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In The News 11-04-2011

Thursday, November 3rd, 2011 by | Filed Under: In The News

In The News 11-04-2011
Your Weekly Update In The World Of Technology

Cold Facebook

Is It Cold In Here, Or Is That Just Facebook?

Ah, the Arctic.  Home to caribou, Santa (only if you believe), and… data centers? Earlier this week Facebook announced it was taking the trek up north and building a data center just south of the Arctic Circle.  The data center, which is located in Lulea, Sweden, will be Facebook’s first data center built outside of the US.

At an average January low of just 3 degrees Fahrenheit and a dry climate, Lulea proves to be an ideal location for the new data center.  Facebook spokesman Michael Kirkland stated that the decision was beneficial both environmentally and financially.  To say that data centers are power hogs would be an understatement as these types of centers accounted for 1.3% of last year’s worldwide electricity usage.  The data centers are cooled with the outside freezing air which helps to reduce total power consumption.  Facebook plans to have their arctic data center operational by 2012.




The Captcha system is something we have all likely experienced at one point or another in our online lives.  The system, a series usually consisting of warped letters and numbers, is used to filter out bots from real users.  Captchas may be nearing the point uselessness, however.

Standford Researchers have been able to use machine vision algorithms to get past many complex Captchas. 25% of Wikipedia’s Captchas, 66% of Visa’s, and a whopping 70% of Blizzard’s (a gaming company in a constant battle with bots) have been cracked.  So far only Google’s ReCaptcha system has been able to get past being cracked.

How long will it be until all Captchas are easily cracked?  How long will it be until we need to find another way to protect against bots?  It seems that Stanford Researcher’s Captcha readers are working at a higher success rate than many humans due to a Captcha’s often confusing appearance.


Low iPhone Battery

Your Battery Is Going To Die

Less than a month after Apple released their iPhone 4S problems are already arising.  A growing number of customers have reported that the battery life of their device is drastically lower than what was expected.  The source?  The new iOS 5 system including location-based apps and other new power draining features.  Despite the initial complaints, sales do not seem to affected in a negative way, as the iPhone 4S is on pace to perform just as well, if not better, than its iPhone 4 predecessor.

The good news now is that Apple is acknowledging the problem.  Apple released a statement saying that “A small number of customers have reported lower than expected battery life on iOS 5 devices. We have found a few bugs that are affecting battery life and we will release a software update to address those in a few weeks.”  The general idea is that this issue affects more than just a “small number of customers”, but luckily those people will have a fix within the next few weeks.


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