After months of complaints by Netflix, the Federal Communications Commission is beginning to look into the streaming quality issues that Netflix subscribers have been seeing on Comcast and Verizon. Netflix has been in a heated and public battle with internet providers over network congestion that's supposedly slowing its service down, with both sides pinning responsibility on the other. "Consumers pay their ISP and they pay content providers like Hulu, Netflix, or Amazon. Then when they don’t get good service they wonder what is going on," FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler says in a statement. "I have experienced these problems myself and know how exasperating it can be."
The FCC has obtained the terms of the agreements that Netflix made with both Comcast and Verizon earlier this year that have it paying them both in order to resolve these issues. The FCC says that it doesn't yet have a full understanding of what's occurring between the companies, and it's continuing to evaluate to see who's at fault for the connection problems. "Consumers must get what they pay for," Wheeler says. "As the consumer’s representative we need to know what is going on." Wheeler says that the FCC is continuing to request information from internet and content providers.
A Japanese research team developed a technology to drastically improve the writing speed, power efficiency and cycling capability (product life) of a storage device based on NAND flash memory (SSD).
The team is led by Ken Takeuchi, professor at the Department of Electrical, Electronic and Communication Engineering, Faculty of Science and Engineering of Chuo University. The development was announced at 2014 IEEE International Memory Workshop (IMW), an international academic conference on semiconductor memory technologies, which took place from May 18 to 21, 2014, in Taipei. The title of the thesis is "NAND Flash Aware Data Management System for High-Speed SSDs by Garbage Collection Overhead Suppression."
With NAND flash memory, it is not possible to overwrite data on the same memory area, making it necessary to write data on a different area and, then, invalidate the old area. As a result, data is fragmented, increasing invalid area and decreasing storage capacity. Therefore, NAND flash memories carry out "garbage collection," which rearranges fragmented data in a continuous way and erases blocks of invalid area. This process takes 100ms or longer, drastically decreasing the writing speed of SSD.
In September 2013, to address this issue, the research team developed a method to prevent data fragmentation by making improvements to middleware that controls a storage for database applications. It makes (1) the "SE (storage engine)" middleware, which assigns logical addresses when an application software accesses a storage device, and (2) the FTL (flash translation layer) middleware, which converts logical addresses into physical addresses on the side of the SSD controller, work in conjunction. This time, the team developed a more versatile method that can be used for a wider variety of applications.
The new method forms a middleware layer called "LBA (logical block address) scrambler" between the file system (OS) and FTL. The LBA scrambler works in conjunction with the FTL and converts the logical addresses of data being written to reduce the effect of fragmentation.
Specifically, instead of writing data on a new blank page, data is written on a fragmented page located in the block to be erased next. As a result, the ratio of invalid pages in the block to be erased increases, reducing the number of valid pages that need to be copied to another area at the time of garbage collection.
In a simulation, the research team confirmed that the new technology improves the writing speed of SSD by up to 300% and reduces power consumption by up to 60% and the number of write/erase cycles by up to 55%, increasing product life. Because, with the new method, it is not necessary to make any changes to NAND flash memory, and the method is completed within the middleware, it can be applied to existing SSDs as it is.
Source: Nikkei Technology
Netflix is now paying Comcast for a direct connection to the internet service provider, as it seeks to ensure that Comcast customers experience fewer hiccups when using its video streaming service. And it’s doing much the same with Verizon, another major internet provider. But Google believes this kind of arrangement shouldn’t involve money. The tech giant lets Netflix inside its ISP, Google Fiber, and it doesn’t charge a penny.
“We give companies like Netflix and Akamai free access to space and power in our facilities, and they provide their own content servers,” Google Fiber director of engineering Jeffrey Burgan wrote in a blog post on Wednesday. “Since people usually only stream one video at a time, video traffic doesn’t bog down or change the way we manage our network in any meaningful way–so why not help enable it?”
The post is yet another salvo in the ongoing battle over the economics at the heart of the internet. As Comcast and Verizon begin charging companies like Netflix for access to their networks, many are worried that the big name ISPs will gain too much control over which technologies succeed on the net or which don’t, and companies like Google are pushing back, hoping to prevent a future where Comcast is a de facto gatekeeper for the internet.
It may not come as much of a surprise, but the major US telecom companies have significantly outspent supporters of net neutrality when it comes to lobbying on Capitol Hill. And they seem far more intent on getting their way. Between 2005 and 2013, Verizon, AT&T, and Comcast all mentioned the issue of net neutrality in more lobbying reports than any pro-neutrality companies. The trend is particularly unsettling as debate around net neutrality and the "open internet" rages on during the FCC's comment period on Chairman Tom Wheeler's latest proposal. But the biggest surprise may be the top spender on the list in support of net neutrality.
Despite Google having the biggest tech lobby in Washington aside from the big internet service providers, AOL — the company best known for giving the world dial-up internet in the '90s and being one of the country's largest ISPs — has outspent Google on net neutrality issues. That's one of the main takeaways from data collected by Sunlight Foundation and reported on by The Daily Dot.
CCleaner - also known as Crap Cleaner - is a disk cleanup utility that goes beyond the scope of the built in Windows Disk Cleanup tool. Featuring the ability to clean up temporary files, browser history and cache, the Recycle Bin, along with Windows applications that you install. There is also a registry cleaner, uninstall helper, startup manager, System Restore manager and disk wiper. You can choose to have your data cleaned with a single pass or range up to the Gutmann 35 pass data cleaning sequence. There's even a cookie manager and free space wiper. One of the great things about CCleaner is that it automates all of these cleanings so you don't have to hunt down these files and generally can take mere seconds to run.
When Vic Gundotra, the head of Google+, suddenly announced his departure from Google today, many were left wondering "why" and what it meant for the future of Google+. He didn't give a reason for leaving, but according to a report from TechCrunch, the likely reason is a major shakeup for Google's social network.
In short, Google seems to be backing away from the original Google+ strategy. The report states that Google+ will no longer be considered a product that competes with Facebook and Twitter, and that Google's mission to force Google+ into every product will end. With this downgrade in importance comes a downgrade in resources. TechCrunch claims that 1000-1200 employees—many of which formed the core of Google+—will be moved to other divisions. Google Hangouts will supposedly be moved to Android, and the Google+ photos team is "likely" to follow. "Basically, talent will be shifting away from the Google+ kingdom and towards Android as a platform," the report said. The strange part is that both of these teams create cross-platform products. So if the report is true, there will be a group inside the Android team making iOS and Web apps, which doesn't seem like the best fit.
Malwarebytes' Anti-Malware is a full-blown anti-malware program that has recently left the labs and can be considered the next step in the detection and removal of malware. Malwarebytes Team put together a host of new technologies that were specially designed to quickly detect, deter and destroy any malware that could reside in your computer.
Malwarebytes' Anti-Malware monitors every process and actually stops malicious processes before they even start. It uses an impressive technology that is in fact a completely novel way of heuristic scanning and it is the teams response to the increasingly complex malware threats. And, as they did with Malwarebytes' RogueRemover we also have added a threats center. You can simply check online which pests are removed the most and thus are the most prevalent.
Microsoft really wants people to stop using Windows XP.
The company launched a new promotion that offers XP users $100 off the purchase of a new PC that costs more than $599 through the Microsoft Store from now until June 15. Buyers will also get 90 days of free support and free data transfer from their old XP-powered PC.
Microsoft is ending support for XP, which has been around for more than a decade, in April. That means any security flaws found by attackers after that point won’t be patched, leaving users who are still clinging to their old computers open to attack.