Smaller carriers favored in auction -- 30MHz reserved
Federal Communications Commission Chairman Tom Wheeler has confirmed that he plans to limit how much spectrum AT&T and Verizon can buy in the 2015 auction of bandwidth reclaimed from TV broadcasters. The chairman spoke out a day after AT&T threatened to boycott the auction, possibly slashing the reimbursement that the government would get from the auction.
Emails sent to small business gaging interest, assessing needs
Google is picking select Kansas City companies to test Google Fiber prototype offerings for business. The business rollout in Kansas City is the first of its kind for the Gigabit Internet service, with Google saying that it is "in the beginning of figuring out what that product could look like, and that's why we're launching this pilot." Small businesses in the area have been emailed to inquire if there was an interest in testing the service, in exchange for feedback. Applicants must respond by April 25 with staff size, network requirements, and the name of its current Internet provider.
Software update being tested could remove need for Sonos Bridge
Sonos is testing a software update for its wireless speaker system that removes the need for a physical connection to the home network. The software would allow for the system's SonosNet network to operate with one of the speakers accessing the local Wi-Fi network, and avoiding wiring either a speaker or the Sonos Bridge wireless networking device to a router.
Linksys' high-end ac offering put to the test
As 802.11ac networking begins to makes its way into more and more devices, you may find yourself considering an upgrade for your home network. One option is Linksys' EA6900, a new top-tier networking device from a long-standing name in the world of routers. Linksys says the EA6900 is a compelling option that offers a router that is not only fast and reliable, but also extremely simple to set up. Does this new 802.11ac router live up to its claims? Read our review and find out.
New Belkin router brings maximum speed to homes, offices
The proliferation of 802.11ac routers has begun in earnest. After an initial deployment by Apple, the second wave of refined devices has begun to hit the market. Linksys' new high-end home and small business Wi-Fi router, the WRT1900AC, has arrived. Where does it sit in the range of available devices?
Sony announces upcoming massive multiplayer game to launch in next 4-6 weeks
Sony has announced the upcoming release of a new massive multiplayer survival zombie game, based on an Internet hoax from 2009. Entitled H1Z1, the game plays off of a hoax that claimed that the "swine flu" virus, H1N1, has mutated into the cause of a phenomenon that turns the dead into zombies. Set 15 years after the virus first affects people, Sony's emphasis will be on player ownership and building a variety of objects, including weaponry and houses. H1Z1 will be made available on Steam's Early Access for $20, though beyond the 4-6 week estimate there is currently no official release date for the game.
New plan pays early termination fees, offers 4G devices for Wi-Fi only pricing
The second day of wireless provider T-Mobile's pricing plan announcements sees the carrier offering an option to add a tablet to a postpaid voice plan for free through the end of the year. Called "Tablet Freedom," the program offers cheaper tablets, and 1GB of additional free 4G/LTE data each month, in addition to the 200MB of free data available through the "Free Data for Life" promotion.
Technology too 'notoriously difficult'
Apple's suspected movements towards in-house baseband development are unlikely to bear any fruit in new iPhones until 2015 at the earliest, says JP Morgan analyst Rod Hall. Baseband chips are said to be "notoriously difficult" to develop. As evidence he refers to Broadcom, which despite being the source of some of Apple's recent hires, struggled to develop an LTE modem.
Switch to flip 'later this year'
Google Fiber's deployment in Austin, Texas has been delayed several months, Google tells local NBC affiliate KXAN. Signups for Austin residents will only open this summer, while the service itself is due to go live "later this year." When Google announced that Fiber was coming to Austin a year ago, it said it had hoped to connect people by mid-2014, after signups in January.
New home router first to feature a quad-antenna array for range, speed
Linksys today announced that it has started shipping the new WRT1900AC. The design of the new router is inspired by the decade-old WRT54G. The new WRT has been equipped with a dual-core 1.2 GHz processor and 128MB flash memory, plus eSATA and USB ports for storage and other peripheral connections.
