Credit: Magdalena Petrova
Google servers are now in Cuba and the internet is up and running.
The computers are part of Google’s global network of caching servers, which store frequently requested content locally so it doesn’t have to be accessed over long distances.That speeds up access in any country but is particularly important in a nation like Cuba, which has relatively low connectivity to the rest of the world.Cuba is connected to the rest of the internet almost exclusively via the ALBA-1 submarine cable, which runs from the island to Venezuela. Currently surfing the internet is still very pricey in Cuba. Government-run internet cafes charge several euros for an hour or two of online time — a large amount in a country where the average wage is about 20 euros (US$22) per month.
In the past five years, the number of times you visit a band’s Wikipedia page can tell if a band is going to break in the next year or so. For instance, about eight months before The Weeknd began to play across radio stations throughout the country, there was a huge spike of views on their Wikipedia page. And there are now firms that create analytics of data of the number of YouTube clips that are played. Another way record labels or representatives of an artist are able to tell if an artist is going to break is through the use of Shazam (an app that identifies the media playing around you). Shazam is able to show the most “Shazamed” song in your particular area.
Previously, record executives would instinctively know this song or artist was going to be a hit. But that led to repetitive-sounding music that often was the same thing time and time again. Now we have songs and artists that sound really distinct, and that diversity is in part because it’s possible for the data and technology to draw attention to people’s taste.
The millennial generation is the first that has been able to experience music almost entirely out of chronology. Because of the internet, we are able to explore any era or kind of music at any time. As a consequence, there are fewer successful albums and more one-hit wonders. Technology has influenced the way we define a successful album. Earlier generations have a tendency to create links with the ownership of music through cassette tape and CDs. At the same time, radio is pulling us in a more conservative direction in terms of playing fewer songs with little diversity.
But the millennial generation associates music and music ownership with the internet and cellphones. For them, the access to music via the internet results in almost a paralyzing effect of having so many choices. For instance, with so many opportunities, if you choose restaurant A, you are missing out on restaurant B, C, or D. It’s similar with music.
Super Mario creator Shigeru Miyamoto, has revealed that upcoming mobile game Super Mario Run will require an active internet connection to be played and gamers are not happy about the requirement.
Miyamoto, says an active internet connection is necessary because it is too difficult to offer the World Tour single-player mode as an offline mode, particularly because the mode is also related to the Toad Rally and Mushroom Kingdom modes.
Toad Rally needs to access the play data and scores of other users, the information can only be acquired from a server. Mushroom Kingdom, meanwhile, requires purchase verification as players will purchase items through coins earned in the game. Again, this will be impossible to do without an internet connection.