A somber mood enveloped Stephenie Buchanan's family after her brother Tarrence's funeral. Following the service in May, family and friends gathered in a hall to celebrate the life of the deceased 37-year-old. Buchanan grabbed a microphone, with a surprise for the packed room.
"I asked everybody if they had Snapchat," Buchanan, 33, said in a phone interview three months after the funeral. "I told them to go ahead and take a picture, and then scroll across."Those who had Snapchat loaded the app, snapped a photo and swiped until they saw the words "T's World" on the top and "We love you Tarrence, rest in Heaven" on the bottom, superimposed over the picture. Snapchat calls the effect a geofilter, typically silly or cartoony digital images and words that highlight your location.Buchanan created a custom one for her brother's funeral.But rather than be offended, people began taking selfies. Most of Buchanan's friends and family members were excited about it, with only a handful of older folks confused about it all. "They said, 'Oh my god, he has a filter, how did they do that?'" Buchanan said. "No one knew until I got on the microphone. My mom was sad, but she smiled about it."
Funeral geofilters are just the latest example of how Snapchat -- an app that many people still struggle to figure out -- has invaded the most intimate times of our lives. Custom geofilters are one of the hottest aspects of the young social network, where people can create templates to go over their temporary photos and videos to commemorate a significant moment in their lives. Snap Inc. said it offers on-demand filters for occasions like weddings, birthdays and graduations, but you can create geofilters for pretty much anything. As morbid as it sounds, Snapchat filters for funerals are starting to pop up. The idea of using your phone to take selfies with an app that has features like a dancing hot dog and puppy-faced filters seems to go against the etiquette of a funeral. In 2013, Jason Feifer, now editor-in-chief at Entrepreneur magazine, even set up a blog called "Selfies at Funerals" to call out the tacky tech faux pas.
But others say the geofilters are actually another way people can pay their respects to the deceased. On average, Buy Custom Geofilters gets about 300 requests a month for geofilters. The majority of them are for birthdays and weddings, and less than 1 percent are for funerals, said Andrew Lee, the company's founder.
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Triton wants to explore the deepest 2% of the ocean and it will use this submarine to do so
This submarine can take two people 2,000 metres beneath the surface of the ocean - and its makers aim to go even deeper. Florida-based Triton wants to explore the deepest two per cent of the ocean, although for the moment it's confined to the relative shallows. "We're revamping this model so it will be capable of carrying a pilot and a passenger to depths of 2,200 metres," says Patrick Lahey, the company's president.To achieve this, Triton needs to make the cabin of its 7500/2 model (pictured) thicker to withstand deep-ocean pressure. It's currently made from 235mm-thick acrylic glass known as PMMA. The cabin for the new sub will be 261mm, making it the thickest transparent acrylic barrier ever produced. "It's possible for a person to go to the Black Sea's deepest point inside a transparent pressure boundary," Lahey says.
The first submersible cabins were built using a technique called flush casting, but the process had too many variables along the production chain that could delay the finished product. So they moved to using German company Evonik, who thermally formed PMMA in an autoclave, which allowed them to create thicker cabins that could be up to two and a half metres in diametre. Each submersible, with models that can carry one passenger or as many as seven, travels around three knots per hour and can reach a depth of 1000 metres in about 45 minutes. Originally designed as recreational vehicles for superyacht owners, Triton's submersibles are now being used by marine scientists and documentary makers such as Sir David Attenborough to research and film previously unseen corners of the ocean. But Lahey wants to go further, exploring the hadal zone, a series of underwater trenches that reach depths of 11,000 metres.
"Ninety-eight per cent of the ocean lies within 6,000 metres of the surface, so if we can hit 6,000 metres we can explore most of the ocean. But the remaining two per cent is actually quite a big area," he says. Triton has designed a model that could theoretically dive to this depth: "[The cabin] couldn't be made of acrylic because it can't withstand those sorts of pressures - instead, it would be made of glass." WIRED hopes it won't be asked to do the test run.
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The engineer should have made it clear that you cannot check the speed of your broadband using wifi. When you buy a broadband service from an ISP (Internet Service Provider), they are only responsible for the service delivered to your premises or, at best, to the router. Also, if you buy a service that offers “up to” a certain speed, that’s basically the best case. It only guarantees that, in the UK, at least 10% of the users of that service get that speed. Most people will get less.
Broadband speeds are reduced by all sorts of factors. These include the distance from the exchange, the quality of the wiring, the number of joints in the wiring, the faceplate, the quality of the router, and the time of day. (You should get faster speeds at midnight than at midday because fewer people will be contending for the available bandwidth.) The speed measured by a broadband test will also be affected by the state of both the router and the PC used to run the benchmark. Either way, you can only measure your broadband speed by connecting a device directly to the router using a good quality ethernet cable. Any tests you run over wifi will not give the true speed because wifi connections are slower and less reliable than ethernet connections.For example, my download speed at midday yesterday was 74.4Mbps when measured using a desktop PC with a direct connection. The speed dropped to about 25Mbps when using a wifi-connected Windows 10 laptop, and to 15Mbps on an Android smartphone.
In fact, 74.4Mbps is a good speed for an “up to 76Mbps” FTTC (fibre-to-the-cabinet) broadband service. I can’t complain about slower wifi speeds on laptops, tablets and smartphones. My ISP cannot do anything about those.
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