Direct Ethernet competitor moves data at 10Gb per second
In a direct challenge to the venerable networking standard Ethernet, Intel on Monday introduced Thunderbolt Networking -- an interconnect standard for Thunderbolt 2-equipped devices that can transfer data at up to 10 gigabits (Gb) per second, 10 times faster than the previous limit. Mac users with Thunderbolt 2 devices running OS X Mavericks already have the new feature built-in, with PC drivers for Windows said to be coming "soon."
Intel migrates Thunderbolt peer-to-peer networking on Windows 8
At the National Association of Broadcasters 2014 show, Intel extended its Thunderbolt networking technology to Windows. Previously available on OS X Mavericks, a pair of Thunderbolt-equipped computers can be directly connected with Thunderbolt Networking, giving the pair a full original Thunderbolt 10Gbps speed connection, using existing cables and connectors. The networking uses the TCP/IP protocol, and is fully cross-platform compatible.
M4 uses 2.5-inch drives in RAID; 10-Gigabit Ethernet peripherals launched
Promise Technology today announced three new Thunderbolt 2 and shared storage devices aimed at the creative professional market. The Pegasus2 M4 uses an array of 2.5-inch drives in a new portable form factor. The VTrak G1100 NAS Gateway is a 1U file server with an 8Gb Fiber channel front end and 10Gb Ethernet dual port connectivity. The SANLink2 10G is a Thunderbolt 2 10-Gigabit Ethernet bridge adapter that connects any Thunderbolt 2-enabled Mac to high performance 10Gb Ethernet networks.
Does the Ooma Office live up to promises of 'crystal-clear calls?'
Voice over IP (VoIP) services have been around for a very long time. Only recently has the implementation become a bit more robust, allowing for businesses to shift the majority of their telephony to the devices. One of the foremost devices in the field right now is the Ooma Office suite. The hardware promises to revolutionize all office communications for a lower monthly price than traditional telecommunications providers. Can it really do all it claims to? Read our review to find out.
Remarks in response to Netflix concerns of ISPs demanding payment for traffic
The FCC is apparently not going to examine Netflix CEO Reed Hastings' call for a wider net neutrality. Shutting down the discussion, an FCC spokesperson said that the matter was not up for consideration in the upcoming Open Internet proceeding. FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler noted (incorrectly in the eyes of critics) that arrangements such as between Netflix and Comcast are "not a net-neutrality issue."
New bandwidth intended to ease congestion, boost speeds in crowds
In a unanimous vote, the US Federal Communications Commission (FCC) is opening up 100MHz in the lower part of the 5GHz spectrum for new-build Wi-Fi devices. The bandwidth opening is intended to increase traffic and capacity in public venues like parks and libraries.
Successful crowd-funded projects a fresh source of innovation
Macworld/iWorld 2014, currently going on at the Moscone Center in San Francisco, handed out its Best of Show awards on Friday, including a mix of hardware devices and software apps, many of which started life as successful Kickstarter or similar crowd-funded ideas, both from established companies and novice entrepreneurs. Winners included a portable RAID drive, a thermal camera for the iPhone, an app to get kids to do their chores, and new Thunderbolt adapters, among other useful apps and gadgets.
Program combines Microsoft offerings into one centrally-managed program
In parallel with the unveiling of Office for the iPad, Microsoft has also debuted a "holistic" approach to enterprise mobile device control. The new Microsoft Enterprise Mobility Suite is a cross-platform approach, encompassing Android, iOS, and Windows Phone, to control permissions, manage data access, and retain separation of personal and business-oriented data on a device, all with cloud-centric management.
Mavericks server 3.1 pulled, version 3.1.1 posted with no changelog
Having released OS X Server for Mavericks nearly a week ago, Apple on Monday replaced the former 3.1 version available on the Mac App Store with a revised version, 3.1.1, which does not list any differences or bug fixes from the previous 3.1 release. The previous and current release both list a number of improvements, including new support for a Device Enrollment Program within Device Manager; new management of fonts, AirPrint and Wi-Fi Hotspot 2.0 settings, and improved Activation Lock use for admins. The suite costs $20 for new users, but the updated version is free for existing 3.x users.
