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Wi-Fi reduces broadband speeds by 30 percent

Posted by Andru Edwards Categories: Broadband, Wireless / WiFi,

Wired broadband is nearly 30 percent faster than wireless broadband within the same household, an Internet research company has found.

UK-based research firm Epitiro surveyed 2,761 U.S. broadband consumers between November 2010 and February 2011. Forty-five percent used a wired connection to their broadband routers and 55 percent connected via Wi-Fi. The respondents were asked to embed a speed test application on their computers in order to measure download times.

Wired download speeds were 29.7 percent faster than Wi-Fi connections. The average actual speed was 7.4 Mbps for wired connections, compared to 5.2 Mbps for wireless ones. Furthermore, latency was 10-20 percent higher over Wi-Fi. Packet loss and jitter were also detected.

Why is Wi-Fi so much slower than older wired technology? According to Epitiro, wireless speeds are degraded because most wireless routers, by default, are set to the same channel, which causes "radio congestion." Signal strength is also hindered by physical objects like walls, doors, floors, furniture, even people. Other common radio-based devices, like microwave ovens and baby monitors, also hog your home's wireless spectrum.

With more consumers now using wireless connections than the technically superior wired connections, Epitiro concluded that consumers prioritized "quality of experience" over the "quality of service." Put another way, consumers still prefer the convenience of mobility over the extra minutes of download time saved. Furthermore, Web browsing times were roughly the same between types of connections.

Click to continue reading Wi-Fi reduces broadband speeds by 30 percent


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Movies Coming to a Facebook Near You

Facebook has actually found a way to keep you on the site even longer. Warner Bros. has launched a new app on the social media site that allows viewers to watch movies. The first title available? The Dark Knight, the movie that made Heath Ledger a legend.

But, don’t watch it until your friends give it at least 10 “likes.” Until Thursday, the movie is available for $3 US. The clip we provided above is completely free.

Read More | LA Times

Sheen’s Korner Airs for a Final Time?

Charlie Sheen - Sheen's Korner Episode 3


Charlie Sheen announced on Tuesday that he would be making his “final” episode of Sheen’s Korner, which is probably for the best. The actor looked a little wild during his Monday broadcast, a two-parter that showed him having a telephone conversation with an unseen “Bob.”

Click to continue reading Sheen’s Korner Airs for a Final Time?

Read More | Entertainment Weekly

American Idol 10 Will Introduce Facebook Voting

Facebook Like ButtonLike the idea of using Facebook while you’re watching American Idol? For the first time in 10 years, the show will allow online voting to help decide each contestant’s fate. Entertainment Weekly has confirmed that the show will allow Facebook voters to cast up to 50 ballots for their favorites. The change in voting could create a lot more upsets and surprises on a show that’s been accused of being stale, and we’re definitely going to click Like for this new twist.

Stay up to date on all the Idol spoilers, gossip and recaps -- read all our American Idol 10 posts.

Read More | Vote For the Worst

Google Chrome extension blocks content farms from search results

Posted by Patrick Lambert Categories: Google, Internet, Software,

Google announced a new extension for their Chrome browser, which allows users to block specific sites from search results. As an example, they show that when looking for a specific query, some content farms may have top spots in the engine, but you may not want to see these results. With the extension, you'll be able to block those results, never seeing that site appear in search results anymore. This extension only works on Chrome right now, and is being called an early test.

Read More | Google Blog

Metered Internet coming to Canada [Update: Maybe not!]

Posted by Patrick Lambert Categories: Broadband, Internet,

canada metered broadband

UPDATE: Looks like Canada officials aren't gonna let this one slide - good on them! The CRTC "should be under no illusion—the Prime Minister and Minister of Industry will reverse this decision unless the CRTC does it itself," a member of Canada's conservative government told the Toronto Star on Wednesday.

"Frankly, a decision like this is clearly not in the best interest of consumers," the unnamed senior official added. "This is a bread-and-butter issue."In a move that may well be a sign of things to come in the US and elswhere, Canada's CRTC (the equivalent to the FCC) made a very controversial decision recently, which allows incumbent telcos like Bell Canada to enact usage based billing, not only to their own customers, but to those of the local ISPs that resell bandwidth. Since Bell Canada is the major telephone company in Canada, that basically means that this applies to all local DSL providers. As a striking example, TekSavvy, which is a local ISP in Ontario, is forced to bring down the bandwidth cap from 200GB per month to 25GB. It's likely that most Canadians will feel the much increased charges at some point if they wish to use the Internet for large downloads, such as streaming Netflix, downloading games on Steam, buying music on iTunes, or anything that requires a lot of bandwidth.

