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Rezence: Let's Get Together on Wireless Power
December 13, 2013
The Alliance for Wireless Power on Thursday announced a new certification program and a new brand name for its wireless power technology. Dubbed "Rezence," the new brand is designed to give consumers a recognizable icon that member companies can add to their certified product packaging, technical literature and future software applications.
AT&T Dials Down Pricing on No-Contract Plans
December 05, 2013
AT&T on Thursday announced new, lower-cost no-contract plans for customers who pay for their own devices. The new Mobile Share Value plans, which will be available beginning Dec. 8, will be open to new and existing wireless customers and will include a no-contract option that allows smartphone customers to save $15 per month by supplying their own device, AT&T said.
FCC May Permit Cellphone Yakking on Flights
November 23, 2013
FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler announced Thursday that the commission is considering changing its rules regarding the use of cellphones and mobile broadband in airplanes. It is possible for the latest electronic gadgets and broadband to be used safely during flights, he noted, and the time is right for the agency to review its "outdated and restrictive" rules.
How to Protect Your Android Device from Malware
November 20, 2013
If you're in the majority of Android users, your smartphone or tablet isn't protected from malware attacks. In fact, Jupiter Research reckons that a full 80 percent of smartphones are unprotected. Why is that a problem? The answer is that even if your smartphone hasn't been affected so far, it likely will be, and that's because of the vast sums of money motivating criminals.
The Wireless Universe Is (Too?) Rapidly Expanding
November 13, 2013
The next six years will see smartphone subscriptions triple and LTE network deployment make large strides in North America, according to the latest Ericsson Mobility Report, which details the ongoing evolution of the wireless industry. Mobile subscriptions are expected to increase from 6.3 billion in 2012 to 9.3 billion in 2019. That figure includes 5.6 billion smartphone subscriptions.
FB Jockeys for Inside Track in Wireless Industry
November 12, 2013
Facebook has reportedly joined the GSM Association, making plain its heightened interest in mobile and wireless. GSMA is a group made up of mobile operators and other technology companies interested in standardizing and promoting the GSM cellular system. Nearly 800 of the world's mobile operators are members, as are more than 200 companies in the broader mobile ecosystem.
Los Angeles, City of Fiber-Optic Lights?
November 06, 2013
Los Angeles reportedly is moving forward with a plan to establish a citywide high-speed fiber network. Beginning next month, the Los Angeles Information Technology Agency will issue a request for proposals to bring access to a high-speed fiber network to every residence, business and government entity in the city limits. The city wants to provide free broadband to every residence and business.
Sprint's Spark Starts Flying
November 01, 2013
Sprint announced Wednesday that it had demonstrated 1 Gbps over-the-air speed on its new Spark network at a Sprint lab near Silicon Valley, Calif. The company is just beginning to roll out the super-high-speed network, targeting customers who run data-intensive applications. It will start by offering peak speeds of 50-60 Mbps in five markets and will increase those speeds over time.
How to Get Online Away From Home or Work
October 25, 2013
Ever since the days of the fax machine and clamshell PC, I've delighted in the concept of working away from home or office. I have fond memories of lugging those clunkers in and out of motel rooms through bone-chilling blizzards and driving rain from the back of my car -- adding to the carry-load, certainly, but bringing freedom.
Foxconn in Trouble Again Over PS4
October 10, 2013
Taiwanese manufacturer Foxconn, one of the world's most vilified workers-rights violators, confirmed reports that it is manufacturing Sony's upcoming PlayStation 4 on the backs of university interns. Chinese media broke the story, asserting that thousands of students from an engineering program at the Xi'an Institute of Technology are being forced to work at Foxconn's Yantai plant.
Multipath Router: Everybody Gets to Stream!
October 09, 2013
The Multipath Router -- a project seeking crowdfunding on Indiegogo -- could change the way we connect to the Internet. Remember when Internet service was delivered to the home and workplace through copper voice phone lines terminating in a squeaking analog modem? Speeds using that clunky old system were restricted to a lethargic 56,000 baud, or 56 kbps -- slow, in other words.
