Intel unveiled the Intel Media Processor CE 3100, a System on Chip (SoC) for consumer electronics based on Intel Architecture (IA), at the Intel Developer Forum in San Francisco. This particular SoC has been designed keeping in mind internet-enabled consumer electronics products like optical media players, connected CE devices, advanced cable set top boxes and digital TVs. Intel hopes that the CE 3100 will make it easier for people to stay connected to the internet on their favorite CE devices without feeling any vexing technical constraints.
We are consuming huge amounts of bandwidth daily. Just 10 years ago I would have been thrilled with a 4Mb down 512Kb up connection. Today that’s just so-so when it comes to broadband. Downloading video, music, or whatever, is consuming massive amounts of bandwidth and communications companies are working hard to keep up. It’s only going to get more crowded on our current system.
Fiber optics is the big thing for moving large amounts of data around. After all, there isn’t anything that is faster than light (without getting into Quantum physics…). The internet’s current speed woes comes from routing information to its various destinations, not transporting it.
Fiber optics still relies on regular routers to relay information to its correct destination. Where fiber optics can handle frequencies in the terahertz range, electronics work on the gigahertz range. Those pulses of light have to be converted into electrical signals, which are stored, routed, and turned back into optical signals with lasers to be transmitted on. The conversion, besides adding significant cost and complexity, it slows down the data transmission.
So the simple thing to do is to slow light down and remove the needed conversion process. I can hear Han Solo now, “Slow down light speed? Not on this ship brother.”
That is just what researchers are trying to do using "metamaterials". If they can slow down light during the switching process, there would be no need for the electrical conversion step. It could be a first step into building a light based computer.
You can catch the whole article on the BBC website here.
Technology has always left the laws of the land playing catch up when it comes to regulating new things. A new law under consideration in California would allow cyber bullies who use text messages or the Internet to harass their fellow students to be suspended or expelled under a bill that is close to passing the state Legislature. The bill applies to bullying through messaging, cell phones, pagers, computers or other electronic communication devices.
Almost from the very beginning the internet has had it’s own form of bullies in the shape of Trolls and other jerks that feel brave based on the sense of anonymity (real or perceived) that being online gives them. Whether these Trolls are ‘griefing’ a multiplayer games or flaming a forum it has been up to the admins of these services to police their domain which boils down to cleaning up the Troll dung and banishing them by whatever means at their disposal.
This type of behavior in recent years has begun to see overlap with the more traditional schoolyard type bullies. Advanced cell phones with photo and video capabilities and text messaging and internet access make it all too easy for embarrassing situations to become immortalized online forever. This can make life hell for these kids at an age when they are most vulnerable.
Just in time for the start of the Olympics, Neowin.net reports that Microsoft's Live Search has added many new features to help you keep track of what's happening in Beijing:
Live Search News now includes a direct link to Beijing 2008 Olympics news.
The new xRank Live Search page features an Olympics category where you can track the popularity and news coverage of individual athletes.
Select Video from the Live Search home page and enter Olympics (or follow this link) to search for Olympics-related videos.
Enter an Olympic athlete's name in Live Search, and Live Search will display Olympics-related information first, a feature Microsoft calls Athlete Instant Answer.
Microsoft has also tweaked how searches for Olympics-related keywords work. Search for events such as "swimming" or "USA basketball" and you'll see the latest medal count for the event or the country once the events begin, a feature know as Medal Instant Answer.
And, to round off the Olympic-friendly repackaging of Live Search for Beijing 2008, Microsoft plans to display various Olympics-related images as backgrounds on the Live Search home page http://www.live.com/.
Note that some of these features might not take effect until Olympics competition begins.
The changes to Live Search are convenient if you're a fan of the Olympics, but how do you feel about a search engine's tweaking its results according to current events? Do you like the idea, or does it smack of a bit of "Big Brother?" We'll take your feedback after the jump.
Brett Favre going to the Jets has given New Yorkers plenty to chatter about, and according to AOL's fourth annual email survey, many of them might be doing it through email. Either that or they're working really, really hard. The survey shows that 62 percent of people check their work email accounts on weekends, and of all the respondents who took the survey, 55 percent of New Yorkers said they are addicted to email communication. By comparison, the national average sits at 46 percent.
"As technology continues to advance, we begin to rely upon it more and more," email productivity expert Marsha Egan said in a statement. "The constant connectivity offered by email and PDA products has people logging on so frequently that they don't have time to do anything else."
