Email Delivery

Receive new posts as email.

Email address

Syndicate this site

RSS | Atom


About This Site
Contact Us
Privacy Policy


November 2010
Sun Mon Tues Wed Thurs Fri Sat
  1 2 3 4 5 6
7 8 9 10 11 12 13
14 15 16 17 18 19 20
21 22 23 24 25 26 27
28 29 30        

Stories by Category

Basics :: Basics
Casting :: Casting Listen In Podcasts Videocasts
Culture :: Culture Hacking
Deals :: Deals
Future :: Future
Hardware :: Hardware Adapters Appliances Chips Consumer Electronics Gaming Home Entertainment Music Photography Video Gadgets Mesh Monitoring and Testing PDAs Phones Smartphones
Industry :: Industry Conferences Financial Free Health Legal Research Vendor analysis
International :: International
Media :: Media Locally cached Streaming
Metro-Scale Networks :: Metro-Scale Networks Community Networking Municipal
Network Types :: Network Types Broadband Wireless Cellular 2.5G and 3G 4G Power Line Satellite
News :: News Mainstream Media
Politics :: Politics Regulation Sock Puppets
Schedules :: Schedules
Security :: Security 802.1X
Site Specific :: Site Specific Administrative Detail April Fool's Blogging Book review Cluelessness Guest Commentary History Humor Self-Promotion Unique Wee-Fi Who's Hot Today?
Software :: Software Open Source
Spectrum :: Spectrum 60 GHz
Standards :: Standards 802.11a 802.11ac 802.11ad 802.11e 802.11g 802.11n 802.20 Bluetooth MIMO UWB WiGig WiMAX ZigBee
Transportation and Lodging :: Transportation and Lodging Air Travel Aquatic Commuting Hotels Rails
Unclassified :: Unclassified
Vertical Markets :: Vertical Markets Academia Enterprise WLAN Switches Home Hot Spot Aggregators Hot Spot Advertising Road Warrior Roaming Libraries Location Medical Public Safety Residential Rural SOHO Small-Medium Sized Business Universities Utilities wISP
Voice :: Voice


November 2010 | October 2010 | September 2010 | August 2010 | July 2010 | June 2010 | May 2010 | April 2010 | March 2010 | February 2010 | January 2010 | December 2009 | November 2009 | October 2009 | September 2009 | August 2009 | July 2009 | June 2009 | May 2009 | April 2009 | March 2009 | February 2009 | January 2009 | December 2008 | November 2008 | October 2008 | September 2008 | August 2008 | July 2008 | June 2008 | May 2008 | April 2008 | March 2008 | February 2008 | January 2008 | December 2007 | November 2007 | October 2007 | September 2007 | August 2007 | July 2007 | June 2007 | May 2007 | April 2007 | March 2007 | February 2007 | January 2007 | December 2006 | November 2006 | October 2006 | September 2006 | August 2006 | July 2006 | June 2006 | May 2006 | April 2006 | March 2006 | February 2006 | January 2006 | December 2005 | November 2005 | October 2005 | September 2005 | August 2005 | July 2005 | June 2005 | May 2005 | April 2005 | March 2005 | February 2005 | January 2005 | December 2004 | November 2004 | October 2004 | September 2004 | August 2004 | July 2004 | June 2004 | May 2004 | April 2004 | March 2004 | February 2004 | January 2004 | December 2003 | November 2003 | October 2003 | September 2003 | August 2003 | July 2003 | June 2003 | May 2003 | April 2003 | March 2003 | February 2003 | January 2003 | December 2002 | November 2002 | October 2002 | September 2002 | August 2002 | July 2002 | June 2002 | May 2002 | April 2002 | March 2002 | February 2002 | January 2002 | December 2001 | November 2001 | October 2001 | September 2001 | August 2001 | July 2001 | June 2001 | May 2001 | April 2001 |

