Ncell, a subsidiary of Swedish phone company TeliaSonera, has set up a total of eight base stations in the Everest region, including a 3G base station at an altitude of 17,000 feet near Gorakshep village. By doing so, climbers who reach Mount Everest's peak no longer need to rely on wonky satellite phone coverage or a voice-only network set up by China Mobile three years ago, according to an AFP report.
"Today we made the (world's) highest video call from Mount Everest base camp successfully," Ncell Nepal chief Pasi Kiostinen told reporters in Kathmandu. "The coverage of the network will reach up to the peak of the Everest."
Not only does this make it more convenient of the tens of thousands of tourists and climbers who visit Everest each year, but it may also end up saving lives.
"The erratic and expensive satellite connection that many times does not work for days will be replaced with this service, making it possible for all climbers to keep in touch with their organizers and family," said Ang Tshering Sherpa, a member of the International Mountain Protection Commission. "This will also be helpful, possibly, when there is an accident or an expedition mishap."
This just in: the Internet is filled with liars and exaggerators. Apparently that little nugget of wisdom was news to Optimum Research, a UK-based research firm which needed to survey around 2,000 people living in England to figure this out, the Telegraph reports.
"Modern technologies, such as smartphones, social networking, and instant messaging have been hailed as innovations in the way people interact, removing obstacles to conversation and allowing for openness of discourse," said Glenn Wilson, a psychologist. "However, we sometimes use these means of communication rather than a face-to-face encounter or a full conversation when we want to be untruthful, as it is easier to fib to someone when we don't have to deal with their reactions or control our own body language."
To be fair, the survey was conducted on behalf of Direct Line, an insurance firm in the UK. But whatever, the point here is that in case there was ever any doubt, we now have empirical evidence that people take on a different persona online than they do in person. The study focused on mostly social networking sites, like Twitter and Facebook, and only 20 percent of the respondents said they were more honest when posting tweets or sending text messages.
Panda Security on Wednesday announced the launch of Panda Cloud Antivirus version 1.3 with a new security safeguard against malicious websites.
Both Free and Pro editions now come with a URL and Web filtering feature to block suspicious and malicious sites before they have a chance to wreak havoc. And new to the Free edition are automatic and transparent upgrades, which was previously only found on the Pro version.
Citing a recent test (August 2010) by independent lab AV-Test.org, Panda Security says its AV detection software earned the top spot compared to other leading free antivirus programs with a 99.87 percent detection rate.
The Pro version runs $30 and adds a handful of additional features, including behavioral analysis of running processes, automatic USB vaccination, 24/7 multilinqual tech support, and no advertising screens.
Let's not kid ourselves, MySpace, while once the hottest social networking destination in cyberspace, is now yesterday's news courtesy of Mark Zuckerberg and a little place called Facebook. Ever since Facebook steamrolled over MySpace on its way to 500 million members, the once popular social portal has struggled to regain relevance, and the company hopes a facelift (and change in focus) will do the trick.
Currently in beta form, the redesigned site puts a lot of emphasis on entertainment integration in hopes of attracting a younger, more hip audience.
"This marks the beginning of an exciting turning point for Myspace. Our new strategy expands on Myspace's existing strengths -- a deep understanding of social, a wealth of entertainment content and the ability to surface emerging cultural trends in real time through our users," said Mike Jones, CEO of Myspace. "Myspace is unique in that it is powered by the passions of our users, who program the site by expressing interests, sharing tastes and knowledge around particular topics, and scouting out up-and-coming subcultures. This is the just the first step and there will be many more features, programs and improvements to come."
The beta site sports a new user interface along with new features like content hubs, personalized streams, a discovery tab, and more. Registered users have the ability to toggle between three different views, including List view (tradtional setup), Grid view (a magazine-like format), and Play view (a video format that allows users to watch, forward, and resize their updates to full screen).
Check out the full announcement here and watch the video below.
North Carolina residents who frequently shop at Amazon.com can breathe a sigh of relief, while privacy rights groups can give each other high fives. You see, state officials wanted Amazon to fork over sensitive information, including names, addresses, and what items North Carolina residents purchased between 2003 and 2010. Rather than comply, Amazon decided to fight the good fight...and won.
According to U.S. District Judge Marsha Pechman, the request seeks too much and "runs afoul of the First Amendment." She then granted Amazon a summary judgment.
In siding with Amazon, Pechman said state officials have no need for such details. "In spite of this, [North Carolina] refuses to give up the detailed information about Amazon's customers' purchases, while at the same time requesting the identities of the customers and, arguably, detailed records of their purchases, including the expressive content."
