Wireless company said to overcharge for wiretaps, pen registers for three years
AT&T's budget wireless brand Cricket Communications has agreed to pay back more than $2.1 million in charges stemming from government-related wiretaps and pen registers. In a statement from the US Attorney's Office for the Northern District of California, the company is settling in order to bring an end to the allegations that it overcharged the government for services and facilities tied to electronic surveillance for three years.
Consumers get 15GB for the price of 10GB plan, double data on select plans extended
AT&T is launching a new plan offer starting November 18, giving existing and new customers looking for a bargain in data an additional option to consider. The company's current 10GB Mobile Share Value plan is getting a 5GB boost in shared data, while maintaining the $100 per month price. The wireless carrier says that the plan will be offered for a limited time, but doesn't give a date for the end of the promotion.
International plans come with data, tiered voice as alternative to monthly Global plans
AT&T has launched a new option for travelers wanting to take their smartphones, tablets, or laptops with them abroad. A new set of tiered, one-time charge packages called AT&T Passport can now be added to an existing account, allowing customers to use their devices in over 150 different countries. The plans are designed to work in addition to domestic plans, while offering fixed rates and small data caps for international travel.
Layoffs to be completed by the end of October according to Sprint SEC filing
More changes are coming for the third-ranked wireless carrier in the United States, according to a filing with the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). The SEC filing indicates that Sprint has started a workforce reduction plan that affects an undisclosed number of workers. While the number of layoffs coming when CEO Marcelo Claure was brought aboard earlier in the year wasn't stated, he did inform employees that the cost-cutting measures were an inevitability.
Compact all-in-one prints borderless photos, includes wireless printing functions
A new all-in-one printer was recently released by Epson, positioned to be useful for families and photographers that want a device that doesn't take up much space. The Epson Expression Photo XP-860 Small-in-One offers a number of features to consumers, including borderless photo printing, scanning and sharing to Facebook, a wireless connection, copying, scanning, two-sided printing and faxing.
High-speed TransferJet adapters pass data between nearby devices at up to 375Mbps
Toshiba will be attempting to make TransferJet more prominent in the US and Europe, by releasing adapters for the high-speed wireless data transmission technology. The manufacturer is planning to use the Sony-created technology to provide quick transfers of data between devices located physically close to each other, with the dongles shipping to Europe later this year.
Content of third event in three weeks unknown
US wireless carrier T-Mobile and mercurial CEO John Legere have scheduled a new "Uncarrier" event for September 10. It is unknown what will be discussed at the event that the company has tagged with "this time it's personal," but formal introductions of new services and other carrier initiatives are probable. Also possible is a discussion of new Apple-launched devices, as the Cupertino manufacturer has scheduled major product announcements for September 9.
Prototype proves concept, retail release expected by 2016
If all goes as according to plan, a new wireless charging platform will be launched in the next two years. The ultrasonic charging method, called uBeam, was introduced three years ago, with the first pre-production prototype functioning and charging devices. The technology uses relatively high-energy ultrasound to transmit the energy with a broadcasting transducer at the "base" with a similar receiver attached to a device.
Debate not over, Librarian of Congress needs to re-evaluate in 2015
President Barack Obama has signed the "Unlocking Consumer Choice and Wireless Competition Act," making cellphone unlocking by individuals or businesses legal again, at least temporarily. The bill reauthorizes an exemption to the Digital Millennium Copyright Act, which allowed unlocking. The matter will come up for debate before the Library of Congress in 2015, so the bill signature today isn't a permanent fix.
Internal card replacement for 'slightly older' MacBook Pros and Intel-based iMacs
After the release of the qCard 2, QuickerTek saw a need in other older Apple devices to be updated to the most recent Wi-Fi speeds. Issuing a card to update wireless in some "slightly older" MacBook Pros and Intel-based iMacs, the mCard aims to give a little more life to machines in future operating systems before consumers are forced to replace them.
D-Link now shipping new 802.11ac Wireless Access Point device
D-Link has announced the release of the DAP-2660, a new high-power 802.11ac wireless access point. Enclosed in a low-profile white housing, the DAP-2660 can be installed on the ceiling or wall-mounted in locations that require access to a wireless signal. Its maximum wireless signal rates are up to 300Mbps using a 2.4GHz band, and 867Mbps using the 5GHz band. The access point supports advanced radio management features such as band steering, airtime fairness and load balancing.
