Blackberry users will no longer have to feel let down by their inability to download music wirelessly. UK-based service provider 7digital and RIM have made good on their promise of an over-the-air music download service for Blackberry. 7digital’s application is now available on the Blackberry App World Store.
The absolutely free app provides access to 7digital’s 6 million track-strong library of DRM-free music. Users can download low-quality tracks when on the move. Such downloads are automatically replaced with high bit-rate tracks (usually 320kbps) when the device is connected to a Wi-Fi network. The majority of tracks and albums are priced at $.77 and $7.77, respectively. Smartphones supported at launch are the BlackBerry Bold, BlackBerry Curve 8900, BlackBerry Tour, BlackBerry Curve 8520 and BlackBerry Storm.
The IEEE standards group has finally ratified 802.11n, a standard that has been stuck in limbo since 2006 when it first entered draft status. Draft N devices delivered on the promise of higher speeds and better range, but despite assurances, many feared compatibility would be an issue down the road.
The extended delay in approving the standard came from competing “pre-N” technologies from Atheros and Broadcom, which led to a long and drawn out debate over the form of the final spec. The delay led the IEEE to certify Draft 2.0 802.11n devices in March 2007, with the understanding that these would be upgradable through firmware to the final standard. To accomplish this, a promise was made to make no major changes to the spec, or the certification process.
802.11n has seen a high level of adoption within consumer electronics and networking equipment, but companies are typically slow to adopt anything bearing the title “draft”. Keep an eye out for new firmware and drivers for your 802.11n hardware in the days and weeks to come. Officials from the IEEE plan to publish the final standard sometime in mid-October. I guess the time has finally come to look forward to the next big leap in Wi-Fi speeds. I wonder how many letters of the alphabet they plan to skip this time?
Have you been waiting for the Wi-Fi Alliances blessing to buy new hardware?
VIA on Thursday unveiled the eNote Turnkey Solution , an 11.6-inch ultra-thin notebook boasting both WiMAX and Wi-Fi connectivity. The company said it plans to demo the unit during 4G World in Chicago from September 15-18.
"The VIA eNote Turnkey Solution is one of the most advanced mobile notebooks in the world," said Georges Karam, Sequans CEO. "It incorporates all the features one would expect in a state-of-the-art ultra mobile product, plus all the connectivity options that users need to experience truly high speed connectivity anywhere they go."
In addition to WiMAX and Wi-Fi, the new eNote will come configured with a VIA Nano processor clocked at 1.3GHz on the VIA VX800 digital media IGP chipset, integrated VIA Chrome9 graphics, up to 2GB of DDR2 memory, video acceleration for MPEG-2, MPEG-4, WMV9, VC1, and DiVX, three USB 2.0 ports, a VGA port, 4-in-1 card reader, 2MB webcam, Windows XP, and a 4-cell battery for up to three hours of run time.
In exactly the same time it takes to cook a batch of minute-rice, computer scientists in Japan claim to have developed a way to crack WPA encryption just as fast.
Security researchers first showed how WPA could be broken last November. The earlier attack worked on a smaller range of WPA devices and took about 12 to 15 minutes to work its mojo. But the Japanese researchers have taken the attack to a new level, according to Dragos Ruiu, organizer of the PacSec security conference where the first WPA hack was demonstrated.
"They took this stuff which was fairly theoretical and they've made it much more practical," Ruiu said.
Both attacks are limited to WPA system using the Temporal Key Integrity Protocol (TIKP) algorithm, which means if you use a newer WAP2 device or a WPA system based on the Advanced Encryption Standerd (AES) algorithm, you're in the clear. At least for now.
The Wall Street Journalreports on the increasing numbers of homeless computer users. While some resort to familiar solutions such as using computers set up in shelters or at public libraries, others carry their own laptops and external hard disks, and some even generate their own electricity or connect their units to car batteries to keep their systems running. Cybercafes, sympathetic friends, and "hidden" locations in public places that offer AC power and wireless access are some of the methods used to stay online.
