Earlier this year at CES, we promised you that Digit Wireless would release a new Fastap phone in the U.S. before the end of the year. As you might recall, Fastap is this unique keypad layout that incorporates raised and lowered keys into a single keypad to facilitate quicker text entry (The first U.S. Fastap phone was the LG AX490 for Alltel). Well it's almost the end of October, and it hasn't happened yet. The ZTE 90 (also known as the ZTE D90) that we showed you in January is only available in Canada (via the … Read more
CTIA Fall 2007 isn't really the place for most cell phone manufacturers to announce new devices; in fact, many companies come here to reannounce devices that have already been, well, announced. That's how it is for the UTStarcom Coupe from Verizon Wireless, that back-to-basics emergency phone that we reviewed a month or so ago. UTStarcom has released a press release announcing that they're launching the phone today, even though it was out a while ago. As we said back then, the UTStarcom 8630 is a phone made for the elderly or older adults; it has a clear … Read more
Though Verizon Wireless isn't announcing the LG Venus and Voyager at CTIA, the cell phones are making guest appearances. I got a few minutes to play with both handsets, the first time I've seen them in the flesh, and I all I can say is, "wow." Both the Venus and Voyager sport throughly lovely designs that will do a lot to bring more style to the formerly stodgy Verizon. Yes, they're a bit on the hefty side, but they back up their bulk with sleek and shiny profiles.
There are a lot of dubious claims in the world of consumer electronics. Some of my favorites are "DVD-quality video" and "CD-quality sound" (for digital media that is often anything but) and the always classic "installs in just minutes." But one of the biggest truth-benders in recent years has been "wireless speakers." As resident blogger Steve "The Audiophiliac" Guttenberg recently pointed out, many so-called wireless speaker systems actually introduce more wires into the equation. That's exactly why Griffin Technology's new Evolve Wireless Sound System looks so promising: The $300 iPod speaker system includes two speakers that look to be completely and totally free of cables.
How'd Griffin do it?… Read more
Radio scientists at IBM Research and MediaTek are teaming up to develop a wireless transmission protocol that will deliver files more than 100 times faster than Wi-Fi.
The idea is to take advantage of the 60GHz spectrum, according to Mehmet Soyuer, the lead researcher on the project, who is based in IBM's T.J. Watson Research Center in Yorktown Heights, New York. These chips will be able to transfer files at around 2.5 gigabits per second, compared with the 11 to 54 megabits of Wi-Fi. Hence the 100 times faster calculation, Soyuer said.
Put another way, these chips … Read more
WASHINGTON--Disgruntled Democratic senators on Wednesday renewed threats to impose new regulations designed to force more "consumer-friendly" policies on wireless carriers.
Curbing early termination fees, prohibiting companies from passing "deceptive" fees onto customers, reporting the number of dropped calls to government regulators and providing more accurate service coverage maps are among the requirements being considered in a bill touted at a morning hearing here convened by the Senate Commerce Committee.
If such a law were enacted, it would be a significant departure from today's relatively limited federal regulations in the wireless industry, which date back to … Read more
After coming across this quick snippet over at Techdirt, I felt compelled to write about it and inform all Verizon Wireless customers that you may be duped by a company that obviously doesn't care about making its customers happy.
According to reports, Verizon Wireless is sending out letters in envelopes to its customers that, if not responded to in thirty days, will create a contract between both parties. What does the contract create, you ask? A change in the Terms of Service that will allow Verizon Wireless to take your calling records (unbeknownst to you, of course) and hand … Read more
I know, I know, it's not even Halloween yet, but this wireless LED-powered tree is too Crave-worthy to wait until 12:01 a.m. Nov. 1 (or whenever Starbucks deems it appropriate to start slinging gingerbread lattes) to blog.
The Wireless Christmas Tree from Front Gate nixes wires and uses radio frequencies to transmit energy from a power source to the LED (light-emitting diodes) bulbs on the tree. The tree comes in a golden urn and stands 4.5 feet high. It's available starting today for $395.
For several reasons, this tree is an excellent candidate for something … Read more
If last week's FCC leak wasn't proof enough, the UK's Automated Home (via Gizmodo) has pretty much filled in all the details on an as-yet-unannounced networking accessory for the Sonos Digital Music System. The Sonos ZoneBridge BR100 will act as a wireless bridge between other ZonePlayers in the Sonos' proprietary mesh network. That's useful because the Sonos system requires at least one of its boxes to be tethered to a wired network connection. Previously, that meant one of the two included base stations of the Sonos system would need to be near an Ethernet port, or … Read more
This week marks Verizon's first attempt at enforcing its "Worry Free Guarantee," a new policy that will allow Verizon customers to change plans without having to extend their contracts. The guarantee also includes a test-drive offer that will let customers try out the Verizon service for 30 days risk-free. Customers can also receive a free phone every two years if they sign up for a calling plan of at least $34.99 plus a two-year contract renewal. It's about time Verizon got hip to this, as other carriers like T-Mobile and Alltel have allowed this for … Read more