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Archive for Wi-Fi

Airnergy charger: Electricity from WiFi

Posted in Wi-Fi by Conner Flynn on January 11th, 2010

The Airnergy Charger wants to fulfill your wildest gadget charging dreams, by harvesting electricity from Wi-Fi networks, and converting it into electricity with a high enough efficiency to actually make it practical. It was being demoed at CES, where it charged a BlackBerry from a 30% charge to full in roughly 90 minutes, using Wi-Fi as the power source.

All you need is a Wi-Fi network and you are good to go. RCA expects the USB charger to be available this summer for only $40. We can’t complain about that price. And who doesn’t want to get electricity from Wi-Fi?

McDonald’s Wi-Fi to be free

Posted in Wi-Fi by Conner Flynn on December 16th, 2009

mcdonalds_logo.jpgMcDonald’s will be offering free Wi-Fi hotspots soon, as well as the usual obesity and diabetes. So you won’t have to pay $3 for every two hours starting in January. They are hoping that McDonalds becomes your new favorite hangout and that you will buy something.

Aside from that, McDonalds has also restructured their menu, adding more coffee and desserts so you can hang around and surf online.

Turn your Windows 7 Laptop into a Wi-Fi hotspot

Posted in Wi-Fi by Conner Flynn on November 2nd, 2009

Turn your Windows 7 Laptop into a Wi-Fi hotspotVirtual Wi-Fi was going to be a Windows 7 feature that would turn your PC into a Wi-Fi access-point so devices could share a connection without needing special software. It didn’t make it into the final cut on the OS, but this free app finishes the work that Microsoft abandoned.

Some of the code that Microsoft Research used to virtualize one Wi-Fi card as several adapters still made its way into Windows 7, allowing Connectify to complete the job.

Wi-Fi bracelet tracks kids and Grandmas

Posted in Wi-Fi by Conner Flynn on October 15th, 2009

Wi-Fi bracelet tracks kids and GrandmasEkahau’s T301W Wi-Fi Bracelet will tell you exactly where the person is who is wearing it. And it doesn’t use GPS. Instead it uses Wi-Fi. But the T301W only works on preconfigured Wi-Fi networks that are coupled with additional beacons. Basically you build your own Wi-Fi triangulation network in a small area.

That may not be the best option for you, but it’s a neat idea. For $60 you get a waterproof wristband that operates up to a month between recharges. Hospitals can track patients, family members can locate one another at an amusement park etc.

Bug Labs releases Wi-Fi base

Posted in Wi-Fi by Conner Flynn on September 22nd, 2009

Bug Labs releases Wi-Fi baseIf you like Bug Labs open source gadget hardware kit that was launched two years ago, you probably had one complaint. That the main base lacked built-in Wi-Fi. Well, good news. Bug Labs are addressing that issue with the BUGbase WiFi.

The base allows you to add smaller modules and create the gadget of your choice and it now has integrated Wi-Fi and Bluetooth. That means you can now build wireless gadgets using the Base, the available modules and Bug Labs’ SDK. If you already have a BUGbase, they are also releasing a BUGWiFi module to add Wi-Fi to your current Bug gadgets.

Ball Pen with Wi-Fi detector

Posted in Wi-Fi by Conner Flynn on April 22nd, 2009

Ball Pen with Wi-Fi detectorHere’s another useful device to have in your pocket. The “Ball Pen With Wi-Fi Detector”. This tiny ball pen will help you find a good signal and choose the best place to get access to the internet. Armed with this pen, you will Always find the best Wi-Fi networks.

It integrates an 802.11B and G Wi-Fi detector and strength meter in the form of 4 LEDs. Just push the button and the pen will automatically search for a nearby Wi-Fi hotspot. The pen really is mightier than the sword. I’ve never seen a sword do that.

Wi-Fire extends Wi-Fi signals

Posted in Wi-Fi by Conner Flynn on January 19th, 2009

Wi-Fire extends Wi-Fi signalsThe Wi-Fire is a USB device that will boost Wi-Fi signals by using a directional antenna and a powerful receiver that works with it’s proprietary software. With this device your computer can detect and access wireless sources within a 1,000 foot radius. And the folks at Maximum PC put it to the test.

They were surprised at being “350 feet from the router, with the signal passing through an insulated, double-thick interior wall and a steel garage door, the Wi-Fire delivered TCP throughput of 14.5Mb/s.” It’s only $79 and makes Wi-Fi a bullet that goes through said walls and garage doors.

Nokia intros Home Music WiFi radio

Posted in Wi-Fi by Conner Flynn on December 2nd, 2008

Nokia intros Home Music WiFi radioIt’s safe to say that Nokia has been busy. Earlier we had a look at the N97. Now Nokia has dropped the Home Music, the company’s first internet radio. It’s designed for the office or your smart home, as the device features WiFi and Ethernet connectivity, along with typical USB port, aux line-in, analog and digital outputs.

If for some reason you can’t break away from FM, it also features an FM receiver and a 10W speaker. No pricing info yet or shipping date, but we’ll let you know when we hear something.

