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Tag Archives: WiFi

Soyntec Wiffinder Bags Feature (You Guessed It) Built-in Wi-Fi Detectors

Soyntec Wiffinder Bags (Image courtesy Soyntec)
By Andrew Liszewski

Apparently there’s still a market for Wi-Fi detectors, so much so that a company called Soyntec actually builds them into the laptop bags and backpacks in their Wiffinder line. A small LCD on the outside of the bags usually shows just the current time, but a push of a button will tell you if there are any Wi-Fi networks nearby, and their signal strength. It doesn’t seem to indicate whether or not the Wi-Fi signals are encrypted, which is a pretty vital piece of info, so I’ll let you make the call on whether or not this feature makes the ~$47 bags worthwhile.

[ Soyntec Wiffinder Bags ] VIA [ Gear Diary ]

SIMFi Turns 3G Into WiFi, Makes Too Much Sense To Ever Happen

wifi_simBy Evan Ackerman

WiFi? In my SIM card? It’s more likely than you think, if Sagem Orga’s SIMFi SIM card ever becomes a commercial reality, which it won’t, because it’s awesome and wireless providers aren’t. Eye-Fi showed us that you can stuff all kinds of useful things into absurdly small packages, and Sagem Orga has managed to cram a full blown WiFi router into a SIM card about the size of a hiccup. Somehow, the card taps into your phone’s data network and makes it accessible to any WiFi device:

“The new generation USIM card “SIMFi” can be inserted in any type of classic handset to act as a universal and interoperable HSPA/Wi-Fi router for any device.”

What’s that you say? I can just stick this in my phone and give internet to my laptop? Why, that would make my life so much better and more convenient and sunshine and rainbows and I won’t have to worry about forking over another sixty bucks a month so that I can check email on my phone and my laptop!

Aaaand this is why the only way we’re going to see one of these SIMFi cards is through some kind of severely restricted and ludicrously expensive carrier program. Yes, we can’t have nice things because when somebody invents one, our wireless carriers take them out back and beat them with a money brick.

I hope I’m wrong and that AT&T lets me buy a SIMFi for a realistic one time cost and stick it in my iPhone, but they won’t. We’ll let you know how many of your firstborn children you need to sell to get one of these if it ever becomes available.

[ Sagem Orga ] VIA [ SlashGear ]

I’m Lovin’ It – Free Wi-Fi At 11,500 McDonald’s Locations

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By Chris Scott Barr

I do my best to avoid McDonald’s whenever I can. No, it has nothing to do with eating healthy or anything like that. Rather, I spent the better part of my teenage years working at one of those fine establishments and as a result have had enough of their food to last a lifetime. I will say that I now have a good reason to visit the golden arches; the free Wi-Fi.

On Friday McDonald’s opened up their Wi-Fi connections at 11,500 of their 14,000 US stores. That means there’s a good chance you’ll have unlimited free internet at your local McDonald’s restaurant. If you want to be absolutely sure before packing up your laptop and heading out, you can double-check which stores in your area are giving away free internets using their handy online tool.

[ McDonald's ] VIA [ Dvice ]

Compact Wireless Adapter

 USB 802.11b/g Mini Wireless Adapter (Images courtesy Brando)
By Andrew Liszewski

I can’t imagine there are too many people out there who are working with an ancient laptop that lacks built-in wifi, but PCs are a different story. And while this ultra compact USB wireless adapter from Brando is ideal for a portable device like a laptop, there’s no reason it can’t be used with a tower PC instead. It’s compatible with 802.11b/g networks, and the Brando website claims it has an effective working distance of 200 meters indoors or a whopping 830 meters outdoors, depending on the environment of course. Those numbers seem a bit dubious at best, and even if it doesn’t live up to its claims, it probably still works well enough to warrant its $23 price tag.