Foundation discovers phones less than three years old broadcasting visited locations
Recently, the Internet advocacy and legal group the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) discovered that a number of Android devices could be sharing location information when not connected to Wi-Fi. The Android phones in question periodically send out information on Wi-Fi networks it knows in order to speed up the process of connecting. However, in doing so it gives off previous location data based on stored wireless networks in "human language."
Mailit 6 e-mail plug-in now available for FileMaker 10 through 13
Dacons Limited has announced the immediate availability of Mailit 6, an email plug-in for FileMaker. Integrating full email capability into FileMaker 10 through 13, Mailit v6.0 adds background receiving of email to the existing set of functions that already allow background sending. Messages are now retrieved in the background while FileMaker is otherwise responsive. Priced at $70 for a single user license, a full line of developer and network licenses are also available.
Guarantee begins June 27 for new customers activating a new line of service
At Sprint's Happy Connecting event in Chicago, the company made a number of announcements, including a 30-day risk-free trial of the network. Building upon the expansion of LTE and Sprint Spark, the carrier is looking to give customers a satisfaction guarantee on its services. With a mobile data network that is witnessing a large expansion and overhaul of 3G services, Sprint is displaying faith in its network to customers.
Eight streaming services can now be accessed for free, Rhapsody unRadio unveiled
In a twist to the Uncarrier presentation in Seattle, T-Mobile announced that is offering free music streaming to its customers. "All the top streaming services," such as iTunes Radio and Spotify, can be streamed by smartphone customers without affecting their data usage. On top the streaming perk, T-Mobile also revealed its own radio service that it developed in a partnership with Rhapsody. Rhapsody unRadio will be available to the public June 23.
Uncarrier event spurs iPhone seven-day, unlimited data 'test drive' free of charge
During a lively event at the Paramount Theatre in Seattle, T-Mobile delivered new points to its Uncarrier revolution. In an attempt to solicit new customers and put heat on its competitors, the company is now offering a "test drive" of its services. The carrier is working with Apple to allow seven-day trials of its "data strong" network on the iPhone 5s.
New Wi-Fi Audio Extender streams music from smartphone or tablet
D-Link today announced its new Wi-Fi Audio Extender DCH-M225, designed to stream music from a smartphone or tablet to any connected speaker with a 3.5mm audio jack. Doubling as a wireless range extender, the device is capable of broadening an existing network's range with its 802.11n technology, and delivers up to 300Mbps in transfer speed. Compact in form, the extender can be moved easily from room to room. Users can stream music playing using an AirPlay- or a DLNA-enabled device, and the DCH-M225 is compatible with any wireless router brand and speaker. Priced $50, the D-Link Wi-Fi Audio Extender can be purchased online.
Corsair launches palm-sized 1TB wireless hard drive
Technology company Corsair has announced the release of its palm-size wireless hard drive, the Voyager Air 2. Featuring 1TB of storage, the Voyager Air 2 offers additional file storage for tablets, phones and computers. Its rechargeable battery removes the need for cables, and its latest version software includes close synchronization, simplified media browsing and AirPlay streaming to Apple TV. The Voyager Air 2 functions with both USB 3.0 and USB 2.0 connections, and can be partitioned if desired. Priced at $180, the drive will be available this month.
Dual band range extender uses wall plug, extends range of signal up to 30 meters
Diamond Multimedia has released a new product in its wireless range extender line. The dual-band WR600NSI, which plugs directly into a wall socket, acts as a wireless repeater, range extender and wireless bridge device with 802.11n technology. The WR600NSI supports 300 Mbps over both 2.4GHz and 5GHz bands. The wireless range extender can also take wireless signal and convert it to a wired Ethernet connection.
Adesso releases Tru-Form Media 1500GB wireless ergonomic keyboard and mouse
Computer peripheral manufacturer, Adesso, has announced its release of a new wireless, ergonomic keyboard and mouse set, offering users two input devices with ergonomic design. Featuring a wireless range of up to 30 feet, the Tru-Form Media 1500GB keyboard and mouse set includes a "gently-sloped" keyboard with a split design that accommodates the natural positioning of hands, wrists and forearms; the accompanying laser mouse also aims to reduce hand strain. The keyboard's membrane key switches provide improved tactile response and a quieter typing experience, lasting up to five million keystrokes.
