Spinning a Faster Web

A technology that is speeding up the developing world's internet connections. Internet connections in the...

A technology that is speeding up the developing world's internet connections.Internet connections in the developing world are getting a boost thanks to a technology conceived to improve corporate IT. In Africa's colleges, for example, internet connections are split between so many users that speeds would remind Americans of surfing on Prodigy. HashCache, a computing method developed by a team at Princeton University to store internet data in a more efficient way, could jolt those connections and cut costs.Here's how it works: When you call up a website, you don't download all the content directly from the site. Rather, the request goes through a proxy server, which stores oft-accessed information on web pages-a process called "caching." "If you go to now and then go to later, the proxy stores pages on that haven't changed," explains Anirudh Badam, a computer science graduate student at Princeton. Proxies store data using a process involving expensive random access memory. A lot of RAM requires a bigger box, so proxies are typically large and hard to maintain. In the developing world, one proxy typically serves multiple schools, further slowing connection speeds.HashCache uses a more efficient method to access stored files, cutting all but a tenth of the RAM out of the caching process. This makes the information easier for multiple computers to access more quickly, speeding up slow connections and taking up less space. A push from One Laptop Per Child's former VP of software engineering, Jim Gettys, convinced the Princeton group that the developing world needed its tech. Using HashCache, a school can use a single laptop (capable of caching the entirety of Wikipedia) as its own proxy. Universities in Ghana and Nigeria are currently using HashCache, and Badam reports that the technology is now bundled with OLPC's efforts. "As soon as OLPC deployed, we made arrangements to deploy HashCache," says Badam, adding that schools in Peru and Uruguay are now making arrangements to procure laptops. "By the end of August or September this year, we may make a huge deployment."Photo by One Laptop per Child (via Flickr)Return to interactive site

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Former Secretary of State, first lady, and winner of the popular vote in the 2016 presidential election, Hillary Clinton, sat own for an epic, two-and-a--half hour interview with Howard Stern on his SiriusXM show Wednesday.

She was there to promote "The Book of Gutsy Women," a book about heroic women co-written with her daughter, Chelsea Clinton.

In the far-reaching conversation, Clinton and the self-proclaimed "King of All Media" and, without a doubt, the best interviewer in America discussed everything from Donald Trump's inauguration to her sexuality.

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Offering parental leave for new fathers could help close the gender gap, removing the unfair "motherhood penalty" women receive for taking time off after giving birth. However, a new study finds that parental leave also has a pay gap. Men are less likely to take time off, however, when they do, they're more likely to get paid for it.

A survey of 2,966 men and women conducted by New America found that men are more likely to receive paid parental leave. Over half (52%) of fathers had fully paid parental leave, and 14% of fathers had partially paid parental leave. In comparison, 33% of mothers had fully paid parental leave and 19% had partially paid parental leave.

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Bans on plastic bags and straws can only go so far. Using disposable products, like grabbing a plastic fork when you're on the go, can be incredibly convenient. But these items also contribute to our growing plastic problem.

Fortunately, you can cut down on the amount of waste you produce by cutting down on disposable products. And even more fortunately, there are sustainable (and cute) replacements that won't damage the environment.

Coconut bowls


Who says sustainable can't also be stylish? These cute coconut bowls were handmade using reclaimed coconuts, making each piece one of a kind. Not only are they organic and biodegradable, but they're also durable, in case your dinner parties tend to get out of hand. The matching ebony wood spoons were polished with the same coconut oil as the bowls.

Cocostation Set of 2 Vietnamese Coconut Bowls and Spoons, $14.99; at Amazon

Solar powered phone charger


Why spend time looking around for an outlet when you can just harness the power of the sun? This solar powered phone charger will make sure your phone never dies as long as you can bask in the sun's rays. As an added bonus, this charger was made using eco-friendly silicone rubber. It's win-win all around.

Dizaul Solar Charger, 5000mAh Portable Solar Power Bank, $19.95; at Amazon, $19.95; at Amazon

Herb garden kit

Planter Pro

Put some green in your life with this herb planter. The kit comes with everything you need to get a garden growing, including a moisture meter that helps you determine if your herbs are getting the right amount of food to flourish. All the seeds included are certified to be non-GMO and non-hybrids, meaning you can have fresh, organic herbs right at your fingertips.

Planter Pro's Herb Garden Cedar Planter, $39.00; at Amazonedar Planter, $39.00; at Amazon

Reusable Keurig cups

K & J

Keurig cups are convenient, but they also create a ton of plastic waste. These Keurig-compatible plastic cups are an easy way to cut down on the amount of trash you create without cutting down on your caffeine. Additionally, you won't have to keep on buying K Cups, which means you'll be saving money and the environment.

K&J Reusable Filter Cups, $8.95 for a set of 4,; at Amazon

Low-flow shower head


Low-flow water fixtures can cut down your water consumption, which saves you money while also saving one of the Earth's resources. This shower head was designed with a lighter flow in mind, which means you'll be able to cut down on water usage without feeling like you're cutting down on your shower.

Speakman Low Flow Shower Head, $14.58; at Amazon

Bamboo safety razor


Instead of throwing away a disposable razor every time you shave, invest in an eco-friendly, reusable one. This unisex shaver isn't just sustainable, it's also sharp-looking, which means it would make a great gift for the holidays.

Zomchi Safety Razor, $16.99; at Amazon

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