AT&T is expanding its public Wi-Fi access in New York and San Francisco to help ease network congestion in two of the carrier's busiest regions, according to the Associated Press.
The telco will make a formal announcement later today that it will expand its Wi-Fi "hot zones" in New York City's Times Square ahead of the New Year's extravaganza. In addition, AT&T is also targeting zones around Rockefeller Center and St. Patrick's Cathedral.
Chief Technology Officer John Donovan said that existing hot zones have been successful in easing network congestion, and the company will look to add more in the future, including in sports stadiums.
Trendnet went for style points with the release of its new 300Mbps Wireless-N Media Bridge, model TEW-640MB. The new device sports a sleek glossy black finish and is able to connect Ethernet-ready living room devices, such as gaming consoles, network TVs, receivers, media controllers, DVRs, Blu-ray players, and more.
"Following the tremendous success of our 300Mbps Wireless-N Gaming Adapter, model TEW-647GA, we decided to build the foundation of the 300Mbps Wireless-N Media Bridge and use the same high performance chipset," stated Sonny Su, Technology Director for Trendnet. "The TEW-640MB is truly the result of listening to our customers. Users were saying that they absolutely loved the performance and the look of the TEW-647GA, but wanted more ports to connect all of their new media center devices to a high performance wireless connection. I believe the TEW-640MB delivers on its promise and will be well received."
Quality of Service (QoS) data prioritization comes as part of the package, as does Multiple Input Multiple Output (MIMO) antenna technology, one-touch wireless security setup, encryption up to WPA2-PSK, and up to 100 meters of outdoor coverage (up to 50 meters indoors).
Networking specialist Trendnet recently announced what it claims is the world's smallest 150Mbps Micro Wireless N USB Adapter, the TEW-648UBM.
Boring name aside, this nifty device measures just 0.59 x 0.74 x 0.28 inches. Pop it into an open USB port and Trendnet says it will extend a mere 0.3 inches from the edge of your PC. For most people, the adapter should be small enough to keep permanently plugged into your notebook, even as you shove it into your laptop bag.
"The TEW-648UBM eliminates size constraints when using wireless adapters. On-the-go users no longer have to worry about leaving their adapter plugged into their laptop," stated Sonny Su, Technology Director for Trendnet. "As well, the addition of a WPS button makes it really easy to connect to WPS enabled routers and access points."
Google has a history of getting into the holiday spirit. Last year the search giant cut a deal with 47 U.S. airports to offer free Wi-Fi service, and this year Google Chrome is sponsoring in-flight Wi-Fi on select aircraft.
"This holiday season, Google Chrome has teamed up with AirTran Airways, Delta, and Virgin America to offer free Gogo Inflight Wi-Fi on every domestic flight from November 20, 2010 through January 2, 2011. These participating airlines have outfitted their entire domestic fleet with Gogo Inflight Wi-Fi, and we expect more connected passengers this holiday season than ever before!," Google announced.
It's really a win-win-win situation, with Google promoting its Chrome browser, select airlines getting a leg up on the competition, and holiday travelers able to stay connected as they take to the skies.
We first heard about the printer cartridge bombs on October 29, but now some details about the nature of the devices are coming to light. As New Scientist reports, our ability to use in-flight internet could be at risk following this latest terror threat. The bombs contained what appear to be stripped down cell phones, leading some to speculate they were to be detonated remotely. While this is not yet confirmed, the US Department of Homeland Security has reportedly locked in on the possibility.
Some security experts have said that Wi-Fi on planes is substantially more likely to be used in an attack. Due to the inconsistency of cell service, the internet connection afforded by in-flight Wi-Fi would be a better avenue of attack. According to UK explosives expert Roland Alford, in-flight Wi-Fi "gives a bomber lots of options for contacting a device on an aircraft." In-flight Wi-Fi has proliferated massively in the last few years, and many travelers have come to rely on it. Do you think in-flight Wi-Fi is going to come under fire?
