(credit: Mark Walton)
Part of the reason, if not the reason people buy mechanical keyboards from the likes of Corsair and Das Keyboard is for that sweet, sweet extended key travel. The mushy membrane keyboards included with most desktops and the cursory chicklet keyboards of laptops simply don't have the depth of key travel and tactile feedback that rapid fire typists and gamers demand. If you fall into either of those camps, I'd urge you to give a mechanical keyboard a try—it really does make a world of difference.
Weirdly, though, Corsair thinks that the key travel of a good mechanical switch is a little too high for the most l33t of gamers—they might even be losing precious e-sports dollars because of it. Enter the K70 and K65 Rapidfire keyboards, which are kitted out with the all-new mechanical Cherry MX Speed switch. The MX Speed boasts an actuation distance—that is, the point at which its switch is activated—of just 1.2mm and a light 45g actuation force. By contrast, my mechanical switch of choice, the Cherry MX Brown, has a much larger 2mm actuation distance and 55g actuation force. The idea is to give an advantage to e-sports players by shaving off precious milliseconds (microseconds?) from each keystroke.
Now, I know what you're thinking, and no, if you're not into your mechanical keyboards, it's doubtful you'll be able to tell the difference between an actuation distance of 2mm and 1.2mm. Hell, even if you are, the difference is subtle. But, there is a difference, and I'm not so sure it's one I like. Side-by-side with a Cherry MX Brown keyboard, the Rapidfire's keys aren't as comfortable to type on. There's no discernible bump or click—one of the key selling points of many mechanical switches that helps identify when a key has been pressed—and the shallower travel makes it far easier to bottom out when typing.
If you're the type of person that closely follows networking protocols and web server optimizations, you've probably heard of SPDY. This is Google's re-imagining of the HTTP protocol, designed to reduce latency, streamline data flow, and generally speed up data transmission from a server to your browser. Well, you can forget about it. Google is about to kill SPDY, but for a good reason. The Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF) is getting close to finalizing a major revision to the HTTP protocol, dubbed HTTP/2.Read More
Google To Adopt HTTP/2 Support In Chrome 40, Plans To Kill SPDY By Early 2016 was written by the awesome team at Android Police.
Not surprisingly, the European Parliament isn't happy to hear that the NSA and other US agencies are allegedly snooping on communications in Europe and elsewhere. It isn't just complaining loudly, however -- the Parliament just voted 483-98 in favor of a resolution that will investigate US surveillance activities in Europe and report on their impact before the end of the year. The measure also asks EU officials to consider limiting the data they voluntarily provide to American authorities, such as shutting down programs that forward air passenger and bank records. There's nothing in the resolution that would immediately affect the EU-to-US communication pipeline, but that could change in half a year -- US intelligence outlets may not get their European information served on a silver platter for much longer.
[Image credit: JLogan, Wikipedia]
Filed under: Internet
Source: European Parliament
Skype audio and video chats, widely regarded as resistant to interception thanks to encryption, can be wiretapped by American intelligence agencies, according to a new report in The Guardian. The report appears to contradict claims by Microsoft that it has not provided the contents of Skype communications to the government.
In a story published Thursday, based on documents leaked by former National Security Agency (NSA) contractor Edward Snowden, The Guardian offers some detail about extensive cooperation between the FBI, the National Security Agency, and Microsoft to enable government access to user communications via the intelligence tool known as PRISM. That cooperation included, according to the leaked NSA documents, enabling access to Outlook.com e-mails and chats, the SkyDrive cloud storage service, and Skype audio and video calls.
The Guardian hasn't published the documents on which this story is based but has instead quoted from them.
An Australian company is planning to install a carbon capture system that will turn a coal-fired power station into a biofuel production facility.…