News Roundup: Google's 10%, Linux In Space and Netbook's Last Stand

5G Arrives, We Need More Kevin Bacon Adverts

Samsung this week announced it had invented 5G, and is able to move data at more than 1Gbps across a distance of up to 2km. While the promise of a #G ‘hundreds of times faster than 4G’, don’t get too excited yet. There is no standard for 5G, so it’s little more than Samsung doing something impressive, then putting a slightly excessive spin on things. Many if the previous #Gs are still being rolled out in many regions (in the UK we’ve barely had 4G long enough for those Kevin Bacon adverts to get old), so I imagine the introduction of 5G is a while off yet.

No More Netbooks? PAH!

In a similar vein to Blackberry’s Thorsten Heins proclaiming his company will be “the absolute leader in mobile computing” in five years, this week has seen Compal Electronics chairman Ray Chen tell investors Netbooks will be fiiiine. His reasoning? New models and promotions from Intel and Microsoft. Can’t fault these tech guys for their optimism.

Blackberry Fighting Hard

In Blackberry-related news, the release of the Q5 sees the Canadian company trying to reclaim some of that dominance it once enjoyed. Costing around £20 a month and aimed at cheapskates and the emerging markets, it shows the big companies are latching on the idea that the low-end of the market is where the money is at. A low-end iPhone is still nowhere to be seen though.

Linux, in Spaaaace

Support for Windows XP is ending, so the logical choice is to move to Windows 7 or 8 right? Not if you’re on the International Space Station, who revealed they’re trading in their old laptops for Linux-based Debian for their Operations Local Area Network (Ops LAN). "We migrated key functions from Windows to Linux because we needed an operating system that was stable and reliable,” said laptops and network integration team leader Keith Chuvala. While probably not a critical blow to direct sales, NASA proclaiming you just aren’t good enough for astronauts to use must still sting.

The Going’s Good For Google Glass

The jury is still out on Google Glass; will it suck, will anyone want to talk to you, will Larry Page be able to see your life your life in a twisted tech version of Being John Malkovich? Who knows, but according to a new study, 10% of people would wear the device. The rest said the device looks “too socially awkward” or “too irritating” to wear, or just didn’t see a use for it. The good news for Google? Even 10% of the US population wearing this -13.6 million- isn’t to be sniffed at.

A Good, Bad Week For Bitcoin

Bitcoin has had a double-edged sword of a week. On the one hand, a new Silicon Valley fund called the Bitcoin Boost Fund announced that it will hand out $50,000 to various start-ups related to the cryptocurrency, following another promise of $5 million the week before for Coinbase. The bad comes in the form of the Homeland Security’s decision to seize funds at a key exchange, Mt. Gox. However, the value of Bitcoin seems to have remained fairly stable despite the news.

Pirate Politics

Despite his looming prison sentence for copyright violation, Pirate Bay founder Peter Sunde is planning to run in next year's European Parliament elections. He told TorrentFreak he will be representing the Finnish branch of the Pirate Party, and “Even though I’m not a politician, or perhaps because of that, I think that my experiences and knowledge could help create the solutions we’re in dire need of.” Could he be Tech’s Ronald Reagan? Maybe. As tech continues to move further and further into every aspect of life, the move from Start-up CEO to politician is inevitable. More on politics & tech next week.

In other politics & tech headlines, a special mention goes to PC Pro for “Ken Livingstone invented broadband in 1983.” Not true, obviously, but still an eye grabber. We here at IDG Connect Towers are toying with “Boris Johnson invents 5G, Fibre-Optics, possibly iPhone, while playing Whiff-Whaff.” Stay tuned.

Also, congratulations to Bill Gates for becoming the world’s richest man. Again.

It must have been hard being number two for a while there.


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Dan Swinhoe

Dan is a journalist at CSO Online. Previously he was Senior Staff Writer at IDG Connect.

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