LED light bulbs as wireless access points

Posted in Wi-Fi by Conner Flynn on October 7th, 2008

LED light bulbs as wireless access pointsResearchers at Boston University believe they can combine LED bulbs with wireless networking technology. The technology will be able to communicate data using light at speeds up to 10Mbps, and can even be adapted to existing power lines. Interestingly, the bulbs will use the same diode for lighting the room and providing the network connection, flickering “like tremendously fast signal lights.” They seem pretty lit up about it.

The researchers are working on the project in conjunction with Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and the University of New Mexico, thanks to a $18.5m grant from the US National Science Foundation. The researchers don’t have full working models yet, but they believe it’s totally workable. I have to wonder if this would have any adverse effects on humans, especially those who are light sensitive and prone to seizures.

Netgear unveils new wireless N upgrade kit

Posted in Wi-Fi by Nino Marchetti on July 30th, 2008

Netgear Wireless-N Upgrade Kit (WNEB3100)

Netgear is bundling a few of its  wireless 802.11n products together so one can add 5GHz wireless n speed to an existing network. This bundle is called the Netgear Wireless-N Upgrade Kit (WNEB3100) and pricing is set around $150.

The Netgear Wireless-N Upgrade Kit (WNEB3100) consists of Netgear’s 5GHz Wireless-N HD Access Point (WNHDE111) and RangeMax Dual-Band Wireless-N Adapter (WNDA3100). Netgear says this kit lets you quickly get 802.1n 5Ghz wireless up and running by plugging the WNHDE111 into an existing router or gateway. Adding it to an existing 802.11b/g network will, in effect, give you a dual-band network.

D-Link goes green with trio of Wi-Fi routers

Posted in Wi-Fi by Shane McGlaun on July 28th, 2008

D-Link Xtreme N Duo Media RouterThe rate at which Wi-Fi networks are popping up in homes and offices is impressive. To save money and to have less of an impact on the environment many of the components and accessories we use with our wireless networks and computers are going green.

D-Link announced today that it is the first company to offer green Wi-Fi networking gear for home networks. According to D-Link its Green home network Wi-Fi routers are capable of saving up to 40% in power usage. Power savings are gained from the ability for the routers to detect cable length and link status and adjust power accordingly. The routers can also be programmed to turn the Wi-Fi radio off to save power.

Ascom handset uses Wi-Fi to chat with others

Posted in Wi-Fi by Nino Marchetti on July 3rd, 2008

Ascom i75 MessengerSeeking a replacement solution to those old walkie-talkies you use around your large mansion has arrived in the form of some Wi-Fi enabled handsets. The Ascom i75 Messenger, though mainly targeted towards office and medical settings, could serve you well at home as well.

The Ascom i75 Messenger delivers what Ascom describes as “advanced messaging and highly versatile telephony as well as push to talk capabilities.” It has a virtual SIM-card which lets you hop from one handset to another in case of failure of the one you are using.

Parabolic WiFi adaptor boosts range by 600%

Posted in Wi-Fi by Conner Flynn on April 25th, 2008

Parabolic WiFi adaptor boosts range by 600%You can make your own long-distance WiFi accessory from various items, but Hawking Technologies has another option if hacking isn’t your thing. The Hi-Gain Wireless-300N is a high-gain dish adaptor that will hook up via USB and can apparently extend wireless range by up to 600-percent. Supporting WiFi in b, g and n, they also claim to give you up to twelve times the data.

They are calling it “the most powerful 802.11n USB network adapter on the market”, and it supports WEP, WPA and WPA2 encryption. Another selling point is the dual-antenna. The idea is that you can avoid signal interference by pointing it away from other electronics, though I’m not sure that’s a big problem for most people.

Slingshot to launch pre-paid wireless Internet service

Posted in Wi-Fi by Shane McGlaun on April 3rd, 2008

SlingshotThe last notebook I bought was a Dell XPS M1330. Part of the reason I opted for that machine was that I could get a Verizon wireless broadband modem inside the machine. The reason I wanted Verizon was that they would allow me to pay a day rate to use the wireless Internet service rather than paying $70 a month for something I would use a few times per year at most.

I have always wondered why if we can have pre-paid cellular phone service, we can’t have pre-paid wireless Internet? I guess I wasn’t the only who wondering about that, today Slingshot announced that it would be launching a wireless broadband pre-pay service in the US starting in June 2008.

Aircell receives two critical FAA approvals for its in-flight broadband service

Posted in Wi-Fi by Shane McGlaun on April 2nd, 2008

Aircell In-flight BroadbandLast week we talked about the completion of Aircell’s coast-to-coast network for providing Internet access to passengers on commercial airlines. This service marks the end of one of the last locations that we can’t get broadband access. You would think if a company could set up a coast to coast network for providing in-flight Internet that we could roll broadband out to rural areas of the country as well, but I digress.

Aircell announced today that it has received two FAA certifications needed before its service can become operational. The first certification is a Supplemental Type Certificate that permits the installation and operating of Aircell’s network on commercially operating Boeing 767-200 aircraft. What’s not clear to me is if that is the only aircraft that is approved to operate the network.