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Tag: WIRELESS

AT&T Buys T-Mobile: What Does It Mean for Consumers?

In the largest deal the wireless industry has seen since 2004, AT&T has agreed to buy T-Mobile USA for $39 billion in cash and stocks. In acquiring T-Mobile from parent company Deutsche Telekom, AT&T will pick up an extra 34 million wireless customers, and will provide service to about 43-percent of all U.S. cell phones, making it the country's largest network operator. At the end of...

Radios, Furniture Can Slow Down Your Wi-Fi Connection, Study Says

If it takes hours to download files on your Wi-Fi network, you might want to try clearing out some of your furniture and turning off your radios. According to a new study from Bristol University in the U.K., wireless connections can be "significantly slowed" by interference from electronic devices, or by physical barriers, like walls, doors, and other household items. The study, led by Prof....

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...

Gogo Inflight Offers Free Facebook for February on North American Routes

Airlines began offering in-flight Wi-Fi several years ago, but for some reason (exorbitant prices or misleading offers of "free" access, maybe?) people haven't exactly been jumping on board. An enticing new promotional plan from Gogo Inflight Internet could inspire a significant wave enthusiasm, though. Seven major airlines (Virgin America, United Airlines, American Airlines, Delta, AirTran, US...

Verizon's High-Speed 4G LTE Network Goes Live on December 5th

At a press conference today, Verizon officially unveiled plans for its new 4G LTE (long term evolution) network. On December 5th, the new, speedier network will go live in 38 metropolitan areas, including New York, Chicago, Seattle and, perhaps in time for CES, Las Vegas. The first two devices to take advantage of the new data network will be a pair of 4G USB modems: the LG VL600 and the Pantech...

Wi-Fi Radiation Harms Trees, Study Says

The Internet may be moving us ever closer to a paperless existence, but, according to a newly released study, it's still not that great for trees. As Mac World reports, the study was commissioned five years ago by the Dutch city of Alphen aan den Rijn, after officials noticed that many trees in the area were exhibiting inexplicable abnormalities, including bleeding and fissures in their bark. Such...

Firesheep Snatches Your Cookies to Break Into Your Facebook Account

It's no great secret that public and open Wi-Fi networks are not particularly secure. But developer Eric Butler's alarming new proof of concept, called Firesheep, shows just how simple it is to steal log-in credentials, and how many popular websites leave their users exposed. Many sites offer a secure log-in feature, but then rely on an unencrypted cookie to identify your session and keep you...

Find Out if Your Flight Has Internet at HasWiFi

For better or worse, Wi-Fi is an increasingly common amenity on flights, both domestic and international. The upside is that you can get work done in transit. The down side is that you're expected to get online and get work done in transit. Many now fly assuming they'll have Internet access at 30,000 feet, but that isn't always the case, and there hasn't been a particularly easy way to check...

'Free Public WiFi' Isn't a Normal Wireless Network. It's a Zombie.

If you've ever found yourself looking to hop onto a free wireless network while killing time at an airport, you've probably come across an available network called 'Free Public WiFi.' At first, you think you've hit the jackpot. It's free. It's public. It's Wi-Fi. Game on. A few seconds after you attempt to connect, though, you realize that this so-called wireless network doesn't actually provide...

'Human ++' Sends Vital Signs to Your Phone Over Body Area Network

IMEC, a Dutch research organization, has developed a wireless body area network (BAN), dubbed Human + +, which transmits data from the body, and sends alerts to a plain-old cell phone. According to New Scientist, IMEC uses electrocardiogram sensors, which are connected to a small transmitter hanging on a necklace, and short-range wireless nodes beam data every 100 milliseconds. After receiving...

Verizon LTE to Hit 38 Cities, 60 Airports by Year's End

Today, Verizon announced that 38 metropolitan areas (including New York, D.C., Atlanta, and Seattle) will be blanketed with its new high speed 4G LTE network by year's end. Verizon will also be covering 60 airports near metropolitan areas. The service is expected to hit 5 to 12Mbps for downloads, and 2 to 5Mbps for uploads. No word on pricing, but consumers will have to wait for the first half of...

How to Get Your Verizon Refund

Okay, so Verizon's agreed to pay $90 million to customers who have incurred erroneous data charges over the past three years. But, what can affected users do to make sure they actually receive their cash? In theory, nothing. The company says that it's currently going through its database to find users who should receive refunds, which will apparently appear in the form of credits on their...

FCC Agrees on Whitespace Rules for 'Super Wi-Fi'

In a unanimous vote, all five FCC Commissioners have approved rules opening up the so-called whitespace between television channels for use in what the commission has dubbed "super Wi-Fi." The newly available spectrum offers greater range and wall penetration than current Wi-Fi technology, and provides plenty of room for boosting speeds, as well. Rules will require that devices take advantage of...

One-Third of U.S. Families Live Without Landline Phones, Report Says

If you terminated your landline phone service recently, count yourself among a growing number of Americans transitioning to a purely mobile existence. According to a new Citi Investment Report from analyst Jason Bazinet, nearly 30-percent of all U.S. households have now disconnected their landlines -- up from 25-percent just one year ago. As Business Insider explains, the "wireless substitution"...

Ontario Parents Say School Wi-Fi Networks Make Kids Sick

Share Parents in the town of Barrie, Ontario, Canada, want their school district to disable its Wi-Fi network because, they claim, it's making their kids sick. According to a report by The Canadian Press, parents say that, after the district went wireless, kids from 14 different schools displayed symptoms -- including headaches, dizziness, nausea, faster heart rates, memory loss, trouble...