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Tag Archives: WiFi

Um, No Thanks! Windows 10 Will Share Your WiFi Passwords With Your Friends By Default


Sharing is caring, but Windows 10 may have pushed the sentiment a little too far. A new feature in the upcoming Windows 10 is called WiFi Sense, and it aims to create a network of shared hotspots between you and your contacts. Unless prompted otherwise, the OS will share your WiFi passwords, albeit encrypted, with your Outlook, Skype, and Facebook friends and contacts. This means whenever they wander within range of a hotspot you’ve previously logged in to, they will automatically have access. And this is enabled by default. Sure, you can uncheck the sharing box when you log into a new network, but if you’re upgrading from a previous version of Windows, all your previously stored passwords will be shared by default. In order to avoid this, you have to know about it in the first place, and then go to “Wi-Fi—> Network settings—> Manage Wi-Fi settings, and uncheck basically all the boxes you can see.” Considering most of our “friends” are barely friends at all, but are people like former high school classmates that we looked up to see if they’d gotten fat and bald as we hoped… Microsoft may want to turns this admittedly well-meaning feature into an opt-in, rather than an opt-out.

VIA [ Gizmodo ]

The June Oven Is A Smart Oven


We live in an age of intelligent appliances. The latest to receive the smart treatment is the countertop oven. The June Oven is a connected appliance that helps you cook a meal with sensors, thermometers, HD cameras, and a companion application. Not only does June features six Carbon Fiber Heating Elements that heat up faster and more efficiently than similar machines, two fans for circulating the hot air and keeping an even temperature throughout, an integrated Core Temperature Probe, an HD camera that recognizes popular foods, and a built-in digital scale, it also has an NVIDIA Tegra K1 Quad-Core ARM Cortex-A15 2.3 GHz processor to do all the calculations needed to offer the best possible cooking advice and temperature control. Its WiFi module connects to your network, and allows you to control the device from anywhere. This means better, tastier food, prepared more easily. And for such a high-tech package, you will of course have to spend a pretty penny: $1,495, with a $60 deposit now and shipping in Spring 2016.

[ Product Page ] VIA [ Werd ]

Amazon’s Dash Button Lets You Re-order Everyday Stuff At The Press Of A Button


Amazon is all about eliminating as much friction between your wanting a product, and them delivering it to your doorstep; the more seamless and unintrusive the process is, the more likely you are to make the company money. Their latest effort in that field is the Dash Button, which lets you re-order everyday household items by simply pressing the button on a little dongle. Offered by invitation only to Amazon Prime members, the button is setup through the Amazon app, and connects to your WiFi. If you’re doing the laundry and you see you’re running low on detergent for example, simply press it; you’ll then be get a notification on your phone allowing you to either cancel, or continue your order. It’s a smart idea, and comes on the heels of a previous gadget, the Dash, which was a Wifi enabled barcode scanner. We’re not sure how popular that device became, but there’s a feeling Amazon is testing the waters with a lot of these things, and we wouldn’t be surprised if at least some of it eventually stuck as a normal, ubiquitous ordering mechanism amongst shoppers.

[ Product Page ] VIA [ Engadget ]

Deal Of The Day: 20% Off On Bayit Smart Wi-Fi Socket


The Bayit Smart Wi-Fi Socket lets you turn your appliances on or off from anywhere in the world. It plugs into your wall outlet and connects to your WiFi network. Once in, you plug your appliances into and and are then free to toggle the power on or off from anywhere with Internet access. Want to turn your coffee maker on the way home from work? Easy. You’re worried you left the iron on after you rushed out the door in the morning? Make sure it’s off with a simple press of a button. It’s normally $50, but you’re being asked to pay $39.99 with today’s deal.


[ Get The Bait Wi-Fi Socket ]

This Is What Your WiFi Signal Looks Like In 3D


If you’re old enough to remember CRT TV’s with the big bunny ear antennas, you’re likely to understand how easily radio signal strength can be affected by even a tiny move of the receptor. A similar principle applies to WiFi signals, and the above visualization drives the point straight home. It’s a 3D map of YouTuber CNLohr‘s WiFi signal in his home, albeit that of the relatively small area (360x360x180mm) within his CNC mill. See, to get this done he hooked up a ESP8266 WiFi module to his laptop, which gave him signal strength in real-time at 500Hz. He then mounted the module inside a large gantry-style cnc mill and took several long exposure shots, which he then composited in Voxeltastic, [CNLohr’s] own HTML5/WEBGL based render engine. The results can be seen above, and although it looks completely organic, it follows a pattern: “the signal strength increases and decreases in nodes and anti-nodes which correspond to the 12.4 cm wavelength of a WiFi signal.” And it also goes to show that if you’re having problems with reception, you might want to consider just moving your router a tiny bit before you start cursing it.

