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23/05/2020 02:14:35  

Researchers based out of Australia's Monash, Swinburne, and RMIT universities say they've set a new internet speed record of 44.2 Tbps, according to a paper published in the open-access journal Nature Communications. That's theoretically enough speed to download the contents of more than 50 100GB Ultra HD Blu-ray discs in a single second. The Verge reports: What's interesting about the research is that it was achieved over 75km of standard optical fiber using a single integrated chip source, meaning it has the potential to one day benefit existing fiber infrastructure. The test fiber connection ran between RMIT's Melbourne City campus and Monash University's Clayton campus, and the researchers say it mirrors infrastructure used by Australia's National Broadband Network (NBN). The findings represent a "world-record for bandwidth," according to Swinburne University Professor David Moss, one of the team members responsible. Those speeds were achieved, thanks to a piece of technology called a micro-comb, which offers a more efficient and compact way to transmit data. This micro-comb was placed within the cable's fibers in what the researchers say is the first time the technology has been used in a field trial. Now, the researchers say the challenge is to turn the technology into something that can be used with existing infrastructure. "Long-term, we hope to create integrated photonic chips that could enable this sort of data rate to be achieved across existing optical fiber links with minimal cost," RMIT's Professor Arnan Mitchell says.

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12/05/2020 21:12:37  

Age of Empires 2, a 21-year-old game, could well be having its best year ever. From a report: Since its HD re-release in 2013 the game has had a steady growth in average player count, but with the release of Age of Empires 2: Definitive edition last year and COVID-19 lockdowns inflating player counts across the industry, Age of Empires 2 is boasting totals that beat some very big-name games. It's now by far Steam's most popular RTS, with both the Definitive Edition and the 2013 HD Edition having higher player counts than closest competitor Company of Heroes 2. This year's big tournament boasted the largest Age of Empires 1v1 prize pool since 2002. Last month, in April, the games' combined average player count was over 50,000 players. April 12 was the definitive edition's all-time player peak, and the combined total of the games was 59,995 players. That's well into the top 150 all-time peak player counts on Steam... for a 21-year-old game. The two games generally average higher player counts than popular free-to-play game War Thunder or industry darling Stardew Valley. They're on-par with the popular action RPG Path of Exile. Their average is nearly as many as perennially popular premium games like Civilization VI or Terraria. Both versions of Age of Empires 2 sit in the top 100 games on Steam, with the Definitive Edition sitting at #25. Combined, however, the Age of Empires community on average pushes up to the #15 spot -- or higher, on peak player count days.

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