Recent Entries

Streamlined Hotspot Logins for Portable Devices
Nintendo Puts a Number on Wi-Fi Gaming: 2m Players, 70m Sessions
Battle over the Atlantic (It's Just a Game)
Nintendo DS Uptake Continues: 200K and Counting
Nintendo's Online Move Analyzed
Half of Mario Kart DS Owners Try Wi-Fi
Nintendo's European Blowout: 15,000 Hotspots and Counting
Nintendo Offers Free Wi-Fi at McDonald's via Wayport
Nintendo's Wi-Fi
Nintendo Builds Free Gamer Wi-Fi Network in Japan

Site Philosophy

This site operates as an independent editorial operation. Advertising, sponsorships, and other non-editorial materials represent the opinions and messages of their respective origins, and not of the site operator. Part of the FM Tech advertising network.


Entire site and all contents except otherwise noted © Copyright 2001-2010 by Glenn Fleishman. Some images ©2006 Jupiterimages Corporation. All rights reserved. Please contact us for reprint rights. Linking is, of course, free and encouraged.

Powered by
Movable Type

Recently in Gaming Category

December 5, 2006

Streamlined Hotspot Logins for Portable Devices

By Glenn Fleishman

Devicescape launches new service, software, to reduce friction: The company opened its public beta to enable portable Wi-Fi-equipped devices to attach themselves to hotspots without the tedium--when it's even possible--of logging in. Devicescape, until now, has been known as an embedded Wi-Fi driver developer, making network software that runs on devices that have very little space and very little battery power to carry out that task. They're leveraging their knowledge and experience in launching this new service.

The service couples a small software program that gets installed on a portable device, like an IP phone with Wi-Fi, and an account you set up on Devicescape's servers to enter your various Wi-Fi logins. In the beta, only a few devices are supported, but the company said in a briefing that more are on the way. They also support just four hotspot networks in this beta: AT&T FreedomLink, Fon, Google's Mountain View Wi-Fi network, and T-Mobile HotSpot (USA). More are on the way, as well as the ability to enter WEP/WPA network keys for your own networks.

Devicescape's approach bypasses having to have an embedded browser in devices, some of which will have no screen or the level of input controls that, say, a camera has today. The browser has been seen as necessary to allow data entry and interaction--clicking the I Agree button on free networks that require you to commit to acceptable uses of a network.

It also means that you won't buy a device like the Nikon S7c and be limited to using only the hotspot networks with which Nikon has struck deals to build firmware controls into their camera to manage a connection as long as the device maker has either a software platform that supports other programs being installed, like a PDA, or Devicescape strikes a deal to have their system preinstalled. (T-Mobile has done a great job of being the network of choice for many Wi-Fi-based device launches, like the Kodak EasyShare-One and the Nikon S7c. And Nintendo signed up with Wayport in the US and other networks internationally to pre-program access into its DS game console.)

The company's CEO Dave Fraser said in an interview that Devicescape expects billions of portable devices that have Wi-Fi radios to be in people's hands over the next few years. "Most of them are going to be the low-cost devices that just can't afford to have a browser anyway," said Fraser. "Our goal is to make the sign-on to these proliferating Wi-Fi networks completley seamless. So you don't need a browser--you don't need a clumsy user experience." Fraser suggested that this lack of frictionless authentication limits hotspot utility. "If you had to do that on your cell phone every time you had to make a call," he said, cell phones would never have gained an audience.

When you take one of the supported devices, like the Linksys WIP300 Wireless-G IP Phone, the lightweight on-board Devicescape application connects to the Devicescape server. It does this by bypassing normal hotspot port-based access controls and gateway authentication pages using DNS (domain name system). DNS allows the encapsulation of certain information in special record types beyond IP address records and mail exchange details. Devicescape encrypts your authentication information, so it doesn't pass in the clear; the phone's software decrypts the login details and carries out the connection process automatically. (Yes, they have a patent in progress on this.)

This DNS approach could be blocked by hotspot operators, but blocking DNS in general would disrupt network functions, and blocking Devicescape in particular could prove difficult. In any case, Devicescape sees hotspot networks as partners with which they want to develop roaming and billing relationships.

