Wise Owl Shopper Discounts

internet

Twisted photons may give the speed of fiber optics with the conveniences of Wi-Fi

Why it matters to you

This new technology could make high-speed internet cheaper and more accessible. Fiber optic lines are among the fastest and most efficient means of data transfer available to the consumer public. The main problem with fiber optic lines is the simple fact that running those lines can be expensive and difficult to implement.

This has led to a situation where fiber optic internet is only available in a handful of cities, and even there can prove too expensive for many people with access to fiber optics. Engadget reports that scientists may have found a way to remove those expensive cables while maintaining the high speeds that make fiber optics such an attractive option for so many people. Researchers at Glasgow University have discovered a way to “twist” photons, allowing them to store large amounts of data while avoiding interference from the air.

By passing the photons through a special hologram, similar to the ones found on credit cards, the researchers were able to give the photons “optical angular momentum,” which allows them to store information beyond ones and zeroes. The team tested this new method by transferring data across 1.6 kilometers (about a mile) in Germany, making sure to test the technology in an urban setting, where buildings and other facets of city life could potentially interfere with the transfer of data. Previous studies had indicated this was possible, but it was unclear how they would work in an urban environment.

Dr. Martin Lavery, head of the Structured Photonics Research Group at University of Glasgow, said that he believes this method may lead to the creation of wireless transfer that “can potentially give us the bandwidth of fibre, but without the requirement for physical cabling.” For now, however, there are plenty of questions that need to be answered before this becomes a commercially viable alternative to fiber optics.

For starters, the team needs to ensure that the process can still function in inclement weather conditions such as snow or rain storms.

Still, if it proves viable, then it could drastically reduce our dependency on fiber cables, allowing businesses and consumers to have high-quality internet speeds at lower prices than are currently available.

Perhaps more importantly, it could serve as a way to provide high-speed internet access to rural areas, many of which are forced to rely on dial-up or other slow connections.

Editor’s Recommendations

‘Stranger Things’ addict? Here’s how Netflix sucked you in

One of Netflix[1]‘s highest aspirations is to get you binging on shows like Eleven wolfs down her Eggo waffles. Netflix, the world’s biggest subscription video service by members, tends to jealously guard its data. But ahead of the season 2 premiere Friday of supernatural thriller “Stranger Things[2],” the company lifted the curtain on some of the tricks it uses to entice its members into clicking play.

From tags to “taste communities,” Netflix tries to personalize its service, right down to the image you see splashed across your screen when you fire up the app. “If you look at someone else’s Netflix screen, not only will they have different titles featured,” said Todd Yellin, Netflix’s vice president of product, in a presentation to reporters last week. “Even the images around each of the titles is catered to each individual member.” It’s a rare look inside the machinations of the video service, which is aiming for global video domination one original show or movie at a time.

The stakes are high for Netflix, which said it will spend as much as £8 billion on programming next year[3]. That’s why shows like “Stranger Things” are so critical. It’s a worldwide hit, literally — the company found one person who watched the first season in Antarctica.

To help spread the word, Netflix starts by figuring out the nuances that define the show. Netflix hires taggers around the world who watch every piece of content and tag it for things like tone — tense, ominous, scary — and storyline — buddy story, missing person, family in crisis. (If you’re wondering how you could land one of these paid gigs, Netflix says they’re posted to its jobs website when they become available.)

More than one portal into the Upside Down

Netflix’s algorithm applies 12 tags to “Stranger Things” to capture nuances of how different people relate to it. That means that while some of you see “Stranger Things” in a row for TV mysteries, others find it in sci-fi thrillers.

To figure out clusters of shows and movies that seem to appeal to the same people, Netflix has identified 2,000 “taste communities.” “Stranger Things” is the most popular title in “a bunch” of those, Yellin said.

Netflix “taste communities” that rank “Stranger Things” as the most-watched title can have completely different shows rounding out their top six.

Netflix

While “Stranger Things” may top many taste communities, it doesn’t mean those lists are identical. One taste community with “Stranger Things” as No.

1 had horror items like “The Mist” and “Scream” in its top six, while another placed “Stranger Things” at the top of ahead of teen programming like “13 Reasons Why” and “Pretty Little Liars.”

Getting personal

Movie recommendations aren’t the only things Netflix personalizes. It tailors how your recommendations look, too, by specializing the image that accompanies them.

Different images worked best to draw in viewers with different TV tastes.

Netflix

Netflix found that people who like documentaries were more likely to watch “Stranger Things” if it had a picture of Chief Hopper in his uniform.

