Items tagged with WiFi

The rollout of Google Fiber in a given location must feel like an impending tidal wave to the competition, which generally offers slower Internet speeds at higher prices (and often with frustrating customer service) than the search giant-come-ISP, and we’ve discussed before how this development has put the industry on notice. Time Warner Cable doesn’t plan to take Google Fiber’s disruption lying down, and its Director of Digital Communications, Jeff Simmermon, has taken to the corporate blog to let everyone know just what the company is doing to stay competitive. In Austin, the big news is: TWC is deploying free WiFi hotspots in the city. That’s it. Too little, too late... Read more...
New York City's subway system is certainly a boon for locals and tourists alike, and while it's old and oftentimes late, the network of stops is impressive. But, there's one complaint that has grown more and more direct as the digital world has grown: there's, like, no signal down there. Exiting the street and heading down into an NYC subway station means that your phone signal is all but dead, and local government has been working to fix that. This week, Governor Andrew M. Cuomo announced today that 30 additional subway stations now have wireless voice and data communication capability allowing New York City subway riders to make and receive cell phone calls, send and receive texts and e-mail... Read more...
Whoa. That's the first word that comes to mind when taking a peek at these: Sony's new Digital Recording Binoculars. They honestly look more like something out of a sci-fi film (or a Call of Duty video game) than a consumer offering, but they'll soon be on sale for average citizens nonetheless. These new specs (DEV-50V) will cost a whopping $2,000, but they certainly pack a punch. This is the second-generation version, offering up image stabilization, flexible zoom, and the ability to record AVCHD 2.0 video with stereo sound -- even after sundown with low-light capabilities. These are also 30% lighter than the original version, and boast a splash and dust-resistant casing. Users can select the... Read more...
It's a connected world, and we're just living in it. While the point-and-shoot camera was chalked up as dead a few years back by some -- folks who thought the evolution of the smartphone camera would do the category in -- companies are now learning to innovate the space in a way that could squeeze a few more years of life from it. Panasonic just launched a new $500 high-end pocket camera, the Lumix DMC-LF1. It's a compact shooter, but offers some pretty impressive specifications. There's a f/2.0 Leica lens, a 7.1x optical zoom, a high-sensitivity MOS sensor, and built-in Wi-Fi + NFC. That's right; a camera with not only Wi-Fi, but also NFC. The LF1 features "Touch & Share," which allows users... Read more...
Ready to nerd out? Great. If words like "beamforming" really get your geek juices flowing, you'll love the latest news release from Netgear. The networking giant has just announced that its R6300 WiFi Router and A6200 WiFi USB Adapter now have Beamforming+. It's available via a free firmware update. The new router firmware improves WiFi performance and range when connecting to other WiFi devices. You'll see even more improvement in WiFi performance and reliability when you connect your R6300 Router to a PC or laptop configured with an A6200 Adapter or with an 802.11ac device with Beamforming support. A second R6300 acting as a client bridge would also provide a higher performance solution for... Read more...
Earlier this week, Google suddenly and unexpectedly announced that it was planning to roll out Google Fiber service to Provo, Utah. The city has an existing (though older, and somewhat unfinished) fiber-optic network that Google can apparently just retrofit to suit Google Fiber, which is a much cheaper strategy than building a gigabit infrastructure from scratch. According to the AP, the fiber network initially cost the city $39 million, but it may sell it to Google for one dollar. The smallish city’s residents have been paying $5.35 per month per household in utility bills for about a decade to pay for the network, and the city will keep paying on its construction loan for the project... Read more...
Yesterday’s terror in Boston was an awful reminder that we aren’t as safe as we thought. Someone managed to plant at least two bombs near the finish line of the Boston Marathon, and reports indicate that among the dozens injured, three were killed, including an 8-year-old boy. (I personally had friends--parents of two young children--who were standing at that spot just 15 minutes or so before the explosion.) But it could have been much, much worse; NBC News reported last night that the size of the “backpack bombs” could have delivered a payload that reached as far as 150 feet. As it was, the blast seemed limited to the sidewalk and immediate area, not even really reaching... Read more...