WW2 combat simulation Combat Mision: Red Thunder released
Battlefront.com has released a major new title in its series of tactical WW2 combat simulations, entitled Combat Mission: Red Thunder. Set during 1944, when Operation Bagration took the Soviet forces from the swamps of Belarus to the gates of Warsaw, players can play out historical battles and campaigns or create customized quick battles. Combat Mission: Red Thunder is a standalone game, and features new game engine features such as backpack and vehicle flamethrowers, tank riders, hit decals, and more. The game is available for download for OS X (as well as Windows), priced at $55.
Pre-encrypted wireless router now shipping
Networking hardware producer, TrendNet, is now shipping its new Extreme Performance AC1900 (TEW-818DRU) wireless router. Powered by a 1GHz processor, high-power radio amplifiers for extended wireless coverage, and Gigabit Wireless AC networking speeds, the unit is designed to optimize wireless connections within the home. The TEW-818DRU is pre-encrypted, to help with mitigating the threat of hacking based on using unchanged default login credentials. The unit is priced at $260, and is available from retailers now.
Move likely used to bolster nationwide cell offerings by Dish
The first round of FCC wireless bandwidth auctions has concluded, with the Dish Network purchasing all of the 1,900MHz license nearly uncontested. With nearly no competition, Dish shelled out $1.6 billion for the acquisition under the cover of a shell company, as expected.
QuickerTek releases upgrade option for Apple Base Stations' wireless antenna
QuickerTek, a producer of antennas and RF products for Apple computers, has released an upgrade for the current Airport Extreme and Time Capsule base stations. The replacement wireless antenna offers dual-band 2.4GHz and 5.8GHz Wi-Fi, and triples the built-in range of the two devices. Users can arrange and use their Apple wireless device wherever desired, and easily position the upright and articulated antennas for optimal use. The upgrade is capable of boosting Apple TV as well as any other wireless networking task. The standard Airport Extreme base station does not have a built-in port to connect to the antennas, so QuickTek has a special attachment for its installation. Pricing starts at $400 for the Extreme Base Station antenna upgrade.
New deal requires 50 percent of device paid off prior to trade
Not that long after implementation, wireless carrier T-Mobile is readying significant changes to its Jump program. Starting February 23, new signatories to the frequent upgrade plan can trade in a phone whenever desired -- but users must have paid at least 50 percent of the original retail price of the device, and must also trade in the phone. The $10 monthly fee and breakage insurance remains unchanged.
Wireless speaker uses induction rather than pairing
FAVI Entertainment has released a new speaker for smart phones and tablets that allows wireless connection to a device without the hassle of pairing. The Audio+ Set to Connect speaker merely requires the device to be placed on the docking space in order to connect to the speaker via induction. No fiddling with Bluetooth or Wi-Fi is required.
Inductive charging, screen-mounted solar panel, movement charging touted
Apple is experimenting with alternative charging methods that could be used in the rumored iWatch, claims the New York Times. Rather than charging a smart watch by plugging a wire into a port, Apple is apparently looking into using magnetic induction charging for the device, with a solar-charging layer added to a curved glass screen also touted by report sources.
Auction of 10MHz airwaves expected to fetch at least $1.6B
The Federal Communications Commission has started its first major wireless spectrum auction in six years, with more auctions set to occur over the next 24 months. The Wall Street Journal reports today's auction will be for H-block spectrum, a block of 10MHz paired airwaves which is expected to be sold for at least $1.6 billion, with Dish Network likely to be the biggest winner.
Firmware update version 2.0.3 now available for Canon EOS-1D X camera users
Canon's EOS-1D X DSLR camera has received a firmware update that is now available. Bringing new levels of accuracy and versatility to the EOS-1D camera's AF and exposure systems, more customization options are also available. Improved low-light performance and an expanded minimum shutter speed in auto ISO are included as well.
