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— Around The Home

LG launches first Smart-Grid appliance: the Smart Fridge

According to legend, while Scotland's Robert the Bruce was on the run he hid in a cave and observed a spider repeatedly trying and failing to spin its web from one area to another. Although it's unlikely that electronics giant LG has been studying Scottish lore, the "if at first you don't succeed, try try again" maxim has evidently been embraced with the announcement of the upcoming release of the company's latest connected fridge. More than a decade has passed since its Internet Fridge first broke cover to a somewhat cool reception. Now LG believes that the world – and technology – is ready to welcome the Smart Refrigerator. Read More
— Telecommunications

Fujitsu plans 1Gbps fiber optic network for rural Britain

Economies of scale mean that densely populated cities have generally been the ones to benefit from the roll out of superfast broadband networks, while those in rural areas have missed out. Following Google's recent announcement that it will build and test 1Gbps fiber-to-the-home (FTTH) networks in selected cities with between 50,000 to 500,000 residents in the U.S. starting with Kansas City, Kansas, Fujitsu has unveiled plans to create a similar superfast FTTH broadband network for five million homes and businesses in rural Britain to bridge the digital divide between city and country. Read More
— Pets

iPet Companion lets people play with real kitties over the internet

It seems to be one of those “well-known facts” that petting an animal can lower a person’s blood pressure – and yes, we’re assuming that the animal isn’t a piranha. Unfortunately, many people are unable to own a pet, or they at least have to spend their stressful workday away from their cuddly critter. A new system called iPet Companion, however, lets users play with real, live cats – in real time – via the internet. Read More
— Telecommunications

Kansas City is first city chosen for Google's fiber-to-the-home rollout

Last year Google announced plans to build and test ultra high-speed broadband networks in a small number of trial locations across the U.S. that will deliver Internet speeds of one gigabit per second (1 Gbps) via a fiber-to-the-home (FTTH) service. After receiving submissions from nearly 1,100 cities, the Internet giant has now revealed it will build its first ultra high-speed network in Kansas City, Kansas. Read More
— Telecommunications

ITU tracks the decade that transformed the world

During the first decade of the 21st century, information and communication technologies (ICTs) came within reach of most of the world's people. As part of World Statistics Day, the United Nations commissioned the International Telecommunications Union (ITU) for current data and statistics on ICTs. The resulting report: The World In 2010: ICT Facts and Figures provides an insight into just how phenomenal the growth of ICTs have been over the past few years. Read More
— Inventors and Remarkable People plans to buy satellite and provide free Internet access for entire world

For those of us who live in the developed world, internet access has become pretty much a given. It’s become so ubiquitous that we almost expect to have it at all times and in all places, but even in this “Information Age,” the majority of the world’s population lacks access to the internet – either because service isn’t available where they are, or they can’t afford it. Kosta Grammatis has a plan, however. Through his charity group, Grammatis aims to set up a network of satellites that will provide free internet access to everyone in the world. He’s starting by attempting to buy a single used satellite that’s already in orbit and moving it to a location above a developing country. Read More
— Computers

P2P study finds around 100 users responsible for majority of BitTorrent content

The BitTorrent peer-to-peer (P2P) file sharing protocol was estimated by internet traffic management and analysis company ipoque to account for roughly 27 to 55 percent of all internet traffic as of February 2009 – much of it pirated software, music and video files. While the distributed nature of P2P networks sees millions of users sharing files every day, a new study to examine the behavior of users responsible for publishing files on the Mininova and The Pirate Bay portals reveals that a small group of around 100 users is responsible for the majority of content published over BitTorrent. Read More
— Inventors and Remarkable People

Happy 10th birthday to Wikipedia

Like "Google", "Wikipedia" has entered the common lexicon. I haven't yet heard anyone say they're going to Wikipedia something but I'm sure that someone, somewhere, is already doing it. Many of us have Wikipedia bookmarked as our "go to" site, the first port of call to get an overview of a topic. The free, online encyclopedia features roughly 17 million articles in 270 languages, all created by a volunteer community. On 15 January this year Wikipedia celebrates its tenth birthday – what had the potential to become disastrously chaotic has become a valued icon, consulted by more than 400 million people every month. Read More
— Automotive

New C-Class boasts updated telematics and internet access

As part of the latest update to its C-Class, Mercedes-Benz has brought internet access to its COMAND infotainment system for the first time. Unlike some other in-car systems that use a built-in SIM card slot, the Mercedes system will use Terminal Mode – the proposed industry specification for the integration of mobile applications into car dashboard systems developed by Nokia and Consumer Electronics for Automotive (CE4A) – to duplicate the display of a smartphone on the in-dash display and allow control through the COMAND user interface. Read More