technology: January 2011 Archives

275x250.jpgIf you are reading this from Railway Hill in Barham, Kent, we hope it was worth the wait -- because you have the slowest broadband in the UK.

Research has found the average download speed there is a paltry 0.13Mb - meaning loading basic page can take ages while streaming video is out of the question.

While the average broadband speed for the UK is 6.21Mb, almost 50 times faster, Railway Hill is not the only place to suffer slow connections.

Other places pages where it will take longer to load include Tewkesbury Road in Clacton-on-Sea, Essex and Derwent Avenue, Hertfordshire.

With a download speed of 0.13Mb it would take 48 hours to download a movie… which must be good news for the local movie rental store in Railway Hill.

275x250.jpg A robot uprising has begun and our future mechanical overlords seem to have decided the first stage in their domination should be beating us on TV quiz shows.

In February a robot from IBM called 'Watson' will begin competing against former champions on US TV quiz show Jeopardy to win $1 million.

And looking at this practice round (below) it's only going to end in one way. Supercomputer Watson - represented at the podium by a monitor - was easily able to answer most questions faster than its human rivals.

Experts say they spent four years building the system which rivals a human’s ability to answer questions posed in natural language with speed, accuracy and confidence… but apparently not teaching it about 'Children’s Book Authors'. 

275x250.jpg A student-built solar-powered car has broken the world record for being the faster ever made, after reaching almost 55 mph.

The team from the University of New South Wales made the run at the HMAS Albatross navy base airstrip with their creation the Sunswift IVy solar car, last week.

Powered only powered by silicon solar cells - the batteries were removed -
professional racing Barton Mawer drove the car to a record 88 kmh (nearly 55 mph).

Students said there was more cloud cover than they would have liked during the three days of testing… they even considered changing the name to Cloudswift.

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