Virtualization and enterprise networking specialist Meru announced plans to add new features to its enterprise Wi-Fi diagnostics, monitoring, and security software. The updated applications run on the Meru Service Appliance, a standalone server that runs Meru's E(z)RF Network Manager and other applications.
"Wireless networking has infused virtually all aspects of the enterprise, as users from the remote office to the manufacturing floor have come to expect predictable yet untethered access to data, video and other applications services from their device of choice," said Ram Appalaraju, senior vice president of marketing at Meru. "We believe these expectations have placed considerable pressure on IT to create a networking environment that will be flexible and reliable, yet operationally efficient. With these new network management applications integrated into the Meru Service Assurance Platform and powered by our underlying Virtual Cell™ technology, we believe enterprises will be able to offer their users a consistently productive experience with the ability to proactively manage and mitigate application performance issues."
Meru also said it is introducing a wireless intrusion detection/prevention application with monitoring and verification capabilities able to detect unauthorized Wi-Fi access points. The software will be able to protect against DoS attacks, password hacks, and physical layer attacks, Meru said.
We are eagerly anticipating a future of neural implants that can form brain-computer links, but one British scientist is out to bring us down. Mark Gasson has become the first human be infected with a computer virus. This feat was accomplished with small RFID chip Gasson had implanted in his hand. In the experiment, the virus infected chip was able to pass the infection to other devices, thus propigating much like biological viral vectors.
This proof on concept is of concern as a future of implantable devices is coming on fast. Various medical devices could be infected with viruses that then spread to other people. The idea is scary to be sure. People put up with computer viruses and security holes, but what can we do if the threat has the ability to cause real harm? Before you know it, we'll be reviewing Norton 360 Bio-Implant Edition.
So will you one of the cyborgs of the future, or is the whole idea too creepy?
Alaska Airlines is taking Wi-Fi to the skies on six Boeing 737-800 aircraft, the company announced earlier this week. The Wi-Fi service comes courtesy of Aircell's Gogo inflight Internet and will be offered free of charge for the next couple of months by entering the promotional code ALASKAVISA.
"Through July 31, our customers traveling on Wi-Fi-equipped planes will be able to try out the new Gogo service at no cost, courtesy of the Alaska Airlines Visa Signature® Card," said Joe Sprague, Alaska's vice president of marketing.
Alaska Airlines said it plans to install Gogo on the company's entire fleet of 737-800s and -900s by the end of summer, with 737-400s and -700s to follow suit later this year.
Someone in Facebook's think-tank deserves a raise, because this latest idea is nothing short of brilliant. Helping users side step data charges that would normally occur from accessing the social networking site on the go, Facebook has gone and partnered with 50 wireless operators so that cell phone users can log in without being charged a cent.
"We are targeting people whose major barrier is they have little experience on the mobile Internet. They want to try it, they want something super simple, super fast. And they are potentially afraid of browsing costs," said Henri Moissinac, who heads Facebook's mobile business. "If you take an iPhone user in San Francisco, that's not his problem."
The way it works is users will direct their phone's browser to 0.facebook.com, which is a text-only version of Facebook. It's designed specifically for mobile phones working with limited bandwidth.
Unfortunately for those us in the States, Facebook doesn't have any domestic partnerships in place, though Henri Moissinac, the head honcho for Facebook's mobile business, says he hopes to eventually strike some deals. In the meantime, the new site is available in 40 different countries, including Brazil, India, Indonesia, and Turkey.
Two-year service agreements have become the norm as wireless providers try to entice potential subscribers with subsidized smartphones, but according to an AP report, it isn't necessarily working. Instead, buyers are trending towards prepaid cell phone service.
"I would love to have an iPhone. I just can't swallow the $70 or more bill that would come with it," said Jeff Finlay, a 45-year-old stay-at-home dad in San Antonio.
With most prepaid services, consumers can buy minutes in advance usually for around 10 cents to 20 cents each. When the minutes run out, they can simply refill their accounts. For the past several years, prepaid plans mainly targeted consumers who didn't have the credit to qualify for a wireless plan, but have started to see a wider audience more recently as everyone looks to cut back costs. According to the New Millennium Research Council, about one-fifth of Americans with cell phones are on prepaid.
Making prepaid service even more popular, it's now possible to make unlimited calls and text messages for $45 a month, or half of what it would cost with a contract on Verizon. Not everyone needs unlimited usage however, and at Tracfone, the largest independent provider of prepaid service, customers pay an average of $11 per month.
When Intel unveiled its newest wireless HD streaming technology (WiDi) at last year's CES we were excited by the possibilities, but were a bit unsure how committed the processor giant would ultimately be to pushing the technology forward. Almost a year later we have seen the capabilities trickle out to a handful of Core i5 and Core i3 laptops, but not much else.
Well Intel finally broke the silence on its future plans for WiDi, and it's full steam ahead for gadgets of all shapes and sizes. Intel is hoping that the technology will eventually be adopted into every netbook, tablet, and even mobile phones in the near future. The optimistic words came from Wireless Display Product Manager Kerry Forrell who says that "we fully expect to take the technology there", but wouldn't commit to a specific time frame.
