New router promises better speed, longer range than previous models
Despite slightly late adoption of the 802.11g standard, which had more to do with the hardware refresh product cycle than anything else, Apple has been on the forefront of wireless home networking. From the first failure-prone Airport base station with an Orinoco Gold PCMCIA card to the newest equipment with custom chipsets built for Apple, Cupertino has seen the value of Internet access not tethered by a cord. The latest effort is the Airport Extreme and Time Capsule 802.11ac model, which brings some advances to the line. Join us with this first look at the new networking peripheral from Apple.
Aims to be first to market with LTE-Advanced smartphone
Samsung hopes to be the first smartphone manufacturer to launch a smartphone with LTE-Advanced connectivity, according to head of mobile business JK Shin. The high-speed smartphone will be another variant in the Galaxy S4 range of devices, and could be shipping to customers in South Korea before the end of this month.
Project Loon working to provide Internet access in remote areas
Google is working on a way to provide Internet access around the world, using balloons. "Project Loon," the latest "moonshot" project out of Google X Labs, will use a number of balloons to create a high-altitude network, with the aim of users getting 3G-speed Internet connections in the most remote parts of the world.
Extra data bolt-ons no longer an option
Starting June 21st, AT&T is officially adding LTE 4G support and a new set of plans to its GoPhone prepaid network. The base tier costs $25 per month, and includes unlimited texting and 250 voice minutes, but no data unless a person pays an extra $5 for 50MB. With a $40 plan people can upgrade to 500 minutes and 200MB of data, expandable to 300MB for $5.
LINE update introduces themes and in-app browser
LINE, a mobile messaging client designed for iOS, has been updated with an in-app browser and extended language support. Unlike previous releases, web links are now opened directly within the app's own browser which features a minimal interface to maximize the display of content. Also new in this release are coloured themes. While currently limited to two options, the default theme and an all pink variant, developers have promised more options will be made available in the near future. Finally, a photos button has been added to LINE's Chat room menu, giving users a place to view all sent and received photos.
iFixit's tear down reveals one of Apple's most repairable products
Tech site iFixit has uploaded a new teardown for the latest AirPort Extreme, Apple's first 802.11ac wireless base station. Opening the device revealed an interior space to allow for a hard drive to be installed, however hopes of at-home storage upgrades were dashed by no available plug-in options on the logic board. The AirPort Extreme offers a Delta Electronics 12V, 5A power supply, much akin to Mac Mini technology. Thanks to a simply disassembly iFixit staff have categorized the wireless base station, along with Apple TV and Mac Mini, as the most repairable Apple product in recent history.
Discoveries leaking as betas are seeded to developers, testers
A handful of new information nuggets are coming to light about both the OS X Mavericks and iOS 7 betas given to developers and testers beginning yesterday after the WWDC keynote. Two examples of significant changes being found in the betas includes a new networking default in OS X, accompanied by a change in iOS 7 that will someday make Wi-Fi connections in public hotspots completely automatic. More minor tweaks include the addition of LinkedIn system-wide integration, and a new "active" icon for the clock app in iOS 7.
Compatible with 802.11n, does not add 'ac' capabilities
Apple has issued updates for the AirPort Extreme and Time Capsule, releasing minor upgrades for the firmware (now at version 7.7.1) and AirPort Utility software (now at version 6.3) to add compatibility for the newly-announced, redesigned AirPort hardware that supports the forthcoming 802.11ac standard. The new standard, which uses the 5GHz bandwidth of 802.11n, is backward-compatible with earlier Wi-Fi but supports faster speed and greater range. The new MacBook Air is the first model to feature 802.11ac.
Use of the network free to existing Comcast customers
Comcast is beginning to give its Xfinity Internet customers an additional "xfinitywifi" SSID network in-home that is completely separate and distinct from the family’s private and secure home Wi-Fi signal. The move, in effect, creates millions of hotspots for Comcast customers, available all over the country for no additional cost.
