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4G Decoded: WiMAX, LTE and the Next Generation Cell Phone Networks

Part of being a smart consumer is understanding how technology works, why we use it the way we do, and what that barrage of acronyms and PR jargon means. We're here to help you make sense of it all, and to give you a better appreciation of how those transistors, pixels, and antennae come together to deliver the conveniences of the modern world to you. If you thought our guide to 3G tech was co...

Samsung at CES: Smart TVs, Sliding Tablets and Tweeting Fridges

By Terrence O'Brien and Leila Brillson What Samsung got right is exciting: thin, beautifully designed bodies and bright, vibrant screens. The new Notebook 9 Series weighs in at under three pounds and is a half-inch deep, and the CES audience gasped when Tim Baxter, president of Samsung America, removed the black frame from around his "smart TVs", the D8000 and D7000. The Galaxy player, Samsu...

Cutting the (Other) Cord: The Best Wireless Internet Options

A reader asks: I'm intrigued by the idea of getting rid of my DSL Internet service, and switching to one of these 4G wireless services I've seen advertised. My question is whether it's actually viable at this point. I have a desktop and a couple laptops, and two phones we use on our home Wi-Fi network, and wonder if these services can handle all that. I have no idea how to research this, so j...

The Facebook Phone Saga: What We Know So Far

News of a forthcoming Facebook smartphone has been flying around the Web this week, but all the rumors, denials and ambiguous public statements have made it pretty difficult for the casual tech follower to separate fact from fiction. While the story continues to mature with each passing day, here's a brief history of its evolution, and what we know thus far. Rumors of a Facebook phone first beg...

Femtocells Can Help You Get a Better Cell Phone Signal at Home

A reader asks: Share I recently moved apartments, and was startled to discover that I get little to no cell phone signal in my new pad, which obviously sucks. Calls drop or don't come through, and my phone chews through the battery. To make a call I have to go on my roof or across the street. Short of switching to a new service provider, which I don't want to do, I've read there are gadgets that ...

11 iPhone Smoking Apps for Kicking the Habit

So, you've decided to quit smoking. That's a great first step, but where do you go from here? Do you hurl your cache of Lucky Strikes into the incinerator? Call your local hypnotist? Or do you just blaze through an entire pack in one sitting, until even the faintest smell of tobacco sends you into a fit of dry heaves? We can't help you choose a path to carcinogenic emancipation, but we can tell y...

Facebook Places Shares Where You Are

Share Since March, at least, we've known that Facebook Places has been coming. We also knew that, despite its built-in audience, Facebook would have to offer more functionality than established location-based services like Foursquare if it hoped to succeed. Finally, after months of testing, Zuckerberg and crew have taken the cover off Places, and entered a brand new realm of usage. You'll be abl...

The Best Android Twitter Apps

It's no secret that the Android Market is considerably smaller than Apple's App Store, but this shouldn't get Android users down when searching for the Twitter app that will maximize their micro-blogging. There are more than enough high-quality Twitter apps available in the Market, and, as Android continues to grow, the offerings will only get better. Here's a list of some apps that let us tweet...

Hands On With the BlackBerry Torch

We got a few minutes with BlackBerry's newest phone at today's Torch/BlackBerry OS 6 launch event. Offering a middle ground between the touch-based Storm and full-keyboard smartphones, RIM's Torch opts for both a touch interface and full slider, QWERTY keyboard. Loaded with a new UI and much-needed WebKit Web browser, BlackBerry OS 6 is a big step forward for the company, so keep reading to get o...

MOG Mobile Sets Itself Apart: Hands On

Until recently, if you wanted to listen to music on your smartphone through a premium-paid service, you only had a few options, such as Rhapsody and Rdio. Fortunately, MOG, another music-streaming service, comparable to Rhapsody and Rdio, has just appeared on the scene with apps for both iPhone and Android. Read on to see how MOG sets itself apart....

Android's Froyo: More Than Just a Frozen Treat

With the release of Froyo and the barrage of high-end handsets, Android has gone from an interesting but decidedly geeky smartphone experiment to a serious contender for your cellular buck. Whether you're upgrading from an older device, fleeing the cult of Apple, or converting from another platform like BlackBerry, there are a few things you'll need to know as you embark on your sugar-injected j...

This Week in Design: Pared-Down Flashlights and Zany Umbrella Dryers

The Web is teeming with the unrealized ideas of both students and established designers who set out to produce astonishing renderings and prototypes for unusual products. Unfortunately, due to the lack of time, money, or technology, many of those products never progress from the planning stages to the mass market. But that doesn't mean we can't salivate over them, nevertheless. We've decided...

Best Twitter Apps for iPhone

During the iPhone's nascent stages, users had limited choices when it came to Twitter applications. But now, there are myriad services that allow you to blast 140-character tweets, and keep up with your buddies, too. So now, the problem is weeding out the pretenders from the contenders – not that we're complaining. So to help you decide which app is best for you, we're offering a brief ...

Best Backpacking Gadgets for Your Summer Travels

If you're like many young students graduating from high school or college, you're probably planning a little time off -- perhaps a trip abroad in that great American tradition of backpacking. But stuffing whatever you happen to have lying around your room into a bag is a terrible idea for such a journey. You'll want to be properly prepared, and, if you're anything like us, that means making sure...

Is Google's Nexus One Doomed to Obscurity? The Big Apple Thinks So

When Google launched the Nexus One way back in January, the smartphone was supposed to be a serious contender against the iPhone, and was expected to serve as exemplar of the Android handset. By circumventing the carriers' brick-and-mortar stores, Google also hoped to usher in a new era in cell phone sales; however, it appears to have doomed itself to obscurity, instead. With no presence in AT&am...