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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.
Wireless Industry Opportunities Are Changing
August 22, 2013
The wireless industry has grown and changed over time. In fact, there seems to be a major transformation every few years, and change is starting to occur once again. So what will wireless look like tomorrow, and how will it grow? Where should workers, companies and investors look for new opportunities? The second smartphone revolution started six years ago with Apple iPhone and Google Android.
How to Use a Windows PC as an Internet Hotspot
August 19, 2013
If you're like many, you're sprouting portable devices. Tablets, e-readers and phones are taking over our pockets and bags; add mobile games consoles and phoneless iPod touches for the kids, and that's a lot of Internet connections to maintain when out and about. It's a gaggle of device connections that's hard to sustain because each one needs configuring onto a hotspot.
Every Step You Take, Stores Are Watching You
July 15, 2013
Brick-and-mortar retailers are turning to a new tool to help them better monitor shoppers and maximize sales: shoppers' cell phones. Approaches include tracking shoppers as they move about the store using their phones' connection to the store's WiFi system and sensors that recognize returning customers' smartphones, according to one report.
Those Cute Little Baby Cell Towers Could Pose Big Security Problems
July 15, 2013
Two researchers at cybersecurity firm iSec Partners have cracked the security of a Verizon femtocell. Femtocells, also called "small cells," are low-power cellular base stations that wireless carriers, including Verizon, AT&T and Sprint, either sell or give to consumers. They connect to the service provider's network through broadband and support multiple cellphones.
Climb Mt. Fuji for the Views, Stay for the 4G
July 12, 2013
Intrepid hikers and garden-variety Internet addicts now have 4G access on top of Japan's famous Mt. Fuji. Japanese telecom NTT DoCoMo has equipped the 12,388-foot summit with high-speed LTE connectivity. The access will run now through August, the height of the tourist season on the mountain. Fuji has always been among the world's most wired mountains.
How to Set Up a Microwave Internet Link Over Distance
July 11, 2013
Around this time of year some buddies and I usually pack up a bunch of our brick-like ham radios, a few unwieldy 30-foot masts, a helium balloon antenna and some pop-up shade shelters and lug it all over to a local mountaintop near our suburban Los Angeles homes. We traipse up the baked hillside with this gear each year to perform a nonstop radio experiment that lasts over a weekend.
FAA May Soon OK Gadget Use in Flight
June 21, 2013
Anyone who has flown in the past two decades knows the drill: Electronic devices including mobile phones, tablets and handheld game systems must be turned off when the airplane doors are closed. Soon, however, those rules may change, the FAA announced this week. "The FAA recognizes consumers are intensely interested in the use of personal electronics aboard aircraft," the agency said.
Sprint Takes Clearwire Fight to Court
June 19, 2013
Sprint has taken legal action to prevent Dish from closing a deal with Clearwire. This is the latest development in the tug of war between the companies over the 50 percent of Clearwire's spectrum that Sprint does not already own. Sprint announced last December that it had worked out a deal to purchase the rest of Clearwire for about $2.97 per share, which would value the company at $2.2 billion.
Up, Up and Away: Google Balloons to Beam Internet Access
June 17, 2013
Regardless of how this turns out, at least they nailed the name. Google is launching about 30 superpressure balloons that will beam Internet access back to the ground. With equal parts brevity and self-deprecation, the effort has been dubbed "Project Loon." Taking flight from New Zealand, the balloons will sail around the world on a controlled path.
Comcast to Pepper Neighborhoods With WiFi Hotspots
June 11, 2013
Comcast is rolling out a neighborhood WiFi initiative designed to allow its Xfinity Internet subscribers to log in to nearby wireless hotspots outside of their home. Subscribers to the service will essentially be the hosts for two separate WiFi networks. One will be their private, secure home connection. The other signal, which Comcast would provide for free, would serve as a neighborhood signal.
Clearwire Board Gives Nod to Sweeter Sprint Bid
May 22, 2013
Clearwire's special committee and its board of directors recommended that shareholders approve Sprint's increased offer to buy the remaining half of the company. Sprint already owns about 50 percent of Clearwire. It upped its bid to purchase the remaining stake by 14 percent Tuesday, offering $3.40 per share. That offer values Clearwire at $10.7 billion.
Amid Threats From Anonymous, Guantanamo WiFi Shut Down
May 22, 2013
Despite cries from the Left, the Guantanamo Bay detention camp is still up and running. The same, however, can't be said for Guantanamo's WiFi. The U.S. military turned off wireless Internet service at the Guantanamo Bay Naval Base amid threats from the hacker collective Anonymous. Officials have also nixed access to social networks such as Facebook and Twitter, a spokesperson for the prison said.
New Chair Puts Spectrum, Access High on FCC's Priority List
May 21, 2013
During her keynote address at the opening session of the CTIA 2013 wireless industry trade show in Las Vegas, acting FCC Chairwoman Mignon Clyburn spoke of continuing the work of her predecessor -- with a slight shift from focusing on rural communities to addressing the needs of the underprivileged. Clyburn, in her second day in office, stepped in as a late addition to the keynote lineup.
Dish Eyes LightSquared's Wireless Spectrum
May 21, 2013
Dish Network is offering $2 billion for some of LightSquared's spectrum in a move that could help the company expand its services beyond pay TV. The offer would add spectrum to Dish's growing supply of airwaves and allow it to expand into wireless solutions. LightSquared, the bankrupt wireless network company, would use the capital to pay off debt.
Cisco's Data Center Sales Spark Q1 Earnings
May 16, 2013
Cisco's quarterly earnings report beat Wall Street expectations this week, giving investors a hint of confidence in the constantly evolving tech industry. The networking company reported a net income of $2.48 billion, or 46 cents per share. That's up from the $2.17 billion it earned during the same time last year. Revenue was up 5.4 percent to $12.22 billion.
Zact Connects Consumers to Customizable Wireless Plans
May 14, 2013
Zact, a startup that offers customized wireless plans, launched this week as the latest service provider to promise mobile customers more control over their monthly bills. The no-contract company allows users to pick and choose from data, talk and text limits per month, all from an app on their phone. A plan that Zact calls the "Sweet Spot" charges $27.09 per month for 500 minutes of talk.
France Considers Tech Tax to Fund Arts
May 14, 2013
Francois Hollande, France's president, is mulling a potential tax on smartphones, laptops and tablets in order to fund the nation's cherished cultural exception. The revenue generated from such a tax would be earmarked for the cultural exception, which supports French music, film and visual art. France currently spends north of $130 million a year funding these endeavors.

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