The portable device doesn't need to store much in the way of how to log in and your authentication details aren't stored, either. Cryptographic protections enable each device to be uniquely identified, too, so anything stored on the portable phone, camera, etc., can't simply be copied to another device to enable it. This ensures that devices are uniquely registered and that they are not cloned through over-the-air interception, hacking, or physical access to the device.

It also means that it could provide the tools to allow different fees for different kinds of devices, and a way to avoid a one-account, one-login problem. In testing, Devicescape execs said they hit login limits with accounts on AT&T FreedomLink and T-Mobile HotSpot, which assumes that a single account is being used on, say, a laptop or a PDA by one person. But one person with many devices needs a unique way to have those devices simultaneously connect. If I walk into an airport with a camera, phone, and laptop, and want to use all three at the same time, no current system supports this. And if your device is stolen and pops up on a network--you could alert the cops! (Mash up of Google Maps, Skyhook Wireless, and Devicescape.)

Devicescape expects to become a sort of aggregator of access, leveraging the fact that you have an account set up with details that could include credit card information in order to use your various devices. (Confusingly, Devicescape is calling a set of devices you use your...devicescape. Ok.) Imagine walking into a hotspot you've never used before, and seeing a dialog box appear on your limited-input device that says, "Would you like to use this hotspot for $2 for 24 hours access?" Click OK, and the billing and authentication happens behind the scenes.

The company said that they aren't looking to displace firms like Boingo Wireless and iPass, with which they could be partners, too, by leveraging those authentication and billing systems with their lightweight software approach.

For more relationship-based use of Wi-Fi in homes and offices, Devicescape will offer in a future release a buddy list feature so that people who trust each other can allow devices to share network encryption keys. This is a very interesting option, because it not only bypasses entering WPA Personal passphrases, for instance--I have spent a lot of time lately cursing interfaces for this on Wi-Fi-equipped phones--but it also means you don't have to provide a "buddy" with the actual key. If you change the key at any time, you just update your Devicescape account's profile, and your buddies don't have make any changes to connect the next time they are at your location.

For now, this public beta offers a limited set of devices and networks to test to show what the potential is. Over time, the company will add networks, equipment, and additional services like the buddy list feature to flesh out the bones of their offering. The marching orders for this service is to bring the coming universe of Wi-Fi-enabled portables into the hotspot world. "Devices today are second class citizens," said Fraser, and he's trying to advance their status to full members of society.

Posted by Glenn Fleishman at 11:41 AM | Permanent Link | Categories: Appliances, Gadgets, Gaming, Hot Spot, PDAs, Roaming

August 28, 2006

Nintendo Puts a Number on Wi-Fi Gaming: 2m Players, 70m Sessions

By Glenn Fleishman

Last week, Nintendo says, the two millionth player registered and used its Wi-Fi-based games: The company's press release says that in nine months, they have seen 2m unique users--and that's a trackable number since registration is tied to a game console, as I understand it--with 70m individual game sessions. They still have just a handful of games, including Star Fox, which allows up to four remote players.

Posted by Glenn Fleishman at 1:02 PM | Permanent Link | Categories: Gaming

March 22, 2006

Battle over the Atlantic (It's Just a Game)

By Glenn Fleishman

Connexion by Boeing, Intel, SAS put together an in-flight component to the Global Gaming League's American/European competition: The in-flight exhibition games happening today feature 24 of Europe's best gamers, Boeing said. They're flying SAS and using the on-board network to attack each other. Let's hope we don't see air-to-game rage.

Posted by Glenn Fleishman at 9:13 AM | Permanent Link | Categories: Air Travel, Gaming

December 7, 2005

Nintendo DS Uptake Continues: 200K and Counting

By Glenn Fleishman

Nintendo says 200,000 users have checked in at its Wi-Fi Connection site worldwide: This in just three weeks since launching with Mario Kart DS designed for Internet and LAN gaming over Wi-Fi.