Beamforming to improve performance for specified devices
Phil Schiller has revealed updated versions of its AirPort base stations at WWDC, made to accommodate the improved Wi-Fi in the revised MacBook Air, confirming earlier rumors. The new AirPort Extreme and Time Capsules can now connect wirelessly over three-stream 802.11ac, which will provide up to 40-percent faster file transfers compared to previous versions the networking performance of 802.11n connections.
Executive believes United States is 'a world leader' in broadband
The average American consumer does not need gigabit Internet access at this moment in time, according to the Vice President of Comcast. David Cohen claims the issue of gigabit speeds to end users is "really more about demand than supply," suggesting that high-speed Internet services such as Google Fiber are not required.
AirPort Extreme, Time Capsule may get matching updates
The MacBooks on the verge of a WWDC update are MacBook Airs, a source indicates. New pricing data for leaked SKUs is said to match that for current-generation Airs. Conversely, there has yet to be any leaked pricing for new Retina MacBook Pros, despite low stock of the notebook. That could mean the Pro will only be updated sometime after the Air.
Now compatible with Snow Leopard and later, mixes private and public VPN
A twin-headed USB drive called iTwin Connect, which allows private and public VPN services using a thumb drive dongle, is now available for Mac users running OS X Snow Leopard, Lion or Mountain Lion alongside Windows users. The secure-storage-and-sharing solution using the two-part USB key provides end-to-end encryption for mirroring files, allowing data transfer of files too large for email or too sensitive to transfer using conventional VPN or cloud services. The software for Mac, which was in beta since January, is now final and available.
Company looking to keep speeds relatively even between carriers?
Apple and the iPhone's major US carriers are imposing artificial caps on the cellular speeds of the iPhone and iPad, claims Joseph Brown, a developer of hacked carrier updates. Brown notes that by scrapping a line of Apple code in his AT&T update, iPhone 5 and fourth-generation iPad speeds saw "significant and noticeable results." AT&T iPhones are reportedly limited to 14.4Mbps HSDPA, despite the iPhone 5 being capable of 42.2Mbps DC-HSDPA+, and AT&T's 3G network supporting speeds up to 21.1Mbps. The carrier also reportedly limits LTE.
Doubles throughput of original TB while retaining cable compatibility
Intel, who originally developed Thunderbolt networking technology with the help of Apple (which made it a standard feature on most current Mac products) has revealed that the name of the improved version of Thunderbolt -- originally known by its codename, Falcon Ridge -- is to be simply "Thunderbolt 2." The improved version, which offers roughly a doubling of existing (and still under-utilized) Thunderbolt speeds, will enter the market early next year and offers both sufficient bandwidth for raw 4K video transfer as well as backward compatibility with existing cables and connectors.
Includes Safari 6.0.5
Apple has released a completed v10.8.4 update for OS X Mountain Lion. The release solves numerous issues, such as compatibility problems when connecting to enterprise Wi-Fi networks, and support for Microsoft Exchange in Calendar. FaceTime calls should now properly connect to non-US phone numbers, and Macs should go to sleep after using Boot Camp.
Could be used to share files between Macs and iOS devices
The US Patent and Trademark Office has granted Apple a patent on an NFC-based data transfer technology, notes AppleInsider. The concept would let people quickly transfer files between devices by setting up an impromptu peer-to-peer connection. An iPhone, for instance, could be "tapped" against a Mac to open up a connection, and then copy over documents from the Mac. The files wouldn't be copied via NFC, but rather over a Wi-Fi connection that the NFC link would facilitate.
E Ink creates 1.73-inch display for smartwatches, launches in Sonostar Smartwatch
E Ink, a manufacturer of monochrome displays, has announced it is creating a 1.73-inch e-paper screen for use with smartwatches. Offering 16 shades of greyscale, a resolution of 320x240, and low power requirements, Slashgear reports that the display will be surfacing in the Sonostar Smartwatch, due to be shown later this week at Computex.
