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While telecoms companies around the world are investing millions into the development of fiber-optic networks, the aging copper telephone line may still have some life in it yet. Experts at Alcatel Lucent's Bell Labs research division are claiming a new world record by achieving super-fast speeds through the aging technology. Researchers were able to achieve 10Gbps speeds with the same cables you'd find under many residential streets.

The goal here isn't just to push boundaries, but to give telecoms companies the chance to use their existing infrastructure to deliver internet speeds capable of rivalling fiber networks. While the speed is certainly impactful, Alcatel's prototype technology is currently limited by its transmission range. Bell Labs achieved 10Gbps speeds over a distance of 30 meters and simultaneous upload and download speeds of 1 Gbps over 70 meters, meaning companies would have to work a lot harder to make this work from the exchange to your home. Those providers are only now trialing the standard on which Bell Labs' new technology expands upon, meaning you'll likely have to wait a couple of years for those ridiculous internet speeds come to your home, that's if they don't decide fiber is the better option.

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When Adam Savage isn't busy blowing stuff up while filming Mythbusters, he's often found tinkering about in his San Francisco workshop. It's in this "cave" that Savage films his popular YouTube series for Tested, but it's also home to an incredible number of gadgets and sci-fi memorabilia that his Mythbuster cash has funded over the years. Fortunately, this treasure-filled studio is now open for virtual tours, courtesy of Google's indoor Street View cameras, letting you go behind-the-scenes and see for yourself where all the magic happens. If you prefer something more personal, Savage has also conducted a video tour of his man-cave, which we've included below.

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FreedomPop -- a freemium wireless carrier startup -- has been trying to upend the way people pay for phone service in the US for what seems like ages now. Turns out the US was only part of the plan. The company confirmed today that it's setting its sights abroad with a free data plan currently being tested in Belgium, with launches in the UK, France, Germany, Spain and parts of Asia expected to follow.

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Sonos owners looking for more off-beat tracks than Spotify or Google Play Music offer can now access a SoundCloud beta program. SoundCloud likens itself to an audio version of Vimeo or Flickr: a platform for new artists, established acts like Macklemore, comedians and others to share tracks. Users can listen to unlimited music for free, download up to a hundred songs, join groups and even comment on specific parts of a song. If you've got a Sonos device like the Play:1, you'll be able to access SoundCloud by heading to the "add music services" section in the latest Sonos iOS or Android controller app. From there, you've got a stupefying array of choices -- 12 hours of music is loaded to the site every minute.

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Solar farms need three things: sunlight, photovoltaic panels and a huge expanse of land. It's the third in that list that's hampering green efforts in countries like India, where space is scarce and therefore very expensive. That's why India is copying Japan's (pictured) idea of building floating solar farms out on the water, saving a fortune in land costs and helping to prevent evaporation in the hottest months. A partnership between India's national hydroelectric company and Kolkata's college of renewable energy plans to build a 50 megawatt floating solar farm -- one of the world's largest -- at some point in the future. Before that, however, a small pilot project will be constructed in a lake in Kerala in south-west India later this year which is expected to generate around 12 kilowatts of power. While we can't cover all of the world's oceans with solar panels, it does seem like a clever fix while scientists continue to work on the supercritical steam issue.

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Attaching Drive files on Gmail is easy enough even on Android phones and tablets, but we doubt anybody would complain if Google wants to make it even easier. The new Gmail refresh for Android comes with an "Insert from Drive" option on the right-hand pull-down menu. That's definitely a lot quicker to access than the traditional Drive icon hidden among the undoubtedly numerous apps in your list, which shows up after clicking "Attach file." Plus, in case the email's recipients can't see the file you've chosen (say, if it's marked private or if it's only shared to a select group of people), you can access its settings from within the app before you send an email. As a bonus, the updated Gmail app's To: and CC/BCC: suggestions are now not only more comprehensive, but also show up much faster than before. Just don't feel hurried to choose recipients because of this change, lest you end up blasting the entire office an embarrassing email.

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Upper West Side Apple Store

Love or hate them, it's hard to argue that Apple's retail stores aren't highly distinctive. That's what the EU's highest court thought when it overruled a German verdict and said that Apple's store design could be registered as a trademark in Europe. Though Apple holds a store trademark granted last year by the USPTO, Germany's patent office rejected it, despite admitting that the retail layout was "an essential aspect of (its) business." The Court of Justice of the EU disagreed, saying that "an integral collection of lines, curves and shapes" (in Apple's stores) fulfill all the criteria for a trademark. It noted that any store design like Apple's which "departs significantly" from others in the same sector also merits trademark protection. Meanwhile, Apple may be planning changes to its stores anyway, having just hired ex-Burberry CEO Angela Ahrendts as head of retail. For now, though, you're less likely to walk into a store like this in Europe.

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BRITAIN SPY BOOK

Remember when the EU's Data Retention Directive, a requirement for all telecoms companies to record everyone's web and phone activity, was declared illegal by the European Court of Justice? As expected, UK Prime Minister David Cameron has announced that he'll pass emergency legislation that'll override the court's decision and restore this requirement, at least in the short term. The action has been taken since telecoms networks and ISPs were about to begin deleting this data, which the government believes would have harmed serious criminal investigations concerning sexual exploitation and counter-terrorism.

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Despite arriving nearly a year after the TiVo Roamio launched, this update looks to be one worth waiting for. To address the age old problem of choosing what to watch, TiVo has two new features that make that much easier. The first is a new third column added to the My Shows view that makes it possible to browse recorded shows by category (movies, kids, sports, etc). You can easily choose which categories are shown -- who watches kids shows anyway? -- and in what order, or revert to your old ways completely (check the demo video embedded after the break to get a feel for how it works). The other new feature is in the same vein, bringing on-demand and web app options to the traditional guide and giving us flashbacks of Windows Media Center's similar option. TiVo Premiere owners will also be very happy with their version of the update since it adds the aforementioned new features but doesn't stop there. As Zatz Not Funny points out, users are reporting much needed speed improvements with an "updated, modern design" that brings it closer to the Roamio experience.

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Silent Circle's mobile apps have helped make calls, messages and storing contacts more secure, but to enjoy its encryption benefits other people would need to use the same service. That could no longer be a problem for some, after the company announced its expanding its Silent Phone service to let users make truly private calls to non-Silent Circle members worldwide. While some users have been able to use the iOS and Android apps to make calls to standard mobile and landlines, like you would with Skype or Viber, Silent Circle's encrypted "Out-Circle" calling service was limited to users in a select number of countries. From today, subscribers enrolling in the service will be given a unique ten-digit Silent Phone number to make and receive calls in 79 countries without a roaming charge in sight. If you've ordered the Blackphone, you will, of course, be pre-subscribed to Silent Phone (although you'll have to set up Out-Circle separately) and the company's other anti-surveillance services. Starting at $12.95 for 100 minutes, Out-Circle isn't the cheapest package out there, but you can't put a price on privacy, right?

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