Think that Nest has the whole Wi-Fi thermostat market on lockdown? Think again. Honeywell, a mainstay in the thermostat arena, has been pumping out Wi-Fi versions for a little while now, and the company's latest version is quite impressive. The new Wi-Fi Smart Thermostat is a connected unit that allows homeowners to integrate into their wall in a new way. In addition, the Honeywell thermostat offers Wi-Fi connectivity that allows consumers to regulate their energy usage and home comfort through their smartphone. Featuring a touch screen display, the Wi-Fi Smart Thermostat is equipped with mobile and email alerts that put homeowners in control by notifying them when their home is too hot or cold,... Read more...
Looking to stay connected regardless of your destination? It's a tough thing to accomplish, particularly when that destination is overseas. Boingo has become a pretty popular name when it comes to global hotspots, and AT&T has been doing a fine job of expanding its Wi-Fi hotspots as well. Now, the two companies are putting their heads together with a new Wi-Fi roaming agreement. Travelers abroad can now gain access, via the AT&T Wi-Fi International App, to Boingo's global network of Wi-Fi hotspots managed and operated by Boingo's subsidiary, Concourse Communications Group. The AT&T Wi-Fi International App lets AT&T customers on applicable data global packages access up to 1GB... Read more...
Audi and T-Mobile are introducing new and affordable data plans that will give drivers access to in-vehicle Wi-Fi starting as low as $15 per month. Using the Audi connect infotainment and navigation system, drivers and passengers can obtain real-time news, weather and fuel price info, access to Google Earth, and use Google Voice Local Search through a secure Wi-Fi connection. "Audi and T-Mobile worked closely to develop the new pricing plan based on extensive research and feedback from both dealers and customers," said Anupam Malhotra, Senior Manager, Connected Vehicle, Audi of America. "The T-Mobile-powered Audi connect service delivers unmatched connectivity to our customers at a rate that... Read more...
Flying soon? Thinking of taking advantage of in-flight Wi-Fi? If you're nodding 'yes' for both of those, and you recently picked up one of BlackBerry's new Z10 smartphones, you're in luck. In a bid to lure enterprise / business travelers, BlackBerry has cracked open a deal with Gogo in order to provide free in-flight Internet access to those browsing on the new phone. Specifically, you'll need to be on a domestic Delta flight, but beyond that, there aren't any extra hoops to jump through. The system has been coded to detect when a Z10 browser is requesting access, and if found, will allow the user to hop on for free. You'll just need to wait till you're above 10,000 feet... for now, anyway.... Read more...
When something sounds too good to be true, we’re as skeptical as anyone, which is why we raised an eyebrow at Republic Wireless last year when the company pledged to offer unlimited mobile service--that’s unlimited talk, text, and data--for just $19 a month, without any contracts. Compare that number to current wireless offerings and Republic Wireless' proposed $19 plan seems like a total impossibility. However, Republic Wireless held to its promise, announcing two large-scale rounds of beta testing last year and finally offering its absurdly low-priced plans to all late last fall. The only catch to Republic Wireless’ service is that users are currently limited to just a single... Read more...
When something sounds too good to be true, we’re as skeptical as anyone, which is why we raised an eyebrow at Republic Wireless last year when the company pledged to offer unlimited mobile service--that’s unlimited talk, text, and data, mind you--for just $19 a month, without any contracts. Compare that number to current wireless offerings and Republic Wireless' proposed $19 plan seems like a total impossibility. However, Republic Wireless held to its promise, announcing two large-scale rounds of beta testing last year and finally offering its absurdly low-priced plans to all late last fall. Motorola DEFY XT The Service Republic Wireless pulls off this feat by... Read more...
While legacy fleets are getting older, fees are getting crazier, service is tanking, and prices are soaring -- airlines still have to figure out a way to convince you to fly. Well, those of you who don't have to fly for work, anyway. In recent years, the addition of Gogo in-flight Wi-Fi has become something of a norm, but Southwest is adding something a little extra. The company announced today that movies on demand are now available on all WiFi-equipped Southwest aircraft for only $5 per movie, per device. The airline also announced an upgrade to their television package. In 2012, Southwest became the only airline in the world to stream live television directly to Customers' personal devices.... Read more...