It should be noted that Amazon doesn't have any offices or warehouses in North Carolina, and so the company has no legal obligation to collect the state's 5.75 percent sales tax.
Ohio kids can't seem to catch a break this year. First it was hometown hero LeBron James breaking up with Cleveland in ceremonious fashion and skipping town to take his talents to South Beach, and now they're being told that they'll still have attend school during snow days. No, the superintendent isn't forcing kids to trek through blizzards to learn the Pythagorean theorem, but they are required to hop online.
The Ohio Department of Education is watching as the Mississinawa Valley Schools in Darke County experiment with online learning during days off because of snow and other inclement weather, The Washington Postreports. If the tests are successful, more schools could be added to the mix.
For school kids, it could be worse -- just ask our folks, who claim they used to walk three miles to school, through snowstorms, uphill, both ways.
Out of all the online activities clogging up the pipelines running through cyberspace, you'd think BitTorrent and peer-to-peer file sharing in general would be the biggest offender, but you'd be wrong. According to research by Web analytics firm Sandvine, P2P usage has been declining in recent years and now only takes up 13.2 percent of available Internet bandwidth. Meanwhile, video and music streaming now account for 45.7 percent.
Coming in at a distant second is Web browsing, which takes up 24.3 percent. Leading the charge in all this streaming is Netflix.
"20.6 percent of all peak period bytes downloaded on fixed access networks in North America are Netflix," Sandvine said.
Pretty impressive for a company that started off as a mail-order DVD business, but now thrives successfully as a streaming media company too. The question here is whether or not the Internet can keep up. In Canada, Sandvine reports that Netflix accounts for 95 percent of all bandwidth during its peak (around 9:30 PM).
"For service providers, this is a double-whammy: not only are they losing revenue to these over-the-top offerings, but they are losing network capacity delivering these service," Sandvine said in regards to Internet video services like Netflix and Hulu.
Netflix has been making strides in making its streaming content more accessible. In recent weeks, both the Nintendo Wii and Sony PlayStation 3 consoles joined the Xbox 360 as disc-less Netflix streaming devices.
Don't fret if you ran into issues yesterday trying to stream content from your Netflix account, chances are your broadband connection is just fine. The problem lies with Netflix.com, which suffered an outage.
Users affected by the issue saw a messaging saying, "the Netflix website and the ability to instantly watch movies are both temporarily unavailable." Netflix said its engineers were on top of the problem and were "working hard to bring the site and ability to watch instantly back up as soon as possible," and it appears they have.
Netflix didn't say what the cause of the problem was, but in any event, it seems to working like normal again. Maybe someone tripped over a power cord.
During its opening weekend, The Social Networkgrabbed the No. 1 spot and raked in $23 million. As you're undoubtedly aware, The Social Network is a dramatization about the founders of Facebook and how the site came into existence. Mark Zuckerberg's character, as portrayed by a brilliant performance from actor Jesse Eisenburg, wasn't exactly cast in a 'good guy' light. So how accurate is the movie?
"It's interesting what stuff they focused on getting right," Mark Zuckerberg said during a candid interview at the Y-combinator event over the weekend. "Like, every single shirt and fleece that I had in that movie is actually a shirt or fleece that I own."
His comment drew laughter from the crowd, but it wasn't all jokes. Zuckerberg said there was quite a bit the movie makers got wrong and "a bunch of random details that they got right." But one of the things that appeared to perturb Zuckerberg the most was the portrayal of a girlfriend at the beginning of the movie who ends up dumping him within the first few minutes of the flick. According to Zuckerberg, she doesn't exist, though he has been dumped before "in real life, a lot."
Zuckerberg also disputed the framing that he started Facebook to meet girls.
"[Movie makers] just can't wrap their heads around the idea that someone might build something because they like building things," Zuckerberg explains.
You may have heard about this little thing called the Internet (how else are you reading this?). As it turns out, the World Wide Web is wide indeed and set to exceed 2 billion users before the end of the year, according to a report by the International Telecommunications Union.
That's nearly a third of the human population on earth (6.9 billion). The ITU figures the Internet will add around 226 million new users by the end of 2010, and out of those 162 million will connect from developing countries.
When 2010 comes to a close, some 71 percent of the population in developed countries will be online. Broken down regionally, 65 percent of the population in Europe will surf the Web, while 55 percent of the population in the Americas will be online.