WiSA-compliant Sharp Blu-ray player ships this spring
Sharp has revealed its Universal Player and Wireless Bridge at CES, with the company claiming it to be the first Wireless Speaker and Audio (WiSA) Association-compliant universal player system. The SD-WH1000U's support for the WiSA open standard means that it is capable of streaming uncompressed 24-bit 96kHz sound and 1080p video wirelessly to a compatible receiver.
Can the oversized earbuds intended for vigorous exercise take the reps?
Finding a good pair of headphones for a midnight jog is hard. An over-the-ear set is either flopping around on your head, falling off, or collecting pools of sweat. Earbuds pierce ear canals in order to assure a tight grip -- or the troublesome cord that gets caught in your arm or cuts off your windpipe as it has somehow wrapped itself around your neck after the earbuds have fallen out several times. Looking to get at least one piece of trouble out of the way, iHome has put out a new Bluetooth set of earbuds -- the iHome Bluetooth Wireless Sports Earphones. Will they be a necessarily piece of equipment for an athlete? Or are they destined to be left in the locker room to collect dust? Read our review and find out.
FCC chair claims need to prevent Obamacare website-like debacle in auction
Citing a need for the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to "get the enabling technology right," new chairman Tom Wheeler has delayed a spectrum auction. The auction pays television broadcasters for unused spectrum left unused after the shift to digital television. The FCC will then auction off the reclaimed spectrum to wireless carriers to expand wireless networks.
StarTech's travel router connects mobile devices to wired networks
StarTech has announced the availability of its latest product, the Wireless-N Travel Router, which lets users create a WiFi hotspot from a wired network connection. Able to connect wireless-only mobile devices (such as tablets or smartphones) to a wired network, the Wireless-N Travel Router can be powered from an iPad wall charger or any computer USB port.
PlayOn announces availability of PlayCast channel in Roku channel store
MediaMall Technologies, owner of PlayOn media server software for streaming
video content, has announced the availability of its new PlayCast channel in the Roku channel store. PlayCast allows users to send any video from a PC browser to a Roku-connected TV, much like Google's Chromecast service. When used with PlayOn, PlayCast gives users the ability to cast videos from an Internet browser. PlayCast is available in the Roku channel store; PlayOn, which can be accessed through subscription, is available in monthly, annual and lifetime payment options, starting at $9 per month.
Addonics' Wi-Fi Drive Adapter enables wireless sharing of USB drive, micro SD card
Addonics Technologies has announced its network device for wireless sharing of a USB drive or micro SD card, or for use as a wireless hotspot. The Wi-Fi Drive Adapter can share drive or card content upon insertion into the adapter. To share an Internet connection, a hotspot can be created by connecting the Wi-Fi Drive Adapter to a Local Area Network with an Internet connection. Including one RJ45 socket for 10/100Mbps Ethernet connections, the Wi-Fi Drive Adapter supports the 802.11b/g/n standard with a range of up to 150 feet. Priced at $50, the Addonic Wi-Fi Drive Adapter can be purchased online.
Series branded as Immaculate Wireless Sound
Bang & Olufsen has introduced its first wireless speakers, taking advantage of the 24bit/96kHz WiSA standard. The lineup can be used as separate modular components, or as a complete set comprising the compact BeoLab 17 bookshelf speakers, the BeoLab 18 floorstanding columns, and the BeoLab 19 subwoofer. Electronista attended the company's Manhattan launch event to hear if the new set fulfills its promise of "Immaculate Wireless Sound."
New router boasts USB 3.0 connectivity, beamforming technology
Networking company Netgear has launched its newest dual-band 802.11ac wireless router, the Nighthawk AC1900 Smart Wi-Fi Router (R7000). The Nighthawk combines a powerful 1GHz dual-core processor with a USB 3.0 port for peripheral connectivity and Netgear Beamforming+ to boost speed, reliability of connection, and best possible range for Wi-Fi 802.11ac connectivity in the home.
Wireless speaker fits in car cupholder
Accessory maker iCreation's Siri and S Voice-enabled Bluetooth wireless speaker, SpeeCup, was launched yesterday. At eight inches tall, the speaker is intended to fit in a car's cupholder, as well as be conducive for listening in various other settings, such as a boat, RV, or at a desk. SpeeCup's range is standard for Bluetooth speakers -- up to 30 feet -- and its battery capacity can last up to 20 hours. Compatible with most Bluetooth-enabled devices, the SpeeCup is sold online in three colors (black, white and red) for $130.