Pebble smartwatch firmware update adds multiple notifications, watchface
The Pebble smartwatch has received a firmware update, introducing more changes to the user interface. Notifications have been updated to allow for multiple items to be viewed, the UI for setting the time has been reworked, and the wearer's current speed in the RunKeeper app can now be viewed from the Pebble display. The minimalist Simplicity watchface has been added as an option instead of the Fuzzy Time watchface, which has now been transitioned to the watchapp library, according to the version 1.11 firmware release notes.
New network additions has AT&T covering 239 markets with LTE
AT&T has rolled out its 4G LTE network into 11 new markets and expanded in six others, as part of its national roll-out of the high-speed data network. New areas in six states, including Virginia and Washington, have had LTE access turned on today, while six markets in five states will have a wider coverage area.
Possibly compatible with previous models, facilitating third-party upgrades
A new Broadcom chipset spotted on a Chinese website may be a component of future Mac updates, bringing 802.11ac (known as "Gigabit Wi-Fi") and Bluetooth 4.0 to new models on a single chipset. Not only will the chip handle all wireless communication for future Mac models, but the new chip appears -- at first glance -- to be backward compatible with similar parts in recent models, opening up the possibility of aftermarket upgrades.
Software-defined modem hits 150Mbps speed without hardware changes
Nvidia has updated its latest mobile chipset with support for Category 4 LTE connectivity. Tegra 4i, similar to Tegra 4 but includes an integrated Nvidia i500 LTE modem, managed to upgrade from Category 3 and its 100Mbps connection to LTE-Advanced and a possible 150Mps speed, without performing any changes to the hardware.
Quartet of D-Link dual-band routers available now worldwide
D-Link today announced its new line of AC routers -- the Wireless AC1750 Router (DIR-868L), Wireless AC1200 Router (DIR-860L), Wireless AC1000 Router (DIR-820L) and Wireless AC750 Router (DIR-810L) -- are now available. D-Link’s family of AC routers are equipped with Dual Band technology enabling users to perform simple networking activities on the 2.4GHz band, and offload more demanding activities to the cleaner, more robust 5GHZ band. The routers are also backward compatible with 802.11a/b/g/n devices for enhanced connectivity. Prices range from $80 to $170, depending on model.
Announcement marks fifth recent reveal of fiber expansion
A brief posting on the Google Fiber blog has noted the addition of a new locality to Google Fiber. Gladstone, Missouri has voted to allow Google to expand its network to the city, a suburb of Kansas City. The new locality is Google's fifth announcement in a handful of weeks regarding expansion of its gigabit Internet service.
Move would become second time BT creates a mobile network
British Telecom will be using the spectrum it picked up in the United Kingdom's 4G spectrum auction to start up its own 4G network. BT CEO Ian Livingston claims it is "highly possible" that BT-branded SIM cards could be issued out to customers by this time next year, with the cellular usage being paid for through current landline bills.
Speed of 1GHz reached in 2-kilometer test, could rise by 2020
While carriers around the world are still working on their 4G LTE network deployment plans, the next generation of cellular networks is being worked on by Samsung. The manufacturer has announced it has developed an adaptive array transceiver technology, which will apparently form the core of 5G networks by 2020.
Verizon and AT&T express interest in the general idea
According to recent reports, media companies with high-bandwidth apps are considering deals with wireless carriers to ensure users can consume the content without being slapped with data overage fines. Reportedly, sports network ESPN has had discussions with at least one carrier to subsidize users' wireless data usage, with the company paying to offset data used by subscribers.
Google transparency report among first to report disconnection
Following yesterday's unexpected disappearance of Syria from the Internet, service to the war-torn country seems to be completely restored with no feared large-scale attack by the Syrian government against the rebels. Both the state-run Syrian Arab News Agency and Google's real-time reporting have demonstrated that traffic is increasing in the country.
