Internet

Leap Second internet crash won’t happen like last time

Leap Second internet crash won’t happen like last time

Time stands still on Tuesday as an extra second is added to the 30th of June, 2015. Because the Earth's rotation is slowing - and in several billion years we'll all be dead - a second will be added to the clock. Without this second, we'd eventually have times of day that once were associated with the morning setting with the sun. We'd have chaos. But brought on so gradually that none would really notice the difference. Except computers. Back in 2012 when a second was added to the day, Linux-based systems were flung into chaos. Real chaos, not just imaginary.

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Researchers double fiber optic capacity limit

Researchers double fiber optic capacity limit

Fiber optics offer incredibly fast data transfer speeds, but the logistics of setting up the actual fibers has stymied companies from rolling out the service. The further that data from fiber optic cables has to go, the less likely it is to be accurately interpreted by a receiver. This means that distance is a limiting factor in designing fiber optic transmission networks. Researchers from the University of California, San Diego, specializing in photonics, have uncovered a way to increase a the maximum power of optical signals travelling through optical fibers. By increasing the power, the distance is effectively increased, too. The researchers sent information over a record-breaking distance of 12,000 km without using any repeaters (electronic regenerators.)

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Facebook’s latest diversity report shows little change

Facebook’s latest diversity report shows little change

Facebook has introduced its latest diversity report, which details information on its own workforce. There has been little change over last year, unfortunately, showing mostly the same numbers we saw in summer 2014 -- something that doesn't fit well with the social network's diversity goals. Facebook reported its initial diversity numbers in 2014, as did many other big name businesses in the industry. Said the social network’s Global Director of Diversity Maxine Williams, “Having a diverse workforce is not only the right thing to do — it’s the smart thing to do for our business.”

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Tumblr TV arrives to mesmerize you with GIFs

Tumblr TV arrives to mesmerize you with GIFs

Tumblr has introduced another way for GIF lovers to get their looping amusement fix: Tumblr TV, which plays an endless mostly full-screen litany of GIFs on subjects that span the Internet. It's not really television or anything of the sort -- just a bizarre and somewhat trippy way to watch the GIFs that dot Tumblr's landscape. Each GIF loops a few times, then moves on to the next in the line, with users having a couple of simple controls over the content.

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German luxury hotel makes disconnecting easy with internet kill switch

German luxury hotel makes disconnecting easy with internet kill switch

We've all done it. Gone on vacation to escape from work and other responsibilities, yet we still can't help ourselves from checking email and responding to messages on our smartphone and other mobile devices. One luxury hotel in Germany wants to help its guests combat this behavior, not by forcefully denying WiFi and other internet access, but by providing a single, easy to access switch that will remove the temptation. Each room at the Villa Stéphanie has a silver internet kill switch.

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Google Sidewalk to put Wi-Fi hubs in bus stops, phone booths

Google Sidewalk to put Wi-Fi hubs in bus stops, phone booths

Just two weeks ago, Google launched a new subsidiary simply called Sidewalk that will put technology at the service of city building. Now, Sidewalk has announced its first acquisition and also its first project, an ambitious one at that. Called Intersection, the project aims to put Wi-Fi hubs in various public spots and infrastructure, where the intersection of people take place, hence the name. In practice, this means putting up kiosks or reusing bus stops and pay phone booths to provide not just high-speed but also free gigabit Internet to the public.

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Liked Undo Send? You’ll love these Gmail Labs tweaks

Liked Undo Send? You’ll love these Gmail Labs tweaks

Today Gmail's "Undo Send" feature finally comes to the standard version of Gmail. With it, a renewed interest in the labs where it was born. This system is called Gmail Labs - a place where awesome features are thought up and tossed into the fray with wild abandon. Sort of. While there's still some testing that goes on behind the scenes, Google offers up a place where users can test out the oddities before they reach prime-time. There you can play with the toys before the toys come to all the other girls and boys.

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Polish airline victim to DDoS attack, U.S. planes could be susceptible

Polish airline victim to DDoS attack, U.S. planes could be susceptible

A cyber attack grounded a fleet of aircraft in Poland on Sunday. All the planes were part of the Polish national airline, LOT. although the Polish domestic intelligence agency is being stingy with details, they claim the 1,400 passengers who were stranded were never actually in any danger. The flight plan systems that were affected are not used not used during actual flight. Therefore, none of the planes already en route were affected, only those on the ground at Chopin airport in Warsaw.

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Australia’s new controversial anti-piracy bill approved

Australia’s new controversial anti-piracy bill approved

Australia has passed its new anti-piracy legislation despite opposition from consumers and (some) politicians, and with it Internet service providers can block websites used for piracy, such as The Pirate Bay. The law was passed with a 37 to 13 majority vote, and is the latest of many efforts in various countries to curb piracy. The legislation is called the Copyright Amendment (Online Infringement) Bill 2015, and it was first introduced this past March after a call for such a bill late last year.

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Comcast must reveal online troll’s identity, court rules

Comcast must reveal online troll’s identity, court rules

The comment sections of websites are usually a good place to go if you are looking for vitriol and filth, and often a commenter’s misplaced rage or unwarranted insults are passed on anonymously, the real person behind the words never having to face up to them. Every so often, though, we hear a story about trolls being hit with real-world ramifications, and such is the case with one anonymous Internet poster at the center of a recent Illinois Supreme Court ruling.

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