Emergency filing made to CPUC, preventing more expensive migration
California-based Utility Reform Network (TURN) has filed a complaint with the California Public Utilities Commission, alleging that Verizon is refusing to repair legacy copper-wire landline telephones. The public advocacy group says that Verizon is "neglecting the repair and maintenance of its copper network" and aims to forcibly migrate clients to IP-based services and fiber-optic connections.
Post in response to remarks made by Netflix CEO
The Netflix and large ISP peering arrangement war of words is heating up. After Netflix CEO Reed Hastings' remarks yesterday, AT&T has also penned a missive in which it claims that ISPs who follow strong net neutrality provisions -- giving relatively cost-free data to the streamers -- is nothing less than suggesting "that people who don't subscribe to Netflix should nonetheless pay for Netflix."
Low Bluetooth use may hurt practicallity of tech
The Golden State Warriors have become the first NBA team to deploy Apple's iBeacon technology at their stadium, the Oracle Arena, according to Bloomberg. At a recent game, some people who bought cheaper tickets received notifications on their phones, asking them if they wanted to pay extra to upgrade. Several dozen iBeacons have been installed by a company called Sonic Notify.
Remarks are first net neutrality comments since January court ruling
Netflix CEO Reed Hastings has penned a harshly-worded post on the official Netflix blog, and has blasted the state of US net neutrality, and in part, peering deals that the video streamer has struck with large ISPs. Hastings says that deals are in place, with more coming, but the toll to ISPs is being paid "reluctantly" and only to "ensure a high quality member experience."
Apple forces users to pick carriers with official deals
iOS 7.1 appears engineered to block people from using the iPhone's Personal Hotspot (tethering) feature on carriers without official support, complaints on Apple's support forums indicate. Previously it was possible to manually edit APN settings to connect to any carrier. Since that editing is gone, though, tethering has been limited to the smaller number of carriers that officially offer Personal Hotspot.
Multi-state group to look at effect on broadband industry
Comcast and Time Warner Cable are facing more than just federal inspection of the merger between the pair. Reports are surfacing that Florida, Indiana, and other as-yet-unnamed states are looking at the transaction, in conjunction with the federal government effort by the US Department of Justice.
Priority traffic allowed if no other traffic is affected by boost
A group of European Parliament members today voted to give permission to ISPs to prioritize certain kinds of traffic (as specified by the ISP themselves) as long as the prioritization has no impact on other traffic in any way. The decision today allows companies to "offer specialized services of higher quality, such as video on demand and business-critical data-intensive cloud applications, provided that this does not interfere with the Internet speeds promised to other customers" according to the committee.
Server offers Profile Manager improvements, ARD adds Mavericks support
Apple on Monday updated OS X Server, bringing version 3.1 out of beta after a number of developer previews, and updated Apple Remote Desktop (ARD) to version 3.7.2 as well. The Mavericks OS X Server 3.1, which now requires 10.9.2 to run, is available from the Mac Developer Portal or Software Update, and includes new support for a Device Enrollment Program within Profile Manager. The ARD brings support for Mavericks and bug fixes.
Fault is likely due to hacker attack rather than Apple-originated issue
[Update: attack over] Users around the world -- particularly those who rely on Google DNS or Speakeasy to provide their DNS connections -- were seeing some (but not all) of Apple's websites blocked. In particular, the attack seems focused on Apple.com and iTunes, with other services such as iMessage and Game Center seemingly unaffected. The attack is now over, but it remains unclear if Google DNS was the source of the issue or just the first to propagate the bad DNS entries.
New device extends wireless range 5,000 square feet from repeater
Wireless networking solutions provider Amped Wireless today announced the availability of its REC15A High Power Compact 802.11ac Wi-Fi Range Extender. The wall-plug unit extends the signal of any standard 802.11a/b/g/n or ac Wi-Fi router by repeating, amplifying, and redistributing the signal in an extended location, such as a far bedroom, backyard, or upstairs office.
Neighborhoods have deadlines for registration to attract Google Fiber
Citing the Google connectivity effort underway so far, having laid 6,000 miles of Fiberoptic cable in the Kansas City metro area, the search engine is opening up the signup process to residents in south Kansas City, Kansas City, north, Grandview, Raytown and Gladstone. Should enough residents in each of those areas sign up for the service and pay a $10 registration fee, Google will extend the fiber connection to that network.