How to Avoid Excessive Phone Charges When Traveling in Europe
October 03, 2013
If you've been stung by roaming charges in the past when using a U.S. cellphone abroad and you've recently heard about new, supposedly fair roaming caps in Europe, beware: It's not what it seems. As of July 2013, European-carrier SIM card roaming rates are capped in Europe at 0.45 euros, or about $0.60, per megabyte for data and 0.24 euros, or about $0.32, for one minute of voice.
FreedomPop Could Burst Big 4 Mobile Carriers' Bubble
October 02, 2013
After announcing its VoIP mobile phone plan back in June, FreedomPop on Tuesday launched the service into beta, calling it the world's first completely free mobile service with free voice, text and data. Users get a guaranteed 500 MBs of data, 500 text messages and 200 anytime voice minutes free every month for life. FreedomPop will also offer heavier users unlimited voice and texting for $10.99 per month.
How to Boost Your Home WiFi With Multiple Repeaters and Access Points
September 26, 2013
With a 3 GB bucket of wireless data from your cellphone company often costing more than $50, it makes sense to take advantage of the often unlimited or at least generous nature of a cheap, wired home Internet connection when you can. Netflix reckons that its movie and TV streaming service, using its Best Quality setting in High Definition, uses up to 4.7 GB of data an hour.
FAA Inches Down Runway to New In-Flight Gadget Rules
September 24, 2013
The Federal Aviation Administration is getting closer to lifting some of the restrictions on the in-flight use of electronic gadgets during takeoff and landing. An advisory panel is meeting this week to complete its recommendations on the subject. By the end of the month, the panel is expected to complete a report to the FAA. The panel is reportedly considering allowing a range of activities.
The Ups and Downs of Planning a Retirement in Belize
September 23, 2013
A couple of years ago, I wrote on the beginning of my long-term plan to eventually retire in Belize. My wife and I just came back from our latest update trip. Our house plans are nearly finished, and we should start building within 12 months. There have been a lot of impressive improvements since we started on this journey but some disappointments as well.
Court Paves Way for Lawsuit Over Google's WiFi Fishing Expedition
September 11, 2013
The 9th United States Circuit Court of Appeals has ruled, in essence, that Google broke federal wiretap laws when its Street View cars collected data from unencrypted WiFi networks. The federal court affirmed a district court's order denying Google's motion to dismiss the claim, as its data collection did not fall within the ambit of an exemption set forth in the U.S. Code governing wiretaps.
PayPal Lights Beacon for Hands-Free Payments
September 10, 2013
PayPal on Monday announced new technology that aims to make paying for goods as simple as walking into a store. Specifically, PayPal Beacon is a contactless payment system that uses Bluetooth Low Energy to connect with customer handsets to send offers and complete transactions. The mobile wallet-like payment system lets consumers pay for purchases hands-free.
MS Win in Moto Patent Case Could Mean Big Money
September 06, 2013
A federal court in Seattle this week upheld Microsoft's claim that Motorola Mobility refused to license its standard essential patents at a fair and reasonable cost, resulting in an award to Microsoft of $14.5 million in damages. Microsoft claimed that the license fees Motorola Mobility initially demanded for its patents were exorbitant.
How to Survey a Home for Internet Interference
August 29, 2013
The WiFi network you have in your home distributes Internet bandwidth using radio signals. It's the same technology that FM radio, smartphones and television rabbit-ears use -- and it's susceptible to the same kind of problems, like interference, penetration and range. If you're having Internet bandwidth problems at home -- buffering on YouTube, say -- there are simple ways to improve performance.
Amazon Dips Its Toe Into the Brisk WiFi Waters
August 26, 2013
Amazon has run tests on WiFi technology that could give Kindle users direct Internet connectivity, according to a recent report. The technology uses spectrum controlled by satellite communications company Globalstar, which is perhaps best known as a global satellite phone service provider. It is possible that the tests were part of a series conducted jointly by Globalstar and Jarvinian.
It's a Go for Omate's Android-Powered Smartwatch
August 23, 2013
With nearly a month to spare, startup Omate burst through its Kickstarter goal of $100,000 this week and is on its way to shipping its TruSmart smartwatch in time for the holiday season. More than $250,000 have been pledged so far toward the device, which is perhaps the closest thing yet to an Android smartphone that can be worn on a wrist.

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