Hardware news this week has been largely overrun with major movers: Micron and Intel are set to end their partnership on 3D XPoint, PC sales have grown for the first time in 6 years, Z370 BIOS updates indicate an 8-core CPU on the horizon, AMD Ryzen CPUs could be targeting more than 8C in 2019, Western Digital is shutting down a major hard drive plant, and more.

As always, our show notes for the episode are below, with sources and links to all stories. We've also got a video for those who prefer the visual medium:

UPDATE: We worked with Google's local Fiber team directly -- who responded quickly to this post -- and got Fiber installed and working. After a month of settling in, everything seems good now. We haven't had any additional issues with Google Fiber, and can now recommend the service over the competition (easily). As long as Google doesn't lose other customers in the system, like it did with us, we can strongly recommend the service.

Original Article: Google Fiber isn’t all that it’s cracked-up to be.

The company has routinely demonstrated impressive bouts of incompetence as we’ve tried to subscribe to the service, and today was the latest artistic expression of that ineptitude. Thus far, Google hasn’t been any better than the old TWC or AT&T ISPs, with regard to support, and has been significantly worse in installation and setup. Once fiber is setup, we hope that the speeds will account for the tremendous pain that Google and its contractors have been; we imagine it’ll all be worth it, as it’s still gigabit speeds, and it’s still going to help on our uploads – it’s just a matter of getting everything working.

For this, we’re ignoring that it took a few years for the crew to embed the lines in the roads. That’s expected, and not something we’re complaining about. This complaint is more about the post-payment service.

We signed-up for Google Fiber in August of 2017, or 4-5 months ago. Our first appointment for Google Fiber installation was scheduled for November 6, 2017. 73 days later, we still do not have Fiber installed. It is presently January 18, 2018. We have also been charged for the service, despite having no service. Our “free month” credit, bordering on a scam, has been consumed, and we’ve been billed for the second month of no service.

Amazon announced Monday that the company negotiated a deal to purchase Twitch.tv for the small sum of $970 million. Google (YouTube) had been in negotiations since May to acquire Twitch, but were unable to close the deal. This gives Amazon the most popular avenue for game streaming. Although Google owns YouTube, Twitch reaches a very different market, and this can't be seen by Google as anything other than a slap in the face. It will be interesting to see if Google rises to the challenge and duels it out with Amazon – hopefully bringing their YouTube streaming service to a more complete status (corporate blood sport, how wonderful).

twitch-logo

After our earlier posting about Google's intentions to move to several large cities in North Carolina, we noted that the ball would now be in the court of the local officials to make progress on Google's demands. Google requires certain infrastructure and licensing to be in place before deploying its Fiber network to new regions and has a strict "checklist" that towns must complete before the company will proceed.

google-fiber-speedtest

In an official statement today, the Town of Cary announced that it has unanimously agreed to Google's fiber hut licensing and leasing terms; this agreement will enable Google to make use of upwards of five fiber huts for light relay and transfer stations, which would effectively propagate optical signals to business and residential buildings. In speaking with Cary officials, we learned that the Town would lease the property, but Google would own the hut and its included equipment.

The world's leading website has been making the news lately, and now their ATAP group (Advanced Technology & Projects) announced advancements that could heavily impact the gaming space. The new mobile technology, "Project Tango," can perform real-time 3-dimensional environment mapping, then render appropriate 3D models of the space with full collision mapping. This effectively means that your phone would have spatial awareness and the ability to create complex, 3-dimensional maps by use of its camera.

google-tango-1

Google's Fiber ISP division recently emailed residents of North Carolina (where we operate our business, actually) to initialize conversations about bringing the ISP to NC. The company has already taken residence in Kansas and is transitioning to Austin (fighting AT&T along the way), where it offers data-rates upwards of 1 Gigabit per second (up/down), or roughly 1000 Mbps. In other words, it's approximately 62x faster than TWC's best download rate in parts of Cary, NC, and about 500x faster than upload rates in the same location.

google-fiber-rabbit-afiA Failure Inside.

North Carolina is well-known in the technology sector for its apocalyptic hellscape of zombified Telecomm companies, including Nortel Networks -- which refuses to die (really, put it down), Bell, and Lucent. RTP and the Triangle already have major fiber infrastructure laid in the ground, though lack to-the-wall optical wiring for residential areas. Part of Google's Fiber offering is to run fiber optic lines to residential areas at low cost to the consumer (even allowing the consumer to foot part of the bill in exchange for a reduced monthly rate); Google enforces strict requirements upon State officials in the form of a checklist, which must be fulfilled before the company will begin its transition to NC. This is good, because our state politicians are extremely competent and efficient when it comes to accomplishing things.

Augmented-reality eyewear Google Glass and its accompanying developer blog recently released a 30-second clip of what they imagine gaming would be like on the AR product.

google-glass

We've previously covered gaming-centric AR devices, like CastAR, but Google Glass aims to be a bit more mainstream-friendly and more functional on a daily basis. It is more akin to smartphones in this regard, and as such, its gaming will likely be similar (initially, at least) to the more simplistic stepping-stone mobile games.

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