SUBSIDIZED NETBOOKS

Netbooks will be widespread by the end of the year, shaking up the PC market and changing our world in ways that will be more dramatic than you expect. You might not have foreseen one of the ways they’ll be distributed – sold and subsidized by the cell phone carriers.

verizonmodem Many notebook computer users are familiar with the concept of a separate “mobile broadband” device built into the notebook, or plugged into a USB port, that gives the computer an Internet connection anywhere within a cell phone carrier’s network. […] continued

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NETBOOK FEVER

The world is changing in front of our eyes again. Let me give you a preview of some technology that is going to change the computing landscape permanently – and do it before the end of 2009. This is a big deal! Take a minute to read this – it will help you understand what’s happening when things start to move quickly this fall. […] continued

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NEVERENDING WIRELESS WOES

I have shared a bit of wisdom with many of you when we’ve talked about setting up 802.11 wireless networks:

People who depend on wireless networks call me about connection problems.

People with wires don’t.

Wireless technology is just swell. Millions of people use it every day.

But if you’re making a decision about how to set up your home or office network, think long and hard about hiring someone to run network cables between the locations where desktop computers are located. […] continued

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HIGH-TECH SOLUTIONS

Frustrated by flaky wireless connections? You’re not the only one. I’m proud of the solution that one of my friends and clients is using to increase the strength of a weak signal in his house. That’s the wireless USB adapter on the remote computer that you see in there, pointing towards the room with the wireless access point. […] continued

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VERIZON MOBILE WIRELESS FUN

I have a Verizon mobile wireless adapter built into my Dell Latitude D630. I pay sixty bucks a month so I can connect to a reasonably fast EVDO broadband connection from just about anywhere. It’s becoming a standard accessory for business travellers who don’t want to hassle with conventional wireless.

A few days ago, there was a lengthy delay when I clicked the Connect button – “wait while your equipment is updated,” something like that. […] continued

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VISTA FIREWALL – THE HOME/WORK MYSTERY

Vista’s firewall is significantly beefed up from the firewall in Windows XP – it monitors outgoing traffic, it’s able to adjust easily when a computer is moved from one network to another, and the settings are easier to find in Vista’s Network and Sharing Center.

Firewalls have become far more important on individual computers as our lifestyles change. […] continued

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FREE PUBLIC WI-FI!

If you have a wireless notebook, there’s yet another way the bad guys can get past your defenses.

When you connect to a wireless access point, normally you’re in “infrastructure” mode. Network traffic to all the computers using the wireless network passes through a wireless access point. In a public place – an airport or hotel, say – you can reasonably hope the access point has some built-in security to keep each connected computer separated from each other. […] continued

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WIRELESS NETWORKING DEMYSTIFIED

rangemax Although the technology is widespread and mature, 802.11 wireless networking is confusing for many people – and frustrating for nearly everyone. It hasn’t helped that the next generation of 802.11n networking equipment seems to be stuck in an endless development cycle, resulting in hundreds of routers and access points and adapters on the market that are not quite compatible with each other. […] continued

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SPEAKING GEEK

The Wall Street Journal’s site All Things Digital has a useful article that translates some geek jargon into English. It’s a nicely written collection of common-sense explanations of terms used to describe digital cameras, mobile devices, televisions, and more. Sample:

“DIGITAL CAMERAS – Megapixels: This term describes the highest resolution photo a camera can take.

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VERIZON’S OPEN NETWORK

Verizon’s announcement that it would open up its network next year to devices not sold in Verizon stores made headlines and generated lots of online buzz. It is a welcome development from a notoriously closed company and Verizon deserves kudos for stepping forward. Verizon might just be trying to polish up its image before the important 700Mhz spectrum auction coming soon, which looks like a battle between Verizon and Google after other major players decided not to bid. […] continued

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THE WIRELESS FUTURE

Wireless technology is a blur of confusing acronyms and frequent frustration, but we are making progress and there continues to be hope that more and more wires will disappear in the future.

Wireless Internet connections for our computers are slowly becoming more comprehensible and easier to manage, although the word “wireless” is still used for too many different things. […] continued

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SONIC OPEN WIFI PROJECT

Sonic is demonstrating again that it has its heart in the right place.

Now that Earthlink has officially killed its plan to deliver free wireless Internet access to San Francisco, Sonic has stepped up with a more modest plan for the city of San Francisco and downtown Santa Rosa. Here’s Sonic’s page about the Open WiFi Project. […] continued

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SF FREE WIRELESS, R.I.P.

In January, Google and Earthlink signed a contract to set up free high-speed wireless Internet access for the entire city of San Francisco. The deal provided that EarthLink would pay the city $2 million for the right to build, install and run a free Wi-Fi network that would be supported through advertising from Google; Earthlink would also offer a paid subscription that would offer higher speeds and fewer advertisements. […] continued

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WIRELESS HEADACHES

The Wall Street Journal wrote an article last month about wireless networks, expressing a sentiment many of you have probably felt – namely, they’re a pain in the neck. It doesn’t help that the vocabulary has gotten muddled. There are now four basic types of networks covered by the term “wireless”:

  • 802.11g Wi-Fi, wireless networks covering small areas.
[…] continued

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GOOGLE AND WIRELESS BROADBAND

In 2009, new frequencies will become available in the US for handling voice and data. The frequencies are currently being used for analog television, but the FCC decided years ago that analog television would no longer be supported after 2009; the frequencies are being reclaimed and resold in an FCC auction. […] continued

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