Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : August 13th 2014 Contents A33
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Google and five other large compa-
nies are teaming up to build a cable
under the Pacific Ocean that will deliver
incredibly fast internet speeds.
The cable, dubbed Faster, will connect
the US with Japan and cost about US$300
million, the consortium said.
The trans-Pacific fibre cable would
deliver speeds of 60 terabytes per second
---enough to send more than 2,000
uncompressed HD films a second.
The cable will be operational by 2016.
Google is working with a host of Asian
telecoms giants---China Mobile, China
Telecom, Global Transit, KDDI, and
SingTel. "Faster is one of a few hundred
submarine telecommunications cables
connecting various parts of the world,"
said Woohyong Choi, chairman of the
consortium s executive committee.
"These cables collectively form an impor-
tant infrastructure that helps run global
internet and communications.
"The Faster cable system has the largest
design capacity ever built on the trans-
The cable will connect Chikura and
Shima in Japan to the major hubs on the
west coast of the US---Los Angeles, San
Francisco, Portland, and Seattle. (BBC)
Google builds cable under Pacific
Actor and comedian Robin Williams died
on Monday, apparently from suicide. He
was known for his roles in the sitcom Mork
and Mindy and movies like The World
According to Garp, The Fisher King, Good
Morning Vietnam, Mrs Doubtfire and Good
Will Hunting, for which he won an Oscar.
He was also known to be battling with
severe depression and alcoholism. Here we
take a look back at his life and his struggle
with drugs and drink.
Williams was a comic force
of nature. The world got to
know him as the wild alien
in Mork & Mindy, a comedian
who elevated improvisation
to an art form and also
demonstrated a rare versatility
in more serious roles. He
moved seamlessly from com-
edy to drama to tragedy to
comedy again during a Hol-
lywood heyday in the 1980s
and 1990s. His Academy
Award as a supporting actor
in Good Will Hunting came
in a drama.
In 1997, Entertainment
Weekly magazine named
Williams the funniest man alive, and the very
next year listed him as one of the world s 25
best actors---a double distinction that made
him rare, if not unique.
He touched every generation and demo-
graphic, making his entrance in a 1970s comic
generation with Steve Martin, John Belushi,
Dan Aykroyd and Billy Crystal. He exploded
onto the scene at a time when two schools
of comedy dominated---Saturday Night Live
and Johnny Carson---and Williams felt equally
comfortable running with both crowds.
Williams was the voice of a genie in Aladdin
and a hyper disc jockey in Good Morning
Vietnam. In Mrs Doubtfire, he played a dad
who dressed as a woman to see his kids, and
in Birdcage, he played a gay man. He was an
English teacher in Dead Poets Society, a sci-
entist in Awakenings and a prisoner of war
in Jakob the Liar. In The Angriest Man in
Brooklyn, Williams played a man mistakenly
told he had 90 minutes to live.
On a stage, in front of the lights, is where
Williams shined most brightly. The riffs, tan-
gents and impersonations came rushing at
the audience, a seemingly endless torrent. It
looked like onstage cocaine, a drug he abused
in real life and, of course, made part of his
"Cocaine is God s way of telling you you
are making too much money," he would say.
On a television talk show, hosts knew
Williams barely needed to
be wound up. Sometimes,
he needed only an audience
of one: Williams visited
Christopher Reeve a week
after the actor s horseback
riding accident, dressed in
scrubs with a surgical mask
and speaking in a Russian
The roles became less
prominent as he aged and
a different generation took
the spotlight. Last year, CBS
cast him as the star of the
sitcom The Crazy Ones, in
which Williams played the
colourful elder statesman
at a Chicago ad agency. The
network had high hopes for
the comedy, which also
starred Sarah Michelle Gellar, but they quickly
faded and the show was cancelled after one
That didn t make Williams unique---
Michael J Fox also failed in a recent return
to television---but it was an indication that
Williams was no longer a sure ticket to suc-
Like many comedians, Williams often
seemed driven by demons. He had a com-
plicated personal life, suffered from depression
and was treated for substance abuse, most
recently earlier this summer. He did a few
lines of cocaine with John Belushi on the last
night of that comic s life.
A darkness seeped in during an interview
with comedian Marc Maron in 2010, where
Williams seemingly dismissed what would
be a career highlight for many actors. "People
say you re an Academy Award winner," he
said. "The Academy Award lasted about a
week and then one week later, people went,
Hey Mork! "
Stand-up comedy was where Williams got
the most satisfaction.
"You get the feedback," Williams said in
a 2007 interview with The Associated Press.
"There s an energy. It s live theater. That s
why I think actors like that. You know, musi-
cians need it, comedians definitely need it.
It doesn t matter what size and what club,
whether it s 30 people in the club or 2,000
in a hall or a theatre. It s live, it s symbiotic,
you need it."
Continues on Page A34
a comic force
BACK IN TIME: Robin Williams with his Mork and Mindy co-star Pam Dawber. Dawber
released a statement in which she said, "I am completely and totally devastated. What more
can be said?" AP PHOTOS
This photo was posted on the Sesame Street Twitter account along with the message, "We
mourn the loss of our friend Robin Williams, who always made us laugh and smile."
Mrs Doubtfire was a defining and
memorable role in his long career.
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