Aldermen voted, approved proposal to bring Gigabit Fiber to area
Google has officially announced that Grandview, Missouri is next in line for the search engine-provided Gigabit Fiber Internet service. No timetable for deployment has been announced, with the company saying that "it will still be a while" before the fiber deployment begins and customers can subscribe to the services.
First transfer with new protocol requires only an email to unlock
File-sharing network BitTorrent has revealed a "direct-to-fan" collaboration with music label Ultra. Using a new protocol called the BitTorrent Bundle, an interaction by the downloader -- such as providing information or even paying for the content -- is required before unlocking restricted content. The mechanism for secure distribution is embedded within the protocol, and compatible with existing BitTorrent clients.
Included display provides usage statistics, remaining allowance
AT&T has added to its range of 4G LTE connectivity devices with a built-in display. The AT&T Beam from Sierra Wireless is a USB modem that connects to the carrier's 4G LTE network, and like the MiFi Liberate, it comes with its own LCD panel to provide important details, such as the strength of the signal and how much data is remaining in the monthly allowance.
Knowledge of TD-LTE spectrum to help Sprint in rollout
SoftBank's CEO is continuing to talk-up his company's $20.1 billion offer to buy out Sprint, by claiming SoftBank's experience with 4G will help the US carrier. Network enhancements, such as SoftBank's single frequency network technology for reducing interference, will help Sprint in the long run alongside other benefits, according to CEO Masayoshi Son.
Shawnee joins Olathe, Kansas City for Fiber rollout in state
Google is expanding the coverage of its existing gigabit Internet offering from Kansas City into another area of Kansas. The city of Shawnee, just outside of Kansas City, will gain Google Fiber in the future, and joins the high-speed connection construction waiting list alongside Olathe in the same state, Austin in Texas and Provo, Utah.
Vine now supports front-facing cameras
Vine, the six-second video sharing service from Twitter, has undergone its first major upgrade and now offers support for the iPhone's front-facing camera and Twitter mentions in posts and comments. Vine's launch in January was tainted by a major security glitch that resulted in some users being logged into the wrong account. However, after a few patches the issues where sorted out and quickly grew in popularity. While currently limited to iOS devices, an Android version is in the works and is said to include the ability to tag friends to a clip.
Final merger confirmed one week after MetroPCS shareholder vote
T-Mobile USA and MetroPCS have now completed their merger, and are now one company. The formation of the new entity, known as T-Mobile US and trading on the New York Stock Exchange under the ticker symbol TMUS, comes one week after MetroPCS shareholders voted to approve the merger after some improvements, a process which started in October last year.
TomTom apps feature latest maps
TomTom has launch the latest version of its navigation app for iOS devices in the App Store. Available for all of the regional app variants, the update includes the most recent versions of TomTom's maps, as well as improved planning support. Users can now change their pre-planned routes without having to start over completely. Options are included for modifying the starting point, destination, and departure time, allowing users to see how it affects the drive and arrival time.
VTel charges $35 per month for gigabit Fiber connections
An Internet service provider has announced the launch of its fiber-based Internet service in the Vermont area, but this time it isn't Google. Vermont Telephone Company (VTel) has started to offer its customers gigabit Internet speeds over its new fiber optic network, and is managing to do so at half the price of Google Fiber.
May be sign of behind-the-scenes talks with VirnetX
Apple has partially reversed course on its decision to change the way iOS 6 handles VPN connections, a modified Apple support document reveals. "Apple no longer plans to change the behavior of the VPN On Demand feature of iOS 6.1 for devices that have already been shipped. The 'Always' option will continue to work as it currently does on these devices," the company says.
Taxpayers still owe $3.3 million construction debt payment annually
The seven-member Provo Municipal Council approved Google's offer to buy the iProvo fiberoptic network. The unanimous vote makes Provo the third area to adopt the search engine as an internet provider. While Google has to pay the area $1 for the right to use the extant fiber, the locality has a number of additional expenses related to the network that it must still pay, not previously announced.
