From The Crows Nest…..Two things to unite our world

Alright, admit it. Hand’s up who sniggered at the sight of TV’s very own Konnie Huq nervously smile through a veil of both unseasonable April snow and anticipated fear as she attempted to remain dignified whilst fending off a Beijing protester? Well I certainly did, and what’s more we can now keep track of the whereabouts of a whole host of multi-national low-key presenters as they apprehensively shuffle across the globe in their tacky tracksuits thanks to Google Earth & Maps team. The Torch Relay map allows you to follow the path of the Olympic flame, and learn about the destinations it passes through as it makes its way across numerous countries and bodies of water. Expect more controversy in the build up to the Olympics…
Elsewhere, Sky ran a story this week informing us that the Internet may well be obsolete within a decade. The future appears to be something called ‘The Grid’. It’s the brainchild of CERN, the European Organisation for Nuclear Research based in Geneva.
But what is the Grid? In a nutshell, it is a network of linked computers connected by superfast fibre-optic cable and combining together to act as one giant super-computer. And, one day, we’ll all be connected to it.
One major household benefit is that it’s estimated that connection speeds could be 1,000 times faster than current broadband capabilities. The idea of downloading feature films in the blink of an eye, or the entire back catalogue of a musical artist in less than a second would be reality! It would also spell the end of grainy webcam images as they would be replaced by crystal clear pictures and sound, and video gaming would be transformed.
It is also expected to make huge medical breakthroughs. It’s already been used to help research anti-malarial drugs. Researchers used the Grid to analyse 140 million different compounds. The process would have taken 420 years to complete on a conventional internet-linked computer. The Grid might soon be used to help unlock the secrets of the human genome. God bless you technology! Still, I’m sure with my absurdly short-patience of computers, I’ll manage to find something wrong with it?!

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