After a preliminary investigation the FTC has decided to give Google a pass on the inadvertent collection of Street View Wi-Fi data. According to Forbes, no penalties are being announced, but the FTC did have some harsh words for the search giant. "... Google’s internal review processes – both prior to the initiation of the project to collect data about wireless access points and after its launch – were not adequate to discover that the software would be collecting payload data, which was not necessary to fulfill the project’s business purpose," the FTC statement read.
The issues stem from the discovery earlier this year by Google that their Street View cars were outfitted with software that was not just recording the SSID and locations of Wi-Fi networks, but was actually storing unencrypted data from those networks. Google made the situation known, and multiple governments began investigating. Google claimed they software's presence was a mistake, and has since stopped Wi-Fi data collection altogether.
It looks like the FTC was satisfied with steps Google has taken, but they may not get a pass from all countries where the data was collected. Do you think Google should have been punished in some way?
You’ve been getting by with the cheapie router you bought two years ago, so why should you upgrade now? In a word: Performance. And features. Oh, sorry. That’s two words. We looked at a host of budget offerings in our last router roundup (February 2010) and didn’t find much to get excited about. This time, we asked seven manufacturers to send us the best consumer routers in their stables regardless of price tags.
In most cases, that meant a simultaneous dual-band router capable of running 802.11n wireless networks using the typical 2.4GHz frequency band and the less-crowded 5GHz band, plus a guest network that isolates its clients from your primary LAN. In all cases, it meant a router with an integrated four-port gigabit switch and at least one USB port for sharing a printer or a storage device over the network (some have two USB ports to support both functions). In an interesting twist, however, no one submitted a product using a three-stream wireless chipset promising raw throughput of 450Mb/s.
The Wi-Fi Alliance announced Monday that it has begun certifying products for compliance with the Wi-Fi Direct standard, aimed at enabling router-free instant networking among Wi-Fi enabled devices (a la Bluetooth). Technically, Wi-Fi Direct does not dispense with access points, but merely relies on a software-based alternative, called Soft AP, allowing any Direct-enabled device to act as an access point.
A Wi-Fi Direct connection is not only way more uncomplicated than traditional peer-to-peer Wi-Fi connections (ad hoc), but it is also much more secure. It is being tipped by many to be Bluetooth’s replacement -- and not without good reason. Bluetooth simply can’t match Wi-Fi Direct in terms of range and speed.
The Samsung Galaxy Tab Android tablet will be hitting US retail next month, but what if you don't care to do more business with the mobile carriers? As it turns out, Best Buy (of all companies) is coming to the rescue. The electronics retailer will be selling a Wi-Fi-only version of the Galaxy Tab for $499.
The Tab is already making an appearance in Best Buy advertizing, but no firm release date is mentioned. Best Buy will also carry the 3G versions for both Verizon and Sprint. The Galaxy Tab will sport a 7-inch touch screen LCD with Android 2.2 under Samsung's TouchWiz interface. The $499 price point is exactly the same as the 10-inch Wi-Fi-only iPad. It's going to be interesting to see how consumers respond to the choice.
Marvel on Monday introduced its Avastar 88W8764 wireless chip. According to Marvell, this is the first ever 802.11n, 4x4 single-die solution, which the company plans to market for use in enterprise access points, service provider gateways, high performance home routers, media and mobile servers, Digital TVs (DTVs), and set-top boxes.
"Wi-Fi has become the critical common link in today's mobile communications as users now expect and demand seamless, high-performance, robust and secure connectivity, zero latency and crystal clear communication between all their connected devices no matter where they go," said Weili Dai, Co-Founder of Marvell. "Marvell has a proven track record as the world leader in Wi-Fi for enterprise, consumer and mobile applications delivering robust, high performance and high bandwidth, highly secure and seamless wireless connectivity. I believe Marvell's groundbreaking 802.11n 4x4 Wi-Fi solution will fundamentally change the wireless landscape and truly enable the entire spectrum of always-on consumer products."
The new Avastar chips sports four independent transmit-receive RF chains with support for three Multiple Input, Multiple Output (MIMO) spatial streams for up to 450Mbps data rates, Marvell says.
No word yet on when the 4x4 part will start to show up in shipping devices.