Broadband Is Getting Faster, Super Bowl XLIX Is a No Drone Zone [Tech News Digest]
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
Hang on! My broadband wasn’t broadband under the 2010 US definition, only 448k upload. My kids fight over who gets to use Skype/Facetime!
— Pauline Rigby (@paulinerigby) January 30, 2015
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 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 .
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
I laughed too much at this ???????????????????? pic.twitter.com/THu7XkPKQi
— Gif Crazy (@Gif_Asylum) January 29, 2015
Imgur has released a new Video to GIF tool designed to make the process of creating a GIF 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
Without music life is boring.
— Mister Patama™ (@MisterPatama101) January 30, 2015
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 , 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 for anyone who remembers Internet infomercials from the 1990s . 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