Page 6 - Technology Facts

Netflix monitors illegal downloading sites like BitTorrent. The reason why might surprise you

When Netflix introduced its popular online video streaming platform to the Netherlands in 2013, the company took a unique approach to choosing which TV shows it would include in its service.

According to Kelly Merryman, the company's Vice President of Content Acquisition, Netflix monitored what shows were successful on BitTorrent and other illegal piracy sites.

After Netflix determined that 'Prison Break' was one of the most illegally downloaded shows in the Netherlands, the company acquired the series to offer on the local market. It was a success!

Netflix, which introduced original programming with the successful Kevin Spacey series 'House of Cards,' recently renewed the show for a 3rd season, over a week before the 2nd season has even aired.


Your phone is a pawn in the traffic monitoring machine—and they're tracking your every move.

Google is great for so many things. Spelling, basic math, finding a song with just a couple lyrics, and navigating through traffic. But how does Google figure out what the traffic is like on a constant basis? Someone posted on every street, updating every couple minutes? Personal company traffic copters? Turns out it's your phone.

Google uses the data from smart phones to determine how congested a road is. Every phone since 2011 has come with GPS enabled to triangulate with towers, so no matter what your phone is being watched. Google simply uses this mandatory invasion of privacy to work for the greater good.

Google knows there are a lot of variables and simply counting the amount of phones in an area and how quickly they're traveling isn't enough to indicate traffic. They use complex algorithms to determine someone like a mailman who makes frequent stops, and has really specific thresholds that must be met to escalate the color of the road to more congested.

Privacy enthusiasts can choose to opt out of sharing their data, but Google assures users that they protect the data as best as possible. Even they aren't sure who the data is coming from.


An iPhone has 240,000 times more computing power than the Voyager I!

For those who haven't heard of the Voyager I Space Probe, it is a spaceship designed by NASA to explore the outer reaches of our solar system and the vast space beyond.

Since being launched 36 years, 4 months, and 20 days ago, Voyager continues to communicate with NASA via the Deep Space Network. It still receives routine commands and return data for scientists to analyze.

Even through it's 11.6 billion miles away in interstellar space, Voyager I's computer systems aren't as advanced as one might think. In reality, it has less than 40 KB of memory. To put that in perspective, your 16 GB iPhone 5 has about 240,000 times the memory of the Voyager 1 spacecraft.

So why does it have so such little computing power? Because it's old, basically. NASA developed the Voyager I in the 1970s, a pre-computer era where scientists worked primarily using pencil, paper, chalkboards and their own mathematical skills. Still, even with its antiquated technology, Voyager I is considered one of NASA's most successful missions.


Some awesome lists!

A laser is being developed in Europe that will have the power to rip apart the vacuum of space! So what are they going to do with it?

Plans are currently being drawn up for the Extreme Light Infrastructure (ELI). The ELI's goal is to build the most powerful lasers ever to exist—over 10 times as powerful as any existing laser.

With current plans for lasers in Hungary, Romania, and the Czech Republic, the first stages of the project look to be completed in 2017. The group behind the ELI want to make these lasers available to the international scientific community to perform advanced physics experiments.

Their end goal involves developing a 200 petawatt laser that will have the power to pull apart the vacuum of space! This laser will be created by combining the beams of 10 smaller lasers—each more powerful that any currently in existence.

At energy levels as high as 200 petawatts, the usual laws of physics will start to break down, giving scientists a glimpse into the origins of our universe.


The weird Bluetooth logo is really the initials of Danish King Harold Bluetooth, the tech's namesake

Bluetooth is one of the modern age's most wonderful technologies. You might be surprised to know that it was named after a King from a very long time ago. The name comes from Ericcson's—Bluetooth's parent company—Viking heritage.

Legend says that Danish Viking Harald Blatand had a gift for bringing people together and fostering communication. He even united Norway and Denmark as a single territory.

So, since Bluetooth is intended to connect people and allow them to communicate easily, what better person to name it after then Blatand? In English, Blatand translates to "Bluetooth."



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