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Google has once again proven itself a company to be reckoned with. Today, Google announced the launch of Google Fiber, their first step to becoming an internet service provider. Available to residents of Kasas City, Kansas and Kansas City, Missouri, Google will provide an incredible 1 gigabit upload and download speed for only $70.
While $70 isn't exactly cheap, it's quite a bit cheaper, and faster, than competing services. The average internet speed in the United States is about 5.8Mbps meaning that the Google provided internet is about 100 times faster. If you don't want to pay out $70 a month, Google is offering 5Mbps/1Mbps for "free." All you have to do is pay a $300 construction fee.
"No more buffering. No more loading. No more waiting. Gigabit speeds will get rid of these pesky, archaic problems and open up new opportunities for the web," writes Google Vice President Milo Medin, on the company blog. "Imagine: instantaneous sharing; truly global education; medical appointments with 3D imaging; even new industries that we haven't even dreamed of, powered by a gig."
Google is having issues with it's Google Talk service. For about three hours now, Google Talk has been down. At this point, Google is investigating the matter and has promised an update about 10 minutes from now. Google hasn't provided a time frame for the service to return and they haven't provided a reason for the outage.
The status of Google Talk can be checked on Google's website. We will continue to keep you updated as we learn more about the outage, its causes, and when the service comes back. Until then, you're going to have to find another way to chat with your friends.
It would appear that the United States government is actually doing something useful with its money. The FCC has announced a plan to spend $115 million over the next three years bringing broadband internet access to 400,000 individuals and businesses who don't have access to such services as of right now.
The government's money will be complemented by tens of millions of private funds. This new undertaking is part of the FCC's Connect America Fund project and works to bring broadband access to rural areas that may still be stuck using dial-up. It's a pretty big issue as the United States is an extremely large area.
The FCC realizes that high-speed internet access has "gone from being a luxury to a necessity for full participation in our economy and society." The FCC had the following statement: "Today's action is just the beginning of our efforts to unleash the benefits of broadband for millions of homes and small businesses in unserved rural communities across the U.S."
Google, once again trying to be the one-stop-shop for all of your knowledge needs, has added a 34-button calculator to search results. Now, instead of just spitting out a text answer when typing in a math question, you will be able to process sines and cosines, tangents and logarithms, as well as simple addition and subtraction.
Google had given no heads up about this change, but an official Google Twitter account posted that they had rolled out the latest stage, 3.9, of its Panda algorithm last night. It's not clear whether or not the two events are linked. This calculator is just one feature in the past months designed to change Google away from just being a search engine.
Now what they really need to add is graphing capability. Then college and high school students around the world could rejoice in the fact that they could leave their graphing calculator at home and still easily have access to one.
A feature requested by many Twitter users, and partially offered by other services, will finally be offered directly by Twitter some time in the future. "We're working on a tool to let users export all of their tweets," Mr. Costolo said in a meeting with reporters and editors at The New York Times on Monday. "You'll be able to download a file of them."
However, while users will be able to go through their own Tweets, as of right now, there are no plans for a feature to allow users to dig through all of the Tweets on the site. He explained that the search problems are very different and you "can't just put three engineers on it." As of right now, there is no timeline for when a search or download feature would be available.
EU law already provides this option for users who really want to have a copy of their Tweets and several users have taken advantage of it. EU law requires Twitter to provide a copy of all data they have stored about a user. Those who have exercised that right have found that it includes your account, tweets, favorites, direct messages, saved searches and more information about you, delivered in a ZIP file.
Spotify is marking its one-year anniversary in the United States by releasing an infographic with numbers about the service. It contains some incredible numbers and would appear to be a success due to all the big numbers. First, users have listened to over 13 BILLION tracks. This works out to around 27,000 years or 23.7 million man-hours of listening.
Users of the service have also shared nearly 28,000,000 million tracks. 55% were shared via Facebook and 41% were shared via Spotify itself. For those of you who do not know about Spotify, they offer unlimited music streaming for $5/month or $10/month if you want to have access on a mobile device. They also offer a free service, with some restrictions of course.
In another attempt to make a pointless statement towards Washington D.C., a group of websites and privacy organizations have come together to form the Declaration of Internet Freedom. The Declaration of Internet Freedom is the start of something bigger, a movement to uphold and ensure some basic principles, much like the Declaration of Independence was.
"We've seen how the Internet has been under attack from various directions, and we recognize that it's time to make that stop," said TechDirt, a site involved with the new movement. "The Internet is an incredible platform that we want to grow and to thrive, and thus, a very large coalition got together to produce the following document as a starting point, hoping to kick off a much larger discussion which we hope you'll join in."
As it stands currently, the Declaration of Internet Freedom is composed of 5 basic values:
- Expression: Don't censor the Internet.
- Access: Promote universal access to fast and affordable networks.
- Openness: Keep the Internet an open network where everyone is free to connect, communicate, write, read, watch, speak, listen, learn, create, and innovate.
- Innovation: Protect the freedom to innovate and create without permission. Don't block new technologies, and don't punish innovators for their users' actions.
- Privacy: Protect privacy and defend everyone's ability to control how their data and devices are used.
Over the last few months Apple have been getting hit with negative press over their OS' security, with hackers and the such gaining access to user files in less than thirty seconds, which is a concern as Apple used to always push that their operating system never got PC viruses.
But, Apple continued to run with the "I'm a Mac and I'm a PC" campaign, where they focused on the "fact" that Windows-based systems got viruses, while OS X-based systems couldn't. But now that we know that is complete BS, Apple have done what they do best, marketing and using its legal system to remove any proof so that potential liability for the company is wiped away.
As you can see in the picture above, Apple used to state that a "Mac isn't susceptible to the thousands of viruses plaguing Windows-based computers. That's thanks to built-in defences in Mac OS X that keep you safe, without any work on your part". So Apple more or less said that you just run the OS and you're protected, but for years we've known this isn't true.
If you're based in Hong Kong, Taiwan, or a bunch of other territories then you'll be happy to know that Apple have just opened the flood gates to the iTunes Store.
Even though these territories have had the App Store for a while, now you can grab music and movies, too. Apple singles out Hong Kong, Singapore and Taiwan, as well as Brunei, Cambodia, Laos, Macau, Malaysia, the Philippines, Sri Lanka, Thailand, and Vietnam.
The above-mentioned cities will get local content, as well as the International hits. Music and movies are not the only thing that have been made available, iTunes in the Cloud re-downloads as well as iTunes Match subscriptions in every country.
Have you ever noticed that the views on a newly viral YouTube video seemingly pause at 301? If so, I imagine you've wondered why that is. Well, previously it had just been one of those many internet myths that seemingly don't have an answer. However, thanks to YouTube product manager Ted Hamilton, we now have an answer.
The basic reason behind the views freezing at 301 is the following: Once a video hits 300 views, subsequent views are collected and sent to YouTube's central servers for verification. This verification process takes about one-half day to a day and checks that the views weren't racked up by a bot. Mr. Hamilton explains:
Views, as mentioned, are a currency. When you have a video with very small amount of views you don't need to be too careful about what the view was. However, once it gets to be above 300 and beyond, this currency, we really need to verify and make sure that the number is what it purports to be. So this means that we have to go through a statistical verification process. And that statistical verification process actually takes some time. And thus we go from incrementing one by one, to then saying, OK, now we're incrementing in batch. And all of these views we're adding on have been verified by YouTube to be real views. We are preventing things like bots to go in and add a bunch of views to a video.