Hashtag Trending – Google pays to stay on top, video buffering may be over

Published: August 17th, 2017

Google is paying Apple to stay the top search engine, the world’s largest data centre will be built in the Arctic Circle, and researchers may have a way to stop video buffering.

From Product Hunt, despite being competitors in the smartphone market, Google is making Apple billions of dollars richer every year. According to financial research firm Bernstein, Google is paying Apple three billion dollars this year to stay as the iPhone and iPad’s default search engine, which essentially accounts for five per cent of Apple’s total operating profits this year. In comparison, between 2014 and 2016, Google paid Apple only one billion for the same thing, but with iOS device traffic making up about 50 per cent of Google’s mobile search revenue, the company seems willing to shell out to stay on top.

From Reddit today, the world’s largest data centre will be built in the Arctic Circle. A US/Norway partnership called Kolos is working on what it calls “a fortress for data” in the town of Ballangen, Norway, which has a population of around two thousand, six hundred people. The centre is supposed to be approximately 600 thousand square feet, four stories high, and use a record-setting one thousand megawatts of power. The company says it chose Norway because it’s cold climate acts as a natural cooling system, and because of its access to hydropower, which could help the facility trim energy costs by as much as 60 per cent.

And again from Reddit, a group of MIT researchers may have solved the dreaded hell of video buffering. We’ve all had a video we’re in the middle of watching stop to buffer or lower to a pixelated mess, but using machine learning, these researchers have figured out the optimal algorithm to use for delivering video at the best possible resolution while avoiding buffering breaks, no matter where you are or the status of your connection. The researchers call the system Pensieve, and it apparently cuts buffering down by up to 30 per cent. With more testing in the works, and the researchers planning to open source the project to speed up development in the next few months, this could be the tech that finally gets us to stop yelling at our computer screens.