Items tagged with wireless

Google's making it easier to try out its potentially game changing Project Fi smartphone wireless service by now allowing you to sign up for a group plan. Previously the service was only available to individuals, which meant juggling multiple accounts if you wanted to get the whole family on board, but now you can have up to half a dozen people on a single plan. They don't have to be immediate family members, either. Heck, they don't even have to be related. Google is dropping any pretenses that people won't end up sharing a group plan with friends and co-workers, so feel free to add anyone you want to your account. Of course, as the primary account holder you're on the hook for their data usage,... Read more...
A team of smartypants from MIT's Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Labl (CSAIL) have developed a new Wi-Fi system purportedly capable of transmitting wireless data more than three times faster than the Wi-Fi we use today. And on top of being significantly faster, it doubles the range of modern day Wi-Fi transmissions. The new system is call MegaMIMO 2.0 and it could eventually find its way into the Wi-Fi routers that consumers buy for home use. For that to happen, companies such as Netgear and Belkin/Linksys would have to adopt and implement the technology, though bigger benefits could be had in the commercial sector. While faster and more far reaching wireless sounds enticing, the... Read more...
Call it a first-world problem if you like, but the larger your home, the trickier it can be blanketing it in wireless connectivity. Dead zones have a nasty habit of popping up in remote corners separated by walls and doors, and that's one of the reasons why your choice in router matters. It's also the main selling point of Netgear's new Orbi Wi-Fi System. There's a lot of fancy marketing speak associated with Orbi but what it essentially boils down to is an easy-to-configure router and range extender (more on that in a moment), the latter of which Netgear calls a satellite. Like Google's OnHub series, the Orbi doesn't look like a traditional router that you'd feel compelled to hide in the bedroom... Read more...
A filing with the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) reveals just how adamant Google is about building out a wireless version Fiber, its high-speed Internet service that offers up to 1Gbps upload and download speeds in select locations across the United States. The wireless transmission technology is already being tested in Kansas City, which is one of the locations where Fiber service is offered, and Google wants permission to expand.According to the redacted FCC filing, Google wants to use "experimental transmitters" in around two dozen locations, including several cities in California and North Carolina, as well as Provo, Utah, Boulder, Colorado, and Reston, Virginia. The wireless transmitters... Read more...
Nothing beats wireless for convenience, but whenever you transmit important data through the air, there's a risk that someone could be nearby, ready to intercept the signals before they reach their destination. If this sounds familiar, it might be because we talked about this very thing earlier this year, when security firm Bastille ousted 'MouseJack', an overly-marketed vulnerability affecting wireless peripherals from major vendors, including Microsoft and Logitech. Well, Bastille is back, this time with 'KeySniffer', another vulnerability (or set of vulnerabilities) that has apparently also deserved its own logo. While it'd be easy to jump to conclusions that Bluetooth is probably at fault... Read more...
Bottle rockets and Black Cats won't be the only fireworks going off next week, apparently Verizon Wireless is planning to light things up in a big way, too. According to an image that was posted on reddit, Big Red is getting ready to introduce several new features, the biggest of which is the ability to roll unused data over to the next month.Verizon's calling that feature Carryover Data, which is exactly what it sounds like—Verizon will automatically roll unused data to the end of the following month. Assuming the screenshot is accurate (it was supposedly taken from Verizon's Testman site), the Carryover Data feature will be available with plans of any size. What isn't known is whether it will... Read more...
Today's wireless networks can handle applications like Snapchat, but what about the emergence of virtual reality? FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler said his eyes were opened to the need for significantly faster wireless signals when he donned a pair of VR goggles in Washington, DC, and controlled an excavator to dig up dirt 1,400 miles away in Texas. "Granted, remotely digging dirt in Dallas probably isn't high on the list of transformational advancements that will define the 21st century. But what if you replace the heavy machinery with a scalpel so a world-class surgeon can move from hospital to hospital without leaving her own surgery suite? Or how about students sitting in a classroom taking a virtual... Read more...
