New version of Windows Mobile software to share cell data connections over Wi-Fi: Morose Media ships version 1.20 of WMWifiRouter, a Windows Mobile 5 and 6 application that routes cellular data connections over Wi-Fi, turning your phone into a micro-hotspot. The software can also share a cell connection via Bluetooth or USB. The software costs $30 or €20, and requires Internet (Connection) Sharing (ICS), which some providers may have removed from your phone. (The company set the price at US$30 before the euro drop, so is offering a kind of discount over their real €20 price for the moment.)
The New York Times rounds up using cell phones as hotspots: Though the reporter, Bob Tedeschi, mentions the issue of having to have an unlimited data plan to avoid unpleasant charges, and worries about bad drains and malicious users, he doesn't note that many carriers don't allow this kind of sharing or routing without a separate "tethering" plan, that can run $20 or more per month. Also, U.S. carriers have now all imposed a 5 GB per month reasonable use cap; some will cut you off, some charge you more, some cancel your service based on exceeding this use.
Fon declares 1m users: While the company says they have 400,000 hotspots and 1m users, I have yet to spot a Fon hotspot in all my travels around Seattle and beyond (even when examining maps of Foneros), and have yet to hear from a single reader who regularly users Fon hotspots. Anyone? Buehler? Buehler? Is this really an emerging network that's so far outside typical users that I just don't get a whiff of it? It's possible.
Gigabit Wi-Fi? Someday: TechWorld considers the IEEE's Very High Throughput (VHT) study group, which wants to start work on 1 Gbps or faster Wi-Fi standard for completion in 2012. With 802.11n offering raw symbol rates up to 600 Mbps--even though no devices have shipped with the radios and antennas to offer that optional high speed yet--there's interest in other frequencies that would allow faster encodings, as well as aggregating multiple links to achieve high speed rates. My experience in testing and using 2.4 GHz with Draft N would show that wide or aggregated channels doesn't work very well. The article's writer, Peter Judge, notes that ultrawideband had potential (over short distances) to approach the gigabit mark, but that UWB hasn't really reached the market in any substantive way years after it was promised to be a big technology.
Flight attendants express concerns about in-flight broadband porn: When I've spoken to airlines, industry experts, and service providers, I find that they all have stories about how porn is viewed on computers, through DVD players, and in convenient magazine form on planes today. Adding the Internet may provide new salacious imagery, but the problem predates Internet access, and filtering Internet service is never as good a solution as a social one. Someone idiotic enough to view porn on a plane over the Internet is also stupid enough to bring along inappropriate DVDs they watch while seated next to children. Flight attendants already have the power vested in them to take care of this. The flight attendants for American might be expressing this concern as part of a bargaining issue, where their responsibilities but not commensurate pay have increased.
Spokane ends free Wi-Fi: Remember Vivato? Boy, I sure do. A company with a reach far exceeding its grasp, Vivato initially powered Spokane's downtown network. The network has continued to run on some basis--I'm not sure using what equipment--and now will move from free to fee. OneEighty Networks will charge about $10 per month to cover the costs of the network, for which local businesses at one point chipped in.
Brazilian TAM airline signs up for in-flight calling, messaging: OnAir has signed up the Brazilian carrier TAM, which will deploy the service on its Airbus A320 craft. Brazil hasn't yet provided regulatory approval, so no launch date is noted. TAM is the largest domestic and international carrier for Brazil.