game developers to demo games in News Feed

Ever see a game on Facebook that looks interesting but you don't want to play it because of all the hassle of installing and uninstalling if it's bad? Facebook is looking to change that with a new feature which will allow game developers to demo their wares in the news feed. Developers won't be given any information about the users.

 

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If players like the game then they are able to click through onto the full version. This new feature is great, although I'm not sure that the news feed is a proper location for it. Personally, my news feed is already overflowing with the posts of my friend and the posts of quality content here on TweakTown, so I don't think I want more posts, especially ones that take up a lot of room.

 

Facebook has provided some examples of games already using the new feature. These games include: Idle Worship, Angry Birds, and Bubble Witch Saga. Developers of these games receive statistics about impressions of the story and how many people use the game contained within. Facebook has provided examples of how current games are using the new feature:

 

  • Angry Birds lets users challenge friends to beat your score on a level.
  • Bubble Witch Saga enables sharing coins with friends, they can earn a multiplier for a high score.
  • Idle Worship lets users share a mini-game which gives friends a glimpse of the full game.
  • Tetris Battle allows publishing a replay of a two-player battle.

Continue reading 'Facebook adds feature to allow game developers to demo games in News Feed' (full post)

Google removes a massive 250,000 links per week over piracy, copyright concerns

Google has given us a bit more insight into the links that are removed from search results as a result of copyright and piracy complaints. The details include which organizations make the request, who actually owns the content, and the top targeted domains. The numbers are actually pretty shocking, so let's just start with one. 250,000. That's the average number of links taken down per week.

 

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That 250,000 number is more than the total number of links removed for all of 2009. Even more incredible is the fact that Google's senior copyright counsel Fred von Lohmann says that the majority of requests are legitimate. Most of the requests are for sites that are offering unauthorized copies of software, entertainment or pornography.

 

Now, another number: 22,923. That's the number of sites that were targeted last month. Those sites generated over 1.1 million take-down requests. The illicit content was owned by just 1,190 people. This means, on average, each copyright owner had roughly 1,000 links removed over the past month. But, the numbers show that the average is extremely skewed.

 

What I mean by that is just over 520,000 URLs hosted Microsoft-owned content. Just under half of the removed links were due to Microsoft. This data should be extremely useful in the continuing debate regarding online piracy. The numbers should help Google and others fight off another SOPA should one be introduced as legislation.

Continue reading 'Google removes a massive 250,000 links per week over piracy, copyright concerns' (full post)

Yahoo debuts Axis, a new way to search

Yahoo is working hard to turn themselves around from the brink of ruin, and this new Axis search that they have released could just manage to do that. Axis is a new way of searching the web and focuses on getting rid of the search results page. Interested yet? I certainly was, so I investigated the story a bit further.

 

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TechCrunch spoke with Yahoo's Director of Product Management Ethan Batraski: "No one's innovated on 'How do I get rid of the search results page altogether'", Batraski said. "That is what we want to do." And so that's what they did. The new way to search is via a plug in to Chrome, Internet Explorer, Safari, and Firefox. There is also an iOS app for this new search.

 

Once you type in your Yahoo credentials, a small black bar gets added to the bottom left of your browser window. Click inside the search bar and it expands to about 1/3 of your page. No longer do you have to leave the page you are on to do a search. It will probably take a bit of getting used to as I know I am in the habit of quickly Ctrl + T'ing a new window and punching in my query.

 

The now expanded window fills with thumbnails of the search results as opposed to the traditional links. Users can scroll through the results by dragging the mouse or by clicking on the arrows. The desktop is only half of the new product. The iOS is a browser itself along with being a new search engine.

Continue reading 'Yahoo debuts Axis, a new way to search ' (full post)

Obama orders government agencies to create websites optimized for smartphones and tablets

President Obama is embracing technology. On Wednesday, he ordered major governmental agencies to create mobile-optimized websites. The agencies have to provide two key services to mobile users within a year. The directive also ordered agencies to create websites to report on their mobile websites progress. These sites have to be completed in just 90 days.

 

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I've had to go onto government sites from my phone before and it's near impossible to gather anything as the site is designed for desktops, and not even designed that well for those. Obama has recognized this fact and realized the importance of mobile phones and data access. By 2015, it's likely more web traffic will come from mobile devices than desktops.

 

"Americans deserve a government that works for them anytime, anywhere, and on any device," Obama said in a statement. "By making important services accessible from your phone and sharing government data with entrepreneurs, we are giving hard-working families and businesses tools that will help them succeed."

Continue reading 'Obama orders government agencies to create websites optimized for smartphones and tablets' (full post)

Dear Facebook, you're a public company now - fix your site already!

Dear Facebook and Mr. Mark Zuckerberg, you're a publicly listed company now. Don't you think it's high time you fixed these things? I'm pretty positive your near enough to 1,000,000,000 users are sick and tired of the issues.

 

Invest your cash injection in more staff, perhaps? Your users aren't going to stick around with poor quality aspects to some areas of your site and apps.

 

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  • Video Uploading: It seems when you upload a video of anything over roughly 50MB, the video uploader page just errors out and doesn't give any error at all. It just diverts the URL to a prefix containing "uhoh". Really, Facebook? Make it clear if there is a file size limit and don't accept the file for uploading to begin with.
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  • Give Users Choice: For people with an addictive personality (me), it drives me up the wall not being able to remove the suggestion boxes on the right side of your site. I don't think I'm ever going to get through all of your subscriber suggestions and it drives me mad that I don't have the choice to disable this box and others.
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  • Events: At this the last time I checked, there is no option to cancel an event. Sure, you can delete an event, but then it just disappears and users are left wondering what happened. Instead create a new status update of cancelled or postponed.
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  • Pokes: Isn't it about time this annoying feature was removed? Enough said.

Continue reading 'Dear Facebook, you're a public company now - fix your site already!' (full post)

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