Internet

The 2015 NORAD Santa Tracker is now live

The 2015 NORAD Santa Tracker is now live

Google's Santa tracker is great, but there's something special about the NORAD Santa Tracker, especially this year: it is celebrating its 60th Santa-tracking anniversary. As in the past, Microsoft has teamed back up with NORAD, the North American Aerospace Defense Command, to provide a colorful interactive website that, this time around, comes with a special perk just for Windows 10 and Edge users.

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Netflix re-encodes their library to save bandwidth, increase quality

Netflix re-encodes their library to save bandwidth, increase quality

If I were to check and see where most of my monthly internet bandwidth usage goes, I'd say that the vast majority of it goes to Netflix. The other is probably to game downloads and updates, but Netflix would definitely be king. Thankfully, I haven't had any bandwidth restrictions imposed by my ISP yet, but if/when that day comes, I'll have to re-think just how much Netflix is watched in my house. But luckily, Netflix is already working on a way to cut down their usage by as much as 20%.

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Philips updates Hue firmware to block bulbs from rivals [Updated]

Philips updates Hue firmware to block bulbs from rivals [Updated]

It seems that the IoT wars are finally heating up and Philips may have just fired the opening shot. The company has just rolled out a firmware update to its Hue brand of network-connected smart bulbs and one of if not the most significant thing it does is to cut off connectivity with third party bulbs, which is to say smart bulbs from its rivals like GE. This will, at least for the time being, probably dash the hopes of some to have an interconnected smart home, or at least smart lighting, with IoT devices from different and competing brands.

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Study: perceived addiction brings fleeing Facebook users back

Study: perceived addiction brings fleeing Facebook users back

Ditching Facebook is something many users have dreamed of, but ultimately failed to do. Some take a break, only to log back in before their goal date. Others suspend their account, planning to leave the social network for good, only to reactivate it later on. Why? That’s a question Cornell University researchers have answered, with a recent study finding four factors that bring users back.

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Moscow to install public WiFi…in cemeteries

Moscow to install public WiFi…in cemeteries

Moscow plans to expand its number of public WiFi networks by installing additional hotspots in the city’s cemeteries. The hotspots will be free to use, and are set to go live next year in the Novodevichy, Vagankovo, and Troyekurovo cemeteries. The selected cemeteries are each notable for the well-known individuals buried in them, making them so-called “open-air museums.” The networks will, hopefully, help visitors learn more about the people buried there.

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Google Photos update turns it into a social network

Google Photos update turns it into a social network

No, Google didn't just turn Google Photos into Google+. Instead, they've updated the app to include Shared Albums, meaning you will be able to upload photos to an album that all of your contacts can see. Public sharing is slightly different, as is posting to Facebook. This update allows friends and family - whomever you've added - to access a unique folder in your library. Others can share folders of theirs with you, too.

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We’re already cyborgs: how screens have stolen our eyes

We’re already cyborgs: how screens have stolen our eyes

Some coffee shops have stopped, or refused to even begin, offering Wi-Fi in their establishments. The goal is noble: to get people to either talk to each other or bury their heads in books or notebooks. It might be an effective strategy if not for the prevalence of 4G even 3G connections in those areas as well. But while almost comic in nature, anecdotes such as these do hint at an underlying truth: that people have become attached, even dependent, on their mobile devices to the point of almost becoming a part of their body, if not their person. They have, become, to some extent, present day cyborgs.

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Rehashed bill could force tech companies to report ‘terrorist activity’

Rehashed bill could force tech companies to report ‘terrorist activity’

A bill has been introduced that, should it become law, will force tech companies like Facebook to report ‘terrorist activity’ to law enforcement agencies. The bill was introduced by Senate Intelligence Committee Vice Chairman Dianne Feinstein and Chairman Richard Burr, who stress that such companies won’t have to “monitor customers or undertake any additional action” to hunt down suspected terrorists. The new bill was spurred by reports that the San Bernardino shooter had pledged allegiance to ISIS on Facebook.

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Apple’s Live TV service might not be “Coming Soon” after all

Apple’s Live TV service might not be “Coming Soon” after all

It seems it was wise after all for Apple not to wait for the launch of its Internet-based TV subscription service before launching its new Apple TV set-top box. Because now it seems that plans for that service are being put on hold indefinitely. Although the rumor mill never really gave a target date, it was commonly believed that Apple was close to finalizing deals that would fill its service with channels and content. As it turns out, Apple was nowhere near closing after all.

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Google Fiber adds Los Angeles, Chicago to potential cities list

Google Fiber adds Los Angeles, Chicago to potential cities list

Google has revealed that two of the largest cities so far have been added to the list of potential candidate location for its gigabit internet service, Google Fiber: Los Angeles and Chicago. Google says the two metropolitans are the largest they've begun talks with so far, and with the help of city officials the company will start its process to determine if Fiber can be rolled out there. There's already a number of other cities on Google's potential list, and unfortunately there's no timeframe for when Fiber might be rolled out in the populated hubs.

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AT&T to bring its Fiber-enriched GigaPower to 38 more cities

AT&T to bring its Fiber-enriched GigaPower to 38 more cities

Lately, Google has been trying to take a bite out of the carrier business pie, and now carriers are trying to bite it back. For example, Verizon's LTE-U push, which is being contested by the likes of Google, is, in a way, trying to cut into Google's Wi-Fi offering. Now AT&T is now also trying to give Google a taste of its own medicine, by announcing its plans to extend its "100% Fiber" GigaPower service to 38 more metros, particularly in locations that Google Fiber has yet to reach.

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