Ties to Sprint network may make service more useful
Mobile data provider FreedomPop has announced an expansion of its 3G coverage through support for Sprint. The change is effective immediately, and should enable nationwide access, solving some complaints about gaps in the carrier's service. The company sells cases and hotspots that enable otherwise Wi-Fi-only devices to get 3G/4G connections; each accessory comes with 500MB of free 4G data per month.
Tips to stop juggling gigabytes and start using the cloud
We live in a world positively soaked in data nowadays. Fortunately, the capacity to store that data has gotten bigger in volume, smaller in physical size, and cheaper per gigabyte as time progresses. Gone are the days where you'd have to lug a Zip disk around (remember those?) or stick your iPod into disk mode. At worst, you're carrying a USB drive with you -- though really, you should be relying on the cloud for by now. The issue is figuring out just what you're going to be keeping up there.
Street View Wi-Fi data collection issue strikes again
Google has been fined 145,000 euros ($189,230) by a government regulator in Germany for collecting data from Wi-Fi connections in the country. The fine stems from when the company's Street View cars were in operation between 2008 and 2010, inadvertently collecting data packets from individuals and businesses as the fleet drove around the country.
Hopes to connect rural locations with unused TV spectrum
An Internet service provider based in California is offering residents connections using white spaces. Cal.net is using unallocated spectrum, left over after the transition from analog to digital television in 2009, to allow rural customers in areas without 4G LTE and land-based connections a wireless Internet connection.
Leaked markets get LTE coverage later than expected
Sprint has expanded its 4G LTE network to cover another 21 markets, the same locations detailed in a leak last week. The carrier is also adding another 34 markets to its existing 170-market LTE-rollout roadmap, which means that its 88 currently-active LTE markets will be joined by another 204 areas by the end of this year.
Google would modernize existing deployment, fulfill original iProvo goal
An update on the official Google Fiber website has revealed that the search engine is attempting to expand into Provo, UT. While the deal is not yet finalized, Google has said that it will "commit to upgrade the network to gigabit technology and finish network construction so that every home along the existing iProvo network would have the opportunity to connect to Google Fiber."
Microsoft enables two-step verification to Microsoft Accounts
Microsoft has enabled two-factor authentication for Microsoft Accounts. Leaked earlier this month, users will see the option to add the extra security measure through the account management menu over the next few days, and can download an authenticator app from the Windows Phone store or use third-party apps on other platforms, according to a company blog post. Apps and devices that will not work with the new security measure directly can have application-specific passwords created in order to function.
Wii Shop still running, move designed to push consumers to Wii U
Despite the console still being available, Nintendo has announced it will shut down the larger part of the Wii's online abilities on June 28. Channels being discontinued are the Nintendo Channel, the News Channel, the Forecast Channel, the Everybody Votes Channel, and the Mii Contest Channel. Also being lost are data exchange, and in-game messaging on most games.
Holder claims Wi-Fi violates patent originally granted to AT&T in 1996
Apple has once again attracted the ire of a non-practicing entity. Patent troll Wyncomm claims that Apple is violating a patent that AT&T developed (that Wyncomm now holds) regarding simultaneous voice and data transmission. Patent number 5,506,866 covers "Side-channel communications in simultaneous voice and data transmission," and was filed by AT&T in 1993, with a granting of the patent in 1996.
Areas of Los Angeles, Memphis to get coverage
Sprint is rolling out its 4G LTE network in a number of new markets later today, according to a leak. The network, which is said to offer speeds between 6 to 8Mbps and a peak of 25Mbps, may end up being turned on with little to no fanfare in a similar way to how areas of New York City, Washington D.C., and San Francisco quietly went live in February.
Echoes earlier Fox threat to cease over-the-air broadcasts
CBS is considering a possible move to cable if Aereo continues to operate, following comments from another broadcaster. Chief executive Les Moonves voiced approval of Fox Chief Operating Officer Chase Carey's earlier threat to cease over-the-air broadcasts, though it such an action is unlikely to occur in the first place.