A second wave of 802.11ac wireless routers have begun to appear, and the new must-have feature is MU-MIMO, short for Multiple User, Multiple Input, Multiple Output. We already reviewed the first two MU-MIMO routers we could get our hands on from Linksys and Netgear, and now Asus has entered the fray with a dual-band AC3100 router dubbed the RT-AC88U. This is a flagship router that has all the bells and whistles one would expect at a $300 price point, but it differentiates itself from the competition by offering Link Aggregation and eight LAN ports, which are uncommon features in a consumer-class router. The Netgear Nighthawk X8 also supports Link Aggregation and has six LAN ports, but is... Read more...
Brace yourself folks, a new version of Bluetooth is coming and it brings some significant changes to the wireless standard. Chief among them are faster data speeds that are twice what they are in the current version while extending the wireless range fourfold, Bluetooth Special Interest Group executive director Mark Powell revealed in an email sent to U.K. health and monitoring company Blue Maestro.In his email, Powell notes the next iteration will simply be called Bluetooth 5. The decision to drop references to version and point number was a conscious one by SIG members, which includes companies like Apple, Intel, and Microsoft, to simplify marketing and avoid confusion. it will also make it... Read more...
We're sure Amazon would love it if you purchased a new Kindle device each and every year, but if you're not the type that always needs to be on the bleeding edge of technology—and most mainstream buyers aren't—then you're probably perfectly content with your older Kindle gadget. And that's fine, just be sure to check for and apply the latest update by March 22 (tomorrow) or it will self-destruct! Just kidding, Kindles don't do that, or at least we're not aware of any self-destructing ebook readers out there. However, failure to update your 5th generation or older Kindle device will result in the loss of wireless connectivity. That means no more downloading books from the cloud, accessing the... Read more...
It could be said that ARM chips are what help make the world go ‘round these days, at least in terms of mobile and embedded applications. And ARM is back at it again with with a next generation of its Cortex-R Series real-time processor architecture. The British multinational semiconductor IP company has unveiled the new Cortex-R8, which offers a number of significant improvements over its Cortex-R7 predecessor (released in 2011). The new architecture is targeted at extremely low latency processing, much like the previous gen, but with a number of key enhancements and features for critical real-time processing applications. For starters, ARM says the the Cortex-R8 provides twice the performance... Read more...
Users of the Chrome beta for Android are in for a bit of a treat, as the latest version has added support for "Physical Web" beacons. Don't worry if you've never heard of these, because most haven't. Google did talk about it a bit last summer, and it seems like a feature that could be incredibly useful at times. The logic behind the name of "Physical Web" is that data is distributed locally; not over the Internet. The goal is to relay information to those nearby that would prove useful. Say, for example, you're in a restaurant, and as you wait for a seat, a beacon beams the menu to your phone so that you can get a head-start on your choices. Or, you're waiting in line at the airport, and use... Read more...
T-Mobile might be the third largest carrier in the US, but looking at things through different angles can make it #1. We can see this with the help of the latest results out of OpenSignal, a firm that collects data through real users (who opt-in to use its mobile app). For overall coverage, Verizon reigns supreme. It also does well in overall download speeds, tying with T-Mobile. Beyond that, T-Mobile shows the best latency and download speeds over 3G, which gives it enough of an edge to beat out Verizon, and AT&T and Sprint, for that matter. In LTE speeds, T-Mobile also topped Verizon with average download speeds of 12.26Mbps versus 11.98Mbps. Out of five metrics, AT&T didn't place... Read more...
This past fall, we reported on a development with Google's Project Loon, which aims to deliver Internet via balloons to underserved countries. At some point in 2016, a bunch of balloons will take flight over Indonesia, and once that happens, it could very well spearhead what could become a common sight in Internet-deprived countries. The internal group that handles Project Loon is called Google Access, and alongside Loon, this segment of Google has also been working on a different, but similar project: Project Skybender. Like Loon, Skybender involves sending objects into the sky, but unlike the cost-effective nature of Loon, Google's going all out with Skybender by relying on drones to transmit... Read more...
Time change at a rapid pace, and whereas it was once common to communicate with each other when out and about using a payphone, these days everyone owns a smartphone. Every wonder what happened to all those phone booths? In New York, they're being converted into free municipal Wi-Fi hotspots.It's part of an effort called LinkNYC. It's described as a first-of-its-kind communications network designed to bring fast municipal Wi-Fi to millions of New Yorkers and tourists at no cost. The network is being fleshed out through five boroughs at no cost to taxpayers. Instead, it will general hundreds of millions of dollars in revenue for New York over the next 12 years primarily through advertising.New... Read more...