[ USB 802.11b/g Mini Wireless Adapter ] VIA [ The Red Ferret Journal ]

OhGizmo! Review: The Eye-Fi 4GB SD Card

p-sharevideo [ The following article is sponsored by Eye-Fi. The device was provided free of charge, and I am being compensated for the time I took to review the product. The opinions expressed are entirely my own. -Ed. ]

By David Ponce

No one really likes cables. And the more electronic devices we own, the worse it gets. Anything anyone does to do away with all the spaghetti-like clutter is a good thing by my book. So that’s why I’ve always been a fan of Eye-Fi, makers of an SD card with an embedded Wi-Fi chip. Not only because it allows me to do away with the always-hard-to-find USB transfer cable, it actually makes my camera more useful (well, not quite my camera, no fault of Eye-Fi, but more on that in a minute). How so? By making it a snap to actually offload pictures from it and sharing them with whomever I like. This happens to be the entire point of cameras, but being the lazy person I am I’ve been known to leave pictures in there forever.

So does it work? Absolutely. Keep reading for a short review of the product.

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Withings WiFi Body Scale Updates Twitter Every Time You Step On

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By Chris Scott Barr

When you’re trying to lose weight, sometimes it’s hard to find the proper motivation. Sure, having a goal in mind, or even a pair of old jeans that you’re hoping to fit into can help. But sometimes you need something a little stronger than your own will to keep you going. I’m talking about peer pressure. No, you don’t need a bunch of people standing around telling you that you’re overweight. However, if all of your peers know your exact weight at all times, you might feel pressured into doing something about it. If that sounds like the kind of prodding you need, then you might want to check out the Withings Wifi Body Scale.

I’m still no fan of Twitter, but this has to be one of the more interesting uses of it that I’ve seen. The scale uses Wi-Fi to send a Twitter update every time you step on it. Now you can send all of your friends instant updates so that they can support you in your effort to reach your goal. You have to wonder how many people will keep an extra scale in their bathroom, just so they can check their weight before broadcasting it to the world. The Withings WiFi Body Scale will set you back a whopping $159.

[ Withings ] VIA [ Dvice ]

GM Brings WiFi Access To Your New Vehicle

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By Chris Scott Barr

There are some people in this world that need to be connected to the internet at all times. Sure, I’m an internet junkie, but I don’t think I’d ever go so far as to install a permanent WiFi hotspot in my car. GM announced that they will soon start offering Autonet, an always-on wireless internet solution for your car.

The device can be installed in your new van, SUV, truck or crossover starting later this month. Installation will set you back $499, while service is going to cost $29 a month with a 1GB cap. There is also a 5GB package, though no price was listed. The WiFi signal will reach up to 150 feet away, so you won’t be limited to using it just in your car. Great, now kids can check their Facebook and watch YouTube on long car rides. All my brother and I had was one GameBoy to fight over.

[ GM ] VI A [ CrunchGear ]

Borders Joins In The Fun, Offers Free Wi-Fi To All Customers

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By Chris Scott Barr

Back at the end of July Barns & Noble announced that you would be able to receive free Wi-Fi at all of their 777 locations. With a small coffee shop and thousands of books at your disposal, who wouldn’t be happy to hear that you can get free internet as well? It also made the choice of which bookstore to frequent a much easier one. Not content with being one-upped, Borders is now offering the same.

The bookstore giant announced that they have inked a deal with Verizon to supply free wireless internet to customers at all of their 500+ locations. Thankfully the offer is extended to all customers, not just ones that are subscribed to various Verizon services. Rather, when they connect, customers will see a splash screen with book recommendations and a sign-up form for the Borders reward program. Implementation is already underway, and should be completed around mid-October.

[ Borders ] VIA [ GearLog ]

Trendnet Wireless N USB Adapter

Trendnet TEW-648UB Mini Wireless N Adapter (Images courtesy Trendnet)
By Andrew Liszewski

If for whatever reason you’re still using a laptop that doesn’t have WiFi, or at least wireless N, Trendnet provides an easy and almost invisible upgrade with their new TEW-648UB USB wireless N adapter. It’s compatible with almost all popular flavors of Windows today (no mention of Mac support) and includes support for WiFi Protected Setup making it easier to connect to a password protected network. You’ll want to be aware that speeds max out at 150Mbps since it’s only a single-stream adapter, but since you’ll probably be buying it as an upgrade from a slower, older standard, I’m sure it’s a caveat you can live with. ~$25.

[ Trendnet TEW-648UB Mini Wireless N USB Adapter ] VIA [ Crave ]