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Faster than 'superfast' internet

Some super smart guys over in London have managed to figure out how to achieve network speeds of 1.125 terebits per second. To put that in perspective, that's 45,000 times faster than your current 25Mbps internet connection which is dubbed as 'superfast internet'. Basically the speeds are so fast they'd probably blow you right out of your chair. The Sydney Morning Hearld has the story.

Imagine you could download the entire Game of Thrones series in high-definition in a fraction of a second.

That dream is one step closer to reality after British researchers simulated download speeds 50,000 times faster than 'superfast' 24 megabits per second (Mbps) broadband, breaking a world record.

The University College London team achieved speeds of 1.125 terabits per second (Tbps), the highest throughput ever recorded using a single receiver.

How Facebook makes us dumber

I don't think many people will argue that Facebook is perfect, but now after a 4 year study done in Italy it shows that Facebook might actually be making us dumber. Basically by spreading fake rumors the study found that people are willing to accept them as truth even with no basis because they found them on Facebook. Me trying to explain the entire study isn't going to happen on a Friday so you'll have to just go ready it for yourself over at Bloomberg.

Why does misinformation spread so quickly on the social media? Why doesn’t it get corrected? When the truth is so easy to find, why do people accept falsehoods?

A new study focusing on Facebook users provides strong evidence that the explanation is confirmation bias: people’s tendency to seek out information that confirms their beliefs, and to ignore contrary information.

Confirmation bias turns out to play a pivotal role in the creation of online echo chambers. This finding bears on a wide range of issues, including the current presidential campaign, the acceptance of conspiracy theories and competing positions in international disputes.

The war on VPNs

First Netflix tried to block people who use VPNs (virtual private networks) to try to get around regionally restricted content, now PayPal has blocked VPN companies from using their services for payment. I guess VPNs are the problem? SlashGear has the story.

We know that Netflix has started blocking users from utilizing VPN connections to bypass their regional restrictions. While this is mostly a futile effort on their part, it's most likely about appeasing studios than restricting users. But now it seems that they're actually getting some help from an unlikely source.

Since VPN providers can easily obtain and use new IP addresses, simply blocking the IP addresses they use is a futile game of cat-and-mouse. However, what happens when those same VPN providers aren't able to accept money from their customers? That's an issue that at least one company is facing.

LG G5 case announced

Normally phone companies like to release the accessories for a new phone at the same time as they announce the new phone but apparently LG didn't get that memo. LG issued a press release for their new G5 phone case which fits the G5 phone they haven't released yet. If you are looking for a phone that doesn't exist yet make sure to check out the Verge's coverage.

In perhaps the most daring episode yet in what may well prove to be a heroic attempt to win the Guinness World Record for Most Number Of Times A Phone Has Been Announced, LG issued a press release today offering details on an official case for the upcoming G5. The new Quick Cover case is made of a semi-transparent mesh that allows for touch control without exposing the G5's screen, so you can do things like take calls even while the case is closed.

Twitter is falling

Twitter released their 4th quarter results yesterday and the results weren't great. Twitter reported that they'd lost 2 million users over the last 3 months of 2015 and that was enough to drop their stock prices over 12%. Twitter has been spinning their tires and has seen Instagram surpass them last September. In addition to the sub-par results Twitter has seen some of their top executives jump ship which make the future not look so great for Twitter. Can they rebound? Or is this going to be a shipwreck in the making? CNN Money makes their guess over here.

The social media company reported Wednesday that it lost 2 million users in the last three months of 2015. Shares plummeted as much as 12% in after-hours trading.

Twitter had 305 million active users by the end of 2015. By contrast, Facebook has 1.6 billion. Google has eight products with over 1 billion users each. Even Instagram surpassed Twitter in September, growing to 400 million users.

Super Bowl fans used 10.1TB of data

The folks who were lucky enough to score Super Bowl tickets were apparently more interested in keeping connected than watching the game as it is being reported that the internal WiFi systems in Levi Stadium dished out 10.1TB of data during the game. At the peak, 20,300 were all connected to the free WiFi system installed in the stadium. In addition to the 10.1TB of WiFi data, it is estimated that cellular carriers dished out 15.9TB of data to users inside the stadium. Basically everyone was probably on their phones way too much is what it all comes down to. For all of the details and a breakdown of what users were doing check out GeekWire's article.

The San Francisco 49ers front office announced today that fans used 10.1 terabytes (TB) of data on Levi’s Stadium WiFi network during the Super Bowl, setting a new record and eclipsing the 6.2 TB of WiFi data used during Super Bowl 49 last year at University of Phoenix Stadium.

“The performance of Levi’s Stadium’s connectivity was nothing short of amazing,” NFL CIO Michelle McKenna-Doyle said in a statement. “It blew away all our previous records and provided strong consistent connectivity for our fans to share their memories. We were very pleased.”

Opera gets sold

Opera (makes of the Opera web browser and other internet properties) have approved a $1.2 billion dollar offer to sell their company. Opera has been taking a bit of a kicking lately and have been rumored to have been looking for a buyer since late 2015. The price tag represents a 53% premium on the current Opera stock prices so there must be something there that would entice a buyer to pay big dollars. Looks like this isn't the last we've seen of Opera and it should be interesting to see how the new buyers handle the properties they've just acquired. ZDNet has the full story.

Opera has received a $1.2 billion buyout offer from a consortium of Chinese Internet firms, the company announced on Wednesday.

The consortium includes Kunlun and Qihoo 360 and is backed by the investment funds Golden Brick and Yonglian.

Opera's board recommends the deal.

The $1.2 billion offer is a 53 percent premium on Opera's close as of February 4 on the Oslo stock exchange. Trading of the company has been suspended for two days following buyout rumors.

WTU Episode #344 - Facebook to Hit 5 Billion

We have just posted up Episode #344 of Weekly Tech Update. In this episode we are discussing 5 billion Facebook users, Windows 10 is #2 and Amazon wants to get physical … locations. Check out those and lots more tech stories at the links below.


Download Episode #344
Show Notes
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MSI Laptop Gets Tobii Eye Tracking

If you're big into eSports, you've no dount spent a lot of time watching your favorite athlete streaming their gameplay. Tobii is a hardware and software solution that allows you to watch where the pros are looking and lets them launch programs and perform functions - just by looking at them. This is nifty and we saw this being demo'd by SteelSeries back at CES 2015. It's now made its way to MSI laptops and is available on the GT72S G Tobii - an increadible gaming machine.

Stream Better Than the Best
Let your audience see what you see. Using XSplit Gamecaster’s latest streaming platform you’ll be able to display a visual representation of your eye tracking movements on your live stream, making it easy for viewers to see exactly where you’re looking and where you prioritize your screen real estate in game.

Source: MSI


Ping Pong Balls at 500mph

What happens when you send a ping pong ball down a tube at 500mph? Awesomeness. Pure awesomeness.


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