Nokia Trials Free Wi-Fi in London

A London bus. The last thing you’ll see if you cross the street distracted by free Wi-Fi. Photo Charlie Sorrel

If you live in London, and own a portable device with Wi-Fi, then today is your lucky day. Nokia has just launched a trial service offering free Wi-Fi in Central London. Better yet — if it works, then the Finnish company will turn it into a full (and still free) service.

The trial will be concentrated around Oxford Street in the West End, but also has hotspots in Victoria, Marylebone and Westminster. Users won’t need to sign up or sign in. It’ll be just like joining the Wi-Fi network that your neighbor foolishly left open.

The 20 Megabit pipes will be limited to 1Mbit per user, to stop the tubes from getting clogged, and if the trial is successful, Nokia plans to add 1,000 hotspots around London.

Of course, the awesomeness of this scheme is offset somewhat by the fact that you have to get near Oxford Circus to use it. Then again, it’s most likely to be useful to tourists who want to avoid expensive roaming charges. In this case, the situation could be ideal.

Free wi-fi in central London promotion launched [BBC via The Verge]

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Netgear’s WNDR 3800 with ReadySHARE, the roll-your-own cloud service

Netgear’s stable of dark gray rectangles of joy has swelled to include the premium edition WNDR 3800, which comes with two features uncommon to most home routers. First is the Clear Channel Selector, which analyzes the wireless traffic and switches to the quietest channel to prevent dropouts. Second is ReadySHARE Cloud — using the router’s USB port, you can attach an external HDD and access the data anywhere there’s an internet connection. The only downside is the iOS / Android app for the service costs an extra $2.99, which seems unnecessary considering you’re already paying $180 for the device itself. There’s a press release in it for you, so why not take a wander down after the break?

Continue reading Netgear’s WNDR 3800 with ReadySHARE, the roll-your-own cloud service

Netgear’s WNDR 3800 with ReadySHARE, the roll-your-own cloud service originally appeared on Engadget on Tue, 30 Aug 2011 10:01:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Samsung announces three Wave handsets, dripping in Bada 2.0 and ChatON

It’s shaping up to a be a busy IFA for Samsung. Barely 24 hours after announcing its new ChatON messaging client, the manufacturer is now gearing up to release a troika of new Bada 2.0-powered Wave handsets — the Wave 3, Wave M and Wave Y — set to make their debut this week in Berlin. Leading the pack is the Wave 3, which leaked earlier this week. Powered by a 1.4GHz processor, this little guy boasts a 4-inch WVGA Super AMOLED display, 3GB of memory (along with a 32GB microSD slot) and a five megapixel, auto-focus-enabled shooter. The Wave M, meanwhile, packs slightly less juice, with a 832MHz processor, a 3.65-inch WVGA screen and 150MB of onboard storage (with a 2GB inbox and 32GB microSD slot). Rounding out the collection is the Wave Y, with its 3.2-inch HVGA display, 832MHz engine and two megapixel camera. All three feature your usual smattering of WiFi / Bluetooth 3.0 capabilities and will ship with ChatON and Samsung’s Social Hub baked into their DNA. No word yet on pricing or availability, but you can find out more in the full press release, after the break.

Continue reading Samsung announces three Wave handsets, dripping in Bada 2.0 and ChatON

Samsung announces three Wave handsets, dripping in Bada 2.0 and ChatON originally appeared on Engadget on Tue, 30 Aug 2011 03:38:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Walk and Talk For Hours Using Shoe Power

The power created from walking creates a bridge from the phone to a cellular network, which dramatically extends battery life. Image courtesy of InSetep NanoPower

Taking the stairs could mean more time between charges for your phone.

Researchers at University of Wisconsin at Madison have developed a shoe insert that uses the impact of your strides to generate electricity for your phone. The prototype “footwear-embedded harvester” consists of two pouches filled with nanoparticle liquid metal called galinstan. It generates electrical current as it is forced through narrow channels, a process the researchers call “reverse electrowetting.” Power is stored in a battery in the arch of the shoe.

Other kinetic energy harvesters use piezoelectrics, which feature crystal sheets that polarize and produce energy through movement. The drawback is the technology generates so little power that an iPhone 4 wouldn’t notice the boost.

The power sneaker features the option to plug a phone into the shoe, but researchers Tom Krupenkin and J. Ashley Taylor sought a less cumbersome approach. They found the biggest draw on your phone’s battery occurs when it’s searching for Wi-Fi or a cell tower signal, so they attached a Wi-Fi transmitter directly to the harvester. The shoe, not the phone, powers the connection to wireless signals. They say that means your battery can last up to 10 times longer.

The device is also able to be directly connected to a phone, which could be useful for soldiers toting night-vision goggles, or marathoners who rely on their iPhone 4’s music for motivation. And with no moving parts, the system requires minimal maintenance, making it a boon for those in areas with little or no electricity.

Krupenkin and Taylor plan to commercialize the technology through their new firm, InStep NanoPower. They’re courting shoe makers to design an incorporated piece of footwear.

BlackBerry Bold 9930 review

It’s been something of a long time coming, this emboldened Bold. We got our first glimpse of the thing in February, spent some quality time with it back in June, and since then have sat around eagerly awaiting its release. Now, here it is. From a distance, or at a quick glance, it looks little changed from 2008’s Bold 9000. But get closer, pick it up, and the difference is astonishing.

