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Also, the great and good from the tech world douse themselves, YouTube looks better on your TV, IFTTT adds Giphy GIFs, Tom Hanks releases free typewriter app, and judging people by what they watch on Netflix.
Sharks Are Attacking Undersea Cables
Google has been forced to strengthen its undersea fiber-optic cables to protect them from sharks. The data cables running along the bottom of the Pacific Ocean are being covered with a Kevlar-like matting to prevent sharks from biting into them. If a shark damaged the glass fibers inside it could adversely affect Internet services around the world.
This was revealed by Google product manager Dan Belcher during a Google Cloud Roadshow event. It turns out old copper cables used for communications weren’t prone to attacks by sharks, but fiber-optic cables are being attacked on a regular basis. As can be seen in the above video.
The most logical explanation for this behavior is that the high voltage carried through the cables attracts sharks owing to their ability to detect bioelectric fields to aid with hunting prey. In other words, they’re mistaking our Internet cables for a hefty meal. The greedy gits.
Examining FCC Net Neutrality Comments
Everyone’s out for themselves. When the big Internet companies ask for support on net neutrality, they don’t offer anything in return.
— Dave Winer ? (@davewiner) August 9, 2014
The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) ended up receiving 1.1 million comments regarding net neutrality. Which is a stunning endorsement of the need to debate big topics. But what sort of comments were received? And how did people frame their arguments for or against the open Internet?
TechCrunch recently tallied the words used most, with the F word being high on the list. And now, as reported by NPR, data analysis firm Quid has created a cluster map showing the emergent themes. It suggests that most comments were firmly pro net neutrality, and most of those against it were created using a template.
The debate on net neutrality is set to continue, but if the FCC rules in favor of the ISPs who want to change the rules it appears they would be going against public opinion.
Tech CEOs Humiliated For Charity
— dick costolo (@dickc) August 13, 2014
Several high-profile tech CEOs have willingly humiliated themselves for charity. The ALS Ice Bucket Challenge sees people being asked to either douse themselves in cold water or donate a sum of money to the ALS Association. Or preferably both.
Twitter CEO Dick Costolo (seen above), Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, and Apple CEO Tim Cook are amongst the great and good who have already taken part. Bill Gates, Sheryl Sandberg, Larry Page, Jeff Bezos, and Reed Hastings have all been nominated but haven’t yet delivered. Watch this space.
YouTube On Your TV Gets A Makeover
YouTube has given its TV app a much-needed makeover, bringing it more in line with the desktop, smartphone, and tablet apps. The biggest change, beyond the obvious visual overhaul, is a new guide on the left side of the screen. The update has been rolled out to the Xbox One first, with other streaming devices updated in the coming weeks.
IFTTT Adds Support For Giphy GIFs
— IFTTT (@IFTTT) August 14, 2014
IFTTT has added support for Giphy, which means it’ll be a lot easier for you to discover which GIFs are trending online in the future. The new IFTTT Giphy channel even includes a recipe for sending an email “every time a new cat GIF hits the Internet!” Admit it, you’re tempted.
Hanx Writer Is Tom Hanks’ Typewriter App
Launching now: The Hanx Writer. Make a typewriter out of your Ipad. With crisp typeface, bold style and best of all the sound of typing …
— Tom Hanks (@tomhanks) August 14, 2014
Tom Hanks has released a free app that brings all the fun and frustration of using a typewriter to your iPad. Hanx Writer is typewriter devotee Hanks’ ode to this outdated technology, and he told USA Today it’s “just my little gift to the future Luddite hipsters of the world.” If Hanks like hipsters then I no longer like Hanks. Are you with me?
Judging People By Their Netflix Account
And finally, although we think Netflix offers great value for money, it’s certainly not perfect. Especially when it comes to relationships. Netflix knows exactly what you watch and recommends more content based on your previous viewing habits. Which is great until your date uses Netflix to profile you. Aaaaand she’s gone.
Your Views On Today’s Tech News
What should we do about sharks attacking our undersea Internet cables? Are you for or against net neutrality? Who would you like to see taking the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge?
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: Steve Garner via Flickr