Since then, there's been a lot of grassroots movements to protest these new rules. The group OpenMedia has a petition which has been signed over 350,000 times so far, as well as a good account of what goes on politically and in the media about the situation. Some point out at the conflict of interest that incumbent telcos are in, like in Bell Canada's case, the fact that they own the CTV television network, and thus compete directly with Netflix. The Prime Minister has heard the complaints and will review the CRTC's decision. This could be a major turning point for the Internet, first across Canada, and potentially elsewhere too.

Read More | StopTheMeter

Will the US get an Internet Kill Switch like Egypt?

Posted by Andru Edwards Categories: Editorial, Internet,

 

Internet kill switch

With reports of Egypt's government completing shutting down the Internet in the country, talk about an "Internet kill switch" bill in the U.S. has reemerged. Could it happen here?

The bill in question is the Protecting Cyberspace as a National Asset Act of 2010, a cyber-security measure introduced in June by Sen. Joseph Lieberman. It was an over-arching cyber-security measure that, among other things, would create an office of cyberspace policy within the White House and a new cyber-security center within the Homeland Security Department.

A provision that got the most attention, however, was one that gave the president the power to "authorize emergency measures to protect the nation's most critical infrastructure if a cyber vulnerability is being exploited or is about to be exploited."

Some interpreted that to mean that the president would have the authority to shut off the Internet at random. Lieberman refuted the "Internet kill switch" assertion as "misinformation" during an appearance on CNN, and the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, which he chairs, later published a "myth vs. reality" fact sheet on the bill.

Click to continue reading Will the US get an Internet Kill Switch like Egypt?


The Egypt Internet blackout

Posted by Patrick Lambert Categories: Editorial, Internet,

As the violence and protests develop in Egypt, Renesys, an Internet research firm, published a fascinating overview of what happened to the country's Internet connections. At 22:34 UTC, all the entry points into the country were cut in a matter of minutes. The four major Internet providers in Egypt were ordered to cut all links, by removing the 3,500 routes that packets could take, leading to no valid path for the traffic to reach any addresses inside of the country, save for one small network. Almost a day later, they estimate that around 93% of traffic is still cut off.

Unlike earlier protests in Tunisia and other countries, where governments tried unsuccessfully to block invidual sites like Twitter and Facebook, people still finding ways around the blocks through proxies, this time the complete isolation from the global Internet was an unprecedented event. It's still not known what will happen to the economy of the country if these measures stay for longer than a few days.

Read More | Renesys

Google’s censorship of BitTorrent, Rapidshare, and MegaUpload has begun

Posted by Reza Malayeri Categories: Corporate News, Google, Internet,

Google fights piracy by censoring BiTtorrent, RapidShare, and Megaupload

The age of Google censorship is finally here. Google announced several weeks ago that they planned on rolling out censorship of "piracy related" keywords. Pressure from the RIAA and MPAA has resulted in keyword censorship by Google. Phrases that are currently being censored include: BitTorrent, torrent, utorrent, RapidShare and Megaupload. Interestingly, the censorship does not apply to Google's full search results, and the questionable keywords are only being filtered out of Google's "Autocomplete", and "Instant" services. 

Reports are coming in that Google's censorship is arbitrary. "What is most surprising about the new filter is that the keywords appear to be picked arbitrarily. It includes BitTorrent clients such as uTorrent and Xunlei, but not BitComet and Vuze. While cyberlockers such as RapidShare and Megaupload are banned, prominent sites such as 4shared, HotFile and MediaFire are not." 

This has created an interesting situation for Google. Are they becoming the very thing they despised when they left China? China's censorship of Google was a major factor in the company leaving that country, and now the shoe is on the other foot. 

What do you think about Google's censorship? is broad censorship of arbitrary keywords the answer to stopping piracy? What about the large number of honest BiTtorrent users that will be affected?  

Read More | TorrentFreak

Joseph Gordon-Levitt Says Social Network Doesn’t Define Our Generation

Joseph Gordon-LevittAs the awards pile up for The Social Network, it's hard to say that Peter Travers' praise for the film -- claiming that it defines a generation -- is going unnoticed. One actor of this generation, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, takes to his good old social networking blog Tumblr to express his disagreement with Travers' assessment, defending the creative, non-narcissistic individuals who love the internet.

"First let me say, I agree that the movie is impeccable, I thoroughly enjoyed it, and I have nothing but praise and admiration for the folks who made it.  But on behalf of we who are inheriting a new earth connected by the Internet, I must raise my hand to say that while Mr. Fincher’s Facebook drama certainly nails a lot of today’s more ominous trends, this story only tells half of our tale."

While he concedes that collecting Twitter followers is one of the many disturbing new aspects the internet has birthed, he also points out the good in the latest medium, comparing the so-called threat to the written word and film itself.

Click to continue reading Joseph Gordon-Levitt Says Social Network Doesn’t Define Our Generation

Read More | Joseph Gordon-Levitt

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