Tech News

Broadband Is Getting Faster, Super Bowl XLIX Is a No Drone Zone [Tech News Digest]

Dave Parrack 30-01-2015

The need for speed, droning on about the Super Bowl, creating GIFS with Imgur, building playlists with Retrojam, the Mophie Super Bowl commercial, and surfing the Net like it’s 1999.


The FCC Redefines Broadband

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has voted to change the definition of Broadband. The minimum download speed required for an Internet connection to be considered as Broadband is 25Mbps, up from 4Mbps, and the minimum upload speed is now 3Mbps, up from 1Mbps.

While just 6.3 percent of U.S. households didn’t have access to the previous minimum standard, 19.4 percent don’t have access to the new standards. Which means that the FCC has essentially tripled the number of households which currently don’t have Broadband.

FCC Commissioner Tom Wheeler defended the move, saying, “When 80 percent of Americans can access 25-3, that’s a standard. We have a problem that 20 percent can’t. We have a responsibility to that 20 percent.

The FCC acted against the wishes of the cable companies, which The Verge reports have been vehemently opposed to any such changes. Whether this means the FCC will also act against the wishes of the cable companies when deciding what to do about net neutrality Net Neutrality, As Explained By YouTube’s Geniuses Are you still not sure what Net Neutrality actually is? Don’t feel dumb: it’s a nuanced concept. So, we tracked down videos from some of the smartest people on the Web. Read More remains to be seen. We can but hope.

The FAA Bans Drones from Phoenix

The Federal Aviation Authority (FAA) has banned drones from Super Bowl XLIX. Not only will Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) be banned in and around the University of Phoenix stadium, where the Super Bowl is taking place on Sunday (Feb 1), a ‘No Drone Zone’ will extend out to a 30-mile radius of the stadium.


According to the fact sheet sent out by the FAA, anyone caught operating a UAV within the restricted zone will face “civil penalties or criminal charges.” Which seems slightly excessive, even in the aftermath of a drone being drunkenly crash-landed onto the lawn of the White House Facebook Goes Down for an Hour, As Drone Crashes into White House [Tech News Digest] Facebook suffers outage, drone crashes into White House, Microsoft announces financials, Nest replaces Dropcams, Funny or Die thinks weather is funny, and the BMW ad celebrating ignorance. Read More .

The video produced to advertise the ‘No Drone Zone’ is one of the cheesiest things I have ever seen. It should also be noted that doesn’t give local residents carte blanche to shoot drones out of the sky. As much as they might want to do so.

Imgur Releases Simple GIF Creator

Imgur has released a new Video to GIF tool designed to make the process of creating a GIF 6 Places to Create Amazing Meme-Worthy GIF Animations For some reason, animated GIFs have become all the rage. At first, I couldn’t understand what was so appealing about these silent video wannabes. Later on, I gave in a little and admitted that while... Read More as simple as possible. All you need to do is enter the link of the video you want to use as the basis for your GIF, select a start and finish point, and click ‘Create GIF’.

After a short period of processing, your newly created GIF is uploaded to Imgur, where it’s available for you to share with the world. I created this GIF from the video at the end of this article in less than a minute, thus proving how insanely simple Imgur has made the process.


Retrojam Builds Nostalgic Playlists

Retrojam [No Longer Available] is a new website which builds Spotify playlists based on dates that are important to you. Simply enter your date of birth and Retrojam will create playlists filled with music that was popular at those key moments in everybody’s lives.

This isn’t limited to your birth-date either, as Retrojam creates playlists for the most important school years and the year you bid farewell to formal education. And because this is all built using Spotify Spotify Music Streaming: The Unofficial Guide Spotify is the biggest music streaming service around. If you're not sure how to use it, this guide will walk you through the service, as well as offer some crucial top tips. Read More , you can save the playlists or individual tracks you most appreciate.

Mophie’s Super Bowl Ad Wins

While all of the huge brands are vying for our attention with beautiful, big-budget ads for Super Bowl XLIX, a smaller company which makes smartphone cases has just released one of the best Super Bowl commercials of all time.

Just Surf The Net Like it’s 1999

And finally, we have the perfect musical mashup Mad Mashups: 7 YouTube Channels Full Of Fun Remixes [Weird & Wonderful Web] YouTube remixers don't get the credit they deserve. It's time to right that wrong, by doffing our caps to the masters of mash-ups. Read More for anyone who remembers Internet infomercials from the 1990s 10 Videos Exploring The Internet As It Was In The 1990s The history of the Internet stretches back as far as 1969, but it didn't become popular until the 1990s when the whole thing became commercialized, ISPs started offering access, and the World Wide Web emerged... Read More . Just Surf The Net by Melody Sheep remixes lines from various adverts into one glorious retro whole which will, if there is any justice in the world, become a dance hit in clubs around the world.