Taken on its own we would assume this is just a product manager trying to plug his latest toy, but CEO Paul Otellini himself told investors earlier in the week that "what we'll be doing over the next few years is take the Wi-Di capability that's in laptops today and extend that into all the Intel platforms". Forrell clarified that he hopes to see native support in future HD TV's as well, but only time will tell.
Do you think WiDi will ever catch on? Standards put forward by a single company rarely seem to take hold, but if any company has the marketing and financial resources to push this one forward it's Intel.
Recent rumblings have suggested that Apple's iPhone is headed to Verizon this summer, but is it really? Engadget on Monday said it confirmed that Apple and AT&T entered into a five-year exclusivity agreement back in 2007, which means AT&T is the only game in town until 2012, seemingly putting an end to the rumors saying otherwise. The only problem is, the rumors are getting louder.
Just yesterday CrunchGear uncovered that a media company called Landor Associates is putting together an advertising campaign for Verizon and Apple's upcoming iPhone 4G. The info comes by way of a tipster, so take this one at face value, but as far as CrunchGear is concerned, this "very nearly confirms a Verizon launch of the iPhone at the end of the summer."
While we're hesitant to fully believe an un-named tipster talking about an unconfirmed rumor, one thing we do know is that even if AT&T and Apple did sign a five year agreement in 2007, it's still possible the iPhone could end up elsewhere. Contracts have a way of being revised, after all, so we wouldn't be terribly shocked if the iPhone readlly did end up on Verizon.
Would you be interested in an iPhone if it was offered through Verizon? What mobile phone are you using now?
Just bought a brand-spankin’ new dual-band router? Don’t pat yourself on the back too hard, Binky; your new toy just might be outclassed as soon as the end of this year by the first generation of tri-band devices with wireless radios operating on the 2.4-, 5.0-, and 60GHz frequencies. These could be the first networking products capable moving bits around your house at supremely fast speeds and cooking a pizza at the same time.
We’re just kidding about the pizza, but wireless routers operating on the unlicensed 60GHz frequency band do promise to deliver data throughput as high as 7Gb/sec. The IEEE Task Group AD (TGad for short; not to be confused with “teabag”) is busy developing a standard—IEEE 802.11ad—but the companies hoping to sell actual products based on this new technology aren’t taking any chances that the famously methodical international standards body might take the same long winding road they did with 802.11n. They formed a trade group—the Wireless Gigabit Alliance (WiGig)— in May 2009, and the alliance announced its own first-draft standard today.
Taking a design cue from the popular SideKick, T-Mobile today announced the myTouch 3G Slide smartphone with a slide-out QWERTY keyboard and a touchscreen.
"Many smartphones are increasingly powerful in their features and specifications without continuing to improve the main reason that so many people have mobile phones - the ability to communicate with each other," said Andrew Sherrard, vice president of product development, T-Mobile USA. "The new myTouch 3G Slide is a smart and sleek phone that fits into your pocket, your budget and your family life with exclusive T-Mobile features that put communication with your closest family and friends front and center."
The myTouch 3G Slide comes built around Google's Android 2.1 platform, giving it instant street cred. Other features include a 3.4-inch HVGA touchscreen display with virtual keyboard, 5MP camera, pre-installed 8GB microSD memory card, 3.5mm jack, and a whole bunch of customized apps like the Faves Gallery (social aggregrator for your contacts), myModes (profile manager for changing the phone's themes and settings based on time and location), Swype Keyboard, and more.
T-Mobile will offer the myTouch 3G in black, white, or red starting in June for an as yet undetermined price.
About four years ago, Bryan St. Germain, then 22-year old son of Bob St. Germain, used his Verizon cell phone to connect to the Web. What Bryan didn't know at the time was that the two-year promotional plan his father signed up for -- a plan which allowed for free downloads -- had passed, and he was now being charged per kilobyte.
The result? Little St. Germain racked up a $12,000 phone bill on his father's account, and then another $6,000 to be added to next month's bill. Apparently Bryan had been tethering his cell phone to his laptop because it was quicker than his father's dial-up service, but certainly not less expensive. Now four years later, Bob's debt incurred by his son sits in collections and the dispute between him and Verizon rages on.
"If there's extreme activity on your account, they should let you know," Bob said. "Nobody should get surprised like I did."
Sounds reasonable, but is Verizon really at fault? The wireless telco begs to differ, pointing out that it goes to "great lengths to educate" customers about their products and services so situations like this don't end up happening. But it did happen, and the question is, should Bob be forced to pay off his debt, which Verizon offered to cut in half?
"The wireless industry is extraordinarily competitive and customers have choices," Verizon wrote in a letter to the Boston Globe. "We work to win, and keep, customers every day--and we understand our customers don't like surprises. Neither do we--it's bad business. Which is why we clearly explain service plan details in brochures, during the purchase process, in our customer agreements and again through confirmation letters. We provide access to tons of account information through the MyVerizon Web page, and by dialing #BAL (balance information), #DATA (data usage), and #MIN (available minutes)."
Verizon went on to explain that customers have "numerous tools through the Internet" at their disposal to manage their family's cell phone usage, such as setting voice and messaging allowances and receiving free text alerts when a family member near or reaches their limits, among other things.
Should Bob be forced to pay the four-year-old bill, or should Verizon drop the charges? Hit the jump and sound off!