Protestant Churches in Germany to Offer Free Wi-Fi — Come For the Internet, Stay For the Spiritual Guidance
There's a surprising lack of free wi-fi in Germany, especially considering how developed the country is. That's because of a German law that makes network providers responsible for any illegal activity. Sure, this protects intellectual property and cuts down on piracy...but it also makes lots of places afraid to have free wi-fi. You know who's not afraid to have free wi-fi? Protestant churches. And hey, if you decide you wanna stick around for a mass or something, that's totally cool.Read More
What could go wrong?
Wi-Fi has more uses than just sending your tweets and reaction GIFs out to the Internet. It's also useful for position tracking systems, but most of the ones you're familiar with don't hold up so well when it comes to pinpoint accuracy. That could change with a technology from MIT that uses Wi-Fi signals to detect the exact position of the devices sending them.Read More
Heart three times larger, Wifi three times slower.
UK company Ofcom is warning customers that their home and office Internet connections could be compromised by holiday cheer.Read More
Did they get the kids back if they guessed that the password was "Rumpelstiltskin"?
Digital security firm F-Secure gave a big F-you to EULAs with a WiFi hotspot publicity stunt that allowed for free WiFi access as long as users agreed to its terms and conditions, which included giving away the rights to their first-born children. A few users agreed, possibly proving they didn't read the agreement, they're not that interested in kids, or they had some really important tweets to send.Read More
The Federal Communications Commission is said to be considering a plan that would buy back some frequencies from television stations and use those frequencies to give the country free and ubiquitous "super-WiFi." That sounds amazing. Obviously, the companies providing non-free, non-ubiquitous "ordinary-WiFi" are pretty set against the whole thing. Thankfully, companies like Google and Microsoft want to see this happen. It's just a matter of which giant companies bully the FCC into bending to their will.Read More
LOCOG's ban on 3G Wi-Fi hotspots at the London Olympics may seem ridiculous to some, but the equipment used to enforce it will seem ridiculous to everyone else. Laugh as much as you want, that Wi-Fi detector will sniff out your hotspots and shut them down before you can say "United Kingdom Office of Communications."Read More
The local police of Evansville, Indiana flipped when threats against their family were posted on a Topix forum. They flipped so hard, they sent a SWAT team with a search warrant to the location corresponding to the IP address of the offending forum-poster. Employing the "break glass and throw flashbangs first, ask questions later" strategy, the team tossed two flashbangs into the house before entering to find a startled 18-year-old girl watching the Food Network, and an unsecured Wi-Fi network.Read More
Alleged patent troll Innovatio IP Ventures, LLC has decided that one of its (presumably many) patent portfolios is for Wi-Fi in general. As such, it has begun to sue companies left and right as patent trolls are wont to do. So far, the suits have largely been against restaurants, coffee shops, and department stores including Caribou Coffee, Cosí and Panera Bread. In an attempt to freshen up the patent trolling process, it seems that Innovatio is asking for comparatively tiny settlements of between $2000 and $5000 to make the option of going to court seem extra expensive.
At this point you're probably thinking "wait a minute, but I use Wi-Fi." Rest assured, Innovatio has no intentions of going after
your wallet you...yet. In an interview, Matthew McAndrews, lead litigator for Innovatio lawsuits said "Innovatio has made a strategic and business judgment at this stage that it doesn’t intend to pursue [lawsuits on the basis of] residential use of WiFi." He also made a point of mentioning that "This is not a seat-of-the-pants, fly-by-night shakedown." The lawyer doth protest too much, methinks.
Google is planning to allow users worldwide to opt-out from their Wi-Fi hotspot location database later this fall. The announcement, made on the search giant's European public policy blog, is surely a response to legal troubles the company has encountered after it was revealed that the process of mapping these hotspots also captured information about individual Wi-Fi devices like computers and smartphones. Google has also run into legal trouble when the company admitted in 2010 that it had inadvertently intercepted fragments of data being sent over the networks it was mapping. The information in this database allows Google to estimate the geographic position of a user based on the known positions of Wi-Fi hotspots. Early iterations of the iPhone determined location in the exact same manner, using a database from SkyHook. To create their own database, Google's streetview cars were equipped with Wi-Fi sniffing sensors that mapped the location of every wireless device they came across, as well as some they didn't intend.Read More
Autuin from the Free Geek Vancouver blog recently decided to do a write up of a project he has apparently had sitting around for a few years. This curious device, a digital picture frame, has an interesting little feature that separates it from its contemporaries. It uses your pictures. No, not ones you upload to it or anything, just ones it finds hanging around once it sniffs out your insecure Wi-Fi.
While this is sort of an invasion of privacy, Autuin suggests that it's more of a reminder that your privacy might not be as private as you think. Using insecure Wi-Fi is risky and this is intended to write that on the walls, so to speak. He's now looking for a daring, Wi-Fi enabled coffee shop where he can hang it up on the wall. But not before insuring it, since it probably won't last too long before attracting some negative, and maybe violent, attention. You can read about the creation process over on Autuin's blog.Read More
Rice University has issued a statement saying that Leticia Aguirre, a 48-year old Houston grandmother, is the nation's first user of "Super WiFi" technology. The technology has been in the works for some time and promises to better access to users in the future. Aguirre was already receiving Internet service through a community WiFi network that covered three miles, but apparently never received adequate access since she lived on the edge fo the network. This made her the perfect candidate for Super WiFi, since the technology is meant to provide more coverage than traditional WiFi.Read More
For as long as Wi-Fi has been around, its proponents have wanted to make it better, faster, and longer-range, but that process has been complicated by the physical realities of the radio standard: Current U.S. regulations limit its transmission to the 2.4 GHz band. (Gizmodo explains this further in a nifty article on why so many wireless gadgets are clustered at 2.4 GHz.) But after September 23rd, that may change: On that date, the FCC plans to vote on a set of rules allowing for a "super Wi-Fi" that's transmitted over the unused airwaves between broadcast television channels and which could potentially "travel several miles and deliver Internet speeds ranging from 15 to 20 megabits per second – as fast as a cable modem."Read More
In a move that will draw cheers from long-suffering New Jersey commuters, New Jersey Transit spokeswoman Penny Bassett-Hackett announced its plan to add wireless broadband to all 165 train stations and 12 rail lines.Read More