Think your USB 3.0 or Thunderbolt port delivers blazing fast transfer rates? You must not be a high-energy physicist. While the rest of the world was patiently waiting for Intel to drag Thunderbolt ports from Macs to PCs, a group of the aforementioned scientists and network engineers decided to get a little more proactive and develop a technology that transfers two-way data at a rate of 186 friggin’ Gbps per second – a new world record that makes the 10 Gbps offered by Thunderbolt absolutely sluggish.
The sky is falling for movie lovers! The post office recently announced that it was closing down nearly half of its processing centers starting in early in 2012, which could eliminate next-day delivery services – and add an extra day of processing to Netflix deliveries. No worries, you can just shift the slack to streaming, right? (Possibly) wrong – as we recently reported, ISPs are considering implementing tiered data pricing to squeeze more cash out of heavy media streamers. So is all lost? Could your ABC Family Movies addiction be in danger of extinction? Not if you’re a Comcast customer. The company apparently has no plans of switching to tiered data pricing.
If you’ve watched any television over the holiday weekend, you probably saw one of Sprint’s iPhone commercials, which claims that the company “doesn’t limit the iPhone” thanks to its unlimited, unthrottled data plans – something no other major mobile carrier provides. It’s been a big marketing ploy for the company for a while now, but a new report suggests that limited airwave space may force Sprint to yank its unrestricted plans off the table sometime soon.
Where data is concerned, there are few companies that even come close to rivaling the size of Facebook’s data reserves, constantly replenished by a ceaseless stream of Likes and much more. But as they often say, with large amounts of data comes great responsibility. And that is where the European Commission (EC) seems to have a problem with the world’s largest social network.
What makes you, well, you? That’s the kind of question that can keep big-brained philosophers pondering for decades. We’re no Nietzsches here at Maximum PC, so we’ll just report on the facts, thank you very much – and the facts says Facebook thinks part of you actually belongs to them. Well, kind of. Facebook refused to turn over a complete log of the personal data the social network had collected about an activist group’s founder over the years, because apparently, the company considers some of your personal data – such as “Like” history – to be their “trade secrets or intellectual property.”
While we were busy listening to all the Spotify coverage at F8 a few weeks back, the Zuck let a little something else slip that we missed at first: Facebook’s active user base is now over 800 million strong. Let that number sink in. 800 million. It’s utterly massive. How massive? One website crunched the numbers and found that the Facebook of 2011 isas big as the entire Internet of 2004 and a whole host of other things.
Hey, remember how AT&T was the first telco to do away with unlimited data? Now, the best Ma Bell customers can do is plop down $25 for a 2GB plan, then another $10 for each additional GB of overage. It can get pricey for power users, but not for much longer; AT&T plans placing the muzzle on the top 5 percent of bandwidth hogs by throttling their connection sometime soon. The company began sending out text messages warning as much to its heaviest users today.
Numbers, percentages, bits of data; normally, we tend to look at these tidbits as information, useful for statistical analysis and not much more. Accounting isn’t sexy. Spreadsheet programmers don’t cultivate the same star power as lead programmers on video games. But numbers and raw data hold a unique and powerful allure their own – just ask John Carmack.
Before you skimp on the size of your next hard drive to shave a few bucks off your system build, you should consider the state of the digital universe. To help you do that, IDC put together its fifth annual study of the digital universe sponsored by EMC Corporation and found that it's, well, big and vast. We already knew that last year when planet Earth broke the zettabyte barrier, and by the end of 2011, the amount of information created and replicated will surpass 1.8 zettabytes (that's 1.8 trillion gigabytes), growing by a factor of 9 in just five years, IDC says.
The eggheads at the School of International Relations and Pacific Studies and the San Diego Supercomputer Center at the University of California, San Diego did a little number crunching lately and present their findings in a research report. What they found is that, as of three years ago, the world's 27 million business servers processed 9.57 zettabytes of information. As for the average worker, he or she receives an average of 3TB of information every year, enough to fill today's largest consumer hard drives.