Posted by Glenn Fleishman at 10:18 PM | Permanent Link | Categories: Gaming

November 28, 2005

Nintendo's Online Move Analyzed

By Glenn Fleishman

Nintendo's future may be in handheld players, not consoles: Despite its attempts to compete against juggernaut Sony, which owns about 70 percent of the console market, and Microsoft, with a nearly equal 15 percent share, Nintendo's success has been in handhelds. The latest DS device is the first to feature Internet connectivity, and its Wi-Fi Connection service has so far been a hit through both free hotspot usage (at what are normally for-fee hotspots) and home Wi-Fi connections.

Posted by Glenn Fleishman at 2:40 PM | Permanent Link | Categories: Gaming | 1 Comment

November 22, 2005

Half of Mario Kart DS Owners Try Wi-Fi

By Glenn Fleishman

The folks at Nintendo report 45 percent of owners of this Internet-enabled game have used it over Wi-Fi hotspots: The company struck international deals to allow free usage by Nintendo DS owners of networks like those at McDonald's (U.S.) and run by The Cloud in the UK. They sold 112,000 copies of Mario Kart DS up until last Sunday; 52,000 unique users (who are identified by a code in the DS player) used one of these Wi-Fi Connection locations. Two more games are in the pipe for Dec. 5 and March 20 release.

Correction: The press release was apparently designed to be ambiguous. The term Wi-Fi Connection means the Web site that Nintendo designed, not the locations from which a DS user can freely use Wi-Fi. Thus, the 45-percent figure applies to any Wi-Fi user who went through the Nintendo portal, not that 52,000 users were out in hotspots. Those numbers don't appear available (yet).

Posted by Glenn Fleishman at 12:00 PM | Permanent Link | Categories: Gaming, Hot Spot

November 4, 2005

Nintendo's European Blowout: 15,000 Hotspots and Counting

By Glenn Fleishman

Nintendo's European debut will offer access at 7500 hotspots in the UK, 7,500 elsewhere, on Nov. 25: BT Openzone and The Cloud are both partners with Nintendo, which is providing free access for its DS player and certain Wi-Fi-enabled games. Tony Hawk's American Sk8land debuts Nov. 18 and Mario Kart DS Nov. 25.

The DS player will also work on home Wi-Fi networks and free networks, and Nintendo has built a tech support database with hundreds of router configuration to aid players in punching through to enable gaming access.

TVG has an early review of Mario Kart DS.

Posted by Glenn Fleishman at 10:03 AM | Permanent Link | Categories: Gaming, Hot Spot, International

October 18, 2005

Nintendo Offers Free Wi-Fi at McDonald's via Wayport

By Glenn Fleishman

You deserve a Nintendo DS break today: Wayport's deal to bring Wi-Fi into McDonald's so far has had just a single taker on the aggregator side: SBC. SBC FreedomLink's home network (their cheaper one, not their roaming network) includes unlimited access at McDonald's locations operated by Wayport, which now number over 6,000, and will exceed 7,000 by June. Wayport's plan, announced nearly a year and a half ago, is to resell access at McDonald's not on a per-session basis, but on a monthly fixed rate per location. Wayport receives fixed sums and the operator has a fixed expense.

Nintendo is the second company I know of--following SBC--that's signed up for this plan. Nintendo DS owners can bring in an equipped unit to Wi-Fi'd McDonald's starting Nov. 14 and pay no fee for access. A Web site devoted to the service just says that it's coming in November. Incremental sales to McDonald's should be quite marvelous. reports that the U.S. launch is Nov. 14; in Europe, Nov. 25. They also note that other Nintendo systems will follow the DS connection. This model has sold 2.2 million units in the U.S., according to NPD Group, quoted in The New York Times.

The first games to support online gameplaying are Mario Kart DS and Tony Hawk's American SK8Land, with two other games to follow by the end of the year.

Update: Nintendo of Canada has separately partnered with Wi-Fi operator FatPort to provide free Wi-Fi to Nintendo DS users across hundreds of their locations.

