The Aland Islands sit at the entrance to the Gulf of Bothnia and, collectively, form the smallest region of Finland. The total population is less than 30,000 spread out over 572 square miles, and those that are connected to the Net enjoy download speeds on average about 5Mbps faster than the U.S.
That's according to Ookla's Household Download Index, a list comparing and ranking consumer download speeds around the globe based on millions of recent test results from Speedtest.net. South Korea Tops the list at 32Mbps, and coming in second is Latvia with 24.85Mbps.
And what about the U.S.? We're pulling in a respectable 27th place with an average download speed of 10.16Mbps, trailing such world destinations like the aforementioned Aland Islands (15.08Mpbs), Kyrgyzstan (14.16Mbps), Lithuania (22.54Mbps), and the Republic of Moldova (23.25Mbps), to name just a few.
As for last place (#162), that goes to Zambia with 0.26Mbps, followed by Nepal (0.40Mbps), Zimbabwe (0.43Mbps), and Afghanistan (0.53Mbps).
How do you compare? Hit the jump and post your broadband speeds (downstream/upstream), ISP, and if you're so inclined, your general location.
Google recently vowed to make more frequent the end-user's trysts with a new version of its Chrome browser. But for some, stable browser builds are rather vapid and the prospect of one every six weeks even more so. Google has now released the highly unstable Chrome Canary Build for such denizens of the bleeding edge.
“We plan to update the Canary Build more frequently than the Dev channel, with riskier changes, and usually without a human being ever verifying that it works, so the Canary Build is only for users who want to help test Google Chrome and are comfortable using a highly unstable browser that will often break entirely,” Henry Bridge, a Google product manager, said in a blog post.
It is possible to install the experimental Canary Build alongside a more stable version of the browser, which can be either a Dev, Beta or a Stable channel release. If you are a Mac or Linux user, the Canary Build is not for you.
“If you like to live on the bleeding edge, give the Google Chrome Canary Build a shot and let us know what you think. The early feedback on crashes, performance regressions, broken features and other problems is incredibly valuable to us, so thanks!”
Researchers from the University of Ballarat's Internet Commerce Security Laboratory have it all wrong. Everyone knows BitTorrent is mostly used for downloading Linux distros and game demos, right? As it turns out, it's even hard to type that with a straight face.
It's no secret that BitTorrent is a popular tool for snagging copyrighted content, but is BitTorrent getting a bad rap? According to a new study, if anything, we might be underestimating just how much illegal content flows through the file sharing protocol.
The above mentioned researchers examined 1,000 torrent files from 23 trackers and found that 89 percent of the content was confirmed to be copyrighted, while the remaining 11 percent was suspect at best. And out of all those files, only three of them were confirmed legal. That's .3 percent, folks.
Broken down into categories, movies, music, and TV shows were the most popular, with not a single legal file being shared among any of them.
Google Voice. Situation: It's a pretty awesome competitor to good ol' Skype, especially when you use its crazy powers to forward calls from your magical number to physical locations all over the world. I, for one, use Google voice to get into my own apartment. Ringing me up on the ol' call box in front of my condo complex calls my Google Voice number (local calls only!), which in turn buzzes up my cell phone which, in turn, lets me go home.
That's just one interesting use of an otherwise awesome service. There are many more. Problem: There are not nearly as many apps--Web-based or downloadable--that allow you to interact with Google Voice in unique, cool ways. I've scrounged together five for your enjoyment but, honestly, we're scraping the barrel this week in terms of available software.
So, that said, go register a Google Voice number. And while you're doing that, start skimming this article for awesome new ways to use the service!
If the ongoing legal offensive against 5,000 Hurt Locker downloaders is meant to serve as a deterrent, the makers of the film have made little headway. According to torrent-centric site TorrentFreak, the mass litigation tactic hasn't deterred people from downloading the film. The film even figured on the list of the 25 most downloaded movie torrents during the month of June with around 200,000 downloads. The site further revealed that nearly a quarter of all those downloads originated in the US.
The producers of the movie are backed by a company called the U.S. Copyright Group, which is overseeing similar efforts on part of other film makers. Despite efforts to justify such litigiousness as an effective deterrent against piracy, there are many who believe it is nothing more than a witch-hunt triggered at extorting large sums from the downloaders.
The newest version of the Opera browser -- version 10.60 -- has gone Gold and is now available for downlaod. Opera Software's latest browser incarnation comes built around the Opera Presto 2.6 rendering engine and is purportedly the company's speediest browser yet.
