Items tagged with wireless

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... 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... 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... 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... 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... 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... 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... 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... 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... 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... 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... 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... 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... 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... Read more...
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