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New Record Set for World’s Fastest Elevator

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As buildings get taller and taller, engineers have to solve a problem that goes beyond wind speeds and structural loads. In order to ferry people to the top of buildings that rise more than 2000 feet in the air, you need a pretty fast elevator. Hitachi’s latest high-speed elevator model—which just set the record for the world’s fastest elevator ride, according to New Atlas—is a good start.

Independent testing by the National Elevator Quality Supervision and Inspection Centre in Guangzhou, China, found that the elevator model can reach a top speed of just under 47 miles per hour.

To help passengers deal with the discomfort of traveling thousands of feet in the air, the elevator has an air-pressure adjustment feature that’s designed to keep your ears from getting plugged like they do on airplanes. And while it shoots up fast, it takes a slower descent (22 miles per hour), so it doesn’t feel so much like a terrifying amusement park ride.

The elevator will be a feature inside the Guangzhou CTF Finance Center, a new 1740-foot-tall skyscraper in Guangzhou, a port city near Shenzhen. It will go slightly slower, though, hitting just 44.7 miles per hour. Compared to most elevators, though, that’s plenty fast. Most top out at around 5.6 miles per hour. The fastest elevator in the western hemisphere, located inside 1 World Trade Center, moves at about 23 miles per hour.

The previous world record holder, a Mitsubishi elevator in the Shanghai Tower, travels around 45.7 miles per hour. Since it's a working elevator and this was just a test unit, Mitsubishi will probably hang on to its Guinness distinction for world's fastest elevator for now. That record was set in April.

[h/t New Atlas]

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Attention Business Travelers: These Are the Countries With the Fastest Internet
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Whether you travel for business or pleasure, high-speed internet seems like a necessity when you’re trying to connect with colleagues or loved ones back home. Of course, the quality of that connection largely depends on what part of the world you’re in—and if you want the best internet on earth, you’ll have to head to Asia.

Singapore might be smaller than New York City, but it has the fastest internet of any country, Travel + Leisure reports. The city-state received the highest rating from the World Broadband Speed League, an annual ranking conducted by UK analyst Cable. For the report, Cable tracked broadband speeds in 200 countries over several 12-month periods to get an average.

Three Scandinavian countries—Sweden, Denmark, and Norway—followed closely behind Singapore. And while the U.S. has the fastest broadband in North America, it comes in 20th place for internet speed globally, falling behind Asian territories like Japan, Taiwan, and Hong Kong, as well as European countries like Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, and Spain. On the bright side, though, the U.S. is up one place from last year’s ranking.

In the case of Singapore, the country’s small size works to its advantage. As a financial hub in Asia, it depends heavily on its digital infrastructure, and as a result, “there is economic necessity, coupled with the relative ease of delivering high-speed connections across a small area,” Cable notes in its report. Within Singapore, 82 percent of residents have internet access.

Sweden, Denmark, and Norway, on the other hand, have all focused on FTTP (Fiber to the Premises) connections, and this has boosted internet speeds.

Overall, global broadband speeds are rising, and they improved by 23 percent from 2017 to 2018. However, much of this progress is seen in countries that are already developed, while underdeveloped countries still lag far behind.

“Europe, the United States, and thriving economic centers in the Asia-Pacific region (Singapore, Japan, Taiwan, and Hong Kong) are leading the world when it comes to the provision of fast, reliable broadband, which suggests a relationship between available bandwidth and economic health,” Dan Howdle, Cable’s consumer telecoms analyst, said in a statement. “Those countries leading the world should be congratulated, but we should also be conscious of those that are being left further and further behind."

[h/t Travel + Leisure]

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Samsung Is Making a Phone You Can Fold in Half
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The iPhone vs. Galaxy war just intensified. Samsung is pulling out all the stops and developing a foldable phone dubbed Galaxy X, which it plans to release next year, according to The Wall Street Journal.

It would seem the rumors surrounding a mythical phone that can fold over like a wallet are true. The phone, which has been given the in-house code name “Winner,” will have a 7-inch screen and be a little smaller than a tablet but thicker than most other smartphones.

Details are scant and subject to change at this point, but the phone is expected to have a smaller screen on the front that will remain visible when the device is folded. Business Insider published Samsung patents back in May showing a phone that can be folded into thirds, but the business news site noted that patents often change, and some are scrapped altogether.

The Galaxy Note 9 is also likely to be unveiled soon, as is a $300 Samsung speaker that's set to rival the Apple HomePod.

The Galaxy X will certainly be a nifty new invention, but it won’t come cheap. The Wall Street Journal reports the phone will set you back about $1500, which is around $540 more than Samsung’s current most expensive offering, the Galaxy Note 8.

[h/t Business Insider]

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