RIM has gone to great pains to talk up this device’s high-end design, its luxurious stylings, its sophisticated aesthetic. We’re far from Vertu territory here, but the first time this phone hits your palm you know a lot of people spent a lot of time making it feel just right — even if it still looks just the same. Of course, it’s what’s inside that counts, so join us as we find out whether the soft and hard bits beneath the surface can do the business too.

Continue reading BlackBerry Bold 9930 review

BlackBerry Bold 9930 review originally appeared on Engadget on Tue, 16 Aug 2011 09:01:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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IOGEAR USB Sharing Station connects to WiFi, cuts the cord on four of your devices

You’re so over corded gadgets, but you can’t justify replacing every device in the house with a pricier wireless version just because being leashed to a USB printer or external hard drive is a slight inconvenience. We get it, and it looks like IOGEAR does too. The peripheral company’s Wireless 4-port USB Sharing Station makes any connected gadget WiFi-enabled, letting you wander far away from those desktop devices without dropping your connection. The compact hub includes one USB 2.0 port on the front and three on the rear, along with an Ethernet port and wireless antenna, and it’s compatible with a variety of USB gadgets, including printers, hard drives, memory card readers, scanners, and webcams. Oh, but why would you want to wander far from your webcam, you ask? A remote webcam can be used as an instant, inexpensive home security system, providing access from anywhere within your wireless network. Sure, $100 may seem like a lot to spend on a wireless USB hub, but considering the cost of WiFi-enabling four individual devices, it’s probably the way to go.

IOGEAR USB Sharing Station connects to WiFi, cuts the cord on four of your devices originally appeared on Engadget on Fri, 05 Aug 2011 03:09:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Gogo And American Airlines Now Streaming In-Flight Movies to Your Laptop

American 1

I’ll never get tired of this photo of American Airlines’ in-flight entertainment. Photo: Charlie Sorrel

Now, customers of American Airlines can watch in flight TV and movies on their own computers, instead of being forced to stare at the terrible seat-back screens of old. Gogo Vision, as it is called, is provided by in-flight Wi-Fi company Gogo, and has been installed on all 15 of AA’s Boeing 767-200 aircraft.

Right now, you’re probably having the same reaction as me. Why would you want to pay to watch content on your own laptop computer, when you doubtless have movies and TV shows on there already?

On the upside, the “introductory” prices aren’t bad, costing more or less the same as services like iTunes. A TV show will cost you a dollar, and a movie will be four bucks. If you don’t manage to watch the whole thing then you can finish up back on the ground, TV shows stay available for 72 hours, and movies for 24 hours. You will not have to pay for Wi-Fi to access the service, either.

If these prices stick around, this could be a great emergency service for nerds who have forgotten to load up on in-flight entertainment ahed of time.

I see a bigger advantage, though. I’m over six feet tall, and I’m also terrible at picking a good seat. Often I end up in the seat with the in-flight entertainment machine taking up half of the legroom. If these bulky boxes could be replaced with invisible Wi-Fi waves, that would only be a good thing.

Gogo Vision Goes Live on American Airlines [Gogo press release]

iPass wants a world of interconnected WiFi, a roaming ‘renaissance’

Some ideas are undeniably sensible, and zero-click WiFi roaming across carriers and countries is one of them. That’s why iPass has set itself the unenviable but likely profitable task of convincing global telecoms giants to overlook their differences and form an “Open Mobile Exchange” based on its cloud-based authentication technology. It won’t be the first to embark on such a voyage of persuasion: Skype is already on the case and Boingo is too (at least, sort of), but there are still plenty of fragmented hotspot services out there waiting to be crushed and blended by an effortless roaming technology. We just hope iPass has perfected its pleading email template: “Dearest Carrier, have you considered…?” Full PR after the break.

Continue reading iPass wants a world of interconnected WiFi, a roaming ‘renaissance’

iPass wants a world of interconnected WiFi, a roaming ‘renaissance’ originally appeared on Engadget on Thu, 07 Jul 2011 10:18:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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99% of Android devices vulnerable to authentication attack

By this point, just about everyone knows how risky connecting to an unsecured wireless access point can be. Unfortunately, many public Wi-Fi hotspots forego security in exchange for convenience, and that ultimately leaves users exposed to attacks. Based on new research from the University of Ulm in Germany, Android users appear to be in even […]

500-GB SeaGate Wi-Fi Hard Drive Streams to iPad

Seagate’s GoFlex Satellite comes with iPad software to browse its 500GB content

How does 500GB storage for your iPad sound? That’s kinda what Seagate is offering with its new GoFlex Satellite, an external hard drive with iOS-friendly Wi-Fi built in.

The drive is much like Seagate’s other GoFlex drives, and you can hook it up to any computer via USB2 or USB3. The difference is the wireless (802.11n) radio. This supports up to three connections and lets you access any media on the drive through a web browser.

However, if you have an iPad you can use a companion app — GoFlex Media — to browse the drive. This will let you view and play back any iOS compatible file, be it music, video, a document, or a photo.

You can’t send the content to other apps (yet) but you can at least cache content locally. Also, the drive’s Wi-Fi can’t connect to an existing network, so you’ll have to manually connect to the drive from your device, switching away from your home or work network as you do so.

The drive costs just what you’d expect: $200, or the same as a regular pocket drive and a MiFi wireless router together. It’s not cheap, but it sure is convenient. Available soon.

Seagate GoFlex Satellite review [CNET]

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