As the Internet turned 35 last week, Web speed-demons claimed a new record for how fast data can be transmitted over computer networks, announcing they had sent the equivalent of a big fat DVD movie file from Switzerland to California in a few seconds.
The speed record was set by teams from the California Institute of Technology (Caltech) and CERN, the European particle physics lab in Switzerland. Geeks will be pleased to learn that the computer scientists dispatched 859 gigabytes of data in less than 17 minutes across 16,000 kilometers of computer networks -- at roughly 6.63 gigabits per second.
Such announcements pop up every few months as part of a friendly rivalry among scientists who are beefing up quasi-private versions of the public computer network, including one called Internet2. The super high-speed Internet2 network is already being used for education and research, and is being developed by a consortium of university, government and commercial scientists. Among its several hundred members are computer science departments at leading universities, Microsoft Corp., Cisco Systems and the National Science Foundation.
The Internet, which evolved in stages, celebrated one of its many anniversaries on Thursday, 35 years after scientists at UCLA linked two computers with a 15-foot cable and tested a new way of swapping data that led to the Internet.
Bringing College Football Online
College football fans frustrated they can't watch their favorite teams on TV have a new option: an Internet broadcasting network called Sportsview.TV. The all-sports digital network is the handiwork of a Reston company called Digital Media Broadcasting Corp., which has signed deals with several universities to film football games and broadcast them over the Internet.
Fans can pay $5 to access the games live or on demand as replays via any type of Internet broadband connection. Among the first available will be Thursday's game between Tennessee State and the University of Tennessee at Martin, followed by the Sept. 18 match between Virginia Union University and Winston-Salem University.
Access requires use of the Windows operating system and Windows Media Player 8 or 9.
Amazon Loves Paris -- and Pundits
Amazon.com had two launches last week that could hardly be more different. Hotel heiress and model Paris Hilton debuted a new line of sterling silver jewelry available exclusively at Amazon.com, including necklaces, earrings and ankle bracelets, each for under $100. At the same time, the Seattle bookseller rolled out a media section featuring commentary on the U.S. presidential election by such folks as novelist Gore Vidal, humorist Al Franken and columnist Molly Ivins.
Sally Jessy Raphael Makes Net Work
Wonder what happened to Sally Jessy Raphael, whose TV talk show ran for 22 years before going off the air a few years back? Raphael says the TV networks consider her too old to appeal to today's audiences, so now she has her own Web talk show. The daily audio event is broadcast live and on demand via the Internet from her home (she lives sometimes in New York City and other times in Nice, France), where she, her husband, Karl Soderlund, and other family members sit around and chat into a microphone for about an hour.
E-mail Leslie Walker at firstname.lastname@example.org.