Except for where homeless users run their systems and make online connections, they're not much different than those of us using PCs at home or at the office: PCs are used for news, information, and entertainment, social networking, advocacy, and jobhunting. As one homeless user puts it: "You don't need a TV. You don't need a radio. You don't even need a newspaper, but you need the Internet."
If you had to hit the streets, what would you give up before you gave up your PC? Join us after the jump and share your thoughts.
While AirTran claimed that they would be the first to implement Wi-Fi on all of their flights, Virgin America just beat them to the punch.
Yesterday Virgin officially announced that they would feature Wi-Fi on all 100 of their daily flights. Costs clock in at $12.95 for three hours and over, $9.95 for less than three hours, $5.95 for red-eye flights, and $7.95 if you just want to use a handheld device (such as a cell phone or a DSi).
Sure, the prices might seem a little beefy, but when I’m given the mental option between watching the inevitably bad movie that’s playing on the screen in front of me, or surfing the net on my own accord, I’ll opt towards the latter every time.
Did you know that more Wi-Fi networks are out there than what your computer can normally see? It's true. But depending on the security settings of the wireless network and its overall signal strength, you might not see these alternate options pop up in the standard Windows network settings dialogue. That's where Wi-Fi scanning applications like NetStumbler or inSSIDer come into play. That, and they're the best way you go about cataloging all the hotspots in your neighborhood from the passenger seat of your moving vehicle.
Click the link, and we'll show you how you can use inSSIDer to find out valuable information about the wireless networks floating around you right now!
Starting today, any clientele of Delta Airlines that choose to fly between New York, Boston and Washington D.C. will be treated to the option of in-flight Internet.
The sky-fi (see what I did there?) will run those on flights under three hours $9.95 for the entirety of the flight. Any flights that go over three hours will cost you an additional three buckaroos, bringing the grand total to $12.95.
It’s expected that the feature will be available in all flights (including on Delta’s merger partner, Northwest Airlines) on May 31, 2009. The technology is slated to be brought on board by IBM, HP, Dell and newcomer Super Micro.
Thankfully, this should provide a nice alternative to watching V for Vandetta three times in a row (it loses its edge after the first time) because the rest of the movies are terrible choices. Now, you can just browse your favorite sites, like Maximum PC!
Election Day wasn't the only event to make history on November 4th - the FCC made its own kind of history on Tuesday in approving the development of wireless devices that can use "white space" (the unused broadcast TV spectrum between broadcast TV channels, which ranges from 512MHz to 698 MHz). Unlike the close race between fellow senators for the US Presidency, the FCC decision to open up unused TV spectrum was unanimous, ZDNet's Sean Portnoy reports, despite lobbying against the rule by 50 members of Congress and a variety of recording artists worried about the effects of the decision on their live performances.
The decision (available here in PDF format) balances the hopes of companies like Microsoft and Google to make wireless Internet-enabled devices even more ubiquitous than now with the fears of the theater industry that exploiting white space will interfere with wireless microphones that use the same spectrum, and the concerns of the National Association of Broadcasters that using "white space" will interfere with TV viewing.
To find out how the FCC plans to make everybody happy in wirelessland, join us after the jump.
Wi-Fi is fast emerging as the most popular technology for wireless communication between disparate gadgets, but security remains a major concern. However, researchers at Boston University’s College of Engineering are working on an alternative way of connecting devices that will be innately more secure than Wi-Fi.
Moreover, an LED-based communication technology will enjoy a distinct security advantage. It will be more secure compared to Wi-Fi due to the inability of light to penetrate through opaque surfaces like walls.
“Imagine if your computer, iPhone, TV, radio and thermostat could all communicate with you when you walked in a room just by flipping the wall light switch and without the usual cluster of wires,” said an ebullient Thomas Little, a BU engineering professor, about the idea. Soon, our networks will quite literally “light up”.