Another high performance router option in the 802.11ac space
If you've been putting off upgrading your home network, now is a good time to finally upgrade your hardware, starting with your router. Wireless-AC is here (still in Draft form, but we've run into very few quirks with the routers we've tested to date) and it can make a world of difference in your home network, even if you own a Wireless-N router. You have a growing number of options to choose from, including Trendnet's new TEW-818DRU dual-band router, which is the company's new flagship consumer model.
Bizarre hacking incident comes to a happy conclusion
Naoki Hiroshima, original owner of the @N handle on Twitter, claims he routinely fielded offers for his coveted username, including one that was as high as $50,000. People have also tried to steal the rare username from him, though those attempts were unsuccessful until a hacker applied some social engineering skills to ultimately force him to hand it over. It's a bizarre story that involves ineptitude on the part of both GoDaddy and PayPal, though there's a happy ending -- Hiroshima has his username back.
Google has announced plans to investigate the possibility of expanding its Google Fiber service to nine metro areas in the United States. Having set up its network system in Kansas City (KS), Austin (TX), and Provo (UT), Google is looking to branch out and discover how feasible it will be to bring its service to other areas.
Lucky residents in Kansas City and Provo, Utah can already sign up for 1Gbps Google Fiber service, and Austin, Texas isn't far behind. That's 100 times faster than the average American speed of 9.8Mbps (based on Akamai's State of the Internet 3Q2013), and yet it's also only the tip of the iceberg. Apparently bitten by the speed bug, Google is currently working on speeds of 10Gbps.
Cable companies and tech firms like Microsoft share a common goal
A coalition of cable companies and well known technology firms has been formed to address the "Wi-Fi spectrum crunch" and to lobby Washington to free up unlicensed spectrum. The coaltion is called WifiForward and it includes cable companies like Comcast, Time Warner Cable (which Comcast is trying to acquire), and Charter Communications, along with technology firms like Microsoft, Google, and Broadcom.
Notice to new Firefox users: You've been served (ads)
Mozilla has decided that the best course of action going forward is to fill all those blank squares in new tabs with sponsored content (ads, for the layman). The new initiative is called Directory Tiles and it's intended to "improve the first-time-with-Firefox experience," or at least that's the sales pitch from Darren Herman, Mozilla's Vice President of Content Services. It's his job to diversify revenue and sustain Mozilla's mission through innovation in content and personalization products, and this is one way he plans to do that.
Microsoft co-founder makes his second Reddit AMA appearance in a year
It was almost a year ago to the day when Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates jumped into an AMA (Ask Me Anything) session on Reddit. There have been a lot of changes since then culminating in the promotion of Satya Nadella to Chief Executive Officer, who replaced outgoing chief Steve Ballmer. Bill Gates addressed that topic and more in another Reddit AMA today, and also revealed his "most expensive guilty pleasure purchase."
Attention Surface owners and anyone else rocking a touchscreen display with Windows 8 or Windows 8.1, there's a version of Firefox you might be interested in. Mozilla today made its "Firefox for Windows 8 Touch" beta available to download, so you can tap and swipe your way through cyberspace the way you do on the Start screen. The browser has a new tile-based Firefox start screen with one-tap access to Top Sites, Bookmarks, and History.
World's most popular online playground turns 10 years old
They grow up so fast, don't they? One day they're these little immature things making friends, and the next they're forming alliances and making tons of money. We're talking about social networks, of course, and though it might be hard to believe, Facebook is celebrating its 10th anniversary today. Mark Zuckerberg used the occasion to reflect back on the past 10 years as well as ensure users that he fully expects Facebook to be around for another decade, and beyond.
Regular citizens are getting a taste of what it's like to be a celebrity, in that the concept of privacy gets whittled away at every turn. Is the government spying on you? That probably depends on what you're doing in your spare time. Are you being watched? Better cover that webcam just to play it safe. Might someone on the opposite side of the world be listening to your conversation? It's possible, especially if you use Google's Chrome browser to surf the web.