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Project Fi is bumping up international data speeds thanks to new partnership


There was a surprise waiting for me when I fired up my Nexus 5X on the Project Fi network after landing in Amsterdam today: LTE service. That new find is thanks to Google's announcement Tuesday that it had formed a new partnership with Three, which covers the United Kingdom, Austria, Denmark, Hong Kong, Ireland, Italy, and Sweden. The network will bring speeds 10 to 20 times faster than what you used to get on Project Fi, according to Google. In many cases this will be LTE connectivity, which is what I had straight out of the gate. You may see LTE speeds next time you head out of the country.

Bodies found after helicopter crashes in Norway

Al Jazeera

Emergency services have found 11 bodies after a helicopter crashed off the west coast of Norway, a rescue official told Norwegian broadcaster NRK. A search for the remaining two passengers was ongoing, a spokesman from the Rescue Coordination Centre for Southern Norway told NRK on Friday, adding that among the 13 passengers were one British and one Italian national. Police officials told regional news outlets that all on board, including those missing, were presumed dead. Witnesses told the broadcaster that the helicopter was on its way inland from the North Sea when it got into difficulty. NRK said the aircraft dropped 640 metres in the 10 seconds preceding the crash.

MH17: Missile fired from Russia-backed rebel area

Al Jazeera

A Malaysian airliner shot down in eastern Ukraine was hit by a missile launched from an area controlled by Russia-backed rebels and the delivery system then retreated back into Russian territory, investigators said on Wednesday. The findings challenge Russia's suggestion that Malaysia Airlines flight 17 - en route from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur in July 2014 - was brought down by the Ukrainian military. All 298 people on board, most of them Dutch citizens, were killed. The prosecutors cannot file charges but victims' relatives have been seeking details of who shot the plane down in the hope it might lead eventually to prosecutions. The incident led to a sharp rise in East-West tensions.

Oil prices lower profit at France's Total despite cost cuts

U.S. News

Lagging oil prices pushed first quarter profits down 40 percent at France's Total SA, though cuts in costs and investments cushioned the blow. The energy company on Wednesday announced net income of 1.6 billion in the quarter, down from 2.66 billion in the same period last year. Sales fell to 32.8 billion from 42.3 billion in the first quarter of 2015. Total sold off assets in the North Sea and announced a sale of its stake in Russia's Kharyaga field during the quarter as part of overall plans to reduce activities in Europe and Russia. Prices have recovered slightly since January to the 45 range but remain much lower than last year.

World's oldest message in a bottle returned to sender

The Japan Times

LONDON – A 108-year-old postcard offering a shilling in exchange for its return to an English marine research institute is now officially the world's oldest message in a bottle after being recovered in Germany. The Plymouth Laboratory of the Marine Biological Association (MBA), which received the card, said this week that the bottle had smashed the old record of 99 years and 43 days in the Guinness World Records. It was discovered by retired German postal worker Marianne Winkler while on vacation on Germany's North Frisian islands, 108 years and 138 days after it was thrown into the North Sea off the English coast by the distinguished marine biologist George Parker Bidder on Nov. 30, 1906. Winkler followed the message inside -- "Break the bottle" -- and found a postcard inside asking to be returned to the MBA in Plymouth, on England's south coast. "The postcard asked the finder to fill out information about where the bottle was found," said Guy Baker of the MBA.