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Tag Archives: Internet

FCC Wants To Know How Much Your Internet Sucks

broadband-testingBy Evan Ackerman

The FCC, in a remarkable display of optimism, has decreed that as part of the national broadband plan that they’re about to present to congress, 100 million Americans will have 100 Mbps internet by, um, 2010. Good luck with that, fellas. Anyway, it’s not like the FCC is going to start offering you high speed internet packages for cheap; rather, they’ll be trying to get congress to pass legislation to prod telecoms into pulling the US out of a glorified dial-up age.

As part of that process, the FCC would like to know how fast your internet is. By finding out where broadband service is the worst (or doesn’t exist), they’ll know where to focus their resources, with the welcome side effect of exposing the differences between the kind of services that telecoms promise, and what they actually deliver.

So obviously, the most productive thing you can possibly do is to download a bunch of movies as you’re running the test, since the worse your internet is, the more likely that the FCC will pay attention and get somebody to do something about it.


[ FCC Broaband Test ] VIA [ Wired ]

Arizona School Bus Gives Free Wi-Fi To Students


By Chris Scott Barr

You know how your parents and grandparents always told you how much better you had it than they did as kids? I’m still in my 20’s and I’m already thinking those exact same things. For instance, when I rode the bus to school I generally just read books. Eventually I got a portable CD player which would drown out the noise while I read. What do some kids do now? They get on their laptops and surf the net thanks to the 3G Wi-Fi router installed on the bus.

Alright, so that isn’t exactly the norm, only one bus out in Arizona has this convenience. The idea was to transform the hour-long bus ride into more-or-less of a study hall. The 3G router has been in place since last fall and the driver said that the it has made a huge impact on the students. Instead of the usual rowdy school bus activities that you generally see, most kids are simply typing away on their laptops. Sure, plenty of the kids are probably on Facebook or playing games, but it doesn’t upset the district officials. They’re just happy that it keeps them quiet. Not to mention there are students actually using it to get their homework done before getting dropped off.

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Google Introduces Chrome OS

giBy Evan Ackerman

Google announced their new Chrome operating system yesterday, and as you’d expect from Google, it’s something innovative and entirely online, since as Google points out, we’re all online almost all the time anyway. At its heart, Chrome OS is just a browser, and all the applications that you’re used to having on your computer run as web applications (like Google Docs). A key difference from traditional web apps, though, is that Chrome will be able to harness some of the powers of the computer that it’s running on, thanks to the next generation of HTML, HTML 5. Like a browser, Chrome OS will start in mere seconds, and it’s designed specifically for netbooks. In a nutshell: Chrome OS is just like Google’s Chrome browser, except it’ll run web based applications that give it the functionality of a conventional operating system. While a developers build is available now, Chrome OS will officially launch sometime next year.

More, after the jump.Continue Reading

YouTube Upgrades Video Streaming To 1080p

By Chris Scott Barr

It’s getting hard to remember life before YouTube. Before our favorite video streaming site existed, we had to scrape by with America’s Funniest Home Videos and the occasional gem on Newgrounds. These days not only do we get to watch millions of stupid (and once in a while educational) videos, but they’re also available in 720p. Of course in this age of high-definition TVs, YouTube knows it could do better. And starting this week, they will.

That’s right, this week the site will allow users to upload videos in 1080p, and play them back in the same resolution. It seems that some videos that were previously uploaded in 1080p have already been converted. The above video has been confirmed to be streaming at full 1080p. It looks great (in comparison to SD), loads fast and has no stutters when streaming for me. What do you guys think?

[ YouTube ] VIA [ Dvice ]

Google Brings Free Wi-Fi To Airports For The Holidays


By Chris Scott Barr

Traveling during the holiday season isn’t always the most fun. With crowded airports and the risk of getting snowed in, many people will do their best to steer clear of flying when possible. Of course, if your loved ones are on the other side of the country, you don’t have much of a choice. Thankfully if you do get stuck in an airport this season, one company is making sure that at the very least, you’ll have internet access.

