Weekly Roundup: Firefox 3 may break records and Sydney gets its very own Apple store

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Weekly Roundup:  Firefox 3 may break records and Sydney gets its very own Apple store

This week, Mozilla released Firefox 3 with hopes of making it into the Guinness World Records and Mac fans camped out for iPhones as Apple opened its first Australian store.

FOXTEL is launching its new FOXTEL HD+ service this Sunday during the Australia vs. China World Cup Qualifier. The new high definition package will include five exclusive HD channels, and on-demand movies. The pay-TV giant said more than 15,000 customers have already upgraded to the new service.

Lori Drew, the woman accused of driving a 13 year-old girl to suicide with a cruel MySpace hoax, has pleaded not guilty to the charges against her. Drew is set to face trial on July 26 and may be sentenced to 20 years in prison if convicted.

Mozilla released its Firefox 3 for download on June 17, on what it deemed ‘Download Day’. It hoped to achieve a record-breaking five million downloads on the single day, and at its peak, saw about 14,000 downloads per minute. At 11:18 P.M. on Wednesday, the unofficial number was 8.2 million downloads, but Mozilla must wait while Guinness World Records examines past records to know if it succeeded.

A Cisco report predicts web traffic volumes to double every two years between 2007 and 2012. Cisco says the popularity of video and social networking is the key factor, increasing traffic annually by 46 percent. By 2012 it says traffic volumes will be measured in exabytes (one billion gigabytes).

Apple’s new $15 million store opened in Sydney on Thursday at 5pm. The store is made up of three levels and is rivalled only by the Regent Street, London, Apple Store for size. Several fans camped outside the store for hours, hoping for a chance at a free iPhone, but the first 2,500 shopper through the door only received Apple t-shirts.

A list of the world’s fastest computers named the US Department of Energy’s computing system the fastest supercomputer in the world. IBM’s Blue Gene/P is ranked third fastest of all. The supercomputer has a peak performance of 557 teraflops and achieved a speed of 450.3 teraflops on the Linpack application used to measure speed for the Top 500 rankings.

Speaking of supercomputers, Victoria has invested $100 million to build Australia’s largest supercomputer in Melbourne. The supercomputer is expected to run at 400 teraFLOPS and to assist in finding cures and treatments for life threatening diseases like cancer and brain disorders. The University of Melbourne will release initial expressions of interest for the peak computing facility later this year, with major installations planned for 2009 and 2011.

It was reported that teens in the UK are using Google Earth to look for private swimming pools for illegal parties. When a location has been chosen, the hosts communicate with guests through Facebook and Bebo. Police say several pool-owners have come home to find their pools full of beer cans or have been awoken in the middle of the night to find trespassers taking a dip.

Dell plans to stop selling computers equipped with Windows XP from today, unless users want to spend an extra US$50 to downgrade from Vista. Some of the company’s XPS gaming systems will also carry a US$50 downgrade charge. Microsoft says it will stop selling XP licenses and software after June 30.
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