You could believe the advertising about who has the fastest Internet connections or you could believe Netflix. The company's movie streaming service generates useful data about which data service providers are fastest. Now it's sharing its latest list.
Topping the chart for November, Google Fiber, for the few lucky enough to get it. Followed by Verizon-Fios, Comcast and at number 7, TimeWarner Cable.
"We felt that consumers could really use an objective, independent view of how their ISPs are performing," says Joris Evers, director of corporate communications for Netflix.
He says what stands out is the speed of data through fiber optic cables. "In the future everybody's going to be watching television via the Internet. That's where everything is going. It really is about showing what the future is like, and what future technologies deliver. And you can see that newer technologies that deliver Internet via fiber are delivering faster connections to people's homes."
Cell phone based mobile systems at are toward the bottom of the list of Internet speeds, with AT&T mobile at the very bottom. Netflix is planning to release its speed list every month from now on. Streaming Netflix movies represents one of the biggest burdens for the internet. That makes this is a bit like the guy who keeps clogging the toilet doing ratings on the plumbing.
General Electric has come up with a new way to cool down electronic devices that's quiet and thin. Dual piezoelectric cooling jets that quietly inhale and exhale. Think fireplace bellows or when you gently waggle the blankets for a bit when the bed overheats.
"The thickness of the device is about one millimeter," says GE cooling researcher Peter de Bock. Bock says the trick is replacing moving parts with morphing parts that can change shape even though they're thin.
"You do need a little bit of space to move the bellows up and down. So technically we say it's a cooling technology that works very well in spaces that are under four millimeters," he explains.
The significance of that second number? de Bock says that it happens to be the thickness that companies are looking at for the next generation of ultrabooks and tablets.