Tech universe: Thursday 29 July

By Miraz Jordan

A round-up of the latest technology news from around the globe.

The Pacific Fibre project goes up against the Southern Cross cable - potentially making our broadband cheaper. Photo / Supplied
The Pacific Fibre project goes up against the Southern Cross cable - potentially making our broadband cheaper. Photo / Supplied

FANTASTIC LIGHT: Photonics moves data using light, rather than copper wire. Intel has combined silicon chips and lasers to move data at 50 gigabits per second. Used inside a computer, silicon photonics could mean movie downloads that take literally a second. Broadband speeds willing, of course. Read more at Wired.

2.9 MEGABITS PER SECOND: Akamai's latest report shows the average global speed of the Internet is 1.7Mbps, while in New Zealand it's 2.9Mbps. South Korea's average is 12 Mbps. Hurry up, that new cable! Details at ITWire and the report at Akamai.

5.12 TERABITS PER SECOND: Faster broadband for New Zealand is a step closer, with Asia's Pacnet joining the Pacific Fibre cable project. The new cable will carry up to 5.12 terabits per second. It has at least two fibre pairs, each with 64 wavelengths, and should be ready in 2013.

Keep that cable rolling.

1 TERABYTE PER MINUTE: Can you sort 1 terabyte of information in 1 minute? That's the 2010 world record held by the University of California, San Diego, using 52 computer nodes. Companies like Google and Amazon need to handle terabytes and petabytes of data all the time. Too much information! Details at ScienceBlog.

THE PARK IS RIGHT: Over the next couple of years in San Francisco the same parking space could cost a few cents or several dollars per hour. The city's testing a Supply and Demand price system, using electronic sensors to measure real-time demand for parking spaces. That should open up a new market for sensor hacking. Read more at NPR.

RIP IVY: Ivy Bean, aged 104, was famous as the world's oldest Twitter user, and had 57,000 followers. She passed away yesterday. Farewell, Ivy. Read more at CNN.

- Miraz Jordan knowit.co.nz

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