We’re sure you’ve heard: Felix Baumgartner jumped from 128,000ft. Little did you know, this little fella was in there with him.
Tears of laughter were had.
VIA [ LikeCool ]
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 ]
We think that Michael Jackson (RIP) should have worn the above ski masks/hood masks. It would have been just as strange as his other media-avoiding getups, but it would have had a kind of geek cred that we could have easily gotten behind. The Pixelhead is made to order by one Martin Backes, and when worn makes you looks like your head was digitally manipulated to be removed from the image. It’s pretty clever, if not really creepy. It’s made from highly non-fade polyester (80%) and elastane (20%) in a multi-week process of printing and sewing. We’re… not sure why it takes that long, but hey, that’s the way it is. Also, the Pixelhead is a limited edition item, with only 333 being made. If you see yourself having the balls to venture outside looking like this, it’ll cost you a pretty $192.
By David Ponce
Dropping out of range of your WiFi router can be pretty annoying, especially when you’re in the middle of streaming a really good episode of Breaking Bad on your iPad while comfortably lazing in your yard. If you’ve got a 3G device, it might then just switch to cellular data and keep going, but you’ll be eating away at your very limited (and expensive) bandwidth. Better just splurge $40 on a Netgear WiFi booster. It takes your current 2.4Ghz 802.11 b/g/n signals and amplifies them so they reach out further. There’s no specific details on just how much further, but at $40, any little bit can go a long way.
It should be available later this summer.
By David Ponce
Of course that’s a metaphorical hotspot we’re talking about. In the glacial, barren land that caps our south pole not many people venture. But the Google Maps team ditched their famous cars and traded them for tripods and fisheye lenses, and went back to the south pole to get more pictures than they already had. This time they added a bunch of famous places, from the inside as well as the outside. Now we say they went, as if they ventured out on their own, when in fact
they teamed up with the Polar Geospatial Center at the University of Minnesota and the New Zealand Antarctic Heritage Trust, [and] 360-imagery of many important spots, inside and out, such as the South Pole Telescope, Shackleton’s hut, Scott’s hut, Cape Royds Adélie Penguin Rookery and the Ceremonial South Pole.
Hit the source below for a bunch of links pointing directly to the new places on Google Maps.
[ Google Maps Blog ]
By David Ponce
While not quite as elaborate as the SMELLIT device we wrote about earlier this month , this little box promises to add a little bit of smell to your Intertubes browsing experience. It’s called “Olly” and is basically a smelly chime. You set it up so that it releases a puff of fragrance at a predetermined event, whether it’s “tweets, a like on Instagram, or just your train running late.” The nature of the scent is up to you, and can be anything from a citrus essence, some gin or your partner’s perfume. Simply insert the fragrance into a removable plastic tray.
Olly is not on the market just yet as the company is looking for ways to make it at scale. But you can sign up to be notified when it’s ready.
By Chris Scott Barr
How fast is your internet? Mine is (theoretically) 20Mbps down, which isn’t too bad around here. Sure, there are other parts of the world where such speeds are on the slow end of things, but here in the US there still people that have to run on dial-up. So lets say you’re wanting to move to a city where you can boast about having the fastest internet in the country. Where do you move? Chattanooga, Tennessee.
It seems that the mayor of Chattanooga, along with the city’s power company, decided to upgrade the network infrastructure to handle the faster speeds while they were already upgrading the power grid. Supposedly coming at a “minimal cost” to the city, they were able to wire 100,000 homes with full 1Gbps up and down speeds.
Don’t start packing your bags just yet though, the speed comes at a price. While the company isn’t sure just how much they should charge for the service, they are talking in the ballpark of $350 a month. So unless you have a really good reason for needing that much bandwidth (and actually have a way to utilize it), I’d just stick with one of the other available broadband solutions out there.
By Evan Ackerman
The FCC, in a remarkable display of optimism, has decreed that as part of the national broadband plan that they’re about to present to congress, 100 million Americans will have 100 Mbps internet by, um, 2010. Good luck with that, fellas. Anyway, it’s not like the FCC is going to start offering you high speed internet packages for cheap; rather, they’ll be trying to get congress to pass legislation to prod telecoms into pulling the US out of a glorified dial-up age.
As part of that process, the FCC would like to know how fast your internet is. By finding out where broadband service is the worst (or doesn’t exist), they’ll know where to focus their resources, with the welcome side effect of exposing the differences between the kind of services that telecoms promise, and what they actually deliver.
So obviously, the most productive thing you can possibly do is to download a bunch of movies as you’re running the test, since the worse your internet is, the more likely that the FCC will pay attention and get somebody to do something about it.
By Chris Scott Barr
You know how your parents and grandparents always told you how much better you had it than they did as kids? I’m still in my 20′s and I’m already thinking those exact same things. For instance, when I rode the bus to school I generally just read books. Eventually I got a portable CD player which would drown out the noise while I read. What do some kids do now? They get on their laptops and surf the net thanks to the 3G Wi-Fi router installed on the bus.
Alright, so that isn’t exactly the norm, only one bus out in Arizona has this convenience. The idea was to transform the hour-long bus ride into more-or-less of a study hall. The 3G router has been in place since last fall and the driver said that the it has made a huge impact on the students. Instead of the usual rowdy school bus activities that you generally see, most kids are simply typing away on their laptops. Sure, plenty of the kids are probably on Facebook or playing games, but it doesn’t upset the district officials. They’re just happy that it keeps them quiet. Not to mention there are students actually using it to get their homework done before getting dropped off.