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Saturday, December 20, 2008

Serious Disruption To Telecom / Internet Service Between Europe, Middle East, and Asia

Three of Four under water cables representing the backbone of telecommunications and Internet connectivity between Europe, Asia, and the Middle East have been severed and it may take more than a week to fix the situation. While the cause of the break is yet unknown, there were reported seismic activity before the disruption to service was detected.

"We've lost three out of four lines. If the fourth cable breaks, we're looking at a total blackout in the Middle East," Jonathan Wright - director of wholesale products at Interoute, the company that manages part of the optical fibre network, told the BBC.

"These three circuits account for 90% of the traffic and we're going to see more international phone calls dropping and a huge degradation in the quality of local internet," he added.

"Normally you would expect to see one major break per cable per year. With four you should have an insurance policy. For this to happen twice in one year, on the same cable, is a serious cause for concern."

Friday, December 19, 2008

1974: Altair 8800 Microcomputer Goes On Sale

On this day in 1974 the machine that inspired Paul Allen and Bill Gates, and eventually lead to the creation of Microsoft, went on sale. The Altair 8800 computer kit made by Micro Instrumentation and Telemetry Systems of New Mexico marked the start of the consumer computer industry. According to Wired "The Altair 8800 kit sold for just under $400 (about $1,700 in today's money). If you wanted to forgo the case, you could get the kit for under $300. Or you could order the whole deal fully assembled: quotes a $595 price."

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Google In The Holiday Mood

Check it out! Perform a Google search for anything that contains the word Christmas and you'll get an Easter Egg, or should I say Candy Cane. The results page will displays a string of candy canes, or holly dividing the results from the ads on the right hand side of the page. Hanukkah and Kwanzaa also work. Thanks for spreading the holiday cheer Google!

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Apple's Final Macworld And No Jobs!

Apple Inc. announced yesterday that 2009 will mark the final year of it's participation in the Macworld conference and that Phillip Schiller, Apple's senior vice-president of worldwide product marketing will deliver the keynote address. The move has refueled speculation about the health of Steve Jobs who was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer in October, 2003.

The company says "Apple is reaching more people in more ways than ever before, so like many companies, trade shows have become a very minor part of how Apple reaches its customers. The increasing popularity of Apple’s Retail Stores, which more than 3.5 million people visit every week, and the website enable Apple to directly reach more than a hundred million customers around the world in innovative new ways. "

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Dell Cashing In On Twitter Craze

According to Venture Beat Dell has used Twitter posts (tweets) to ring up $1 million in sales over the past 18 months. "Dell (NASDAQ: DELL) says Twitter has produced $1 million in revenue over the past year and a half through sale alerts. People who sign up to follow Dell on Twitter receive messages when discounted products are available the company’s Home Outlet Store. They can click over to purchase the product or forward the information to others." Interestingly Twitter is under much scrutiny because the company has yet to reveal it's business model leaving many to wonder how the service will be monetized? Looks like Dell has been able to do something with the service that the service has yet to do, make sales. Regardless, Twitter is expected to announce it's plan for how to monetize the service in 2009.

Monday, December 15, 2008

For Weird Al, It's All About The Pentiums

Here's a pre Y2K video courtesy of Weird Al Yankovic straight from his Youtube channel. For Al It's All About The Pentiums! For the rest of us it's just fun to step back in time and reminisce about the pre-bubble days...

Thanks to Geeks are Sexy for the find.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Intel Survey Reveals Sex Vs. Technology A Tough Decision For Many

An online survey commissioned by Intel has uncovered that 46% of women and 30% of men would rather go without sex for two weeks than give up the Internet for the same length of time. Intel's goal was not to necessarily compare these two activities but rather to show how essential the Internet has become to people. Of course the survey was conducted online and that probably skews the results... of course the Internet is important to these respondents otherwise they would not have found the survey in the first place. Other findings, according to the Wall Street Journal "95% of respondents said it is very important, important or somewhat important for people to have devices that allow them to access the Internet, and 84% said they saved money by comparing prices online and finding the best deals before making purchase decisions."