Lest anyone dispute that the internet is serious business and email addiction is a real problem, New Yorkers are being offered help to cut the digital chain. Egan, CEO of EganEmailSolutions.com and author of the eBook 12 Steps to Curing Your E-Mail E-ddiction (clever!) has offered to let New Yorkers and residents from other high addiction rate cities join her 12-step program this month for half off.
The rumor mills stand vindicated as far as the buzz about Comcast acquiring Daily Candy goes. But the magnitude of the deal is way more than what the initial reports suggested. The popular newsletter that rants about a range of things from lifestyle to fashion has been bought by Comcast for a whopping $125 million. Daily Candy was founded in 2000 and later sold to Pilot Group Ventures for $3 million in 2003 by its founder Dany Levy. Reports suggest that even Viacom was keen on adding Daily Candy to its bouquet of prime internet real estate. Daily Candy’s outgoing owner, Bob Pittman, expects it to turn in $25 million in revenues.
Are you ready to fly the Wi-Fi friendly skies? Wireless has been on flyers’ wish lists for some time now and usually it was a luxury class only item. Delta is set to grant that wish to its flyers and is offering broadband to all its customers.
That will make it the only major U.S. airline to offer broadband Wi-Fi access on its entire domestic fleet. Alas, the best things in life aren’t free and if you want to take your allotment of the internet nirvana in flight, it will cost you a flat fee of $9.95 on flights of three hours or less and $12.95 on flights lasting more than three hours.
Delta is partnering with Aircell to offer the service, which will be branded as "Gogo".
Gogo will be offered initially on Delta’s fleet of 133 MD88/90 aircraft and will expand to the remaining domestic fleet of more than 200 Boeing 737, 757 and 767-300 aircraft throughout the first half of 2009. The airline expects to have more than 330 aircraft complete by summer 2009.
Richard Anderson, Delta’s chief executive officer says, "Delta remains committed to providing a travel experience that maximizes the time our customers spend with us onboard by offering them even more productivity options. Our customers asked for in-flight connectivity, and we’re responding by rolling out the most extensive Wi-Fi network in the sky. Beginning this fall, our passengers will have the ability to stay connected when they travel with us throughout the continental U.S."
What do you think? Would the ability to make in flight use of broadband have you hopping on a Delta flight versus another carrier?
A government spokesperson announced on Wednesday that media persons will not be able to access many politically sensitive websites during their stay in China for the Beijing Olympics. The Chinese had initially shrugged aside the unavailability of many sites as a technical snag on part of the concerned websites.
The International Olympic Committee’s pantomime on the issue was briefly interrupted when it vowed to take up the matter with the Chinese authorities, after reports of the censorship first emerged. But it now remains in its timid stasis and continues to appease the Chinese.
Readers, at least you don't disappoint us like the IOC and, please, show your support for freedom of expression, in the comments section - geeks for freedom!
A decade ago, owning a 56K V.92 PCI modem used to mean you were the baddest Netizen on the block, but now it's just lame. Even Aunt Mabel has a broadband connection, and according to a new Gartner study, so will 77 percent of U.S. households by 2012. That only leaves 23 percent still living in the digital Stone Age.
Today just over half of all U.S. households surf at high speed, but Gartner expects that number to jump significantly in the next three years. According to Amanda Sabia, a Gartner principal research analyst, one of the biggest factors in the broadband adoption rate will be 4G wireless services like WiMAX, Long Term Evolution, and others that are expected to launch in the coming years.
Broadband also looks to do well worldwide, where 60 percent of the population in 17 countries will have high speed connections in 2012, whereas only 5 countries could make that same claim in 2007. Leading the way is South Korea, who is expected to jump from 93 percent to 97 percent of households having a broadband subscription in 2012. Gnarly.
In the midst of rumors regarding Google being close on the heels of a $200 million takeover of Digg, there is news of a major addition to the populist news aggregator. Digg CEO Jay Adelson announced at a party - attended by 300 fans of the website – that in the next 6 months users will be able to create their own sub-Diggs, whereby they will be fully in control of the mini-websites.
They will get to decide the number of stories that are flashed on the front page of their website. This obviously means that the cutthroat scuffle for a place on the main website’s front page will relax a touch in coming times as some of the traffic will be diverted to the user-controlled sub-Diggs. Some of you might be aware that such sub-sites are already available on Reddit and Mixx. However, the addition of this feature on Digg should have a far-reaching impact and might even make life even more difficult for Digg-clones.