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Tag Archives: WiFi

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 ]

WiFi Dowsing Rod

WiFi Dowsing Rod (Images courtesy Mike Thompson)
By Andrew Liszewski

Mike Thompson designed this clever wifi network detector in the shape of a dowsing rod to apparently make it easier for anyone to use. “By basing the design for a wireless internet detector on century’s old technology, the user feels immediately at home with the product, whilst feeling less intimidated by the simple shape and natural materials.”

But I’ll be honest here, I’ve tried using a dowsing rod before and quite frankly, I’m not sold on the technology. My results were less than successful. But wifi detectors? I’ve never had a problem getting them to work. So maybe for his next project Mike could design a dowsing rod that looks and works like a wifi network detector, but for finding sources of water.

[ miket – WiFi Dowsing Rod ] VIA [ Next Nature ]

AT&T Windows Mobile Users To Get Free WiFi, Finally

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By Chris Scott Barr

If you happen to have an iPhone, or a Blackberry on AT&T”s network, then you get free WiFi at any AT&T hotspot. That can be rather convenient at times, as WiFi is generally faster than the 3G speeds you would get otherwise. Of course if you’re using any other smartphone, the wireless giant still asks you to pay extra if you want to use one of their hotspots. Thankfully, they seem to have come around.

As of September 14th, all users with a Windows Mobile smartphone (and an accompanying data plan) will be able to get in on the free wireless access. It’s only taken them how long to wake up and offer this?

[ AT&T ] VIA [ Ubergizmo ]

Barnes & Noble To Offer Free Wi-Fi In All Stores

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By Chris Scott Barr

Barnes & Noble is definitely my favorite bookstore to frequent. It just has a friendly and inviting environment, with plenty of chairs to sit in, and a coffee bar. The one thing that I’ve always disliked is that while they do offer Wi-Fi access, you have to pay for it. I’m not a fan of Starbucks, but I have thought about sitting in a book store and doing a bit of work, and that would be the perfect place. Well thanks to a partnership with AT&T, Barnes & Noble has announced that all 777 locations will now have free Wi-Fi for all.

This is no doubt a result of their push into the e-book realm, what with their new e-reader application (for your PC, Mac and iPhone) and all. While I don’t see book stores going the way of the dodo, I to think that they will need to innovate in order to stay on top of things. It’s good to see that my favorite one is doing their part to keep up (even if the whole free Wi-Fi access has been a long time coming).

[ Barnes & Noble ] VIA [ GearLog ]

KDDI Shows Off WiFi Equipped microSD Cards

WiFi microSD Cards (Image courtesy Tech-On!)
By Andrew Liszewski

Thanks to companies like Eye-Fi, WiFi equipped SD cards are readily available allowing you to upload photos or videos from a digital camera to your PC or online sharing service as you take them. But KDDI has just shown off the first WiFi equipped microSD cards at Wireless Japan 2009, which is currently running until the 24th.

The company actually showed off two different cards, one manufactured by Mitsumi Electric Co. Ltd. and one by Renesas Technology Corp. and while both used different wireless hardware, they were each IEEE802.11 b&g compliant. And while there aren’t any digital cameras that use microSD cards, non-smartphones that don’t feature built-in WiFi should benefit from the new cards, though pricing, availability and even storage capacities have yet to be determined.

[ Tech-On! – KDDI Exhibits microSD Card with WLAN function ] VIA [ SlashGear ]