Web

Facebook and Microsoft dive underwater to lay a new internet cable to Europe

Google Fiber Portland
Facebook and Microsoft are teaming up to immerse themselves in an ambitious project to lay a high-capacity internet cable across the Atlantic.

Announcing the plan on Thursday, the pair said the cable will help meet growing customer demand for high speed, reliable connections for their plethora of cloud and online services.

Work on putting down the cable, which will run 3,750 miles (6,030 km) between Virginia Beach, Virginia and Bilbao, Spain, and then beyond to network hubs in Europe, Africa, the Middle East, and Asia, is slated to begin in August, with completion expected in October, 2017.

MAREA-Cable

Dubbed “Marea” (that’s the Spanish word for “tide,” in case you were wondering), the cable will have an estimated data capacity of a whopping 160 terabits per second, a speed that’ll make it the highest-capacity subsea cable to cross the Atlantic Ocean. Marea will be operated by Telxius, the telecommunications infrastructure company of communications giant Telefónica, which has longstanding experience of work with subsea cables.

Microsoft and Facebook noted that its cable will take a route south of existing transatlantic cable systems that mostly come into the New York and New Jersey region. “Being physically separate from these other cables helps ensure more resilient and reliable connections for our customers in the United States, Europe, and beyond,” the pair said.

Microsoft aims for the cable to help maintain and expand services for its cloud products such as Bing, Office 365, Skype, Xbox Live, and Microsoft Azure.

“As the world continues to move towards a future based on cloud computing, Microsoft is committed to building out the unprecedented level of global infrastructure required to support ever faster and even more resilient connections to our cloud services,” the Redmond-based computer company said.

Facebook, Instagram, WhatsApp

With 1.6 billion people on its social network, Facebook will be using the cable to push vast amounts of information between its expanding network of data centers. It’ll also deal with data linked to Instagram and WhatsApp, two hugely popular apps that Facebook now owns.

In addition, the company’s growing interest in bandwidth-sucking video and virtual reality means it needs to invest in internet infrastructure, while the entire operation will only increase in importance as the company seeks to push ever deeper into developing markets.

Microsoft’s Frank Rey said the project “marks an important new step in building the next generation infrastructure of the internet,” while Facebook’s Najam Ahmad commented that the plan lets the two companies “choose the hardware and software that best serves the system,” and would “ultimately increase the pace of innovation.”

Of course, this isn’t the first time for tech firms to get directly involved with laying internet cables across oceans. Google, for example, announced a project in 2014 to run a cable between the West Coast of the U.S. and Japan, while later the same year it revealed plans for a subsea cable between Florida and Brazil.

Web

Google Translate updated to reduce gender bias in its translations

Google is changing how Google Translate offers translations. Previously when you entered a word like doctor, Translate would offer a masculine interpretation of the word. Now, Translate will offer both masculine and feminine versions.
Movies & TV

Do you have questions about Hulu? We’ve got answers

Not sure which Hulu subscription is right for you? We're here to help. This is your complete guide to Hulu and Hulu with Live TV, including content offerings for each service, pricing, internet requirements, and more.
Mobile

5G’s arrival is transforming tech. Here’s everything you need to know to keep up

It has been years in the making, but 5G is finally becoming a reality. While 5G coverage is still extremely limited, expect to see it expand in 2019. Not sure what 5G even is? Here's everything you need to know.
Home Theater

Kill your cable and switch to streaming with our painless guide

If you're going to quit cable or satellite for a streaming TV solution, you're going to want to get it right the first time. We've outlined exactly how to get started, step by step. Follow our lead, and you'll never look back.
Computing

New rumors say the Pixelbook 2 could show up at CES 2019

What will the Pixelbook 2 be like? Google hasn't announced it, but thanks to rumors and leaks, we think we have a pretty good idea of what the potential new flagship Chromebook will be like.
Computing

From beautiful to downright weird, check out these great dual monitor wallpapers

Multitasking with two monitors doesn't necessarily mean you need to split your screens with two separate wallpapers. From beautiful to downright weird, here are our top sites for finding the best dual monitor wallpapers for you.
Web

Encryption-busting law passed in Australia may have global privacy implications

Controversial laws have been passed in Australia which oblige tech companies to allow the police to access encrypted messages, undermining the privacy of encryption with potentially global effects.
Web

Can Microsoft’s Airband Initiative close broadband gap for 25M Americans?

A new report from the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) says that 25 million Americans do not have access to broadband internet. Of these, more than 19 million are living in rural communities. Can Microsoft help out?
Computing

Microsoft’s Chromium Edge browser may be adding your Chrome extensions

Fans sticking to Google Chrome because due to its vast extension library might be able to switch over to Microsoft's latest iteration of Edge, as a project manager confirms that the company has its eyes on Chrome extensions.
Computing

If you've lost a software key, these handy tools can find it for you

Missing product keys getting you down? We've chosen some of the best software license and product key finders in existence, so you can locate and document your precious keys on your Windows or MacOS machine.
Computing

Google+ continues to sink with a second massive data breach. Abandon ship now

Google+ was scheduled to shut its doors in August 2019, but the second security breach in only a few months has caused the company to move its plan forward a few months. It might be a good idea to delete your account sooner than later.
Social Media

‘YouTube Rewind 2018’ is about to become its most disliked video ever

YouTube is about to achieve a record it really doesn't want — that of "most-disliked video." Yes, its annual recap of featuring popular YouTubers has gone down really badly this year.
Computing

Want to save a webpage as a PDF? Just follow these steps

Need to quickly save and share a webpage? The best way is to learn how to save a webpage as a PDF file, as they're fully featured and can handle images and text with ease. Here's how.
Mobile

5G: Why everything is about to change

Curious about the many ways 5G will change and enrich your life? Here’s our guide to all things 5G.