[ CNLohr’s Instructables ] VIA [ Engadget ]

Radio The Size Of An Ant Developed, Doesn’t Require External Energy


Oh, the jokes to be had with this. Or more like, the cliché jokes to the tune of “what is this? A radio for ants?” Well, it is a fully functional radio that’s about the size of an ant, though we don’t expect the little insects from deriving any type of pleasure from it.

Stanford engineer Amin Arbabian has managed to create a wireless radio just a few millimeters across that is so energy efficient that it doesn’t need a battery. Instead, it harvests power from the incoming electromagnetic waves. The Stanford radio chip is designed to compute, execute, and relay signals. What sets this technology apart is that it all happens on a single chip that doesn’t rely on any exotic materials or theoretical principles.

The last time we covered a device that “harvests energy from the surrounding electromagnetic waves”, it was for the RCA Airnergy device, which purported to be able to charge its internal battery in this fashion. Back then the consensus was that this was impossible, or at least the energy gathered was so negligible that it would be impossible to charge anything with it. But this radio is different since it actually uses so little energy itself that a single AAA battery could power it for 100 years. Arbabian even managed to fabricate 100 of these tiny radios, just to see if they’d work, and they do. This technology could help facilitate the development of the “Internet Of Things”, where all your devices are interconnected and online, for added functionality.

It’s all a proof-of-concept for the moment, but the fact that it can be done, and more importantly, done at a low cost, might signal a bright future for the technology.

[ Stanford Page ] VIA [ ]

This Is Why You Can’t Get WiFi Signal In That One Room In Your Home

WiFi Apartment

How is it possible that you got this powerful router, and yet this one bathroom on the second floor never gets any darn WiFi? Jason Cole, a PhD student in physics wondered the same thing, but instead of cursing at his phone like most of us do, he decided to investigate. The picture above is the result of his efforts. After “mapping his own apartment and assigning refraction values to the walls, then applying so-called Hemholtz equations to model the electromagnetic waves’, he obtained a clearer view of what happens to the signal as the router is moved around. And while he did determine that the most optimal spot to place it was in the center of his apartment, he couldn’t do that, so he used his work to find the second best spot, one which would generate the most “tendrils” of coverage to the most places.

While most of us don’t have the knowledge to find the optimal spot for our router, the image above does highlight the fact that moving things around even just a little bit can make a rather large difference and that after some trial and error, you may be able to improve your situation dramatically.

[ Jason’s Blog (math heavy) ] VIA [ Engadget ]

Nest Protect Revolutionizes Smoke Detectors


Nest already has a thermostat on the market that’s being hailed as revolutionary. And it is, at least in the world of thermostats. Now the company is hoping to do the same with another, often neglected, household appliance: the smoke/CO2 detector. Nest Protect not only looks heaps better than a standard detector, but has so many features it puts them to shame. For one, it connects through Wifi to your home network, which allows you to configure each device to know which room its been installed in. This means that it not only alerts you when there’s smoke, but it tells you which room the smoke was detected in! Also, if you’ve just burnt your grilled cheese sandwich but there’s no actual fire, Nest Protect will alert you that it’s detected smoke in a calm voice, before setting off an alarm; you’re then free to wave at it to inform it that it’s fine and nothing is on fire. That’s right, a simple wave of the hand avoids you having to get up on a stool to press the reset button as the alarm blasts in your ears.

Finally, the Nest Protect can serve as a night light, lighting up to guide your path to the kitchen or bathroom in the dark as it detects your movement. But, in a nice touch of product design, it wont light up in the bedroom so you don’t wake up your partner. All in all, we’re really impressed with the Nest Protect, and at $129 we think it’s a steal. Available in November at Amazon, Apple, Best Buy and The Home Depot.

[ Product Page ]

What the French Fry: Burger King Gives Free ‘Wi-Fry’ to Promote New ‘Satisfries’

WTFF Burger King

Burger King is leaving giant crinkle fries all over New York, Los Angeles, and Chicago in a grand attempt to promote their new reduced-fat fries called “Satisfries.” The pun doesn’t end there. They extend it to the actual promotional campaign, which consisted of leaving the aforementioned giant fries in random places and giving people free Wi-Fry.

They’ve dubbed their campaign #WTFF, which stands for What the French Fry.

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