AT&T is offering free service to people who want to communicate with friends and family in Japan.
The carrier announced today that postpaid subscribers won't be charged for calls or text messages to Japan through the end of March. The free service started Friday, the day that a magnitude-8.9 earthquake rocked the northeastern part of the country and sent tsunamis out into the Pacific.
Customers will either find no charges on their monthly bill or a credit for the amount they would have spent. AT&T is only offering the deal on phone calls that … Read more
Adobe Systems, working furiously to disprove Apple Chief Executive Steve Jobs' belief that the Flash Player is a bad match for mobile devices, will deliver its second version of the software for Android devices on March 18.
The software will be available in final form through the Android Market for Android 2.2 (Froyo) and 2.3 (Gingerbread) devices and in beta form for Android 3.0 (Honeycomb) tablets after Google's 3.0.1 system update, Adobe said in a blog post.
In Oslo, Norway, it's not uncommon for a dazzling aurora borealis to light up the night sky. Or maybe it's just the Internet you're looking at.
Timo Arnall, Jorn Knutsen, and Einar Sneve Martinussen from the Oslo School of Architecture and Design have found a unique way to visualize invisible Wi-Fi signals in their Norwegian city by light-painting signal strength in long-exposure photographs.
Their project, which is documented in a film called Immaterials: Light painting Wi-Fi, is powered by a 13-foot "Wi-Fi measuring rod" containing 80 lights that illuminate at varying levels depending on signal reach.
The glowing Wi-Fi measuring staff, which is truly worthy of Gandalf himself, is operated by a microcontroller. To create the mesmerizing visuals, the artists--Ph.D. candidates in interaction design--placed a camera nearby as the rod was taken to various locations at nighttime in the Oslo borough of Grunerlokka.
The Wi-Fi visualizations are part of the research project YOUrban, which explores the intersection between design, technology, and urban life and previously showed the invisible fields surrounding RFID readers. With their Wi-Fi light painting, the designers noticed a pattern. … Read more
As new smartphones and tablets come on the scene and as operators tweak service plans with new pricing, it's getting harder to figure out how to get the most bang for your buck.
In this week's Ask Maggie column, I try to help readers figure this out. I offer some advice on whether one reader should splurge on the 3G-enabled iPad 2 or save $130 with the Wi-Fi-only iPad 2 and use his iPhone 4 tethering plan. I also help another reader, who damaged her iPhone 3GS, figure out if she should upgrade now or wait for the … Read more
For the third consecutive Congressional session, a bipartisan bill is aiming to limit new taxes on your cell phone bill. Introduced today in the House of Representatives by Reps. Zoe Lofgren (D-Calif.) and Trent Franks (R-Ariz.) and in the Senate by Senators Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) and Olympia Snow (R-Maine), the Wireless Tax Fairness Act of 2011 would prohibit state and local governments from imposing discriminatory or redundant taxes on mobile services, providers, or mobile technology for a period of five years.
"The current landscape of excessive and discriminatory taxes on wireless services discourages its adoption and use, especially with … Read more
Clearwire, which is building a nationwide WiMax network in the U.S., announced today that John Stanton will serve as interim CEO, replacing William Morrow, who resigned from the position and the company's board of directors.
Stanton is currently Clearwire's chairman of the board. Stanton is well-known in the wireless world having served as CEO of Western Wireless, which was acquired by Alltel in 2005 and is now part of Verizon Wireless. And he worked at VoiceStream Wireless, which was sold to Deutsche Telekom to form T-Mobile USA.
In addition to Morrow, Chief Commercial Officer Mike Sievert and … Read more
Using Wi-Fi over a wired connection at home could bring your speeds down about 30 percent, suggests a new study out today by broadband research firm Epitiro.
Tracking the broadband connections of sample users in the U.S., U.K., Italy, and Spain, Epitiro found that on average people lost around 30 percent of their download speed using Wi-Fi over wired. Further, Wi-Fi users ran into a 10 to 20 percent increase in latencies, or delays, when downloading content.
Why such a disparity in performance? Many Wi-Fi routers use the same default communications channel, which can create interference with neighboring … Read more
Rovio, the company behind the Angry Birds phenomenon, is suddenly flush with cash.
The company announced today that it secured $42 million in a Series A round of funding led by venture-capital firms Accel Partners and Atomico Ventures. Accel Partners is best known for investing in Facebook, Groupon, and AdMob. Atomico Ventures was started by Skype co-founder Niklas Zennstrom, who is joining Rovio's board of directors.
Rovio's success with the Angry Birds franchise has been downright impressive. The game, which lets players slingshot birds at pigs, currently has more than 40 million monthly active users and sits at … Read more
There's nothing the world likes more than a good radiation scare. Mobile phone health panics are quiet at the moment--which could be permanent, like the microwave oven cancer flap that went into spontaneous remission and stayed there. Instead, the burgeoning world of in-flight entertainment beckons as the next fear factory.