For five years, researchers have toiled over an obscure bit of fundamental internet infrastructure that promises to make the connections to our mobile devices faster and more reliable than ever, and if you’ve already downloaded Apple’s iOS 7 to your iPhone or iPad, you could be using it already.
It’s called multi-path TCP, and here’s why it matters and how it works: At present, if your phone or tablet is connected to Wi-Fi and a cellular network at the same time, it can only use one or the other connection to transmit data. But what if your Wi-Fi connection or your 3G connection drops? Whatever data was being transmitted—data for an app, a webpage, an iMessage—will fail to arrive, and you have to try again, usually after getting a frustrating error message or a blank page. Just as importantly, if one of your connections to the internet slows down, or speeds up, your phone has no ability to use its other connections to its advantage, leading to a poorer and slower experience overall.
Makes sense: the pipe shouldn’t matter, the connection should.
“The test of first-rate intelligence is the ability to hold two opposed ideas in the mind at the same time, and still retain the ability to function. One should, for example, be able to see that things are hopeless and yet be determined to make them otherwise.”—F. Scott Fitzgerald (via meganq)
In the first few months, they were getting one customer monthly wanting to pay in Bitcoin; now it happens three to five times a week. In one case, a customer paid 4 Bitcoin for what was then $48 USD worth of cupcakes. When the price spiked to over $200, that sale turned into an $800 one. Longson says she was tempted to convert her Bitcoin over to USD then, but she and her husband decided to keep her Bitcoin bank.
“Bitcoin is in its infancy. I’m mostly showing my support for it,” says the freckled, red-haired Longson, who is six months pregnant. “I realize it’s a volatile market and I might take a loss, but it’s interesting to be involved in. It leads to really interesting conversations about how our economy is based on arbitrary people deciding how much a $1 is worth.”
If ever we needed a reminder that technology can both make our lives better and more terrifying this week provided plenty of them. Pressure cookers for cooking and bomb making. Fertilizer for agriculture and explosions (sadly also used in the Oklahoma City bombing). Social…