Posted by Glenn Fleishman at 8:53 AM | Permanent Link | Categories: Gaming, Hot Spot | 1 Comment

October 5, 2005

Nintendo's Wi-Fi

By Glenn Fleishman

There's not much detail: It's possible Nintendo will be setting up some hotspot partnership or infrastructure here; it's possible that you'll be able to set up a Wi-Fi gateway that any nearby Nintendo player can access. But it might just be a Wi-Fi plug-in to access the LAN and the Internet for other players.

Posted by Glenn Fleishman at 10:28 PM | Permanent Link | Categories: Gaming | 5 Comments

May 9, 2005

Nintendo Builds Free Gamer Wi-Fi Network in Japan

By Glenn Fleishman

Nintendo DS users will have access to a free national Wi-Fi network in Japan: The head of Nintendo said the company will build 1,000 hotspots and will charge nothing for access. Third parties might charge for access to certain games or features they offer. This is a fascinating idea: would Starbucks open their network for game-only use to encourage on-site caffeine consumption by players?

Posted by Glenn Fleishman at 5:14 PM | Permanent Link | Categories: Gaming | 3 Comments

April 20, 2005

Broadcom Powers Wi-Fi in Next Nintendo System

By Glenn Fleishman

Nintendo will use Broadcom to add Wi-Fi to "Revolution": Only sketchy details are known about Nintendo's next gaming system--more should be revealed at next month's E3 conference--but they'll definitely be using Broadcom's Wi-Fi technology with several features turned on. It's very possible that SecureEasySetup will be one of those features. Broadcom touts the technology as a painless method of ensuring that devices receive the maximum protection from WPA with the least effort by a user. Push a button on a router (or via a router's software) and then on the device you want to add and you're all done.

Posted by Glenn Fleishman at 10:56 AM | Permanent Link | Categories: Gaming

December 8, 2004

D-Link Gaming Router

By Glenn Fleishman

D-Link offers Wi-Fi router aimed at gamers: The router comes with four gigabit Ethernet ports and it supports D-Link's 108 Mbps wireless flavor. The unit prioritizes gaming packets. A Wi-Fi version costs $180, while the Ethernet-only version is $150.

Posted by Glenn Fleishman at 8:52 PM | Permanent Link | Categories: Gaming, Home

December 3, 2004

Game Consoles Will Be Wi-Fi Hubs

By Glenn Fleishman

Electronic Arts CFO says that next-generation game consoles will have Wi-Fi access points built in: It's a natural and reasonable progression, allowing Wi-Fi to be a standard feature that can then be tied into controllers and portable games and have applications that run on laptops and handhelds. [link via Engadget]

Posted by Glenn Fleishman at 1:28 PM | Permanent Link | Categories: Gaming | 1 TrackBack

May 17, 2004

Microsoft to Continue Some Wireless Gear

By Nancy Gohring

At the E3 Expo, Microsoft apparently went out of its way to reassure Xbox fans that it will continue to make its Xbox Wi-Fi adapter: That's somewhat ironic because not too long ago Microsoft had a page on its Web site that said it didn't recommend using Wi-Fi with its Xbox and wouldn't offer technical support for it. Perhaps customer demand has made it change its tune.

In other gaming news, Nintendo's handheld game will include Wi-Fi, though apparently the company hasn’t specified if it'll be 802.11b or 802.11g. [links via Frank]

Posted by Nancy Gohring at 11:05 AM | Permanent Link | Categories: Gaming

September 18, 2003

Microsoft Announces Xbox Wi-Fi Adapters

By Glenn Fleishman

Xbox Wireless Adapter adds 802.11g for $139 list: The news was accidentally leaked via an FCC filing days ago, but Microsoft now makes it formal. The release date is Oct. 5 for the product. The release foolishly says, gamers on Xbox Live can experience speeds of up to 54 Mbps. Most other Wi-Fi makers are careful to say the network operates at speeds that high, but actual throughput is substantially lower.

Posted by Glenn Fleishman at 3:09 PM | Permanent Link | Categories: Gaming

Main Index | Archives | Home Entertainment »