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Tag Archives: connectivity

KnowRoaming is the Smarter, Cheaper, and Easier Way to Roam

KnowRoaming

One tip that frequent travelers dole out to non-frequent travelers is this: buy a local SIM the moment you land, because international roaming rates will be the death of your wallet. Local SIMs are usually sold for cheap and even though you might not consume all the credits from your initial top up, at least you won’t be slapped with atrocious roaming rates by your regular network.

There used to be no alternative to this–but that was before KnowRoaming came along. KnowRoaming is a sticker that you’re supposed to stick onto your SIM card using the included applicator. Once affixed, you’ll be able to connect with local networks wherever you are in the world by firing up the KnowRoaming app.

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Feed Your Pets More Intelligently With This Connected Feeder

Unlike the joke Crib Dribbler from yesterday, the Pintofeed is a real product that we’d actually like to purchase. It’s a WiFi-connected mechanical pet-feeding device. Once setup, you simply load up the 5lbs or 10lbs compartment with dry food pellets and at the press of a button from your smartphone, serve up a 1/8 cup portion of feed to your loved house companion. Over time, the application will learn your pet’s feeding habits and create an automated feeding schedule. You can even use this information to slowly trim his food intake if you’ve noticed your pet has been packing on a little too much fat.

There are a number of fail-safe features that make the Pintofeed reassuring to own. For instance, you will be notified every time your pet is fed, and if food jams the mechanism, you’ll also get an alert. There are two motors, should one of them fail, and there’s a battery that lasts three months in case the power goes out.

Considering how many products in your home are getting a connectivity upgrade, it’s about time that the lowly pet feeder got the same treatment. Currently, Pintofeed is in the fundraising phase on IndieGogo, and a $99 pledge will secure a June 2013 delivery.

[ Project Page] VIA [ GearHungry ]

Speed Up Your Internet By Combining Multiple Connections Into One

You’re at an Internet cafe and you’re surrounded by a ton of WiFi networks. You got your phone in your pocket, which has a 4G connection. And there’s an Ethernet cable if you don’t want to use any of the hotspots. Normally, you’d pick one of these and download as fast as that one lets you. But what if you could combine all of them and create one super connection? Connectify’s Dispatch software lets you do exactly that. You can even combine several WiFi connections into one, by purchasing a secondary USB WiFi card (or getting a free one if you pledge more than $100). Whether it’s your 4G/3G tethered cellular device, along with another WiFi connection, with a dial-up to boot, you can easily double or even triple your download speeds. The program features a cost-awareness feature that can set priorities for Internet connections so that more expensive connections like 3G/4G will only be used when cheap or free connections become slow or disconnect.

It’s brilliant, only it’s not quite available. It’s on Kickstarter and needs some more funding. $40 pledges gets you the software, while $65 gets you early access to it. Bump that up to $100 and you’ve got the complimentary USB WiFi card as well as a T-Shirt.

[ Project Page ]

[CES 2012] J5 Wormhole Switch Makes Peace Between Macs And PCs

By David Ponce

The Wormhole Switch from company J5Create does something most of us simply assumed couldn’t be done: easily transferring files between PCs and Macs. No need for a network, no need for drivers or to screw around with settings. You simply plug one end of the Wormhole cable into a USB port on each machine, and you’re done. You can even control the pointer of one computer with the mouse of the other. They immediately behave a little like one giant screen, with the pointer seamlessly scrolling from one screen to the other; file transfer is then a simple matter of drag and drop. Now, I say Mac to PC, but the truth is that it doesn’t have to be limited to that: PC/PC, Mac/Mac. It’s a useful tool to carry around with your laptop; just think of how many times you’ve wanted to share a file with your friends and not done so for lack of an easy way to do it.

It’s $40 and available at Fry’s and MicroCenter.

[ Product Page ]