Items tagged with wireless

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...
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... 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... Read more...
A serious flaw has been discovered in the software component of some routers that feature a Realtek chipset. In particular, routers that utilize a Realtek RTL81XXX chipset and also use the 1.3 SDK (or older, potentially), are vulnerable to an exploit that could see executable code run as root. Because it's not obvious what chipset most routers will use, ITworld shares an extremely helpful link that will let you search for whichever one you use. It should be stressed, though, that not every affected router may be listed here, and it still hasn't been ruled-out if versions older than the 1.3 SDK... Read more...
Sprint is pulling out all the stops to lure wireless customers away from their existing providers, such as offering to cut subscribers' bills in half when they switch over from AT&T, Verizon, or T-Mobile. That offer still stands, only now Sprint is sweetening the pot by offering to pay all costs associated with switching, including early termination fees and remaining payments on installment plans. It doesn't matter how you much you owe on your subsidized phone or what the termination fees would be to switch over the Sprint -- the telecom wants your business so badly that it's willing to absorb... Read more...
We’ve been hearing rumors of Google’s intention to step into the wireless carrier market as a Mobile Virtual Network Operator (MVNO). Google’s Nick Fox is helming the project, which is codenamed Nova. None other than Sundar Pichai, Google’s SVP of Android, Chrome, and Google Apps, has now confirmed what was previously just a rumor. But before you start envisioning the prospects of Google doing for wireless what it has done for home Internet connections (a la Google Fiber), you might want to tamper your expectations just a bit. During a live talk at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Spain,... Read more...
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