Win a Minx Go portable Bluetooth speaker
Since 1968, Cambridge Audio has been in the business of making amplifiers, tuners and later CD players. Fast forward to 2013, and the company has taken on building speakers for both the budget-minded and the most discerning audiophile looking for the best of the best. On the consumer end of the scale is the Minx wireless speaker range. The Minx Go Bluetooth speaker is the smallest of the bunch, but promises to offer "big music anywhere." Electronista has one to give away to our readers.
Neutrino Thunder D3 expected for release by end of September
Akitio announced its upcoming release of its latest external storage product, the Neutrino Thunder D3. With Thunderbolt and USB 3.0 ports, the Thunder D3 is set to be available by the end of September. The two-bay unit is designed to hold 2.5-inch hard drives or SSDs with a drive height of up to 15mm, enabling greater versatility than other form factor enclosures. The Thunder D3 will be available in capacities up to 4TB, and upon release can be purchased online from Akitio, Amazon and retail outlets, though pricing has not yet been announced. For reference, however, the similar Thunder Duo enclosure starts at $300 with no drives.
Win one of two Satechi Bluetooth wireless smart keypads
Ever since Apple first brought their Bluetooth wireless keyboard to the market, fans and newcomers alike have cursed the design for its lack of numeric keypad. Oh sure, it's still possible to get the classic wired keyboard from Apple with a numeric keypad, but who wants to be shackled to their desk with a wire these days? Finally there is a wireless solution, the Satechi Bluetooth wireless smart keypad, which is the perfect compliment to Apple's Bluetooth keyboard. MacNN has two of these to give away to our readers.
BearExtender 1200 shipping on Aug 15
BearExtender has announced the availability of two new Wi-Fi products designed for Macs. The first, the BearExtender 1200, is a 1200mW receiver that works on the 2.4GHz 802.11n band. Featuring an upgraded high gain 5 dBi antenna and new high sensitivity receiver, the BearExtender 1200 offers up to 70 percent more power than the original BearExtender. The device is expected to ship on August 15, and preorders are currently being accepted online at the discounted price of $40. Meanwhile, the BearExtender Turbo is planned for release in October and will bring 802.11ac wireless capabilities to any Mac with a USB 3.0 port.
D-Link N300 cloud router, cut to $23
Currently, Rakuten.com has the D-Link wireless N300 cloud router for $35, which is 36 percent off the list price of $55, and until July 8, buyers can save $12 when coupon code '4E10552' is used at checkout lowering the price even further to $23 with free shipping. This router features speeds of up to 300Mbps with four Ethernet ports, and is able to let users keep an eye on things while on the go with the myDlink Cloud Services App. A one-year limited warranty is included from D-Link.
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.
Wi-Fi boosting, weather resistant cases highlight of some models
D-Link today expanded its line of myDlink-enabled Cloud Cameras with the introduction of the Pan & Tilt Day/Night Network Camera (DCS-5020L); the Outdoor HD Wireless Day/Night Network Camera (DCS-2332L); the Day/Night Cloud Camera 1150 (DCS-933L), and the Cloud Camera 1050 (DCS-931L). Each model is designed for around-the-clock surveillance and monitoring.
New consumer bill of rights cuts contracts from three to two years
The supervisory Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) unveiled a new code of conduct for wireless providers, which (among other things) allows customers to cancel wireless contracts after two years, similar to US contracts, without cancellation penalties. Other notable changes include caps on roaming charges with a corresponding cessation of service, and the ability of the consumer to request a subsidized phone's unlock after three months as a customer in good standing.
Fee consistent with industry, added effective May 1
AT&T Wireless has started billing customers $0.61 per month as a mobility "administrative fee." The new charge came into effect May 1, and has been applied to all consumer bills, in addition to business accounts where the user pays the amount due. The new fee will add nearly $500 million to AT&T's coffers in a year.
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.
New model removes 30-pin dock in favor of wireless connectivity
Boutique sound system manufacturer Geneva has announced the new Model S Wireless Bluetooth streaming speaker set. The new Model S Wireless offers completely re-engineered components than the original Model S, higher-grade electronics, better speakers, drivers and the convenience of wireless connectivity.
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.