By now you've probably seen one of Verizon's ads taking shots at AT&T's comparatively dismal 3G network coverage. Even if you didn't, AT&T has, and the wireless carrier has accused Verizon of not telling the whole story and misleading the public.
AT&T contends it's unfair to show 3G coverage maps from the two carriers side by side because it makes it look like AT&T doesn't have service in most areas. The maps only depict 3G zones, ignoring AT&T's existing 2.5G network, which is sufficient for email and other tasks portrayed in the commercials. The bottom line is, the ads are accurate in terms of 3G, but neglect to tell the whole story. Is that misleading?
AT&T thinks so, and as we previously reported, the wireless carrier has dropped a lawsuit on Verizon's lap. How that plays out will be for the courts to decide. In the meantime, expect the ads to keep rolling, especially with Verizon's Droid attracting so much attention.
Just yesterday we told you about the Microsoft’s ad campaign that could get you free WiFi. Google had no intention of taking that lying down apparently. The Search giant has announced plans to offer free wireless internet access in 47 airports across the country now through January 15th, 2010. The program is being facilitated by wireless providers like Boingo Wireless and Advanced Wireless Group.
"We're very happy to extend our Holiday Wi-Fi gift to the millions of people who will spend time in airports over the next few months," said Marissa Mayer, VP of User Experience at Google. With all the travel that comes with the holiday season, many people rely on wireless connectivity to keep in touch.
When a user logs on to the free Google provided WiFi, they will be presented with the option to donate to Engineers Without Borders, the One Economy Corporation or the Climate Savers Computing Initiative. Google will match the donations up to $250,000. The Microsoft deal is a straight up promotion, whereas this is just plain charity. Check out the full list of airports here. Happy holidays from Google!
Microsoft's Bing and JiWire have a proposition for you. Free WiFi in exchange for using Bing. Interested? The promotion would give users free Internet access at participating hotspots if they do just one search with Bing. In conjunction with JiWire’s advertising network, Microsoft will be extending the offer to various hotels and airports.
The campaign was started in September at several thousand locations. It managed to attract between 30 and 40 percent of visitors to the hotspots. This is extremely high, as most ads only get interaction from 0.1 to 0.2 percent of people. Microsoft reportedly plans to continue with the promotion, which is a part of JiWire’s Ads for Access campaign. The campaign allows companies to give customers something in exchange for their time. This can be taking a survey, watching a video ad, or (in this case) using the Bing search engine.
The next time you’re in an airport, keep an eye out for these ads. It could get you free access courtesy of a certain Redmond software giant.
Sonos has released its new ZonePlayer S5 in the U.S., an all-in-one music sysetem with a built-in wireless receiver and amplified 5-driver speaker. The all-in-one can be controlled with an iPhone, iPod touch, or any Sonos Controller.
"This is the best time in history to love music," said John MacFarlane, CEO, Sonos. "The marriage of devices such the iPhone and the Sonos ZonePlayer S5 connects consumers to an entire world of music and gives them an easy way to control it all from the palm of their hand, in any and every room of their home."
Each of the five speakers comes with its own dedicated Class-D digital amplifier. The S5 also includes a 2-port Ethernet switch, auto-detecting headphone jack, analog audio inputs, support for several major music services, such as Last.fm, Napster, Pandora, Rhapsody, and SIRIUS, and the ability to download from any service offering DRM-free tracks, including iTunes and AmazonMP3.
On the social networking side, the Sonos Software v3.1 integrates Twitter into the Controller interface, allowing users to tweet the name and artist of whatever track they're rocking out to.
The ZonePlayer S5 is available now direct from Sonos for $399.
To take advantage of the offer you have to live near a city serviced by Virgin America, which much rules out everybody between the Appalachians and the Rockies. Still, for those lucky eligible few, a chance to browse the internet while you fly might be the thing to take the edge of holiday travel.
After years of seeing draft-n wireless products, the IEEE finally ratified the standard this summer. Now the Wi-Fi Alliance has created a new certification program complete with new logos. "Wi-Fi CERTIFIED n builds on the success of our draft-n certification program and marks a point of maturity in 802.11n technology," said Edgar Figueroa, Executive Director of The Wi-Fi Alliance.
The new Wi-Fi certification program includes all the requirements from the draft standard, with some additional optional features. The optional features include support for transmission of up to three spatial streams, STBC encoding to increase reliability, A-MPDU packet aggregation, and channel coexistence for the 40MHz operation in the 2.4GHz band.
The new, longer logo shows all the standards that a device supports. The new certification program also allows products to indicate if they support optional features. The new logos should even show up on devices that were previously draft-n, as many were certified for the full standard.
After the USB Implementers Forum reprimanded Palm for using Apple’s USB Vendor ID to re-enable iTunes sync on the Pre – Apple had blocked Palm’s Vendor ID, Palm was left with little choice but to abandon the practice. With the release of webOS 1.2 for the Pre, Palm has grudgingly abandoned its fixation with iTunes and opted for Amazon in its stead. Users can now download their favorite tracks from the Amazon MP3 store using either WiFi or WAN. But iTunes aficionados, who own a Pre for some reason, can use third-party alternatives like double Twist and iTunes Agent to enable iTunes sync on their own.
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.
Sony today further bolstered its lineup of e-readers by announcing the Sony Reader Daily Edition - first in its stable to feature wireless connectivity (Wi-Fi and 3G). The Reader Daily Edition also features a 7-inch touch screen. In fact, wireless connectivity and a larger screen are the only notable features that separate it from the Reader Touch Edition.
Sony had announced the $299 Reader Touch Edition and $199 Pocket Edition earlier this month. The Daily Edition, which was announced at a launch event at the New York Public Library, will retail for $399 and debut in December.
Steve Haber, president of the Digital Reading Business Division at Sony, also announced that users will be able to borrow ebooks from the local library, with the borrowed books having an expiration period of 21 days. The new version of Sony’s online book store will let users search for libraries that loan electronic versions of their books.