Google has begun the process of bringing Fiber to three more US cities: Oklahoma City, OK, Jacksonville, FL, and Tampa, FL. Whether it will actually happen is another story (there is a lot of evaluation on the viability of construction to be done first), but they did have plenty of nice things to say about each location.
"These growing tech-hubs have a strong entrepreneurial spirit and commitment to small business growth," writes Jill Szuchmacher, Director of Google Fiber Expansion. "Their list of accolades is long-from Jacksonville's title as a top 10 city for tech jobs, to Tampa Bay's #2 spot on the list of best cities for young entrepreneurs, to Oklahoma City's recognition as the #1 city to launch a business. One of our goals is to make sure speed isn't an accidental ceiling for how people and businesses use the Web, and these cities are the perfect places to show what's possible with gigabit Internet."
The tally of cities equipped with or exploring Fiber right now is 15.
Google has been expected to launch its long-awaited video subscription service through YouTube for a while now, but it looks like it will be finally taking place on Wednesday according to the latest rumors.
YouTube's premium subscription model is expected to include ad-free viewing, as well as the ability to download videos for offline viewing. As for the cost, we should expect somewhere around the $10 per month range, which will have plenty of people jumping onboard so that they can secure an ad-free YouTube experience.
Two months ago, the New York Times published an expose on the work environment at Amazon, which it described as "brusing" from the get go, before detailing extremely long hours, annual staff cullings, and employees crying in the office, among other things.
Now, Amazon's Senior Vice President for Global Corporate Affairs Jay Carney has hit back, criticizing the piece as poor journalism on Medium.com (it should be noted Carney spent two decades as a reporter for Time, and has served as White House Press Secretary).
The jist of Carney's position is that the sources in the article are not credible (one, he says, later resigned when confronted with evidence of him attempting to defraud and conceal vendors, and another later clarified her long hours were self-imposed), and they were lied to about how the piece would turn out (nuanced versus what he feels is sensationalist).
It looks like Google is making big progress in its Twitch competitor, with YouTube Gaming v1.1 being torn down by Android Police. The outfit found that the latest app includes background and offline playback, and so much more.
With YouTube's background and offline playback still not here, it shows the progress that the team has had with YouTube Gaming, pushing out these two big features into the app virtually instantly. We should hopefully expect the normal YouTube app to feature offline playback and background play in the next few revisions.
Google is including VR support for YouTube Gaming through Cardboard, allowing 360-degree videos to be played through the YouTube Gaming v1.1 app. If you want to download the YouTube Gaming v1.1 APK, you can grab it here.
Chattanooga, Tennessee is now host to the world's fastest Internet, which clocks in at 10Gbps. The service comes courtesy of local Internet service provider EBP, which introduced citywide 1GB/s service in 2010. They dub the service "NextNet."
The 10Gbps service will cost you $299 per month, compared to the $69.99 1Gbps service. Two other cities -- Springfield, Vermont and Salisbury, North Carolina -- started offering 10Gbps service this year, but Chattanooga, with 170,000 customers, has the highest potential adoption rate.
The city and company are hoping the news will attract tech startups to the region. Another motivator is Comcast, which recently introduced 2Gbps service for $159/mo to residents.
Facebook is currently working on four new video related functions, each of which is highly practical.
First up is suggested videos, which would help you find other videos to watch after you start watching a video from your Feed. This feature is available now on most iPhones around the world, and to some web users. Android users will see it within a few months.
Next is multitasking while watching videos. Facebook is now testing the ability to watch a video in a floating screen while you continue to use the site, which sounds much like what we see with Chromecast and YouTube.
Google met with technology companies and publishers recently to discuss the issue of slow loading websites on mobile, an issue they believe causes significant revenue loss for website owners.
Following the talks, they've launched the Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP) project. As you can probably tell from the name, the aim is to improve mobile browsing performance, but it's also to better how code functions across all the different devices available today.
The project is built on AMP HTML, "a new open framework built entirely out of existing web technologies, which allows websites to build light-weight webpages."
More than 30 publishers have signed on to start. Among them: Wordpress and Twitter.
Facebook and French satellite provider Eutelsat have teamed up to transmit free internet to large portions of Africa via orbital satellite.
With the help of Spacecom, the duo has secured the entire Ka-band payload of the AMOS-6 geostationary satellite which will transmit the signal. The AMOS-6 is configured with "high gain spot beams covering large parts of West, East and Southern Africa" as well as "high throughput satellite architecture" that ensure cost-effective, Direct-to-User internet access for Africans. Both Facebook and Eutelsat will split the broadband capacity, and the satellite is scheduled to launch in the second half of 2016.
"Facebook's mission is to connect the world and we believe that satellites will play an important role in addressing the significant barriers that exist in connecting the people of Africa," said Chris Daniels, Vice President of Facebook's Internet.org. "We are looking forward to partnering with Eutelsat on this project and investigating new ways to use satellites to connect people in the most remote areas of the world more efficiently."
According to a report from Recode, Google is preparing for the launch of 'YouTube Red', the company's ad-free, subscription-based model for YouTube that has been in the pipeline for quite a while now.
Recode is reporting that numerous emails were sent out to channel owners, asking them to agree to a new set of terms and conditions by October 22nd or their monetized videos would be switched to private until the new agreement had been agreed upon. We don't know if the subscription-based YouTube Red will launch on that day, but it should be within hours of that.
The ad-free YouTube Red will launch in the US at first, after which it will float across the pond once Google begins sorting out the various legal issues associated with rights management. As for pricing, we can expect a decent price of $9.99 per month, something that will include Play Music Unlimited. As someone who shifted over from Spotify to Play Music Unlimited, I'm hoping my existing subscription will include YouTube Red.
Streaming music service Pandora invites everyone to enjoy one day of ad-free music, as the company celebrates its 10-year anniversary. The special day takes place on Wednesday, September 9, and is fully sponsored by Pandora One - so from 12:00 am ET until 12:00AM ET Thursday, anyone can listen to ad-free music.
Despite the drastic rise of Spotify, Pandora still streams the most music out of all competing services - with almost 80 million listeners each month, listening to 74 billion hours of music, creating 8 billion stations, and sharing more than 55 billion thumbs over the past decade.
"From the first song Pandora played in 2005 to the 50 billionth we celebrated earlier this year, our mission has remained the same - to provide each of our listeners with the best music experience possible, whether an old favorite or introducing them to a new artist and style of music," said Tim Westergren, founder of Pandora. "Listener Love Day is a celebration of not only our listeners, but a day dedicated to great music."