People who gravitate to action, horror and romance were more likely to click on the title with an image of Eleven staring intensely, while drama fans were most attracted to a picture of Eleven from far away. Picking the images is “a mixture of art and science,” Yellin said. The art comes from finding a diversity of strong images for the show.

Then, through an image comparison method called A/B testing, “within a day, we home in on ‘This kind of image is resonating with this kind of viewer,'” he said.

First-timers

The company also approaches promotion differently depending on whether you’ve watched a program or not. The debut of the second season, Netflix has found, is a good time to target people who haven’t watched the show at all. In the year since the first season of “Stranger Things” landed, Netflix has compiled data about people who it believes would like the show but haven’t watched yet. “Someone who hasn’t, we want them to start it at season one, episode one,” he said.

Video promotion is “the next frontier” for Netflix, Yellin said. If you watch Netflix on a TV, you’ve probably noticed it automatically playing a trailer, the opening credits or the show itself after a few seconds. But the next stage of video promotion will likely personalize the clip that unspools, much like title images are tailored today, Yellin said.

Something that sets “Stranger Things” apart from the average show on Netflix is the screen you watch it on. Generally, about two-thirds of Netflix viewing is on televisions[4] — but for “Stranger Things,” the proportion of big-screen viewing is higher. As of this month, Netflix has more than 1,200 hours of 4K content and more than 200 hours of content using an imaging technique called high dynamic range, and it says those high-quality image formats are growing in popularity.

Netflix expects viewing of “Stranger Things” season 2 to have four times as much 4K watching compared with the first season, Yellin said. All the better to capture every nook and cranny of that Eggo waffle. The Smartest Stuff[5]: Innovators are thinking up new ways to make you, and the things around you, smarter.

iHate[6]: CNET looks at how intolerance is taking over the internet.

References

  1. ^ Netflix (www.cnet.com)
  2. ^ Stranger Things (www.tvguide.com)
  3. ^ £8 billion on programming next year (www.cnet.com)
  4. ^ televisions (www.cnet.com)
  5. ^ The Smartest Stuff (www.cnet.com)
  6. ^ iHate (www.cnet.com)

South Korean banks sue online retailer Newegg for alleged Ponzi scheme

Why it matters to you

Newegg is one of the internet’s most popular computer hardware stores, but this lawsuit could spell trouble. Online computer hardware and accessory store[1] Newegg has been sued by four South Korean banks. The L.A.

Times reports[2] that the banks allege that Newegg collaborated with South Korean hardware firm Moneual to defraud them of hundreds of millions of dollars. The lawsuit, which was filed in U.S. District Court in Los Angeles, claims that Newegg[3] and computer wholesaler ASI Corp. made false orders for home-theater computers from Moneual.

The banks claim that Moneual organized the scheme and used the fake orders to obtain funds from the four banks. Newegg and ASI allegedly received a cut of the money in exchange for their cooperation. Moneual pulled in more than £3 billion from the from 10 South Korean banks.

The company defaulted on many of those loans and ended up owing the banks about half a billion dollars. In 2013, Hong-seok Park, the company’s CEO, was sentenced to 25 years in prison, in addition to hefty fines. A higher court later reduced his sentence to 15 years.

Now the banks have filed suit against Moneual’s alleged partners. The lawsuit argues that the banks loaned Moneual hundreds of millions of dollars, based on the large volume of orders made by Newegg and ASI. The computers that Moneual ordered were allegedly priced at 300 times their actual retail value, which is why the banks believe Newegg and ASI were part of the scam.

“No such business would have bought the products at such an inflated price, unless it intended to create the illusion of extensive, profitable, high-value commerce between it and its supplier for the purpose of defrauding lenders into supporting the transactions,” the lawsuit alleges. The four banks are demanding a jury trial and monetary damages. They say that £230 million is still owed from the faulty loans that Moneual obtained.

Founded in 2000, Newegg is based in the City of Industry, California, and is a popular computer accessory and hardware retailer. The company is owned[4] by Hangzhou Liaison Interactive Information Technology, based out of Bejing. As of right now, it is unclear whether or not the banks will be going after Newegg’s parent company.

At this time, Newegg has yet to comment on the lawsuit.

Editor’s Recommendations

References

  1. ^ hardware and accessory store (www.digitaltrends.com)
  2. ^ reports (www.latimes.com)
  3. ^ Newegg (www.newegg.com)
  4. ^ owned (www.digitaltrends.com)

1 2 3 72
Categories