Google has announced that they are making free Wi-Fi available in 47 airports across the US. You can click here for the full list of covered locations. Google isn’t rolling out some sort of new wireless service, but instead paying the service providers to allow everyone free access. They are also matching donations made while at the airports (using Google Checkout) up to $250k. The contributions will go to your choice of charitable organizations. Also if you’re in one of these locations after November 16, you can submit a photo of yourself for a chance to win a number of different (and unnamed) prizes.

[ FreeHolidayWiFi ] VIA [ CrunchGear ]

GM Brings WiFi Access To Your New Vehicle


By Chris Scott Barr

There are some people in this world that need to be connected to the internet at all times. Sure, I’m an internet junkie, but I don’t think I’d ever go so far as to install a permanent WiFi hotspot in my car. GM announced that they will soon start offering Autonet, an always-on wireless internet solution for your car.

The device can be installed in your new van, SUV, truck or crossover starting later this month. Installation will set you back $499, while service is going to cost $29 a month with a 1GB cap. There is also a 5GB package, though no price was listed. The WiFi signal will reach up to 150 feet away, so you won’t be limited to using it just in your car. Great, now kids can check their Facebook and watch YouTube on long car rides. All my brother and I had was one GameBoy to fight over.

[ GM ] VI A [ CrunchGear ]

Getting Bandwidth Envy: Portugal To Have 1Gbps Internet Service By September

zonBy David Ponce

It’s rather shocking to see the differences in network infrastructure worldwide. As if to make some kind of point, news comes that Portugal ISP Zon will be offering its customers 1Gbps service starting this September. The country will then become the world’s third (and the first in Europe) to provide such speeds, along with Japan and South Korea.

There’s no word on the technology being employed as Zon is a cable operator and DOCSIS 3.0 limits bandwidth at 320Mbps. Some say it could be a publicity stunt, but if it’s not, then good on Portugal, I guess. It’s just that it really sucks to live in Canada. Get this: I’m paying $75 each month for 10Mpbs, capped at 100GB monthly. 10Mbps! How sad is that?

Let us know your horror (or heaven) stories in the comments.

VIA [ Xataka ]

Epix To Stream Movies Before DVD Release


By Chris Scott Barr

Don’t you love it when you realize that you missed a movie in theaters, and thus have to wait months for it come out on DVD? I’m sure that the movie studios have a good reason for doing it (profit, mostly), but it can still be rather frustrating. Well a few movie studios including MGM, Paramount and Lionsgate have jumped on a project that will allow you to watch movies at home, before they are released on DVD.

The project is called Epix, and it works in two ways. First, it is a TV channel that will air movies in a pay-per-view fashion before they are released on DVD. Second, they will also allow you to stream the movies to your computer, in 720p no less. This all sounds pretty good right? It would be pretty cool if it weren’t for the one little catch. Epix will only be housing their servers with select ISPs. What that means is that you will have to have both TV and internet service through a specific ISP in order to enjoy these movies. Honestly, if I can stream movies online, why do I need a TV channel for it? I ditched my cable service in favor of Hulu and Boxee and I have no regrets. I think I can wait for a DVD.

[ Epix ] VIA [ Dvice ]

LG Launches DTXTR Site To Translate Text Messages


By Chris Scott Barr

In some ways I feel bad for parents these days. Sure, as kids we all had our own slang that our parents didn’t always understand, but that’s nothing compared to what is used for texting. To the older generation it can read like a foreign language. Well LG feels the pain of these parents, and has created a translator.

The DTXTR is a simple little web app that lets you enter “teen text” and click a button for a translation. I suppose this is a decent idea, as some parents might be confused by what their kids are saying. But honestly, I wonder how many people will actually bother with it. I mean if a parent isn’t savvy enough to decipher the messages that their kids are sending, are they really going to bother going to a website to figure it out? If I were a kid and sent my parents something that they couldn’t understand, they’d just ground me until I learned how to spell properly.

[ DTXTR ] VIA [ TechCrunch ]