Somebody must have spiked Verizon's non-alcoholic eggnog with a bit of rum over the holiday, as the wireless carrier now finds itself in semi-snark mode. Verizon's also feeling generous. So generous, in fact, that it's dangling up to $650 in front of anyone who "didn't get the right network" and is willing to switch. "Everyone has that one gift they’d like to exchange for something better: maybe that not-so-cool holiday sweater…or the wrong network. This holiday season, Verizon is giving wireless users a chance to have no regrets," Verizon says. The level of smack talk isn't quite the same as what T-Mobile boss John Legere is known for on Twitter, but it is interesting to see Verizon engage in... Read more...
Trying to figure out the best wireless carrier and plan for your budget involves wading through a bunch of smoke and mirrors. All of the major carriers talk a big game with fancy sounding plans and special promotions, but you have to be on the lookout for hidden costs. One of the most annoying fees is the cost of activation. Verizon customers have been able to duck an activation fee when signing up with a device payment plan, but that might be changing..New customers who sign up with Verizon on a device payment plan will have to pony up an additional $20 for a one-time activation fee. That's on top of the monthly fee Verizon customers pay for having a smartphone on a data plan, and don't confuse... Read more...
Sprint's big pitch to consumers is that it offers truly unlimited data (in addition to unlimited talk and texting). However, it was Sprint's previous CEO, Dan Hesse, that pushed unlimited data as a point of focus. His replacement, Marcelo Claure, indicated earlier this summer that "there will be a time when it might not be economically viable" to offer unlimited data to consumers, and if that's the case, Sprint will have to find a way to stand out from the crown.Right now it looks like Sprint is settling for parity. The nation's fourth largest wireless carrier is planning to eliminate two-year service contracts and move towards leasing smartphones to customers. It's a move that T-Mobile popularized... Read more...
Could you imagine if Apple launched a mobile virtual network operator (MVNO) service? Given the popularity of its iPhone lineup, it would make sense for Apple to try and take control of the service side of things as well, and there's been a persistent rumor of that happening. The rumor gained steam yesterday when Business Insider claimed to have heard from sources close to Apple that the company was actually trialing (in private) an MVNO service in the U.S., though Apple was quick to shoot it down."BREAKING: Apple says it has not discussed and is not planning MNVO cellular service following reports saying it was planning on doing that," CNBC reported via its official Twitter account. No other... Read more...
AT&T is trumpeting the arrival of what it says is the first-ever nationwide package of television and wireless phone service from a single provider. It costs $200 per month and includes HD and DVR service for up to four TV receivers, unlimited talk and texting for four wireless lines, and 10GB of shareable wireless data. The new package, which AT&T is calling "All in One," will be available starting August 10. It's meant to be simple and straightforward, and is one of several new offerings the company has planned after completing the acquisition of satellite TV provider DirecTV for $49 billion. "AT&T is wasting no time extending the benefits of its DirecTV acquisition to consumers,"... Read more...
With the "Internet Of Things" supposed to be a major part of our future, there are a number of challenges to conquer. For wearables, such as smartwatches, the issue of power isn't a serious one, as people can just plug them in at night and have them ready-to-go in the morning. But many consider that adding a smartwatch to their list of devices to keep constantly charged is challenging enough. What's going to happen when other wearables come along, or IoT devices, such as surveillance cameras? Believe it or not, it might be possible to help keep some of these devices alive with the same Wi-Fi signals we've been using for so long. This is a solution being evaluated by Vamsi Talla and others at... Read more...
Led by outspoken CEO John Legere, T-Mobile hasn't been subtle in its aggressive attempts to win over customers from competing wireless customers, and that's still the case in a new promotion designed to lure Verizon subscribers. It's called the "Never Settle Trial" and is a sarcastic spoof on Verizon's "Never Settle" ad campaign. The Never Settle Trial is exclusively offered to Verizon customers who are willing to test T-Mobile's service against their current carrier. It's a risk free affair -- Verizon customers port their number to a new T-Mobile smartphone while retaining their old Verizon phone in case things don't work out. However, if they end up liking T-Mobile's service and terms better... Read more...
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