Opinion » Cybernaut


New Internet speed record set



The record for the fastest Internet speeds set last February has already been left in the dust, with researchers in Europe and the U.S. doubling the last benchmark.

According to an article in Wired Magazine (www.wired.com), the European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN), sent 1.1 terabytes of data at 5.44 gigabits a second to the California Institute of Technology. The previous high speed record, which was set by CERN, CalTech, Los Alamos National Laboratory and Stanford University, was 2.38 gigabits a second.

The researchers compared that speed to the equivalent of downloading a single 60-minute audio CD every second. The fastest home broadband service struggles to accomplish the same feat in about eight minutes.

The technologies used to produce the new record won’t be available at your local Future Shop any time soon, but will generally be limited to research centres with large budgets, at least for the foreseeable future.

Still, some of the ideas and technologies could be adapted to the home market in the next few years.

Microsoft acknowledges new Windows flaws

Since Windows XP was first released in October of 2001, the company has issued 22 security patches – almost one for every month. To get lazy people up to date with all of these patches in one shot, Microsoft recently announced the release of Update Rollup 1, a CD that includes all 22 of those patches.

It seems that Microsoft jumped the gun slightly, as yet another patch will be needed to address three new flaws discovered in the XP operating system.

None of the flaws have been exploited by hackers or viruses to the knowledge of Microsoft, but a potential of for abuse existed in XP’s authentication software.

The Update Rollup 1 is only intended to patch the XP system until the Service Pack for Windows XP is released mid-way through 2004. The Service Pack was engineered with Microsoft’s newly announced Trustworthy Computing Initiative, and is expected to be extremely secure.

Until then Microsoft will continue to release patches as they become necessary.

Apple opens Windows with iTunes

For the last few years, iTunes has been one of the things that has made Apple computers great, giving users the ability to play music files, organize songlists, and burn audio CDs.

Earlier this year, iTunes’ capability expanded, with Apple now offering customers the opportunity to download hundreds of thousands of individual songs and even whole albums for a fee. Although the online music store is still losing money, it’s on the brink of becoming profitable.

Now Apple has brought iTunes to the other 95 per cent of computer users, releasing a copy of the software last week for PCs.

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