China retakes supercomputer crown http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-22936989
Search giant Google is intending to build huge wireless networks across Africa and Asia, using high-altitude balloons and blimps. The company is intending to finance, build and help operate networks from sub-Saharan Africa to Southeast Asia, with the aim of connecting around a billion people to the web. To help enable the campaign, Google has been putting together an ecosystem of low-cost smartphones running Android on low-power microprocessors. Rather than traditional infrastructure, Google’s signal will be carried by high-altitude platforms - balloons and blimps - that can transmit to areas of hundreds of square kilometres. Google has also considered using satellites to achieve the same goal. “There’s not going to be one technology that will be the silver bullet,” an unnamed source told the Wall St Journal. A Google spokesperson declined to comment. (via Google blimps will carry wireless signal across Africa (Wired UK))
It would be odd [for the NSA] to focus entirely on telephony logs and exclude Internet traffic,” said Julian Sanchez, a research fellow at the Cato Institute in Washington, D.C., who focuses on electronic surveillance topics. “I would assume they’re vacuuming up IP logs and perhaps e-mail headers as well.
Sales of George Orwell’s 1984 have skyrocketed. It’s true. So the fallout from the (NSA spying) scandal is worse than we thought. It’s forcing Americans to read.
With the Tumblr acquisition, Yahoo! is certainly picking up a social media platform with a much younger user profile than its current core user base. Combine this with the addition of new talent from this and other recent acquisitions, Yahoo! seems to be building a core team that will take it into the mobile and social spheres with a core set of services.
Photo spotlight: Images from TEDxTaybeh, a TEDx event in Al-Taybeh, Israel.
Al-Taybeh is one of the cities in Israel’s Little Triangle, defined as “a concentration of Israeli Arab towns and villages … located in the eastern Sharon plain among the Samarian foothills.”
The team at TEDxTaybeh expressed excitement at being of one the first events in the Triangle, saying.
In essence, TEDxTaybeh aims at empowering the peripheral communities in the Arab towns and villages [in the Triangle.] It aspires at creating a space for them to engage and participate in forging new ways of thinking. Above all, TEDxTaybeh is an opportunity to inspire the local community from within.
It’s obvious from human history that people have long found unique value in living and working in cities, even if for reasons they couldn’t quite articulate. Put people together, and opportunities and ideas and wealth seem to grow at a more powerful rate than a simple sum of all our numbers. This has been intuitively true for centuries of city-dwellers.
“What people didn’t know,” says MIT researcher Wei Pan, “is why.”
tech blog and random thought space for a tired and pissed off techgeek