Pre-encrypted wireless router now shipping
Networking hardware producer, TrendNet, is now shipping its new Extreme Performance AC1900 (TEW-818DRU) wireless router. Powered by a 1GHz processor, high-power radio amplifiers for extended wireless coverage, and Gigabit Wireless AC networking speeds, the unit is designed to optimize wireless connections within the home. The TEW-818DRU is pre-encrypted, to help with mitigating the threat of hacking based on using unchanged default login credentials. The unit is priced at $260, and is available from retailers now.
First migration related to NCAA basketball tourney bracket selection
Adding to the list of substantive changes by the new CEO, Yahoo will stop the practice of letting users access Yahoo services by signing in with Google or Facebook login information. The migration will happen gradually, with the ultimate goal of 100 percent of services requiring a Yahoo account over the next year.
Compatible with Apple TV, Xbox, PlayStation, 2.5K other devices
Accessories maker Logitech has extended its line of Harmony remote controls to include a new "Harmony Smart Keyboard" that the company is aiming for the growing number of non-computer "smart devices" around the home -- particularly "living room" devices like Apple TVs, video game consoles, audio systems and digital video recorders, among others. Logitech says the keyboard is compatible with 225,000 home-entertainment devices covering 5,000 brands.
Judge said to be hesitant to go through with measure
A Belgian judge is considering whether to order local ISPs to block access to Apple websites in the country, local reports say. The measure is a possible response to charges of fraud brought by consumer protection group FPS Economy. FPS points out that while Apple has been claiming a standard warranty of just one year, European law mandates a minimum of two, at no extra cost. Apple has been asking Belgians to buy an extended AppleCare warranty to get two years of support.
D-Link announces 11AC portable router and charger
Announced today, D-Link is now shipping its 802.11ac router, entitled the Wi-Fi AC750 Portable Router and Charger (DIR-510L). Allowing users to quickly create a Wi-Fi hotspot from an existing Internet connection, the DIR-510L incorporates Wireless AC750 technology as to produce and maintain fast connection speeds.
Amicus brief: server bank nixes value of single antenna per subscriber
The Obama administration has filed an amicus curae ("friend of the court") brief with the US Supreme Court, saying that it feels that web streamer Aereo must "obtain licenses to perform the copyrighted content on which its business relies." While the administration can't tell the court how to rule, the briefing is likely to set the tone for the hearing, set for April.
Adds support for OS X 10.9.2, tweaks Profile Manager
Apple on Monday released an updated "developer preview" of OS X Server 3.1, which updates support for OS X 10.9.2 (and requires it in order to run) and makes some minor changes in the recent Profile Manager overhaul. The new build is identified as 13S4122, up 21 builds from the previous beta, which was released in mid-February. As 10.9.2 is now officially out, Apple is likely pushing to release the final 3.1 server update soon.
Nintendo prepares to shutter Wii, DS multiplayer services on May 20th
Nintendo has revealed it will be shutting down its online multiplayer servers for the Nintendo DS and Nintendo Wii on May 20th. The global closure will stop multiplayer games from working online through the Wi-Fi Connection service, but it will still allow other online aspects, such as the Wii Shop and video-on-demand services, to continue working. Online play for games made for the Nintendo 3DS and Wii U will remain unaffected by the closure.
Device brings three USB 3.0, Gigabit Ethernet, more to Thunderbolt
Like USB before it, Thunderbolt is taking a path to ubiquity. Originally included on Apple's MacBook Pro series, the new interface technology is starting to show up on Windows computers, and even enthusiast motherboards. The only problem with a new common interface is the displacement of older ones. To fill this gap, many manufacturers are developing interface breakout boxes, including a variety of ports that a Thunderbolt-equipped computer may or may not have. StarTech has a one such entry, a docking station that includes three USB 3.0 ports, a Gigabit Ethernet port, HDMI, and audio in and out ports to Thunderbolt-equipped computers. Is StarTech's offering ideal? Check out our review to find out.