"Opera 10.60 is the fastest browser we have ever made," Opera Software wrote in a blog post. "With millions of users expecting Opera to deliver the future, we now support search suggestions, Geolocation, WebM, and new HTML5 elements such as Web workers in addition to added security and stability fixes."
There's a new version of the Opera browser available -- Opera 10.54 -- though it's an incremental update rather than anything even resembling a major overhaul. By Opera Software's own admission, there isn't a whole lot for Windows users to get excited about, though there are some security enhancements, including:
Fixed an issue where Data URIs could be used to allow cross-site scripting
Prevented Opera from being used as a vector for a font issue in the underlying operating system, as reported by Microsoft's security team
Opera software put a bigger emphasis on security fixes for the Mac platform, though the Windows side wasn't without a bit of intrigue. Listed in the Windows changelog are three additional issues to the ones outlined above, including an "extremely severe" issue, another listed as "moderately severe," and one listed as "less severe," details for all three of which "will be disclosed at a later date."
Prepare thy hoses. The recent announcement of the Safari 5 Web browser got me thinking--just how much of Apple's latest software iteration is already replicated in Firefox? In Google? I've never been a fan of the Safari browser myself--even the few times I would ever let my pristine hands be blackened by an unholy Apple device. But one has to give the company credit, in that they sometimes do come up with some pretty neat ideas.
Has Apple managed to improve Safari 5 leaps and bounds beyond its chief rivals, Mozilla's Firefox and Google's Chrome? In short, no. A number of the new tricks and tidbits are already a part of one browser, or both, in some capacity. Some, that is, but not all. Just to make sure that you're getting the best-in-class experience on the Web, I've put together a short list of ways that you can embed or mimic the spirit of some of Safari 5's features in either aforementioned alternative Web browser.
I realize this is a little bit different than the usual freeware software roundup. And, yes, I realize you're about to flame me to bits for suggesting that anything touched by Apple is, in even the smallest of ways, better than a PC-based piece of hardware or software. Let's head this off at the pass by agreeing that cool features are cool features regardless of platform; I'm out of iPhones to break to prove my loyalty, faithful readers!
Taking a leaf out of the Recording Industry Association of America's (RIAA) book, the producers of the Hurt Locker on Monday instituted legal proceedings against people who illegally downloaded the critically acclaimed film from the internet. Voltage Pictures, the production company responsible for the film, fired the first salvo in the form of a copyright infringement complaint against 5,000 people. The scope of the complaint might even be expanded to accommodate more downloaders later on.
“The true names of Defendants are unknown to the Plaintiff at this time. Each Defendant is known to the Plaintiff only by the Internet Protocol (“IP”) address assigned to the Defendant by his or her Internet Service Provider on the date and at the time which the infringing activity of each Defendant was observed,” reads the complaint.
Voltage Pictures told the court that it will amend the complaint to reflect the true names of the defendants as and when it is able to identify them. And yes, the complaint also mentions the Hurt Lockers's amazing feat of six Oscar victories (probably in a bid to make a strong first impression).
The production company believes it is entitled to recover from the downloaders actual or statutory damages, costs of filing the suit and attorney fees. It is also seeking “injunctive relief” in the matter, asking the court to prohibit illegal downloaders from further downloading, pirating or hosting/storing unauthorized versions of its films.
Although RIAA has abandoned the mass lawsuit strategy, the contagion seems to be sweeping the film industry, with a consortium of film studios called the US Copyright Group filing a similar complaint against 20,000 downloaders in March.
I'm often surprised by what people find popular in the world of freeware and open-source applications, let alone Web apps. It's tough to use the comments on Maximum PC's website as an official barometer, as they don't take page views, click-throughs, or raw downloads of whatever apps I/we recommend into account. Nevertheless, judging by the wrath, boundless joy, and heavy presence of spam-filter-nose-thumbing-signatures attached to the various weekly software articles, I can sometimes get a general vibe for what's appreciated... and what's not.
But I'm not about to dedicate the next 700 words or toward tooting my own horn--not unless there's an app for that. I do find it interesting, and a little bit funny, that a relatively innocuous application like last week's "Instant Elevator Music" received such an exuberant amount of interest via the blog comments. Of course, that's after weeks can go by with nothing but tumbleweeds greeting other applications that, honestly, I find much more useful.