Archive for August 24th, 2011
Early last year Google set out on a mission to bring 1Gbps fiber-to-the-home networks in selected areas across the U.S. It was a big challenge, and one that states, counties, and cities fought hard to get in their areas.
18 months on, and those Google networks are being installed. As they come online individuals with access to the super-fast lines are posting their Speedtest.net results, and boy are these connections fast.
Reddit user TheTeam posted an image on the site with the tag line “I just got Google Fiber.” The image shows his Speedtest.net result and both the download and upload speeds are pretty incredible, maxing out at 151.68Mb/s and 92.79Mb/s respectively. That’s more than enough for a lag free game of CounterStrike or streaming a movie.
The test area is thought to be covering an area just off campus at Stanford as Google set out as afirst location in October last year. To make this an even better deal, because it is just in the testing phase, this access isn’t costing anything. So it’s super-fast free broadband anyone would be privileged to have.
The obvious question now is, if Google can do this, why aren’t network operators banging down the company’s door to get involved and roll this out everywhere. Yes, there’s big investment involved, but these companies are kidding themselves if they think waiting and dealing with a lack of bandwidth in the future is going to work for them. Whoever jumps first and starts investing in these fiber-to-the-home initiatives is going to be rewarded with a lot of new customers in years to come.
Microsoft has confirmed an issue of slow startup in Windows 7 & Windows 7 Service pack 1. The most surprising part is the cause of slow startup, as per Microsoft the slow startup problem is caused by having too many restore points. It may sound surprising but Microsoft has provided explanation on why restore point can be the caue of slow startup.
This issue occurs because the boot plan for the ReadyBoot feature exceeds the size limit of 512 kilobytes (KB). Each restore point creates a snapshot of Windows that Volsnap.sys must validate during the startup process. When you create many restore points, the boot plan for the ReadyBoot feature eventually exceeds the size limit of 512 KB, and cannot be stored. Therefore, startup I/O operations are not precached, and the startup process becomes slow.
Fortunately Microsoft has provided the hotfix to fix this issue on Windows 7 & Windows 7 Service Pack 1 (32 & 64bit). Affected users may use below link to download the hotfix.
An airport in France has employed holographic staff to welcome passengers to boarding gates. So, how does one interview to be used as a holographic image spokes model? That would be a cool job. I suspect someone like Mike Rowe (of Dirty Jobs fame) would get the role, though, since his voice, at least, seems to be everywhere anyway.
It’s been difficult to avoid news about Sony’s new line of digital cameras these past few months. Leak after leak has exposed body designs, lenses, sensor sizes, and other specs. They’re all official now, though, and while I won’t subject you to a case-by-case analysis of which rumors were on and off, I will say they were mostly on the money. The new gear looks very promising, as well.
Let’s take a look at the new camera line. I’ll try to be concise; camera spec comparisons tend to drag on, and if you want to compare closely, a dedicated photo gear site will have the whole shebang for you to peruse at your leisure. This will be a summary.
The $600 NEX-5N and $1200 NEX-7 get articulating LCD screens, and the NEX-7 gets a new 24MP APS-C sensor (the 5N is 16MP APS-C). Both now record full 1080p at 60, 30, or 24fps, or 640×480 at 30, but no 720p. The 7 also has a sweet built-in 1024×768 OLED EVF, one of the headline features of this whole line. It also has more manual controls on the body: two dials up top for controlling aperture and so on. Apart from the megapixel difference, they have mostly the same capabilities feature-wise, though of course those capabilities will be more easily accessed on the 7.
If you want the EVF but don’t want to pay the big bucks you can pick up the FDA-EV1S, which seems to have the same specs as the 7′s, for $350. The NEX-5N will be available next month, and the NEX-7 will ship in November.
The $900 A65 and $1400 A77 get 1024×768 EVFs as well, and both take 24MP photos. The A77 has a better burst rate, more autofocus points, higher ISO capability, and its LCD is more adjustable. The flash is better, wider, and faster. On the body, the A77 has a rear dial (an indispensable feature for pros), and a joystick instead of a circular d-pad. That may be a bit too concise, but without delving into details, those are the main differences.
The cameras will be available in October.
Additional features in the new version of Yahoo Mail include integrated notifications and messages from Facebook, Twitter, Zynga and other email providers within the interface. Yahoo has also made the client more customizable with 50 themes, improved search and made the client is speedier. Within Yahoo Mail, users can also use IM clients from Yahoo, Facebook, and Windows Live.
Yahoo has also announced that it is adding a few features after receiving customer feedback, including putting the message toolbar at the bottom of messages, the ability to switch between paginated and infinite scrolling views, and more.
As reported in May, Yahoo had close to 90 million accounts and is the largest email provider in the U.S. But the email service is facing increasing competition from other clients like Gmail and Microsoft Hotmail and is losing some of its marketshare.
For basis of comparison, Zynga’s CityVille crosses 100 million monthly active users in January.