Your Views on Today’s Tech News

Do you agree with the FCC redefining Broadband? Is the FAA right to ban drones from Super Bowl XLIX? Does the Just Surf The Net mashup trigger memories of the days of dial-up?

Let us know your thoughts on the Tech News of the day by posting to the comments section below. Because a healthy discussion is always welcome.

Image Credit: Ministerio TIC Colombia via Flickr

Related topics: Drone Technology, GIF, Spotify.

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  1. Ed
    February 2, 2015 at 5:17 pm

    FAA = Federal Aviation Administration

  2. A41202813GMAIL
    February 1, 2015 at 6:26 am

    Broadband Should Not Be 25/3.

    If The Minimum Accepted Download Speed Is 25, The Minimum Upload Speed Should Be 25, As Well.

    How Do Companies Expect The Cloud To Ever Lift Off If There Is No Equal 2 Way Speed Policy ?

    While GOOGLE Does Not Kick The Competition Where It Hurts, The Minimum Should Be 25/25, Period.



  3. rich
    February 1, 2015 at 5:24 am

    @Lisation: Unpanic, kid. In the first place, my comment alluded to the opinion poll quoted elsewhere that the first inclination of a majority of MUO readers when confronted with a drone would be to shoot it out of the sky. I just then visualized the results if 80,000 drunken cowboys carrying the concealed weapons legal in Arizona found a drone invading the stadium.

    As for the rest, agreed almost anything can be used as a weapon - look at the number of U.S. residents killed by cars in any given year. All it takes is sufficient stupidity, something never in short supply.

    Hold my beer, kid, while I show you how to make this-here drone go!

    • ausman
      February 2, 2015 at 2:07 am

      I support the banning of flying sofas at all NFL games ;-)

  4. Del
    January 31, 2015 at 2:30 pm

    It does not matter what the standard is, if no one punishes the ip for giving substandard service.

  5. zivar
    January 31, 2015 at 12:52 pm

    Could you please remove that mophie ad please, I was really 'uncomfortable' when i saw it

  6. DoktorThomas™
    January 31, 2015 at 4:26 am

    MediaCom never performs as "broadband", by my standards or the FCC's. The package I bought, but NEVER received, is sold as four times the new FCC standard. (They also advertise their speed is FCC certified.) Standards that do not have to met, are no standards at all. MediaCom has no standards (and their customer reps are more bitchy than an ex-wife).
    Locally the city was discussing public broadband. I was opposed. Then I heard Google was supplying service to a city in NC after a city-wide program was approved. Please note that this city internet here is sold as "free" access. Some groups estimate property taxes for the average home will rise about $200 per month to pay for this "free" city run internet.
    I don't like Google nor their data/spy tactics, but I hate MediCom even more.
    The Justice Department should investigate MediaCom for fraud in factum in all their transactions. I test them regularly. Their sales pitch is pipe dream compared to actual performance. ©2015

  7. Douglas Miller
    January 31, 2015 at 2:57 am

    If we wait for the cable companys to get the broadband up to speed, without the external push, it ain't gonna happen - these CFOs of the cable co.s are the tightest fisted bonus driven ogers on this planet earth.

  8. rich
    January 31, 2015 at 1:51 am

    I suspect a powered vehicle of a certain necessary weight and capable of a speed of the owner's option could be an effective killing tool that has no place anywhere near people assemble. And can't you just see a stadium full of beer-fuelled 'Zonans pulling their concealed-carry weaponry to blast it out of the sky?

    I'm not sure a 30 mile safety zone is enough.

    • Lisation
      January 31, 2015 at 4:19 pm

      Everything out there arnt weapons, even if they can be used as such. You can kill someone with just about anything. Does that mean you want sofas and suitcases to be banned too?

  9. Phrankenstien
    January 30, 2015 at 11:54 pm

    So far Virgin Mobile Broadband2go is at 3.1 Mbps, so it would be nice to see them hopefully forced to up it to 25Mbs. But all in all my isp has blockked all torent or p2p programs including public domain movie downloads. So Virgin Mobile, you suck and when we can switch, we switch!!!

  10. Phrankenstien
    January 30, 2015 at 11:53 pm

    So far Virgin Mobile Broadband2go is at 3.1 Mbps, so it would be nice to see them hopefully forced to up it to 25Mbs. But all in all my isp has blockked all toreent or p2p programs including public domain movie downloads. So Virgin Mobile, you suck and when we can switch, we switch!!!