Emerging Technology

Radiohead’s gamble doesn’t pay off… Fastest broadband state?… World’s biggest multiplayer hook-up… Gossipers get our gander up

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Radiohead fans choose not to pay

The results are in on rock band Radiohead’s decision to allow its fans to choose how much they want to pay to download their latest record, “In Rainbows.” In short, it’s lucky they’re already rich.

More than 60% of those who downloaded the album chose not to pay the band a single brass razoo, according to comScore data and reported by BusinessWeek .

And of the remaining 38% who did pay something, the average amount paid was just $US6, well below the normal retail price for a new release album.

In the month of October, 1.2 million people visited the band’s website, according to comScore, but it wouldn’t say how many actually downloaded that album.

And, it turns out, Radiohead’s US fans are much more generous than those in the rest of the world. About 40% of US residents paid for the album, forking out an average $US8.05. By contrast only 36% of people outside the US paid anything, and those who did chose to give just $US4.64.

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Which state has Australia’s fastest broadband?

People in NSW enjoy the fastest average broadband speeds in the country, according to online tech mag ZDNet Australia .

More than 270,000 people across Australia have taken ZDNet’s Broadband Speed Test , which measures data throughput between a computer and a geographic distributed network of servers.

The result so far has NSW in the lead with an average speed of 6891kbps, followed by Queensland on 5995kpbs and Victoria on 5908kpbs. By far the two loser states when it comes to broadband are Western Australia on 3947kbps, and Tasmania on 3527kbps.

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How many game consoles equals a petaflop?

A Stanford University project called [email protected] has managed to assemble the most powerful distributed computing network in the world by linking together a whole bucketload of game consoles.

According to InformationWeek , the [email protected] project managed to assemble what is effectively a supercomputer, getting owners of computers and internet-linked gaming consoles around the world to lend a share of their processing power. More the 670,000 Playstation3 owners around the world signed on to the project.

The result, achieved on 16 September, was that the network managed to pull together more than a petaflop – that’s a thousand trillion floating point operations per second, if you must know – of processing power. According to Guinness World Records, that makes it the fastest distributed computing network in the world.

And in case you’re wondering, [email protected] isn’t some grand attempt to assemble the globe’s most massive multiplayer online computer game. The term “folding” refers to a method of studying the behaviour of proteins and the [email protected] project is using all that processing power to help scientists better understand the role proteins play in disease in an attempt to find treatments for Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, and some types of cancer.

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Workplace gossiping is driving us mad

We spend a lot of time at work. What is the most annoying thing your colleagues do? Gossiping at work and leaving a mess in communal spaces top the list of the biggest workplace pet peeves, according to a recent survey.

The survey, released by Atlanta-based staffing firm Randstad USA and reported in Inc.com , puts gossip at the top of the list when it comes to employee annoyances.

Of the 1540 US employees surveyed, 10% revealed that their biggest gripe in the workplace was employees who gossiped, followed by other people’s poor time management skills, at 54%. Colleagues who leave a mess in communal spaces rounded out the top three workplace pet peeves at 45%.

Other popular responses:

  • Potent scents (42%).
  • Loud noises (41%).
  • Abuse of personal communication devices in meetings (28%).
  • Misuse of email (22%).

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