Stay is not pending appeal, but to serve the public good
Online over-the-air television streamer Aereo has won a very brief reprieve from its shutdown order across six states. District Judge Dale Kimball ruled that "notwithstanding the many factors weighing against a stay, the court, in its discretion, grants Aereo a temporary 14-day stay."
Lets users check connection speed, aggregate national averages
The US Federal Communications Commission has refreshed a broadband speed-checking tool for iOS that was originally created in 2010, and updated it for iOS 7 and other modern technologies. The free FCC Speed Test is part of the Measuring Broadband America initiative, and is part of an FCC initiative to get a better "performance map" of US broadband. Users can view historical test data and current performance using the program.
Future products will require Apple's blessing
iBeacons must now be certified under Apple's Made for iPhone (MFI) program to use the iBeacon name, reports say. While a number of third-party outfits have begun deploying iBeacons, they haven't necessarily had to cooperate with Apple to make use of the name or the official API. The terms of certification aren't public, since manufacturers are being asked to sign non-disclosure agreements.
SSL fix present but undocumented
(Updated with Safari, security updates for Lion, Mountain Lion) Following a long beta-testing period, Apple has released the finished v10.9.2 update for owners of OS X Mavericks. The software primarily adds support for FaceTime audio calls in both the FaceTime app and Messages. The two apps have also gained contact blocking, allowing people to screen out individual users.
New chipset allows for better communication in congested environments
Semiconductor solutions provider Broadcom today introduced the industry's first 5G Wi-Fi (802.11ac) 2x2 Multiple Input Multiple Output (MIMO) system-on-a-chip (SoC) for smartphones. The Broadcom BCM4354 SoC will enable manufacturers to deliver twice the Wi-Fi performance of 1x1 MIMO devices used in smartphones today while improving system power efficiency up to 25 percent when using wireless applications.
CEO calls deals necessary for survival of streaming services like Netflix
In an interview with CNBC, Verizon CEO Lowell McAdam noted that he was fairly certain that he would strike a similar deal as Comcast's with Netflix, making the streaming video purveyor pay for bandwidth, at least in part. McAdam called the Netflix deal with Comcast a "good thing," which allows for funding necessary infrastructure maintenance and build-outs.
Update expected to include FaceTime improvements, fix for SSL vulnerability
Apple has started seeding a pre-release version of OS X 10.9.2 to some of its own staff, sources tell AppleInsider. The code is listed as build 13C64, and is thought to foreshadow an imminent public release. Significantly the update is said to include a number of important changes, including the ability to block individuals in Messages, audio calls and call waiting for FaceTime, and a promised fix for SSL security.
WhatsApp experiences server problems today
Mobile messaging app WhatsApp has experienced issues with its servers today, days after being purchase by Facebook for $19 billion in a cash-and-stock deal. Users began to report experiencing outages around 11AM PT. WhatsApp acknowledged on Twitter that server issues are to blame, and that attempts were being made to recover service.
Android, iOS app said to automatically connect users to private, public hotspots
Google is working on creating an app that can automatically authenticate with free Wi-Fi hotspots, according to a report. The app, for iOS as well as Android, is said to be on trial at the Mountain View headquarters of the search company, with a possibility of the app working with the hotspots in 7,000 US Starbucks stores when Google replaces the existing AT&T connections.
Issues blocks on still more domains
Apple has acquired the rights to several more domain names, made available through ICANN's continuing rollout of new generic top-level domains. The company now owns four .technology addresses: apple.technology, ipad.technology, iphone.technology, and mac.technology. It has also secured blocks against registering some domains, including apple.construction and macbook.technology.
First legal defeat curtails operations in eight states
Internet "over-the-air" television video streaming service Aereo has been handed its first defeat in its ongoing court battles with conventional broadcasters, and the verdict is a significant one. Judge Dale A. Kimball of the Utah federal court system ruled that the streamer is violating the copyrights of broadcasters with its service in the states of Utah, Colorado, Kansas, Oklahoma, New Mexico, Wyoming, and segments of Montana and Idaho.