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Google/Facebook/Technological Advancement/The Pacific Light Cable Network

Google and Facebook Team Up for Transpacific Cable

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Two tech giants arebuilding the largest and fastest trams pacific cable in the world which will provide speeds at 120 Terabits per second. Google and Facebook have teamed up with the Pacific Light Data Communication to have this cable installed. The cable will connect the cities of Los Angeles and Hong Kong and consists of almost thirteen thousand kilometers of cable.

The Pacific Light Cable Network is a subsidiary of China Soft Power Technology, a company that does not have a significant amount of experience in building underwater cable lines. For Google the project is running through their cloud platform group and will greatly improve the speed, data capacity and latency between North America and Asia. Facebook users will also realize greater connection speeds as a result of the expanded cable network.

The new cable will be the fastest in the world replacing an earlier project that Google has invested in that is known as “The Faster Cable”. Google has an interest in five other major cable lines and appears to be building up a competency in developing them. The names of the trans ocean cables are named are Unity, SJC, FASTER, MONET and Tannat. This project will contain five pairs of cables each of which provides for 24 tpbs of bandwidth.

While it may seem strange to see two competitors like Google and Facebook creating a joint project with a Chinese company to develop the underwater cable line, these types of joint venture projects are common when developing underwater cable lines given their monstrous cost. The total cost of this project is expected to be $400 million in total. After completed the cable will be jointly owned by all three companies. The project is scheduled to be online and operating at full capacity in 2018.

Other competitors are also moving into the market. Amazon for one is moving into the market but has not entered into any joint venture projects with other major tech companies the way Google has done. Facebook and Microsoft also have teamed up on a transatlantic wire which is faster than the trans pacific one that Facebook and Google are developing, but it is half of the distance of this project and therefore easier to run at higher speeds.

Technology/Google/Tech Companies/Google Duo/Technological Advancement

Google Launches Duo, a FaceTime Competitor

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Google launched Google Duo today, a FaceTime competitor of sorts which allows you to video chat with friends and colleagues using your mobile pone. Similar to faceTime, video calls are initiated by just pressing a button. If the person you’re calling answers, you’re joined together into a video chat where you can then communicate just like you can on services such as Skype and FaceTime.

It’s a bare bones service, used just for video chatting, which many reviewers consider both a strength and a weakness.

Google already offers video calls through hangouts. Those, which are often initiated from a computer, offer features like sound effects and sticker-like images that can give callers hats, funny glasses, or other interesting props. With Google Duo you don’t get any of that. The simple app is meant to do one thing: place video calls, and based on early reviews it does that admirably.

Setting up an account of the service simply involves signing up with your phone number and then responding to a confirmation text. Unlike FaceTime, which is tied to your email address, Duo is tied to your phone number. That’s great when you want to talk to people in your contacts list, but could potentially become problematic if you ever wanted to initiate a video call from another device, for instance a tablet.

Google Duo is available for Android and iOS, but for the time is mobile only. That means that you won’t be able to accept a video call on your laptop (a popular move for FaceTime calls), which could potentially get awkward depending on how long you’re chatting. Even with today’s larger screens, video chatting on your phone tends to start to feel a bit awkward fairly quickly.

One interesting feature in Duo: a Knock Knock feature. Only available for Android, the feature allows you to see a live video of the person that is calling you before you answer. That person could make faces, or do things to entice you to answer. At the very least, you’ll be able to see your boss is pissed before hitting that answer button.