Internet Speed Test: The Fastest ISPs in the U.S. 2010
We put Internet browsing speeds to the test to see which providers are the best at delivering the Web to you.
Is your Web browsing as fast as it could be? Fifteen years after Microsoft introduced Internet Explorer to compete with Netscape Navigator, there are still browser wars going on, as Microsoft, Mozilla, Google, Apple, and others compete to create the software that loads Web pages the fastest. But the number one factor in page load speed (or any kind of download) isn't your browser. It's your Internet service provider (ISP). After all, a Web page can't finish loading until all the bits arrive.
Interestingly, while cable and phone companies compete to provide fast connections, 80 percent of Americans have no idea how fast their connection is supposed to be, according to a recent FCC study. Still, nearly three quarters of the respondents (71 percent) said that they felt their connection speed is as fast as their ISP promises most, if not all, of the time.
The reality is that no one is experiencing speeds anywhere near to what their ISP claims to offer, at least not when it comes to Web surfing. This isn't entirely the ISP's fault. The ISP's claimed throughput rates are for sustained downloads of an individual file. Web pages are typically made up of several files: the HTML code, graphics, Flash elements, and so forth. For each file, there's latency, essentially the time it takes from when your computer requests the element and when the Web site's server starts sending it to you. And then there are all the vagaries of the Internet as data from the Web site hops from router to router down to your computer. This is why, when ISPs advertise download speeds, they're only referring to downloads directly from their own servers.
There are several good bandwidth testers on the market to test connection speed, including Speedtest.net and Broadband.gov's new Consumer Broadband Test. But these tools typically test downloads of a single, very large file and provide a result that isn't very applicable to Web browsing. So to answer the question, "Is your Web browsing as fast as it could be?" PCMag created SurfSpeed, a free Web surfing speedometer. On a scheduled basis or on demand, SurfSpeed downloads Web pages from 10 popular Web sites, including Google, Apple, eBay, and Yahoo.
Sunday, June 27, 2010
Are you ready for some football?
June 27th, 2010 · 20 comments
No, not the World Cup — we’re talkin’ good ol’ American college football. After all, as the homepage of the The Huntsville (Alabama) Times will tell you, kickoff is only a short 68 days away!
If you live in a town like Huntsville, Alabama, it’s beyond the scope of most folks’ imaginations that one simply wouldn’t care about something as earth-shatteringly important as football. As our submitter, a reporter at The Huntsville Times, explains, “We’re one hell of a football nation here — you either root for the University of Alabama Crimson Tide or Auburn University.”
So, our submitter concludes, “I’m guessing this letter comes from an Auburn fan.”
It all started with a smell of chemical fumes coming out of a luxury apartment in Los Angeles. When the police showed up, they found machine guns, counterfeiting equipment and $15,000 in high quality counterfeit Benjamins. The suspect bolted out the window, jumping across a series of balconies.
The hunt for a fugitive likened to Jason-Bourne ended up six months later with an equally mysterious question of "Who is Brian Alexik?"
The door was barricaded. A cache of loaded weapons, including an AK-47, sat next to a mosaic depicting the CIA seal. They found equipment for counterfeiting money. High-powered binoculars were trained on the U.S. Federal Reserve building next door.
What followed was a six-week hunt for a suspect who had slipped out of the fire escape moments earlier and whose evasiveness drew comparisons to fictional agent Jason Bourne.
Police would eventually find their man, Brian Alexik, hiding out in his girlfriend’s apartment less than a mile from where he fled. But three weeks on, detectives are still trying to figure out just who he is, what plot they may have thwarted and whether he was a lone wolf or part of a larger group.
It didn’t end, however, like in the movies:
"He got caught," Detective Dan Logan said. "When I interviewed him, he didn’t knock me out, take my gun and take my recorder like in the movies. He’s not as smart or resourceful as the Jason Bourne character."
Link (Photo: LA Police Department)
Saturday, June 26, 2010
Geologists working in Ethiopia have found that a 60-meter-long canyon is steadily expanding and will allow a new ocean to form — one which will bisect the African continent.
The shifting of molten rock beneath the Earth's surface initially caused the rift in the remote Afar region of Ethiopia and, as those underground eruptions are continuing, the rift will continue to widen — and, in about 10 million years, create a vastly different Africa.
Dr. James Hammond, a seismologist from the University of Bristol, says that parts of the region are below sea level and the Indian Ocean is only cut off by about a 20-meter strip of land in Eritrea:
"Eventually this will drift apart.... The sea will flood in and will start to create this new ocean. It will pull apart, sink down deeper and deeper and eventually... parts of southern Ethiopia, Somalia will drift off, create a new island, and we'll have a smaller Africa and a very big island that floats out into the Indian Ocean."
(Via BBC News)
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Tuesday, June 22, 2010
Monday, June 21, 2010
Saturday, June 19, 2010
has knocked out the TV signal. In the past this would have caused me
to find other ways to entertain myself, but now thanks to the wonders
of the internet I can keep on watching online, which lightning has yet
to take down. In the past I would have gone to the movies or gone to
rent a DVD or some other activity that costs money. So I can rest assured that I will be firmly entertained with out
having to leave home, something that would have been the case before
Hulu and Netflix. What amazing times we live in. Now if they can just
find a way to keep ke a d the dog from getting soaked while walking
through a thunderstorm…
Wednesday, June 16, 2010
Thursday, June 10, 2010
Tuesday, June 8, 2010
The Earth and Moon were created as the result of a giant collision between two planets the size of Mars and Venus. However, new research from the Niels Bohr Institute shows that the Earth and Moon must have formed much later - perhaps up to 150 million years after the formation of the solar system. The research results have been published in the scientific journal, Earth and Planetary Science Letters, according to a report in Moon Daily.
Thursday, June 3, 2010
Captain Jean-Luc Picard got a bit of a promotion from her royal majesty the Queen. Patrick Stewart, 69, was knighted yesterday. We're so happy for the Captain we could sing about it. [BBC]
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