April 18, 2014

Last week at the NAB (National Association of Broadcasters) show, FCC head Tom Wheeler pushed broadcasters to loosen their grip on spectrum that the agency plans to auction off to give wireless internet room to grow. Now, he's laid out a draft of the rules for the auction before it takes place next year. The upcoming incentive auction will be a three stage process that, once completed, should open up more wireless spectrum for high-speed services like WiFi. WiFi operates on "unlicensed spectrum" that's open for anyone to use, and similar networks or devices could take advantage of any new frequencies the FCC opens up, while reducing interference with existing networks. That's good and bad however, since they'd fill the space in between networks, it could be harder to build up something like WiFi.

So far not everyone has been happy with the possible rules for this redistribution. That includes the broadcasters themselves, whose participation will have to happen voluntarily, and the companies expected to bid for access, namely AT&T who has warned that it might skip the process based on the FCC's restrictions on how much spectrum it can buy. Now that the rules are here, everyone from your local TV broadcaster to wireless carriers to cash heavy dreamers like Google and Dish Network can look them over and voice their opinions before the commission votes on them May 15th.

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Source: Tom Wheeler


April 18, 2014

Sony Xperia Z2

It's been nearly three years since I reviewed the Xperia Neo, manufactured by what was then Sony Ericsson. The Neo represented just the second generation of Xperia phones running on Android, from a period when Sony was finding its feet in the world of mobile and still chucking out plenty of duds (I'm looking at you, Tablet P). Fast-forward to today and things have changed dramatically under Kaz Hirai's stewardship. I'll tell you this right now: The Z2 is an easy phone to recommend, at least for those living in countries where it'll definitely be available (a list that includes the UK and Canada, but not yet the US). The only real caveat is the handset's huge, monolithic construction (a far cry from puny, 126-gram Neo). As you'll see, if you can get past its size, the Z2 addresses some of the most serious gripes we had with its predecessors, the Xperia Z and Z1, particularly with respect to its LCD display. In fact, in some respects, it's far ahead of any other Android phone currently on the market.%Gallery-slideshow189414%

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April 18, 2014

Samsung Milk Music on a Galaxy Note 3

You know what they say about all good things in life. Samsung has been offering an ad-free version of its Milk Music service for no charge since launch, but the company has posted a new infographic revealing that Americans will soon have to pay $4 per month for a Premium tier to escape marketers. You'll also get some "exclusive features" as a bonus, although it's not clear just what they'll entail. We've reached out to learn more about both the paid service launch and what those perks will be. For now, you'll want to cherish the current listening experience -- it may not be around for much longer.

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Via: The Next Web

Source: Samsung Tomorrow


April 18, 2014

If a Windows Phone app disappoints you, it's probably right that you call out its failings and warn others to steer clear. Don't be surprised, however, if the minds behind the software start responding to your gripes directly. Microsoft is slowly rolling out a program whereby developers can comment on your reviews of their handiwork. Fortunately for you, however, the devs won't get access to your personal details, and, if they overstep the mark, you can report them for poor conduct. Still, the notion that coders will now get the chance to openly gain feedback from users seems like a step in the right direction -- just as long as everyone remains civil.

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Via: The Next Web

Source: Microsoft, (2)


April 18, 2014

Project Tango on a NASA SPHERE in zero gravity

Wonder what Google's Project Tango-equipped SPHERES robots will look like when they're in action aboard the International Space Station? The company is more than happy to show you. It has posted video of a recent test that took the machines on a zero gravity simulation flight to see how the 3D environment sensors and other systems will work in practice. As you'll see in the clip, it wasn't quite as easy as testing on the ground -- Google's ATAP team had to work during brief bursts of weightlessness that could challenge both the employees and the devices.

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Source: Google ATAP (Google+)



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