Starbucks Free WiFi

Starbucks Tweet Starbuck tweeted today that coming July 1st, Starbucks will provide free, 1-click WiFi access… and right after Starbucks sent me my new Gold Card which provides 2 free hours of WiFi daily. You see, I have a slight problem and I use Starbucks as a productivity center away from home distractions usually once a week.

So, this doesn’t affect my iPad usage as I have no-click WiFi connectivity at Starbucks stores now, but one-click, no registration WiFi connection will be welcome for laptop usage as I now have to login using an AT&T account. I say, about time Starbucks… weren’t really the leader on that idea!

While everyone’s excited about the free WiFi, Starbucks has also announced intentions to launch its own digital network to provide media company partners, including Yahoo!, WSJ, Zagat, NYT, USA Today and the free weekly iTunes pick download. Yahoo! will provide the portal while AOL will integrate local content from Patch in the Starbuck Digital Network. We’ll have to see when SDN launches how many people stick around the initial portal before VPNing to work or heading to blog on their sites.

Apple to fix iPad Wi-Fi bug

iPad According to Apple’s support site:

A very small number of iPad users have experienced issues with Wi-Fi connectivity. This article outlines workarounds for these issues. Apple will also address remaining Wi-Fi connectivity issues with a future iPad software update.

While perhaps some spin is involved from the Apple camp with the phrase “A very small number”, at least Apple has acknowledged the Wi-Fi issues and plan to address in an upcoming update.

Apple also has a troubleshooting guide for connecting the iPad to wireless.

CradlePoint MBR1200

The CradlePoint MBR1200 will make the uber-geek squeal with delight as the 802.11n router includes 3G/4G failover capabilities. In addition to the providing failover capability, the MBR1200 switches automatically to a secondary connection when primary service is interrupted. When restored the device will failback to the primary connection.

If you’re craving higher bandwidth, the device also provides active load balancing between all internet sources. As a geek, I’m salivating!

Buy now!
Price: $259.99
(Please note prices are subject to change and the listed price is correct to the best of our knowledge at the time of posting)

Grace Digital’s Allegro WiFi Internet Radio features Pandora, and over 16,000 stations

grace digital allegro internet radioGrace Digital’s latest Internet Radio appliance connects to your network via 802.11b/g/n WiFi.

It accesses over 16,000 Internet radio stations which are selectable by region, country, and genre; plays back Sirius radio, and of course, it also can be configured to play back your Pandora radio stations.

One neat feature is the ability to control via the included remote or with a remote iPhone app available from iTunes.

Buy now!
More info from the manufacturer
Price: $154.00
(Please note prices are subject to change and the listed price is correct to the best of our knowledge at the time of posting)

Withings Scale – Measure Body Fat %, BMI, Sends Data via WiFi

wifi body scaleAh, here’s a good example of everyday gadgets getting IP addresses and connected to your home network in some fashion – the Withings WiFi Body Scale connects to your WiFi home network (802.11g), uploads the data which you can then view the data on a secure Web-interface. Pretty slick.

Apart from weight, include lean and fat masses, it also measures body fat % and BMI. You even share the data via e-mail, Twitter, and post to websites. There is even a free iPhone app that you can use to see your results.

Buy now!

More info from the manufacturer
Price: $159.99
(Please note prices are subject to change and the listed price is correct to the best of our knowledge at the time of posting)

CES 2010: Sprint’s Overdrive Mobile Hotspot Gives you 3G/4G Internet Connectivity in a Palm-Sized Device

sprint overdrive mifiSprint just announced the Overdrive – a 3G/4G mobile hotspot gadget. It connects to SPrint’s WiMax network, and allows up to 5 WiFi devices to connect. If the 4G conn (available right now in 27 cities [coverage]) drops, it switches to the nationwide 3G (EVDO) network.

Overdrive will be available in 2 days at Best Buy and Sprint for $100 (with a $50 MIR) and a 2-yr agreement at $60/mo.

At those prices, if you have 4G in your area, it could be well worth it to ditch your cable modem/DSL line. It’ll also mean having Internet connectivity wherever you go.

[press release]

CES 2010: Eye-Fi Rolls Out 8GB Pro X2 SD Card

eye-fi 8gb wifi 802.11n sdRemember Eye-Fi, the maker of those SD cards for your digital camera that WiFi-enabled your camera so you could instantly upload your photos somewhere without having to plug in your camera to your computer? (Sorry, that was a mouthful!) Well, they’re still around and cranking out products.

Our prediction that camera manufacturers would get clued in and just start including WiFi into their products didn’t pan out, even given 2+ years.

Eye-Fi has a new 8GB card with 802.11n support, as well as updated software and cloud storage services.

Belkin Home Base Wireless-N Access Point – Network Share Your Printer, Other USB Devices

If you don’t already have a WiFi-connected printer, and would like to locate your printer away from your home router, how do you do that? Well, Belkin has a solution called Home Base that is a Wireless 802.11n Access Point that you can plug in your printer and/or other USB/1 wired Ethernet device(s) and voila, they’re on your network.

The Belkin Home Base has 1 wired 10/100Mbps Ethernet port and 4 USB 2.0 ports. It is also DLNA compatible.

Buy now!
Price: $129.99
(Please note prices are subject to change and the listed price is correct to the best of our knowledge at the time of posting)

Microsoft’s Bing team giving away free WiFi service in exchange for searching

I’ve spent my own share of time criticizing Microsoft for their buggy software and unethical business practices, but I’ve got to give them kudos for this move. They are exchanging free (1-time use) WiFi service for just a single search on Bing, their new search engine. Pretty smart.

The goal is to get more people familiar with Bing and hopefully get them using it. The Bing team is working with JiWire which works with 60-70% of the WiFi market for airlines and hotels.

This is probably going to cost MS some dough, but they have it and it can potentially reap significant rewards. However, they’ll need to keep running creative ad programs like this if they want to really dent Google’s market share in search.

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