In what is already a hotly contested issue that will no doubt end in a high stakes showdown, the FCC and its chairman Julius Genachowski (pictured), is proposing a large-scale, free public WiFi network that would be more powerful than current home and office WiFi networks, according to the Washington Post. Essentially, these WiFi networks could allow people from all economic levels to access the Internet without paying for in-home service, and users of all stripes could use the WiFi to make phone calls and surf the Internet without paying for 3G or 4G service from a wireless carrier. Unsurprisingly, the likes of AT&T, T-Mobile, Verizon, Intel, and Qualcomm are staunchly opposing the proposed... Read more...
Folks have long since argued about what government aspects are too wasteful, and which ones don't actually have a positive impact. But as technology fans, it's hard to knock this idea: FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski has called for at least one gigabit community in all 50 states by 2015. It's a new challenge that should provide a solid background to the rural broadband initiatives that are already ongoing. While America sees plenty of innovation, it's actually lagging far, far behind many other nations when it comes to broadband infrastructure. Places like The Netherlands and South Korea have far greater average speeds than the United States, and while the U.S. is certainly a huge landmass to... Read more...
Is there anything worse than scampering through airport security, getting to your gate, firing up your laptop to send one last important e-mail before an intercontinental flight... and finding that the airport Wi-Fi will run you $10 per hour? Well, sure, but we could probably count those things on one hand. To combat that feeling, JiWire has announced a partnership with AWG (Advanced Wireless Group), the largest provider of free Wi-Fi in North American airports, to offer free, ad-supported Wi-Fi to travelers across the United States. The partnership provides advertisers with access to more than 293 million passengers in major airports throughout the United States, and it should make crisscrossing... Read more...
In-flight Wi-Fi is a nice amenity when crossing the skies of the continental United States, but it's pretty much radio silence if heading overseas. No longer. United has just become the first U.S.-based international carrier to offer customers the ability to stay connected while traveling on long-haul overseas routes. Of course, it's not a universal roll-out, and it'll take a long time before each international haul includes Wi-Fi, but a start is something that most of United's rivals don't have. The airline has enabled the first of its wide-body international aircraft with the equipment needed to provide satellite-based (not Gogo) Wi-Fi across international waters. The Wi-Fi-equipped aircraft... Read more...
The friendly skies are becoming the connected skies. While getting up in an airplane used to be one of the few remaining places in America where it was pretty much impossible to reach someone, the introduction of in-flight Wi-Fi has drastically changed that. Many airlines have Gogo installed near fleet-wide, with the likes of Virgin America and JetBlue having it on every single aircraft. And now, a legacy carrier is making a push to catch up in terms of availability of in-flight Internet. American Airlines' new Airbus A320 family and Boeing 737 deliveries will arrive with something special: Ku-band satellite support and Gogo's next generation Air to Ground technology - ATG-4. While Gogo's existing... Read more...
With all the hustle and bustle of CES surrounding us, let's take a moment for a feel-good story. The Chelsea district in New York is comprised of both rich and poor; the rich can undoubtedly afford Internet, while the poor may not. It's easy for a lot of us to take Internet for granted, but just imagine not having it. Some of us go insane without delay (or maybe that's just me). To help resolve that issue for a lot of folks in the area, Google will be building the largest free WiFi zone the city has seen to date. Whether you're sitting in your sky-high villa or living in public housing, you'll be able to connect to the network via any device you have, as long as it supports WiFi, of course. Miguel... Read more...
If there's one area of consumer technology that is actually poised to take off in terms of real, unseen innovation, it's probably the automobile. Historically, cars have been slow to keep up with the rapid pace of changing technology. On the safety front, most cars are well equipped in terms of technology. But the infotainment front? Not so much. Most factory navigation systems cost thousands more than devices available at Walmart and Best Buy, and the muddled UI means that they actually perform worse. Certain safety features have to be taken into consideration, of course, but technology has no doubt suffered because of it. Now, Cisco and NXP are investing in Cohda Wireless. Why? To "enable the... Read more...
With our powers combined... wait, how does that phrase go? At any rate, it sure seems appropriate here, given that the Wi-Fi Alliance and the Wireless Gigabit Alliance are announcing plans to unify. WiGig has been floundering around for a while now, but paired up with the far more known Wi-Fi Alliance, it could very easily gain a ton of steam at CES this year. The two entities have nailed down a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) outlining their plans to consolidate activity in Wi-Fi Alliance. The agreement builds on more than two years of collaboration between the organizations, in which WiGig Alliance developed the WiGig technology specifications including MAC-PHY and Protocol Adaptation Layers... Read more...
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