Sep 292010
Authors: Ryan Gibbons and Glen Pfeiffer

Our first order of business today is to correct a typo in last week’s column about the current state of 4G cell service. When referring to the minimum speed requirements of the new 4G cell networks, it was printed as 100 megabytes per second, and soon after it was written as 100 megabits.

This is an important difference because there are eight bits in a byte and therefore an 8-times speed difference. For things like hard drive space, bytes are generally used but for Internet speeds bits are used, probably so the service provider marketing departments can advertise higher numbers. Either way, we apologize for the mix-up, and we should finally be able to sleep at night again.

Speaking of sleep, we’ve recently been gearing up to lose a lot of it due to some wild nights. Kindly extract your mind from the gutter and remember that we are technology columnists. We’re talking about all the sleep we’re not going to get at this year’s Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas.

Every year, the best of the best in the technology realm get together to show off their latest and greatest products, many of which aren’t even in production yet.

The event is closed to the public and is more or less a publicity stunt for the companies involved. This seems a little backwards, but that’s where we come in. The press is granted free entry as your eyes and ears to get the report back on how amazing the new products are.

The only catch is that we have to cross our fingers and hope that they consider this column legit enough to be worthy of entry. We figure we’ll submit an application anyway and see what they say. If we get denied, maybe we’ll just head down to the convention center anyway and bust through the door yelling “Leeeeeeeroy Jeeeeeeeeenkins.”

It’s not all going to be fun and games. We’re going to have to look at endless amounts of mesmerizing new technology, we’ll have to listen to product explanations from beautiful women paid to distract us from the lack of key features and after all of this we’ll be expected to put in some casino time complete with free drinks and Texas Hold ‘Em.

CES happens in January every year, so we know this column is a little early, but today is the registration deadline, so we thought we would ask you to wish us luck.

Be sure to tune in to next weeks column –– we will have a special guest on the show. Brett Marshbanks is a senior, computer information systems major, who is currently doing research for his thesis on cloud computing.
In a nutshell, cloud computing is the concept of using computers to access information and applications that are stored elsewhere on the Internet rather than on your computer’s hard drive.

Many people employ this concept by using Google Documents to store files online, but Brett’s research is going into the use of entire operating systems running off the cloud.

Microsoft’s next operating system, Windows Azure, is a collection of cloud based services, and is currently being implemented in Ireland.

We’re excited to have you next week, Brett.

Columnists Ryan Gibbons and Glen Pfeiffer canceled their cable this week. Send them entertaining emails at, please.

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