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theEweekly Wrap

Google Fiber – Twitter extensions – UK internet user figures

Google Fiber tests the water

Google is set to begin trialling its high-speed internet cable network Google Fiber. The service, which supposedly runs 100 times faster than the average broadband connection, will be introduced to Kansas City in the US as a starting point. If successful, it should be available along with other innovations such as Google TV.

The area will be divided into "fiberhoods", with each group able to pre-register for subscription packages including a $70 (£45) per month internet deal and a $120 (£76) internet and television combo. Residents have until early September to get involved with the rollout.

It is thought that a Nexus 7 tablet will be included with the service and act as a remote control. This has caused raised eyebrows among some analysts, as the device would normally cost around £200 if purchased separately.

Writing on the company's official blog, Google's access services vice president Milo Medin commented: "Access speeds have simply not kept pace with the phenomenal increases in computing power and storage capacity that's spurred innovation over the last decade, and that's a challenge we're excited to work on."

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Twitter founders launch new ideas

They helped to create one of the internet's most popular sites in micro-blogging phenomenon Twitter, and now Evan Williams and Biz Stone have set about creating new ways for people to interact online.

Medium is a place for people to post their own collections of photographs or writing. Anyone can contribute their content to a collection, and this is where other users come in. How highly your pieces appear depends on how popular they are.

Each post can obtain ranking points, with highly-ranked contributions appearing at the top of the collection. The idea is intended to allow people to show their appreciation for content without having to concern themselves with building their own audience, as is the case on Twitter.

Meanwhile, Branch allows Twitter users to have more in-depth conversations with their followers through the creation of side-topics. Those invited into a 'branch' can then proceed to debate their chosen subject away from the general stream of tweets, with users able to subscribe and receive updates when a new contribution is made.

Both projects can be signed into using your Twitter account.

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Who uses the internet in the UK?

Figures from the Office for National Statistics reveal that 16 per cent of Britons claim never to have used the internet.

That figure equates to around 7.8 million people, with most of those featuring in the over-75 age group. In fact, over a quarter of those in that age group say they have never been online.

Unsurprisingly, most young people do use the web, with 98.9 per cent of 16 to 24-year-olds maintaining an online presence.

The survey also found a geographic divide across Britain. London adults showed the highest proportion of internet use with 88 per cent, while in Northern Ireland almost a quarter get by without the web.

All this is despite the fact that a recent study by Mediascope Europe reported that 81 per cent of British adults go online, compared with just 65 per cent across the continent as a whole.

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Written by James Riches

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