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Tech News You Might Have Missed

By: Abbi Minessale Category: Blog Posted: September 29, 2017

A lot is going on in the world right now…it’s hard to miss. Natural disasters and politics are flooding our news feeds. But a lot of positive things are happening in the world of technology right now that deserve attention! Let’s take a break from the negativity of the world and take some time to celebrate the cool things that are happening.

Twitter Testing Longer Tweets

Twitter announced this week that, for a limited time, they are going to double the maximum tweet size to 280 characters. This is amazing news if you like to talk a lot (like me….). The technical changes to make this possible were minimal but the company is making a big stride business wise. Twitter has been struggling to boost their user engagement for a few years after many users and analysts have been relentlessly criticizing the character limit.

Fun Fact: The original 140 limit was professed to be an arbitrary choice based on the 160 character SMS limit.

 

Quantum computer

Microsoft is currently working on a language for a computer that does not yet exist! The language is not yet named and it will run on a quantum simulator and quantum computer.

Tech News says that “Microsoft introduced the language during a presentation about the company’s progress toward developing a topological qubit [a quantum bit] and an ecosystem of hardware and software for developers to produce wares using the power of quantum computing.”

These “qubits” are designed to encode information in a quantum computer in a similar way as the binary bit. Instead of storing info in ones and zeros, “quibits” represent atoms, ions, photons and electrons and can encode information in several states simultaneously. These quantum computers would be millions of times more powerful than we have today.

Quantum computers are predicted to be a freeing opportunity for developers as the rigidity of our computers can sometimes trap programmers. This new language is said to be more conceptual as opposed to being rigid and exact like our computers today. Quantum computers will be able to “get the gist” of the information received without tripping over translation or coding errors. Imagine the possibilities!

 

Completion of Transatlantic Internet Cable

Microsoft is making the news often this week! The company has announced completion of the Marea undersea cable, completing the project almost a year earlier than predicted.

The cable stretches 4,400 miles and sits 17,000 feet below the ocean surface. (Sorry everyone who is not from the USA for using the imperial system)

 This is the first cable that connects Virginia and Spain and will provide access to network hubs in the Middle East, Asia, and Africa. It’s open design makes it more resilient and connections more reliable compared to its counterparts.

TechNews writes that the “Marea provides up to 160 Tbits/sec connectivity and is the highest-capacity subsea transatlantic cable to date.”

“The more networks in the Internet, the more bandwidth … and the greater the ability to provide higher quality of service,” (Jim McGregor, principal analyst at Tirias Research.)

 

Computers Taking Design Cues from Human Brains

The new trend towards AI takes a lot of computing power, and it’s stressing our limits. Technology companies are taking cues from biology as the computer evolves. The hardware of these machines themselves are starting to look more and more like the human brain in that a central brain stem oversees the nervous system and then offloads particular tasks to the surrounding cortex.

These machines will allow Artificial Intelligence to develop more rapidly and will make the current semiconductor chips in our computers a thing of the past. Engineers are building more complicated systems that divide work into small pieces and spread them around vast farms of smaller, simpler, and specialized chips that take up less power.

Google has already started to reach this point out of necessity:

“If the world’s more than one billion phones that operated on Google’s Android software used the new service [digital assistance apps] just three minutes a day, Mr. Dean realized, Google would have to double its data center capacity in order to support it.” (Cade Metz with the New York Times)

FreeSWITCH is going to AstriCon!

Good news everyone! The best news of all! The FreeSWITCH team is journeying out to Orlando Florida to chat about FreeSWITCH and meet new community members! Come find us in at booth 1B in the Open Source section!

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