Tag - White space
The latest experiment in using 'white spaces' in the United Kingdom is underway, with London Zoo being the unexpected location for testing. Communications regulator Ofcom has detailed a trial by Google and ZSL London Zoo of technologies using white spaces, by streaming live video from several animal exhibits on YouTube.
An Internet service provider based in California is offering residents connections using white spaces. Cal.net is using unallocated spectrum, left over after the transition from analog to digital television in 2009, to allow rural customers in areas without 4G LTE and land-based connections a wireless Internet connection.
The Federal Communications Commission has begun a 45-day public trial of Google's white-space spectrum database. The test run is designed to verify the accuracy of the system, which identifies unused portions of television spectrum, known as white spaces, that could be used for alternative forms of communication.
Google and Microsoft are both seeking control of the UK's unused spectrum, according to reports. The white spaces, sections of radio spectrum used as a buffer between bands employed by mobile, radio, and television services, could potentially be used by the technology giants to offer nationwide broadband services to the population.
Nokia has been testing the potential uses of white spaces for indoor positioning. The testing, based at the Imperial War Museum in Cambridge, UK, uses a Nokia N9 to supply information to users on nearby exhibits.
The Federal Communications Commission announced Wednesday that it well conduct a test of the database of broadcast frequencies that will be used for the wireless networking protocol known as White Space. White Space networking will allow companies to maintain extended range Wi-Fi networks covering as much as 100 square miles. The 45 day trial begins Monday Sept. 19. It will be open to the public.
Microsoft has partnered with the BBC, BT, and British Sky Broadcasting to trial the delivery of mobile broadband Internet by utilizing empty radio spectrum normally used to deliver television signals. The so-called white space spectrum could be utilized to deliver additional mobile broadband services to supplement existing services struggling to keep pace with smartphone and tablet adoption.
A recent rush in coupon demand may force some analog TV owners to pay full price for digital converter boxes, warns Massachusetts Representative Ed Markey. Reuters writes that Markey, evalauting the US government's subsidy for the converters, has called for an influx of money from Congress to pay for more coupons, the demand for which may soon outstrip supply. The converter program is currently expected to hit its $1.34 billion budget limit in early January, which may mean no new coupons after late January, or at least until some existing ones are officially unredeemed.
A recent push for the FCC to approve unlicensed use of wireless spectrum white space was successful today, allowing Google and other companies to introduce a new implementation of wireless technologies. TechCrunch reports that the measure has met great resistance from telecom companies and sports leagues, with both claiming it would interfere with devices on licensed airwaves. Google and the FCC scoffed at the reasoning.
Google is aiming to bring public opinion to bear on white space technology, company bloggers have announced. As a member of the White Spaces Coalition, Google is pushing the FCC to authorize the technology, which would take advantage of the frequencies between over-the-air TV broadcasts to deliver broadband Internet, in some cases where it may not have been accessible before. The FCC is said to have completed testing on a second phase of white space devices, and should rule on their practicality "in the coming months."
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WhatsApp now handles over 100M calls daily
WhatsApp is celebrating that it is being used for over 100 million calls every day. In a brief notice, the Facebook-owned messaging platform advises the voice-calling feature it rolled out to its users last year now deals with an average of over 1,100 calls initiated per second. Earlier this year, it increased the security of its calls and other messages, by introducing end-to-end encryption on all platforms. http://bit.ly/292HqCX
Adele's '25' album now streaming
Recording artist Adele has "pulled a Kanye" after saying that her current album "25" would not be available for streaming. The seven-month-old record, which has yielded a number of hit singles, is now available for streaming on all the major streaming services, such as Apple Music and Spotify, as of today in most major markets, with worldwide distribution to come. Reportedly, the singer had demanded streaming be limited to paid subscribers -- a condition that has hurt some streamers with artists, who aren't paid royalties for free or trial listens . Apple pays performers its normal royalty rates during its free trial, avoiding the issue -- and having repeated success in both signing up exclusives and placing those exclusives into the top of the charts. http://ti.me/28U7NOu
SanDisk iXpand case has battery, storage
A new iPhone 6 and iPhone 6s case from SanDisk appears to be the "holy grail" of accessories: a stylish and protective case that offers both extra storage as well as the option of extra battery power as well. The iXpand Memory case offers either 32GB, 64GB, or 128GB of additional storage incorporated into the case, and an optional add-on battery pack (sold separately) adds up to an extra day or more of charge. Through the associated iXpand app, camera photos and videos can be automatically stored on the extra storage, optionally password-protected, The cost for the case is (in order of storage capacity) $60, $100, and $130. The battery pack's release data has not yet been announced, but the add-on should retail for an additional $30. http://bit.ly/291epHu
Fifth Hong Kong store to open June 30
The 46th official Apple store in what the company calls the "Greater China" region will open at 10AM local time in Hong Kong's New Town Plaza in the Sha Tin district on Thursday, June 30, according to a new page on Apple's retail website. Despite slowing growth due to economic turmoil in China, the country is still Apple's fastest-growing market. The new story will be the fifth for Hong Kong, a lucrative market for Apple thanks to the high concentration of wealth there and a thriving "gray" market. Normal store hours for the new store will be 10AM to 10PM every day. http://apple.co/291diaT
Apple Music bug bites very short songs
There appears to be a reproducible bug in the current version of iTunes -- version 12.4.1, running on OS X 10.11.5, both the current non-beta versions of the respective software -- that causes a streamed song to become "stuck" in endless buffering if the streamed item just before this happened was 60 seconds or less in length. The problem appears to stem from code in iTunes that signals the next track to start downloading one minute before the currently-playing track is done, and thus songs shorter than one minute don't trigger the download. Locally-stored music is unaffected by the bug, and the problem does not appear to exist in either the macOS Sierra developer beta or versions of iTunes earlier than 12.4, and does not affect the iOS Music app at all. http://bit.ly/291cN0l
Walmart Pay expands to 15 states
Walmart, one of the key progenitors of the failed CurrentC mobile payment system that was distinguished from Apple Pay by its ability to collect and share customer financial and buying data among its participants, has expanded the soft rollout of its alternative solution "Walmart Pay" to an additional 15 US states following a pilot program in Arkansas and Texas last month. Walmart continues to resist adding Apple Pay. The system, built into the Walmart app for iOS and Android, works with a complicated system of the camera scanning a purchase code at the register, then generating a QR code which is then scanned by the register. The system is available now in Alabama, Georgia, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Louisiana, Michigan, Mississippi, Missouri, Nebraska, North Carolina, North Dakota, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Virginia, and Washington, DC. http://apple.co/28SqZfu
Amazon refreshes entry-level Kindle
Amazon has added a new Kindle to its ebook reader range, one that is thinner and lighter than the previous entry-level model. Offering a six-inch 167-dpi touchscreen display, a doubled 4GB of storage, and an option for a white casing, the new model also adds in the ability to export highlights and notes to an email account as a PDF. Two versions of the all-new Kindle are available, priced at $80 including "Special Offers" and $100 without. http://amzn.to/28Q4c3R